Turn 3 EA Retrospective: Is the Best Defence a Good Offensive?

If Turn 2 was my stepping stone to the stars, Turn 3 begins my fight for the right to stay there. I expected to throw down in multiple systems, and the universe clearly decided to cater to those expectations.

It was, of course, inevitable. When you are a tiny power next to a large and expansionist power, and in particular when said power is run by Rich (whose rapacity in other strategy games is legendary in our local gaming circles), you’ve got a fight on your hands. Rather than reacting as the defender, therefore, I sought to bring the fight to him in as many places as I could achieve local superiority.

In essence my plan is not to “win” against the Centauri, a feat which is currently impossible given the huge disparity between our economies. Instead, following the examples of great military thinkers such as Sun-tzu, Mao Tse-tung, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, George Washington*, and the guys from Gundam Wing, my objective is to make it so difficult and painful for them to achieve anything that they give up and go somewhere else.

Will it work in these circumstances? Here the Magic 8-Ball returns “Answer Unclear”. Most “low-intensity” opponents succeed because they had outside help from someone more powerful. Mao and Guevara had the Soviets. Ho had China. Washington had the French. I, on the other hand, have the equally tiny Minbari.

They all also had something else in common: opponents whose systems of government were based on at least some degree of popular support. While the Centauri, of course, have the Centaurum, the Centaurum’s not going to intervene in any meaningful sense in the context of this game. If Rich decides I have to die, then die I will no matter how many Fanheads I kill or how many Centauri ducats the Emperor has to squeeze out of the nobles. I have to break his will, not just enough of the Centaurum’s collective resolve to force a peace.

As a result of this strategy, the map didn’t change a whole lot:

EA Space on Turn 3

At the bottom of the screen is Saguntum III, where TG Acheron is contending with a much smaller, though still sizeable, Centauri force (1 point at War priority to my 4). In Caesar’s Folly, TGs Leonidas and Pegasus  have combined into a massive War(8) priority force in hopes of eliminating the sizable Centauri fleet concentration (War(4)) there. I also fortified the Agricultural world I hold in that system in order to secure the supply point and make it that much more resource – intensive for the Fanheads to evict me.

The main problem is that by concentrating on the Centauri I’ve had to leave my Raider issues in Moshelle completely unattended to for now. While the RR drain is annoying, the real problem is that without securing Moshelle I can’t move on to claim the Major Systems (Turbanos and Da’Valk) beyond…systems I badly need to jump-start my economy. 

*I can’t believe I used “George Washington” and “great military thinker” voluntarily in the same sentence. My Loyalist street cred just took a nosedive. 

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