Stellaris grand strategy space game by Paradox discussy thingy thready thingy


Things have gone poorly. The Fallen Empires have invaded slowly, and in my core systems I was able to get a number of fleets built up for a total strength value of about 150k. Even better, I have managed to kill a few stray enemy ships and stations, garnering my science ship the chance to steal their tech, upgrading my engines, reactor, armor and torpedos.

At this point I am feeling very good, so I begin my counter attack. I target a small nearby station that is impacting my ability to funnel reinforcements. I send in a band of mercenaries first to take care of the station, with my juggernaut fleet following a few minutes behind. The plan works perfectly, as the regional empire fleet of 77k jumps into squash my pirates (who have already taken the station). My armada jumps in and engages, and makes effective work of the enemy, driving them out of the region for good. My ships still take significant damage, but I have two systems I want to quickly lock down, and I have plenty of firepower to do it.

my damaged armada jumps to the next system where they sustain a little more damage crushing a station and reclaiming a system where the empire hadn’t bothered to invade my planet. There is one more system I want to get before moving to a key chokehold that I’m praying I can fortify while I lick my wounds and prepare to move into the empire’s home systems.

Once again, I jump in and take the station. This time I designate my titan-equipped fleet to bomb the planet with a large ground force following behind. This is the easy planet with a garrison strength of around 600. The second planet in the system will take more time, as the garrison strength there is about 1300. I decide I will come back to that planet later.

The bombing commences. The other fleets in the armada repair their damage, and once repaired I swap out a repaired fleet while I send my titan fleet to the shipyard.

All the while reinforcements are streaming in. I’m watching my strength tick back up and preparing to jump to the chokehold system, where the empire has a small fleet of 20k that I would like to scatter before trying to fortify my gains. But then I see it.

Jumping towards the front are two fleets from the empire. One fleet sits with about 80k of strength. I know I can handle that fleet. I will be badly bloodied, but I can win that fight. The next fleet makes my heart sink. There moving towards the fight is a fleet of ships that has a combined strength of 160k. This massive fleet, plus the other two in the area leave the enemy with nearly 260k fleet strength consolidated in one area.

I now realize that my gains will be lost. I debate my next steps, but in a blink the massive fleet jumps into where my armada sits in the shipyards and engages. My fleet fights valiantly before I can retreat with a fraction of my forces.

All the time and resources are lost.

The endless war continues. Frustration boils in my heart. I had reviewed their fleet situation ahead of my attacks. They had some scattered stacks, but they had more than I thought when I did the math, and they stacked them together twice as fast as I expected.

Despite the losses, my war weariness sits at 35%. I’m ready to capitulate, but that isn’t even and option right now, as both fallen empires (yes, you may have forgotten that there is another that I have completely ignored now) keep slowly working their way through my planets.

I have one last idea as I look at my bedraggled fleet. Before the attack I had begun the construction of another, smaller fleet. This fleet was situated far away from the main front, but near the border of the allies of the fallen empire. I will turtle my home systems as best I can, but this new fleet plans to begin the war on a different front, away from the endless stacks of doom. This fleet will go after the sniveling nations that have thrown in with the fallen empires. Those nations will have a huge technological and military disadvantage against me. I will work my way through their planets, hoping to free up my allies to join the main fight.

Will it work? Probably not - but perhaps I will get enough territory to beg for a status quo end to this bloody war, so the Mandrans can come back later and exact revenge.


That’s a nice write up! Makes me want to try Stellaris again.


One of the things I will readily admit that has directly led to my loss is my refusal to min/max my ships. I HATE ship designing in space games, and as such I just use ‘auto-best’ in Stellaris. I understand that in a game like this, that puts my military at a distinct disadvantage, but I can’t be bothered to go and fiddle with every ship design every time i research a new tech. This means that my current fleet has some pretty terrible defense against the fallen empire torpedos.

The additional issue is that I understand the game to still be very unbalanced towards corvettes. I know I could just make massive fleets of corvettes and take advantage of their evasion, but that is not fun for me in the least. Who wants to just have corvettes when you can have all these other cool ships to control? Instead, I build balanced fleets, even though I know I am gimping myself further.


I think this part is a bit overblown. As I understand it, the current meta is battleships equipped with appropriate weapons. Corvettes can win some battles but take higher losses from each battle. Also, there is a cap on evasion but high-tech components add a lot of tracking which allows all sorts of weapons to start hitting corvettes.

I don’t have much experience fighting fallen empires, but I understand that they each have specific weaknesses, so if you don’t design to fight them, you are in for a rough ride for sure.


Yeah - the torpedo situation from this empire is a real problem for me at the moment. And thanks for the info on the new meta.


You and me both. I usually just come up with a “fun” fleet composition and auto upgrade. I figure I have distinct advantage over the AI and I’ve yet to see a computer game where the AI players are great at designing ships (wait, Sword of the Stars actually did a pretty damn good job) so I figure I’ll just make up for it in the parts that interest me: strategy, economy, and tactics.


SotS was definitely a game where you had to pay attention to ship design. There were some serious hard counters there.


And the AI would totally counter what you were doing, or at least attempt to. I had those awesome 180-degree ballistic shields that neutralized the enemy Hiver’s projectile-based fleets really well. Next time an invasion fleet hit, he had diversified into energy weapons and things like that that rendered them useless.

I feel like that sort of thing, along with the different forms of FTL travel, were concepts that worked really really well in SOTS but don’t scale well with Stellaris. In the former, you have different races which had affinities to particular types of ships and tech. You knew a Hiver would be biased towards heavy armor and ballistics or that Morrigi have excellent drones and energy weapons. You could plan for that. That, plus the game only had up to 8 or so opponents, so you could keep track.

Stellaris? There’s dozens of empires, all randomized, and they all have equal access to techs. There’s no intelligent way to gameplan for an enemy fleet (except for certain Fallen Empires, as you mentioned).

I see ship design as another area they could rip stuff out and improve it, but I imagine the howls would equal that of the FTL and planetary tile removals combined. :)


I just don’t find ship design even a little interesting. And most of the upgrades are moving from Guns I to Guns II and it just gets tedious for me. The choices just aren’t interesting.

I much preferred how Sins of a Solar Empire handled it all, with the variety of ships with various abilities, and then capital ships that could be leveled with attacks, buffs and debuffs.

So @MikeJ - How would I counter a fallen empire that is heavy on torpedos? Looking online, it sounds like there really isn’t a counter


I like ship design a lot, but you may be right that it doesn’t work very well in Stellaris. It’s way too easy to refit your fleet and way to easy to learn what some particular opponent is doing. It may swing too much based on composition.


I don’t know. Torpedoes should be vulnerable to point defence and I guess you could focus your defences on hull-boosting modules. Lighter ships with high evasion? I don’t know what level of boosts they might have, which might break the normal counters.

If you know whether they lean toward shields or armor, you could design your weapon loadout around that.


Doesn’t Hearts of Iron of a system that penalizes changing production or designs willy-nilly? I think I remember that from HOI 2 and thought it worked out really well.


Yes, the HoI4 industrial model is quite good. They just previewed their new model for how to upgrade ships and it is a lot more realistic than in Stellaris where you can change your whole fleet design in the time it takes the enemy fleet to move to the front.


I also think there is a space 4x where you have to pay extra for the initial build of a new design. Maybe DW or Polaris Sector?


That was a feature in SotS2. I don’t recall if it was in SotS1. I found it was rather too punishing.


SOTS2 only.

Still sad about that game.


Add me to the list of those who dislike designing ships.

Do we have a release date for the update yet?


No. I want it to the second week of December but probably more like mid-January.


Problem is, at this point, even if it came out tomorrow it probably wouldn’t be in good shape before Pdox went on holiday break. It (understandably) takes a long time to polish up these huge reworks. That said, this looks like it’s going to be amazing once it’s done.


I think we can take it as granted that it will be in bad shape on release, whenever it gets out the door. But yeah thus year might be too raw.