Stellaris Diary Part 2: An End to Slavery

When I last left off, things were starting to look good for my Space Penguins. I was friends with two of the three surrounding alien civilisations, there seemed to be plenty of room to expand to the west, and I was in a reasonable position with my economy and research rates. All in all it was a good position to be starting this new session from. I continued in much the same way I had left off – exploring to the west, nurturing relations with my non-arsey neighbours, and developing better technologies with which to improve my fleet. I also decommissioned a frontier post from my northern territory and rebuilt it to the west so it would be a little more useful for the expansion that I had in mind for there. Everything was looking good until I hit a slight hiccup in my plans for galactic Penguin domination.

My science ship had uncovered a bloody Fallen Empire. Fallen Empires are the grumpy granddads of Stellaris and begin the game with all technology already unlocked, as well as an overwhelming military superiority. They are not to be messed with until much later in the game and even then it can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, they don’t expand, and unless you upset them they will generally leave you alone. Unluckily for me, the fallen empire to my west were military isolationists. They need to have an unbroken area of unsettled space around their borders to avoid inviting a curb stomping. That pretty much put a pin in my grand scheme for western expansion, although I did have some limited room to colonise and develop, so my efforts had not been completely in vain. I established an embassy with them in the hopes that they would go easy on me but I had no real illusions that this would work.

I was starting to get a little boxed in. The Fallen Empire to my west was a brick wall that I had no hope of breaking through, while territory to my north and south was rapidly being eaten up, and expanding to the east would shatter any hope I had for a partnership with my two friendly neighbours who had now entered an alliance together. Despite my attempts to worm my way into this alliance with research agreements, migration access and non-aggression pledges, I was not having a great deal of success. I was forced to focus on developing the territory I already had, and to look to the north for any chance of expansion.

Now that the immediate area had been pretty well explored I sent my science ship off to the farthest reaches of the galaxy in the search of other alien civilisations. I was rewarded with a trickle and soon a flood of newly discovered civilisations. The galaxy had apparently over indulged at the buffet of life and was now bursting at the seams with all sort of empires, federations, and other amalgamations.

However, in my little Penguin corner of the galaxy there weren’t any new trends. My friend to the south continued to expand while the gas bags to the north continued to be a frustration, and established colonies on my borders were further boxing me in. I needed to enter this alliance if I was to have any hope at curtailing my arsey neighbours and spreading the good Penguin news to the galaxy. I was forced to drop my slavery policy to improve relations, but even this didn’t seem enough. A difference in vaguely labelled “war ethics” was preventing me from requesting to join the alliance, and I was forced to simply take my knocks and continue on despite the ever-increasing likelihood of becoming a tiny washed up empire of kooky Penguins.

I had fallen behind in almost all areas, especially in research. Almost every empire I was in contact with had a superior level of technology and that was rapidly becoming a problem. I began to focus on improving my research rates by building more research buildings and stations where possible. It began to look like I would need to expand dangerously close to the Fallen Empire in order to access some boosts to research, but that wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.

After scrapping slavery I was no longer receiving any benefits from my current form of government, and I decided to reform into a more suitable form. By making the switch to a Transcendent Oligarchy I gained a 20% decrease in ethics divergence, which helps to keep Penguins Penguiny. I also reduced the cost of recruiting new leaders by 30%, which was very useful as at this point many of my original leaders were looking a little grey around the beak. I was still falling behind my rivals, but this change in government gave me a small boost and my situation was further improved when I finally received some good news.

I had been invited to join my neighbour’s alliance! But you don’t get anything for free. My new allies wanted to wage war against a large empire to the south in order to liberate some planets from its control and weaken its grasp on its territory. This was my Penguins’ first chance at showing off their ability at war since we had dealt with our little pirate problem. Luckily I had spent a good deal of my time and resources on growing and upgrading my fleet. My allies brought their fleets to my home system to join with mine and we set off south to engage the enemy empire and occupy their planets. We faced a slight setback when our first engagement turned into an absolute massacre with the entirety of my fleet being lost and my allies suffering major casualties. I franticly rebuilt my fleet and after regrouping with my allies we managed to win a pitched battle and destroyed the entirety of their naval forces. We made a beeline straight for their capital and they very quickly surrendered. My Penguins seem to be alright at this warfare lark.

I’d somehow managed to go from a very poor position where I had been overshadowed and left behind, to winning a war against a powerful empire. Things were once again looking bright for my Penguins. My alliance brought me a security that had been proved to be a success against a stronger empire and it seemed that, as long as I could convince my allies to join me, we could face almost any threat. Around us the galaxy had continued to shift and change, and a number of big players had become apparent. Despite the sheer magnitude of the challenge ahead, the recent success of our alliance made the eventual Penguin domination of the galaxy seem like an inevitable eventuality.

With our enemies to the south defeated and our position strengthened, I now turned my eye to the north and the hordes of floating bags of gas. Their time had finally come.

Last five articles by Neil



  1. Mark Zero says:

    Really enjoying these mate and I love this game. My own penguin empire is now a staunch ally in my main human game, and helped me in my war against one of the elder races. I pushed them back after years of war to their home systems, which consisted of shattered ring worlds. I laid waste to them, only to have the game decide that was enough war, teleporting my fleet back to my own system, leaving a very angry elder race to rebuild.

    The bug set me back quite a bit. Brilliant game though, so much can happen.

  2. Ste Ste says:

    Go Team Penguin. Looked more into this but it’s still a bit too expensive given my currently limited time in which to play it. It also didn’t go cheap enough in the Steam sale either. Will keep an eye on it though and look to pick it up in the future when the price is better and I get more time.

    Looking forward to the next chapter.

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