Birth of the Federation, an AAR, Part 7

Part 7: Manifest Destiny Ahoy!

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 The last time I recorded the greatness that is my reign as…uh, I mean…the last time I recorded the greatness of the expansion of the peace-loving Federation…was, we had named our ship after some town in northeastern North America so irrelevant it didn’t even get nuked. Or blown up during the Eugenics Wars. Pick your history and stick with it; we’ve got a train of human expansion to ride!

That didn’t sound as good on paper as it did in my head…

So, while the other fledgling colonies scrape and work hard to survive out there in the cold vastness of alien worlds (alien to us, not “aliens” – not yet anyway – shudder), Sol trucks right along. I decide to fill its production queue with a few ships. I like to change things up when shipbuilding to be prepared for any eventuality. Right now our NX-01s are stationary on the edges of their range and unable to do any more splorin’, so I need to get a few Troop Transports in, balanced with a Colony Ship and another NX-01.

 

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Can’t forget, I gotta check in with the “little people” every so often. The Summary button conveniently allows me to access “Systems,” which is a list of all my current human-controlled worlds. Note here that all three systems that Sol has colonized are still small, but they’re growing. They’re not starving, so they’re not revolting…or stinking on ice. I don’t know if they remembered to pack some porto-showers or not. No telling what weird fungus and insects they’re discovering out there!

Speaking of discovering…

My science advisors storm into my corner penthouse suite while I’m getting a massage from the Federation Bikini Team. I briefly consider pushing them out of the window, but instead decide as a leader of the Federation, the people would frown on such measures. They insist their news is worth the interruption, and lay this little gem on me:

 

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Continuium…contin…continu…uhh…yeah, that thing. “The first drive system to significantly exceed the speed of light, this system can propel a starship at true ‘warp’ velocities. It functions by reshaping subspace around the drive system.”

I tell the massage bikini team what I’d like to shape around MY drive system. They giggle. The scientists look uncomfortable. Lighten up, Francis.

In any case, this is indeed exciting news, as it means starships that can travel further. As far as I can tell in Birth of the Federation, upgrades such as these are automatically endowed upon existing starships. This includes weaponry too. Which is kind of interesting – in any ‘newer’ game you could expect to have to shell out quite a bit of production to reinvent your units. Not so here in BOTF. Which is just as well, considering the astronomical distances involved on this Large map.

Get it? “Astronomical?” In SPACE?

Nah, I’m not buying it either.

 

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Next, I tell the brain trust of the Federation to start looking into Energy. That ought to make the liberals happy, not to mention give our systems access to more efficient power-providing solutions, which means freeing up population to pursue a life of religious fulfillment. Unfortunately for them, there’s no ‘religious fulfillment’ category to place pop points in, so they’ll have to make do with farms, industry, or research for now. And LIKE it.

 

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The view from our Galactic East is looking pretty thin. The NX-02 Sandhusky has little to do at the moment, so I’m going to need some more Troop Transports.

 

I tend to be pretty systematic when it comes to deploying Troop Transports; at the present time they project a two-sector radius, so I can deploy them one to every third sector. So, I create a block-like pattern when I build up my network. Maybe it’s some anal need for order, maybe I just like the structure and pattern. Whichever way it is, it’s the way it’s going to be for the time being.

 

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Galactic Northwest has nothing going on either, but to the Galactic North, there’s three systems bordering my range (two green suns and one yellow sun). To our Galactic West and a bit south, there’s another green-sun system. Other than that, there’s no planets left to explore – for the moment.

 

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The Colony Ship USS Smith (seriously, are they JUST not trying anymore in the Federation Ship Naming and Name Enforcement Department (FSNaNED)?) has a limited range, as you can see here, bounded by the green line. Sure, there’s Suvin and Harada, two decent enough systems, but I’m wondering what’s to my north and to my west. If there’s a REALLY juicy system waiting to be colonized, I’d rather wait a few turns for a Troop Transport to put them in range.

 

Then again, beggars can’t be choosers. Yet another compelling decision that Birth of the Federation demands of you is whether or not you should go for colonizing everything nearby, or fling your ships out as fast as they will go and colonize nice-looking systems far from home. This last strategy will leave your systems on the end of very thin and fragile tethers, especially in the early game, but you will know you will get these ripe systems before anyone else does.

Err…that is, if there IS anyone else out there, of course.

 

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The next science vessel, NX-03 Rio Branco (because nothing says ‘space exploration’ like a medium-sized city in far, far western Brazil), has just been commissioned. So too have some Troop Transports and Colony Ships. I’m sending the TTs off to start expanding our borders some more…with the colony ships hopefully on their tails. Instead, I leave the Colony Ships at home, waiting for word as to which system(s) to colonize.


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