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The Big Picture

Win Conditions

It was always planned that there would be several solid “win conditions” (relatively speaking) for the Fleet. None of these were going to be easy nor present themselves until the late game, and some were certainly harder than others to find, but they were all possibilities. To some extent, each of these was actually investigated, which made us quite happy, but for your benefit we thought we'd detail them now with when they were investigated, and when they were written off.

Run Away

It was always possible to keep running away so long as you moved at a decent pace. The Fleet of Apparitions from Earth was catching up for two reasons: the Princess was a glowing beacon of FTL Signature and moved far too slowly. At the point where you discovered the UCSS Deliverance with its 12 hour spool time, it became entirely possible to abandon the Princess and take the UCSS Deliverance off and away into the stars.

This, of course, did happen in Eternity (see garry_blake), and was something you tossed around as an idea. In the long run, this would probably have worked for a good while until humanity ran out of fuel…

Colonise and Distract

There were three planets that it was possible to colonise (excepting the one in the Nebula) throughout the game. Each of them had their own detriment (which would have been fixable with the Terraforming technology aboard the UCSS Resurrection), and all would have required the sacrifice of the Princess heading off in a different direction to distract the apparitions (this became a harder thing for you to achieve after Turn 3 was spent fixing the Princess, allowing the apparitions to catch up, but still do-able). The planets available were:

  • Psion 445b – the cost of staying here was a reduced lifespan for humans, but otherwise would have been durable. Colonisation became impossible at about Turn 4/5 when apparitions were too close to be stealthy here.
  • Zarriah 3 – this planet was to the bottom-right of the map, past Orpheus IV, and was far too cold for surface colonisation. However, with terraforming and burrowing beneath the surface Hoth-style, it would have been possible to stay here. It was an early game option if you explored that way, but alas nobody did.
  • Vega 7 – we did say it was colonisable! The major catch here was dealing with the lack of sunlight and the entity of Fear the planet was orbiting (Vastness of Space) but it would have been possible to colonise and inhabit this planet (so long as you kept Vastness happy). This became impossible after Session 6. Thank Richard Black for that.

Hide in a Cloud (Eta Helion)

The planet in the Nebula also required the sacrifice of the Princess to reach, but provided a bit more security from Apparitions and the least terraforming. The difficulty with getting to Eta Helion was the Nebula (which was deliberately ambiguous for its crossing, though made even moreso by the action of Bolygo Pharma), the necessity to abandon any Cargo 1 ships to make it through, and the paranoia induced by not being able to see out of the Nebula. As you all know, you made it to this one!

We All Become

The Fear Entities were sentient. Yep, you heard us: sentient. Each of them had their own agendas and could have been played off against each other (and to an extent with Vastness of Space, you did do this). Dominance enjoyed playing with its food, while Body Horror would have loved nothing more than to rip into the lot. Paranoia hated the lack of subtlety its comrades had, while Vastness of Space despised the others for their noisiness. It was, therefore, entirely possible to reason with these guys and exchange annihilation for being their eternal servants / becoming one with them, though it was VERY hard to do this – one word or foot in the wrong place and an EXECUTE call would have been around the corner.

That said, several of you DID manage to do this (wittingly or unwittingly):

  • Mari Martinez: when she sacrificed the Hussar in the Battle of Conference 4, Dominance found her amusing and gave her another chance to serve. She did her best, and caused mayhem throughout the Fleet trying to please her new master, but eventually Body Horror got annoyed with Dominance playing with its food and took her for its own. Dominance was not pleased, and the Dominance and Body Horror Fleets split at this.
  • Lee Livingstone: walking into the middle of Vega 7 as one of the only living humans was not a good idea. Worse was wandering round the abandoned settlement calling out for people, with a fear of the Dark was also not a good idea. Vastness of Space picked up Lee and gave him one chance to serve: to spread the message of humanity's insignificance and kickstart its cult. Knowing humanity, Vastness told Lee not to mention explicitly what happened. He did, and along came the EXECUTE swiftly after.
  • Stefanie Giessinger and Lucifer Creed: these both poked an artefact that Giessinger had since the start of the game (Liz genned with a negative Something To Remember Me By and nightmares that just happened to PERFECTLY fit our plot) and gained the attention of Vastness of Space. It summoned them to Vega 7 and told them to fight it out so only one survived. Giessinger won and was bestowed with what we lovingly called “Space Pope Power” to understand the Universe. She took to this like a fish to water and was one of the two successful “Space Pope Hopes”.
  • Richard Black: Richard also poked Vastness of Space and was summoned over to Vega 7. He did as he was asked, talked to Vastness and was asked to detonate an FTL Bomb. Richard took this instruction to heart and did so (that was the boom in Session 6) and Vastness approved, removing his soul in an ascension and putting him back in the Fleet to not kill but to spread its message. Part of team Bolygo, however, Richard was still involved in the attempt to destroy the Fleet and so Vastness turned away from him in the end.
  • Maxine Piper: when she was brainwashed into thinking she was an apparition, Paranoia could not resist the opportunity. She did her best to be an agent of chaos and paranoia and Paranoia approved greatly, taking her under its wing and guiding her chaos throughout the rest of her life – the other successful “Space Pope Hope”.

Tai Pullman, contrary to popular belief, was not being manipulated by the Fear Entities. Far from it: Tai was bestowed with power of Order – she saw determinisim and worked with it perfectly, and was a potent tool that could be used against the apparitions (if only she allowed herself to use her power).

The Chase

This hopefully will come as no surprise to you: the entire Fleet was being chased from Earth by a Fleet of Apparitions and the Fear Entities of Paranoia, Body Horror and Dominance. These started off behind you some distance but moved at 2 hexes per turn while you guys if you stuck with the Princess would move only one.

Key to all this (to start with) was the location of the Phoenix – this was the Flagship of Dominance's Fleet and was what you all affectionately called the “Cathedral Ship”. In actual fact, it was the HMCS Sydney (the ship that opened fire on the UCSS Tokyo), but it was aboard this that the physical manifestation of Dominance sat. From this, at least until the Fears started fracturing, the following effects occurred:

  • Up to 3 systems away: Paranoia effects would be possible and Paranoia apparitions would manifest.
  • Up to 2 systems away: Body Horror effects would be possible and Body Horror apparitions would manifest.
  • Up to 1 system away: Dominance effects would be possible and Dominance apparitions would manifest.
  • In the same system: you would be facing Dominance itself on its Battleship. Ouch.

To give you some idea of how far behind it was, this table relates the position of the Phoenix and the Princess:

Session Princess (you) Phoenix (Dominance)
1 Arcturus Minor First Asteroids from Earth (5 systems away)
2 Elysium V Second Gas Giants from Earth (4 systems away)
3 Elentis 227a Deep Space Sector 0 (3 systems away)
4 Elentis 227a Elysium V (1 system away)
5 GX-870 Elentis 227a (1 system away)
6 Deep Space 9 Deep Space Sector 3 (2 systems away)1)
7 Deep Space 10 Deep Space Sector 9 (destroyed)

Master Map

This map was the key one we used at the start of the game. We moved some things (before we wrote anything contrary that that would contradict), but the most important thing to note is that little zone of pink at the bottom. That was the boundary of apparitions – any system behind this line would be susceptible to Paranoia (the zones to the sides were potential zones for apparitions but we did not use these). One system behind this line was Body Horror, and one system behind that line was Dominance, with the Phoenix at the heart. This line advanced 2 hexes every turn, with an extra hex thrown in for every death: catching up in Turn 3 or 4 was always the plan.

1) Body Horror, Paranoia and Dominance had split apart at this point
eternity/the_big_map.txt · Last modified: 2016/06/14 23:52 by gm_tom