TLDR: I say 'prolapse' instead of 'collapse' because I consider it having collapsed from the inside out, do to my own apparently careless, stupid, co*ky, short-sighted, inconsiderate decisions.
I might have the order a little bit out of whack, since I'm going on memory while the shit is all hitting the fan, but this is basically how it goes.
The name of the empire was 'Enemy Mine' (some of you will get the name and even empire gov/civic semi-inspiration). How ironic that turned out to be, in the end, considering I ended up being my own worst enemy.
So I had an SP game going where for the whole game up to this point, I was increasingly accelerating as more powerful across the board than my neighbors in every way. Human portrait, Fanatic Authoritarian/Spiritualist Empire was conservationist, industrious, and intelligent, with Slavers and Mining guilds civics. Social Welfare, Chattel Slavery, etc.
Quickly and easily maintained Market of Ideas Trade Policy to get Traditions and Ascension Perks quick, War Economy for Starbase and ships and Plentiful Food for pop growth. Could regularly keep many edicts going at once. Had high resource production across the board and could regularly buy additional resources needed, and produced enough food and consumer goods to regularly do decisions to enhance pop growth and give out luxury goods. At this point I have 4 planets, rapidly growing, with a new colony. Pops are usually growing at 3.5 to 4.5 per month.
Then, a Perfect Storm of circumstance (cave dwellers situation) combined with my own ignorance, short-sightedness, co*kiness, and stupidity began looming. Except, I was too blind to see the shadow falling over the empire.
Was preparing for an aggressive, conquer-y war, so maxed out my current fleet at 60 corvettes and built another fleet of a bunch of Cruisers. Got co*ky, had techs to start upgrading buildings, finally, and had enough resources to do so, since I was regularly running into unemployment issues. Prior to upgrading many buildings, particularly Artisan, priest, researcher, and medic jobs (all specialist strata — yes, I know, I realize now why this was a bad idea), I also got an event on the last planet about an underground civilization, and invited the refugees to join us on the surface. They were 'charismatic', so I thought they'd work well in clerk and other amenities producing jobs.
Suddenly they start taking over most of my reproduction on that planet, and emigrating to other ones. They seemingly quickly go from one pop to tons.
As the upgraded buildings (and my new mote and crystal producing buildings ) are finished, my pops all start shifting to these new specialist strata jobs. The cave dwellers start filling both worker and specialist jobs on multiple planets, even though my race is much more productive in them.
Suddenly, my consumer goods resources are, fairly quickly, going negative, whereas before I was making like 20/mo. I start upgrading my civilian industries for consumer goods, thinking some of the unemployment will fill it. It does, but then my minerals go negative, and while I got an uptick in consumer goods, it starts accelerating back downwards. Also, my food production is collapsing, as is my credit production.
Things starting to get scary. Writing is on the wall.
Start purging the new race, since I can't get them to the right jobs they would be needed for, and I have too many pops, anyway. This seems to help, initially, but then my production gets worse, because they filled worker jobs, too.
Crime rapidly starts increasing, stability falling.
I stop all pop growth, and institute martial law. This makes things worse. My economic collapse is accelerating. I disable some buildings, demolish others, while downgrading others. Try to reduce priority in some specialist jobs, only to have these fu*ks go unemployed and not want to move down to a lower, worker strata to save themselves and the empire. Due to 'wage stickiness' (a real economic concept), they stay unemployed than go back to work. It doesn't help that in trying to resettle them, I. Mistakenly resettle 5 pops onto the wrong planet, which fu*ks me even further, and for some reason, I can't find them on that planet to move them to the right one.
I start changing my policies to have my credits and consumer goods, and pass some edicts, it helps, but not enough. I reduce living standard from social welfare to subsistence. Crime and stability get worse, and my economy completely prolapses, turning inside out, with even reserve resources gone from buying other resources to buy some time to prop my empire up trying to save it.
I disband large swaths of my fleets to save credits, and dismiss the admirals. This helps make my credit consumption to be barely positive, but it's not enough to buy resources and all others are wildly negative.
Crime through the roof. Stability in the gutter. Pops refusing to work, and the ones that do, are miserable and pissed off. Factions all pissed off. No fleet to protect myself, losing influence due to not being able to maintain rivalries. Neighbors declaring war. Rebellions popping up. One quickly gains independence.
The end has arrived, and I have seemingly nothing else I can do to save my empire. Everything done has mostly made my problems worse. It is in an utter social, political, military, and economic death-spiral.
10/10, would prolapse empire again after spending hours in Ironman building it up
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