I usually play strategy games to relax. I just had an incredibly stressful game. Authoritarian/Spiritualist/Pacifist snake people. Got the neural symbiont event very early. Off to a good start. First neighbor civ I encountered was a Devouring Swarm. Cool. I'm pacifist, they're genocidal. Perfect ! Guilt (and influence) free land-grab. They even had the same climate preference as my species (tundra), and since they're a hive-mind species they're automatically purged. They die off and leave the infrastructure for my colonists. How sad ! Not that cool: marauder empire not really close, but my divine empress had the trait that reduces mineral and influence cost for outposts. Naturally, I expanded like crazy. During my first war with the hungry bird people, I get attacked by another empire. Eventually I fight them off in a frantic two front (three or four front if you count pirates) clusterfornication but lose a vital choke point system with a heavily fortified starbase. During that war another empire attacks me. Before the war those utter dicks (they're fungoid, probably don't even have dicks, I apologize for my terracentrism) grabbed a system I really wanted because it had a size 25 tundra planet. They colonized the planet. A damned tropical preference species colonized the tundra planet I want. Of course I conquer the planet and purge the idiots. For their own good ! Don't want them to catch a cold ! And of course there's a marauder raid. And because my forces are stretched so thin, common pirates are running wild. Just when I try to consolidate my power the devouring swarm decides to take revenge. They're pretty weak because I ate 80% of their territory and a war against them would normally just be pest control, but I'm still distracted by pirates and my fleets are literally half a galaxy away when they attack. After about a hundred years of war a Great Khan unifies one of the three marauder empires. Naturally, it's the one right next to me. Naturally, I'm so stubborn that I spend a couple of in-game years fighting a hopeless war against the Horde before I eventually submit and my empire becomes a satrapy. My first instinct is to plot revenge, but then I decide to just wait for the Khans inevitable demise because I realize that I'm at peace. For the first time in over a century my empire is at peace. And once the Khan dies I vassalize the succesor Khanates. Who's laughing now ?