Arcen Games

Games => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: Kahuna on December 19, 2016, 04:18:02 AM

Title: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 19, 2016, 04:18:02 AM
Alarming Vengefulness

Ok I'm trying something a bit more different this time. A bit more different but also normal, as in keeping it simple.

AI 1: 10 Raid Engine / Vengeful
AI 2: 10 Vanguard / Alarmist

Setup:
(http://i.imgur.com/m7iRRqx.png)
If you're curious and load any of the attached .sav files use the custom layout in the galaxy map.

Settings:
(http://i.imgur.com/Qa15Wqg.png)
I've underlined the most important bits.

So let me explain a little bit:
-Cross planetary waves are going to make the quite a bit different. The AI isn't going to waste as many ships since all waves are basically just threat and they wont attack unless they have superiority in firepower. And since they're threat and wont be wasted like normal waves are AI is more likely to abuse weak points in my defenses.
-Raid Engine Vengeful is going to get angry whenever I destroy anything (including Raid Engines (in addition to the AIP raise)).
-Vanguard has literally dozens of guardians on many of it's planets so alarming those is to be avoided. Especially if any of the nearby planets have EMP Guardians.
-And speaking of EMP Guardians, I've set Preemptive to 10/10 for both AIs. Which means in addition to everything there's also going to be EMP Guardians just roaming around.
-Both AIs also have Hunter plot at 7/10 which means their Special Forces are going to be big enough. It also means that I do not want to a Special Forces Alarm Post to catch me.. Or maybe I do, but only in the end game when I'm about to attack the AI homeworlds. But that's not going to happen in a while.
-Starships are disabled so no need to stress about AI Plasma Siege Starships. Also no Raid Starships for me to destroy Raid Engines with so that should a fair deal. No Mark II Flagships to boost those Neinzul Tigers either. Edit: Also no Cloaker Starships for me to cloak Warheads with, that's a bummer.

My strategy for this game is to get Mark IV Neinzul Tigers (my bonus ship) by hacking an Advanced Factory. I'm going to unlock Mobile Space Docks from the get go so I can spam those Tigers. Defense is going to be handled by Mark III Military Command Stations, NTiger spam, high Mark levels of Missile Turrets and Sniper and Spider Turrets. Gravitational Turrets are also going to be abused. In other words. Spam a lot of NTigers, knock the AI's ships away with the Military Command Station, destroy their engines and finally destroy them.


My homeworld
(http://i.imgur.com/MPXpHvS.png)

First techs. 0 Knowledge left (+3000 incoming). Now off to build, scout and "netflix" for a little bit.
(http://i.imgur.com/PahQWkw.png)


Surroundings are scouted and time to neuter some of the adjacent planets. Full caps of Mark I and II NTigers build in 9 seconds with the MSDs.
(http://i.imgur.com/ie1ixKN.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/AV4lLEy.png)


Got my dose of cryptonite right from the get go. All of them are Mark IV too. And the Cross Planetary waves.. there's going to be a lot of threat like that hanging around.
(http://i.imgur.com/Yi6dRoR.png)


A Tractor Guardian dragged some of my NTigers to an unscouted planet and triggered 2 more Raid Engines. Yeah this started really smoothly.
(http://i.imgur.com/9p6Xhna.png)


They have arrived. My strategy works very well. Mil CS knocks the ships away even if they're protected by Shield Bearers. Thank lord.
(http://i.imgur.com/s8r8VII.png)


That's 195 AI ships disabled by the Military Command Station which is roughly 40% of the total number of AI forces currently attacking.
(http://i.imgur.com/HrMwNva.png)
Time to clean up. Only a couple of them got away.
(http://i.imgur.com/lywa7UM.png)


Ton of Guardians. Here's a good example of Vanguard's planet..
(http://i.imgur.com/4D6reSl.png)
..and speaking of good. See those Fabricators? Well there's more..
Wow.. There are no words to describe the amount of luck I had with this seed. No I didn't check this map with full visibility beforehand so this came as a pleasant surprise. This starting position is basically a very specific kind of a dream for Super Cat. Hacking all of those is going to save me HUUUGE amounts of knowledge. If I now got a Zenith Power Generator I'd have already won the game. The AI just wouldn't know it yet. I think I have good chances even without the Zenith Generator. The P6 planet in the lower right corner has a Shield Bearer Database which I'm going to sabotage at some point.
(http://i.imgur.com/sv6N4Jp.png)

I really want to get all of those three Fabricators before the first CPA. Now I need to strategize for a bit.

00h11m.sav attached
Title: Re: 10/10 - Alarming Vengefulness
Post by: Kahuna on December 19, 2016, 06:42:32 AM
Ok here's my plan. First I'm going to destroy the Raid Engine pointed by the red arrow and then I'm going to go as the blue arrows show and capture Hephyrus. I thought of capturing AS3341 (P4 with Co-Processor) and then hacking both of the planets from there but capturing AS3341 would increase the AIP by 45 which is way too much. It has an Alarm Guard Post and a Co-Processors which is 5+20 AIP and of course 5+15 from the Warp Gate and the Command Station.
(http://i.imgur.com/hqv6TBd.png)


So. I'm going capture Hephyrus (The one with Mark V NTigers and Sniper Turrets) instead of hacking it. The fabricators are together on the edge of the area so it's a perfect place for the style of defense I'm going with now.
(http://i.imgur.com/jopI3m5.png)


What really sacres is Loss of Down with it's 6 EMP Guardians. If those things become threat I'll have to try to hunt them down with MSDs and NTigers ASAP. I'm going to have to destroy that Raid Engine at some point anyway.
(http://i.imgur.com/R3o735A.png)


I'm going to try to destroy both Raid Engines at once since the AIP is still 10. It's better to trigger multiple Raid Engines at 10 AIP than at 15, 20 or so. I put the NTigers on stand down mode so they're loaded when they get in range of the Raid Engine. Also put MSDs on stand down mode so they stay cloaked and also brought them in to spam more NTigers when needed.
(http://i.imgur.com/vYvU58n.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/Usn7ylA.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/rbFmrIm.png)
Then shift clicked to the Tachyon Guardian on Loss of Down's wormhole and then the Wormhole itself. MSDs will follow after the Tachyon Guardian on the other side is destroyed.


And sure enough I alerted all of the 6 EMP Guardians. There's a seventh EMP Guardians on Kreme 3 heading towards my homeworld. Will have to focus on defending now and do another run.
(http://i.imgur.com/DzSBBnh.png)
Ok now they're all heading for my head.
(http://i.imgur.com/Fk4uYqk.png)
Aaaand I died shortly after because they didn't all arrive at once. They arrived one by one over the course of a couple of minutes. Which means I was EMPd for several minutes. And then the AI ships just flied next to my Home Command Station and *pop*. Thanks to the additional Gravitational Turrets I built in preparations for this I would have survived 3 consecutive EMPs. But 6 or 7? ..
(http://i.imgur.com/zPeWyrH.png)

Going to do things a bit differently. I'm going to camp on AS2209 (After neutering it) with my MSDs and when the AI attacks I keep sending NTigers from there since it's not going to get EMPs because it's not on their route. I'm also not going to alert Loss of Down at this time.
(http://i.imgur.com/s9X9Hi3.png)


Ok survived the fallout this time and am attacking Hephyrus now. This is going to be tough. Alerted all of the Guardians and I also destroyed the Barracks. Luckily there were no EMP Guardians. I think my defenses can handle this.
(http://i.imgur.com/PwxBAyR.png)
And I did handle it even though I accidentally triggered a Raid Engine and 2 waves spawned and joined the fight. Shield Bearers protected Bombers which allowed them to get in range of my Command Station. Implosion and Missile Guardians kept pounding on my Force Fields from long range. About 159 AI ships disabled by the Mark II Military Command Station again.
(http://i.imgur.com/CbCH2HC.png)


Argh. Oh well this is still easily cleaned up but late game this will become a problem unless I am able to sabotage that Shield Bearer Database quickly.
(http://i.imgur.com/CbCH2HC.png)


I literally just alerted all the guards on this planet and it's filled with Guardians again. Well I'm just going to pop the Command Station now. Already destroyed the Command Station Shield Guard Post.
(http://i.imgur.com/UTBUGu1.png)
I triggered the alarm by doing that but that didn't do much for the AI in this situation. Had the surrounding planets been on alert for a long time it would have been a mini CPA. AIP jumped from 15 to 40. Now it's starting to get fun.


Aaand neutered. Now I'm just going to capture Hephyrus (and the Fabricators with it mmMMwhaha!) and insta build all the Gravitational Turrets and Force Fields before the threat hanging on LV-3615 come and do their thing. Also the in-game time is at 34m now so the Hybrids are starting to mass up. I set Hybrids to 5/10 for both AIs, which isn't that bad tbh. MSDs and NTigers are going to cover the Transports by spamming the Hybrids and threat on SHC-3278.
(http://i.imgur.com/M7umJVu.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/FZo3LJn.png)
The threat is probably going to come through AS3341 so I'm also going to insta build a lot of Space Docks and rally point NTigers to AS3341 to delay the AI.


Need to focus build that Energy Collector so I can finish my setup ASAP. Good thing I have full metal storage from all of that salvage from all of those AI's attacks.
(http://i.imgur.com/YxBnkYH.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/6UO3GI6.png)


And sure enough the threat arrives in no time. Luckily the defense are building very quickly. Need another Matter Converter. Energy and metal is going to become a problem at some point so I'm going to have think about how I'm going to solve that. Focus building those Mark V Sniper Turrets to get rid of these Guardians. Look how many drones those two Enclave Guardians spawned in a few seconds.. that's insane. Good thing the calavry has arrived. I ordered those MSDs and NTigers to come help immediately and am going to focus fire those Missile Guardians first. The Space Docks are ready too so time to test Core NTiger spam!
..never mind. All of the AIs died before I had time to spam them. Oh well. I will get to try them out soon.
(http://i.imgur.com/qcbFKx3.png)


Hephyrus is fully built and secured. And yeah the NTigers are basically walking over the AI on AS3341! And WHAT? I didn't remember Core Turrets have a cap of 72! Wow that's going to make my defenses extremely powerful strong.
(http://i.imgur.com/F0rtKfK.png)

This seems like a good milestone to post a save file and take a break.

00h38m.sav attached (Yeah only 38 minutes of in-game time with this much of progress). Go play with the tigers and defenses. It's oh so satisfying. One of my favorite playstyles.
Title: Re: 10/10 - Alarming Vengefulness
Post by: Kahuna on December 19, 2016, 09:40:16 AM
Now off to hack the Core Missile Turrets on Eliqui. I split the Engineers and Mobile Builders between 3 (normal) Transports so I can unload all of them faster and focus build a Counter Sniper Turret to counter the Mark III Sniper Turret. Good thing NTigers are immune to sniper fire. And insta killing too. HoweverEngineers and such are made of paper. I'll also have to be careful because MSDs aren't immune to snipers. They're expensive so don't want to waste metal. The beachhead is going to be expensive. Perhaps even reprisal worthy.
(http://i.imgur.com/LTJccNQ.png)


It's actually a good thing this planet has a subcommand. All the things are bunched up near the AI Command Station so there's plenty of distance to my beachhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/Y75X9p8.png)


Foot has been set on Eliqui.
(http://i.imgur.com/guYu3eN.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/wW4Z38u.png)


Except what's that.. 5 Ion Cannos. Welp that changes things. I didn't notice them. And what on earth is with the Drones.. that's spam of epic proportions. Dare I say slightly excessive. That's roughly 100 drones from a single Enclave Guardian in an instant. Yeah I'm just gonna leave the hacker to do it's thing and retreat. Will deal with the threat with my defenses. Hopefully.
(http://i.imgur.com/McDhT4r.png)


Vanguard's hacking response seems very mild so far. I'm going to deal with the Guardians it spawns by sending NTigers through the wormhole. 2 minutes 50 seconds of hacking left. Also 2 waves were announced.
(http://i.imgur.com/vLxPjSA.png)
-The wave of 26 ships was 26 Missile Guardians. Am going to meet them with NTigers before they get on my planets. 890 ships will be harder. 1 minute 28 seconds of hacking left.
-Ah it was 890 Bombers. My Sniper Turrets will shred them to pieces. Free salvage. And on my Homeworld too so will get 40% of the salvage. That will probably top off my metal storage.
-The hack is successful and threat is at 49, which is probably 49 Guardians but that's no biggie since I got my Core Missile Turrets and there was no EMP Guardians. NTigers did a good job at keeping the accumulating Guardians at bay.
-I also unlocked Mark III Gravitational Turrets to give Mil CSs and long range turrets more time to do their thing.


My next step is to capture Tranatos. It seems like a likely route for a CPA since it's connects my Homeworld to the rest of the galaxy. It also has 5 metal asteroids which is ok. I have 1000 knowledge now and after capturing Tranatos I'll have 4000 which is enough to unlock Mark II Metal Harvesters. Ascs 12070 and Ascs 6680 both have a Raid Engine but luckily they're quite close to Tranatos' wormhole so I should be able to get both of them in one go.
(http://i.imgur.com/RcsUF2S.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/8NnNeQJ.png)


Scrapped the old damage NTigers and made full caps of all of them. Put them in stand down mode and sent them to Ascs 6680. In the middle of that I realized both of those planets could have adjacent planets with Raid Engines so I could get a lot more than 2 Raid Engine waves in the worst case scenario. So I started to build my very first Lightning Warhead on my homeworld...
...and sure enough a few seconds later as I enter Ascs 6680 to destroy the Raid Engine. The worst case scenario just had to happen didn't it. I saw it coming.
(http://i.imgur.com/mZR01Ur.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/epxaoNw.png)
As you can see I disabled the stand down mode only after all NTigers were in range of the Raid Engine. No waste shots or time to reload. Some of the NTigers got caught by Tractor Beam Guardian on the way. I scrapped them to avoid getting an unnecessary Raid Engine wave since the Tractor Guardians have a bad habit of dragging the ships to AI planets that will alert Raid Engines. Of course..
..I also alerted 3 EMP Guardians. I'm going to wait until they both have "blown up" Tranatos and then "meet" them half way through with my NTigers. In stand down mode until they get in range to one shot them of course. Assassination.
(http://i.imgur.com/gID4pC6.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/pckWDLN.png)
2 more EMP Guardians left. 70 NTigers got caught by a Tractor Guardian.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZNLlJux.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/m6gwahM.png)
Done. Now I'm going to send all of the NTigers to Ascs 12070 and hopefully destroy the other Raid Engine. Asassinating the EMP Guardians took a bit too much time so I might have to do another run. Also the Warhead is ready for the 2200 ships...
...Yeah I'll do another run. Tried to go around them but the Spire Gravity Drains got the NTigers and they all got killed pretty much instantly.
(http://i.imgur.com/wGsqmVU.png)


And they have arrived. 1800 ships. ~600 destroyed already but those Shield Bearers (426 of them) are starting to stack up and cause a problem. Am going to focus fire those Bombers with all the turrets before they get under the shields. I'll use a Warhead only as a last resort solution.
(http://i.imgur.com/jlDCRhW.png)


Holy cow look at that stack of shields.. *puts finger ready on the red button to launch a Lightning Warhead* I'm focus firing the Shield Bearers with NTigers and Needler Turrets.
(http://i.imgur.com/mF8e9R4.png)


I managed to get rid of the Bombers but oh dear lord.. ~500 more AI ships appeared and probably 100 more Shield Bearers. Yeah, now I got my dose of cryptonite. Ok now Imma press the red button.
(http://i.imgur.com/dZ9Nwrb.png)
Before:
(http://i.imgur.com/2io58QL.png)
After:
(http://i.imgur.com/rfBS62L.png)
Right. That didn't do as much as I'd have liked. Of course the Shield Bearers closest to my Command Station survived. Going to do this trick again. Focus building Force Field next to everything else.
(http://i.imgur.com/Frj0Rnq.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/CovCatl.png)
I barely made it without having to use another Warhead.. My Home CS got down to ~50%. Luckily Shield Bearers don't do that much damage. However they do do a lot of damage over time since it takes forever to kill them. And they all cover each other when they stack up so it's not like you can kill them one by one. They all get to like 3% health and when ALL of the shields are small enough they can no longer cover each other. Only then they start dying. So they maintain their full dps extremely long..
..That was annoying in a good way. Unlike those ZSEs.

Now off to destroy the Raid Engine in Ascs 12070 and then capture Tranatos. But before that I'm going to take a break and hit the gym for the first time after the flu in a bit over 2 weeks. I'll be back. Feeling quite good about this game.

01h03m.sav attached (1 hours = ~half way to the first CPA)
Title: Re: 10/10 - Alarming Vengefulness
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 19, 2016, 11:13:18 AM
That is an awesome set of fabricators. Someone's going to regret leaving those toys laying around.

I forsee the shield bearer design backup getting the hacking of a lifetime.

It's a pity guardian designs aren't stored that way...
Title: Re: 10/10 - Alarming Vengefulness
Post by: Kahuna on December 19, 2016, 01:48:15 PM
The most awesome thing is the fact that the Fabricators are so close to each other and most importantly close to my homeworld. Edit: And the fact that I was able to capture/hack them in under 50 minutes. In most maps Fabricators, Advanced Factories and such are at least 5 or more hops away. In this map the max distance from my homeworld is 10 hops and that's only to one planet.

Edit: Actually I had ticked the "Avoid planet during auto pathing" on LV-3615 so those distances are incorrect.
Based on the number of hops to various places my guess is that the AIs' homeworlds are Formalos and Eta Psi. But they could as well be LV-1429 and either Palindromordnilap or any of the yellow planets. We'll see if I'm correct.
(http://i.imgur.com/YqQH0GP.png)

Based on the number of hops to various places my guess is that the AIs' homeworlds are Auroboros which 10 hops away from my homeworld (the yellow one) and Formalos which is 8 hops away from my homeworld (the rightmost orange planet). The distance between Auroboros and Formalos is 12 hops so I think it's very possible for the AI homeworlds to be in those positions. We'll see if I'm correct. If I'm not my second guess is that the homeworlds are some other planets I've marked on this map.
*image removed*

Speaking of AI homeworlds I realized I'm not going to have Cloaker Starships to cloak Warheads. Arf.

Yes the Shield Bearers are going to get the ban hammer.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 20, 2016, 07:24:59 AM
Now lets get rid of the rest of the Raid Engines and capture Tranatos. So there's a Raid Engine on Ascs 12070 which is adjacent to SHC-4275 which could also have a Raid Engine. And based on the last attack I did there's also a Raid Engine on SHC-95302. SHC-95302 is adjacent to Zir and Droch which could both have Raid Engines of their own. So in the worst case I'm going to trigger 5 Raid Engines!
(http://i.imgur.com/rBlxbyY.png)


Luckily SHC-4275 didn't have a Raid Engine. Can still get 4 RE waves. Am going to first focus down the EMP Guardian, then the Widow Guardian and then the RE. Then back to stand down mode and to SHC-95302.
(http://i.imgur.com/cWIoxY7.png)


And as I enter  SHC-95302 a third RE is triggered. 2302 ships incoming of which probably like 400-500 are going to be Shield Bearers.  :'( At least I have 4 Mark I Lightning Warheads ready on my homeworld. SHC-95302 has 3 EMP Guardian of which 2 are between my NTigers and the RE. Going prioritize them again and hunt down the third one after destroying the RE..
(http://i.imgur.com/RxPLG0j.png)
..Actually no I'm not going to hunt down the third one since it flied away as threat, great. All REs destroyed and the AIP is now at 56.


I think this is a pretty good representation of what's coming. There's 102 Mark IV Shield Bearers and 122 Mark IV Bombers.
(http://i.imgur.com/UTEsqn2.png)
Good thing Bombers are faster than Shield Bearers.
(http://i.imgur.com/IdKefew.png)
120 Mark IV Bombers destroyed in 15 seconds. That's some good dps. Sending all the NTigers to soften up those Shield Bearers.
(http://i.imgur.com/90Lu4CQ.png)
All of these NTigers unloaded their shots to those Shield Bearers and each Shield Bearer took only 153 damage.. There's 99 Shield Bearers on that stack so all the damage was split evenly between them.


And now the third EMP Guardian I was going to hunt down is coming for my head. Going to try to meet it with NTigers but I don't think I'm going to make it because of the Spire Gravity Drain, am probably going to get EMPd.
(http://i.imgur.com/yLJDIjg.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/xY8GarB.png)


Aaand I get EMPd. At least it's only Mark II EMP Guardian so the EMP lasts "only" 20 seconds. It's going to be long 20 seconds though. Luckily Gravitational Turrets don't get disabled by EMP and there are no long range Guardians or I'd get toasted (Yes I said would before waiting the full 20 seconds. I'm confident I can make it)..
(http://i.imgur.com/G5eDc1X.png)
..Except that now I accidentally entered LV-3615 (The planet where the EMP Guardian came from) which triggered another RE.. +640 AI ships (Shield Bearers) in 57 seconds. Anyway the 20 seconds is over and all is good. Thank you Mark III Gravitational Turrets.


Yeah I totally needed those additional completely unnecessary well over 600 Mark IV AI ships. Don't know what I'd have done without them.
(http://i.imgur.com/vXTNZkG.png)
Yeah I'm just going to pop a Warhead. Destroying all of those Shield Bearers is going to take so long I'd have to do it anyway.
Before:
(http://i.imgur.com/TxT6CPF.png)
After:
(http://i.imgur.com/IkrZ63d.png)
You've got to be kidding me.. Need another one. I'm so going to hack that Shield Bearer Design Backup.
(http://i.imgur.com/jbWBGyM.png)


The Traders have come to visit Hephyrus (The planet with the 2 Fabricators I captured). Going to build an Orbital Mass Driver to counter AI Carriers and a Zenith Power Generator with the crazy amount of metal I get from the salvage from the RE waves.
(http://i.imgur.com/vGIRjKy.png)
And a wave of 27 Guardians was announced. The Vanguard AI seems to be quite pitiful, how disappointing.


The OMD is now 9% built and ZPG is already at 28% and Tranatos is captured. I decided to unlock Mark II Force Fields instead of the Mark II Metal Harvesters since I'm getting a lot of salvage from the RE waves and the Shield Bearers have been causing problems. I also found yet another Fabricator nearby. Core Doom Shrooms (Neinzul Youngling Nanoswarms)! Even more Neinzul ships to spam. The RNGeezus was definitely with me when I clicked the "New Map Seed" button and this map was generated. Next I'll corrupt the Shield Bearers on Ascs 12070 and  then I'll hack that Doom Shroom Fab on SHC-95302. After that the game might get even a bit too easy. Especially I finish constructing the ZPG and the OMDs. Yes I'm going to build another OMD, probably on my homeworld. Or one of the whipping boys.
(http://i.imgur.com/u6gQNB1.png)
Aaand now I found a ZPG. And it's conveniently in a corner too. ZPGs have a cap of 1 but additional ZPGs can still be captured even if you have a full cap. You just can't buy any more of them from the Traders. What I could do is first gate raid Droch (the planet with the ZPG) and then capture the 2 adjacent planets SHC-95302 and Zir. On those 2 planets I'd build the Command Station and defenses on top of Droch's wormhole to defend the ZPG and have depth in my defenses. In addition to that I'd probably have enough energy the beachhead the planets around SHC-95302 and Zir so I'd have 3 hops of depth in my defenses. I'd still hack the Core Doom Shroom Fab on SHC-35302 so I'd not have to worry about losing it.
(http://i.imgur.com/ygHHXHX.png)
Topped off my metal storage by intentionally triggering a Raid Engine and am continuing the construction of the ZPG on Hephyrus.


The last wave of ~950 ships is now just hanging on Ascs 12070 so I need to destroy them. I've already managed to destroy about 100 of them and soften up the Shield Bearers by bombarding the planet with NTigers with the power of 9 Space Docks supported by 35 Mark I Engineers and 9 Mobile Space Docks.
(http://i.imgur.com/PK2tQ3E.png)
I moved the wormhole on screen close to the side panel so I can click the NTigers and then Ctrl+click the wormhole really fast to keep sending them trough the wormhole.
(http://i.imgur.com/aBbFHy6.png)
I was so focused on doing this I forgot to pay attention to other things..
..so in the mean time there's 38 Missile Guardian (!) and almost 500 threat on my homeworld. The Missile Guardians are almost in range of my Home Command Station. I immediately scrapped all NTigers and directed all NTiger production to my homeworld. Ok Vanguard, I apologize for calling you pitiful.
(http://i.imgur.com/1KroCGY.png)
I manually ordered all turrets to focus fire on those Missile Guardians and they started dropping pretty quickly since they're quite fragile. Good thing they also have 12 second reload time so my cavalry (NTigers) arrived in time to help clean them up. Soon after most of the AI started retreating.. except the Shield Bearers. Fighters and Missile Frigates started retreating but Shield Bearers just push on.. Why are they so stubborn.. Also the Traders just arrived on my homeworld so imma get me one more OMD.


I'm not going to bother trying to clean up that threat so I'm just going to drop the Design Corruptor and let it do it's thing and hope it does it's thing. It's going to take 5 whole minutes so we'll see. And soon after that the Mark IV ships start accumulating on that planet...
(http://i.imgur.com/0sUfNVi.png)
..Um yeah, imma start the Lightning Warhead production again and move the 2 remaining Lightning Warheads to Tranatos.
Aaand now they're heading for my head. Ugh, they just had to be Mark IV too.
(http://i.imgur.com/BbGrNzs.png)
The clash of blobs. 2 minutes 24 seconds of hacking left.
(http://i.imgur.com/DNkavvo.png)
The Force Fields work as a very nice bumper. Perfect placement. Might not need a Warhead after all. *knocks wood*
(http://i.imgur.com/igd7ugr.png)
And then it worked as a very nice funnel to reeaallly clump up those Shield Bearers. Great. My finger is ready on the red button. 22 seconds of hacking left.
(http://i.imgur.com/U3DBpp9.png)
Yeah time to pop a Warhead. The Warhead cleaned things up quite nicely but those Missile Frigates and Spire Gravity Drains aimed to cause a problem. The Mil CS got down to 50% health so any other CS would have been easily destroyed. I was running out of metal too so I barely made it. The defenses on my homeworld would have easily stopped the rest of them though. So the defense was successful, and so was the hack. No more Shield Bearers! It was easily worth the +1 AIP from the Lightning Warhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/o0TxYqJ.png)
There's still over 900 threat hanging around somewhere.


2 hours is almost up so the first CPA will be very soon so I need to get ready for it. So now I'm going to top off my metal storages with the help of the Salvage En.. I mean Raid Engines and build some Warhead as a life insurance. Am also going to try to focus build those ZPG and OMDs.
(http://i.imgur.com/YUawbXa.png)
The first Raid (Salvage) Engine I triggered is going to send 1295 ships so the waves are starting to get pretty decent. Some of the threat joined the Raid Engine wave. Already destroyed like 200 Mark IV Bombers in this screenshot.
(http://i.imgur.com/dOzDJf0.png)
..And now there's 2 Mark III EMP Guardians heading towards this planet. I immediately disabled MSDs' stand down mode and ordered them to move to Corali II-6F where the EMP Guardians are coming from..
..Phew! Thankfully the additional strength from all the NTigers made the EMP Guardians to change their course and go camp near the wormhole instead. The first EMP Guardian (the lower one) would have made it to my homeworld before the NTigers had it not changed it's course. I'm still going to go in there and assassinate the EMP Guardians.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZxnTq6e.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/6bgLuF5.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/1AgRgVi.png)


Aha, a wave of ~1200 Bombers just spawned (Could have been the Raid Engine wave?). ~750 entered my homeworld. Theres 730 bombers left in this screenshot. Lets see how many seconds they last.
(http://i.imgur.com/JsABuKT.png)
1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. ...
(http://i.imgur.com/Ftl4ycC.png)
35 seconds. I appreciate your effort AI but you've got to step up your game. Can't wait till I get to ~130 AIP. Also the ZPG is now at 79%.


BOOM! The ZPG is done! Now I can scrap all of my Matter Converters. 261900 Energy left after scrapping them. If I built all non flak non lightning damage dealing turrets on a beachhead it would use 189600 energy so can't afford all the beachheads all the turrets just yet.
(http://i.imgur.com/HSy18Aa.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/Vno76Et.png)
And now the OMDs on my homeworld (Lithium Here) and Hephyrus (the one with the fabs) are ready as well.
(http://i.imgur.com/gLwqlIK.png)


So here's the plan. I'm going to build beachheads on the 2 green planets on this map. So both of the beachheads are setup to protect Hephyrus which has the two Fabricators. Can't afford to lose them. Since Hephyrus is going to be protected by beachheads in addition to it's own defenses I can split all the minefields between my homeworld and Tranatos. 4 wormholes in total. Assuming the CPA is going to take the routes I marked. So each wormhole is going to have 3 lines of 24 Minefields. Loss of Down is in an excellent position so I might capture it a bit later. I don't think I'd make it before the CPA arrives so I'm going to leave it for now. It has a Raid Engine and some other nasties. Oh and the 6 EMP Guardians that killed me at the beginning because I was careless. If I had Loss of Down it together with Tranatos would completely (hopefully) isolate my homeworld from the right side of the galaxy. Then I could protect the left side with beachheads and Minefields on those wormholes. Yeah that sounds good. Going to do it after the first CPA has been repelled.
(http://i.imgur.com/axw5IjG.png)


Also I have 2000 knowledge left, hm. I could unlock Area Minefields but I could also go with Mark II Hardened Force Fields because of the style of defense I'm going with. They would buy more time for the Mil CS and long range turrets to do their job. On the other hand I already have a lot of firepower to destroy Polycrystal (Bombers), Ultra-lights (Guardians), Medium (Guardians) and Composites (Spire Gravity Drains) but I think I'm lacking in firepower against Ultra-Heavy (Carriers). So I could unlock Mark II Needler Turrets (500 knowledge) and Mark I Heavy Beam Cannons (another 500 knowledge) to help beat up those Carriers. Since my homeworld and Hephyrus have the OMDs to counter the Carriers I could build all of the HBCs to Tranatos, which doesn't have an OMD. The Needler Turrets would also help me against Missile Turrets. Then I'd still have 1000 knowledge left. After I've captured Loss of Down I'll have 4000 knowledge. Then I could unlock Mark II Hardened Force Fields after which I'd have 2000 knowledge left. Then I'm probably going to capture the second ZPG (Droch) in the lower right corner after which I'd have 5000 knowledge.. which would be enough for Mark III Military Command Stations. Then imma capture the 2 planets adjacent to Droch (SHC-95302 and Zir) after which I'll have 6000 knowledge which is enough for Mark III Force Fields + Mark II Tractor Turrets + Mark I Spider Turrets (4000+750+1250=6000 knowledge). Yeah, that sounds like a plan!
(http://i.imgur.com/e3t8xtJ.png)
What a beautiful formation.


This seems like a good milestone to take a break. Things are coming together perfectly!


02h04m.sav attached.


Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 20, 2016, 09:39:41 AM
Oh, no! With shield bearers gone, can anything save a poor, defenseless AI from the rampaging SuperCat?
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Cyborg on December 20, 2016, 11:19:21 AM
Before you do a beachhead, how much metal are you saving up first?
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 20, 2016, 11:52:21 AM
Oh, no! With shield bearers gone, can anything save a poor, defenseless AI from the rampaging SuperCat?
No.
(http://i.imgur.com/aaatpvL.jpg)


Before you do a beachhead, how much metal are you saving up first?
Well atm the Turrets I have and the ones I'd beachhead with are:
-Mark I and II Needler Turrets
-Mark I Laser Turrets
-Mark I MRLS Turrets
-Mark I and V Missile Turrets
-Mark I and V Sniper Turrets
Full caps of those Mark V turrets alone cost 468000 metal. All of those turrets together cost 976800 metal. So with all of those turrets and assuming that you want to get it built ASAP before the AI gets in range, that's basically the minimum. In addition to that I'd most likely build a couple of Force Fields and Mark III Gravitational Turrets as well.

Lets say building those turrets takes 30 seconds and your metal income is +2000/s at the beginning. The cost is kind of reduced to 976800-30*2000=916800 which is insignificant. How ever if you have a good amount (+8000/s) of income from salvage for example, the cost "reduced" down to 736800. So if you can use that to your advantage. Salvage tends to top off the metal storage quite effectively after which the metal is wasted. Also have to take into account that you should be able to repair and rebuild the damaged and destroyed turrets. But that cost is mostly handled simply by a healthy metal income/s.

The energy cost of all of those turrets would be 208000 which is roughly 4 Matter Converters which is -800 metal/s which is -24000 metal in that 30 seconds. Quite insignificant. -800/s can still add up over the course of hours.

It's worth pointing out that all mark levels of the same turret cost as much metal and energy. So higher mark level turrets provide significantly more bang per buck.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 20, 2016, 01:58:15 PM
Oh, no! With shield bearers gone, can anything save a poor, defenseless AI from the rampaging SuperCat?
No.
(https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3136/2581229065_7aae2e704c_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Atepa on December 20, 2016, 03:46:57 PM
It definitely sounds like this one is going better for you, even with the annoying shield bearers which at least are gone now. I'm assuming the REs are supposed to be more of a threat, but your defenses just work very well against them?

I don't think I've ever played with REs enabled, so their purpose is somewhat lost on me.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Cyborg on December 20, 2016, 09:48:22 PM
Starting a new campaign, going to try a few of these techniques. Always informative, thanks Kahuna.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 21, 2016, 08:37:39 AM
Here we go again.
*Starts AI War*
Oookk so I need to beachhead those two planets now. Gonna send some scouts to them..
..WHAT?! Shield Bearers again? Oh and the Tachyon Microfighters detected my MSDs which got obliterated shortly after..
(http://i.imgur.com/cFFuBtx.png)
..I'll be right back, gonna make some coffee..


Need to change the plan a little bit. And now that I've thought about this a bit more. To effectively delay and soften up the CPAs with beachheads I'd need more Needler and Laser Turrets to counter the Carriers. And Spider Turrets would be great against any free AI ships. Including Shield Bearers. I just checked Shield Bearer's stats and all Mark levels of them have 100 Engine Health. So in addition to ordering the Mil CS to focus on them I could also focus them with Spider Turrets. Disabling a few dozen Mark IV Shield Bearers would have a significant impact. Also I forgot that Eliqui is basically invulnerable without the use of Warheads so I guess I have to give up on these beachheads this time. 4 Mark III AI Force Fields, 5 Ion Cannons, Sniper Guard Post + others and a Munitions CS. Going to save up the metal instead of spending it on beachheads and grinding that kind of defenses.
(http://i.imgur.com/h5T2kTw.png)


I think I'm going to just destroy Loss of Down without capturing it and get the knowledge for Mark III Military Command Stations before the CPA..
(http://i.imgur.com/z0oRDl3.png)
..And speaking of the CPA is has now been announced so I definitely wouldn't have had time to build those beachheads. 8425 ships incoming and it's certainly going to have a lot of Shield Bearers.. and I'm going to have a lot of Lightning Warheads..


Oh that's right. Loss of Down had those 6 EMP Guardians. Going to move MSDs to AS2209 so the MSDs don't get EMPd when the EMP Guardians go through SHC-3278. I can also send NTigers from AS2209 to SHC-3278 to ambush the EMP Guardians before they get to my homeworld. In theory. And apparently the Raid Engine wave is already knocking on my door. Didn't even pay attention to the warning.
(http://i.imgur.com/idmRJ7B.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/do45i6U.png)
The ambush worked but apparently there were free EMP Guardians on LV-3615 too. Great.
(http://i.imgur.com/kVVoTmW.png)


I was unable to destroy the Raid Engine and the Command Station because of the EMP Guardians. And now there's tons of threat (ships and guardians) hanging around. Aaand I got another Raid Engine wave
(http://i.imgur.com/LXQ6KfY.png)
Now the EMP Guardians seem to have calmed down so I'm going to bring in the MSDs..
(http://i.imgur.com/90jxhXL.png)
..You've GOT to be kidding me. 1Mark III H/K, 1 Mark II H/K and 2 Mark I H/Ks and dozens of Missile Guardians. Ok forget it. I'm just going do it after the CPA has been repelled and Warhead all the threat. If the AI doesn't have any sense of humor I'm not going to have either. Gonna Warhead everything..
..And literally one second after this the Raid Engine wave spawned on top of Loss of Down's wormhole..
..Aaaannd now I got a reprisal wave for spamming the NTigers a bit too much. Yeah this is going really smoothly.


At least the threat attacked my homeworld now (yes it's a good thing). Lets see how this OMD works against that Carrier
(http://i.imgur.com/Dt459nc.png)
Before the hit:
(http://i.imgur.com/HJ2u7hV.png)
After the hit:
(http://i.imgur.com/Vym2QSX.png)
Destroyed 56 ships inside in one hit. That's pretty good. It depends heavily on what ships are inside the Carrier. Think swarmers cap health vs starships cap health. 269946/56=4820,46.. so it was probably a mix of Mark III Fighters and Mark III Bombers or Missile Frigates.


Hahaha the Special Forces have now gathered on Loss of Down. Hunter/Killers and hundreds of Guardians. 218 Missile Guardians of which 100 are Mark V. And most of those Mark III Tractor Guardians are camping on top of that wormhole. I'll have to sneak in with the MSDs and then start spamming the NTigers to get rid of the RE and the CS. Good thing they're not threat. Speaking of threat the CPA has spawned. This is going to be a wild ride.
(http://i.imgur.com/iStZYcu.png)


I've already used one Mark II Lightning Warhead. I have one Mark I Lightning Warhead ready to be popped but I might not have to use it. Luckily there were a TON of AI Bombers which are quite fragile. The Sniper and Missile Turrets and MSDs spamming Fighters made the AI Bombers drop like flies even though there were thousands of them. And more has just arrived. The OMD combined with the Gravitational, Needler and Laser Turrets and the Mil CS has proven to be an extremely effective combination yet again. Too bad the OMD is immune to attack boosts but it's still very effective. Would probably be straight OP if it wasn't.
(http://i.imgur.com/degTEfF.png)
Luckily there was only a couple of Shield Bearers. They must have been left overs after the sabotage. Perhaps the AI had some Shield Bearers as guards which were freed by Preemptive plot or the CPA..
..And literally after writing that^^ and going back to the game and unpausing the game for 1 second the last Carrier unloads 58 Shield Bearers. Still it's only 58 and they're Mark I. Oh AI u so funny.

 
The CPA has been repelled. That honestly surprisingly easy. I only had to use one Mark II Warhead. Vast majority of it hit my homeworld.
(http://i.imgur.com/cDPkivh.png)


Also built a beachhead on LV-3615 which was strong enough to stop a (cross planetary (threat)) wave with the help of some NTigers and rebuilders.
(http://i.imgur.com/qk56ij9.png)


Now I'm doing some Raid Engine raiding while hacking me some Core Doom Shrooms. And while I'm out there destroying some Raid Engines I also destroy all the Tachyon Guardians on the way so I can expand my vision. Managed to destroy 3 Raid Engines in lower part of the galaxy in one go and got myself another "CPA". Am also trying to speed up the game a little bit.
(http://i.imgur.com/qk56ij9.png)


Oh my lord.. I didn't notice the warning about the Cookie Monster (Zenith Devourer) and I didn't hide my Warheads. So it destroyed one of the Mark II Lightning Warheads.... argh. The AIP is now 93.
Oh well at least it's going to help me clean up those AI ships. And thankfully it wasn't particularly hungry this time so it didn't go after the rest of the Warheads. Yes it does that sometimes.
(http://i.imgur.com/nd5auC2.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/o4kWfe6.png)
The rest of the threat (Raid Engine waves) are heading to the same planet as the Cookie Monster. Lets see how fast the threat drops.
(http://i.imgur.com/OZxzjWt.png)
2106 ships destroyed in about 1 minute of which probably a significant portion was destroyed by my defenses. Not worth the +2 AIP from the death of the Warhead. 40 seconds of hacking left. The AI just blanketed the planet with tachyon..
..Aaand the hack was successful. Time to start spamming the Doom Shroom to get out of this situation without having to pop (or to let be popped) another warhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/V8m187L.png)
And suddenly I have 37 Mark IV Missile Frigates, 96 Mark III Missile Frigates and 96 Mark II Missile Frigates (few seconds after the screenshot). Got some Bombers and Fighters too but I'm more interested in these Missile Frigates because they're better for defense because of their long range. They can sit next to my turrets, enjoy the attack boost from the Mil CS and out range the attacking AI ships that are delayed by Gravitational Turrets.
(http://i.imgur.com/Mr2m7m5.png)


I went to clear my way to Droch (the planet in the lower right corner of the galaxy with the ZPG) and destroyed quite a few Guardposts on my way which made the Raid Engine / Vengeful reeaally angry so it sent some exos to my homeworld. The OMD shredded the Spirecraft Shields to pieces and even though the Implosion Guardian did a lot of damage to my Force Fields they were soon recycled as salvage thanks to the Sniper and Missile Turrets.
(http://i.imgur.com/uKFAh9l.png)


Did someone somewhere talk about achieving superiority in firepower on high difficulty level?
(http://i.imgur.com/aouXkFU.png)
Got a reprisal wave of 76 Guardians. How cute.


Getting ready to get myself another +600000 energy.
(http://i.imgur.com/Th0iqXM.png)
NTigers and reclaimed ships are keeping the AI busy while my Transports fly to Droch.
(http://i.imgur.com/tqtxsOK.png)
Aaand done.
(http://i.imgur.com/aAOGcuc.png)
Too bad I remembered incorrectly and Mark III Command Stations cost 5000 knowledge (!) so I unlocked Mark III Hardened Force Fields instead.


Time to take a break. Some good progress was made again.


03h06m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 21, 2016, 08:45:58 AM
It definitely sounds like this one is going better for you, even with the annoying shield bearers which at least are gone now.
Yeah things are definitely going very smoothly this time despite of the Shield Bearers. Although I'm only now starting to approach the point where I started the last AAR which is the 3 hour mark. AIP is 118 so soon things are probably going to get a bit more hairy.

I'm assuming the REs are supposed to be more of a threat, but your defenses just work very well against them?

I don't think I've ever played with REs enabled, so their purpose is somewhat lost on me.
Yes exactly. At the moment my defenses can easily automatically stop a few thousand AI ships and a single Raid Engine wave (or a wave) is still a bit less than 2000 ships so it's nothing to worry about. When waves get to ~3000 and they start having Carriers, that's when things start to get difficult.

Raid Engines are especially dangerous at the beginning of the game and at the end. Mid game they're not a big deal if you have managed to get good defensive positions. Early game they're dangerous because you don't have the turrets, energy and the knowledge to have enough firepower to safely stop multiple Raid Engine waves. End game they're dangerous because a single Raid Engine wave can be thousands of ships. Imagine triggering 3 Raid Engines when each sends a wave of 8000 ships. That's like a mini CPA of 24000 ships (Yes mini CPA since end game CPAs usually have ~40000 ships).
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Atepa on December 21, 2016, 12:16:14 PM
Yes exactly. At the moment my defenses can easily automatically stop a few thousand AI ships and a single Raid Engine wave (or a wave) is still a bit less than 2000 ships so it's nothing to worry about. When waves get to ~3000 and they start having Carriers, that's when things start to get difficult.

Raid Engines are especially dangerous at the beginning of the game and at the end. Mid game they're not a big deal if you have managed to get good defensive positions. Early game they're dangerous because you don't have the turrets, energy and the knowledge to have enough firepower to safely stop multiple Raid Engine waves. End game they're dangerous because a single Raid Engine wave can be thousands of ships. Imagine triggering 3 Raid Engines when each sends a wave of 8000 ships. That's like a mini CPA of 24000 ships (Yes mini CPA since end game CPAs usually have ~40000 ships).

You don't cycle up your turrets do you? like your defensive design that is in your strategy thread  as you unlock higher and higher levels of missile/laser/etc turrets they are just being added to your overall defense correct? (With the except of probably the global cap turrets like tractors, and such) so once you've unlocked mk II missiles for example, you'd fullcap mk1 and 2 on your systems?
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 21, 2016, 04:27:38 PM
You don't cycle up your turrets do you? like your defensive design that is in your strategy thread  as you unlock higher and higher levels of missile/laser/etc turrets they are just being added to your overall defense correct? (With the except of probably the global cap turrets like tractors, and such) so once you've unlocked mk II missiles for example, you'd fullcap mk1 and 2 on your systems?
Yes I build higher mark level turrets in addition to lower levels. I want and usually need all the firepower I can get.

If I'm beachheading or capturing a planet temporarily as a staging ground, to avoid deep striking or to allow Assault Transport to travel the longest possible distance without being destroyed I might leave Mark Is out if I have say Mark IIIs or IVs. That's to save energy if I'm tight on budget.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 22, 2016, 07:29:03 AM
Fourth day of this game.


Am clearing the surroundings of Droch (the second ZPG). Zir still has dozens of Guardians even though I've already destroyed dozens and dozens of them. NTigers are being cut down like grass by those Laser Guardians.
(http://i.imgur.com/W7gm72a.png)


Just expanding my horizons by raiding Tachyon Guardians and Raid Engines and scouting as far as possible. Looking for planets that are worth capturing and most importantly AIs' homeworlds. Finding the homeworlds helps me decide which planets are worth capturing because I'm going to have to make "highways" to the homeworlds anyway. So when I find the homeworlds I'm going to pick a route and capture important planets on and nearby that route. Naturally I triggered multiple Raid Engines while doing this so I got another 6k ships incoming. Already triggered 4 Raid Engines.
(http://i.imgur.com/ztTbVNF.png)


I'm basically just going in with the MSDs and NTigers and focusing on destroying the Tachyon Guardians so my (Mark I (don't want to use knowledge to unlock higher marks of scouts)) Scouts don't get destroyed and get as far as possible. If I didn't have NTigers I'd do this with Assault Transports and possibly Fighters (Bonus damage vs Medium (Tachyon Guardians)).
(http://i.imgur.com/ga1fZef.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/OyutV95.png)
Manually shift clicking on those Tachyon Guardians. Then I go through a wormhole and destroy all Tachyon Guardians on the other side the same way. Then I repeat that for all wormholes or as many as I can. I also destroy any Raid Engines I come across. And now I've got over 12k ships incoming. Most of them are Mark III and IV.


Had to use one Mark I Lightning Warhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/gymLA82.png)
And another one. That blob of 414 ships is what's left of the Carrier that was about to drill trough my Force Fields.
(http://i.imgur.com/wEl0LIc.png)
I manually ordered all Engineers to repair the Force Fields while they were still out of range. Everything should be in control now.
(http://i.imgur.com/jXeKCZa.png)


Made some progress on scouting and got myself 17k worth of Raid Engine waves. I'll definitely have to use multiple Warheads but I think it's worth it because this way I save alot of time. Tachyon Guardians are destroyed on the orange planets. Now I'll just send scouts to those planets and all planets next to them. And repel this Raid Engine CPA of course. I've soon scouted half of the galaxy..
..The reprisal wave was now announced so the total number of incoming AI ships increased to a bit over 19k.
(http://i.imgur.com/q8oUfmO.png)


Time to start popping some Warheads
Before:
(http://i.imgur.com/lUonykJ.png)
After:
(http://i.imgur.com/eR2bNXX.png)


Before:
(http://i.imgur.com/oYLBrxQ.png)
After:
(http://i.imgur.com/lwuKkfo.png)


Before:
(http://i.imgur.com/pP6YGgE.png)
After:
(http://i.imgur.com/SfeZ1Hd.png)


Before:
(http://i.imgur.com/L7E7LJU.png)
After:
(http://i.imgur.com/1ungmUX.png)


And everything is under control again. A lot of AIP was increased that day.
But it was the only way to be sure.
(http://i.imgur.com/OcWprtf.png)


Found the other AI homeworld! Didn't manage to scout it but I did manage to scout a core planet next to it!
(http://i.imgur.com/wtCpP1c.png)
Again based on various distances I've made a new guess where the second AI homeworld is which I've marked on this map as red. The orange arrows show my next scouting routes. I think the upper red planets have a higher chance of being AI homeworlds so I'm going to go with the upper scouting route first.
(http://i.imgur.com/Cx4Cv9b.png)
Also the second CPA was announced and it's a tad short of 14k ships. In other words it's smaller than what I got from all of those Raid Engines few minutes ago. So it shouldn't a biggie. And now that I've soon found both AI homeworlds I think it's a good time to start building Armored Warheads. Especially when I got millions of salvage from those +19k ships sent by the Raid Engines.


The CPA has spawned and threat is now at a bit over 15k. I'm spreading scouts on various AI planets around my planets so I can see beforehand where most of the Carriers are coming from. I also started a knowledge hack on LV-3615 which is next to my homeworld. So far the hacking response is quite underwhelming. Or perhaps the firepower of my beachhead is just overwhelming. Anyway I've got 1632 knowledge from that already so I think I'm going to unlock Mark II Needler Turrets. After the hack finishes I'll have 2000 knowledge left. Then I'll probably hack another planet after which I'll have 5000 knowledge.. which is enough to unlock Mark III Military Command Stations. Mark III Mil CSs will tremendously increase the strength of my defenses. Mark II provides planetary attack boost of +50% and Mark III provides +100% so the difference should be noticeable. It also shoots 8 projectiles instead of 6 so it will disable 4 AI ships every second since it has a reload time of 2 seconds.
(http://i.imgur.com/qdEZojo.png)


I've built beachheads like this on 4 planets. I've left 2 Remain Rebuilders and a Mobile Builder on each of them. These Core Sniper Turrets (which are immune to EMP) just sniped 2 EMP Guardians before they entered Zir. The only downside of defensive beachheads like this is that they keep the fights on AI planets for quite a while so I don't get the salvage from it. Although I'm sure I'll get my salvage soon enough.
(http://i.imgur.com/gUddLBI.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/Sk6AVRu.png)


The defenses are working perfectly even though I had to use a couple of warheads on Zir. Over half of the CPA decided to attack Zir, probably because of the ZPG. I tends to after Traders' toys, Advanced Factories and such.
(http://i.imgur.com/3lKMcuW.png)
The beachhead on Corali II-6F (631 threat) completely stopped the CPA Carriers that were coming from there and has already destroyed about half of them. The beachhead on LV-3615 (161 threat) is still holding back some of the AI's ships and greatly softened up the CPA before it entered my homeworld. Didn't need a single warhead on my homeworld. However there were well over 6000 AI ships on SHC-95302 (438 threat) so that beachhead was overrun. It still held back the CPA for minutes, softened it up and most importantly stopped those 2 EMP Guardians.
(http://i.imgur.com/3lKMcuW.png)
On Zir I used a Mark II Lightning Warhead as soon as the first 2000 threat came through the wormhole. They were almost all Mark IV and there was a few hundred Shield Bearers. And it seems like the Carriers are partly filled with Shield Bearers I might have to use a few more warheads.
(http://i.imgur.com/6CQJDcX.png)
And as soon as I finished writing that sentence^^ the Carrier unloaded 83 Mark III Shield Bearers. Luckily my MSDs just arrived so I can start spamming Neinzul ships.


Wow I'm so happy with the performance of these beachheads. This one has completely stopped over 1000 ships so no threat from this direction at all. It will certainly shred the rest of those Carriers to pieces.
(http://i.imgur.com/dn31cmp.png)
Also time to pop a Mark I Warhead on my homeworld. I moved too many Engineers and Remain Rebuilders to Zir..
..And time to pop another one.


The CPA has been repelled and all defenses including the beachheads are rebuilt. Time to hack me some more knowledge.
(http://i.imgur.com/lTZHKKU.png)
Mean while on Hephyrus the Cookie Monster is hungry for my Warheads. It's actually chasing them (it turns as I move the Warheads away from it... Gonna have to bring the MSDs from the hacking planet to Hephyrus so I can safe escort the Warheads to another planet.
(http://i.imgur.com/gWHQJmU.png)


About half way through the hack the AI sends a wave of ~2000 ships in response and the beachhead is overrun. Soon after all the threat and numerous EMP Guardians enter my homeworld and all my turrets and shields get EMPd for 2 minutes. Had to use a Mark I Warhead to destroy all the Guardians (there were dozens of them) before they destroyed my Home Command Station..
(http://i.imgur.com/7I5SkV5.png)
..Oh I have -8 hacking points. That explains this.


34 seconds of EMP left and they're getting close. Argh.. need another warhead..
(http://i.imgur.com/xeL4kX0.png)
..Oh of course. The range closest to my Home Command Station you see there is the range of those ~700 AI Missile Frigates... which are immune to Warheads. Great. Damn EMP Guardians. Not cheap or anything. No surprise I died few seconds after this. Time for the second reload in this playthrough. I think this is the second one.


Ok where are we now. Right. I've just started the hack and Cookie Monster is chasing the Warheads..
Yeah time for a break.


03h39m.sav attached.
Edit: It's actually 04h46m
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Atepa on December 22, 2016, 12:40:20 PM
I'm not sure what time zone you live in, but I do so enjoy the fact that you seem to update your AAR at around 7AM my time, it gives me something to read while at work... (when I have time, heh)

I had a question about your beachheads... do they not eventually get overrun? I mean you're sitting on an AI planet and just constant putting on alert that system (which would be regardless due to adjacent to you), but also all the systems connected to it, which I don't believe are really neutered other than Tachy's and REs so the other posts should be getting tons of reinforcements, shouldn't they?
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 23, 2016, 02:26:07 AM
I'm not sure what time zone you live in, but I do so enjoy the fact that you seem to update your AAR at around 7AM my time, it gives me something to read while at work... (when I have time, heh)

I had a question about your beachheads... do they not eventually get overrun? I mean you're sitting on an AI planet and just constant putting on alert that system (which would be regardless due to adjacent to you), but also all the systems connected to it, which I don't believe are really neutered other than Tachy's and REs so the other posts should be getting tons of reinforcements, shouldn't they?
I'm glad you enjoy it. I live in Helsinki so UTC +2.
http://www.worldtimebuddy.com/
https://www.timeanddate.com/time/map/

Yes they do get overrun every now and then. Even though they're meant to keep the planet clear of threat and to stall any attacks coming through that planet they're also meant to be expendable. It would be unreasonable to expect a beachhead to stop 6000 ships when you get attacked by a CPA. So the beachhead will certainly be overrun and completely destroyed (only the remains will remain) but at that point it has done it's job which was so soften up and delay the CPA. In this game during the second CPA I think the beachhead next to Zir destroyed like 1000 of the 6000 ships that were about to attack Zir. And in Corali II-6F the beachhead completely stopped the ~1000 ships that were coming from there.

Now that I have cross planet waves enabled the beachheads also work to counter and soften up normal waves because the waves spawn on top of the Warp Gates on AI planets. So if I have a beachhead on that planet the wave that just spawned will first fight the beachhead before entering my planet. That could be good or bad. Bad because when the waves get big the beachhead will probably get overrun every time.

Alerting planets isn't something I really worry about unless they're planets I regularly go through. If a planet is uninteresting to me (as in I'm not going to capture it) it doesn't matter if it has 100 or 1000 guards (not threat) because I'll just ignore them. Also the more planets AI has on alert the thinner it's reinforcement budget is spread. So one strategy is to alert some distance planets on purpose make the AI "waste" some of it's reinforcement budget over there.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 23, 2016, 04:52:48 AM
Ok lets get on with the hack.


So this is why the hack got overrun. The AI spawned 2 waves of ~2000 ships on top of the Command Station at once.
(http://i.imgur.com/frL6UV0.png)
And for some reason I'm running out of metal..
..-1400 metal/s from the Matter Convertors. Ok going to scrap some of the beachheads for now.
(http://i.imgur.com/DBtW7Tm.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/Ep5kEx4.png)
-400 metal/s from Matter Converters now.


The Traders have come to visit my homeworld. Time to start building a Mark II Radar Jammer.
(http://i.imgur.com/AgmOWdp.png)


Now the threat from the hack is attacking my homeworld and some Mark III EMP Guardians from adjacent planets are about to join them. Going to send a Mark I Lightning Warheads through a wormhole to meet the EMP Guardians.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZnU1nnJ.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/bw3SNSM.png)
Phew. I just avoided 2 minutes of EMP.


Time to stop the hack. Also the Cookie Monster is still chasing the Warheads. There's dozens of guardians on the planet next to the Warheads so I can't move them away from that planet. Clearing the Guardians with NTigers and MSDs takes too long and I need the MSDs on my homeworld now.
(http://i.imgur.com/U3gTsKg.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/YoAC6nD.png)
And a reload because I was focused on the fight and the Cookie Monster caught the Warheads. Aint gonna enable the Devourer anymore. I didn't remember it eats Warheads too.  :'(


Ok so I loaded the 03h39m.sav (which is actually 04h46m) again and stopped the hack immediately. Cleared the threat (guardians) on SHC-3278 and AS2209. Moved the Warheads to AS2209 and waited until the Devourer left Hephyrus. Now I'll go scout and destroy some Raid Engines to make my life easier later on and also to increase AIP so I get more hacking points to hack more safely. I also scrapped most of the beachheads and only left the Gravitational Turrets and Missile Turrets.


So I did some scouting and found the other AI Homeworld.
(http://i.imgur.com/yrng7Ct.png)
It's Calais.
(http://i.imgur.com/ETVWBRv.png)
Now I need to start destroying all the Data Centers and Co-Processors. However I've ran into a problem:
(http://i.imgur.com/kQfTX7G.png)
That Missile Command Station has attack multiplier against Polycrystal so how am I going to break through that.. argh, sub commanders. It will take forever. And as soon as I start spamming 2 Raid Engines get triggered.
(http://i.imgur.com/tyJY2U7.png)
Then the Raid Engine waves force me to stop spamming NTigers and while things calm down on this planet the Raid Engines cooldowns are almost done and they're ready to send another wave.
(http://i.imgur.com/C3HcpGg.png)
Yep. At least I'll get the Raid Engine before these waves spawn.
(http://i.imgur.com/9Pk26eR.png)
Off to the adjacent planet to destroy that Raid Engine.. let's hope that planet doesn't have a sub commander..
..And now the EMP Guardian that was under those quadrillion Force Fields and next to the Raid Engine I just destroyed just EMPd my homeworld.


So I managed to destroy both of those Raid Engine^^ but I still have 6335 threat. I also pushed forward with my NTigers right next to the Core planet (AS17174) and triggered the Raid Engine. Didn't want to enter the Core planet to destroy the Tachyon Guardians in there just yet. It could have triggered something nasty on the AI Homeworld. Like a CPA Guard Post.

The threat just arrived to my homeworld with an EMP Guardian (of course) so I had to use a Mark III Lightning Warhead since they were almost all Mark III or IV.

Going to take a look at the Core planet and the AI Homeworld now.
Here's the core planet. Holy. Cow. 16 Core EMP Guardians. That's 13 minutes 20 seconds of EMP.
(http://i.imgur.com/9C4dXkS.png)
And here's the Homeworld
(http://i.imgur.com/1ODoJ9w.png)


So now I've found both AI Homeworlds and I can start preparing the attack. Although I think I need a bit more knowledge before that. AIP is now at 137 which isn't too bad. I have about 40 minutes to 1 hour until the next CPA which is probably going to be a bout 22000 ships. We'll see. I'd like to attack the other AI Homeworld after that CPA. So I have, lets say 40 minutes, to destroy as many Tachyon Guardians, Raid Engines and AIP reducers as possible and get as much knowledge as possible and scout as much as possible. My hacking progress is now 40 so I can safely finish the hack that I had to stop earlier. So next I'm going to rebuild the hacking beachhead and go scout and raid with NTigers at the same time. Got to be fast and furious now.


Good progress was made again. Time for a little break.


05h06m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 23, 2016, 07:26:04 AM
Awesome! Got myself 14000 threat and still +5000 ships coming from triggering multiple Raid Engines and 2 Raid Eyes! Fast and furious indeed. Might have to cancel the hack once again. Am getting my warheads ready before the threat arrives..
..AAANNND now I got myself a 8496 ship reprisal wave.. what?! Well. At least I have full caps of Lightning Warheads. I need to finish the hack so I can unlock Mark III Mil CSs to counter this amount of threat..
..Ok never mind the hacking beachhead was blanketed with Tachyon so the hack is over. If I survive this I'll easily survive the next CPA too.


Here they come..
(http://i.imgur.com/TdxhY2l.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/dOyuKbB.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/PG5Cpsx.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/Xx0YNPm.png)
Glorious..
..and after many more Lightning Warheads. Threat+attacking AI ships is now at ~3000. Time to get back to raiding, scouting and hacking. Although I'd have easily died without the Warheads that wasn't even close. Still have few Warheads left. I think ~200 AIP is where it's at. Then I'll have to be very careful.


Did the same again and got 10k AI ships. Only had to use one Mark I Lightning Warhead to stop the first 5000 and I only need to hack 516 more knowledge from the planet. I found the third and the fourth Co-Processors. Also Doom Shrooms also gave me the "Thief" achievement.
(http://i.imgur.com/wOUdTEK.png)


Now I'm just going wait for the threat to arrive and then I'm going to blitzkrieg those Co-Processors and try to finish the hack. It's going to trigger a mininum of 5 Raid Engines which is going to be at least 10000 ships. In addition to that the hacking will most likely send at least 4000 ships before the hack finishes. And after the hack finishes it's going to spawn the after hack response. Need to pump out some more warheads. After that I'll need to get ready for the CPA and probably start building Armored Warheads too. When that is done the hardest part before attacking the AI homeworlds is over. Unless I'm going to hack the Super Terminal later. Which is most likely going to be extreme to say the least. Although I probably can't afford to do the nuking hack (https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,16525.0.html) because I'm not using Economical Command Stations so I don't have enough turrets to do it.
(http://i.imgur.com/nGFjKI9.png)


The threat is now being turned into salvage on my homeworld and my MSDs are in position to start building NTigers to blitzkrieg the Co-Processors.
(http://i.imgur.com/nGFjKI9.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/qVUn7FG.png)
I just realized the AIP is going to be reduced by only 10 which is as much (or little?) as Data Center. There's 4 Co-Processors and each increases the AIP by 20.. and when all are destroyed the AIP is reduced by 90. In addition to that the AIP floor is going to raise. Oh well -10 is better than nothing. Anyway I'm not going to bother destroying the Raid Engines because after this I'll never have to travel in this part of the galaxy in this game again..
..Done!
(http://i.imgur.com/0KAB4NA.png)
Although I wonder why the AIP was reduced by 30 instead of 10 since 4*20-90=-10. Whatever, I'll take this. This is a better deal than that -10.


All the threat has been repelled and I had to use a couple of warhead but it's ok since the AIP has been reduced quite a bit and I've got more hacking points. I've also accumulated a nice fleet just by using the Core Doom Shrooms. These ships are all reclaimed from the AI. I'm actually going to start saving the Bombers and Zenith Electric Bombers for the AI Homeworld attacks. They're going to help me bring down the Force Fields.
(http://i.imgur.com/u3aQcAC.png)


And FINALLY the hack is finished and I get my Mark III Mil CSs.
(http://i.imgur.com/G3Ob55F.png)
Now off to destroy the 2 Data Centers I have visibility on..
..Destroyed the other one in the lower part of the galaxy where some of the Co-Processors were so it triggered 3 Raid Engines. The other one is heavily protected by Force Fields and Guardians next to one of the Core planets. The last bits of the threat are now attacking my homeworld and I get to test the Mark III Mil CSs.. the difference in my firepower is noticeable. Thousands of AI ships are melting like a piece of butter hit with a glowing hot sledgehammer. If you want to this is a perfect opportunity to test the defenses and see them yourself. Feel free to use a warhead if you have to. Also try focus firing the Carriers by selecting all Needler and Laser Turrets and the OMD and then clicking a specific Carrier. I don't actually know how this fight is going to go. Paused, wrote and posted this.


05h55m.sav attached.


Edit: Yeah didn't need a single warhead and Force Fields barely got damaged.
And there was probably close to 800 AI ships disabled and out of the fight thanks to the Mark III Mil CS.
(http://i.imgur.com/Wa4uepb.png)

Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 23, 2016, 08:16:16 AM
This is what I meant by the other Data Center being heavily protected...
(http://i.imgur.com/e9GvpVt.png)
A lot of Guardians, including that Tractor Guardian, under a Force Field on top of the wormhole. Argh. And the Data Center is sooo close too. Gonna have to just keep grinding. At least the Special Forces went away. I think I'm going to have to leave this one and focus on building defensive beachheads now before the third CPA arrives.


........................................................................................... -____-' and a reload because of the Cookie Monster again. I tested whether it was chasing the warheads by moving the sideways.......... the devourer didn't change it's course so I assumed it's not interested in them but apparently it changed it's mind while I was looking elsewhere. Not going to put up with stuff like that so I'm going to reload the sav file I just attached above.


Ok. So I reloaded, cleaned up the attacking AI ships and built some beachheads. I think the next CPA is going to arrive soon so I'm going to take it easy for a moment. There's still 2800 threat but apparently my defenses are so strong they chose not to attack. I think I'm going to grind that Data Center and build one or two more beachhead while waiting for the CPA. I've already capped out my Lightning Warheads.


Time for a break.


06h10m.sav attached
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Atepa on December 23, 2016, 01:22:11 PM
I feel like I need snacks and a drink while reading this epic movie. :D
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 23, 2016, 01:45:11 PM
I feel like I need snacks and a drink while reading this epic movie. :D
I know right!

I've already played a little bit after posting 06h10m.sav *spoiler alert* (well not really a spoiler) and the third CPA was announced and spawned just as I predicted, around the 6 hour mark. After that I can hopefully start attacking the AI Homeworlds.

The fireworks are going to be epic! Bring out the popcorn! 8)
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 24, 2016, 08:56:03 AM
So the CPA has been announced and it will spawn in 8 minutes 45 seconds. It's 198358 ships so a bit smaller than I predicted. I thought it would be about 22000 ships but I guess it ended up being a bit short of 20k because I managed to destroy the Co-Processors and a few Data Centers just in time. Now I'm clearing some nearby AI planets of threat with this reclaimed fleet so I can build some defensive beachheads and have some depth in my defenses before the CPA arrives. After building the beachheads I need to save as much metal as I can..
(http://i.imgur.com/EKUL9hR.png)


..And speaking of saving metal for some odd reason some of the threat decided to attack Tranatos. Looks like the AI read my mind and decided to help me a little bit by recycling some of it's ships. I need to focus down that Carrier but I don't think it will be a problem. Especially with the Mark III Military Command Stations.
(http://i.imgur.com/2XmtMF5.png)
I'm going to send the MSDs to help repel the attack but I'm going to keep securing the beachhead planets while they're being built with the rest of the fleet. I ambushed the AI from behind. You aint leaving this planet alive AI!
(http://i.imgur.com/ogQasK6.png)
Also I need to spread out my scouts tactically so I see the CPA Carriers 2 hops before they're on my planets. I've marked the beachheads and where I'm going to send scouts on this map.
(http://i.imgur.com/KDjrJc0.png)
Each beahhead is going to be exactly like this one. Mark I-III Needler Turrets, Mark I Laser Turrets, some Mark II Gravitational Turrets, Core Missile and Sniper Turrets and 2 Remains Rebuilders and a Mobile Builder. These turrets counter the most important hull types at the moment. I'm not really worried about Fighters.
(http://i.imgur.com/GWoKyvR.png)


What?? The CPA just spawned and it's only 4556 ships(!). Perhaps there weren't enough AI ships in the galaxy so it freed some ships from the Strategic Reserve and the Special Forces. That means a lot of Mark V ships and Missile Guardians..
..Yeah. 3639 ships from the Strategic Reserve. Those probably all Mark V or Mark IV. And those 192 ships from the Special Forces are probably all Missile Guardians. I hope they're not all Mark V.
(http://i.imgur.com/YosaP4U.png)
I'd like to clarify that a smaller CPA isn't necessarily easier because the amount of total strength stays the same. I think those 198358 ships were Mark II ships since the AIs' tech level is II. So the AI basically converted the strength of those 198358 into 4556 ships that have the same amount of total strength. So there could be Hunter/Killers too and there has been many times in my previous games.


Also I'm running out of metal and some of the beachheads are still under construction. I think I'm just going to pop this conveniently placed Distribution Node with the Missile Turrets on this Beachhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/MoXCXXA.png)
*pop*
(http://i.imgur.com/6UDyl4S.png)


Ah here the Missile Guardians come. 89 Mark V Missile Guardians. Nice. Luckily they're on their own so I can go meet them with NTigers and probably destroy them. They're just about to enter Corali II-6F which is one of my beachhead planets. That amount of Missile Guardians would certainly walk over any of my beachheads.
(http://i.imgur.com/ehFapy7.png)
And shortly after 3 Carriers (more than half of the whole CPA(!)) appear on Gradian which are following the Missile Guardians. So they're not on their own anymore. Well that would have been strangely bold and too good to be true. Also a wave conveniently spawned on SHC-3278 just in time to assist the CPA. Luckily SHC-3278 also has a beachhead. Good thing I prepared well for this CPA.
(http://i.imgur.com/IrQtFGd.png)


NTigers are going head on with the Missile Guardians on Corali II-6F and the Carriers will arrive soon. I focus fired the Laser Guardians with Sniper Turrets since they have attack multiplier against Polycrystal (NTigers). That amount of high mark level Missile Guardians are proving to be really tanky even when they got in range of my beachhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/2UBEbkb.png)


Tranatos got it's fair share of CPA too. That will be easily auto stopped without even looking..
(http://i.imgur.com/QJo9MRy.png)
..speaking of stopping and looking I just realized I need to build all 12 Mark I HBCs on my homeworld before the 3000 threat and the Guardians walk over the beachhead and arrive to end my days. Luckily the Missile Guardians are dumb enough to actually chase the MSDs around. On the ohter hand the Carriers seem to be heading straight to the wormhole leading to my homeworld. All these AI ships are pretty much the whole CPA. There's still 800 threat somewhere where I don't have visibility on but 800 ships is no biggie. AI you need to try harder if you are to impress me. I've seen much worse CPAs *knocks the wood*..


..Ah this explains the small size of the CPA. Those Guardians are almost all Mark V and ALL of those fleet ships are Mark III or V. I need to focus that Core Munitions Guardian and then the Core Implosion Guardians before anything else. Also there's still 89 Missile Guardians on Corali II-6F and they're now about to join the fight..
(http://i.imgur.com/t9wpYEx.png)
..And shortly after it appear that the Carriers are almost entirely filled with Mark III Zenith Electric Bombers. Yeah I don't want those near my Force Fields.
(http://i.imgur.com/muZEv2m.png)
Oh well. What would a CPA be without having use a warhead or two.
(http://i.imgur.com/wycEsd7.png)


And Holy. Cow. The Missile Guardians did a lot of damage to the Force Fields in one burst. After detonating the Mark II Lightning Warhead there were still some Missile Guardians' missile in the air (space?) flying towards my Command Station.
(http://i.imgur.com/czDu0T9.png)
That was enough to destroy 2 Force Fields and put 2 Mark III Force Fields down to 38% and 27% health and damage the others too.
(http://i.imgur.com/kqSYrfM.png)
The attack has been repelled but there's still ~1400 threat. I also got a reprisal of ~2000 ships because the beachhead on Corali II-6F was completely destroyed. Spamming the NTigers also contributed to the reprisal wave.


.......WHAT?! 4 Hunter/Killers are heading towards my homeworld from Corali II-6F. I have to say I'd have been very surprised if that^^ would have been all of it. Ok AI you got me impressed. They're already almost om top of the wormhole. And they're immune to the OMD too.
(http://i.imgur.com/y5clPu3.png)
And the reprisal wave just spawned on LV-3515. Luckily the beachhead hasn't suffered any damages yet.


Fire everything (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Io0OQ2zPS4)!
(http://i.imgur.com/muYPpfp.png)
Mean while on LV-3515 2 Mark II EMP Guardians joined the reprisal wave. Luckily I have Core Sniper Turrets so I can snipe them before they EMP my homeworld too.
(http://i.imgur.com/RK1kRTD.png)


And the last Hunter/Killer is about to bet turned into salvage. My fleet took some heavy losses since the Hunter/Killers focused on my ships instead of Turrets and Force Fields. That was easier than I thought. Destroying all 4 Hunter/Killers took only about 43 seconds.
(http://i.imgur.com/kSAs6dH.png)
There was close to 5 million salvage on my homeworld alone. A perfect time to start building Armored Warheads. Need to scrap the beachheads in order to have enough energy for the warheads. Lets see if I get another salvage wave.. I mean reprisal wave..
..And sure enough few seconds later. "AI 2 Reprisal Warning Level 1". The only beachhead I'm going to rebuild temporarily is the one on LV-3615 to get rid of the ~1k threat hanging in there. Gonna go in with my whole fleet support the beachhead and minimize losses.
(http://i.imgur.com/ck825Jw.png)
Yeah talk about minimizing losses. My fleet actually got bigger after the fight. Also the reprisal wave was just announced. ~100 guardians. Of course.
(http://i.imgur.com/FBeDl2H.png)


Hahahaha I scrapped the remaining Remains Rebuilders and Mobile Builders on those beachhead planets (which I just scrapped) and the I says "How stupid do you think we are?". Well it's not nice to call anyone "stupid" but I do think you should step up your game Mr. AI. "They must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel when they hired the programmers to program us"
(http://i.imgur.com/s9J4k5y.png)


My next step is to capture the Spire Archive and get the knowledge from it. First I'm going to capture Avema and use it as a staging ground to capture the Spire Archive. Capturing Avema also allows Transports to travel from my planets to Avema without getting destroyed (attrition per wormhole) and to avoid deep striking. Sure capturing the Spire Archive will alert the Core world but I don't care since I'm going to warhead everything on the Core worlds anyway. Trying to overpower the Core worlds with only my fleet would be a suicide. Could as well just scrap all of my ships..
..Anyway I've marked the route (blue arrows) I'm going to take. The route is already clear of Tachyon Guardians and Raid Engines so staying on that route is safe. There are some Guard Posts still left but they will be easily cleaned up. Now let's get going. 1 hour and 30 minutes until the next CPA.
(http://i.imgur.com/P31ffGs.png)


Oh of course. The Special Forces are coming to defend Avema because it's an ARS planet. Great. And now I'm deep striking too.
(http://i.imgur.com/3iEGeIl.png)
Actually.. Avema has a Plasma Eye and there's a lot of Guard Posts so it's literally impossible to capture in a reasonable amount of time. Especially without Assault Transports. Yeah I'm going to capture the adjacent AS1360 instead. I'm just going to destroy the AI CS on AS1360, collect the knowledge and wait for things to calm down and then capture it..
..On second though I'm going first wait for things to calm down and then do it. Luckily they're not interested in my Transports.
(http://i.imgur.com/SoDmgRV.png)


Umm.. I'm just going to pretend I didn't alert the Special Forces for now.
(http://i.imgur.com/1UgNnMs.png)
I hope they attack one of my core planet instead of AS1360 I'm about to capture.
(http://i.imgur.com/K5L085m.png)
Ok the Special Forces are attacking Droch. Time for warheading again..
(http://i.imgur.com/NLRwf6c.png)
..Good thing one Mark I Lightning Warhead was enough to clean up the Missile Guardians that were out ranging my Needler Turrets.


AS1360 has been secured. Now I'm going to unlock Assault Transports and clear my way to the Spire Archive..
(http://i.imgur.com/H1cdcW0.png)
..Meanwhile on my homeworld. There's 187 AI ships on my homeworld and 78 of them are Guardians. Mostly Mark II Guardians, some Mark IIIs. I also completed the construction of my very first Armored Warhead. A Mark III Armored Warhead. Ooohhh buddy did building that thing take a long time. And it costs 3 million metal too.. Going to build Mark Is and IIs first now.
(http://i.imgur.com/A0HevD2.png)


I loaded everything including the Neinzul ships and the kitchen sink into the Assault Transports and am going to neuter Avema. The rest of the planets I can clear with MSDs and NTigers. The Plasma Eye is an extremely nasty thing. It destroys MSDs (and starships and other big things) too so spamming NTigers isn't an option. Surely I could bombard Avema with 10 Space Docks and 30 Engineers spamming NTigers but I think it would take way too long..
..BOOM! And the Assault Transports one shot the very first Mark IV Missile Guardian I ordered them to attack on. Oohh yeah.  8) Don't wanna go near that Anti Starship Guard Post just yet though..
(http://i.imgur.com/cNMsXqs.png)
..Oh never mind. Apparently Assault Transports aren't considered to be "starships". Ok cool..
..Aand the planet is clear. I may not have Golems but I have Assault Transports and warheads.
(http://i.imgur.com/8HwKX3T.png)


However this planet is too much. Too much firepower and too many shields. I'm just going to fly past this planet with Assault Transports in stand down mode. Also a wave of 2753 was announced. A good example how big of an impact +20 AIP increase has on high difficulty level. Before I captured AS1360 the waves had less than 2000 ships so that's a significant increase.
(http://i.imgur.com/5tlDZJs.png)


This is just ridiculous. Look at the amount of Guardians and Force Fields.
(http://i.imgur.com/2npQRgv.png)
There was probably literally 100 Guardians on this planet but I managed to get rid of them by attacking all Guard Posts and the Command Station so they got freed as threat and flied away.
Done. And the last Guardians leave the planet as well. Except those that were still camping under those Force Fields and next to the Fortress and the Cloaker Guard Post... Of course... Going to bring in the Engineers, Colony Ships and others with Assault Transports now. Metal bank is conveniently topped off too so building all the defenses (and additional Matter Converters (and sustaining them)) shouldn't be a problem. Lets hope the threat turns itself into salvage on one of my core planets.
(http://i.imgur.com/4dgDwOY.png)


What?!!? 257 Mark V Guardians which are all attack boosted by Mark V Munitions Guardians! Just wow. Grinding that will take a long time.
(http://i.imgur.com/Owix49X.png)
Lets see if the other scout makes it through the wormhole alive..
......HAHAHAHA!. Holy. Cow. 2 Raid Engines, 1 Raid Engine Guard Post and a CPA Guard Post. Don't need no Wrath Lances nor Teuthida things to have a scary AI Homeworld. And there's 18 Mark V EMP Guardians too! This has to be one of the nastiest AI Homeworlds I have ever encountered and I've played this game for.. let me check.. 2687 hours. And the distance are so long too. The Raid Engine AI type never disappoints. Really.
(http://i.imgur.com/FxbO8Pq.png)
I might have to destroy the other AI first and then this AI. Might even nuke the waves that spawn from those things and then blitzkrieg the planet with warhead and everything else. Yeah, definitely bring out the popcorn and facehuggers Edit: what on earth is a "facehugger"?? Did the forum just "auto moderate" the word s.u.n.g.l.a.s.s.e.s I wrote? Apparently so. when it's time for that.


I think this is a perfect end for this post.


07h24m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 24, 2016, 09:22:37 AM
I've been wondering if the Preemption 10/10 would cause the AI to come up short in CPAs since it's basically putting 100% of its reinforcement guards straight into threat. But apparently you're still seeing guard forces after the CPAs, so perhaps it was just a matter of it not being cheeky enough to read "19k" as "19k Guardians" and it adjusted for individual unit strength.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 24, 2016, 12:43:09 PM
Ok so scouting that homeworld changes things a little bit. I'm going to get the knowledge from the spire archive next but I'm not quite sure what to do after that. Whether I should hack the Mark V Needler and Laser Turrets or the Super Terminal. Or just attack the other AI homeworld.

The waves from all of those Raid Engines on Raid Engine AI's homeworld wouldn't be as big if I attacked it now as they would be if I destroyed the other AI first. Btw.. I dearly hope the other unscouted core planet is owned by AI 2 and doesn't have a Raid Engine of it's own.. going to scout it now..
..Scouts were unable to get through. Well. We'll see when I start attack then.


Aha so there's the threat. There's even 4 Hunter/Killers in total on Ascs 6680 and SHC-95302 (the 2 threat planets near Droch). I hope they're not threat too. They could be leftovers from the CPA and if they are, they are threat.
(http://i.imgur.com/diutjY3.png)
Anyway I'm sending my whole fleet and Engineers to SHC-2511 (the Spire Archive planet) to capture it and then deal with the remaining Guardians and the Fortress that are camping under the 2 Force Field Guard Posts. I'm also going to scrap AS1360 since I don't have enough energy to sustain that many defenses. I've already scrapped all of my beachheads and have to use many Matter Converters. In addition to that I'm building Armored Warheads so I'd run out of metal.
(http://i.imgur.com/kP5FfEJ.png)
And success. That was pretty close though.. there was a lot of long range Guardians under that Cloaker Guard Post and they all tried to destroy my CS as soon as it was built. And the Ion Cannon killed all the Engineers so I couldn't really build anything. Thankfully capturing the planet also captured the Ion Cannon which was of course destroyed by the Guardians and Fortress next to it. So capturing the planet was a handy way to get rid of the Ion Cannon. Time to rebuild the Engineers and then build everything else. The Spire Archive gather knowledge with a rate of 5/s and it can collect up to 9000 knowledge from a planet so it will take 20 minutes. Then in-game time is about 7 hours and 55 minutes which is roughly when the next CPA should be announced.


Scrapping everything on AS1360 but leaving an Assault Transport with a few Colony Ships, Engineers and Remains Rebuilders on it so I can recolonize it when I'm done with the Spire Archive and want to get back home. This is how I always do AI homeworld attacks. I capture expendable planets like AS1360 just as a staging ground and then scrap it to save energy when I move forward or retreat back to my core planets..
(http://i.imgur.com/bkmTqdX.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/d4Elbkp.png)
..And the Spire Archive planet is built and secured. Now I just need to wait for it to collect the knowledge. I need to pause building Armored Warheads for a moment and get myself more metal before the CPA. With the knowledge I have and will get from the Spire Archive I'm going to unlock Mark II and Mark III Force Fields and Mark II HBCs. I need all the Force Fields since now things are starting to get serious.


Also I managed to scout the other Core world now and guess what.. of course it has a Raid Engine. Silly me for hoping it wouldn't. And it has 9 Mark V EMP Guardians too!
(http://i.imgur.com/zK7IFyR.png)
Yeah I'm already leaning towards destroying the other AI first and nuking the Homeworld and the Core planet after the waves have spawned. It will destroy all the Raid Engine waves except perhaps the one from the Core Raid Engine Guard Post. I don't remember if those are all Mark V ships. It will also destroy the Raid Engines themselves.
(http://i.imgur.com/ksQtUp2.png)


Some threat attacks my homeworld with the support of an EMP Guardian that EMPs everything for 30 seconds. But at this point It's not a big deal. Those 50 Laser Guardains are going to destroyed in matter of seconds and the Carriers will also be recycled in no time.
(http://i.imgur.com/WmtP4FY.png)
I got an insane amount of metal income from that attack so I can continue building Mark II Armored Warheads..
..And the Trader arrives my homeworld just in time. I think I'm going to start building a Mark II Radar Jammer to halve AI's range on my homeworld. This thing costs 10 million metal so it's going to take a while but it's also going to be worth it. Since the AI's range will be halved on this planet I'm not going to need as many defenses so I can move some of the HBCs to other planets.
(http://i.imgur.com/KGWcwBO.png)
Triggered a Raid Engine to help me build the Radar Jammer a bit faster. Yes that is a Raid Engine. Just one. Carriers filled with Mark III Zenith Electric Bombers do a lot of damage and they're tanky as well.
(http://i.imgur.com/TabCNUW.png)


Got a lot of salvage from the Raid Engine wave. All the knowledge from the Spire Archive has been collected and I'm rebuilding AS1360 to get out safely. Then I'll scrap the Spire Archive planet.... or wait a second. It could actually work as a distraction to the CPA. It could draw a part of the CPA so my other planets wouldn't get hit as hard. Yeah I'm going to leave it be for now. AS1360 I'm going to scrap as soon as the AI attacks it. Then I'll just replace the 150000 energy from the Energy Collector by building 3 Matter Converters on one of my core planets. The new Force Fields have also been built.
(http://i.imgur.com/tOywjub.png)
Shortly after I went to clear the way to the other AI homeworld with MSDs and NTigers and naturally destroyed some Guard Posts. Well the AI 1 got really vengeful and sent a couple of small exos to my homeworld. There were even some Dire Guardians and Spirecraft. Luckily they were countered by the OMD. Edit: Actually I just noticed the Spirecraft Shieldbearer is immune to OMD. Oh well, it was countered by all the Needler and Laser Turrets. This means tons of salvage!
(http://i.imgur.com/wlOjq3s.png)
Radar Jammer is now 39% built..
..Yep, again. Basically every time I destroy AI 1's Guard Post threat goes up by ~300 to 500. A small exogalactic strike force for each Guard Post I destroy. This can be either a really good thing or a really bad thing. And then I get a reprisal wave of over 5000 ships. That's exclusively a bad thing.


And once again just as I predicted, the fourth CPA has been announced and in-game time is 8 hours 15 minutes. So around the 8 hour mark. This time it's 26344 ships but we'll see how many of those ships get converted into Guardians and Hunter/Killers. Thanks to the huge amounts of salvage the Mark II Radar Jammer is already 79% complete so I think I'll complete it's construction before the CPA arrives. I still have 2 unused Distribution Nodes on my planets too so I'm going to pop those to complete it's construction if I have to.
(http://i.imgur.com/n4v8Ddu.png)


I destroyed both Distribution Nodes to get me enough metal to rebuild HBCs on Tranatos to stop the reprisal wave. Luckily it consisted of ~5000 Fighters so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. With the Distrubution Nodes and the salvage from the 5000 Fighters I finished building the Mark II Radar Jammer 3 minutes 30 seconds before the CPA. In other words, just in time.
(http://i.imgur.com/fixGjhU.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/FWhJHsX.png)


And once again vast majority of the ships get converted into something more big and nasty. All the defenses and everything is ready.
(http://i.imgur.com/U9Zo0ah.png)


Speaking of being ready.. Wow where did they come from. Didn't notice since I was looking at other planets. Um yeah I'm gonna go with a Mark II Lightning Warhead. Don't wanna take any chances with Mark I not being enough..
(http://i.imgur.com/b2r7TW8.png)
..Ummm yeah.. not close or anything.. that was just one volley. Honestly my jaw dropped when I watched the missiles fly towards the Force Fields and the Force Fields just started dropping like flies.. The warhead destroyed all the Missile Guardians but there were still missiles in the air (space) flying towards my CS. Those were the ones that did the damage.
(http://i.imgur.com/CzRQoHl.png)


And sure enough my trick worked. A part of the CPA is attacking the Spire Archive planet.
(http://i.imgur.com/dOHB0nP.png)
I barely managed to save it by rebuilding Engineers and HBCs and by building a new Force Field next to the ones I've selected in the screenshot. CS got below 50% health.
(http://i.imgur.com/NWRJr5R.png)


The fourth CPA has now been repelled so this is a good milestone to take a break.


08h31m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 26, 2016, 10:40:31 AM
I'm still not quite sure if I should hack the Super Terminal or the Core Needler and Laser Turrets. On the other hand perhaps I could hack the Super Terminal and at least other Core Turret Fabricator. I need to do some calculations on how much destroying each AI is going to increase the AIP. But most importantly how much AIP is attacking the first AI going to increase. I'm going to attack AI 2's homeworld first (Calais). It has 8 Core Guard Posts.
(http://i.imgur.com/SdGGJGj.png)
After I'm done with the second attack I've already won the game so it doesn't really matter how much AIP I have at that point. I assume I'm going to use full caps of all Lightning and Armored Warheads for each AI Homeworld so that's +36 from Lightning Warheads and +90 from Armored Warheads = 126 AIP from the warheads.. wow I didn't remember it's that much. Destroying the 8 Core Guard Posts increases AIP by 8. So the first attack would increase the AIP by 126+8=134. Atm I have 168 AIP so after the first attack I'd have 302 AIP. And since my AIP floor is now 106 it would be 134/3+106=150,666.. I assume it's going to be rounded up so 151. So AIP: 302 and AIP Floor: 151. Which means I'd need 151 AIP reduction from the Super Terminal. But since I'm going to nuke the Super Terminal hacking response it's going to increase the AIP Floor. I'm also probably going to use a couple of Lightning Warheads to stop the Mark V hacking response that survives the nuke. So let's say a nuke and 2 Mark II Lightning Warheads. That's +54 AIP which is +18 AIP Floor. Then the floor would be 169. Ok not terrible..

..Except I forgot that to even start the hack I need to destroy at least one Raid Engine and capture the Super Terminal planet. That's going to increase AIP by 25..

I think I'm first going to hack the Super Terminal because I want as much AIP reduction as possible. Then with the remaining hacking point I'm going to hack the Core Needler Turret by beachheading from AS1360. If I wanted to hack the Core Laser Turrets I'd have to capture Gradian. Besides Needler Turrets counter Missile Guardians (Artillery) and Shield Guardians (Structural) so they're probably the better option at this point anyway.

So first I'm going to destroy the Raid Engine on Formalos and since the Super Terminal is incredibly heavily defended I'm going to capture it right away instead of beachheading it or anything like that. I'll capture it and let my defenses handle the AI's defenses (in addition to the hacking response that will start as soon as I capture the planet. I don't think there's any other way since the planet is incredibly heavily defended. Sniper Guard Posts, Fortress, Translocator CS, 3 Ion Cannons and a Mark II Radar Jammer and all of that covered by 2 Shield Guard Posts and dozens of Guardians. Great.
(http://i.imgur.com/gNL9ndi.png)
...Edit: I just realized to capture it I have to destroy the Command Station (herp a derp).. And the Command Station is protected by the things I just mentioned... Yeah I'm just going to destroy it with a Mark I Armored Warhead.


I'm sending my MSDs and NTigers to clear the way to the Super Terminal and at the same time I'm going to capture AS1360 just as a staging ground to capture the Super Terminal planet. Got 2 big waves. The other one from the Raid Engine on Formalos I'm about to destroy.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZgnoXJx.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/Z6CCsvb.png)


I waited for the threat from the RE wave and the other wave to fly away and then built AS1360. Built the Sniper Turrets just in case because it seemed like some AI ships were going to attack..
(http://i.imgur.com/pZHMTjD.png)
..but looks like the threat is now attacking my homeworld with the support of an EMP Guardian.
(http://i.imgur.com/ixqhj3K.png)

 
Moving one of the Armored Warheads to the Super Terminal planet now. After the Translocator Command Station is destroyed I'll go in with Assault Transports filled with my fleet, Engineers, Colony Ships and such and build everything as fast as I can.
(http://i.imgur.com/tTirY3R.png)
Also the threat has now been taken care of. Most of it attecked my homeworld which is incredibly heavily defended. Some attacked Hephyrus and some Spire Archive planet. The salvage from those attacks quickly topped off my metal storage.


Yeah this should work. Don't want to destroy the Super Terminal nor the Mark II Radar Jammer. I also don't want to waste the warhead's firepower on that Fortress.
(http://i.imgur.com/5VftzVn.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/8ofQPCU.png)
Perfect! ..Well except that it didn't destroy the Command Station..
..Except I'm probably going to wait until those Guardians leave the planet. Lets hope all of those Guardians attack my homeworld so I get 40% salvage from them..
(http://i.imgur.com/tK2ojY4.png)
..Ok they're attacking the Spire Archive planet. At least I'll get rid of them and at least some salvage.


Except that now threat consisting of dozens of Guardians and 4 Hunter/Killers came to defend the planet. Gonna kite them around so they all bunch up and then fly behind the Translocator Command Station and park my MSDs about 9000 distance units away from it since MSDs have radar rampening range of 8000.
(http://i.imgur.com/kj0ISkl.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/a2gNjyy.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/phBdM39.png)
Then I order all NTigers to just attack the CS and keep spamming more NTigers.
(http://i.imgur.com/Rjmw2N4.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/5MpmpkM.png)
Success! Lets hope the threat leaves the planet now..
.. and it did.


Now I'm just going to build my Command Station and the defenses as fast as I possibly can. I'm also going to start building the Mark I Nuke soon. I'm going to handle destroying the Super Terminal with Assault Transports. Get your popcorn ready, there will be fireworks soon..
(http://i.imgur.com/qYN0I87.png)
Yep.. building all the defenses. -75k metal/s. The AI is going to get a hack of a lifetime. Gonna destroy some Distribution Nodes if I have to..
(http://i.imgur.com/AoeVEXW.png)
..yep, sent one Assault Transport to destroy Distribution Nodes. I'll have to survive the hack and the aftermath so I definitely can't afford to be bankrupt right now..

..And shortly after all hell broke loose. I'm going to focus build the Nuclear Warhead now. I don't think my defenses will last much longer. The spawns are getting bigger and bigger each tick. The total amount of AI strength after destroying the Super Terminal is going to be monstrous..
(http://i.imgur.com/NoZqALU.png)


WHAATTT?! Geeezz.. All of that just spawned at once..
(http://i.imgur.com/tYV979T.png)
..Oh the hacking points are at -85, how the heck did that happen?! It dropped so fast I didn't even notice! And WHAT, well over 400k threat already?!? DESTROY THE SUPER TERMINAL NOW!
(http://i.imgur.com/3pBvoxi.png)
*game froze for a couple of seconds when the Super Terminal was destroyed and the response spawned*
NNOOOO and for some reason the Engineers stopped building the Nuke!! BUILD IT NOW! 11 seconds left COOMMEE OONNN!
(http://i.imgur.com/FWc0Eqj.png)
ONE SECOND LEFT! THE SHIELDS ARE DOWN! THE COMMAND STATION IS TAKING HEAVY DAMAGE! 440K THREAT!
(http://i.imgur.com/VTg5jTl.png)
THE NUKE IS BUILT! DETONATE IT IMMEDIATELY!
(http://i.imgur.com/L1nMrLM.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/vDdg6XU.png)
*The game freezes for 33 seconds as I detonate the Nuke*
BBBOOOOOMMMMM!!!
(http://i.imgur.com/xZ9GdFd.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/x8LLHOU.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/grfvNQu.png)
HOLY. COW. Talk about fireworks! Happy new year to you to AI! That was intense but it worked! Now I just need to survive the monstrous aftermath..
..Good thing I have full stacks of Lightning Warheads on my core planets.


"08h57m NUKE EM!.sav" and "08h57m.sav". "08h57m NUKE EM!.sav" is right before I detonated the nuke so you can load it and see this yourself. Pause the game as soon as you see the "Load completed!" text. Then go to the Super Terminal planet (It's the one with the 437820 threat, you can't miss it) and scrap the nuke. The game will probably freeze for a moment.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 27, 2016, 01:44:00 AM
Looking at the amount of AIP reduction it seems like this hack was a huge success. It worked almost as well as the other nuke hack I did before. I didn't have as many defenses unlocked this time so I had to stop a bit earlier. I also ran out of hacking points so the response would have gotten completely out of control. I actually reloaded a save mid hack and tried to reduce AIP even more but the game process completely froze when threat got to 13 million. Oh well I'll take this 238 AIP reduction. That should be enough.

Since each Super Terminal tick increases AIP by 1 and lowers it by 2 the total AIP reduction is 238/2=119. AIP Floor increase is 170/3=~56 (apparently it's runded down).
(http://i.imgur.com/dhfDXwi.png)

Total AI Progress
Before: 351
After: 521
Difference: 351-521=-170 (including 50 from the nuke)
So the whole hacking progress increased AIP by 170.

AI Progress Reduction
Before: 150
After: 388
Difference: 150-388=-238
The total amount of AIP reduction I got from the hack is 238.

AI Progress Floor
Before: 117
After: 173
Difference: 117-173=-56
AIP floor was increased by 56

Effective AI Progress
Before: 201
After: 173
Difference: 201-173=28
Effective AIP was reduced by 28.

Before 351-150=201 effective AIP
After 521-388=133 effective AIP. However since the AIP Floor is now 173 the effective AIP is 173. This means I have 173-133=40 AIP "in the bank" so I can increase the AIP by 40 before it starts actually increasing..
..Which means the total amount of AIP reduction I actually got out of the hack is 201-173+40=68
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 27, 2016, 08:03:00 AM
After some discussion on Discord I came to conclusion that it's much better to stop the hack before HaP gets negative and you have to use a nuke. How disappointing, the nuke doesn't have a use after all. I went back and did the hack again and destroyed the Super Terminal when I had 104 hacking points left.
(http://i.imgur.com/0jqUz4x.png)
There was over 22k AI ships but I didn't have to use the nuke so after dealing with the threat I got a total AIP reduction of 70. In addition to that I still have 112 hacking points left so I can still hack the Core Needler Turrets.


The Super Terminal planet was quickly overrun so I packed everything into the Assault Transports and retreated to AS1360.
(http://i.imgur.com/qWKfMWA.png)
Then the threat steamrolled SHC-2511 (the Spire Archive planet). Even though I only built Sniper and Missile Turrets on AS1360 it managed to hold off hundreds of threat thanks to the Military Command Station. However Carriers are immune to knock backs and engine damage so it was eventually overrun too.
(http://i.imgur.com/zPiq5t2.png)
Finally the threat (mostly consisting of dozens of Carriers) arrived my homeworld where all of it was recycled with the help of two Mark III Lightning Warheads and a Mark II Lightning Warhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/t2pzqy9.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/SV0JFcd.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/qMwW7oq.png)


So all of this resulted in me getting a total AIP reduction of 70 and still having 112 hacking points left.
(http://i.imgur.com/XmJ6gKA.png)
439-308=131 AIP. However the Floor is 146 so the effective AIP is also 146 so..
146-131=15 AIP reduction "in the bank". And before the hack I had 201 AIP so..
I got a total AIP reduction of 201-146+15=70 points.
Yeah I'll take it.


Off to recapture AS1360 and hack the Core Needler Turrets before the salvage runs out.
(http://i.imgur.com/AhGaJXO.png)
Before I evacuated AS1360 I left behind an Assault Transport with a Colony Ship and 2 Engineers and 2 Remains Rebuilders.
(http://i.imgur.com/G4mKpao.png)


Speaking of the reamining 3k threat being a no big deal.. As I'm rebuilding AS1360 my homeworld gets EMPd for 2 minutes and 50 Implosion Guardians and other ships attack there. But thanks to the Gravitational Turrets and Mark II Radar Jammer they were unable to get in range in time.
(http://i.imgur.com/0EHZ4CU.png)


I started hacking the Needler Turrets and things are going smoothly even though there's a lot of AI ships spawning. The salvage I got from stopping the Super Terminal hack response allowed me to pretty much instabuild all of these turrets on this hacking beachhead. So far the AI hasn't even been able to get close to the hacker. I can probably stop all of the hacking response with this beachhead, neinzul spam and the ships I've reclaim. 2 minutes 50 seconds left.
(http://i.imgur.com/DpjmBsz.png)


And as soon as the hack finished I build the Mark V Needler Turrets to counter all the AI Missile Frigates, Grenade Launchers and Carriers. There ended up being over 5000 AI ships but they were easily cleaned up and I got myself a reclamation achievement and a fleet of 743 ships.
(http://i.imgur.com/xy51mEo.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/tH1spHr.png)


I still have tons of salvage so this is a perfect time to get Tranatos a Mark II Radar Jammer.
(http://i.imgur.com/pfmEzPI.png)


Now I'm basically just building the rest of the Armored Warheads and the new Mark II Radar Jammer and waiting for the next CPA. I unlocked Mark II Engineers to help build those Armored Warheads faster. Otherwise those things take forever to build. I still have 2500 knowledge left but I'm not sure how to use it. I can't really afford to unlock more turrets because of the energy consumption. When the salvage runs out the amount of Matter Converters I'd need would consume vast majority of my metal income.
(http://i.imgur.com/xaekLp5.png)
After the next CPA I'm going to destroy AI 2 whose homeworld is Calais. For that I'm going to save up all the reclaimed ships and the Armored Warheads. I'm also going to capture Meinos Predex as a staging ground and possibly hack the Core Needler Turrets (Kiwiina) from there after I've destroyed the AI 2 Homeworld.
(http://i.imgur.com/2EitBR0.png)


Ok so the.. fifth(?).. CPA has been announced. It's 33227 ships and will spawn in 7 minutes 1 second. The Mark II Radar Jammer on Tranatos is now 86% built and I'm only missing one Mark II and one Mark III Armored Warhead. After that and repelling the CPA I'm ready to destroy AI 2. I need to pause the constructions for a moment in order to prepare for the CPA. Almost 4000 threat has accumulated next to my homeworld waiting to join the CPA. 2 waves were also announced and they will spawn at the same time with the CPA.
(http://i.imgur.com/d2CJP54.png)


The CPA has spawned and it gets compressed into fewer, bigger and somewhat nastier ships. 10/10 seems to make the somewhat easier since it reduces the size of the CPAs. On the other hand it seems to release quite a few EMP Guardians so pick your poison. Looks like majority of the threat is going to come through Corali II-6F and attack my homeworld. Good.
(http://i.imgur.com/TS5sIAT.png)
Shortly after there was over 6000 AI ships on my homeworld. Already destroyed 50 Implosion Guardians and 20 Laser and Spider Guardians and some Tractor Guardians. Still 201 Missile Guardians left of which 95 are Mark V 45 Mark IV, 29, Mark III, 16 Mark II and 16 Mark I. Luckily their range (18000) is halved and I got the Core Needler Turrets so they're unlikely to get in range of anything important..
..Shortly after that dozens of more Guardians appear. No biggie. Food for Sniper Turrets. But then a Mark III EMP Guardian EMPs my defenses for 30 seconds.. Time to use a couple of warheads.
(http://i.imgur.com/e76yX4K.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/15oACCs.png)
There's still 649 AI ships (Zenith Electric Bombers and Bombers) right in front of the Needler Turrets in one big blob. 9 seconds of EMP left. They were quickly cleaned up as soon as the EMP ended after which the remaining AI ships started retreating. There's over 900 AI ships disabled by the Neinzul Nanoswarms and the Military Sub Command Stations and my fleet of reclaimed ships is growing quickly. The CPA has been repelled and threat is now at 2596. All selected ships in this screenshot are reclaimed.
(http://i.imgur.com/UNc0bcz.png)
Also the Mark II Radar Jammer on Tranatos has been built so basically I no longer have to worry about losing that planet. I built all the HBCs to Droch to protect the ZPG.


Ok here we go. The first AI Homeworld attack in this game and for me first in about 2 years.
(http://i.imgur.com/JTPNrqy.png)
Yay 4 Shield Guard Posts. This is going to take a while. And for each of them I get a small exogalactic strike force from the Vengeful AI.
(http://i.imgur.com/Mi2s4kG.png)
The planet has been captured, defense have been built and the first Tachyon Guardian on the Core planet next to Calais has been destroyed. Time to sneak in.
(http://i.imgur.com/mF01Vhh.png)


These 2 Assault Transports have all the NTigers and MSDs. I'm going to order them to destroy that Tachyon Guardian and the one on the other side of that wormhole. Then the rest of my attack force will follow.
(http://i.imgur.com/oI8Fd7W.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/6bnP0D4.png)
The alpha strike from the Assault Transports wasn't enough so I unloaded the NTigers.
(http://i.imgur.com/vqMfKGB.png)
However it freed 2 Mark V EMP Guardians so I need to destroy them with these Assault Transports before they EMP everything for 100 seconds.
(http://i.imgur.com/8cG45nY.png)


On other side of the wormhole (on AI 2's homeworld) NTigers are being tractored away and there's a Warhead Interceptor on top of the wormhole. I send all the Assault Transport and first a single Mark I Armored Warhead through the wormhole. The Mark I Armored Warhead destroys the Tractor Guardians and some others and the Core Shield Guard Post. Then I order all Assault Transports to focus fire the Warhead Interceptor and order the rest of the warheads to go through the wormhole to the AI Homeworld.
(http://i.imgur.com/90G6Sez.png)
Assault Transports' alpha strike wasn't enough to one shot the Warhead Interceptor so I unload everything and focus fire it again. At the same time I've give orders to each Armored Warhead to go to a specific position in order to destroy all the Core Guard Posts and the Force Fields and the Fortress next to the AI Home Command Station. I'm surprised the Strategic Reserve hasn't spawned yet. I guess they got all freed by those CPAs.
(http://i.imgur.com/KNXscwf.png)


Looks like this one is already in range of everything important.. let's see how it works..
(http://i.imgur.com/y9WDMOL.png)
WHAT? I didn't do anything, a bug? It LITERALLY did nothing.
(http://i.imgur.com/3rdpXJT.png)
Ok then I'll use another one.
(http://i.imgur.com/nojabmd.png)
That worked except it didn't destroy the Guard Posts. Still it got rid of the most important(nasty) things.


Warheads are soon in range of those Core Guard Posts. I'm loading all Bombers into 2 most healthy Assault Transports to fly the to  Core Leech Guard Post on top of the screenshot.
(http://i.imgur.com/7PYVzdi.png)


Only 2 Core Guard Posts left.. oh those CPA Guard Posts in middle of my fleet are also still alive. So 4 still alive. Soon 2.
(http://i.imgur.com/qtRGcRG.png)
CPA Guard Posts were quickly destroyed and the Core Leech Guard Post was one shot by the Bombers.
(http://i.imgur.com/cb6mM2L.png)


Now I just need to destroy the AI Home Command Station and the AI is dealt with. Unfortunately AI's cavalry has arrived..
(http://i.imgur.com/ZAe9ZyM.png)
Luckily I still have the Bombers. They're no doubt going to get the Home CS..
(http://i.imgur.com/UsmiYTH.png)
..and sure enough, they did!
(http://i.imgur.com/Y9k2EKd.png)
However now I have to deal with the Avenger.
(http://i.imgur.com/edCFP9h.png)
There also seems to be a Raid Engine on the unscouted planet next to this AI Homeworld. I need to destroy it ASAP since it's going to be on a permanent alert now because this planet is destroyed. I still have 5 MSDs left so I'm going to try to get it with them.


That was awesome! Now I just need to get rid of the permanently alerted Raid Engine and survive this aftermath. Time for a break.


11h04m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Toranth on December 27, 2016, 09:42:22 AM
Awesome.  Pop goes the first AI.

If you weren't playing with a Vanguard AI, you'd probably see more units by count in the CPAs, but less total strength - and it'd still drain the Reserves by the same amount.  Core CPAs can be a great way to empty the reserves, if you can handle it, which makes the AI assault so much easier.

Unfortunately, you've still got the hard Homeworld left to go, but I think you (or your Warhead fleet) is well prepared to finished things off.


Also, this:
Quote
+20 AI Progress From Death Of Cmd(AI Home)
Alarm Post triggered on Calais
Really, AI?  Really?
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Cyborg on December 27, 2016, 01:21:21 PM
Going well. Kahuna, can you post your CPA timings that you expected?
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 28, 2016, 07:09:42 AM
If you weren't playing with a Vanguard AI, you'd probably see more units by count in the CPAs, but less total strength - and it'd still drain the Reserves by the same amount.  Core CPAs can be a great way to empty the reserves, if you can handle it, which makes the AI assault so much easier.
Yeah I think Vanguard is actually really easy. The Guardians are too fragile and consume too much strength when they get picked for CPAs and waves. I also didn't remember how easy Alarmist is. It's also a pushover. Should have taken something like Quadratic/Vanguard, Sledgehammer/Vanguard etc. Unfortunately TheCore/Vanguard doesn't actually work. TheCore should make all AI ships to be Mark V but it doesn't seem to work with Vanguard. Actually I'm not sure it works like that with other AI types either.. I think a lot of the ships are Mark IV even if the AI is "The Core".


Going well. Kahuna, can you post your CPA timings that you expected?
I always expect them to be announced at xy hours and 00 minutes where y={2, 4, 6, 8, ...} so every 2 hours.

In this game CPA timings were roughly as follows:
The first CPA was announced around 02h06m. (Expected: 02h00m)
Second around 04h12m. (Expected: 04h00m)
Third around 06h13m. (Expected: 06h00m)
Fourth around 08h15m (Expected: 08h00m)
And fifth around 10h27m. (Expected: 10h00m)

So quite precisely every 2 hours. Although the fifth one was already almost half an hour off. It seems like the longer the game goes on the more the time starts to differentiate from the 2 hours so I think you can change your expectations accordingly. It probably has something to do with the AIP increase and in this game AI having to convert thousands and thousands of ships into fewer bigger and nastier ships.

If I remember correctly the AI has a certain budget for CPAs and waves etc. If the AI goes over budget when it picks ships for a CPA the time until the next CPA will be towards the upper end of the spectrum to compensate.

Also, this:
Quote
+20 AI Progress From Death Of Cmd(AI Home)
Alarm Post triggered on Calais
Really, AI?  Really?
Yeah the homeworld is under attack.. oh reeaally?? You don't say?

AI: "They must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel when they hired you commander" as I destroy an Avenger with a tactically placed beachhead planet before it gets to my core planets and I lose the CS because of the nuclear explosion.
or
AI: "How stupid do you think we are" after my fleet gets destroyed after I've destroyed AI's homeworld. Yeah..

For some reason whenever the AI does/says/announces something stupid it reminds me of Microsoft Sam. I imagine the AI saying things with Microsoft Sam's voice.

AI: "Microsoft Sam I am, winning double 10 is a scam, my arch nemesis is the Super Cat, against him there's no chitchat nor being diplomat, I need my secret weapon, the ship of armageddon, the zenith siege engine, Super Cat's cryptonite, no sleep for him tonight, send the ZSEs with the speed of light, blow up the CS like dynamite,

look behind your back, make the Super Cat wear a tinfoil hat, drop the beat like a DJ as I launch the CPA, they must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel when they hired you commander, as I destroy the CS, the Super Cat is a bystander, how stupid do you think we are, beat you up like a noob you are, we know you have tricks up your sleeve, cheesy shit and salvage to receive,

as your defenses break, you're filled with disbelieve, time to save scum or take sick leave,  oh look you're alive, he's back, building warheads and ready to attack, unaware of the Raid Engines and Blackhole Machines, come in by all means, I can already hear your screams, we shall sell your babies as snacks, looking for our homeworld with the help of stellar parallax,

but the AIP is already too high, waves are pounding and the end is nigh, not reading player A, retreat, abort, fail, looks like I sent you a hell of a coctail, Zenith Shield Engines and Shield Bearers too, how does that sound to you, checkmate.
"

All this needs is a beat.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 28, 2016, 09:41:19 AM
The cookie monster eating warheads ("They looked just like chocolate chips! How I hate Warhead Reflux...")

A deliberate, and successful, strategy involving a nuclear warhead (and 400,000 threat).

And now rap.

I don't know if the AI is feeling humiliated, or wondering "How do I get this guy on my side?"
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 28, 2016, 01:28:25 PM
So the first AI Homeworld has been destroyed. Now I have to find a way to destroy the Avenger before it gets to any of my core planets. There's also another problem. The AI Homeworld I destroyed has 2 Raid Engines next to it that are now on permanent alert because the homeworld is destroyed. Both of the Raid Engines are protected by Shield Guard Post or Force Fields too so getting rid of them will be difficult. I'll probably have to use a Mark I Armored Warhead for both of them. Building Armored Warheads takes quite a while so I need to be able to survive the waves.
(http://i.imgur.com/LOitelF.png)
I hope the Avenger passes through my beachhead planet (Meinos Predex) so I can destroy it with turrets and a couple of Lightning Warheads..

..And it doesn't. I need to beachhead it's path from Meinos Predex. If that doesn't work my last chance is to beachhead LV-3615 and stop it there.
(http://i.imgur.com/IoWeQ8i.png)
Going to build an Assault Transport and Mobile Builders in order to bechhead Blue Danube.


The Avenger arrives with almost 200 Mark IV Zenith Electric Bombers and some Mark V EMP Guardians. Thousands of ships and some Mark V EMP Guardians are also attacking Meinos Predex. The 2 permanently alerted Raid Engines are pumping out more ships all the time. Luckily I still have some Warheads on Meinos Predex.
(http://i.imgur.com/866lRNz.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/QfAddJd.png)


I'm focus building a Mark I Armored Warhead with 65 Engineers. 45 seconds left. I'll send this first one to destroy the Raid Engine on AS17174 (AI Core planet). In the meantime I'm trying to get the other one on LV-1429 with MSDs and NTigers.
(http://i.imgur.com/lDNelof.png)


Yep this beachhead wasn't strong enough. A lot of that has to do with it getting permanently EMPd by the Mark V EMP Guardians. Avenger's shield are still at 65%.
(http://i.imgur.com/6dxrJdv.png)
I need to beachhead LV-3615 before it gets flooded by threat..
(http://i.imgur.com/xDyk0Ck.png)
..Actually it looks like the Avenger is now heading towards Meinos Predex. Ok good. I need to rebuild all the defenses and some extra Force Fields immediately and get the warheads in position on top of the wormhole..
(http://i.imgur.com/2HLdbpN.png)
..Like this. Looks like the Armored Warhead is already here! Great. I've already started focus building another one. Although I'm starting to run out of metal..
(http://i.imgur.com/3ibfJFq.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/1OFpoWy.png)
..It immediately destroyed the Warheads with it's Mark IV HBC module. And wow, it's shield only went down to 49%. Well then. I hope the turrets do their thing.
(http://i.imgur.com/cT9sK9W.png)


In the mean time my homeworld is under heavy attack by dozens of high mark level Guardians and Mark IV Carriers. I think I'm going to send a Warheads from Tranatos to help out. Better safe than sorry.
(http://i.imgur.com/5BLDgCG.png)


Also everything has been built on Meinos Predex and I just have to wait for the Avenger to get in range of the Needler and Laser Turrets and hope the Force Fields hold long enough. I'm moving most of the Engineers from there to my homeworld to help focus build the second Armored Warhead. The threat is already at 6646 and 5961 ships have already been announced. I think they're all Mark IV since they're from those 2 Raid Engines that are adjacent to the AI homeworld.
(http://i.imgur.com/N5JMlbF.png)
As soon as I order all 69 Engineers to start building the Armored Warheads it's construction time drops from 7 minutes 2 seconds to 2 minutes 30 seconds.


The first Armored Warhead still has 1 hop to the first Raid Engine. MSDs are 2 hops away from the other Raid Engine. Avenger's shields are down to 37% and it's now in range of my Missile Turrets but now it has started to focus fire the Force Fields. The attack on my homeworld has been repelled. The second Armored Warhead has 52 seconds of build time left.
(http://i.imgur.com/Hl4wdyu.png)


Ok NOW the Avenger is starting to drop!
(http://i.imgur.com/nOucRh7.png)
And boom it goes. Ok, only the Raid Engines left.
(http://i.imgur.com/miwozJe.png)
"AI: Tedious"


Wow.. you got to be kidding me. It wasn't enough.. Ok I need to bring the MSDs here to finish this up. They were unable to do anything on LV-1429 anyway because of the Tachyon Command Station. Surely the Tachyon Command Station will decloak the Armored Warhead too but it has 2 million health so I'm sure it will get in range to destroy the Raid Engine. However here is a Warhead Intercept which insta kills Warheads.. however Armored have immunity to being insta killed. The Warhead Interceptor does only 20000 damage per shot and has a reload time of 10 seconds so there's no way it's going to destroy the Armored Warhead..
(http://i.imgur.com/Lhg8uNy.png)
..Ok so I'm going to try to get this one with these MSDs. First I'm going to build a cap of Fighters and Missile Frigates to kill the EMP Guardian and to work as cannon fodder for the Widow Guardian. The Mark V Widow Guardian can tractor (and paralyzes) up to 150 ships. So the Fighters and the Missile Frigates will fill up all the "tractor spots". Then I'm going to build NTigers and Bombers to counter the Force Field and destroy the Raid Engine..
(http://i.imgur.com/4aWuGZB.png)


..At the same time on my core planets I'm transferring Lightning Warheads from Hephyrus to my homeworld while distracting the hybrids with my ships. All of the warheads made it to my homeworld alive.
(http://i.imgur.com/lJ69ldx.png)


..Meanwhile on AS17174 where the first Raid Engine is. All Mark V EMP Guardians on that planet were freed and are now probably heading to my homeworld. Great. And of course they EMPd my MSDs and ships too. They got minutes worth of EMPs because there were like 8 Mark V EMP Guardians so I just scrapped the MSDs and rebuilt them on my homeworld. Going to send the MSDs over there again as soon as I've rebuilt all of them.. Destroying these Raid Engines is going to be slow and painful. And the threat is already at 12591..
(http://i.imgur.com/HvHx0b1.png)
..Yeah my homeworld is going to get EMPd for 3 minutes very soon.


Luckily the Mark V NTigers are still alive and working on that Mark III AI Force Field! Looks like they're going to get it! Dooo eeeettt!!
(http://i.imgur.com/s9DM9aM.png)
Also the second Armored Warhead will soon put an end to the ship spam from the second Raid Engine!
(http://i.imgur.com/ciMp53m.png)
Meanwhile on my homeworld I destroyed over 3000 ships with a Mark III Lightning Warhead and am sending some warheads to LV-3615 to "meet" the EMP Guardians before they get to EMP my homeworld. There's 3 EMP Guardians on LV-3615 coming to my homeworld. I can only hope I make it in time..
(http://i.imgur.com/bLL8jc6.png)

ALL of this is happening at the same time! I'm constantly pausing and checking various planets and seeing how things are going and reacting accordinly.


AAAAAAAAAA YES! They broke through the Force Field! One more reload will do it!
(http://i.imgur.com/vqi41EV.png)
And shortly after it was destroyed! ..
..At the same time on my homeworld only one of the three warheads made it to LV-3615 and I managed to destroy only one Mark V EMP Guardian so there's still 2 on the way. I'm going to send one more warhead, a Mark II EMP Warhead and hope it destroys the last 2.
(http://i.imgur.com/y8Icsrh.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/xcb30Vv.png)
Oh the other 2 were still on their way to LV-3615.. both of them got instantly killed. At least they destroyed one more EMP Guardian. I still have the Mark II Lightning Warhead on it's way. I hope it gets the last one..
(http://i.imgur.com/hpiesrw.png)
..I no longer have vision on LV-3615 because it got EMPd and then destroyed so I'm going completely blind now..
(http://i.imgur.com/vrY48KG.png)
..And the Mark II Lightning Warhead gets destroyed pretty quickly but it does get to move a little bit towards the EMP Guardian. The EMP Guardian was also moving towards the Lightning Warhead (wormhole) so it might have gotten into range of the warhead. I just have to wait and see if the EMP Guardian comes through the wormhole and EMPs me..
..After waiting for a while there's no sign of an EMP Guardian. Not even after more threat comes through LV-3615 wormhole so I guess the warhead got the last EMP Guardian! YES!


But there's also bad news. Very bad news.. Armored Lightning Warheads aren't immune to insta-killing from the Warhead Interceptor even though Armored Warhead has immunity against insta killing and on Warhead Interceptor's description it says it "insta-kills warhead". Welp. Ok then. I sent MSDs and NTigers to destroy the Warhead Interceptor and I also focus built yet another Mark I Armored Warhead with 80 Engineers.
(http://i.imgur.com/dSrgkvr.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/eT1DeQo.png)


The downside of building the third Armored Warhead is that now the Missile Silo is on cooldown so it's going to take a while before I can pump out another Mark III Lightning Warhead to help defend against this threat. All the Zenith Siege Engines and Bombers are on that same blob. I'm now focus building all the HBCs one by one. I also unlocked Mark III HBCs for even more firepower. I hope this is enough.
(http://i.imgur.com/HzgK3L7.png)


Meanwhile on LV-1429 NTigers were caught by Spire Gravity Drains so I'm trying to focus them down one by one and then just fly to the Warhead Interceptor and destroy it.
(http://i.imgur.com/P5sUykM.png)


This kind of waves the Raid Engine keeps pumping out over and over and over again. Threat is 8054 and yet another wave has been announced. Geez..
(http://i.imgur.com/tg03zXt.png)
Good thing the cooldown on building warheads is now over and I can pump out another Mark III Lightning Warhead with the help of 79 Engineers. It's going to take only 10 seconds. I'll save it for the absolute last moment though. The HBCs made quick work of the Zenith Electric Bombers, Bombers and Carriers.
(http://i.imgur.com/LZYDV6T.png)
...............ok never mind the warhead I just pumped out got destroyed because I had set the Missile Silo to rally everything to the Raid Engine planet.. oh well.. I hope it at least destroyed some threat when it exploded on LV-3615. Great..


The Spire Gravity Drains have been gotten rid and and I've made new NTigers. I put them to stand down mode and am just flying them next to the Warhead Interceptor. In this situation nothing else matters but destroying the Warhead Interceptor and the Raid Engine. Even Mark V EMP Guardians have lower priority. I'll destroy the EMP Guardians after the Warhead Interceptor..
(http://i.imgur.com/9T2oFlt.png)
..The Warhead Interceptor is destroyed and the EMP Guardians are freed as threat. I immediately order the NTigers to go after them and I manage to destroy the other one but the NTigers get caught by Spire Gravity Drains again so the other one gets away. We'll see if it EMPs my homeworld or some other core planet later.
(http://i.imgur.com/QIdpVjP.png)
Armored Warhead is now 3 hops away and the defenses on my homeworld are fully rebuilt.


WHAT?! The third Armored Warhead gets destroyed by the Warhead Interceptor on the other AI Core world EVEN THOUGH IT WAS CLOAKED. I can live with doing mistakes but this is just cheap.


Tranatos gets EMPd for 5 minutes. Luckily that amount of AI ships has absolutely no chances of breaking my defenses. Also my homeworld has proven to be an absolute brick wall so far.
(http://i.imgur.com/PlL7WVD.png)


Trying to get the Raid Engine with NTigers is absolutely desperate. And the Force Field gerenerates health too...... Oh it's Force FieldS. There's a mark V and a Mark III.
(http://i.imgur.com/WzavNNP.png)


Focus building a fourth Mark I Armored Warhead. Going to take 54 seconds. In the meantime I order the MSDs to destroy the Warhead Interceptor on the other Core planet so this one doesn't get cheap shot like that. Too bad the Warhead Interceptor is protected by a Mark III Force Field and there are a lot of Mark V Guard Posts nearby. There's also a lot of threat moving through that planet.
(http://i.imgur.com/L6exyZ1.png)
The Armored Warhead is built. I also have 2 Assault Transports filled with ships going to help with destroying the Warhead Interceptor but I doubt they're going to make a difference.


Time to get some sleep. Will continue from here tomorrow... this is getting intense. This aftermath is way harder than the AI homeworld assault itself. I think I got this though since my defenses are so strong even the continuous non stop Raid Engine waves are unable to break through. This has to be the most epic thing I've encountered in AI War.


11h27m.sav attached
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 28, 2016, 01:36:57 PM
The cookie monster eating warheads ("They looked just like chocolate chips! How I hate Warhead Reflux...")
Getting the lightning reflux.

A deliberate, and successful, strategy involving a nuclear warhead (and 400,000 threat).
It's the only way to be sure and it worked.

Although in the end I actually did the hack the normal way. It actually proved to be more effective to stop the hack early and then deal with the threat without nuking. Pity.

And now rap.
We don't stop being dorky because we grow old, we grow old because we stop being dorky.

I don't know if the AI is feeling humiliated, or wondering "How do I get this guy on my side?"
I guess we have to wait for AI War Reverse.  ;D
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 28, 2016, 01:39:15 PM
Quote
Armored Lightning Warheads aren't immune to insta-killing from the Warhead Interceptor even though Armored Warhead has immunity against insta killing and on Warhead Interceptor's description it says it "insta-kills warhead". Welp. Ok then.

Immunity War: Fleet Command. Who is more immune to the other's immunities?

(I'm really looking forward to trying to get rid of immunities in AIW2; we'll see how far it can go)
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Atepa on December 29, 2016, 08:07:32 AM
I go on holidays for a few days and come back to a dead AI missiles going off everywhere, and what sounds like a constant stream of thread just bashing it's face against your homeworld.

Best. Christmas. Ever!
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 29, 2016, 12:19:13 PM
O.K. .. So I need to somehow get rid of the last permanently alerted Raid Engine.

I'm trying to destroy the Warhead Interceptor with NTigers but it's proving to be very hard with the amount of threat moving through that planet. Once again the biggest problem are the EMP Guardians, surprise surprise. My MSDs have 1 minute 34 seconds of EMP left so they're probably going to get destroyed. Especially with that many Laser Guardians nearby. Even the Mark V NTigers are dropping like flies since Laser Guardians counter Polycrystal..
(http://i.imgur.com/Sn4KT3K.png)
..yeah I'm just going to scrap the MSDs and rebuild them and send them over there again..
..And the MSDs get EMPd immediately as soon as they enter LV-3615.. really? Reeaalllyy?!


Thanks to the non stop Raid Engine waves I have more income from salvage than I've been able to use. I'm going to take advantage of that and build an Armor Booster on Tranatos. It's going to double armor on all of my turrets, ships and structures on that planet.
(http://i.imgur.com/AwYFkVM.png)


WHY DOESN'T THE ARMORED WARHEAD GET INSTA KILLED THIS TIME?! The last time when it got insta killed even when it was cloaked was definitely a bug..
(http://i.imgur.com/7a69ezF.png)


Finally Hephyrus gets it's fair share of this war against the AI. It gets flooded by over 2000 Mark V and Mark IV ships and EMPd by 2 Mark V EMP Guardians. I'm going to scrap all the Engineers and rebuild them to workaround the EMP. I'm also going to build a new Missile Silo and focus build a Mark III Lightning Warhead and I'm going to build 5 Space Docks to spam Neinzul Nanoswarms with. One of the very few counters to EMP and it's not even a counter per se.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZMKq3LR.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/kRsBuKP.png)


The last Armored Warhead has finally made it's way to the last Raid Engine. I don't have scouting on that planet because of the Tachyon Command Station so I'm going blind.
Before:
(http://i.imgur.com/OU6i7Sa.png)
After:
(http://i.imgur.com/fWhiVOc.png)
I kind of knew it wouldn't destroy the Raid Engine. Good news is that it got rid of the Mark V Force Field, the Fortress and put the Mark III Force Field down to only 24% health which is 408931 health. I think I can drill through that with NTigers. Just need to get those MSDs in position and hope I don't get EMPd again. MSDs are only 2 hops away so wont be long until that Raid Engine is done with. Yet another Raid Engine wave passing by the MSDs..
(http://i.imgur.com/hQ0NEBt.png)


I rebuilt all Force Fields on Hephyrus to counter the EMP. I also scrapped all HBCs on my homeworld and am focus building them on Hephyrus to make sure the threat doesn't get to destroy the Fabricators. If I really had to I could rebuild all the EMPd turrets too.
(http://i.imgur.com/jGCXSX0.png)


FINALLY the ship spam will end! Again I focus fired all the Spire Gravity Drains on the way to the Raid Engine. Then put the NTigers on stand down mode and one shot the Raid Engine. Luckily the Force Field was so damaged it didn't cover the Raid Engine at all anymore. Couldn't have done this without the Armored Warhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/MCbUh45.png)
That was tough.. really.
(http://i.imgur.com/KsH8Jqm.png)
Just have to deal with the 8000 threat now..
..But that's not a problem since the AI kindly sent those ships into this meat grinder of mine. Talk about perfect positioning for Turrets and Force Fields! AI's ships are being blocked by those Force Fields while also getting hammered by HBCs and all other turrets. And those Guardians are being one shotted 20 at a time by my Sniper Turrets.
(http://i.imgur.com/aCz5zWX.png)


This was a good benchmark to see how strong my defenses really are. And now Droch gets attacked too. The defenses had already destroyed over 800 Mark II Bombers, a Carrier with a couple hundred ships, 23 Mark II Spider Guardians and Mark II 20 Implosion Guardians. I'm a bit worried about those 62 Hybrids though.
(http://i.imgur.com/y6TwIic.png)
Taking into consideration the amount of Force Fields I had protecting the CS and the ZPG the AI did pretty good damage. 5 Mark III Force Fields, 1 Mark II Force Fields and 2 Mark I Force Fields.


Now I've just been building Armored Warheads and getting things ready for the next AI Homeworld assault and for the next CPA. It's no 12h02m so I assume the next CPA is going to be announced in about 20 to 30 minutes.

I also captured Gradian and am hacking the Core Needler Turrets on Kiwiina. I figured the additional 20 AIP from capturing Gradian isn't going to make much of a difference at this point. The AIP was already 287 and is now 307.
(http://i.imgur.com/HqysDhr.png)
Hundreds of threat ships and dozens of guardians came to defend this planet as soon as I set my foot on it. The beachhead also got EMPd for a couple of minutes but it survived thanks to the Core and Gravitational Turrets. EMP also seems to stop the hacking process. I've never seen that before. I think this was actually the first time when my hacking beachhead got EMPd. But yes EMP stops the hacking counter but the hacking responses don't stop. I don't think hacking points are consumed during that time though..
..WOW! That's only one spawn from the hacking response. 140 Mark II Guardians at once? Holy cow.. good thing I have Core Missile and Sniper Turrets..
(http://i.imgur.com/PYJkPoo.png)
I'm focus firing those Laser Guardians with my Sniper Turrets so my NTigers don't get completely obliterated.


And since the hacking was easily completed I immediately started a knowledge hack as well. Built the Mark V Needler Turrets to make this beachhead even stronger..
(http://i.imgur.com/oQ1zLts.png)
..However I started to run out of metal and there was too many Missile Guardians so they obliterated my Force Fields and shortly after the Hacker. The hacking responses are starting to get serious now. Dozens of Mark IV Guardians on every spawn. I managed to get 1452 knowledge..
..And at the same time 6000 Infiltrators attack my homeworld. There was 3 Carriers but since they were filled by Infiltrators they were quickly cleaned up. Hundred Guardians and hundreds of other AI ships joined the fight too. They were all destroyed in a couple of minutes. This gave me enough salvage to rebuild everything on the hacking beachhead and continue the hack. The hack was stopped by tachyon and Missile Guardians again but I started the hack third time and finished it.
(http://i.imgur.com/tbJCJur.png)
With the knowledge I unlocked the Mark IV Heavy Beam Cannon. Ooohh yyeeeaa, bring it on now AI. 8)


The sixth CPA has been announced and it's 39676 ships and will spawn in 9 minutes 43 seconds.
(http://i.imgur.com/2qNLJQz.png)
Going to build a few beachheads and as many Lightning Warheads as possible. After it has been repelled I'll build the rest of the Armored Warheads and destroy the second AI homeworld.
(http://i.imgur.com/FNrZNm5.png)
I just flied an Assault Transport filled with Engineers and Remain Rebuilders and started building Turrets despite of threat.


And vast majority of the CPA ships get converted again. I guess that's because of 10/10 preemptive on both AIs.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZhDtNZX.png)
Shortly after that hundreds of Guardians attack Droch and Tranatos.
(http://i.imgur.com/KvDWbUI.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/DIDtlk3.png)
Now there's 5200 threat camping next to my homeworld. Apparently there's too much firepower on my homeworld for them to attack..
..Oh never mind they were just waiting for the 4 EMP Guardians. Right. Of course.
(http://i.imgur.com/SXPv5yY.png)
Apparently that threat was mostly Mark II Fighters so it wasn't a big deal. The Carriers were quite squishy too. Especially when hammered by full caps of all Mark I to IV HBCs. All destroyed in a minute or so.


At the same time the beachhead next to my homeworld on LV-3615 stopped probably about 2000 AI ships. It's getting overrun now but it fought gloriously.
(http://i.imgur.com/jGHdvWq.png)
3098 threat left now so I consider the CPA to be repelled. At this point that amount of threat has absolutely no chances of breaking through any of my planets..
..And now the rest of that threat (including the 120 Tractor Guardians) is kindly sacrificing itself to my meat grinder to boost my economy and help me build those expensive Mark III Armored Warheads.


Threat is now under control, metal income is still 8310 metal/s (it's negative because I'm focus building Armored Warheads) and SHC-2511 has been rebuilt to help with the AI Homeworld assault. I still need to build one more Mark III Armored Warhead and 2 Mark IIs.

This is how I'm going to handle the Core planet before the Homeworld.
(http://i.imgur.com/C9hN5MB.png)
And this is how I'm going to spread the Armored Warheads and my fleet on the AI Homeworld. At the moment I have reclaimed 96 Mark II Fighters, 95 Mark III Fighters, 17 Mark IV Fighters, 96 Mark II Bombers, 96 Mark III Bombers, 14 Mark II Zenith Electric Bombers, 19 Mark III Zenith Electric Bombers, 18 Mark IV Zenith Electric Bombers and a lot of Grenade Launchers, Missile Frigates and Infiltrators.
(http://i.imgur.com/5Qp2Zn7.png)
I'm considering Mark II nuking Ascs J114 after the Raid Engine waves have spawned. Then I'd have to capture Krazel as a staging ground since SHC-2511 would also get nuked. Mark II nuking would increase the AIP by 500 so I'd have to be 100% sure I would be able to finish the game after doing that. Luckily Mark II nuking wouldn't trigger any additional Raid Engines.
(http://i.imgur.com/K661aia.png)


I'll finish this game tomorrow. One way or another. It will be tough.


13h14m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Alarming Vengefulness (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Vanguard / Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on December 29, 2016, 01:54:26 PM
I go on holidays for a few days and come back to a dead AI missiles going off everywhere, and what sounds like a constant stream of thread just bashing it's face against your homeworld.

Best. Christmas. Ever!
Hope you had a great Christmas, and it sounds like you did! And happy new year too!
I'll make sure to give the AI some fireworks too! ;D
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist
Post by: Kahuna on December 30, 2016, 12:58:55 PM
2201:st post here we go!

(http://i.imgur.com/aQeXKb6.png)
Time to move everything to SHC-2511 and get ready for the last AI Homeworld assault. I'm escorting the Armored Warheads to SHC-2511 with MSDs. The last Mark II Armored Warhead is currently under construction on SHC-2511
(http://i.imgur.com/Mo3dLrm.png)


There's literally hundreds of Special Forces Guardians going to place to place 2 hops away from SHC-2511. They're no doubt going to come help defend the last AI Homeworld when I attack. The question is how am I going to deal with that many Guardians. There was some Hunter/Killers too. Can't warhead all of them unless they all come as a one big blob, which is very unlikely. I actually probably can't use normal Lightning Warheads at all because I've disabled Starships so I don't have Cloaker Starships. So the Lightning Warheads would probably just get destroyed instantly...
...Actually I think I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to use Ascs J114 as a EMPing and nuking ground to destroy the Special Forces and the Raid Engine waves. I don't necessarily have to use a Mark II nuke, although I think that would be really cool to do and pull off. I could easily keep sending nukes and EMPs through the Ascs J114 wormhole on SHC-2511. I could build a Missile Silo and Force Fields on top of the Ascs J114 wormhole and keep focus building them with 80 Engineers. Then just drop one through the wormhole whenever needed.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZFd75dS.png)
I can destroy Raid Engine on Teufelsspitze by first attacking the AI Homeworld (Vootaq) and then simply send NTigers to Teufelsspitze  from there since the Raid Engine is very close to the wormhole. And it's not protected by Force Fields either.
(http://i.imgur.com/XUfl4ZW.png)


Spreading specific ships into specific Assault Transports, destroying all Distribution Nodes I can find (found only one), building Lightning, EMP and Nuclear Warheads. Electric Bombers are going to go with Bombers and the rest of the ships will be split into 2 Assault Transports with the MSDs. I'm going to "prebuild" Mark V and some Mark II NTigers so as many NTigers are immediately ready to fight and work as cannon fodder when I need them. I'm going to have to be careful not to mix up those Assault Transports.
(http://i.imgur.com/a1tz0mW.png)


Leaving a scout on the Core planet to see what I'm up against. And what I am up against seems to be an impressive arsenal of Mark V Guardians. The amount of strength on that planet is absolutely monstrous. And as soon as I enter that I'm going to trigger 3 Raid Engines, 1 Core Raid Engine Guard Post and a CPA Guard Post. The Special Forces are also going to come after me. So I'm going to first go in with NTigers just to destroy the Tachyon Guardians. That's going to trigger all the Raid Engines. When the RE waves spawn/arrive on that planet I'm going to EMP them as long as they're all on that same planet. Then I'm going to nuke all of them. And then I'm going to attack the AI Homeworld and do what I described above. There's no way in hell anyone would beachhead something like that. Not that nor an AI Homeworld..
(http://i.imgur.com/mdhWoAW.png)
..About 3000 AI ships just attacked my homeworld so this seems like a good time to attack since I'm going to have tons and tons of metal income from the salvage. Just going to build this Nuclear Warhead and then.
(http://i.imgur.com/2LxxjCZ.png)
"Saving 'Test 9.sav'..."


And sure enough sending the NTigers to destroy the Tachyon Guardian triggered all the Raid Engines. Those Guardians got freed as threat and are now heading to Crypto.
(http://i.imgur.com/kN8pOkI.png)
Now I'm going to go in with an Assault Transport filled with NTigers to get the other Tachyon Guardian. I'm going to try to go around those Guard Posts since they have Gravity Drains guarding them..
..And the Assault Transport got detected by the Tachyon Guardian and destroyed instantly before it got close enough for the NTigers to be in range of the Tachyon Guardian. The Tractor Guardians stopped all the NTigers which then got obliterated in a second or two. The Tachyon Guardian didn't take a scratch. I'm going to have to do another run. Let's see if I make it before the RE waves spawn. 23 seconds left.
(http://i.imgur.com/SJkJn5Q.png)
The amount of AI strength on that planet is insane. But, VERY good new; at least there are no EMP Guardians! Thank lord..
..I load a new Assault Transport with new NTigers, send it in and rebuild the lost Assault Transport. 19 seconds left..
..Yes! The Assault Transport got close enough!
(http://i.imgur.com/bUVUdUz.png)
And so did the NTigers.
(http://i.imgur.com/ir7kAfH.png)
And YYEEES they get it just in time! The RE waves spawned immediately as the Tachyon Guardian was destroyed. Although I wonder why they waited a full reload before they fired at the Tachyon Guardian.. that was extremely close..
(http://i.imgur.com/WbuPp0Q.png)

Looks like all RE waves spawned on that planet. So time for the nuke..
Before nuke:
(http://i.imgur.com/5ErjXvI.png)
After nuke:
(http://i.imgur.com/o9DMwz2.png)
Oh right. The scout was destroyed too. At least the threat went from 17957 down to 2594.
Sending more scouts and going in now..
..The whole planet is in chaos as all the guards were freed as threat.
(http://i.imgur.com/fDhMwPV.png)


Going into the AI Homeworld with an Assault Transport filled with NTigers to destroy the Tachyon Guardian, Warhead Interceptor and Raid Engine. As soon as I do so the CPA Guard Post is triggered..
..And this time AI has it's reserve...... yeah. Trying to kite them around a little bit and then send a warhead through the Wormhole to destroy some of the ships. Getting Lightning Warheads here is completely out of question. Or almost completely. Having to do that would increase the length of this game by at least 3 hours in-game time..
..A Mark III Armored Warhead got rid of a good chunk of the Reserve ships..
..Unfortunately I was too focused to get a screenshot..
..Almost wanted to reload to get one. Oh well. Although that's one less Mark III for the Guard Posts and the Force Fields..
..Am now spreading the Warheads and Transports.
(http://i.imgur.com/1LaV9GJ.png)
Luckily there was only one Spire Gravity Drain from AI 2.. thank lord..


Ok things are going quite smoothly now. I focus fired the single Mark III Gravity Drain that was doing it's best to ruin my day with NTigers. At the same time Bombers were able to destroy the Leech Guard Post and Fighters destroyed the other Arachnid Guard Post. That means I don't need to send the Mark I Armored Warheads there. Instead I ordered the 2 Mark I Armored Warheads to return next to the Ascs J114 wormhole to prevent any EMP Guardians from leaving the planet and thus EMPing my everything. As soon as I see EMP Guardians leaving the planet I'm going to destroy them with the warheads. On right side of the planet the third Mark I Armored Warhead is already in range of that Guard Post and Mark V EMP Guardians so I'm going to pop it.
(http://i.imgur.com/9KbMmWn.png)
WHAT? How did it survive? Honestly seems like a bug to me. Welp. It's going to spawn another wave soon.
(http://i.imgur.com/6hvw7Ds.png)


Ok the other Raid Engines triggered again too. I think it's ok though since my plan is working pretty much perfectly. Already managed to destroy most of the Guard Posts and only 2 EMP Guardians left. The Special Forces are now starting arrive though. I already warheaded a Hunter/Killer (with some EMP Guardians).
(http://i.imgur.com/tmcDeQl.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/iNe28nw.png)
I'm now going to focus fire that CPA Guard Post (Hull type: Composite) with Missile Frigates and then split them into 2 Assault Transports. The other one is going to go for the Raid Engine Guard Post (Hull type: Neutron) and the other one will go for the Electric Guard Post (Hull type: Composite) under the Barrack. I forgot about the Electric Guard Post. Gj hiding it with that Barracks AI. At the same time I'm ordering NTigers to go to the adjacent Core planet to destroy the Raid Engine. Although I think destroying that is unnecessary since I'm going to win the game soon.
(http://i.imgur.com/P7dnnAa.png)

Oh what's that.. a lot of AI ships suddenly spawned on top of the Electric Guard Post. Good thing I have positioned these Warheads perfectly.
(http://i.imgur.com/dvpulA3.png)
I waited for the Hunter/Killers to get out of range so the firepower isn't "wasted" on them.
(http://i.imgur.com/NRIK0ux.png)


HAHAHAHA so much for destroying the Raid Engine on that planet.. wow.. look at the amount of Widow and EMP Guardians. That's absolutely hilarious.
(http://i.imgur.com/Y1Msb75.png)
..I hope I didn't free too many of them..


In the mean time AI breaks through my defenses on Droch and destroys the other ZPG. All the Missile Guardians obliterated the Force Fields and then the ZPG. This happened while I was focused on attacking the AI's Homeworld. That could have been easily avoided by using a warhead earlier but I was too focused and didn't remember to check my own planets. Good thing I've used most of the Armored Warheads so I didn't run out of energy even though I lost the ZPG (600000 energy).
(http://i.imgur.com/mrqVfZP.png)
My homeworld and Tranatos are also under attack but their defenses are holding strong.
(http://i.imgur.com/AOzn4Hd.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/0zjFmMI.png)


And the last Core Guard Post has just been destroyed..
(http://i.imgur.com/suGJRju.png)
..and I can finally target and destroy the last AI Home Command Station. Fire everything!
(http://i.imgur.com/nwkDIoe.png)
Unloaded the Bombers and waited for them to reload. Almost done!
(http://i.imgur.com/0Ko98hU.png)


Mean while on MY homeworld..

..The Exogalactic Strike Forces and the waves in response to destroying the Guard Posts have accumulated into a massive blob that has just destroyed most of my Mark III Gravitational Turrets and are now going after my Home Command Station. Honestly this is like a base race! Luckily I have that Mark III Lightning Warhead ready to be detonated. I also rebuild some Engineers so I can focus build another Mark III Lightning Warhead..
(http://i.imgur.com/gSRdB5H.png)
..fraction of a second later..
DDIIIIEEEE! (Get your bug reports ready!)
(http://i.imgur.com/KTjEVqz.png)
BBBOOOOOMMMMM!!!
(http://i.imgur.com/3Fgm7Su.png)
..(Funny how I got the achievement "First victory" and some other ones. Apparently deleting all game files resets the achievements in-game.)..

And on my homeworld at the same time.
(http://i.imgur.com/2WyW0cu.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/MF6Y5qi.png)

And on Tranatos. There's over 90 high Mark level Missile Guardians ready to do their thing.
(http://i.imgur.com/MeCjMkR.png)
Not anymore.
(http://i.imgur.com/p1AYMWz.png)
Yes I'm continuing to play after I've won. I want to survive the aftermath too. ;)


Let's see how Armored Warheads work against Avenger..
(http://i.imgur.com/2MF82N4.png)
..didn't do a thing. Well it did destroy the Shield Module.
(http://i.imgur.com/IlB8krE.png)


Focus building all the HBCs on my homeworld with 74 Engineers.
(http://i.imgur.com/jwtNzFo.png)


Time to warhead the Avenger again.
(http://i.imgur.com/3S11wQg.png)
Oh it prioritized the Hunter/Killers. Ok then. At least the Bombers have done a lot of damage.
(http://i.imgur.com/7yKZwtR.png)


What??? Hahaha what the heck is this. I've never seen this kind of response before. Where did these come from. Oh well I've already won the game.
(http://i.imgur.com/JENFMUF.png)
BWAHAHAHA that's absolutely hilarious.. yeah yeah AI I understand you got angry because I won. Yes I won. I won the game. Nice base race though! Happy new year to you too AI.
*closes the game* :)

"I WIN.sav" and "WTF.sav" attached. In "I WIN.sav" the AI Home Command Station is at 33% health and in "WTF.sav" is that ridiculous AI response.. I have no idea what the heck is that..
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: Cyborg on December 30, 2016, 03:50:32 PM
Congratulations! Great job.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: carldong on December 31, 2016, 05:03:59 AM
Nice series of episodes! Or should it be bug reports?

Lessons learned from reading: I should really build all warheads available before a homeworld assault.

I am still curious whether a MkIII(or any) nuke will be actually useful in AIW II. Hmmm.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: Atepa on December 31, 2016, 08:26:29 AM
Huzzah!!

I'm not even sure how the AI could have been tweaked to stop you other than making warheads less effective... but considering you had several duds that wouldn't really make sense.

Great fight, and awesome victory. That response at the end... Wow... did they like empty the galaxy of all their ships to send them after you or something? lol
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 31, 2016, 09:50:58 AM
Congratulations! We'd do a forty-gun salute, but they're all EMP'd so we'll use this MkIII Nuke instead. It seems more appropriate.

You've definitely continued the 10/10 saga of "Warheads ARE Superweapons" :)

That AI response is what happens when you take out the HCS of a Vengeful AI.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: Toranth on December 31, 2016, 10:22:26 AM
Well done!  I'm impressed you managed to run up the AIP that high and still survive... very impressive defenses, even with all the warheads sitting around to help.


That AI response is what happens when you take out the HCS of a Vengeful AI.
Oh, my.  I guess he's lucky that he didn't try to attack the AI homeworlds in the order he originally wanted, eh?  That'd've made the game more... interesting.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: carldong on December 31, 2016, 09:34:12 PM
Well done!  I'm impressed you managed to run up the AIP that high and still survive... very impressive defenses, even with all the warheads sitting around to help.


That AI response is what happens when you take out the HCS of a Vengeful AI.
Oh, my.  I guess he's lucky that he didn't try to attack the AI homeworlds in the order he originally wanted, eh?  That'd've made the game more... interesting.

Hmmm, maybe multiple MkIII Armored Warhead... Helps? 3 motherships adds up to 24M HP, which is less than the damage of an Armored Warhead III...

Assume there are still warheads left, that is.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on January 01, 2017, 08:06:56 AM
That was a wild ride at the end.

I'm not even sure how the AI could have been tweaked to stop you other than making warheads less effective... but considering you had several duds that wouldn't really make sense.
I think it could be possible to beat the homeworlds without using warheads. I'd actually like to try to do it at some point but don't know when I'll have time. A game in a 20 planet map would probably be much quicker than in a map with 80 planets.

There are few things that made it quite easy:
-I got lucky with the seed and got 5 fabricators and a ZPG in easily capturable/defendable/hackable positions. On the other hand if they weren't in such easy positions I'd have probably hacked them anyway and it would have just taken more time.
-Salvage helped me a lot. I actually wanted the AI to attack my homeworld so I get as much salvage as possible (40%) without unlocking Mark III Logistical Command Stations which give 30%. On the other hand if I didn't get so much salvage I'd have probably just waited to get enough metal (notorious netflix time) so I don't think that's good either. Perhaps salvage could be less powerful and there could way be more Distribution Nodes around the galaxy. If the player wants to get things done faster he/she would have to destroy the Distribution Nodes which would give tons of metal but also increase AIP. In a normal game with normal waves (I had cross planet waves enabled in this game) I'd have gotten even more salvage. Or perhaps not more but a more steady income since the waves would have all spawned on my planets after which vast majority of them would have been destroyed. Surely some could have gotten away as threat.
-Turrets might not cost enough knowledge.

That AI response is what happens when you take out the HCS of a Vengeful AI.
Oh, my.  I guess he's lucky that he didn't try to attack the AI homeworlds in the order he originally wanted, eh?  That'd've made the game more... interesting.
I'd have lost the game with 100% certainty if I did that. Then I'd have had to reload and destroy the AI homeworlds in this order. I guess the only way to "survive" it is to win the game before it gets to your planets. Which leads to a question "how does one win x/Vengeful // y/Vengeful". I guess in that situation you would have to neuter both AI homeworlds and their core planets if necessary and then destroy both AI HCSs at once. You'd have to endure the continuous exogalactic strike forces the whole time.

I almost chose Alarmist/Vengeful instead of Vanguard/Alarmist btw. So yeah, then I'd have had to do that^^

I wonder what kind of a response Vanguard/Vengeful would send. Would it just be huge amounts of Guardians?

Hmmm, maybe multiple MkIII Armored Warhead... Helps? 3 motherships adds up to 24M HP, which is less than the damage of an Armored Warhead III...
I loaded the "I WIN.sav" again and destroyed Vengeful's Home Command Station again and calculated the total amount of health in the response (which seemed to be a bit smaller this time): 181.516.000. The total amount of damage Armored Warheads do is 135.000.000. So after the warheads there would be 181.516.000-135.000.000=46.516.000 health left.

Normal Lightning Warheads have a cap on how much damage they can do per unit (I just realized that's why they barely scratched the Avenger) so I'm going to use that cap in my calculations.. 3.600.000.. I actually don't know how big spire fleet you can get in the spire campaign but warheads are nowhere near enough to stop that.

Stopping it MIGHT be possible if you first managed to use full caps of all Armored and Lightning Warheads when the response would still be a couple of hops away from you. Then you would focus build an additional (fourh) Mark III Armored Warhead before the response arrives. Focus building it that fast would probably require Mark III Engineers. You would also have to be quite certain about which direction the response is coming from and have scout coverage at least 2 hops in every direction. After the warheads a defensive beachhead with Force Fields on top of the wormhole where the response is heading to might help a little bit. After all of those warheads and the fourth Mark III Armored Warhead the response would still have 17.916.000 health left which is 3,98 Armored Golems. Stopping that without any warheads might be possible...
...Oh man I actually wanna try that now but don't know when I'll have the time. But once again a 20 planet map would be much quicker. It would depend on the AI types too.. RaidEngine/Vengeful // RaidEngine/Vengeful on a 20 planet map. Talk about fast and furious.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: carldong on January 01, 2017, 08:32:12 PM
(I just realized that's why they barely scratched the Avenger)
If you look closely, Avenger is immune to warheads. Hmmm, I never turned them on, but it is hidden in info inside your screenshot.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: Kahuna on January 02, 2017, 07:31:25 AM
(I just realized that's why they barely scratched the Avenger)
If you look closely, Avenger is immune to warheads. Hmmm, I never turned them on, but it is hidden in info inside your screenshot.
Which immunity are you talking about? I don't see immunity to area damage which would indicate being immune to warheads. For example Missile Frigates have that and are immune to Lightning/Armored Warheads.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: carldong on January 02, 2017, 09:30:16 AM
(I just realized that's why they barely scratched the Avenger)
If you look closely, Avenger is immune to warheads. Hmmm, I never turned them on, but it is hidden in info inside your screenshot.
Which immunity are you talking about? I don't see immunity to area damage which would indicate being immune to warheads. For example Missile Frigates have that and are immune to Lightning/Armored Warheads.

The immunity list of Avenger says "Warhead/Martyr Damage". I know the Galactic Control Ship in Showdown is immune too, so...

IMO, alomst as cheese as protector starships in human hands, when you need to deal with a monsterous GCS without help of any superweapons.
Title: Re: [WON!] - Alarming Vengefulness (10RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10Vanguard/Alarmist)
Post by: Steelpoint on January 07, 2017, 08:09:50 AM
Fantastic AAR, and great job. Hope you had fun!?!?!

When you were detailing how you lost a warhead to a warhead interceptor even though it was being cloaked, I noticed I ran into a somewhat similar thing a while ago.

I think I solved it by moving my cloaking unit in first and then moving my warhead afterwards, even then it seemed to sometimes be a gamble of if the warhead would be cloaked fast enough to not be targeted.