Fuzzy Jul 26 @ 11:34am
.. the star system does not belong to you (yet) ..
I'd like to colonize a planet in a nearby system, but I'm getting that message. How, or when does a system belong to me?

Thanks!
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Manxome Jul 26 @ 11:43am 
I'm not sure I've seen that exact message, but you can be prevented from colonizing a new star system if it's within the influence range of another player (those shaded circles that emanate from your colonies), or if another player has already colonized any planet within the system (even if some planets within the system haven't been colonized yet, just grabbing one planet locks all other players out of the system).
MTB-Fritz Jul 26 @ 12:37pm 
As soon as the system has a color and is settled (even if its only one planet out of several) the whole system is locked to a faction and cannot be colonized by you anymore. The only way to get it then is to invade.
Fuzzy Jul 26 @ 1:29pm 
Ahh ok. I think I figured out my problem here.

I was trying to colonize from the system screen (where you see all the planets directly). But it looks like you need to do it from the main (galaxy?) screen using the ship's "colonize planet" ability. (Now it seems I may be over-colonizing, lol.)

I just met my first neighbor. I assume I shouldn't allow open borders until I've colonized one planet in all my systems, to prevent them from settling near me?

Will they'll get mad if i colonize in their systems that haven't been touched yet? I'd like to stay on good terms, while still being a hypocrite and surrounding them. :p

Thanks for the advice!
Manxome Jul 26 @ 1:54pm 
As I said earlier, your influence areas prevent other players from colonizing empty systems, so if all the systems in your area are covered by your influence, the computer can't colonize them even with open borders.

On the other hand, unless they have to pass through a system covered by your influence to get to the empty systems, they'll be able to get to them and colonize them even without open borders--they don't need open borders to move through systems you own unless they are generating (or covered by) your influence. (Newly-colonized systems start generating their own influence areas after 30 turns; the number of turns left on the counter is shown in the upper-left of the system screen, under the system name.)

Claiming new systems can damage your relations with the AI under some circumstances. For one, every direct (one-hop) connection directly between one of your systems and one of theirs seems to generate "tense borders" modifiers that reduce your relations; if you grab a system that's surrounded by their systems (or vice versa), you'll have more borders. On the other hand, colonizing up to a bottleneck (like a wormhole) can cause you to have a shorter border in the long run, which may ultimately improve relations (and can also be of strategic benefit).

You can also get negative relationship modifiers with the AIs based on "expansion" and "score". I'm not entirely clear on how those work, but colonizing more systems probably doesn't help with either of them.

If you go to either the trade screen or the race info screen of another faction and hold your mouse over your current relationship, it will list your current relationship score, with a breakdown of different kinds of modifiers.

AIs can declare war on you even if you have good relations, though. I've seen them cite reasons like "they need room to expand" or "your high score makes them consider you a threat".
Fuzzy Jul 26 @ 2:39pm 
Ok nice.

I'll avoid open borders for now. I have scattered influence and they could easily settle near me.

I do have the wormhole bottlenecked, by my starting system. If that's the only way into my area, I should be ok. I can probably build a small force in that system and hold them off.

I have a chance to grab a few nice looking planets on their side. They have wonders but I'm not experienced enough to know if they're worth it. I'll probably take the risk and go for it, lol.
MTB-Fritz Jul 27 @ 1:07am 
Will they'll get mad if i colonize in their systems that haven't been touched yet? I'd like to stay on good terms

Usually yes. Your diplomatic relationship tends to go down if you have ships inside the AIs sphere of influence or have em sit on a border system. Same counts for outposts you erect directly next to an AI system. Chances are he ll invade it anyway.

If you are quick to a really nice system and claim it the AI will either send over invasion fleets or even declare war to get it (it seems to recognize the value of such systems......lots of positive anomalies for example or maybe several T1 planets). Happens all the time if I rush into new constellations and claim the "best" system, Once the AI scouts out that pocket of space you can be sure it ll go for that system in a beeline.

Open borders protects you at first but it can have a drawback. If a factions needs to get through your space to reach another faction or unsettled systems and you dont let it, diplomatic relations will go down turn by turn until it ll declare war to move its fleets through your space that way.

Wonders come in 2 varieties.

1. Some are active from the get-go. You colonize that planet and the wonder takes effect.
2. Most needs to be unlocked first. That requires strategic resources which a) needs to be unlocked via research to be used and b) you gotta have em available

So most wonders are relevant late-game. As empire structures can change a lot till then I dont think its worth it to break off a war within the first 30 turns over them.

Those nice-looking systems near the enemy factions might be nice looking but theres another aspect over this. If its far from your own empire (read....the enemy AI is closer to it then you are) then you most probably wont be able to keep it anyway. The first enemy scout will blockade the system which prevents you from tapping its resources (if you dont have a hero with blockade-runner available) and the enemy AI will simply send over fleets to "secure" it until it has invasion fleets available. In the end you ll save it the time to build a colony ship and send it over itself
Fuzzy Jul 27 @ 10:24am 
Yep, you were right. He didn't like me being in his area. Massive invasion in multiple systems at the same time, in my area and his. My 10 ship fleet didn't stand a chance.

Open borders bought me some time, but also hurt when he showed up deep in my area with a few 5-8k strong fleets.

You were right on the last point. He grabbed the wormhole choke I had going into his area and cut my empire in half. It was ugly. I think next game I'll stay home and build up my foundation first.

It was impossible to stay at peace with them, they kept complaining about my score. It turns out score means nothing if you only have 10 ships in your fleet, lol.

I was even giving them free dust each turn as a last resort "let's be friends".. it didn't work very long. :p
MTB-Fritz Jul 27 @ 10:27am 
yeah unfortunately the only thing the game AI "really" uinderstands is a big stick

Depending on the map settings I often stay "under the radar" and let the other factions have a go in the expansion race....rather trying to balance out my empire early which means that I can start building up my military and go on the warpath while they are still busy trying to get their headings.

Under such a strategy its important that you strike early and get a few good systems in return, you usually save up a lot of population-growth and infrastructure building too hehe.
Manxome Jul 27 @ 4:10pm 
Originally posted by Fuzzy:
I was even giving them free dust each turn as a last resort "let's be friends".. it didn't work very long. :p
Making a deal that's favorable to the AI seems to increase your relations with them through a "donations" modifier. But I've noticed that "donations" never seems to go above 50, no matter how many favorable deals you make, so once you hit that level you should probably stop.
Dealer Jul 27 @ 5:41pm 
My default game was one AI, so it makes sense they'll attack you. I think maybe in a game with 3 or more civs the AI will have to decide which one to attack first. So peace may be possible for as long as you help them.
BrigadierBill Jul 28 @ 4:23am 
Best ways to keep the AI happy without screwing yourself in my experience are:
1.) Long-term peace status.
2.) Favorable trades (note the change in dialogue when you move well-past a fair trade). This is a great idea if something you don't value is important to them (like offering a crapton of dust for resources; if you offer at least something that persists over time, they are a lot less likely to cancel the trade, and will appreciate you for it).
3.) Having a powerful fleet. Sometimes this will lower your diplomacy standing and other times raise it, but regardless the AI will be wary of attacking you when you have sufficient ships (and will surrender easily in war iif you outnumber them enough).

Best ways to ♥♥♥♥ off the AI:
1.) Be really large and successful. If the AI can't expand any more, they will attack you, and the AI will also attack players who are doing better than them so long as they think they can win (or have no choice).
2.) Untrustworthiness. Breaking deals, launching aggressive wars, and conquering territory will all reduce your standing with the AI and make them hate you more.
3.) Weak military. The AI love picking on weaklings.


I don't recommend going so far as to placate an AI that hates you, it's only really worth it if you get something out of it yourself in my opinion. That's because sometimes the AI will attack regardless of diplomatic circumstances, if they feel that they need to expand and you're in their way, or if they're afraid you're about to win. It's alright if you can spare it and are trying to avoid a war on two or three fronts, since sometimes it might push the AI towards ignoring you and bothering someone else, but if you have no other neighbors then either become trading partners or expect to remain enemies.
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Date Posted: Jul 26 @ 11:34am
Posts: 11