One thing I’ve always neglected to notice while playing Stellaris is that you don’t actually have to be into slavery in order to take advantage of the slave market. You can buy freedom for people, give them full citizenship, and, boom, more pops (the most important resource in the game because it corresponds to time).
1: build crazy energy eco
2: build a ring world
3: buy every slaves
Didn’t win, but I went from minor pacifist vassal to fourth place.
The endgame was actually pretty interesting. There was an Unbidden invasion, which my state ended by closing the gate. There was an awakened empire (big tan blob) that went around with a death star and destroyed like 20 planets. And there was a largely successful machine uprising (purple) in the state east of us.
Also, this happened. Needless to say we did not allow the weapons inspectors in. I hoped they would try us, but no. Just the old ‘deploy the Cylon detector to find the WMD’ line 🙃
And here’s the ring world achievement 🪐