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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


4 Badges
Mar 15, 2021
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
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I just reached the end date for the first time ever. Didn’t do it before because of game crashes, and extreme slowness on PC. However, in most games I played, I was on track to win. This time though, I wasn’t paying attention and somehow this one empire had about 30,000 more technology victory points than me, so I was in second place by a few thousand points. I realized this at year 2482, so I ended my association status with their federation, and late in the year 2492, I went to war to make them my tributary. I got them to 100% war exhaustion about a year and a half in. Would have been sooner but they kept their largest fleets away from me for a while, but eventually I crushed the navies of both empires in the federation and I started invading planets and took over about half of their star bases. Then the war ended because of their war exhaustion and the empire that had been wining was now my tributary and I received 50,000 victory points for having them as my subject. 4 years later I win! It was pretty cool.
So, just a bit of advice for those having trouble with war exhaustion. The key to not having too much war exhaustion yourself is proper perpetration before the war. You have to make sure your fleets are far larger than your enemies. I had a total of 8 fleets, all 230k to 250k power, attacking this empire and two fleets of the same power and one 70k fleet attacking the other empire. I had 30% war exhaustion by the end, and that was only because I underestimated the strength of the smaller empire and I lost about 20 battle ships in a battle with them. Something to note, if the empire you are attacking does not have much fleet power and you want to conquer or subjugate them, you will have a hard time getting them to 100% war exhaustion even though it is an easy war. You will have to invade every planet in order to defeat them outright. So, attacking strong empires is actually easier in a way.
You should always build fully upgraded star bases with all defense platforms on your borders and have gateways near your borders so that if your fleets are in enemy territory but they manage to get around you, your star base can hold them off long enough for you to get there to help. None of my star bases got attacked in this war because they were all at over 100k power. So they actually kept the enemy fleets where I wanted them.
Also, when fighting sleeping or awakened empires, obviously you have to crush their fleets as quickly and decisively as possible, but then, don’t invade the home worlds until you have captured the other planets. I have often taken heavy losses during those invasions, and it drove my war exhaustion to 100%, so I had to rush to conquer the rest of the empire, and in one instance I wasn’t fast enough because the awakened empire controlled 1/4 of the galaxy.
I think war exhaustion should be based largely on what percentage of your fleet power you have lost, because as I said above, when fighting an empire with weak fleets, you crush them and take control of all their space, and they still aren’t anywhere near 100% war exhaustion, so you have to invade every planet. Any empire that has lost its ability to travel the stars should realize that they have lost the war.
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