Thursday, October 23, 2008

Astrogeeks, A Galactic Civilizations 2 Story, Part 3

The Astrogeeks spent the balance of 2228 building up a military and researching basic energy weapon defenses. The ascension countdown continued, with only 205 weeks remaining. The United Planets voted to release restrictions on interstellar tourism at the end of the year, providing all the races more money to play with. Again, the geek culture helped, giving them the largest cash boost. It was enough to ramp production back up to full speed and boost espionage spending. Things were looking pretty good for the geeks.

By the middle of 2229, the Altarans were building up their military again. It probably had something to do with the geeks creating a starbase to harvest the final unclaimed ascension crystal. I responded by creating a frigate sized ship based on the Ming design. This new Gannon class would sport the same firepower as the smaller Mings, but be tougher and have some shielding to defend against Arcean beam weapons. Things were remaining tense, but quiet. In May of 2230, I spotted something I should have noticed far earlier. While I was busy keeping a close watch on the Arcean military buildup, I had failed to notice they were out researching me. And they already had destroyer sized ships that would be more than a match for my forces. Since my entire strategy depended on them not attacking my completely defenseless ascension crystal bases, something had to be done.
Unbalancing the rates of planetary, military, and research production causes inefficiencies, which means it costs money, but a quick check showed that thanks to the increased tourism the economy could handle it easily. Break out the coffee, it's time to show those non-geeks how research is done! At the end of 2230, the United Planets passed a "neutral ground" resolution stating that upon declaration of war forces opposing ships back into their own territories. The geeks were in favor, hoping it would give a few extra weeks of cushion in the event things began to go south. Only 71 weeks left before ascension.

On April 22, 2231 the Arceans declared war on the Altarans. I figured that would provide a nice little distraction to keep them both away from me, but one month later the Arceans finally decided the Astrogeeks needed to be stopped before they ascended. Time to gear up for war. My weapon research was still a bit behind the times, so upgrades to the Ming and Gannon class ship designs provided mostly heavy energy shielding to counter the Acrean weapons of choice. Thankfully, there was enough in the treasury to pay for quickly retooling all my existing ships to the newer designs. Unfortunately, the Mings and Gannons are slow, so I knew I had to relegate them to a defensive role. Offense would be handled by a new fast attack destroyer. It's offensive firepower wouldn't be too impressive (though better than my other ships), but with a shield strength of 12, it ought to be neigh impervious to the Arcean weapons. I hope.

In August, the Altarans surrendered to the Arceans. The combined alien empires made for a much more imposing opponent. I quickly lost the distant ascension crystal base that was too close to an Arcean world, but a Thundaar class destroyer proved effective in its first engagement. As the new year dawned, the destroyer proved less effective against large Arcean fleets, and another of my crystal mining bases fell. Several space battles, mostly of the hit and run variety, continued through January and February, seeing losses on both sides. In early March, a fleet of three Thundaars caught an Arcean fleet of more than a dozen ships heading back to their territory after destroying one of my resource mining starbases. Because the Arceans were damaged from the previous battle, the Thundaars were able to destroy the entire fleet without taking any losses. It was a devastating blow, and one week later the Arceans sued for peace. I willingly gave it to them. Thirty three weeks remained on the ascension countdown, but I quickly rebuilt the crystal starbases lost in the war. With the only possible opposition defeated, there was no doubt about the outcome. In the middle of September 2232, the Astrogeeks ascended beyond the mortal form.

And so my story comes to an end. But there are those who believe that geekdom here began out there, far across the universe with tribes of geeks who even now fight to survive far away among the heavens.*

* Yes, that last bit is a reference to this.


Lee said...

So ascending=win or ascending=level up?

Brian said...

Hmm, I was afraid that wasn't going to be clear enough. Ascension is a winning condition. Basically, your race becomes energy beings. Frankly, it's my least favorite of the ways to win a game of GalCiv2. It feels a bit like a cheat. As it was, I did far better with the custom designed race than I do with the built in ones. If I do a write up like this again, the ascension victory will be turned off (and thus no crystals will appear on the map). Customization in a strategy game can be a good thing.

For an example of a longer game, from a better writer, check out this PC Gamer series.