(This is part of my journey playing through Master of Orion. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lanes page.)
When we last left off, my expanding empire had finally encountered two other races: the Alkari (5 planets) and the Darlak (3 planets). I feel confident that my 10-planet empire has a good lead on them, but I also feel the pressure to keep gobbling up those unclaimed planets lest one of these races get to them.
Even so, a Darlak colony ship scares away one of my scouts that was holding dibs on a planet. I ain’t going to stand for that, so I know I need to build up something of a defensive fleet while I continue to colonize. I design a new Manta-class medium fighter that is equipped with the best of what I have — although that’s not saying much. I turn three planets over to producing them, rerouting all of the fighters they produce to the new planet of Ocho.
It might be too late, however; five Sakkra ships are on their way to Ocho a turn later.
I do get a stroke of good fortune: Syl ends up becoming a resource-rich planet due to a random event. I’ll take that!
The Sakkra aggression goes unchecked. Another of my scouts is blown away, and Ocho is orbited by five of their ships. Of course, I have something like 15 ships on the way to Ocho as I type this, and I am so ready to push back against these bullies. I just don’t want to sacrifice my empire’s growth or technological development in favor of churning out war ships right now. Way too early for that.
Generally I’m quite content to live at peace with my neighbors in 4X games until I know that I can out-produce or out-tech them — then I convert into a war machine and start my killing spree. But I don’t know if I’m going to have the luxury of waiting in this game.
A turn later and the first seven of my Mantas arrive at Ocho. It’s a quick and nasty battle, as they cut through the five Sakkra ships without taking a single casualty. Now that I have 25 or so Mantas, I think it’s time to cut back on ship production and make sure I’m getting my factories and population up to par.
Or… maybe not. The other empires are just pumping out ships like nobody’s business. I see a fleet of 55 (!) Sakkra colony transports heading to who knows what planet. Probably mine. But yeah, I’m nervous.
The big choice here is whether to create huge, large, medium, or small ships — or a diverse fleet. I think I recall that I used to favor large ships that were jacks-of-all-trades. The best gear I had, planetary bombardment, etc.
Enter the Mako:
Four of my planets start production as I watch the Sakkra colony transports get closer and closer to Ocho. And then… the unthinkable happens.
I check the manual that GOG.com provided and didn’t see ship designs and classes listed. However, this being the internet age and all, this sort of copy protection is meaningless against the fearsome powers of Google.
So I cracked that code (shh… it’s a Devastator) and saved the game for the next session. Will the Sakkra succeed? Is Bio Break doomed? Find out… tomorrow!