|One Planet Challenge|
The Drengin threatened me, demanding 1170bc. I caved, and decided on the spot I had postponed building any military long enough. I built four battleaxes in four turns, then started on constructors, as the Drengin had gone to war with the Torians and some starbases were being wiped out. I managed to poach one Torian resource and two Drengin. I got a military, an influence, and a research. Research are normally not that important, but in this game they were pure gold! I had income to burn, and this would let me put more of it per turn to good use when researching.
I researched several low budget techs attached to wonders: Nanobots, Brain Wave Mapping, Advanced Repair, etc, and built the associated trade goods or wonders. At some point, I got the chance to trade a pack of techs to the Carinoids for Battleship, and grabbed it. Then I traded that and a pack of techs to the Yor for Disruptors. Both of these techs are "overvalued" by the AI in trade, meaning they really rip you off if you make a deal. However, trading away techs the leading AI's already have to the trailing AI's when they get these techs, merely catches up the trailing AI's and gives me a tech it would cost me a lot of time and effort to research myself, even if I AM overpaying for it. I would later parley that back into more goodies, though, as I traded Disruptors to Toria for Exotic Alloys, and to Altaria for some big techs. I then spent nine turns (3 apiece) building battleships, to put some cardboard cutouts up to make it look like we had defenses.
I had to trade mostly cash (ouchie) for Genetic Mapping, from Toria, to poach the TirQuan Training wonder out from under their, um, snouts. War between Toria/Altaria and Drengin/Yor led the latter to lose four more starbases, which I had constructors nearby waiting to poach. I grabbed two economic resources, and a second military and research resource. I traded Battleships, Disruptors and Energy Magnification to Arceans for a fully improve starbase on a research resource, giving me a monopoly on the galaxy's three research resources. As soon as I finished building wonders and trade goods, I would build constructors to fully improve all three research bases.
I researched Trade Organizations to get another trade route going. For a long while, I'd had seven. The initial five, a sixth to Drengin, and a seventh to Torian homeworld added when I traded for Cultural Trade. Also, for the first time ever in GalCiv, I had traded tech for Freighters. I traded some techs to the Yor for three of their freighters, to save having to pause in wonder building or constructor building to build my own freighters. The AI builds surplus freighters, and loses little when it trades them away. However, unless it has all its currently available routes established, it should simply not offer to sell freighters. It can make a good profit on a 50bc item, but on huge maps, buying them would be too valuable to the human, so I believe they should be treated like colony ships and transports: NO SALE!
I managed to trade for Dreadnaughts from the Carinoids. Nine more turns from that to build three dreads. Took almost everything I had include trade goods to get the tech. I did not include diplo translators, though, but made up the final portion with cash. Morality events started to appear, and I always chose the middle path to remain true neutral, and not upset any of my current relations balances.
The Alexians had been negative cash for a long time. I finally got the chance to sell them a boatload of techs for hundreds per turn over 29 turns, and what happens? The Torians invade them and finish them off the next turn. Oh well. A new minor had also appeared. The majors soon declared war, and the Arcean transport beat a Torian by two turns. The Torians researched Regeneration and I had to pay some techs plus a big wad of cash to get that before they built the two trade goods attached to it. That slowed my progress on other fronts, too.
Then a surprise! The Arceans, who had been lagging behind even the Yor, turned up with Artificial Satellites the very same turn I took the painful step of starting to research that myself. At this point, the path to victory had become clear: I had such a massive trade surplus, I could fund terror stars. My goal would be total conquest. Not only would this be a one planet challenge, but Earth would be the only planet left standing! If I could hold relations together long enough.
Note that my techs are arranged by cost. I wouldn't even consider any other way. I wish the game would not keep resetting to Tech ID every time it restarts. Oh well. (Who the heck wants them sorted by Tech ID? What does that matter to players? By category or by cost, the only ones I could see using.)
At this point, I finally got around to building more constructors, at 100bc per turn on military, at about 53% military spending. My research was still on a crawl, but the constructors soon took my research bonus from low to high. That, plus Terra Computers: the Research Center REALLY helped, as did Technological Capital. My research shot way up, and I continued to build constructors. After filling up three research bases with mining improvements, I started to mass 5-packs in Torian space for terror stars. The Torians had beaten me to TerraComputers, though, and poached NanoRecorders from under me when I could perhaps have had them. Oh well. With only one planet, there are sometimes tough choices to be made. If I had gotten NanoRecorders, it might have cost me a different wonder or trade good anyway.
Then my relations with Arceans went into the drink, and I diverted my two nearly-complete constructor 5-packs over to Arcean planets. This would be a blessing in disguise, as I would have time after this to re-use those two terror stars by moving them one sector to the next target, at one tile per turn.
I did my only bribe of the game, bribing the Altarians to attack the Arceans, keep them busy for me. Relations were down to Hostile now and tech gifts were not impressing the Arceans. Toria had allied with Altaria, so they got dragged in too. Poor Arcea saw its orbitting colony ships and transports get destroyed, decimating their homeworld population down by about 80%. Yikes. Never seen it that bad before. And with Torian transports en route, there was no time to waste with my terror stars.
I had played this far in one session. You can tell by the "invisible ships bug" kicking in. Blah, I hate that. I couldn't live with it, either, because to put a terror star on guard, I had to reload the game to wake it back up later. Oh well, nothing to be done about that. I would simply have to quit and reload at some point to get around it. (I really hope they eventually fix that!)
Here's another one for them to fix. After trading almost all my tech and all bit diplo translators to the Drengin, plus thousands in cash, I got Rangers from them. Then with Arceans two star systems eradicated, I negotiated with them from the grave to get Avatar tech for free.
When a civ is wiped out, shouldn't it stop talking to you? Or at least be unable to give you free goodies? If they want to give you free goodies, why not do it automatically, instead of this way? Then again, this issue only really applies when a game is probably already won anyway, so it's just for score and/or to speed the inevitable ending. I dunno. Maybe a case could be made both ways. But if they want this left in to make the mop up go faster, wouldn't it be better instead to have the game more intelligently be able to discern when player has reached a winning position? I guess that would be more work, and thus falls into the "wish list" category. Oh well. This feels like playing a chess AI that isn't smart enough to know how to resign when it has clearly lost.
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