Better a Memorable Defeat than a Forgettable Victory

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Chris: This was written by Sean Johnson, one of our beta testers for Stars Beyond Reach, and I’ve only added formatting and images.

Sean: I have never had so much fun losing at a strategy game and have certainly never felt compelled to write something about it.

story_zenith

Sean: All seemed well in our budding Zenith settlement of Kulrider. Despite the close proximity of an Acutian settlement, and the pollution that comes with it, we were pursuing a tranquil path of scientific discovery. What follows are excerpts from the personal journals of Premier Zeke I of Kulrider…discovered by me in the wreckage of our once proud city. May these accounts prevent others from repeating our mistakes…

story_acutians

Entry: I was wakened in the night with news that our Acutian neighbors had instigated a war of aggression…against fully half of the known races present on this world! Thankfully, we are not one of them…Yet. What am I saying? Even if the report is correct, and I have doubts about its accuracy, surely they cannot hope to win. They will be eliminated, along with their threat and their disgusting pollution…and good riddance.

story_saucers

Entry: Unbelievable! The Acutians have emerged victorious. How can this be? How weakened are they? Does it even matter? We are in no position militarily to take advantage even if they are devastated. What if they are not devastated…What if we are next? Damn me for allowing my advisors to convince me we had no need for a standing army. That changes…now! I will divert all our resources towards military readiness. Will there be enough time? There has to be…

story_zenithcapitol

Entry: The Minister of Health has been pestering me about a meeting for weeks, so I finally decided to placate him so I can be free of his whinging. It seems our fair minister is concerned that his funds for disease research have been diverted to military research. After explaining to him that there has been no hint of any disease since the founding of our fair city, I denied his request for renewed funding and sent him on his way.

story_grial

Entry: Our newly constructed guard post has been utterly destroyed by some kind of damned subterranean worm…And worse, it seems that the Acutians have been working fervently to reconstitute their military might. This is…concerning.

story_poorboarines

Entry: The Minister of Health barged into my office reporting the outbreak of some sort of fungal infection. Although the mortality rate is not high, it appears to be highly contagious and the symptoms highly debilitating. I agree to divert whatever funds are necessary to the Minister of Health, but the look on his face tells me that it may be too little…too late.

story_infection

Entry: Disaster! Our spies tell me that the Acutians are preparing to launch a full scale assault against us. We will be too weak to defend ourselves. Those who have not died in the damned pandemic are too sick to work. Our trained physicians, few as they were, died of disease whilst attempting to cure the afflicted and our military installations are manned by skeleton crews.

story_acutiansbuildingup

Final Entry: This is the end. Only a few hundred of us are left and only a few dozen have avoided infection. I have sent away the last few healthy citizens, for all the good it will do. There are not enough of us left for us to be genetically viable as a species. The Zenith end here. My only solace is that no one will be left to share my name that it be cursed forever more…

story_zenithdefeat

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5 Responses to “Better a Memorable Defeat than a Forgettable Victory”

  1. Must have game NOW. Lol I keep throwing my credit card at the screen to no avail.

  2. Sean Johnson says:

    I’m really glad you liked it enough to post it Chris. :) There are gonna be a lot of really happy people when this goes live! Finally…off to test the new build. Real life intruded far too much for my liking the last two days…

  3. Huw says:

    I NEED this game!

  4. […] Arcen Games’ Stars Beyond Reach Update […]

  5. Zane Wolfe says:

    This reminds me of an AI War match I had, back when Light of the Spire was the latest expansion I think. I had done it at last, completed the final task of the Spire plotline and survived. The Imperial Spire’s forces were pounding on the final AI Home Command station… And just as I am about to celebrate my first Spire victory, I get a massive “You Lose” a moment before the AI are crushed.

    A single AI Raider Starship had managed to sneek through my defensive chokepoints, that is past FOUR Spire Cities, the front most of which had EVERY SINGLE DEFENSE I could build, minus Trader Toys, mines, and tacyon. The last of which proved my undoing, as no matter how much I save scummed, I could never find the thing until it was firing upon my home command center. An otherwise perfect game, 120 map, of which were controlled by me. I’ve since won countess games, and not a single victory stands out in my mind as much as that loss.

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