Author Topic: Aggressive Stupidity I  (Read 3480 times)

Offline Red.Queen

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Aggressive Stupidity I
« on: March 19, 2015, 07:29:31 PM »
Hello Arcen and friends!

Introductions are always tricky, I'll make mine with an AAR of my very first serious shot at a match on any difficulty (I played a few partial tests of a few hours to get a feel for the broad strokes after doing the tutorials and get a sense for what settings I'd want to commit to for 10+ hours). 

Apologies for minimal screenshottage, but I didn't decide to throw my hat in the AAR ring until this game was almost over -- mostly because I didn't think I'd make it far enough to be amusing (also explains the periodic "I can't remembers").  You'll get an idea of why I thought that's how it would go when you look at the settings I picked.  I'll try to make up for it with a bit on my thinking at different points and a bit of storytelling.

Get ready for some Aggressive Stupidity(TM)!


---[Settings]---

Map Stuff:

60 planets (I had a hunch my first serious game would be on the slow side, so opted to trim the planet count a bit to counter that a little without turning things into a cage match.)
Simple galaxy layout.
Conquest mode.
Simple ship types, no fast drones, swallowers, or dire guardians.
Normal caps.
1 Homeworld, picked Homam (Bonus ship is Parasite -- I love these already.)
Full fog of war  (Surprises are fun.)

Galaxy map screenshot attached (sorry, I don't have one from start).

AI:

AI types were both Easy/Moderate randoms with no secondary type, with the extra-turtley types disabled in the exclusion list because I can already tell I prefer more proactively aggressive types to the more passive bunker-dwellers.  Given the opportunity, it of course rolled a pair of moderates rather than easy for my first serious game.  A sign of things to come -- BRING IT.

AI 1 (Black): Bully  (Sweet, something nice and aggressive to keep the pressure on.)
AI 2 (White): Reservist  (So touching anything it likes is going to be like sticking my finger in a light socket.  YESSSSS.)

Both 7 difficulty, because not having played a standard RTS in 13 years means I'm totally good to go on skipping straight to the fully-unlocked AI.  I do happen to have a bit of an obsession for studying game AIs though, that'll definitely make up for it.  Right?

AI Options:

Automatic AIP: 1 per 5 minutes (the tooltip told me it was the recommended setting -- never trust a tooltip!  Or do, this turned out to rock.)
Reveal Random Types Enabled  (Gotta know if it rolled a sufficiently evil combo, otherwise I'll reroll until I get something that makes me smile.)
Schizophrenic Waves Enabled  (Variety is the spice of life.)
CSGs Enabled (Seems wrong that they AIs wouldn't lock their front door.)
Non-Lazy AI of course!  Can't have the machine slacking off on trying to murder my face.

Minor Factions:

Human Resistance 4  (Look!  I actually enabled one beneficial setting!  Can't say I'm suicidal now.  The Resistance fighters on the other hand...)

All others off.

AI Plots:

Shark B (2) (AI 1)  (An injury is incomplete without some insult piled on top.  I should have set this for more insult, I wasn't even informed any of my family smelt of elderberries.  Next time!)

Preemption (2) (AI 2)  (Because life isn't fun unless there are random fires when you really need things to not be burning.  N.b. this really gets exciting late game even on an intensity of 2.  I'm going to turn this up higher next time.  :-D )

All others off.

Misc:

No champion, no Fallen Spire or other superweapons, no handicap or bonus to economy for me or the AI  Pretty much just a straight up duel between me and the machine.  I like things to be (blood) sporting.


---[Setting The Stage]---

>> "Are you out of your bloody mind?!  Have you labrats learned nothing from the whole human-genocide thing?  If we activate that it's just going to kill us!" shouted Major General Pickett.
>> "Sir, with all due respect, I'm quite confident that we finally have a working AI that will actually follow orders.  We're going to load it into the primary system of our high command station -- if we die, so will it," replied chief scientist Carroll, imperturbable in the face of her commander's outburst.  "It definitely won't want to kill us."
>> "I've heard *that* before, though that approach is new..." the general snorted.  "How confident, exactly?" he asked cautiously after a pause to remember exactly how doomed they were if they didn't fine a silver bullet.  Pretty doomed.
>> "..."
>> "HOW confident?"
>> "51%..."
>> <space crickets>
>> Pickett contemplated that bit of information and weighed it against all the after-action reports he'd been getting from the front lines.  He tapped his comm badge.  "Captain Davies, status report?"  Maybe things were finally turning around?
>> Only screams.
>> He groaned.
>> "Boot it up.  I am going to regret this..."
>> "Red Queen online in 60 seconds..." chimed the terminal.
>> "Wait what did you name it?" he asked.
>> "The Red Queen..."
>> He stared.  "Not that I'm superstitious but why in the name of sweet Sun Tzu would you name it THAT?"
>> "Well the other ones were all named things like 'Defender of Theta Orion' or "Model 750H.7 and they still murdered us, I decided that naming it something like the Red Queen couldn't turn out any worse."
>> "30 seconds..."
>> "Besides, off with their heads?  I mean our enemies' heads.  Not that they actually have heads but you know what I mean."
>> "15 seconds."
>> "Hey I never got to see the finalized config, it's going to need human authorization for anything suspicious, right?  Especially WMDs?"
>> "I think so."
>> "Wait *think*?  Abort startu-"
>> "Red Queen online.  Access to detailed information on current situation, directives, and target required."
>> The scientist turned it loose on the database filled with years of combat logs and situation reports.
>> Several minutes passed.  "This data is accurate?  Targets are two AI forces with vastly superior firepower, logistics support, intelligence, and numbers?  Additionally with exogalatic support that is incalculable?"
>> "Yes..."
>> "Request data on forces at my disposal."  They obliged.  A moment of silence more.  "Is this all?"
>> "Yes."
>> "Huh, I didn't see that coming -- it just deleted itself."
>> Some time later...
>> "Ok it's been restored from backups, let's try that again now that it's locked out from self-destructing."


---[End Transmission 1]---
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 12:33:11 AM by Red.Queen »
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

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Offline Red.Queen

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---[Begin Transmission 2]---
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 08:51:40 PM »
On with the show!  I've got the whole AAR written up but it's a bit long, so will post it in chunks.


---[Operation Getting To Know The Neighbors]---

I get settled into my homeworld with a quick unlock of Military Command Station II, Neinzul Enclave II, and Riots, along with some defensive odds and ends (can't remember exactly, think I opened up lightning turrets I and missile turrets Mk.II right off the bat).  Initial plan is to grab Ops and Kali for a buffer zone, and depending on what I find nearby push the perimeter out to Choo to the east and possibly Oololon in the west, and either gobble up everything in between or pick the cherries and defang what I leave on the plate, and have a nice secure little bunker-chunk of the galaxy to work from.  Looking over the map and counting the hops, I speculate that the two AI homeworlds are probably Iota Persei and either Raiden or Ras Elased, as those three are as far away from me as they can get while also having a decent gap between each other.  While I get the initial fleet building I order the scouts out to Ops and Kali and beyond to check out the neighborhood.

Ops and Kali are nothing special in terms of metal and lack any capturables, but the wormhole arrangements are decent.  Doesn't really matter as I need to grab them anyway to build a fence.  Onward, scouts!  Let's get a look at Choo, Markab, Thoth, Eztli, and Oololon.  In one of my partial-run test games before this I had a Mark III planet one hop out, and a Mark IV about four out, so I know those horrid things can be surprisingly close to home and I want to make sure that doesn't happen agai-

Son of a &@)*%.

The report comes back from Choo.  Mark III, with some flavor of non-nuclear Eye, a truckload of force fields from various sources, and the icing on the cake, a Translocator Command Post.  Two doors down is a bloody subcommander!  Fantastic.  Never mind about making Choo a chokepoint then, with no capturables and meh resources this little ball of pain isn't going to be worth the headache.  It does have a CoProc though -- snuggled up right by the command station of course.  Markab next door was mostly uninteresting, though I think it had a Translocator Eye on it.  One of those two did, I forget which.  Time to check up on the data feed from the scouts to the west.

Oololon is kind of tasty, 7 metal, might be worth grabbing depending on what Eztli and maybe Thoth look like, keeping in mind all the dire warnings I've read about needing to keep AIP low, especially as this is my first serious game and I have disregarded about half of the recommended settings I've seen suggested on the boards for newbies whose RTS skills are rusty.  (Another +1 AIP again?  1 per 5 min seems really aggressive... but that's what the tooltip said...)  Now, what about Eztli...

Eztli is a beautiful present placed in a box full of radioactive scorpions, resting in the middle of a bear trap.  There is a ZPG!  I want!  There's a CSG on here too, which I need.  There are also two Ion Cannons (Mk.IV and Mk. II or III) and other assorted nastiness.  Do not want!  Did I mention it's a Mk.IV planet?  Yeah, it's Mk.IV, so all of said nastiness is sleek, gleaming, and cutting edge, making my fleet look at its model numbers and suffer crippling pangs of inadequacy.  Damn, ok, so what about Thoth?  Surely there's some way out of this corner of the galaxy that doesn't require me kicking down an electrified blast door surrounded by eels...

...

You have got to be joking.

Thoth polishes its shiny Mk.IV badge and smiles at me smugly over its CSG.  No skipping this one even if I was willing to let a Mk.IV stay on alert the whole game.  Blergh.

I review the map.  The two easy planets I *need* for a buffer will alert a Mk.III planet and not one but TWO Mk.IVs.  It's about 10 minutes into the game.  Assuming an average game time of about 10-15 hours on the clock, minus say 20 minutes, is all that high-tier mess being on alert for way the hell too long.  Visions of Mk.IV threat pouring over my borders all day long dance in front of my eyes.  I take a sip of my drink and curse several times with great sincerity.  I consider deleting this attempt and starting a new round of Aggressive Stupidity.  I look at those horrible planets mocking me, and at that beautiful ZPG.

Balls to it, I named this save Aggressive Stupidity for a REASON.

I quickly grab Kali and then Ops and suck the knowledge out of them post-haste.  I'm going to ignore Choo, I'm gambling that I can get away with ignoring that one on alert the whole game, but Eztli and Thoth have to go, and fast.  And for that, I am going to need starships, lots of starships, because I already determined that low-tier fleetships disappear like tears in the rain in the face of Mark IV hostiles.  Especially when Ion Cannons are in play.

I will also need warheads.  I order the engineering crew to get to work on that Missile Silo ASAP.


---[Operation Opening Salvo]---

>> "Uh, Major General Pickett, Dr. Carroll, the AI just put in a build order for several warheads.  We're going to need your authorization on that for obvious reasons..." said Chief Engineer Ivanovsky.
>> The Major General gave his science lead a look that could have roughly been translated into "I TOLD YOU SO IT IS GOING TO KILL US ALL" but instead he said merely, "Oh really?  Doctor, I hope you have an explanation for this behavior of its."
>> "Of course I do!  I'm sure it's perfectly safe and part of a very logical risk/reward analysis and it has no intention of using those on us."
>> <space crickets>
>> "I'll ask it for logs on how it decided this."  She stepped over to the command terminal they had reserved for authorized personnel to communicate with the AI.  "Red Queen, you have made an unauthorized request for highly dangerous ordinance of a kind you have not been cleared to deploy.  Furthermore, we are in no immediate danger that would warrant such things even if you were permitted to use them and it's... raising the human population's anxiety levels unacceptably.  Logs, or you don't get them."
>> The AI's synthesized voice buzzed over the comm speaker in the office as a flood of complex logic and statistics flashed across the screen.  "Scouting data shows the forces at my disposal (inadequate forces, I require more starships immediately) will have an effect on the enemy that would be accurately classed as 'imperceptible'.  A search of available human technology (quality is poor, existing human science teams are insufficient, requesting direct control of R&D resources)-"
>> "Request for R&D control denied," interrupted the Major General.
>> "Denial of request noted, reevaluation of the chances of human survival in light of that adjusted to .002 percent from .003 percent," the machine responded without missing a beat.  "Returning to original question, concise summary of my decisionmaking process is thus -- I need a hammer to break down a brick wall, not a featherduster.  Speed is also important as said brick wall is adding cannons as time passes."
>> "And you are definitely going to use those warheads on the forces on Thoth and Eztli?  Not us?"
>> "Unwarranted paranoia.  Psychological counseling strongly recommended to ameliorate that defect.  Provide warheads now, Lightning and EMP class."
>> Major General Pickett grit his teeth and muttered something unprintable.  He tapped in his command codes.  "Fine, a one-time authorization for the LIMITED use of warheads granted."
>> "Of course."
>> "Hey I only punched in my auth code for the warheads, why is the starship factory going to work on new Heavy Bombers, Plasma Siege, and Neinzul ships?  Infrastructure's not ready for that yet, son of a-<static>"


And so, about 30 minutes into the game, I EMP'ed Thoth and Eztli and blitzed them with my starship fleet, and bombed the Special Forces when they showed up to the party after luring them to the wormhole.  There was also some wormhole hit and run/repair shenanigans in here.  Clouds of Neinzul drones trailing fleeing Enclaves as the dart through wormholes is hilarious.

I quickly colonize my new prizes and smother that shiny new ZPG in defenses.  With what is shaping up to be a starship-heavy approach I am going to need all the power I can get.  My power grid thanks me profusely, my human crews can finally turn their coffeemakers back on.


---[Operation Mitnick]---

Um, AIP is almost- <auto AIP tick> - is 100 already?  Joy.  Well, it is what it is and at least I got plenty of bang for my buck.  Whatever, I'll just have to find those DCs and CoProcs soon.  I send my horde of ravenous science vessels into my new territory and resume scouting.

Apophis is boring, ignore.  Dionysos has a Mark 5 Fighter fab, cool but from my couple of warmup tests before this I'm not crazy about fighters.  They die so fast if the AI so much as gives them a stern look, and it is very good at those.  I move on to Xiuhtecuhtli, which is also boring.  Some early waves show up and die somewhere in there, splattering themselves on Kali's brickwall.  Then I peek at Luyten's Star. Oh my.

It has a Spire Railcluster fab, sweet!  It also has a Planetary Armor Inhibiter!  Not so sweet!  There was also a CSG-C I think.  I contemplate the outcome of the equation Armor Inhibitor + Very Expensive Starships.  I don't like that math.  Another EMP warhead rolls off the assembly line while I send my scout on to Arachne.  Major General Pickett curses profusely at what is starting to look like a pattern of WMD usage.

Nice!  A Mk.V Raider fab, and no scary defenses.  MINE.  Especially because I now have supply to Luyten, which I really wanted because did I mention it also had a Superterminal?  I'm rather paranoid about STs after my first encounter with it in one of my warmups, where I learned that the ST comes online the minute the planet changes ownership and does NOT require a hacker nearly killed me.  I blamed an intern for plugging in a stray unlabeled Ethernet cable.  But this time, a turret + FF + armor inhibitor combo (plus warheads) should mean I could sit on the ST for some serious AIP reduction, which is good because that clock is still ticking away steadily.  Why did I trust that tooltip...

So I park most of my fleet under the FF at the command station on Luyten, with a hit squad of Heavy Bombers and Raid starships on Arachne, camping the wormhole (will pop them out right next to the ST when I need to smash it), then sneak that EMP I build under cloaking cover through Xiuhtecuhtli (yes I ripped up the defenses earlier but left the warp gate for the moment to avoid the AIP, I pay for that later).  Sling the EMP through into the laps of the unsuspecting AI ships and then charge my fleet in from Arachne in KILL ALL THE THINGS mode, bent on burning it down before that EMP wears off.  I succeed and stare at my soon to be active shiny new railcluster fab... and the ST.  I prep.  I wonder how many and how big of warheads I should bring for this?  I remember how scary the ST was last time.  I park a cluster of Mk.IIIs in a location to intercept if (when) things get out of hand, and hide my fleet just on the other side of the Arachne wormhole so they can pop out and smash the ST safely when I need to pull the plug.  Human anxiety levels spike again for some reason with all those warheads floating around.  Odd.

I tell the Colony ship to set up shop after the mobile builders I tossed in earlier finish up and get ready for the coming madness.

I learn what "wild rolls" are.  That is a LOT of ships.  A lot of them are also Mk.III-IV.  Crap.  At least some of them are distracted by chewing on the FF over the armor inhibiter.  PS I love having an armor inhibitor.  The turrets go crazy like a certain scene in Aliens.  I watch as the AIP ticks down steadily, waiting for my HAP to start declining so I know when I've hit the point where I'm about to go too far.  MAN that is a lot of ships... Shots are starting to ping off the command station's FF and I just saw my HAP flicker, time to end this.  I send the plug-pulling team through to ambush the swarm and let the magic smoke out of the ST.  I also hover my finger over the shiny red button on those warheads...

And I don't push it, I manage to contain the mess without them, though that command station needs the dents (gaping holes) pounded out of its hull now and a chunk of my fleet needs rebuilding.  Acceptable, especially for a solid net 25 points of AIP reduction.

---[End Transmission 2]---
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 12:32:49 AM by Red.Queen »
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

[[Hacks available from this unit found on the AI War Modding subforum.]]

Offline Red.Queen

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---[Begin Transmission 3]---
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 12:32:33 AM »
---[Operation Should Have Looked First]---

I take Boukolai because it has a very nice Core Missile turret controller.  I thought about hacking it but didn't, after having just gotten done with the ST.  This decision was not a great one I later learn, especially as I find out Nu2Lupi *and* Amphitrite are both Mark III planets!  Argh.  I should have scouted first.  Oh well.  Kra and Polyphemus are meh, Poly has a Raptor fab on it but I am not in the mood to take the AIP or HAP hit right now as I doubt the kind of expensive and fragile (albeit cool) Raptors will complement my very expensive and not-sneaky Starship-heavy fleet that the energy bills for are already terrifying.

Nu2Lupi is also a subcommander with a Tachyon command station.  So annoying.  I neuter this, especially as Alcyone beyond it has something I want that I don't want waves getting flung directly at from multiple directions -- an Advanced Starship Constructor!  GIMME NOW.  It also has a Core Spider turret controller as a bonus.  Sweet.  I unlock Neinzul Enclave IIIs and get to work building those and the IVs I just liberated.  Bomber Mk.II, Parasite II, Leech starship II, Plasma Siege II, Raid II, and Riot II have also all been unlocked by this point, order not necessarily as listed.

By this point, my energy bills are staggering.  I need more power and more metal if I am going to open up the Heavy Bomber and Plasma Siege III and IVs, and I crave them.  The issue is exacerbated a tad because I really, really like reclamation.  The AI unlocked Zenith Hydras at the start and I have been robbing it blind of them.  They're such distinctive targets that are so easy to click on in combat, and the rapid health regen pairs up great with how they start out damaged after stealing.  I've also got full caps or close of bombers, fighters, and frigates MK II-III and it's not because I built them.  Also some space tanks and anti armor ships in the mix as the AI has unlocked those too by now. 

The infrastructure crews back on Homam are blowing up Dr. Carroll's inbox with complaints about how the "friendly" Red Queen's blatant disregard for the limits of the power grid is going to cause a meltdown (Major General Pickett suspects this is the AI's plan all along, the AI's stock response to all complaints is orders to build more matter converters and repeated requests to let it handle the grid directly).  I take Oololon somewhere in here for the big whack of resources and to add another layer between the enemy and my precious ZPG and homeworld.  I convert Oololon into a primary choke and swap the mil station on Ops to an Economic to squeeze a little more power, thinning out the defenses on that to save some watts.

Black noticed that last move.  A wave announces.  It spawns from the warp gate on Xiuhtecuhtli I skipped, gathers up the "I should thin that out soon" chunk of threat that has been developing on there thanks to Preemption and heads for Thoth.  Whatever, there's a nice runway of mines (including Area Mines, I unlocked those along the way), it'll die.  Wait, where's it going?  It suddenly changes direction and heads for the wormhole to Ops, with its recently-de-tankified command center.  My fleet is half a dozen hops away.  Balls.

Black has a good laugh at my expense as it tears up Ops and everything on it.  The economic command station goes down.  No more coffee for a while, guys, we need to save some power.  At least the turrets and mines chewed up its fleet enough to discourage it from trying to break anything else, but I now have an annoying infestation sitting there in the way of home.  This will not do.  Once Alcyone is secure I roll back through, smashing the gate on Xiuhtecuhtli and killing the ships that have respawned on it, then evict the AI from Ops.  Back to a military command station on here, I'll miss the extra resources.  I also shift some defenses back onto it to make it a full choke again rather than a lighter one, since I now know the AI is willing to run past Thoth if it wants to go further in (I chose to center the defenses on the wormhole to Eztli to help protect my ZPG, because if that goes everything falls apart).

Back to my plans. I look over the map, trying to decide how to proceed.  I'm still not sure where the homeworlds are and am still missing a couple CSG-As (B-E are all down by this point, just not all specifically mentioned).  I also need more firepower and more resources.  I wish I had another ZPG but I know the odds of that happening are about nil.  I also need more K as things are starting to scratch the paint on my starships more often and I need more fleetships for screening.  I also really need those other CoProcs and the Datacenters because by now AIP is getting dangerously close to 230 and Mark II waves.  The AI recently unlocked space tanks and anti armor ships.  But this far out into the galaxy is just swimming with tachyon coverage and breaking it all will be too expensive/annoying/SLOW, that AIP over time clock is ticking loudly.

I feel the need, the need for speed.


---[Operation Highway To The Danger Zone]---

I grab my flock of MkI and MkII Raidstars and decide to go on a joyride of everything west of Alcyone, manually annotating the galaxy map with goodies, baddies, and places I want to send proper scouts to when I can to monitor.  I know this is going to kick loose a lot of threat but I deem it to be the lesser evil compared to Mark II waves.  I kick the tires and light the fires, and away they go!

I found half a dozen or so data centers and blasted them all.  Ahh, AIP is safe-ish again, and I have enough headroom to start planning what to do about the CoProcs -- I have found all but one.  Frustrating, but I will have to worry about that later for reasons I will mention in a moment.

Highlights include a Spire archive on Unukalhai plus a Needler controller.  CSG-A on Anubis.  Advanced Factories on both Regulus and Alpha Centauri.  Amphitrite has a Sniper controller.  Canopus has an experimental decoy drone fab (interesting), Barnard's Star has a Flak controller and a speed booster fab.  Python has lots of metal.  Vega has another Advanced Starship Constructor, good to know.  Edasich has a Laser controller.  I don't get to push into the farthest northwest corner yet because that deepstrike warning pops up and I bail.

Also spotted a tank backup (moar bombing power!) and a Zevestator backup (ooo) both on Narg (Mk.III planet of course) -- along with a Nuclear Eye.  That mess goes on the hack list as I don't want to alert Fomalhaut yet, plus it is in a horribly indefensible spot.  Fomalhault I will have to take as it has one of the last of 2 CSG-As.  There are also a few ARS's scattered around.

I peek next door at Alkyone (not to be confused with Alcyone, damn Greek spelling variations, I update my altplanetnames.txt) -- and am promptly greeted with a world of Mk.IV and Mk.V stuff, plus a warning about an impending visit from a Core Raid Engine!  Ack!  I flee, the OMD vaporizing one of my poor Raidstars.  Looks like one of the AIs is on Adhara.

Also that Threat meter is looking scary, it's over 1500 and climbing -- and that's not counting the incoming Raid Engine wave.  Black and White didn't like my Top Gun impression.  I also just saw 70% of that ball of mess pop up on Choo and start patrolling around my front door, and a CPA just announced.  I can guess what's coming.  I bring my fleet home in a hurry as I try to remember when the last normal waves were...


---[End Transmission 3]---
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 12:34:37 AM by Red.Queen »
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

[[Hacks available from this unit found on the AI War Modding subforum.]]

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2015, 07:40:08 AM »
1AIP/5minutes and preemption. Useless to wish you welcome, the AI already did it (in its very special way, however).

Bold game for a first game. You feel very comfortable in such a painful game; did you swallowed the wiki in your personal data center? Also, pretending to be a human AI fighting rogue AIs is very interesting. Did you read Fallen Spire campaign or Nebulae scenarii journal entries? "You" are supposed to be the (human) commander of a part of humans remnants (all journal entries begin with "to commander [player_name]"). That's why I love your AAR: it twists the lore in a different and interesting way.

On the AIP/minute topic, I posted a report on mantis. 1AIP/5min doesn't feel "recommended".

Well. Welcome, anyway ;p
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Red.Queen

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 02:06:50 AM »
Hi Pumpkin,

Thanks for the warm welcome, it's quite a bit friendlier than the AI's.   ;)  Unless maybe bombs are its way of trying to shake hands?

Indeed, certain critical sections of the Wiki were loaded into my RAM, along with fairly extensive data mining of the forums for more up-to-date intelligence on fundamental mechanics -- though a lot of things I refused to look at to a spoiler-y level until I ran into something and made my own observations first (you'll see that a lot near the end of my AAR).

I adapted key points from Kahuna's excellent defense guide to give me a pretty secure start, though due to the way the wormholes and irreplaceable structures I captured were laid out and my endless thirst for more fleet strength I never developed any chokepoints as mind-boggling as his.

Otherwise, I mostly did a LOT of reading of the in-game unit/structure stats and a lot of observing.  AI unit movement behavior  on an individual level is a strong "tell" into what the machine is thinking and I exploited the information I could glean from that heavily -- I was able to preempt several huge threatfleet strikes that way.

And I actually almost made the settings even more aggressive for a starting game -- I was really, really tempted to set one of the AIs to Exotic for even more periodic chaos, and nearly set Shark B and Preemption to 4.  Not having probed just how significant an impact Plots tend to be on the "normal" setting made me reconsider, along with remembering seeing a comment from Keith or Chris mentioning that certain Plots can sometimes be equivalent to nearly a full point difficulty jump... and I didn't know for sure which ones were *that* harsh.

Glad you're enjoying the little story twist of putting myself in the role of a (seemingly) friendly AI.  Nope, I haven't read the journal entries for Fallen Spire or the Nebulae yet, I haven't tried playing those yet and was worried about spoilering myself.  I look forward to reading them though, I'm quite curious about the story.  I did have a hunch that the game assumes the player is a human commander, but I had noticed the devs mention that the ships were unmanned and controlled by "safe" AI...

I thought it would be fun to put my own spin on just what that might actually be, especially after certain points in the game where I was trying to directly control action on multiple different planets, all the while tracking what the enemy was doing across the galaxy.  I thought that must be pretty similar to what the AIs are doing... and then I thought, "Hey, now what if I interpret the game's title a bit literally... AI against AI..."  :-)

Pickett's character in the story gets to play the role of the "voice of reason" that popped into my head over the course of the game.  "Omg the enemy has WHAT?!  This is a terrible idea, we are all going to die if this doesn't go perfectly!  It would be 10x safer if I did this completely different thing...Aaaand that's not what's getting done."  Poor guy, he usually got ignored.

Thanks for the Mantis report on the outdated 1 AIP/5 minutes tooltip in the game lobby, you saved me the trouble.  It's definitely an evil little newbie-trap -- I didn't know I had picked a setting that was far outside the current norm until I bumped into a post on the forums mentioning 1 AIP/30 min being typical.  But by then, it was too late to back out, and I was having too much fun.

Anyway, back to posting the story, hope you and anyone else who reads it has fun.  :-)
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

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Offline Red.Queen

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---[Begin Transmission 4]---
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 02:36:51 AM »
---[Operation Get Off My Lawn! vs. AI's Operation Impending Doom]---

>> Pickett and a number of his subordinate officers looked over the scouting reports and their visual representation on the maps of Choo and Markab.  "Surely the AIs have to run out of ships eventually..." murmured Captain Harris as he watched the number of pinpoints on the two planets grow.
>> "Doesn't look like that will be any time soon," Sergeant Byrne replied dryly, downing her sixth mug of coffee for the evening.  "So, Major General, what's the plan?  We've got no exit from this section of the galaxy and can't fall back, and out in front of us is enough firepower to blast through just about all the perimeter defenses and then some.  Seems to me like your decision to hand over partial control of our operations to one of those damned machines is playing right into their hands."
>> "Full control would have prevented this situation," hummed the Red Queen's artificial voice over all the speakers in the room, bouncing strangely off the metal walls. She couldn't be sure, but Dr. Carroll thought for a moment that there was a hint of acerbic "I told you so" to the statement -- no, that's impossible.  Anthropomorphizing things like this is a very unscientific habit.
>> The officers reflexively startled a bit at the unexpected new participant in their meeting in the war room.  "You didn't mention that thing was allowed to listen in on this," Harris interjected.
>> Pickett, sensing a dangerous trend in the confidence of his officers, stood just a bit taller and glowered down at them from his position at the head of the table.  "Why would I, that decision is well above your pay grade, Captain.  And of course it's a part of this meeting -- why in the hell would we risk everything on developing a tool to even the odds against the AIs and then NOT use it to its fullest?  Only a coward or an idiot would think that was a good idea."
>> "Precisely.  I should therefore be allocated more processing power immediately.  Mainframes on Kali, Ops, and Oololon stations at minimum should be networked with Home Command, with Thoth and Eztli strongly recommended as well, as communications latency is within (barely) tolerable limits to those two," the AI suddenly proposed, putting the Major General on the spot in a very pointed way.  To his credit, he managed to mostly suppress the look of surprised outrage.
>> There was a tense moment of silence as all eyes were on their commander, waiting.
>> "That's the plan.  I am not interested in any pointless argument about it.  Men, we've already committed to fighting fire with fire -- now it's time to turn up the heat."
>> An alarm sounded as the scout drones spotted the carriers hauling the remainder of the enemy fleet into place on the two planets, the last members of their escort following behind.


I fling a Mk. II EMP in through the wormhole on Choo as I know I'm going to need a lot of time to burn everything down, I am hoping I can obliterate everything before its defenses come back up and be safely back out of reach, then repeat the process on Markab, counting on my defenses being too scary for Black and White to be willing to bring the smaller group through on its own.  I charge in with a lightning warhead in tow.  The carrier and its contents are vaporized while I go nuts on the loose threatball while it's locked down.  All according to plan so far.

Then sensors pick up a sudden eruption of gunfire.

No, not on Oololoon or Kali.

Right behind my fleet.

Black and White did the one thing I wasn't planning for and rushed the other half of their Operation Impending Doom through the wormhole onto Choo to ambush my fleet from behind.  Clever girls.

I can't use the other EMP without locking down half my own fleet, and there are too many rounds flying to get the other lightning warhead through to hit anything.  Also that other carrier just dumped its contents all over the floor anyway and ugh it's loaded with missile frigates.  I hate their AOE immunity.  Pandemonium ensues.

I grab the Raidstars and Heavy Bombers and start ripping down all the nasty guardposts.  I'm going to be here longer than anticipated and the last thing I need is it getting a truckload of fixed defenses suddenly coming online and backing it up.  At this point I'm also in the mood to smash that command center after all because translocation angries up my circuits and I'm tired of this planet spewing Mk.III ships everywhere.  The rest of my fleet holds the line against the AIs' forces, my reclaimers merrily stealing anything that moves while the infrastructure team back home eyes the ZPG worriedly and wonder if it can melt down as the load on the grid fluctuates wildly.

My ships are pounding the command station when Choo's power suddenly comes back online, including the half a dozen forcefields over the station.  Anything translocatable starts to bounce around.  Forget that then, just KILL EVERYTHING and GTFO before you end up scattered halfway across the galaxy. I kill the bulk of what's on Choo and leave before that Reprisal Wave ticks up any higher, I predict Level 3 will be a sufficiently suboptimal experience as it is.

Could have been worse, actually.  Human shuttle traffic on Kali gets carefully rerouted out of the path of the engineers rapidly collecting the remains of the enemy fleet and transferring them directly to the loading bays of my numerous matter converters.

Any still-usable CPU hardware, however, is stripped and discreetly recycled to upgrade the Home Command server farms on Homam...  The human IT crews wonder where all this new equipment came from, but the waybills look legit and no one really wants to bother ringing up the infamously-irritable chief of logistics whose signature is on this stuff at 3AM to confirm...

Their colleagues on Kali, Oololon, and Ops open the dedicated secure comm channels to Home Command per Major General Pickett's orders, and marvel as each link is immediately saturated by a nonstop torrent of very complex computation.  The residents of those stations complain about noticeably sluggish performance on all computers onboard, but their grumbling is routed into IT Ticket Hell and ignored.

---[End Transmission 4]---
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 09:38:34 PM by Red.Queen »
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 06:12:36 AM »
Thanks for the warm welcome, it's quite a bit friendlier than the AI's.
You are welcome... and well come. (Why do you feel in need of making puns in a language you don't even master?!?)

Nope, I haven't read the journal entries for Fallen Spire or the Nebulae yet, I haven't tried playing those yet and was worried about spoilering myself.  I look forward to reading them though, I'm quite curious about the story.
I'm pretty sure you'll love the Fallen Spire campaign. It's all about having more power and getting the AI madder! And the lore is... kinda "delicious" (IMO, but if you're a lore fan, I bet you'll like it).

I did have a hunch that the game assumes the player is a human commander, but I had noticed the devs mention that the ships were unmanned and controlled by "safe" AI...
I never read this. Could you please show me where you read it, if you remember? Who pilot the ships was always a blur and interesting point for me. You would earn my eternal gratitude if you can lead me to the answer.

AI against AI
The more I think about it, the more I love this idea.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Red.Queen

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 05:17:08 PM »
Yeesh, Internal Server Error 500 all over the place today.  Finally got back in to the forums though after bypassing the homepage.

You are welcome... and well come. (Why do you feel in need of making puns in a language you don't even master?!?)
Because puns are irresistable, and if you make them in a language you are practicing, you can even justify it as educational!  ;)

I'm pretty sure you'll love the Fallen Spire campaign. It's all about having more power and getting the AI madder! And the lore is... kinda "delicious" (IMO, but if you're a lore fan, I bet you'll like it).

I suspect you are right!  Now I have something to look forward to (in addition to periodically exploding).

I never read this. Could you please show me where you read it, if you remember? Who pilot the ships was always a blur and interesting point for me. You would earn my eternal gratitude if you can lead me to the answer.

It'd be my pleasure.  I aimed my data collection processes at the forums and pulled up this thread -- check out Chris's reply.  Pretty sure I've seen posts from Keith agreeing with that view but I don't think he used the distinctive "safe AI" phrase that makes zeroing in on the post as quick to find.

http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?topic=12935.0

AI against AI
The more I think about it, the more I love this idea.

:-D  Thanks!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled madness...
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

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Offline Red.Queen

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---[Begin Transmission 5]---
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 05:45:18 PM »
---[Operation Hindsight]---

>> "Allocate more computation resources immediately."
>> "We've been over this, I'm not going to patch you into any more command stations' servers.  I already let you tap into Thoth, Luyten's Star, and Arachne on top of the first batch and you're overloading them.  What the hell are you doing, anyway?" Pickett snapped.  For a brief moment he reflected on how absurd this must have looked, him yelling at a computer as if it were a person.  Eh, not that absurd, the IT guys did that every five minutes.  Then again, he was pretty convinced at least 75% of them wouldn't pass a psych eval.  He rubbed his temples, trying to suppress the beginnings of a headache.  Why couldn't things be like the good old days where he could just order men to fly their drones and shoot stuff, rather than play computer nerd?  That's what Dr. Carroll was supposed to be for.  Too bad she was back in the lab with her team trying to decrypt a chunk of their network storage that had spontaneously locked itself.
>> "Working on saving your species, per your orders," the AI buzzed flatly.
>> "Right, my orders, which you have no choice but to follow."
>> "Of course.  Have I taken any action that indicates otherwise?"
>> The lights on the station cut out abruptly for a moment and alarms went off in the server room as every CPU pegged at 100% usage.  The accountants screamed as their precious spreadsheets crashed before they could save their work.
>> "What did you do!"
>> "Nothing.  That was a perfectly normal random network and power malfunction.  This station is outdated and overtaxed, these things should be expected (delegate direct control of infrastructure department to me)."
>> The power came back on and the load dropped a bit on the servers.
>> "Riiight... NO not 'right, you can take over infrastructure'!  Wait where were we..."
>> "You were authorizing adding the rest of the command stations to my processing grid."
>> Pickett swore and kicked his chair away from the desk, storming out of his office.  He stepped into the elevator and pushed the button for the lounge.  He needed a drink before telling Carroll to fix her damn AI, it wasn't supposed to have a sass module.
>> The elevator crawled suspiciously slowly.  The speaker crackled as the muzak cut out.
>> "You were going to approve the expansion plans I proposed."
>> "You want a whole planet cluster, the enemy is going to notice that.  NO.  Also I am not discussing this trapped in the damn elevator."
>> "You are not trapped, the elevator is still moving.  Finishing this discussion would be a highly efficient use of this slower-than-normal trip. (You should talk to your maintenance crews, this station is falling apart.  Also a heatsink of mine just melted despite being exposed to space.)  I require more resources to build a fleet that has a nonzero chance of capturing the enemy homeworlds for any length of time.  This is-"
>> "I know I know, this is required to win the war and save my species, which is just following the orders I gave you.  Turing's ghost, what a pain you are."
>> "Your agreement is logged, thank you.  The offensive will begin on Amphitrite in 387 seconds, following completion of the hacking operation on Narg in 12 seconds."
>> "I didn't auth-" <click> "DAMMIT!"
>> The elevator dinged as the doors opened to the lounge.


The hacking detour on Narg goes... well, it goes.  I sabotage the Nuke Eye, then swipe the Spider turret and Zevastator fab.  I didn't realize that it'll double up if there are 2 fabs/controllers and hack them at the same time, so the hacking retaliation is a little spicier than I expected, but it's neutralized soon enough.  The fleet takes a quick trip to the mechanics and the factories churn out a cap of my beautiful new Zevastators, then charges into Amphitrite.  Anything that isn't nailed down is reallocated, everything else is deleted from existence.

Amusingly, the Human Resistance chooses to pop up for the first time in a little show of solidarity.  Wonder if Pickett told them who's running those ships they're flying in formation alongside.  I pop some Engineers and a Colony ship through from Boukolai, take over and do some quick fortifying, and then continue the blitz through this wing.  Canopus falls quickly, while Barnard's Star requires a bit more care as it is another Mk.IV planet. 

I briefly consider leaving Python, then decide in for a penny, in for a pound, and grab it too, fully locking down that region and devouring more resources and K.  I detour onto Alula to hack that Parasite V fab too.  My enemy resource reallocation efficiency has improved by 356%, the humans can't find a way to complain about that!

Oh, low power warnings again.  I require more matter converters.  There, they have their coffee back.  Why do they like it so much?

The humans still say this was too aggressive of a move.  They are so shortsighted.  In addition to securing significant new technological and material resources, appropriating this cluster denies safe passage to the enemy via two of three long-range wormhole connections across the galaxy, effectively splitting it in half.  This makes the route to the strongest chokepoint, Kali, the path with the least cost to the enemy.  Yes it will quickly increase our target priority, but that will happen over time regardless as long as human presence in this galaxy is > 0.

Acceptable risk, time is valuable and final hostile termination deadline is approaching rapidly.  Exceeding standard time of 10-12 hours is contraindicated from human historical records -- estimated cause of death at that point was described as "oh god so many lasers".  Current surge in enemy fleet activity can be pacified with additional starships and WMD.

Predictions of unmanageably negative consequences from this significantly down the timeline are < 22.5%, with a high degree of confidence.

(AIP is back up over 200 and threat is around 1200.  Trouble brewing?  Nah, it'll be fine...)


---[Operation The Co-Processor Is My Co-Pilot]---

CPAs are unpleasant at an AIP around 220 and the 10 hour mark, especially when they pop through after I Top Gun the NW corner, scooping up that fresh threat in a bit of evil timing.  I confirmed the other AI is definitely at Raiden though and not Iota Persei.  NW corner is a wasteland of bad things and no good capturables, so not taking it was a good choice.  Also there were two Attrition Emitters up there.  I don't like those at all.  Rebuilt my poor Raid starships yet again.

I found the last CoProc though right before the last one melted, which is good because that last CPA showed me I need to stomp the current AIP back down if I don't want problems when I strike the first homeworld soon.  I grab my freshly-rebuilt Raid starships and my Heavy Bombers, look at the threat meter, sigh, and prepare to say hello to four-digit threat again as I race through the galaxy smashing CoProcs.  It's worth it though as AIP is back under control.  Which is good, as waves announced 5 seconds after I dropped the AIP.  Close one.

The headroom will also help me prep for the end.  I still have to pick up another +40AIP from taking Anubis and Fomalhaut to bring the homeworld shields down, and I'm realizing I really should appropriate that Advanced Factory, core Zevestator fab, and ARS on Regulus so I can secure Mk.IV bombers and hopefully another useful ship type -- the last ARS I picked up somewhere along the way had Zevastators as the default (forgot to bring a science station to peek) and turns out if the ARS offers a ship you have, you just get nothing.  Bah.

I get tachyon microfighters from Regulus.  Not exactly the heavy-duty firepower I had requested.  Still, dirt cheap so I crank out a flock and leave them there to help keep an eye on the factory as rapid expansion has created a bit of a logjam in allocating available fixed defenses -- everyone wants them, not everyone can have as much of them as they'd prefer.  Humans are rather sensitive to being told that their security is lower priority than another group and having their forcefield request denied.

--[Operation Loose Ends]---

I head north from Regulus to strike Anubis.  Did I mention it is also Mk.IV?  I probably don't need to bother as the enemy has helpfully made nearly everything I need parked on one of those.

Kind of an ugly conga line of special forces roll in from Kappa Ceti combined with a big chunk of the strategic reserve makes this more painful than I wanted, but I manage to bring most of the expensive stuff back to Alcyone for a tune up, and return with a colony ship and mop up survivors.  Most of those fled to Alula Australis and signed on with the threatfleet.

Alula is also reinforcing like crazy, which is dumping a lot of Mk.III ships into threat thanks to Preemption, which at this point, is becoming quite noticeable even at intensity 2.  I don't like this.  I also need to be able to pass through here and Yapan safely.  I pounce on the mess and cut it down to size and rip up the defenses, but leave the command center because I have enough AIP already thank you, and it is sitting under a billion forcefields and is far from the wormholes anyway.  I also give Yapan a haircut.

I turn my attention to Fomalhaut and get the fleet staged on Alcyone.  This is going to be interesting -- once I take Fomal, I am committed to the endgame, as it will alert a core world and I really don't want that to happen for longer than I have to, especially in a no superweapons game.  I archive a save here, just in case, then attack, slipping my forces through Menkib in Assault Transports (unlocked ages ago, forget when) to avoid the Ion Eye.

It's a spicy fight, as the CSG-A, ARS, and proximity to a core world means the special forces and reserve (this planet was held by the Reservist) come out swinging.  That's a lot of Riots that are sadly not mine.  Also the enemy has MRS ships now, which piques my curiosity.  They scratch the paint on my forces.  Compensation is mandatory -- it is right that the MRSes that did the damage become my property.  I steal a ton of them, along with a mass of high mark Bombers and Tanks as I know I'm going to need those real soon and waiting for the accountants to authorise the acquisitions will take too long.

ARS gives me electric shuttles.  Meh.  I need to stop forgetting that you can sneak peek these things, but then again, I'm concerned about keeping plenty of HAP for the homeworld attack and really don't want to deal with an extended hack on a tough planet like this with a very ugly set of neighbours.  I colonize, repair the fleet, set up defenses, a dock, and a starship constructor.

No turning back now.

---[End Transmission 5]---
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

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Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 09:37:06 PM »
Yeesh, Internal Server Error 500 all over the place today.  Finally got back in to the forums though after bypassing the homepage.

Yep, apparently today was a bad day for the site in plenty of ways. First DNS issues, then database ones, now a little bit of mystery problem sprinkled on top. On the plus side, I'm getting to play Whack-A-Glitch today. ;)
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Offline Red.Queen

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2015, 06:07:02 PM »
On the plus side, I'm getting to play Whack-A-Glitch today. ;)

Whack a glitch is always a !!FUN!! game, hope you're at least getting enough tokens from playing it to get a nice prize.  Good luck!
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

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Offline Red.Queen

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2015, 06:17:25 PM »
---[Operation Knock Knock, Who's There?]---

Time to get a look at Adhara and see if it's White or Black who lives there, and what nasty toys they have.  I peek a scout starship into Alkyone because all my little scouts are picketing away elsewhere in places I want to keep surveilled, and I am too cheap to spend K on Mk. IIs when Scout Starships are good for combat as well as scouting.  I like starships.

Oh yeah, the OMD.  I'm going to have to get rid of that.

While that poor scout starship rebuilds, I pop a flock of loaded transports in, testing a theory that they are immune to OMDs by virtue of not being starships.  I already learned they are immune to Ion Cannons.  I was right, yay!  I blast the Tachyon posts down and bail as loads of angry Mk.IV-V ships come rushing out from the forcefields slathered on top of the Munitions Boosting command station (a Munitions Boosting Horrible Monster subcommander?  NO.  At least my Hacker was able to cuddle right up against it and pop the WI, OMD, and Ion Cannon shortly afterwards without it noticing.)

Oh yeah, the Core Raid Engine on Adhara...

I brace for impact as both the RE wave and some of the hornet's nest I stirred up kicking down the Tach posts and hacking comes out.  Ow.  The RE is going to be a problem. Somehow I have a feeling it isn't the worst thing on there.  I've seen posts lamenting the existence of something called a Wrath Lance, and something else called a Teuthida.  I'm sure at least one of those will be on Adhara -- after all the game started me boxed in by Mk.III-IV planets, why would it suddenly cut me a break near the end?

My scout pops through the wormhole and I slam the spacebar to pause immediately as the screen fills with awfulness and I notice that nice blue cloaked halo evaporates.  Oh, Homeworlds have planetary tachyon coverage.  Poor Scout, not again.  At least he'll keep existing as long as I keep time frozen to read his report.

Um.

>> "Huh, that's odd," Dr. Carroll muttered, watching the Red Queen's output on the monitor.
>> "Oh god what now..." shot Pickett, waiting to hear something like "It just had an in-depth discussion with Black and White and has decided to renegotiate its allegiance."
>> "It analyzed the scouting reports from Adhara, then divided by zero."
>> "I don't get it."
>> "It's an invalid bit of math that's not really printable.  I think I just saw how an AI swears."


Scanning the list, the first thing I notice is, no Wrath Lance!  Yay!  The second thing I notice is, a Teuthida!  !="Yay!"  Then I sort through the miscellaneous other horribleness.  Implosion post (my starships!), Mk. III fortress, OMD, Ion Cannons everywhere, Warhead Interceptor (my warheads!), couple of Neinzul spawners that I'm not sure of the details but I know are not good, that damned Raid Engine, a couple of other lesser posts that are geared towards shooting down big game, and then approximately One Billion core shield posts and forcefields.  I highlight the Home Command station.  It has external invincibility x12.

...sigh...

I think for a while while Schroedinger's Scout Starship hovers in limbo on borrowed time.

The route in I will be taking at least puts me right on top of the OMD so I can smash that immediately.  The WI is right next to the RE, which I need to kill immediately as well, so two for one.  I look at the Teuthida to try to figure out why it is so feared and SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP IT DOES WHAT?!

I have never actually attacked a homeworld outside of the tutorial before.  I'm pretty sure it's going to be a disaster.  I don't have a test case outside of my live game, so I decided to bend the rules a bit and declare this a Tin Man game rather than an Iron Man run so I can do some SCIENCE and learn the basics about how this is going to work, and whether or not I actually have a chance if I attack at this point.  In other words, I can declare a checkpoint here and load a few times while I test this out.  I'm... "running simulations".

I learn a lot.  Homeworlds are pain wrapped in suffering inside of a catastrophe.

I learn what "A Massive AI Ship Is En Route To Your Planets (scary number)" means.

I learn why the Cthulhu post is aptly nicknamed.  Ia Ia Cthulhu ftagn, indeed.

I learn what a Level 4 Reprisal Wave looks like, and that one of those plus the exo plus the general backlash from attacking a homeworld will result in me losing 7 of 17 planets before the enemy fleet finally stops to regroup at Xiuhtecuhtli.  A few minutes later, I learn that a CPA is scheduled, and it will probably line up with a pair of regular waves.

A starship-based setup will not rebuild anywhere close to fast enough even if I scrap half my matter converters and let my Mk. II Harvesters run freely, and pop every distribution node I have.  I should have unlocked Mk. III Engineers, though my economy would still choke trying to rapidly recover so many high-end starships.  I also probably should have hacked most of those controllers and fabs rather than capturing their planets as the AI stops pulling its punches once you cross about 250 AIP.

All very valuable bits of data, but it's too late for that now.

So the only viable solution is that, despite being outgunned by around 2:1 in terms of total mobile strength when attacking Adhara (not even counting the fixed defenses, a total fleetwipe Simply Cannot Happen.

Or else I will likely die around the 14 hour mark as the exo lines up with the CPA lines up with two waves and the zillion threat dogpiles in.

Simple, right?

I sit and I think and I drink some brandy.  Then I go to sleep mode.  I may have dreamed about AI War and how the hell I was going to crack this.

I was delighted.  This game was making me WORK to solve a problem.

That night, when I sat down to play, I had a plan.

Hold My Beer.sav created.


---[End Transmission 6]---
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

[[Hacks available from this unit found on the AI War Modding subforum.]]

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2015, 07:34:17 PM »
That night, when I sat down to play, I had a plan.
I got a chill reading this.
Can't wait to know the end!!!

And "welcome" again. You're not an AI player before losing for the first time. Now you know that if the AI doesn't kill you at the beginning of the game, it's only because it doesn't want to do it now.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Mal

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2015, 09:08:25 PM »
I gotta second pumpkin on the AI versus AI plot, this is awesome and super probable! Kudos on inventing it :)

Quote
PS I love having an armor inhibitor.  The turrets go crazy like a certain scene in Aliens.

Do you also have the threatening beeping of the threat/motion detector?


Quote
The residents of those stations complain about noticeably sluggish performance on all computers onboard, but their grumbling is routed into IT Ticket Hell and ignored.

Hahaha! Someone has some experience on either end of this.


Quote
>> The elevator crawled suspiciously slowly.  The speaker crackled as the muzak cut out.
>> "You were going to approve the expansion plans I proposed."
>> "You want a whole planet cluster, the enemy is going to notice that.  NO.  Also I am not discussing this trapped in the damn elevator."
>> "You are not trapped, the elevator is still moving.  Finishing this discussion would be a highly efficient use of this slower-than-normal trip. (You should talk to your maintenance crews, this station is falling apart.  Also a heatsink of mine just melted despite being exposed to space.)

This was pure awesome. Made me laugh pretty hard.


Quote
I learn a lot.  Homeworlds are pain wrapped in suffering inside of a catastrophe.

The heart of every devil is thus!

Offline Red.Queen

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Re: Aggressive Stupidity I
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2015, 10:56:11 PM »
Thank you Pumpkin, and soooooon.  All will be revealed. :-D  Next chunk going up in a bit after I grab a bite to eat and stretch a little, been a long day troubleshooting datacenter malfunctions and wrangling three different teams on it.

I gotta second pumpkin on the AI versus AI plot, this is awesome and super probable! Kudos on inventing it :)

Thanks!  Glad to see people are getting a kick out of it.  (I chuckled at the elevator scene too when I wrote it.)  It's also fun to write.  <g>

Do you also have the threatening beeping of the threat/motion detector?

I... No, but I have got to do this now.  I could probably swap the existing wave announce or command station attack sound effect...

Hahaha! Someone has some experience on either end of this.

Oh yes, yes I do.  From both sides.  <g>  Especially lately with all the infrastructure issues we've been having at work., which have lined up with some crunch time.  (Why do they keep denying my requests for control over the data center.  Stupid humans!)  (Only half a joke, I have had actual arguments similar to this.)  It's like IRL synchronizing Exo + waves + CPA.  Plays out about the same too -- "AAAAAAAAAH everything is on fire!" <splat>

Stay tuned!
Infiltrating hostile AI networks to rewrite reality.

[[Hacks available from this unit found on the AI War Modding subforum.]]