Stellaris

Terravore/Calamitous Birth Origin Lithoids have been hilariously buffed by the recent pop changes.

I've never done an aggressive playstyle before but I figured I'd try it out and I had never played a lithoid empire before either, considering the recent changes to population growth the Terravore w/ Calamitous Birth Origin got an indirect buff–they completely ignore traditional pop growth mechanics to expand their empire. While it requires a very specific playstyle or you bottleneck yourself, the actual process is really quite easy. Just:

  1. Be a Terravore with the Calamitous Birth Origin.
  2. (Optional, but highly recommended) Take the Volatile Excretions species trait, it's a surprise tool that will help us later.
  3. When you spawn into the galaxy, choose nearby worlds to be your core (ideally, only permanent) sector, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO YOU EAT THESE. You can choose to colonize them the normal way (If you're afraid of the habitability malus and what it will do to your amenities and production.), or by using the Lithoid Meteorite (If you aren't afraid of it, and/or rolled the Baol precursor like I did.)
  4. If you followed step 2, with your volatile motes, you can use the Volatile Land Clearance edict. If you didn't, Mastery of Nature & a governor with Environmental Engineer is still quite good because….
  5. When you start initially settling your world, if you used the Lithoid Meteorite, you have two new blockers that when cleared, give you a Lithoid pop. So 1 (2, if you take the Expansion Tradition) pop just from colonizing the planet, then 2 more right after (You can actually clear those blockers before the planet is done being colonized too, I'm not sure if that is a bug or not, though.) Normally digging up a Lithoid pop requires quite a bit of minerals, but this cost is massively reduced if you follow step 4–to the point of being outright free if you do all three.
  6. If this planet is not one you are choosing to be one of your cores, EAT IT. You have a decision that costs nothing at all on the planet that will consume 2 districts every 360 days (You have to manually select it each time though), giving you random minerals, pops, and other resources.
  7. If you eat every district, the planet is destroyed, and all of your new pops are immediately transferred to your capital.
  8. Destroying a world this way also gives you Menace, as a nice bonus, if you're choosing to Become the Crisis–which quite frankly, why aren't you if you're playing a monster like this?

Eating already-colonized worlds (Like say, ones you conquered–which also gives you Menace in of itself!) isn't quite as powerful, because it doesn't have the guaranteed 2 pops from the Lithoid Meteorite, but considering you possibly get free pops anyways each time you chomp down on that world, it's still quite good. And again, the decision itself is completely free! You don't suffer from the population growth bottleneck in this way in the slightest, because your method of gaining pops is completely removed from it–hell, AFAIK you basically have the option to always gain 3-4 more pops for 200 influence if you just continuously settle-> dig up Lithoids-> abandon colony-> resettle the same planet, so long as you don't eat it!

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