My fleet is now 63 ships; mostly freighters. My Mk3 traders have been getting good and I had reached 4Mcr again. Time for some more building, but as I’d discover… the X3:TC universe is anything but at rest…
So I hired an argo lifter from Argon prime, another from Omicron Lyrae, a Paranid lifter from somewhere down south and had them begin hauling a whole bunch of factory complex to my base in Antigone Memorial. Then I spent several hours yesterday, while waiting for the haulers to arrive, mapping new sectors and scoring some new ships (I wish I’d kept the Xenon M and L that surrendered to me instead of selling them).
I also finished the “Exterminator” mission – if you listen to what he says, it’s actually quite easy, just don’t get stupid :)
My lifters nearing home base, I started the voyage back from Terran space. Enroute, the Duke’s pirate ships seemed scared of me, bringing me up to my 63 ship fleet. I reached home base and ran into my first construction problem – my existing complex (ore mine and laser tower factory) were set up too far away from my target silicon mine. DOH!
It took a while and some lateral thinking but in the end it was fairly obvious and now I have a sprawling factory complex. I set 10 ships off with the task of supplying it with Energy Cells, and I set a whole bunch more ships off buying the other bootstrap materials and selling off my excess meatsteak cahoonas, majaglit, ore and silicon.
My Mk3s and my ore mine and my police licenses had meant I was already back to 5Mcr. Probably a good time to dock and save.
That’s when the pirate caravel jumped in and whacked me. (As I thought “dock and save”, not as I docked with my station; I’d been sitting idling at -10ms for about an hour and had drifted quite a long way from it)
I got everything set up again, with some saves this time. When the Caravel jumped in, I had a dozen varied fighters (ragtag fleet, anyone?) marked as wingmen and ready to aid me. Several fails later, I had the hang of my missiles and I had my wingmen in a couple of “wing”s with a good missile firing probability.
Now, I probably need to learn about boarding and marines because I don’t think capital ships surrender, I think they have to be captured. But the caravel made an awesome explosion (well, the second time it was awesome, and in between that it jumped out before I could destroy it)
Unfortunately, my win was sullied by the fact that the pirates had wrecked some of the infrastructure of my complex (one can destroy the connecting tunnels). It dawned on me that I was wasting my factory here – I am churning out laser towers here, duh, so I grabbed a bunch and deployed them before the final conflict with the pirates. Also, one of my captured ships had a bunch of mines which I deployed.
With my sector mined and lasered, the pirates found me less than toothless this time. I got lucky with my first missile … a huge-yield proximity detonation that took out 3 of the fighters the caravelle was dispatching right as they took flight, but only took a small chunk out of it’s shields. That set us in good stead tho, the laser towers immediately began firing on it so that the shields weren’t regenerating at any time, allowing my fighters and missles to be far more effective.
With so many targets, enemy fire was spread out all over the place and I didn’t lose any ships – and a couple of pirate ships even surrendered (too slowly, alas, so they were generally destroyed by shots fired before the pilot could finish his eject).
Peace in Antigone, at last, I tasked all of my fleet with various supply tasks. Already money was starting to come in, so I ordered a new Demeter Superfreighter from the Paranids. Getting its cargo capacity to max and fitting it out with all the niceties brought me back down to 1.5M credits, and it looked like I might bankrupt myself again in short order.
Thinking it might be best to reorganize my fleet, I gave the station an order to report incoming ships. I got a long list of ships wanting majaglit, navagation satellites, meatsteak cahoonas, silicon and ore. With a veritable wave of friendly ships heading my way to pick up supplies, I tweaked my prices and began retasking my ships. Once the Demeter arrives and ensures I have a more than adequate supply of energy cells, I will be able to retask more ships from EC purcahsing to selling my staples. It doesn’t look like I’ll have to worry about argnu beef for the next month with all the ships trying to bring me supplies of cattle, but I think, as soon as I am back up to 2MCr I will add a cattle ranch and a wheat farm to the complex.
After that, I need to get some more Caiman’s running Mk3 auto traders.
What I need to complete the complex is a crystal fab and perhaps a solar power plant or two. I doubt I could afford the XL one (19Mcr) but I can probably get a Medium SP and CF in the next few game days. I’d really like to get myself a weapon or shield factory… But I need to get the current complex running itself so that I can quit tasking all my small fighters with short, fast, feeder runs.
Once I have my loop running itself, then it’s time to start thinking about getting me my first capital fleet and settling a score with the Yani. Or maybe I’ll take a crack at Xenon sector 101.