Last time Andrew and I met over a game of Twilight Imperium, he beat the ever-living snot out of me. This time I was out for revenge!!!
Alas, it was not meant to be.
However, this time we got the carnage in pictures! I'm gray, Andrew orange.
I ran into horrible trouble right away. Two of my exploration fleets ran into Distant Suns counters that killed most of my infantry. Getting a good start can be so crucial and this immediately put me behind the curve because now I have to spend two turns to go back to get more infantry, or build a new fleet to send out. On the other side, Andrew ran into trade good depots. This trend would continue.
Andrew makes a big push to the middle of the board to occupy a great system beside Mecatol Rex, while I moved laterally to shore up my disrupted advance. Worth noting that Andrew got a free Spacedown on his advanced on the top-left of the image. And more trade goods. Meanwhile, I lost another infantry to a toxic spill. Sigh.
I wanted to make a push for the centre but before I could, Andrew jumped some forces to the planet I was eyeing up. Desperate, I tried to claim some space there but as you can see from the zoom below, I was badly outgunned:
He has 3 Dreadnoughts... I have two cruisers. In Eve it would be like me taking 2 destroyers up against 3 battleships.
At this point I added up his resources and my resources to see how far behind I was. The thinking being if I could deliver a couple stunning victories, I might pull myself back into this game. I was getting 21, a decent amount... but he had amassed 44. Quite simply speaking, I could destory his entire fleet and he could still build more ships than I could muster. He agreed with my assessment and I conceded with the hope of getting a second match in right away.
Feeling that the Distant Suns random markers really screwed me over and helped to boost Andrew at the same time, we decided to try a game without them. With the uncertainty of exploration removed we both were able to expand rapidly and concentrate on positioning more, and finally my flawed strategy was revealed without being obfuscated by random events.
Andrew advanced much the same as before, and I was able to secure my backfield without disaster.
But as the turns developed, while I consolidated my control over numerous systems near my home, my opponent leaped over systems to attack directly into the middle once again. I launched a counterattack with a Warsun but found myself exposed and vulnerable.
I choose to fall back and Andrew took the retreat to attack, blockading and invading several system in my home region. I tried to fight him off but I was on my heels and despite successfully beating up one fleet of his, random enemies and more orange fleets to back them up hemmed me in and Andrew took control of the game.
Seeing my doom, I conceding once more.
Analysis: without the bad luck I was able to see the flaw in my plan. While securing a solid industrial base close to home gave me lots of resources to build with, it limited my tactical options for blunting Andrew's fleets advances, allowing him to strike where I was vulnerable and fight on my turf while building up resources and bases in the middle of the board, ensuring I would never be able to take it back.
On a board where home systems are so far away from Mecatol Rex and the powerful centre, a fast advance to a forward base is crucial even if it means ignoring valuable resources in the backfield. Lesson finally learned.
Next time Nemesis! Next time!