Anti-scanning, alternative win

I have 2 ideas I think would make the game better. I love NP1 and NP2 and regularly create a big game for my family and friends but in our games I find that once tech has advanced to a certain level it gets ridiculous. I don’t want to limit tech but it would be cool if you could build something that would block scanning on certain stars. It would have to be expensive but it would be worth it at higher levels of scanning.

Another thing is that in the late game it gets tedious unless you are one of the top dogs. Little guys can only hope to survive on the good graces of one of the top dogs. What about an alternative win condition? Perhaps, there is one planet in the middle of the galaxy that is inhabited by neutral ships. If you conquer this planet and can hold it for a certain period of time, you win. That could give little guys a reason to stay in the game, a hope, a chance to win. Or maybe some sort of political/diplomatic victory.

I have previously suggested something along the lines of a tech that limits what details others can see about your stars and likewise how much detail you can see of theirs so I am with you on that.

I do also like the idea of alternative win criteria but can’t say I like the planet in the middle idea. I think the way the game is structured at the moment it would be to easily exploited. I have actually thought a lot about different criteria for a win but haven’t been able to think of anything that would work.

I’m not a huge fan of a tech that inhibits scanning because that’s too blanketing but something that only affects a locality could be balanced enough.

Yeah the planet is not a perfect idea, but what if the planet only appeared after a player reached a percentage of stars and the location was somewhat random?

I just thought of an interesting idea. What about an alien ship that goes around and lowers scanning tech of all stars in the area 2 levels until the ship passes? Maybe when someone reaches industry 7 on a star it appears at a random location or something similar. This ship can move around but cannot be attacked and cannot attack other players. It can be like a signal jammer when the ships range covers your star. Maybe give this ship 3x or 4x speed. The ship would go to a random location across the map and roam around, jamming other people’s scanning computers. This can help hide your forces you are planning to attack or it might go against you and hide enemy forces coming to attack you. It needs to be completely random for the location to help balance the game.

I like the general idea. What about random regions of space (like nebulas) where scanning is affected? There could be a nebula for every 2 or 3 players. You could hide in there, but not see out either.

I have also thought about a “cloaking” technology. It would have to be rather expensive and very local, like I can block you from seeing my ship numbers at this 1 planet. Maybe 2 planets at level 2 cloaking, etc.