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Subject: Orion Hegemony: bullies or brutes? rss

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Travis R. Chance
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In the last three games I have played there have been two very notable trends:

1.) Hydran Progress (no matter who plays it, and I play with a lot of people here in NYC--esp. lately) seem to opt for the auto-turtle.

AND

2.) The Orion Hegemony's 4-to-1 trade ratio and poor economy seem to overshadow their amped up ships and starting cruiser.

Allow me to elaborate:

The first time the Hegemony were played, I was the pilot of the race. I wasn't adjacent to the Draco player, but only one player separated us. I mention this because the Draco player was aggressively exploring to capitalize on their draw two/choose one hex ability. Essentially, he was on the prowl for Ancients, which proved beyond successful for him. I, on the other hand, never once, during the course of the game, found an Ancient in my neck of the galaxy. I explored as many 1's and 2's as possible, but no dice. The systems I influenced were rather sad.

I made an early aggressive move against a Terran neighbor sitting on a juicy sector, but he dumped everything he had into two starbases, upgraded them, and basically rolled 6's like he was shat from the Devil's loins. I lost a Dreadnought, and hunkered down for a couple rounds, lucky that my Hydran neighbor was eager to swap ambassadors.

Weirdly, I managed to max out my economy mid-game, but my Science and Materials never got past 4, which made it hard to keep apace of the quickly evolving civilizations around me. After I got the point where I felt I was tough enough to conquer an undefended sector within spitting distance of a potential dogfight, I made a move, rolled like a cursed idiot, and lost my new fleet. I was left using my horrid exchange rate to try and push my Science and Materials ahead, which was like watching a chimp operate a peanut-covered shotgun.

The game ended with my suicidally driving into the center hex for the heck of it. I lost that one, too.

The next game where Orion was played wasn't far off. Some absurdly lucky die rolls from an Ancient blew out their starting fleet in the first two rounds on two consecutive fronts. The available adjacent hexes were backwater swill, and the Orion player spent every other two turns building up, just to get the crap bashed out of them again.

The third game where Orion was played was a bit different, as they were able to blast apart Ancients from the get-go that were sitting on prime real estate, effectively launching their civilizations forward with ease. While the Orion did not win this one either, they came in second.

My sentiments based on these experiences are that their starting military advantage has to be utilized ASAP. Otherwise, that leg up won't count for much as other races pick and choose how to progress.

Anyone have any similar tales, advice, etc.? Or are these guys not as tough as they look?
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Petri Savola
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I consdier Orion Hegemony one of the strongest races. Their ability to destroy aliens during turn one with extremely high probability (95% or more with two cruisers) gives them almost guaranteed early access to the galactic center (guaranteed, if planta is not next to you!). After you gain access to the center, you should be able to destroy GCDS on turn 2 or 3 with the help of correct discovery tiles or tech.

My typical strategy when playing Orion:

* Start by exploring ring I system.
* If it's a double alien, you probably have to wait until turn two to attack. You can easily take double aliens if you research positron computer, plasma cannon or improved hull. Prepare for the attack and use the remaining actions to explore a bit more.
* If it's a single alien, build one cruiser and attack the alien instantly. If you feel unconfortable, replace your power source with a hull, but even without that your chances of winning are about 95%. Use remaining 0-2 action(s) for exploring.
* If it's empty, occupy the hexagon and continue exploring ring I aggressively so your neighbors cannot block you. If they do, explore ring II aggressively. If you're blocked from both sides, start preparing your ships for an attack against the GCDS. Ideally you should execute the attack by turn 3, and with some luck you are ready on turn 2.

If you're sitting next to Planta, be very careful that he doesn't explore your ring I hexagon before you, because he can block your access from the juicy central areas. If he does, you can probably connect your empire to Planta from the available ring II system, and you should probably launch turn 1 attack against the evil plants.
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Travis R. Chance
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In two of the instances I gave, these practices were applied. But luck won the day: no Ancients to battle, and hit 3 6's and a 5 (which is a miss, I know) in 2 separate attacks also didn't help.

But hey, that's luck. I would say their early advantage is quickly marginalized by the third round or so as other races progress, capitalizing on sometimes more relevant abilities. To march on the Center that early is a def risk unless you get some upgrades to mitigate blowouts. Again, you would need to hit some juicy inner sectors and house an Ancient or 2.

I never said they were bad, but to call them the strongest seems a bit off. 4-1 exchange rate and their poor starting economy means they entirely rely on encountering hexes with Ancients, something over which they have 0 control. Given that logic, I guess every race is one of the best if stuff plays out as they need.
 
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Petri Savola
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Don't forget external power source and extra initiative in ship blueprints. They're useful also later on in the game.
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Travis R. Chance
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Petri wrote:
Don't forget external power source and extra initiative in ship blueprints. They're useful also later on in the game.


I am aware of their advantages: starting with a cruiser, Guass Shields, Neutron Bombs, improved initiative, additional external power, etc. I am talking about their disadvantages. I am not missing anything in terms of their overall design as a race--obviously they're the warmongers. But again, in two out of three games, luck did not abide. With no one to fight early on, you can't push past your starting impediments the way some of the others can.

devil
 
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Scott DeMers
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Action Phase wrote:
...and basically rolled 6's like he was shat from the Devil's loins.....

...which was like watching a chimp operate a peanut-covered shotgun....


I love a good quote... or two.
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Travis R. Chance
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*bows to adoring fan
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Chris Berger
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Action Phase wrote:
With no one to fight early on, you can't push past your starting impediments the way some of the others can.


There's always someone to fight... devil
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Travis R. Chance
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Oh you contrarians. Try a dry run of that logic and I'll be here to wipe the tears off your butt cheeks afterward.

Again, I am talking about the cons--can someone reply to this rather than cut and paste text from the guide.
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Daniel Eig
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Haven't played them yet... but I think that going for early sector I and II explores, doing early builds/upgrades, and gunning for the center with its huge amount of colonizable spaces, is the way to go. With a 4-1 trade ratio, their economy might just be less flexible than the miserable Eridani's.
 
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Jeremy Diachuk
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Action Phase wrote:
Oh you contrarians. Try a dry run of that logic and I'll be here to wipe the tears off your butt cheeks afterward.

Again, I am talking about the cons--can someone reply to this rather than cut and paste text from the guide.


The only "cons" are a bad trade rate and the fact that their starting hex doesn't have a Money production space.

This is easily alleviated as the bad trade rate can be avoided entirely through proper empire planning (if you had the right resources in the first place, there's no need to trade) and the fact that they can grab those Ancient-laden systems on the first round or second round with no problem, and also have the easiest time taking the GCD as early as possible, which means they can get plenty of Science and Money income from those inner hexes.

Add to this the fact that they have improved ships from the default (the +1 Initiative is superb, as it lets them attack first even against mirror matched defending playes) and they are one of the more powerful races.
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Travis R. Chance
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I guess you didn't read my post, where 66% of the time Ancients were not made available due to randomness in the aforementioned games. Again, easier said than done. One cannot "plan" when these variables (luck) have any impact on the game.

Once more, someone has cut and pasted content from the guide. To clarify, I can read. I am aware of what all of the races have in the way of pros and cons. There is no need to regurgitate this and then pass it off as though you are carrying the sacred foreskin of the messiah in a secret oak box in your abdomen, therefore you are enlightened. It just means you can also read. And the worst exchange rate in the game is a con, not a "con." To use quotations would imply what, that it is secretly an advantage? And if economy equals actions, wouldn't this be a potential hindrance, say, if God decided to take a monolith shaped dump on your intended aggression with a couple of die rolls? Or can you carefully plan your die results?

So, once more, how does one play Orion when not drawing tiles with Ancients? Even in my last game, an eager Hegemony player converged a Dreadnought and cruiser on two separate tiles to take out a single Ancient on each, but lost both to critical hits from the Ancients, and bummer rolls on their part. One could scoff as though this is "bad luck," but, alas, it is a part of the game.

So, when factoring this in if playing Orion, it makes those deficiencies quite much. I have heard from other experienced players that they harbored similar sentiments based on experience. I am by no means saying I am the prime strategist here, but can someone actually communicate about the situation as a whole, and not just the parts that support their opinions?

Pweez...
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Petri Savola
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Action Phase wrote:
So, once more, how does one play Orion when not drawing tiles with Ancients? Even in my last game, an eager Hegemony player converged a Dreadnought and cruiser on two separate tiles to take out a single Ancient on each, but lost both to critical hits from the Ancients, and bummer rolls on their part. One could scoff as though this is "bad luck," but, alas, it is a part of the game.

If you don't draw any ancients, you should attack your neighbors or GCDS early. Especially if your neighbor is Descendants, Progress or Planta.
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Peter O
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Orions, due to their lack of home system money, really need to establish relations early. Once the second partnership is established you collect the traitor card right away, but the two quick alliances helps you adjust your economy to your needs. More troublesome are neighbors who box you out. (This seems to always happen to me whether I'm Orion or not, apparently I have a reputation arrrh) Then its useful to pick up a system with a grey planet and use an influence action to remove your influence and then put it back, resetting your system and allowing you to adjust your economy.
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Jeremy Diachuk
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Action Phase wrote:
Once more, someone has cut and pasted content from the guide. To clarify, I can read.


Apparently not. I didn't cut and paste from any guide. Get off your high horse. (Also, I don't know what "guide" you mean, since I don't know of any game guide for this game yet, except for people's discussions on the subject here on the forums)

The worse exchange rate is a con, but it's not a very big one. The Terrans have the best exchange rate, which does help them to be flexible. The Orion have the worst. However, I have managed many games (even as Terran) without doing a Trade even once.

If you don't draw Ancients as the Orion Hegemony, then go for the GCD. (That's always available to fight)

Or go attack an enemy player.

Having no Money income means you have one less population cube than other players - hardly a gamebreaker. And then you just move into the sector I hexes knowing you can take on an Ancient if you find it. Half of the sector I hexes have Ancients on them. The other half are worth lots of VP or multiple planets or both. Most players won't necessarily rush for the sector I hexes, since they can be stopped short by Ancients. A minimum of two of the inner hexes will have at least one Ancient on it, so if you spread through the center as early as you can, you might even ensure you get one of them (unless the Planta or Descendants are playing, since they can much more easily skirt you). Or if no Ancient in your first I hex, then just take the GCD on round 2. That contains at least two Money-potential spots, plus Materials and Science. And it's worth a juicy 4 VP.
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Daniel Hammond
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If all you roll are ones and your tile draws are bad you are going to lose. That is from my experience and detailed analysis not from a game guide. Hope that helps. I will try to give equally insightful advice for the other races, if I have time .
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Travis R. Chance
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taggedjc wrote:
Action Phase wrote:
Once more, someone has cut and pasted content from the guide. To clarify, I can read.


Apparently not. I didn't cut and paste from any guide. Get off your high horse. (Also, I don't know what "guide" you mean, since I don't know of any game guide for this game yet, except for people's discussions on the subject here on the forums)

The worse exchange rate is a con, but it's not a very big one. The Terrans have the best exchange rate, which does help them to be flexible. The Orion have the worst. However, I have managed many games (even as Terran) without doing a Trade even once.

If you don't draw Ancients as the Orion Hegemony, then go for the GCD. (That's always available to fight)

Or go attack an enemy player.

Having no Money income means you have one less population cube than other players - hardly a gamebreaker. And then you just move into the sector I hexes knowing you can take on an Ancient if you find it. Half of the sector I hexes have Ancients on them. The other half are worth lots of VP or multiple planets or both. Most players won't necessarily rush for the sector I hexes, since they can be stopped short by Ancients. A minimum of two of the inner hexes will have at least one Ancient on it, so if you spread through the center as early as you can, you might even ensure you get one of them (unless the Planta or Descendants are playing, since they can much more easily skirt you). Or if no Ancient in your first I hex, then just take the GCD on round 2. That contains at least two Money-potential spots, plus Materials and Science. And it's worth a juicy 4 VP.


To quote Borat: please to relaxing.

Yeesh, this guy. I am not on a high horse. I just don't count reciting rules as an opinion, esp. when you are blatantly not responding to the information I provided from a situational contingent. No high horse here. I hate horses.

Again, I don't think these guys are bad, I was merely asking for play experience. Again, not recitation of text from the rule book (hence, guide). I was curious how others fared, not how or what things were on paper.
 
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Travis R. Chance
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dlhammond wrote:
If all you roll are ones and your tile draws are bad you are going to lose. That is from my experience and detailed analysis not from a game guide. Hope that helps. I will try to give equally insightful advice for the other races, if I have time .


I understand that if you roll critical failures that is bad for anyone. My point was that winning those early battles is paramount for this race. So, if luck craps down your throat/no Ancients pop up early it is hard to muster the forces to take the center early/raid an opponent/mitigate said draw backs.

 
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Jeremy Diachuk
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Action Phase wrote:
dlhammond wrote:
If all you roll are ones and your tile draws are bad you are going to lose. That is from my experience and detailed analysis not from a game guide. Hope that helps. I will try to give equally insightful advice for the other races, if I have time .


I understand that if you roll critical failures that is bad for anyone. My point was that winning those early battles is paramount for this race. So, if luck craps down your throat/no Ancients pop up early it is hard to muster the forces to take the center early/raid an opponent/mitigate said draw backs.



Actually, if no Ancients pop up in Round 1, you can easily take the GCD the following round with a Dreadnought (which you can afford on Round 2 even if you didn't find any Materials planets) with 2x Plasma Cannons (you can afford the tech Round 2 as well, even with no extra Science planets, and on Round 1 the only other races that could grab it before you would be Hydran Progress or Terran and only if they trade to get the resources) and a Cruiser with Plasma Cannon.

I've done it. It's very potent.

(Also, you are indeed "on a high horse" .. you claimed I was acting as though I were repeating information in order to "pass it off as though [I were] carrying the sacred foreskin of the messiah in a secret oak box in [my] abdomen" , which I think is a bit of an overreaction on your part. I reiterated the rulebook and then explained why they're not as much of a con as you think they are - if you read most post, you'd see I clearly had the opinion that a worse trade rate isn't as big a detriment as you seem to think it is and explained why, as well as explaining how the advanced ship designs actually make a meaningful difference.)

Yes, if you don't draw any Ancient tiles (which are 50% of the inner hexes, so if you explore two of them, your odds of of not finding at least one Ancient are 25%) and if Plasma cannon isn't available (nor Improved Hull, as both are excellent against Ancients and GCD alike), then you're going to have some problems. This could be true for Eridani who don't find any wealthy systems, or Planta who find only empty hexes so can't spread out, or if you roll nothing but 1's the whole game.

dlhammond's point was that if you get bad luck with all your hex draws, another player might roll nothing but 1's, or the Eridani player might never see Advanced Economy, Advanced Robotics, or Quantum Grid. All of these things can cripple players as much as any other, but there are ways to mitigate these luck factors. Orion Hegemony is ideal if they get early draws with Ancients on them, true. But if they don't get those, they can invade their nearest neighbour (hopefully Planta or Hydran Progress!) or the GCD. There are lots of routes to victory. If you feel you're dealt a bad hand, you should make the best of it, instead of then going on the forums and complaining about how much luck you rely on for your Hegemony games
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Timo Hohkala
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I think it's always wise to upgrade that cruiser with extra hull (replace power source), just to be on the safe side.
 
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Mikko Kaskela
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taggedjc wrote:
The worse exchange rate is a con, but it's not a very big one. The Terrans have the best exchange rate, which does help them to be flexible. The Orion have the worst. However, I have managed many games (even as Terran) without doing a Trade even once.

Not doing trading as a Terran is not optimal play. Since the resource bars give much better odds than 2:1 near the end it is optimal to try to max one and under develop others, and then trade into what you need.

I'd say it is a big con for Hegemony having to loose this min-max option and the flexibility trading brings. But, as others said as well, it is practically impossible to not find a fight by turn 2 (GDS at least) as Hegemony so I'd not call them more vulnerable to explorer luck than other races.
 
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Jeremy Diachuk
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True, since that does improve its chances against the Ancients considerably. However, it does get to strike first against Ancients (another huge benefit of the Orion Hegemony -- weird how the Planta, famed explorers, don't even get to attack first with their Interceptors!) and if you put a Plasma cannon on it, it wins on a 5 or a 6 roll without retaliation while the Ancient needs two 6's to defeat the Cruiser.

I calculated the chances of the Cruiser + Dreadnought tag team against the GCD, and with Plasma Cannons replacing the Ion Cannons, it defeats the GCD a little under 75% of the time. Worth noting that this isn't always the best course to take (try to get Improved Hull as well, which is possible if you grab two Science planets your first round, which is extremely likely if you didn't draw any Ancients in your Sector I hexes as 3 of the other 4 hexes have either Science or a wild planet) but if you really didn't find any Ancients to hunt, I'd still say it's worth a shot.

Edit: In regards to trades. Yes, the very last cube you use gives you +4 resources of that type, which is like +2 resources of any other type of your choice for Terrans (good to be flexible). However, the 7th cube (of 11) gives you +3 resources of a given type. Even if you're Terran, if your empire is of medium expanse, if you know you'll need Science, you'd rather place your 7th Science cube than even placing your 11th Money cube. Except of course that you can use the Money for other things, or change it to Materials if you want. But still, you have to place a lot of cubes to get to removing that 11th cube. And after that, you can't remove any more, so you'll have to remove that 7th cube eventually.
It's even sillier for other races. The 10th and 11th cubes are effectively only +1 of another resource of their choice (10th cube is +3 of that type) so even placing your very first cube of that other color is as good, excepting the flexibility it grants you.

The Orion Hegemony loses some flexibility (which does impact them more in lategame than at the beginning) but I really feel their additional Initiative on their ships makes up for this. While less flexible, they get to strike first even if they can only keep even with technology, even if they're on the offense. Since they can be on the offense and strike first, this gives them strategic flexibility on where to strike and when, since they can press that advantage. Orion Dreadnoughts are terrifying when fully-outfitted, since you can only really hope to win by out-teching them (which could be possible as Hydran Progress, or Machenema with their faster Upgrades). But you have to play against their strengths to win against them just like any other race - an early offensive against Planta screws them, whereas fast tech-up helps against the Orion Hegemony.
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Travis R. Chance
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Well, here in the real world, not this vacuum from which you hail where that other 25% doesn't exist, taking the center hex on Turn 2 in a 6 player game comes at a price that can't be recited from the rulebook. If you don't think that out of the 4 volleys you would need to bust up the Center, that out of the 4 rolled each time could yield enough 6's to blow up at least one of your ships is unrealistic, then I am at a loss for words.

The point of this post was to discuss something from the point of experience, not sheer probability, and not to be deemed "right" or all-knowing or whatever it is you seek. You are indeed entrenched in your view, which leads me to believe you should start your own thread, as you are contributing very little here. If I disagree, from my experiences, which I volunteered, I am on a "high horse." But if you repeat what their pros and cons are from a pamphlet, do some basic equations, and speculate on strategy which you have yet to declare you have applied ("you should..." apparently that makes you "the winner." I am not here to discredit you, or anyone; I am here to find out what other experiences players have had, not what "should happen."

You said it yourself, you can mosh early, but once the other races amp up, Orion can find its lead with ships quickly marginalized. And while others can shift gears with their trade ratio because, ya know, curve balls happen when you're throwing dice and players make unpredictable moves, that careful planning leaves you nil wiggle room to course correct. And, as I mentioned, this was also the question posed by a few other experienced players I know, who shared similar play experience.

Anyway, enough on this. I was hoping for personal experience, not blanket calculations, perfect world scenarios, and grandstanding speculation. I shared some personal experiences with consistent results, which, leads me to believe that those deficits are hefty for these space bullies and can be problematic given a couple of common scenarios. So, as you sit behind the register at Pep Boys, eating your Taco Bell in between chapters of Twilight, selling wiper blades to an obese mother of nine, you should run the probability factor of how such a thing could happen to a really nice guy like you.
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Chris Berger
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Here's my take on it:

The Hegemony originally hails from
the Orion system, but their fleets are
known to have actively patrolled the
general volume since the early times.
The tragedy that fell upon the Terran
Federation Dreadnought "Juri Gagarin"
and its accompanying fleet may
well have been due to a grave misunderstanding
in interspecies communication
– plausible enough in a
mutual First Contact. The long war
that followed and their seemingly
overwhelming military power gave
the Hegemony their commonly used
name. After the peace was established
and the interspecies collaboration
took its first steps with the creation of
the original Galactic Center, the Hegemony
has now been recognized as a
benevolent species, and their past as
a ruthlessly efficient war machine has
been reduced to a historical side note.
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Travis R. Chance
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arkayn wrote:
Here's my take on it:

The Hegemony originally hails from
the Orion system, but their fleets are
known to have actively patrolled the
general volume since the early times.
The tragedy that fell upon the Terran
Federation Dreadnought "Juri Gagarin"
and its accompanying fleet may
well have been due to a grave misunderstanding
in interspecies communication
– plausible enough in a
mutual First Contact. The long war
that followed and their seemingly
overwhelming military power gave
the Hegemony their commonly used
name. After the peace was established
and the interspecies collaboration
took its first steps with the creation of
the original Galactic Center, the Hegemony
has now been recognized as a
benevolent species, and their past as
a ruthlessly efficient war machine has
been reduced to a historical side note.


What an incredible opinion! You now have one more arguing VP tile than taggedjc.
 
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