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About LarryC

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  1. I did not find this to be true on my Normal playthroughs. It may be true on higher difficulty settings. On Normal, Pirates do not possess significant ground attack forces and cannot take planets. So long as you settle on systems away from them, you don't really need to engage them at all. Fleets disbanded into the shipyards cannot be attacked by Pirates, and I note that if they can't attack or blockade anything, they tend to move on. Once you have 7 Command Points and either an Attack or a Defense Medium ship, you can deal with most Pirate attacks fairly handily. I've beaten Pirates on Normal and NOT been the most militarily threatening empire. In addition, most homeworlds are located deep into enemy territories, and holding onto that many planets requires advanced Empire techs. You could easily plunge your empire into neverending Anarchy if you take too many planets too fast. This assumes that you have a ground force capable of invasion. You need ground force technologies, upgrades, and Manpower to do that effectively. It is by no means assured that being able to deal with Pirates in space equips you to invade every empire in your game.
  2. I'm not entirely sure I can agree with a lot of criticisms in this podcast and thread. Maybe it's because I'm playing the game on Normal? First three games - of course I play it on Normal. 1. Starlanes. You don't need to use Starlanes. The Starlanes allow the ships to go much faster, but you can direct your ships to bypass them entirely so long as you have vision of your system destination. Once you have full vision of the galaxy, the starlanes are strictly optional. 2. I've had to choose between approaches and techs in ES2 that made it appear as if I had several equivalent choices. The podcasters had boasted about their power with Beam weapons, but those generally generate numbers much less than the stuff you can get with Kinetic Weapons. And it's not like Kinetic Weapons don't offer longer range options. A mixed loadout of guns and missiles can approximate the output of an all-Beam ship, and it'll punch right through the Shields of Pirates. Speaking of... 3. I didn't really have a problem with how strong Pirates were? Maybe it's the Normal setting. Pirates will generally field at best, 1 or two Medium ships and 2 or 3 Small ships. And their loadout is completely predictable. You can even just click on them to find out, yeah? Shields counter their Beam weapons, Kinetic weapons punch through their Shields. Autonomous Construction from Military gets you to 7 Command Points, Efficient Shielding gets you Attacker and Defender ships. These are usually the only techs I need to fend off Pirate attacks indefinitely. I might be bothered to get Advanced Fusion Power, for a net of 4 techs in Military. 4. I'm three games in and in all three games, I was part of an alliance and won that way. Victories are by alliance, and not individual, so you only need to be allied to everyone and have everyone complete the necessary techs to get a vic. In addition, the first part of the Heretic quest gifts a pretty strong Cleaver beam weapon and a very strong Lodestone system improvement to whoever completes it to advantage. Since there are nine lodestone locations, your faction only needs 5 to win. In the second part of the quest, factions need to hold the involved locations with Hero-led fleets.