Is losing the only option against a superior foe?

I’ve been playing a few games for a while. Whenever I face a superior enemy and don’t see myself surviving; I just concede defeat. This is bad sportsmanship, but is there any other option? From my experience, it was very tiring trying to fight an uphill battle. At first, I would be outnumbered on one front; then I would be outnumber on my flank. This eventually leads to a complete collapse of my borders. I just stare in awe as my opponent convert my science points into even more powerful weaponry. An analogy would be an object falling out of the sky. It accelerates faster and faster until you have nothing left.

Of course, this has something to do with skill and diplomacy. You need diplomacy to have a good position and skill to back up your claims to your territory. However, this does not matter when you are about to be devoured.

Therefore my question is losing the only option against a superior foe? Is this game designed for this scenario no matter what? Is there no way out, besides a fluke?

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There is a tiny bit of skill involved in the tactical battle, and a little luck in the beginning of the game in tech, but I would agree with you that really the only option is diplomacy.

You have to find / make an enemy of your enemy and work together. You should be working on this from before the game even starts.

Once you have exhausted all diplomatic options, I don’t consider it bad sportsmanship to concede defeat.

Sometimes a game just doesn’t go your way and 2 players decide to go against you and nobody else will talk to you. Move on to the next game I say.

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yeah, this is a good point too.

If it is going to take the big guy a long time to take you out, because you are putting up a good fight, perhaps building a lot of ships, it might be better for them to stop attacking you, form an alliance, and take out somebody else faster.

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Unfortunately, I disagree. I don’t see the logic behind this action or I haven’t seen the success of it.

This diplomatic offer has many consequences and require deep thinking.

Bully’s train of thought(Simplified):

  1. This must be a delay from their annihilation.
  2. There might be an ulterior motive. Suspicious.
  3. Is there any benefit from this? My goal was to be stronger from their annexation.
  4. I might be back stabbed and be stuck on a 2 front war.

and etc.

However the conclusion is either is always the death or the eclipse of victim.

That is from my experience.

I must be on the lunatic fringe, but I think I have conceded defeat once in 4+ years of playing. I often bargain for a refuge and try to stay alive just to deliver banking cash to a player I am trying to help. I think too many games are ruined by premature afk, and I am vocal in my distaste for the tactic, so I can’t bring myself to bail. I rarely play more than two games at once, and tend to go all in, so I am not usually looking to switch games very quickly.

Many situations are indeed hopeless. Tech momentum can be overpowering, and diplomatic isolation is no fun, so I don’t begrudge many who bail. What I object to is a number one or two player, who attracts opposition and/or betrayal, immediately bailing rather than attempt to deal diplomatically with a changed situation. In that situation quickly conceding defeat invariably ruins a game.


take for example this game:

Yellow and orange circle just bailed. Is it because the third, fourth, fifth and sixth place players are currently operating an effective alliance? Are there no counter strategies to pursue? Or did your boss catch you playing during work hours. I hope its the latter!

I was just thinking about this very scenario in the warm, fuzzy afterglow of a successful conquest of an enemy star system. I must admit, what exactly are the options of the defeated? Or are they defeated? I read a very fitting quote, that Jay may find amusingly accurate, on a blog that read: (paraphrasing now) “The thing about NP is, you lose in slow motion.” So calling someone who’s about to be devoured having already “lost” the victory or second place seat is arguable.

However, I just won a spectacular war recently with almost as good role playing. The enemy had almost 30 or more stars than me, heck, I’d even argue 40. He was a beginner player though, and I had a strong and trusty ally. The result? I won.

Interestingly to my notice, I find that if I had been battling a seasoned player, I would have lost. Period. I made all of about three errors in my strategy, but even if there’d been 0, a seasoned player is psychologically prepared for the harsh turns NP can bring in just one carrier’s misplacement or defeat.

Also striking, if not more so, is that if I had been in the same position I was way back when I first started the game, or even when I got my premium, I’d have given up the whole battle for lost and said “there’s no hope”.

Skill is necessary for fleet movements. Never discredit some wily foe from somehow rising from the most dire of positions to sow destruction in your stars with his fleets. I recall Dreams, who I believe had a win of like 200 victories or something, managed to outwit me with hysterical ease, me being a novice fool rather than a veteran fool, and become a prime power in that game.

Nevertheless, the truth is exactly as xMolotov puts it. There’s a threshhold level of empire size and advancement that all but ensures defeat for the lesser. Be they a seasoned and skilled player, a novice or incompetent, or anything in between, there’s nothing you can do about that 2K ship count difference. You’re dead. The question is though, like xMo pointed out, exactly how hard do you want to be put down?

Some of my best battles are the one’s I’ve lost. I felt invigorated the first time I sat at that screen and almost hit “concede defeat”, then stopped and declared “No! If they want my stars, then they can take them over my race’s dead body!” I got to have fun, made new friends, got shiny sticker, and a healthy dosage of confidence.

And more importantly, I enjoyed the game more. :smile:


At it’s core, the game is a very simple mathematical game. It’s easy (especially for the experienced players) to ‘max out’ the potential growth of their empire, making it impossible to overtake them if they are already at an advantage. Good or bad play makes a difference, but no amount of awesome play can bridge more than a 25-30% gap if your foe is moderately competent. Your options, therefor, are limited to diplomacy.

I share screenshots of my foe’s fleets advancing on me to prove to his neighbors he’s ripe for a good knifing between the shoulderbaldes.
I will tell him to look elsewhere or face a long, annoying war that i might not win, but will stifle their growth to the point that they go down to the next big fish.
If there’s two of them I try to convince one of them that I’ll be a more valuable ally than his mate, driving a wedge between them by exclusively defending against one of them, while the other gets free planets.
I turtle down, making one last worthless planet very expensive for them to take, so I can keep feeding banking and tech and maps to my enemy’s enemy.

One thing persists though all the above scenarios: I lose. Winning is more fun, I’ll agree with that, but even while losing, you can still be part of the ebb and flow of the game, part of the story, and have a cool experience. Instead of trying to win, pick a guy you like and try to get him to win. Roleplay. Spectate. Troll. Laugh. And when they eventually do wipe you from the map, rest assured in the thought that you deserved every bit of the punishment you got, and take that evil grin with you into the next one.

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