I love min-maxing when playing Stellaris. I finally achieved to
fully conquer Fallen empire by 2267.
Ironman proof. Thanks to OP scion mechanics, this is a huge improvement from my 2.2.x Fallen empire rush as DA and technocracy. Of course, many parts of this play are already well-known to community, however, I gathered pieces for the faster conquest of fallen empire. Please note that this is not reliable build that works every times. I hope explanation of my choice enjoyable and informative to fellow empire builders here.
Origin : Scion, the rich
As everybody knows, the gift from Fallen empire is totally RNG-dependent. In my first scion play, the first gift from FE was 6k fleet early. I conquered my neighboring empire, it ended up with FE conquest in 2280. My play was sub-optimal, and I wasn't lucky in terms of my starting location.
Snowballing with 6k FE fleet is powerful. I really don't like restarting but for the faster conquest of FE, I did restarting for it this time. I played first 20 years of three games and I finally got early 6k fleet gift. So my chance was 2 out of 4 games, including my first one without restarting.
6k FE fleet isn't all you can get as scion. I am not talking 18k fleet lottery in xenophobic FE. Scion have an access to
trade deal with Fallen empire from year 1. I sold 77 foods per month for 126 energy per month, i.e. I sell 1 food for 1.64 energy. This is another huge cheese of scion.
Let me explain in detail. I'd call it FE market to distinguish from internal or galaxy market. If I simply buy food from internal market and sell to FE market, it generates 26 (=126 – 1.3*77) energy per month out of nothing, no pop, no job, no investment needed at all. However, internal market price goes up and FE market price(what FE pays for 1 food) goes down over time.
My farmers without huge trait or civic investment produces 8.3 foods in early game. Those farmers are producing 13.6 energy = 126/77*8.3 as long as their production sold to FE market. 13.6 energy per pop is next to the merchant of ring world origin who produces 15-16 energy per pop with serious investments.
The efficiency of selling foods for energy in FE market decreases over time.
1.54 energy per food in 2212,
1.13 energy per food in 2222. Regarding 6 food base production vs 4 energy, those farmers are still more than 150% efficient in producing energy as long as their production(foods) sold in FE market.
Decreasing efficiency may sound less promising. By 2220s, I have access to gas, mote, or crystals.
I sold 47 gas and 47 crystal for 1722 energy in 2225, roughly 18.3 energy per unit. I can safely buy 3-5 units of gas, motes, crystals at 13-13.5 energy in internal market without increasing prices and sell them in FE market over 18 energy. This is free 50-60 energy per month without any single investment of pop or resources. Remember this magic of FE market happens in 2220s when total energy upkeep of whole empire is only around 400 per month. Disparity of strategic resource prices between internal/galaxy market and FE market grows over time.
I sold 399 units for 7516 energy or 18.84 per unit in 2232,
922 units for 20870 energy or 22.64 per unit in 2260.
Any empire who managed to butter up FE by completing random tasks, may have access to FE market. The odds are much lower than scion getting early 6k fleet. I'd say Scion empire has one of the most powerful economy in current version, because of the access to FE market from start.
My changes from Default settings are Grand admiral, no scaling, 1000 4-arms spiral galaxy (my favorite), 25x crisis with mid-game in 2275 and end-game in 2300, and no xeno-compatibility (I dislike species tab with this on). Plus only UI mods and Korean localization mod.
Intelligent and Natural engineers : I need final techs for ship design and it requires more engineering points than other two. Natural engineers is a must in any variant.
Rapid breeders : 0.3 growth is significant for snowballing. First pop in 3.3 growth will come out 3 month faster than those in 3 growth. This means second pop comes 6 month faster, third pop does 9 months and so on. The faster pop also means the faster building slots. Besides early game snowballing, rapid breeders increases main species growth chance in multi species planet such as gaia or ecumenopolis. I definitely prefer optimized main species than random species we will obtain. Rapid breeders is still very strong traits.
Unruly and wasteful : Once I unlock tier 2 buildings, this penalty becomes negligible.
Ethics and Civics
Fanatic materialist and Authoritarian > Technocracy and slave guild : I planned conquest with FE gift fleet. Technocracy shines when I have more planets. Slave guild is best for alloy/science since indentured slavery introduced. Start as Oligarchy.
Traditions and Ascensions
Expansion, Discovery, Domination, and Supremacy. My plan is wide play of at least 20 planets, expansion is a solid choice for such empire. When I start to build tech worlds after early expansion, discovery will help me to breeze through tech trees. Domination mainly for extended shift edict and +1 influence is nice bonus. After domination, I would have explicit time table of when my first ecumenopolis become available, when I will have 60-70k alloy to build fleets etc. Supremacy tree should be completed by the time my fleet is ready.
First ascension is interstellar dominion or technological ascendancy. The choice is up to what I find in the galaxy. Second is the flesh is weak, which is the best for pop growth. Third is Arcology project for ecumenopolis. Ecumenopolis is bit nerfed since 2.2.x but it is still the most powerful planet in this game. Galactic contender may allow me reduce the size of prepared fleet but not significantly reduce the time. 33% on top of 25% from resource edict means 26% marginal increased damage. This may allow me to save 12-14k alloy, which is only 15 months because I aim 900-1000 alloy per month. I used the fourth perk for colossus. It will allow me conquer remaining FEs in the galaxy at 0 influence cost continuously after the first one.
Key points of FE rush
Fleet composition : Penetration build of arc emitter and cloud lightning is the best build against FE fleet. Battleship is the most efficient. It has best damage per naval capacity. Many said corvettes are cheap but in reality, it is not. My final battleship costs 951, destroyers does 246, and corvettes does 177. In terms of cost per capacity, battleship costs 119, destroyers 123, corvettes 177. I used 80% of capacity for battleships and 20% for destroyers and corvettes, mostly for point defense and meat shield.
Ecumenopolis : Ecumenopolis is bit nerfed because motes upkeep introduced. Three forge worlds of spamming tier 2 building would replace arcology in terms of motes upkeep per jobs. However, energy upkeep is more than double, mineral build cost is 150% of that of Ecumenopolis. Plus there is no 20% bonus production modifiers.
The best scenario is to grab a free relic world related Archaeology such as the rubricator. I can prepare everything and start arcology as soon as anti gravity unlocked, which happened in 2230 in this game. The second best is the first league precursor. I was lucky to discover Fen Habbanis by 2228 which is pretty fast but still it takes time to get ready – I started arcology 2237. When none of them available like my first scion play, I can manage to get ready my own arcology until third perk open – 2246 in this game. In this case, my plan B is just spamming 3 forge world until my arcology get ready.
My first scion play was not optimal in this aspect. Third perk opened in 2250 (this is still not optimal but it was faster than I expected) and I wasn't even ready to start arcology – I started in 2254 after city districts completed. Plus I failed in terms of resource management – overproduced energy and minerals. I just did as I play other origin, but cash overflowed much a lot faster. I should just start spamming forge worlds after my economy boomed after 3rd civic then switching to spam alloy in arcology.
Resource management of Scion economy
Rule of thumb of all build since 2.2 – Except alloy and science points, overproduction is waste of pop. If a resource reserve increases and we have no clear plan to utilize it, it is overproduction, pops assigned to related job should be rearranged.
I want to emphasize once more, scion origin has the strongest economy.
We can sell foods for more than one energy to Fallen empire, in short, food price in FE market is greater than one energy. This means farmers are more than 150% energy than technician as long as foods sold. I rarely build generating districts, I completely ignore technician techs. The best way of manipulating FE market is series of single 10 years trade deal of my food per month for FE energy per month. Multiple 30 years trade deals whenever my foods production increased, is not optimal. That is what I did in my first scion game, it crashed food price in FE market really quick. Instead, I sell other resources per month in internal or galaxy market to temporarily boost my energy per month. Next month, I cancel all of them and buy foods per month. Finally, I buy energy per month with increased foods per month in FE market. This way, I can sell around average food production of next 10 years. Foods balance will decrease first few years but it will increase back in last years. This sounds like micromanagement heavy – but I only need to do this once in every ten years.
Next concern is mineral. Only producing foods and buying mineral from internal/galaxy markets sounds profitable on paper. But price explodes very quickly, even in galaxy market, buying 1500-2000 per months will increase price significantly. This is why I picked mining guild as 3rd civic to maintain solid mineral production. But not too much. I scout 1000-size galaxy with FE escorts and trigger
Galaxy community in 2225,
Galaxy market in 2238 to enjoy cheap mineral price of galaxy market. Until then, I buy minerals from random AIs to cover big spending such as 20k arcology project.
Mote, gas, crystals are huge cash cows. Buying those in internal market and selling in FE market grant me free 50-60 energy per month out of air. This is literally free but will diminish after galaxy market formed. It is ok, the benefit of cheap mineral cost is much more profitable. I recommend you to scout entire galaxy and secure the surveyor relic asap. I found it opposite side of galaxy, so I activated it only 7-8 times by 2267. 2 of them are crystals and gas deposit – each of them worth 60-100 energy per month in FE market.
Furthermore, mote harvesters, gas extractors, and crystal miners are producing base 36-40 energy (=2*18-20) per pop. This is game breaking. I prioritize developing planet to unlock these job if feature available. My build order is first robot, then mote/gas/crystal building. Even chemist, refiner, and translucer are producing base 23-27 or 26-30 energy before and after galaxy market. Remind you that this number only considers base production 2. Slavery bonus starts 25% then increased up to 50% after extended shift edict. Harvestors, extractors, miners produce 60 energy per pop, chemists, refiners, and translucers do 47-50 per pop.
Ideal galaxy and my galaxy
First conquest target : It is trivial that ring-world origin neighbor is the best first target. Second best is advanced empire, it will triple your economy after first conquest. If we turn on advanced neighbor as scion, it is cheat. I didn't do that. Third best is fanatic purifier who will save you a lot of influence. My first target was none of these luxury, she was just normal organic empire. But it is better than worst – isolated starting position or gestalt.
My second closest neighbors are determined exterminator (Black in north east) and machine GC (blue in east), then advanced empire (brown in south) but brown capital is 12 hyperlanes away. Green in southwest is xenophile FE.
Fallen empires : Xenophobic Isolationists can boost you a lot. It happened in this game, I got 18k fleets and engineering points. That was lucky. My two games happened to have them in, I did 6 lottery of shielded world, 4 of them are positive and only 1 of them was 18k fleet.
First fallen empire target mainly depends on location. Xenophobic or xenophile FEs are easier target because they have lesser fleets. Regarding post fallen empire rush, ancient caretakers (ringworld), materialists (ecumenopolis), spiritualists (size 30 gaia) are better targets in that order. I happened to have choice of Materialists and Xenophile FEs. Well, it feels bad to betraying my overlord being very nice to me. I decided to take over regarding post fallen empire rush play (x25 crisis).
I played in Korean localization, but you may see what's up by icons.
2218 doing tier 2 strategic resource techs plus my tier 1 engineering progress
2227 Reached tier 3 techs
2228 Fen Habbanis discovered
2229 Anti-gravity, Gene-Tailoring
2236 Cybernetic completed
2240 Tier 4 techs become available
2247 Fen Habbanis ready, started 10 years of spamming foundry
2255 Final ship design completed – more shield is to counter materialist FE fleet
2255 Started repairing ruined dyson sphere – This delayed FE rush 20-22 months but this is optimal for post FE rush play
2256 The final tech, advanced battleship hull appeared on list
2264 Entire Fleet production over, flying to target FE
2265 First battle against FE fleet – This shows why penetration build is OP, total damage 199k vs 297k but hull damage is 199k vs 100k
Tactical movement to separate FE fleet and homeworld fortress
Invasion on Font of Knowledge started
2267 Sorry dad, your ecu should belong to me
Bonus 1 – 22 months left to unlock galactic Wonders, it's time to spam ring world.
Bonus 2 – 33 months until total war CB, I guess I can conquer all FEs before 2300.
For those interested, More screenshots of progress : Some of you may find my administrative capacity goes up and down in early game, that is another micro-heavy click fest. As long as we have building, we don't need allocate bureacrats all time, whenever, tech points or unity points reach normal cost, assign pop as bureaucrat for a day, techs and unity will be obtained at normal cost of no penalty. Then move pops back to their primary jobs. This is very annoying, micro-heavy.
However, for example, I save 14 pops working more useful jobs than bureaucrats out of 146 total population.
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