Game play example #4: The Triumph of Evil
by Brad Wardell (Designer)
For this fourth example, I wanted to show players how conquest would work. This time I would play and evil conqueror in a galaxy split between good civilizations and evil ones. My thought was that you'd on the one side a bunch of good guys allied up against a bunch of evil guys.
Of course, as we've seen, things rarely turn out as planned. As you will see, the good guys indeed worked together. But evil, well, they don't tend to cooperate with one another. And the Yor became so powerful that they tried to take it all for themselves...
Medium galaxy, my ability points put towards military strengths.
Drengin and Yor are evil. Altarians, Arceans, and Torians set to good. I plan to play as evil. Note that I have changed the names of my opponents to better reflect their personalities...
I begin focusing on getting ship upgrades to my survey ship.
When a chance takes up, I take the path to evil...
To expand quickly, I colonized a relatively crummy planet to extend my reach into the galaxy.
Additionally, I start trading with the Drengin and Yor to help pave the way to an alliance to crush the goody goody races.
If you check out the mini map, you can see that I have quite a few star systems. I don't really want to have to constantly be bothered with picking out each and every project so I set up a governor to take care of projects on my lesser worlds.
As you can see, I've got a decent foothold in the galaxy at this point...
I also start building a ring of star bases to protect my empire.
Survey says: I'm a very very bad man!
Just barely but I manage to claim a couple of crucial resources. Galactic resources are very important to control. But you can also let yourself grow dependent on them. As we'll see later, this is a crucial mistake made by one of the empires...
This is my high point early on. But in hindsight, I should have recognized what was going to happen. Look closely at the mini-map. Good and evil aren't balanced. The Arceans only have one real star system. This means the evil side is stronger than the good side which takes away what incentive there might have been for the evil races to work together.
Sometimes I lose the race for resources. This particular resource would prove to be very important because it increases the weapons and defenses on ships. The Yor owning this resource means they can effectively cancel out my initial starting abilities.
The Yor work on crushing the Altarians and "ask" me to provide them with financial aid. But I'm not really keen to help them do that since it would put the Yor in control of sectors both above me and below me. As you can see, this creates a diplomatic incident.
A close call. The good civilizations try to limit us evil bastards to a set number of trade routes below the general number. We out vote them. Note the evil civilizations voted one way, and the good guys another. The AI doesn't vote randomly, it votes intelligently on these resolutions.
With the Yor becoming a bit of a menace, I begin upgrading my starbase with modules that protect my nearby ships.
I hadn't been putting anything into espionage and it came back and bit me. The Yor had already been on the path to war with me anyway and this incident simply put it over the edge.
My survey ship is pretty tough and is able to get off a Dolittle-like raid on the Yor.
And I have battle ships. Let the games begin..
The Drengin aren't my allies but they have a vested interest in not letting the Yor squash me so they covertly supply me with ships.
And the Alexians manage to rip off the techs of the Yor. For the right price, I can buy these techs...A very high price. But it does let me keep up technologically for now...
The good guys, on the other hand, see a weakened evil race. The Torians, the most powerful of the good civilizations, declares war.
I immediately ask for peace. I have to give away a lot of stuff in exchange but no deal. The Torians want me gone.
I save my game and decide to think about it. Since I've already played 6 hours that day, I really don't want to end up losing again since that would just be pathetic to lose another gameplay example. So I think about what to do for the next day.
When I load the game, it gives me an update on what's been happening..
The Torians are just incredibly nasty. Well, technically I'm supposed to be nasty but their righteous might is squashing me while the Yor squeeze from the other side.
Worse, the Torians have Dreadnaughts! Very bad news for me. That's the next generation class for battle ships... Even my starbases can't protect my ships that well.
Lots of battles and the Dreadnaughts prevail though damaged.
Ack. How humiliating. I have to hand over an entire star system to be spared. But now I'm not at war with the Torians. But I know that because of my weakness, it's only a matter of time before the Torians come back at me. So I need to find a way to keep them busy...
So I make peace with the Yor, handing off one of my precious star systems. Then I bribe them to attack the Torians.
What a beautiful diplomatic picture. Everyone is at war but me. But look at the minimap. Blue, my color, is a rump state. Having had to give away so much to save me. It sure looks bad for the humans.
Now I had Dreadnaught technology and I begin building up.
Meanwhile, the Yor are defeating the Torians and now have moved onto the Drengin Slavers. My original plan is in shambles. Evil has defeated good but now as an alliance, but rather a rogue evil power has taken everyone else on and been very successful. Time to save...
So here's where we stand...
A new empire comes into play. The League of Non-Aligned Worlds.
The Yor have their own plan of conquest. The other guys aren't going to wait around and see what I'm doing. Each has their own strategy for victory. The Yor are pursuing the cultural domination strategy...and are doing quite well with it...
Here's how it's done: You build a star base. Then you send constructors to it to add modules to it. The Yor have been upgrading their starbases in my territory with cultural magnification modules. I'm too weak to do anything about it. So now I'm losing planets as a result. All without the Yor having to fire a shot.
Another of my worlds turns traitor!
My only recourse is to use propaganda to try to keep my people happy enough to not defect. Happy people are a lot less likely to defect.
But the Yor are just too powerful. Twilight of the human race?
Meanwhile, the Yor have pursued a secondary strategy with what's left of the Torians. While the Yor woo my people, the Torians are too far away to use that strategy. So they destabilize the Torians which makes their people unhappy which makes them join the I-League which in turn are very vulnerable to the Yor's military. All without having to fight the Torians directly. Why not just conquer them? Because this way, the Yor, as my spies are telling me, can focus on research. They're trying to get to the truly next generation technologies. So they want to only keep their military competitive while they get new technologies.
But the Yor are still at war with the Drengin. A war I need to keep the Drengin in so I supply them with ships. I'm still at peace with the Yor and hope to stay that way by keeping them busy with the Yor. But time is running out.
The news tells it all. The Drengin are just no match for the Yor. Something is going to have to give.
The Yor are now ready to finish me off. They've gotten their next generation battle ships, wipe out the Torians, the Altarians are reeling, the Drengin are dying and now it's my turn to die.
I find a way to weazel my way to peace. You guessed it, I give up more worlds. Not too many left at this point.
Oh goody, the good guys have teamed up. Not that it helps me.
And the Yor renew their attack. At least I was able to reestablish my trade routes and rebuild some.
The Yor have Ranger class ships and Overlord class ships. Not looking good. Look at all that purple (Yor).
Now it's my turn. Sort of. I take a Yor planet.
I once again make peace with the Yor, giving up yet another world. As you can see, the pitiful human civilization is looking pretty tiny now.
But I get a little luck. The Arceans, faced with doom, decide to surrender to me since I'm at peace with the Yor they apparently still have hope in our ability to resist the Yor. So I pick up some very choice worlds.
Like real people, the AI in GalCiv will tend to surrender rather than drag it out to the last man.
So now I need to come up with a plan. Through scouting, I have seen that the Yor have built up their starbases to incredible proportions. But they must be stretched pretty thin by now. When I conquered that last star system, I stole technology to build their next generation battle ship the Overlord. I bet my future on this and build a bunch of these. I then send them to be near each of the major star bases within range. The Yor notice this and begin sending ships to protect them and sending me warnings to get away from there. So there's a race, can I build up before they preemptively attack? I slow their reaction down by helping the Drengin. At this point it's the Drengin vs. the Yor.
ATTACK. I destroy 4 major Yor starbases and then conquer some former Torian worlds (now owned by the Yor). I have to take unpleasant actions though since the Yor are so tough on these planets. I take the worlds but ruin them in the process.
Good gravy are the Yor powerful. But the loss of 4 major starbases is going to hurt them massively. Will those losses take effect before they squash me?
The Drengin/Human Alliance begins. We'll hang together or hang separately now.
Peace and a temporary victory for the humans. The whole reason I wanted to make GalCiv comes into affect. The whole reason to make an AI that doesn't cheat. Destroying those star bases had a massive affect on the AI. That's why I wanted to make this game. So often you play these games and you do some massive damage to the computer player but you don't know if it did any good since they so often don't even play by the same rules. But in GalCiv, they're playing by the same rules. So the loss of those starbases hurt the Yor.
But remember, I am evil. Sure, I'll make peace...
Then I'll just reload and attack again! Whoahah
This won't work much more...
The Yor are losing... But they are still willing to make peace. What choice do they have?
But they see what I'm doing..
Look at all that trade. Evil has triumphed over...well evil.
My military maint. isn't too bad.
Time to go for the final victory...
The Yor's population, once masters of the universe, have broken up into a new civ. See the orange on the minimap. Just makes my life easier.
Here come the Avatars. It is the end of the Yor. Victory has come! After 5 days!
Yay humans! A new era of blood, tyranny and evil has begun!
The Yor may have gotten the technology advantage but in the end the loss of those starbases proved too much for them.
And the rise of the Humans and Drengin.
So where did the Yor go wrong? They had it all but wrapped up. Well, the Yor got greedy. As evil civilizations tend to do, they don't work together with other civilizations. If they had simply united with the Drengin or at least been willing to pick its enemies one at a time. But they went for everyone. For instance, if the Arceans had simply surrendered to the Yor, the Yor would have won. But the Yor thought they could take everyone. And they nearly did. But in trying to have it all, they relied way too much on those galactic resources.
Of course, in fairness, the Yor defeat required a combination of a couple of unlikely bits of luck. One, the aforementioned Arcean surrender to me. And Two, that I happened to capture Overlord technology when I conquered that single Yor star system. It could just as easily been something useless like 4D Phasing. Only Overlord technology allowed me to build the ships strong enough to take out its fortified star bases.
But the important thing is, I won ! :)