by John Woolsey

A newbie to Galaxy's tale. Could be considered a strategy guide, but probably isn't.

This game was a Galaxy NG game called Newbie7 on Steve Webb's server.

Well the game started out with 16 players and it was looking pretty good. The rule was that you had to be under three games to play. There seemed to be quite a few players who where on their third game. But this was my first.

The game started out interestingly enough. I named my race Galagans. I decided I was going to rush three races to try and give myself a head start. I had only a day or two to make my first move ever so I blew it. Instead of my ships hitting on turn 3 they hit on turn 4 with a well placed dodge. I didn't know you could spend one turn in hyperspace and the defender still can't do anything.

It didn't turn out well. I missed two players since they had defenses in place. Worse I hurt both of them so they decided they didn't like me. I am not sure if I had hit both of them a turn earlier if it would have made any difference. I did take over one player to the south who didn't send in orders. I then proceeded to send a mess of diplomacy and set up favourable borders with Nation_5, Nation_10, and Nation_9. Nation_5 as I found out later was a fairly experienced player. Nation_10 was more of a newbie, as was Nation_9. On the southern flank way out of my range Tomb Raiders was successful in wiping out two other players on turn 3. Nation_17 and Drooling_Booleans. Here is the weird part Nation_3 who was also not being played stayed untouched by anyone for 3 or 4 turns until Marksmen took them over as a replacement player. So now the stage had been set.

Being my first game I decided I would try to wipe out Nation_5. This decision was purely based on distance. I should have attacked Nation_10. He was far weaker in defenses. It turned out okay because Nation_5 had it in for me because I wiped out all of his cargo ships earlier. I made horrible fleets. I had read everything I could find about battles but I had missed a few key points. I took his homeworld but most of my fleet was wiped out. Only one ship survived. Fortunately for me I had thought shielding was the important stat for making shield balls. Two my ships where almost unhittable by Nation_5. I had also a ton of fleets ready to attack him, but I had no defenses for my planets except the main ones and because he had been going to get revenge he had a raider fleet in my territory that could have hit my population hard if he had split it up. Rather then take the hit I made peace/alliance with him and decided next time I would put something into defenses.

In the rest of the game interesting things where happening as well. Tomb Raiders was getting seriously ahead in tech. Q was probing everyone and basically picking fights with everyone rather then making borders. Mostly Trogs seemed to clean up Q, but it took him an exceedingly long time with heavy losses which effectively pulled Trogs out of the game. Alphoct Federation basically grew in a very peaceful side of the galaxy and took out Vegans easily. I don't think they put up a fight. Marksmen took out the Dorji a few turns later with a bunch of shield balls.

At this point It became obvious that Tomb_Raiders was running away from the rest of us and likely to become invincible. I tried to get allies to try to take him out. Pedcoyes refused. Nation_9 was relatively weak and the best I could do was give him couseling to help him. Trogs was too far north. And Nation_5 was fairly weak because I kind of crippled him (whoops). I was fairly far away. I started building to take out Tomb_Raiders myself. Half way through that building Tomb_Raiders started swarming planets. He started building fleets two turns before I intended to hit him. He took out most of nation_5, Argonathi and Nation_9. His fleets weren't complicated. Just basically very fast fighters as his ships were ridiculously fast at this point. I had decided to go with a sweep of fighters across every single one of his planets. I also had a 2 turn shield ball for his home world. I had somewhat fast ships to hit his expansion planets. I expected to get his home world and a couple of small planets, but it would have to do. Well things worked out a little better than expected. I took all his expansion home worlds but Nation_9 wiped out basically every planet he had in his core space in one turn. He lost 3852 of 7042 production points in one turn. At that point he had little to defend and I cleaned up all of his planets. He decided to build a shield ball on one of his planets where he put the remainder of his fleet. It actually took me a long time to kill him on that planet but I finally did about two turns before he was going to cause me trouble.

At this point the war with Tomb_Raiders had been fun but fairly anti-climatic. I looked at the stat reports and noticed that Nation_10 had completely neglected to build any tech. Figuring he would be easy pickings I attacked with fighters and a shield ball. I knew I was woefully unprepared, but I was cocky and bored after such a great success against Tomb_Raiders. I took Nation_10's home world, but things didn't go as well as planned. I ended up taking a long time to kill Nation_10. It was not really a challenge, but he fought to the bitter end and proved that low tech doesn't always mean you lose all of the time. I also didn't probe enough which hurt me. I think he was playing for the benefit of Alphoct who was now in the #1 position and was a friend of his. But possibly that is being unfair to him. I probably would have fought it out to the end as well for the experience. He later claimed that he believed I had kinda backstabbed him and that is why he had played it all the way out. I do admit to giving him advice. Taking down Nation_5 who was planning to attack him and telling him to be more careful when he sent me his password in a relay email. However I never used the word ally in any of our conversations. Nation_10 had a large fleet that he sent into Trogs space because it was useless against me. Trogs being my only real ally I saved even though he was pretty much out of the game anyway because his production and tech was so low.

There were two players that had great fun in the game after they were effectively dead. Argonathi had no planets but had a fleet left and stomped around taking planets on his border with Trogs. Nation_9 kept one planet after Tomb Raiders killed him. He spent most of the rest of the game building less then 10 weight ships and finding empty planets to colonize which I allowed. He seemed to be having fun.

Now there was an interesting story with Pedcoyes, Marksmen and myself (Galagans). Pedcoyes and Marksmen had a huge dustup battle in the SE corner of the game. Alphoct picked at Marksmen's nothern expansion but didn't get involved much. Pedcoyes was slightly higher tech then Marksmen and attacked first so he was slowly winning the battle. Near the end for Marksmen he managed to trap a large portion of Pedcoyes' fleet and destroy it. Pedcoyes was now somewhat fleetless and concentrating on Marksmen. The leader of the Marksmen managed to convince me that Pedcoyes was defenseless and that I should attack. I had offered Pedcoyes all kinds of things from NAP to alliances and he never responded. I took a fleet that was from the Tomb_Raiders battle and sent it to attack Pedcoyes homeworld. I lost the fleet and now Pedcoyes didn't like me. I managed to convince Pedcoyes I had a huge fleet and that it would be best if we all made peace. He was desperate to get his planets back so he left himself at war with me when I retreated. My backup fleet for his homeworld was a shield ball which wiped about about 2000 weight of ships which was a lot at that point. He was basically shipless at this point again. I was concerned about his power so I made peace and offered to wipe out Alphoct with him. He was one of the better players in the game. I later found out he was playing in four or five games. I don't know how he finds the time.

So the second last battle with Alphoct ensued. I knew I didn't need Pedcoyes help to take out Alphoct, but I didn't want to fight a two front war. Especially since I had no ships near Pedcoyes. I also didn't have any production down there so I could have sustained a lot of losses before having to fight him. I had the best tech in the game but Alphoct's production was slightly higher. Alphoct then made the mistake that killed him there. He went all out for tech to try to compete with me. I built fleets. I probed him a few times and found out he had quite a fleet but it was behind his tech levels. Marksmen decided to take his planets back from Alphoct to get his attention knowing that I was going to attack Alphoct in a few turns. I believe what happened then was Alphoct instead of building a new fleet sent half his fleet after Marksmen a turn or two before I attacked. Alphoct had no speed so this fleet got stuck in the middle and split up. He couldn't get them back to fight me or get them over to Marksmen. I jumped through Q space and took his homeworld in two turns. By the placement of his ships I could see he wasn't able to launch a strong counter offensive and I used 9 weight ships to clean off all of the planets around my main fleets. His defense collapsed in two turns and I swept his home worlds in three. At that point it just became cleanup on my part. Pedcoyes jumped in on the act late and grabbed a few planets. I think he was still trying to recover his fleet from our mistake battle at that point.

Marksmen decided he wanted to ally everyone in the game and take me on. Pedcoyes wasn't happy about it, but he went along with a bit of coersion. I agreed to it because I wanted the experience from the battle and I wasn't happy that Pedcoyes had provided no help against Alphoct. Also Pedcoyes seemed to think the best idea was him attacking and killing Trogs my ally since there where too many players left in the game. If I was going to let anyone live it was Trogs. I over estimated how far Pedcoyes would go even though I let him have his home space for two turns more then I had to. He fought valiantly regardless. Marksmen had a great victory against me, but his and Trogs tech was just too low to be effective. Especially against my newest fleets. Marksmen's final battle was against a newly minted fleet 1/3 the size of his massed fleet. Although I won this final battle the game really ended with an alliance between Galagans, Trogs, Pedcoyes and Markmen.

If I had to rate game play I would say Tomb_Raiders played the best. He lost primarily because he built nothing for defenses and he misjudged my strategy of attack. If he had done either right I think he would have won. Second I would say was Pedcoyes. Alphoct definitely comes in third. I don't think he was challenged much until the end of the game though. He basically just built an empire of production and then lost it in a few turns.

My knowlege of players:

The End.

p.s. A shield ball is a ship which is heavily shielded. The idea is to have enough shielding that other players cannot hit you at all. It allows a single ship say weight 100 to kill an entire fleet that can't hit it. Although you tend to get large turn reports that way. For example I sent a ship to Pedcoyes home world which weighed 37. It was almost entirely shielding. I destroyed over 2000 mass of ships. (The turn report was 1.5 megs I believe) Ironically this was an accident but it was very effective in keeping him out of the last battle and ensuring his loyalty as he had almost no fleet left. Shield balls are easy to destroy if you are prepared and they tend to be high mass which means they cost a lot.

Another name for them is Raider, but most people tend to escort Raiders to ensure they are a little harder to kill. The shield ball concept is mostly used unescorted because you will generally lose 100% of the escort anyway.