Hello fellow strategy game enthusiasts. My name is Jetheren. Some of you may have seen me on the BF2142 server or on the CoD4 server. I am a big strategy gamer who enjoys both RTS and TBS strategy games. Some of my favorite games involve building an empire from nothing and turning it into a powerful and thriving civilization. As a SciFi fan one civ series quickly caught my eye and that series was known as Galactic Civilizations, more specifically Galactic Civilizations II.
For those who may not know what Galactic Civilizations is, picture the game Civilization and replace the ground with space, the towns with planets, the nations as different races, and the workers and military personnel as starships.
To start off the new school year and my first real game of Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor (GalCiv IIís second expansion) I have decided to write a Campaign Report of my game. In this report I will be giving players who havenít heard of the GalCiv series a glimpse as to how one of these games plays out. Overall, my goal is to give everyone who may read my report an entertaining story of my trials and tribulations as I attempt to dominate the other races in the game. Please feel free to posts comments. Without further ado letís begin.
In the BeginningÖThere Was Only a Settings Screen.
Unlike Sid Meirs: Civilization, GalCiv actually has a Story mode to choose from, but I have never really enjoyed the Story mode in GalCiv. So instead Iíll be playing a Sandbox game. GalCiv 2: TA gives the player a LOT of settings to choose from when customizing a new game. You can set how frequent stars and planets appear. How many of those planets are habitable. The number of Minor Races in the game and so on so forth.
Iíll be playing with most of the default settings, changes including Loose Star Density (so I donít get stuck in some random corner of the map), no ascension victory (a nice spin on the game, but not my cup of tea), and the most important setting to change; Galaxy Size. You can choose from many different galaxy sizes in GalCiv 2, Iím going to play on the biggest one in the game. In GalCiv 2: Dark Avatar the biggest galaxy was called Gigantic and it was HUGE! Well TA steps it up a notch and introduces the Immense galaxy size. There are going to be hundreds of stars and even more planets, it really is mind boggling. A galaxy of this size is going to take a long time to finish, better make sure to have a sandwich and drink on hand.
ďHey! Iíll show you how original I can be.Ē
Another awesome feature of GalCiv 2 is the option to create your very own custom race.
There are 12 races in the game that you can choose from if you donít feel like creating your own, but I find that the game is more satisfying when you conquer the galaxy with a race you personally created. So letís see what we have here. When customizing a race you get to name the race, name the races leader, and name the races home world. You also get to decide on your races appearance, traits, starting tech, leaderís political party; and ship design. Each race in GalCiv 2:TA has its own tech tree, but you canít create your own tech tree unless you know how to mod so in my case I have to base my custom raceís tech tree on another faction. So what did I end up creating? The Osean Empire! A human nation that declared independence from the Terran Alliance (human civ), their tech tree is based on the Terrans and their ships share a close similarity. Original huh ?!
Each turn in Galciv is one week. This pilot of my campaign report will cover the first in-game year.
New Beginnings-Universal Calendar: January 1, 2227
ďAh, it is great being the leader of a new nation. Jetheren OíNeal is living large now. Hmm, it seems my aid has sent a message. Wow! Earth creatures have shared a new Hyperdrive Schematic with us. This is great news! Now we can expand our borders beyond our homeplanet of Oured. ÖWait a minute, weíre Earth creatures.Ē Well, continuity errors developed by custom civs aside, it is time to expand my nation. My civilization starts out with three starships ready to go. A mining vessel that Iíll use to mine nearby asteroids, a colony ship filled with 250 million passengers, and my nationís flagship that will be searching out new planets for my civ to colonize.
A brief scan of the planets surrounding Asuna, my solar systems star, reveals a level 4 planet. All civs have this planet otherwise known by Galciv players as a ďMars.Ē Each colonize-able planet in the Galaxy has a Planet Quality rating that shows how much infrastructure can be built on it. My home planet Oured has a PQ rating of 10, the most common rating of a civís home world. As for this level 4 planet, I think Iíll pass it up and wait until later to colonize it. I want to colonize as many valuable planets as possible, which in my book is PQ 6+. Anything lower and the planetís usefulness only comes from research. With that decision made I order my Flagship and Colonyship out to the fringes of known Osean space in search of ripe planets, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no Osean has gone before.
While my ships were busy searching the cosmos, I attended to the more immediate matters on the home front. Apparently even though our planet hosts 10 billion people, not a single ounce of infrastructure has been built besides a Starport and my planetís capital. Since at this point in the game I want to roll out as many colonyships as possible I started with purchasing a Factory and set my planet to prioritize the construction of military vessels (my starships). On an empire level Iíve set my 100% of my production capacity to work and raised taxes to about 40% to deal with the new expenses. Iím sure the people wonít mindÖtoo much.
First Contact-Universal Calendar: September 14, 2227
During this time period my home planet has been churning out colony ships one after the other. So far my ships havenít encountered any colonize-able planets that are more than a PQ 7. Iíve been colonizing those planets and am continuing the search for planets with better ratings than the ones Iíve encountered so far. Actually on the edges of known space sits a nice PQ 12 which would be perfect, but sadly I canít colonize it. There are some planets in the game that are too environmentally different than what my people are used to that I have to first have a certain Tech before I can colonize it. The Tech I need is Aquatic World Colonization and I wonít be heading down that branch of the tech tree any time soon. The only way Iíll get the tech quickly is if I learn it from a civilization that has it already.
Now to what the title of this section is about. If you havenít guessed already, I have made first contact with another Civ. The race that I encountered was the Torians. During pregame settings I set the total number of opponents to nine (which is the highest it can go). I set which races Iíll be encountering to random so obviously I donít have a clue as to who else is out in the galaxy. The Torians are a peaceful race and are naturally Good aligned. I wonít have to worry about them invading me any time soon. After meeting with the Torians I decided to get into contact with their leader Tlas Kzientha. When you look at a race in the diplomatic screen you see what their race has that you donít have tech wise, how many planets/ships they own, money and influence. I instantly saw a tech that made me happy and sad at the same time. The Torians had Aquatic Worlds Colonization. Good thing is I can hopefully trade for it and then colonize that PQ 12 Aquatic World, but the bad thing is if they wonít trade for it then Iíll have to wait until I had a tech they wanted; and if they saw the PQ 12 before I got the tech then they would probably colonize it first.
Well it turned out that they wouldnít accept the trade unless I gave them all the techs I had currently researched and a lot of money. Now if you trade one of your techs in GalCiv, you donít lose the tech. You are pretty much teaching the other race how to do what you have learned, but all my techs is quite a lot. Plus the money that I really canít afford to lose. Geez! The Osean Empire's mega ability is called Super Diplomat! Come on ambassadors, do your super negotiations and stuff. Well I guess Iíll just have to get to teching.
Success-Universal Calendar: October 10, 2227
Well in that three week period I met another race, the Carinoids. The Carinoids are a Minor Race in the galaxy. There are a random number of Minor Races in this game (you can set the number if you want). Minor Races will never colonize other planets and they normally inhabit pretty good PQ10+ planets. Once Iíve developed troop transports Iíll probably be paying the Carinoids a visit.
Thank goodness for race abilities. One of my races abilities is Creativity, in other words my scientists and inventors will, on occasion, suddenly have moments of brilliance and complete a tech no matter how many weeks are left to research. Well my scientists have been working on Basic Miniaturization and it was projected that it will take them 8 weeks to complete the tech. Basic Miniaturization is a very useful tech as it allows me to place more parts on my ships. Well apparently some scientist finally figured out that X connects to Y and BAM! Basic Miniaturization. Apparently the Torians actually are interested in my new technology, so much so that they will teach me the secret of colonizing aquatic worlds. Well in no time I had a colonyship landing 250 million colonists on Ustio, my new PQ12 water world, the best planet in the Osean Empire. I think Iíll have to send my billion credit yacht over to Ustio and use it as my getaway from the stresses of running a nation.
Before that can happen however, Iíll have to deal with a little problem on Ustio. Apparently there are giant squid-like creatures living in Ustioís waters. They donít appear dangerous, but they are making the new colonists very nervous and agitated. This is one of the many events that occur throughout the game on your planets. Many occur when you colonize a planet, but others just happen. You get three choices during events, a good choice, a neutral choice, and an evil choice. These choices influence what kind of alignment your race will have. The choice will also have more physical effects on the world it is taking place on. Well my options were to appease the Alien Creature Rights Activist Group by doing nothing, appeasing the colonists by slaughtering every last one of them (which my roommate pointed out was like declaring war on whales), or compromising with both sides. In the end I decided to go the middle route and please both the colonists and the Alien Creature Rights Activist Group (as much as they can be). I had some of the creatures killed and then a barrier constructed to keep the rest away from my colonists. This keeps everyone happy enough not to cause any nasty planetary effects, but it also doesnít give any good effects either.
ďAh, all this hard work is really wearing me down, I think Iíll have take a little "Vay-Kay" on my yacht for a while.Ē
Hello Very Tall Alien Race-Universal Calendar: October 17, 2227
Made contact with another major race today, The Acrean Empire. The Acreanís are a pretty quiet race in my Galciv experience. They normally donít talk much or cause any major events in the universe. Well there is an explanation for their behavior. They just donít care. The Acreans are a neutrally aligned race who prefer to stay out of the spotlight. They follow codes of honor and pride themselves as being very powerful warriors (it helps that they are 12 feet tall). Since they are a nation of warriors, naturally their primary goal is expansion of their empire. The Acrean Empire will either be a powerful ally in the future or a strong adversary and I donít want these guys as my enemy. Well, at this point I have encountered a Good race and a Neutral race. It would be kind of funny if the next race I encountered was ridiculously Evil.
Iíve encountered my third major race, the Korath Clan. There are several inherently evil races in Galciv 2: TA and the Korath are one of the worst. 80 credits says Iíll be going to war with these guys in the not so distant future. The Korath Clan is a part of the Drengin Empire, another pretty evil race in the game. The difference between them is the Drengin wish to enslave other races while the Korath want to exterminate all other races. This little disagreement as to what should happen to the other races created a lot of unrest in the Drengin Empire and eventually a split occurred. So great, I share a border with one of the most evil races in Galciv lore. Well Iím sure this will make for some interesting times.
The United Planets-Universal Calendar: January 1, 2228
Well the end of my first year as leader of the Osean Empire has come. After your race has made contact with other civs at the end of the year all the known civs meet at the United Planets where you vote on various matters. Donít ask me how we all figured out the logistics and political details of putting together a meeting between four civilizations. My aid probably did some political maneuvering without me knowing. I know she means well by letting me focus on more important aspects of empire running like if I want to build a factory or deciding whether or not to exterminate a whole species of squid-whales, but the United Planets is kind of big. I mean come on itís like the United Nations on Earth, but with planets. The Osean Empire is a member of this legit organization, but its leader Jetheren OíNeal (kind of a big deal) wasnít a part of its formation. You would think that would look just a little bad on a resume. Oh well, Iíll let it slide this time.
So what was it that we were voting on at this first meeting of such great nations? Starbase Overcrowding. Iím pretty sure I havenít seen a single foreign Starbase in my territory or any at all to be more precise. You would think we would have better things to discuss like Galactic Starvation, Space Flu, or the most important question of all. What the hell are the Korath, whoís goal is to exterminate all other species in the galaxy, doing on this council anyway. *glares at the Korath Clanís leader* Yeah, Iím keeping my eye on you bub. Well we were voting to see if there should be a tax on any starbase constructed in another races territory. Since I doní t have any starbases so far except for my mining starbases around my own planets, this vote really doesnít affect me. But since my treasury is slowly dwindling due to my economic strategy, the possibility extra taxes on my treasury is not very appealing. The amount of votes each civ gets is based on its total population and how much influence the race has in the galaxy. I, naturally, donít have much influence right now so Iím at the bottom of the total votes scale. Wait whatís this, the Korath have less votes than me! In your face Korath, feel the humility of being the first race in my entire Galciv experience to have fewer votes than me at the first United Planets meeting, Booyah! Anyway, I voted for No Taxes as well as did the Acreans, which gave us enough votes to win. Yay!
Itís the start of a brand new year for the Osean Empire. Five planets proudly fly the Osean Flag and my colonyships are still searching the galaxy for more fertile worlds to set my people on. I guess I should let you all know what my plan is for winning the game is. My goal in this game is to create an ultimate alliance between as many civilizations as possible. This is known as an Alliance Victory. When you win an Alliance Victory what that essentially means is that your race is allied with all the surviving civs so if any one of the other civs decides to attack me then they will have to fight the other races Iím allied with. The Alliance victory has its share of political and military action. You donít have to ally with all the races to win, if I canít ally with everyone I just have to crush the others too stubborn to join my club. But before I can even think about building my alliance Iíll have to deal with more domestic issues. My economy is slowly training my treasury, I need to start building up a military to show others that the Osean Empire canít be pushed around, and I have to find some better planets to make up for the multitude of low PQ planets around my empire.
Well I hope you all enjoyed my first log of the trials and tribulations of the Osean Empire. Feel free to comment, criticize, converse, or ask questions. If anyone has suggestions on ways to make my reports more interesting or entertaining then feel free to let me know. Iíll be posting part 2 soon (I hope ). Thanks for reading!
I'm glad you enjoyed the first log. Second part will hopefully be up soon.
This is my first time to play against the Korath so I have no idea what to expect from them. The only thing I know is that they are evil, very very evil. Early game my military is always pretty weak, but I make up for that with teching and so if/when I get into a serious engagement my weapons are much more advanced. Again, this is my first game in the TA expansion so I really don't know what to expect. I just can't wait to get my first Mega Event!
Pretty much military might cows the Korath, or perhaps powerful allied races. Otherwise they bully you, telling you to give up this or that or otherwise they'll attack. They're a pain in the ass, honestly.