- Jun 4, 2013
this is basically my whole playstyle. my games, regardless of empire build, all start out the same. explore my immediate surroundings and then rush to claim my way to the chokepoints into my neighborhood. i prefer to have 3 or less avenues in or out of my territory. 2 is ideal and a single chokepoint can be difficult to manage if you get surrounded by a hostile advanced empire.
then, my starbases at my borders/chokepoints become bastions, every other starbase becomes an anchorage and i beef up my fleet and defenses so i can build up my infrastructure and economy without getting the crap stomped out of me. i've given up on federations unless i'm playing an origin that starts with one, and when i'm strong enough i try to vassalize my nieghbors to make them into prospectorums or scholarium.
Yeah, I don't think there's anything off about that opening as it's pretty much mine as well. I really think it is an inherently unfavorable galaxy roll for neighbors for the spec of the playstyle, also combined with you probably not taking every barrier reducing option ahead of time for the play style -
Criminal Syndicates have their drawbacks but the lack of barrier to play ball with branch offices is so good. Lithoids have their drawbacks, but radiotropic Lithoids cut one of the biggest ones in half which is usually more than made up for by Branch Offices when you start plopping them down like bulbs in a tulip garden. Mutual Aid has it drawbacks especially in comparison to Consumer Benefits with beelining Mercantile as a tradition, something you usually do as a Megacorp anyway, but combined with Lithoids and Bioreactors and all that newfound building slot space on Habitats that can't possibly be worked early enough in the game by actual workers or specialists...is fine even if inefficient to any comparison. I am definitely considering Catalytic Processing for a 3rd Pick at some point here and in another playthrough from the outset, just to see how wild we can get with swapping around resource accruals, it might be really stupid, but it might be hella fun.
Like, I've been playing this spec so long now (at least the Voideborne, Radiotropic Crystalized Lithoid, Criminal Syndicate with MIl/Egal/Xenophole) that I don't really know how the game works or could work outside of it, and why one early wipeout every so often due to the galaxy roll is fine because the game really doesn't begin earnest for the spec until Vassals and Branch Offices are a thing. Barely any time or thought invested until it gets to the good stuff.
I am not trying to too my own horn on making a funky silly thing work out for a challenge, but sizing up everything I didn't like about standard play with Megacorps and Food Eaters, given the first chance to subdue those outright, I took it and never looked back.