Game over before it's begun?

Ten friends and myself just began our first game and I’m wondering if it will be my last.

Everyone started with 6 equal planets, but the other 10 people also had stars within 4ly of these initial six (which, in turn, lead to more stars, etc. etc.). I, on the other hand, have nothing within range (and very few stars even once I bridge that initial gap).

This means I have to start by researching Hyperspace Range and twiddle my thumbs for the first several turns while everyone else expands and claims space.

What balances out this initial handicap? I assume that the galaxy generation balances out the resources so that things are at least roughly fair right? It can’t just be random and “screw you” if you got a bad draw. I mean it’s a game that can take WEEKS to play - no one would code that so that you could be out of contention before it has even started right? (Especially not someone who is then asking for money.).

What can you tell us about tthe settings? What kind of map? Dark or not? Trade scanned or not?"Distance between HW? But yeah, it happens, and you’ll need to make allowances in your strategy.

We’re all new - so I think everything is default except for it being turn based.

But if the game is programmed to be inherently unfair, my strategy is going to be “Find a Different Game to Play” :slight_smile:

I hear you. There’s a fair amount of randomness for sure. I ask because if you’ve got a game with 11 players, its custom. It is easy to set a game at “far” home star distance and then set HS range and scan too short, so it strands players (like you). if so, and it s a bunch of friends, maybe ask for a redo with higher initial settings for those two techs.

If you click on the icon three bar menu, then you can find the help files. Be sure to read about the shortcut keys.

If you hit shortcut key “L”, it will show you the Leaderboard, which can often show you the game settings.

Is the game bright or dark ?
It sounds like you might be in a private game that is using a password ?
What is the game # or hyperlink ?

@JayKyburz used a random function to distribute stars. Also in a small number of situations where stars are too near each other, then these stars could be removed from the game. This can sometimes create HR gaps.

I believe the game is fair in the sense that each player has the same chances with the RNG. Any one player may feel there is some local unfairness, but in reality all players are feeling their various local challenges, and they might not be aware of your personal local challenge. That is one secret I keep in mind while playing. The other players do not know my challenges while I know they are mostly focused on their own local challenges, and I plan to add more trouble to theirs. MWAHAHAHAHA !!!

If you are having an HR gap, then you should research HR tech, while building up your strong empire on your local nearby stars. You could send diplomatic emails to seek out alliances & trade technology. Coordinate with your allies so they know that you are researching HR so they do not duplicate your efforts while they are researching other helpful tech.

Another point of having an HR gap is that the other empires may be depleting their ships in battles, while you could be building up your ship count for your eventual breakout.

If you read through many of these forum articles, often the advice is to stay in the game. Sometimes the empire that started with an HR gap can have interesting contributions to the outcome later in the game.


If your immediate neighbor is an enemy, naturally you would attack while seeking out other alliances to trade tech to help your empire.

If your immediate neighbor is an ally, then you could negotiate for some low resource stars that allow you to fly through his empire to attack other enemies farther away.

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Wow, I can’t believe that a game could be developed to this extent and have absolutely no code to attempt a fair start. That’s super basic game design: you don’t make a LONG game with an unfair start (and then expect to be paid for it? Ha!).

Oh well, y’all have fun - I feel pretty confident I can find something out there that was made by a real game designer.

Reckon you’re being a bit harsh.
Many of us have been playing the game for years and have only very occasionally landed in very challenging starting map/location. In those situations you either live with it or if it’s a private game regenerate the map (see others responses for a more detailed explanation).

But I think you’ve already made your mind up which is a shame, because it’s a bloody brilliant game. I hope you find something that meets your expectations…


I have seen games where the player’s empire started with an HR gap, and then won the game. The game is fair. It is also fair in the sense that your diplomacy skills are just as important or perhaps more important than moving ships around.


Hello @x3n,

I’m the developer of the game.

The game is deliberately designed to have somewhat unequal starts. Some players will have access to more or better stars, some like yourself might need to focus on range before you can get out and start exploring.

The game is designed to force players into and out of alliances as the game progresses. A very strong start at the beginning of the game will have all the other players allied against you. Needing range to get out also means enemies need range to get in.

You might appear weak at first, but if you find the right alliance, you can can grow with your team and dominate the galaxy.

We have some custom galaxies that are perfectly balanced for every player, but those games are a bit boring. The mechanics are so simple that this game is not really a test of your understanding of the mechanics, but your social skills.

It’s not for everybody.


If you play the games, you will discover that the in-game diplomacy among players and the progress of conquering the galaxy often emulates real life politics surrounding historical wars. It feels comparatively realistic, and accomplishes that simply.

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Since everyone else is being so nice, I am tempted to respond in kind… tempted…

You might be more interested in luck games, since those are more about fairness. Strategy games are based on the concept of survival. Outlasting your opponents. Neptunes pride is the best strategy game I have ever played. It is almost guaranteed that any veteran player with a handful of wins under their belt has won games where they started with the worst field positioning in the galaxy. It’s a common occurrence actually. Adaptability is a huge part of survival, and thus strategy. Ingrained in human nature is the desire to see the top dog fall, so you’re actually probably better off in most cases with average-poor start positioning opposed to good-great.

You’re initial question is fair and seems appropriate. But your later criticism of the game developer, Jay, is rude and uncalled for. It makes you sound like a child who cant compete in a legitimate competition so he is complaining about fairness. No competition is ever fair. One player is smarter, one is more logical, one is more likable, one is more devious, one is more social, etc. You shouldn’t need a lecture about this kind of stuff. If you dont like the game, move on. Be an adult. Dont act like a troll and start bashing the entire game when it’s your first try and you know nothing about it. It just makes you sound like you’re upset because your losing a game to your 10 “friends.” They found a way to play the game, you didnt.


My general understanding is that a starting HR gap is an opportunity to build economy and science, while conserving funds … not buying any more carriers or industry until just before range contact
Every payday tick gives you a scientific experimentation bonus of research that has a 14% possibility of contributing towards hyperspace range. Personally, I would rather research banking, experimentation, weapons, or terraform before setting my science to research HR.
The key is to shift spending towards ship production around 24 ticks before any neighbor can raid your economy.
Pursuing HR tech is safe when your empire has at least 2 allies with whom to trade other important technologies.
Long duration games over 1000 ticks can see HR tech levels lag by 30 or more behind weapons. The low level technologies everyone starts at are forgotten by tick 240.

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Such an HR gap start should be viewed as an exercise of patient strategic build up. Such a position can be considered a blessing, since you can tip the balance on your eventual neighbors who spent fighters on costly early, often indecisive combat operations. You can then flex the built up economic strength to pursue the long road to conquest with your chosen ally (s).

Agreed with eplazaguest.

I’ll add that in a game with 11 players, you could legitimately have 4 or more different trading partners or “allies” especially at the beginning of the game.

Plus, as dexter said, each position has it’s own challenges. Im currently in an 8 player game where I started in a position that allowed me to capture 37 stars. Another player only has 24 stars. All things being equal, i should have vastly superior natural resources which should allow me to be dominant comparatively. But as things stand comparatively:
Me - 55 economy, 39 industry, 14 science
Him - 52 economy, 45 industry, 12 science.

Plus, due to a couple players conceding early, I am now disadvantaged by being an AI target and unable to feasibly trade with the AI players, due to my position on the leaderboard.

In another game 4 different players have over 20 stars yet the player with the lowest star count, 13 stars, is actually leading the pack in terms of technology researched and ship count, and is also maintaining equivalent economy.

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You posted that all players started with 6 equivalent stars. To that end, the initialization of the galaxy is absolutely fair. Credit to Jay. The rest really depends on how the many players interact. Each player carries over rank and regard scores cumulative to their career on NP2. If you really like one of the other players, then give them some regard. Likewise, play to gain some regard for the next Np2 gathering as you strive to win your current galaxy. Message them about plans, regard, trades, etc… the bible says ask or don’t be upset when you don’t receive.

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Also remember, if you want a completely fair game, you can create a circle galaxy where every player has the same stars in the same configuration.

Most games here use some variations of random maps, but Jay did provide the capability to play absolutely fair games that are only varied by players’ skills.

From the NP “Main Menu”, Premium players are allowed to “Create Game”.

If you do not set a password, then the game is public listed. If you set a password, then the game is private, and you must share the game URL & password for friends to join in.

set Galaxy type = Circular

set Star Scatter = Twin Rings

From time to time, @HULK will run tournaments.

His games are 1v1 using mirrored maps, so these are also absolutely fair, except for players’ skills.

A premium member should be able to create galaxies with 8 stars per player, where all players start with exactly 8 stars of the same quality. This leaves off the randomly generated unclaimed stars / exploration phase / range issue that the original poster @x3n cited.

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The random placement is in itself the balance… You pulled the short straw, so will everyone else at some point. Just look to the next match…