Stellaris

Help! What did I do wrong? [Everything probably]

stellaris 1 - Help! What did I do wrong? [Everything probably]
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Quick backstory, I played quite a bit of Stellaris on Console (Xbox) when it came out, which I believe was roughly version 1.7. It was a ton of fun and I got pretty decent at it, but eventually went off to play other things. When they got the recent 2.2 update, I jumped back in and was totally lost/confused/myself with the trade/pop management/etc. I figured it might be easier to play it on the PC to learn the new mechanics using a keyboard and mouse. I ended up getting a bundle during the Steam sale and now have been playing 2.7 (which is, again somewhat different, sigh).

I'm running no mods, and the following DLC: Leviathans, Utopia, Apocalypse, Distant Stars, Synthetic Dawn, Horizon Signal.

I started a large galaxy, randomized AI empire #, Advanced AI starts, Fallen Empires, and Marauder Empires. Everything else was stock, Ensign difficulty because I suck and am still trying to figure things out.

Anyway, I've had 3 play-throughs so far, 1st had the Unbidden spawn across the map, and by the time I kicked their ass, an AI team 'won' the game on points. Ok. 2nd had the Prethoryn Scourge, which kicked the galaxy's ass, but I went world by world, cracking as I went, saved everyone and 'won' by a long shot.

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3rd time, I was playing as usual, just finished a war against a dumb AI, and another dumb AI opened the L-Gate and triggered the Grey Tempest. I'd never heard-of, or seen this before so WTF. I had maybe 10K fleet power at that point, and they had roving 32K fleets everywhere! I was lucky and had no L-Gates in my territory so I turtled and researched and grew my fleet (and got the 33% ascension perk), until I could mostly go toe to toe and win. They were killing other empires left and right, and I got flooded with refugees, which caused a coupe of my planets to get all screwed up. Also, right around then, the Great Khan decided to wake up and destroying everything from the other side. The Khan ended up getting killed by a Fallen Empire (thanks, guys), but weakened my defenses enough that the Grey Tempest started cleansing my worlds. I decided to try and clear the L-Cluster.. and went through all the sectors there and there were just fleets. I killed most of them, but by that point they'd started bombarding my home sector and was out of materials and .. yeah, game over man, game over.

There is supposed to be a Grey Tempest factory or something according to the Wiki but I couldn't find it. The other AI did nothing, and wouldn't even vote to make them a priority (while it's killing off empires left and right), and the Khan was a giant poorly-timed pain in the ass. I tried to spec my ships/defensive stations as good counters to the Grey Tempest, but I just didn't have the resources to keep up.

So I ask.. what did I miss/mess up on. How do you defeat the Grey Tempest? I am sure I'll run into them again…

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