The Number 9

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I just saw you started a new AAR (it's just the beginning, I didn't miss much).
Like always, count me in for the ride. :)
 

Tom D.

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I just saw you started a new AAR (it's just the beginning, I didn't miss much).
Like always, count me in for the ride. :)
Great to have you here too again, you're indeed lucky, it has just started. As for the next chapter, I actually have yet to start playing again, but I might have enough to write a small chapter this weekend, I'll see if I can get to it.
 
Chapter 2: First steps in the void

Tom D.

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Chapter 2: First steps in the void

AeayHLr.jpg
In the months and first years after the arrival of the Vool in their new galaxy, Commissary-General Gugaana took charge of the newly founded Vool Republic. Taking lead of the stranded Vool and building an administration worthy of its name, earning the favour of his people who were glad order was restored in the first chaotic moments following the awakening of their species. This however gave Gugaana the ability to organise himself and get in touch with his old connections from back in their old home galaxy. He had promised elections after all after 10 years to allow people to express themselves about his reforms and his acts as leader of the Vool. But of course he couldn’t have some peasant rabble denounce his right of leadership after all he had done. He was prepared to fight for his position, even if it required some shadowy business. His biggest opponent though was going to be the admiral of the fleet, Hoblorgh.

J4fikU2.png
Hoblorgh was only a minor cadet in the Vool fleet during the Norman invasion but was able to distinguish himself during the fights – actually surviving the Norman onslaught was probably one of the biggest reasons for this. Nonetheless this made him able to assert himself when an Admiral of the fleet was required, and thus he was charged with the day-to-day needs of the fleet, any repairs that needed to be done, and general leadership of the fleet as a part of the military.

19BcXBf.png
As said, on paper there was a clear difference between general leadership of the ‘country’, building up an administration and taking the lead of a military fleet. In practice though, the fleet was the country, so both functions collided more than once. With good will this was easy to avoid, but as it would turn out Hoblorgh would become a real champion of the new-born Vool democracy and Republic, knowing how blind leadership lead to the destruction of the Vool fleets and Empire to the Normans. Only the Republic would guard the interests of the Vool and ensure its survival in a potential hostile galaxy according to him. With Gugaana’s secret agenda though, soon these two would get into conflict with each other and both would start to gather support, basically creating a somewhat two-party-system in what could be called a ‘Parliament’. There were actually no politicians or a Parliament yet, as the first election would have yet to be held, but it was soon clear to the Vool that these two would be the main competitors in the election.

In the first months though, nothing of this was obvious or clear to both the Vool as well as the two main competitors themselves. With everything still insecure, both were forced to work together and would do so without any real trouble. One of their main concerns in the following weeks after their arrival had been what general direction to take in the galaxy.

MGLsgG8.png
Before they could really solve the matter though, they picked up signals from their scans and two unidentified alien civilisations were discovered. Lifeforms were detected by the scans on those two planets, but details were lacking. The Genox system though was only 6 jumps away, while the Binor system was at least 10 jumps away. The two were therefore quick to decide to go to the Genox system, and hope that whatever civilisation that resided there would be friendly to them. It would take just less than a year to reach it, all whilst preparing themselves for a possible hostile encounter. And when they eventually did reach it, they found themselves in a trinary star system, but unlike their expectations to find a lush world with abundant wildlife and an intelligent species residing there, they found… well, this:

dQlJV4A.jpg
A tomb world, a nuclear hellhole, literally, with weird mutated species who had something that resembled like an octopus as their head. Truly an abomination to look at. If the Vool had expected to arrive in an excellent galaxy, this first encounter with a sentient alien species was not the best first impression they were looking for. Brief communications were sent to the octopus-people (as they would mockingly be named by the Vool) after which they directed them to the nearest gas giant to wait and stay there until their species had decided what to do. But even if they would decide to be hostile, the Vool were assured by their cautious approach: even if they suddenly opened fire their fleet was still way superior to their primitive fleet. And so, after a brief encounter with the first alien species in the galaxy, the Vool waited. And silently hoped for a better encounter next time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: as you can see in the background of the first screenshot, they are apparently fanatic militarist and materialist. I initially wanted them to be pacifist and materialist, but for some reason I never got the ethics I wanted, it kept on randomising even if I fixed the ethics in the files so I had to settle with this after a couple of re-loading the same file. I more or less justified it in the first chapter by making them so focused on survival and thus them being militaristic because of their survival. But in-game the ethics won't matter for probably most of the run, so it doesn't bother me that much.

I did deliberatily put shadow council and cutthroat politics in the Nomads' civics though, because I think it fits perfectly for Gugaana's secret agenda and Distinguished Admiralty came along with it in the RNG and if you read the text I think it fits this situation as well.
 
Last edited:

SibCDC

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A tomb world, interesting. Much like the Vool, the octopus-people are prisoners of their own home.
 

stnylan

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Yes not the most promising of starts.
 

Vilhelm

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As a huge fan of @hjarg's Norman AARs, I feel obligated to follow this to see the dangling plotline of the Vool exodus resolved. :D

Subbed!
 

Nikolai

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Heh, whatever happened to the octopus people, it sure must be an interesting story. ;)
 

Tom D.

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A tomb world, interesting. Much like the Vool, the octopus-people are prisoners of their own home.
They surely were with that sort of condition for a long time, but now they're ready to go out into the void. Will be interesting to see how well they will do once they and other empires grow and the first wars appear.

Yes not the most promising of starts.
I would definitely be disappointed if that species was the first sentient one I came across.

Off to a... good? start... ish?

I'm curious, where do you get the energy and minerals income from?
It's basically the same as any normal empire at the start of the game, as you can see with the science too. I modded it so that the Nomads actually can have minerals, energy, unity, etc. if I hadn't modded it they would just have nothing of it.

If you meant lore-wise, of course due to starting up their industries and trying to be self-sufficient in their fleet.

As a huge fan of @hjarg's Norman AARs, I feel obligated to follow this to see the dangling plotline of the Vool exodus resolved. :D

Subbed!
Thanks for the support, still great to hear that people like the connection I made with hjarg's AAR, though it will be difficult to reach the same excellency in writing as hjarg did with his Norman AARs.

Heh, whatever happened to the octopus people, it sure must be an interesting story. ;)
I imagine it to be not so different as to a potential human disaster with nukes, but I will probably come up with some background story in the next chapter(s) for the Empires I discover, will be interesting to write for sure.

Well, given that @stnylan recommended this I'll give it a follow! Enjoying it so far!
Thanks for the sub, always great to see a new face around :).
 

hjarg

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Dual leadership will indeed end up in several clashes. My sympathy goes to Hoblorgh, for sure. Heh, and i love that requirement for the position is just survival :D

And as first encounters go. Well, things can only get better, i hope.
 

SibCDC

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As said, on paper there was a clear difference between general leadership of the ‘country’, building up an administration and taking the lead of a military fleet. In practice though, the fleet was the country, so both functions collided more than once. With good will this was easy to avoid, but as it would turn out Hoblorgh would become a real champion of the new-born Vool democracy and Republic, knowing how blind leadership lead to the destruction of the Vool fleets and Empire to the Normans.
Dual leadership will indeed end up in several clashes.
Maybe the political system will evolve into something similar to the Late Roman Republic, where you had two groups: the optimates and the populares. For the Vool, the optimates could be those around the Commissary-General, as they are the more 'political' faction, those who do not engage often with the regular people and the day-to-day organisation of the 'country', but keep themselves to backroom politics in a Parliament of some sorts. I can see the Admirality evolving into the populares, because the Admiral has to involve himself in the daily organisation of the fleet and he may come into more contact with regular people, thus becoming the voice of the people.
 

Tom D.

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Dual leadership will indeed end up in several clashes. My sympathy goes to Hoblorgh, for sure. Heh, and i love that requirement for the position is just survival :D

And as first encounters go. Well, things can only get better, i hope.
Looking at how the Normans were able to completely devastate the Vool, I thought survival would be a fitting requirement for a position of Admiral of the fleet :p.

Maybe the political system will evolve into something similar to the Late Roman Republic, where you had two groups: the optimates and the populares. For the Vool, the optimates could be those around the Commissary-General, as they are the more 'political' faction, those who do not engage often with the regular people and the day-to-day organisation of the 'country', but keep themselves to backroom politics in a Parliament of some sorts. I can see the Admirality evolving into the populares, because the Admiral has to involve himself in the daily organisation of the fleet and he may come into more contact with regular people, thus becoming the voice of the people.
It might very well end up quite similar to this, who will win however is far from obvious at this point in time.
 

SibCDC

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It might very well end up quite similar to this, who will win however is far from obvious at this point in time.
Who knows, maybe someone will get stabbed at least 23 times by Senators :p
 
Chapter 3: The First Encounters

Tom D.

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Chapter 3: The First Encounters
The Vool waited and waited for the octopus-people to respond or to officially open communications with them, but it took them long. Of course translating might’ve taken a while, but how could it take this long? Well yes, of course, they were inferior to the Vool and their translation software would probably be considered almost retarded by Vool standards, but surely, it couldn’t be that bad, right?

Until finally a response arrived at the Vool Fleet: they were welcomed in Genox territory and greeted by the Archon Ridugg, or better translated the High-Priest of the Bloc of Genox, who apologised himself for the long wait as the Genoggians had to discuss this sudden encounter with unknown xenos with the other priests in Genox society on how to approach the Vool.

An almost noticeable sigh could be heard from Gugaana by the other Vool present: religious xenos, just as if it couldn’t get any worse already. Oh, and apparently fanatic militarists as well. Great.

The High-Priest continued, pretending he didn’t hear a thing, and told the Vool how he would’ve liked it to invite the Vool to the Genoggian capital, but that he and the other priests could not let them enter Holy ground, as they were cyborgs after all. Also the radiation would’ve prevented it anyway but he mentioned it just to get the point across that even without deadly radiation they wouldn’t have been allowed to come over. Not that the Vool wanted to anyway.

94UKFcN.jpg

With their background as Ancient Keepers of Knowledge, the Vool asked about the Genoggian’s history, to which the High-Priest responded and talked for hours on how the Genoggians, in their unenlightened times were bitter rivals and divided along petty political schemes and trivial disputes, which led to a full-out war. The Big War tore the whole planet apart into two different groups, and unfortunately both groups owned nuclear weapons. When the war stalled, only one side had to use a nuke to let the other group use theirs and that is exactly what happened. Millions and millions of Genoggians died, and in the nuclear winter that followed alongside the complete breakdown of Genoggian society, the survivors went underground in an attempt to survive, but not before suffering severe mutations due to the high amount of radiation above the ground before they could settle themselves underground. - Probably the reason why these Genoggians looked so ugly, but Gugaana kept this thought to himself. – Luckily for them, the High-Priest continued, the unimaginable scale of death and destruction brought onto themselves made the Genoggians realise the errors of their way and thus despite all the suffering, the Genoggians found the light in their darkest times: their gods and their faith, with Genox as their supreme god. When they finally left their underground bunkers and settlements after a few centuries, the new nation that spanned the entire planet, now united by faith, would be called Bloc of Genox in honour of their supreme deity. The Genoggians never lost their war-like nature though, but did lose quite a bit of know-how and technology. Just recently did they get the technology to reach beyond their home planet and discover what more their gods had made besides their home planet. And just as the first science ships had left the system for the first time in their history, the Vool had come. It surely must’ve been a sign from Genox that their mission was sacred and upon a blessed mandate concluded the High Priest.

U8ilXTa.jpg

The Vool and above all Gugaana listened, looked and thought to each their own. Despite the differences between Genoggians and Vool, Gugaana thought it to be important – for now – to remain in contact with the Bloc of Genox and proposed a trade agreement for 30 years: the Vool would give 12 minerals for communications and an active sensor link from the Genoggians. For the Vool this was a very cheap deal, whilst the Genoggians gained a first ‘ally’ or at least a first contact with whom they were on good terms. When the agreement was signed and all formalities had been done, the Vool set off again.

lhB0c2H.jpg

The Bloc of Genox were in a corner of the spiral, so the Fleet had to go a few hyperlanes east to then continue their journey north. By now Gugaana and Hoblorgh had mutually agreed to keep heading north and if no things would interrupt their path to continue doing so until they reached the upper north to then continue eastwards, southwards and hopefully end up where they entered the galaxy for the first time. That way they should be able to encounter all space-faring xenos in the galaxy and get a rough overview of how the politics in this galaxy will evolve. It might take them a decade or two though.

A year passed without anything noticeable. They passed several star systems, untouched by any xeno for eons. Truly beautiful sights to look at whilst you work in the fields, the industries, offices or the new government institutions which were getting off the ground on the fleet. Several ships were dedicated to build new ships, as it was deemed necessary by Hoblorgh to expand the Fleet, make it as strong as possible to survive. Gugaana reluctantly agreed, as more ships meant more ships to keep control of, but it would also help in decreasing overpopulation, as the ships were really crammed. The ships dedicated to building new ships were ordered to build the engines and the power to fire up those engines first, so that as soon as those components were ready, they could propel themselves forwards whilst the rest of the ship was built as they were travelling. It was the most efficient way to build it as no ship itself was big enough or capable to build an entire ship. It would still take a fair amount of time to build an entire ship though and sometimes the small industry on the fleet could not follow the demand for construction workers, so it was often delayed and paused. Nonetheless there was no real hurry to get as many ships out as possible, as long as they were under no immediate threat.

4mv1vnv.jpg

After a year with no major events, when the Fleet entered the Con Viab system, they picked up signals again from their scans. All the science and military departments could get out of the few information was that it was a station, two hyperlanes away. When asked what to do, another scan detected a possible lifeform in the void, also two hyperlanes away. The scans could not tell what it was, but the scientists predicted it could be hostile, and with it blocking the way to the north, there was only one way to go: through the system with the station. So with not much of a choice, Hoblorgh ordered the Fleet to move westwards to the Ensmars system, and as always ordered the crew to be cautious when they would enter the system.

After half a year, they jumped into the Ensmars system.

To their surprise, they found a high-tech station, orbiting around the giant red star in the system. No immediate response came when the Vool send a message, but soon enough they got an answer: it was a trade enclave which welcomed them openly. The Vool had reached their next stop in their journey.

f7OiPvg.jpg
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I modded the game to also enable me to do standard diplomacy, hence why I could sign that trade agreement. I don't think they can do it on their own with me though, so that should also disable any sudden wars against me out of nowhere - at least let's hope so.
 
Last edited:

SibCDC

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Playing as a nomadic nation, do you actually have the possibilty of changing policies and edicts? I'm just curious how many of the normal empire mechanics also apply to nomads.
 

Tom D.

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Good update. Intrigued with what the Vool May have discovered near this red star.
I kind of spoiled it already, even if you don't get communications with them, by just looking at the colour you can know whether they are traders (green), curators (blue) or artists (purple - if I'm not mistaken). I couldn't actually get communications with them, so I won't be able to know their actual name but maybe I'll just try later with a science ship specifically to survey the system (if that's even possible, I think the Nomads actually have all systems surveyed) and then delete it, not sure on how to tackle it yet.

Playing as a nomadic nation, do you actually have the possibilty of changing policies and edicts? I'm just curious how many of the normal empire mechanics also apply to nomads.
I thought policies were broken and edicts were fine, but it looks like policies might actually work - mostly:

20181119182946_1.jpg
I can freely switch between these three options for example, and they can be useful too.

20181119182951_1.jpg
Apparently this one is the only one that is barred for special empires, no idea why this one specifically though (default defines the standard empires you make and start a game with in the empire creation tab).

20181119183024_1.jpg
All edicts work fine as well, this one for example might be very useful for leaders and admirals, although in-game the benefits would really be marginal, but if you want to, you can do it.

20181119183037_1.jpg
Others though, are not so useful at all, like the Farming Subsidies - those are basically a waste of influence.

To all: whilst making these screenshots I tagged to another empire and clicked on the Nomads and apparently the normal empires are still limited to the diplomacy module as you would normally encounter and engage in diplomacy with in a standard game. So that means no sudden DoWs but also no diplomacy on the part of AI, although I think AIs are already barred from communicating with the Nomads, so even if they had the standard diplomacy module it might still not make a difference. To clarify, this is part of the limited diplomacy you can engage with as a player with the Nomads:

20181119182757_1.jpg
 

wingren013

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So what happens when you inevitably jump into the system with the dimensional horror and lose your fleet?
 

SibCDC

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So what happens when you inevitably jump into the system with the dimensional horror and lose your fleet?
End of their story, I would guess.