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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Ragnarok Ascendant

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Apr 10, 2020
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Based off an earlier discussion about nomads. Cleaning it up a bit.


Origin: Nomadic Wayfarers

Desc:
Fleeing the destruction of their home planet, these survivors have adapted to a life among the stars and the void.

Requirements: Is not Xenopobe/Fanatic Xenophobe.

Special:
  • Starts with a unique 'Arkship' vessel that, while unarmed, is equipped with T2 sensors (to avoid jumping into enemies), and can carry pops, act as a shipyard, and can harvest resources.
  • Starts with a 'Harvester Ship' instead of a Construction Ship. This ship can harvest local resources, at a significantly increased rate compared to a normal mining station (so 2 minerals becomes 10, etc), but with diminishing returns over time that regenerate only when not used by a Harvest Ship. It costs 50 alloys. It can build two things via the same menu used for megastructures: another Arkship (requires Star Fortress and Habitat techs) and a Space Station (requires Citadel and Advanced Habitat techs) similar to those used by Enclaves.
  • Have massively increased resource storage.
  • Start with the Hydroponics Farm Technology.
  • Cannot build colony ships.
  • Cannot build defense platforms.
  • Species starts with Habitat Habitability.
  • Treaties have unique effects.
  • Treaties are not affected by distance (exception, vassalization)
The Arkship is upgraded on the 'planet' part of it by your various colony management techs, and can have its defenses upgraded to become a powerful force by researching what would be your starbase techs.

The Space Stations you build are basically the closest thing to 'normal' planets you have, acting like armed habitats. They passively collect resources and generate Trade Value for the system they're in, but they don't make pops. The similarity to a habitat is primarily that they're constructed like one, look like one, and need to be defended like one.

Commercial pacts allow you to access resources from host mining stations whenever you enter a system with your Arkships at the same rate you would for a Harvest Ship setting up there, in return for some of that boosted output going to the host. Migration treaties allow you to passively gain growth of host empire pops whenever you enter an inhabited system, as well as giving you the ability to build Space Stations in the empire's territory. Defensive Pacts are basically unchanged, but for obvious reasons are more meaningful given how you might be halfway across the galaxy, or be in the middle of what is now enemy territory. The Close Borders decision, when used against you, instead of Emergency FTLing away your ships for an indeterminate period of time, instantly deposits them in the closest non-closed star that is linked to at least one other non-closed-to-you star (this is to prevent your Arkships from being inaccessible). Vassalizing mostly just means a passive general resource buff, but comes with a problem - if you're too far away from the empire you've vassalized, they might rebel. Research agreements are unchanged.

Nomadic Wayfarers are going to, by necessity, operate on a boom-bust economy as the game progresses - siphoning resources from local systems at high rates, then running off that stock until they reach a new resource vein. Minerals are going to be your biggest downfall as you will have no way to produce them locally (generators and hydroponics can cover for your other two 'main' resources, but minerals are gonna hurt you). Similarly, strategic resources will be a pain. This can be alleviated by building Space Stations, but it still won't be enough to run an entire economy on at the point at which you get Space Stations.

You're going to be reliant on diplomacy and keeping empires tolerating you in order to stay relevant in the late game, due to needing their resources and their space. Overall, this would play a lot like a megacorp (and could maybe be done as a megacorp overall). However, your fleet assets are going to be pretty darn ridiculous, and I would personally balance the Arkship after achieving maximum techs (Citadel, all the weapon tiers, etc) somewhere around Titans for sheer firepower.
You're going to need all of that, as despite your relative power, you lack the survivability of other empires. If you lose your fleet, you will have a lot of trouble replacing it on your own, and your ships will be vulnerable.

Interactions with other Nomadic Wayfarers get interesting. Between the two of you, Migration and Commercial Pacts have different effects. A Migration Pact between two Wayfarers works more like traditional Migration Pacts between normal empires, allowing the other species to grow on your Arkships (as your two sides can send ships whenever, wherever). Commercial Pacts, on the other hand, boost both of your resource-gathering efforts: your partner will get a little boost to whatever you're currently harvesting, and vice-versa, to represent you sending a cut of your stuff to them and vice-versa.

Interactions with the Caravaneers are largely unchanged despite losing out on some of the 'put resource extractor on X planet' events and instead getting things like 'we will provide you maps to a new system' or 'here's an engine booster for Arkship B here'.

BTW, killing the Ether Drake and putting a Space Station in its system counts towards the triggers for the Dragonscale Armor and Baby Ether Drake events.
 
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