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Lord Raglan

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hello

playing the beta aniversary patch (had the performance lag issue) and i've reached the end game (sorta) for the first time ( have gone past this date before, but relatively new to the game and had put back the end dates while i was learning the mechanics)
i thought i was getting okay at this game, then war in heaven hit and well i guess not.

playing as united earth and had 3 fleets each about 75k strong. the FEs in the galaxy were only superior, nothing epic.

Now i have expanded around one of the FE and the other 2 on the far side of the galaxy.

the one by me awoke, okay, not to bad i thought, lets build some bastions nearby in chock points and strengthen my fleets. Started to build a 4th fleet and playing the waiting game on upgrading things.

of course, that would have been far to simple, AE has a FE on far side of galaxy it has history with so we get war in heaven. This kicks in waaaaay before i have finished preparing for it.

options for what to do pop up, I'm in a strongish position, and have a very strong ally to the south of me, a vassel guarding my north border and i have a federation with 2 other empires nearby

was a bit confused about the options, doesn't really explain the results of it (to be discovered for yourself i guess)
i had surrender to one AE
join the other AE in some peace declaration,
refuse to get involved

now, the aggressive AE is the one bordering me, but with my allies, and strong position i thought, i'll give it a go and joined the 'nice' AE (i assume, not sure of the end results)

and this is where everything goes downhill.

my federation ends with absolutely no warning or information about this (i only noticed when one of my 'close' partners invaded my space) the galaxy splits into three different factions which seems intended, but it though me a curveball with basically everyone in my federation except my vassel going the other way (there goes that lovely 400 ship fereation fleet that would have been handy right about now)

and then things get worse. The 'nice' AE who i sided with decides to declare war on the non alligned league and declares on its strongest member, who just happens to be my southern neighbour who i have a defensive pact with. so i get called into the war. I am now somehow at war with both AE (one of whom i'm also allied with in the war against the other - this seems dodgy to me)

at this point the AE by me sends in a fleet with 175k (where did that come from!) i send all 3 of my fleets (i have gateways so this is easy enough) with a total of 75k each - 225k- and get curb stomped each fleet is reduced to about 12k and retreats, and i didn't kill a single ship! those strike craft are a whole different game when massed like that! otherwise i had retrofitted fairly well the aw uses physical weapons, so i had gone all armour and was balanced defensively. Pretty sure i just got overwhelmed by the strike craft, but still, i didn't take out a single ship!

What are my options here? my former federation friends are attacking my northern border (which is very soft as i never saw any need to strengthen it) i had an alloy income of about 400 per month which considering the damage my fleets took is probably low, and the entire galaxy more or less is at war with me. Including the other AE who is both at war and allied to me!

heres a map for interest

photecian state was the ally
looking at the map, actually only one of my federation partners is at war with me, but the federation definately disolved (fed partners were the two small states just north, one in red other in grey
grey mass to the left hand side are my vassel, and the chosen of lorongia at the top are a random empire i have never really interacted with
yellow is the other AE who i am both at war with and allied to. The other AE is at the bottom but mostly lost in all that red. finally there is a third FE who seems to be pretty content to watch this all go on around them
help.png
 

Methone

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my federation ends with absolutely no warning or information about this (i only noticed when one of my 'close' partners invaded my space) the galaxy splits into three different factions which seems intended, but it though me a curveball with basically everyone in my federation except my vassel going the other way (there goes that lovely 400 ship fereation fleet that would have been handy right about now)
AI pick sides randomly during the War in Heaven. However, AI in a federation WITH THE PLAYER will stay in the federation.

But you weren't in the Federation. You LEFT the federation to become an Awakened Empire's lackey.

As for options... take it as a learning opportunity for next time?
 
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CrazyJ

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my advice is to stay out of the war. if you aren't strong enough to do so then you're screwed no matter what .it is possible to join and profit from the whole shitshow, but it depends on your fleet and the idiocy of the ai
 
Oct 14, 2012
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I don't think you can recover from this. If you had a few score thousand alloys, you might be able to build a fleet in time to at least avoid total defeat, but you don't. Unless you're able to pull off some very surprising trades with the neutral AIs, you're done for.
 

Volapyk

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The fact that you are both allied and at war with one of the AE does seem like a bug to me, I would report it on the bug forums.

As for the rest, well a FE is very weak compared to an AE, they get a bunch of free fleets when they awaken, something about hidden reserves being put into action, so them suddenly coming at you with a 175k fleet seems about right for what I would expect, maybe even a bit weaker than you could have encountered 200k+ fleets aren't out of the question for an AE to throw at you.

It is worth noting that the fleet strength indicator isn't exactly what you would call a good indicator of strength, perhaps you have noticed before how a 5k fleet can easily take out a 5k starbase with next to no losses. So flinging ~225k at a ~175k fleet isn't guaranteed to do you much good, it is much more about ship compositions, and a bit of luck. Since the AE ships are all big and beefy they have a lot of chances to retreat (every hit when they are below 50% hull gives them a chance to retreat), so killing none of them if you have a lot of small weapons is fairly likely.

Another point worth making is that there exist and outnumbering mechanic, I can't remember what they call it, but simply put the more you outnumber the enemy the more bonuses THEY get, so an AEs ships are few and strong compared to yours, so you outnumber them heavily which means they get a heavy bonus on top, I think it maxes out at something like 50% fire rate and some other modifiers. Which just makes AE that much tougher.

Your current situation is, how to put it, precarious to say the least, and your chances of making a comeback slim, sounds like something that could be a fun challenge. Maybe make a copy and the save and take it up later once you feel more comfortable with the situation. That said, your best hope is probably to hope the AI is slow to take your territory, giving you time to rebuild your fleets. You probably want to be strong enough to handle the non-AE empires, leaving you in a game of dodging the AE fleets, while focusing down non-AE fleets and taking back territory where you can in small hit and run tactics. Hope you have jump drives.
 

Fyren85

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AI pick sides randomly during the War in Heaven. However, AI in a federation WITH THE PLAYER will stay in the federation.

But you weren't in the Federation. You LEFT the federation to become an Awakened Empire's lackey.

As for options... take it as a learning opportunity for next time?
are you sure? I had war in heaven twice. I decided to not participate at all and my federation got closed at almost max level. Or did i something wrong?
Or is it a leader thing?
 

SeekingEtermity

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As others have implied, this run is probably toast. With that said, here's some advice:
  1. Don't ever join an AE who is a long way from you, especially if the other is right next to you. If you're strong enough to survive doing that, you shouldn't submit to either one.
  2. You will get to keep your federation if you form the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. The League will always form during the War in Heaven, and it will always end up at war with both parties; that's just how WiH works.
  3. Fallen and awakened empires have a lot of shield and armor bonuses (from tech repeatables), so they actually have more shields and armor than hull. This makes them ideal targets for bypass weapons (disruptors, arc emitters, cloud lightning).
  4. There is approximately no point in building bastions for the War in Heaven. Starbase weapons are too short-ranged and weak, and you can't customize them. At least half of the things that are supposed to make platforms better, including at least one of their repeatables, don't work; at best they're glass cannons, mounting a meaningful throw weight but so fragile that a single volley from their own weapon battery might kill them. Neither platforms nor starbases can evade, so the massively overpowered L, X, and T capital ship weapons (which are supposed to be countered by evasion) will wreck them with ease; nor can they use Artillery computers, so the enemy often gets the first shot or at least trades opening volleys. Finally, even leaving aside all of that, the cap on starbase combat strength doesn't scale with fleet size at all. In the early game, a well-fortified bastion is major obstacle. By the late game, it's nothing but target practice and a waste of alloys.
  5. 300k-ish in total fleet strength isn't terrible, especially since you've set the end-game year earlier than normal, but you should definitely be shooting for better than that. Like, individual fleets of 100k-200k and aim to have at least five of them. You don't strictly need half a million to take on the war in heaven, but it's a good target minimum.
  6. Possibly this is just because of the nasty situation you find yourself in, but your alloy income needs work. A thousand per month surplus is a good minimum for lategame. A single late-game fleet is something like 40k-60k alloys, after all.
  7. Your science similarly needs work. You can hit 3k science before 2300; by 2350 aim for at least 10k.
  8. The best counter to strike craft is to kill the carrier before they do anything (use long-range, high-alpha-strike weapons). The second best is to have your own strike craft. Lacking both of those, throw some swarm missiles to distract them; they'll massively overkill the missiles, but they fire quickly and the equivalent of one M slot can keep the equivalent of one L slot mostly off your back.
 

Lord Raglan

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As others have implied, this run is probably toast. With that said, here's some advice:
  1. Don't ever join an AE who is a long way from you, especially if the other is right next to you. If you're strong enough to survive doing that, you shouldn't submit to either one.
  2. You will get to keep your federation if you form the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. The League will always form during the War in Heaven, and it will always end up at war with both parties; that's just how WiH works.
  3. Fallen and awakened empires have a lot of shield and armor bonuses (from tech repeatables), so they actually have more shields and armor than hull. This makes them ideal targets for bypass weapons (disruptors, arc emitters, cloud lightning).
  4. There is approximately no point in building bastions for the War in Heaven. Starbase weapons are too short-ranged and weak, and you can't customize them. At least half of the things that are supposed to make platforms better, including at least one of their repeatables, don't work; at best they're glass cannons, mounting a meaningful throw weight but so fragile that a single volley from their own weapon battery might kill them. Neither platforms nor starbases can evade, so the massively overpowered L, X, and T capital ship weapons (which are supposed to be countered by evasion) will wreck them with ease; nor can they use Artillery computers, so the enemy often gets the first shot or at least trades opening volleys. Finally, even leaving aside all of that, the cap on starbase combat strength doesn't scale with fleet size at all. In the early game, a well-fortified bastion is major obstacle. By the late game, it's nothing but target practice and a waste of alloys.
  5. 300k-ish in total fleet strength isn't terrible, especially since you've set the end-game year earlier than normal, but you should definitely be shooting for better than that. Like, individual fleets of 100k-200k and aim to have at least five of them. You don't strictly need half a million to take on the war in heaven, but it's a good target minimum.
  6. Possibly this is just because of the nasty situation you find yourself in, but your alloy income needs work. A thousand per month surplus is a good minimum for lategame. A single late-game fleet is something like 40k-60k alloys, after all.
  7. Your science similarly needs work. You can hit 3k science before 2300; by 2350 aim for at least 10k.
  8. The best counter to strike craft is to kill the carrier before they do anything (use long-range, high-alpha-strike weapons). The second best is to have your own strike craft. Lacking both of those, throw some swarm missiles to distract them; they'll massively overkill the missiles, but they fire quickly and the equivalent of one M slot can keep the equivalent of one L slot mostly off your back.
thanks for these tips, i am still pretty new to this game and this is probably the best position i've been in at this point of time (there is a post somewhere on the forums where i'm in a better position, but its a much later date) how do i balance my economy? on this playthough i made an effort to build alloys, and found myself constantly crippled in mineral and especially consumer goods production. Possibly an effect of playing UE but i always seem to require incredible amounts of consumer goods - in this play though something like 35% of my planets are having to produce them, and while i have a good surplus, its because i managed to get the resouces to upgrade my buildings recently

and again how do i increase my science? i never seem to have enough spare resources to build tech buildings (ie, do i build a tech or do i build that farm building with my constant -39 food budget)
 
Last edited:

Kapi96

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Personally I much prefer the stay independent option when the war kicks off. Not the league of non-aligned powers, but the completely independent one. Any other choice and you'll be in the war. It's often a LONG war too. In my last game it went for around 100 years. If you remain indepdent then you're not in that, and you may get the opportunity to attack somebody that's busy expending all their resources fighting the war in heaven. By the time it actually ends, whether you managed to expand or not, you'll be much better placed to actually fight any survivors anyway.

As for other advice, get an ecumenopolis (or multiple). Just 1 should solve your consumer goods issues, and be able to produce a tonne of alloys too. Even if you don't take the ascension perk for them you can turn relic worlds into them. Do so ASAP!
 
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Elordis

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playing as united earth and had 3 fleets each about 75k strong. the FEs in the galaxy were only superior, nothing epic.
The only reasonable advice is that you have to have at least a million fleet power by the time endgame starts. Everything else is just fluff.
 

Altruist

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Let your mouse hover over one of the awakened fallen empire (AFE) ships and look at the small print: it probably shows some impressing boni like +300% weapondamage etc.
This is the reason why they slaughtered your fleet.
Penetrating weapons, as others mentioned, are the right thing against AFE.
But better, especially with your small fleet: avoid battles against the bigger AFE fleets. If at all, go for scattered single ships, usually just newly built or try your luck against upto 8 of their escort ships. This gives you splendid battleresearch.

If you don't want to stop playing, try to conquere their planets while avoiding fleet battles (your BBs should be as fast as possible for it because you'll need to move/flee a lot. If you get all of the AFE-planets, the AFE-empire vanishes from the map like any other empire. To do so, you'll need a big horde of armies. Take a look at the AFE-HW and you know what your army needs to fight.
Btw, I'd recommend to continue playing. Desperate situations are fun, too.

Here some descriptions when I faced an AFE the last time:
# 2400k fleetpower vs 450k
# Ship designs
 
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jmj281

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If it makes you feel any better. Once upon a time in recent memory I joined one of the AE/FE's during The War in Heaven, lost two tributaries, my federation disbanded, my Agrarian Idyll bricked due to an ethics shift and my economy tanked hard due to becoming a subject empire and having my tributaries go poof. By tanked hard I mean on the order of -1k energy per turn when the fleet was parked. I knew this stuff would happen but wanted to witness it unfold and navigate out of it :).

Then the Contingency spawned on my face in the middle of the war and killed me (eventually..... Stellaris Crisis AI = let's take a system, leave it so it returns to the owner then come back and retake it). In fairness, that was with a random Spiritualist/Egalitarian/Pacifist empire without using resettlement or robots. In hindsight it was one of the more enjoyable games.
 
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fusei

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War in Heaven is a big three-way total war and the AI is currently not very good at handling many potential targets.

1. So usually you want to pick the side which offers the most targets which is non-aligned.

2. You want to preserve your fleet.

3. Push back whenever an enemy is busy on the other side of their empire and retake everything they got and push into their territory till they come back.

4. If you want to secure choke points use planets (or habitats) with at least 1 fortress for the FTL-inhibitor and stack a lot of assault armies (several thousand army strength) on it. Your enemy will have to go through these before they can proceed and they will do so by orbital bombardment if they don’t have a strong enough army. This way you can lock an enemy fleet for a decade or more. Only exception is the AE with their colossi so if they bring these pull your armies out and retake the world once the opportunity arises.

5. Whenever you have the opportunity to go for an undefended weak target jump in and take it down. Main candidates are the AEs colossus and their army transports.

6. You can take out an AE completely without ever facing their main fleet stack. They will usually happily bomb a far away planet while you invade their home systems.
 
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SeekingEtermity

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thanks for these tips, i am still pretty new to this game and this is probably the best position i've been in at this point of time (there is a post somewhere on the forums where i'm in a better position, but its a much later date) how do i balance my economy? on this playthough i made an effort to build alloys, and found myself constantly crippled in mineral and especially consumer goods production. Possibly an effect of playing UE but i always seem to require incredible amounts of consumer goods - in this play though something like 35% of my planets are having to produce them, and while i have a good surplus, its because i managed to get the resouces to upgrade my buildings recently

and again how do i increase my science? i never seem to have enough spare resources to build tech buildings (ie, do i build a tech or do i build that farm building with my constant -39 food budget)
General tips for economic strength, in no particular order:
  • Use space mining, Lots and lots of space mining.
  • Do NOT use space research, unless the deposit is really good (like, at least 6 science total). Most deposits aren't even 1/4 as good as a single researcher job, and they definitely aren't worth their upkeep.
  • SPECIALIZE YOUR PLANETS! Small planets will usually be one specific kind of rural, although they don't have to be (if they lack rural district slots, make them in bureaucracy worlds). Large planets should be science or alloys, or (if you must), CGs. Consider also planetary modifiers and deposits, the needs of your empire, and habitability, when choosing what to make them. Use planet designations, governors (where possible), (sometimes) percent-boosting buildings, and pop traits (use gene modding if needed) to specialize as hard as you can.
  • Use rural planets to produce strategic resources. They'll have the pops to unlock some building slots, but not many pops more than they have jobs from their districts; they're the ideal place to put a bunch of one-job buildings.
  • Unless machine or synth-ascended (or possibly not if lithoid), farm and sell food, rather than building generators. It's tedious (especially since you have to be careful not to crash the market price, which requires clicking "Sell 100" possibly multiple times a month but never more than once per day) but it both lets you focus on a narrower set of techs and just outright gives more money (even at the full 30% market fee, a farmer brings in 4.2 EC/month base; a technician only brings 4.0 base). Beware the galactic market when doing this, as it will crush the sell price of basic resources.
  • OTOH, the galactic market will also crush the buy price of basic minerals. Once it forms, you should be having as many of your pops as possible work as Specialists and, so far as possible, disregard the basic resource districts; buy your resources from the market.
  • Either before or (sometimes) after the galactic market forms, try trading with friendly AIs. They will often give you better exchange rates than the market (especially if neither side of the trade is energy, as the market fee would then hit you twice) and sometimes you can get a rate good enough to straight up arbitrage on the market (the fallen empires, in particular, will sometimes do crazy stuff like give you 2 energy for each food, on a monthly trade).
  • Use the "Consumer Benefits" trade policy. Not only does it provide consumer goods without needing jobs specifically for them, it doesn't need minerals for them either. Most of your minerals thus go into alloys, as they should.
  • Don't overbuild buildings or districts. Every building and district has an upkeep cost in energy, and many also require strategic resources. Better to occasionally have a little unemployment than to be paying dozens or hundreds of energy per month on idle buildings and districts.
  • Many buildings and jobs are minimally, if at all, worthwhile.
    • Never build Gene Clinics (medical workers are arguably not worth it even if they didn't take a building slot, but they do!)
    • Generally don't bother building the buildings that boost basic resources (energy grid, etc.) because their marginal benefit isn't worth much due to the way stacking modifiers work.
    • Don't worry about crime; just enact the Crime Lords deal and go home happy.
    • Don't bother with Unity buildings (unless you're a gestalt, a spiritualist, or maybe a corporation); entertainers (or, even better, duelists) from a single holo-theater per planet provide plenty of unity considering how few ways there are to spend it and how useless many traditions are.
  • Look for cost-effective sources of pop growth:
    • Robots!!! (Yes, even if spiritualist.)
    • Refugees are very valuable; always allow them unless playing xenophobic.
    • Migration treaties can be valuable, but make sure you've got the immigration pull to ensure you gain, rather than lose, pop growth.
    • For normal empires, be sure to resettle pops to newly-colonized worlds to bring their population up to 10 as quickly as you can, so you can upgrade the capital and ditch the awful -50% multiplicative growth penalty for a Reconstructed Ship Shelter.
    • Nutritional Plenitude edict is worse now than when it was a policy, but still useful and generally worth running as soon as you get it.
  • Crime Lords deal everywhere. If you have to temporarily fire your Enforcers and remove your Governor to get the necessary 10 crime, do it. Hell, install a Corrupt governor (and then remove it later) if you must.
  • Deep Space Black Sites (once you have the tech) on all your high-population systems.
  • Make sure trade value is both being collected, and is being delivered without piracy. In the mid-game, build a network of gateways to collect your trade (starbase trade collection range extends through gateways and wormholes) and never worry about piracy again at all.
  • For science in particular, have your spare science ships Assist Research (especially on research worlds). Not only will this boost science production, it'll help your scientists level up for when you need them in a research slot.
  • Pick your techs with care. Don't research useless ones, even if they're nearly free, even if they're shiny and purple (I have never, not even once, used Chemical Bliss) until your other options are all useless; then research the cheapest of the useless ones to re-roll your options.
  • Use Scientist leaders to boost your research. Also, be aware that a Scientist's expertise increases the chance to draw techs in that area (also, Curators and Spark of Genius increase chance for rare techs).
  • Colonize early and often, but do have a mind for habitability (the double penalty of reduced output and increased upkeep can be very steep). Make sure to get aliens (via conquest, integration, migration, or whatever) that can colonize bad planets in your space, or pick up the Gene Engineering tech and throw some pops at a tomb world for self-alteration to Tomb World Preference (which is excellent).
  • Make sure to keep your amenities in the green, but don't bother pushing them high. The value from each extra amenity drops as the population grows, and low-pop planets barely produce anything anyhow.
  • Don't stress about a little overcrowding. Correct it if you can - it does reduce stability (and therefore income) and encourages pops to emigrate (and therefore reduces pop growth) - but it's relatively innocuous as penalties go.
  • Specialize your robots. Robomodding lets you add and remove positive or negative traits freely, and switching which robot you're building is almost free (especially if you get to it when there's minimal progress on the next one), so min-max those bots! Make a mine-bot and a farm-bot ASAP. Once you have Droids, make a "service"-bot (full functionality guaranteed!), a power-bot (if you're using generators much at all), and a generic efficient-bot. They should all have the rapid assembly trait.
  • Speaking of traits, the traits that increase empire sprawl from pops are way over- (or arguably under-)valued. They're essentially a free two trait points on both robots and biologicals.
A few specific empire builds that are valuable:
  • Authoritarians with the Slaver Guilds / Indentured Assets civic and Indentured Servitude slavery type are amazing right now. Slaves get every bonus to slave output, of course, but also every bonus to worker output... even if they are actually doing a specialist-tier job! They also only require pop upkeep (food, housing, amenities, CGs) as a slave (although the job itself may require more upkeep). Use Stratified Economy (unless also Materialist) to save on CGs and still have good stability.
  • Technocracy has been one of the best civics for a while now. It requires Fanatic Materialist, but that's hardly a downside; the bonuses of Materialism are huge (faster science and low-upkeep robots) and the faction is relatively easy to please. Technocracy will ensure that you get some science from every world (due to the ruler-tier Research Director replacing an Administrator) and will ensure that you have no need for additional sources of unity. Use Academic Privilege living standard to get excellent stability and give +10% researcher output (not documented on the tooltip).
  • Egalitarians have one of the worst factions in the game, but at least you get good specialist output. Be absolutely sure to pick the Meritocracy civic if using this ethic (and possibly if not).
  • Xenophobes let you expand fast, grow pops fast, and use the valuable types of purging (though you should still hesitate to purge; there are usually better things you could use those pops for). They hate migration treaties and federations, though.
  • Prosperous Unification origin is silly-good. It's not the best if you include the ones that require DLC, but it's way better than its tooltip implies. The (undocumented) homeworld modifier also survives the planet being terraformed to Gaia (or Machine or Hive) world, or encased as an ecumenopolis, for crazy good stacking modifiers.
More economic advice, that requires DLC:
  • Get at least a few Ecumenopolis if you can. They're expensive, and a pain to create from anything other than a relic world, but they are SO WORTH IT. 50% pop growth bonus, 20% every resource production bonus, and those lovely, lovely alloy districts. A single foundry district nominally produces 30 alloys, but after modifiers it'll usually be at least 50. Get 20 of those - entirely possible on just a single planet, though you'll need 200 pops and 40 motes - and that's 1000 alloys from one planet. Even if you don't get any relic worlds, try to have an ecu running by 2260 or so (requires some luck with tech draws and some planning, of course).
  • If you do have a relic world, use it for SCIENCE! I mean, turn it into an ecu, of course, but use its building slots for science labs (and, until it's an ecu, also use that deposit that gives 8 researcher jobs without even needing a single building). The mining and energy district slots, and even the strategic resource deposits, are mostly red herrings. Note that although the Remnants origin relic world lacks the usual deposits, it still gets the "Former Relic World" +10% research (stacking with the +20% everything) upon restoring it to an ecu.
  • Grab the Galactic Wonders ascension perk, and build a Matter Decompressor (to feed your ecus) and a Dyson Sphere. Then find something better for most or all of your technicians and/or miners to do. Also build a ring world, devote one section of it to farming (and find all your other farmers elsewhere something better to do / move them there and replace their farm districts), and fill the rest with researchers (possibly with the occasional commerce segment to provide amenities and CGs).
  • The "Shattered Ring" origin is crazy, crazy powerful. Like, you can break 3k science in the first 50 years, never mind the first 100, and snowball like mad. Do be aware that you'll need to close some researcher slots initially (after building the science district) to avoid economic collapse. Just don't use it with Lithoids or you'll be hurting badly for minerals.
  • "Festival of Worlds" from the Artisans is one of those ludicrously efficient pop boosters I mentioned. 1000 energy (doesn't even scale with empire size) for 5 years of +10% growth (and extra happiness) on every planet is huge, and it can occasionally just spawn free pops too.
  • Synth ascension got nerfed a bit but is still definitely the best in general. Ensure you've still got some bio-pops around so you can get both sources of pop growth. If you're Fanatic Materialist, you'll be able to stack your robots' reduced pop upkeep (both energy AND CGs) to -40%, which is insane.
  • Build a mega-shipyard in a sector with a Retired Fleet Officer / AI-Aided Design governor. Your ships can be silly-cheap and build at insane rates (150 corvettes in 2 months, sure, why not).
 
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CrazyJ

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General tips for economic strength, in no particular order:
  • Unless machine or synth-ascended (or possibly not if lithoid), farm and sell food, rather than building generators. It's tedious (especially since you have to be careful not to crash the market price, which requires clicking "Sell 100" possibly multiple times a month but never more than once per day) but it both lets you focus on a narrower set of techs and just outright gives more money (even at the full 30% market fee, a farmer brings in 4.2 EC/month base; a technician only brings 4.0 base). Beware the galactic market when doing this, as it will crush the sell price of basic resources.
i agree with almost everything you've said, but the food strategy is such a pain in the rear that it's rarely worth it. as efficient as it may be to do so.with how much even a terrible player can snowball you can easily keep up with the strongest other empires with ease. min-maxing is only worth the trouble in multiplayer or with crisis 25x and set as early as possible
 
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With regards to your fleets getting crushed, you may have been suboptimally built to counter their ships. Remember that FE/AE has several levels of repeatable techs, so their weapons, shields and armor tend to be very strong.

Fleets of Battleships carrying Cloud Lightning/Arc Emitters will be the bulk of your damage (unless you have enough repeatables to contest), along with some Destroyers to screen their Strike Craft with PD (And an L Cloud Lightning or Kinetic Battery). Spec your defenses according to their ship weapons, they can't deviate from them (Hull reinforcement for Arc Emitters, Armor for Giga Cannons and Shields for Tachyon Lances). If you can't field Cloud Lightning, you can sub out Disruptors, though these are less effective, so try to find those Void Clouds.

If you're next to an FE, it's never a question of IF but WHEN you will have to deal with them (unless Ancient Caretakers spawn, then it's up to you or the Contingency), so you should ALWAYS have a plan for them.
 

Tom D.

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Dragatus

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I disagree with the people saying it's over. I had a game where I got boxed in, limited to two measly planets, outteched by nearly everyone, and ganged upon by everyone around me when I submitted to the xenophobic AE in the war in heaven, but I still ended up dominating the galaxy. It's all about exploiting the AI.

When it comes to military matters the AI has one giant weakness: it doesn't know it needs to defend planets. In my game I took a planet from the AI then four AI empires joined fleets to bomb it, with a total fleet strength of somewhere between 50k and 100k. And while they just sat there I maneuvered my 15k fleet and a bunch of transports to take out the planets of three of them, one by one. No more planets, no more fleet. By the time I was done that stupid planet I had taken earlier was still being bombed, but the fleet bombing it was now below 50k and I had managed to use the resources from my new planets to expand my fleet.

So don't give up. The AI is stupid and will waste its potential. It doesn't know how to go for the jugular. But you can. Go for the jugular; take their planets. It's a total war, so the systems will immediately flip to your full ownership. No more planets = no more fleet. Then rinse and repeat.

And you can watch the Apocalypse trailers to set the mood. ;)

 
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dessoul

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Fallen Empires are fun: my primary goal in general is to get them BEFORE they awake. (Mostly, because i want their tech and planets. It gives you a big boost.)
To beat them: The Tradition perk "galactic contender" is a must. (I normally choose it as the third one).

The advises from the others are quite good. Especially in regard of "the AI is just stupid. Try to use this.". Thats sadly true. Its the point, why i often get annoyed by this game then, too. Beating a rock does give me nothing. It just hurts. And the Ai in this game acts close to it.
Nevertheless: Use the perk. Try to get a big fleet at least the size of the weakest FE. Concentrate on shield-ignoring tech.
Don´t waste recources on spacestations against FE/AE. Against others, yes, but FE/AE do treat them like hot knives vs butter.
When you have enough Fleet strengh and all the rest, then attack the weakest of them. Then the next one. And so on.

If they have the bigger fleet, ignore the fleet and take their planets. Be aware of, that they can have troops of 2000 sitting there. so, come with at least the double amount.
 
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