When we last left the Neptune's Pride 2 game, I had ninja'd a spot in the Games Journo Showdown, with anonymous aliases. No one knew who each other was, and I had received a gift of a start due to an opponent AFKing and two neighbours booming Science. These are the exploits of the Yellow empire.
Entry 4 - Red's Tough, But I'm Out Of Reach
Scanning technology has levelled up, and I can see a little more of my rainbow of rivals - including Red organising one third of its total ships on my border. But a peak at the profile screen says Red doesn't have Hyperspace tech yet, and if it stays that way, he can't jump to my upper stars. If that changes, some serious damage could be done. I re-route some ships just in case - just enough to beat his fleet if defending. Protecting myself on multiple fronts is getting quite challenging, and I can’t expand much further without warfare, so I plan to turtle for a while. Red's best defensive asset is the vast open space between us, but that can work in my favour, too.
In the hallowed words of Starcraft shoutcaster Artosis, “When you’re ahead, get more ahead.” And with double the stars of anyone else, I can grow faster. I start researching the next Scanning tech level, and ask Green to research Weapons 3. With both techs, I should be able to see threats early, position myself well, and defend with minimum ships, while I boom my arse off.
Entry 5 - That's No Moon... It's A Space Station
Red is becoming a force to be reckoned with. I consider sending a message at 2am asking about a possible agreement with Pink - not so much to learn about Pink, but moreso just to see if Red is awake at 2am - but decide against it. The longer I’m producing more than Red, the better. Red seems to have less defence on the south side, so later on a pincer move might work. Perhaps with one side of the pincer going first, baiting his ships to reinforce? When they’re helpless in hyperspace, the other side of my pincer could go. I could call the move the Crabitron.
I can see Red logging in and booming economy right before the cycle ticks over at 12:30pm. I’ll see if he does the same in 12 hours, and that’ll tell me what I need to know about Red’s sleep schedule.
I have a dream that two factions on the other side of the galaxy are somehow able to loop around the galaxy and double-team me from behind, becoming the Christopher Columbus of space travel. I think this game is getting to me.
Entry 6 - Why Did I Agree To Do This?
Because I’m a very silly person, I agreed to drive down to Melbourne - starting at 1am - to get to PAX Aus. I also use Vodafone prepaid (see: silly person) which means my internet will be very choppy on the way down. As it turns out, I get not one spot of internet for around 12 hours, and the whole way I’m thinking of how Red was stocking ships on my border. It’s agonising. Were an attack to come, if I had a better phone & internet, I could easily rearrange my ships to win the battle.
During PAX, the game pauses so everyone can concentrate on their interviews and binge drinking. No attack came while I went “dark”. Stress. I feel stress.
Entry 7 - Could You Repeat That?
Game on. Light Blue is making a serious move on Dark Blue, and Dark Blue is folding like origami. I still feel like Red and I are the most powerful here, though. Red isn’t moving anywhere, but we have by far the most ships, Economy, and Industry. My main concern is that we’ll both have to clash while the other races build themselves up.
I get a message from Pink saying Red is opening up by sending 60 ships that way. I ask if that was supposed to be 600, since Red has over 3,000 ships. The number 60 is repeated, before another message with some profanity, because apparently the “%” symbol doesn’t work in the messaging system. I spend a lot of mental energy trying to figure out if this is a ruse. Red has taken one Pink planet, and the intel screen shows they both lost some ships in a battle, but could all of this just be to draw me out? Either way, the rate at which Light Blue is expanding means if I don’t expand soon, I’ll be left behind. The time has come to make big moves in this game. The above image is my attack plan.
Stay tuned for the next instalment of our diary!