LWE

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This is a brief AAR of my first Federations playthough to check how the new mechanics work (all expansions but Federations). Since it's an account of a check-up playthough, the style will be laconic. Medium galaxy, 1.25 tech speed, 2400 victory year. Grand Admiral difficulty.

The Andari are a tolerant and democratic people with beautiful singing voices. However, despite their Planetary Parliament holding supreme power on the planet, there's a shadow council, unknown to the majority, which ensures that democracy doesn't get out of hand.

1.jpg


It was good news both to the Andari Planetary Parliament and to the Hidden Council to learn that valuable alloys can be found in nearby star meteorites. A program of mapping the surrounding space was introduced.

2.jpg


"Even in space, we can't escape disgusting, toxic sludge", Andari environmentalists mourned.

3.jpg


Although rival politicians made various demagogic promises, the Council clearly favored the expansionist policies of Chancellor den Lim, ensuring her re-election. Ex-governor Nome up Yal's attempt to launch a "Lock Corrupt Hema Up" campaign didn't achieve success.

4.jpg


Indeed, Hema was a master of political triangulation, keeping most factions of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party reasonably happy.

6.jpg


Most Andari sneered at the ridiculous idea that the universe, in some way, constitutes a virtual reality game. The parliamentarians were too busy passing bureaucratic legislation to care. Only the Hidden Council members took the idea seriously.

7.jpg


The Council had no problems using sinister gases to benefit the Andari Alliance.

8.jpg


Andari first contact with sapient life were the Tebadorans, located to the galactic southeast. They seemed to be a species with alike mindset. The obligatory exchange of ambassadors went well.

10.jpg


The Cevelli, located to the galactic east, looked suspiciously similar to the Andari. They even had similar climate preference. There were many hypothesis purporting to explain this mystery - convergent evolution, alien interference - yet none were successful.

11.jpg


The migration treaty signed with the Tebadorans (who, despite their outwardly reptilian nature, were used to cold mountainous air) allowed the Parliament to designate certain previously inhospitable planets are being slated for potential colonization.

12.jpg


Relations between the Andari and the Thebadorans were warm, indeed.

I never realized why people always complain about hostile neighbors all the time.
 
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Nikolai

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Might there be a federal future ahead?
 

LWE

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Might there be a federal future ahead?

There definitely will be one!
______________________________________

13.jpg


To the galactic west were the benevolent, but dismissive Avtyrran Forerunners.

14.jpg


Thankfully, the brief surge of xenophobia on Rho Horologii was resolved without causing any incidents or other damage to the Alliance.

15.jpg


Feudal rulers of Aker IV refused to peacefully hand over their planet to the Alliance. Resulting violent methods were regrettable, but they got the job done.

16.jpg


In order to decrease the strain on Andari bureaucracy, governor tal Oth promised to investigate corruption in state practices.

Although the expert consensus is that it's too easy nowadays to stay below the sprawl limit, I was seriously neglecting it during this first 2.6.1 playthough. This came to bite me later.

17.jpg


The job of a scientist is interesting, but holds certain dangers...

18.jpg


The Vetirisius, still reeling from culture shock, were enlisted to work as civil servants for their new state. Some of their scholars attempted to literally write on holographic screens with ink, or to simply use expensive Aldari equipment as furniture, but in the end, they got the job done.

I am quite bad at specializing planets. In a way, I'm like the old economic AI.

19.jpg


Ties with Tebadorans resulted in the formation of a Prosperity Union.

The only Federation type available without DLC isn't particularly inspiring. It just barely gets the job done, which is fair to expect without the DLC, I guess.

21.jpg


The Alliance had to buy consumer goods from local producers to satisfy the demand of its population.

25.jpg


It was a joy to see the Baol rejuvenate the bleak planets.

26.jpg
 

Nikolai

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Ah that Baol chain is new to me. Splendid.
 

stnylan

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LWE

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Ah that Baol chain is new to me. Splendid.

It's one of the Ancient Relic precursors. Their chain involves a series of archeological digs (one of which maimed my scientist). By the end, you get an artifact which allows you to activate it, with a single-use-for-cooldown decision that turns any planet into a Gaia one. Since the Baol start out as extinguished, reviving them is always poignant for me, in a Video Game Caring Potential way.
 

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It's one of the Ancient Relic precursors. Their chain involves a series of archeological digs (one of which maimed my scientist). By the end, you get an artifact which allows you to activate it, with a single-use-for-cooldown decision that turns any planet into a Gaia one. Since the Baol start out as extinguished, reviving them is always poignant for me, in a Video Game Caring Potential way.
Yeah, I have done that chain once, but can't remember ever getting any living Baol. Perhaps I never activiated it to turn a world into a Gaia world?
 

LWE

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Yeah, I have done that chain once, but can't remember ever getting any living Baol. Perhaps I never activiated it to turn a world into a Gaia world?
Yes, probably. The finishing event in the chain, The Last Baol, gives you a relic you can activate, which then grants you the decision, meaning the Last Baol was not, after all, truly the last.
 

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Yes, probably. The finishing event in the chain, The Last Baol, gives you a relic you can activate, which then grants you the decision, meaning the Last Baol was not, after all, truly the last.
I see. :) Guess I didn't catch that in my last Stellaris AAR (just finished by the way, if you want to read it. I also have started a new one just a couple days ago. :) ).
 

LWE

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The new sentient neighbors to the southeast weren't particularly interesting. The most notable of them was the orange state, a Democratic Crusader nation of hydra-like molluscoids.

27.jpg


The awful Terravore swarm and organic Fanatic Purifier order were far more shocking to the civilized Andari.

28.jpg


The Hidden Council approved the idea of a Galactic Community, but they forced den Ulto to retire for his "stupid pot plants" comments about the Vetirisius. The Chancellor tried to claim that "the People" are at his side, and at any case, what he said is confirmed by news from the fair and balanced XNN, but there was no denying the will of the Council.

29b.jpg


The militarist Gorothi regime was clearly on its way out under the attacks of the Yru Throng terravores.

I suspect that bad military AI was one of the reasons the Gorothi lasted for so long.

30.jpg


Some of these Galactic Community resolutions are somewhat useful, in particular the one that increases your Naval Capacity by 10. Also, it's apparently still called "Buzzword Standartization".

31.jpg

32.jpg


Seeing that previous governments drastically neglected Alloy production, governor den Haro started a program of rapid industrial development.

33.jpg


The Bloodletters were forced to realize what it's like to be purged themselves, by the merciless Terravores. Despite their misgivings, the Andari agreed to let their refugees in.

It was always strange to me that Purifier pops are, by themselves, no more xenophobic than anyone else.

34.jpg


Frustrated by bureaucratic inefficiency, den Haro demanded an expansion of bureaucratic offices. This, however, was a mistaken decision, since Farna didn't have enough excess population to fill the new vacancies immediately. The new expensive offices remained empty for quite some time.

36.jpg


The Aldari hoped that their Space Alliance won't end like this abandoned colony.

37.jpg
 
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stnylan

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Well as regards to purifier pops, people are just people. Governments are the problem :)
 

LWE

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Well as regards to purifier pops, people are just people. Governments are the problem :)
This could work for authoritarian purifier governments, but harder to explain for Purity Assemblies. Of course, the game can't always account for edge cases.
____________________________________________________

The Gorothi were very arrogant, claiming Alliance systems and insulting Andari democracy while being a small remnant surrounded by Terravores.

38.jpg


One of the benefits of Stellaris diplomacy are migration treaties, allowing nations to settle many planets without habitability problems.

40.jpg


The Hidden Council suspected all this talk about "important for our civilization" is simply a way for the Muutagan to justify demanding a high price for the Crtystals. But with high demands of Andari bureaucracy, they had no choice but to pay.

41.jpg


The appearance of Sadrell Archive was quite unexpected, but they were eventually vassalized by Andari brothers in federation.

More Events Mod, which I'm of two minds about, spawned this in a special cluster. It had an overflowing distance modifier and was quite militarily weak, so it quickly vassalized to the Thebadorans.

42.jpg


Gorothi insults were annoying enough for Andari to declare a small victorious war for a small patch of Gorothi systems at the border.

43.jpg


Since Andari had certain unalienable rights (meaning that they applicable to all aliens of the galaxy), only sentience-less droids were avaliable for resettlement. Even the Hidden Council didn't dare to violate it.

44.jpg


The three occupied systems plus Xi Volantis were annexed into the Alliance.

45.jpg


Finally, the Thebadorans and the Cevelli put their differences aside for the Cevelli to be invited into the Federation.

46.jpg


The ethics shift in the Moij-Huxgan Territories transformed them from Democratic Crusaders into Erudite Explorers. Meanwhile, the plantoid Vetirisius adapted to the Alliance quite well, chairing two of three Science Ministries.

47.jpg


The Alliance bureaucracy just can't keep up with all that expansion.

I guess my settings prolong the early game quite a bit, since the consensus of forum experts is that it's early game where Empire Sprawl now matters most.

49.jpg
 

Nikolai

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Those driven assimilators sounds like a threat that you need to deal with before it's too late. ;) They will obviously devour their masters from within.
 

LWE

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A whole Hive Mind committing suicide? This is unprecedented and strange.

50.jpg


The Tendrakkian Bloodletters rehabilitation program was working well. Hask'Jugir, a son of a refugee that had to flee from the Terravores, even became a diplomat, representing the Andari in the Union.

52.jpg


The Gorothi may be an arrogant remnant on their way out, but they propose decent resolutions.

53.jpg


Andari fleet was simply not large enough. A major starbase expansion was launched.

54.jpg


The story of Vetirisius was an inspiring one. From a feudal society conquered by Andari, to leading a mining guilds reform of the Alliance.

55.jpg


The new space fleet proved itself well in a brief war with the Ferbanites over a wormhole system that, according to the Alliance President, "was a really bad case of border gore".

56.jpg


The claimed system was the black hole slightly above the center of the image. Also note that the Gorothi are finally extinguished by the Terravores.

57.jpg


The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

59.jpg


It was clear: after dealing with the Gorothi, the Terravores would come for the Alliance.

60.jpg
 

Nikolai

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LWE

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All the Alliance was affected by a convoluted, but sad story of a memory wiper gone wrong.

62.jpg


The Cevelli were ready to help the Alliance deal with the Terravore threat.

64.jpg


But then, a sudden and unprovoked disaster struck the galaxy. Fleshy beings called "the Prethoryn" invaded, merciless and predatory. No communication or negotiation with them was possible. To make matters worse, they struck directly at Cevelli systems. Initially, however, they seemed to be quite slow and nonthreatening, despite their huge numbers, so the Hidden Council decided to focus on the Terravores.

I've set the Crisis to the earliest it could appear, but it was certainly an early appearance.

65.jpg


The Federation, however, passed some measures to fight the new arrivals.

66.jpg


Prethoryn invading armies clearly had trouble actually invading planets. It seemed that the invaders had a sort of mental block - probable remnant of their previous intergalactic existence.

The crisis AI has clear issues right now. Armies fly over undefended planets, without bothering to land.

67.jpg


Strongholds were built on all Alliance planets, to expand the neglected fleet.

68.jpg


The Terravores were clearly exhausted by their previous galactic fights. Their armies were no match even for the small detachments led by a Thebadorian (Alliance federation partner) general.

69.jpg


Yru Throng fleets were, for some reason, not too keen on repelling the invasion, instead preferring to guard their possessions in the galactic south.

Enemy fleet AI is borked right now, especially when it comes to fighting multiple enemies.

70.jpg


Enemy planets were captured without much effort. Sadly, the Yru Throng hive mind population proved to be unreceptive to rehabilitative measures and had to be exterminated.

72.jpg
 

stnylan

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I've been playing Stellaris since launch.

I have never, ever, seen the Prethoryn.
 

LWE

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I've been playing Stellaris since launch.

I have never, ever, seen the Prethoryn.
I guess it depends on your game parameters. I played this game with a somewhat slowed tech, but with the earliest date the Crisis can appear. This virtually guaranteed the Prethoryn as crisis, since there wasn't enough time for me or for the AI to research techs that strongly switch probabilities to other crises.
_______________________________________

Considering Terravore weakness, the entrance of the huge Avtyrran Mediator fleets on the side against them was unwelcome news. It ensured that the Mediators, whose fleets and armies were strangely competent and decisive, would gain the most of defeated Terravore space, although the Alliance gained its capital. However, without any population capable of working for the Alliance, all gained planets were of few immediate benefit, save for straining the bureaucracy even further.

74.jpg


Here you can see a case of Prethoryn laziness. I've lost count of all the times Prethoryn armies flew past the planet of Cevasia, stubbornly refusing to invade.

76.jpg


The Alliance, unfortunately, had to lose control of its Federation fleet to other members of the Prosperity Pact. Attempts to lobby the Thebadorians and the Cevelli were in vain.

I've neglected this part of the Federation gameplay, although I wasn't even economically the strongest member at this point - the economy AI was significantly improved.

77.jpg


Shipyards were frantically built all over the Alliance.

78.jpg


When the Prethoryn actually invaded, all resistance was hopeless.

81.jpg


More examples of Prethoryn incompetence. One of their armies is pinned by a Cevelli space station, while systems in yellow contain bombed-out planets that were still not invaded.

82.jpg
 

stnylan

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I might try that.
 

LWE

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I might try that.
My parameters for this game were victory year 2400, endgame start year 2250, midgame start year 2225.This does put some pressure on you.
________________________________

Despite their incompetence, the Prethoryn slowly advanced into Alliance space.

84.jpg


The Alliance proclaimed itself the Defender of the Galaxy, and tried to the unity of all nations against the new threat.

87.jpg


The Cevelli were slowly grind down.

88.jpg


Avtyrran Mediators tried to launch a counterattack with a large fleet, but it disappeared within Prethoryn space without a trace.

89.jpg


Meanwhile, Prethoryn fleets were coming closer to Andari capital...

90.jpg


The Andari just didn't have the time to gather sufficient forces. Their fleet was exterminated in a heroic, but futile last stand.

91.jpg

92.jpg

93.jpg


Note the fleet numbers - my ships are clearly simply not powerful enough. Slow tech + early crisis really made this game hard even considering crisis AI bugs.

The Hidden Council then decided to reveal its secret research into a concept once revealed by a strange space computer anomaly - that the universe was one big simulation. Secretly from the whole galaxy, a small team of researchers was conducting studies, which they were forbidden to reveal to anyone else.

The universe, indeed, was a computer simulation - and the galaxy was nothing more than a component of one of the computer's programs.

These researchers managed to open an unstable portal into several other programs of the computer, but they were unable to determine which.

Sentients across the whole Federation were contacted at random, with the proposal to step into this portal.

Some refused. Others, fearing the Prethoryn more than they feared uncertainty, agreed.

So, when researchers could no longer maintain the portal for long, a multi-racial team stepped into the portal.

There were the founder species, Andari, the surprisingly similar Cevelli, the co-founder Thebadorians, the from-stone-castles-to-space-ships Vesitirius, the rehabilitated Tendrakkians, and a small assortment of other species all over the galaxy.

They stepped into the portal, and it closed off.

Where would they end?

Would they end on a pre-FTL planet in a different, but close galaxy, one where multiple nation-states are fated to eternally fight for domination?

civ4.png

Would they land on a galaxy further away, to be embroiled in political intrigues of a decaying, once continent-spanning, Empire?

Skyrim.jpg

Would they have no choice but to take part in a strange abstract strategy game?

Chessmaster.png

Or would they be doomed to eternally exist among cryptic commands of adsldp.dll?

Win.png

The Hidden Council did not know...
___________________________________________

Overall, I feel this game had been nothing but displays of ineptitude from everyone involved, including myself. Paradox, while doing a good job on the economic AI, managed to make the military AI to be worse, if anything, and the Crisis AI seems unfinished. On the other hand, I've underestimated the scale of the Prethoryn threat, failed to predict that the Terravore conquest won't be that much of a benefit due to its pops being useless to me and the unwelcome Fallen Empire intervention (the only AI in the game whose military actions were straightforward and effective).

Also, I decided to hold off purchasing Federations until the military AI is in a better state.
 
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