A Distant Worlds AAR – Part 1

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By Brandon “Kushan” Johnson, July 17, 2014

Welcome all. I’ve been playing Distant Worlds (DW) since it was first released in 2010. Since then, it’s become my favorite 4x game of any genre. No other game, except the Paradox games, come close to the breadth of options and replayability of DW, in my humble opinion of course.

 Click images to enlarge

DW Part 01 - 01


I’m going to be changing up my normal DW playstyle this time around. I normally fully control everything, and I’ve restarted a dozen different times trying to find a level of automation I can deal with. I’ve created a custom theme (mod) for this playthrough. I started with Haree78’s DW Extended Mod and merged in several other mods I thought would add a bit more variety.

Full mod list:

Distant Worlds Extended by Haree78
DW: U BalanceMod (Hyper Drive Speed Only) by Locarnus
HD Environment Mod by nek
Martian – Graphics Enhancement Mod (GEM)
Tyrador – Prothean Cycle Mod
Kalthaniell – MASS EFFECT MOD
Igard – New Planet Textures
More Governments by dwaine
More and Rebalanced Wonders (Rebalanced Wonders Only) by dwaine
Royal Navy and IJN Ship Names by Shark7
USN Ship names by Kushan
Ship Sets from Prothean Cycle Mod by Tyrador and Kalthaniell


Game Setup:


DW Part 01 - 02

Typical 4x map setup options. I’ve turned aggression up to max and difficulty is set to the second highest level. For this playthrough I’ll be playing with pirates but I want my primary opponents to be the other empires, with these settings pirates should be a nuisance without any real teeth.


DW Part 01 - 03

I turned down both colony prevalence and independent life. The lack of other colonies should make capturing home worlds more important.


DW Part 01 - 04

Playing as the Kiadians. I think they are in the vanilla game. It’s been so long since I’ve played without the DW Extended Mod that I don’t know the difference anymore.


DW Part 01 - 05

Starting size is set to expanding which is what the other empires would be using if they were automatically generated. Starting tech level of 2.


DW Part 01 - 06

If I was Auto-Generating other empires they would be set up according to the setting on the galaxy setup screen. In my case however, I’m going to set up the max number of 37 other empires, with all random settings. One thing I wish matrix would add is the ability to allow the player to have his empire settings randomly generated in the same way.


DW Part 01 - 07

Going to play in sandbox mode…only goal is survival.


First Moves:


DW Part 01 - 08

Starting as a republic with five colonies in five systems systems. I’m in the south west corner of the map, with nothing in the systems south-west of me. Expansion to the North and south-east looks to be the most promising.


DW Part 01 - 09

I have most of the harder to find strategic resources, but am missing sources for the more common ones. That’s going to slow down early expansion, but hopefully not by much. Luckily I have several sources of caslon, hydrogen, and helium so fuel shouldn’t be an issue.


DW Part 01 - 10

I’ve managed to find several sources of the missing resources in the Wurtul and Sarafor systems (Shown in red). I’ve added mining stations in both systems to the Roaming Stars que.


DW Part 01 - 11

My leader isn’t bad, I’ve had a lot worse. Population growth is going to be the most important early on.


DW Part 01 - 12

Since I only have contact with a single pirate faction, and not a normal empire, I set my spy to counter intelligence. I use to send my spies against pirates early on, especially in the prewarp game, but more often than not I end up losing them.


DW Part 01 - 13

I really don’t want to lose my lone scientist, so I’m going to leave him on my capitals spaceport.


Next episode will include more exploring, more base building, and I may even run into a new empire or two.

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