GWJ Strategy Club Game 2: Endless Space 2

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Really nice write up, LS! That Cram Exam Act is so ... Japanese.

Do you get a sense that it's important to pick excellent planets to colonize because of colonization limits, or to emphasize spreading as fast as possible without too much thought to finding the perfect planet to expand to?

Well, a lot of the improvements I've seen so far seem to scale with number of planets, types of planets, number of people, etc. -- but not necessarily with quality of the planet. I'm not sure if that will hold but to me, that suggests spreading out early on.

Also, though I don't yet know for sure, I suspect the colonization limit is for systems, not planets. If I'm right, you could claim future rights in a great planet by settling for a mediocre one in the same system.

And if the AI is anything like it was in Endless Legend, it will be very aggressive about expanding. So I'd grab that territory!

Thanks for the thoughts, all. Sounds like expansion speed is important.

I played a bit this afternoon, with a United Empire game. Just wrapping my head around the early expansion phase of the game at the moment. We've colonized a couple more systems, and the rough structure of the game makes sense.

There's quite a bit of depth here. The tutorial guide thing keeps unwrapping new mechanics and screens for me to use every turn or so. I'm giving them a quick look then plowing on. I definitely like the feel of things.

I have a couple questions for the group about this. First, does anyone know how to rush-buy? I've tried to do basically the same thing as in Endless Legend -- click on the icon to the right of current construction, which shows turns to completion -- and the game things I'm trying to cancel my build.

Second, are resource boosters a thing in this game? In EL, I could activate those for temporary boosts to my empire. Here, I have a bunch of resources from exploring, but clicking on them in the economy menu doesn't actually do anything.

Rush buy actually requires a technology. I think it’s somewhere on the right quadrant of the tech tree, but don’t hold me to that.

If I recall, a specific luxury resource gets associated with each species that makes up your empire. If you find the screen that breaks your population down by races, you can use them to boost that population’s traits somewhat similar to how it’s done in Endless Legend. You need to have a certain threshold amount that scales higher with higher population.

Also, luxury and strategic resources are used to upgrade system levels. When you get the technology to upgrade systems you actually have to pick which resources are spent doing this. You’re locked into using the same resource going forward for all system upgrades so generally you pick one that you have good access to. They all provide different bonuses.

Started my new game last night. Steam is having a sale on Sega stuff so I spent $12 to get almost all of the DLC and the Vaulters. So, I am playing the Vaulters.

I've had ES2 in my wish list for a while and all that's keeping me from pulling the trigger is the reports that the recent 'final' patch broke a bunch of things. Is this a real thing or just the usual online whining? Is it easily fixable, presuming a real problem, by jumping back a version?

qaraq wrote:

I've had ES2 in my wish list for a while and all that's keeping me from pulling the trigger is the reports that the recent 'final' patch broke a bunch of things. Is this a real thing or just the usual online whining? Is it easily fixable, presuming a real problem, by jumping back a version?

I was thinking you might be referring to the Awakening DLC, which seems best avoided, but yeah, there are reviews on Steam that mention the final patch breaking stuff badly. I haven't seen any problems yet, fingers crossed.

Ok, I'm now playing ES2. I'm really interested in factions like the Unfallen and the Riftborn, but I think those ones are a bit more complicated and it's been a bit, so I'm starting with the Empire.

So there are two main things that jump out at me in this game, and both have to do with the UI. The first is that the game is really slick. There's plenty of info on the screen, and the transitions are really cool. The other is that there might be too much going on on the screen at any given time. It just feels really busy, or at least busier than Endless Legend felt. I've tried to play ES2 a couple times now and gave up both times since all the info going on at once was a bit too much to take in. I feel like I have to play it at the right time of day/the right mindset, and then I can get into it. About about 3 solid hours in it, I feel like I have a grasp on things, and there's so many new researched that I need to colonize more planets or do something or another that I wonder how I'll ever get to them all.

Also, Baryonic Shielding research is very important since it gives you free movement. I don't know how I kept missing that one early on, but you should grab it as soon as possible.

So after an unexpected large amount of gaming time this weekend, I put some serious progress into my ES2 campaign, and am probably in the late game at this point. I’ll post random musings.

First, alliances. I (Empire) allied early with the Lumeris; or more like they allied with me, since they were pursuing me from the time we first met. I also quickly found myself at odds with the Vodyani over random small planets, so eventually they found themselves in a 2v1 war. Only problem was, I didn’t really figure out how to war better until only recently, so there was a lot of wasted time there. I’ll get to that later. At some point, the Horatio, who were initially wary of me, eventually buddied up to us since they hated the Vodyani too, and somehow the Unfallen decided to join the Vodyani in an alliance (I tried to pull them in as well, but the alliance membership cap was 3). So it was me on the east side of the map, with the Lumeris in the north, and the Horatio all over the west, against the Vodyani in the middle and the Unfallen on the far west edge, not really bothering anyone but the Horatio.

Oh, and the Cravers were just rolling solo and being mad at everyone but not really doing anything of note. They talked a big game, at least.

So the first half of this game or so, I just wanted to do my 4x thing, where I expand and build buildings all day, but not any real military. After awhile, the Vodyani decided they wanted some random small planet I had that was at a choke point, and took it. It wasn’t clear to me at first why their ship was just hanging out for several turns on my system, and I got no notice that they were sieging me , but so it goes. It’s possible they were at war with the Lumeris, and I got pulled into the war once I allied with them. Who knows. Either way, once I lost a planet I got the idea, I geared up with my production and created a ton of ships over time, upgraded them, the works. But after trading doomstacks with the Vodyani, I just kept failing to take planets or systems. Just never had the manpower or damage to do it.

So I was missing a key thing, and maybe people who play space 4x games know the ins and outs of this, but I didn’t. You can siege a system to reduce its defenses, but to take it you eventually have to send in the ground troops. At some point, you can unlock tanks or planes to join your ground attack instead of just infantry, but the game never really tutorializes that this is a thing that you should do if you actually want to take a system, since I could siege a planet’s defenses all the way down but my infantry still wasn’t enough in the mid game. You need to go into the Fleet Management page, and the option to choose your invasion composition is on the left. I actually wasted the first large war this way, since I couldn’t take any planets, and eventually called the whole thing off so I could go back to building and collecting resources.

We’re now in another big war, and after a couple of big, nasty fights I’ve mostly ground down the Voyani navy, and now I’m sieging down systems at my leisure. My allies have been good at rejecting truce offerings so far, but any of them could just end the war right now if they really wanted. And it would annoy me more than a little, since there’s a lot of systems I want. I also demolished a Terran planet with my Death Star dreadnought for the achievement.

I also forgot how much combat in 4x games isn’t really my jam. Like, it’s fine, but I generally prefer tactics games (see: Battletech). One of these days I really should give city builders a try.

I’m now in the late game, and while it’s possible we’re going to win a Conquest victory, I’ve built 2 of the obelisks needed for the Wonder victory, so assuming I can scrounge up enough strategic resources, that may be the faster option. The requirements are going up pretty fast for the next couple of obelisks, so as long as I can get a couple key planets during this war, I should be good.

Wall of text, woooo!

And I won my campaign as the Empire! I strode forth, and taught the Endless worshipers and the peaceful sentient trees about the might of my…..

IMAGE(https://i.postimg.cc/d3g9G6Gt/Economic-victory.png)

Money?

Yeah, that’s how it wound up playing out. I started work on the 3rd obelisk, but then checked and it looked like my Alliance needed to build 6. I didn’t have any more systems that could build one in a reasonable amount of time, so I started looking for other victory options. Conquest was an option as I was stamping out the Vodyani and then would have only two factions to pacify (the Cravers were incredibly weak at this point, but the trees had one particularly ridiculous doomstack that I was going to have to contend with) but then I noticed my alliance was like 75% of the way to the economy victory by making it rain. Having the Lumeris on my side didn’t hurt.

So I started researching tech that gets you more money very quickly, and then started building all of that in my two or three biggest systems, which were doing most of the heavy lifting for the empire. I already had the max number of Corporate HQs and subsidiaries, so at this point it was just making the big numbers even bigger by any means necessary, and then watching the money roll in ridiculous amounts. It was enough to make the Broken Lords proud. Also, alliance victories seem really strong, since all our conquests/money/obelisk building all combine together for a team victory.

So this was my third or so attempt at this game, but the first time I made it past an hour or two. I think playing as a part of the club ‘encouraged’ me to try to stick it out past the initial learning curve to get into the game, and once it got going I had a reasonably good time with it. It's very slick. I still think I prefer Endless Legend to this, but I have a new respect (and understanding) of space 4x games.

Congrats Sundown! I’ve been busy with some real life work and Nanowrimo but I’m hoping to get back to my game soon.

I definitely plan to go back to this soon, too. Over the past few weeks, I've been playing all sorts of games, which I feel like is sometimes a sign that I'm stressed and can't focus on one thing. I've been playing some Civ VI recently, and I want to finish my game there before I go back to Endless Space 2.

Because it's been a while, and now I feel like I have a basic understanding of how systems work, I'll probably start my Vaulters game over. Abandoning a 4X game after 50 or so turns, and starting over, is one of my favorite things.

ES2 gets a lot of flak for lacking substance. I'll try to start up a game before December, but I don't think that's a fair assessment. It's both more complex and deeper than a MOO clone. It just gets a lot of flak because it's not a Civ or MOO clone and many players never really engage with it beyond the surface mechanics.

The Vaulters are a good way to ease into the game because they're the most like a Civ or a MOO faction, but their colonization mechanic and movement mechanics are different. The Sophons are actually hard to explain because their core bonus mechanic depends on how many other factions know a tech. The more obscure and weird a tech is, the better they research, and this is complicated by the fact that the tech tree is a wheel and you don't branch from one tech to another so much as jump around from tech to tech. A well-played Sophon game is always weird because you have access to powerful late-game tech abilities, but you lack a few foundational commonplace techs.

The United Empire is interesting because they can change factions mid-game (they change characteristics) and they can use Influence to rush-buy, so you're basically farming two currencies. UE is the faction that really makes you look at the actual population content of your planets and I started leveraging population makeup and political manipulation with this faction (you basically can jury-rig the results of an election through virtual gerrymandering).

The Hissho are fun because they're Space Chicken Samurai. But they're also really hard to play because their entire expansion and economy is bonkers - for much of the game, you're basically playing OCC, and the game punishes you hard if you try to play normally.

I've started up a game as Unfallen. My goal to consider this game "finished" is to win it with each race and each victory type. I did manage that with Endless Legend.

I've already done Sophons, Cravers, Lumeris, Vaulters and Horatio.

So far, this is the most peaceful and uneventful game I've had. Grabbed up a couple of nearby minor civilizations which got me a small navy. Then expanded my territory "northward" through my vine network. Lumeris is to my west and Empire to my South. Both of them quickly offered peace treaties with me, which was surprising. Usually I have to pay an exorbitant bribe if I can even get them to agree. So, now I'm just building up my systems and spreading out in peace. The only minor snafu is I'm missing adamantium and there aren't any sources nearby. Even took out all the pirates trying to find some. Guess I'll be stockpiling it from the market. Luckily my economy is firing on all cylinders so there's plenty of dust.

I've now finished the faction quest and went on and formed an alliance with Lumeris and Empire. Now I'm at war with Vodyani, but they're on the far end of Empire territory and hardly seem a threat. I might build up a fleet and send them that way just to have something to do.

The other day, I restarted as the Vaulters. From the jump I had my pick of three system to settle. So I got off to a quicker start, but ran into problems expanding when the pirates came and settled the third system. I was going to kill them off, but my ships were super slow at laying siege to their system, and -- somehow -- they sneaked a ship past my blockade to assault the Argosy. So, I went elsewhere.

I'm a bit concerned that after my third system, I'll get squeezed out of further expansion. I guess from there, it'll be time for some wars.

I've definitely made a faster push to explore this time, than the first time I started. I even sent my hero along on early scouting missions rather than keeping her at home. This was a good choice: she got some experience and her first level very quickly, and with some juggling of the construction queue, I still managed to have her back at home in time to finish a bunch of buildings and level up again.

Yeah, I always put my first hero on the initial exploration fleet even if I plan to move them to system administration later.

With the Vaulters, I have this idea that the intention behind their colonization design is to have the Argosy fly far around the galaxy looking for primo colony systems instead of systematically expanding outward from a single home. This sort of fits their background story of homeless space nomads. At least in theory, you wind up with scattered systems that are still defensible once you get the portals up and running. My recollection from my Vaulter game was that the Argosy was fast and basically indestructible early on, but since it couldn’t defend itself, it wound up getting boxed in by hostile fleets. So ultimately I just wound up colonizing the area around my first world like usual.

This is one thing I really appreciate about the game; they really went out of their way to give each race different mechanics which fit their backstory and racial characteristics. Doesn’t always make a huge difference though. With Sophons I still researched a bunch of techs everyone else already had. With Cravers I never abandoned a system because it was still valuable with all the upgrades I’d put into it even after the planets were just spent husks.

That's such an interesting idea for the Argosy! "Escort your settler" is so finely ingrained in me that I never thought to send it out unescorted. In my game it did get into a random skirmish with a pirate, as it sat in orbit, and I take your point about it being basically invulnerable in the early game.

I'd say "next time!" but I'll probably play another faction after I finish with the Vaulters. Or, more likely, I'll play something else.

gewy wrote:

This is one thing I really appreciate about the game; they really went out of their way to give each race different mechanics which fit their backstory and racial characteristics. Doesn’t always make a huge difference though. With Sophons I still researched a bunch of techs everyone else already had. With Cravers I never abandoned a system because it was still valuable with all the upgrades I’d put into it even after the planets were just spent husks.

The defining Craver advantage is their Slaving mechanic. The Depletion mechanic is just a limitation. I never abandoned a planet with Cravers, either, but I did manage the pop a lot.

Yeah, I could tell playing Cravers the right way relies on heavy population micromanagement. I got bored of it though and eventually just let things play out with a bunch of crappy depleted planets that I could have avoided or at least delayed.

I suspect one of the ideas behind the Cravers was to have a species that actually swarms and migrates like locusts, leaving useless abandoned systems in their wake. But they didn’t really flesh that aspect out, or couldn’t get it working right.

gewy wrote:

Yeah, I could tell playing Cravers the right way relies on heavy population micromanagement. I got bored of it though and eventually just let things play out with a bunch of crappy depleted planets that I could have avoided or at least delayed.

I suspect one of the ideas behind the Cravers was to have a species that actually swarms and migrates like locusts, leaving useless abandoned systems in their wake. But they didn’t really flesh that aspect out, or couldn’t get it working right.

I think you can play them like that. They do have the mechanics to involve that kind of campaign. The thing is, that sort of game quickly devolves into a do-or-die scenario where you either steamroll everyone and win, or you sputter out spectacularly and do nothing. You do kind of need to conquer other factions quickly, and your home planets quickly become husks that are worth only for sending excess Cravers, but you can stabilize if you want to, and you have incredible incentives for using War as a default interaction situation.

I just played another Normal game as the Vaulters. Normal because I didn't feel like absolutely optimizing everything and functioning with half legs. I like a lot of techs.

Their colonizing mechanic is certainly easier for people used to Settlers, but I like the Lumeris settling mechanic the best. Their movement function (portals on every planet) is certainly extremely powerful. It's counterbalanced by specialty ships. Vaulters have ships with a fair amount of hard-coded Utility Slots. Empire and and Unfallen will trounce a Vaulter fleet if they're evenly matched, but Vaulter fleets can potentially go faster, they can leverage more utility techs, and they can siege down planets like nobody's business (because you can make sieging fleets with stupid amounts of siege modules).

Classic Vaulter game. I leapfrogged around and picked off planets with siege fleets while my lone Space Superiority Fleet stayed in the core worlds fighting off invaders.

It is also notable that as a Science Minor faction, Vaulters can also experience that situation where your Science is outpacing your production so hard that your build queue never ends. It's easier to balance that out with Laws, though, and you can really let 'er rip with a science-focused administration if you really, really need a few key techs.

I was very fortunate to find Haroshems early. Haroshems are great because they allow you to settle and exploit Desert and Ash worlds for production - you need those to pair with your Cold homeworld. The Haroshems and the Sisters (for happiness) went with the Vaulters throughout the galaxy.

I got Kalgeros, too!

I did try the Umbral Choir, but that's a forced OCC and I don't understand the hacking game, so I wasn't having much fun. I didn't finish it because it felt like a lot of busywork. Moreover, Umbral Choir have a massive problem with Manpower, so your ships are weak and it's really hard to mount a ground offensive campaign.

Thinking about a Lumeris or Unfallen game next. I managed to finagle a surprisingly robust Trade economy as Vaulters, so I was wondering how that would work with the Lumeris.

I did fire up a game of this yesterday evening to start a play through as the Vodyani.

30 minutes later I realised I’d completely forgotten how to play the game and was making a complete hash of things as I don’t think I’d fully understood the Vodyani mechanics. I’ll try again over the weekend I think and see if I can’t figure it out.

Alright. I guess it's time for a bit of a basic refresher.

How Do You Harvest Resources in Endless Space2?

Well, it LOOKS both basic and trivial, but it's actually pretty involved and complex.

At the most basic level, you install population points into planets and each population point produces yields. Higher pop means higher yields.

Each pop point on a planet produces yields that are specific to that planet. In general, Hot planets make more Production, Fertile planets make more Food, Cold planets make more Science, and Sterile planets make more Dust (money).

Specific planet types have specific outputs per population unit and their own population limits. Individual planets can vary according to whether they have Luxury Resources, Strategic Resources, or Anomalies.

And Now It Gets Complicated

Specific population types give you additional outputs per population. For instance, Haroshem population units give you +1 Food regardless of where they are.

In addition, many population types give you additional outputs based on planet type. For instance Haroshem give you +3 more Food per population on Sterile planets. This makes them great advance forces in taming Sterile Worlds for normal factions (Vodyani, Riftborn, and Umbral Choir are different). This also makes them fantastic for manning Production-rich Sterile worlds to power your Industry.

Happiness is in Little Sisters and Marsupials

But wait, there's more! Happiness mechanics and effects are assessed on a per-system basis, but contributory effects are both Global and Local. (Hissho are different, they only care about Keii). Each population point above a limit produces negative Happiness per unit. In addition, some planets produce negative Happiness per pop point, period. Understandably, nobody is particularly thrilled about living on a Lava planet.

Some population types produce Happiness per unit which makes them great for offsetting Happiness penalties, both Global and Local. Sisters of Mercy produce 2 Happiness per population point. Kalgeros produce 4 Happiness per population point on Fertile planets. So find those Jungles and fill them with furries! It helps to sooth the suffering of those poor fools on the Lava planets.

In addition, all bonus population outputs can be doubled. Go to the Population Details page and feed them their Luxury Resource of choice. A luxury-supplied Kalgeros on a Fertile planet will give you 8 Happiness!

Helpfully, this also increases the chance the next pop gain will be from that population type.

And Now To Ruin All Those Rules.

Finally, tech also empowers yields per planet and also yields per population point. Some outputs are per planet. Those don't boost population yields. But many improvements boost population yields either globally, or for populations on specific planet types. You'll want to keep an eye out for these improvements when planning out your tech based on what you're colonizing.

Kind of important:

The Level 2 System Upgrade installs a Spaceport on the System. This is extemely important for shipping populations to other planets. Shipping populations to full planets doesn't kill them. It just makes them wait in orbit indefinitely, until you have vacant slots. You'll want to shuffle your pops around so you get the functionality you want on the systems you have.

When a system is full, it doesn't grow population anymore. It can be beneficial to either put points into the Spaceport with no destination, or send them to a full planet, just to grow more population. The population in orbit becomes "reserve population" that you can instantly ship to new planets as you colonize them, or for repopulating planets during wartime.

At the expense of sleep, I finished my Unfallen campaign- hard difficulty. It was pretty uneventful and peaceful to the end. I did see a little bit of combat with the final Academy quest, but the AI couldn't pull it together in any meaningful way, so it was easy. Like many of these games, I was making progress toward a science victory when I unexpectedly slid into an economic victory. Shrug.

Started an Umbral Choir game. They really went wild with changing up the mechanics here- very imaginative, but feels almost as hard to wrap my head around as when I first started the game altogether. With a strategy game like this, I'll usually pick it up 1-2x per year and will do a couple of games (give or take) back to back. With several months between sessions, I don't think I could dive right into one of the more mechanically unique races without playing a more straightforward one first. That's why I hit a wall with my Vodyani playthrough a year or so ago and quickly gave up on it.

The game does break the races down in levels of complexity, which I find very helpful:
1- Sophons, Lumeris, Empire, Horatio, Vaulters
2- Cravers, Unfallen, Riftborn
3- Vodyani, Hissho, Umbral Choir, Nakalim

I have to say the espionage mechanic in this game is one I never got my head around and - if you aren’t playing a particularly espionage heavy race - was mainly a chore of unending notifications I didn’t really care about. Or understand.

gewy wrote:

The game does break the races down in levels of complexity, which I find very helpful:
1- Sophons, Lumeris, Empire, Horatio, Vaulters
2- Cravers, Unfallen, Riftborn
3- Vodyani, Hissho, Umbral Choir, Nakalim

Here's why I think it breaks down like that.

1. Sophons - weird science bonus mechanic. Can be ignored completely and will still give passive bonuses often enough to get an edge.
2. Lumeris - Use Dust instead of Influence for everything. If you didn't know Influence was a thing, this would just make sense. As a bonus, buy your outposts instead of making Settlers.
3. Empire - use Influence instead of Dust as a Rush-buy currency. Just pretend everything that boosts Influence is a market building. It plays about the same. Nice discount on Overcolonization penalties.
4. Vaulters - Use strategic resources for System Upgrades. Teleport your fleet everywhere. Cool, powerful, and unusual, but easy to grasp.
5. Horatio - make Super Population by consuming other faction populations. Can afford to be sloppy. Only needs a few gene infusions to be ridiculously good. No need to micromanage or know other mechanics further.

6. Cravers - Use special Population Assignment mechanics for +100% outputs. Can be mismanaged badly. Will crash and burn unless you either conquer VERY quickly, or know how to manage your pops. Needs to leverage weird laws on war and peace.
7. Unfallen - Massive food and population growth. Mediocre other yields. Can fail to perform if not aggressive in seeking alternative populations for actual other outputs, or better planets to leverage food bonus. Uses Forced Truce mechanics for defense.
8. Riftborn - Doesn't actually grow population normally. Have to build both population units and Manpower. Weird settling preferences and Terraforming. Will fail hard if forced to colonize normal worlds.

9. Vodyani - completely different population mechanics. Need to micromanage Arks for best output. Need to know Happiness and weird population rules to even play decently.
10. Hissho - doesn't expand normally. Very harsh overcolonization penalty and low colonization limits. Need to know Behemoth mechanics to leverage well. Alternatively, need to know how to play Always War scenarios - have to know how to sidestep Overcolonization penalties using war mechanics.
11. Umbral Choir - completely off-kilter in almost everything. Nothing plays like a normal faction.

Well, I've started, and then restarted, a couple of Vodyani campaigns the last couple of nights as I get my head around how to play this game again, and understand the Vodyani mechanics. My main issues so far have mostly been getting boxed in very early game and then having a rampaging Pirate problem I don't seem to have figured out how to deal with. Not being able to leech early on seems a major issue for the Vodyani, so you can get a second ark up and occupy a second system.

Still it is getting me to remember how to play the game. I'm hoping I find a start I can deal with soon and we'll see how it works out. This YouTube playthrough has been really quite helpful though. It's up to date with the last DLC if not quite the final polishing patches

I finished my Umbral Choir playthrough, bringing my total to 7 out of 12 races done. Time for a break. May post some more in depth thoughts on it later, but, as is typical in this game (and 4x's in general), the most fun was had during the initial expansion phase, and it drug at the end.

I love the lore and artwork of this and Endless Legend. I feel like the addition of minor races in particular really fleshes the setting out and makes it feel more alive. Some of them are quite imaginative. This would make an ideal setting for an RPG.

Sorbicol wrote:

Well, I've started, and then restarted, a couple of Vodyani campaigns the last couple of nights as I get my head around how to play this game again, and understand the Vodyani mechanics. My main issues so far have mostly been getting boxed in very early game and then having a rampaging Pirate problem I don't seem to have figured out how to deal with. Not being able to leech early on seems a major issue for the Vodyani, so you can get a second ark up and occupy a second system.

I'll try my hand at it again, but how you play the early game of Vodyani is dictated by your surroundings. You retrofit your Arks pretty aggressively depending on what you need, and that's something a lot of new Vodyani players don't quite get. If you need Essence to exploit a good second system early, then you retrofit your initial Ark with All Must Provide (Essence) modules to provide you most of the Essence you will need. Leeching is no longer essential to Vodyani expansion. It's nice but not necessary. If you want to invade a pirate system or another player, you retrofit the Ark modules for Production using All Must Serve and make your invasion fleet that way. The Leecher platform has a lot of Utility Slots so you can make very fast scouting vessels with them as well as cheap siege fleets.

The other common hurdle is that players can research planetary habitation technology with Vodyani without looking up and preparing for the Happiness hit that you're going to get when you instantly populate 2 Lava Planets with 5 population each (-80 Happiness instantly) and it tanks one or two essential systems.