When we last left our Neptune's Pride 2 game, I, the Yellow empire, was cleaning up the heavily fortified Red territory, and turning my attention to a final showdown with Light Blue, who had already cleared up the other side of the galaxy and was making a push for the 115 stars needed to win. These are the exploits of the Yellow empire.
Entry 11 - Wipe them out. All of them.
Late-game is upon us. Above is how the galaxy looks after wiping out Red.
Again pulling my Starcraft knowledge from the neglected recesses of my brain, I realise I'm at a stage militarily where I can afford to trade negatively with both Green and Light Blue, if need be. My production is more than both of theirs, and as long as I keep them on the backfoot, and as long as we keep trading ships, I will win.
I then notice Light Blue has obviously done a deal with Green for Weapons tech. They both skyrocket up to about Weapons 11. Then, to my surprise, Light Blue invades Green! Light Blue must figure it’d be easier to take Green’s stars than fight me to get the 115 stars needed to win, and that’d be correct. I've had ships building in that area since mid-game, just in case Green decided to backstab me, so I can move in at any time. Light Blue is dangerously close to winning - but by this point, I have several fleets, and backup fleets, mobilised. With Neptune’s Pride 2 on one monitor and work on the other, I'm watching every moment of the game, rubbing my hands together like Darth Sidious. Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.
Entry 12 - End of Days
Diplomacy is dead. All that matters now is military, and this is where I shine. Light Blue lacks a coherent end-game strategy, and I'm going to win. I'm one or two levels behind Light Blue in Weapons tech at any point in time, but while upping Weapons tech, Light Blue is also avoiding every confrontation. I jump to a star with a massive fleet, and he jumps to my original star, the two fleets high-fiving in the middle as we trade houses like in some kind of reality TV show.
Except, when his fleet arrives at my star, it can go no further. My backup fleets have those bases covered, and trap him in one spot. In contrast, my fleet penetrates his space (is that what she said?) like a hollow-point bullet. The entry wound is small, but the damage gets worse going in. A yellow flower blooming in all directions of the blue sky, signalling a new season of galactic rule.
I can afford, at this point, as many carriers as I want. I target all of Light Blue’s neglected planets, and I have the ships to keep them. I especially target the stars where Light Blue has built up around 10 industry. I clock up the industry on the stars of Pink’s carcass, and Light Blue can’t take them back.
At this point, I have over 16,000 ships and Light Blue has over 6,000. There’s no possible way of losing the territory I’ve taken. Before long, the game is won.
With the start of these posts, and on Twitter, I announce I won. Light Blue is eventually revealed to be freelance writer Nathan Cocks. Pink was Joaby, formerly of GameArena. Dark Blue was game design academic Adam Ruch. Red was ABC’s eSports writer Alex Walker. Green was Gamespot’s Ed Tran. No word on anyone else currently.
The AFK at the start really did put a damper on the game, and coming out with a “Ha! I won!” isn’t really the cool moment it could’ve been. It’s fair to say that after my start, as long as I played right, I would win - and I played right. However, there were certainly moments when I could’ve died - especially in the early game, when I was spread out. Light Blue had a decent chance, but I was on top of it before it was beyond control. Good game to those involved!