I'm using EE's html file cuz I'm lazy like that

So, I started looking for this game after readig Eldritch's report, but alas it's old as dirt and as such is hard to come by. Thank heavens for internet piracy. :D However, the availablity of old games on torret sites is unreliable, to put it midly. The only live torrent that I could find for this game was being kept up by a very small group of Brazilians. If you're familiar with the way that p2p networks operate then you'll understand why it took me several pain-staking days before I could even begin to play.

Also, I'm not going to use a lot of images in this report. The game's graphics and color pallete are raped sideways by the resolution. It's not that the game is ugly, but the resolution makes it so small as to be rendered ugly. The result is that your imagination would probably do a better job most of the time. I'll balloon most of the pics I use as it's needed for your benefit, though. Beyond that, I'm going to assume that you've read EE's report already, and I won't bother with a long intro.

My Choices For This Game

For off, I want to say that this game is just as difficult as Starcraft. However, where SC is real-time and hinges on your ability to make snap judgements executed with leet skillz with bizzaro-world logistics, Deadlock has a hands-off combat system and you pretty much only solve an incredibly intricate series of logistical problems. Vastly difficult skillsets are required, but overall they're both very difficult and fun games.

Being the Terran-lover that I am, picking Human was a no-brainer and I will be referring to them as Terrans throughout this report. Of course, that doesn't mean that these guys play anything like the Terrans in Starcraft, No abusing cliffs or going turbo noob! I totally had to relearn how to play strategy games when diving into this. :(

I chose to play with only five players (me + four AI players), with five City Centers to win, and only one small advantage for them: the computers started with bonus civilians.

Something that Eldritch didn't mention was that you can customize the playing field. Map height, width, how big each territory is in relation to the game map, the percentage of how many zones are water, plains, forest, etc. can be changed to suit your preference, althought the actual layout is randomized so each play is a little different even with identicle settings. I went for maximum height, minimal width, average territory size, almost half plains, with another large portion split between water and forests, with the rest in mountains and swamps.

One more thing before we get started. Do you remember the "Adjutent" in Starcraft's Terran campaign? Of course you do, it's the cyborg freak woman that reminds you that you don't have enough minerals. Well, there's something similar here but it has a very major difference: it provides you with information that's actually useful! You can find out just about anything in the game by sifting through its many topics and sub-topics, which is invaluable to noobs such as myself.

That intro was longer than I thought it'd be

I chose my race and clicked "OK" to begin the game, and then the minimap was generated as shown: two major land bodies, a north and south, split by a one-territory-wide river. The Uva Mosk took up residence in the north east next to a forest and moutain; the Re'Lu at the south east next to a swamp that bridged the south east to the south west; ChCh't on the south west by another mountain and the only other patch of swamp below them. This left me the north west (highlighted) surrounded only by plains. I suppose I should complain, but plains territories give the best food and population growth bonuses, and I'm going to need that to overcome the population advantage that my computerized foes have. Lastly, the Cyth chose the forest at the very bottom of the south western quadrant of the map, pinning the ChCh't into a very small corner. This is the first good news of the game, as in all my other plays the ChCh't have been retardedly difficult for my Terrans to contend with.

Turn 1: Cut a hole in a box~!

My first move was to set the complimentary Colonizer unit to "build settlement" and move it to the plains south-east of Terran Landing, a place named New Grasslands, as a buffer for the conflict that I would no doubt soon have with my follow northerner.

Inside the borders of Terran Landing I found a number of cracked, rocky, and lightly tree-covered squares with one food-icon indicating exceptionally fertile soil. I planted a farm so that it covered both the food-icon and one of the tree squares nearby, then checked the cracked earths to see which would be the most suitable as a site for my first nuclear power plant, followed by a housing project, University, and factory complex. Having experienced the woes of early-game Energy shortages before, I allocated all four worker units to the power plant to get it up immediately and maximize my Energy-harvesting potential. Finally, I adjusted my unmanned City Center's output to 100% Trade, gaining an additional 7 credits/turn.

Turn 2: OMGWTFBBQ

Fuck. Yes. Something that you learn in the tutorial is that sometimes there are "native shrines" and lost technology left behind by long-gone civilizations which instantly grant technology for free. This is the first time that I've run into either in an actual game, much less both at the same time, and while collecting Fusion Cannon tech on turn 2 is nothing short of a miracle by itself what's even crazier is that I didn't even check the adjacent territories before sending the Colonizer out like I should have. This is what's called "luck of the newbie" and I'm not ashamed to be basking in it right now.

The Shrine grants two features: it boasts the Research and Culture abilities which is a unique combination. Having Culture available in this territory will be useful later on if malcontents start to pop up in the colony, but the real prize is that normally only University-type buildings have the Research function! Not only that, but a Shrine is 20% more efficient at Research than a tier-1 University. Plus, it won't even cost me any Energy resources like the Uni does! This is an amazing find, and again my mind is reeling from the fact that this is still only the second turn in the game -- You cannot find this sort of prize any earlier than that. I flip some switches and turn some knobs to set the Shrine to 100% Research (generating 3 points of Research/turn while unmanned, which isn't anything special but still better than nothing) and start with Nuclear Fusion Technology, and then direct the sole civilian in the Grasslands to begin erecting a Laser Defense Tower across the bottom-right border of the field.* The Tower requires 15 Tonnes of Iron resource, which is highlighted in yellow -- what that means is that the resource is available but it's not located in this particular sector. In addition to its base construction cost, I'll also have to pay to transport the materials to The site. Afterwards, I'm below 50 credits which means that I don't have the finances to do anything else this turn.

*I don't remember EE saying this in his report, so I will here: for some strange reason ALL attacks charge from the bottom-right of the territory regardless of what direction they take into the sector, so that's where you should always place your defensive structures. :E

Back at Terran Landing, the Nuclear Plant is on-line and the housing project completes. Normally, a constructing building will take many turns to complete if it's not actively manned, but low-tier housing is always a one-turn operation.

I direct three workers from the Plant over to the farm, while leaving one to manage the Plant. With the Shrine in my hands I toy with the idea of scuttling the University (since I already have better Research produtivity than it can give) but decide against it. Having a double Research advantage so early will go a long way to ending this game as soon as possible.

Turn 3

At this time I decided to read through the game's extensive information database to try and figure out how to play my advantage the best way that I can. No point in making a mistake now that the sky is the limit. It was at this time that I learned that housing projects do more than simply allot space for your colonists to sleep: apparently housing is a very strong aphrodisiac. The more houses you have in one territory the faster the population will grow there. This explains why the ChCh't always run me over: they have the fastest population growth (+50%) and I always see them building more housing than I do so it was only natural that they outnumber me ten-to-one. All those losses weren't totally due to my embarrassing lack of ability... just my abject ignorance.

ANYWAY!

The only interesting part of this turn is that the farm became operational. I split the farm's production between food and lumber, with just enough in food to break even while gaining a few wood resources per turn, and leave the workers there. The University and factory will have to look after themselves for now. With my recently acquired knowledge of housing=babies I order up two new residential plots, one in each territory, and then end my turn.

Turn 4

The ChCh't and Re'Lu send me personal messages declaring war. How quaint. Unless this is a war of words, then I wish them luck in crossing the river by using all of that hot air to stay afloat. The new housing projects finish, and another worker unit at Terran Landing is available who automatically hops over to the factory construction site. I adjust the farm to break even on food again, but otherwise all is quiet on the north-western front.

Turn 5

I throw down another housing plot at Terran Landing and the New Grasslands and then check around to see how the various construction projects are going.

Turn 6

Housing completes, and so does the Laser Defense Tower. I start to wonder if the Tower was a smart investment so early. I haven't seen the Uva Mosk at all (if they expand westward then I would have) and they're the only other ones on this side of the hemisphere. Even if they wanted to attack, certainly they couldn't have finished a factory fast enough to be a serious threat to me right now. I shrugged it off and put the Grasslands worker on the Shrine, increasing my Research there to 7 points/turn. A new worker is spawned at Terran Landing, and he joins the previous one at the factory construction site. I switch the City Center to Colonizer construction, keying 100% to Production Labor. Unmanned, the Center will produce the mini-tank after three turns.

Turn 7

The factory complex finished and I checked it out. It was already set to 100% Trade, and with two workers there it granted me an additional 7 credits/turn at the cost of using up two Energy resources. I'm still netting +1 Energy/turn from the Plant after the factory's consumption, plus over a hundred Energy resources in reserve, so I don't sweat it.

Turn 8

Another new worker at Terran Landing joins his brothers at the factory. Now there's just too many people to harvest any wood from a single farm without digging into my food reserves, so I put 100% farm productivity into food which increases that net resource production to +2 per turn.

Separately, the University is coming close to the end of the construction cycle: only three turns left. Once it's up it'll start eating 10 Energy/turn, and combined with the factory I'll be using 12 Energy/turn. Even a fully manned Nuclear Plant can't break even with that kind of consumption. I take account of my Energy pile again: 114 units, plus the +1/turn from the Plant. That's not terrible but I shouldn't simply wait for the shoe to drop. Instead, I transferred the three factory workers from Terran Landing to aid in the Nuclear Fusion Research at the Shrine in New Grasslands. This action cost me 75 credits for worker transport, and would consume an additional 3 credits/turn as more food shipped from the Landing's farm to New Grasslands every turn, plus the decline in factory Trade. I assured myself that it was worthwhile since Nuclear Fusion was already more than half complete and with the additional manpower at the Shrine it would finish on the next turn. From there, I could get a great lead on upgrading the Nuclear Plant to a more-productive Fusion Plant before the University even began eating Energy. (normally, the University has to Research the Nuclear Fusion Tech itself, which cascades into a complicated edge-of-a-knife balancing act of making and manning a second Plant while upgrading another before you run out of Energy resources)

I laid down a fourth housing plot in New Grasslands.

Turn 9

The newly polished Colonizer finally rolls out of the City Center, and I send it due east towards the plains called Yellow Savanna, intent on investigating Uva Mosk Landing: scouting is, after all, the crux of all good strategy.

As planned, I acheive the milestone Technology of Nuclear Fusion. Moreover, whenever you complete a level of tech you're required to choose the next step of research. I try to cancel instead of making any choice right away since at this time I thought it would cost cash money to do so, which I was short on, but my computerized lieutenant automatically queued the top-most project from the available list: synthetic fertilizer. Turns out that Research only costs Research points. Whew.

To shore up my sagging cash flow I put the now-idle City Center back to 100% Trade. With it and the factory both unmanned, this nets me a meager 10 credits/turn in Trade revenue.

The New Grasslands colony spawned its first new worker. I move him and one other worker back to Terran Landing, wiping out the rest of my money (again). They, along with both farming workers, are placed alongside the one who's been diligently operating the Plant since turn 2 and switch the Plant's objective from Energy Production to 100% Upgrading. Together, these five will be able to convert the Plant into a new-and-improved Fusion model after 3 turns, which is just one turn after the University is due for its grand opening. This places me several steps beyond "ahead of schedule" in Energy productivity and will open up some tantilizing options, depending on what the Uva Mosk are plotting.

Of course, this sends my net Energy production down to -2 due to the factory's demand and without anyone working the farm my food production slipped to -5. This is exactly what surplus resources are stockpiled for, and I have more than enough to get by on for the next few turns.

Turn 10

My Colonizer finds Surface-to-Air Missle Technology half-buried at Yellow Savanna. It allows me to create the SAM Trooper from the factory, a combat unit which is at least twice as powerful as its lesser Laser Squad comrade. I've never used one (or even gotten the tech) before so I don't know how to take it other than with mild curiosity. Maybe I'd be more excited if not for that golden turn 2 extravaganza. However, SAM Troopers require Electronic resources for production, and since I didn't have a functional University nor Electronics Technology required to produce such things it'll be a while before I get around to testing them out.

Back east, I spy a forested area, Bildgebark Place, that borders Uva Mosk Landing and see that it carries a few nice spots of wood-icon, many dense-forest squares, a few light-forest, and the rest being rocky or flat plains. But, there was no Uva Mosk in sight so I sent the Colonizer in for further investigation.

Another new Terran Landing worker. Although there's no more room at the Plant, I pushed him around from building to building to see how he performed. The best effect, I thought, was that he improved the City Center's trade by +2 credits/turn so that's where he stayed.

Turn 11: First Blood

Well, it appears that the Uva Mosk had plans of their own for Bildgebark, as my Colonizer suddenly came face-to-face with one of theirs. It was a perfectly even match, with 2 attack points, 4 HP, and 50% accuracy making it so that the first two successful shots secured victory... but no shot being a sure thing. The Terran Colonizer won the day, thankfully, and did so without even taking a scratch. I promptly renamed him Rambo. (you really can rename military units)

Now that I had a unit next to the Uva Mosk Landing I could finally take a gander at their territory. The gratutitous City Center; one housing plot of each tier with the pine-tree-like one being the best; one farm and a Laser Defense Tower situated to intercept any early harrassment. I also noticed that they had over 1300 colonists at the Landing, several hundred more than I had between both of my territories. It took me a moment to remember that the AI players had extra starting workers. All of the their workers were split between the farm and the City Center, with the ones laboring at the Center probably cooking up a new Colonizer to replace the one they'd recently lost. I also eyed the two Endurium-icon squares that were yet to be occupied: I only had one in a yet-unclaimed zone to the north of Terran Landing. I started feeling envious of them for this, even with my godly early finds.



The first thought that came into my head was how bare their colony looked compared to mine and that they must have another colonized another territory elsewhere, but the only other territory that I could see was directly north of Uva Mosk Landing, a plains territory called Hu Foodplace, and it was empty. This was turn 11 and I was certain that the Uva Mosk Colonizer that Rambo had destroyed was their second as well, and that their original Colonizer had gone somewhere farther north or east. So, Rambo's new misson was to head directly north into Charlie territory, hoping that if they made a new Colonizer then they simply wouldn't send it that way. Not that I cared for Rambo's safety, but it would take a lot of time to get another scout over there if things suddenly got sour. (Rambo started production on turn 6)

Back at home, the University finished on schedule and total Energy production plummeted to -12 points as predicted. A new worker at New Grasslands instantly began work at the Shrine, pushing food production further into the red as well. I re-checked the resource stockpile levels, and once everything checked out I ended the turn.

Turn 12

The Fusion Plant came on-line, reducing the maximum worker capcity from five to three yet inverting my net Energy production from -12 to +12. Synthetic Fertiziler also finished Researching, opening up Hydroponic Farms to my colony, and next I choose to jump straight for the tier-2 Technology of Molecular Bonding over the faster-Researched tier-1 Electronics: tier-2 Tech takes twice as much time to Research as tier-1 Technology, but once acquired Molecular Bonding would allow me to make the Mantle Drill, a superior one-square-large mining facility that produces much more ore than the four-square-large Surface Mine. The plan was to bypass the Surface Mine altogether and start laying down Mantle Drills A.S.A.P.

Another worker showed up at Terran Landing. I put him on the University, boosting my net Research power between the Uni and Shrine to 36/turn. The 100-point Molecular Bonding Technology would take only three turns (where a fully manned but lone University would have taken four), assuming that nothing changed for the worse.

I took all three workers off of the shiny new Plant and put them together with three others on the farm and begin the process of upgrading it to a Hydroponic Farm. My active food and Energy production bottomed out at -11 and -10 per turn, respectively. I still had 76 tonnes of food and 89 Energy resources in reserve stock. The Hydroponic upgrade would take 3 turns, and even as more workers spawn and eat food I projected that it would be safe to make the upgrade.

Finishing up business this turn, Rambo discovered the Uva Mosk's second territory. It was in the mountainous Tossrock Highlands to the north-east of Uva Mosk Landing. There I saw a first-tier residential plot, a factory complex, Surface Mine, a one-square construction zone that would probably turn into a Defense Tower, and -- surprisingly -- an airport. The first thought that went through my head was how nice it was that I had recently picked up the SAM Trooper Tech. :D I checked the Uva Mosk population: just short of 2,000 total. That was a blow to my confidence, with Terran colonists numbering approximately 1,200. Their current labor capacity was greater than I had imagined, but assuming that they didn't have a hidden third colony to the east of Uva Mosk Landing (where I could not get to) I defintely had a tech-development advantage since they had no University. I sent Rambo to scout the rest of the northern hemisphere, hoping to find some other lost Technologies to give me a better edge while ordering up another Colonizer back home.

Turn 13: =(

A killer plague struck Terran Landing, killing 178 colonists. Two worker units died off from the farming project. However, population growth gave me a new worker who I sent to continue the rennovations at the farm, although it was now one turn behind the originally projected schedule. Resource stocks would hold out, I told myself. Almost as a consolation, I was informed by my lieutenant that the plague would be cured next turn. Additionally, The original housing plot at Terran Landing automatically upgraded to a tier-2 Apartment Complex, doubling its housing and growth thresholds.

Turn 14

The plague was cured, and two more housing plots became an Apartment Complex, one at both of my territories. A new worker spawned at the Grasslands, and I shipped him to Terran Landing to take up the slack at the farm.

Back in Uva Mosk's half of the hemisphere, Rambo was still scouting close enough to see that their expansion in the moutains also received a few changes: the housing there upgraded to tier-2, the construction plot was indeed a Laser Defense Tower, and all of the available workers were laboring at the Surface Mine. It was impossible to know what they were up to, but it was a safe bet that it didn't bode well for me.

Turn 15

Uva Mosk Central Command sent me a threatening message claiming that Terran Landing was theirs and I would be forcibly removed from it soon. As a show of their confidence they renamed it "Human Landing"! P'shaw, I said.

My third Colonizer rolled out and I sent it to establish a new colony to the north of Terran Landing, and ordered another one immediately.

Another new worker spawned at Terran Landing. He was placed on the Fusion Plant to help styme the loss of Energy while the University worker went to help with the farm, bringing it back on schedule for completion next turn.

Molecular Bonding finished right on time and I chose level-3 Endurium Mining to be the next item on the to-Research list, pushing tier-1 Electronics and Metallurgy Techs to the backburner. It would take eight turns (!) to finish this Technology with my current Research ability, but that's so far into the future that I didn't bother trying to plot out a strategy for it: as this report already shows, a lot can change between now and then. Lastly, I set the foundation for the first Mantle Drill on the uppermost corner of Terran Landing, the richest Iron ore spot currently under my control. Unfortunately, without anyone to manage the construction site it would take 20 turns to come on-line.

Turn 16

Another two housing projects upgraded to Apartment Complexes, the Colonizer did its thing to the north, a plains territory named Sopo Cow Prarie, and the Hydroponics Farm came to fruition.

I quickly set up another tier-1 farm and housing project at Sopo, and moved a new worker unit that spawned from New Grasslands over to halp with the construction there.

With the Hydro Farm finished, I was able to almost completely rearrange the workers at the Landing. Two workers were left to man the farm which would net me +1 food and wood/turn; another worker went to help run the Plant, bringing net Energy production to +4/turn, and a total of three workers went to the Drill site and reduced its construction time down to three turns. I was once again out of money, but all in all things were really starting to take off.

Turn 17 & 18

More of the usual: housing upgrades, the Sopo farm completed, the fourth Colonizer finished (so I turned the Center back to Trade), more workers, etc.

I was able to shift things around so that the new Sopo farm was set to quickly begin transforming into the Hydroponic variant*, and more tweaking with the functioning Hydro Farm to make +1/+3 resources.

*The reason that I didn't just set down a Hydro Farm is two-fold: for one, higher-tiered buildings cost a lot more. More credits, more Iron, and even use resources that lower-tiered versions do not. Secondly, upgrading is a free process that merely takes time. I was getting a Hydro Farm for the same cash and resource cost as a basic farm, but it'll simply take longer.

The most important instances were with the Colonizers: Rambo had finished scouting, which he had done dutifully every turn, and was now sent to establish a colony to the east of Terran Landing at Yellow Savanna where its journey had begun. This, along with the Shrine and Sopo, would completely cut off Uva Mosk ground-based assaults from being able to strike directly at Terran Landing. The travel-worn mini-tank was to be bronzed and placed at the center of the Savanna as an edifice and reminder of Terran Exceptionalism both to my colonists and our enemies. The newest Colonizer was sent south to establish an outpost on the beachfront, a place called Longview, with plans for a shipyard to come later, thus completely sectioning off the main center of Terran power from foreign access on all sides.

Meanwhile, an ion storm raged overhead across the planet, foreshadowing the doom of open war that we were traveling towards.

Turns 19-23

The Longview and Yellow Savanna colonies were set up without a hitch. Even better, the Mantle Drill came on-line and with a full crew manning it the Iron production went up to +20/turn. Laser Defense Towers went up at at both of the newest territories, with new workers being sent as they became available.

The Skirneen, aware that I was ignoring them but thinking that it was only accidental, contacted me with a trade offer. It was not an accident, it was a concerted effort to ignore them. I've traded with them in previous games and Terran commanders are given a harsh reprisal from colonists who find out about it. Not just at the territory where goods and services are exchanged, either. They riot everywhere. No thanks, even if they were handing shit out for free I would reject it. Instead, I've been learning how to use the inherent racial traits of cheap transit and bonus trade and tax revenue to get what I want.

The Uva Mosk also sent a request for an end of hostilities, but I didn't know what to make of it and simply wrote it off as such AI being stupid. Instead, I checked my colony's morale: everyone was happy at all of the territories. However, the population at Terran Landing was skyrocketing over 1,000 by this point despite my best efforts to spread them out and it wouldn't be too long before they started complaining about overpopulation. Although I didn't have the wood for it, I laid down a plot for a Culture-generating Museum in the left-most square of the Landing. Think of it as putting something on lay-away: it doesn't start building until you have the resources available at the location, but once you do it instantly starts construction. Even colonists loitering at residential plots will jump over to it once it begins without needing to be manually placed there, kinda like Mexicans in real life. At any rate, to get the wood I needed I raised wood-gathering at the Hydro Farm.

Then, the Hydro Farma at Sopo finished upgrading during the last of this collection of turns, and I was able to reset the two Hydro Farms so that they produced a combination of +24 wood with +1 food resource on top of that. Best of all, Endurium Mining Technology finally finished up (I guess it really did take eight turns thanks to my lack of planning) and level-2 Shockwave Projector Technology is queued.

Here's the benefit of Endurium Mining: you can mine for Endurium!

If you've seen the little list of farmable resources provided per square, you'd know that Endurium is available at a fraction of whatever Iron is. I was gathering 25 Iron ore from my Mantle Drill in Terran Landing but I could get only 7 Endurium from the same square. What makes it worthwhile? Endurium ore, the same as Steel, is equal to five Iron ore resources for construction purposes. So, while I'm only gaining 7 Endurium ore it's really as effective as getting 35 Iron ore, or 40% more than simply mining Iron directly! This has a far-reaching effect. Remember when I wrote about having to pay to transfer Iron ore to make that first Laser Defense Tower in New Grasslands so long ago? Well, by using Endurium (or Steel) you cut your resource transportation costs down by 80%. To top it off, the computer automatically selects the best metal when starting a project. The ultimate effect is an exponential increase to your construction productivity.

Finally, I place a second Mantle Drill (sufficient wood resource pending) on the Endurium-icon square in Sopo.

Turns 24-33

A Shipyard was constructed at Longview beach; the Museum finished at Terran Landing; Shockwave Porjector, Electronics, Metallurgy, Hoverway, Automation, and Chaos Computer Technology was Researched in that order; more Colonizers were made. Other required projects, such as construction and upgrades of new powerplants and mines, happened as they were needed.

With the Museum being manned by one worker it generated +6 Culture and that allowed me to raise Terran Landing's tax rates, bringing taxation morale at the Landing down to -2, without a negative net impact on Morale. Soon afterwards the colonists at the Landing, now numbering over 2,000, began to gripe about overpopulation, and I added more workers to the Museum as they were needed. I also started demolishing residential zones to curb population growth in targeted territories.

The first Colonizer during this period tried to established a colony in the still-unclaimed Bildgebark forest, emphasis on tried. It met with an enemy Colonizer, but this time with a mirror opposite result as what had happened the first time. No matter, I told my colonists, I've been preparing for this: a Fusion Cannon was nearly ready for action already. It would only be a matter of time before we could exact revenge.

Turns 34 & 35: It Begins

The Shipyard fully transitioned into a much better Hydroport; Chaos Computers Technology finished and Artificial Intelligence was queued up; using the newest tech advantage the University at Terran Landing started upgrading to a Tech Lab; a Colonizer started a settlement at Hu Foodplace, while another Colonizer was constructed and yet another was ordered up; most importantly, the first Fusion Cannon rolled out of the factory straight for Bildgebark Place while the factory itself began its conversion to a superior Automated Factory.

As the Fusion Tank initiated the battle at Bildgepark a counter-attack was launched by the Uva Mosk against Hu Foodplace. In Bildgepark, the Fusion Cannon met with a hastily constructed Laser Defense Tower and half a dozen Uva Mosk militia. It was able to knock down the Tower easily enough and slay several hundred colonists before taking retreating, which I hailed as a tactical victory. Over in Hu, five Uva Mosk Laser Squads rushed into the fledgling colony, perhaps expecting an easy score, which had been established in the previous turn. However, a full construction squad of Terran workers had been moved there and a Laser Tower of our own, along with hundreds of militia, greeted them when they arrived. All of the Terran colonists perished heroicly, but the Tower, which had taken substantial damage, remained standing at the end. Only one Uva Mosk Squad survived to tell the tale.

Next, an Uva Mosk Colonizer was spotted at the enemy Landing. The only strategically important territory that was open for colonization was a spotted plains between my Grasslands and the Uva Mosk Landing itself, that for some reason was called Churning Heath. The partially repaired Fusion Tank was sent to Heath on an immediate intercept operation, with one of two available Colonizers as back-up which was given a secondary objective of settling the area if at all possible.

Turns 36-44

The alarm over Churning Heath was apparently overstated, as my forces took it without issue. In fact, the Uva Mosk settled one of the northern world-edge plains territories while I began fortifying Heath.

Additional fortifications in Hu went up; the factory at Terran Landing finished upgrading into an Automated Factory and was assigned to make a second Fusion Cannon, while a second Automated Factory was planted next to it; the Tech Lab came on-line and its workload was split between Research and Electronics resource production.

A naval Dreadnaught, recently unleashed from my Hyroport in Longview, began sailing east. It spotted a ChCh't colony in the mountainous peninsula above ChCh't Landing. Remembering that other players were in this game, not just the Uva Mosk and I, it suddenly dawned on me that they had been very quiet for a very long time. Many first-tier buildings and a lot of insects were visible on the mountains but little else, and I made a note of it. Reaching the eastern end of the river, the Dreadnaught discovered that the region behind Uva Mosk Landing was, in fact, empty. Well, go figure.

Battle was waged for the recently established Uva Mosk colony in the far north at Thunder Plains. Once again, the Fusion Cannon and a Colonizer were sent in. Only the Fusion Cannon survived. The standing residential plot was torn down for scap, and another freshly manufactured Terran Colonizer was sent in afterwards to lay down a proper Terran residence. The second Automated Factory at Terran Landing came on-line and immediately queued up a third Fusion Cannon that would be finished right on the heels of the second.

Meanwhile, I was made aware that the Cyth were in possession of a second City Center. So, a second Dreadnaught left the Hydroport and went down south to further investigate the goings-on: the miniscule land bridge between the southern hemisphere's west and east was being held at opposite ends by large contengents of Re'Lu and Cyth, but most of their technology was tier-1. Ironically, at ChCh't Landing the insectoids, who have a racial disadvantage of slow technological development, had the highest level of technology. With a Collective Tech Lab they actually had the highest level of development that I had seen and possibly in the game.

I noticed that a Laser Tower at Yellow Savanna had suddenly collapsed for no good reason. A spy was subverting my defenses, and while they didn't have any dedicated spy units on the field the Uva Mosk have a racial ability to use any infantry-type military unit as a spy. So, I set the Fusion Tank to Patrol the affected territory to route the rat out, but by the next turn a Veteran Uva Mosk Laser Squad was back in their own territory. It was my intention to assault them once the second Fusion Cannon was ready, but instead I recoiled, using the tanks to establish a protective defensive line by patrolling territories that bordered regions held by the Uva Mosk and were combined with a round of tax cuts for all locations not benefiting from some sort of Cultural center to counter the negative Morale effect of an active military presence.

While anti-sabotage defenses was being bolstered, Artificial Intelligence and Anti-Matter Containment Technology came into my hands. The pair of Automated Factories in Terran Landing were upgraded to the superior Robitics variant, which then set about pumping out Funsion Cannons every turn afterwards. Nearly half of the Fusion Plants were geared to upgrade into Anti-Matter Plants. This sudden drop in power generation brought Energy levels to an all-time low of -75 and would stay there for at least three turns, but considering that there was 362 Energy resources in reserve I wasn't worried about it.

The first Dreadnaught left the far-east body of water and headed south-west, coming within view of Re'Lu Landing and its adjacent territories. I was amazed by how well all of the players had kept their colonists in line, not a single rioter anywhere, while the lack of technological development was equally surprising. A pair of transport ships were added to the Terran naval fleet and set into position to ferry my troops into the southern hemisphere when the signal came, while the Hydroport was set to 100% Trade for an extra 90 credits/turn.

After what felt like a very long time I was ready to take this planetary war to the next level.

Turns 45-50: Blitzkrieg

To their credit, the Uva Mosk struck a series of blows in rapid succession. The overt display of military force didn't do too well, however: a pair of Turbo Wing Fighters swooped into Thunder Plains and were shot down by the local defenses. The better side of their military wing were the spies: even with tanks patrolling the entire length of the Terran-Uva Mosk border, I continued to silently lose Laser Towers one or two at a time. However, these kinds of tactics would not stop me anymore. Border patrol managed to catch one of their spies who was in the middle of dismantling Towers in Thunder Plains moments before those Turbo Wings arrived, and he was killed on sight. His severed head was shot back into the enemy's possession out of the cannon of the long-unused Rambo Colonizer to sound off my full scale assault.

With the border patrol left in defensive positions on the off-chance that their Laser Tanks and Laser Squads would issue a suicidal counter-attack, two separate pairs of inexperienced but enthused Fusion Tanks converged on Bildgebark. The first Laser Tower collapsed under the first salvo from the Tanks, and the other didn't last too much longer. Then, all the colonists were wiped out along with half of the infrastructure. One wounded Tank managed to leave the battlefield early, but it ended too fast for a second Tank to vacate. With the game's rules of only-two-tanks-per-territory, one of the three remaining Tanks was lost to the void. He would be missed before this campaign was over.

Because I had forgotten to set one of the Robotic Factories to permanent-production mode, I was treated to only one new Fusion Cannon in the following turn. That problem was quickly corrected and the siege continued: another spy was caught at Thunder Plains while a second spy was not, but I pulled several Tanks off border patrol anyway -- this time the target would be the more heavily defended Tossrock Highlands.

Many Towers, power plants, and other structures were broken by spies during the new attack but now was not the time to draw back. Only two of my Tanks were left behind this time and only for repairs while six others rolled into the mountains. On the Uva Mosk side, the garrison was three Laser Squads, a pair of Laser Tanks, one Turbo Wing, and close to twenty-five hundred colonists supported by two Laser Defense Towers. A respectable force which beat back my offensive. One Terran Fusion Cannon was able to make it back to safety, but in return for the loss of the other five all of the proper Uva Mosk military units and structures were put down along with approximately 1,700 colonists, and infrastructure besides. A few moments were spent managing the development of Bildgebark, upgrading this, constructing that, and then I ordered a new assault.

The survivor of the most recent skirmish was allowed to repair while the two Tanks that had just finished their own repairs were sent in along with two new Tanks that came directly from Terran Landing. This time my Terrans prevailed flawlessly, and no prisoners were taken.

Two Tanks were lost to the void in post-battle, but I couldn't stop to lick my wounds just yet. Anti-Matter Plants came on-line and the Energy deficit instantly reversed into a major surplus; all of the shiny new power generators were set to produce +5 Anti-Matter Pods/turn along with massive amounts of standard Energy; many colonists put out of work by the upgrade were transferred to the newly taken Tossrock Highlands; many more Fusion Plants began their conversions.

On the battlefront, another new pair of Fusion Cannon Tanks rolled straight into Uva Mosk Landing, their last outpost, and were joined by three more-experienced Tanks to perform the next attack. They confronted two Laser Defense Towers and five thousand Uva Mosk milita who had nowhere to run. It was a conservative fight, with my Terrans losing only three out of the five Tanks, and in exchange they only managed to fell one Tower and exterminate a paltry 1,400 colonists. It was hardly a decisive victory for either of us, but it was obvious that the war was all but over for them... at least it was obvious to one of us. They actually sent a boastful message afterwards. I had to admit that the Terran war machine had reached its limit for now, but that was only a temporary setback. What really got my attention was a private message from the Re'Lu:

All in good time, my preciouses. All in good time.

Turn 51-53

Moving on to more immanent matters, Cortext Scanners Technology completed, and with it I set my pair of Tech Labs to make their final upgrade to Collective Tech Labs; several buildings finished their ascendence up the tier ladder, or were simply constructed outright, and my productivity grew by leaps and bounds. However, with two Tanks badly wounded and in need of a repose the two fresh units from the Robotics Factory just weren't going to make the kind of impact that I needed, so I waited. The Cyth finally showed a crack in their resolve by complaining about the ChCh't. I sympathized but that was a southern affair and my attention was focused in the north, concerning one territory in particuar. A new third Robotics Factory opened for business and I ordered it to build two SAM Troopers per turn perpetually. When I had my first two Terran Troopers I attacked.

Both Troopers marched in, but only six Tanks lent their cannons for support: another two Tanks hopped on a transport ship with the intention of crossing into Re'Lu territory while the two veteran artilery units merely watched. The Troopers performed adequately, at least for the odds that they were up against. Both died half-way through the battle, though: perhaps they would have lasted longer if I had bothered to use the Terran's Berserk racial ability. The Tanks steamrolled the rest of the Uva Mosk colony while taking what might have been one casualty, I couldn't tell for sure since there were a lot of trees there and the game removed all but two Tanks afterwards. With this victory in my hands, the Uva Mosk were removed from the planet altogether and the entire northern hemisphere was under my dominion and mine alone.

I'll stop the report here for now. This is actually a lot longer than I thought it'd be. Guess that's just the nature of reporting a turn-based strategy game! If I get around to it I might report the rest of this match later, but I'd simply recommend that you all go find the game yourselves. It's pretty fun.