I've been watching Many A True Nerd's latest run out Stellaris on YouTube and really enjoying it. I had never heard of this game but as a long time Alpha Centauri player it seemed like a perfect fit for me so I put it on my watch list on GOG. A week or two ago it went on sale and I picked it up along with all the expansions (not the one that just came out a couple of days ago though).
I played a few years on the easiest level just to get used to the UI and become a little familiar. Wow! There is so much to learn with this game. I could already tell it was going to be a great game and that it was going to be one of those that turned into a huge time sink. Like “oh, crap. The sun is coming up.“. I was a bit worried because it's hard to find that much time to play these days.
Well, a few days ago one of my retinas tore and detached and I had to have surgery to repair it. They put a gas bubble in my eye to hold the retina in place while it reattaches. In order for it to work I have to remain face down for 7 to 10 days so the bubble rises up to the back of my eye. I'm stuck at home.
I've set up my laptop on the floor so I can use it with my head in a headrest hanging over the side of the bed. I've got the perfect excuse to play Stellaris for a week straight as it helps me pass the time while I'm recovering. 🙂
I'm fairly deep into my first real game at Captain difficulty and it's been glorious. I was boxed in on the outer rim of a spiral galaxy with several neighbors blocking my expansion. I actually had good relationships with all of them with research agreements and such going so I didn't want to attack them. I figured if nothing else this would be a good opportunity to learn more about how to manage planets and it things didn't improve I'd just start a new game in hopes of getting a better start.
I was just about to pull the plug when I noticed one of my friendly neighbors was rapidly losing territory to the empire on his other side, the Prikkiki-Ti. Naturally I decided to help out (and learn how to fight in this game) so I amassed a couple of fleets and hired 3 more fleets of mercenaries and dove in.
It was great. I'm guessing the two fighting each other had used up a lot of fleet strength because I basically steamrolled my way through and probably tripled the size of my empire before it was over. It did take me a long time to figure out how to use armies to take over planets so the war lasted longer than it should have.
From what I gather the Prikkiki-Ti are something of an event in the game and I suspect I was very lucky to have such an easy time with them. Well just as I was mopping them up somebody called the Great Khan came through a wormhole into the heart of my new territory with the biggest fleet I've ever seen.
Again, I was lucky. The system he appeared in already had an upgraded star base as well as one of my fleets from the war I had just finished. Plus I had another fleet just a system or two away that was able to join the game in time.
I barely destroyed this massive fleet and immediately at about repairing and upgrading to get ready for the return. 3 different waves came through with barely enough time for me to recover in between. I was scrambling ships from 20 systems away trying to keep him from getting a system on my side of the wormhole.
I was starting to get desperate when a message popped up saying that the Khan himself had been killed in the last battle. I even managed to recover his throne which seems like a major artifact with some great battle buffs. Coincidentally, I also finished the quest line that gave me the head of Zarqlan which I saw during MaTN's run on YouTube.
So now the smoke had cleared and I'm sitting on a much larger empire and with the two artifacts a lot more power than I had before. Just now a formerly friendly neighbor to the south put claims on a bunch of my systems. I think I may have to show him the error of his ways.
Man, I'm having fun. It's almost 5AM though so the next war will have to wait. 🙂
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