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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    It's the post that started it all: spoilered for sheer length. Posts #2 and #3 have info that's far more relevant to the LP in progress.

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    What's this? An LP thread?

    That's right. Inspired by the Something Awful LP archive, boredom, and a desire to see an LP that doesn't die at conception, yours truly has decided to introduce you to this little game called Space Empires IV.


    OK, time out. What's LP mean in the first place?

    To quote the semi-official motto: "Let's Play - we play these games so you don't have to." The idea is for the LP author to go through the game and provide a record of his progress, usually in the form of a video (often with commentary) or screenshots (always with commentary). Typically the author takes his time with the playthrough, explaining various aspects of the game as he goes along, showing secrets, revealing easter eggs, etc. Whenever possible (as with this thread) audience participation is encouraged, with the author asking other forumites what they'd like to see him do next, which conversation option to choose, who to attack, etc. In the end fun is had by all.

    A more exhaustive explanation of what an LP is can be found here. Or just read through a few in the SA archive and you'll get the idea.


    Hmm... alright, so what's this game of yours again?



    Developed by Malfador Machinations and published by Strategy First in 2000, Star Empires IV is a 4X game of galactic conquest. Its main characteristics are dated graphics, a somewhat unwieldy interface, and a less than stellar AI.


    Er... so why are you playing this again?

    Because it's still fun enough to sink a few (dozen) hours into it every now and again. And because of a feature that makes it excellent material for an LP.


    And that would be...?

    Enough questions! Just keep reading, and all shall be made clear.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The Rules

    1. I'm playing this vanilla - no mods.
    2. Because the distributors in this country refuse to sell us anything but sub-par localizations, all I have is a Polish version of the game. So if you see strange, unreadable gibberish pop up in the screenshots, do not be afraid. I will translate if it becomes necessary. Disclaimer: some of my translation will differ from the original version.
    3. Updates will happen whenever I can. I'm aiming for at least one every couple of days.
    4. Voting - there's going to be a lot of it in the beginning, and none at all once we get the ball rolling. However, there will still be audience participation - read on if you want to know the details.

    And so it begins.

    ...in a galaxy far away...

    Though first we need to decide where our epic tale of conquest shall begin.


    Above is the quadrant generation screen. Our options are:

    Quadrant Type (Top table) - top to bottom
    Moderately Old - probably contains the highest percentage of habitable systems and the lowest of weird space phenomena.
    Cluster - systems are arranged into small groups with only a few connections to the "outside." In theory makes it easier to establish defense points for a fledgling empire.
    Galaxy's Edge - Negative Space Wedgie country. Otherwise similar to Moderately Old, except with a more uniform distribution of systems on the map.
    Spiral - except that it looks nothing like one. True, the systems are more tightly packed towards the center, with distances increasing as you move towards the edge. But as travel through warp tunnels is instantaneous regardless of distance, this only matters if you're planning on using warp tunnel generators tactically.
    Grid - very uniform distribution. Every system equidistant from and connected to four others, forming a square pattern. Also, boring.
    Ancient - probably the hardest to play on, as there's a high percentage of "dead" systems, not to mention navigational hazards such as black holes, unstable stars, and other weird phenomena. Definitely makes for an interesting game though.

    Quadrant Size (middle table)
    We'll be setting it to Large.

    General Settings (bottom table)
    All Systems Connected - the original translation reads "All Warp Points Connected" but once you think about it, that doesn't make much sense. Setting this to "off" makes for more interesting warp tunnel distribution throughout the systems (tactical challenges, yay) but leaves a chance that some systems will form miniclusters with no connection to the rest of the quadrant.
    Without Warp Tunnels - what it says. I'll go ahead and suggest we don't vote for this one to be turned on, since it makes for a damned boring game until we research a means to open our own.
    Warp Tunnels Scattered Across The Systems - the default "off" setting places warp tunnels on the edges of a system. On "on" they may pop up anywhere - even right next to your homeworld.
    All Systems Visible - i.e. whole map explored. It stays "off." Let's preserve the joy of exploration, hmm?
    Full System Display - i.e. no fog of war. Ditto.
    Limited Resources - resource extraction facilities will slowly deplete a planet's natural resources until they hit zero. Ordinarily, the aim is to maximize your resource production so that you can pay for the upkeep of more ships as well as maintaining a large income surplus for emergencies. With this set to "on" there's the additional challenge of balancing your income against your stockpiles and your fleets, as well as forcing you to expand far more aggressively. Asteroid belts have limited resources regardless of the setting. I'd suggest we go with "off" on this one too - it'll help both me and you.
    All Player's Planets Have The Same Size - irrelevant, since for this LP we'll be starting with only one planet anyway.

    So, to recap, we vote on:
    - Quadrant type
    - General settings - either "on" or "off" for each one.


    ...where interesting things took place...

    We also have the option of deciding the scale and frequency of random events taking place during a game (I am SO going to regret this).

    Frequency
    None - oh how I wish...
    Low - the default. From empirical observation, this makes something happen about once every 100-200 turns.
    Average - Once every 50-100 turns.
    Frequent - as often as every 20-50 turns.

    Degree
    Low - a ship's engine blowing up for no apparent reason.
    Average - a ship falls into a Negatice Space Wedgie and ends up in a system halfway across the quadrant. Planetwide epidemics.
    Severe - Planetary core instability detected. Boom.
    Catastrophe - Star core instability detected. Boom.

    So let me tell you a story about the time I decided to, for kicks, play with Frequency and Degree set to maximum. It's a very short story, since within 100 turns all my colonies became involved in a star going nova. Yeah, that's it, really. So if you don't want to read a long and throughout LP...


    ...and there came a people...

    Since Star Empires IV lets you create your own race using lots and lots of statistics and variables, we're going to do just that. Since it does use lots and lots statistics and variables and we'd be bickering about them for weeks, I'm going to simplify the process somewhat.

    Appearance

    1.
    For those who really want to explore new frontiers in flying barrels.

    2.
    Ship design is pretty ok, I guess.

    3.
    Umm... ok. Very... spiky.

    4.
    Not only do our chosen people consist of a pair of eyestalks, their ship design is basically that, only varying in size.

    5.
    I'm not touching that one, and you shouldn't either.

    6.
    This race's default name is the Eee. Just about sums up my reaction too.

    7.
    The angry eyes don't go well with the bland ship design.

    8.
    Hands down the best ship design from those available, even if it does look a shade Trekkish.

    9.
    Bwah?

    10.
    Has potential.

    11.
    For some reason reminds me of Battlestar Galactica. The ships, I mean. The face reminds me of dirty laundry.

    12.
    Must... resists... blockhead... joke.

    13.
    Face full of bees.

    14.
    I kinda like their ships, actually. And their appearance isn't that bad compared to some of the others.

    15.
    Case in point.

    16.
    So what happened to the utalitarian and compact design that is the staple of human technology in most sci-fi?

    17.
    Muppets in pyramids. MUPPETS. In. PYRAMIDS.

    18.
    At this point, I don't even care any longer.

    19.
    Ok, ok, not too shabby, I could live with this.

    20.
    The prerequisite bug species. So, feel like joining the hivemind, drone?

    Culture

    Our race is defined by a set of stats that all nominally start at average, or 100%. They're things like birthrates, attack and defense in space combat or ground assault, research, trade, happiness, production efficiency, etc. etc. etc. But let's make this simple. You'll be voting on what our culture leans most strongly towards:

    Warriors - while our ships may lack refinement or efficient design, our crews and armies our the best trained in the universe. Time and time again we prove that a strong will and a drive to excel bring us victory against every foe.

    Technicians - We may not be the strongest race out there, and we may not be chasing off after something new and shiny in the lab, but by jove, we make do with what we have. Our mines and refineries churn out resources day and night, and our ships are paragons of efficiency. Where others would build you a fleet, we'll build you ten.

    Researchers - Combat prowess? Superior numbers? Bah. They may have mattered when our ancestors still bashed each other on the head with rocks. In this day and age, the only edge that matters is the technological one. What use are your shields, if our cannons can pierce right through them? What use is your mighty fleet if they can't catch up to ours? Technology is the future, and those who embrace it are the olny ones with any future to speak of.

    Colonists - That's a big ol' universe and there's plenty of room for everyone in it. We don't want trouble - just a place to settle. But if you do bring out your guns and your ships... well, there's a lot of us out there, and we won't go down quietly.
    So, um, let's not start anything anyone's going to regret, okay?

    Special Trait

    I'll be assigning 3000 points for race generation. It's possible to spend some of them on one of the traits listed below. Or you can vote for "None" and leave me more points to play with for stat increases.

    Talented mechanics 1000pt. - base upkeep costs for ships (not bases) reduced by 25% (a.k.a. larger fleets)

    Mechanoids 1000pt. - planets immune to epidemics. (easily countered with some research and a single building)

    Lucky 1000pt. - 50% reduction in chance for a negative random event taking place. (The wording seems to imply there's a possibility of positive random events. I have yet to encounter one).

    Born traders 1000pt. - Don't need to build spaceports (you ordinarily need one per every colonized system in order to receive resource income from the planets there. Basically, this would let us expand just a little bit faster).

    Engine experts 1000pt. - All ships receive one extra point of base movement (If I was going to take anything, that would be it. In SE4 mobility is a HUGE factor in a fight).

    Ancient race 1000pt. - The entire quadrant map starts explored (I'm banning that one for reasons previously mentioned).

    Skilled stockpilers 1000pt. - 120% base stockpile and storage capabilities of planets (larger resource stockpiles and more room for things like ground troops, fighters, ground batteries, etc.)

    Industrialists 1000pt. - 125% base shipyard production speed (becomes especially valuable as we get towards the more advanced ships which can take even up to 20 turns to produce).

    Psychics 1500pt. - opens access to the Parapsychology research tree. (Either use mind control on your population to make them happier, or on enemies to demoralize/convert them. A bit meh in my opinion).

    Deep Believers 1500pt. - opens access to the Belief research tree. (Brainwash the masses and endow your ship crews with fanatical zeal.)

    Time Travelers 1500pt. - opens access to the Temporal research tree (you gain access to alternative versions certain utility techs sooner than would otherwise be possible and get Temporal guns which rapidly age bits and pieces of enemy ships, which is a very fancy way of saying "they do damage").

    Crystal Manipulators 1500pt. - opens access to the Crystalline research tree. (Weapons with fancy names and average damage)

    Bioengineers 1500pt. - opens access to the Bioengineering research tree. (Worth it if only because you get missles with a better rate of fire. Also, regenerative armor plating which sounds cool until you realize most of it will end up outright destroyed by your average salvo anyway).

    Stoics 3000pt. - The populace feels no emotion. (Which makes any sort of brainwashing ineffective against them. They'll never rebel either. On the other hand, you won't be getting any production bonuses due to happiness either. Either way, I'm banning it since I want something left over to make our people truly ours.


    Environment

    Planets in SE4 are defined (among other things) by their type and atmosphere. Our choices are:

    Atmosphere:
    - None - very rare and restricted exclusively to Rock planets. Yes, we could start on a Gas planet without an atmosphere. No, don't expect we'll find another one. Far as I can tell you never get a Giant planet without an atmosphere either.
    - Methane
    - Oxygen
    - Hydrogen
    - Carbon Dioxide

    Type:
    - Rock
    - Ice
    - Gas - seem to have the largest percentage of Giant planets, but also the largest diversity of atmospheres, making finding the right one a crapshoot.

    We can colonize any planet as long as we research the colonization module for the appropriate type - we begin with research in the one we've chosen. We can colonize a planet with any atmosphere, but only ones appropriate for our people will reach their full potential - we can cram only so many people, facilities and complexes into atmospheric domes.


    Diplomacy

    How we'll approach any alien races we might encounter while exploring the galaxy.

    - Cohabitation - We're all friends here. Why waste lives and resources on sensless warfare when we can learn so much from one another? (I consider this largely useless. You could be the closest of allies with half the quadrant, but at some arbitrary point - far as I can tell it has something to do with reaching a certain level of technological development - everyone will declare war on you. Everyone. And if they just happen to have their own colonies and fleets in your territory at that point...)

    - Subjugation - Conquer them, but let them keep their ships and their rulers - as long as they keep paying us tribute (declare war, beat up a few colonies, then choose then make them either a client or a slave state. They're still a separate faction, but they're crippled by having to give us a significant portion of their income. Strong possibility of eventual rebellion).

    - Assimilation - Conquer them, eliminate their government and make them part of our empire (Necessitates maintaining ground troops on planets and building pacification centers, cause the ungrateful bastards have this tendency to rebel against our benelovent rule).

    - Extermination - Planetary bombardment, full stop. (Also, the easiest option. Alternately, I like to force them to give up as per Assimilation then load the whole population into freighters and... jettison them into orbit.)


    ...and they were called...

    Finally, suggest a name and I'll pick the one I like best.

    I will count each category separately when tallying votes. For all of them it's first item to reach three votes wins. If voting goes on for too long in a category (no verdict reached after 10+ votes) I'm going to make a judgement call based on which option is in the lead at the time. Below is a quick breakdown of categories for reference:

    Map
    Quadrant type:
    - Moderately Old

    - Cluster 4 votes
    - Galaxy's Edge
    - Spiral 1 vote
    - Grid
    - Ancient

    General options:
    - All systems connected 2 yes/2 no
    - Warp tunnels scattered across the system 3 yes/1 no
    - Limited resources 2 yes/3 no

    Random events
    Frequency:
    - None
    - Low 2 votes
    - Average 1 vote
    - Frequent 1 vote
    Degree:
    - Low 1 vote
    - Average
    - Severe

    - Catastrophe 3 votes

    Race
    Appearance:
    1
    2 - 2 votes
    3 - 1 vote
    4
    5
    6 - 2 Votes
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11 - 1 vote
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16 - 1 vote
    17
    18
    19 - 2 votes
    20
    Culture:
    Special: vote for THREE categories, listing them from most to least important. The winner gets a big boost, second place a smaller one. Third place is left at nominal, and the one to come in dead last receives a penalty.
    - Warriors - 9pts. - 3rd place
    - Technicians - 10pts. - 2nd place
    - Researchers - 11pts. - 1st place
    - Colonists - 5pts. - 4th place
    Special Trait:
    - Talented Mechanics
    - Mechanoids
    - Lucky
    - Born traders
    - Engine experts
    - Skilled stockpilers - 1 vote
    - Industrialists - 1 vote
    - Psychics
    - Deep believers - 1 vote
    - Time travelers - 1 vote
    - Crystal manipulators
    - Bioengineers
    Homeworld:
    Atmosphere:
    - None
    - Methane - 2 votes
    - Oxygen - 1 vote
    - Hydrogen - 2 votes
    - Carbon dioxide
    Type:
    - Rock - 3 votes
    - Ice - 1 vote
    - Gas - 2 votes
    Diplomacy:
    - Cohabitation
    - Subjugation - 2 votes
    - Assimilation - 2 votes
    - Extermination - 2 votes


    Those who stand on that wall

    And finally, we get to the meat of this LP - how you're going to contribute past the voting shenanigans outlined above. It goes like this - everyone who wishes to participate, submits their request in the following format:

    Name - How you wish to be identified in the LP
    Fleet Designation - How you wish your fleet to be called
    Flagship name/class - how your wish to name you command ship
    Doctrine - What kind of warfare your fleet will specialize in

    That is correct. You get to be admirals in charge of gaining new systems for and protecting our yet unnamed empire. While I'll (obviously) still handle the actual fighting, you'll get to decide what tactics I will use and what ships will make up the bulk of your fleet. I will maintain an up-to-date roster of available ship designs and, as technology advances, possibly allow you to introduce individual tweaks to existing ones.

    A word of explanation is in order: SE4 allows very flexible ship design. Essentially, if there's room for it on the chassis, you can put it in. The trick often lies in finding balance between speed, shielding, and firepower - get it right and even outgunned and outnumbered you can win with minimal losses.

    Now for the bad news: I am initially going to restrict the fleet roster to 10 admirals - first come, first served. This will still be the largest force I ever played with (usually I limit myself to four twinked out highly specialized fleets). And even those who make the cut may have to wait some time until they're brought into play, as a starting empire can't support more than a handful of ships.
    But don't despair, those who won't end up admirals can still be captains - simply submit your desired name and the name/class of the ship you wish to command, and I will do my best to bring you into the game as well.

    A few final explanations:

    Doctrines:
    The Sledgehammer - the best tactics are the simple ones, and in your case this means unleashing a full broadside at your enemy as his salvos dance uselessly across your shields. Energy and mass drivers are your weapons of choice, and the only weapons that truly count.
    The Sling - He who controls the range of engagement, controls its course as well. Some scoff at how lightly you shiled your ships, but you know that shields aren't necessary - not as long as your missles turn the enemy into radioactive dust long before his guns can even begin tracking you.
    The Swarm - the bulk of your fleet will be composed of carriers loaded to the brim with interceptors and bombers. Your strategy will rely on overwhelming enemy sensors with too many contacts to keep track of. Losses will be unavoidable, but better to have a handfull of pilots die than to lose a ship crewed by hundreds.
    Note: Research into fighters is fairly expensive and even though it's possible to start it immediately, there's a lot of "priority" technologies that we're going to need beforehand, so it's possible that Swarm doctrine admirals will be making a late entry.
    Balanced - a merger of the three doctrines above, with the fleet designed to adapt and deploy according to the situation. For obvious reasons, this doctrine will be appearing dead last.


    Ship classes: (more may be added as time goes on)
    Line ship - Heavily shielded and armed primarily with mass and energy drivers. Favorites of Sledgehammer admirals.
    Missle boat - poorly shielded but fast and fitted with missle launchers, almost always staying out of enemy range.
    Carrier - Delivery platform for fighter craft. Usually poorly armed, but makes an excellent flagship due to heavy fighter cover. Admirals tend to outfit them with specialized sensors and EW equipment.
    Gunboat - small, lightly shielded ships, armed mostly with point defense guns for taking down fighters and missles.
    Specialist - diverse, often experimental platforms for unusual weapons and equipment. Expect these to show up fairly late.
    Support - a catchall category for noncombat craft which nevertheless find themselves deployed alongside regular fleet vessels. These include repair ships, dropships for ground troops, and resupply freighters carrying additional fighter craft.

    And that's it for now.

    ( Gods, I hope this doesn't bomb.)



    Tyran Concordiate Territories, circa 2428.1

    Props to Artanis for keeping this thing updated.

    Table of Contents
    Part I - Governor
    Part II - Hero
    Part III - Admiral
    Part IV - Counterattack
    Part V - Xenocide

    Interlude - Expansion

    Part VI - Exploration
    Part VII - Old Friend
    Part VIII - Pretorians
    Part IX - Invasion
    Part X - Amon'krie
    Part XI - Advantages
    Part XII - Alliance
    Part XIII - Offensive
    Part XIV - Turning Point
    Part XV - Retreat
    Part XVI - Losses
    Part XVII - Technological Superiority
    Part XVIII - Battle for Belfen
    Part XIX - Preparations
    Part XX - Defector
    Part XXI - Disappearance

    Interlude II - Vignettes

    Part XXII - First Blood
    Part XXIII - Bankrupcy
    Part XXIV - Reunification
    Part XXV - Heroes
    Part XVI - Discord
    Part XVII - Blitz
    Part XVIII - Defenders
    Part XIX - Volunteers
    Part XX - Hidden Strike

    Interlude III - Comparisons

    Part XXI - Betrayal
    Part XXII - Crusade
    Part XXIII - Homeworld
    Part XXIV - Victory

    Epilogue - Consolidation

    Current Participants:

    Admiralty:
    1. Premier - Grand Admiral Premier Baron yun Vlosterkaus
    2. Twin2 - Admiral Gerald Meane
    3. Twin1 - Admiral Janus
    4. Lord Asmodeus - Admiral Dominus
    5. Dumbledore lives- Admiral Michael Wilson
    6. Talkkno - TBA
    7. Kane - TBA
    8. Artanis - TBA
    9. AgentPaper - TBA
    10. *free*

    Captains
    Layman Numerous - Cpt. Layman Numerous of TLC Sword of Insufferable Arrogance
    Philistine - Cpt. Robert Anson of TMCS Revenge
    Rockphed - Cpt. Nacern Razerthorn of TGD Bradley Prime's Revenge
    That other guy - Cpt. Otto of TMCS Bismarck
    Juhn - TBA
    Sanzh - Cpt. Khoras Antieron of TPA Phantom Hammer
    Cobalt - Cpt. Traff Disdin of TMCS Alacrity


    Fanart by That other guy
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    And a piece by DrunkMonkGar
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    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2009-08-26 at 07:01 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Fleet Roster

    The Knight Peacekeepers Preemptive
    NOTE: Fleet roster based on ships departing Lenoltris in 2423.6 Current status unknown.
    Admiral Premier Baron yun Vlosterkaus
    Ships:
    TMCS Bluntness of Purpose - Victory III - Admiral Vlosterkaus (Flagship)
    TMCS Warden - Victory III
    TMCS Unrequited - Victory III
    TMCS Starfury - Victory III
    TMCS Sworn - Victory III
    TMCS Trial - Victory III
    TMCS Righteous - Victory III
    TMCS Revenge - Victory III - Cpt. Robert Anson
    TMCS Oblique - Victory III
    TMCS Overrun - Victory III
    TMCS Fury - Victory III
    TMCS Direct - Victory III
    TMCS Deterrent - Victory III
    TMCS Cartagina - Victory III
    TMCS Avenger - Victory III
    TMCS Lodestone - Temeraine II
    TMCS Fettered - Axiom III
    TMDS Hustings - Axiom III
    TMDS Ballot - Axiom III
    TMCS Chainer - Axiom II
    TMCS Hastner - Axiom III
    TMCS Nemesis - Axiom III
    TMCS Stalker - Axiom III
    MDB Staccato - Needler III
    TBI Cerberus - Hound II
    TBI Rexus - Hound II
    FRV Rumbler - Nanite II
    SCR Aureola - Atlas I
    +3 captured Pretorian colony ships


    The Hand
    Admiral Janus
    Ships
    TPB The Maw - Inferno I - Admiral Janus (Flagship)
    TMCS Null - Ender I
    TMCS Bismarck - Overlord I - Cpt. Otto
    TMCS Candid - Victory III
    TMCS Chastity - Victory III
    TMCS Destruction - Victory III
    TMCS Eternal - Victory III
    TMCS Hoff - Victory III
    TMCS Jester - Victory III
    TMCS Offering - Victory III
    TMCS Overture - Victory III
    TMCS Turnabout - Victory III
    TMCS Unusual - Victory III
    TGD Bradley Prime's Revenge - Charger V - Cpt. Nacern Razerthorn
    - 4 ground divisions
    TMT Sweeper - Cheval I
    SCR Northlight - Hercules I


    The Hive
    Admiral Dominus
    Ships
    TLC Dominus Nex - Candor III - Admiral Dominus (Flagship)
    60 strike craft:
    - 4 Andromeda wings
    - 4 Contrail wings
    - 4 Flame wings
    TLC Elite Orbit - Candor III
    60 strike craft:
    - 4 Andromeda wings
    - 4 Contrail wings
    - 4 Flame wings
    TLC Honeycomb - Candor III
    60 strike craft:
    - 4 Andromeda wings
    - 4 Contrail wings
    - 4 Flame wings
    TIS Onager - Thunder III
    TIS Trajectory - Thunder III
    SCR Phenomenon - Atlas II


    Lance of the Dominus
    NOTE: Currently defunct
    Admiral Gerald Meane
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2009-07-17 at 09:02 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Ship Designs

    Note: Only latest designs are shown.

    Sledgehammer
    Spoiler
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    Class: Destroyer Purpose: Frontline Combat


    Class: Light Cruiser Purpose: Frontline Combat


    Class: Heavy Cruiser Purpose: Flagship/Frontline Combat


    Sling
    Spoiler
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    Class: Destroyer Purpose: Long Range Attack


    Class: Light Cruiser Purpose: Long Range Attack


    Swarm
    Spoiler
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    Class: Light Carrier Purpose: Flagship/Fighter Lauch Platform
    Spoiler
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    Class: Light Fighter Purpose: Interceptor


    Class: Light Fighter Purpose: Interceptor/Experimental Fighter


    Class: Light Fighter Purpose: Anti-Capital Ship Bomber


    Class: Light Fighter Purpose: Planetary Bomber



    Specialist
    Spoiler
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    Class: Escort Purpose: Boarding Actions/Ship Capture


    Class: Frigate Purpose: Missle/Fighter Defense


    Class: Frigate Purpose: Planetary Bombardment


    Class: Destroyer Purpose: Plaetary Bombardment


    Class: Cruiser Purpose: Planetary Bombardment


    Class: Frigate Purpose: Anti-engine Weaponry


    Class: Light Cruiser Purpose: Anti-engine Weaponry


    Support
    Spoiler
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    Class: Light Transport Purpose: Dropship
    Spoiler
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    Class: Small Ground Unit Purpose: Planetary Assault



    Class: Medium Transport Purpose: Fighter/Ground Forces Transport


    Class: Light Cruiser Purpose: Minefield Deployment
    Spoiler
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    Class: Small Mine Purpose: Passive-Aggressive Defense System


    Class: Medium Mine Purpose: Passive-Aggressive Defense System



    Class: Light Cruiser Purpose: Minefield Clearing


    Class: Destroyer Purpose: Battlefield Repair/Recovery


    Class: Heavy Cruiser Purpose: Battlefield Repair/Mobile Shipyard


    Class: Destroyer Purpose: Fleet Resupply


    Colonization
    Spoiler
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    Class: Colony Ship Purpose: Rock Planet Colonization


    Class: Colony Ship Purpose: Gas Planet Colonization


    Space Stations
    Spoiler
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    Class: Small Space Station Purpose: Orbital Shipyard


    Class: Small Space Station Purpose: Orbital/Warp Tunnel Defense


    Class: Medium Space Station Purpose: Orbital/Warp Tunnel Defense
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2009-04-22 at 06:11 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    My votes are the following (I won't cast votes on issues I don't have a strong preference about):

    Name: Teratohalgon Omnihale


    Quadrant type: Cluster (for bottleneck defenses)

    General options:
    - Limited resources: no

    Race
    Appearance: 3 or 6

    Culture: In order of decreasing preference:
    - Researchers
    - Technicians
    - Colonists

    Homeworld:Wasn't there also an option for Noble Gas atmosphere (Xenon, probably)? Anyway: Gas, whatever atmosphere

    Diplomacy: Extermination when provoked.


    Those who stand on that wall


    Name - Premier Baron yun Vlosterkaus
    Fleet Designation - The Knights Peacekeepers Pre-emptive
    Flagship name/class - Bluntness of Purpose / Ship of the Line
    Doctrine - Sledgehammer. If possible later on, adding some long-range missile ship support, one or two Specialist ships (planetary/stellar/warp point mainpulation), and some repair craft. But I understand that's long-term.
    Last edited by Premier; 2008-08-08 at 10:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    An excellent game. I wish I could find some people for a multiplayer sometime.

    Anyway, those are my favourite settings:

    Quadrant type:
    - Cluster
    General options:
    - All systems connected yes
    - Warp tunnels scattered across the system no
    - Limited resources no

    Random events
    Frequency:
    - Low
    Degree:
    - Catastrophe

    Race
    Appearance:
    16
    Culture:
    - Researchers
    - Technicians
    - Warriors
    Special Trait:
    - Time travelers (temporal shipyards ftw)
    Homeworld:
    Atmosphere:
    - Oxygen
    Type:
    - Rock
    Diplomacy:
    - Extermination
    Name: Terran Empire


    Those who stand on that wall


    Name - Admiral Von Narken
    Fleet Designation - The Black Fleet
    Flagship name/class - Subjugator / Ship of the Line
    Doctrine - Sledgehammer. With the biggest baddest ships available.

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    Here are my votes:

    Name: Ego-Viator

    Quadrant type: Spiral

    Random events
    Frequency:
    - Low
    Degree:
    - Catastrophe

    General options:
    - All systems connected: no
    - Warp tunnels scattered across the system: yes
    - Limited resources: yes

    Race
    Appearance: 11 or 2

    Culture: In order of decreasing preference:
    - Technicians
    - Warriors
    - Colonists
    Special Trait:
    -Industrialists

    Homeworld:
    - Hydrogen
    Type:
    - Ice

    Diplomacy:
    - Subjugation

    Those who stand on that wall

    Name - Admiral Gerald Meane
    Fleet Designation - Lance of the Dominus
    Flagship name/class - Elite Orbit / Carrier
    Doctrine - Sling

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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Space Empires IV is an excellent game, but as a veteran player of the original English version I think I can safely say that a few things got garbled in translation to Polish. You can buy the english version either boxed or for immediate download for a mere $9.99 USD from Strategy First. In the mean time, I'll include notes about translation errors with my comments below.

    Also, there is an active web site set up to automate multiplayer Space Empires games called Play By Web.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    2. Because the distributors in this country refuse to sell us anything but sub-par localizations, all I have is a Polish version of the game. So if you see strange, unreadable gibberish pop up in the screenshots, do not be afraid. I will translate if it becomes necessary. Disclaimer: some of my translation will differ from the original version.
    See link above for how to get the English version.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Quadrant Type (Top table) - top to bottom
    I vote Cluster.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Warp Tunnels Scattered Across The Systems - the default "off" setting places warp tunnels on the edges of a system. On "on" they may pop up anywhere - even right next to your homeworld.
    I like this one on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    All Player's Planets Have The Same Size - irrelevant, since for this LP we'll be starting with only one planet anyway.
    This setting isn't just for keeping all of your initial planets the same size, it ensures that all of your opponents start with the same size as you, too. Makes for a fairer game imo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Frequency
    None - oh how I wish...
    Low - the default. From empirical observation, this makes something happen about once every 100-200 turns.
    Average - Once every 50-100 turns.
    Frequent - as often as every 20-50 turns.

    Degree
    Low - a ship's engine blowing up for no apparent reason.
    Average - a ship falls into a Negatice Space Wedgie and ends up in a system halfway across the quadrant. Planetwide epidemics.
    Severe - Planetary core instability detected. Boom.
    Catastrophe - Star core instability detected. Boom.
    Frequent Catastrophic, just to spice things up a bit. Even with these settings star explosions should be fairly rare, and you get a 30 turn warning for them anyway. If your empire is so small that losing a single system with that much warning is truly crippling, you're doing something wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Appearance
    I like the Xiati, personally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Culture
    Berzerkers. Period. Yes, that +10 space combat bonus really is that valuable. I can give a detailed explanation of why if you really want me to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Special Trait

    I'll be assigning 3000 points for race generation. It's possible to spend some of them on one of the traits listed below. Or you can vote for "None" and leave me more points to play with for stat increases.

    Talented mechanics 1000pt. - base upkeep costs for ships (not bases) reduced by 25% (a.k.a. larger fleets)
    Major translation error. The original name is Advanced Power Conservation, but that's not the real error here. The benefit is 25% reduced supply usage, not 25% reduced maintenance costs. This means fleets that can go a little farther between visits to a resupply depot, not larger fleets. This is very rarely a major concern in stock, so this trait is near worthless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Mechanoids 1000pt. - planets immune to epidemics. (easily countered with some research and a single building)
    Not worth 1000 points. Not even close.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Lucky 1000pt. - 50% reduction in chance for a negative random event taking place. (The wording seems to imply there's a possibility of positive random events. I have yet to encounter one).
    Even with maximum random event settings, I'm not sure this is worth very much. Especially as I'm not sure the game recognizes ownership of star systems for this, so it may not affect the chance of random supernovas at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Born traders 1000pt. - Don't need to build spaceports (you ordinarily need one per every colonized system in order to receive resource income from the planets there. Basically, this would let us expand just a little bit faster).
    Original English is Natural Merchants. Borderline valuable. Not one I normally take, but not a bad choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Engine experts 1000pt. - All ships receive one extra point of base movement (If I was going to take anything, that would be it. In SE4 mobility is a HUGE factor in a fight).
    Original English is Propulsion Experts. One of the top picks. That extra movement point is very nice to have, and it stacks with literally every other source of movement speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Skilled stockpilers 1000pt. - 120% base stockpile and storage capabilities of planets (larger resource stockpiles and more room for things like ground troops, fighters, ground batteries, etc.)
    Original English is Advanced Storage Techniques. This is THE ABSOLUTE TOP PICK. I cannot emphasize this enough. That 20% extra space? It applies to facility space, too. Facilities are what produce resources, research, intelligence, etc. This is like a 20% boost to virtually everything production related. At 2 or 3 times the cost it would still be worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Industrialists 1000pt. - 125% base shipyard production speed (becomes especially valuable as we get towards the more advanced ships which can take even up to 20 turns to produce).
    Original English is Hardy Industrialists. One of the top picks. The limit of one space yard facility per planet means construction speed is hard to boost beyond a certain point, and this helps with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Psychics 1500pt. - opens access to the Parapsychology research tree. (Either use mind control on your population to make them happier, or on enemies to demoralize/convert them. A bit meh in my opinion).
    For a human player, there is only one thing this tech tree gives that I think is significantly valuable, and it has an absolute counter that will be used by everyone late game. The Allegiance Subverter can be quite powerful, but it is useless against anyone who uses Master Computers. As Master Computers replace crew and for the bigger ships are actually cheaper than what they replace, everyone will eventually be using them anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Deep Believers 1500pt. - opens access to the Belief research tree. (Brainwash the masses and endow your ship crews with fanatical zeal.)
    Original English is Deeply Religious. It is valuable for two things - the Nature Shrine and the Religious Talisman. The Nature Shrine is just a superior and easier to research version of Value Improvement Plants; nice, but only valuable in the long term. The Religious Talisman is so powerful it is routinely banned in multiplayer. A ship with a Religious Talisman will always hit with every single shot. This is an ENORMOUS force multiplier, cannot be countered, and if you choose your characteristics with this benefit in mind can actually have a negative cost in racial points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Time Travelers 1500pt. - opens access to the Temporal research tree (you gain access to alternative versions certain utility techs sooner than would otherwise be possible and get Temporal guns which rapidly age bits and pieces of enemy ships, which is a very fancy way of saying "they do damage").
    Original English is Temporal Knowledge. Temporal Space Yards are the only reason I would ever pick it. Can be good, but it's not all that far up on my list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Crystal Manipulators 1500pt. - opens access to the Crystalline research tree. (Weapons with fancy names and average damage)
    Original English is Crystallurgy. Crystalline Armor is the only reason to get this. A ship with a sufficient amount of Crystalline Armor on it (not really feasible before Dreadnoughts) is an extremely tough target due to the mechanics of how the Shield Generation From Damage ability works. One of the better picks late game, but not one I usually take.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Bioengineers 1500pt. - opens access to the Bioengineering research tree. (Worth it if only because you get missles with a better rate of fire. Also, regenerative armor plating which sounds cool until you realize most of it will end up outright destroyed by your average salvo anyway).
    Original English is Organic Manipulation. Heavy use of organic technology will significantly reduce ship costs, which also means shorter build times. The tradeoff is more cost in the least used resource (organics) and that your ships will be somewhat weaker than equivalent non-organic ships. Quantity has its own quality, however, and should usually be enough to make up for the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Stoics 3000pt. - The populace feels no emotion. (Which makes any sort of brainwashing ineffective against them. They'll never rebel either. On the other hand, you won't be getting any production bonuses due to happiness either. Either way, I'm banning it since I want something left over to make our people truly ours.
    Original English is Emotionless. Even if you weren't banning it, I would advise against it in very strong terms. It is worse than worthless. I would only consider taking it if the cost were negative, that's how bad it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Atmosphere:
    - None - very rare and restricted exclusively to Rock planets. Yes, we could start on a Gas planet without an atmosphere. No, don't expect we'll find another one. Far as I can tell you never get a Giant planet without an atmosphere either.
    - Methane
    - Oxygen
    - Hydrogen
    - Carbon Dioxide
    None is not actually any rarer than the other atmosphere types, as long as you only consider rock and ice planets. In fact, if you take all the moons into account (every moon always has no atmosphere in the stock game) it's relatively common. The game actually won't allow you to pick the Gas/None combination, btw. I vote Hydrogen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Type:
    - Rock
    - Ice
    - Gas - seem to have the largest percentage of Giant planets, but also the largest diversity of atmospheres, making finding the right one a crapshoot.
    Rock and Ice are virtually identical choices. Gas will get you fewer but larger planets in general. I vote Gas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Diplomacy
    Assimilation. Ground troops are amazingly cheap, you should have tons of them everywhere anyway to make your own population happy (yay almost-free 20% production boost), and captured population retains its own atmosphere type while adopting all the rest of your racial traits. Capture some breathers for an atmosphere other than your own, spread them through your empire, and you can vastly increase your production potential.

    The quick vote sheet:
    Map
    Quadrant type:
    - Cluster
    General options:
    - All systems connected 0 yes
    - Warp tunnels scattered across the system 0 yes
    - Limited resources 0 no

    Random events
    Frequency:
    - Frequent
    Degree:
    - Catastrophe

    Race
    Appearance:
    19

    Culture:
    Special: vote for THREE categories, listing them from most to least important. The winner gets a big boost, second place a smaller one. Third place is left at nominal, and the one to come in dead last receives a penalty.
    - Warriors, Researchers, Technicians
    Special Trait:
    - Advanced Storage Techniques (aka Skilled Stockpilers)
    - Hardy Industrialists
    - Propulsion Experts
    Homeworld:
    Atmosphere:
    - Hydrogen
    Type:
    - Gas
    Diplomacy:
    - Assimilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Name - How you wish to be identified in the LP
    Fleet Designation - How you wish your fleet to be called
    Flagship name/class - how your wish to name you command ship
    Doctrine - What kind of warfare your fleet will specialize in
    Admiral Douglas
    Frontier Security Fleet
    Plebiscite/Ship of the Line
    The Sledgehammer (Planetary conquest)

    My detailed empire recommendation, assuming 5000 racial points:
    Spoiler
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    Culture: Berzerkers. Offense and defense bonuses are the Kings of combat power, and this culture gives you +10 to each, stacking with everything.

    Advanced Storage Techniques. See above comments for why.
    Hardy Industrialists, Propulsion Experts.

    Physical Strength: 50% - You should typically be dropping overwhelming troop strength anyway, this isn't going to make much difference. Almost free points.
    Intelligence 120% - Research is powerful, and this is as high as it goes before it starts costing too much.
    Cunning 80% - Intelligence operations are not very powerful in stock. You shouldn't have much trouble defending yourself with this, and the points are better spent elsewhere.
    Happiness 50% - Troops easily overwhelm this penalty, and even before you get troops technology it isn't that bad. Just make sure you get troops fairly early and build a dozen or two on each planet (you don't even have to arm them if you don't want to) and every planet will be Jubilant despite this penalty. Incidentally, the ease of ensuring permanent happiness via troops is the reason Emotionless is such a worthless trait. Jubilant people give a 20% bonus to production, while emotionless people only get 10%.
    Aggressiveness 120% - This is like getting a free extra level of Combat Sensors on every ship. EXTREMELY powerful. Do not ever dump unless you are taking Deeply Religious for the Talisman, which makes this characteristic irrelevant.
    Defensiveness 120% - This is like getting a free extra level of ECM on every ship. EXTREMELY powerful. Never dump unless you expect virtually every other player in the game to have the Religious Talisman.
    Political Savvy 50% - Trade is for the weak.
    Mining Aptitude 114% - The primary resource for almost everything, and this is all I had the points left at the end to raise it to.
    Farming Aptitude 80% - The least used resource. These points are better spent elsewhere.
    Refining Aptitude 100% - Used more than organics, but definitely secondary to minerals. It might be a good idea to move some points from this to mining, but it's not a big deal.
    Construction Aptitude 120% - Increasing that construction speed cap is a very valuable thing.
    Repair 82% - Comes out to 80% with the Berzerkers penalty, which results in relatively little loss of repair capacity from rounding.
    Maintenance Aptitude 120% - The base maintenance rate is 25% of construction cost per turn. This cuts that down to 5% of construction cost per turn, one fifth of normal, which allows you to maintain FIVE TIMES as many ships.
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    I'll give this a try. Here are my choices.

    Quadrant type: Cluster

    Random events
    Frequency:
    - Average
    Degree:
    - Low

    General options:
    - All systems connected: no
    - Warp tunnels scattered across the system: yes
    - Limited resources: yes

    Race
    Appearance: 6

    Culture: In order of decreasing preference:
    - Researchers
    - Technicians
    - Colonists
    Special Trait:
    -Time Travelers

    Homeworld:
    - Methane
    Type:
    - Rock

    Diplomacy:
    - Assimilation

    Those who stand on that wall

    Name - Admiral Janus
    Fleet Designation - The Hand
    Flagship name/class - The Maw / Specialist
    Doctrine - Sling
    Last edited by Twin1; 2008-08-08 at 12:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    I'm just going to vote on the race thing.

    Appearance: 2 (I'd prefer 5, but something tells me noone else will)
    Culture: Warriors, Colonists, Researchers
    Special Trait: Believers, Bioengineers
    Homeworld: Methane
    Type: Rock
    Diplomacy: Subjugation
    Name: The Tyranus Concordiate

    Those who stand on the wall

    Name: Dominus
    Fleet Designation: The Hive
    Flagship name/Class: Domina Nex/Carrier
    Doctrine: Swarm
    Last edited by Lord_Asmodeus; 2008-08-07 at 05:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    About the admiral part I'm assuming we're all on the same side, or are we all on different ones going toe to toe with each other?

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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Updated the first post with the current votes. We're slowly getting there.

    Explanation about culture: I forgot to specify how I'd tally the votes for this category. I've assigned 3 points for first choice, 2 for second, and 1 for third and whichever would break 10 points first would win. As you can see, it was a very close thing.

    Special trait: To clarify, I've meant everyone to choose ONE trait. For those who've selected multiple I've only counted their first choice, but if you'd like to change that, let me know.

    Diplomacy: I see about the only thing we can agree on is that we're not very friendly.

    @Twin2: Yes, we're all on the same side. The idea is that you decide on the composition of your fleets, and I try and win with them.

    @douglas: Thank you for the clarifications regarding translation errors.
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2008-08-08 at 12:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    @douglas: Thank you for the clarifications regarding translation errors.
    You're welcome.

    Just to reiterate the two most important points for those who may not have read the entirety of my long post:
    1) Talented Mechanics affects how far your fleets can go before resupply, which is rarely a concern in this game. It does not affect how large a fleet you can support.
    2) Skilled Stockpilers affects the limit on resource and research production on each planet. It is by far the most powerful special trait (ignoring the Religious Talisman), giving an effective 20% boost to all resources and research speed throughout the game.

    Also, if you would like to play a multiplayer game, I could set one up for you on Play By Web. Settings are negotiable, and it could be cooperative vs the AIs if you don't want to play against me.
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    By the way, if anyone is having trouble finding a copy you can buy Space Empires IV Deluxe on Stream for around 10$. I'm downloading it from Stream right now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    @Twin2: Yes, we're all on the same side. The idea is that you decide on the composition of your fleets, and I try and win with them.
    You poor bastard.

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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    I've noticed that on the Special Traits list you don't have Believers listed Scratch that, you have Deep Believers listed, however you haven't counted it for my vote.(That was my first choice)
    Last edited by Lord_Asmodeus; 2008-08-08 at 01:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin2 View Post
    You poor bastard.
    Somehow I don't think a zerg rush is gonna do all that well here man

    Oh and on the special trait since its only one choice I've decided to go with Time Travelers.

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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Can I change my fleet type and mothership type? I was thinking of switching to Sledgehammer... Scratch that, we already have like 3 Sledgehammer fleets, we need a Swarm fleet.
    Last edited by Lord_Asmodeus; 2008-08-08 at 01:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin1 View Post
    Somehow I don't think a zerg rush is gonna do all that well here man

    Oh and on the special trait since its only one choice I've decided to go with Time Travelers.
    Entire fleet of scouts here I come.

    Either that or mass the old pax imperia escort carrier if possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin2 View Post
    Entire fleet of scouts here I come.

    Either that or mass the old pax imperia escort carrier if possible.
    I just noticed that your fleet name is "Lance of the Dominus"
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Yea you just had to go and name yourself that didn't you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin2 View Post
    Yea you just had to go and name yourself that didn't you.
    I had planned to from the moment I saw the "how you will be known in the LP" thing. It harkens back to my love of playing the Zuul in Sword of the Stars: Born of Blood, because I love the way they call you (the player) Dominus, and how deliciously cruel and evil they are. I mean come on, their FTL travel relies on ships called "Rip Borers" that literally tear through the fabric of space, to open a pathway for your ships, literally ripping a (not literally bleeding) hole in the universe
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    Note to self don't get on your fleets bad side.

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    Well, you are my Lance
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Ok, seeing as interest isn't what I hoped it would be, I'll give things another day and then make do with what we have and start the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twin2
    You poor bastard.
    I'm still in control of what ship designs are available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twin1
    Somehow I don't think a zerg rush is gonna do all that well here man
    You'd be surprised. There's a cheap tactic that's very effective against computer players due to their approach to ship design. It lets Escorts mop the floor with Dreadnoughts, though it's not a method I'd use if I'm trying to conquer anyone.

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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    And here we go.

    Final setttings:

    Map
    Cluster
    All systems connected - yes (The map generator spat out something that may either give us a cakewalk or a splitting headache, depending on where we end up starting)
    Warp tunnels scattered across the system - yes
    Limited resources - no

    Random Events
    Frequency - Low
    Degree - Catastrophe

    Environment
    Planet type - Rock
    Atmosphere - Methane (Terrorist attacks usually consist of mixing oxygen into the ventilation of the target building and then setting off a spark)

    Race


    Special Trait - Industrialists (it was a tough choice, between that and Advanced Storage Techniques, but in the end I decided we're getting a massive boost to research, etc. anyway)
    Statistics:
    After forking over for the special trait I was left with 2000pts. I've brought it up to 3000pts. by reducing the Colonist options: (garbled in translation alert) Adaptation, Birthrate, Happiness, Political Savvy. From there I've spent 2000pts. on Researchers options - Intelligence and Cunning, and the remaining 1000pts. on Aptitudes. Warrior options remained at nominal.

    Physical Strength: 100%
    Intelligence: 130% (128%)
    Cunning: 120% (118%)
    Adaptation: 89%
    Birthrate: 91% (For some reason it wouldn't let me go lower than that)
    Happiness: 90%
    Aggressiveness: 100% (105%)
    Defensiveness: 100% (105%)
    Political Savvy: 90%

    Mining Aptitude: 110%
    Farming Aptitude: 100%
    Refining Aptitude: 105%
    Construction Aptitude: 105%
    Repair: 100%
    Maintenance Aptitude: 110%

    Diplomacy: Subjugation, followed by Assimilation in case the xenos get uppity, followed by Extermination if all else fails (another tough choice, so let's go with all three ).

    Culture:
    I decided to throw in Warriors for -2% to Intelligence and Cunning and +5% to Aggressiveness and Defensiveness. I've also set Attitude (probably not how it translates) to Aggressive, since that's what it seems to be from your votes. It has no mechanical effect AFAIK. However Social Tendencies do, and those I've set to Bloodthirsty - this means the more we win, the happier our population is, but we take a popularity hit if/when we take losses or sign treaties.

    Other settings

    Technology costs: High (we don't want to hit Black Hole Generators too quickly)
    Allowed Technologies: All (I was really tempted to ban Intelligence Operations because of how stupidly the game handles that aspect of warfare. But hey, this is in part about you watching me suffer, right?)
    Starting Tech Level: Low (Also, I'll be sticking to the default research method that splits points between all projects equally instead of researching one after another, since it's more in line with what I have in mind for this LP)
    Starting Resources: 20000 (not like it matters that much)
    Starting Planet's Value: Low (you'll see why soon enough)
    AI player density: Medium
    AI player skill: High

    Stay tuned for the first actual game update later tonight.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    That should do well enough against the AI if you play well, but that gets boring after a while. Would you care for a friendly multiplayer game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    From there I've spent 2000pts. on Researchers options - Intelligence and Cunning
    Cunning has nothing to do with research. It increases your intelligence points production, used for espionage and sabotage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    Intelligence: 130% (128%)
    Drop this to 120% and you'd save 1000 points. Enough to buy Advanced Storage Techniques and end up with an even higher final research effective bonus, combined with bonuses to resource production as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    However Social Tendencies do, and those I've set to Bloodthirsty - this means the more we win, the happier our population is, but we take a popularity hit if/when we take losses or sign treaties.
    Bloodthirsty has a serious problem - colonizing planets causes unhappiness.
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    That should do well enough against the AI if you play well, but that gets boring after a while. Would you care for a friendly multiplayer game?
    Maybe once this LP is over, as currently my schedule is full.

    Cunning has nothing to do with research. It increases your intelligence points production, used for espionage and sabotage.
    I know that, but it didn't really fit into any other category either (something I realized belatedly). Besides, having it high means I won't need to "waste" as many building slots on intelligence centers.

    Drop this to 120% and you'd save 1000 points. Enough to buy Advanced Storage Techniques and end up with an even higher final research effective bonus, combined with bonuses to resource production as well.
    I agree, but we aren't going for some uber optimal build for our race - I tried to accomodate everyone's votes as well as try something new from my usual game, and this is what we ended up with.

    Bloodthirsty has a serious problem - colonizing planets causes unhappiness.
    ... Actually... this will work out well.

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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV



    I get the impression that most people who joined this LP are already familiar with the game, but I decided to still stop every once in awhile and explain just what the hell we're looking at for the benefit of anyone who wanders into this thread and may decide to join in the fun.
    Above is the system overview - here's where we'll be spending most of the time within the game. From here we can issue orders to ships (which we don't have yet), view detailed information about planets, and access most of the submenus for ship design, building queues, empire overview, cargo transfer, etc.

    The main screen shows us that, aside from our homeworld (the small purple planet with a selection box around it) there's two more worlds we can currently settle - the blueish planet just down and to the right, and the white one up and left. The former is a primary choice in this case - the green asterix next to it means it shares both composition and atmosphere with our homeworld, which means it can support more buildings and a higher population. The planet with the red asterix shares the composition of our homeworld (we'll need to research different colonization modules for gas and ice planets), but it has a different atmosphere. This forces our colonists into domed cities, which can only support a small population and a punishingly pitiful number of buildings. Still, it's a habitable world and those are at a premium this early in the game.

    The two bright blue swirly thingies are warp tunnels, which lead to other systems - we'll be exploring them very soon. In SE warp tunnels make for natural defense points, and a properly set up defense might be nearly impossible to breach - we'll discuss that in detail eventually, but for now simply consider that in combat the first turn always belongs to the defender, and that during an assault through a warp tunnel all your ships will end up in range (if not at point blank) of the enemy's fortifications.

    The irregular purplish blob in the lower left of the display is a space storm. In the game these crop up in almost every standard system and can provide a number of benefits or penalties to ships within them. For example, if we were to fight inside this one, it would negate any benefits we or our opponent were gaining from any combat sensors on our ship.
    For the record, I have yet to fight inside one. They're too random, too out of the way, and usually benefit the less advanced ships, which I don't plan on having.

    In the lower right corner of the screen you can see the quadrant map. While it's still unexplored, you can probably already see why this map type is called "cluster."

    Finally, there's our system's star. They're important for a few reasons: you pretty much need one for habitable planets to be present, some important technologies need them to function, there can be more than one, etc. Ours is special because it's a bomb waiting to happen.


    "An unstable star, which might explode at any moment."

    Screw you, guys.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Planet Tyranus, Vendrin System, year 2400

    - Is this a joke?
    - The Concordiate doesn't joke, Maxymiuk.
    - I'm sorry Hevel, but this - he tapped the documents on his desk - sure looks like one to me.
    - It has the official seal.
    - Full executive powers, Hevel? Authority over the entire system?
    - And anything through the warp tunnels, once we can afford to send in explorers again - Hevel nodded solemnly.
    - I don't buy it. Hevel... have you read this? I get the say so on every ship to leave the shipyards. I'm in charge of the military, colonization, deep space mining... This isn't how the Concordiate acts. To give so much power to one person... I'm not even a politician!
    - Wars change things. You should know that.
    - Yes, bu-
    - The way the Concordiate sees it, the Colony Wars happened because there was no one in control. Dozens of factions, hundreds of [rivate interests, thousands of offivials cutting off their own private slice of pie. They want someone at the helm this time.
    - They want someone to blame once things go wrong, you mean. But why me?
    - Simple answer? You're a war hero, Max. You're the reason the capital is still standing. The people trust you. And since you're not political, means you're not in anyone's pocket, so the Concordiate is prepared to trust you. For now.
    - What if I refuse?
    - We can't stop you. But... look, we need you. We need a functional space program. We need the colonies again - you know there's been food riots in Nevola last month. We... - Hevel lowered his tone - The Concordiate's afraid this might end in a revolt, and they're too weak to prevent it right now. And they don't trust one another enough with that kind of power.
    - And yet they trust me. And... - Maxymiuk suddenly understood. - And since you're the one here telling me all this... you poor bastard.
    Hevel said nothing.
    - Fine. When do I start?
    - The car is waiting.


    A few days later, Vanadus Shipyards



    - One question, Director. How long?
    - Four months. For both ships, that is - he added hurriedly. - We can have the first one out of the dock in two.
    - Hevel...
    - We'll start colonist recruitment immediately.
    - Good, but there's something else - the new Colonial Governor in Charge of Extraplanetary Affairs Maxymiuk set his jaw. What he was about to say wasn't going to go over well. - This is far too slow.
    - Our engineers are working as fast as the-
    - I don't doubt that, Director. Your estimate is better than I expected, to tell the truth. However, it's still too slow. We need another shipyard. And I want it up there.
    Hevel's and the Director's eyes went wide.
    - Max- I mean, Governor, you can't be serious. Since the war... public opinion...
    - The public opinion will have to deal. We need a shipyard in orbit if we're planning on establishing a fleet by the next century. And - he cut off the next words of protest - then we're going to build another orbital base and we'll be arming it to the teeth. I am not going to repeat past mistakes. Are we clear?
    What choice did they have?
    - Yes, Governor.



    Above, you see what a ready project looks like. It gives us the class, type, cost, etc. - if you go back up a bit, you'll see it's part of a larger management screen that lets us create and edit designs for any ships, bases, or units we currently have researched (and even alien designs if we ever manage to get our hands on one).

    The most important feature I want to discuss here is the modular design that SE allows. As you can see from the above screenshot, we're using the same template - a small space station - for both Gremlin and Overwatch projects. The first five components are required for both - a bridge, two life support systems, and two crew quarter modules. From there on out, it's whatever we want to put there (and will fit).

    A small space station has a Tonnage of 500kT. The aforementioned basics take up 50kT. The shipyard facility on Gremlin takes up a whopping 400kT. With 50kT left over we could fit it with a single missle launcher, but since that would at most cripple a single unshielded escort, I chose to fit it with two additional cargo modules (20kT each).

    The Overwatch takes up the matle of protecting our homeworld from early attacks. Since without a shipyard we have 450kT to spare, I've fitted it with 5 missle launchers (250kT total) and 3 mass drivers (original English would be something like "ballistic cannons" but I think my version sounds better, so nyah). However, note the "L" in the top left corner in the icon - it means that I'm using a Large Base Hardpoint to mount the guns, which gives them bonuses to damage and range, increases supply consumption per shot, and increases the amount of space they take up - the tradeoff is usually well worth it. The standard version of a mass driver deals 20 damage per shot, has a range of 2, and takes up 30kT. The LBH version deals 60 damage per shot, has a range of 4, and takes up 60kT.
    This leaves us with 20kT of space, which is just enough for an extra supply bay - nominally, bases have infinite supplies, however once you enter combat, you find out that there's a fixed (and rather low) number of supplies they can use. And believe me, there's nothing more embarassing than running out of ammo halfway through a fight.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    3 mass drivers (original English would be something like "ballistic cannons" but I think my version sounds better, so nyah).
    Actually, it's Depleted Uranium Cannons (or just DUCs), but the point is that it throws a big chunk of something dense at a target. Depleted Uranium just happens to be a suitably dense material commonly known in modern science.
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    Default Re: Let's Play: Space Empires IV

    Can I be an admiral dude, it looks like a pretty gun game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    If you're ever in a situation where you can't survive, go for the broke and fill all of creation with chickens. Just imagine the reaction of people halfway around the world when every square inch of space in their world is suddenly and completely full of chickens.
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