Okay, I know I said we’d be home by the Dvar equivalent of Christmas. I might have even said turn 50. And here it is, turn 68, we’ve wiped out our fifth hopperhound hive, and we’re still on Virginia. Where we will remain for some time. Let me explain.
Firstly, I was misled about how imperial orders work! This whole empire thing is new to all of us. So you can hardly blame me for assuming that we could go home after accomplishing our secondary objectives. Because that’s how it worked on the other planets we visited! At least, I think that’s how it worked. Imperial policies can be complicated.
But it turns out that sometimes secondary objectives don’t give you the option to call it a day and pack in with an early victory. Sometimes secondary objectives are just optional tasks on your way to regular victory. Sometimes they’re the functional equivalent of the imperial requests that pop up from time to time. “Hey,” Synthesis asks, leaning around the divider into our cubicle, “can you spend the energy to run these numbers please? Thanks, bye!” Or the Celestians expecting us to research some dippy healing light for them. Why can’t they research their own dumb healing light? Or the Vanguard deciding we should annex one specific sector, because that one specific sector has some unique importance to them, which is exactly like those Vanguard blowhards. It’s like an MMO up in here. I won’t be surprised if the Amazons ask for eight bear hides.
So that seems to be the case with the Promethean and Amazonian requests to wipe-out mutant animal nests. We did what they wanted, we gained favor with those factions, and we racked up a ton of imperial renown to spend at the Imperial Store. But we didn’t get to call it a victory and leave Virginia. Instead, we went shopping at the Imperial Store. We bought a few stacks of Amazonian huntresses and Sprouting Infestation mods for their bows. Now they do poison damage and any poisoned unit that dies turns into a patch of angry sentient vines. The poison is the main thing. Turning into angry sentient vines is like a fancy finishing move.
The Imperial Store sells the stuff we’ve unlocked from various factions, as well as stuff we’ve found in rare artifacts we’ve rescued from other planets. Before we go on a mission, but after we know where we’re going and what we’re doing, we pick which stuff will be on sale at the Imperial Store. We stock the shelves. I brought the Amazonian huntresses from favor we’ve earned with the Amazons.
I brought the Sprouting Infestation because we found The First Seed on Panemia-0, where we wiped out Growth dwellings for the Prometheans. Growth once used The Seed to travel among planets. Now we use The Seed to poison our bows. We also used it to pack healing bees, but I haven’t bothered with healing bees yet. I did, however, buy Verdant Growth, an operation that boosts the production in food sectors. Thanks to The True Seed, we’re eating well in Virginia. Growth Salad and Hopperhound Steaks! What a bunch of fat and happy Dvar. Well, fat at any rate. There’s been a morale problem lately. I’ll get to that next time.
So now we have to decide how we’re going to win. There are basically three ways to win. Diplomacy, Conquest, or Doomsday. Diplomacy is not an option for reasons I’ll explain later when I set the record straight about some very important things that absolutely are not true! Conquest is possible, but I’ve been playing under the assumption that I only needed stacks of ranked-up core units to hunt hopperhounds. It’s a bit late to transition to the tougher units we would need to beat up larger armies. Stuff like Dvar barons and rocket artillery, and Promethean Aegis Tanks and Phoenix Walkers. I’ve been assuming I wouldn’t need them. Because I’ve been assuming we would be going home early.
So that leaves Doomsday. This is a turtling victory where you hunker down to research and build your secret technology’s apocalypse. As Prometheans, this means we flood the planet with flammable gas and light it on fire. We’re going to opt for this route. We need to build three PyrX refineries, launch Planetary Purification operation, and then defend the refineries for ten turns. The refineries are expensive, but after optimizing our energy production, I’ve got them cued up in different colonies.
And if I thought we had diplomatic issues now, wait until that first refinery is finished…