It’s Like Christmas – Part II

In the first article of this two-part series, I introduced the concept of “Christmas planets” – those newly-scanned worlds which make you cry out, “Yus!” and unabashedly pump your fists. There’s lots of resources on a map, but these beautiful gifts bring joy to both new and experienced players. They supply every production facility within 2-3 turns and boost entire economies up to 2-3 clusters away. Most planets provide resources for 10-30 turns, but these anti-misers keep giving long into the end game. This article highlights several top-priority Christmas planets.

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It’s Like Christmas – Part I

My childhood contained two Christmases I most remember. The first was spending winter in the snowy mountains of Newfoundland, Canada. — This has little relevance to the article, but it sets the mood rather well. — The second memory – and the more important glimmer of my past – was opening the best gift ever: a Nintendo Entertainment System. As I played Super Mario Bros. for the first time, I felt an odd sense of euphoria. The world filled with wonder and possibilities; and I knew I was special and super lucky to have this gift. Later in my life, this type of joy occurred three more times: finding a twenty dollar bill at an exhibition fair, winning the grand prize from a granola bar package, and receiving an orbital scan from a Planets starship above a world of indigenous Insectoids. These last moments appear as mundane but they felt like Christmas.

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So You’re Doomed. Now What? (A Guide For The Hopeless)

First things first: We’ve all been there. It’s not just you.

The nature of the game is, one person wins. That generally means nine or ten lose — and don’t fool yourself: Unless you’re in the Victory Countdown, second place is just First Loser. All things being equal, nine games out of ten, you’re going to end up in a completely hopeless position. It sucks, but what are you gonna do about it? Cry a little?

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The Christmas Truce

You all know the story, but even if you don’t that’s OK, because I’m going to tell it again anyway.

Europe, 1914. Christmas week.

For months now, vast armies had battled across the face of the continent, each racing to outflank the other. Along the Western Front, the race had stopped for lack of room, and a continuous line of trenches ran from Switzerland to the North Sea. By Christmas, things had somewhat stabilized. Gas attacks and mass artillery barrages were still in the future, and the soldiers themselves still had great sympathy for the fellows in the trenches on the other side.

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Steel Rain: The D19b As Artillery

“…In the midst of our joking came a bloodcurdling screech. Twenty meters behind us, white cloud mixed with clods of dirt flew high among the branches. Blasts began rolling through the forest. With troubled eyes we stared at each other, bodies huddled against the ground in a depressing feeling of complete powerlessness. Shot followed shot. Stifling gases floated in the undergrowth, smoke shrouded the hilltops, trees and branches tumbled to the ground, and the screams of incoming rounds were deafening. We jumped up and ran blindly, chased by flashes and concussion from tree to tree, looking for cover and circling huge trunks like hunted game…”
– Ernst J√ľnger, “In Stahlgewittern”, Battle of Les Eparges, 1915

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Threat Assessment: The Rebel Confederation

This is the seventh anonymous report analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of one of the Eleven Races. These redacted versions were approved by the Senate for immediate publication, to be read by commanders of each respective race in order that they can review their own vulnerabilities in the face of the unknown external threat that commissioned the studies. In this dispatch we focus on that faction known as the Rebel Confederation: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

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First Turns: The Cyborg

Most wars are won or lost long before the fighting starts. This series concentrates only on those critical few turns leading up to the Ship Limit as a key to achieving long-term goals necessary for victory.

Overview:

The Cyborg field not one but two of the strongest warships in the Echo Cluster. The Annihilation is the most massive and powerful battleship, and the Biocide is a carrier nearly as huge as the Empire’s Gorbie — and with a larger cargo hold to boot. The Firecloud permits instantaneous travel across any distance, and there’s also a passable hyperspace probe that, when coupled with the Cyborg’s ability to assimilate natives, grants them the ability to expand rapidly across any cluster.

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Nu Replayer: A discovery of Artificial Negativity (Nov 2021)

EDITOR’S NOTE: CSY has been kind enough to give us an update on his Nu Replayer project. There are also some discoveries about the computer player in here, so it’s worth a gander even if you don’t use this tool.

Background

It has been quite a long while since I touched Nu Replayer in any form. Even in its “Perpetual Alpha” state, the existing functionality has worked quite nicely.

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