Stellaris

Oh sure, the one time I actually WANT the Gray Tempest…

stellaris 6 - Oh sure, the one time I actually WANT the Gray Tempest...
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So last night I was in a war with some meatbags who thought I was a threat to all biological life and must be stopped, et cetera, et cetera. Things were going pretty well; the Hive Mind that I had a defensive pact with was keeping our opponent's fleets distracted while I ran rampant on the other side of their territory, I was nearly at the inhabited systems full of juicy pops to assimilate, and I had a science ship in my L-Gate system waiting for the moment when I could give that my undivided attention. That's when the galaxy's resident Devouring Swarm decided that the cyborg half of my population was looking tasty and declared war on me.

Okay, let's check the swarm's relative power and… Oh. "Overwhelming". Ahem.

I immediately pull my fleets back from this now much lower priority foe in order to defend against the actual threat. Now, although the swarm's territory is clear on the other side of the galaxy, there is a wormhole in my backyard that connects right to them. I started fortifying that system as soon as I found out what was on the other side of it, but it was recent enough that it's only a starhold right now. Well, maybe the swarm doesn't have wormhole tech yet, then I can use it to- Oh fuck they have wormhole tech. Oh FUCK that's a lot of ships!

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I pause and examine my options. While inspecting the swarm's territory, I notice that it has not one, but two L-Gates. So I decide to make a gamble and open the gate. If I'm lucky, I'll get the Gray Tempest outcome and it'll fuck the swarm harder than it fucks me. The project is completed quickly, and on the other side of the gate is… nothing. So shit, that didn't work. But! The L-Cluster being empty means I got the Gray outcome, if I find and recruit him, his warship form might be able to turn the tide. I send some science ships in to scour the cluster and find him while my fleets try to hold back the swarm. I notice that my ally also sent some ships to investigate the cluster, but pay it no mind.

Fast-forward a couple of years, and the swarm is kicking my ass; their naval cap bonus and ship cost reduction are no joke. I check the progress of my science ships in the L-Cluster, and… they're done. But where's Gray? WHERE'S GRAY?! It wasn't until later that I remembered that my "ally" had sent some ships to survey the cluster too and realized that it must have sniped Gray from me. The bastard.

That's about when the timer ticked over and one of the gates in my enemy's territory opened, meaning that all I'd accomplished in opening the L-Cluster was creating a second back door for my enemy to attack me through.

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