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poll.gif  RWIAB IIa Game Review Tue, 16 March 2004 19:30 Go to next message
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Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 403
Registered: November 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

RWIAB Series II (Galaxy A): A Game Review

"Rabid Weasels in a Box II" (RW-IIa) was a Stars! game run on Autohost on a Monday-Friday generation schedule until a victor was declared by virtue of “modified” high score in 2500. The game name was based upon the main game condition that all races conform to the "factoryless" (-f) standard of having cost 25 factory settings, or by being the AR PRT. A long ago newsgroup post referred to these races having to act like rabid weasels in their drive to expand and grow and thus I adopted the term for the game.

The game was played in a small, packed galaxy, ACC BBS start, random events on, and public scores off. There were eight active participants plus a neutral observer race run by the host. This game was also run in parallel with two nearly identical games (RW-IIb and RW-IIc). The “modified” score was adjusting the standard Stars! Scoring so that resources generated fewer points and planet count for each race was a minimum number of 50 since planet count sets a ceiling on most of the scoring parameters.

No expectations other than the close quarters possibly causing some early race deaths. Early moves developed into what looks like a northwest alliance (Polanie/Desquis) and a southeast alliance (Oks/Armagons). Both started expanding towards taking out the southwest corner by the 2430s. The Pick Pockets eventually folded up. The substitute player for the Loranians did some catch up – and then took the war to the Polanie. By 2450 the Loranians are still holding – and look to be trying to open a second front via an alliance with the Big Furry Thing. The Oks/Armagons are almost done taking out the Pick Pockets. At this point it’s unclear where they will head next; northward towards the Zurg, westward to pressure the Loranians, or northwest into conflict with the Polanie/Desquis.

As of 2470 the Oks/Armagon have started an offense against the Polanie/Desquis, while also attacking the Zurg as well. The Zurg have essentially abandoned the game and will be mopped up much as the Pick Pockets were. The Loronians and Big Furry are fighting holding actions against superior Polanie/Desquis technology and resources. The question now is whether things will stabilize or continue to change over the next few decades.

Last decades of the game were the Loronians losing ground to Polanie/Desquis attacks while the OK/Armagon alliance got an offensive going. The Loronian eventually abandoned most of the southwest and re-established themselves in the northeast, taking over former Zurg and Big Furry space. Combat in the southwest and northeast became secondary to a series of battles and attacks in the central region where the main four races squared off. Packet fire is fairly common at this time as well. A number of battles in the late 2490’s between the Armagons verses the Polanies and Desquis caused notable battleship losses to both sides.

The final status has the Oks in a solid position. The Polanie and Armagon are close in terms of score. The Desquis after that with the Loronians trailing even further back. Economic power and current technology levels seem to favor the Ok and Armagons as of 2500.

The races started in roughly the following positions:

..3..2..6 (corresponding to player #)

(1)  The Oks                JOAT    1st Place (2332)
(2)  The Watcher            WM      Host Observer		
(3)  The Polanie            JOAT    2nd Place (1574)
(4)  The Big Furry Thing    IS      6th Place (524)
(5)  The Loranians          IT      5th Place (987)
(6)  The Armagons           AR      3rd Place (1570)
(7)  The Pick-Pockets       IS      Eliminated 2483
(8)  The Zurgs              HE      Eliminated 2499
(9)  The Desquis            IT      4th Place (1292)

Race Comments
1) Ok (Oks)
JOAT w/19% PGR, 1/800 efficiency, Grav shifted left, Temp shifted right, Rad full width (1in5). IFE, TT, ISB, NRSE, OBRM, NAS, RS. Enegery and Weapons cheap, Const and Bio normal, rest expensive.
Started in lower-right. Leading in 2410 and aggressively colonizing the corner and starting to push towards the center of the galaxy. Still in the lead in 2420, researching for better terraforming, and has a small group of bazooka DDs. Up to collodial phasers, 90 bazooka frigates and still leading in 2430. Down to 2nd in 2440 with Jihad CA capability. At war with the Pick-Pockets. Still 2nd in 2450. Close, but not at, Juggernaut BB tech. Friendly with the Armagon, enemy of the Pick Pockets, neutral to everyone else. In 1st since 2460, with Doomsday BB tech in 2470. Allied with the Armagons and Loronians. At war with the Desquis, Polanie, and Zurgs. Finished game with an intact BB fleet (150 capital ships) that included ARM BBs.

2) Watcher (Watcher)
One-world-wonder 18% WM. All narrow and fully right-shifted (1in171). 15/8/23 factories. Elec cheap, rest expensive and start @3.
Observer race starting in middle-middle. Built additional low tech scouts in 2402 and 2403. About 2407 starts researching Con 4 (Privateer hulls to hold orbital pop) and then to start ramping Elec to get pen-scanners. WM PRT used to facilitate looking at ship designs of the other races. Full pen-scan coverage of the galaxy established in the early 2430’s.

3) Polanie (Polanies)
JOAT w/19% PGR. Grav Immune, Temp and Rad shifted right (1in3). IFE, NRSE, OBRM, NAS. Weapons cheap. rest expensive and start @4.
Started in middle-left. Middle of the pack in 2410, but a colonizer wave outbound using standard engines. Good scouting range at this point in the game. Massive number of colonies in 2420, but most have not been reinforced. In 2nd place, but trailing 1st in warfare tech. In same position in 2430 (2nd). Up to bazooka frigate tech and also at war with the Loranians. In 1st in 2440. Jihad CA capability, allied with Desquis and fighting the Loranians. 1st in 2450. Juggernaut CA tech and now fighting the Big Furry Thing as well as the Loranians. In 2nd in 2470 with Doomday BB tech. ARM technology expected in the next few years. Allied with the Desquis and Zurg. At war with the Armagon, Oks, and Loronians. Heavy expansion program in the 2490s. ARM BB the mainstay of the fleet in 2500. 85 capital ships remaining even after a number of losses in earlier battles.

4) Big Furry Thing (Big Furry Thing)
IS w/15% PGR. Grav immune, Temp and Rad wide and centered (1in2). IFE, ISB, OBRM, NAS. Weapons cheap, Prop and Const normal, rest expensive. Started in upper-middle. Race being run by a substitute player. Trailing early on – due to low PGR and IS lack of early tech. However, the race has a very wide settling capability. Question is whether or not it will ever be able to take advantage of it. Still trailing heavily in 2430 and looks to be under some pressure from both the Polanie and the Zurg. Limping along in 8th in 2440. Frigate tech, and at war with the Polanie. Zurg pressure might have eased off. 6th in 2450. Jihad Frigate tech – but receiving technology transfers from the Loranians. Friendly with the Ok at this point as well. In 6th in 2470 with Juggernaut BB tech. Limited fleet strength and under pressure from the west. Allied with Loronians, Armagons, and Oks. At war with the Polanie, Desquis, and Zurg (inactive to the east). Empire abandoned in 2480 and just has a few combat ships remaining in 2500.

5) Loran (Loranians)
IT w/18% PGR. Grav Immune, Temp and Rad shifted right (1in5). TT, ISB, CE, OBRM, RS. Weapons, Const and Bio cheap, rest expensive.
Started in lower-left. Close to the front early on, but very little scouting completed, and expansion just starting. A substitute took over around 2415 since the race was being left to rot. In 2420 the situation from 2410 is changing. Holding place (up to 3rd), and well out of the basement in terms of resources. Plus now has large freighter capability for moving population. Still in 3rd in 2430. Trailing the leaders in resources, but has cruiser hulls and nearly to collodial phasers. Looks to be undertaking a serious campaign against the Polanie and is aggressively scouting to catch up on information. Still 3rd in 2440. Has Collodial CA capability and is at war with the Polanie and Desquis. Recently defeated a Desquis bazooka CA fleet using Range 0 weapon armed Destroyers. Dropped to 4th by 2450. Collodial BB tech. At war with the Polanie and Desquis; friendly with the Big Furry Thing and supplying them technology. In 4th in 2470 with Doomsday BB tech. Has lost some ground to the Polanie/Desquis. Allied with the Armagon, Oks, and Big Furry. Enemies of the Polanie, Desquis, and Zurg. 2nd rate power by 2500 due to losses against the Polanie and Desquis. ARM BB technology, but fleet, technology and resources are all trailing the Polanie/Desquis.

6) Armagon (Armagons)
AR w/19% PGR. 10 efficiency. Grav immune, Temp and Rad narrow and centered (1in10). IFE, ARM, ISB, NRSE, NAS. Energy, Weapons, and Const normal, rest expensive and start @3.
Started in middle-right. Trailing in resources and score early – a typical AR. Up to mid-pack in score in 2420 and starting to catch up. Still mid-pack in 2430 and appears to be maintaining neutrality in the diplomatic area. Can build collodial frigates but has no warships. Up to 4th in 2440. Collodial frigates and destroyers about, has CA capability. At war with the Pick-pockets and friendly with the Oks. Resource ramp starting to catch up with the leaders. In 3rd in 2450. Jihad BB tech. In 3rd in 2470 with Doomsday BB tech. Allied with the Armagon and Oks. Enemies of the Polanie, Desquis, and Zurg. Very high potential since resources are soaring and the mineral fountain is starting to flow. Had ARM BBs by 2500, but a fairly week fleet (44 capital ships) due to battle losses. Homeworld mining not ramped up to the level I expected by that time.

7) Pick-pocket (Pick-pockets)
IS w/19% PGR. Rad Immune, Grav centered, Temp shifted right (1in4). ISB, OBRM, RS. Weapons cheap, Energy and Const normal, rest expensive and start @ 3.
Started in lower-middle. Tail-end of the pack in 2410. Probably due to IS start. Looks like some early skirmishing with the Oks in 2420, and no new colonies in the past decade. Might be the harbinger of a wider war. Up to 4th in 2430 and the existance of multiple croby frigate designs indicate that a war with the Oks might be in progress. Almost to collodial phasers, but propulsion tech is lagging. Down to 6th in 2440. Under attack by the Oks and Armagons. Race abandoned in 2438 – and currently being mopped up as of 2450 by the Armagon and Ok. In 9th in 2470 with no planets and eight scattered scouts. Eliminated in 2483 when the Watcher killed the last two Pick Pocket scouts.

8) Zurg (Zurgs)
HE w/19%(38%) PGR. Three wide centered hab bands (1in3). IFE, NRSE, OBRM. Energy and Weapons cheap, rest normal.
Started in upper-right. Expanding like an HE. Lots of small colonies trying to grow in parallel. Running 2nd as of 2410, down to 4th in 2420. Fewer new colonies in 2420 – but the existing ones are being filled in. Falling behind as of 2430, down to 7th place. May have hit the wall in terms of handling the necessary expansion needed for this PRT to keep up. Trailing in resources, technology (possibly fatally). I would also consider many of the existing ship designs sub-optimal; armored freighters, privateer colonizers, and very little use of the mini-colonizer hull and it’s excellent engine. Still in 7th in 2440. Has bazooka Frigate tech. No longer at war with the Big Furry, but in active hostilities with the Polanie and Desquis. 7th still in 2450. Collodial CA tech. Friendly settings with the Polanie, Desquis and Big Furry Thing – this implies a set of NAP agreements? Abandoned in 2466. In 7th in 2470 with Jihad CA tech. Will probably be mopped up by the Armagon and Oks with the Big Furry maybe grabbing some territory. Race abandoned in the 2480s and the last colony was destroyed in 2499 by a mass packet.

9) Desquis (Desquis)
IT w/20% PGR. 3 wide centered hab bands (1in4). NRSE, CE, OBRM, NAS, RS. Energy, Weapons, Const and Elec cheap, rest expensive.
Started in upper-left. Middle of the pack in 2410. Trailing further in 2420; including the fewest number of colonies in 2420. Up to 5th place in 2430 and appear to be allied with the Polanie in fighting the Loronians. Has bazooka cruiser capabiliy. In 5th in 2440. Collodial phaser capability and solidly allied with the Polanie in separate wars against the Loronians and Zurgs. Also has hostile relations with the Armagons. Still 5th in 2450. Jihad BB tech. Trading Con to the Polanie for Weapons tech. Friendly with the Polanie. Has the Loranians, Armagons, and Zurgs set to enemy. In 5th in 2470 with Doomsday BB tech. Allied with the Polanie. All other races but the observer set to enemy. Replacement emperor came into play during the last few decades. ARM BBs in fleet by 2500. 160 capital ships is the largest in the game, but the number is slightly mis-leading since half of these are AMP cruisers and not battleships like most of the other capital ships.

Empire Statistics
The observer gathered data on the various races each decade starting in 2410. Thus the relative power of the various races could be compared and analyzed. Here's the data in tabular form.
Race        2410   2420   2430   2440   2450   2460   2470   2480   2490   2500
Oks           9     16     18     31     39     44     52     55     57     75
Watcher	     1      1      1      1      1      1      1      1      1      1
Polanie	     4     29     27     27     28     28     30     34     39     61
Big Furry    11     15     20     22     24     23     23     24     17     13
Loranians     3     10     19     21     23     22     18     16     20     20
Armagons      5      8     13     15     17     17     18     17     20     18
Pick-pockets  9      9     14     12      7      2      -      -      -      -
Zurgs        23     27     27     28     32     30     25     12      3      -
Desquis       3      7     14     14     17     17     20     26     29     29

RESOURCES (in 1000s)
Race        2410    2420    2430    2440    2450    2460    2470    2480    2490    2500
Oks         0.70    2.05    5.44    8.23     16      22      29      32      34      50
Watcher     0.99    2.01    4.90    4.90    4.90    4.90    4.90    4.90    4.90    4.90
Polanie     0.51    1.65    4.90     11      19      25      25      29      30      28
Big Furry   0.38    0.99    2.16    3.59    6.96    9.18     12      13     9.70    8.77
Loranians   0.64    1.60    4.17    7.94     11      14      13      11      10      12
Armagons    0.36    1.74    3.93    8.33     13      19      24      29      36      39
Pick-pocket 0.51    1.61    4.10    5.45    3.64    1.54      -       -       -       -
Zurgs       0.56    1.74    2.82    3.97    5.20    6.02    5.69    1.97    0.25      -
Desquis     0.64    1.45    3.62    5.46    7.12    8.29    9.17    9.41     17      18

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Re: RWIAB IIa Game Review Thu, 18 March 2004 10:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Chief Warrant Officer 1

Messages: 148
Registered: June 2003
Location: Orbiting tower at the L5 ...
RWIAB Series II (Galaxy A): Game Comments from the Loranians

I took over the Loran/Loranians at year 2415 at OWK's (overworked) request. I have a hard time turning down a request from friends. Smile

The race is for the most part viable but suffers from a number of defects, many of these exacerbated by the early play. One glaring defect wasn't in the race, but in the password. Never EVER use a password that's the same as your race name or nick! I immediately changed the password to something you'd have to seriously work at to get - in this case, "iyaamaft". Should have some alphanumeric characters in there, and mixed cases, but...I got lazy this time. And Stars! turn protection is weak in any case.


The Loranians appeared to be designed around long term high value worlds, with some concessions for a rapid start (ISB, RS, 42 points to...surface minerals??). The problems with the race were the following:

1) No movement strategy. With no IFE, CE, and prop expensive, the only way this race would be moving would be slowly - with warp 7 drives. ISB isn't completely redundant for an IT, given the small galaxy, but IFE or prop cheap would have been far more useful. As such, its empire was tightly knit and close-bound - the very antithises of what an IT wants. And without NRSE and prop expensive, I never managed to achieve safe warp 10 engines by 2500.

2) CE. CE will KILL you in warfighting. It's more managable with an IT, but CE *hurts* when you're skirmishing.

3) Grav and Rad bands were slammed up against the right edge. This doesn't give up too many points - but it's still annoying. I also would have preferred to narrow the hab some and center it a bit more. And offset one of the habs off the right side in an effort to make intersettling easy (though I have on many an occasion just taken the all-rightshifted theory and hammered away at people with conflicting hab, it doesn't work as well when your economy will generally be matched by your opponents).

4) 41 points to surface minerals. Worthless. Min cons would have been more beneficial. More mines would have worked (though 10 mines generally enough for an NF, once you get past the initial movement stages). A cheap tech. More hab. Something...

5) TT + bio cheap. Given the parameters of this game (game end at 2500), bio cheap is a luxery you cannot afford. TT can make sense - take it for the reduced terra costs, if you're going to take it. But you'll need to focus on war tech, not bio tech. In the end, I researched some bio, but only when it was clear I couldn't do justice to any further war tech due to massive resource deficiency. Energy or prop cheap would have proven much more useful.


Overall comments:

Some of these may be a bit harsh. Don't take them too personally - I'm comparing what happened with what most likely would have happened had I been facing players at the advanced+ level.

The Polanies, through a combination of luck, good sense, diplomacy, and hair-raising risk-taking, happened across about 3 to 4 times their fair share of territory. Their effort to claim this very well could have broken them however, had the Big Furry Thing been more than a busted race. Their own space, plus an early alliance with the Desquis, a hefty section of the Watcher's space (which the BFT were in no position to exploit - and the Armagons were a bit too far away), and much of the BFT space.

This largely set the tone for the rest of the game for me.

By the midgame I was facing down 3 to 4 times my resources, and more technology. My own antics had the feel of a man with a pistol facing down 50 guys with swords or something...after 2450 or so, if the Desquis and Polanies had simply stopped researching, built their ships, and attacked, my empire would have fallen. Sooner, if they'd gotten their act together.

Ultimately, I played a galactic tar baby for the Desquis and Polanies, tying down far more resources than my size and capabilities deserved, and kingmaker to the OKs and Armagons. While it's quite possible they could have won without me, I don't doubt that I made it a lot easier for them. Smile

My own coordination with the OKs/Armagons was rather limited with a very few exceptions. Time-zone-wise it just didn't work out - I really should have seen about dragging them on IRC or something - or even just emailing more to keep things moving. With tighter coordination, more would have been possible. The OKs and Armagons looked like they were able to maintain much closer coordination however - which is highly, highly useful (the Armagons it would appear, learned a fair bit). Desquis/Polanie coordination seemed at times loose and tight - probably depending on time commitments and desire. I could be wrong. Anybody from the other four races want to weigh in here?


Armagon comments:

You got VERY lucky. The BFT were in no position to take them out. My own scouting left me years behind in even identifying that there was an AR on my flank. The Pick-pockets looked like they ended up a busted race due to OK/Armagon attacks (and possibly their own play?). The Polanies and Desquis were tied down with me. The Zurgs would hit a wall by 2430, if not sooner - NF HE is just a BAD idea folks. Plus they were tied down with attacks on the BFT. Basically this gave the Armagons the room they needed to live while the OKs colonized their space (and vice versa). In the future, I would strongly suggest against playing an AR in anything smaller than a medium...though I suppose these would be about the best conditions for an AR in a small (your end resources nearly 3x everybody else's on a planet for planet basis) - even if you are just as vulnerable early on.

Certainly if I hadn't been tied down by the Polanies, I would have been ramming my ships straight down the Armagon throats instead - never suffer to live an AR you can kill early, unless you're going to ally with them permanently.

The Armagon mineral fountain was slow in building up - and ended up smaller than I expected. I'm guessing this was due to warfighting needs.


Big Furry Thing:

XDude was stuck with a slow slow race. IF he could live, *maybe* he could pull something out via the IS overpop trick...but 15% is just unworkably slow. And Xdude, you know better than anybody you need the mobility...next time get those gates up! Or don't join 293874 games at once ya crazy bastid!


[edit - added these in because I forgot them when I posted this]
Desquis comments:

I should have tried to clarify the Desquis position before I made my moves early on I suppose. The earlier player wasn't aggressive enough with colonization and his resources suffered for quite awhile. Given the advantages, he shouldn't have had around my resources for much of the game. I'm going to guess he was at around the Polanies level early on, maybe a little lower (or simply even less aggressive, given the low planet and resource counts for much of the game).

The earlier player should have also made heavier use of allied gates. On the other hand, the Desquis were faster to get defenses and minefields up - this helps quite a bit with slowing down the opposition.

Mid-game I didn't see much of the Desquis fleets other than a rather diminuitive fleet of jihad battleships. Some of that was due to the cloaked raider battleships, but like the Polanies, the Desquis simply didn't build out enough - waiting for better tech. Gotta be aggressive! You guys could have completely flanked the OK/Armagon alliance by rapidly gutting me, the BFT and the Zurgs - and none of us were in a position to stop a full effort thrust.

Lategame, the replacement Desquis player got the Desquis empire's resources moving once more, as well as building a fleet that was reasonably deadly (of course my own fleet was far from deadly by this point).


OK comments:

Your ship design was ok, though early on you pulled the sort of thing I was pulling at the intermediate level - weapons 10 destroyers and such. They can work, but try to balance your research a bit more early. Once battleships and SBCs are out, it certainly makes sense to make a run for Arms.

Your ship-handling seemed pretty decent. Sort of hard to tell since I wasn't monitoring what you were doing on a year to year basis, but what I did see looked fine.


Pick-Pocket comments:

I don't really have much to say here. By the time I knew what was going on and started some sort of alliance (to secure my eastern flank and possibly get some help), your empire was almost falling.


Polanie comments:

Based on your play, I'm guessing you're a low to mid-intermediate level player - or were at the start of the game. By the end you were considerably better than low intermediate. While annoying to see some of my schemes foiled as you caught on to what was going on, it was also gratifying to see you learning and improving.

The Polanie expansion in the 20's was unescorted, and across a distance far too large to hold onto if you met any real resistance. Such as the type I provided. What you pulled was a high risk manuever against better skilled opponents. It paid off here, but if you're going to be playing against other players of similar caliber, expect to get shot down. As it was, without Desquis assistance, I'd have had your HW by 2440.

Your ship design suffered throughout the game. Armored destroyers can make sense...if they're organic armored. Maybe. Beyond that, they're too heavy and it's a total waste. Too easy to go lighter and range 1 or 0, and be cheaper. Be aware of your battle orders. Often you can change the tide of battle with a few small modifications to either battle order or fleet mix. Testbed battles - they can help you know when to retreat and when to press the attack.

As a JoAT, you're nearly as effective as an IS in detecting cloaked ships operating within your space. You'll never have an IS's effectiveness at detecting them at long range, but you *can* easily clean your own space out. Just get an ever-expanding circle of chaff (or similar scouts) moving out from one corner of your empire, set so that you have a 100 to 200ly deep 2% normal scan. Combine it with stationing scouts on every world you don't own, and you can easily discover who's floating around where they shouldn't be. You really should have done this, considering how many spy ships I had floating around. With them, I could easily get year to year reports on your resources and ship counts (until the MT parts made ship counts innaccurate). In retrospect, I should have been sending off yearly fleet and planet reports to the Armagons and OKs. Be it as it may.


Zurg comments:

NF HE. 550 max res worlds. 180 res at ~33%. An incredible need for expansion...this race was doomed from the start. Held on for quite awhile, was a second-class empire by the 30's.


Other comments:

Later ship designs were better, but still suffered. This is the only game I've ever seen where I was the only one building armored missile ships...and I had RS! You should *never* deploy unarmored 20 missile battleships. They're too valuable to leave that undefended. 1000kt won't make it through a 300/500 any more safely than 1400kt. Just a little less damaged. You need to think about durability per weapon/resource as well as firepower per resource. The endgame OK MT-toy battleships were fine vessels. Almost as good a missile ship as you can build without dreadnaughts. MPS, Langston shell...they could shoot with the best of them, jam their opponents to heck, and were hard to see to boot. Nasty little buggers. Wish I had a few dozen of 'em.

Mobility is king. Cherish your mobility. Use it. abuse it. Do not be afraid to ram your ships in at warp 10, even if they're not rated for it (I noticed that you started doing this. Very good.). Overgate. Try not to go over 2x weight overgating, but don't hesitate to overgate range. You can repair those ships later - it's more important you get them where they're needed. If you have to, overgate missile ships through your 300/500's if it'll let you destroy an important fleet. The new Desquis player obviously learned this lesson well somewhere...

Fork enemy planets. Then randomly choose a planet among those you've forked to attack. If YOU don't know where you'll be attacking next, your opponent won't know either.

Chaff sweep. It can be damned effective...if you don't forget to account for CE's 10% failure rate (DOH! This cost me a pile of bombers at one point).

At the same time, you want to deny your enemies mobility. Get those minefields up, and keep them small if you can. You noticed how easily I rammed to the center of those minefields? Your job when I deployed those cloaked minelayers was a fair bit harder...

If you have an IT ally, USE THEM. The Desquis should have been on every red planet the Polanies couldn't use. And I wanted to get more planets along the front with the OK/Armagon alliance - damned annoying to have to fly for 5 years to get your fleet back to a gate that can handle them. You want *options* for slamming those heavy missiles ships around on the front - and around your back areas.

The OKs and Armagons quite probably didn't trust me enough to allow me to establish myself in their rear areas. Certainly I saw a number of planets that must have been reds for them that were inhabited by only a handful of people. I suppose I can understand that - if I had gone over to the Polanies, that would have been devastating (though by that time I was determined that if I wasn't going to win, neither were the Polanies).

Be careful when armoring your beamers. It can pay off, but be aware that you are ceding the movement phase to an opponent who goes with a lighter design - witness the early destroyers (and cruisers) for example.

Be aggressive! In a small, you don't have the luxery of waiting for max tech nubs before building. I saw only a trifling of w16 BB's on the Polanie/Desquis side - a goodly number of them would have steamrolled my empire and given a possibly fatal advantage to their side. Instead I saw that time wasted with researching for the tech - which, while useful, was no more effective in wiping me out than 100 w16 BBs would have been.

I also saw a lot of indecisive ship movements, telegraphing (which I was famously guilty of myself when the Desquis wiped out my fleet of Doom BBs), and predictableness. Try to avoid these.

On the other hand, I saw steadily increasing skill with skirmishing on both sides. By the end, with a largely exhausted force I could only sit back and watch, but what I did see was a large and ongoing skirmish war being executed with some fair skill. Well done to both sides in this.


What happened:

At the year I took over, there was severe overcrowding on several planets (including the HW almost at 50%), and my secondary over 33% - and several other smaller planets virtually untouched. Even worse, the initial 4 scouts had been deployed...ONLY the initial 4. I had no .h file, and what scouting there was was harshly limited. I could see some Polanie movement, and one of their colonies, but beyond that, I was completely blind. Worse yet, a fair amount of resources had been wasted on con 8 and bio 6. Yet I had *zero* warfighting tech otherwise.

I immediately stalled for time with the Polanies while I constructed 20 scouts and began redeploying my freighters to bring those crowded planets down to where they should have been from 2408 on. The Polanies had some kind of tech exchange agreement with the previous player, and some agreements regarding colonies, which I immediately voided. The Polanies were gettin nothing from me until I knew what sort of beast I was faced with.

Almost immediately I located a colony within a stone's throw of my HW and incoming reinforcements. Not a good start. I queued some destroyers and prepared an invasion fleet, should it become necessary.

The Desquis contacted me fairly early regarding a planet I had taken, which they wanted. I was forced to turn them down due to the value of it. At this point I wasn't sure if they were actively allied with the Polanies or not, and was hoping they would stay neutral...

By 2420, I had at least some of the intelligence I needed, and it wasn't good. The Polanies HW was very nearly a 100% world for me, and were settled on too many worlds that were too good for me. Plainly, we could never intersettle. And to make matters worse, I could see a mass of colonization ships streaming out from his core worlds. If I didn't do anything to stop that exodus, I'd be swarmed under. At the same time, my own scouting was not yet far enough along for me to do more than fire off an unaimed colonization fleet in the hopes of getting lucky.

I immediately attacked of course, after firing off a vaguely worded message breaking off negotiations (I was perhaps a bit too subtle - the Polanie player seemed to think it was the start to a read agreement).

I could (and perhaps should) have used SFXs to speed my expansion...but the lack of scouting neatly nixed the point of that. Frustrating. At the same time I didn't know who I could contact to see about kicking the Polanies down to size. The Desquis stayed out of these initial battles, and I largely left them alone - hoping they'd keep out of this budding conflict.

The Polanie exodus meant that they had only a handful of core worlds to fall back on for production and research - this left them with a very vulnerable time. The only thing to do would be to take advantage of it as rapidly as possible and cut them off at the knees.

By 2430 I had built up a small fleet of bazooka cruisers and related minibombers, plus a decent invasion force. The Polanies meanwhile had begun constructing some rather inefficient armored destroyers - most of which were haring off in the wrong direction. They had also kindly neglected to build defenses on their planets...

Only too aware of my own ships vulnerabilities to counterdesign, and how soon they'd be obsolete, I immediately dispatched them without waiting for further reinforcements of cruisers and minibombers.

Rather than giving them warning about what was coming, I jumped at warp 10 to Corner (from Dark Planet, about 91 ly due south of the target). Surprise was total, and I wiped out a small fleet of carbonic destroyers, and bombed the planet half-flat.

A small side fleet simultaniously attacked Myopus, lightly damaging it.

2432 everything was looking good. Corner was mine, and while the Desquis were feeding the Polanies tech, *maybe* they would stay neutral in an actual fighting war...? At the same time, my fleet sat at Corner (I don't recall precisely why - I have a feeling I was pressed for time in real life around here. My .x doesn't indicate enough suicide scouting being done either - suicide ships should have been sent to Ball Bearing and Mountbatten at minimum. And certainly I should have deployed the fleet for Zahir or Mountbatten. And the missed turn one year later is rather indicitive of that.)

2433 the wheels started coming off and I didn't know what was happening because I missed this turn...and because of it...

2434 the Desquis rammed a counterfleet of wolverine bazooka cruisers down my throat, destroying the fleet anchored at Corner.

I salvaged what few fuelers I could - the only survivors of the battle - and began construction of minelayers and research for wolverines, which I would need to beat the Desquis cruisers. It would take entirely too long to build up a fleet comparable to the Desquis ships unless I took some chances, so I hoped they didn't know too much about battle orders...

2435 I was facing down nearly 50 Desquis cruisers and attendant bombers. Unless I acted quickly, my empire would be destroyed. My most vulnerable planets (Skloot and Dark Planet in particular) immediately began crash building defenses. Those further back began constructing Mass Firing range 0 destroyers. Extremely cheap, and only an advantage of a bit over 2 to 1 in numbers would allow me to destroy those cruisers - so long as they didn't think about using retreat firing orders.

I noticed that the bomber fleets were wholly inadequate to rapidly reduce worlds, and determined I would have the time I needed to lift the seige. And if worst came to worst, I could sacrifice a few worlds if it meant breaking the attack - certainly rebuilding them wouldn't take long.

2438 I had massed enough destroyers to smash both fleets. Dark Planet would last another turn at most. Skloot would die soon - lots of population, but had run out of germanium to build new defenses.

Once again, I took a chance, and sent both fleets warping in at warp 10 to relieve the two planets. 54 and 53 range 0 destroyers in the respective fleets - enough, I had calculated, to gut what I knew they had.

2439 Both fleets arrived and easily destroyed their opponents. They were too slow however to knock down those bombers, so both worlds sustained another year of bombing.

The Desquis were beginning to setup minefields. Perplexingly, the Polanies were not. Additionally, they were not exploiting the wedge they had in my flank at Myopus. Nor were they moving to eliminate the colonies I had finally established up in Puma and Custer (near Watcher space)

From there, the battle see-sawed back and forth with no real progress made by either side. My own resources unfortunately were stagnating, while I knew the Polanies and Desquis had to be increasing...somewhere in the 50's, the Zurgs made an abortive effort to establish colonies through the wormhole. I stomped a few, then let the last one sit. What ships the Zurgs deployed to cover it were hopelessly obsolescent and I wasn't going to use that planet anyway. So why not let them waste their time there? Most importantly, the Zurgs, being HE, couldn't possibly get a gate up there, which would be the only reason to fear them.

During this time I was also attempting to open up another front to the war with the Big Furry Thing by feeding them tech. I was hoping that eventually I could get some 300/500's up there and then begin sending colonization and raiding fleets through. Unfortunately, Xdude was overcommitted and unable to give it his full attention, and as a consequence, by the time he managed to get the gates up, my own empire lacked the strength to exploit them - and the BFT were under heavier fire than I could counter.

Perplexingly, both Polanies and Desquis seemed to be waiting for Godot rather than building out and crushing my own forces.

In the mid to late 2450's or thereabouts, the Armagons and OKs contacted me. They were plainly worried about the extent of the Polanie empire and began feeding me tech. At this time I was getting desperate. I *knew* how little it would take to knock me over - and by golly I didn't want an empire as sloppily run as the Polanies to win! Smile

By 2460 I had begun a campaign to mimic the Watcher's view of the universe - I began building and deploying Sensor Swarm MK IVs - dolphin scanner equipped, 97% cloaked galleons. In addition, I had obtained a pair of MT Lifeboats from a recent MT. Instead of using them as short-lived raiders, I elected to use them for intelligence and sent them on a zig-zagging course deep into Polanie/Desquis space.

Around 2465, the wheels started coming off again - this time almost for good. The Polanies had finally committed a decent fleet of Mega Disruptor equipped warships - that were further bolstered by no less than 6 capacitors. Massive overkill. Light on the defenses, but I had no way to counter that sort of force with only weapons 16.

Fortunately, the OKs and Armagons launched their own offensive. We were down on tech, but they had the advantage of surprise, and much of the Polanie fleet was still mired in my space. With a bit of luck, they managed to buy the time we'd need to counter them.

I began preparations for a full scale retreat - intending to begin a migration into the old Zurg space as it was readily apparent I could not hope to hold onto my space if they decided to throw a straight fleet down my throat. As it was I was being slowly pushed back off to my HW. Apparently I don't know when to give up...

Through 2480 I suffered steady losses, but indecision at Polanie and Desquis High Command kept their forces from completely grinding my empire away. At the same time I continued to siphon strength away from the more important Armagon and OK fleet actions.

Around 2485 the inevitable occurred. My HW was taken. Fortunately I knew it was coming and evacuated all of the minerals and most of the population. And also fortunately, this semi-pointless excursion was tying down fully 1/3 of the Polany/Desquis fleet at the time, according to my scans (which were virtually complete at this point).

The evacuation was going in full swing. I had established a number of gates in the old Zurg space and colonized 7 planets with more on the way, as soon as I diverted the population.

With enemy fleets practically touching the southern end of my old space, I began frantically evacuating all the minerals from the depots I had been storing them at on previous retreats.

The remaining 15 years watched my slide to irrelevance as I lost most of my remaining fleet to an unexpectedly effective replacement Desquis player and lacked the forces to truly counter them. With the MT toys, my ability to track enemy fleet concentrations was dropping steadily. Even at that, I still managed to keep a small side fleet tied down attacking me rather than going after the OK planets that could have materially influenced the end results. Not much of an accomplishment, but I'll take what I can.

2500 the OKs won, and I eked out a meager 5th place as the last still functioning secondary empire, with 12K resources and 20 planets - around the same level I'd been at since 2450 (in terms of planets, since 2430).

Edit: added Desquis comments (which I overlooked when originally writing this).

[Updated on: Thu, 18 March 2004 11:22]

Jesus saves.
Allah forgives.
Cthulhu thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.

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Re: RWIAB IIa Game Review Thu, 18 March 2004 19:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
marvo is currently offline marvo

Crewman 2nd Class

Messages: 15
Registered: August 2003
Location: England
Greetings from the OKs Smile

Here are my thoughts etc of the RwIIa game and how it went from my point of view.

Firstly a bit of background on myself, this was my second net game the other being the first Rwiab game in which I was completely stuffed by Leit. In a way he did me a huge favour as it gave me a massive lesson in how to play Stars some of which I managed to put into action during this game. As they say there is no substitute for learning from painful experience. Shocked

My race design and thoughts, it may not be the best but it did what I wanted it to.

G 0.14-0.80, T 24-184, R 0-100.
GR = 19%, 1-5 planets.
Res/pop = 1/800
5,25,5 & 10,5,9
Techs, En & W cheap, C & B normal, P & El expensive.
1 point spent on surface minerals.

JAOT, free pen scanners so can take NAS saving points, also max pop is 1200000 plus with OBRM this goes to 1320000 whereas everyone else is 1000000 or 1100000 with OBRM (He and AR excepting).

IFE, very good for early expansion, fuel miser is useable till Interspace 10.
TT, I wanted to be able to maintain growth on planets late in game which I did. In the last 15 years I terraed planets from 15% in T & R and 11% in G up to 20% thus gaining big improvements in pop capacity plus getting some reds to green. This also allowed me to take Prop expensive as I knew I did not have to research any higher than P12 for overthruster due to NRSE trait.
IS, in my book a must for quick secure expansion early game, you can build all early required ships with a spacedock and they count towards score.
NRSE, as stated can take P expensive thus saving points and alot of research in game.
OBRM, with a fairly wide hab range a lot of planets will be habitable so took it to get points elsewhere. I was mining all available reds through game anyway.
NAS, JOAT gets pen scan for free, mega advantage.
RS, mega in early battles with frigate stacks.

Hab ranges to try and create unique requirements to avoid conflict, Pick pockets was almost the same so it was always going to be him that I attacked. One error I did make was that Rad values should have been 1-99 cos you never get planets with values of 0 or 100.

GR 19%, 1-5 planets, not to bad, you need to get a solid start early on or else you are nowhere. I was lucky in that I found two more 80+ greens very close to my HW, this is what probably gave me the edge over Pick Pockets. These turned into 95+ very quickly with early terraforming.

Res 1/800. A lot of build points went here, reason is that as you only get res from pop you need to maximise return from available pop incase your squeezed for space, a full 100% planet with 1320000 (OBRM increases max pop from 1200000) pop that would give me 1650 res as opposed to 1320 for standard value, that's 25% more.

Factories (obvious) and mine values were average. I was never short of mins, at game end I had all but used up Iron stocks but then the game was over so I think I got it about right.

Techs, EN & W cheap. EN cos of RS and early game battles, W, well you know it is going to be researched to at least W24.
C & B normal, C cos you need to get to BB's pretty quick and B cos I wanted to take advantage of TT LRT later in game.
P & El expensive, as stated P stops at 12 with NRSE and El is a hard one cos you really need to get to SBC's but in the end something had to give cos I wanted other things more, besides you can always trade for things.

Final stats were

Planets 75
Bases 53
Unarmed 339
Escorts 7903
Cap ships 154
Techs 110
Res 50k
Score 2998

In the end my planet development went the way I had planned. Very Happy

As to the game, I started quite well in that I found some very good early planets which enabled me to expand fast enough to be able to embark on a campaign in about 2425 against the Pick Pockets whose habs seemed to be very similar to mine. I met The Zurgs, Armagons and Pickpockets and bery quickly recognised the HE and AR PRT's of the first two. I was unsure what Pick Pockets were. I must say I was a little disturbed that I had He and AR neighbours as I knew the dangers of letting the AR stay alive, He was not good either for future expansion plans. Having previously agreed on a non aggression treaty with the Zurgs to my north (cos he did not have many planets of use to me) and was in negotiations with the Armagons, for a while it was unclear who the Armagons (but I got the feeling that he was not an experienced player) would side with but as they were AR I felt that if they did side with the Pick Pockets I could have handled them at this early stage. As it was he decided to join me and over the next 25 odd years I took Pick Pockets out aided by The Armagons. This alliance was to last the whole game. Ships at this stage were Bazooka frigates with a few destroyers. During the conflict I ascertained Pick POckets were IS so i was pleased to take them out.

During this time other intel was being amassed with various contacts being made. I noticed that the Loranians seemed to be at war with the Polanies, this was confirmed by the Polanies as I could not get any response from the Lorainan player. The position of the Desquis and BFT was unclear, I had a suspicion that Lorinians and BFT were working together, this was confirmed when I scanned some Loranian speed bump minelayers which had obviously been traded from the IS BFT, I knew Lorainans were IT. Some where around 2440 I think I achieved full pen scan coverage of the galaxy. This showed me the overall picture and allowed The Armagons and I to formulate a plan of action for the rest of the game. From this it was clear that the Polanies were doing rather well. Note to Polanie player, my job was made 100% easier due to my 100% pen scan capability of your space, I knew everything about your planets and building programs, something which you never achieved as far as I know in our space. Intel is king.

Upto about 2455 the Polanie /Desquis alliance war with the Loranians seemed to be at stalemate, this was a situation that we wanted to continue ideally till the end of the game thus meaning neither side would be able to achieve anything leaving our alliance to expand into Zurg space and one of us ultimately win. As it happened the Polanies started a major W22 beamer BB building campaign at about this time which changed the balance of power in their favour, thus the Loranians started to fall back, this was bad cos it would mean conflict which I was not ready for as it was clear that the Polanies were going to be our main rival. Unfortunately our attack on the Polanie alliance was about 4 to 5 years to late to reduce his BB Building spurt. What it did mean was that we were going to have to help the Loranians against the Polanie alliance in which the Zurg had now joined.

From this point on battle lines were drawn and so our initial attack around 2462 consisted of a co-ordinated packet attacks on about 5 Polanie and 2 or 3 Zurg planets if my memory is correct. Fortunately both players had neglected to build any defenses so they lost these planets, I estimated about 4 million plus Polanie pop bit the dust in this attack Laughing . The Armagons supported by me mounted a bombing sortie on the central Polanie /Desquis planets which tied up some of their ships thus helping the Loranians but when our fleets were eventually caught this allowed Polanies to concentrate on the Loranians. Another large number of pop were destroyed during this attack. Ships at this stage were heavy blaster BB's which were out gunned by the Polanie BB's

My advance into Zurg space was steady at this time, there was no resistance as I think the Zurg player gave up almost as soon as I attacked, during the rest of the game the Loranians and I picked off planets at will. The mins I gained from this were invaluable. Smile

Not a lot else happened until 2469 when a combined Polanie/Desquis fleet attempted an incursion through the wormhole, luckily due to my scanning ability I had seen anticipated it and manage to ambush Cool it as it emerged from the wormhole which was a surprise to them Surprised , the only mistake I made was not to have any chaff present at the ensuing battle, I had forgotten to move some into range of the wormhole, duh!! Embarassed But for a measily 300 chaff or so victory would have been total and I would have not lost 38 Doomsday BB's, still it stopped the invasion which was never to be attempted again.

About 2480 I raided through the same wormhole and took out 3 Polanie planets in quick order with my bombers Cool , this raid however was to end in disaster Crying or Very Sad when I failed to adequately chaff sweep a minefield before moving through it and all my chaff and mini bombers blew up. Another error on my part Embarassed . The rest of the BB's then got picked off taking a chaff fleet and a couple of BB with them due to some questionable battle orders for his missile BB's (minimise damge to self order seems to be flawed). Ships at this stage were Mega D BB's and Doom BB's supported by H blaster destroyer minesweepers.

The rest of the game was mainly spent helping Lorainans stem the advance of the Polanies in the western sector with minefields and destroyer spoiling tactics with a few other small bombing sorties.

Late in the game (2495) I finally realised that before the BFT player had stopped playing he had set my empire to friend and so I sent a bombing fleet through to his gate deep inside Polanie alliance territory and attacked one planet before game end.

Home space never came under threat again although there was some concerted mine clearing activity in the last decade but this did not come to anything.

All in all whilst I was not the most aggressive player I felt that I did enough to hold Polanies down to achieve my aim which was victory, I was lucky to have two allies who acted as buffers and aided my win considerabley, my thanks go to Damon (Loranians) and Scott (Armagons). Damon especially did a heroic job showing his experience, skill and knowledge of the game. Scott, I hope I imparted some of my limited knowlegde to you, you certainly seemed to getting the hang of things towards the end of the game.

Damon, thankyou for your expansive review. I was pleased to hear your analysis of my play and am positive that had you been in Rwiab1 you would have certainly seen a definite improvment. As I said at the top of this review I had a good teacher. During this game I made alot of errors though not being thorough enough, things like incorrect warp speed settings, not marshalling my fleets to the correct positions, not checking I was going to use stargates when I wanted to, wrong battle plans and such like. It just goes to prove how methodical you need to be to play this game error free. I doubt anyone ever plays the perfect game due to the vast numbers of things that are going on at one time.

Regarding my/our reluctance to allow you access to planets within our space, you were correct in your asumption in that at that time we were unsure of your intentions, I could see that you were a vastly more experienced player than myself and Scott so erred on the side of caution. I feel that in the end cruel as it might have been my/our strategy of giving just enough aid to keep you functioning was correct so as you clearly stated in your text you became a kingmaker to me/us.

Game end the majority of my missile BB's were Dooms with about 12 Arm, MPS langston shell boats in existence. Beamers were standard 16 Mega D type. To answer your point about not wasting mins etc on Doom ships but waiting for Arms, it was clear that the Polanies/ Desquis had a slight W tech advantage but were lacking in other areas, I decided I could not wait for W24 and get a credible fleet up in time to counter theirs so I decided to continue building dooms as they would do the job just as well if I had enough of them. Total capital ship build was 304 with only 47 of these being Heavy Blaster BB's.

My thanks to all who participated in this game, may you all have success in other galaxies.

Paul, Ok supreme leader.

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Re: RWIAB IIa Game Review Fri, 19 March 2004 17:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
scottrick49 is currently offline scottrick49

Master Chief Petty Officer

Messages: 98
Registered: August 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Armagon Perspective/Comments

This was my first Stars! game online. It was also my first time ever playing an AR race. I had no idea what I was getting into. Couple things I learned:
- You have to have high weapon tech. If you don't, you are dead. I consider myself fairly lucky that the Polanies and Desquis didn't focus their attention at me until late in the game when I had a competitive fleet. When the Polanies were fielding their weapon22 beamer BBs, and I had my pitiful weapon 14 beamer BBs, I was extremely vulnerable. Simply, AR MUST have top weapon tech to defend themselves.
- I needed to exploit my homeworld mineral fountain even more than I did. I am not sure if I should have started building mining robots sooner or just build more of them. At the end of the game I was getting 3.7k of each mineral a turn; not to bad, but apparently much more can be accomplished.
On to the actual game.

The Opening ---

I found myself with the Pick-Pockets to the southwest, and the OKs to the southeast. I found a fair amount of greens close by, but ran into my neighbors rather quickly. The OKs had very few planets that looked good for me, while the Pick-Pockets had many more. That is the main reason I chose to side with the OKs over the Pick-Pockets. It was a simple matter to gang up on the Pick-Pockets and take his planets. He gave up rather quickly when he saw it was 2v1.

Because the Watchers were in the middle of the map, I was fortunate to really only have two people adjacent to me, and let me focus more on my economy until the middle game.

The Middle Game ---

After the Pick-Pockets had been pretty much eliminated (~40's) the OKs and I had basically come to the agreement that we would stick together for the rest of the game. It had also become apparent that the Polanies would be the main contender for 1st place other than us. I admit my intel was very bad the whole game. From what I could tell, the Loranians were fighting it out with the Desquis and Polanies; and losing. The Zurg pretty much just sat around the whole game building fleets of misspelled Starcraft-esque warships, which were hopelessly outdated. I really had no idea what was happening with the BFT. Intel is definitely something I need to work on in my next game. Thank god the OKs had great intel and were able to relay that information to me.

I also made the mistake of stopping my expansion. At about 2440, when I had approximately 18 planets, I stopped. This was mainly because there were no easy greens or yellows close by. I feel I could have done much better had I tried to expand north into the Zurg territory, or more into the center of the map. That's another thing I learned: Never stop growing.

It was in the middle game (probably about 2455 or so) that the OKs and I decided that we needed to fight the Polanies before they got way to large. So we built up our fleets (the OKs was much larger than mine; I think Paul can manage his minerals 5x better than I can lol) and then at about 2460 or so we attacked. We launched a number of packets at Polanie and Desquis worlds. Because we had a significant disadvantage in tech at that point, (I had wpn 14 beamers and Polanie had wpn22 beamers) we had to stay on the offensive, keeping them from attacking our planets. Fleet splitting, packets, etc, to keep them busy. I knew that if they sent a good-sized fleets to my planets I was doomed – simply because my people are sitting ducks in my starbases. My battleships compared to the Polanie's resembled a Nerf gun next to a real firearm. I found that it would take about 3 of my BBs to destroy one of his. Thankfully the Polanies and Desquis were too busy fighting the BFT and Loranians to concentrate on a full attack against me.

The End Game ---

Around 2480 things began to turn around. The OKs and I were nearly caught up in tech. I had weapon tech lvl 22 or so and the Polanie/Desquis were sitting at 26. The only advantage they had now was the ARM missile over the doomsday, which isn't as huge an advantage as the weapon 22 beamers against a weapon 14, IMO. I fielded a weapon22 beamer battleship with no armor, 3 capacitators and 3 jammers. I added in a supercomputer instead of a maneuvering jet so I could get first shot vs the similar Polanie design. I also made use of the mini-morph hull I received from the MT. I had some markIV blaster sweepers/anti-sweeper ships. I feel they did a good job of eliminating Polanie and Desquis sweepers until the Desquis fielded the Snark (wpn 26 beam cruiser) around 2485. I had to update my mini-morph design at that point with wpn22 beamers, (range three compared to his range 2 wpn26 beam cruisers).

Around 2485 I felt that my attacks were finally making progress. I was able to destroy several Polanie/Desquis worlds, and I had taken a few new ones. The Polanies and Desquis caught on and started building defenses on their worlds to protect from mass packets. The last 15 years or so was pretty much a wreckless attack against the Polanie/Desquis worlds. I packeted and bombed as much as I could. By the early 90's, we were equal in weapon tech, and a good bit ahead in energy and others. (part of the reason I was behind in weapons was that I chose to research energy instead. Perhaps that is a mistake? But AR need high energy...) I really felt I had secured 2nd place as the last few turns rolled by. I had a lead of nearly 150 points before the last turn. To my dismay, I lost 2nd place because of some last minute colonizing and pop drops. Oh well.

Couple of comments/questions:


How effective were the packet attacks we used against you? I felt as though they weren't as effective as we could have made them. What could we have done to make them hurt more?

Also, Why did you guys have so many different types of chaff? And why didn't you use the X-ray laser on all of them? It seems silly to me that you would waste multiple ship design slots on ships that serve the exact same purpose. Frigate Chaff? Why?

Could somebody (preferably one who knows what they are talking about Very Happy ) discuss my ship design? I didn't really know what I was doing; mainly just imitating the OK, Desquis, and Polanie designs. Please be brutal; I enjoy constructive criticism.

Again, great game; I really enjoyed it.

Is there going to be a RWIAB III game? Razz

Happy Hunting!


[Updated on: Fri, 19 March 2004 17:37]


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poll.gif  Re: RWIAB IIa Game Review Thu, 25 March 2004 13:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jethro is currently offline Jethro


Messages: 2
Registered: September 2003
Location: Poland
RWIAB Series II (Galaxy A): A Word From Polanie

Wow! Nice comments! Damon indeed set a benchmark with his post.

First, I wish to thank my allies (Wynand, Theuns and Mike) for support in the game. Without early help from Wynand, I would have huge troubles all along. Fortunately, they were only just big as a result Smile. That was pleasure to work with you guys! I also want to thank all my enemies that I had to fight against during the game, as I learned a lot from them (honorable mention goes to Damon/Orca and Paul).

My Level
Damon placed me in low-to mid intermediate at the start of the game and even better afterwards. It is very nice to hear that. However, I do not think I was there at the start of the game. I would say it was beginner+. It was my very first game with real people, not AI. I knew sth about race designing and what is important in play in general, plus a few tricks. Much of that knowledge came from chronicles, which were written and published on some Polish Stars! site. They were constructive and fun to read. On the other hand, I had only nebulous idea about war fighting and was lousy in many other respects (such as defense, fleet movement or ship design). So, although RWIaB II A was a game for beginners, ending second in RWIaB is a success for me.

My Race
Polanie (a Slavonic tribe inhabiting Polish territory more than 1000 years ago),
JoAT 19% PGR, Grav Immune; Temp –40°C to 200°C; Rad 50mR to 100mR (1in3). Mines: 12/3/17
IFE, NRSE, OBRM, NAS. Weapons cheap rest expensive and start @4.

ORBM - The idea was to have 1,320,000 population on 100% planets to have that 32% resources advantage. I did not take RS because it lowered my points available and I did not even know that shields got stacked Embarassed
1 in 3 - I had wide habitat. My aim was to have strong economy to deter potential attackers (which was a mistake, more on that later).
Techs - As I wanted to have many strong planets, I needed privateers for colonization all along. Thus I checked ‘All expensive start at 4’ box. Tech settings were very risky. I knew I had to find an ally to trade tech as soon as possible. I wanted to have minerals in the end of the game, thus this high setting.

Comparing my race to the others’ I think that it was quite good. In addition, the danger with techs was quickly solved. More on that in the next section.

The Events from Polanie Pespective

1) Beginning Phase
At first, I was in the middle of the pack. I thought that I am waiting too much and I have to colonize as many planets as I can. I colonized and did not care about their defense. I though – as it was (supposedly) beginner spectrum of the players, they would not dare to attack so early, as everybody was weak at that time and early wars hurt economy too much. Quickly, I was leading in planet count (31 in 2425 - even surpassed the Zurgs (HE! Embarassed)ignoring for most part warnings from Kurt (OWK) whom I discussed my rush for planets. I sought an ally and promptly the Desquis contacted me. After some exchange of messages, we became allied. I rained Wynand with questions about game mechanics and other. I pressed on tech exchange and we both agreed on intersettling. That calmed me even more and I did not bother about defense. I thought that I have some time to freely grow. Maybe my tactic was not all that bad at all - I had many planets with great prospects. One event changed the odds however - replacement of the Loranian player.

2) The War with the Loranians
I tried to negotiate with the previous Loranian player, but he was not very responsive and we did agreed almost on nothing. On the other hand, Damon had this habit of writing cryptic messages. We had a nice exchange of elevated messages with sophisticated language (at least for my knowledge of English).
I wanted to be nice and so on but he soon went far in his insolence. In the end, he attacked me in, and I was not even expecting it (did I mention cryptic messages? Smile). It was in 2425 and was way too early for me. He was very quick and methodical, so I quickly learned the difference between AI and human play. As Damon mentioned I was very vulnerable at that time and, what is more, I was not very able. My actions were not very helpful in stopping his attacks. All my hopes were then in my ally, Wynand. He had to have some time to build a decent fleet however. We even considered ‘all is forgiven’ option and combining forces to go for the AR or Zurgs. We decided that we are more powerful and the odds would change in our favor soon. In the meantime, Damon closed to 33 ly away from my HW (2432) capturing a vital breeder to boot. I sustained heavy losses, especially in planets (5 till then), but also in ships. Yet, my race really started to roll and my resources climbed, despite the devastating attacks. To my surprise, in 2432 I was on top spot with my score Very Happy . It is worth noting that resources were spread on many planets and I did not have ISB, so there were not easy to exploit.

Two years later Wynand destroyed Damon’s fleet on Corner. I thought that the scales would now start to move on our side. I researched weapons and Wynand the rest of techs. Damon ships were hard to counter-design (blitz experiences, I guess) and mine, at that time, were close to worthless. It took a while to get better ones. Wynand was bombing planets but the damage was not overwhelming at all as he had few of them. In 2439 a disaster came. Damon sent dozens of range 0 destroyers, which fried Wynand cruisers Crying or Very Sad . I remember that I warned him about this but it did not worked somehow.
A year later, I began to churn out my own cruiser- Pierun (name of a powerful Slavonic god). I had been doing a lot of testbedding and I was still not sure if the Cruiser would be good against Damon ships. I also build range 0 frigates to kill those range 0 destroyers (I quickly learnt about the importance of initiative in battles). Now, my economy had enough steam to build warships in mass. We were prevailing, but despite continuous bombing did not captured any planets. In 2445, I noticed a Lorain Battleship. That was menacing as I had Con9 then. Although we finally were able to do some real damage until 2450 a shift in power was clearly seen as I lost many ships due to fights against his Bibs.
Damon established new colonies and seemed undisturbed by our attacks.

Around 2445 Wynn had to step out for some time and his friend Thins came into play. The Disguise had missile Bibs that helped us greatly in launching further attacks. In 2454, I still had only Con12 and could not build BBs. I had uneven tech levels - had Weap19 simultaneously. I have to mention that at that time I tried to talk the Zurgs into attacking Loranians. However the Zurgs were weak, unable to do real damage to anyone. In 2456, we won (a little accidental) battle on Nickel, which helped to stop Damon’s advances Twisted Evil

When I finally got con13, I decided that it is so close to Mega Disruptors that I will wait. Besides, I did not have Interpace-10. At that point, I spent some time on studying event order in Stars!, as I (probably) considered using packets.

In 2457 the inevitable came – I dropped to 2nd place. I suspected it were the Oks who overthrew me (was not hard to guess). We had been sort of friends – we had been exchanging information from 'our corners' of the galaxy, I did not kill his scouts in my space. ). But I noticed his ships on the Loranians territory. Loranians also had established colonies on the boundaries of Oks and Armagon territory. Then I began to suspect something, but I did not do much in that matter. Confused

3) The War with the Loranians, the Oks, the Armagons and the BFT Smile
In 2460 I put my notorious Orkas on production queues. Despite the fact I used Polish spelling for the animal, it was not hard to see for whom they were designed for Smile These were the best beamers at that time Cool . I built them as quickly as I could – more than 10/year. The sighting of the new beamers apparently triggered some really bad thoughts in Paul’s and Scott’s mind Laughing ). Paul's growing feeling of the up-coming victory made him decide that he should not wait and kill me to secure the win. In addition, the Armagons established a colony on Talking Desert which turned out to be troublesome later. In 2463 packets flung by the Oks annihilated 4 planets with plenty of colonists, plus damaged some other. As a result my res dropped from 26,3 (in 2462) to 22,3 (in 2464). Paul took advantage of the fact that I neglected putting up defenses on planets close to his territory. Mad

On western front our combined forces pounded heavily Loron Heavy Industries. Thorough the 60s and beginning of the 70s we gained a lot of ground and pushed the border south . Additionally we annihilated his eastern planets apart from Puma and Custer. I continued to build Orkas. In 2466 I had 72 of them for example Cool . Around that year, the Oks and Armagons launched their attacks on my eastern planets. After a couple of years they were mostly killed, but they did damage to my planets especially Elder.

As we had a technology advantage on ships, in 2469 we attempted to strike through the wormhole leading to Armagon/Oks space. Our goal was Lopsided – the AR HW. On the other mouth we met Oks Battleships killing all 35 of them Twisted Evil . I lost 13 + plus some chaff. As Paul mentioned he did not bring any chaff (well deserved pay for the error). At that point I was nearing to Armageddon missiles tech. In 2471 I finally destroyed the base on Talking Desert with all Armagons there.

In 2472 I saw first Doomsday missile ships from the Loranians. The same year I started building mine equipped with Armageddon missiles. I named them Tur which is Polish equivalent of aurochs. In subsequent years my race with the Desquis nicely established in the middle of the galaxy which, obviously, did not go past our enemies’ attention. Heavy packeting destroyed/damaged many of these emerging planets. We could not retaliate, as we did not have En15 then.

In late 70s the BFT attacked me for the second time. His attacks were careless, and fortunately he did not much damage to my planets. I contacted xDude (the BFT leader) and he revealed that he had not time to deal with his race anymore. He juts threw all he had on me and that was it. His attack was even helpful in a way. It turned my eye on the BFT and Zurg dominions there. Some time later I noticed big stockpiles of minerals on their planets (I guess Paul and Damon were first to notice that).

Looking at the map from 2480s I see very similar picture to that of late 90s. At that time Wynand again had to gave his race to an other player. This time for good. After some time he found a replacement - Mike. Around 2480 I noticed that the Loranians had set up colonies on former Zurg space. I saw two of them (Graceland and Mirror), but consequently Damon expanded there in next years. In 2481 the Armagons and the Loranians attempted a joint attack on Acid. Fortunately Damon’s fleet ended on minefield with all chaff blown up, and Scott’s ships were turned into dust Twisted Evil . 2481 also saw the Oks attack through the wormhole. It was very carefully conducted. Paul bombed flat 3 of my planets and two of the Desquis – very successful. Ultimately, in 2488, he lost his chaff and fortunately did not attempt to avoid my fleet sent after him. As it was noted by Paul, I messed up with battle orders - that is why I lost over 2,000 of chaff unnecessarily (the loss of 15 Orkas was hard to avoid, I guess). I cannot complain however - over 50 of his BBs joined the cosmic all Twisted Evil . Meanwhile, in our eastern possessions, we had to face attack from the Armagons. Scott managed to kill a few smaller planets and established colonies there...

(Onto the Loranian front)
As Damon noted, his HW was taken in 2485. The next year I killed 11 OK’s missile ships with accompanying chaff on Hermit with the pop there to boot. I gained some territory and was close to the Oks’ planets in the far south. My advances further were hampered by the prospects of Oks’ aid which soon came. I killed Pyxidis to sweeten the pot and retreated. Cool

...in the beginning of the 90s the Armagons were still doing damage to my planets. Because of miscommunication and the Desquis CE trait, plus with unexpected ship behavior Scott did not lose much more in the battles as I did. Eventually however, I killed his new colonies (apart from Cygnus) and all his fleet was gradually destroyed in a series of battles.

In the far east the Loranian offensive was also destructive. But by mid 90s I was in counter-attack. I knew that the Oks are out of reach and as the Loranians were still attacking me, I could not be worse in that respect Smile.

At the end I experimented with some chaff killers and designed an Orka successor naming it Orka Druga ('Orca the Second' - creativity is the king Smile ). In the last years the Oks launched two minor attacks both of which ended only on 2500 turn. Obviously they did not help my score . In the last turn I colonized vacant planets and dropped colonists from freighters on planets. Paul did it even better and unquestionably grabbed the first spot. Luckily, by a mere 4 points I took the second, though if it were not for some errors, I could have even reached 30k on my score would be higher.

Overall Comments/ Replies:

coming soon...

[Edit: some clarifications and spelling corrections]

[Updated on: Fri, 26 March 2004 12:29]

Andrzej (Andrew) aka Jethro

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icon1.gif  Re: RWIAB IIa Game Review Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jethro is currently offline Jethro


Messages: 2
Registered: September 2003
Location: Poland
RWIaB II A: Comments/Replies/Miscellaneous: More stuff from Polanie

I am aware that temperature of emotions has cooled down but it does not hurt to read this, does it?

Scott/The Armagons
You were indeed very lucky. The Oks protected you well and the Loranians put off my forces along with the Desquis'; from launching an early onslaught (AR has a great potential of growth).

Effectiveness of packets
Stars! shows how many people died in a message. Sometimes it says 'all people were killed' then you do not even know if any people died at all. Effectiveness depends on mass and speed of the packet. Destination planet can have a mass driver which reduces effectiveness. Handy calculation on that is available in Stars! Calculator. You can find the most effective warp for packet there. As far as I know the only way to increase damage is multipacketing i.e. multiple packets hitting a planet the same game year. Certainly, Paul is the expert here Smile

On chaff
Why frigate chaff? => more fuel. On higher levels of Con scout and frigate hulls have comparable costs. Frigate hull has more fuel capacity. The problem is that it also has more armor - as a result it may have lower missile attractiveness than ships it is to protect. Replacing X-ray with a more costly beam weapon raises its attractiveness. Stars! Calculator has a section on calculating the attractiveness. I am not sure whether it provides correct results.

Paul/The Oks
Kudos to your engagement in all details of the play. You were very determined to win and you succeeded (even though I am not sure how did you manage that with such low mining setting). You were my inspiration for constant improvement. I learnt some useful designs and tactics. At one point in the game I thought my win was very close, only to find how was I mistaken later. It is my fault that I tend to believe in what people say/write... now I know - another step up! Was it not for (very) early onslaught the Loranians had launched on my possessions it would be much harder to cut me down to size. All in all however, I believe that your win was fully deserved. I mean it. Looking forward to meeting you in other game as an enemy or an ally...

Damon/The Loranians
100% scan of my space
You got me. I plainly was not even considering that with Joat embedded scanning ability, espionage ships could have hoped to stay hidden for long. My misconception. The same goes to Paul.

'Gotta be aggressive'
Gotta have decent tech. I was not waiting for Godot rather for Battleship hull. Your battleships were flying around so I had to have them too. I was getting most techs from the Desquis scrappers but were unfortunate with Con. When I finally got it I waited for IS-10 and at that point I decided to wait a couple of years more to have Mega Disruptors instead of Heavy Blasters.

Tying force in the East in last years
Well, you perceive this as a nice success which augments further your greatness. It is not so simple unfortunately - the Oks had a big advantage and adding the ever-growing Armagons to their side combined my and Desquis forces could have not hoped to do much. So instead of staying home and doing nothing I set forth to avenge my colonies which you had destroyed in the East.

A little philosophical argument...
First, I did not like to accept your 'if I wasn't going to win, neither were the Polanie' attitude. Don't you believe in peaceful, harmonious coexistence? Because of people, Stars! turned into dog-eat-dog game where preemptive wars are the only wars waged. The maxim 'If I do not kill him now he will kill me later' seems to prevail. Why oh why we are so brutal Smile.

I am still amazed that it is possible to wage an all-out war in 2425. My 'sloppiness' was of course due to newbie syndrome (my first online game). Too much play with AI where all the defense matters of an empire are not important. You were my tutor throughout the game, especially in the beginning, as Paul was gaining this role in the second part of the game.

About the Desquis
The Desquis commander changed about 5 times (I guess the order was: Wynand->Theuns->Wynand->Theuns->Wynand->Mike) . Fragmentary of Desquis leadership results in the lack of inclusive post. Inevitably, this also impaired the performance.

Implications for the future:
I did not start a single war, yet I had wars with all the remaining players but the Desquis! I seems I was the only innocent lamb, and I was surrounded by hungry wolves. I am kidding here, but I just did not realize how much Stars! was about war-fighting. And that I had such a warmongering neighbor all along...

Only the paranoid survive! (Intel's motto and now mine also:)).

[Updated on: Tue, 06 April 2004 20:56]

Andrzej (Andrew) aka Jethro

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Re: RWIAB IIa Game Review Tue, 06 April 2004 22:05 Go to previous message

Chief Warrant Officer 1

Messages: 148
Registered: June 2003
Location: Orbiting tower at the L5 ...
Jethro wrote on Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39

I am aware that temperature of emotions has cooled down but it does not hurt to read this, does it?

Of course not. I feel it's better to be brutally forthright in any post-game disections. Might step on a few toes, but easier to see where things went right, and where they went wrong from each side.

Jethro wrote on Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39

'Gotta be aggressive'
Gotta have decent tech. I was not waiting for Godot rather for Battleship hull. Your battleships were flying around so I had to have them too. I was getting most techs from the Desquis scrappers but were unfortunate with Con. When I finally got it I waited for IS-10 and at that point I decided to wait a couple of years more to have Mega Disruptors instead of Heavy Blasters.

Sometimes it can be faster to switch to research yourself rather than waiting for an ally to feed it to you. In this case I'd be very surprised if you couldn't hit con 13 before weapons 22. This is all part of the being aggressive thing. You don't want to do it all the time of course, but if it's a critical juncture...

Jethro wrote on Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39

Tying force in the East in last years
Well, you perceive this as a nice success which augments further your greatness. It is not so simple unfortunately - the Oks had a big advantage and adding the ever-growing Armagons to their side combined my and Desquis forces could have not hoped to do much. So instead of staying home and doing nothing I set forth to avenge my colonies which you had destroyed in the East.

Mmm, you missunderstood, I think. At that point I was nearly out of the game as far as fleet power was concerned. Simply diverting even that tiny fleet (compared to the main battles that were occuring in the northwest) was a victory in my eyes.

Jethro wrote on Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39

First, I did not like to accept your 'if I wasn't going to win, neither were the Polanie' attitude. Don't you believe in peaceful, harmonious coexistence? Because of people, Stars! turned into dog-eat-dog game where preemptive wars are the only wars waged. The maxim 'If I do not kill him now he will kill me later' seems to prevail. Why oh why we are so brutal Smile.

(I can't tell if you're joking or being serious, so I'm assuming the latter)

Peaceful, harmonious coexistence wasn't possible for the reasons I previously detailed (JoAT PRT, lots of planets, massive expansion, totally incompatible hab). I saw a chance to cut you off at the knees, so I took it. Smile And you *would* kill me later due to the hab issues since we were neighbors. Even if you didn't, with my own expansion stifled there would be no way for me to win, which of course was my objective at that stage.

Jethro wrote on Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39

I am still amazed that it is possible to wage an all-out war in 2425. My 'sloppiness' was of course due to newbie syndrome (my first online game).

You can start a war at 2408 or so. It's hard to start one much sooner than that unless you have an armed probe pop a scout. If I had been running a race of my own design from the start, most likely you'd have seen your first invasions and popped colonization fleets around 2410 - certainly I'd have never let you get that one so close to my HW. Smile Gotta be ready to escort those colonization fleets and interdict those of your enemies.

For your first online game your performance was quite good - you made a variety of mistakes, but all games are learning experiences.

Jethro wrote on Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39

The Desquis commander changed about 5 times (I guess the order was: Wynand->Theuns->Wynand->Theuns->Wynand->Mike) . Fragmentary of Desquis leadership results in the lack of inclusive post. Inevitably, this also impaired the performance.

This would explain the lack of expansion and sometimes abortive movements they made. If they'd been under proper control things would have been easier for your side. Not much to be done for that sort of situation however though.

Jethro wrote on Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39

I did not start a single war, yet I had wars with all the remaining players but the Desquis! I seems I was the only innocent lamb, and I was surrounded by hungry wolves. I am kidding here, but I just did not realize how much Stars! was about war-fighting. And that I had such a warmongering neighbor all along...


Jethro wrote on Tue, 06 April 2004 20:39

Only the paranoid survive! (Intel's motto and now mine also:)).

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you... Twisted Evil

edit: slight formatting change

[Updated on: Tue, 06 April 2004 22:08]

Jesus saves.
Allah forgives.
Cthulhu thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.

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