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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
The Beginning

LWE

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This is going to be a screenshot-heavy AAR of my first Stellaris playthough, 2.2.0-2.2.1, Admiral difficulty, Glavius' AI (both the game and the mod versions changed during the playthough).
_______

Chancellor Reti listened to the news with great interest. Finally, Wessari scientists developed engines capable of utilizing the naturally-occurring hyperlane network. There were many Chancellors before him - some, like Muna, daughter of Sark, who set up the stage for the Unification of Orassia, with many monuments in Wessari cities across the globe, some mere footnotes in history books. Now he was going to be remembered as the first Chancellor to preside over interstellar expansion.

1.jpg


Now Wessari institutes could be freed to conduct more research.

2.jpg


While cabinet eggheads were busy working on the ground, the adventurous Fura prepared for a Wessari ship's first travel by hyperlanes.

3.jpg


The discovery of a precursor civilization shocked the Wessari. Most Wessari admired its racial diversity, remembering the devastating Great Fur Color Wars that took place on Orassia centuries before the Unification, yet others insisted that this might have been the reason for its demise.

4.jpg


With its natural beauty, Orassia was fit to be the capital of an interstellar nation.

5.jpg


If some sceptics still doubted the existence of the First League, this new discovery made by Fura provided additional evidence of sentient life once existing beyond Orassia. But does it exist now?...

6.jpg


Beautiful as Orassia's natural landscape was, Chancellor Reti could not ignore the need for industrial development.

7.jpg


With the Wessari visiting distant stars not so long ago thought inacessible, the existence of slums and desperate poverty on Orassia was impossible to ignore. Reti swore that by the end of his mandate, all slum inhabitants will be resettled in comfortable new homes.

8.jpg


Many young Wessari started to sign up for space research and colonization, as the "Space Craze" gripped Orassia.

9.jpg


Their most ardent yearning was finding actually existing alien life beyond their home planet.

10.jpg
 
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These were the times where each year brings new surprises and wonders. Khamb, one of the hyperlane-accessible systems turned out to contain habitable planets.

11.jpg


Even the seemingly inhabitable one turned out to contain some life, although definitely not of the sapient variety.

12.jpg


Khamb III was a planet of near-permanent frost. Its scarce vegetation and sickly lifeforms made it less pleasant than cold-latitude Orassia in winter. But Khamb I was a delightful planet, very similar to Orassia itself.

13.jpg


And thus, first colony ships, filled with most adventurous and courageous Wessari, began their journey...

14.jpg


Space exploration was yielding more and more surprising benefits. Math departments, which were feeling left out, started to harvest its benefits, too.

15.jpg


First step on Khamb Prime. One small step for Wessari, one large leap for Wessarikind.

es2.jpg


16.jpg


On Orassia, fiction novels and scientific speculation on the nature of the galaxy reached near-histrionic levels. 99% of Wessari cast their electronic ballots to dedicate more and more resources to space exploration.

17.jpg


Chancellor Reti's retirement was a grand, widely-attended ceremony, which was untypical for an average chancellor. But due to his unusual dedication to his people and the monumental events that took place during his tenure, Reti would be remembered as far from being average.

18.jpg


The discovery of the First League's prison colonies was rather grim. Of course, as Wessari anarchists pointed out, Orassia still had prisons of its own, even if they were far less brutal than the First League's complex appeared to be.

19.jpg


20.jpg
 
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Taking those all important first steps onto the galactic stage.
 

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Not a pleasant way to die.
Yeah, Stellaris can offer quite a bit of Nightmare Fuel on occasion.

Taking those all important first steps onto the galactic stage.
Everyone has to start small....
______
Jor Mon Dir was the opposite of Khamb III, which, however, didn't make it a welcoming planet, either.

21.jpg


All Wessari were grateful that Orassia didn't have such water-absorbent soil as the soil on Saphiban V.

22.jpg


The Wessari government, due to all the unavoidable expenditures associated with space colonization, started to have energy problems. Fortunately, the new program of selling off alloys on the internal market managed to keep the plants running.

And people on the forums complain about not having enough alloys...

23.jpg


More tragic fates in space. It seemed that space is a setting more suitable for tragedy than comedy - at least, so far.

24.jpg


In less enlightened times, long before Wessari discovered electricity, comets were considered to be bad omens. Some Wessari noblemen even unsuccessfully attempted to make their peasants stop looking at the sky. It's so good that in the enlightened times of space colonization, Wessari have no need to fear comets and don't even have nobles anymore.

25.jpg


Unlike comets, asteroids, if sufficiently large, can still be dangerous.

26.jpg


Not that it would prevent politically-minded Wessari from organizing for justice.

27.jpg


Even asteroids turn out for good. Maybe not everything in space is tragic, after all.

28.jpg


More habitable planets - sadly, without sentient life.

29.jpg


Or, maybe, the Wessari were actually lucky not to encounter any sentient life in the galaxy so far? Evidence of the First League being locked in a struggle versus other sapient aliens pointed to this direction. This topic was widely discussed in newspaper articles and talk shows both on Orassia and Khamb.

30.jpg
 
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Yes, the local neighbourhood seems rather empty.
 

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The crystalline caverns of Esmyke IVa were important for the planet being considered a major colonization target.

31.jpg


More evidence of sapient life in the galaxy, but once again far away.

32.jpg


Something needed to be done with Wessari deficit of energy. Construction of new generators was overseen by Governor Sagg.

33.jpg


Finally, sapient life, in the form of strange space ships.

34.jpg


They turned out to be a small people of nomadic caravan traders, not a planet-inhabiting urban culture like the Wessari. Still, the discovery of first sentient alien life was a major sensation in the Wessari Star Accord (this name was chose in a referendum held across two Wessari-settled planets).

36.jpg


The Wessari were not superstitious or afraid of ancient curses. How else they could reach the stars in the first place?

35.jpg


In fact, recent space discoveries only increased the Wessari materialism and scientism.

37.jpg


As some of the more cynical Wessari predicted, the negative consequences of meeting alien life didn't take too long to manifest themselves.

38.jpg


Still, most Wessari were still eager to expand into the unknown.

39.jpg


News of more First League artifacts recovered only increased their natural curiosity.

40.jpg
 
First Alien Nation Contact

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With immediate star systems discovered, Wessari Science Collegiate felt more comfortable delegating exploration tasks to the AI.

41.jpg


Who would have thought it possible that a mere medical complex can produce something as magnificient as a gas giant?

42.jpg


New, fascinating discoveries each year. Will the wonders never cease?

43.jpg


Wessari scientists discover more evidence of once-existing advanced space civilizations, but are Wessari the only one existing at present?

44.jpg


Robots and L-gates. These terms would make no sense to the Wesari of hundreds of years ago, but today, every Wessari schoolchild reads comic books about them.

45.jpg


The Wessari planets were shaken with a new discovery of a vessel in Josq Fomat. It appeared to be manned, and of a higher civilizational level than travelling caravaneers...

46.jpg

48.jpg


At last. A true space civilization, a rather strange one. Its representative scoffed at the notions of "rule by the people" and "freedom", yet he didn't seem to be hostile, and was clearly as fascinated by the discovery as the Wessari were.

49.jpg


Their space lay quite far away from the Wessari Star Accord. What could this encounter mean for the Wessari? Cooperation and friendship? Rivalry and hostility? War and death?

50.jpg


The Commonwealth of Draipol shared news about another minor civilization, the one of - or, at least, run by - strangely artistic large cockroaches.

47.jpg


I hope their performances don't include eating audience members that seem bored.
 
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Hah - cockroach Artists are quite funny
 
More New Neighbors

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Hah - cockroach Artists are quite funny
This is a part of what makes Stellaris fun.
_____
Now Wessari knew roughly how often habitable world appear in the galaxy. They also knew that many of them contain life - some of it sapient. Greater questions of ultimate purpose still troubles them, even if most of them long ago stopped believing in souls and deities.

51.jpg


Governor Sene's "robot worker" program passed only by 1% of the vote. Most Wessari believed
that labor is what gives nobility to a sapient being - as long as there isn't too much of it.

52.jpg


It was quite humbling to realize that Wessari can't even ensure their own immortality, much less the immortality of other species like the xenophilic and hospitable Vun-Okons.

53.jpg


The Gottara system was revealed to have a real abundance of habitable planets.

54.jpg


As dignified as Wessari researchers were, some of them still couldn't help themselves but try chasing their own tails in zero-G environments.

55.jpg


Unknown and strange hostile vessels were spotted in one of the systems under investigation by science ships.

56.jpg


The new discovery on Gottara III encouraged those who believed that the abundance of habitable planets in the system is no accident, but a part of some greater intelligence' plan. As a materialist people, the Wessari attributed the plan to unknown alien entities, not to gods or spirits.

58.jpg


Could this mysterious ancient structures have something to do with it?

59.jpg


Some scientists die on the job. Others, the luckier ones, get research done. The galaxy is rich and full of wonders - and it's also dark and full of terrors.

60.jpg


It's also full of abandoned amusement parks, like a ghost city.

61.jpg


In fact, considering the amount of derelict, abandoned items floating there, this isn't that bad a metaphor.

62.jpg


The Wessari and the Vun-Okons of the Draipol could not be the only sapients in the galaxy. Most Wessari felt that meeting new space civilizations was only a matter of time.

63.jpg


This humanoid phenotype has half of its people look like satyrs, half like caricatures of Stalin.

64.jpg


The Velutari were also friendly, with a daring research spirit somewhat akin to the Wessari.

65.jpg


They also revealed the existence of other, less friendly space civilizations. The Wessari debated whether you need to reach a certain level of societal enlightenment to reach the stars.

66.jpg


67.jpg


The drones were fascinating. Lethal and annoying, yes, but still fascinating.

68.jpg


The Wessari were indeed lucky to have such pleasant galaxical neighbors.

69.jpg


It's a good thing that the Tarblac didn't achieve sentience. Imagine malevolent, sentient shimmering creatures going around causing dread.

70.jpg


Despite misgivings, the Robot program continued on Khamb Prime.

71.jpg


Cooperation is what would ensure the continued progress of the sapient life.

72.jpg


On the First Intergalactiv Conference, all sapients agreed on the need to regulate the galactic market. The only question remaining was the place of its hub.

73.jpg


The ruthless capitalists of Jogollwa corporation were determined to gain this honor for themselves.

74.jpg


Another sad fate of a creature in space...

75.jpg


Who would have thought that the Vun-Okons, with their frail limbs, actually possess superwessari strength? A stark reminder that Orassian physics assumptions often don't work in the wider galaxy.

76.jpg


"United we stand, divided we fall". A saying valid everywhere - from playgrounds, to space, to space playgrounds.

77.jpg
 
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Despite all the new discoveries, some Wessari scientists fell into depression upon realizing how many things they still do not know and cannot create. Who would have thought that a previous space civilization had crystal-building nanites?

78.jpg


As suits their unpleasant natures, the Sek-Lokkar and the Tiyal were fighting over a couple of planets. How such aggressive bullies ever managed to reach the stars in the first place remained a mystery.

More aggreessive-minded Wessari had to content themselves with exterminating ancient mining drones.

80.jpg

81.jpg


Old, cynical political tracts still have their value - in a monetary sense.

82.jpg


Celebrations were held on the opening of the Orassian Intergalactic Stock Exchange. Phenotypes and tongues freely intermingled, buying, selling, speculating and going bankrupt from investing too much into CaravanCoins.

83.jpg


Did the space civilization working on nanites have some kind of enhanced eyesight? This could be the explanation why they managed to do such feats with them.

84.jpg


Another space nation was contacted through rescuing a space ship with a sick crew. So far, the observation that the farther away the neighbors, the less pleasant they are, has proved true.

85.jpg

86.jpg


The Sek-Lokkar seemed to be obsessed with humiliating their enemies.

89.jpg


Previous Wessari bureaucracy, relatively "light" and controlled from below, suited the needs of Wessari society on Orassia. However, with the growing Wessari Star Accord, it needed to be expanded.

90.jpg
 
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Time to to lead the other races into a bright future
 

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Come to space for the sense of wonder, stay for drive-by shootings.

91.jpg


The losses incurred while fighting the Drones made Vun-Okons of Draipol feel more arrogant toward us. No war declaration followed the Wessari refusal to become Draipol vassal, but this suggestion was certainly a warning sign.

92.jpg

93.jpg


The Wessari had to ensure their independence by signing a defensive pact.

94.jpg


While this may have stopped whatever aggressive designs other empires had on them, this didn't stop the insults.

95.jpg


Hopefully, the new ships of advanced design would improve Wessari galaxy standing.

96.jpg


Khamb Prime was quickly becoming a major industrial planet, as important to the Wessari as Orassia.

97.jpg


The discovery of an advanced pre-sentient species in the Paggol system confirmed the theories of Wessari scientists who expected encountering species of different development levels in the galaxy.

98a.jpg


The Paggol system was notable in more ways than one.

99.jpg


The discovery of the Mechazur machine empire was wondrous, but also frightening. Despite being clearly a bit worn-down, their spaceship armies dwarfed whatever the Wessari could recruit. At least, the robots themselves insisted that they are here only to defend from a mysterious threat.

100.jpg

101.jpg
 
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The Draipol are being very presumptuous
 

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The Vun-Okons, actually ;) They live on planet Draipol. Makes some sense - humans don't live on planet Hummus, after all.
________

More neighbors - this time, another "minor nation" dispersed among several stations across the galaxy. High Curator Bufgha looks like someone more likely to suck the brain out of your skull, than to fill it with any kind of useful knowledge, confirming the truism that first appearances can be deceiving.

102.jpg


In fact, once you get past the "sucking maw for face" thing the Curators have, they can be quite charming. Unless the maw symbolizes their demands for money...

103.jpg


But the Wessari researchers are no slouches, either - they've managed to develop new solar cells from small pre-sapient life encountered on a distant planet.

104.jpg


In fact, due to this and the one-time influx of energy from abandoned geothermal extractors, the energy situation of the Wessari Star Accord is quite good. But other space empires are still more powerful than it.

105.jpg


There was a debate among Wessari sociologists as to whether the Raxycodium Commonwealth confirms or denies the "the farther away, the less pleasant" principle. On the one hand, they weren't slaving despots like the Bokasherans, but on the other hand, they were far more xenophobic.

106.jpg

Their name list is quite cute, though... I think it's Plantoid 3.

One thing was sure - this part of the galaxy was definitely less friendly than the one Wessari were located in.

107.jpg


Khamb Secundus is a cold, bleak place, but even so, the more adventurous Velutarians migrate to there. I guess, as erudite explorers, they are interested in research opportunities.

108.jpg

These pop portraits really need to be a bit larger. There's space for it in the interface.


More advances in Wessari research and exploration.

109.jpg


Being open-minded to different perspectives means being more effective in your politics.

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The Tiyanki are docile, gentle creatures. In a galaxy full of xenophobes and slave-owners, they are truly a relief.

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At least, in addition to xenophobes, it has a fair share of extremophiles.

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A recently colonized tropical planet revealed to the Wessari the techniques of building cruisers.

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The Wessari Star Accord expanded its reach and influence. But it was still a bit behind other young powers of the galaxy - and still far behind the Ul-Tur Remnant.

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Last edited:

stnylan

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Give the Wessari time :)
 
The Federation

LWE

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Oh, the Wessari are a patient people... as well as egalitarian and xenophile. I wonder, how many people's first Stellaris playthrough is with "likeable" species and traits, and how many go directly for the insectoid slaver evil overlords or something.
____________

While some Wessari scientists felt it a bit unseemly to, as they put it, "rummage in the space trash", most felt that material and scientific benefits from it outweigh the costs.

117.jpg


The authorities from the Migration Ministry were surprised to have a small number of Tiyal immigrants wishing to find a refuge in the Wessari Star Accord. The refugees explained that they were escaping the oppressive, theocratic Tiyal Mandate government.

118.jpg

Note that the Velutarians have Tropical as their climate preference. This would greatly help in colonizing the corresponding planets.

The nanites prove to be more and more fascinating.

119.jpg


The new discovery of a drifted ship was quite grim, but its engine study provided permanent benefits to the Wessari Star Accord.

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The whole of Wessari people were saddened by the death of their kidnapped brothers and sisters.

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Does this event chain have a potential positive outcome at all?

The next war between the Sek-Lokkar and the Tiyal was more fruitful in regards to systems changing limbs.

122.jpg


The Wessari government was forced to buy more consumer goods for its increasingly large and diverse population.

123.jpg


In a major diplomatic accomplishment, after certain gifts from Wessari alloy industry, the Velutarians and the Vun-Okons agreed to join the Wessari in a federation, the Star Entente. The Vun-Okons were forced to admit that although they didn't like Wessari democratic system, it's not as bad as it initially seemed to them.

125.jpg


May the Star Entente never fall, even as it goes through tribulations. May it stand against aggression and all kinds of atrocities.
-from The Oath
 

stnylan

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Nice to organise the Federation.

I have never seen a positive Ransomeer outcome.