this picture out. See the 3 planets on the left? That's all I could play with, up to 2300s. The 4th one (Mauthula) was colonized after I had ensured the whole thing wouldn't collapse.
The reason? Purifiers and zealots right below, with exterminators on the right. So I had to play the cold war game from the very beginning. Nothing really remarkable on the planets themselves either. Evenly distributed resources for the most part. 2 of them have a 5% physics research bonus -a bonus I can't really use from the start, as I have to balance the books, maintain a steady alloys production to keep starbases and fleet deterrents on par with whatever the others have, while keeping my people happy and the trade value on the rise.
Now, I did roll on Fen Habbanis (a point at which I usually restart, as I don't want the thing) but given the situation I felt it was fair. Can't get it though, as I can't explore. But more on that later.
Then an ally shows up. He's bordering both the zealots and the exterminators. And we go on an ideology war against the zealots. Total victory and things start looking better. Then we go on an end-threat war against the exterminators. If it wasn't for the war exhaustion, I would've eradicated the bastards. This, leaves me with planets in need of heavy management.
The year is 2325, I'm still busy managing the newly acquired planets and Khan makes his grand entry. He doesn't seem to be an immediate threat, as a FE controls the only access to our general direction -but I also have a wormhole in my territory, and no means to know where it connects to -yet. After the research option finally shows up, it turns out it leads to friendly territory, on the other side of the galaxy.
Thing is, the purifiers have another wormhole. This, is the one the horde uses to pour through. But for some reason they're ignoring me. This gives me some time to upgrade the starhold on the border and add cruisers to my petty excuse of fleets. So I keep them standing there, waiting for it.
60k worth of Khan's fleets and they're busy carpet bombing the purifiers. Only a 4k fleet comes specifically for me and is promptly dealt with.
Remember Fen Habbanis? The last research option showed up right in that border sector, while I was preparing. But I'm not really expecting to win -so I'm not going to give an ecumenopolis to that bastard. Let it rot where it is.
Khan himself shows up and the s.o.b. is hanging around right outside my borders, alone. My usual course of action is "whatever they've got, you send double". This time around, this isn't an option. So I take the bet. 16k of my own versus Khan's 16k, led by a level 10 admiral. And my guys pulverize him -twice.
Yeah. The underdog of the galaxy killed Khan. Now I need to finally bring Fen Habbanis online, finish the job with the exterminators and then turn my attention to the purifiers, as they've got an L-gate there. There's more work to be done and 100 years (at best) for the endgame crisis.
This, on normal difficulty and to be honest, I can't imagine myself surviving this particular situation on anything higher -at least not yet.
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