Terra Invicta #3 – The Great Swedish Shadow War

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By the end of 2024, the Resistance has constituted much of the European Union, and taken over Russia. Russian satellites are coming under our control and we’re thinking about China and the USA. No cheats in effect.

The Servants pulled one good trick. They tried to interfere, and they did slow us down a bit, in unifying much of Europe. But they have tightfisted control of Sweden, and none of my councilors can break in.

Better not declare war on them, or India and USA could interfere. Their public opinion has eaten the several points I put into getting some; the only option is to wait until May 2025 when their Defend expires.

Managed to probe Mars and establish three bases there; not enough boost yet to begin building mines. I need to amass an amazing 42 boost at a time when our daily income is .18. The Servants have joined me with one base on the moon.

I turn a Servant councilor after determining my entire team is loyal (10 or higher loyalty), and look for an opportunity to really use him, and it’s pretty obvious that I should use him to get Sweden.

The Great Swedish Battle was joined on May 16th, 2025, when their Defend Interest expires. I send two councilors on purge missions with maximum influence added for decent chances – and one succeeds ! The other should have succeeded, but he aborted his mission since he targeted point #1 instead of #2.

Okay then – May 31, 2025. I target a raft of Servant councilors and Sweden, lots of extra resources involved, and they send three councilors to oppose us. Resolution order ends up this way :

  • Resistance (Adams) Defend Interests resolves June 1
  • Servants (Aspau) Defend Interests resolves June 2
  • Resistance (Ning) Detain Councilor Aspau resolves June 5
  • Resistance (Mitnick) Assassinate Councilor Duong resolves June 6
  • Resistance (De Groot) Public Campaign resolves June 8
  • Servants (Munson) Set National Policy resolves June 10
  • Servants (Duong) Purge mission resolves June 14
  • Resistance (Wei) Purge mission resolves June 15

Defend interest on both sides gets off successfully; this reduces Resistance chance of a successful purge down to 3%, blast it. But Councilor Aspau gets detained and Duong gets assassinated ! Very pleased to get Duong, he was a very effective councilor.

As expected, Munson takes Sweden out of the European Union and therefore successfully delays its unification by about a year. But then, something unexpected happens. I check Wei’s purge mission chances and they’ve jumped to 79%. As the days tick by the percentages keep changing and settle on 54% before the mission fires, and she is successful ! Whatever caused that – legitimate gameplay effects or some weird bug – we now own a hostile Sweden (84% Servant opinion).

By March 2026 it was still pretty bad, 36/44 in favor of the Servants, but eventually it should all be Resistance. I next took over much of China (4 control points) and hit my CP cap. This game session ended soon after.

Terra Invicta #3 – Cheat Like Hell

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The mod that I downloaded basically puts a ton of research tweaks in front of you.

Lots of possible tweaks to the game

I begin early 2022 with the typical strategy of grabbing EU countries next to France, then France, and continuing after all possible control points.

Early 2023 is spent expanding over Europe and waiting for timers to cool down. After almost running out of faction projects I tweak research to globals, and finally start Outpost Habs (Mission to ….. precursor) and Orbital Shipbuilding.

2023 ends with the formation of the European Union; the Mission to Moon; and a scramble to get boost started to allow a Moonbase to be created.

Terra Invicta #2 – Learning Experience

Looks like I’m done with this playthrough.

First, the tech tree is IMMENSE, and it’s not at all clear when to start building a fleet and attack the enemies. What instead happened is, the Servants came after me. We blew them out of orbit but it’s obvious, if I’m playing the super-easy mode, that I should be the one picking on them moreso than the opposite. Combine this with the new knowledge of how much hate you can generate on cinematic before the “floor” mechanic puts you over, and I clearly didn’t think through my expansion plan well enough. I should be building ships and marines to menace them as soon as possible.

The various celestial bodies end up very empty owing to the game setup I’m choosing, so I think the best strategy is to pick a good number of “the best” sites on the Moon, Mars, and Mercury; and grab the entire surface of Ceres. Asteroids are probably non starters.

The hate mechanic makes the most important thing managing hate with regard to The Servants. It’s a binary thing – it’s either on at 5 pips, or off at 4. So it’s not clear the best level to leave it alone at; I’ve never seen it at one pip, but do you want to leave it at 2,3,or 4?

Then there’s base building. After consulting the wiki and building a spreadsheet, I discover very important clues about how I should actually be doing it. Both base cores, and mining complexes, count towards Mission Control, and the amount of power you can generate and various items to add to your bases should all be considered. The three tiers are clearly shown on the wiki, and I think I should build most of this stuff and tie it all together; combine smart base building with a few platforms.

Bases are tricky. You probably want one core, and one mining complex. How much defense do I need ? Are the science modules worth the hassle ? What size should I start considering farms, which reduce the resources you need to keep the crew alive ? I need to figure out the answers to these questions next.

And, from the wiki – There is a soft limit on the number of mining bases you can have. Starting at 13 mines on different celestial bodies, extra MC is charged for each new one. As far as the mining limit is concerned, every base on e.g., Mars counts as one base only. This makes asteroid mining more expensive in terms of MC than mining on larger objects.

Another consideration is, how much fun am I having ? I don’t much like the empty Earth not controlled by any faction, and let’s face it, the Shadow President game is most of the fun. As I tried to figure out a solution for this I realized people create mods, and I found one that will let me increase my Control Points to a really high number. So I’ll use that and get a better feeling for wars, Great Nations, and struggling against the opponents. I’m not feeling good about a typical game with all those opponents yet.

Wars are interesting. The Servants build a complex web of alliances to make it harder for me to just war with them and take their states. But sometimes that’s the best thing to do, and combine that with the fun mechanic of going to war with two nations you control simply to unify them, and there’s a lot to learn and digest here.

It’s super amusing that this game, and Dwarf Fortress, both “came out” at about the same time. I’m sensing the same fun mechanic here, in that losing is half the fun. Although what I’ve done a dozen times is quit and restart, the idea is the same, and it’s awesome fun each time. But no, I’m not going to buy Dwarf Fortress quite yet.

TIWIKE – #2

This is the path to the game winning tech “Final Battle”.

  • Investigate the first alien crash site. The others give you bonuses but the first is required.
  • Research Alien Signatures.
  • Research We are Not Alone
  • Surveil where a crash site happens and discover Alien Lifeforms
  • Research Orbital Shipbuilding
  • Advanced Chemical Rocketry
  • Mass Drivers
  • Outpost Habs (Mission to Mars etc)
  • (High Thrust Probes and Nuclear Freighters are also good things to get about this time)
  • Mission to the Moon
  • Outpost Core
  • Investigate an area where an alien abduction has happened. This will unlock “Alien Methods”, then research this.
  • Space Mining and Refining
  • Alien Operations
  • Xenoflora Defoliants
  • Kill an Alien
  • Salvage an alien Ship
  • Hydra Biology
  • Alien Technology
  • Salvage an alien Warship – May fire immediately depending on what “Alien Ship” you took out.
  • Pherocytes
  • Alien Containment
  • Detain an Alien
  • Exotic Materials
  • Communicate with Alien
  • Interrogate the Alien
  • Their Purpose
  • Wormhole
  • The Choke Point
  • The Final Battle

Terra Invicta #2 – Stabilized Earth

It is now June 23 2032. I am concerned about an alien invasion, as told by many other players, but I see no signs of this happening. Otherwise, the Earth is in a pretty stable place.

Europe and Asia is mine.

The Resistance controls Russia – China – India – European Union. Also a few other less useful places. I am in the process of creating The Vietnamese Federation (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) which will tick down my control point usage. I plan to have Russia conquer Armenia, the same as they conquered Georgia and Azerbaijan.

But the game is very stable. All my countries are in great shape and ticking upward, providing important Boost, Mission Control, and Research. I think all the blockers are out of the way (capturing and killing aliens etc) and it’s a matter of research and building a navy.

I plan to wait on building a better navy until tech advances. I have finally researched Battlecruisers so I’m sort of ready, but I’ve got myself in a pickle with the alien hate. It ticked down to 3 pips, and went back to 4 after I took Cambodia and Laos from the Servants. So it’s time to leave the Earth alone and wait for this to go down.

Annoying. Why does this not update more frequently ? Answer: It updates when you scan alien councilors, or when they scan you.

By October 2032 it goes down to 3 pips. I decide to keep researching down the “Purple” tech path. I also begin the Mission to Jupiter research.

By year end 2033, it hasn’t gone down much. I’m getting frustrated and I start googling, and I find some interesting info.

Alien hate is effected first of all by Mission Control usage, which establishes a floor for alien hate. Normally it’s zero, but the more MC you use the higher it goes. The aliens hate you when the hate level reaches 50. Each month the alien hate will go down by 1.

There is only a token floor when playing in Cinematic difficulty – .05 times the MC used. The floor for my current 76 MC used thus becomes 3.8 ! Nothing to worry about. The remainder of the points appear to be from opposing the Servants. I think this is getting tweaked as the developers go along. Assassinations probably increase hate, but others dispute that. Clearing Alien Growth also increases hate. I am seeing takeovers of Servant countries generating hate quite clearly, by either Purge mission, or by military conquest. Even better, each time it happens it’s against a country they have abandoned !

The Servants seem to follow a specific strategy – take over a country; tweak some settings; then abandon it. Rinse and repeat until many countries are nominally Servant. This might be an interesting thing to try in my super-easy playthroughs, but it would sure make turn-by-turn operations annoying as the nations “come back” automatically to my faction.

In July 2034 I finally achieve it – the Final Battle tech is unlocked. So are all the darned Independence movements – I slipped up and the Servants managed to control one Global tech, and they picked it. In addition, the hate meter gets back to 2 pips, so I am likely correct with my analysis above.

After building out some of my Tier 2 buildings I am realizing a big part of the game is understanding all of the power, maintenance, and mining numbers. There is for sure a point at which building a mine, will just cost you instead of bringing your numbers up, so it’s time to research on that.

Terra Invicta #2 – Starting Out

Time to start a new game. This time, I think I know what to do to win; plus I want to document the exact “winning path”, which I did not previously.

Important steps apparently include –

  • Research ALL OF the “Mission to….” techs.
  • Research roughly all of the Purple techs. Some show up after the final battle tech, something to do with Exotic Matter, but those do not seem to be required.
  • Keep the aliens off of the Earth.

I choose the game with just Resistance and Servants, Cinematic mode.

Rebekah is 34 years old and Dmitry is 54.

I settle on this group – two good countries, each with 5 ADM, and a persuasion 8. One of them is young too. I hold off on immediately hiring a third councilor, since I know that you will likely keep each councilor forever. But I do give them more contemporary and political names.

My takeover of Earth proceeds, and in a few years I have the EU fully intergrated, Russia under my control with most of “The Stans”, and this game I mix it up a little by moving into Asia and conquering China.

One of the little tricks playing the game this way, is frequently other players on the internet give advice to just get a nation, then abandon it. That doesn’t exactly work with just two factions – many nations never end up under faction control. The process of getting China resulted in me being stuck with Myanmar, a horribly low GDP and high unrest nation; and one control point in Vietnam. Did you know Vietnam was a rival of China ? I sure didn’t. I have abandoned it several times but the Servants never come for it.

I am moving forward with taking over India and otherwise improving all my nations.

This playthrough I am much more aggressive with the Servants, infiltrating them multiple times and assassinating their councilors as often as possible. They keep ending up with these people with zero loyalty after their predecessors got murdered, which just makes continuing the cycle easier. Unfortunately, I do not have anyone with Hostile Takover so I’m not getting any of their orgs.

I’m much more aggressive with adding mining sites this game.

I have researched Mission to the Asteroids but I’ve not probed any of them – all of my boost is going towards getting Mars up to speed. The Moon was okay and I took several sites but clearly Volatiles are going to require the Mars sites.

Due to a lack of materials my first warship has not yet been completed – to get the Alien tech – but I am ready to kill an alien councilor; this seems to be the next key step in winning the game.

If he doesn’t get him, someone’s getting abducted

But, fortunately for the citizens of Senegal, he gets him.

And, time passes, and at last October 2027 rolls around. Volatiles etc are being accumulated now, so I have some of everything as income, so it’s time to design a ship to take out one alien.

One problem. I am not sure at all that I should be creating a ship with solid rocket boosters. The material requirements are very high, including two hundred engine propellant tanks. I’ll need two of them to have more combat rating than the alien ship I see.

Eventually, I acquire enough materials, and by 2029 build two of these ships which take out the alien handily.

Now I seem to be in a pickle though. My alien hate rating has gone up to 4 – is this partly because of aggressively murdering the Servants ? Whichever it is, I need to get them to calm down as I do not have anywhere near enough assets to start fighting them.

TIWIKE – Terra Invicta Edition – #1

Things I wish I had known/understood earlier.

  • Set up your game for easy ? Pick three factions and Resistance, this gives you tutorial tips and enjoyable flavor text. Easiest difficulty is Cinematic – +2 to most missions; No Alien Hate cap; and possibly other hidden benefits. You will play with the Aliens, the Servants, and your faction Resistance.
  • Persuasion among your first two councilors – 9 is possible, 8 is really good, 7 is okay. Your first one is the same as the country you, the actual person, live in. The second one is a wildcard. It’s helpful if they belong to “a good country”, especially one that has good orgs tied to it.
  • Game loading takes forever on my system – 1:23. However, “Save and Reload” works with this game.
  • Being over your control point cap has a penalty – earn less Influence. If you (like me) end up with more of it than you can spend just go over. Be aware you also can be “Cracked Down” easier as well.
  • There’s no such thing as too much science (so far). Or Control Points.
  • I tend to accumulate too much influence, and Ops. Boost and Mission Control (MC) really are fantastically useful.
  • You can merge nations. Sometimes you need research but the European Union is available immediately. Target France, then Europe, then USA.
  • Do not attempt to turn a hellhole country into a useful place. It isn’t worth the time.
  • Then again, turn a hellhole into a paradise and enjoy the process, but it won’t help you win the game.
  • There are a massive number of technologies, and I don’t really get what they all do. The rumor is to go after a single type of drive – if you can figure that out, you’re doing better than me.
  • The non-obvious critical techs are the “Missions” – get them all. Mission to the Moon, Mission to Mars, etc. These unlock the path the Kuiper Belt which is the path to winning the game.
  • Space resources allow you to build bases ridiculously fast compared to Earth-bound manufacturing. So get the resources fast. Hit the Moon immediately once it is available.
  • Your ships DO NOT cost resources to keep, just MC. Your mining bases, and floating platforms, do cost. So, strangely, a ship is sort of cheaper than a space station.
  • I have never found better power tech than solar panels and fission piles. Probably exists but not easy to reach. Also, never found the fabled “Covert Operations” project for your sixth councilor.
  • Other important technologies are Advanced Chemical Rocketry, High Thrust Probes (50% faster probes), Outpost Core (Build outposts on moons/asteroids/planets)
  • The story is important. You unlock the path to victory via the Story. The Resistance story :
    • Easy things happen at the beginning
    • Alien Abductions
    • Research various Xenology things
    • Kill an Alien Councilor
    • Do an Autopsy (research)
    • Detain an Alien Councilor
    • Research communication
  • At some point prior to the “last” purple mission, make sure you have wiped out aliens and other aligned factions so that you have at least 25% of the ships in the solar system.
  • Win the game by having > 25% of the ships, moving a councilor with the Janus org to the Kuiper belt, and assigning him to the “win the game” misson.

Playthrough Terra Invicta – Endgame Revealed

Strange game. I am letting it run but I’m bored and annoyed – that’s a great way to get people to want to play your game. But I let several years run and researched every “Purple” item, December 2036 comes and I believe I’m being told the win conditions now. After researching “The Final Battle”, all five pips on the Alien hate meter light up suddenly – they were previously at two – meaning I am now at total war.

No aliens on Earth yet – so far, so good.

Destroy a lot of the enemy ships in the solar system – Not achieved yet. Obviously, I went way too light on military when I had the low alien hate. It would have been smarter to defend Mars better, especially with ships, and take out more aliens when possible.

Also, I need to get a councilor to the Kuiper belt, give him this org (Janus Section), and run a mission.

So – what have I learned now about winning the game ? First, research all “The Purple Ones” to unlock the win. Winning is dependent upon moving a councilor to the Kuiper Belt, equipped with an Org received after the final battle tech is researched. Keep the aliens off of Earth, and blow up most of their ships before the final battle.

One problem – I can’t quite tell where I’m supposed to go, in the Kuiper belt. Is this because I’m only on “Mission to Saturn” ? Maybe. The other obvious thing is, don’t research “The Final Battle” until you

I let the simulation run. The three ships I have orbiting my free Earth-bound space station are able to wreck the alien fleets that come after them; otherwise, the aliens get free reign to destroy my many asteroid-based mining complexes.

By August 2037 most of my asteroid bases are destroyed, I finish Mission to Saturn and start Mission to the Outer Planets – which apparently contains the Kuiper belt. Estimated completion July 2039.

The only problem is by October 2037 it is clear I’m finally defeated in space; two of my ships are destroyed and the third is damaged, with all of my asteroid bases destroyed, and I’m left with two lunar mining colonies. So I have to trust that I have the win and gaming methodology figured out.

So ends my first documented Terra Invicta playthrough. Next one will include thorough documentation of the “Purple Research” and other win steps.

Playthrough Terra Invicta – Wait, what am I doing again ?

The playthrough I have has reached the year 2033. I am waiting for an alien invasion of Earth, but it hasn’t happened yet. All those nukes I am building are sitting unused.

Instead, the Servants launched a ship and bombarded to destruction all of my Mars sites, then began building their own in those locations; well, that’s instructive.

But as I try to figure out what I’m actually doing to win the game, it’s becoming clearer that the key is to unlock the Story Research instead of doing anything else. It’s pretty disjointed, and a clear list will have to wait for another playthrough, but the tutorial messages and story hints keep piling up.

  • Alien Ship Crashes
  • Investigate Crash
  • Alien Abductions happen
  • “Purple Symbol” techs get unlocked
  • Research the purple techs.
  • Build a Space Platform
  • Build a Hab Module
  • Build a mine on Moon or Mars
  • (Steps before this vaguely remembered)
  • Detect an Alien Councilor
  • Research
  • Kill an Alien
  • Research (Autopsy)
  • Destroy an Alien ship
  • Research
  • Destroy an Alien Warship
  • Research
  • (I destroyed an Alien Warship first. After completing some research, I got a message to destroy an alien warship, and it immediately resolved)
  • Detain an Alien
  • Research Many Things
  • Research Wormholes.

Note that none of this has anything to do with the nations of Earth – they are tools to give you the research and resources to build fleets of spaceships, etc, that defeat the aliens. Your resources also don’t seem to depend on your hab sites – none of mine went down as the Servants glassed the surface of Mars.

Here I thought that building a solid foundation on the surface of Earth would be critical, and it’s wicked fun and definitely part of the solution to winning the game – but my bet is, I can win without a single nation under my control by the end of the game. The most critical thing nations give you is research. If had no/few nations and lots of built up resources, I could probably squeak past the last research barriers – since Orgs also give you many research points.

The developers are big about “not posting spoilers”, and I get that, but I think the win path is considered a “spoiler”. That’s wrong headed and confusing for a game where you take a week to even get started. Just to complicate things, each faction has a different win path, so the path I am discovering might be substantially different for any other faction ! Clearly, the Servants will be very different since they are the “Submit to the Aliens” faction.

As exhaustion set in last night I realized I might be getting close. My scientists have figured out that a wormhole exists in the Kuiper belt which leads to the alien’s domain. I am not entirely sure what that means for me to do next.

It looks like I need to finish more Purple research; plus get Mission to Jupiter and other techs that allow me to reach the Kuiper Belt; then figure out how to reach the area. So my game tasks are to continue down that path and hopefully win; then restart the game and really figure out what matters to winning on the easiest difficulty level.

Playthrough Terra Invicta – When to Build A Navy

It is December 2029, and the accumulation of resources continues. But, when to start fighting the aliens ? I did recently kill an alien counselor and autopsied it, which is opening up more research I have not completed. I know I’m waiting for a couple of events.

  • Scripted Invasion. Around 2032 the aliens will take over a country somewhere on Earth. The straightforward way to deal with it is to nuke them.
  • Megafauna. If you let the xenoforming keep growing eventually it becomes huge creatures that require armies (or nukes) to deal with. You want to kill one, that lets you study it and progress something.
  • Ship destruction. At some point, if you kill an alien ship, you will get some alien technology – and it’s around this time.
Doing OK with income. I have a lot of fissiles, I think, and many more mines coming online next year.

I really dislike watching videos but Youtuber Perun is doing a good set and explaining how the game works. This video taught me a lot about designing a ship(s) that I have not been able to find documented on the internet. I also learned a few simple and interesting things.

  • Suggestion : Build a ship, because you need to solve a problem. Maybe it’s because a problematic faction has one. Or the above mentioned kill a destroyer.
  • Trying to figure out how to successfully kill one alien, floating around Earth, has a strategy of a Copperhead armed missile frigate along with a monitor class “survivor” ship. That one is interesting. You build a ship with the specific objective of making sure it survives the battle.

I move forward, doing research and trying to get EU + Russia merged. At some mysterious point, I can absorb “The Stans” and so I do (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan). I’ve also moved up to three pips on the “Alien Danger” chart.

How dangerous the aliens think you are.

I am hoping level 3 is there because I killed the alien counselor, not because of too much mission control. So far, there is no hint on the interwebs that Cinematic difficulty has an MC “hate cap”. At various difficulties, there are caps – and when you go over them you get more pips on this marker. I suppose I might at least confirm if these exist on this playthrough. Typically the lowest is level 2.

In case anyone is as dense as I am – you can directly control the allocation of points. You don’t HAVE to use the priority planners.

Click on any dot to increase it. Click on 3 dots to set it to zero. I can’t believe I missed this for two months.

But I let years go by, and we reach Jan 2032. A couple of important things happen.

  • I check my “List of goals” which includes destroying a single alien ship. I don’t remember any pop up about this one.
  • I succeed in the “Steal Project” mission for the first time – and it appears what I stole, did not get given to me. How sad, it’s a bug.
  • I successfully detain an Alien Councilor. This opens up many story points and seems to be significant.
  • I build ships according to the Perun video and move them towards each other.

Next game, my task is to blow up the Alien. Will I succeed ?