• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Mauer

Swarmherald
99 Badges
Oct 7, 2012
3.434
1.253
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Crusader Kings III
Thread for my turn reports for the Stardust story multiplayer!



Commander Nikki Martinez, born on old Earth in one of the thousands of megalopolis that dotted its surface before the collapse of the Empire. Convinced that if humanity was to thrive it needed to fully embrace AI integration as the next step in human evolution and discontent with a world marred by corruption and stagnation, she joined the Vanguard Expeditionary Forces where her skills in synthesis technologies could be put to use in the development of a new society.

Now, years after her departure she wakes from her cryosleep to find only desolation and no more imperial government. Still, from the ashes a new society can rise, and perhaps this may have even been for the best, considering the path humanity was headed for back then.
 

Mauer

Swarmherald
99 Badges
Oct 7, 2012
3.434
1.253
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Crusader Kings III
Turn 1: Where are we?

Our suspicions are correct, the lack of both orbital activity and transmissions from the surface seemed odd enough for an imperial world, but there's no mistaking it now, a catastrophe of some sort must have befallen the Empire. Nevertheless we must press on, for our scans indicate there's still human activity on the surface and the planet's infrastructure is not all lost - We must salvage what we can and save who we can.

We land on a forested area, it will help us with build and sustain ourselves and get some semblance of a settlement going. To our south the Atlas Peaks will provide some defense against any potential hostiles - we still don't know what we'll be facing on this world, and we also spot two quarries one abandoned and the other in working order but taken over by what seems to be humans donning makeshift gear of scrap metals and their servant androids, how quaint.



They call themselves Spacers, they eke out their survival by looting and scavenging what they can, and are based on a dwelling not far from our landing zone. They look very unstable but strong, and continually partake in virtual reality entertainment simulations, which they seem unable to tell apart from the real world - a well-known effect of extremely unrestrained neural-computer interfacing, this however may make them prime candidates for integration, even if only to bolster our meager security forces.
We'll have to assess their suitability and convince them to join us.



For now they want us to hunt something called a Psi-Fish?, they say it's a delicacy for their celeb gamers. Oh well, if it's just some animals it shouldn't be too hard, and we'll learn about some of the edible fauna in this planet.
 

Mauer

Swarmherald
99 Badges
Oct 7, 2012
3.434
1.253
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Crusader Kings III
Turns 2 and 3: Out into the great outdoors

Finally settled in and with some bearing of our surroundings, I decided it was time to start venturing out into the wilderness to explore and gather whatever supplies may be available around the land. The place we landed on appears to be the outskirts of what used to be a densely populated area, in a rural zone that provided for the urban sprawl to our north, but several of the infrastructure seems to have been taken over by large creatures of animal intelligence - these will prove no match for our modern (200 year-old) weaponry. I lead a small contingent of soldiers with some supporting units and we begin to clear out the hostile fauna.

Standard Vanguard combat tactics - lead the enemy to a narrow killing zone and engage with direct fire, use grenades to stagger the advance of enemies that get too close.

First we clear out the quarry, which is infested with insect-like creatures codenamed Hopperhounds.


We strike them from afar before they have a chance to do their name justice.

Just like in the academy simulations.

Close by, we spot some energy supplies that must have fallen from orbital deposits not too long ago. Mutated farm animals too monstrous to describe have gathered to investigate, no doubt in search for food, and made the area their territory.



This time one of our soldiers gets careless and is injured by the acidic spit of a small pig.
It's nothing too severe and the rest of the pigs are quickly put down. We'll be dining well tonight.



Sensing this will be a dangerous expedition from start to finish, I decide to take up some training in Field Medicine between missions to increase the survivability of the units under my command, I'm sure the troops will appreciate a commander that can take care of her own, though to be honest some collateral damage is a risk I'm willing to take.


Back in the colony, the transmissions from our OWL scouts report a couple of interesting finds. To our west, embedded on a rocky shore halfway between our colony and the Spacers dwelling is a settlement of Vanguard civilians called Juvendril, they tell us they're from an earlier expedition whose commander died making its chain of command break down and they appear to be suffering raids from the Spacers as both compete for resources in the narrow strip of land they inhabit, they refuse to move as their location holds an extremely valuable Cosmite Rift. We introduce ourselves and they are glad to meet us, but are not yet willing to join our efforts until they know for sure we're here to help.
Maybe if we can gain enough favor with the Spacers first we can use that influence to come to an agreement that will benefit us all.



To the east our scout reports finding the ruins of another urban area that holds an abandoned transmission terminal safeguarded by automated defenses, as well as another Cosmite Rift that the Spacers lay claim to, and a Pulse Defense Turret, the latter a powerful anti-robotic defense system that further compliments our Synthesis operations and my personal skills dealing with mechanized enemies.



I start making plans to send a secondary army to the area to deal with any hostile locals and claim it as a new colony. For now I'm ordering the training of more regular Troopers, as the lack of natural or man-made sources of energy in the area will make it prohibitive to maintain the equipment of more advanced units in large quantities for the foreseeable future.
 
Last edited:

Mauer

Swarmherald
99 Badges
Oct 7, 2012
3.434
1.253
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Crusader Kings III
Turns 4, 5 and 6: More Acquiantances

As the days pass, we learn more and more about this world - Imperial databases refer to it as "Stardust", and it used a somewhat important planet in this sector, a priority for Imperial defense forces owing to its sprawling population and industrial capacity, however it also seems to have been home to more obscure entities operating within the shadows of the political corridors of power. Our explorer OWL has found evidence of this in the form of a Psynumbra Sanctorum off the eastern coast of the continent. It's foreboding presence may put lesser minds in a state of uneasy, but all I see is a golden opportunity to supercharge our scientific endeavors, and the military structures surrounding it are also a valuable asset.



On the other side of our colony our scout continues to find more remnants of Stardust's original population. Right next to the Spacers' dwelling, on the tip of what we now know is a peninsula, lies a settlement of the Syndicate called Qi'volix; their sector holds a Teleporter station that is crucial we control if we are to keep our western flank safe, but I expect their trust will be even harder to gain.



This entire area is where refugees fled to from the major cities to the north, now only ruins overrun with Hopperhound nests and other dangerous foes. We have begun extermination efforts on the outskirts of these ruins to keep them from harassing our colony, and so far they haven't proved a match for us.





A day later our westward scout comes into contact with another of the exact same model. Our hearts race as news of this development run through the colony - another Vanguard expedition has arrived and on the same timeframe as we did! It is a surprise, but it makes sense that more would come to its aid considering the importance of Stardust. We exchange communications and greet commander Sebastian Valefor. Though he seems polite enough, we still don't know enough about him or his mission to do more than acknowledge his presence, after all many things could have changed and we don't know their plans for this world yet.



For now we must focus on more immediate matters, like getting the Spacers on our good side, and for that we have our means. First we hand over to them some parts for their vehicles that were found during exploration.



Then they let us on about more things they need done, and they're kind enough to keep their needs rather localized.



We're gaining their trust, but I suspect most of their cooperation is self-serving as they've expressed interest in trying out our Synthesis tech themselves, but it's still not entirely safe to use and I wouldn't dare give them access to secret technology blueprints, at least not without ensuring their loyalty to our cause first.

On our way to the site, we spot an encampment of refugees overrun with vicious bugs and quartzites, which by now we know are commonplace in the area. Luck is on our side as we arrive just in time to save most of the people trapped there without any losses on our side.



The survivors tell us they were on their way to join the settlements of the west, but now they feel much safer in our care and join our colony instead. They are put to work in the quarry and an entertainment center is ordered, to keep our expanding population content because even in this wilderness, some creature comforts are necessary to keep productivity up.




Finally, now that we have an expanding population and our scientists have brought the brain damage rate down to acceptable levels, I decide it's time to begin integrating the whole colony, first are the soldiers, and the workers will be next once we have mastered the Cyber Optimization technology in a few days. I'm undergoing the procedure as well.




(I think this post has too many images, but it's form three turns. I'll try to keep next updates more concise or with fewer images but better edited with more stuff each)
 

Mauer

Swarmherald
99 Badges
Oct 7, 2012
3.434
1.253
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Crusader Kings III
Turns 7, 8 and 9: Taking shape

Our party arrives at the locations specified by the Spacers in their requests; despite the strangeness of the PsiFish and brashness of the psychotic Spacers group we are to round up, our integration mods give us an edge and the encounters are not difficult.


After finishing up, a transmission comes from the Spacers indicating their acceptance of a Peace treaty, and a stop to all raids on the settlement of Juvendril.



Joyful, the citizens of this city have now come to accept my annexation proposal and I set to getting that Cosmite rift to work, but it is guarded by a powerful colony of insectoids, so I head further north to collect a smaller stash of detached Cosmite first.



As for exploration, we now have enough info to accurately guess our landing zone to be a large peninsula with natural barriers in the form of seas to the north, west and east, and hilly formations to the south; this makes our natural zone of expansion somewhat limited, but also in a good defensible position. Based on the spot we met his scout, we know Valefor must be located somewhere to the southwest, and now we have met Dread Reapr, a stern-looking man of a cold disposition, he is to our east and also a member of the Vanguard.


I hope for good relations with both of them, but if not, I will be well-prepared to deal with their mechs with my Synthesis mastery and the Syndicate arc weaponry I plan on obtaining from the citizens of Qi'Volix :D

My plan is to focus army production to deal with the Hopperhound nests and other nasties to the east and settle the land quickly to establish southern borders, then claim the nearby landmarks and continue expansion northwards.

 
Last edited:

Mauer

Swarmherald
99 Badges
Oct 7, 2012
3.434
1.253
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Crusader Kings III
Turns 10 - 18: Clearing the Northern Wastes

It's been many days since my last report, and it feels like things are happening at a much faster pace, whether the case or not, my plans continue to move.

Back at home, an old acquaintance from back home has arrived, Samuel Mendez's driving skills are legendary so I invite him to join, and just in time since our colonizer mobile vehicle is ready to deploy and claim to the eastern transmission terminal and surrounding area. He will lead the army safeguarding it.


Meanwhile, our scouts have made formal contact with Qi'Volix and convinced them to join us for protection. Their sector lays next to the Spacers dwelling and a teleporter where invasions could come from, so it benefits us both to unite and fortify the area. The Cosmite Rift here is a primary target but it's also heavily guarded.



In the next days, the Spacers contact us: they seem to be winding down their raiding ways, now that the eastern cities are off-limits to them, and so they want us to teach them some of our crafting techniques to become self-sufficient. I redirect some of our researchers to train the Spacers' own; this will slow down our technology acquisition quite a bit, but it's worth it considering that we're on the verge of an alliance with them - having some of their forces join us afterwards will probably seal the deal.



After some consideration and new scouting reports, I decide to leave the Cosmite Rift in the Juvendril sector alone for now, and move north with my army to eliminate any threats that may descend upon our colonies and catch us unaware. First we find another refugee camp in the process of enslavement by dissident Syndicate forces formerly associated with Qi'Volix that were unwilling to join a Vanguard nation.
Afterwards, a series of simple battles take place where we sustain some loses, namely a PUG, but in exchange gain a mechanical construct called a Liquidator; it's form is too arcane for us to replicate, but it's easily integrated and will be helpful in the following battles.



Further east, we attack the Reaper bunker that has been threatening our capital for some time now, sending marauding armies to harass our colonists. The battle is fierce and we sustain painful loses, but the experience from the encounter gives me new insight into synthesis integration and I'll be able to use Override Daemon to control mechanical units from time to time now.
Scouts have also made contact with two new factions, yet another contingent of the Vanguard forces lead by a Johnny Flammz, (I guess it's a nickname).
And one of the Dvar, Gerd Ingotts, likely on some mining or other mission intended to extract resources from this planet for profit. While I share the sentiment that nature has to be tamed and exploited rather than nurtured, I can't say I trust them, they remind me too much of the decadent oligarchies of Earth and what they made it become. In any case they should also not be too hard to deal with if it comes to blows, as our reports indicate they rely even more heavily on mechanical units for combat than even we Vanguard.
Also an interesting tidbit, they may already be in a race for resources down south, as both Ingotts and Valefor seem to have raced for a Cosmite Rift that the Dvar ended up claiming:
This is across a mountain range and a strait from our own lands, so it's not our concern as we still have land for two or three more cities and a respectable five Cosmite Rifts in our vicinity.

 

Mauer

Swarmherald
99 Badges
Oct 7, 2012
3.434
1.253
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Crusader Kings III
Turns 19 - 31

Belated update on mission progress.

Things have developed in a relatively calm manner so far, expansion of our scouting missions finally reveal we are located in a large island separate from the larger continents of the planet, this has lead me to refocus my immediate goals towards settlement of the entire landmass, which would be more easily defensible and allow us to annex very important landmarks lying in the outer ring of colonization. More colonizers are on the way from the capital of Sasston.

20200524194539_1.jpg


Our armies march through the land clearing marauder sites and other hostiles, and the newer upgrades to our units make them an unstoppable force, we have ways to deal with organics and mechanical foes alike and have liberated one Cosmite node and march towards the others present on the island. There's also Cosmite rifts located at sea and we've begun building a navy to contest them not far in the future, our Syndicate colony is particularly suited for this task as their Guild Cruisers are cheap and fast. One of the syndicate leaders has also stepped up to represent them and I've given her command of an army to clear out any sites in the west area.

20200419064907_1.jpg


Besides fighting minor hostile camps, we also found anomalous sites and each leader and I set out to investigate them and recover anything of use, we set up some research stations to help us advance our technology as our colonies do not have sectors well suited for research exploitation and we also want to research some syndicate technologies to give us an edge over the other Vanguard commanders on the planet.

20200506092758_1.jpg

20200522170311_1.jpg


This extra research will come in handy to catch up, since we've mostly been focused on colonization and unit production. One particular anomalous site was rather odd, but recently promoted Lieutenant Anastya Grotti, either from skill or dumb luck, is able to successfully walk out with very promising rewards!

20200522170105_1.jpg


As for foreign affairs, not much has happened so far, though I suspect my plans to expand further south may bring me into conflict with Valefor, he seems to be eyeing one cosmite node located in the sea zone between our lands. And there's also this bit of info our scans have picked up regarding factions further away:

20200524194341_1.jpg


Perhaps a sign that the relative quiet in planet Stardust is about to end?
 

Attachments