I stop by only to say I enjoy this series a lot, and to agree that “group playing Grand Strategy” should be more of a thing than it is. (I also reinstalled Stellaris because of this!)
They need to bump up their food storage to maximum so that they can store up to 5000 units of food. It’s a policy that costs nothing. They just need to move the pip from minimum to maximum. It will definitely help with paying off those pesky maurauders.
I figured since we have a lot of people who aren’t familiar with stellaris watching this, and they decided to go diplomacy over supremacy that we’re due for a big effort post explaining federations (and also why most players avoid them).
When a federation is founded the nation that formed it is declared federation president for 10 years, after which it rotates to the next member that has at least 10% of the total number of colonized planets in the federation. There are ways to exploit this requirement I’ll get to later. The federation president has exclusive control over the construction and operation of the federation navy. Forming or joining federation also dissolves any defensive or non-aggression pacts a nation has, as federations have their own diplomacy.
Federations cost 1 influence a month from each member to maintain and act as a global defensive pact between federation members, if a federation member is attacked all members will declare war in response. Each empire loses 20% of their maximum naval capacity which is added to the federation naval cap.
The federation navy is a single fleet that does not have a command limit other than the federation naval cap, pays no maintenance costs, and is designed through a special ship builder interface that lets you use any technology any federation member has researched. Only the current federation president can build ships for the federation fleet but they are not destroyed when the presidency rotates.
All federation diplomacy is carried out by voting as federations do not have the same diplomacy options. Federations cannot form defensive pacts with non-federation states, they can however offer federation association status which is a non-aggression pact which extends to the entire federation if a majority of the members vote yes to the proposal. Adding an AI empire to a federation requires that they have a positive acceptance modifier with every single empire already in the federation, which is why the khessam wouldn’t join. Nations can also be thrown out of a federation if every other nation votes unanimously to do so.
Last but not least, any aggressive federation war has to be agreed upon unanimously by all federation members. This is the real sticking point most players have with them as having the AI effectively in control of your foreign policy just isn’t fun and it can make it extremely hard to declare wars if the federation members have varying war policies (Michael Bird Jordans vs Space llamas for instance). To add to this, if the AI proposes a war and you vote no, you get a stacking opinion penalty with that nation every time you do this. This becomes a problem fast because the AI will almost always re-propose the war the second it is allowed to, effectively either forcing you into the war or stacking the negative opinion modifier high enough they either leave or try and have you thrown out of the federation.
Because of the war policy thing, most people either do not use federations or use them like you would a pre-2.0 domination tree build before they nerfed all the overlord bonuses. Since presidents must have at least 10% of total colonized planets, you can expand to over 10 planets then release 1 planet as a rump-state vassal. Then if you form a federation with that vassal you are effectively president for life, trading 1 influence a month and the ability to defensive pact for not having to pay maintenance costs on 20% of your navy which is a big deal. The war issue is also much less of a big deal in this case because the vassal would have identical ethics to you and so will likely vote yes on all your proposals.
Also Austin, why the hate for unity buildings? They’re dope as are all planet uniques.
In the beginning, the idea was to be the best version of humanity but I feel like we have kind of gone away from that a bit? It’s not going to war with slavers that’s the problem because I would hope the best of humanity would do just that but Austin will casually abandon planets or make plans to abandon planets if its beneficial to him.
It definitely seems the case that the abstraction of the game having an effect on moral choices.
Though, the best version of humanity might be hard to roleplay.
In this case, there doesn’t seem to be much of a choice on whether to abandon a planet or not to slavers that sport a fleet well beyond what you are capable of deterring.
You can send a fleet, but you would just be increasing the level of casualties for no benefit. I’m sure there would be much more hand wringing, but I imagine the hypothetical best of us, wouldn’t throw good soldiers lives away away for a hopeless battle. They’d focus on evacuation and mustering forces for the future chance of preventing another disaster, I think.
Though, I’d understand “the best of humanity” might mean different things to different people.
What would the best of humanity do, when constrained to the hard mechanics of stellaris?
(Assuming you are talking about the marauding space slavers attacking planets)
I do think you are rightt on the roleplaying front.
Some of the righteous ideals stated from the start of the campaign haven’t been seriously roleplayed when faced with in game conflicts. I think they are more focused on honest reactions to a “game”, than spicing it up too much.
Very easy to just treat conflicts in a grand strategy style game, as numbers.
“That’s a bummer things didn’t go the right way”,
might be the extent of the honest feelings of the streamers.
Yeah, as Virgil says, the way war plays out means that while I could send a fleet of 2K to fight that raiding party of 10k, all that will do is lose that entire fleet. Big fleets just stomp out small ones like that. Also: It’s become clear that the mechanical cost of those raiders isn’t all that bad: they just stomp in, take one or two population units, and leave. (Which is why we’re not abandoning those planets per say. We haven’t lost a planet yet, just a couple of population units here or there).
TFW Austin says losing a few million of his people (if that’s where we’ve landed on the abstraction of what constitutes a “pop”) to slaver raids “isn’t all that bad.”
I don’t necessarily agree with @Jonny_Anonymous because I know there’s technically nothing you can do against said raider fleets at this stage in the game, but let’s not kid ourselves here. Those assholes snatched good Striven citizens and sold them into a life of servitude and I think we need to make them pay. This is the kind of thing he’s saying I think. Mechanically speaking losing 2 pops isn’t the end of the world, but in the RP sense, losing 2 million people to slavers should be a major cause for alarm.
I think it’s mostly remarkably easy to say that when you have an military force than can actually make them pay. Even if all we were doing was printing ships, we wouldn’t be in any shape to do that in our game for hours and hours.
In an RP sense, I think the bulk of the Striven Solar Commonwealth would mostly be shook by how incredibly vulnerable they are. (which, fair enough, we could’ve leaned into more)
The other half of this coin is that there isn’t much you can do to retaliate against the raiders if you don’t have a big enough fleet to stop them in the first place. From a mechanical sense the raided pops die as they don’t have any planet to go to and will never come back, and an after the fact military retaliation can only end with the destruction of their species if you eventually amass enough fleet power to destroy their space stations.
I’d like to see a more exuberant embrace of dramatic irony for the Striven Solar Commonwealth. We know the Ztrakpor are not our allies. We know they will be our enemies one day soon. They are slavers. And despots. And just about the worst that space has to offer.
But we were allies once, and humanity has a terrible time seeing the cancer that infects their allies.
I would love to pretend - with knowing ignorance - that the Striven have grown to trust the Ztrakpor. When they betray us, I want to act surprised. “How dare they!” We cry as they fly into the Solar System. “Who could have foreseen this?” We ask as their landers crush the cities of Earth. “We will not forget.” We mutter as we jump away from our home star.
A war with the Reyubb High Kingdom is the perfect stage for the Striven’s hubris. We build our own Pearl Harbor just at the edge of their space. We fly through their borders. We taunt them. We do everything in our power to goad an attack. (We even hire the Marauders to attack them from the other side.) We make them think they have no choice.
We fight them. We “win” - as much as any war can be said to be “won” - and we take The Oracle’s Grave for our troubles. We’ll need it. When the Ztrakpor come, it will be the last place the Striven have to hide.
I should have said before that have never played the game so I don’t actually know how the mechanic work. It wasn’t so much the raiders but the placement of defences? The Waypointeers will place them in choke points whitch I totally understand, thats where they will work best but it also means there are planets that are just undefended that will get rolled whenever a war happenes.
You definitely shouldn’t worry about that. There are a lot of mechanical reasons why they can’t just load every system up with defensive structures. It’s a massive drain on economy and mostly unnecessary. Also there is just a hard cap on how many starbases you can even own. Controlling chokepoints is the best way to keep all your internal systems protected. They’ve done a pretty good job planning for attacks from their biggest threat currently, Ryubb.
When Ztrakpor eventually turns on them and that conflict starts, the current state of the western border is going to make it kind of tough to defend. There’s like 3 or 4 entry points from that direction, and no real chokepoint.
Just wanted to shout out to @austin_walker, @danielle and Rob for finally convincing me to give this game a try. I picked it up in that last Paradox Humble Bundle and after watching each episode, I started up my first empire yesterday. I’ve played a few hours at this point, but I think I’m gonna scrap my first empire and start over! But I feel empowered to do so.
Was fun while it lasted. RIP
Not over yet, just scheduling conflicts! Rob was out Thursday/Friday of last week, I had an event the week before, and then PAX was before that. We’ll be back soon!
Sorry to get alarmist, I just worry. You guys are spinning a lot of plates with all these weekly(ish) streams, and all of those plates are my delicate, beautiful fine china and it one drops my heart will break haha
Heck yeah! New Episode.
Checking this out now! Interested in how this federation business shakes out.
I love the new title for the titans.
As a note, it looked like maybe the Researchers were stalled, while ya have some science quests available.
A reminder that Anomaly research stuff is still useful for where you are at in this build in the game.
Basically you can have your scientist explore in all the regions with open borders with aliens.
Lots of benefits, from tradition Discovery, and from just cool events.
Spoiler for 5/10 episode
Oh man that battle turned out REAL messy. That miiiight have been a fair fight if both our fleets were able to engage at the same time, but we were still cutting it really close engaging under our fleet cap. Oh well we got some mats in the bank so some new ships can be rolled out and once we go back at Reyubb at full strength they will get spanked hard. I think the 1 hour time limit may have taken its toll today. Guns were jumped, engagements were rushed, and we got caught with our pants down a little bit
Definitely going to be a difficult wait fort he next stream. Hopefully a larger block of time can be carved out for a good, long war sesh! Thanks for fitting one in this week. It’s definitely been too long and E3 is gonna cut into stream time
Hey Waypoint! Gotta say, I’m a bit concerned about the route the Striven have been taking recently. While I’m all for taking down slavers, I feel like the main concern lately has been for what’s best for the Striven Solar Commonwealth, rather than what’s best for the sentient peoples of the galaxy.
This has been most visible with the Kessam, who we absolutely crippled, and then gave them a paltry sum of minerals and called it a day. Now they’re under attack from Ztrakpor, and soon their entire race might be slaves under them. Destabilising them like that feels uncomfortably like modern foreign policy, rather than the actions of an ideal society.
What I suggest is making sanctuary worlds for the Kessam. I’m sure we can find some arid or desert worlds that we could colonise with droids. At that point, our migration treaty would allow them to seek refuge there. I know that we’ve been concerned about bringing authoritarian pops into our commonwealth, and have been considering the use of extreme measures to control them, but I believe we can resolve this through good government and high living standards. Integrating these pops into our commonwealth might be hard, but why would we call ourselves the Striven if we weren’t willing to strive?