Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby Soontir C'boath » 2016-12-19 12:23am

I just want to chime in here and state that if playing in the large galaxy, there is a certain planet named for a particular writer y'all should recognize.
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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby Nephtys » 2016-12-19 01:27am

I love this game. I also love that FFG made it directly into a board game. No other 4x has quite as much--- flavor--- injected into it's mechanics.
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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2016-12-19 12:05pm

Soontir C'boath wrote:I just want to chime in here and state that if playing in the large galaxy, there is a certain planet named for a particular writer y'all should recognize.

Neelgaimon was a reference made in a 1995 EU book, three years before Rebellion came out.
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-02-10 03:53pm

It's been since October since I last made an update. Oh dear. :(

Well anyway, I'm back! So let's get into it, shall we?

From last time, I discovered that Han Solo was on Svivren, thanks to Espionage. So, I decide to do something about that scruffy looking nerfherder:

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"But wait RogueIce!" I hear you cry, "Han is a Major Character and cannot be killed! You told us that already!" Indeed I did, thanks for remembering! But that doesn't mean I can't run an Assassination mission on him, just that he'll never be killed by it.

So what's the point, you ask?

To Injure him, of course! Being Injured means he cannot perform any missions - which since he can Recruit and is also one of the best operatives in the game is kind of a big deal - or hold any Commands, which is meh but it's worth noting. Eventually, I succeed at my goal of putting him on the Alliance's injured reserve and take him out of the picture for a little while. During this time, a successful Espionage mission reveals valuable information about Svivren and Taanab:

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(Han hasn't been injured yet but he will be later)

Luke Skywalker has been found! Since this is an HQ game he is not a Victory Condition, but still useful considering he's one of the Alliance's most powerful assets. Sadly, he's all the way over in Farrfin where as mentioned before I have zero assets, so there's nothing to be done - and a subsequent Espionage bonus info dump will reveal he's moved on. Still, it was nice while it lasted. In any event, those two Alliance characters alongside Han on Svivren will be next up on the Assassination queue, and I begin trying to kill Orrimaarko as soon as Han is injured.

Meanwhile, back on Coruscant, the Emperor has recruited Griff to the cause. Checking out his stats I could use him for covert missions - TBH the vast majority of your Minor Characters will be more than capable operatives, if you want to employ them as such - but look at that amazing Leadership score! How is it so high that it puts his other skills to shame? Because of a special advantage the Empire gets: the Seat of Power effect.

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Whenever the Emperor is on Coruscant (planet-side, not on a ship in orbit) he gives all Imperial Major (well just Vader lol) and Minor Characters a 50% boost to Leadership. This is the stat that makes them better Officers and also determines success or failure when trying to Subdue or Incite an Uprising. In my case, what's important is that Griff - and most Imperial officers - is a badass when it comes to Incite Uprising missions. Kind of odd that the Empire is way better at this than the Alliance, but thanks to the Seat of Power and the way LucasArts programmed the mission, it is so.

You can think of Incite Uprising as, essentially, a reverse-Diplomacy mission. You send your team to an enemy-controlled world and try to convince the local populace that you're totally better than them. Fortunately, thanks to Jerjerrod's earlier successes in swaying the Seswenna Sector, Chandrila already kind of supports me which makes them ripe for conversion. I also decided to train Shenir Rix at Sabotage so there are no pesky defenses to get in my way. And so Griff goes to the blockading Imperial Star Destroyer Imperator to incite rebellious sentiment on a Rebel world. Image

Meanwhile, Coruscant finishes its fourth Construction Yard, so I decide to increase the number of Training Facilities I have - SpecForces are vital, and I'll want more Troops later. Remember when I said grouping up CYs and other Manufacturing Facilities was important?

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Recall that a single CY (or TF since they have identical costs) used to take 40 days. Now I can build three of them in less time than I originally could build one! Had I wanted to build a fourth it would take me exactly 40 days, but luckily Uvena already has a TF of its own so I can save a little time. Meanwhile over in the Dolomar Sector, Ketaris also finished it's fourth CY and thus do I build up three more TFs to bolster Tangrene's already existing TF. Because I'm running lots of missions on Alliance-controlled Systems in that Sector, so I need all the SpecForces I can get! One of those Systems is Balfron, and soon enough I receive some valuable intelligence...

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Remember that other game where I found Alliance HQ on Day 35? Well, it's past Day 100 here, and yet I just discovered what (might be) Alliance HQ in this Outer Rim System! Now, granted, they have had time to expand themselves, so it might not be this specific System. However, odds are it'll be in this Sector, so that narrows the search at the very least. Still, I want to cover all my bases, and luckily Imperial Probe Droids are cheap and quick to build. As it turns out, I'd already built a bunch of them on Mrisst earlier that I forgot about, so taking a lesson from the movies - specifically the opening to Episode V - I blanket the suspected HQ sector in probe droids:

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Back on Chandrila, Informants provide me with information. This happens in one of three ways: the System is highly supportive of you but Occupied by the other faction, there is a Traitor on the System (I'll get into that much later), or it is a sign of success for Incite Uprising missions. The latter being the case here, it's a positive sign. Also in my Capital Sector, the Emperor recruits Klev, who has a very useful ability: Ship Design R&D skill! I immediately send him out on a Ship Design Research Mission to Ghorman, so that I can increase the capabilities of the Imperial Starfleet. While he's still in transit, I receive this notice:

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The TIE Bomber is available for construction! My first new ship type of the game! Even though I didn't have any Characters doing Ship R&D, I still control the relevant Manufacturing Facilities; each one you control will contribute toward the respective R&D, so as long as you've got at least one CY, TF and SY in the galaxy you will (slowly) climb the Tech Tree. Of course, it means killing/capturing your enemy's Researchers won't stop them from similarly progressing, but it's still worth it as you can greatly slow them down.

Elsewhere, on both Coruscant and Kamparas my CYs finish reinforcing the number of Training Facilities I have out there. While the latter will build another three TFs to Pantolomin, I decide it's time for Seswenna to get some more Shipyards so I can actually expand the Fleet in a timely fashion. Sadly, as you can see, Shipyards are expensive and take a long time to construct, but there's nothing to be done for it. I build five of them to supplement the existing SY on Ghorman. If you'll recall earlier, I was initially limiting the basic facilities to four of each. While this works for CYs and TFs, capital ships are so expensive - and thus time consuming - that it's worth it to build as many SYs as you can afford; the Advanced Shipyards won't come until pretty late in the Tech Tree anyway.

And so I settle in to wait for all of my plans and construction to come to fruition. I'm expanding my SpecForces - Noghri Death Commandoes and Imperial Commandoes are on order and being deployed to supplement my Minor Characters in their tasks - and I await the completion of my expanded Manufacturing. But finally, before I go, some tangible progress:

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Chandrila leaves the Alliance cause and declares Neutrality. My Incite Uprising mission has paid off. Technically, had there been any Alliance Troop Regiments they would be in Uprising - recall the Garrison Requirements discussed earlier - but since I had already sabotaged those away, it just went to straight neutral status. Once I have an available Diplomat I'll bring them to my side; in the meantime, I redeploy the Imperator to make sure those Alliance characters on Svivren don't go anywhere before my Assassins can complete their deadly work. As a final bit of news, Jerjerrod brings Kamparas to my side, and with it an additional CY and SY.

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Following standard practice, I begin a second CY to bring the total up to four, and send Jerjerrod off to Omwat which has three TFs already in place to bring them under my control.

Next Time: I don't really know what happens yet, but as soon as I post this message I'll be going back to playing the game, so hopefully we won't have another three month wait. Until next time!
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-02-10 09:54pm

RogueIce wrote:Next Time: I don't really know what happens yet, but as soon as I post this message I'll be going back to playing the game, so hopefully we won't have another three month wait. Until next time!

As in...THE VERY SAME DAY!!!

Also, I should jot down notes or something, because doing this off a combination of memory and the order of my screenshots is kind of tough. :(

Anyway...

So one of my secondary Espionage results was to show me what's going down on Rishi in the thus far untouched (by me) Farrfin Sector. Seeing that a Troop Training Research mission is going on, I decide it's finally time this rebellious Sector feels some swift Imperial Justice™. So I send the VSD Acclamator, commanded by Commander Needa with six units of Noghri Death Commandoes I was originally going to send to the Sluis Sector to harass Princess Leia with. Of course, this will be complicated by the presence of an Alliance General, Bren Derlin, and the two Army Regiments under his command - especially since I don't have any Imperial Commandoes to sabotage the troops with, as I want to stop this R&D as soon as I can, and the local Training Facilities just aren't up to the task.

Really it's more a false sense of urgency for me, because honestly: the quality of the trooper regiments doesn't mean that much. Aside from their Detection Value - i.e.: their ability to foil your Missions - they're pretty redundant. Sure, Mon Calamari Regiments are the best defending troops out there, but if you have a Fleet bombarding them to their constituent atoms it won't really matter, you know? Likewise, the best assault troops the game has to offer are rather redundant when you've turbolaser-ed away all possible enemy resistance. Knocking off the Ship and Facility Researchers, in that order, is way more important.

Nevertheless, it hurts the enemy and Madine is a good general anyway, so his loss will be of consequence. As will Derlin, so having them both in one place works for me.

Meanwhile, back in the Alliance's last holdout in Seswenna Sector, I notice something I really should have noticed before: my routine Espionage missions have revealed that the Alliance is sending multiple fleets to Svivren. Worse, one of them is a fully loaded Escort Carrier, the Eagle that I noticed at Bilibringi earlier:

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Alliance fighters are deadly and all I have is a single Imperial Star Destroyer with six squadrons of basic TIE fighters. Given that there's also a Corellian Corvette - an early Alliance anti-fighter ship - and that, well, T/Fs suck, this is not good for me. So I send the sole Dreadnaught - uncreatively named Dreadnaught - to back up the Imperator. Elsewhere, I decide to step up my offensive by blockading Balfron, so that the second Shipyard you saw them trying to build from the last update won't deploy (the second TF is already in place by now). To do so, I gather up the VSD Venator and the Carrack Cruiser Carrack (shut up) and send them out, under the leadership of Commander Grammel.

First, let's take a moment to discuss Officers. Basically, various Minor Characters can be given one of three Ranks: Admiral, General or Commander. Admirals command Fleets, Generals command Troops Regiments and Commanders command Fighters. Fairly obvious, I know. Admirals, obviously, can only Admiral in a Fleet but Generals and Commanders can do so in space or from the ground. They enhance the effectiveness of the units under their command during battle, be that the Tactical Battle for Fleets and Fighters, or Planetary Assaults and Bombardment Defense for Troop Regiments. They also enhance the Detection Value of their corresponding units. Which means if you have an enemy System with a Fleet with a load of troops and fighters, with an Admiral, General and Commander embarked, and have a General and Commander on the ground with troops and fighters...you can pretty much forget about running missions there with anyone short of Luke or Vader.

Anyway, my Dolomar Sector Fleet (VSD+Carrack combo under Grammel) arrive at Balfron, where they are met by six Alliance X-wing squadrons:

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I haven't discussed the Battle Alert window before, so let's do so now. It's pretty self-explanatory. Along the side you have four buttons: the Display button (which just shows the screen pictured, "Imperial forces encounter Alliance forces blah blah blah..." and underneath that you have buttons to show you the disposition of the Alliance and Imperial Fleets (which includes ground-based fighters) and the Planetary resources (troops, planetary shields and batteries, manufacturing, etc. - only useful to see if there's a ground-based Commander, honestly). Along the bottom you have three choices, from left to right: Withdraw, Automate Battle, and Take Command. Withdraw kind of sucks - you'll almost always pick up damage because reasons, so it's better to Take Command and immediately Withdraw from the Tactical Interface if you don't like your odds, as you'll then escape unscathed. Automate Battle basically lets the computer decide for you, but it kind of sucks at it. But hey, let's give it a shot anyway!

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Well fuck you too, AI! :finger:

Anyway, it lets me destroy all of one X-wing squadron (with no losses among the remaining five) and my VSD gets pretty savaged. Thankfully, I was never intending to Automate this battle anyway and saved beforehand, so let's reload and see if I can do any better!

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Although truthfully, it was a pretty tough fight and my Fleet is in pretty rough shape:

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The VSD Venator was heavily damaged - that big red X means the hyperdrive is shot, so she's not going anywhere for awhile. She also has pretty extensive damage to her hull and weapons systems, as well. The Carrack did better, with only minor damage to her shield systems. The one squadron of TIE fighters I brought lasted all of 30 seconds before being annihilated. Something to note: enemy bombers (Y-wings, B-wings and TIE bombers) and strike fighters (X-wings, TIE Defenders) carry proton torpedoes, which are excellent capital ship killers. Luckily, they only fire them when your shields are down, but man, when that happens, they will utterly ravage capital ships.

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Those little white lines may look harmless, but they're proton torpedoes and if you see them heading for your ships, prepare for hurt. They create a blue "explosion" that I was unfortunately unable to capture in screenshots because my reaction time sucked.

But what matters is that I won. Which doesn't mean I was going to let Balfron escape unpunished:

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Actually, I was only going for the Troop Regiments, which I succeeded at. But it felt good anyway.

So let us discuss Orbital Bombardments now. From the screen above, you can see something that looks quite similar to the Battle Outcome (the defeat/victory ones just above) screen. The buttons do as you'd expect them to do, show the outcome as it pertains to each faction, with the targeting grid button at the bottom opening the System window so you can inspect it for yourself. In any event, there are four types of Bombardment:

Target Military Facilities: Targets troops and defensive facilities (shields and batteries)
Target Civilian Facilities: Targets production buildings as well as mines and refineries
General Bombardment: Targets both of the above; can also destroy System Energy and Resource Stockpiles if you do it enough (aka: Base Delta Zero)
Destroy System: Go full Alderaan on the bastards (Death Star only)

Of the four, Military is the most useful, Civilian is incredibly counterproductive, while General and Destroy are certainly satisfying but also carry significant drawbacks. It should be noted that while a Military Bombardment will target the defensive units (there is no penalty for destroying these; they knew what they signed up for!) there's always the chance you "miss" and blow up a Civilian facility, which will lower Popular Support on that System, and if it's a Core World all Systems in that Sector. And so, needless to say, there is little benefit to a Civilian Bombardment - except for going full Image I guess - because you'll lose Support and you'll just have to rebuild the Manufacturing and Resource units anyway, wasting time. The same goes for General Bombardment, as well as potentially destroying the underlying infrastructure leaving the world completely useless. Blowing up a planet with the Death Star will leave a pile of rubble - which will make the System "permanently neutral" as neither side cares to control a bunch of rocks - as well as reduce Popular Support across the entire Core Worlds. So not something you'll want to be doing often, if ever. Maybe if you run up against an especially impenetrable Alliance fortress world, but other than not worth it, IMO.

You know, if you care about gameplay and not the visceral satisfaction of blowing up planets. Which, given where I'm posting this, might well outweigh all other considerations. :razz:

So anyway, remember Svivren and the approaching Alliance Carrier? Well, my shipyards at Ghorman now number three total, which is just enough to make building a Carrack Cruiser worth it. Since it's the Empire's early anti-fighter ship, it could be just what the Imperator needs to stave off an ignominious defeat at the hands of the Rebel scum. And we mustn't let them have another victory against the evil rightful Galactic Empire after that nasty business at Yavin, yes?

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But it's going to take forty-five days for the new Carrack Cruiser to be deployed. Will it get there in time?

Next Time: We find out if it gets there in time.
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-02-10 10:10pm

BONUS POST!

Steven Kodaly over on SV (I'm assuming this is the same user lol) asked me a good question:

Steven Kodaly wrote:So, once you have meaningful shipyards, what ships do you like to add to your early line of battle?

For the sake of being informative, I will repost my answer here:

Depends on what you mean by "meaningful shipyards" TBH. I have 5 completed on Ghorman right now, with the 6th due soon(ish), and even with that it takes 92 days to construct an ISD.

Luckily, in the early game, the Rebellion is in an even tougher spot than you, because they lack a strong capital ship at the start - although their first two Ship R&D steps fix that handily, with the Nebulon-B Frigate and Mon Calamari Cruiser. But then, they need to build shipyards capable of constructing them in a reasonable timeframe as well. It really kind of sucks as the Empire, because by the time you can build ISDs in a reasonable timeframe, the Rebels will have more than likely unlocked the Mon Cal Cruiser - which is actually better than the ISD in every aspect except fighters and troops, but Rebel fighters are much better than the early TIEs anyway - and if they're on their game, have the infrastructure to build them by then. So your early 'Capital Ship Advantage' - such as it is, with maybe a pair of ISDs and 2-3 VSDs at best - won't really last you. At least not by the time you can expand on it. And, well, the Rebels just flat out have better fighters, which are extremely deadly in their own right; something you'll see in my next update(s)* which I'm in the process of working on.

But to answer your question: Carracks, Lancers (when I unlock them; they're Step 2 on the Imperial Ship Tech Tree) and Escort Carriers filled with TIE Fighters and Interceptors (the latter being Step 3 of R&D) so as to try and negate the Rebel fighter advantage as much as possible. I also go for VSDs over the Dreadnaughts; they're more expensive, and consequently take longer to build - at my current 5 SYs it's a 20 Day gap - but they're much better in every respect. VSDs get an extra fighter squadron, have equivalent troop capacity, carry much greater firepower as well as a stronger hull and on top of that are some of the best planetary bombardment ships around. Basically, I'll keep any starting Dreadnaughts I have, but won't build any more, the VSDs are just that much better. And at 56 Days build time - which will drop a bit when my 6th SY comes around - they're still reasonable enough that I can feel comfortable building them while not tying down extremely valuable and limited Shipyard capacity.

I consider anything from ISD on up to be more of a mid-game thing than early. I probably could have gotten started on my Shipyards a bit sooner, but this being an LP I'm kind of not playing at 100% efficiency: I'm thinking of when to take screenshots, what I want to cover, what I've already covered, trying to keep note of what happens and (roughly) when so I can write the narrative later, etc. So it's easy for me to lose some time here and there and as a result, get things moving a little later than I really should.

*It may be one update, it may be two. I did quite a bit and have a lot to cover, plus the image limits may force two posts on me. So that particular battle may come in the update after next. We'll see how it goes. Turns out it's going to be two updates. :razz:
Image
"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-02-10 11:22pm

RogueIce wrote:Next Time: We find out if it gets there in time.

I actually know the answer to this, since I know when the Alliance Fleet is arriving, what Day it presently is, and can perform simple subtraction.

It won't actually get there in time. :(

Basically: the Alliance Fleet is arriving on Day 209, the Carrack will take 45 Days to deploy, and it's currently Day 168. Which means it'll be four days late, and thus no help.

But that's Future!Me's problem, so let's continue!

Remember all those probe droids I sent out before? Well, they've been slowly returning with information, and it turns out the Dufilvan Sector, home to an Alliance base on Klatooine, is just as uninhabited as it was from the beginning of the game. Well, except for Klatooine itself, of course, where my probe droids ran into a little trouble:

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Well, at least I know for sure that enemy forces are indeed present. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Luckily, all is not lost, because as with Espionage mission, a foiled Reconnaissance Mission can also reveal partial information about an enemy System. In this case, we know that the Alliance is building its very first Dreadnaught (location of the building Shipyard unknown, possibly Klatooine itself?), General Dodonna has moved from Yavin to take command here, and the Corellian Corvette Race is also present. Unfortunately, we have no further intel - including the critical information as to whether Alliance HQ is present - but hey, it's a start.

Back on Coruscant, Emperor Palpatine personally commissions a new officer into the Imperial Navy:

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Aw yeah, time for some epic Fleet battles!

Well, no. Because you see, Thrawn is a Ship R&D Researcher, so he's going to go off to Ghorman and join Klev in researching new and better ships for the Imperial Starfleet. Hopefully, once he's done, I'll have a Fleet worthy of him to command.

Meanwhile, for the record, I have been steadily eroding the Alliance's power base in the Core. I started off by having them thrown off Chandrila, and have also blockaded Svivren, their last holdout in the Seswenna Sector. They have no holdings in the Corellian or Fakir Sectors, and my Diplomacy game is going strong around Corellia: eight out of ten Systems have pledged themselves to the Imperial cause. Jerjerrod is also making great inroads up in Dolomar, leaving only Balfron in Rebel hands - and as you know, it's also been blockaded and effectively neutralized. This leaves only the Sluis and Farfin Sectors, where unfortunately the Alliance is making gains. I'm probably going to lose out on Farfin entirely - they have four out of ten Systems already, I have zilch - and I'm at an extreme disadvantage in Sluis, with one System to their four. Still, two-thirds of the Core will be mine as things presently, stand, which gives me the advantage.

I have, however, been ignoring the Rim Sectors. I probably shouldn't, but that's the way it goes. In all honesty, the Core really is more important, and thusly valuable. Let us compare two typical Sectors: Dolomar (Core Sector) and Dufilvan (Rim Sector). As you can see, in terms of Energy Points and Resource Stockpiles, the Core has the Rim beat, hands down. Still, there are advantages to the Rim:

  • Secrecy - They start off completely unknown - except for Yavin and Alliance HQ (for the Alliance, at least) - and will stay that way until you send something out to go check. And unlike when Core Worlds flip allegiance, there is no notice of unexplored Rim Systems changing hands. Thus letting you build up secret bases.
  • Potential - As you can see above, Dufilvan Sector doesn't have any Systems too special, for the most part, although Ord Mantell is pretty decent. However, there are Systems with 12-14 Energy Points out there, which combined with the secrecy noted above, can give you some powerful bases from which to amass resources from, all without the enemy being any the wiser.
  • Scope - The Outer Rim is pretty big. In my Huge Galaxy game, it accounts for fourteen full Sectors, more than double what the Core has to offer. Sure, overall the Systems may not be the best, but there's a lot of places to hide out there, and every little bit helps.
  • Unclaimed Territory - Just what it says. While taking over Core Worlds requires Diplomacy - a potentially lengthy process, and you only have so many good Diplomats to begin with - or Planetary Assault - resulting in the need for a strong garrison to maintain order - claiming an uninhabited Rim System is as easy as plunking down a Troop Regiment from a passing ship. Although there are inhabited Rim Systems, the vast majority are yours for the taking.

Of course, you'll still need the support of the Core Worlds if you want to actually rule the Galaxy, but the Outer Rim is pretty inviting, especially for the Alliance in the early game. But even the Empire can make good use of the Rim, if they so choose - while also denying it as a base of operations for the Rebellion, of course.

But for now, I have other things on my plate. Like an impending battle at Rishi:

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Fortunately, it's only one X-wing squadron, which is easily dealt with. And so I begin running Assassination Missions against General Derlin, as he's the major impediment to my covert operations there. Meanwhile, back on Svivren, I decide to step it up a notch against Mazar Rackus, the Alliance operative who is sitting there, taunting me with his continued mortal presence. In addition to a bunch of mercenary-type Minor Characters recruited by the Emperor and Vader, I have six Noghri Death Commando units. Acknowledging that the RNG generally hates me, I decide to increase my odds a bit:

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I run multiple Assassination Missions against him, giving multiple chances to have him killed. This is actually an entirely viable tactic, and I find it works pretty well, so long as you have either a) the Characters and SpecForces to spare or b) have eliminated the Planetary Garrison, reducing your chances of Detection so you can just split up your forces into smaller teams, each taking a shot at the target. Sadly, over on Rishi, things aren't going so well. Admittedly, it was kind of my fault: rather than keep my eye on the prize (dead Alliance Characters) I decided to try and have Needa go off and attempt to sabotage an Alliance Army Regiment on his own. It did not end well for him. Luckily, Vader wasn't around to accept his apology so he'll be given a chance to recuperate, but it's still annoying. Also, because of the presence of General Derlin and his soldiers, my Noghri have also been hitting roadblocks and four of them (out of a starting six, recall) have been lost in action - which is why I tried to take out the Regiments in the first place.

Still, my luck was about to change...

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Aw yeah, take THAT Rebel scum! Two Characters killed on the same Day! The first one was Mazar Rackus - hence all those Failed missions, because the alternate teams no longer had a living, breathing target - and Derlin bite it on the same day. After awhile, Madine also falls to the Noghri. After a bombardment I knew wasn't going to work - Rishi has a shield generator my lone VSD can't punch through - I leave the Farfin Sector and take the Acclamator back to Sluis, in an effort to stem the Rebel tide there.

Elsewhere around the galaxy, more Training Facilities and Construction Yards are coming along, as well as the Diplomatic successes in the Dolomar and Corellian Sectors I already mentioned. With Vader and the Emperor, going full bore on Recruiting, I even have the spare Diplomats to go start making inroads into Fakir, which the Alliance has heretofore being ignoring.

So, remember that impending Fleet Battle over at Svivren? Well, it is slated to commence on Day 209. And remember that Carrack Cruiser I said was going to be four days late to the party?

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You see, while my Carrack was building, a brand new Shipyard was activated on Ghorman - thus reducing the build time of the ship just enough that it is now slated to arrive on time! I honestly didn't plan it this way, but clearly the Force is with me.

And so the Alliance shows up. Ready with a much more even lineup, I prepare to give battle.

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Unfortunately, they were not so confident and immediately withdraw, effectively ceding Svivren to me. Additionally, my Diplomats have turned Chandrila from Neutral to Imperial, thus securing Seswenna from further Rebel influence - at least for the time being!

Meanwhile, Vader finishes up the Recruiting drive by bringing in my final character: Bevel Lemelisk. As you can see, he is quite the handy Researcher, capable of contributing to all three of the R&D fields, though you'll pretty much stick him on Ship R&D because it has the longest Tech Tree and is really the most crucial. Unfortunately, as you can see from his other stats, he's useless for anything except R&D Missions, unlike the Alliance's Universal Researcher. Speaking of which,here's the list:

Ship Design: Thrawn, Klev* | Wedge Antilles, Ackbar
Troop Design: Veers, Covell | Madine, Rieekan
Facility Design: Orlok, Villar* | Lando Calrissian, Talon Karrde*
Universal: Bevel Lemelisk | Adar Tallon

*If you read their Encyclopedia entries and/or know them from the Legends EU, most of these are fairly obvious, except for the starred examples. So it's really easy to forget about them. Which I often do. :(

Finally, my continued Espionage runs against Alliance Core Worlds provides me a nice way to wrap this up. The Eagle which was the source of some concern, fled without so much as a single X-wing firing a single laser blast against a single TIE fighter - and now I know where it ran to:

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I have quite literally forced them to flee to the other side of the Core Worlds for lack of any closer bases.

And thus concludes my play session for today. Until next time!
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby Coop D'etat » 2017-02-11 02:28am

This thread inspired me to dust off my old copy, currently running a huge galaxy, standard game for the rebels. One thing I've noticed is the Imperial AI is weaker in the HQ Only game as they excessively waste their early capital ship advantage passively guarding Coruscant rather than taking Alliance worlds as quickly as possible.

Since the AI is pretty much a push over, my way of making a more interesting game for the Alliance is forbidding diplomacy on Core neutrals and doing an early bombardment on neutral planets to push them over the Imperial cause (in my mind they are perfidious false flag operations by the Empire to demonize the Alliance as brutal terrorists).

On the early Imperial fleet subject, the particular way I have at looking at the early strategic situation is the Empire depends on the synergy between the cheap and replaceable TIEs and their capital ships. TIEs on their own are easy prey to the very useful and cheap Alliance Corellian Corvette and can't retreat. Capital ships on their own, even Carracks, are incredibly vulnerable to an attack run by a decent size group of Y-Wings (at least 3-4). Nests of planet based TIEs provide cover that defend capital ships from the threat of an Alliance carrier strike, while preventing Alliance attrition of the TIE cover. On the flip-side, Alliance strategy against superior Imperial space forces involves using hit and fade strikes with Corvettes and possibly carrier based X-Wings to attrit away Imperial fighter strength to set up a decisive opperation where you can bring a group of Y-Wings to bear against valuable Imperial ships without TIEs to kill the rebel bombers.

Hence the best bet to build in the early game for the Imperials is the Carrack [fast on the strategic map, beats every starting Alliance capital one on one (Bulk Cruiser has better surface stats by the Carracks strong self-repair ability wins against it a duel) and best anti-fighter (much more effective against X-Wings that Y-Wings though)] and the carrier because that brings the important mass TIE cover to defend your Victories and Dreadnaughts. plus are cheap enough to be deployed in a reasonable time. The Carrack loses a lot of its shine when the Neb B shows up to eat its lunch and the Lancer is availible to be half the cost and way more effective as an escort ship, so its a very much an early game vessel.

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby fractalsponge1 » 2017-02-12 01:47am

TIEs are absolutely useless in the game. Park every squadron you start with at Coruscant and spam Carracks until you get to Lancers, then spam those. There's no point in a minmax game on spending maintenance on fighters except for flavor.

As for taking the HQ, once you get intel on a possible Rebel HQ location, put 1 fast ship (assault transports are perfect 50 rating scouts) on a world next to the target, then send your death squadron fleet there. 2 day jump to HQ almost removes the possibility of it moving in time. A probe droid getting foiled will get even the AI scurrying out of there.

The AI is hopeless for providing a satisfying fleet battle even on Hard - unless you play a totally passive game as regards taking worlds in the Core for 1500 days, which who can really stomach? I've seen the Rebel AI make the Bulwark, the capstone Rebel tech tree unit, exactly once, and that was just really dragging it out to see if it could do it (I believe I had Death Star 4 operational).

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-12 11:14am

How would you compare this game to Empire at War?
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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-02-12 01:15pm

fractalsponge1 wrote:TIEs are absolutely useless in the game. Park every squadron you start with at Coruscant and spam Carracks until you get to Lancers, then spam those. There's no point in a minmax game on spending maintenance on fighters except for flavor.

As for taking the HQ, once you get intel on a possible Rebel HQ location, put 1 fast ship (assault transports are perfect 50 rating scouts) on a world next to the target, then send your death squadron fleet there. 2 day jump to HQ almost removes the possibility of it moving in time. A probe droid getting foiled will get even the AI scurrying out of there.

The AI is hopeless for providing a satisfying fleet battle even on Hard - unless you play a totally passive game as regards taking worlds in the Core for 1500 days, which who can really stomach? I've seen the Rebel AI make the Bulwark, the capstone Rebel tech tree unit, exactly once, and that was just really dragging it out to see if it could do it (I believe I had Death Star 4 operational).

Fortunately, I don't minmax. I actually like conquering the whole galaxy, converting them to my cause, then running dry on maintenance building the biggest fleet that I can.

I do play fairly passive normally, not taking any Core Worlds controlled by the opposing side until such time as they start attacking me with any serious force. I also normally don't do nearly as much with SpecForces and missions, but again this is an LP and I'm trying to show things off.

Tribble wrote:How would you compare this game to Empire at War?

EaW is fun, but very different. I would say, to put it succinctly, that Empire at War provides a better tactical game, while Rebellion has it beat hands down on the strategic elements. And of course, the later produced game is much prettier.

My ideal Star Wars 4x would be to combine some elements of the two into a great game. Mostly Rebellion's big-picture stuff - though I'd make the UI less of a click-fest - while grafting on something like EaW's space and ground battles.

Well I mean, unless I had unlimited resources to make a full out 4x game like the best of MOO, GalCiv, etc. and then for "space battles" attach a Homeworld-type engine and then whatever the best thing is in ground-based RTS games for the ground battles, but that may be taking things a little too far. ;)
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby Coop D'etat » 2017-02-12 04:02pm

The interesting thing about Rebellion is the strategy. The game's mechanics are really interesting in how the create a war that's taking place not just conventionally with fleets and armies, but also covertly and politically. These aren't just going on simultaneously, but interact in fairly realistic and interesting ways to simulate a real civil war that can switch between straight up total war to counter-insurgency. The strategy game genre is far to focused on various ways to fight a WW2 style total war (even when its with elves or aliens, the same strategic context dominates), which makes Rebellion a bit of an outlier in the ways the game can be played.

The problem is the tactical elements are underbaked, the UI is awful and the enemy AI is hapless. It feels to me like it was sent out half-finished and there might be a real gem in there if someone took the ideas for the game and turned into a well polished product.

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-02-12 05:07pm

Coop D'etat wrote:The interesting thing about Rebellion is the strategy. The game's mechanics are really interesting in how the create a war that's taking place not just conventionally with fleets and armies, but also covertly and politically. These aren't just going on simultaneously, but interact in fairly realistic and interesting ways to simulate a real civil war that can switch between straight up total war to counter-insurgency. The strategy game genre is far to focused on various ways to fight a WW2 style total war (even when its with elves or aliens, the same strategic context dominates), which makes Rebellion a bit of an outlier in the ways the game can be played.

Yeah. Funny thing is that I'm totally playing the Empire this go around as if it were an insurgency, with pretty much all of my major successes being thanks to covert ops.

Granted there are a few things at play here. First, the early Alliance doesn't have a real fleet with which I can force a decisive battle anyway. In that respect, while my blockades are (mostly) to cut down on travel time for SpecOps, it is close to how a conventional military would deal with rebellious worlds. Secondly, I haven't built much in the way of troops and transports - both of which are quite feasible even in the early stages. If I were, I would be adopting a more conventional 'bombard and invade' strategy with Rebel worlds, rather than my current 'blockading and subterfuge' approach. Third, of course, is that I'm trying to show off mechanics and gameplay elements as I go, and SpecForces is a big one, so there you go. The beauty of Rebellion, though, is that both methods can certainly be made to work.

Which aligns with that you said. Most strategy games, even of the 4X variety, when you encounter an enemy you build ships and soldiers and defeat them militarily. With Rebellion, you can certainly do that, but you can also use subterfuge and diplomacy to convert the galaxy with only minimal use of conventional forces.

The problem is the tactical elements are underbaked, the UI is awful and the enemy AI is hapless. It feels to me like it was sent out half-finished and there might be a real gem in there if someone took the ideas for the game and turned into a well polished product.

The tactical elements aren't a big deal. Yeah, the graphics are terrible even by 1998 standards, but as a basic "ship combat simulator" it works. Keeping in mind it came out in 1998, I can forgive the relative simplicity given the constraints of the time and that the real focus was on the strategic gameplay.

UI is annoying, and I'm sure that's not entirely a product of the time but TBH I'm not familiar enough with 4X/Grand Strategy games of the era to judge it in relation to its contemporaries.

AI is bad, but for me in a good way. Keeping in my mind that my playstyle is a slow, methodical one - heck, in Civ games I don't wage war until Modern Age unless forced to - so a slow-paced AI works well for me. That's not everyone's cup of tea, though, and certainly a suitably aggressive approach will show the weaknesses there. But for me, AI is always a balancing act between acceptable, annoyingly aggressive and outright cheaters. But there are a lot of different desires and preferences out there when it comes to the desired challenge levels of games, so...yeah.

To me, the biggest annoyance is in the balance. In some ways, balance is way off - Rebel fighters are stupidly OP! - but in some respects it's almost too balanced - the Nebulon-B and Mon Cal Cruiser, first 2 steps of Alliance ship R&D, easily outclass the VSD and ISD - and with the way the starting resources are allocated and manufacturing works...the reality is, the Empire (barely) has a capital ship advantage to speak of. I alluded to it in that earlier post I made discussing early builds, but yeah: you get one or two ISDs at most from the start (even on Novice) and by the time you can actually build more, the Alliance will have access to the superior Mon Cals and the ability to build them as well, unless the Empire stunts their growth early. But push them back too much in the Core though and you've effectively killed them off for good, and it's just 'hunt for the HQ' from there.

Granted the Neb-B and Mon Cal are iconic Rebel ships, and certainly the context of the EU from which the game was made, they should be early. But, I don't know, maybe the Empire should get more ISDs at the start or something, with the Alliance having more of an established power-base in the Rim aside from the HQ and Yavin to offset that. Really play up the differences between the two.
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby Coop D'etat » 2017-02-12 06:37pm

The best bit of the game mechanics for me is that its really a political war, disguised as a conventional and special ops one. A big party of the strategy is turning neutrals and causing popular support problems for your enemy (and conversely preventing them from doing that to you). So you can puruse a strategy of not focusing on beating their conventional or special forces directly, but using conventional forces to blow up garrison fighters and troops, spec forces to stop the meddling of enemy characters and win by turning popular support to your favour. Just the idea that politics matter in you strategy game and it interacts with both your overt and covert war in multiple ways is a great idea that so few strategy games embrace, even the ones that play lip service to the idea rarely make it a central part of the game mechanics. Like I said, the developers had some really good ideas about how a space civil war would actually work.

I think their idea was the Alliance gets a more cost effective fleet by around day 200 to start countering the Empires' starting advantage, but like you say its a bit more than it should be. The Neb-B is particularly overpowered for its cost point, being the best bang for your buck space superiorty ship until much later in the tech tree. It really should be more like a super-Carrack, general purpose ship that needs to be in a pack to take on VSD than competitive one on one against them. Cut its turbolaser power to the point that its a Dreadnaught equivalent in a capital ship fight, plus a light carrier and a decent fighter killer and it would fit the situation better. Likewise, the Mon Cal shouldn't take a ISD head on, but be its inferior but cheaper option. The Mon Cal's self repair rate is a cool aspect though, I like the idea of a ship geared to take the hits while the Alliance's other elements are better at killing things and it also fits in well with the fluff about them.

In generally, I agree the game should have leaned harder into their ideas about starting positons. Empire controls a lot more worlds and has a much better starting economy by is miliarily and politically over-stretched holding a lot of rebelious worlds that the Alliance can make trouble on. Alliance's economy is weak but has the advantage of much of it being hidden in the Rim. It would also being really cool in a game of this type if there were a bunch of different starting scenarios. Like a Hoth start which begins with the Rebel HQ discovered and Vader about to show up with a fleet of kill fuck to ruin it and the Alliance has to figure out how to escape and regroup, or Thrawn one where the tables are turned and the Rebels start with more control and a base on Coruscant but are miliarily and politically over-stretched while the Empire has the hidden base.

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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-02-23 12:55am

To begin with, let's do something I've been meaning to do, and should have been doing: a State of the Galaxy update!

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For reference, a labeled Galaxy Map

As of Day 220, the Alliance has unfettered access to eight Core Systems: four in Sluis, the remainder in Farfin Sector. Their systems in Sesswenna and Dolomar Sectors are currently under blockade by me. On the Rim, known Systems are Klatooine in the Dufilvan Sector, and Yavin over in Sumitra. Meanwhile, I have almost complete control in the Sesswenna, Dolomar and Corellian Sectors and have two diplomats - a no name that goes by Bin Esseda, and the Lord Darth Vader himself - assigned to bring me diplomatic control over the Fakir Sector. As you can see, my resource gathering and manufacturing base is considerable strengthened. Unfortunately, the Imperial Fleet is largely unchanged from what it was in the beginning, with the exception of a couple Carrack Cruisers and a handful of TIE Fighter squadrons. The Imperial Army is exactly as it was.

Time to change that.

You see, in my efforts to show off mechanics, I've really been going hard into the SpecForces side of the game. It's great fun, to be sure, and a welcome relief from the usual 4X "build fleet and army, conquer all before you" but...I'm the Galactic Empire for Sith's sake! I should be unleashing my fleets of Star Destroyers and Stormtrooper legions to take control of the Galaxy by force of arms! And so it's going to require a shift in my strategies.

I won't abandon SpecForces, though. For one thing, I need up to date intelligence, which means Espionage and to lesser extent Reconnaissance will be going on fairly regularly. And of course I'll be running Assassination Missions against targets of opportunity, since that is a unique feature of the Imperial side. But sabotage and especially Incite Uprising will be much less common; sabotage I'll do in a few circumstances - taking out LNR batteries prior to a Planetary Bombardment, for instance - but for the most part my disruption to Alliance infrastructure will be coming from Fleet Blockades. Incite Uprising I'll mostly drop, except for what I have currently going (Svivren in Sesswenna, Balfron in Dolomar) and a few limited exceptions I'll get into later.

This also means a slower pace to my game, as I'll need to really focus on getting new Manufacturing Facilities up and running if I'm to produce ships and troops in a reasonable timescale. Luckily, I've already unlocked Advanced Training Facilities and as you can see, I'm steadily replacing my current - and completely obsolete - basic TFs with them. For real, at the same exact cost in Refined Materials and Maintenance Points while producing Troops and SpecForces twice as fast, there's zero reason not to do a 1-for-1 replacement on them.

In the meantime, let's pick up where we left off: over Svivren, I have an injured Han Solo and an Alliance Naval officer by the name of Afyon, who you may remember as a minor character from Heir to the Empire. Well, I quickly murder off Afyon, and discover Han has recovered from his injuries; which means one of the Alliance's most dangerous operatives is back in play. Well, time to take care of that: I run a couple Assassination Missions to Injure him again, and then partake of an Abduction Mission so that I can Capture the notorious smuggler and make him an Imperial Prisoner. It works:

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Fun Fact: when you capture a Major Character (Mothma, Luke, Leia and Han; Emperor and Vader) the droid has special dialogue for the occasion)

But now that I have him, what do I do with him? There are two schools of thought on how to handle Prisoners: the Prison Ship method, and the Prison Planet. I'll briefly outline them below:

  • Prison Ship - The idea here is to load them on a Transport with some Troop Regiments, and then keep it in Hyperspace by moving it from one side of the Galaxy to the other; preferably doing so via a pair of secure Outer Rim Systems on opposite corners. The enemy can't launch Rescue Missions when your Prisoners are near constantly enroute in Hyperspace, after all!
  • Prison Planet - You're all familiar with Despayre and the Spice Mines of Kessel, right? If not, you're a bad Star Wars fan and should feel bad. In any event, you can set up your very own prison world and fortify it with Troops and a Fleet to ensure any Rescue attempts will be dead on arrival - literally.

Of the two, the Prison Ship will generally be cheaper, as Transports are rather inexpensive. And keeping them mobile is a way to just not have to deal with them for 50-100 Days, depending on where you keep them jumping around. It also has a weakness, though: Escape Attempts. You see, it's common knowledge that Prisoners can't Escape while in Hyperspace - and this is 100% true! - but the problem comes in when the Prison Ship inevitably arrives. The mechanics of Escape Attempts are that when a Character is Captured, the RNG assigns them a day on which they will attempt to break free. Being in Hyperspace on a Character's Escape Day won't cancel it out, it'll merely postpone the attempt until the exact instant the Ship arrives. Now, if you're doing this on the cheap - a single Transport with a few Troop Regiments, no Officers in command - they're going to have a pretty easy time of it. It won't always work, of course, but the odds really aren't in your favor.

Unless you're the stupid OP Alliance with their stupid OP Sullustan Regiments and stupid OP Bulk Transports. :mad:

An Escape Attempt is basically like a mission: it can be Foiled by Detectors and they have to pass through any Detectors on the way out from wherever their "jail" is. So you can certainly have a strong presence of Detectors and a few Transports in your Prison Fleet but by the time you're dedicating multiple ships and a sizeable guard force, you've kind of whittled away the cost advantage to the mobile Prison Ship/Fleet decision.

And that's where the Prison Planet comes into play. Because you can have ground-based Troops and Fighters, an assigned General and Commander, and station a Fleet above with an Admiral, General and Commander; very few individual characters have what it takes to get through both of those layers on their own! The downside: even an unsuccessful Escape Attempt sends a message to the enemy player about where the Attempt took place, and provides information as to the defenses present. So you can forget about keeping your Prison Planet a secret; sooner or later, an Escape will happen and the cat's out of the bag. Also, needless to say, all those Ships, Fighters and Troops are damned expensive. And committing a full one-sixth of your Characters to command positions to babysit Prisoners - depending on how secure you want to make it - is a steep price to pay. Of course you don't need Officers present, it just enhances the security.

Luckily, as the Empire, you already happen to have a System that is a) well defended, and which you have an interest in keeping that way and b) is already known to the Alliance. Yes, that's right: Coruscant. You're already defending it heavily - or you should be! - and while the occasional infodump of your Capital's defenses from Escape Attempts is annoying, it's not like Coruscant doesn't already have a giant target painted on it, so you need to be ready for anything as it is. It is the perfect place to set up a Prison Planet, and a huge advantage to the Empire. And besides, you're already (probably) killing off the Minor Characters anyway, so it's not like the place is going to be that crowded. ;)

Which is not to say the Prison Ship idea is not a good one. You certainly can make it work if you want to - and I'd argue that as the Alliance, it is the superior choice. But since the Empire already has a System that meets the requirements for an excellent Prison Planet to begin with, why not use it as such?

Needless to say, I decide to make Han Solo an "honored guest" of the Emperor at the Empire's capital.

Meanwhile, Ship R&D bears fruit:

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Ah, the Lancer Frigate. Finally, a good answer to those pesky Alliance fighters. It is absurdly lethal against enemy fighters, quick to build - even quicker than the Carrack thanks to a reduced RM cost - and only slightly more expensive in MPs than the Carrack. Basically, once you have this researched there's no reason to ever build another Carrack. Which is not to say the old ships don't have their uses: with the second fastest Hyperdrive Rating of any ship they're useful as personnel transports for Characters and SpecForces, at least for now. So building Carracks early is not a wasted investment, and they still can play a role as a quick response ship if you team them up with VSDs, that also have a fast Hyperdrive rating.

I also researched the War Droid Regiment but that is much less exciting because for the most part, they're useless. The thing with War Droids is that they have a strong Attack Rating, but are miserable at Defending Systems and have a crap Detection Value on top of that. Such a narrow focus doesn't really help, but considering how you should be doing Planetary Assaults, a unit specialized for that and nothing else is pretty useless. With the ability to just conduct Military Bombardments and/or Sabotage Missions until there is no defending garrison, it really doesn't matter what your Attack Rating is, and you might as well just use whatever the cheapest defensive units you have instead. Considering they're also more expensive than your Stormtrooper Regiments, which you start off with, War Droids just feel like a wasted spot on the Tech Tree.

That's not to say they never have their uses. There are some narrow, generally unlikely scenarios where they have a use. Such as an Alliance fortress world, that has a strong garrison, planetary batteries, a General...and for some reason a single or no Planetary Shields. Basically, the General and garrison are too strong for SpecForces - and worse, the General is a Jedi so even Vader can't get through - and the planetary batteries will blow up precious Starships if you try to Bombard. So if you're not willing to risk a potentially valuable and difficult to replace capital ship, all you can do is load up with your strongest attackers - in this case War Droid Regiments - and a General of your own and try to take the System the old-fashioned way.

But that's pretty unlikely to happen, so for the most part you can safely ignore War Droids unless you want them for flavor, RP or whatever.

In any event, I'm just running steady on Diplomacy, slowly replacing my old Training Facilities with Advanced models, and waiting on the Incite Uprising missions to Svivren and Balfron to bear fruit. Unfortunately, the Alliance is not sitting idly by either: while I bring most of the remaining Corellian Sector under my control thanks to the combined efforts of Piett and Thanas, the Alliance has almost completely dominated Farfin Sector, and they're slowly gobbling up a good chunk of Sluis, as well. While I've (mostly) resigned myself to losing Farfin - I didn't start off with a controlled System there, so no real base to do anything - I do control Bpfaash in the Sluis Sector, and am determined to block their progress there as much as possible. After seeing Denab declare for the enemy, I send an Espionage Mission over there to see who it is. And who do I find but Princess Leia conducting the Diplomacy Mission herself! Well, Princess, I have just the resources at hand for this eventuality:

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A Fleet loaded up with Noghri. And luckily, no Daughter of Vader plot contrivance will save you. Considering her insane Diplomacy Rating capturing her will strike a critical blow to the Alliance's diplomatic efforts - her 0 Combat Rating is because I also took the time to Injure her first.

One neat feature of the Personnel Finder - that picture of an Imperial Officer below your Galaxy Map, if you'll remember - is that it doesn't just show you your own Character, but also the enemy. Which can make for a nice scoresheet to show off my Imperial hitsquads's successes.

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Pictured: Lots of dead Alliance Characters

I expect to add more names to the 'Killed' category before I'm done.

The same Espionage Mission that revealed the Princess to me also indicated that Denab is being used to [url=http://i.imgur.com/WWV1vUc.png[/img]produce war material[/url] for the enemy's side, so luckily the Sluis Sector Fleet put a stop to that via Blockade. And because it was only recently brought over to the Alliance and thus has quite a bit of Loyalty toward the Empire, I make it an exception to my new strategy and assign Needa to an Incite Uprising Mission. Thanks to the Emperor's Seat of Power bonus, Needa can actually succeed at this by himself, though it will take some time.

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A two-for-one special on R&D! I now have TIE Interceptors and can construct Advanced Construction Yards. Needless to say, I immediately get to work converting my old CYs into Advanced models, because I'll be needing that doubled Production Speed when I begin to build up the Shipyards necessary to expand the Imperial Fleet.

The TIE Interceptor is also a useful addition. With the exact same costs as the TIE Fighter, you'll never build the outdated model again. I ship my current T/Fs off to Coruscant - eventually I'll scrap them to save on MPs - and begin replacing my Fleet's hanger bays with new and improved T/Is. I kind of glossed over it before, but the first step on the Imperial Ship R&D ladder are TIE Bombers. They also cost the exact same as T/Fs and T/Is, but are generally useless for anything except cannon fodder. Their lack of shields and dire speed/maneuverability ratings makes them easy prey for enemy X-wings. And a pitiful laser power makes them almost useless for bombing runs, though the ion cannons do help. Unfortunately, they'll almost certainly die before they have any impact on the enemy fleet. Their only use, as mentioned, are as targets: the way the tactical combat game works, the "Attack Fighters" command will prioritize 'bomber' squadrons over 'fighter' squadrons, which will essentially give your T/Fs and T/Is free shots...of course, since they're targeting shielded Y- and B-wings, while the Rebels are going after unshielded T/Bs, well, the Alliance will go through them like a hot knife through butter long before your fighters finish off their bombers, and the unshielded TIEs will die quickly to the superior X- and A-wings will doing nothing to defend themselves.

So yeah, TIE Interceptors aren't great but they will kill enemy bombers that much faster, which means the only practical use of TIE Bombers - as disposable decoys - will actually be slightly better than it was with T/Fs. We're really just going to have to wait for TIE Defenders before the Empire gets a fighter worth a damn. :(

As times goes by, more of the Farfin Sector falls to the Alliance, leaving only the Phraetiss System neutral, and a few more Systems over in Sluis also go their way. Luckily, I finish convincing the entirety of the Corellian Sector over to my side, so Piett and Thanas are packed aboard a VSD and head off to convince the remaining Sluis Systems as to the worthiness of my cause. I also unlock Star Galleons which are basically a slightly better transport than the Galleon: 3 Troops as opposed to 2, minimal defensive armament compared to none, and slightly better shields. Nothing to write home about, but worth building a few to go out and maybe colonize the Outer Rim with.

I also finish off convincing Svivren to go neutral, so I take all of my mercenary-type Characters and load them aboard a Carrack Cruiser to go start some trouble in the Farfin Sector. The only real place I can base out of is Phraetiss, since it's still neutral. However, shortly after arriving and sending off an Espionage Mission and a couple Sabotage Missions to Bilbringi, I inadvertently Foil an Alliance Reconnaissance Mission. "Well crap, now they know I'm here," I say to myself. Still, I decide to roll the dice and hang out as long as I can: I still have operatives in the field who need a nearby base or it's a long trip for them. Sadly, my Sabotage Missions fail - acting on old intelligence, the units I targeted were no longer present - and then shortly after that, the Alliance Escort Carrier Eagle shows up. With a full load of Alliance fighters, there's no way my single Carrack survives, so I'm forced to retreat. While the Carrack is enroute, my Espionage Mission does succeed, and they take the long way back to Caprionril to rejoin their compatriots on the Carrack Cruiser.

In better news, I decided to launch an Espionage Mission to Klatooine. This was a long one, traveling from the Core to the Rim. But it paid off soon after my setback at Phraetiss, and I hit a jackpot in useful information:

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Mon Mothma (who isn't an Objective in my HQ game, but still a skilled Diplomat), Dodonna (who can be a Diplomat, but they're using him as a General for now), a couple other Minor Characters...and two out of three possible Ship Design missions! And their only defenses are six squadrons of fighters? When I have Lancers? I also discover they have researched Mon Calamari Cruisers, which are capable of besting my ISDs, but luckily this is only their first one, and with a single Shipyard doing the work it's going to be awhile before it's done.

Well then, I gather up a Fleet that is more than a match for them, and load them up with Noghri, Espionage Droids and Imperial Commandoes. Even if all the Alliance Characters are gone, disrupting the production of their first Mon Calamari Cruiser should be worth it. And if I'm lucky, I can take out five Minor Characters - including 2/3 Ship Researchers! - and capture a key Diplomat in Mon Mothma. Unfortunately, my Fleet is leaving from Sesswenna Sector and going to Dufilvin, which if you'll remember is practically on the other side of the Galaxy so it's going to require a lot of luck for them to still be there. But there's no reason the AI (should) know they're in danger, so I'm hopeful to at least catch Dodonna, since he's acting as a General, and the Researchers.

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Facility R&D gives me the Death Star Shield, which does what it did in Episode VI and renders the Death Star immune from attack. Considering that in this game, the Empire will not be correcting the original Death Star's exhaust port flaw, this is a legitimate concern. But since the odds of me building a Death Star in normal play are low - except maybe at the end when it's all but decided and solely as a vanity project - and the odds of me keeping it in a single spot even lower (that is not really it's strength in this game) it's kind of pointless. But there if you want to make Coruscant extra-fortified I guess.

In any event, remember that Espionage Mission from before in the Farfin Sector? Well, it was targeted at Byss and it revealed some interesting things:

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A decent (for the Alliance) Fleet, Ackbar - the Alliance's third and final Ship Researcher - and Lando Calrissian, doing a Facility Design Mission. Ackbar and Lando are priority targets, for obvious reasons - Ship R&D is crucial to disrupt if I want to maintain Naval supremacy, and slowing down their ability to construct Advanced Manufacturing Facilities is equally important - but unfortunately the stupid Escort Carrier Eagle chased off my SpecForce platform, so it's going to be very difficult for me to get back there. But Byss is definitely on the target list now, not just for the Characters but as you can see they're working at making it a real manufacturing base for themselves. That Shipyard to Rishi is also worrying because it has the Energy Points to be a strong Shipbuilding System.

But that's a problem for another day, as I decide to end it here. And show you what the Galaxy looks like, 160 Days after I began this session:

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As you can see, my manufacturing is growing quite a lot; virtually all of my basic CYs and TFs are now Advanced, and I've hugely expanded on my SYs. I have 9 SYs up at Wor Tandell in the Dolomar Sector, which are currently producing my second ISD; I have 8 SYs at Ghorman in Sesswenna Sector and 6 more at Corellia (the last is on Bpfaash) that will be tasked with building VSDs and Lancer Frigates to bolster my support ships. Once my ACYs are done building themselves, they'll be setting up more SYs so I can really get started on bolstering the Fleet, which you can see I've so far only taken baby steps toward achieving. However, I'm also going to need to start churning out Mines and Refineries, because if I want a bigger, badder Fleet and Army, those 1,860 MPs will go fast.

Next Time: Building up the infrastructure so I can build up a bigger military, while also launching my first conventional offensives against Rebel forces.
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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RogueIce
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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-02-27 12:56am

So, I recently started playing around with OBS, which means I can record video now! This is still going to be a text-based LP, but it does mean I can directly share the cutscenes rather than needing to hunt them down on YouTube. So enjoy the intro cinematic for an Imperial game!



Feeling all Empire-y yet? I sure hope so!

When last we left things, I had dispatched a fleet to the Alliance stronghold of Klatooine, home to a pair of ship researchers, Head Traitor Mon Mothma, and an army under the command of General Dodonna. Since my Attack Fleet was in the Core and Klatooine is in the Outer Rim, it'll take a little while to get there. So in the meantime, I'm building up my resources for a general offensive against the Alliance Core Worlds.

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Which means building up infrastructure. Lots of infrastructure. Spamming Advanced Construction Yards is going to speed things along. I'm also starting the process of consolidation: focusing on having a single dedicated manufacturing System for each of the three building types, rather than the scattered, haphazard approach I'd been using before. It'll be a long, long time for that to come to fruition, but having researched two out of the three Advanced Manufacturing Facilities means that it is time. However, it is important to remember to build your mines and refineries so you'll have the resources and maintenance to support all of this. Trust me, in the heady rush of bulding Shipyards, warships and troops it can be easy to forget these mundane aspects of the galactic economy, but you do so at your own peril.

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I'm also going to being exploring and colonizing the Outer Rim, though that's a very long-term goal for me as quite a bit of the Core is still up for grabs. Still, every base I create is one less base the Alliance can hide in, so it's worthwhile. Spoiler alert: I won't accomplish much in the Rim during the foreseeable future, as it's entirely possible I broke the Alliance already.

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Lord Vader's diplomatic skills - yes he has them, he's not just a big hulking brute! - brings two more Systems to my side. In an amusing sidenote, Carida is not my primary training ground as you would expect from the EU, but it is going to build my premier troop training facilities so that's something, right?

Meanwhile in Sluis, despite my efforts at Diplomacy, I had lost the Orto System because some Alliance jerkface Diplomat beat me to it. So I Incited an Uprising against them, causing Orto to declare neutrality. Unfortunately, I was too quick for my own good and didn't kill off the Diplomat present, one Vanden Willard. Luckily, as he escaped my Blockade after Orto reconsidered their rebellious ways, he was left Injured and went to the nearest Alliance System, Kothlis:

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I think you all know what's coming next! This one was a little complicated though due to the presence of a troop regiment that was too small to be bombarded safely - yes, I can easily kill the Regiment, but odds are I'd have some collateral damage and lose Sector-wide Popular Support. So instead I bring out my A-Team while I sent the pictured Assassination Missions against him, just in case they worked. They did and he was killed before all my named operatives arrived. But not to worry, they'd get a workout soon enough.

While that's going on, I research the Assault Transport which is an interesting little ship. It only carries one Troop Regiment, and it's fairly expensive as Transports go. But it also has the fastest Hyperdrive Rating of any Capital Ship in the game, making it excellent as a personnel transport for Characters and SpecForces. It also has the forward laser power of the Lancer Frigate while being (slightly) cheaper, so you can use it to munch on Alliance fighters in a fleet if you'd like - although the Lancer is still superior as it has 360-degree laser coverage, with no drop-off in any arc.

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Also, remember how I made Coruscant my Prison Planet? Well, get used to these messages. They'll never succeed, because the AI sucks at it - seriously I saw a Rescue Mission through a self-Espionage, it was two Infiltrators - but sometimes they'll actually send Minor Characters in the attempt, who will be captured in the process. Convenient when it happens, though I prefer just killing them off myself.

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Hey look, building actual warships! my second Imperial Star Destroyer came off the line, so I build up a pair of Victory Star Destroyers to serve as its escort. This will form the nucleus of my second Attack Fleet - creatively named Attack Fleet II - which I'll be dispatching into the Farfin Sector. The Alliance has been sitting pretty in there for far too long. Soon enough, I will put an end to that. I also finish research the LNR Mark II Planetary Turbolaser which is nice to have, but hardly vital. They cost less to maintain than the LNR Mk I, so if you're into using Planetary Batteries there is no downside to replacing them. I only bother when I have an odd number of Energy Points on a System, though - Shield Generators are generally much more useful. The AI won't bother bombarding unless it thinks it can win anyway, and a pair of GenCores is often enough to deter them entirely, so the batteries don't see much use. But they're there if you want them.

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So my Attack Fleet arrives in the Dufilvin Sector, but as you can see I made a stop before Klatooine first. Given how long the trip was, I wanted to make sure I wasn't walking into something I couldn't handle. Plus, I wanted to make sure my primary targets were all still there, to make it worthwhile. Fortunately, they were, and the System was still as underdefended as it was before. So I head in and commence battle. I make quick work of the Alliance fighters and settle in for a Blockade. Annoyingly, between their Garrison, Shields and General Dodonna, I can't blast through their defenses with a Bombardment. So I send in Griff, Ozzel and Dorja along with six Commandoes to act as decoys in an attempt to Sabotage their Shield.

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*sigh*

Needless to say, the attempt did not go well. A follow-up mission does better and I bombard the garrison into space-dust. After a quick Rescue Mission to pick up Dorja, I commence with my usual Assassination spree and take out Wedge Antilles and Adar Tallon (2/3 Alliance Ship Researchers, now dead), General Dodonna and capture Mon Mothma - after Injuring her first just because I can. I ship her off to Coruscant to stand a fair trial rot in an Imperial Prison and utterly dismantle every Alliance facility on Klatooine.

Meanwhile, back in Sluis Sector, I bring Orto over to my side and start on Bothawui. Unfortunately, as with Orto, some jerkface enemy Diplomat beats me to it again so I run an Espionage mission and discover it's everyone's favorite Bothan, Borsk Fey'lya! Luckily for me, and not so luckily for him, all of my SpecOps Minor Characters have arrived, with lots of Noghri alongside them. You can guess what happens next...

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This is for framing Ackbar, asshole! :mad:

He dies quickly. Good riddance, no tears shall be shed.

I also get a double-whammy from Research and Development in the form of Dark Troopers and the Advanced Shipyard! Dark Troopers have the best Attack and Defense stats of any Troop Regiment, and the second best Detection Value (30, vs. the Sullustan Regiment's 35). Of course, they're also expensive as shit to build and maintain, so I only put them up on my ASY Systems, which will be going online as fast as I can replace my original Orbital Shipyards with them. Also, Dark Troopers are the end of the line for the Empire's Troop R&D, hence the "Research Exhausted" message, and that allows me to assign Veers and Covell to more useful tasks. Like being Generals for two of my ASY Systems.

An Espionage mission to Klatooine, run while I'm trying to off Tura Raftican, alerts me to another Minor Character headed my way, which means my Attack Fleet will stay on station a bit longer so I can kill her off after she arrives. I'm also alerted to a couple of Alliance ships arriving separately, but unfortunately they will run away because I have no way to force them to fight.

Until now. Yes, my beloved Interdictor Cruisers are finally here! While arriving too late to be of any use in Klatooine, these will go into every offensive Fleet I ever field. No more will I bring overwhelming force to bear, just to watch the Alliance ships flee like the cowards they are. Now I can trap them before the awesome might of the Imperial Fleet and utterly annihilate them, as traitors deserve. I also research upgraded GenCore Level II Shield Generators which, like the LNR Mk IIs before them, are cheaper to Maintain then the Level I counterparts. I begin a Galaxy-wide replacement program immediately.

Alas, all these upgraded facilities take a toll upon my Refined Materials pool, and I run out. This is not the end of the world, like it would be if I ran out of Maintenance Points. It just means that production will be slowed down a bit, is all. Not an ideal situation to find yourself in, but you can just ride it out and hope the enemy doesn't take the initiative while you're forced to wait.

After some time passes, I kill all the Characters the Alliance has seen fit to station at Klatooine and it is time to bring the Attack Fleet back, for a rest and refit. Before I go though, I indulge my inner Imperial and execute Operation Base Delta Zero. Click on General Bombardment enough and you will destroy every last Resource Stockpile and Energy Point on that System, leaving a dead world behind you. Not recommended to do in a widespread manner - a dead planet for the enemy is just as dead for you - but I decide to make an exception in this case.

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Klatooine learns the price of defiance

Next Time: I conduct operations against the Alliance's Core holdings in the Farfin Sector, and effectively cripple their R&D capabilities and manufacturing potential.
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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RogueIce
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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby RogueIce » 2017-03-03 05:07pm

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And so we arrive at Byss, with an Interdictor Cruiser in tow.  Time to vape some pesky Alliance capital ships!

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Or not.  :(

Yes, they have moved on, but I blow up a few X- and A-wings, while learning that their Ship R&D has progressed to at least that point.  Since A-wings are only Step 3, it's not a huge deal.  And besides, I already killed off two of their Ship Researchers, so I've greatly slowed them down.  I am reasonably safe in the tech race.  Speaking of which...

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I now have my first mid-game capital ship, and the VSD II is a good one.  Good Planetary Bombardment strength, strong shields and TLs and still carries a pair of fighter squadrons, though I lose the two troop regiments.  Like the regular VSD, it has a fast Hyperdrive, which makes it ideal for rapid response to Rebel incursions.  All in all, a very solid upgrade for the Imperial Starfleet.

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I send a secondary Attack Fleet over to Rishi, which if you'll recall had 14 Energy Points and some minor manufacturing ability.  After wiping out the Alliance fighters, I quickly conduct a Planetary Invasion of the System and use its basic Construction Yard to start constructing 12 new Advanced Construction Yards.  This will be the foothold I've been looking for in Farfin Sector.  Prior to this, I utilized the Military Bombardment to render Rishi devoid of any defenses, making easy work for my soldiers go down and establish control.  FYI: when a System's Popular Support is 100% to the enemy - as all the Systems are in Farfin Sector - you will need a minimum of six troop regiments to avoid an Uprising.

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And with this successful Assassination, the Alliance's third (and final) Ship Researcher is dead.  Lando Calrissian, a Facility Researcher, was also there as you'll recall, and I kill him as well.  This just leaves Talon Karrde as the final Facilities Researcher and I can blunt their ability to create advanced manufacturing facilities of their own.  I wonder where he is...

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Well, that sure was convenient.  Yep, an Espionage Mission reveals that before I sent my Fleet to Blockade Byss, the Alliance had already sent Karrde over there, presumably to assist Calrissian with R&D tasks.  As you can see, he's also a very strong Diplomat, so killing him off will be of considerable benefit.  Given that I know he's on his way, I send my Byss blockade fleet away on Day 660, while timing it so that a Carrack Cruiser will arrive to re-blockade on Day 661.  This allows Karrde to safely make it to the System's surface, while making it impossible for him to leave the System without having to run the Blockade.  If you're the Empire and looking to Assassinate your way to victory, remember this method so that you won't accidentally capture enroute Minor Characters in a Blockade.

Kind of a short update, I know.  I'm mostly re-tooling my industry to make use of the Advanced facilities, which has slowed down my progress in other areas.  But I'd (mostly) finished that up, except for Advanced Shipyards, when I last finished playing, so I'll start really building my Fleet in earnest.  Meanwhile, here's my kill count of Alliance Characters:

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17/30 Minor Characters dead, 3/4 Major Characters captured, and all but a single R&D character dead - and he's a Troop Researcher which, as mentioned before, isn't exactly a vital field to tech up in.  I've also encountered 27/30 of their Characters so far, and the three I don't have listed aren't terribly useful; they can do SpecOps and stuff, but nothing critical.  Of their Diplomats, only Drayson (who I haven't seen so far) and Luke Skywalker are still active.  Essentially, for the tasks I genuinely care about - Diplomacy and R&D - I've effectively crippled the Alliance's capabilities to carry them out.  Now, it's pretty much going to be a mop-up operation.

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And here's our State of the Galaxy.  As you can see, my manufacturing abilities are really ramping up.  Several of those ASYs are still under construction, but once they're operational I can really churn out the ships - so long as my Maintenance Points hold up!  But I've greatly expanded my Mines and Refineries over the course of this time, so I should be able to keep up.  The Core Worlds have been decided decisively in my favor, and it shouldn't take too long for me to sweep up Farfin Sector in its entirety.  I also dispatched an Attack Fleet to Sluis Sector to begin operations there.  Basically, this game could easily be over soon, depending on whether or not the Alliance has any Outer Rim bases I don't know about - or if I get lucky and run into their HQ, which might very well be in a Core System by now.

Which would be a bit of a shame because I may not even unlock Super Star Destroyers before this game is over, much less put them to use.  But such is the price of a swift victory, I suppose. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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"How can I wait unknowing?
This is the price of war,
We rise with noble intentions,
And we risk all that is pure..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, Forever (Rome: Total War)

"On and on, through the years,
The war continues on..." - Angela & Jeff van Dyck, We Are All One (Medieval 2: Total War)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

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Lord Insanity
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Re: Let's Play: Star Wars Rebellion

Postby Lord Insanity » 2017-03-03 08:43pm

GOG has Rebellion on sale for $2.99 this weekend. (scroll down to the Star Wars games they are all on sale) After dusting off my old CD and finding out modern systems don't like it I have been waiting for a sale.

This thread inspired me to revisit the game. When it first came out I was annoyed by the weeks long hyperspace trips. I remember modding the game so every ship had the minimum which was still 4 days. I kept getting annoyed at what the game wasn't I never really played it for what it was. This thread has shown me just how much of this game I completely ignored. Now that I am no longer an angry impatient teenager I'll have to give it a whirl again.

Thanks for your effort and dedication to this thread RogueIce.
-Lord Insanity

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" -The Real Willy Wonka


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