FFOD 2013 game review by Priv.
This game uses Orbiter where all the planets spin counterclockwise around center. So instead of using east/west or left right terms, I use clockwise (CW), counter (CCW), inside (towards center) and outside (away from center). Ships and mines at planet rotate each turn but ships and mines off of planet do not rotate. The goal of game is most planets by turn 100.
I started at 9 o’clock position at outside edge. I Borg was CCW from me and Fascist CW and worst of all Crystal was on the inside. I started expanding CW and CCW with neglect of inside expansion mostly due to planet hop distances. By turn 10, I found Borg which seemed good to me.
By turn 20, I was ahead on planets and count of mobile ships (I assume Lizard had many cheap hissers). However I was behind on star bases 8 vs. 14 Borg/Lizard. Only Lizard, Borg, Priv and Fed were making good progress. I did not have the forethought that this was perfect for Borg long term and only I had the tools to stop him. Because Crystal on inside was also expanded in an arc, I had trouble getting ships towards center to claim those close to center planets. Borg retreated his ships early so I didn’t get to steal many and they were just an occasional QCC and B222.
By turn 30 I had good lead on planets 97 vs. 56 Borg, but my base count was just 19 vs 33 Borg. I also stopped pushing Borg as hard (mistake #1). I put too much focus on Fascist because he drew first blood. I figured out that Crystal set many web mines to ‘NUK’. This helped me get past him. I didn’t see the need to harass Crystal. It would be dangerous for me despite being immune to many of the web mines. I didn’t know that this friendly code would be used for the whole game. I was sure that this error would be corrected. Later in game when Borg was flying unharmed though the web mines, I thought that Crystal would change those codes. At least when I escaped, I was cloaked so it wasn’t so obvious.
By turn 40, I had a good presence in center map but there weren’t many ships to steal there. I also started steal Fascist ships including poppers. I had to rob and tow from a planet same turn, but I had to move to where the planet was going to be next turn so the glory device would not go off. Other than low ID towing, the only defense is to beam up fuel. I still get the popper but a pop code next turn would make it explode. I got at least 6 poppers before Fascist got the defense perfected. Worst of all I still wasn’t pressing Borg enough, nor was anyone else, IMO.
By turn 50, I’m ashamed to say I had only one fire cloud and no cubes. Lizard led in planets, Cyborg led in star bases. However I had more MBR’s than Borg had capital ships.
By turn 60, Lizard gained 23 more planets and Borg and I had about the same planet count as turn 50. Many of my planets, near center fell to Lizard ground assaults. I used the same move to new planet location before the planet gets there to make his Lokis ineffective. I snagged some Trexes and LCC, but had little recourse against the clan drops. I now have two FC, still no cubes (or other heavy carriers). All the other carrier races were nearly dead and far from me. I did get two Nova from Fed that were “protected” by Lokis. After that Fed quit. I thought that Borg would focus on Lizard and that I should too. So I started towing one FC so I could Chunnel many ships to attack other side of map.
On turn 65, I had my first cube and had it armed. However I was still stuck on plans for opposite side of the universe. So I let the Bio sit for five turns until the big Chunnel (because I only had 2 FC). In hindsight I should have used Bio to take all the Borg star bases in my space that weren’t building ships for me anymore.
By turn 70 life hit and I didn't have as much time for doing my turns anymore. Shortly after Borg stopped fearing me and started his plan to take back his old ground. I had no answer a Borg Biocide + FC in open space because I Chunnel’d so many ships away from home. An endless series of Blood Fangs won’t hurt a Biocide until the Bio runs out of fighters. This is when Trex’s, and a single Bio would have stopped that cold…maybe next time.
Around turn 80 I also took vacation for two weeks and just threw together some turn in a free moment. After coming back the game was so different that I didn’t get back up to speed for quite a while. I still didn’t put in the time needed to stage a comeback attempt. So I just played for random moments of fun.
After turn 90 I was plagued with many large ion storms with Borg ships everywhere. It wasn’t pretty. On the last turn, I did gain 9 planets despite all the last turn Biocide attacks. I ended up 4th place which is a bit shameful. However, I did get to play the whole game with 99% of my interactions against humans. I suspect Lizard took a lot a Q player planets. Those things usually have a ton of cash.