No Buffs playthrough of Galactic War (Uber size, Absurd difficulty, no buffs) (Part 1)

Introduction

This is part one in my run through of Galactic War, on Absurd difficulty, on an Uber sized galaxy, with some card limitations to make it harder. This is the hardest difficulty and largest galaxy size currently available.

I already did such a playthrough here, with no limitations. The twist this time is that no buff cards are allowed, the only allowed cards are to unlock technology, and sub-commanders. This should increase the difficulty considerably.

Galactic War in Pictures

Two sub-commanders and advanced vehicles. Not a bad start

Win with early T1 harass to beat enemy to T2

Single moon

Enemy T2 vehicles and air made this a bit harder

Another single metal planet

Quick win with a lucky vanguard

Against Purple this time. You have to go where the single planet systems are, and it's all in the right general direction

The usual build

The unusual build. Only two T1 factories meant very little harass. With harass I could have played it better

Cleanup, the sub-commanders did a good job of harassing their enemy, it didn't manage to get to T2

Basic orbital means I can at least build avengers

T1 bombers saved the enemy this time

Thank you sub-commander, your radar satellite is proving most useful

That did it

Last single planet system. Another sub-commander would be the best tech from this planet

An additional data slot. Better than any buff in this no buffs allowed run, but not great

All the visible single planet systems have been done, now for the closest multi-planet system (closest to the starting point, I think that's factored into the difficulty). With multi-planet comes a change of tactic. Instead of rushing T2 vehicles as early as is reasonable, go for more of a T1 build, getting orbital soon after to claim the moon but trying to remain present on the planet. Then go T2 vehicles on the relative safety of the moon to bolster the main planet.

It seems my sub-commanders wanted out too, we're all on the moon

Not the smartest move the enemy ai could have taken

And that commander actually had a good base on the main planet. This one was doomed from successful harass leading to successful base eradication. With T1!

Superweapon tech. I think it will actually be useful in this run, given that even T2 vehicles is not a sure-fire way to victory

Without T1 air, there is no good counter to hornets. That is pretty desperately needed before we start encountering three enemy ai at once. Complete orbital or another sub-commander would also be nice.

Lucky me, a single planet system leading to the purple faction leader. There may be three ai to face this time

Treating myself to a 4 mex start. Luckily only two ai to beat, not three

We have this corner of the planet sewn up, so the enemy probably has the other

Taking out the advanced air before too many hornets can be spammed out

The last commander is playing hide and seek

I didn't know the trenches on metal planets were pathable, it works well so seems to be deliberate and not a bug

Artillery tech means pelters and shellers. Shellers could prove very useful

I toyed with the idea of taking on some other purple systems, to try and get some good tech for the faction leader battle. Screw that grind, we're close to opening up the map.

It's official, no turning back. If it's multi-planet spawns, go for the moon to neutralise the threat of getting smashed. There are probably three ai, if so this might be tough

Mostly naval main planet, the other planet is not a moon, against two ai. With no naval or air, I'm definitely going on the second planet

Both sub-commanders had naval starts, they may be useless with no naval or air

I'm alone on the moon. I'll stick to the T2 vehicle spam, using a sub-commander base to land on the main if possible.

It worked out. The enemy had one naval start, so they're a little slower than normal

The land start enemy goes down to the usual, now with added shellers

About the only way I can lose now is orbital snipe, so let's deal with that

Naval base destroyed, the enemy commander decides to go out of reach

Artillery to the rescue, eventually

Complete air tech is a good prize indeed. Now naval planets and enemy T2 air can be properly countered

Advanced defenses will be useful at some point. Catapults are good for fortifying a beachhead

The galaxy as it stands, most of it anyway

The cards in my hand as it stands. Two sub-commanders, advanced vehicles, basic orbital, superweapons, artillery, complete air, advanced defenses

Standing after defeating one faction leader. 9 battles in, not bad

Midway interval thoughts

If and when the next faction leader gets destroyed, I'll continue the run through on a new page (it's getting to the point where this one has too many pictures). It's going well so far, particularly now that we have air tech and can counter everything reasonably well. Complete orbital would be nice for anchors, and solar arrays when space is tight. And more sub-commanders would be a great help.

This is a fun way to play. There's always a chance I can lose, so have to concentrate all the time. Making it so that dying is game over is great, I have a proper motivation not to lose (the large chunk of time spent so far).

Part 2 is here.