Stellaris

Everything was going great until I got dragged into a elimination war and the Great Khan decided to join the party

stellaris 6 - Everything was going great until I got dragged into a elimination war and the Great Khan decided to join the party
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I'm playing my first play-through as a fanatic spiritualist/xenophobe, as I've never explored the psionic side of the game. Early game I expand like crazy trying to snatch up the chock points and prevent the spread of my neighbors. I leave most systems unclaimed, strategically claiming the minimum number of systems I can, but by the end of my expansion I'm left with a hefty empire sprawl penalty.

By mid-game I'd managed to become the defacto super power in the galaxy, superior to everyone else in firepower, economy, and technology (expect for the FE of course), but I still hadn't managed to overcome my sprawl penalty. I hadn't been doing much with my massive fleet, so when the empire across the galaxy invited me to their war against their neighboring fanatical purifier empire, I thought it'd be a good opportunity to test out my fleet. Even though they had one of the largest empires in the galaxy, their military was pathetic having been culled by constant war.

I ordered my 3 ~20k firepower fleets through a wormhole that let out not far from the enemy empire inside Curator territory. Just as my fleets were getting in position, the Great Khan event chain started. The Marauder territory bordered the wormhole I just travelled through, so I rushed back to confront the incoming fleet. I was able to defeat the first wave, but it left my fleet in bad shape and I had to send them home for repairs and reinforcement.

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After recovering my strength I sent my fleets to fight the war I had orginally went to fight. Just as my primary fleet was entering enemy territory, the Great Khan decided to return in numbers. My two secondary fleets were 2-3 systems behind my primary fleet, so they were able to engage the Khan's fleet first. As the fleets engaged I realized my secondary fleets were weaker than the Khan's combined forces.

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My fleets were devastated. I was down to ~5k firepower when my primary fleet finally showed up. I was able to kill the Khan but my fleet strength was wiped out.

My fleets limped back home for repair. It took me years to finally get back to full strength. I was finally ready to fight the war. My forces cut through enemy territory like a hot knife through butter, but I quickly realized my mistake. Having been dragged into a war to eliminate the threat of the fanatical purifiers, I was now taking every piece of territory I conquered. My empire sprawl skyrocketed. I tried to end the war, but found out that since I was invited to this war, I had no say in the matter. Despite my massive fleet, I had neglected recruiting of assault armies. I took me almost 3 years to raise my armies and conquer the many worlds necessary to end the war. Upon victory I ceeded a large number of systems to the empire that launched the war, dismantled starports and unclaimed numerous systems.

Since the end of the war, I claimed maybe a half dozen systems for strategic resources, but otherwise haven't expanded at all. I've since chosen to subjectate the rest of the galaxy. I'm now nearing the end-game crisis and I'm still carrying a -250 empire sprawl.

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