Author Topic: Stellaris AAR - (With Martok, Bartheart and Dave Pumphouse)  (Read 3369 times)

Dave Pumphouse

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Some people have asked for an AAR and curious as to the shenanigans we have going on in the Stellaris game we started 3 weeks ago and just passing session 3 I thought I would start with a an AAR of how things are going (from my perspective anyway). I'll be writing these in parts...So enjoy!

PART 1

The year was 2200 when the Scyldari Confederacy launched its first science vessel past the Kuiper belt. Its crew of sentient voles emboldened in their venture into space by a their joint belief under a theocratic republic that had lasted for centuries and propelled their unified civilisation into space in order to understand the galaxy and its mysteries! To look upon the heavens themselves and wonder in awe what else the gods had created and to prove true the sacred stories of old and to bare witness to the mark these biblical events had on the greater universe!

Scyldari scientists and high priests at the offset of the voyage where vehemently passionate that no other sentient life that the gods created could be nearby, this being true under something the high church had newly dubbed 'The Mod' which 99% of the populace believed without question. For if their was sentient life out there in the neighbourhood 'Then they would have already said hello!' and 'We would have seen them already with our telescopes!' was the official policy held by the church.

It took no less than a decade for this consensus to be proved false. 2 star systems over lay the find of the millennium, never since the founding of the religion had something been so important, the discovery of sentient life! A war like race who's technology was barely a few centuries behind that of the Scyldari! Crowds filled the streets and sacred Jasmin gardens with jubilation at the news! The gods had obviously created this race of beings also... but somewhere along the way "the sacred message had been lost or maybe even misunderstood by these beings"... or so the high church had said... but weirdly enough the church couldn’t decide which statement was more true. Orbital telescopes indicated that this race was as smart as we were, they even had an orbital space station! yet... scholars and clergy argued for months as to what was more likely the truth... their copy of the sacred texts must’ve been lost! misunderstood! ancient history records kept safe under lock and key in the Scyldari high temple did speak of such days long forgotten by the simple folk (but well remembered amongst the upper echelons of the high priesthood) where the sacred texts had been misplaced for a time or had to be rewritten by a prophet... a word having to be retranslated here or there, a phrase having to be replaced so it could be "better understood" by the masses... its obvious that this had happened to this species!

"THEN WE SHALL BE THEIR PROPHET!" Said an elderly voice from the back benches of the holy benches! "We shall establish a holy mission in orbit of their home world and through sheer godly will and kindness teach these beings the sacred texts so that they may end their ceaseless slaughter of one another and also with our guidance become holy children of the stars!"... It was a sentence that was the only thing the holy republic had agreed on in months since the discovery and plans from scribes and engineers were soon underway to make it so.

No sooner had the decision been made, contact with ANOTHER race of beings was made! SPACE FARING BEINGS! The crowds once again erupted in jubilation at the news! Songs were sung and whole forests of holy incense burned in the night sky! The gods had certainly been busy in populating this galaxy with life! The holy texts were surely true after all, surely the galaxy was the garden of Eden and we all the beneficiaries and custodians of its fruit! The survivors of countless conflicts in the heavens with daemons and evil spirits that the pages of the sacred texts so brilliantly taught us!

Scientists worked for years trying to decipher their language. But were perplexed when singing the holy chants and reading the sacred texts down the microphone constantly whenever their funny looking craft entered the system that nobody sang back, nobody uttered a word of the sacred texts... not even the first verse of genesis... only guttural chirps and chirrups... whatever could it mean?

The holy republic went back to arguing and bickering soon after this discovery. Shouting and booing was heard rumbling through the cloisters as elders and statesman made their claims about these new beings. Some stated that they must be mere custodians of the garden of the galaxy like we were, only more devout in their task that they were not distracted by the temptations of mere "chit chat" and so focused on their labour that they do not divert from their task like we do. Some said that the chirps heard through the comms must mean they were birds of paradise flying around... after all thats what birds do, its only natural that any holy space have birds, this is obviously gods space birds! This explanation obviously being the most scientific... the holy church confidently adopted this explanation as the right one.

That was until the holy enforcers caught a hold of some gossip of a so called 'scientist' who claimed his brother worked as a scribe under a high priest on the science ship D'Irlo... he claimed his brother had been working on a method of understanding these birds and perhaps translating their language. Theory was at the time that they may have an extra volume of sacred text and are trying to enlighten us... though how he came to such a conclusion that there may be missing scared texts was borderline heresy. The scientist and his scribe brother was thusly invited to the confession rooms to be heard by the high priests... Once there, it was where they stayed...

Soon after the holy science ship D'Irlo (now under new management) received a message. "GREETINGS! WE ARE THE YV' ZORAK CONFEDERATION, WE COME IN PEACE!". Location of their home world and biometric data was quickly shared, holy scribes feverishly jotting down details that came through the comms. We had cracked it! Months of singing and chanting down the comms and they had finally come back with something we could understand! But... no mention of the gods or sacred texts... no mention of a holy mission or spiritual duty... just a friendly hello... and even news of some so called "space hobbits" that were nearby also... how peculiar.

Whispers from the crew on the D'Irlo started it first...  " The Mod" clearly wasnt a thing  "Nothing true in this galaxy anyway" was heard from a sub-lieutenant that was in charge of running the cargo bay... These whispers soon made it back to the home world of Scyldari, holy gardens quickly became a hotbed of whispers and mindless theory. Shrines on street corners became nothing more than public speaking corners as charlatans, poets and doomsayers made the plinths perfect perches for their blasphemy to spread amongst the masses. Holy enforcers soon were unable to quell the ever increasing diversion from sacred ways by the populace, the confession rooms filled to the brim with the foul mouthed and heretics, some enforcers even joining the ranks of the so called 'Wealth Promotion Lobby" who's position was that the garden of Eden should be harvested, the galaxy and its abundance shared with the populace, so tired where they of living in repentant poverty. In addition the "Alien Freedom Party", their argument simple... "The Beldroan" who we found 2 star systems away where to be left alone and to be allowed to revert back to their previous war like state, to develop and make mistakes on their own and to become enlightened by their own form of conscience rather than by our holy texts that made their way down to the surface from our orbital station.

Concessions, it would seem would have to be made in the holy republic though... over the next 30 years a wave of reflections and political intrigue popped up in the Scyldari Confederacy.

Missions were made also to inhabit neighbouring planets, neighbouring star systems harboured planets perfect for Scyldari habitation and cultivation. And as exploration ships hopped from star to star we learned more about our neighbours The Yv'Zorak Confederation who we learned were materialistic and friendly, embassies were established and non-aggression pacts made... later the high priesthood making declarations that their independence and sovereignty must be guaranteed. Reason being that although these strange creatures had no knowledge of god (though they understood the concept) the priests reckoned that due to the words "Confederacy" and "Confederation" being so similar that this MUST be a sign of divine providence! They must have some thread that linked them to the holy truth and sacred texts of god! And so it was that the two galactic empires became respected friends to one another, diplomats firmly at work over the passing of years organising galactic borders and claiming rights to minerals and other such resources.  Yv'Zorak science ships even became advanced scouts, flying like birds across the galactic south bringing back news of the galactic horizon and what lay in store for holy Scyldari explorers. Trade was often a sign of mutual friendship, vast quantities of minerals gifted to one empire one day, only for precious alloys to be gifted straight back by the populace of the other the next.

Yet rumblings of discontent started to tremble from conservatives and those who respected traditional values. The high priests in a mere 40 years had gone from absolute power to sharing the holy benches and cloisters with new classes of "Citizens" who had been elected in peaceful yet disruptive elections. The three worlds now forming the Confederacy harboured no less than 5 poltical parties!

-The Wealth Promotion Lobby
- The Alien Freedom Party
- The Alliance of Exalted Clergy
- The True Democracy Party
- The Absolute Science Party

All had their disagreements of course... but remained civil in their election practices... for now.

Some speculated that the Confederacy had expanded too fast! Biblical stories of "Icarus" being recalled in speeches on the holy benches and being implemented into galactic policy making. Others argued that to protect the galaxy we had to teach others of the Sacred Texts like we had started to do with the Beldroan! Some elders who still remembered simpler days when the Scyldari had no space craft, saying that races like the Yv' Zorak had become bad influence on our society and somehow their initial gifts had made us to materialistic and such material wealth corrupted the pure and made us greedy and that we should be wary of them lest it be some trick from the devil himself to corrupt the galaxy and we should not be tools of evil but the weapons for good and for god! Shouting over one another and arguments had become common place on the holy benches... The priests still held sway and power, but only just and as the year 2240 came about the high priests had issued designs for a new ship... the destroyer class! And no less than 5 shall be built to compliment a secret galactic navy that was to usher in a new era for the holy enforcers, reborn under a purpose to protect the Scyldari Confederacy from those who would see it harm. Whilst unison was not apparent on the streets it would at least be made so in the stars, a grande galactic navy to protect the interests of the holy and of god!

And no sooner than the first destroyer floated out of the space docks news came of a new race far to the galactic south... HEGEMONIC IMPERIAL SPACE LOBSTERS... so far flung from the beauty of god these creatures truly were a frightening sight! Their imperial ambition must be checked lest the seas of a thousand worlds be swimming with these beasts that could only be described as devils in the warnings of the sacred texts… If it took a union of materialist sinners and blasphemers to do it, then so be it! Yet some believed that once elevated these Beldroan's might prove a good choice of warrior class for a new type of Holy Enforcer... ideas may change, if one is inclined to fight it could be all in the genetics... or it could be just gods plan! Only time would tell for certain...

I'm hoping that maybe Martok and Bartheart might add to the story from their perspective so far



bob48

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Reply #1 on: July 22, 2021, 06:37:11 AM
 :bigthumb:

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.”

'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers'


Undercovergeek

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Reply #2 on: July 22, 2021, 08:48:21 AM
Amazing - thanks for that

An awesome aar always gets my start game finger twitching



Martok

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Reply #3 on: July 23, 2021, 02:26:10 AM
Ancient Glory, a Humble Rebirth


Surviving fragments from the Yv'Zorak Confederation's oldest historical records say that, many thousands of years ago, we once ruled a vast interstellar empire.  What happened to that empire, however. and why it fell, remain a mystery.  The scientific elite that now rule our world might otherwise cast doubt on the accuracy & authenticity of those records, were it not that the evidence of this lofty past is all around us:  Despite having long since become overgrown and repopulated with wild flora & fauna (in addition to the various Yv'Zorak communities), the entire planet of Amata was unmistakably once completely covered in urban sprawl -- a city spanning an entire world, housing untold billions of sapient beings.  For our ancestors to have accomplished such a feat, they must have been great indeed. 

Those days were long, long ago, however.  In the interregnum, our civilization collapsed into a Dark Age -- a terrible time for our people, and one that we only began to emerge from within the last several centuries.  Our recovery might have taken far longer, had it not been for the various relics and other ancient cache's of technology still strewn about the planet, and (just as importantly) for the brilliant minds who were able to decipher their inner workings.  (Indeed, there remain entire regions filled with ruins of the ancient world-city, where it is believed that more relics and secrets from our ancestors have yet to be unearthed...and unlocked.) 

It is because of the work of these early scholars -- the first to arise after the Collapse -- that the Yv'Zorak managed to not only survive, but eventually prosper.  Similarly, because of the influence these scholars wielded, they ended up gradually (and in more than a few cases, not so gradually!) assuming positions of leadership: at first, in their local communities, then later on, in Amata's various nation-states, and finally, in forming the planet's first unified government.  The Yv'Zorak Confederation was, in effect (if never outright declared) a technocracy; however, it was tempered by compassion & humanity, and was careful to not treat its citizens like automatons. 

(Indeed, it's perhaps worth noting that when they began rolling off the assembly lines decades later, the government -- and the population in general -- didn't even treat their *robots* like automatons.  They consistently behaved kindly towards their creations, even if they had no way of appreciating it.) 

Kethari Tenju, formerly head of the Humanities Department at the highly-prestigious University of Lak'ros, was elected the Confederation's fourth Director-General at a crucial moment in Yv'Zorak history:  A couple decades prior, Amata's physicists discovered what they believed was the secret to unlocking "faster-than-light" travel for space-going vessels, and had worked feverishly with their engineering colleagues to develop working prototypes capable of this.  In the past year, these efforts had finally born fruit in the form of several FTL vessels finishing construction and leaving the yards: a "utility" ship for building space stations (and indeed had already constructed several mining & research stations around the home system), a small fleet of three warships (mostly as a proof-of-concept to satisfy the demands of the Admiralty), and -- most important of all -- an exploratory vessel, the ISS Fairy Worui, for surveying solar systems beyond our own.  After untold millennia, the Yv'Zorak were reaching out into the stars once more. 




[Screenshots are coming!]


« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 02:54:24 AM by Martok »

"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart

"I drastically overpaid for this existence." - bbmike


Martok

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Reply #4 on: July 23, 2021, 04:22:49 AM


To our mutual surprise, Dave (playing the Scyldari Confederacy) and I quickly discovered we were quite literally next door to one another, at least in galactic terms.  This screenshot was taken a few years after we'd already made first contact. 





I took this screenie during our second session.  Not long after Dave & I ran into each other, I made first contact with the Zelvan Coalition to the north, whom I continually refer to as the "Hobbit Kingdom" (not without reason).  ;D  As you can see, Barthheart and I also ended up running into each other; he's the United Federation of Planets to my east (natch). 

South of the UFP, but still to my east, are a marauder clan, the barbarian Yv'Zorak Free Warriors.  Not only do they have the same name as me, but they're also an avianoid species like myself.  I find that...offensive.  >:(  They must be dealt with -- and they shall be. 





I discovered the space amoebas' home system, a little north of Barthheart.  I'm jealous. 





A more centered view of Dave's Scyldari Confederacy; we've gotten along very well, despite our differences.  While I'm largely hemmed in (at least until I can take out those Marauders), he's blessed with a huge amount of territory in the south that he can explore and expand into.  About all that's going to slow him down are mining drones (they're all over the freakin' place), but otherwise it's pretty much free real-estate.  Dave is going to be big.   





Barthheart's United Federation of Planets.  It sounds like he's been doing well overall; however, he's had an...interesting time.  I'm not sure how much he wants me talking about it, so I'll let him elaborate if he wants.  ;) 

Not pictured:  The Commonwealth of Man is just off-screen to the galactic east.  They don't like me (no surprise); not sure how they feel about the UFP. 





The Hobbit Kingdom Zelvan Coalition.  They have the same ethics as me (Fanatic Materialist/Xenophile), so we get along very well.  They actually tried forming a Federation with me once already, but I told them I just want to be friends for now... 





The Bruggan Interstellar Union, located north of Barthheart.  They're Fanatic Materialist/Pacifist, so more space friends, yay!  Also, they're birds like me, so of course we gotta stick together...  :biggrin: 





Core-ward, we have (from north to south): the Uv-Xantt Assembly of Systems, the Republican Tendrakkian Stars, and the newly-discovered Cithin Empire. 

The Uv-Xannt don't like Barthheart -- at all.  War may be brewing there.  Would like to help, but the stupid fake Yv'Zorak are in my way.  Grr. 

The Cithin are a potential problem for Dave:  They're the one empire that could encroach on all that lovely empty space to his south.  They'll have to deal with the mining drones too, but probably not as much.  Time is essential. 

Tendrakkians seem okay.  They're a potential counter-balance to both the Uv-Xannt and Cithin.  May want to court as allies, or at least as friendly trade partners. 





I took a more zoomed-out screenshot right as we were ending Wednesday's session, just to get a broader view of where everyone is at.  (Next time, I'll try to remember to temporarily remove the hyper-lanes so it's less cluttered.)  The fact that you can see 9 (out of 15) empires all more-or-less clustered together in one region of the galaxy makes it hilariously obvious that the "No Clustered Starts" mod clearly does not work very well in MP matches.  ::) 





"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart

"I drastically overpaid for this existence." - bbmike


Barthheart

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Reply #5 on: July 23, 2021, 06:51:28 AM
Quote
Barthheart's United Federation of Planets.  It sounds like he's been doing well overall; however, he's had an...interesting time.  I'm not sure how much he wants me talking about it, so I'll let him elaborate if he wants.  ;)

You can say as much as you want because I have no idea what happened!  :face:
See, we're playing without pausing and when a lot of stuff happens all at once some information is lost... at least to me. We started off as normal looking humans from earth.... some event chain happened, that I have never encountered playing solo, and suddenly we're still humanoid but definitely no humans.  :o But nothing else seems to be different... so far. :bitenails:

By the by,  the Bruggan Interstellar Union to my north my like Martok's empire but they sure don't like me, cutting off access to their space as soon as we met. So now it's a race to cut space lanes off from them to prevent them spreading further "south".

Being human-ish,  :idiot2:, the Commonwealth of Man to my "east" are friendly so far. If I can get a Federation with them we should be pretty powerful.

(PS. Martok, yer UI looks completely different from mine. Is that a mod? I will freely admit that I have been playing all these years while using absolutely no mods at all.)
(PPS. I'll try to get better at taking pics but as I said with no pausing and things get hectic, pics are the last thing on my mind.)


 

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Undercovergeek

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Reply #6 on: July 24, 2021, 02:23:31 AM
Excellent tales so far - loving the genetic change



thecommandtent

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Reply #7 on: July 24, 2021, 12:23:27 PM
I'm glad y'all were able to get a game going. This is a fun read. Looking forward to seeing more.



Martok

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Reply #8 on: July 25, 2021, 12:58:52 AM
We started off as normal looking humans from earth.... some event chain happened, that I have never encountered playing solo, and suddenly we're still humanoid but definitely no humans.  :o But nothing else seems to be different... so far. :bitenails:

Yeah, you got the Horizon Signal, an event-chain that happens only rarely.  Although I'm simultaneously surprised that: 1.) you've never gotten it before (with as many hours in Stellaris as you have), and 2) when you finally *did* get, it happened less than five years into the game.  The Horizon Signal usually doesn't trigger that early. 

Hold onto your seat, though, because it's not done with you yet.  >:D 



(PS. Martok, yer UI looks completely different from mine. Is that a mod?)

Yep!  I use the Tiny Outliner, the UI Overhaul Dynamic, and Extended Topbar mods.  I overwhelmingly prefer them to the vanilla UI. 

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1610578060
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1623423360
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1628912584
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1780481482



(I will freely admit that I have been playing all these years while using absolutely no mods at all.)

I'm not sure I'd have bothered with mods myself...had I found versions 2.2 - 2.8 actually fun. 

As it is, since I chose to continue playing version 2.1, I ended up seeking out more content that would help improve and/or enliven the gaming experience to keep Stellaris from becoming stale.  And once I discovered just how much mods could do exactly that -- and all the different ways they could do it -- the proverbial floodgates were opened. 

I've now been playing Stellaris with mods for over two years now, and I've not looked back.  I currently have 24 mods installed (for my singleplayer games), 9 of which are cosmetic, including the UI mods. 



(PPS. I'll try to get better at taking pics but as I said with no pausing and things get hectic, pics are the last thing on my mind.) [/i]

Yeah, I grabbed a single screenshot in today's session, and that was only right at the end.  Granted, I was having other/bigger problems...  :buck2: 


« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 01:00:53 AM by Martok »

"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart

"I drastically overpaid for this existence." - bbmike


Barthheart

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Reply #9 on: July 25, 2021, 07:28:17 AM
So just for reference for people outside the game:
The first picture below is my people at the start of the game, you know, normal looking humans.
The second pic is what they have become...  :o

PETS - People for the Ethical Treatment of Square corners


Undercovergeek

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Reply #10 on: July 25, 2021, 07:53:13 AM
That’s excellent - I would imagine this would happen to me too without the benefit of pause and ingest



bayonetbrant

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Reply #11 on: July 25, 2021, 04:55:02 PM
So just for reference for people outside the game:
The first picture below is my people at the start of the game, you know, normal looking humans.
The second pic is what they have become...  :o

That's like one of those
"How it started / How it's going"
kind of memes

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bbmike

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Reply #12 on: July 25, 2021, 07:06:11 PM
Can you reverse that?!?  :o

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Barthheart

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Reply #13 on: July 25, 2021, 07:13:03 PM
Can you reverse that?!?  :o

Who knows?  :dunno:

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Martok

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Reply #14 on: July 25, 2021, 08:45:01 PM
The real question is, do you *want* to reverse it?  ;) 


"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart

"I drastically overpaid for this existence." - bbmike