Last week, a new expansion pack for Distant Worlds (4X space game) was released, called: Shadows. I immediately picked this up, as it offered a brand new way to play; as a pirate! There are a bunch of other features too, but that is the main one. So this will sort of be an AAR for my time in the game.
First things first, my squad of ruthless cutthroats needs a name. Being the fountain of originality that I am, I go with the Black Sun. What's that you say? They are in Star Wars already? I can't hear you... lalalala. After choosing a name I choose a playstyle which will affect my bonuses.
I could specialize as a planetary raider, smuggler or mercenary. Since I don't really know what I am doing yet, I'll just go with balanced. I made the universe the way I live life... Large. Is that saying still used? 1,400 stars in this bad boy. I turned off those pesky space monsters too.
On to the game! As a pirate, you cannot create any colonies. Your life is out there between the stars. That also means you cannot build the big ships (i.e. Construction vehicles). Luckily for you, pirates can capture ships and build combat vessels.
The universe is very young with this expansion. Empires have not managed to break free from the bounds of their solar systems... yet. This gives pirates an early advantage as they can freely travel between systems. You'll want to keep empires down as long as possible lest they grow too powerful and start to challange your dominance.
Below is a map of my surroundings. There is the Leentaar Domain to the South East and an Independent Human colony to the South.
Pirates can make money any number of ways. Once being 'Protection Agreements.' For a monthly sum of cash, I'll make sure no one messes with your planets, including myself... maybe. As the game starts, there is a human empire which I know about. My adviser brings up a very valid point: they are not paying us anything.
Strangely enough, some of the UI is not captured by Fraps. So, you'll just have to see that little mention in the top right. From here on out, I'll have to use the ol Print Screen button and mspaint.
Every month, a freighter arrives from the Leentaar Domain filled with 203 credits. It's not a large sum, but it helps put this operation in the black. I'll need more than that to keep this band of pirates happy though. I turned my attention South, to the unaffiliated Human colony. By placing ships near it, I start to expand my influence over the system. That will also generate income for me.
The colony is currently 29% under my control. That, in turn, provides a boost to my income.
The construction expenses are for a new Destroyer and a Gas Mining facility near my home base.
While doing my thing with the human colony, we got a visit from another pirate faction: the Deadly Prowlers. It seems the galaxy is not big enough for the both of us, so a fight broke out. As you can see, my forces are outnumbered. We managed to take down one of their ships, before one of mine was destroyed. The remaining ship set course to home and abandon our efforts.
After constructing several replacement Escort ships, the 1st Fleet returned to the system. They found a lone sentinel of the Deadly Powers and quickly dispatched the vessel. Reinforcements arrived, but quickly fled once realizing they were outmatched. The colony soon fell under our complete control. Only after we learned that the Deadly Powers raided the planet, causing massive destruction. We have no plans to do the same, instead we'll collect our tribute.
In other news, one of exploration ships happened upon an abandoned space station. Turned out it is an old weapons research facility. Our scientists were able to get it up and running again, proving us a much needed research boost.