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For an introduction to our players and details on the early parts of the game, check out Part 1 of our Let’s Play.

When we last left off, tensions were slowly rising as our players jockeyed for a good position in the galaxy, and struggled to colonize danger-filled worlds next to potentially friendly – or hostile – neighbors.

The shaky peace was not to last, however, as players essentially paired off and started attacking each other: Paul, with limited avenues for expansion into the rest of the universe launched a surprise invasion of Josh, with both sides suffering heavy casualties in the ensuing skirmishes. Meanwhile Janelle came under an unexpected attack from Greg, losing a few of her worlds before bounding back and forcing him to a draw. And on the other side of the galaxy, Justin moved in and conquered Louis’ home system (Louis did drop out partially through this column due to time constraints, but Jon Bolding has volunteered to step in and save the ailing race from extinction), leaving him with a handful of worlds and scrambling frantically to rebuild his defenses.

With a galaxy-wide war in full swing, here’s what our players though of the whole situation.

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King Paul of the Xxcha Says: The foolish N’orr have forced our hand. Their careless explorations have unleashed yet another supernova on our borders, and now we have but one avenue of escape from our territory – through the militant Federation of Sol. They already threatened us if we do not support their supposed claim to the throne on Mecatol, and the Xxcha have grown tired of being treated like a footnote in the annals of galactic history by the likes of the Federation. We do not trust the Federation to take advantage of our limited mobility and slaughter us in our own homes in the hopes of taking our resources to fuel their imperialistic economy.

Therefore, in a surprise attack, we have declared war on the Federation of Sol, and have secured the planet Everra, encased in a protective nebula that we will use as a defensive barrier. While the Federation of Sol’s counterattacks have been severe, they have over committed their forces on several fronts, and an expeditionary force carrying a contingent of Xxcha infantry has managed to penetrate their lines to annihilate their only space dock on their homeworld of Jord.

The Xxcha Empire, cut off from most of the galaxy by celestial terrain.

In response to our pre-emptive strike, The Yin Brotherhood’s High Priestess has repeatedly attempted to broker a peace agreement between our two parties citing their new war against the Jol-Nar as the one true threat we should unite against, but offered no incentives for us to relinquish control of Everra back to Sol. Even direct negotiations with the Federation of Sol have broken down; offers of armistice to give the Federation a reprieve have broken down as the Federation Commodore has claimed that our soldiers’ lives are forfeit and will retake Everra at all costs.

However, his attempts with significant ground force was repelled with ease with our entrenched infantry divisions, and despite limited avenues to reinforce them, our troops aim to hold on to Everra for the duration. While a stalemate has been reached for now, my advisors are re-evaluating if further negotiations with the stubborn Federation may be necessary. The Mindnet’s aggressive military expansion has all but overwhelmed the Sardokk N’orr and they now have several fleets of considerable strength now poised to attack Mectaol Rex.

High Priestess Janelle Says:Beads of sweat drip down my face. The moisture clings to me like slime covering a L1Z1X ship. War was not to be sitting at our doorstep, and yet, war is the welcoming gift served to us by the Universities of Jol-Nar. A gift served cold.

We have spread out among the stars, as we were charged, spreading Darien’s legacy with us. Now in possession of the 12 planets kin to our own homeworld, we are finally ready to populate them with cities and temples to rival any in our galaxy. Diseases that once plagued the innocent and weak shall be no more, as our knowledge scatter before us with the light. Soon, all will possess the power cloning has granted us. Or so we hoped.

When we first encountered our neighbors, we extended hands of friendship. With our own resource supply, we helped these fledgling nations build up to the powers they are today. We had hoped together we would be resilient, and the strength of our allies would only serve to bolster our own. With each new loan, the Brotherhood cast out a bit of loneliness from the dark expanse of space. We only have ourselves to blame when the Jol-Nar cast their gaze of greed our way. Launching a surprise attack to the right of our defenses, they wiped out our small fleet and claimed Hercalor away from us. The Brotherhood immediately launched a counter attack with auxiliary fleets, but alas, we were unable to liberate Hercalor away from the Jol-Nar’s treacherous grasp. Not only that, but war has also broken out between the Federation of Sol and the Xxcha Kingdom, rendering the Federation unable to pay back our trade loan and leaving us unable to build back our fleet with enough strength. Had we known an enemy would be lurking within our neighbors, our fleets would have been stronger and more prepared to repel this threat from the start.

We will not make this same mistake again.

The Federation attempts - and fails - to retake Everra from the Xxcha.

Commodore Josh of Terra Says: Without notice or provocation, the wretched Xxcha broke our non-aggression pact, and invaded Everra. This will not stand. Shortly thereafter, due to malfunctions in our intra-galactic communications network, Terra was left undefended, and promptly sacked by our aggressors. We struck back immediately and reclaimed our home system, but not before our space dock was destroyed, setting our work back months, perhaps years.

Despite the transgressions of our overly aggressive neighbors, we did manage to reach Mecatol Rex and lay claim in the name of the Sons of Sol. Production at the galactic center will ramp up shortly, allowing us to spread further than we ever imagined through the stars.

Meanwhile, the Mindnet have begun uncontested expansion into the Sardokk N’orr’s territory, quickly becoming the largest empire in the galaxy. The Jol-Nar have simultaneously begun an assault on the main fleet of the Yin, our largest trading partners and last remaining friendly neighbor. The Sons of Sol may intervene when the time is right, but production on Mecatol Rex remains our highest priority for the time being.

The remaining Sardokk N'orr regroup.

Hive Alpha Jon Bolding Says: Woe to the Hive! Our efforts to expand into the galaxy have met with failure. We have accidentally detonated a star neighboring the Xxcha, and have lost even more ground forces to haphazardly organized colonization attempts. The Federation of Sol offered us assistance if we could send an expeditionary force to harry the Xxcha, claiming their colony worlds would fall easily to our troops and provide resources for our growing empire, but before any plans could be made, the worst has occurred: The Mindnet have invaded, and with its treacherous forces, have all but destroyed our civilization.

Our last remaining fleet engaged a significant group of Mindnet ships as they entered orbit over our home system, and the skies were filled with the missile trails and laser pulses of our Planetary Defense Systems firing a preliminary barrage against the invaders. A great battle ensued, wounding many of the Mindnet’s vessels, but our noble warriors were unable to make the killing blow on several of their largest ships. In the end, the Mindnet destroyed our military forces and stardocks and now hold our twin home worlds hostage. In light of this failure, the previous Hive Alpha has been executed for this failure, his body to the hive and consumed by our young in an age old rituals of penance.

A new Hive Alpha has been selected to lead our people through these trying times, and is aiming to use the small colonies that we still have left under our control to rebuild and launch a counter offensive, provided the Mindnet does not push their agenda against us further. Regardless, it will be many cycles before we can offer any semblance of a defense, let alone reclaim our lost territory. We are all but finished, and even now countless freighters of civilians seek asylum with the Federation and those whom the Federation bid us to attack. A miracle is needed to prevent our mighty legacy from falling into the history.

The Mindnet's powerful fleets form an imposing defensive line.

Host Protocol Justin Says:Galactic Standardized Unit Of Temporal Measurement 000100 to 000111

Command: Access 000100, 000101, 000111

Status: Retrieving directory

Status: Offsets: Server: 0. Local system: -110111. Galactic Variance: +110111

Response: Connected to Galactic.Mindnet.Advancement

Status: Planetary system pacification exceeding optimal expansion parameters. Additional industrial capacity required to meet calculated future requirements. Deep space scans indicate species Sardakk N’orr’s territory contains necessary framework. Additional scans uncover conflict in sector space surrounding home planet Mecatol Rex. Species Xxcha are hemmed in by astrological anomalies and the Federation of Sol. Heavy fighting between races is the only predictably calculated outcome. Yin Brotherhood’s rapid expansion interferes with The Universities of Jol-Nar’s technological mastery. The Universities of Jol-Nar’s affinity for technology determined through venn diplomatic functions to be parallel to Galactic.Mindnet.Advancement. An “accord” was achieved. Review of Jol-Nar’s research methods proves fruitful in completing Inheritance Systems, allowing Mindnet technologic advancements without previously necessary intervening research. With the “accord” in place, primary fleet 0001 dispatched with full dreadnought contingent to Sardakk N’orr. Calculations and logistical endeavors allow fleet to close with Sardakk N’orr home world at unprecedented speeds. Logic memory containing calculations became corrupted under strain, unable to recover. Species Sardakk N’orr known for exceedingly aggressive nature. Their home defenses were formidable. But technological superiority and emergency repairs to dreadnought fleet drive them from home planets.

Pending: Continued expansion and pacification of Sardakk N’orr systems. Further conflict expected, begin research and construction of project war_sun_mk1.

Command: Compile 000100, 000101, 000111

Log out: Integrated Turning Host Protocol “Justin” Subserver Galactic Mindnet Advancement Algorithm

The main armadas of the Yin and Jol-Nar, stuck in a duel neither has a clear chance of winning.

Chancellor Greg of Jol-Nar says: The Universities are in a precarious position in the galaxy. The L1z1x Mindnet has made a strong show of force on our borders, and essentially demanded our forces attack the fanatic Yin Brotherhood or be destroyed. For now, we have agreed to their plans. While the strength of our fleet grows, there are not enough Jol-Nar ships in the skies to survive a full assault from the Mindnet’s flagship. We agreed to use their presence as a pretext for building ships quickly.

The Yin Brotherhood is also quietly growing in numbers. Darien’s sons expanded quickly to take over the most valuable planets near their home world, belching their ships into space surrounded by thousands of suited attackers. In order to combat them, we would need to conduct strong, concentrated attacks on their flank. As Academician, I ordered a space dock be built in orbit around Lesab.

When a fleet was deemed large enoughto insure victory, I ordered an assault on the twin system of Hercalor and Tiamat. The skies above these two celestial bodies were aflame. Our single dreadnought was damaged by laser, and a suicide run by the Brotherhood rammed an enitre cruiser into its flank, destroying it. The J.N.S. Hylarim went into red alert and released a coordinated barrage of fire which ripped into the Yin Brotherhood’s remaining dreadnoughts, taking out 4 of them. The space battle was won by the Universities, and we invaded the two planets. There were some losses in ground forces, but there were deemed acceptable.

The war between the Universities and the Brotherhood had begun.

Soon after, our fleet was put on the defensive as a massive counter-attack was launched by the Brotherhood. We attempted to flee through a wormhole, but that retreat was stymied by Yin agents who sabotaged our jump drives. After exchanging some fire, our fleets retreated to Lesab to regroup and rebuild. The Brotherhood retook Tiamat, but Hercalor is still under our control with a PDS to defend against bombardment.

Then came a stalemate. Diplomacy and espionage prevented another battle as both our fleets were prevented from moving against each other. I fear we have invested too much in this war. Jol-Nar is a place of learning, not warmongering. Damn the Mindnet for forcing our hand.

Reports are coming in from L1z1x that the algorithm has all but conquered the Sardak Norr. The Mindnet now has territory spanning a third of the known galaxy. We also have eye-witness reports the L1z1x Mindnet have launched not one, but TWO War Suns. Damn them! The plans for those magnificent ships came from the Universities of Jol-Nar, and now they are using our own breakthroughs to dominate the galaxy.

Clearly, priorities have shifted. We have opened communications with the Yin Brotherhood. A ceasefire is the only logical option.

The Wrap-Up

Despite some furious fighting, the wars between Josh, Paul, Greg and Janelle have reach a stalemate with neither side having a clear advantage, while Justin’s massive military build-up and successful assaults have left Jon’s fledgling empire in ruins. As we enter round 7, the mid-point of the game, the players will have to consider if they can afford to keep shooting at each other while Justin’s empire remains untouched. At the end of Round 6, Janelle found herself tied for 1st place with Justin with 5 victory points each, while the other players all tie for 2nd place. Paul, sadly, still remains in last place with 0.

Come back next week for more Twilight!

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