Just wanted to say the new DLC is amazing, and I've not only had one of my most enjoyable games so far, but I've also been able to play the longest into the game than ever before.
Here's a few screenshots from 2438, a little while after the War in Heaven started:
Of course I'm the grey/green Photecian Republic. I started with the common grounds origin, and at the beginning of the game I wasn't even the strongest in my federation. Blocked by a hive mind, we went to war and took their capital, after which their empire completely disappeared. This gave me access to most of the land I have now, and many many planets. Slowly the Republic grew in strength, and the Tuxkan League and Havarigga Prime joined our glorious federation around the 2230s. I was in the middle of the pack, but significantly behind on tech and fleet power.
Next thing I know the galactic community comes together. I don't have the most diplomatic strength, but enough to be a significant party. Mostly due to envoys and other bonuses, I get myself to be in the top 3 even though my base diplo power was way behind. We pass the galactic council, which secures my spot over the rest of the galactic community. And with the inspiration of all the "I am the Senate" posts, I (over the next century and a half) reduced the council to two, gave us emergency powers/veto, reduced to one, and made my council seat permanent. (Now in 2438 I had around 138k diplomatic weight)
While I was securing my spot in the galactic senate, I went to war with a machine empire, and with the help of the federation we crushed them to dust. This is where I went bananas and brought my number of colonies up to 39. Trade also boomed, allowing me to sustain my empire's consumer good needs through my trade routes. I also found a ring world, which really helped push up my research.
In the time until 2448 (when I last exited the game a decade later), population grew to 3110, tech was up to 10k, Alloys at 1.3k a month, unity at 2k a month (so I have every ambition constantly on), and I had so many minerals and credits produced I was dumping into my sectors so they could auto build building for me. The sectors have 500k resources just sitting there that they can't use. I have 3 (!) Ecumenopoli, with another two being built. I found it much easier to resettle unemployed pops in the mid-late game to an ecumenopolis rather than spend minerals building stuff on their original planets. Because of this, my capital has 289 pops, produced over 830 trade, and almost 1k research. I've built EVERY megastructure as well, it was great to build 3 simultaneously. My fleets are also the most powerful in the galaxy, with 4 sitting just above 150k strength each, and I have bonuses that amount to dealing 100% extra damage to fallen empires.
Long live the Republic
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