Author Topic: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner  (Read 2741 times)

Offline Astilious

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9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« on: August 25, 2012, 05:04:11 AM »
Lately I have read through a number of the AAR put up here and found them quite interesting (Wanderer's ones have helped me improve at the game quite a bit too). So I have decided to try to shake off my inexplicable aversion to posting things on forums and do an AAR myself. This is my first time playing on 9/9.

Options:
Normal+Champion.
40 planet Maze C.
AI Spire Hammer/Attritioner 9/9.
Schizophrenic waves, cross planet waves (also reveal random AI types but I did not actualy go random this time).
1/30m AIP.
Complex ships, normal caps.
All expansions.
Started on version 5.067.

0-20: Bonus ship is Neinzul Commandos. I love Neinzul ships. AI has shield bearers and zenith bombards :/. I scout out the first few worlds and find nothing of note but a Nebula wormhole on Beachhead. I clear Beachhead with the champion and commandos As I begin the lengthy process of clearing the mission (zenith pillar) my fleet takes the first few waves on beachhead without trouble. No sign of any spire ship in the wave, but I my have missed it.

20-41: Cleared nebula while killing off a couple of WH guard posts and building the Starships. Decided to unlock MKII of all the turrets and the FF on the Hero, sticking to a utility design for now. Note: I guess Zenith like poetry, though their grasp of the human variety is a tad off.

41-58: Second set of waves total just under 200 ships. I am not concerned. Rallinra has a fortress III right next to the WH, I decide to suicide pull the planet with the Neinzul and kill the fort once it's clear. Also, spire frigate turned up. Start using the shadow frigate to clear some stuff and kill off excess AI ships while I wait for the fort to fall over... wow that thing is GOOD at picking off guard posts! I finish clearing the planet, start to turn Beachhead into just that and plan my next move.

58-1:20: I notice Vaos has an armour inhibiter. It disables the sfs ff area but some attackers still seem to be killing the ff before the sf. Works for me I guess. I clear it with the sf while the fleet kills off Voldcao (which was better guarded). I should probably note that by "clear" I mean "kill all non WH gaurd posts". Another nebula on Voldcau and ARS+DC on Samuasiboat (changed to Quad) gives me my next few tasks. Nebula is Neinzul Mourners... looks like an interesting scenario, I decide to go for kill two, clear, kill two, etc. A quick pop in with the Nienzul pulled about a third of Quad (around 200FP, more than my fleet) but they trickled through slow enough they weren't a problem. Slowly grabbed the other 300FP as I did the scenario. I get the Neinzul fort, the Neinzul sf and,,, insanity inducer? Mini botnet golem? Hmm.

1:20-1:46: I notice the Neinzul fort theoretically should be very good but don't currently have the energy to even consider getting it, I'm tossing up whether to sacrifice some of the anti-gaurd post ability for a cloaked mini botnet. The last few AI ships I pulled off quad ignore the sf mauling their gps so they can rush single file to their doom. AI defensive tactics leave much to be desired. I pop Quad's command station. In a first for me I remember to check the ARS before taking the planet,.. it's paralyser (nanoswarm, ram) so I just take it. Mondja has a bomber starship fab, CSG-C and parasite eye, Murdurxi has a DC and all man ion cannons (4). Fact IV, DC, spider fab and CSG-B on Reha (been feeling a bit unenthused about fact IV lately, a lot of effort to keep them up to build a few ships if you cough up the knowledge first). The parasite eye reads at 160,000FP :/. CSG-E on Erasius. OK...

This has potential. Take the CSG planets, pop a few warp gates and defend the whole lot on one point. Worth the AIP? Well it would be nice to have some secure free energy. As an aside I notice I have more k then I would expect. Looking at another AAR I gather nebula missions give you knowledge... Currently I have 19,430, so subtracting starter and two planets research gives 3,430? Was that all from the Mourners or do other scenarios give k too? I also notice the shadow projector seems to get the attention of a very high portion of the planet guards (all bombers I think, they return when it dies). I manage to clear the planets connected to quad despite shield bearer attempts to make the process take eternity.

1:26-2:43: A strange unit disappearance confuses me until I realise AI Eyes have full warp gate and had popped the wave in on Mondja even without the warp gate. The AI has Youngling Vultures now apparently. At 73 AIP a near double wave comes in at 1.5k ships total (+ spire frigate). I roll out the mini botnet. That was fun, they never really threatened anything important but I actually had to think about the wave. Eventually I manage to clear the required worlds and begin taking them. AIP is 94.

2:43-3:20: I unlock hardened FF mark I so a few ships slipping through can't blow my new fabs and grind down the armour inhibitor on Vaos. The AI rolls out a double wave of 2k ships. Now I'm a little worried, I don't want to lose the bomber ss fab i just took. I unlock grav turrets and get a mobile builder out in the hopes of getting some basic defence on Vaos before the wave gets there. The wave must have spawned a long way away as it is long after it lands before I see anything of it (some youngling vultures). Eventually I clear it and decide to unlock mk 3 harvesters to help build some proper defences for these waves.

3:20-5:21: Seems that last wave set was max time as the next few are less impressive (500ish ships). CPA of 895 ships (this is after they were buffed). Adv research on Raewa gives me a new target, sadly with counter post included (+mk 3 +deep strike). The CPA enthusiastically demand's I pull back my fleet after knocking down the Raewa CS (AIP 116). An extra 1k wave backs it up. The Neinzul fort annihilates anything that dares enter beachhead, however the AI seems to work this out and hits Vaos with most of the attack instead. It kills the remainder of my fleet, but not before riots and spiders kill all their engines, making the rest a simple mop up...  Until I realize the 1000 ship wave hadn't yet arrived. The spire frigate they brought along reminds me how OP its beam is by blowing through the 8 hardened FF on the wormhole like paper, letting the remaining 500 fighters (one of the non schizophrenic schizophrenic waves?) through (I later realise they actually stay put). The other AI sends in a thousand fresh ships just to keep things interesting :/.

At this point the counter attack arrives WITH A SPIRE CRUISER! I abandon the extra planets and hunker down on Beachhead in the hopes I can save the homeworld. Then I get a potential out - a remains rebuilder has somehow positioned itself so it will continually rebuild Quad's CS without dying itself, pinning the entire AI fleet in a ridiculous loop... However as I am fairly confident this constitutes a bug I reluctantly delete the rebuilder :,(. If relevant people read this I have a save if you want it, however it can be easily replicated (I did so on Erasius to check). Anyway the fabs and factory fall and the AI marches on Beachhead... When it arrives I have the fleet focus down the cruiser then retreat while the fort deals with everything else. By the time this is done another double wave rolls in. I clear this then finally rebuild.

i also notice 700 fighters are still hanging around outside Quad (waiting for their engine dead allies?). It will be a while before I can clear them so I hope they stay put while some remains rebuilders sneak through to rebuild my CS and economy. The next wave is 281 ships? OK. After that 1.5k come in, and on clearing that I find myself at last in a position to go back on the offensive... But decide to instead learn my lesson and properly fortify first. I unlock the human modular fortress for Vaos. The AI retaliates to this plan with more ships (3000 double followed by 200 bombards).... which once again try to blockade Vaos rather than kill me. After another reclaim I pop a few distribution nodes to power up the fort and secure Vaos. That economic spiral took me most of the period for this section to deal with.

Thoughts:
It seems I may have overextended just a bit there. Lesson learned: It is worth waiting for defences to build up. I am not sure whether putting my defence on an AI world to get enemy ships to roll in gradually is worth loosing the CS buff or not. It certainly gives battles a nice feel as they extend over quite a while as AI ships come in waves (within waves). Suicide pulling sections of a world onto another AI world with cheap units I definitely recommend, you can take out a lot of ships with few units (even accidently letting an EMP though doesn’t hurt too much as long as you have starships). The sf was great at the start but is feeling less effective as the game continues. This might be due to the fact AIP has increased a lot without me finding another nebula. Also the modular forts are awesome, perhaps drifting toward OP... If you gave me a choice between one or caps of all starting turrets I would be unsure. However I have not had them long so may have overestimated their contributions. The Spire Hammer is nasty and the Attritioner underwhelming (for a 'hard' AI type). Reinforces are unimpressive (as you would expect from AI with 0.4X reinforce multipliers) and bombards are annoying.

I will continue the AAR as I get time to play significant chunks... which could be a while.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 05:16:40 AM by Astilious »
Convolutional Neural Gamer.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 09:49:47 AM »
Lately I have read through a number of the AAR put up here and found them quite interesting (Wanderer's ones have helped me improve at the game quite a bit too). So I have decided to try to shake off my inexplicable aversion to posting things on forums and do an AAR myself. This is my first time playing on 9/9.
Welcome to the forums :)  And yea, Wanderer's AARs got a lot of people started, or at least started on more serious difficulties.

Quote
Bonus ship is Neinzul Commandos. I love Neinzul ships.
Yea, folks tend to either love or hate those.  Interesting that you picked commandos instead of tigers; the latter have more bomber-like bonuses and tend to be more popular.

Quote
AI has shield bearers and zenith bombards :/
Forecast: 100% chance of Pain.

Quote
Note: I guess Zenith like poetry, though their grasp of the human variety is a tad off.
That impression is quite intentional ;)  There's a particular sing-song narration voice I have in mind when I write those, that would probably make it come across better, or at least more the way I had in mind.  The particular voice is really obscure, but you could also read it in GlaDOS voice and not be all that far off.

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I notice Vaos has an armour inhibiter. It disables the sfs ff area but some attackers still seem to be killing the ff before the sf.
Interesting, I guess it makes sense, stuff with bonuses against structural but not heavy would prefer to attack the shield generator since it's still a valid target.

Quote
I get the Neinzul fort, the Neinzul sf and,,, insanity inducer? Mini botnet golem? Hmm.
I'm a little surprised I haven't received reports of those being massively OP yet, but it's probably just the extremely low volume compared to the botnet.

Quote
Was that all from the Mourners or do other scenarios give k too?
All scenarios give K, though the quantities going to get reduced in the near future.

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CPA of 895 ships (this is after they were buffed)
Interesting; if you have the wave logs of that (and the 2000 wave a bit before, and the smaller waves in the middle) that might be helpful to me.  I'm not quite understanding why the CPAs tend to be so much smaller than the waves, I have suspicions about which calculation steps may be producing it, but not sure.

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The spire frigate they brought along reminds me how OP its beam is by blowing through the 8 hardened FF on the wormhole like paper
8?  I didn't think the FF's beam was that strong.  And it's only got 6000 armor piercing which won't get through a hardened's armor.

Quote
At this point the counter attack arrives WITH A SPIRE CRUISER!
Mental note: high-mk counter-attack posts from Spire-Hammer: unhealthy.

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a remains rebuilder has somehow positioned itself so it will continually rebuild Quad's CS without dying itself, pinning the entire AI fleet in a ridiculous loop
Odd, I thought the rebuilding-cannot-progress timer would take care of that, or is the AI going after the CS while it's still under construction even though it cannot make progress?  That save would be helpful :)

Quote
Also the modular forts are awesome, perhaps drifting toward OP... If you gave me a choice between one or caps of all starting turrets I would be unsure. However I have not had them long so may have overestimated their contributions.
1 Mod Fort with mkII modules and all-guns/no-shields has about the same total DPS as a cap (5) of MkI normal forts.  Normal Forts are... pretty insane, when it comes to firepower.  Mad expensive, too.  All in all, forts as a whole may need rebalancing, I just decided that the game had kind of adjusted to their power, and to balance the Mod Forts at the pre-existing level :)
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 11:08:51 AM »
Nice read! Will follow with interest.
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Offline Diazo

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 12:22:11 PM »
Interesting to see another high diff AAR.

Shows off another strategy from another player that is different from everyone else.

I'll be following.

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Offline Astilious

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2012, 09:22:38 PM »
Quote
Bonus ship is Neinzul Commandos. I love Neinzul ships.
Yea, folks tend to either love or hate those.  Interesting that you picked commandos instead of tigers; the latter have more bomber-like bonuses and tend to be more popular.
I pretty much didn't choose: I usualy take the first map I roll and that was the only Neinzul ship there.

Quote
I get the Neinzul fort, the Neinzul sf and,,, insanity inducer? Mini botnet golem? Hmm.
I'm a little surprised I haven't received reports of those being massively OP yet, but it's probably just the extremely low volume compared to the botnet.
Well I used one significantly in defending the waves and it didn't seem too powerful (especialy as it was continually one shot by fleets of bombards). However that was mk I hull with mk I inducers, when I consider a hull with more slots and mk III... Well if I get a higher mark Neinzul hull you can count on some testing :).

Quote
CPA of 895 ships (this is after they were buffed)
Interesting; if you have the wave logs of that (and the 2000 wave a bit before, and the smaller waves in the middle) that might be helpful to me.  I'm not quite understanding why the CPAs tend to be so much smaller than the waves, I have suspicions about which calculation steps may be producing it, but not sure.
I'm afraid I didn't have logging on, I'll put it on as I continue. However I thought the wave was roughly proportional in strength to a max time wave as it seemed to contain entirely mk II ships. Are CPA supposed to be worse than that?

Quote
The spire frigate they brought along reminds me how OP its beam is by blowing through the 8 hardened FF on the wormhole like paper
8?  I didn't think the FF's beam was that strong.  And it's only got 6000 armor piercing which won't get through a hardened's armor.
Math time! 4,000,000-500,000 = 3,500,000. Divide by time per shot (8s) = 437,500 per second. The 700 fighter that were with it: 9,600*0.2*700=1,344,000. Divide by time per shot (4s) = 336,000 per second. So it was indeed doing most of the damage. 8*5,000,000 = 40,000,000 hp. 40,000,000/336,000 = 119s with fighters alone. 40,000,000/(437,500+336,000) = 51s. So it brought those shields down MUCH faster than the fighters would have alone (assuming I understand the way it all works correctly).

Quote
At this point the counter attack arrives WITH A SPIRE CRUISER!
Mental note: high-mk counter-attack posts from Spire-Hammer: unhealthy.
Does this mean if I pop a mk IV or V counter... What if they have a HW raid engine?!

Quote
a remains rebuilder has somehow positioned itself so it will continually rebuild Quad's CS without dying itself, pinning the entire AI fleet in a ridiculous loop
Odd, I thought the rebuilding-cannot-progress timer would take care of that, or is the AI going after the CS while it's still under construction even though it cannot make progress?  That save would be helpful :)
They definitely attack the half health CS that isn't building. You can do the same thing to bombers by rebuilding FFs. Save attached. Also I notice the rebuilders sometimes get stuck trying to rebuild the energy collector on a planet with a dead CS rather than rebuilding the CS itself.

Quote
Also the modular forts are awesome, perhaps drifting toward OP... If you gave me a choice between one or caps of all starting turrets I would be unsure. However I have not had them long so may have overestimated their contributions.
1 Mod Fort with mkII modules and all-guns/no-shields has about the same total DPS as a cap (5) of MkI normal forts.  Normal Forts are... pretty insane, when it comes to firepower.  Mad expensive, too.  All in all, forts as a whole may need rebalancing, I just decided that the game had kind of adjusted to their power, and to balance the Mod Forts at the pre-existing level :)
Next game will have to be against Fortress King. Have to give the AI a chance to use this stuff too.
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Offline Astilious

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 09:26:53 PM »
5:21-6:20: After a quick confirmation of my suspicion that the fort will indeed deal with a normal wave I move on. I forgot to mention in the last post that the AI added Armor Rotters to its arsenal. I take Raewa, completely forgetting to consider design hacking yet again, and get spider bots. The AI sends a wave of 2k ships. I discover the shadow projector breaks tractors, which is interesting though not hugely useful. The wave kills the Raewa CS with a swarm of vultures but then leaves my fleet be as the other AI sends in 750 ships. I unlock mk 2 commandos and enclave starships to build them and my other mk 2 ships on the front line. I notice some of the wave camping on Murdoch because my fleet is sitting on Raewa and have to withdraw to let them through, However they attack my fleet anyway when they reach Ilapeini despite my attempt to move well out of the way in the hopes of being ignored. That will be a problem - I would rather not have my forward fleet mauled by every wave. At least the carriers leave,

However when those carriers arrive on Vaos I realise they won't self destruct because it is an AI world, which pretty much puts the last nail in the coffin for my opinion on the viability of defence on AI worlds (at least for now). It also turns out they contain 1000 youngling vultures. Uh oh, Despite being only half the wave they eliminate my defence with ease... then wait around to die? The AI simply refuses to go through the Vaos-Quad wormhole. I decide to leave them and rebuild defences on Quad. 1k ships come in at 6:16 as I start to clear Matysho and smashes into my fleet again. I begin to wonder if this is purely random or the AI is able to deliberately spawn on top of my attack fleet. When the OTHER AI wave also spawns there I decide it might be the latter. I am forced to let the fleet die completely bar a few starships I put under cloak. The rest of the wave destroys my defences on Quad and blocks supply for the fort, This actually leaves its modules operational, even when I get reduced to negative energy they remain up.

I savescum to 6:10 or so to avoid dealing with another economy collapse. Right, I need to do some pretty heavy strategy revisions. Two problems: First I can't attack in a conventional way as the waves will wipe out my fleet faster than I can build it, second I need to significantly boost my defensive strength. Working on a kill two birds with one stone basis I plan to use 40 starship/nebula (including enclave so I can add Neinzul support) ships under cloak for attack and have my normal fleet defend. If that isn't enough I'll unlock a few extra turrets, which should give me better offense as well via the enclave drones. I will also mix in the Neinzul sf for free repair.

6:20-7:10: Unlock insanity inducer 2, put down extra turrets on Quad and Beachhead, retreat fleet ships. This time the AI sends 3k ships. Wait what? That seems a little extreme. There is something odd going on with the cloakers, I ended up only leaving them with 30 ships as they seem painfully reluctant to cloak the full set. Turns out the 3k are all Younglings. Why ships with unusually high stats get EXTRA in waves is beyond me. As I watch a threat ball form outside Quad I remember why I was trying forward defence... Yeah I was right the first time that is needed in this situation. CPA of 1.1k. I try to clear the threat ball slowly with a continuous stream of fighter/commandos. While presumably they get off alpha shots the method is not hugely effective. Almost free though. Turns out it was inversely effective due to a leach SS, I take fighters out of the mix.

Finally I locate a third nebula on Bibang and, more importantly, a DC (+COP) on Jenow. Seconds after I discover this the DC is down. The commando stream has done nearly nothing. Examination reveals approximately one casualty inflicted every 30s. Sending caps is equally ineffective so I send my whole fleet. Nope, about 10 killed for the whole lot. Err... The CPA all adds to the threat ball, causing most of them to go through. Defence is successful,  guess I was worried over nothing, Not convinced I unlock missile turret II. As Beachhead almost falls to an all youngling wave (why???) my decision is somewhat justified.

7:10-7:46; 177 ship wave. I think I can guess what those are. Nebula is Epsilon Erdani, the only scenario I had actually done before this game, A 912 announces after that. A few more minor waves occur as I clear the nebula (done 7:36) but I ignore them, Reward is Zenith Destroyer and Doom Accelerator. Unlock mk III shield and Laser. Wish I had those 4 points I wouldn’t have spent under this patch, but it's not a major issue. Threat ball pushes again and does even worse than last time. I test out the destroyer on the 200FP of reinforce that had accumulated on Bibang while I did the nebula due to my cloaked SS fleet. It does the job well (main cannon could one shot the many bombards). I try clearing Jenow... this thing DESTROYS guardians.

7:46-7:59: I find two more COPs on Phitobark and Ribfita. That makes three on a set of adjacent planets. Phitobark also has another nebula, the destroyer clears the planet alone without breaking a sweat. Nebula is Gray Spire vs Gatlings, I gather I need to maximise kills. This I can do. Unlocked spire frigate, plasma siege module, projected shadow tachyon pulse emitter, spire fortress, human destroyer. I am guessing that count means I did well? Hard to tell what constitutes “par”. Hang on, I also have 23 gatlings and the negative energy total that results from said gatlings (and then suddenly goes back up to 50k for some reason).

3 heavy mounts on a frigate? That does seem like the Spire. I think I have to go with the human destroyer here. The Zenith cannon is unbelievable against high health targets and I'll probably use it on the next nebula. However 4 normal mounts seems better than 1 heavy to me, not to mention the ability to split up its (admittedly lower 543k vs 720k dps including laser modules) damage. I reason that the lower damage should be made up for somewhat by the hull multipliers. Testing required.

7:59-8:33: I download the next patch and find the galaxy is now full of barracks. Need to decide whether it's worth killing them. 1.2k ship wave comes in, the first large one in a while. I put down my first matter converter when my energy gets down to 10k due to some mercenaries I built. ARS on Jergioadm, about the worst place for preventing deep strike farther in to the galaxy, Boomtio offers an alternative with a CSG-D, but I need to pop a counter post. Realising the post belongs to the Attritioner makes this a better option, however I instead head for the other side of the galaxy in search of the final CoP or some other AIP reducer. All the deep strike threat seems to be coming from that area too. Another clear the threat ball tactic fails as merc etherjets wont tractor fast enough and die before grabbing anything, no matter making it back through the WH with them. At least 200/900FP decides to pop through and die, CSG-D on Kasuo. See my first Ion Eye on Seadmdu but otherwise continue to find very little. Hang on, nebula on Darkjo. Those things are easy to miss. Switch to Zenith and head for it. Nebula is shattered pillar/citadel ascendant,

The scenario is odd, I savescum my first attempt part way through as I was initially slightly baffled as to how to deal with the situation. Next time I focus on trying to defend the bombers in the hopes of ending things ASAP. This plan is thwarted as the non FF immune "colony ships" seem to be able to damage through my Shadow projector just fine, making protection far less effective than I had hoped. During a few more attempts to find a good way to do this mission I find even regular units are shooting right through the shadow shield to kill the fragile bomber like units well before they achieve much. Unable to work as a team I simply ram into forts, putting down shields when my allies aren't around to take the fire. This works surprisingly well and I finish the nebula... The reward is all the cruiser hulls (new patch), heat beam, zenith fort and enough xp to take me from level 17 to 20. Hold on, the missions are related? The text references the gatling mission so that must've been second in a series.

8:33-9:02: Unlock mk IV shields and lasers, I would try high mk insanity inducers but the CP waves mean I need that extra offensive power. So human, zenith or spire. HP: 105m, 135m, 150m. DPS: 882m, 1350m, 2322m. However human has far better ability to split damage and more multipliers, spire having significantly worse damage split then even the zenith. If only I had the points for a decent mark offensive heavy module. I decide on zenith for a moderate option. With that much health it is untouchable in all but the most extreme circumstances, the cannon able to bring down even FF in a respectable amount of time. I send it onto Dinla (mark III) solo and it brings it down without issue. I send it to a mark IV. Same result. With the help of a Neinzul distraction stream I use it to take down a fort III. As I continue to clear the galaxy the AI continues to send unimpressive waves. Either I was very unlucky before or am being very lucky now,

9:02-9:44: CSG-A and presumably stealth gp on Aieras. Have found several fabs too but haven't mentioned them as I wouldn't even consider trying to hold one. The Attritioner HW has a raid engine. I find this out the hard way when I use my shadow cruiser as a scout. Uh, whoops. I deal with the 600 ships easily enough so no harm done. Two spire archives on Ipboat mean the HW is Dorju. It also has a parasite eye. Core ships: tackle drone launcher, acid sprayer. My first time seeing the former. As I always learn my lessons I continue scouting with the cruiser (well it DOES gather scout info). Yep, another core raid engine, I reconfig the cruiser to spire and go battleship hunting. The AI redeploys over 2k units to carriers, though I have no idea where (they seem to have been taken from the threat ball). It then hits Quad with a tiny fraction of the threat ball again. Sadly I find no battleship and have to content myself with microing against the bombers and bombards, managing to take down most of both before the last few bombards kill the cruiser. Then I see it. It isn't a battleship... It's a dreadnaught. And it brought the carriers. They all hit quad, the defences crumble. I have the spire cruiser focus the dread and almost bring it down before the cruiser is focused by the entire AI army. The fort finishes the job, but that leaves 1.3k ships and little defence. The extra worlds fall again. I chip away at the AI fleet with the cruiser until they at last reach Beachhead and are destroyed. Threat ball gone.

9:44-10:36: So I was wrong about the zenith cruiser, The spire one is as good as the raw stats indicate, it blew threw more of that wave than I would have believed. Side note: getting bombards to line up for the laser is like herding cats. CPA comes in at 2k ships. The last CoP is on the hammer Homeworld along with an Ion Eye. No superterminal, no more DCs. A 1k wave joins the 2k CPA and they launch just as I have reclaimed the extras. 817 mk II, 800 mark IV and 108 mark V. WHAT?! There are tons of barracks on lower mark worlds. I hide remains rebuilders in the system corners so they don't die again and prepare to repeat the defence I just finished. At least this one isn't as bad and shouldn't have any spire ships. The hammer throws its 1k wave in while I'm still floating 900FP of threat from the earlier attacks. I have the champion knock down the traditional Vaos blockade again (also made an appearance after the dreadnaught wave). In the end I actually send help to kill off over 100 shield bearers, mostly mk IV. By the time I've done this and rebuilt non defensive structures the AI is sending a 2k double wave. I try to power up a fort on Vaos. I don't get it up but manage to hold regardless. I have a Vaos defence again, no more threat.

Thoughts
I would say my mistake was overextending again but really there wasn't a mistake. I was getting bored by stability and wanted a bit of fun. It got the scouting done too and even managed to finally clear the monster threat ball off Vaos. However now AIP has to go up so my next step will have to be proper defence construction so I can up AIP to attack the last CSG and end this game.

The Spire Cruiser Champion is insanely good and just as fun to use. Microing around to get the beam to hit maximum targest is highly entertaining, I particuarly enjoyed playing Breakout on a frigate ball. The higher tier hulls are definitely not underpowered for the higher AIP, they may even be OP considering how much of the wave I took out with the cruiser (it's even responsible for my access to most of the modular forts!).

Also, you know how the concept of not being able to see anything due to sheer FF count comes up? The AI decided to demonstrate what that really looks like (see threat ball screenshot).
Convolutional Neural Gamer.

Offline Astilious

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 06:20:13 AM »
10:36-11:47: Entertaining period spent waiting for turrets (and all four modular forts) to build so I feel safe enough to initiate end game.

11:47-13:07: Time to finish this. I decide to leave the latest patches off as the changes are pretty heavy and this game is almost done. I would rather see them fresh in a new game. I knock out Kasau's counter post (921 ships to Mondja), CS and CSG with the champion and colony ships under cloak then abandon it. Repeat for Aieras and Seshu (without counter posts of course), with a brief pause so the champion can help with the counter (which has a raid SS that decides to attack a leech SS rather than the CS?). Seshu proves to be a pain due to a CS shield post under a mk 3 FF but I get it eventualy at the cost of a great deal of deep strike threat. Should've brought some raid SS. This done I roll out my secret weapon: remember those gatlings? I saved them for this. 2.5k CPA is announced, seems pretty small after reading about the insane ones people have been getting on 10/10. regardless it seems the AI has emptied its stocks as only 500 mk 2, 240 mk 3 and a handful of mk 4 and 5 ships are released. I get decoy drones and vampire claws from the ARS. AI has unlocked MRLS.

For some reason the AI accuses me of thinking it is stupid... I might (compared to a human rather than the AI in other games that is), but that’s beside the point. I stealth transport the champion to kill the Demgar Core Raid Post and CoP then prepare for another OP Doom Ship assault (now with bonus core/HW ships). I also knock out the other CoPs reducing AIP to 160. Also notice the AI actually still does have a ton of ships in barracks that did not join the CPA. The dread hits Vaos with only a carrier holding 500 bombers in support, This isn't even close to enough - when the dust clears only a handful of turrets and about half the modular forts shields are down. The rest of the attacking forces are no threat at all. I go back and clear Fallyar so it can't reinforce into a monster due to my ownership of Seshu then move to the other side of the galaxy to take out the remaining core raid post,

13:07-14;25: Unlock cloaker mk 2, I have more stuff to hide than cloakers to hide them. Cloak kill the other raid engine with the champ then prepare to clear Demgar. This raid is actually almost as dangerous as the last due to mass shield bearer support but as with the last one dies easily. AI HW clearing is smooth other than the neinzul post and when the barracks popped. Then I got to knocking out the fort and FFs around the command. Mark 5 tackle drone launchers made this process painful, if hilarious. Things become actually irritating hen I kill off the tackle drones only to find even a single cap of bombers sets off the Ion Eye, which then kills 80 of them in retaliation for going even one over. Things devolve into a frustrating time sink as I wait for the champ to knock out the fort and two shields alone under cover of neinzul spam. Then the AI somehow gets some ships through to Quad and mauls my economy yet again. The CS doesn't drop remains for some reason so I have to go through the process of building a colony ship and bringing it in under cloak. I think the AI is trying to annoy me to death.

14:25-15:13: Reading some forum posts I notice someone mention that you can knock out supply on the HW with a nuke to deny supply to the fort. That could knock an hour off this game so I get to it. I take Slovzupbi to avoid deep strike on Dorju and send all my starships there under cloak. I then prep a nuke while the champion clears out intervening worlds and warhead interceptors as possible. Can't get the one on the actual HW but I figure I should be able to set the nuke off before that becomes an issue. This proves true and I disable the fort. The barracks pops and is full of shield bearers + guardians agro, I lose a few of my SS cleaning that up. Without the fort the rest of the homeworld is nothing and falls easily to neinzul spam while the starships clear the FFs. I pop the CS and have the dysons pop the other. Game over.

Thoughts/conclusions:
I may not have noted that I tend to vary both my options and play style wildly between games. The main new things for this one was the champion, cross planet waves and the Beachhead defense.

Champion: Is very powerful. It is a great unit for offense and the forts it unlocks are great for defense, more than making up for the extra .2 of a player AI buff. As long as you find the nebula to beef it up it can solo any world you're likely to face short of a core/home world. More importantly it is simply fun to use. The little lore text things are good too, if a little inconsistent with the lore in other sections.

Cross Planet Waves and Beachhead Defense: The cross planet waves quickly result in an unmanageable threat ball of doom if you don't have some way to deal with them, as you would expect. My planned solution was forward defenses, which work adequately. It is hard to tell how much is lost due to not having CS buffs but I suspect it was made up for by the ability to take waves piecemeal. However the micro needed is a pain. Manually rebuilding (somewhat amusingly) re-builders and engineers and the need to manually deal with all carriers (or face the nasty results of letting them be auto attacked) adds the kind of micro you can usually avoid in AI War. Not recommended unless you have cross planet waves. As for said waves: give an interesting strategic challenge but I wouldn't use them every game.

One last note: I am not a fan of end game. I feel like this game was over when the second CRE fell yet I had to grind for hours before the game was won. It may be I just don't know how to deal with it but every time end game is the worst part of a campaign for me because it devolves into a grind more than a challenge as I work my way through the last of the AI defense.

And Finally:
If anyone is willing I would like feedback on this AAR. By that I primarily mean on how I did things from the perspective of a forum post (as I mentioned I have not really posted anything on any forum before). Secondarily as a post on THIS forum. I have mostly written it from the perspective of another player reading it but of course this forum is also used to get player feedback so I have occasionally written from a player giving feedback perspective (usually relegated to the 'thoughts' sections, not including this one which is more targeted to other players (in fact I often exaggerate in the body of the AAR, keeping within the actual events of course)). Should I be trying to include the latter if I do another AAR or just aim at other players? Lastly any comments on the actual writing (i.e. is it too detailed or seems a bit all over the place).

Of course as I have never seen anyone else ask anything like this the above question may be the worst thing in the whole AAR, but oh well.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 06:22:18 AM by Astilious »
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 10:25:16 AM »
I'm at work, so I can't drop an analysis atm. But I'll say this: I thorougly enjoyed the read! Very interesting to see someone elses strategy, thoughts and methods in high level gameplay.
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Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 10:47:50 PM »
Congrats on the win.

About the homeworlds...

About the post itself: A good read, but looks intimidating. The enter key is your friend.
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Offline Astilious

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Re: 9/9 Spire Hammer/Attritioner
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2012, 12:44:43 AM »
About the homeworlds...

Yeah I had noticed that but was as always reluctant to give my opinion. However since you asked for it...
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