As usual, here is my log, writtin of course, from my viewpoint, and maybe with some additional flavor (who knows)
With this new and exciting setting provided by BitMask, I needed to change the default Crystal strategy. Normally I would find a nice ally to provide me with funds and cloakers, but this time I would have to fend mostly for myself… against 3 teams of 2…
Enter diplomacy. All I need to do is make sure to harass the strongest team, so the other teams can catch up. And in the meanwhile rent out my webbing services to help defend the weaker teams and grabbing ships in the process.
But first, expand like crazy and setup my area.
Bad luck, only turn 11, and already I have found neighbours (lizard in the north, Fed in the east) which are too close for comfort. Worse yet, is that one of the is the lizard, someone I really do not want to mess with in the early game. So I drop some webs and hightail it out of there to see if Lizzy wants a fight or not.
But what does my eye spot on the way back:
Now that’s a planet worth fighting for. I can heat that up to 50C, and it will be a perfect Bovinoid planet, capable of sustaining a lot of webmining. So I tax all of my natives down to 40% and start a short web offensive. I assumed the lizard would have built his ships with X-rays to start. But unfortunately, he used heavy blasters and disruptors….
Several turns later, with all of my income gone, I had captured the world and was close to trapping two lizard ships. But I was out of money, so thing were not looking great. And at the same time, the Klingon and Bird combo had appeared at my south side. But the Fed had noticed my struggle with the Lizard and offered me assistance in trade for a NAP and promise of a Loki against the Klingon, should the need arise. So he sent 2 Missouri and 1 Nova towards the Lizard, which gave me time to deal with the south combo.
I managed to capture the Resolute, but the Illwind got away. And I managed to grab a LCC and a Reptile from the Lizard in the top. The Fed was doing some damage to the lizard, and I was building up my webgrid in the south against the Klingon and Bird. That’s when 6 turns of negotiation through in game mail started with the Klingon and the Bird. Each of us making new demands for borders and peace at every new email, which allowed me to work on a peace agreement with the Lizard.
In return for peace till turn 70, I would be able to give him 6 ships, which he would use to HISS my planets. As I really needed the money, I took that deal, not paying attention to the fact that there was a huge Ion Storm coming to sweep over the lizard territory. That storm + web mines would have been the end of him.
Around turn 50 is when I was not doing so hot. My expansion had stopped, as neighbors were on all sides. And the Bird was attacking in force in my south-west corner. But I had managed to build up a nice webmine ring around my planets and bases there, so at least I had an early warning system. And as I was enjoying peace with the lizard (+huge income boost) and peace with the Fed., I felt I still had a chance. Then the Bird made a huge mistake in my south-west, getting overconfident by the size of my small webmines. I managed to grab: 3 dark wing, 2 resolutes, 1 Meteor and 1 Large Freighter in my web.
And with the Hissing income of the lizard, I was quickly able to several large webfields over the area, and maintain them. By turn 62, I had captured 14 of his ships: mostly dark wings and resolutes and was using them to push into his territory.
And then the Bird dropped out of the game.....
He was way ahead in every aspect of the game, and had the most tonnage sunk, which was the criteria for winning as a team, so that really surprised me a lot. Not long after, his Klingon ally decided to become inactive, sending in empty turns. That sealed the deal rather quickly. I cancelled my alliance with the Fed, which was quickly growing by blasting his opposition to smithereens. And set to work to grab every Bird and Klingon ship floating in space.
Fed had a problem there, because every base he destroyed and every ship he destroyed, cost his ships. And I could just grab all I could find, and left every base I found alone. And for every two ships that the Fed killed, I could build 1 new one.
We had a few minor skirmishes, in which I managed to grab some of his ships, maybe 5-10 in total, but my main gain came of course from the non-active races. Making my victory a bit tainted
But I’ll take it anyway!
I reached the final goal of 250 ships at turn 93, because it’s still a hell of a lot of work to find and grab all of those ships. So if the Klingon and Bird had not dropped, there would have been no way I would have won. And instead the Fed would have probably taken the victory.
Pictures of turn 60/80/100 to conclude the story are below.
To quote the T3 romulans, who so eloquently put it:
To all who remain, thank you!
To all who quit, QUITTER, LOSER
(With exception of the privateers, who unfortunately got destroyed quite quickly!)