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[AAR] Solar Destiny (PAUSED indefinitely)

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:49 pm
by ElegantCaveman
Disclaimer: This AAR is based on Beta version 0.29.1; you may notice some differences with other versions.

First of all, I've never done one of these before, so go easy on me. ;)

Second, this will be image-heavy, so instead of directly linking the original images in the thread (which are 1920x1080, except the first one), I'll be posting smaller versions instead. Under each image (except the first one) will be a link to the full-sized, full-resolution version, for those who are interested.

Third, considering I've never done an AAR before, I pretty much have no idea what I'm doing. It's possible I'll go into too much detail, or not enough, or a mix of both; comments are welcome. Please let me know what you want to see. More of some things, less of others, etc.

I'll be making this AAR with the new player in mind, explaining things along the way as much as possible. But please keep in mind I'm new to Pandora, having only started playing this week, so if you know something I don't and I make a mistake, do let me know!

One more thing (a warning, really): I tend to be ranty. So if walls of text are a problem for you, consider yourself warned.

I'll start with 1 month (turn) = 1 post. We'll see how that goes, might change later.

Game Setup

With that out of the way, let's get started! I'll be playing as Prime Minister Yun Xi, leader of Solar Dynasty. Welcome to Pandora.


Before we dive right in, let's go into what these settings mean. This is with new players in mind. Feel free to skip this part and go straight to the action, if you'd like.

Faction: Pandora has 6 factions to choose from, each with their own personality, "flavor", and special bonuses & penalty. I've decided to go for Solar Dynasty in this case because I find them to be one of the strongest. Let's take a look at their modifiers:
  • Industrious: Production is how fast you build stuff (both units and buildings), so of course, the more you have, the better. +50% is a huge bonus, and this will give us a nice advantage over the other factions. I'm also a Builder by nature, so this fits my play-style nicely.
  • Fertile: Don't underestimate how powerful +25% growth can be. Unlike other games of the genre, you can't boost city growth by having more food; as far as I know, there's only one other special ability in the game that affects your growth, beyond the natural mechanics.
  • Exploitive: Starting with a free former is not a huge deal, but it's a nice little extra. One former is enough for a good while, which means it'll save us some production time which can be used on something else instead.
  • Reckless: Pollution is a relatively minor problem, and though +50% increase is quite a bit, considering the bonuses we're getting, this is a great trade-off.
World Size: There are 5 sizes: Tiny, Small, Medium, Large and Huge. I've picked the smallest for a shorter game, and so that things get "interesting" (i.e. I get killed by my neighbors) faster. World size also affects number of factions (though this can be tweaked in the advanced settings, which I won't be touching for this game), so we'll only start with 3 random AI factions.

World Shape: There are three world shapes to choose from: Archipelago, Continents and Pangea. With Pangea, everybody's on one big landmass together, and I thought that might make for more "interesting" (again, me getting killed) gameplay.

Difficulty: Medium is the middle difficulty, with two easier ones and two harder ones. So we're going with that.

Alien Aggression: Same as difficulty, but only as it relates directly to Pandora's indigenous life-forms.

Pace: There are four different pace settings, and we're going with the quickest, which reduces production and research costs by 50%. This is to have a quicker game overall.

So there you have it, that's our setup. Next, planetfall...

Brave New World

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:51 pm
by ElegantCaveman
January 2107 (Turn 1)

And so our adventure begins! Grab a drink and get comfortable, this first post will be a pretty big one, since we're just starting.


We've made planetfall, and it seems our starting position is actually pretty good. There are some alien ruins immediately to the south-west (these give random bonuses when you send a unit to investigate them) and we have some Xenite Flowers nearby (the red things immediately to the east; I'll get back to that later).

Near the bottom-center-right of the screen, just above the mini-map, you can see that we've received notifications of these facts. Watch that space; that's where important information shows up.

We begin play with a Colonizer (unit to make a base), Colonial Troopers (most basic fighting unit) and a free Former, because we're awesome (formers allow you to build improvements, like farms, mines and roads).

I should have taken a screenshot of the city I founded, before doing anything else, but I'm an idiot, so I didn't (you'll get to see how things look at the end of the turn, though). I was in too much of a rush to find out what's in that alien ruin!

But before we do that, let's look at our tech, and pick something...


I'm starting with Mineral Refining, because minerals are very important. I'll talk more about them a bit later, though, when I go over all the resources. For the time being, all you need to know is that minerals = win. The Refining array, once built, will not only give us two bonus minerals in that city, but will make our miners 25% more efficient as well. This is good stuff.

Now let's go take a look at those alien ruins... after all, we've just landed on an alien world, and there are ruins! What interesting things might we find there?! Let's also send our little former up in the north-east to explore a bit, since we can wait a few turns before actually putting it to work. Nice! More ruins to go explore!


Wow!! That's actually really awesome. This means that we get our Mineral Refining tech unlocked right away. Very nice boost to get early on. So let's go back to our Research menu and pick another tech.

This time, I'm picking Naval Transportation Logistics (which allows our units to embark on water in weak-but-relatively-fast transport boats). Not because I particularly want that tech (though it's nice to have), but because I've got my eye on something else down the line...


Two more techs down the line, we reach Colonization Fervor. This is awesome because it gives us a free Colonizer, which is very useful early on since Colonizers take a while to produce and they use up a population in the city where they're built (this free Colonizer doesn't use up population). We're not there yet, of course, but I'm planning ahead.

When picking your research, it's good to look at what's coming available soon, think about what you might want next. It's about prioritizing.

Also keep in mind that the tech tree is semi-random every game. Things move around a bit, so the path to what you want might not always be the same (for example, Mineral Refining could have been on the second tier of tech instead of the first).

We're almost done, but the next part's gonna be a long one... let's take a look at our city!


Okay, there's lots going on here. We'll take it step by step. Let's start in the upper-left corner and look at resources.

Completely in the top-left of the screen, you can see four resources (even when you're not in city view): Food, Minerals, Research and Credits. These are global values, shared amongst all of your cities. The first number is how much of that resource you currently have, and the second number (in parenthesis) is how much you're making/losing this turn (each turn is one month).

Just a bit below that, once you're in city view, you can see various values for that specific city (mousing over each of these gives you more detailed info):
  • Habitat: This indicates the available "living space" of your city. Each point of Population takes up a point of Habitat. You can go "over your limit", but this negatively affects Morale.
  • Growth: How fast your city is growing. On mouse-over, it will tell you how many turns until your next Population gain.
  • Food: How much Food you're producing.
  • Minerals: How much Minerals you're producing.
  • Production: How much Production you're... well, producing.
  • Research: How many Research points you're producing. (remember Mineral Refining? That cost 8 Research, so we would have been done in 2 turns)
  • Credits: Money, moolah, bling, cash, whatever you want to call it.
  • Morale: Positive Morale gives you a bonus to the output of the other resources. Conversely, negative Morale gives you a penalty.
  • Pollution: Pollution affects Morale; the more Pollution there is, the less people are happy. The various jobs you assign to your populace each have a varying Pollution cost (with Scientists having the lowest impact and Workers having the highest).
Speaking of your populace, let's take a look at the jobs next (Population, just under Statistics)...

A new city starts with a population of 1. As it grows, you gain a larger workforce. Unlike other games of the genre, you can't assign people to specific territories (tiles/hexes) in Pandora; you give them a job, and they automatically get assigned to the best territory for that tile (for Food or Minerals; Workers and Scientists don't get assigned to territories).

You change jobs by dragging and dropping. Very simple system. Also, the lock button next to each lets you make sure new people go where you want them to, which can minimize micro. Say you have all the Farmers, Miners and Workers you want, you can lock all three so that whenever the city grows, new people automatically become Scientists (I'm not sure exactly how it works if you leave them all unlocked).

Take a look at the center of the screen for a moment. See how territories have little icons and numbers?

We can see the Xenite Flowers here (just east of our city), which are a special resource. You don't have to build any special improvement on them; simply having them within your city's area is enough to get the +50% bonus to Production (which is totally awesome!). The little green icon above means food. So that territory, if it was being worked, would give us +1 food.

See the forested hills just below? There's the green thing, a blue thing, and a little barrel. The blue thing is Minerals, and the barrel is Pollution. If that territory was worked, it could give +1 to Food and/or +1 to Minerals (you would need one Farmer and one Miner to get both; one person can't do both things!).

The -1 to Pollution is a special feature of forests; like the Xenite Flowers' special bonus to Production, the Pollution reduction of forests is automatic as long as the territory is within your borders.

So, okay, moving on: below Population, you can see Buildings, which shows you what buildings exist in the city you're looking at. We're just starting, so for now, there's just your Headquarters. Let's move to the right side of the screen.

Under Production Options, you can see what you can build. Usually Units and Buildings, but there are a few other things as well which you can unlock with tech. You can also convert Production to Credits by using the Wealth option (this converts 1 Production into 4 Credits).

Since we got lucky with our ruins and already unlocked our Refining Array, let's build that!

We're not making any money, though, so let's take a look at the Economy screen... (we're also losing a lot of minerals, but that's temporary)


Usually it pops up in the middle of your screen, but I moved it over so you could still see the stuff behind a bit better. This is actually one of the super-cool features of Pandora which you don't see often enough in games: you can move around pretty much all the pop-up windows, which can come in handy at times.

So okay, economy...

This screen will give you an overview of how all of your cities are doing and allow you to change your taxes.

You can also assign jobs from this screen, and set new production. This can be useful when you have a lot of cities. Which we don't, yet. But that's not why we're here.

We're here to look at taxes.

Notice how in the last screenshot, the city's Morale was higher but we were making less money?

The default tax rate you start with is 50%; raising taxes lowers Morale (and lowering taxes raises Morale, obviously). Considering I have nothing to lose by doing so, I've raised my taxes as high as I could without going into negative Morale, so now I'm making 1 Credit per turn, instead of the 0 I was getting before.

This isn't a lot, of course, but every little bit helps. It might mean giving me a few more turns of running a negative economy later, who knows.

Aaaannndd... that's it for now! Whew. Finally.


So this is how things look after the first turn.

We've established our first city, mighty Vanderbilt; our Colonial Troopers have explored some creepy alien ruins and found some fancy-techy stuff which gave us a head start on our tech research, and our poor little Formers are out wandering in the wilderness, and have discovered another alien ruin for us to go explore!

Not bad for our first month on Pandora.

Fauna & Flora

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:52 pm
by ElegantCaveman
February 2107 (Turn 2)

Okay, so our first month was a busy one, but we were getting started, and there was a lot to look at. Things should get a lot simpler from now on. Let's see what happens next...


Good news, everyone! Because of the research boost we got from the ruin last month, we've already finished researching Naval Transportation Logistics.

Also, it seems we have a visitor!

In the north-east, you can see some Xenomorph Drones which have just walked into our line of sight. Xenomorph Drones are the basic alien unit; the local equivalent to our Colonial Troopers, if you will.

Alien lifeforms, at first, are mostly placid. So this is nothing to worry about quiet yet. They'll just wander about and not cause trouble... for now. The fact that they're there, though, hints at the possibility of an alien Hive in the east (Hives are basically alien "cities"; they slowly produce alien units).

Something to look into at some point, but doesn't matter for now. Let's look at our research options instead.


We're going to research Damage Evasion next. This is a Device which can be added to your units in the Workshop. There are many Devices, each with their own special effect; this one gives the unit a +25% bonus when defending.

Nice to have, but we're researching this for the two techs it unlocks: Colonization Fervor (which we looked at last time) and Industrial Automation.

Industrial Automation is basically like Mineral Refining, except it affects Production instead of Minerals. This is a great building, and should be at the top of your list. The sooner you get it, the more efficient you are at building anything else!

We'll see which of these two we want once we're done researching Damage Evasion.


And that's the end of this month.

I've moved the Troopers up, towards the ruins. The former's going south to continue exploring.

Something I forgot to mention last time: see the purple stuff in the south-west? That's fungus.

Fungus is basically alien flora, and quite troublesome, at least early on. It gives you no resources, slows down movement, and if you have some in a city's zone of influence, it raises pollution.

Later on, though, there are some techs which give big boosts to fungus!

Knowledge Is Power

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:52 pm
by ElegantCaveman
March 2107 (Turn 3)

I send my Former further south, still exploring, and my Troopers finally reach the second alien ruins...


Again?! That's amazing. Last game I played, I kept getting Food, which was useless (as long as you have enough food, you're okay... remember what I said earlier about extra food not helping with growth). But this... this is great.

We're running out of Minerals, but I'll get back to that in a minute.

We're only in the third month, and we've got an impressive lead on tech. This most recent boost has allowed us to finish researching Damage Evasion already, so let's see what we'll research next...


Okay, you know what? I'm really tempted by Industrial Automation, but I'm going to go with Colonization Fervor instead. The land near the mountains that the Former scouted would make a nice spot for a Minerals-focused city.

It's gonna take us a while to finish researching it anyway, and who knows what we'll find in the meantime.

For now, let's see what we can do about our lack of Minerals.


Not too bad. All I had to do was tell my poor lonely Worker to become a Miner instead. The Refining Array will take an extra turn to complete, but that's fine.

Obligatory Onsen Episode

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:53 pm
by ElegantCaveman
April 2107 (Turn 4)

Short and sweet! Not much happening this month, just some exploration. But we make an interesting discovery...


The Former keeps exploring south, and sees a Devourer. Devourers are huge (and powerful) alien bird-lizards or something. Like the Xenomorph Drones we met earlier, this is nothing to worry about... for now.

But more importantly, my Colonial Troopers have discovered some Hot Springs in the arctic just north-west of Vanderbilt!

It otherwise looks like a crappy area, but Hot Springs are a special resource/feature, like the Xenile Flowers; they give +4 Morale when inside a city's borders, which is really nice. I think I know where I'll be sending my free Colonizer...

Our First Building

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:55 pm
by ElegantCaveman
May 2107 (Turn 5)

Since I know where I'll be building my next city, I decide to bring my Former back and put it to work. I also send my Troopers exploring further north, to see what's around the Hot Springs.



So, that's pretty much a crappy bit of land, but that's okay. With a lot of water nearby, it can be a Food/Research city. There are also more ruins nearby, yay!

My Troopers also spot a Scite, which are weak flying aliens.

My Refining Array is finally complete (notice I'm making more Minerals per turn now), but because of its upkeep, I'm losing Credits now.

Let's see what we can do about that and choose what we'll build next.


Not much to build, so let's train a second unit of Colonial Troopers, could come in handy.

As for Credits, I -could- raise my taxes, but they're already pretty high, so I'd rather not. Let's take a look at our growth first (mouse-over Growth in Statistics)...

Oh, look at that! I'll be gaining Population next turn! More Population = more taxes. So that's fine, we'll just leave things as they are.

Note: You can also see how many turns are left before a city grows on the main map. If you look in the previous screenshot, you'll see "1/1" next to the city name. This is "Present Population/Turns Until Next". I always forget to look at this, though, which is why I forgot to point it out earlier, or make it more prominent in any of my screenshots. Oops. :oops:

I'm On A Boat

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:55 pm
by ElegantCaveman
June 2107 (Turn 6)

Turns out it's a good thing we got Naval Transportation Logistics earlier, because those Scites we discovered last month have decided to get in our way. No problem, let's just go around them!


Our Troopers are on a boat and they'll reach the ruins next month, unless something else gets in the way. Just north of the ruins, we can see an alien Hive. That's something we'll have to take care of at some point, especially since we're planning on founding a city nearby.

Back home, the Former has returned to our controlled territory. We can start putting it to work next month.

Vanderbilt has also grown, and now we've got a positive income again. Yay taxes!

Back on the topic of growth and information about it, you can see a 2 to the left of the city name, which is the current population, and a 5 between the name and the 2, which is how many turns before the city's population grows once more. The 3 on the right, of course, is how long it'll take for the Colonial Troopers we're training to be ready.

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:55 pm
by ElegantCaveman
July 2107 (Turn 7)

We move our Former north and start building a mine on the hill. Mines raise the Minerals output of their territory by 1 (and Farms, as you can imagine, would raise Food by 1 instead).

The Scites move south to the Hot Spring, and our Colonial Troopers disembark on land, finally exploring the ruins. New unit!


So now we have our very own Xenomorph Drones. They're a pretty weak unit (and you can't upgrade them), but they might come in handy. Upkeep is also low, so they're not a big strain on our economy.

Landing our Troopers where the ruins were also reveals the Xenomorph Hive, which presently has some Xenomorph Drones and a Xenomorph Queen in it. The queen will lay eggs, though (or whatever it is she does to make more xenos), and our little alien neighbors' population will grow with time until we take care of the problem. But that won't be for a while.

In the meantime, let's send our new Xenomorph Drones to kill those Scites, since they seem to like getting in the way, and we should be getting our free colony next turn (notice at the top of the screen, where it says "Colonization Fervor [1 turns]").

The Drones easily kill the Scites, though they're now wounded, which you'll see next month. I didn't want to clutter the page with another screenshot, but you can see the combat screen here if you want. This little info screen shows up when you have a unit selected and mouse-over an enemy unit, giving you an estimate of your odds. They're not 100% accurate, but they're usually right.


Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:56 pm
by ElegantCaveman
August 2107 (Turn 8)

And we have our new Colonizer!!


You can also see that our Drones are now wounded, their power being 0.6 instead of the 2.0 from before. We'll make them heal and stay where they are, since the spot they're on is actually the spot where I want to be sending my colony.

Units can heal anywhere, but it's not as efficient if they're not in a base. Right now, though, we don't care.

Also notice that we're down to 0 income. That's because of the upkeep from both our Drones and the new Colonizer, each costing 1 upkeep.

Well, let's take a look at our Research tree and pick what's next...


Alright, time for Industrial Automation. I want that extra Production.

Also seems our new Colonial Troopers will be finished training next month, good timing.

Our Troopers up north have decided to go on a cruise, might as well send them off to explore more while I'm in the area.

New Friend!

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:56 pm
by ElegantCaveman
September 2107 (Turn 9)

Oh ho, what's this?

Sending our cruising Troopers north, we meet a new neighbor!


Well met, Admiral. May our relationship be a long and friendly one.

Before I go on, let's talk a bit about diplomacy:

Once you've made contact with rival factions, you can contact them via the Diplomacy menu at any time, and you have many options open to you. Some aren't always available, but for the most part, you can say whatever you want.

Unlike some games, all diplomatic actions are available straight from the beginning. So as soon as you meet someone, you can offer a trade pact, research pact, open borders, etc.; no need to unlock diplomatic actions through tech. Let's take a look at what our options are (description texts taken from the game):
  • Non-Aggression Pact: "A non-aggression pact lasts at least 10 turns and prevents both factions from declaring war on each other for the duration of the pact and another 5 turns after the pact has been terminated."
  • Open Borders: "Allows both factions to enter each other's controlled territories."
  • Trading Pact: "A trading pact grants a bonus up to 10% (based on its duration) of a faction's total income per turn to the partner. Thus, the faction with the lower income per turn profits more from the pact."
  • Research Pact: "A research pact grants a bonus up to 10% (based on its duration) of a faction's total research per turn to the partner. Thus, the faction with the lower income per turn profits more from the pact."
  • Share Maps: "Both factions share their explored territories, but the fog of war is not revealed."
  • Offer Gift: "A financial gift that, if accepted, increases the standing of the donor with the receiver."
  • Demand Tribute: "Usually a sign of dominance of one faction over another, asking for financial tribute as well as not paying the tribute has a negative impact on the relationship between both factions."
  • Praise Publicly: "Public words of praise that, if accepted, increase the standing of the praised faction with your friends but decrease the faction's standing with your rivals."
  • Denounce Publicly: "Public accusations that decrease the standing of the denounced faction with your friends but increase the faction's standing with your rivals. If denied, the impact is lessened."
  • Declare War: "A war drastically decreases the standing between two factions and allows each party to enter the enemy's territory, attack their units and capture cities."
The descriptions for Praise and Denounce are a bit confusing, I'm not sure how that works, exactly. When you praise someone and they accept your kind words (they can reject if they want), your relationship with them will improve. Yet, the description only mentions your friends and rivals, not yourself or the person you're talking to.

But anyway, yes, it can affect your direct relationship, not just that of others. So when I meet someone, I try to praise them.

In this case, Mr. James Heid rejected my praise (He won't accept my praise? Well, I won't call him Admiral, then! :P).

He did accept a non-aggression pact, a trade pact, a research pact and to share maps, though, so that's some pretty good news!

Let's take a look at his map...


Okay, so he has a single city, with a population of 2, just like mine. I, on the other hand, just got a free Colonizer, and will have a second city soon!

He's got an Observatory nearby, though, I'm kind of jealous about that (the tower two territories east of my Cruisin' Troopers). Observatories are special features like Xenite Flowers or Hot Springs; just having them within a city's range gives you their bonus. In this case, the bonus is +50% research, so that's pretty sweet!

There are also some alien ruins a bit east of his Troopers, but I'm not going to bother trying to go there, he'll be there next turn.

The Xenomorph Hive is also right in the way, on the only land bridge connecting our two areas, so it acts as a natural buffer, which is pretty cool.

All in all, a pretty good start to our turn. We've also finished training our new Colonial Troopers, so let's move them and choose what we'll build next.


Okay, so I've sent the Troopers exploring south-ward, let's see what we can find in that direction.

We were losing 1 Credit per turn, so I'm just going to convert some Production into wealth for a bit. I've got a base Production of 2, which converts into 8 Credits, for a net gain of 7 Credits per turn. Not bad.

Next month, we get a second city!

It's A Small World

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:24 pm
by ElegantCaveman
October 2107 (Turn 10)

Our Fearless Cruisin' Troopers head west, doing some more explorin'.

Our Former finished building the mine last turn, so now we move it west to the forest. From there, we'll build a road going north to...


Our new city! Welcome to Yue Fei.

Notice that the territory between the city and the Hive isn't red. That's because Hives exert a "zone of control" around themselves which can't be exploited by a city. If I want one of my city's Farmers or Miners to work that territory, I'll have to destroy the Hive first.

Now let's go see what our new Troopers in the south are up to... we're going to keep moving south with them and see what we can find.


Oh wow, I hadn't realized how small the world was! I guess when they say Tiny, they really mean it. I've only played on Medium and Huge maps up to now, so this small scale is taking some getting used to. That's fine, though, that's exactly what I wanted for this AAR.

So our Imperium neighbors are closer than I thought, and we're right next to an alien ruin. Guess we know where those Troopers are going next turn.

Now that we have a new city, though, we need to go check it out and make it produce something.


Nothing complicated here, we'll have it make a Refining Array so we can get a bit of Minerals out of this city.

It's not a great spot for a city, but I wanted to take advantage of the Hot Springs, so here we are. This city won't produce much in terms of Minerals, but it'll be decent for Food, and I can always make it focus on Research. You can never have too much Research.

Our capital's not building anything right now, just amassing Credits, so let's go take a look over there and see if we can't do something more interesting with it.


Ah, home sweet home, Mighty Vanderbilt.

So here I've switched production from Wealth to Colonizer. Our net credit production was down to -1 last turn, which is why I switched to Wealth, but now that we've built Yue Fei, we're getting more credits from taxes, and we're up to a net +3 Credits per turn, even without Wealth!

So let's get started on a Colonizer.

I know what you're thinking... 16 turns is a long time! I could switch my jobs around and make it go faster, but I'm already at -1 food, and if I switched my Miner or Scientist into a Worker to make the production go faster, I'd be in the negative with Minerals. We don't need another Colonizer right away, so I'll just slowly work on it for now; I can make it go faster later.

The way Production works in Pandora is different from what you might be used to in other 4x. Often, if you cancel something you're building and switch to something else, you basically lose the turns you spent working on the first thing. Not so in this case.

If I decide I want to build something other than my Colonizer, however much Production will have gone into it by that point will be saved, and I'll pick up where I left off when I go back to making it.

So right now, I'm just "stocking" a bit of Production for my next Colonizer.

Oh Shi—

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:49 pm
by ElegantCaveman
November 2107 (Turn 11)

Oh no, New Friend, say it ain't so! :o

That back-stabbing bastard... I guess we won't be BFFs after all...


So it turns out our new friend, Admiral James Heid, is not much of a friend after all.

For no reason... out of the blue... a mere few months after meeting me, he publicly denounces me. At least he's still Polite. Which is a bit odd, honestly, but whatever. I guess he has issues or something. Maybe he's not happy we founded our second city. He's probably just jealous.

I'm gonna reject his denouncement, because he clearly doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm a totally cool guy. Not at all a narcissitic evil mastermind bent on world domination. Nope, not me.

So let's ignore him and keep explorin' with our awesome Cruisin' Troopers in their fancy little boat.


Oh... oh god... oh god no... :shock:

Maybe it won't eat me? I don't know... I guess we'll see.

I've encountered these in other games, but usually seen from afar; I've never had a boat come face to face with one, so I don't know if it'll ignore me like the other local species, or if it finds transport ships to be tasty crunchy snacks.

I'd barely scratch its thick scales. (zoomed-in screenshot with battle estimate window)

My poor Cruisin' Troopers. :(


In the south, we have better news.

Exploring the ruins gives us some food, which is pretty useless, but I'm not going to complain.

Better yet, nearby is a Garden of Eden, awesome! These give a big Food bonus and small Morale bonus. We'll keep this spot in mind as a potential future colony... once the nearby Hive has been dealt with.

Hard To Say Goodbye

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:07 pm
by ElegantCaveman
December 2107 (Turn 12)

Noooooooooo!! My Cruisin' Troopers got eaten by the Aspidoch. :(


In other news... well, not much, really. It's been a slow month, not much happening.

The Former's begun work on the road, and our new Troopers in the south have discovered a new kind of local lifeform: Xenomorph Spitters. These are weak units, but they have a special "ranged" attack. They still need to be in an adjacent territory to attack, but when they attack, you can't fight back, so that can make them a bit troublesome.

And so ends our first year on this new planet.

We have two cities, and things are moving ahead slowly but surely. Our time on Pandora has been—for the most part—peaceful... other than those poor adventurous souls who got eaten by a really big fish. Or lizard. Or whatever the hell that thing was.

R.I.P. Cruisin' Troopers, you will be missed.

Re: [AAR] Solar Destiny (Turn 12)

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:20 pm
by MikeAP
Again....this looks EXACTLY like Civ 5.

How am I the only one that see's the similarities!?

Ruins that give boosts, workers, settlers, and a UI THAT LOOKS NEAR IDENTICAL to that of Civ 5.

Re: [AAR] Solar Destiny (Turn 12)

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:44 pm
by dalves
I haven't played Civ 5. And ruins, settlers and workers already existed in the first Civ, so they are more like common pieces.

Re: [AAR] Solar Destiny (Turn 12)

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:31 am
by ElegantCaveman
There are definitely similarities, and it's kind of "Civ 5... IN SPAAACE!", but that fits, really.

Consider that Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri was a direct spin-off from Civilization II (basically, the outcome of winning the tech victory; same as how you build a spaceship in Civ V). Since Pandora's a spiritual successor to SMAC, the similarities to the latest Civ game fits.

There's also the fact that these are all basic elements found in many/most 4x games, and that Pandora's core mechanics are interestingly different from other games of the genre.

So... does Pandora remind me of Civ V? Sure. But it also reminds me of other similar games. And is that a bad thing? Not at all.

General question about the AAR:

Any thoughts on how I should proceed? Should I keep doing 1 post = 1 turn, or should I skip a few?

I was thinking of giving quarterly reports (every 3 months/turns) for the next year or so, then perhaps switch to yearly reports for a while.

Re: [AAR] Solar Destiny (Turn 12)

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:57 am
by MizzouRah
Well done, excellent job!

Lunch Money

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:05 pm
by ElegantCaveman
January 2108 (Turn 13)

And so begins our second year on this strange and wonderul alien world.

Oh, what's this? Seems someone wants to say hello, maybe wish us a happy new year...


... or not.

Seriously, James? Demanding tribute? That's not nice... not nice at all. Here we are, on this dangerous new world where we should be helping each other, and you go and ask me for my lunch money.

Well, let's see how much you want... 9 Credits? Fine. Take it. I just don't care anymore. I'll bide my time... I'll remember this...

You disappoint me, James. I thought we could be friends, James.

I could reject his demand, of course, and that wouldn't mean he'd declare war on me right away like in some other games (*coughCivVcough*), but you know what they say... keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Right now, the last thing I want is deteriorating relations and to be dragged into a pointless war in the near future. One I would win, of course, but one which would divert valuable resources from more pressing matters.

But at least now I know where we stand. One day, James, I'll come for you. One day. But not today.


And Industrial Automation has been researched! Excellent. This will be the first brick in the wall of your undoing, James. I'm not sure how walls can bring about someone's undoing, but, well, we'll see... maybe he'll crash his car into it or something. And he'll have forgotten to buckle his seat-belt; that'll teach him.


Next, we'll research Synthetic Fertilizer. This works just like Mineral Refining, but for Food instead. It'll also lead us to Assault Tactics, which gives us a Device that improves our units' power by 25% when attacking, which is quite nice.

For when I attack you, James. For when I attack you.

What Big Teeth You Have

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:13 pm
by ElegantCaveman
February 2108 (Turn 14)

Not much happening this month, just a bit of exploring. We discover a nearby Observatory and a new local life-form:


Galeths are big and powerful but—thankfully—they're pretty peaceful. I've never had one attack me, actually. I'm sure they do sometimes, but I'm not clear on what might set them off.

For the most part, they just wander around and provide some target practice when you have units that can actually take them out.

That Observatory in the west looks like it's in a pretty sweet spot, so I'll send my Troopers in that direction to scout a bit.


Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:30 pm
by ElegantCaveman
~ Interlude ~

Well, I must say, this has been an interesting experience up to now. Bit more work than I expected, but it's fun.

I'm trying to maintain a mix of educational information with a bit of humor and a dash of storytelling, I hope I'm not getting too long-winded.

As I mentioned in the introduction, comments are welcome. More than that, I look forward to them, really. Praise, (constructive) criticism, whatever. I'm still learning as I go, so you guys can help me shape this AAR with your input.

Comments aside, you're also more than welcome to ask any questions you might have about the game. I can't promise I have all the answers, but I'll do my best to help.

Don't forget that the main point of this AAR is to give new players (and people interested in becoming new players) an idea of what this game is like. So if you're curious about something, ask away!

From this point forward (for a while, at least), I'll be making seasonal updates. By this I mean that I'll be making quarterly reports which will each encompass 3 turns (months).

This means a bit less focus on the turn-by-turn play to move the pace along a bit. At first, I'll still mostly be following the same format as before, but with a bit less detail and less screenshots. As things move along, I'll try to give more of a big-picture point of view of happenings.

Considering that this AAR is aimed at new players and that I'm still pretty early in the game, though, I'll still be somewhat detail-oriented as I go over aspects of the game I haven't mentioned before. But the more ground I cover, the less this will be necessary, and the more the pace will pick up.

As the game goes on, things can get both more complicated and more boring (depending on how much stuff is happening on any given turn), so this is a way to condense the experience a bit while still maintaining a certain pace/degree of involvement.

With February behind us and March just around the corner, our next update will be Spring!