The Calling of Nharr - Stellaris Succession Game AAR

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We are the Calling of Nharr.

It was the great god Nharr who elevates us from the common turtles living in the oceans of Rethellia.  It was Nharr who demanded we go forth and bring the light of Nharr to others we may meet.  And we obey.

The Holy Tribunal dedicated to Nharr was formed on Rethellia in the year 2200.  We shall follow His tenets.  We shall explore.  We shall expand.  And we shall bring the light of Nharr to others at the point of a sword if necessary.


Game Settings:




And of course remember that this is in vanilla Stellaris, so those who are playing need to remember to deactivate any purchased DLC for the game.

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The Beginning - Rhoth's 1st turn Part 1

The Rethell system is located near the tip of one of the spirals closest to the galactic center.  The ocean of Rethelllia is a mid-sized planet located a decent distance from Rethell; colder than other planets, but not so far as to be too cold for life to grow.  And grow it has as the followers of Nharr have occupied nearly half the planet.




High Inquisitor Zarax of the Holy Tribunal has made a specific point to grow the economy of Rethellia, as well as making sure there is enough food for those who follow Nharr to grow and multiply.  If the followers do not grow and expand then they cannot bring the light of Nharr.  The great minds of the Nharrians were set to the task of expanding the military and the great spaceport circling Rethellia.

{{OOC - the cards that came up in the tech draw weren't ones that I would have preferred, other than the solar panel network.  I usually like to start the society path with the tech that improves influence gain, and starting with the level 2 spaceport engineering tech wasn't my favorite starting play either.  But it was what we had.  Also, our scientists are a bit less than stellar, and the ones that were available for purchase were no better so I chose not to bother.  I really prefer to start out with an industry specialist if possible, because so many of the important early techs are industry based.  The best explorer scientist type is the one that improves the chances of anomalies, but we didn't have one of those available either.  Ah, well...}}




But now with the advent of FTL hyperspace travel it is time to explore the galaxy.  Others await the light of Nharr, whether they know it or not.

More to come later...

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Expanded naval capacity was the best starter society tech? Youch.

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Great to see this started! Quick question: I mentioned on Paradox forums when I ended my latest AAR there that I was starting this with you guys. Some people asked me to keep them updated. Would it be okay for you guys if I copied the AAR content over there, with a link to the relevant posts here together with said content?

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2 hours ago, Arnelos said:

Expanded naval capacity was the best starter society tech? Youch.

The others were the military academy and the biolab, neither of which are of much use early on.

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1 hour ago, Nikolai said:

Great to see this started! Quick question: I mentioned on Paradox forums when I ended my latest AAR there that I was starting this with you guys. Some people asked me to keep them updated. Would it be okay for you guys if I copied the AAR content over there, with a link to the relevant posts here together with said content?

It's fine with me.

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The Void of Space - Rhoth's 1st Turn Part 2


Beyond the edges of known space our fleet came upon two potentially habitable ocean worlds, similar to Rethellia.  The first in the system of Pavagh was slightly larger than Rethellia, while the second was slightly smaller.  Alas our home system of Rethell was proving to be richer with energy than minable minerals for now.  With a large amount of surrounding systems to explore the High Inquisitor determined that another exploratory science ship was needed, and so the scientist Rezicax was promoted and sent out with his own ship to begin exploring the newly discovered systems surround Rethell.



The great god Nharr was correct in that the Nharrians were not the only other life in the galaxy.  It remains to be seen whether these cloudlike entities are sentient life though.



Toward the end of the first year of exploration the scouts had discovered many new potentially inhabitable planets, including a fairly sizable tropical world in they Yon system.  And even better for early growth:  minable minerals were finally discovered in the Rethell system.  Along with evidence of the remnants of an ancient alien civilization known as the Irassians.




And then the Nharrians finally came across truly sentient life in the Mirzam system to the southwest.  What would they look like?  Would they be willing to follow the great Nharr as well, or would The Calling be required to forcibly teach them The Word of Nharr?



More to come later...


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Neighbors - Rhoth's 1st turn Part 3

There are some Nharrians that perhaps aren't as suited for this new form of travel in space as others though.  Scientist Xirgliss, after a year and a half in space, had been found to be snorting a bit too much spice for his own good.  Nharrians are naturally long-lived, but his lungs were already blackened and he was given a diagnosis that he would die earlier than others of his race.  Alas for him.



The two habitable planets near to Rethell were surveyed and it was discovered that both were able to easily support colonies of Nharrians.  Though Pavagh was the larger planet, it was also discovered that the mineral deposits at the bottom of the ocean were quite poor in quality.  The smaller planet in the Urrom system was much richer in minerals and quality




Communications with the alien nation to the south were finally established after months of study.  The arctic dwelling Sondrithan State as they were known did not care for visitors and quite quickly shut their borders.  It would be impossible to send missionaries to slowly teach them the ways of Nharr.  Someday though they will hear the Word and receive the Light of Nharr, by force if necessary, for such was Nharr's will.



Another encounter with sentients, in the Ijaagin system to the north, gave the Holy Tribunal more to think about than just the forced conversion of the Sondrithans.  The Syldaean Regime proved to be slightly more welcoming of Nharrian missionaries, though they were not deeply spiritual beings and were quite skeptical of the power of Nharr.  They would learn. 

Who else was out there in this wide galaxy to be shown the Light of Nharr?



More to come later...

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Spiritualism and Discovery - Rhoth's 1st turn Part 4

The great temple of Nharr on Rethellia was finally consecrated and quickly proved quite unifying for the Calling of Nharr.  It was a symbol of Nharr's Word and Light that would be brought to all.  Nharr's tenets to Explore and Expand before bringing His Light to others would be followed.

{{OOC - I like taking Discovery traditions first.  I like to have the extra chance to discover anomalies, especially nice if you have a Meticulous scientist, and the left path also brings more science from simple exploration (if not quite as good as it used to be) and encourages one to build up their base science early to take advantage of that}}



Soon after, a derelict Irassian ship was discovered.  What information would await the Calling when they finally managed to enter the ship?

Alas more Irassian activity turned out to be false leads

{{OOC - it sucks to fail on a 5% chance, but I do understand why they added it.  Otherwise you could just wait on all of your anomalies until you get a well-leveled scientist (which is what I always did).  Now all anomalies have the potential of failure so choices can be made whether to research it now or later.



Another contact in the Baeruta system to the west, in a different spiral, gave the Calling the chance to meet the Ess'Jaggon Hegemony.  Unlike the other aliens that have been discovered the Ess'Jaggons were fairly religious, and somewhat friendlier despite the obvious religious differences the two nations possessed.  The Ess'Jaggons believed in enslaving their own race though, a practice not condoned by Nharr.  For now the Nharrians would attempt to be friendly and send their missionaries, but the false god of the Ess'Jaggons would one day be cast down into the pit of the Forgotten and Nharr would take his place in the devotions of the Ess'Jaggon along with all the rest of the galaxy.



Meanwhile the second portion of the tenets of Nharr were being enacted as the Calling was slowly preparing the way for the first colony ship to expand the worship of Nharr to other worlds.  To that end they began studying ways to quickly colonize so they would not have to waste quite as much time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

{{OOC - since we are playing vanilla and have no ascension perks to shoot for there is really no reason not to shoot around to take the traditions that we want, and not necessarily worry about finishing one tradition tree before starting another.  The only real penalty was a higher cost of future traditions.  In many of my games I often play with less habitable planets than the norm, so the Expansion tree with its reduced influence costs for colonies and frontier outposts is a favorite of mine.  The starter is also great if you can grab it early on as it drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to colonize a planet, reducing the energy cost and getting that planet growing quicker.



It's been a long road to new technological discoveries so far, but the scientists of the Calling finally made a few breakthroughs. finishing the Space Combat Doctrine and Orbital Energy Conversion.  Some scientists in the Calling started calling for Planetary Unification, while others were championing the idea of using Fusion Power to replace the fission reactors currently powering the spaceships.  Some others even championed the use of Powered Exoskeletons to boost the natural abilities of our mineral miners.  High Inquisitor Zarax decreed that all three should be given equal time for research.

{{OOC - once again there weren't really great choices for physics research.  Fusion Power is good, and necessary eventually, but in the early game I prefer trying to research some of the techs that make energy production easier, or Administrative AI for the flat research speed boost, or even Deflectors as they can make a big difference in early game combat if you have them and your opponent does not.  But Fusion Power was the best of what was offered.}}



The Orbital Energy Conversion would be good to reduce the energy consumption of our spaceport, but the known space surrounding Rethell was already proving to be fairly rich in energy deposits and somewhat poor in mineral deposits. 

Meanwhile in the Yon system traces of valuable minerals were discovered.  Alas the Yon System was not as easily accessible to the Calling as other closer systems.  One thing was certain though...the Calling of Nharr must find more mineral deposits to exploit somewhere or they would quickly fall behind their neighbors and the Glory of Nharr would be lost to the galaxy.



More to come later...

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Colonizing north first I guess? Slightly more minerals there it seems.

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The First Colony - Rhoth's 1st turn Part 5

More build up toward the firs t colony led to more effort into Reaching for the Stars.

{{OOC - one of the biggest influence saving traditions in the game.  There is still a base cost that is higher than it used to be, but with this tradition it makes settling further out much less costly and saves influence for other things such as hiring scientists}}



While surveying the sister systems of Alphecca and Yon the Nharrian scientists came across evidence of nuclear devastation that devastated one of the planets in Alphecca.  Luckily the habitable planets were untouched.

Yon III was quite the largest planet that the Nharrians had ever seen, and though a tropical planet, it was one that the ocean-dwelling Nharrians would be able to settle.  Alphecca III was a much smaller planet, but had the potential to be a very rich energy producer if settled, thanks to the discovery of Betharian deposits in the northwest mountain range.  A great deal of wildlife would have to be pacified in order to bring the planet to its full potential, but perhaps some of that indigenous wildlife could be tamed and made into pets for all the young Nharrians.





But now it was time to Expand beyond the borders of Rethellia.  Construction of a great colony ship was begun in the spaceport of Rethellia, and one day soon it would bring eager couples to a new home on a new planet; all in the name of Nharr and for His glory.  Nharr gave his adherents a grand blessing in the form of a comet arcing across the sky of Rethellia, proof that He approved.




Though the far planet of Yon III called to High Inquisitor Zarax, he knew that the first Nharrian colony must be similar to Rethellia, and that meant settling closer, either in Urrom or Pavagh.  It wouldn't do to force the very first Nharrian colonists to settle somewhere other than Rethellia to have to learn to adapt to living in the jungles instead of the familiar oceans.  The government of the Calling was torn though.  Should they settle the larger, but poorer, planet in the Pavagh system, or the smaller and mineral rich planet in the Urrom system?  The Holy Tribunal cast many ballots over the course of the months of construction on the colony ship, and every vote ended in a near deadlock.  

Finally the moment had arrived when the colony ship was ready and there was no consensus on where to settle.  High Inquisitor Zarax finally took matters into his own hands, having refrained from participating in the voting of the rest of the Tribunal before now, and ordered the colony ship to head toward the mineral rich planet of Urrom to the north.

It was a great day for the Glory of Nharr.



More to come later...


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8 minutes ago, Rhoth said:

Finally the moment had arrived when the colony ship was ready and there was no consensus on where to settle.  High Inquisitor Zarax finally took matters into his own hands, having refrained from participating in the voting of the rest of the Tribunal before now, and ordered the colony ship to head toward the mineral rich planet of Urrom to the north.

A wise choice! :) Minerals are very important after all.

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Space Pirates And the Genius - Rhoth's 1st turn Part 6

An encounter to the south near the Sondrithan State led to another alien civilization being discovered.  Like the other southern neighbor this Xaplo Free Polity were moderately hostile and immediately declared themselves the rival of the Calling of Nharr.  They would learn...at the point of a sword.  Though for now it would be impossible to reach them because of the hostile Sondrithans that had denied the Nharrians free movement.




Research continued apace as the scientists efforts proved fruitful first with Powered Exoskeletons and then Planetary Unification.  Other newer ideas were then pursued including the idea of forming an Adaptive Bureaucracy as well as determining a way to improve the guns of the fleet.  Military matters could not be put off even as social matters and expansion were pressed forward.

{{OOC - Meh choices available once more in society research.  I was hoping for a clear blocker since there was only one type on the upcoming colony of Zinix.  As to tech rate I had placed a research station over the engineering deposit in Rethell early on, and was currently in the process of building a research station over the Lombidus star for physics.  I usually don't improve research quite as early on, preferring to push mineral production first, but when faced with a clearly good research station I will improve them early on.  A +2 means a no at this stage, but a +3, and especially if it's physics (since those are much more difficult to find), is well worth it.  Plus I'd already exhausted improving all of our mineral producers at this point.  It really wasn't a good start in terms of mineral production.



The first Nharrian colony of Zinix was officially founded in 2209.  Though small, it would eventually become a powerhouse of mineral production.

Meanwhile the High Inquisitor Zarax began to hear reports of some dissatisfied Nharrians who believed that the Calling should not expand beyond Rethellia.  These disaffected turtles ironically left Rethellia as well to live elsewhere and began to gather their forces.  In response Zarax brought all of the fleet back home and had quietly begun expanding the fleet to nearly triple the size it had been at the beginning of his term of service.



Though scientist Xirgliss tended to spend too much time snorting spice, one of his proteges proved to be extraordinarily gifted in matters of field manipulation...a true genius.   High Inquisitor Zarax ordered a new science ship be commissioned specifically for the genius Morezac.

{{OOC - though he is obviously very good at all research, I decided to send him out to survey planets for awhile first.  Surveying gives a much quicker experience gain and I wanted to get his level higher so future research would be even better.  I haven't ever run the math on that tactic, but it has usually served me well to get a genius up to level 3 or 4 before putting him in research, rather than having him languish at level 1 or 2 for a long time.}}




And as Zarax had feared, the rogue Nharrians proved to be not true followers of Nharr.  For them to attack their own former colleagues was a crime against all, and they must be punished severely.



More to come later...

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Surprised we got the pirates event over the heretics event.  Either way, the heretics shall burn.

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Zichash - Rhoth's 1st turn Part 7

The pirates soon warped into a system, right on top of the lone construction ship, which did not survive.

With the pirates now a threat High Inquisitor Zarax decided it was finally time to hire a fleet admiral.  Though he was a little older than the others Admiral Zidlaxl the Elder was a very aggressive turtle who believed that a strong offense was the best defense.  He relentlessly pursued the pirates and left not a one alive; soon following up by sacking the pirate base and forever removing the threat.  The pirates did prove to be somewhat technologically savvy and scientists were sent to study the debris left behind during the battle and subsequent sacking of their base.

{{OOC - it's much easier to gain the other two available traits through normal gameplay, and I think Aggressive is one of if not the best trait for an admiral anyway.  Also, I kind of wish that the pirates were more of an ongoing threat rather than warping into a system with 4 ships and then once they are gone they never appear again.  I'd love to see an event where they start messing with trade lanes or something like that...though we'd need a different trade system first}}





Research into the superior Coilguns was soon completed, though High Inquisitor Zarax decided to wait to drastically improve the navy.  For right now their were no immediate threats after the pirates were eliminated.  With the generally poor amount of mineral deposits in the are it was necessary to work to improve the existing mineral mines through Geothermal Fracking.

Fusion Power had also been finished recently and the genius Morezac was called back to Rethellia to finish the research on Deflector technology that the Space Pirates had begun and was subsequently discovered in the debris of their ships.  Morezac would soon finish the research begun by others and start work on an Administrative AI to help all other Nharrian scientists.

{{OOC - I do not care for the whole naked corvette thing and have never played that way, but I do generally wait on upgrading my initial fleet until there are at least around 20-30 corvettes in my navy.  There are more pressing things to use my minerals on at the start of the game, but once I reach a certain self-imposed threshold then I upgrade my fleet up to current technology}}



While surveying the Nokkam system scientist Rezicax came upon an alien mural that discussed an alien civilization from many years ago.  Through careful study the mural would provide Nharrian scientists with inspiration for years.

In general though the scientists out surveying planets have become very helpful for the scientists back home as any discoveries have been sent back as soon as discovered.

{{OOC - I haven't really posted about too many of the anomalies, as there are way too many in the early game to discuss.  This one however is one of my favorites since it gives essentially a +6 to research.  Very nice in the early going.  In general though we've found and researched many different anomalies so far.  A few failures, but not too many.  One of the scientists eventually gained the Meticulous trait through a level-up and combined with the +10% bonus from the Discovery trait he has been rocking the discoveries, including I think three or four in a single system at one point

As for Planetary Survey Corp...yeah it can be very nice, not quite as good as it was before it was nerfed, but still 10% of your science for every planet surveyed can be a big boost if you have a decent base}}




It was a quiet few years for the Nharrian people, but soon things got very busy once more with preparations for another colony to commence.  High Inquisitor Zarax had not forgotten his earlier desire to settle the tropical planet of Yon III, and called for many volunteer Zharrians who were willing to forgo their ocean life and adapt to live in a jungle environment.  Not surprisingly there were many who jumped at the chance, for they would be blessed by Nharr for their sacrifices.  Though some Nharrians wanted Zarax to push for the closer Pavagh system to be settled Zarax would not waver in his desire to see Yon settled.

Very soon the new colonists were on their way and touched down to settle Zichash, while other Nharrians set about constructing valuable mineral mining stations in the area now claimed by the Calling of Nharr.

{{OOC - though the happiness cap would be an issue, as Yon had a -5% happiness penalty beyond the 60% cap for being a secondary type planet for the Zharrians, it was too good to pass up.  Not only was it size 23, but it would also bring in multiple new systems with a lot more mineral deposits as well as some very nice research stations.  Pavagh would bring none of that, only a larger happiness cap.}}



More to come later...

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Naked corvettes are no longer the superior strategy as of the latest set of patches.  Unless vanilla Stellaris works significantly differently from the DLC versions in that regard, the introduction of scaling value with technology has removed the reason naked corvettes were always superior (now better technology is always superior to what came before it).

As for the current meta, it's reportedly (according to reddit posters) battleships and cruisers - ideally set up with tachyon lances, kinetic artillery, and plasma cannons - supplement with energy torpedoes if available.  The next most successful is apparently massed missiles and/or strike craft, but that strategy can be hard countered by sufficient point defense (though even that can be beat if you present such a target rich environment that the point defense can't keep up).

So.. yeah, don't worry about naked corvettes anymore.  I never adapted to that meta anyhow and I'm very glad it's gone.

Ship bonuses (at least for me) go Evasion > Firing Rate > everything else

Strongly agree with the decision to colonize the Size 23 Tropical!

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5 hours ago, Arnelos said:

Strongly agree with the decision to colonize the Size 23 Tropical!


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Veterans for Victory - Rhoth's 1st turn Part 8

The growing colony in the Yon system inspired the genius Morezac to finish his research into Administrative AI to boost the effectiveness of all the Zharrian scientists.  His reward was to continue working on a Global Energy Management strategy.

{{OOC - I realized that I haven't shown a "big picture" shot of the area in a while, and this pic shows the new area brought in by Yon}}



High Inquisitor Zarax determined it was time to double the space construction capacity and commissioned a new construction ship, which was sent south to improve the Nokkam system, but ultimately was sent to the Esmyke system.  With the increased friction with the nations to the south High Inquisitor Zarax felt that controlling the unsurveyed systems between the Calling of Nharr and the Sondrithan State would be key, and if he waited too long then the Sondrithans might claim the area first. 

While working in the Esmyke system the new construction ship came across a new civilization based to the south of the Sondrithans...the Ymacera League.  Unfortunately, while the two nations had mutual rivals and quickly signed a pact of non-aggression, the Ymacera League would never be truly friendly.  Their preference for making soulless machines do all their work, as opposed to working the fields and mines with their own hands for the glory of a higher being, as the Calling of Nharr does, meant that eventually relations would sour between the two nations.  In the meantime though perhaps the Ymacerans would keep the Sondrithan eyes facing south rather than north while the Calling continued to expand.




The colonization of Zichash was soon finished and the new colonists could finally go about their lives in a new environment that was completely alien to the way they grew up.  Perhaps future generations would overcome the deficiencies of being an ocean-going race living in a jungle, but for now the only thing sustaining them was their love of Nharr.



With the new colony though come new ideas.  Though High Inquisitor Zarax was the current leader of the Holy Tribunal that rules the Calling of Nharr, that did not dissuade him from forming a militant faction known as the Veterans for Victory, with the eventual goal of conquering all other sentient races in the galaxy.  For the glory of Nharr of course.



More to come later...



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Pavagh is ready to be colonized I see. And perhaps not too bad idea to colonize the Alphecca system too. For the glory of Nharr of course.

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The Last Days of Zarax - Rhoth's 1st turn Part 9

High Inquisitor Zarax's desire to increase the size of the borders to the south in order to control the hyperlanes in the area proved fruitful as a frontier outpost was finished in Esmyke.  Though most of the surrounding systems had yet to be surveyed, Zarax was content that no Sondrithans would be able to claim the territory around Esmyke, or the habitable planet in the Ziris system at the edge of the spiral.  The Sondrithans would not be able to move past the Calling's borders at all if their desire was to try to settle the outer spiral of the galaxy.



In Rethellia, Zarax's desire to push for a Global Energy Management system proved to be a boon as a global energy grid was constructed in order to boost the energy flow.

{{OOC - though there are still plenty of energy deposits to mine in our controlled area, in my games I inevitably run into energy management issues in the later parts of the early game.  I often tend to solve those in the latter half of the first century using orbital habitats, we won't have that as an option in this game as we are playing vanilla.  I'm always loath to trade minerals for energy with other nations unless I have to, so I've been trying to maintain at least around a zero-sum of energy for right now.  Once we go negative for a while then I've been fixing it back up to positive for a while until more improvements have been built that force it negative, etc.}}



The scientific research has been improving greatly of late, between the Administrative AI of Morezac being spread to the other scientists, as well as more and more research stations being built and our surveyors picking up bits of scientific research here and there to send back to Rethellia.  Things are going well indeed for the scientific research of a spiritual nation.  A belief in a higher being doesn't mean you have to reject science.

{{OOC - yeah, umm}}



With the outpost to the south settled it was time to look to the north.  Zarax was not as worried about losing the north, but it was time to secure the borders up there and bring in the very valuable mineral deposits of the Geronth and Pulcor systems.  Though Devil's Maw might have been a better location for an outpost, it was currently occupied by hostile Void Clouds, so the Pulcor system was chosen as the site for a new outpost.



Another contact with nations to the south, this time with the Kingdom of Ufran, another hegemonic imperialist nation.   Like the Ymacera League they were the neighbors of one of the rivals of the Calling and thus moderately friendly for now.




Though he knew his term of service as High Inquisitor would be ending soon, Zarax made one last decision.  Though it would not improve the fortunes of his own faction, he was not averse to improving the fortunes of the Conclave of Spiritualists.  After all, were not all Nharrians sons and daughters of Nharr?

{{OOC - Once again I decided to put our next tradition into a new tree.  We had two factions that were both being held back by lack of a favored tradition: Harmony for the spiritualists and Supremacy for the militants.  I decided to go with Harmony for the pop growth speed as opposed to Supremacy for the existing borders to grow larger.  Both are fine, but I didn't think we needed border growth right now as much as pop growth.  Plus the spiritualist faction is twice the size, meaning more happiness for them and more influence gain.}}




But now it was finally time for Zarax to end his time as High Inquisitor.  He was given the chance to elect his successor, and could have even chosen himself again, but he decided it was time for new blood to run the nation so he declined to exercise his option of choice.  And thus Xaz was elected as new High Inquisitor.




Save file to come next...

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And the save - Rhoth's turn 2220

Up for grabs for whomever would like to go next.  Don't forget to disable all of your DLC as we are playing vanilla.

Things to do (as I see it):  settle Pavagh; build spaceports for our planets  (I was about to get around to doing that but chose to build the fleet and the frontier outposts instead), and upgrade the fleet to current tech (I have not done any ship upgrades yet)


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12 hours ago, Rhoth said:

A belief in a higher being doesn't mean you have to reject science.

Preach it! :D 

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