Every game of Galactic Civilizations III is different. You can play as any of 8 pre-made alien civilizations who have their own histories, technologies, etc, or you can literally create your own. After release, we expect players will share their civilizations with one another. You can play against up to 128 different opponents but in this case, we are only playing against ~8 civilizations.
This example is just one game. The infinitely replayable Galactic Civilizations puts you in control of the future of the Milky Way galaxy…
And so in 2050, humans did build a space ship to colonize a different world: Mars. This is the story of the Galactic Civilizations…
Long ago when humans were hunting and gathering…
While humans were still hunting and gathering, races like the Arcean Empire were exploring the galaxy.
Humans came into contact with sentient alien races in the early 22nd century. They had the technology to travel great distances through the construction of stargates. A civilization would send a construction drone out into the galaxy and upon finding a good location would begin assembling such a stargate. The process took many thousands of years since these construction drones had to travel at sub light speeds.
Faster than Light
Humans are unique amongst the alien civilizations in many respects. Their rapid technological advances being one of them. It has caused the other races to “step up their game” since meeting humans. This in turn led to the creation of a new drive system called HyperDrive changed everything. They made the stargates obsolete by allowing individual ships to travel faster than light.
The year is 2178
In 2178 the race to expand into the galaxy has begun…
Earth in 2178
Earth has constructed a shipyard just outside of Mars between the asteroid belt and Jupiter. It has also built a prototype ship called the TAS (Terran Alliance Ship) Discovery.
The Discovery is a literal one-of-a-kind ship with a set of prototype weapons and a special module for looking through stellar anomalies. The construction of this ship is what helped create the Terran Alliance. So expensive and extraordinary it was to build that it required the Americans, Europeans, Chinese, Russians, Koreans, Japanese and Australians to all work together for 4 years to build. At the end, the Terran Alliance was formed.
The Prometheus Shiypard
The Discovery was built in orbit of Earth. While it gained most of the attention of the population of Earth, the Prometheus shipyards was, in actuality, a bigger project. Mostly built by the European Federation, it took almost 50 years to construct due to its immensity. The great debate was what would be built first. After much argument, it was decided to build the Mark I constructor, needed to build a starbase that could help mine the asteroid field.
A starbase construction ship
Upon completion, the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter would be mined.
This, in turn, would become a bigger deal than imagined because one of the asteroids has Durantium in it. Durantium is a very rare material. It’s not an element on the periodic table but rather a combination of many different elements that results in a super dense but super light construction material.
The miners also found a mysterious alien artifact floating just beyond the asteroid belt. What is it? The Discovery is sent to investigate.
The Discovery is sent in.
It is an ancient navigational computer left over by some Precursor race. It adds data that helps us research Intererstellar Travel, a technology that is designed to increase the speed of our ships.
In just a few days of travel, the Discovery, using its Hyperdrive tech, gets to Proxima Centauri. No surprises except for a strange mass that has been called Promethion.
Promethion? What is it? Arguably it’s a planet but it is unlike any planet we’ve seen. You can’t colonize it but the mining build is lobbying the Security Council for an expedition to mine it. They succeed.
The Mining Guild successfully lobbies for Earth’s first interstellar starbase (outside the solar system). Near Proxima Centauri, they send out skimmers. As a bonus, another Durantium deposit is located.
An amazing first year
The Prometheon shipyard was able to produce a constructor in only 7 months and it traveled to Proxima Centuari in less than 11 days. On the anniversary of the launch of the TAS Discovery, the Terran Alliance now claims a tiny piece of the galaxy:
The Terran Alliance in 2179
The late night comedians have a message for the world: We have met aliens and they do not speak English.
Who are they? We don’t know. We can’t understand them.
Dr. Tolsten, of the Terran Alliance research council recommends we look into building a Universal translator. It will take 4 months to build.
Meanwhile, on Earth, the Terran Alliance has agreed to construct a massive factory complex in South Africa. This decision was based on the location of the “Techapod” Hive that was engineered in the Sahara Desert in the early 22nd century. These animals are incredibly versatile at being trained and do particularly well when combined with robotic manufacturing.
They mysterious alien ship leaves Proxima Centauri. Hopefully the universal translator will allow us to know their intentions soon.
Long before humans showed up, the galaxy, while uncolonized, did have various types of trade. Unfortunately, a lot of this trade was illegal and thus was formed the “Galactic Hand”, a loosely confederated group of pirates who terrorize the galaxy. The Discovery has come upon one of their hives that is in the process of trying to disect a hijacked ship.
The Discovery decides to intervene…
The first battle
(this looks way better in motion)
The Discovery is victorious, though it takes severe damage in the process.
The Universal Translator is unveiled with great fanfare. Then, great sadness. The Discovery is able to take its recordings of the unknown aliens back and we learn a great deal about them. They’re called “The Krynn”. Worse, they are a crime syndicate. They are not friendly to us though they are taking the path of benevolence so far.
Panic on Earth in 2180
There are aliens. They are not necessarily friendly and Earth is defenseless. A team of scientists suggests we could build a prototype defense ship by utilizing some of the resources that have been discovered. For example, out in the Oort cloud beyond Pluto is a theoretical material called Elerium that they believe could be weaponized. While only 1 ship could use it, it might be enough to protect Earth from alien invaders.
Elerium out in the Oort cloud beyond Pluto
A potential colony for humans
2180 is also an exciting year because the TAS Envoy, the Discovery’s less exciting sibbling, has discovered an amazing world. Only one problem, the planet’s environment is toxic to humans. In fact, everything on the planet is slowly dying. Apparently, the planet a volcanic eruption in the past few thousand years that released high amounts of lead vapor into the atmosphere.
The Envoy has found a world, tentatively called Kamber but it cannot be colonized until humans find a way to remove the toxins.
But there is another planet in the same star system that is a twin to Kamber and it is amazing.
A world more beautiful than Earth itself. But can the humans get to it first?
The literal translation to the Krynn’s survey ship is the Looter. And it too is looking at the Elerium deposit.
The Mining Guild gets their first and the Elerium begins to be harvested.
Guns or Butter
The year is now 2181. Earth now has a Elerium resource that can be used to build a prototype energy weapon that could be added to a ship to protect the Earth. However, there is also an amazing world only 9 light years from Earth that will likely get claimed by someone else soon.
In a risky move, it is decided that that a colony ship will be constructed first. In addition, the Earth’s spending priorities will be totally focused on getting that colony ship built.
As an emergency measure, the Terran Alliance puts all its spending on getting that Colony Ship built.
That, my friends, is a Krynn colony ship. We can guess where it’s going.
She’s not pretty but the TAS Slicer’s use of the Elerium weapon prototype will make it formidable. On the other hand, it costs $104 billion credits to build just one (which would pay for two fully loaded colony ships).
The TAS Hope colony ship is built and sent to the Kebra system. Will it get there first? We’ll know in 6 months.
Meanwhile, it is decided that the Terran Alliance needs to be able to defend itself. The Research Council puts together a “technology tree” of weapon and defense options.
A so-called “technology tree”.
It is decided that beam weapons will be the path we go on.
This decision seems wise as a second alien civilization is encountered.
And the third
The malevolent Drengin Empire
And a fourth
The Altarians are remarkably similar looking to humans. This will create a great deal of debate.
Humans are not only not alone but appeared to be surrounded.
Worse yet, long-range sensors indicate that the TAS Hope has lost the race to colonize the Kamber system.
The Commerce Guild has argued that the best way to stay out of war is through trade. With that, they lobby for the construction of a trading ship, a freighter, to go on a trading mission to the Krynn.
The Altarians are willing to trade
So are the Drengin
During these early days. it seems like everyone is going to get along. It is a period of sharing and exploration for all these civilizations. It is even decided that they should form a United Planets organization.
The United Planets first meets
The Terran Alliance gathers the group together and forms the United Planets. They even agree for the Terran Alliance to be the chair of it.
A year later, the Altarians ask us to join them in a war against the Yor. They explain that the Yor are unnatural and must be eliminated. They even agree to pay our expenses.
The Altarians seem remarkably intolerant of other species
There is a great debate on what should be done about this offer.
The “Terran sector”
On the one hand, the Altarians are neighbors of Earth. But on the other hand, war? That seems very reckless. It is decided to respectfully turn them down. The Earth just doesn’t want to get involved in a war.
In fact, the primary objective of the Terran Alliance is research. The Earth needs colonies of its own and there are planets that can be colonized – if their atmosphere can be cleaned up. Hence, all research and effort is being made to find a way to colonize “problematic” planets.
News Headlines of 2183
Scandal at the United Planets. The Terran Alliance comes down hard on eaves dropping.
A derelict ship is found.
Humans take up the cause of benevolence
Each race has a myriad of religions. The human-based ones have evolved into benevolence with the faith that all beings can work together in harmony. This has some interesting ramifaications.
Tension in space
The Yor have cool relations with the humans and as a mark of their disrepect, send in a powerful frigate into the solar system. The Sentinel greets it but it would be hard pressed in battle. The Yor ship is huge.
The Yor come close to Earth
The trade mission to the Krynn colony is a success.
In 2184 the humans finally get their first interstellar colony. It’s an icy world but it’s a start.
The planet was colonized before
There is a powerful Precursor ship buried in the ice. But getting it out would largely ruin the planet. It is decided that it is better to study it rather than try to use the ship directly.
Haven feels cut off from Earth
The problem with such distant colonies is that they tend to feel cut off, this is especially true if there’s a fully developed planet in the same solar system. Kamber III (the planet we lost the space race to earlier) has prospered. Visitors from Kamber have woo’d the new colonists. We will have to keep an eye on this.
The galaxy gets dangerous
While things are going well for Earth, the military power of the other civilizations has become significant.
This Iridium patrol ship is very well armed
Meanwhile, on Earth, scientists have come up with new techniques to colonize some of the formerly off limited worlds. It is decided that, in the long-run, Earth can only compete if it has its own colonies.
There is already war between the Altarians and other races
The humans are far far behind on civilization power which is mostly based on manufacturing capacity and military might. The gamble is that the humans can catch up with its monopoly on extreme colonization capabilities.
In science fictions, beings simply land on planets as if they are just other earths. Unfortunately, these planets are crawling with microorganisms that humans have no defense against. Luckily, a great deal of preparation went into protecting human colonists. Sometimes, however, it’s not enough.
Haven becomes overrun by a virus
The virus does grant some benefits to those that survive it but it is ultimately decided to work to eradicate it rather than take advantage of it.
End of Part 1
And that, my
friends is the end of the beginning. The first 100 turns. The Terran Alliance is struggling, surrounded on all sides. But its diplomatic skill has kept them out of war. So far.