Author Topic: "Scotty, we need more power!" or Whelp, there goes the challenge in this game  (Read 2792 times)

Offline Kjara

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So I was thinking, I haven't played a full game in a while (partially busy, partially due to things being broken and being too lazy to down step my patch version), so I'll try a couple of the new things(namely riots, heavies, golem changes and the new explore map type where you don't see wormhole connections).


I'm a bit rusty, so I decided to step down the difficulty a little(7.6).  Randomed two ai's and got feeding parasite and camouflager(well actually my first game was a fail due to miss-set auto-AIP, so I recreated with them picked).  Don't think I've ever actually played camo yet, so that will be interesting, though so far it hasn't been that bad at all.

Other settings: Astotrains off, rebellions on (might be interesting if one pops up and I have to figure out how to get there), dyson, devourer, traders and miners on.  On top of this I pretty much always play with schizophrenic and f&d.  Since I wanted to relax a bit, I went with 1 aip per 10.

Starting with Anti-armors since I've always contended they are pretty awesome, and they got a reasonable buff recently.    I knew what units I wanted to play around with, so I unlocked my standard heavy bomber mk II, frigate mk II and laser turrets off the start + riots and anti-armors mkII(and missile turrets when the knowledge came in).


At this point I pretty much follow a basic routine when trains are off defense wise, scattering a good number of turrets around all the wormholes, starting and pausing a mkII ion cannon when the good trader eventually makes an appearance, and building a Light Starship and a good mix (about 1:1:2 of b:c:aa) of my mkII units and mkI fighters in prep for attacking my first world.  I love to rush an adjacent world at about the 15 or so minute mark when I have a reasonable fleet, but before it gets much in the way of reinforcements, just enough to clear the wormhole, any specials on the planet(say a distribution node), and then build a turret ball for an extra mkII power plant.  

After getting up the turret ball I decide to take a closer look at what the scouts had been up to (I had been playing around with the new auto-explore feature and just churning them out and letting them suicide wherever up to that point).


Turns out that I have 2 advanced research labs within easy striking distance (2 hops each) though neither is on a great resource planet, but ah well.  While scanning the other planets revealed what do I notice but 2 adjacent Zenith power generators, 2 and 3 hops away from my home planet, and with only 3 surrounding planets.  Now, one of them happens to be a mk IV planet, but I figure I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.  It also turns out that the shortest path to the 2 hop planet goes through a fortress which I'm a bit leery of, so I avoid it for now, and take a slightly longer 3 hop path(through a mkI and a mkII planet, so no big threat there).


Alright, so its about the 30 minute mark and I send the force I just used to secure my turret ball + a few replacement reinforcements( and a riot starship that had just finished) to hit the first of the power plant worlds.  Takes about 10 minutes to clear it and one of the gates en-route: 1 cc + 2 gates left to go.


While this is happening I know the ion cannon is going to be a huge problem on the mk IV world, so I switch over to producing mostly anti-armors (both mk I and II) and fighters at my space dock, since ions are less effective against them(since they are cheaper/have a higher cap and die at the same rate).


Around the 45 minute mark I've pretty much hit my energy cap with my two mkII plants and have about 500 mk I/II ships(~200 anti armors, 150 fighters and ~75 each of mkII bombers + cruisers).
Honestly I didn't switch over to heavy anti-armor production nearly soon enough, but it was enough to get the job done--At about the 1 hour mark I've managed to kill everything but one wormhole defense, while losing everything but the riot.


So I still have an unknown planet at the other end of the mkIV to take out(turns out to be a mkIII without an ion cannon, so pretty easy to do a gate raid on later), and another gate raid against a fortress before I want to risk putting up the command stations.  Since the first target is the fortress, I go into heavy mkII bomber production and get about 80 out augmented by a hundred or so mixed other forces and second riot as well.  This is more than enough to take out the fortress and then both of the gates I need to take out.  I proceed to get colony ships to both of the other planets and then get shields and turrets up.


So its now around the 1:30 mark, and I've managed to not only secure both of the planets, but to eliminate all of the adjacent gates so I don't have to worry about the 2x raids.  AIP is quite a bit higher than I'm used to at this point(78), but I have about 460k extra power with just those two plants running.  I'll be working on getting both of those adv. research labs asap, since I need things to burn my power on.  The only real drawback is that I lack any high level zenith reserves or golems close by to really abuse this extra power (two mkI reserves out there that I can see).

(f9's are the labs, f7's are the powerplants)


Save attached if anyone else wants to play from this ridiculous position.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 05:59:28 AM by kjara »

Online Draco18s

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Play an 80+ planet map and then tell me that 2 zenith power generators are more than enough.

Offline RCIX

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I think you better get used to much higher progress than usual with those rebellions on; you get awesome ships and resources but if you can't get to it realistically say goodbye to low AI progress :)
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Offline Kjara

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Play an 80+ planet map and then tell me that 2 zenith power generators are more than enough.

This is an 80 planet map, most of its still unexplored.  Note I don't expect to not have to use any other power plants(though not for quite a while honestly), but a start like this will allow me to steamroll over planets faster, and build a much bigger advantage going into the mid/end game.  Zenith power plants are like having at least an extra 100 minerals and crystals per second in terms of economy if you are using them fully (assuming that you could replace them solely with mkII plants).  That's an extra home command center each.

I think you better get used to much higher progress than usual with those rebellions on; you get awesome ships and resources but if you can't get to it realistically say goodbye to low AI progress :)

I really haven't had problems with rebellions in the past, but then again I haven't had to worry about not being able to figure out how to get to the planet with the rebellion on it yet :).  As I said, rebellions should be interesting on this map.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 05:38:59 PM by kjara »

Offline Kjara

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As we are entering the midgame I'll be giving a bit less detail on exact timings on things, and just give more in terms of overviews, tactical decisions and big events from now on.

I've played another hour and a half(up to the 3 hour point). 
Since the last report I've unlocked:
Dreadnought mk 1 (1k)
Flagship (2k)
Anti-armor mK III (4k)
Bomber mkIII (4k)
Frigate mkIII (4k)
Scout mkII (2k)
Mobile Repair station (2k)

I've managed to grab 3 ARS, unlocking etherjets(might be interesting, haven't tried them much but don't really fit in well with a frigate/riot/dread clump), teleport battle stations(meh, ship cap is too low on these + minor electric ammo makes them much more useful on the defense than the offense, and I really don't need extra defenses at this point), and beam frigates(heck yeah, I love these things--they will be getting most of my next 7k knowledge).

I'm about 4 hops from a 4th ARS and 3 hops from a mkIV factory (mainly really want one this game for the mkIV scout).  I also finally took a bit of time to knowledge raid some of my surrounding areas, still finishing up some of the area around my home planet and the two power gens though.


Shipwise, I've got most of my mkI starships out(riots, flags and dreads).

Defense wise I finished up my mkII ion on my home planet, so my defenses there are good for a while, I'm a bit low on turret counts, and may have to unlock a few of the mkII versions soon though.

Amusingly enough I found a 3rd Z-power gen shortly after I started playing again, I don't think I'll bother to capture it right now (it would cost me an extra 40 aip to neuter the necessary planets and would only give me one more planet to knowledge raid--I may come back for it if I find a golem I really want to play with or something).  Still 350k energy in the green and I have 4 low power mkII plants + the ability to build about 5 more currently.

Been pushing out the scouting quite a bit, quite a bit more of the galaxy is visible now as compared to the last save.

Still no rebellions, I expect the first one to show up around the 4 hour mark iirc?  I'm not nearly as worried about it as I was since I should have most of the galaxy explored by then.


Just noticed I forgot to mark the 4th ARS and the mk IV factory, both are in the nw.

As before, save is attached.

Offline Kjara

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Alright, so this turned out a bit less exciting that I would have liked.

By the 4:30 mark I've finished taking one more ARS(it unlocked infiltrators, a very decent ship in my opinion and one that works well with the existing ships I had, since I didn't have a great turret killer yet and they could help bombers take down forcefields), and I'm getting ready to take my the last one.

For tech, I've unlocked mk II and III infiltrators and beam frigates.

I managed to do a bit more exploring(including finding one of the planets adjacent to one of the home worlds)
I found two golems, one of them on a pretty interesting planet.


A raid engine, a dyson sphere, and a golem on the same planet.


By the 5:15 mark, I've taken the last ARS(bombards--another ship I love, but I never get a chance to use them) and I've unlocked scouts mk III's to finish finding both of the ai home worlds.  I'm in a bit of a pickle as theres only one route to each, and the mk IV adjacent to the one in the sw has permamines on its only entrance.  At this point I figure I may as well try out transports, and unlock them.  I build about 15 transports(as I have about 3k ships to transport), and do a 8 hop run with the transports.  I manage to lose two of the transports on the mk IV world(as they were down to about 10% health due wormhole damage), but the other 13 make it through, and instantly die at the homeworld.  Its easy enough to rush the command center after taking down the various starships that charge at my force(I think there were 2 spires, 2 zeniths and a dreadnought or two).  After taking down the command center I moved my force back to the exit wormhole to pick off as many of released units as possible, before scrapping about 1.2k of them that were left(since they couldn't get past the permamines).
Its about 5:50 or so when the assault ends.

At this point it was a simple matter of rebuilding my forces(as well as running a transport around with colony ships and engineers to replace a few command stations that I lost to mk II raiders that had been depending on their mkI ion cannons for defense :)).  At about 6:15 I was ready to strike, and at 6:22 or so, the 2nd ai home fell.





A few final thoughts, I never did need more than those two zenith power plants.  The mining golem was just set to hit a planet that I had taken for an ARS, so I really didn't care about it, turns out that I managed to win before it finished anyhow.  By the time that the rebel colony showed up, it was obvious that I would win before its protection ran out, so I again didn't bother to go grab it.  I easily could have(it turned up like 3 hops from my homeworld, and 2 hops from one of the ARS's I had taken).
Turns out that I never really needed more than those two zenith power plants, though I probably should have had enough paused mkII and mkIII plants around to replace one of them had I managed to lose one, but ah well.  I also never did get a chance to use a golem, as I had more than enough ships and didn't really need to spare the time to take (and didn't manage to find any until after taking my 4th ARS or so).

Riot starships are pretty awesome in the early/mid game, but like all other starships, somewhat lacking at the very end, due to fact that they can't get into transports and die so quickly to the guarenteed mass drivers(and when you can kill the homeworld with just fleet ships, theres no point in taking the mass driver out for a 2nd assault with starships--honestly I think I'd prefer to see more mass drivers scattered around the map, and not be guaranteed on the homeworld/surrounding worlds, as it also makes finding the homeworlds trivial, since once you hit a mk IV with all 3 ion cannon types, you know the homeworld is adjacent).

Edit: forgot to attach the saves.  Attached are saves at 4:30, 5:15 (shortly before I built transports to hit the first home world), at 6:15 (with the transport force ready to head to the 2nd homeworld), and right after the game ended.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 01:55:59 AM by kjara »

Offline allmybase

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That's pretty cool you play a very efficient game, only 6 planets captured? (zenith powers ftw)

Were there any huge cross planet attacks?

And how did you manage to raid so much knowledge? Stuck a bunch of science labs in transports and hit each adjacent planet to yours?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 03:12:52 AM by allmybase »

Offline Kjara

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That's pretty cool you play a very efficient game, only 6 planets captured? (zenith powers ftw)

Were there any huge cross planet attacks?

And how did you manage to raid so much knowledge? Stuck a bunch of science labs in transports and hit each adjacent planet to yours?


There was I think 1 cross planet attack of somewhere between 800 and 1k units(it hit 1k threat, i can't remember if I had any released units at the time), but they pretty much hit my planets piecemeal, I think I lost one planet which was easy enough to replace.

I tend to have buffer turret balls on planets around my planets that help cut down on the damage from cross planet attacks as the ai loves to run a chunk of its forces at each of those to kill the power plants and leave after doing so(while losing a chunk of units to the 40 or so turrets I have in each one--this might be a slight gap in the wall).  Usually I lose a few of them, but having so many available targets usually means that the cross planet attacks tend to spread out, I will occasionally lose an outlying planet as well, but those are easy enough to replace, and each has enough turrets that they usually wear down the cross planet attack before it hits anything important.  The key is to have enough defenses to make it painful for the ai to take each out, while not spending too much knowledge on turrets/other defenses.


In terms of knowledge, since 5 of the planets I took were ARS's, I generally knowledge raided them and their direct neighbors with the ARS I got there (then left it behind since its way too slow to get anywhere else).  While I was taking my 3rd ARS with the majority of my force I was able to knowledge raid around my initial planet and the two power plants with a smaller force(it was something like 3 mk I/II planets and one mkIII I had already gate raided so it had minimal defenses--here I used the first two ARS's which were lucky enough to be near enough to be used that way--Plus any planet that gets a turret ball generally gets a science vessel to sit in that turret ball to save my mobile knowledge-raiding force time).

One key to making efficient use of ARS's is to have it get knowledge from the planet they came from while its moving between the neighbors(aka directly move it into an adjacent planet, once its exhausted that planet, move it towards another, and pick up some of the knowledge on the center planet while its moving, then after all neighbors are exhausted, if it hasn't finished the main planet, leave it there while your mobile force moves on).  Using transports would also work and would probably let me speed this up quite a bit, I haven't used them that much prior to now(and expect them to get a bit of a nerf at least--they are really too good now).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 05:26:57 AM by kjara »

Offline allmybase

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Well you can't put ARS in transports but yeah I see what you're saying. You must have been very quick though to knowledge raid with 1 ARS like that - I can't imagine trying to knowledge raid MKIII or MKIV planets that have crusted up with reinforcements. You play a very efficient and devastating game - hope to be like you some day.  ;D

Where'd you let the waves in? Your home planet because the ion II is there to help?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 03:28:04 AM by allmybase »

Offline Kjara

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Where'd you let the waves in? Your home planet because the ion II is there to help?

Pretty much everywhere but the two zenith power plant planets(since they would have had double waves and were irreplaceable).  I think one or two of the ARS planet had ion 1's, and all had enough turrets to fight off a normal wave.  When I was unlucky to get a double wave or a extremely large wave, I would just replace the command station if I lost it.  I didn't manage to get the ion II cannon up at my main planet till the 3 hour mark or so I think, just due to how much they cost and needing the resources to keep my momentum going.  I usually avoid gate raiding unless I have a wavesize multiplier due to the extra ai progress incurred.

Offline allmybase

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How did you place your turrets/turret balls??

I'm just confused because the way you took planets it looks like every planet is pretty much isolated, so you'd have to defend from 4 incoming wormholes. There's no way you could put turret balls on each outgoing wormhole and also have enough inside your planet to defend from the waves unless you unlocked a lot of turrets, which you didn't.

Did you centralize defense like put your turrets next to your command post? Must have been tricky to get the tractors to help out that way.

Offline Kjara

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For non-homeworld planets, yeah throw the defenses around the command center.  Its prob easier if you just load up one of the later saves (3 hour+) and just take a look.  The turret balls on adjacent worlds don't help with raids so much, just cpas.

Offline superking

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basic turrets are dirty cheap to unlock all 3 MK (1500 knowlege?)