Neptune's Pride War Diary #2

Written by Joe Martin

August 21, 2010 // 10:54 a.m.

Tags: #neptunes-pride #neptunes-pride-war-diary #strategy #war-diary

Companies: #indie #iron-head-games

Neptune’s Pride War Diary #1

Previously in Neptune's Pride - Diary 1

The first week of play in our office game of Neptune’s Pride has been a lot more interesting than the first day was. While the last report was filled mainly with hope and optimism, this one is a bit more…grounded.

As play began in earnest each player took a different tactic. While Harry invested only in Weapons and struggled to create a stable alliance with Jamie, Paul made a mad grab for land as part of his religious crusade. Joe and Kevin fell into a strong, open reliance early on, trading information and technology freely, while Mike and Clive preferred to forge their own paths, acting mainly alone.

It’s anyone’s guess what Alex was up to during all this time, but he’s somehow managed to create a technologically advanced empire with a stable economy and a strong military – all without claiming any alliances openly.

The opening moves for the game were slow. It took days for some empires to reach their nearest stars and, while Paul’s superior fleet number allowed him to spread faster than anyone else, he’s since been equalled in size by Joe. By Friday Clive and Harry were the only players with stars left to expand to. Below you can see how the star chart at the end of week one compares to the starting positions.

While activity thus far has focused almost entirely on diplomacy and exploration, with most players generally unwilling to attack first, blood has still been spilled. Almost all players contacted their neighbours to broker border agreements immediately, but the snail-like pace of fleets combined with the fact that move orders cannot be cancelled once ships are underway has caused conflict.

Neptune's Pride War Diary #2 Neptune's Pride War Diary #2
The central area between Clive, Paul, Alex, Kevin and Joe becomes a big battlefield

First blood eventually went to Harry, aka Bazamataz, who seized a small planet from Mike, aka Mike The Destroyer. Tensions rose as Harry, still acting alone at that point, was speculated to launch an invasion… but ultimately nothing came of it. Harry advanced no further and Mike made no attempt to reclaim his territory.

A similar situation arose only a few hours after, when bit-tech Editor Alex Watson successfully took a planet from Games Editor Joe – again, no retaliation or advancement followed, causing much confusion.

Ultimately though, things couldn’t stay placid for long – as Friday approached and the number of available stars dwindled, players spurred into action. On Thursday night Mike tried a desperate assault on Jamie’s sector, but was unable to see the extent of Harry and Jamie’s defences owing to a low scanning range. The attack ultimately failed, leaving PC Pro’s Mike Jennings’ forces scattered and few.

Bit-tech’s Reviews Editor, Clive Webster, has also had a spot of bother and by Friday lunchtime was under attack from multiple sides. Having not established an open alliance with other players, Clive was stuck. Kevin, Joe and Alex began to close in, though the majority of their fleets are still to arrive and the outcome is not yet clear.

Speculation is rife that, by the time Monday draws around then at least one player will have been knocked out of the game – which should make our Week Two report very interesting reading. Then again, with game conflicts spilling over into real life and a number of covert teams likely formed under the surface, there’s still everything to play for!

Flip the page for further thoughts and tactics from each player…
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