AAR for ICEmod:
Just wanted to say that I finally got around to installing and playing Rocco.40's mod for MoO2. Played impossible difficulty in a Huge average/average galaxy vs 8 AI opponents, tactical combat and Antarans enabled. I chose to play as the stock race Psilons, since I figured being creative would mitigate somewhat my lack of familiarity with the rearranged tech tree. In ICEmod with the increased racial picks limit, Psilons have Democracy rather than Dictatorship, so yeah they were like playing vanilla Psilons on steroids.
It wasn't enough.
In spite of the somewhat rearranged tech tree, much of the early game played out as normal. My home system was kinda towards the middle of the galaxy, had 3 terraformable planets, including 2 Rich ones, and the neighboring star system had a dessert and 3 other barren/radiated ones, all average to low resource. Perfect for the initial expansion. It ended up Orion was located right next to my home star.
The low-gravity trait kinda slows things down a bit for the Psilons, but that is to be expected. Still, the first hurdle I found was that Robo-Miners is much further up the tech tree in ICEmod than in vanilla. So I had to settle for Robotic Factory to aid in settling new colonies. It makes a BIG difference, especially for poor/ultra-poor planets. Compared to the turbo-charged AI races, my expansion was glacially slow. Between having 7 planets to settle in my first two systems and lack of Robo-Miners, I didn't get a Colony Ship built till quite late, and by then the galaxy was starting to get crowded.
Initial contact was with the Klackons and Trilarians, followed by Gnolems, Bulrathi and Mechlons. The Klackons were Repulsive, so I anticipated an early war with them. All the others I offered Tribute to improve relations, and although it seems ICEmod has made it a bit harder to get positive diplomacy results, between Alien Psychology and a leader with Diplomat skill, I manage to sign trade/research/NAP treaties with everyone but the Klackons in due time. The friggin Mechlons kept stealing my tech, even though I had quite a few defensive Agents quite early. I guess that's to be expected with a Democracy.
Right after settling my third system, the Klackons decided to attack. My space-navy was non-existant. They overran my new colony with an impossibly large number of battleships, cruisers and destroyers and besieged my home planets. Fortunately I was able to rush-build enough missile/fighter bases to keep them at arms length, but I did lose another colony before the situation stabilized. Had they attacked, they probably could have captured any planet they wanted, but the AI seemed content to wait.
Missile tech upgrades come much more slowly in ICEmod. Having concentrated my efforts to get Planetary Supercomputer, I didn't even have mirved nukes researched yet, and they seemed out of reach for the immediate emergency, so I settled on making destroyer raiders armed with Fighter Bays. Fighters generally work pretty well when you are Creative, since you get all the armor, computer and weapons upgrades anyways. I noticed that Fighter Bays are higher up the tech tree than in vanilla, so you can't use them as easily as a Blitz tech in ICEmod. Other than the fact that there were so many of them, the Klackon ships sucked pretty bad, but they did have Zortrium armor, which meant I needed to concentrate all Fighters on 1 battleship to take it down. The Klackons had Merculite missiles, so my raiders would launch and retreat, while a fast frigate decoy would stay in battle till the all fighters launched their 3 attacks. One by one I slowly eliminated the besieging forces and freed my system space of Klackon ships. I even managed to beat them back and retake my lost third colony.
Then the Antarans showed up.
What can I say. I had nothing that could even remotely stand up to Antaran destroyers at that point, and their first attack had 5 of them. Brutal. So I watched helplessly as they took out one of my home planets. Then 6 turns later they destroy my hard-won defenseless third colony. The Antarans definitely got a boost in ICEmod, and you need to come up with early defensive techs even more urgently than in vanilla. My standard defense is usually Zortrium-hulled battleships armed with EGM missiles. Fortunately the EGM missile upgrade is right where it should be in the tech tree. But still, it takes a while to research all that and build up a fleet. Later on I tried using Tractor Beams against an Antaran Battleship, and 4 of them didn't immobilize it as would be expected. So I don't know if that is a bug or a feature of ICEmod.
It was right about then that the Trilarians accused me of spying and declared war. I think it was the Mechlons that were responsible, those thieving cyborg basterds.
More to come...
Post edited January 02, 2016 by Dreamteam67