Back in the dawn of gaming history – maybe 1994 ? – we would write after action reports. These were generally text documents, possibly transcribed to that newfangled World Wide Web thing. I posted some on Compuserve, a kind of pay-by-the-character BBS. All of mine are assuredly gone today.
I loved doing this with Master of Orion, so I’ve decided to do an AAR blog-style for Remnants of the Precursors. Caveat : This is based on the Alpha so things could change from the final release version or even the Beta version.
There are many race choices to select, and each one gives an interesting flavor to the game. I decided to go with Bulrathi since most of my games involve a lot of invasion of enemy planets.
I have gotten comfortable enough with the game to do Normal difficulty; before I was using various Easy flavors. The difficulty has an effect on production within the game.
- Easiest: -50%
- Easier: -25%
- Easy: -10%
- Normal: No change
- Hard: +10%
- Harder: +40%
- Hardest: +100%
Which world size to select ?
- Tiny 25
- Small 50
- Average 100
- Large 250
- Huge 500
- Massive 1,000
- Insane 10,000
- Ludicrous 100,000
- Maximum (This is based on the maximum memory available on the PC and to the Java middleware software. Mine shows 810,720)
The larger sizes sound really cool. They may end up being fantastic at a later development point, but today I find them wanting. Tiny can result in a REALLY fast game. I decide to go for a Huge map since I do want to finish in a reasonable time, but I still like big maps.
There are different shapes for the galaxy to come in, but Star Field is the classic and the only one I’ve tried. I picked 3 random opponents – for the moment, you can’t force it to pick any opponent.
And then, I begin the game. Now normally you start and see what you get, and restart the game but since I’m documenting I’m going to go with whatever random chance gives me.
Each race has a start screen like this which will tell you more about that race, and their reasoning and temperament and philosophy.
What’s also fun is the year shown – it’s different for each race. The Bulrathi year has a bug in that it’s either year 14215 and the text is wrong, or it’s year 142/143 and the .15 refers to a fraction of the year.
What I get looks pretty good. 4 Orange, 2 Red, and one Blue star in reserve tank range. Pretty sure the ones in normal range will be hospitable, and hopefully the others too.
The range indicator (Not an empire territory indicator!) consists of the blue area telling me what is in normal range for my empire. The blue circle around it all tells me what’s in range for reserve tanks. There is a nebula to the galactic west.
Send scouts off to the red stars and the colony ship to the orange. I’m leaving the planetary bars alone for the moment, ie, no research immediately.
The Orange star is Terran as expected and we colonize it. Red star, unfortunately, is Inferno and will not be colonized anytime soon. I need to research such that colonization is possible.
I send transports off from Ursa to Durzol with 8 million colonists.
The funny thing to me is how confusing the transports screen was in Moo1. I read the manual, tried to do it on screen, and could not get it to work no matter what I did. I went as far as looking up SimTex’s phone number and calling in and asking.
Whoever answered the phone – it was probably Steve Barcia the designer – was rather suspicious and told me to look in my manual. When I said it wasn’t clear he said “Yeah, right”. But he did get me going in the right direction somehow. I later noted in the first patch that transport language was improved, called out as a patch modification, and I wondered….
Nearby Red start is Irradiated. Blast it. Can’t colonize that.
Two stars are scouted in reserve range, and these are better. Shura is a 75 pop Jungle planet, while Lorzub is a 60 pop Steppe with the Ultra-Poor penalty. Now I have two targets for colony ships when my industry is ready.
Two more systems scouted. One with a Desert planet (Colonizable) and one with no planets. At this point the scouts are done until something changes.
And at this point it’s time to design ships.
The game gives you several prebuilt designs in case of early war, but the way I have set the game up I do not expect that. So I scrap the three warships and add a colony ship with reserve tanks so I can colonize the nearby worlds.
Ursa is almost at full population and maximum factories. So I begin to build the new Colony Reserve ship.
All Ursa production is going towards the Colony Reserve, 8 years to go. Durzol is continuing to build up population and factories.
Shura is colonized. 4 years until a new Colony Reserve is completed. Now there are new systems in range; I move one scout to explore them. I also move 8 transports to Shura from Durzol.
Colony Reserve is completed and on its way to Lorzub. At this point, I have no new destinations for colony ships. I decide to build one additional one as I wait for scouts to hopefully find me more.
Durzol completes all factories possible and starts spending on cloning enough people to fill the planet. System Gul is explored and is Inferno.
Research begins as Durzol fills up.
We select the following to research :
- ECM Jammer 1
- Industrial Tech 9
- Class II Shields
- Improved Eco Restoration
- Hydrogen Fuel Cells
- Hyper – V Rockets.
I also tweak research priorities. No other races have been found, so Shields and Weapons are set at a low priority versus the other four branches. You need them for Factory Controls, Factory Costs, Colonization, and Propulsion ranges.
Lorzub is colonized, bringing one more system into “range”.
Dead world is discovered. I sure hope this last world is colonizable.
Colony Reserve ship completed. Since I can’t colonize anything yet, I change the world to have one tick on ship construction (410 years to complete, hahah), and the remainder into research. Looks like ECM will be done soon.
ECM researched. I pick the super useful tech Robotic Controls III as the next computer research project.
Colony ship on the way to a Terran world, which should also bring a big group of systems into range. Ursa switches back to constructing Colony Reserves.
Colony established on Bat, and additional colony ship on the way there. We’re beginning to switch to the “Mass Colonize” portion of the game.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells researched. This brings two new worlds into range. An additional scout ship is set for construction next turn to explore one of them.
A second world is now filled with factories and population, and adds to research. Only one world in range remains to be explored.
Improved Eco Restoration is discovered permitting increased productivity on all worlds – less resources need to clean up pollution.
A ship is on its way to the two final colonizable worlds in range, and Ursa will build one extra colony ship.
And that’s the first few hours of the game.