Written by SpaceSquad.
This is not really a race guide, it is more a war log, the story of how i have won the first Championship game and became the emperor of Planets.nu. It is the story of a real game, everyone can review it here. In the following text, i try to give you an inside view of that game, i try to explain the decisions i made along the way to victory. Hopefully you can use it as an inspiration to your victory….
Below you can see one of the top secret strategic maps i created during the game. I am not really sure about the exact date, but due to the fact that the Cyborg homeworld is gone its must be between month 12 and 15 of the conflict. The map shows the excepted and partly confirmed homeworld locations of all races. The thin lines will give you a hint how this information has been calculated. The map you see is already very accurate thanks to diplomatic action.
The colored fields are, what I call, “Sphere of direct control “ or core area. It´s the area a race is most likely willing to fight for instead of finding a peaceful agreement. The borders between those “Spheres” are what I call “conflict zones”.
Conflict zones are usually natural gaps between clusters of planets but they can also be within larger clusters. If you cross those conflict zones, there will be war sooner or later. So prepare for it or do not cross these lines. Some races, especially the HYP races tend to have huge Spheres, but usually outposts are not really defended. You should ignore any diplomatic attempt to not attack those outposts, instead claim they are part of your core area.
The campaign will most likely stay peaceful until the Sphere of direct control has been completely colonized. Some races are faster and more aggressive, so prepare your defense. When you have colonized your core area you should directly invade one of your neighbors. There is no time to lose as you prefer to fight planets without starbases and you want to capture resources before they are turned into mines or ships. Try to avoid a 2 front war, but do not fear it. Our Race has the best defense in the cluster, and heavy sweepers are very expensive in the beginning.
As you are all aware of, my strategic position was good. Close to the big clusters in the middle, the Privateer next door. The Borg far away and attacked early by the Lizard. The Empire, a potential Privateer victim, close by. The natural next step was to offer privateer protection to the Empire or rob support to the Privateer. You cannot do both, so I had to choose between a big empire cluster and free cloakers or a save corner of the map and free SSDs. As you know I choose the corner and offered Privateer protection to the Empire. In exchange I got some empire outposts in the middle of the cluster and a bridgehead in the empire cluster.(6 most east planets of the Empire core area) In addition to the planets, the empire shared information about other races especially about the HYP outposts in the middle so I could capture them quickly with my Emeralds. I could trade a SSD for an Onyx. But the best consequence of the peace agreement with the empire was that he was now trapped between two allies as he had peace with the Rebel as well.
Let me show you this new map, the planet status of turn 20. The colored dots are the planets, while the Crystalline planets are confirmed, most others are just educated guessed. The actual number of planets marked around the expected home world location. Noting more, nothing less. Even if this way is not 100% accurate it will give you a good strategic overview.
You can see that the Lizard is still busy with the Borg. He will not start a second war. Robot,Rebel and Empire are already out free planets and have to head to the center. Empire is already cut off by the Rebel and by the red line that symbolize the our peace agreement. The Privateer has rushed to the center, this information was confirmed by the Empire. So the Klingon is now trapped and has to fight his way out.
Between turn 14 and 20, I made the border agreement with Empire. But I continued to capture some of his HYP outposts in the middle. To hide my real plans I started the following diplomatic maneuvers:
1)Negotiate an border with the Privateer that secures his 5 planets within my core area for my. Offering him help vs. Empire and Rebel.
The purpose was to win as many planets as possible peacefully and to win time to prepare the attack. The attack should start when the negotiations fail in the end.
2) Requesting Rebel cooperation vs. the privateer.
Mainly to distract the Rebel from his HYP planets that I took in the middle and to give him hope and something to think about while I continue to attack his outposts.
3) Contact the Klingon and offer a coordinated strike against the Privateer.
Maneuver 2 was pure fake and the rebel noticed it quickly (I took his 4 center outposts) , but Maneuver 1 was that successful that I seriously thought about a Crystalline Privateer alliance. But then the middle would be lost to the Pirat, my planets would suffer the attack of the Empire while the Pirate is save in his corner. On the other hand the compact empire cluster was a more valid target then the distributed Pirate corner. In the end I made that decision based on trust. I know Commodore Halion as a most reliable and trustful commander. From strategic point of view I knew I am the best protection for the Empire against the Pirates, so they will not betray me if they want to keep the Privateer away. In turn 20 the Pirate was the easier target for me, and I could win cloakers and a save corner.
Turn 20 – 30
The turns 20 to 30 were very interesting and the decisions that have been made that time had an enormous influence on the later game. The ship limit was hit in turn 25. In these 10 turns I attacked 13 planets (1 Lizard, 6 Privateer,2 Borg, 3Empire, 1 Rebel) and colonized another 11 planets. All attacks had non or only few direct consequences. Lizard, Empire and Privateer planet attacks had been allowed by the owner according to the agreed border line.
At turn 30 latest the Privateer recognized that I am nuts, greedy and not honestly negotiating. He decided to stop the negotiation and accept war. This first negotiation with the Pirate was not honest and it is nothing to be proud of, but it was necessary that time and in the end I got 6 free planets and 10 turns time.
In turn 23 I captured my first Falcon from the Rebel. Together with the HYP outposts I captured I was kind of bagging for his attack. He started his “terror” by sending more Falcons. The Rebel also tried to forge an alliance against me and contacted Empire (who i had an agreed border with and who used me as shield against the Pirate) the Robot, the Klingon (fighting the Pirate with me) and the Pirate (I was still in negotiation with at that time).
In Turn 26 the rebel, allied with the Empire killed 3 Lizard PL21 hissing an Empire cash planet. The Rebel attack slowed down the Empire economy, published the Lizard/Empire coorperation, but even better for me, it caused some diplomatic crises between the allies Rebel and Empire. I am not sure if he did in on purpose or not. But we made a big party in the command room that day as I was pretty sure that the Empire would not join the alliance against us. Still this alliance was a treat and it took me a lot of effort to sabotage it, but the Hisser attack and the fact that I was the only one who could protect the Empire from the Pirate put an end to all alliance dreams in turn 44. Empire attacked the Robot Minelayers, cancelled the peace with the Rebel and granted me free passage. The fact that I had captured about 9 falcons by turn 44 may also have been an argument against the Rebel Alliance. Maybe the Empire just wanted to keep the approaching Rush´s out of my webs
I found myself in a classic 2 front war, in the east I was attacking the Privateer , but not really successful. I could capture and secure some nearby planets fast, but the closer I came to his homeworld the more mines he laid. I just had Disruptors so he slowed me down. I had to advance careful and cover all planets with webs, before I killed the planet with Emeralds. Thanks to my Empire Dark Sense information I knew where his bases are located so I could avoid them. It took a lot of my Eco power to provide the mine cover as the frontline was half the cluster. The Privateer front in turn 40 is more or less the our actual border line in turn 150. Even I had several MBRs in my webs, all Pirates could escape before I could capture them , I clearly failed to achieve my main target, to capture cloaker. Due to his excellent defense, he forced me to bring more sweeping power before I could continue my attack.
In the west, my capture statistic was better. By turn 40 I owned 6 Falcon, the first Rush arrived on my western front 90ly away from a 6mio Bovinoid Unity planet only protected by an Emerald and a Ruby. The Rebel attacked completely without mine cover (maybe that was the Robots task) so I could move freely and lay small defensive webs. The Rush retreated as he was waiting for Robot and Empire Support.
The center (mainly Rebel HYP outposts) of the cluster was captured by a single Mk7 Emerald. As I had not enough torpedoes, the only protection of these planets have been a loose agreement with the Lizard not to advance beyond the middle of the map. As you can see, I directly broke that agreement by owning planets slightly north of this imaginary line. I could please the Lizard by promising support vs. the Klingons once the Lizard would attack.
My general strategy these days was to capture the south east quarter of the cluster. Both agreements I had (Lizard North, me south half / Empire west, me east half) would have given me time to concentrate on the Privateer while defending the center from the Rebel. No need to decide further until I had secured the south east quarter, then I had to choose between Lizard and Empire. The critical point about my plan was time, the Lizard already killed the Borg and could prepare his attack on the Klingon while I still was in trench war with the Privateer. If I cannot kill the Privateer fast, the Lizard will have kill the Klingon and then claim Privateer planets as his fleet has nothing to do. In the west I was sure that Empire and Rebel will fight each in a long and slow war. Time has proven my wrong….
Turn 40-50 (The very evil Empire)
While on the east half of the map, nothing changed this 10 turns, we faced the most dramatic changes on the west half.
In the north, Fed and Lizard saved the Colonial from the Bird, taking nearly half his planets in 10 turns. In the south west, due to the fact that Empire attacked the Rebel (turn 43) and granted save passage to me (turn 45) the rebel committed suicide. In 10 turns, the rebel lost 33planets, but the Empire could only capture 4 so far. The Empire Crystalline attack was planned to move along the Rebel/Robot border. The plan was to prevent the Robot support for the Rebel. As I expected (and was hoping for) a slow and long war between Empire and Rebel, I only had 2 Emperald, a Ruby and a Crystall Thunder on the front. I was supporting, not leading the attack.
The map does not reflect the exact position of the owned planets, (Black = unowned) but it will give a hint of the effect the Rebel suicide had. My plan for the west collapsed together with the Rebel Alliance. Lizard already had his quarter of the cluster and now the Empire had a chance for a free quarter, leaving me behind with absolutely no process on the Privateer front. To kill SBs in the end phase, I need cloakers to scout and SSDs to capture the planet, while I had one SSD by trade, I still do not have a cloaker by force. My plans are about to fail…..
Turn 50-60 (The Clean up)
The Privateer front was still frozen in webs and mines, my better equipped sweepers just arrived so I was ready to proceed. But while I was building sweepers the overall situation had changed dramatically. The Rebel ruined my plans! I had to come up with a new one.
In the west, I was trying to renegotiate my border with the Empire, asking for 5 planets in the center (next to my cluster) as payment for my support. Actually I had not done much, I could not trap a single Rush and most planets died in riots. The Empire was on a good way to become the second power right after the Lizards I would be trapped in the middle of them. While the renegotiation was not going well, I tried to create facts and “stole” some planets in former Rebel space with my Falcons (I had 11 now). I guess the empire was not really happy with it.
Meanwhile, the Lizard had started his attack on the Klingon. The Klingon had gone to holiday mode some turns ago, so it was just a matter of time, we had to stop the Lizard or he will win the game. I could not attack the Lizard and allow the Empire to grow strong in my back. Also rumors came up about something big moving under Lizard control. I was not sure if the Gorbie had been build already or if there was just plans. But Lizard/Empire cooperation would end in Crystal death. (the HISS fleet had been restored in Empire space)…
As mentioned before, i could not let the Empire walk away with the rebel planets i wanted to win so I had to attack him now or never, Luckily the Privateer agreed to peace so I turn 63 I removed the save passage for the empire without warning. And towed away 2 SSD that I both owned in turn 64. By turn 70 I had the first Gorbie in my fleet together with an Automa that underestimate the power of web mines.
I guess I have to explain this move and its reason in more detail later, for now just me say that I do not see it as backstab. In a non allied game you cannot backstab your ally as there are no allies. However, as I personally know Halion (Empire) as a friend it was the most cruel and ruthless decision I had to made in my planets career so far. I wanted to win, and I had to sacrifice a friend for it.
With my blitz on the Empire I created a similar situation for the Lizard as the Rebel created for me earlier. The Lizard controlled the Borg space, he could not allow me to walk away with Rebel and Empire space for free. There was nearly no empire mine laying capacity, therefore, in my eyes, it was just a matter of time when I would win the fight vs. the Empire. The fact that I attacked the empire without warning and had the Privateer on my side gave me the necessary speed to be successful in the south before the Lizard invades my north. An important strategic fact was that for both fronts, the Empire and the Lizard, it was me who decided when and where the attack would happen. Yes, the Lizard started the attack, but I was prepared and he did not bring the necessary sweeping capacity.
In turn 68 the first Lizard sweeper appeared on my North eastern front, he wanted to clear my mines before the big ion storm would cross that area from north to south. Turn 71 the Lizard laid mines along the complete north frontline and covered my planets. I had not many ships in the north west, but everything was protected by webs so I had time to reinforce. You can say that in turn 71 the war started. All maneuvers before turn 70 where more economical or diplomatic. From turn 71, the Diplomatic war was over and me and the Lizard had to fight it out. The only question mark left was the Fed.
On the empire front, I could colonize former Rebel planets with my Falcons. 1 Ruby, 2 Emeralds 1 SSF and a captured Tranquility could separate the Robot from the Empire and colonize the former Rebel ,now unowned, planets. This was only possible due to massive Falcon (12 in turn 80) support who brought clans and money for torps to the front. The Falcons and the 5 torp ships allowed me to open a second front on the Empire and embrace him with web mines. In the former Rebel space I was mostly fighting SSDs that could not match my small torper fleet. The more planets I colonized or captured the more mines I could lay.
On the eastern Empire front I was facing Gorbies and the majority of the Empire minelaying fleet. But I could bring all new Diamond Sweeper I build to sweep the Privateer minefields and Privateer was there as well. No Planet was save for the Empire and the space around the planets was purple.
My north Frontline to the Lizard was more or less stable. Hi sweeped, I layed webmines. His first attack right in the path of an Ion Storm ended with my first 2 cloakers (LCC) and a T-Rex. By Turn 90 I had 6 LCC, 2 Madonzilas and 2 T-Rex While I only lost 2 Planets and even those I could recapture with the SSD I traded early in the game. These days I was calculating the mass of every ship and I kept track of it in an excel file. If a T-Rex came to close and had a high mass, I intercepted it with a Crystal Thunder. The rest was a very costly webmine fight. In Turn 90, the fight was still open, but I was a good sign for me as since turn 71 the Lizard could not brake my defense.
While I could capture and colonize the former Rebel space without much fighting, I still faced a fleet of Gorbies and SB defended planets on the empire west front. The first Diamond Thunder Combo was formed in Turn 77 in the west, but I had no wish to waste it on a planet. A turn before I sent one of the captured SSDs along the our old border (red line) from north to south to capture the empire cluster in the south. In turn 81 the first Gorbie was killed by the Diamon-Thunder Combo to prove that I am not afraid of a direct confrontation. In fact I did not had the resources to fight the Gorbies directly, the Lizard webmine war was taking 90% of my money. But there was no need for direct fighting, I had the mine superiority, my SSD arrived in Turn 85 in the south cluster and the Privatteer was forcing the empire to stay off the planets.
Seeing his full equipped Starbases surrender to his previous owned SSDs broke the empires neck. To be honest he had no option then to riot his planets to death and handing over ship to his allies. Still he did not leave the game and his will to fight will costs me 3 Gorbies later as he managed to find a gap in my webs and colonized his last 3 Gorbies in turn 114.
The Robot could not get thru my webs to support the Empire and the Lizard attack was stopped and now it was my turn to take some Lizard planets in the middle. With 6 SSD in total, I was able to bring 2 to the Lizard front. The “XSS Executor” and the “XSS Abandon all hope” made what they have been named for. With 11 LCC, 1 Saurian, 2 Mados and 8 T-Rex by turn 100, plus my own ships, I could scout the planets before I move the SSDs in, sweep the Lizard mines and slowly, very slowly push him back.
While the last empire ships were trapped in my webs, I started moving my sweeper fleet towards the robot. It was a the closest frontline for them to move to and on the Lizard front I had more T-Rex then I actually needed (11 by turn 110). I slowly captured the Lizard full equipped Starbases. Lay web mines, sweep his mines, move a cloaker nearby to check for Lokis, move the cloaker onto the planet to scout for Guards, move the SSD in and capture the planet. That are the steps to savely capture a Lizard planet and even then he can have a cloaker there ready to tow kill your SSD. My SSD had always 60 fighters on board, so they could only capture 2 planets in a row. Resupplying, scouting and keeping the webmine coverage took a lot of time and is the main reason for such a long game. After 30 turns of the Lizard campaign I could finally made some process in planet capturing but….
..in turn 102 the first FED fleet appeared (4Ships)on my north west frontline, followed by another 16 FED ships in turn 103 and another 8 in turn 104. The effect of the FED appearance on my frontline was that I reorganized all my ships into battle groups. I moved cloakers away from the Lizard to the Robot front and i move Gorbies and my Automa to face the FED fleet. I was asking for Privateer support and we planned to trap the Fed with a Golem that could rob half the fleet empty at once. (But our plans failed later)
To get time for the preparation and the reorganization a single LCC behind enemy lines delayed the FED with a small webmine field for 6 turns. This brave little ship reminded the Fed that he is now entering a warzone and he should better not fly with waypoints and low on fuel. A NRF the Lizard sent to provide fuel to the FED fleet could be intercepted, trapped in webs and was finally captured in turn 114. That Maneuver 60ly away from a Lizard Base and 116ly away from the thirsty FED fleet made them change their plans as the 2 FED fleets moved together. (Creating an even more thirsty fleet.)
Turn 110-120 (The Battle of Alioth part 1)
In turn 120 a fed fleet of 25ships including a Fed Cobol, a FED Virgo and a Neutronic Refinery ship captured a former Robot planet in the North west corner of my space (easily to see on the map). From there, they headed to the isolated planet south east of it, the former Rebel Hyp outpost Alioth (P4). Alioth was purely defended and the had no webmines around it by turn 120. A part of the fed fleet was 107ly away and my closest minelayer a Ruby with 195 Mark7 was 134ly away of Alioth. The Privateer trap and my main battle fleet (1 Gorbi, 4 Thunder) was in the east cluster, and a second battle fleet was over the Privateer planet on the Robot front (the isolated orange planet).
While my fleets could not reach Alioth in time, the plan was to secure it with the ruby and move the Privateer trap to Alioth unsean by towing it 134 with a MBR.
Turn 120-130 (The Battle of Alioth part 2)
Turn 120 3 Novas, a Kitty and a Virgo moved towards Alioth (107ly away)
Turn 121 The 5 ships above kept their position to clear webs for another 17Fed ships (incl. NRS) that moved near the first 5.
Turn 122 One of my Rubys that could rush toward Alioth laid 100 MK7 and covered Alioth in a Web, 8 Fed ships hit a web mine 60-70ly away from Alioth.
Turn 123 The Ruby (now on Alioth) laid another 40 MK7, 1 Fed ship hit a mine, the other moved closer towards Alioth (35-60ly)
Turn 124 A Cat´s Paw laid 25 MK5 in Privateer ID around Alioth, no mine hit, the Fed fleet splited, a Nova, Diplo, Kitty and Virgo move 22ly close to Alioth the rest stayed away 60ly Meanwile, the Privateer trap (1 Gorbi, 2MBRs arrived on Alioth ready to rob)
Turn 125 The Fed vanguard (Nova, Dilpo, Kitty, Virgo) moved in and killed the Privateer Gorbi and one uncloked MBR while only loosing the Diplo. The Privateer was afraid of the Loki in the main fleet, so he left fuel on the Gorbie hoping that the fed ships have PE Crystall. My starbases was still alive with 3 Fed and one cloaked MBR in Orbit. The Fed main fleet was22ly away. Now the fun part started. The MBR was set to rob and my SB to force to surrender. An Ion storm was covering a planet 100ly away from Alioth where I could bring in 30000mc so I laid 170MK7 this turn.
Turn 126 The Privateer robs fuel from the Nova, but my unsweepable Webmine field covered an Ionstorm sucked 25kt fuel from the Kitty so the Kitty surrendered to the base. Still my Base was not attacked. One ship of his main fleet hit a webmine as the webmine was covering the main fleet,9 ships were instandly out of fuel
Turn 127 A second Ion storm was in range and a cloaked LCC layed 227 MK7. The Nova orbiting Alioth was sucked dry by 2 overlapping webmines and surrendered to the base, still the base was not attacked and the Virgo was still orbiting it. 2 MBRs returned to Alioth. 17 ships are in orbit and out of fuel.
Turn 128 To Virgo attacked the Kitty and was then Killed by the SB. My Nova intercepted the NRC and could tow capture it later.
By Turn 130 I could capture 1 Cobol, 3 Kitties, 1 Loki, 3 Missouris, 1 Nova, and the NRC. The remaining FED fleet was pushed away by the Ion Storm and captured later. Alioth did not fall, and the FED fleet was captured ready to move back to the sender.
The Fed fleet was gone and mainly captured, the Lizard was under control and my SSD Fleet was in position to invade Robot Space. I had more than 200planets, 3 Golems, 5 Gorbies, 10 LCC and 19 T-Rex I was too Big to fail and decided to be more aggressive and attack planets directly instead of the slow SSD tactic.
Since Turn 74 I had a small fleet on the Lizard-Privateer Front to lay web mines from Privateer provided Torps. This front was frozen and the Lizard never had enough sweepers to move south into Privateer core area. I decided to cut off the Lizard supplied lines by dividing the former Klingon cluster in 2 parts.
The Robot was overrun and he retreaded to Fed space fighting with the Colonial and Fed. I am not sure why they kept fighting each other instead of unite against me. My captured FED fleet moved north towards the old FED-Bird Battleground. I was hoping to find less defended planets as in the Lizard area and so it was. My Strategy of using the T-Rex to kill the Lizard bases failed, I could capture the bases, but i lost too many ships. I lost nearly all heavy ships in the middle and had to go back to trench war and get the remaining planets somewhere else.
What I told my ‘allies’ at the beginning of my effort to forge a five race coalition against the Crystals came to pass.
I truly was outmatched in skill levels vs. SS Crystals, I had played one game as the rebels and never faced the crystals in battle and it showed with my very poor decisions.
However, my allies should have listened to me. Even sub-par play by the Rebels was preferable to being devoured by the Crystals.
Treachery was met with treachery.