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poll.gif  RWIAB IIa Game Review Tue, 16 March 2004 19:30 Go to previous 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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