As we left it last week, there were a few alliances in place. Joe and Kevin continued to stand together in the northern half of the map, secretly allied with Alex. Together they pushed in on Clive, essentially bullying Paul into following suit. Clive’s demise seemed certain – until it was revealed how well fortified his home planets were.
Meanwhile, in the southern territory, Mike was being forced to square off against Harry and Jamie, who had cemented a strong alliance against all the odds.
Since then things have progressed fast. Jamie and Harry quickly built a formidable force and moved to crush Mike as fast as they could. Joe, observing from the borders, saw that Mike didn’t have a chance and so tried to call off the assault on Clive, hoping to build a bigger alliance against Jamie and Harry’s sizable force.
Unfortunately, the alliance was doomed from the start. Paul decided he couldn’t trust Kevin or Alex, who had battled him in the past. Clive was still sore about his near defeat and was unwilling to pledge resources. Alex, at first dismissive of the impending threat, later believed the alliance would be too weak to hold. And Joe pretty much abandoned the game as he headed to GamesCom 2010 in Cologne, passing his login details and forces over to Kevin.
This week in Neptune's Pride - Click to Enlarge
Rumours flew. Mike claimed that Harry had paid him to invade Joe and that he’d had no choice but to accept. Joe ceded space to Mike, hoping for another ally against Jamie. Kevin and Alex tried to turn Jamie against Harry. Harry spread misinformation to other players about his intentions and the stability of his bond with Jamie. Mike fled further into Joe’s space in order to survive. The big battle between north and south was finally set.
By the end of Week 3 though, nobody had yet been knocked out of the game. Those with strong ties stuck to them, while the larger northern alliance eventually disintegrated, allowing Harry and Jamie to proceed unhindered. Mike, Clive and Joe are seemingly all on the edge of a knife and it seems certain that Harry and Jamie will eventually conquer all enemies with their now massive army and economy.
There is one snag that faces Harry and Jamie’s conquest though, which lies in a communiqué Joe got from developer Iron Head Games before leaving for GamesCom. It confirmed one, simple thing; alliance victories do not count. You cannot win that way. The game will continue until one player controls the required number of stars – 91, in this case.
Harry and Jamie may yet conquer the entire map, wiping all other players out of the game – but it’s only a matter of time before they are forced to turn on each other…