The time that God (I’m serious) basically gave me a victory in Sigma Betria, my second 64 game conquest. Good Lord, that was a history for the ages! Where do I start?
First, I started listening to this during strategy sessions in the middle to late game: He Who Spins Time
So I, or the Communion of Minds, rather, had gotten off to a pretty tight start. I was in the southern end of the core, with a purple neighbor right beside me to the south, someone to the west that I couldn’t reach, and PEPSIS east, who I’d never worked with before. Someone was north of me, but I can’t remember who, and PEPSIS ate them pretty fast in the early game.
If PEPSIS is reading this, I want to first say he’s been an excellent ally in other games, and in that one too, but he got a little too greedy, which ultimately cost us. Well, it was to my gain, but he set in motion his demise, and mine too if not for Divine Intervention throughout.
My star count was horrible, but with an exception in 1 49 resource star safely within my grasp. The Communion colonized the system and promptly erected a glorious mega-structure called Emerald Moon Palace, after which the star was dubbed. It shown like a beacon of life to the Rukh Warriors in their coming trials.
I’ve got no memory of what I invested into at first, but I’m pretty sure I went full-fledge economy. All I know is I had just about the highest economy stat throughout the game. My research, unlike most times, was not into Experimentation but into Weapons.
I immediately branched out requests for alliance with my western neighbor and southern prey. The neighbor became a silent trading partner most of the game. In the meantime, the purple prey fell for my ruse and joined in unsuspecting alliance, unaware the whole while that the Parliament of Souls intended a very different form of “:Complete Unity and Everlasting Harmony” than he imagined.
Never I don’t think have I enjoyed such a swift conquest in a 64. With their Economic boost, the Communion rushed southward and conquered one of the purple prey’s unsuspecting stars. I fortified all of my systems with industry, and then patiently waited until next cycle to fill out my Science. (Or maybe I did science first on cycle 1. I cannot remember). The enemy sparred valiantly, but was soon forced into submission by a Communion Mindmeld attack, as well as good logistics in my favor.
The Communion renamed their freshly acquired second home system Existentient.
DISASTER STRUCK! I as at the beach, enjoying the waves, when the generator on the island exploded! Green-black smoke poured into the sky, and when I returned to the house, found the power out. Horror! I was inactive for DAYS. I don’t know the exact limit for innactivity, but it had to have been close.
When I returned, I found my empire stagnating but PEPSIS, in his mercy, still willing to keep me aboard.
Not long after my lack of activity, the Communion awoke from their unexpected Deep Meditation, and proceeded to inspect the galactic map for insight. Here is the KEY moment where we could have turned the tides: PEPSIS was determined to not only conquer northward, but EASTWARD also! To the east, Sianoch (Or some such name), a race of violent barbarians, was still at Weapons level 1 or something ridiculous. He was helpless, with no defense to speak of. Such easy pickings. But if he got stronger, or someone ate his territories, it would doom PEPSIS and myself.
PEPSIS utterly refused to let me pass through his territories to get at Sianoch, wanting it for himself. But he began to suffer badly in his northern conquest and so literally left Sianoch alone. A few cycles later and Sianoch was in a powerful alliance and was increasing industry like the mad warrior race he represents. And PEPSIS then realized he was doomed.
In the meantime, I had faced incredible fortune. My western neighbors were weak, allied and too afraid to attack me with their inferior weapons count. My Economy, despite my earlier inactivity, remained good. I was at peace with Varg Starlance, a future great comrade, and so pumped my economy and science still higher. Varg ceded his territories to me a cycle or so later.
Then came the crimson lizards. I know not their names. The Communion, faced with the threat of Lizard kinsman, attacked viciously and with no restrained, producing psychic horrors such as the Urn of Horrors and Chakra of Hate. We even captured and chained a Nebula Ghoul and sent it rampaging all the way to the mighty Hadrianople. (Or something like that, I am ASHAMED that I don’t remember that mighty leader’s name)
Even as all this was going on, I got HYPER ACTIVE in my diplomacy. I have NEVER, EVER done so much before. I literally found myself messaging every single player in the game, save one, and even he and I started messaging while we fought.
For almost three weeks, I literally wove alliances and pacts so tightly that CONTROLLED the politics in the game! I’m serious! Varg Starlance stayed on a star system, feeding me info on an old thread of his former allies, which included the northeastern alliance. Apparently, there was mistrust and backbiting thanks to me political acumen.
From this magnificent tapestry of politics, I made an early NAP with the noble Deepsix dominion and his ally Mk.Ultra in the northwest. The Dominion, true to their honor, never attacked me, while the Mk.Ultra kept leery for weeks because I had convinced him the Eastern empires would attack him soon, and I almost succeeded in making that threat come true!
I don’t take real credit for all this. It was just me being in the right place with the right people. But, wow, if it wasn’t amazing having TOTAL information control. By that point, I was determined to win the game, and felt confident it could be done.
And then PEPSIS gave up.
Around this time, PEPSIS realized he’d overextended himself, as I’ve mentioned. Having seen this coming from weeks away, I had the Communion swoop into his systems like lightning. No one expected me to move so fast, thanks to diplomacy, and before they knew it the entire core was mine!
And then I realized war, against literally EVERYONE else but the southwest, was mere days away. I pumped everything into economy, gaining a 100 point lead over everyone else. (No exaggerations!) And then I did it again… all while my last ally fed me Terra, until he began to go AFK. I gave him up to the Northwest so they would direct their attention elsewhere from the Communion’s Core Holdings.
Then, just before the onset of war, I began feeding all I had into Industry. Because I had enjoyed easy conquests and lasting peace most of the game, or because everyone else just hadn’t bothered to keep their industry equalized, I ended up with an impossible number of ships. It was a miracle to me how I did it, but I guess the conquered empires I took had incredible industrial power and I never knew. Point is, I was so massive that no two, or even three, empires could match me alone.
Sitting gloriously within their Parliament of Souls, the Rukhs of the Communion agreed with me, and started seeking new allies we didn’t intend to eat. Hadrian proved a traitor, breaking peace to challenge me. So I turned southwest and demanded the blue empire there to give up his territories in return for his survival to the end of the game. He agreed, and his ally, who’s name I likewise cannot pronounce, became the player who won me the game. I supplied him with Rukh Warrior Swoops, boosting his weapons, while he supplied me with terraforming.
At that point, I now controlled all of the core, about 30% of the southwest, and close to 50% of the southeast. My economy was so vast that it equaled nearly the entire northwestern empires, my closest rivals.
Now, thinking back, I just realize why I had such a mighty economy. All my neighbors were numerous. The southwest and Northeast were clogged with lots of small empires. Loyal to each other, yes, but they couldn’t inflate so much without enough terraforming. The Northwest was better off, but still had three big empires and so also couldn’t inflate fast enough to catch up to me. Whereas, I was basically 4 major powers into and unto myself, with a consolidated industrial capcity, all directed by one will, one mind…
I should note that during this period, all was not totally at peace. Sianoch was raiding me constantly, and he had to have the most efficient logistics train in history. I’ve never fought someone so much smaller who outnumbered me so consistently, save the horrifying Bulette Slayer, who also was nearby, watching me in the east.
But my military might was already so powerful, and my industry so greatly upgraded from my vast economy, that Sianoch alone couldn’t uproot the Communion’s grip on eastern Core systems.
The Great Galactic War
The whole game wasn’t just all about me and my doings, though everyone revolved around me whether they liked it or not. (Ah, the power… I miss it. ) The other empires were engaged in their own battles.
The southwest had become my allies, giving me a stable western border on which to focus the Starfire Lance Astra, a mighty industrial complex that I have never managed to see rivaled, period. to look upon it was to look upon power. I couldn’t reach the millions of ships that other players in other games have gotten, but this was my closest, and in a extreme setting.
In the meantime, the Deepsix Dominion and his southern ally were engaging the southwest.
And then, as one being, the remaining Empires fell upon my surrounded Communion at once. All 7-8 of them. The entire east was allied against me, and so was Mk.Ultra of the northwest.
But by that time, so great was my industrial power, that I possessed the same number of ships as all the other empires combined, having something close to 20,000 ships in production, with 400,000 or so total when the siege on my Core stars turned into a 7-pronged invasion.
Assault on the Core
I knew, thanks to Admiral Varg Starlance and my diplomatic web, when the northern powers decided to inevitably gang up on me. And Hadrian felt so ashamed of his betrayal that he warned me as well of the impending attack. Instead of increasing industry, I increased my science, and did so constantly for the remainder of this long game. Those Communion Warwold Seers were hard at it! They produced vast Chakra pools of energy, such as Asura’s Chakra, and the Temple Hisoka. The Warriors of the Communion bathed in pure psychic battlelust, and gained unrivled strength.
Sianoch and the Slayer struck first, and I was forced to give the Slayer ground. The Spun Fortress, the Communion’s easternmost defense, was lost to Sianoch quickly, but I did manage to send Psyker Warrior Rukhs into his home systems and wreak havoc and dismay.
Then Mk.Ultra struck, along with the Northeastern Empires. I baited them into jumping for warped stars, and then shuffled the warps about, destroying and rebuilding, so that reinforcements arrived on-star to destroy their fleets. Otherwise they wasted precious time conquering single systems that suddenly were without open gates.
Their miscalculations were grave. It stunned them that I continued to raise my science by 25+% each round, or something close. My weapons were so far above that I could afford to research Manufacturing and supplement tech like Range without too much fear of losing my weapons advantage. My ship count by that point was equal to the entire east, and was concentrated, while they were forced to run long logistics chains.
In short, the Core devoured them. The North and Easterlies expected me to fold in a day or two. Instead, they found significant chunks of their ship totals erased and what remained stalled for a very slow, long war.
The Communion Home System, the Great Rukh Temple, was in danger as each cycle progressed, so I had it teleported into the deep south quadrants, where the bulk of my formidable industrial heart pumped the blood of war and victory.
The Eastern Maneuvers
But I had to strategize. Leaving the west to Deepsix and my allies to fight, the Communion turned upon Hadrian the full breadth of their fury.
For many days we dueled, but by the end of the week the Communion had overthrown him and sent his people to the Vault of Souls for reincarnation. His secret weapons, the Seven Holy Swords, were shattered by my War Mavens. and his home system was reconstituted into the new Great Rukh Temple.
Meanwhile, something had to be done about the Slayer. So I invaded him, even as he invaded me. Terrible was that battle, and the Slayer got the better end of the deal. I never managed to do more than reclaim some of my initial stars.
As for Sianoch, I advanced up against him through the southeast, which now totally belonged to me. But by that point the other empires were hurtling the full weight of their power against me. Futile, as I still produced more than they could destroy, but I was still losing ground. If I lost the core completely, I would lose the game.
Late Game, the Ascension of the Sage King
It was here that the Communion convinced our southwestern ally to cede his stars to them, and fully join the Communion of Minds in unity. It was done swiftly, but not swift enough. The enemy was too powerful! They were everywhere, and the Communion simply wasn’t going to destroy Sianoch and the Slayer in time. They were contained yes, but MkUltra and the Northeasterlies were not. And they were consolidating their power.
Slowly, I watched in horror as the fateful day came. It was hopeless. I had maybe two days before my lines were overrun. I would not give up. The Parliament had resolved to fight desperate and consolidate in the Southeast, where we were all but guaranteed to survive to the end in second or third.
Then, by God’s grace, Sianoch stopped moving. For two days, almost the same time I’d spent without internet access, Sianoch’s vicious hordes, all ready to charge, did absolutely nothing.
It was all I needed. Even if my ally hadn’t granted me his territories, Sianoch was doomed. And once he fell, the fearful Slayer would be strangled and conjoined with the Many of One Mind and One Heart of the Communion. Victory would doubtless come. But with my ally’s union with the Communion, victory came.
Combining all the psychic might of the Communion’s people, a superweapon was born. The Blossom of Peace opened on the old home system, overwhelming all the empires with a massive Telepathic net, forcibly ensnaring their minds and hearts into the Communion’s Wold. And then, a Sage King was proclaimed in the Great Rukh Temple, banishing the Parliament, and establishing himself the supreme master of the Sigma Betria galaxy.
The accolades were sweet to the ears, such as Bulette Slayer’s “I have never seen a victory so total”. But it was only so-so. the REAL glory of this whole game was the playing of it! It was extremely fun, and I’ve never quite had the same experience since then. The frantic, desperate maneuvers, the vast resources, the diplomatic intrigue, it had it all! I even won in the end, but I’d have still loved the game even if I lost it.