Author Topic: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.  (Read 11509 times)

Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2015, 07:52:51 PM »
Anticipating the Exo wave, i take the two systems next to my Home to get some buffer area where i could meet and defeat the exos. Once i am done there, i start slowly preparing for my next moves.
Nothing much happens for the next 2 hours. I spend most of that time dicking around, or to be more specific, cleaning out enemy systems which i intend to take in the future. My intention is to keep expanding to the east, taking Icicle Fall, Nuclear Fusion, Nightbug Tornado and Demarcation. In total, that's going to be around 10 more systems, which means A LOT of AIP. But with those under my control, i will only need to then take 2-3 more ARS system and i will be ready to take the AI homes. Plus, the supply of AIP reduction facilities is not nearly exhausted yet. There are still the CoProcessors, one or two Data Centers, and the SuperTerminal. And oh man, i am gonna hack the hell out of that SuperTerminal later.

At 5:05:00 an Exo strikes along with 2 regular waves. The Exo strikes at Terrible Souvenir, and is not too threatening. 1 shield bearer, 1 MKIV Implosion Artillery and 2 MKIV siege towers. At that point my fleet ship count is at almost 1000 and includes MKIII spire flagships and Spire Starships which i have unlocked because of an Adv. Starship Factory being pretty in a good position.
However, the AI plows through my defences surprisingly quickly. By the time my fleet arrives to Terrible Souvenir from Home, All of the wormhole defences are already down and the exo is quickly moving towards the command station. I use the Riots to push the eneemy fleetships so that only the bigger ships slip through into the home. The enemy ship count at my hope is at 47, however those 47 are all almost excplusively capships. And somehow, my main is mostly gone. I kinda dont understand, was i not watching with enough attention, where did everything go?
A few seconds later, all of the shields at my Home COmmand Station go down, and then down goes the Station itself. I check to see what the hell has caused all this damage and notice that there is another ship i have missed when checking the enemy power. Oh, its a MKII H/K. What the hell was that thing doing in the FIRST exo wave i got? i certainly dont remember exo waves getting MKII H/K's on the first try.

This game has left me completely baffled. I seriously cant think of a way i could have countered that, except maybe for some lightning warheads. I had my entire fleet there, i have specifically taken systems so that the wave doesnt hit my home directly, i have gathered and prepared my entire fleet to fight the wave. And yet it has completely overhwlmed me. I dont know how much damage the H/K has done on its way to my Home, but even without it it would have been a very tough fight simply due to the number of high-tier starships the AI had.

Offline motai

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2015, 09:33:10 AM »
actualy i think you befell one of the minor changes along the way. each exo wave has a core ship(usually a starship but occasionally a hk) the entire wave inherits the core ships speed and movement immunities. for example if the lead is a raid everything zips thru the system but is countered by grav turrets. however if its spire ship lead its immune to grav and they will just plod along. targetting the lead ship to break up the fleet is vital. and would have lead you to notice the hk earlier hopefully. yes hk are brutal but they are kinda normal in exo waves at any level. the telegraph to this is alway pay attention to the incoming strength in that moment of announcement to anticipate likely composition. 29k+ strength usually means there is a hk to look for. best of luck on the next attempt. also added was a synchoronizer on the exo launch and waves so the ai really does abuse you when the exo launches.

Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2015, 07:27:00 PM »
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each exo wave has a core ship(usually a starship but occasionally a hk) the entire wave inherits the core ships speed and movement immunities.
I am familiar with that fact. I think i either have played with it or have read about it on the forums. The problem is that i dont think i had enough DPS to kill all those ships regardless of their bonuses. I was able to kill most of the small escorts as well as a bunch of high-mark guardians, but when i lost, i had like 40 capships sitting in my home system - the h/k, some spire towers, and lots of starships of varying marks. They didn't really need to use any of their immunities - they simply plowed through all defence, killing them in seconds.
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also added was a synchoronizer on the exo launch and waves so the ai really does abuse you when the exo launches.
The AIP was fairly low at that point, so the waves were not a problem. Both waves got destroyed purely by the static defenses. 100% of my mobile fleet power was focused on defending against the exo.

So, meanshile, i have started a new game. I spend the first 30 minutes scouting. This time the plan is to get to the botnet as quickly as possible and then abuse its supposed OPness to fight the exos.

The Botnet ends up being at Curse of Dreams and Reality, 5 hops away from home, inside a cluster of MKIII-MKIV systems. The scouting also reveals the AI types. The gray guy is certainly a spireling, as the systems are full of all kinds of spire ships - blade spawners, Battleships, Armor Rotters etc. The other AI is much worse - its a golemite. Or whatever AI it is that spawns golems on their planets.
The best path to the Botnet lies through The World-Nightbug Tornado path, as this path also contains 2 ARS and 3 DC's. However, those two systems contain an artillery golem each. Probably not the worst possible golem, but getting through these systems is gonna be a pain in the ass. And taking the system with the golem would also mean putting 2 MKIV systems on alert, which i HATE doing. We'll see how it goes.

Somewhere around 45:00 i take Radiant Treasure and set up a base there. Next stop is Galaxy in a Pot, as it contains an ARS, then i will probably secure the rest of that corner (Minus K, Purple Mirror, Lingering Cold), and start the preparations to take out the enemy golem at The World. The ARS options are: Yng Tiger, Prasite, Space Plane. Out of these three i'd prefer to have Parasite as i would allow me to obtain some reserves through reclaim, but i am not into spending HaP on picking bonus ship types, so i just let the RNG decide. I get Yng Tiger, which kinda leads me to believe that there is no RNG and the first option is always picked.

At 1:40:00 i finally take the rest of the systems i planned to take. Large part of gained Knowledge is invested in fleet power, so hopefully we are going to defeat the defending golems with minimal losses. At least the artillery golems are kinda helpless against a swarm of fleetships.

At 1:49:00 my forces enter the The World. Luckily there is no AI eye or Ion Cannons there, only the artillery golem and quite a lot of enemy ships and guard posts. I focus down the golem and then proceed to clean up the system. The fight proves to be much harder than expected as i meet the enemy Special Forces. Luckily, i have been trying to keep the enemy SF size under control, so my fleet destroys these as well, but suffers losses.
Meanwhile, a wave to Galaxy in a Pot destroys my Command Station. The CS there is located next to a wormhole to radiant Treasure, to ensure the enemy cannot pass through. However, that position is also very close to the hostile wormhole, so without my main fleet the CS got destroyed by enemy siege starship.
This results in a Shark-B mini-exo, and causes the threat to activate. Minus K gets destroyed as well, and i end up having a wave of MKIII-MKIV stuff running for my home. A massive battle ensues inside my Home. The 5 shields around my home prove to be barely enough to hold off enemy fire, and the shields keep getting hit by the enemy snipers. But eventually my fleet recalled from The World prevails. Over 2.5mil scrap is left after the battle, which is reclaimed at 40% rate, almost instantly filling my resource limit.
Sadly, The World itself is not yet fully secure - a barracks with 358 ships remains unpopped. The golem and all command posts are dead though.

By 2:12:00 The World can finally be considered secure. Even without the Special Forces guard post, the patrols still keep passing through it. I wonder if the SF patrols path through human-owned planets. Would be nice if they did.

At 2:18:00 i decide to lure the Botnet Golem at Mesh of Light and Darkness into attacking me, as i think it would be harder when its planet goes on alert. Mesh of Light And Darkness is a really diffidult system, its wormholes are all clustered up and covered by a MKIII fort. Just spending 10 seconds there costs me like 200 ships, some of which end up being reclaimed. I get an alert about an incoming huge ship, which means the golem is now in threat. I quickly retreat home and hope it follows me. After some fighting and reprisal waves, the Botnet wanders into Galaxy in a Pot. I try to avoid it with my fleetships, letting the Resistance units and turrets slowly destroy it. At 2:25:00 a wave hits Galaxy in a Pot, while the golem is still there, at 20% HP. The attacking wave contains 1600 ships for some reason. Shit, this is gonna be tough, my fleet is not even fully rebuilt yet. I manage to kill the golem with minimal losses, but that still leaves me with 1500 MKI-MKII missile frigates that are already hitting at the command station's shield. I use my riots to ferry ~200 missile frigates to my home where they will be reclaimed efficiently, while what remains of my fleet and defences tries to defend Galaxy in a Pot. Luckily, the forcefields dont look to be high in the missile frigates' priority list. When the Galaxy in a Pot falls, the Shark AI instantly sends a nasty wave to my home, but it enters it through the furthestt wormhole and i should be able to stall it.
At 2:29:00 the attack is finally deflected. 2.2mil metal has been delivered to our home, allowing for very quick fleet recovery. Well, those shark waves sure are nice. They provide a lot of tension and nervousness when they strike, and also allow for quick fleet recovery once you defeat them. I notice there are still 300 enemy missile frigates dicking around in Galaxy in a Pot, so i send my half-rebuilt fleet to cleanup there.

At 2:45:00 i attack The World for a hundredth time. My intention now is to get to Nightbug Tornado and pop the local golem. However, my main fleet mains the AI Special forces and gets destroyed after dealing some major damage. Getting destroyed on enemy territory sucks. I get 2 reprisal waves, each containing 1.5+k missile frigates. This also coincides with a 500-ship CPA. The reprisal waves really make everything else feel pretty insignificant. Enemy attacking ship count gets close to 2k once the CPA threat decides jump in my home. With things hitting my home, i am forced to abandon Radiant treasure which has roughly 1300 missile frigates remaining.
Home defence goes alright, with my fleet quickly responding to AI groups coming from different directions. And they do keep coming, because Radiant Treasure inevitably falls, causing a shark mini-exo, putting even more strain on my home defences.

By 3:03:00 the attack can be finally considered deflected. I rebuild Radiant Treasure. A wave is announced: 298 missile frigates. That sounds extremely funny considering the 1300-ship reprisals i had to face earlier.

3:08:00. The threat is down to 67, the Exo-wave is at 58%, and my fleet is at full capacity now. I really need to hurry up though. There are still many fortified systems left to get through, and the goddamn reinforcements just wont leave me alone in The World. Time to go there once again.
3:10:00. I invade and clean up The World. Now is the time to camp te Nightbug Tornado wormhole and kill the enemy special forces in a very efficient manner.
3:16:00. _K_ uses wormhole camp. It's super effective. The entirety of enemy SF is pretty much destroyed while i have suffered only minor losses. Time to go get than Golem in Nightbug Tornado.
3:17:00. I go in and start killing stuff. Once i see the warning about the incoming golem, i quickly retreat and get back to camping the wormhole. There is a level 2 reprisal warning due to all the capships i lost to the Artillery Golem, so i need to be careful.
3:20:00. The golem is too scared to leave Nightbug tornade, while the reprisal wave is announced - 1200 fighters.
3:24:00. Retreating to defend against the reprisal wave proves to be a great idea as the threatball in Nughtbug Tornado decides to move forwards and sets up at The World. Now that the wave is defeated, its time to go and finally kill the golem.
3:26:00. The golem is helpless against a huge swarm focus-firing it, and dies within a minute. Nightbug Tornado is now ripe for taking, the road to Curse of Dreams and Reality (the place with the Botnet) is finally open. The MKIV systems next to it are still fully populated, so there's that, but if we want to take the Golem ASAP we now can do it.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 06:34:03 PM by _K_ »

Offline Toranth

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2015, 07:49:04 PM »
So, meanshile, i have started a new game. I spend the first 30 minutes scouting. This time the plan is to get to the botnet as quickly as possible and then abuse its supposed OPness to fight the exos.
Unfortunately, the Botnet itself does nothing to help kill exowaves - The most dangerous stuff in them is starships, guardians, Spirecraft, and Golems.  And H/Ks, of course.  All of which are immune to reclamation.

The trick is to prepare the course for the Exowave.  Gate raid, so there are only a small number of systems the Exo can attack through, then load up those systems with turrets.  Log III and Mil III stations are good choices, as they'll do a lot more damage to the enemy as it passes through.  Do this in pushed out, semi-expendable systems, and you'll be much more likely to survive.
In your game, it looks like The World, Hallucinogenic Tuning, and Cold Snap/Midnight Bird are good places for your block point/whipping boy/speedbump systems.

Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2015, 11:42:42 AM »
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Log III and Mil III stations are good choices
Eugh, i dont have the K for this. I spend like 80% of my knowledge on increasing my fleet strength, getting MKII-MKIII fleet ships and starships.
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Gate raid, so there are only a small number of systems the Exo can attack through
I admit i dont know the exo wave sawning mechanics very well. I kinda assumed they could spawn anywhere 1-2 hops away from any huma system so gate raiding wouldnt work.
Well, if they always spawn from 1 hop away and require a Warp Gate, then yeah, they are going to be much much easier to manage.

Quote
Botnet itself does nothing to help kill exowaves - The most dangerous stuff in them is starships, guardians, Spirecraft, and Golems.
I dont have much experience with Botnet either, but i'd assume it added a lot by providing a huge screen of friendly zombies, as well as working as a huge bullet sponge, redirecting fire from other ships. In my previous game my entire fleet got destroyed unbelievably quickly. Maybe there have been suicide guardians, i dont know...

Anyway, back to game. My fleet is camping The World. I guess now is the time to go clear Nightbug Tornado. First kill the fortress, then destroy the 300-ship barracks and clean up whatever pops out.

3:54:00. Nightbug tornado is cleared of all guard posts and defences and i decide that there's no reason not to take The World. Next i will probably have to do something about the MKIV worlds, and then take the golem.
I spend the next 30 minutes attacking Honest Man's Death, which contains a Regen Golem, a MKV Ion and barracks with 300 ships. Such barracks in MKIII-MKIV is always a pain. Eventually my fleet cleans everything up, including a 1800-ship reprisal wave and i take Nightbug Tornado.
4:28:00. I colonise Nightbug Tornado and gain a new ARS. There is no time to hack for a good ship as the Exo is at 86% at this point. I am not entirely sure if i will be able to take 3 more systems and repair the golem in the time i have remaining.
After some consideration i decide that i will have to fight the exo-wave on my own again. There is simply no time to take 3 systems (the one with golem and the two next to my home) and also repair said golem. Hopefully this time i will manage to focus down the enemy leader in time. I also have a bunch of merc ships on standby, and i will prepare some warheads as well. This time i am going to get very seirous about defending against the exo.
4:35:00. I take World Creation Press. The wormholes arepositioned very badly there, with the wormhole to Hallucinogenic tuning dangerously close to the wormhole to our home. Will definitely raid. Once the system is cleaned up and built, i decide to neuter Hallucinogenic tuning and Eternal Meek. First my ships go in Hallucinogenic tuning and quickly destroy everything there.
4:42:00. I invade Eternal Meek and suddenly realise it has an Ion AI Eye. I quickly retreat, split off my MKIII ships and starships and send them in again. The rest of my fleet rushes to Cold Snap as i am seriously running out of time - the exo is at 93%. As result, i have ships fighting in 3 systems as once: Raid Starships killing the Warp Gate at Hallucinogenic Tuning, high-mark ships and starships clearing Eternal Meek, and the low-mark fleet clearing Cold Snap.
4:52:00. I take Cold Snap, Eternal Meek is fully neutered. I am running very low on resources and i need to quickly get some defences at Cold Snap. The Exo is at 97%.
4:55:00. The defences at Cold Snap are up. I hastily build 4 power generators at Home to provide reserve in case i lose somy systems. Energy surplus is at 340 000, enough to survive the loss of 2 systems. The fleet is only missing 3 raid starships, with everytihng else fully stocked. Home is surrounded by a huge number of forcefields and turrets. The exo is at 99%.
4:56:00. The exo wave spawns and starts pouring in to Cold Snap from Midnight Bird. I react quickly and send my fleet from home to there. At 800 ships, it will hopefully be enough to withstand the attack. There are also some reserves left at home: 126 reclaimed ships, 150 Merc Fighters, and 2 warheads. And huge, huge loads of turrets everywhere, of course.

Let's see what the enemy has brought:
10 Spire corvettes, 6 out of them are MkIII
A Beam starship
3 Bomber Starships, including 2 MkIV's
2 Raid Starships, one being MKV
1 MKIV Shield Bearer
3 Spire Siege Towers, including 2 MKIV's
1 MKII Hunter/Killer.
A bunch of low-mark starships, guardians and fleetships.

Welp. Let's see how this goes. The turrets at the worhmole fall in less than 3 seconds. Time for the fleets to collide.

The exo wave contains a bunch of tractor platforms and guardians, so my ships get pushed along with the advancing enemy force. Oh, also like 300 of my ships (out of 700) disappear in roughly 1 salvo. Trying to find what the leader is and focus it down seems almost impossible, at theres a huge shieldball of Spire Corvettes, and the H/K is actually flying a bit behind.
The exo-wave quickly destroys 2 shields that cover the entrance to my home and jump in. The reserves at my home react and the turrets start shooting things. However, just as the previous time, i simply dont have nearly enough DPS to kill everything in time. Meanwhile, the exo does have plenty of DPS and depletes the 8 shields around my home in seconds, killing the Command Station as well. And even if the shields did hold off somehow, there was still the issue of MKV Raid Starship, so it's not like the Command Station had any chance whatsoever.


So i decide to retry a few times. The game is already lost, but i really wanna see how much the RNG has screrwed me here, and what can possibly be done to prevent this bullshit.

Retry 1: The exo-wave splits not in 2 parts, but actually 3! I lose a few systems, but manage to survive and recover, the home sits at 3.5m reclaimable metal
Retry 2: The exo-wave splits in a few parts, but this time one of the groups succesfully destroys Nightbug Tornado, and after like 10 minutes of struggling against shark-induced waves i finally lose due to lack of energy. This was certainly winnable though, i lost due to getting too far in energy negatives and losing my Command Station to a bunch of SSBs.
Retry 3: The exo-wave hits Cold Snap and World Creation Press, but this time Cold Snap is also hit by a normal wave. I send my fleet Cold Snap and it succesfully destroys the attacking force, but in the meantime the wave at World Creation Press gets in my home and 2 MKIV Raid Starships kill the Command Station.
Retry 4: This time the exo finally contains a H/K again, and it hits Cold Snap. This time, however, there is also a wave coming there. Lets see what happens if i am more active with the warheads, maybe not actually using was the mistake that killed me last time. Due to shitty micro, 2 of my warheads get destroyed before they can be positioned properly and dont deal much damage. The last one, however, explodes right in the middle of the enemy column and destroys a major part of the attacking fleet. The H/K survives obviously, but most of its supporting fleet does not. In the end, it still mannages to kill the Home Command, but right before dying itself, so if i landed those warheads better i would have survived without much trouble.
Retry 5: A H/K exo to Cold Snap again. This time, however, the wave eats a MKII warhead right to the face, and suddenly it stops being nearly as threatening. The H/K and some MKIV Siege Towers still manage to get to the home and damage it a bit, but this time the H/K only manages to fire off 2 salvos befire dying. Even those 2 salvos are enough to nearly drain the shields around the home base though. I stuggle a bit due to a shark exo hitting and destroying World Creation Press, which causes another shark exo. But this last exo is stopped in time by main fleet, ending the attack and allowing me to recover.

So... yeah. Apparently lightning warheads are the solution, and not using this solution ends up in guaranteed defeat. I kinda didn't remember how huge their AOE was, thinking it would be much harder to hit the entire exo-wave. The "Only deals at most 100 000 damage to a single target" also kinda repulsed me as the H/K has much more. But apparently a warhead clears pretty much everything else sans the MKIV+ starships and spirecraft. And without the escorts, these guys get focused down quickly.
Another thing i learned is to have scouts in place in every border AI system to be able to react to the exo-wave in time.
And also that Shark plot makes the AI a huge dick and makes the game prone to terrible chain reactions that lead to game over.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 01:00:06 PM by _K_ »

Offline motai

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2015, 11:49:27 PM »
oh i thought you read that note they were changed from a 5000 radius to like 25000 radius so yea much easier to hit. also with the hp adjustments they kill ALOT.if you absolutely want to kill hk use armored warhead instead but they take alot longer and more metal. but they hit the highest hp target first instead of mass damage spread

Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2015, 08:41:19 PM »
Quote
oh i thought you read that note they were changed from a 5000 radius to like 25000 radius so yea much easier to hit
Yeah, now that you mentioned it i remember something of sorts,but i think i didn't notice the change was so dramatic.

So anyway, new game start!

And right from the very start, a letdown: the bonush ship type is Youngling Shrike. I really dont like the amount of management all of the Younglings involve, and would very much prefer something that can be easily added to the fleetball. Also, at home there are 4 wormholes, positioned quite a bit awkwardly.

--- Game start ---

00:01:11. Holy shit, even more bad news. The very first system i scout appears to have a CoProcessor. And i am really, really not into getting extra AIP. Lets hope all other CoProcessors are within reach, then we'll be okay.

00:07:52. While scouting, i notice an Artillery Golem patrolling the systems. Oh man, not this shit again. Lets hope i dont meet any Armor Golems on any important systems.
00:08:09. The botnet is found. It is 4 hops away from Home, the system also contains a Threat Eye, a Captive Human Settlement, an enemy Artillery Golem and a Data Center. Well this is gonna be a pain in the ass to take. So far this entire game seems to be full of pain.
00:10:40. An AI wave with Youngling Tigers hits, with a bunch of Missile Frigates 1 minute later. Suddenly, a bunch of Enclave Guardians jumps out of a different hole. Apparently i angereed these guys when i was raiding an enemy system earlier. The Enclave Guardians turn the fight into a bit of a clusterhug, but i luckily the waves at 10 AIP are small so i survive.

For the next 40 minutes i continue scouting and raidiny tachyon posts.

The Botnet is located at Tunnel Effect. The current plan is to quickly take over the entire cluster with Phantom Dinning, Tunnel Effect and Red-Eyed Hypnosis working as border systems. The 2 other systems connected to Tunnel Effect contain some useful goodies as well - a Starship Constructor at Pentagram Flight and a Sentinel Frigate at Source of Rains.

--- Getting to the Botnet ---

0:46:09. I take Phantom dinning, now is the time to explore the wormholes at Prism Concerto and Pentagram Flight.
1:00:07. After spending a bit of time raiding the tachyon posts and scouting, i take Curse of Dreams and Reality.
1:07:59. I take Emperor of the East. With just 2 MKI research stations, my science gathering cant keep up with how quickly i take new systems. Not like its a bad thing, as we keep getting closer to the Botnet Golem.

Next is the long tedious process of taking Mercury Poison. That system has an Artillery Golem, barracks, and seems to be frequented by the SF patrols.
1:59:02. Yeah, it has been an hour already, and no real progress has been made. The time has been spent sending my fleet at Mercury Poison twice, losing a major part of it, and then defending against reprisal waves. The last attack has finally cleared the system, but then Special Forces started coming from Tunnel Effect, and apparently my entire fleet is weaker than said special forces. I managed to kill all of the Disassembler Guardians as well as some other stuff, but like 40% of the special forces still survived. And now there is a level3 reprisal warning.
2:26:19. I finally manage to destroy the entirety of enemy Special Forces by camping Mercury Poison with my entire fleet. SF has been extremely annoying in the past hour and a half so i really hope i will now start making progress.
2:33:00. I start working on Tunnel Effect. As first step, i send all of my ships in, then immediately retreat. This triggers the Artillery Golem. I retreat from Mercury Poison, which makes the Golem go there. Now i simply rush it down as it sits alone in Mercury Poison, without any guard posts or guardians.
2:37:58. Mercury Poison taken. Funnily enough, it has an ARS and a MKV Raider fabricator. The ARS gives me Autocannon Minipods, which in my opinion are a bit weak, mostly due to the fact everything has armor in AI War.
2:48:00. I use my starship ball to clear the guardposts in Tunnel Effect. There is pretty much no defence so this ends up being very easy. Next step is killing the Dire Guardian Lair. I am a bit scared to lose all of my fleet, so i use a small group of starship to pop it.
2:53:54. The Lair pops and the Dire Guardians Immediately kill my poor Raid Starships. There is 1 Implosion and 2 Tractor Dire Guardians. Let's see if they can handle my fleet.
2:54:58. The guardians are nice enough to jump in the wormhole and fight on my territory in Mercury Poison. A bunch of turret greets them, and so does my entire fleet. I suffer some minor losses, but kill the 3 guardians. And most importantly, i dont get any of the reprisal bullshit i would have gotten if i fought in the enemy system.
3:01:24. Tunnel Effect is ours! Time to get that Golem to work. Also there is a Captive Human Settlement, which in my opinion is more of a burden. Now i will really need to defend this system.
3:04:30. A 734-ship CPA is announced in 9 minutes. Well, good. By that time the Botnet will be up, and it will be very hungry.
3:21:40. Repairing the golem took a bit longer than expected. But now it is ready. The CPA has already been deflected, though theres 300 threat sigging Prism Concerto, waiting to get zombified. Once the Golem is powere, i move there.
3:22:56. The test run for the Botnet golem is complete. At 200k damage per shot, any ship the golem hits gets zombified. 100 ships every 4 seconds. Less than a minute to completely zombify a 1000-ship reprisal wave. Well, yeah, this thing is insanely strong, and not only because of zombification effect. Even if it killed units instead of reclaiming, 100 ship kills every 4 seconds is huge.

--- Raiding and Neutering ---

3:41:50. Another fleetwipe occurs when i raid the AI systems to kill the Tachyon posts. While not all of my fleet is destroyed, all of my starships die in Buddha's Stone Bowl, which has an AI Eye and as such only the starships were sent there. Before dying, the starships do destroy the Tachyon Guard Posts, so now my scouting depth should be increased by 2 more hops. Theres also a MKIII reprisal warning, but now it feels more like the AI wants to feed my Botnet.
3:44:28. A 2,468-ship MKI bomber reprisal wave hits Phantom Dinning. Wow, my CPU certainly was not ready for that. Lots of lags, and i think my fleet would get completely wrecked by these bombers if not for a billion friendly zombies and the Botnet zombifying 50 ships every 2 seconds. In the end, my zombie patrols only get an increase in strength thanks to all those bombers.

The state of the galaxy at 3:56:48. The plan is to first pop the DC at Unilateral Contact, then start working towards Tree-Ocean of Hourai to scout further. There is also Pentagram Flight which contains an adv. Starship con, and i will also eventually have to take The World before the exowave hits. And at that point it should be a good idea to take Hallucinogenic Tuning as well.

4:10:58. After a few cleanup raids to Tree-Ocean of Hourai, i finally clear enough guardposts to raid the DC at Unilateral Contact, and also to scout 1 hop further. Sadly, that only yields me the data on 3 more systems. Once that's done, i clear a Widow Golem which i activated somewhere during my raids. I also clear the Regenerator Golem at Pentagram Flight. At that point i decide that MKIV are probably gonna be worth the AIP, so i decide to take it.
4:38:14. I take Pentagram Flight. At this point i have MKIII flagships unlocked, and i intend to unlock Spire Starship with this new knowledge as well. Next i will probably get Siege Starship. Not a fan of the rest. Zenith Starship is focused on killing stuff about i dont care to begin with, bomber Starship is too fast and tends to get too far ahead of the main ball and gets killed, Raid is too specialist, and Neinzul Enclave i usually use defensively, and i have enough defense with those zombies i have.

--- Preparing for the exo-wave

4:42:50. The Exo-wave is at 88%. I guess now is the time to prepare for it. Gotta take The World, kill the gate at Double Score, get some warheads ready, put scouts everywhere, and then hope i dont lose anythine irrelaceable.
4:53:66.  The World is taken, and Double Score has Gate removed. Warheads deployed on Pentagram flight and Tunnel Effect. Most of my force is deployed at The World, with some reserves at Phantom Dinning. Scouts deployed to all bordering systems. The Botnet is on stantby at home. 3 Extra shields added at home. Literally countless zombie ships are patrolling the territory. I would say the outnumber my entire fleet by a factor of 5-10.
5:03:25. A normal wave with 520 tachyon microfighters is about to hit Phantom Dinning. The Botnet is sent to counter it. The exo is at 98%.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 06:28:42 PM by _K_ »

Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2015, 04:37:37 PM »
--- Exo-Wave 1 ---

5:05:24. The exo spawns. It is a single group with a H/K, coming from Metal Fatigue. I dispatch the MKII lightning warhead from Home as i still doubt my forces can kill the incoming group fast enough.
5:06:16. The Lightning Warhead pops, giving the AI +2 AIP and dropping the enemy ship count by a hundred or so.
6:06:44. Most of the wave is dead, including 2 MKV Raid Sarships. However, the H/K and one bomber starship manage to bruteforce their way into Home, where they are met by... well lost of things. The Bomber was at 10% HP when entering home, and the H/K was at 50%, so it doesnt take too much time to finish them off. No systems were lost during the invasion, as even the Command Station at the World managed to survive despite losing the shielding. The attack is repelled, and in fact pretty easily, not counting the fact the H/K managed to get through.

So... what now? I decide that the first thing i need to do is take Hallucinogenic Tuning, as it contains an ARS so i'd have to take it anyway, and having a MKIV world on alert sucks. And once that's done i will probably also have to take the ARS at Nightbug Tornado. And from there i should be able to start digging deeper into the uncharted AI territory. Hopefully i wil find the remaining two CoProcessors and the Superterminal. I havent done any hacking so far, so i could milk Supeterminal for huge amounts of AIP reduction. Dragging anchor is controlled by a "Rude gesture" subcommander, so apparently taking it is going to be a pony. It has 2 Ion cannons, a MKII and MKIII, and i would really rather see them under my control than destroyed. So the current plan is to somehow kill the Arachnid Guardpost, and then use my starships to slowly demolish everything else.

--- Dealing with the Rude Gesture Subcommander ---

5:19:33. Refleeting is finally over (it took a while due to MKIV starships costing so much), let's see how the rude gesture AI survives this.
5:21:32. Well, my entire fleet apparently is weaker than this subcommander. There were a bunch of disassembler guardians under the shields that kinda ruined the day for my starships, and my fleetships diet to everything else. Now i have a wave of 8,400 tachyon microfighters incoming.
5:27:15. The massive battle at Red-eyed hypnosis is over. It certainly is a net negative for me, as it used to have a MKV Ion Cannon, and now it doesnt. The bobnet health is down to 70%, and i am not entirely sure if my zombie fleet has grown or shrunk due to all of this. But it does not end here. Apparently, if a planet is not under your control, the reclaim there goes to AI, even if its unowned. So now i have to deal with another 7,000 microfighters coming to Red-eyed hypnosis.
5:30:08. The new wave hits. This time there is no high-priority target, so the carriers just sit at the wormhole and get murdered along with their cargo. It takes a while, but the end result is a growth in my zombie fleet size at pretty much no loss.
Okay, now its time to refleet and go to hallucinogenic tuning, this time with an EMPnuke.

6:13:15. Refleeting takes way longer than intended, mostly because i try not to waste time and have my fleet flying around and clearing AI systems. This ends badly when it suddenly meets the Special Forces, which somehow contains around 250 ships, including 50 riots and 50 spire platforms. This results on partial fleet wipe at Source of Rains.
A bunch of reprisal waves are announced, and there's also a CPA in coming in 10 minutes. My PC is lagging due to all the zombies flying through my systems.
6:33:20. My attack on Hallucinogenic tuning fails. Apparently, it takes me roughly 60 seconds to get to the AI command post, so a MKII EMP warhead does not provide help. 4 AIP wasted, fleet wiped again. Sure, next time i will use a MKIII EMP and a lightning. That huging system is going down.
6:47:16. Refleeting is finally over and i seny my fleet to Source of Rains to bait out and destroy the enemy SF. My previous attack on Hallucinogenic Tuning showed that SF are going to come there if i attack it, and i really dont want to deal with SF over there. Not at their current power level for sure. I grab with me the BotNet, to make sure my attack doesnt end in another disaster.
6:49:00. This is getting really ridiculous. I am forced to retreat from Source of Rains. All of the Disassembler Guardians are destroyed, so most of my starships survive, but the fleetships are all dead, and there is a level3 reprisal warning. The golem is at 50% hp as well. The SF still have roughlt 100 ships, almost purely Riots and Spire Tractors. Welp, time for more refleeting.
6:53:30. The Mining Golems are announced. One is coming to The World, the other is to Metal Fatigue (1 hop away from The World). Should be easy to deal with, and i have more than enough time for it. I wonder if there is another golem going to some system i have not yet scouted.
6:54:26. The new exo-wave is at 50% now.
7:12:31. I finally clear the Special Forces by camping Source of Rains. Now i need to quickly clear the Mining Golem at Metal Fatigue (just in case), and then finally go take Hallucinogenic Tuning.
7:28:20. The MKIII EMP goes in Hallucinogenic Tuning and my fleet follows. 120 seconds certainly is better than 70. By the time the enemy ships lose their stun i have already destroyed all of the Disassembler Guardians, as well as most of other defences built around the command station. There are still many shields to get through, but the enemy ships underneatht he shields at least shouldnt be able to murder my fleet in seconds. While my fleet is hitting the things under the shields, i see enemy SFs coming from behind. Somehow they have rebuilt insanely quickly and now have a bunch of Disassembler Guardians, as well as the usual stuff. I pop the Disassemblers with whats left of my fleet and proceed to focus down the enemy command station. If it goes down, our suffering with this system will be over.
7:30:51. The Command Station is dead, and so is most of my fleet. I will try to escape with the starships, but the way to the friendly system is long and blocked by a bunch of Riot Starships. The AIP is now at 183.
7:39:49. After dealing with the reprisals i clean up Hallucinogenic Tuning and finally build a Command Station there. I get Viral Shredders, which are probably one of the better unlocks due to how hard they can scale. I have made a check earlier and knew the other options were worse.

Now that Hallucinogenic Tuning is finally ours, it is time to thing what's next. Core Shield B and D networks are destroyed and there are plenty of C-network shields in my sight, so it might be a good idea to take a system with one. Probably Source of Rains, as it contains a nice MKV fab and would make my  other systems safer. There's also an Armor Ship design at Royal Flare which i am probably gonna hack, because i love those guys.

I still havent found the AI Homeworlds so i also should start neutering the systems that lead to unknown areas. Specifically, that means fully neutering Buddha's Stone Bowl and Tree-Ocean of Hourai, and probably also clearing the tachyons a few more hops further.

I decide that the first thing to do is clear Royal Flare and Mercury Sea and then hack Royal Flare. Once that's done i can start focusing on exploring further into AI territory.

--- Cleaning up and preparing for a new exo-wave ---

7:58:28. I clear Royal Flare, set up some static turrets, and start the hack. I have no idea how exactly the new hacking works. Does the response attack me immediately or do they come later, when the hack is over? Oh boy oh boy, time to find out.
8:02:00. The reaction is actually a bit underwhelming, so i start doing a knowledge hack in parallel to the design hack.
8:03:27. The Design hack is over. The AI response is still pretty weak, so i pop a second Knowledge hacker to speed up the knowledge gathering. Hopefully this trick doesnt have any negative consequences.
8:07:59. Royal Flare has been robbed blind and the post-hack response has been dealt with. I will keep my turrets for the time being, its always a good idea to have something dealing with AI reinforcements. Meanwhile, the exo is at 87% and i probably should start preparing for its arrival.
8:27:30. The exo-wave is at 98%. My preparations are also almost complete. My fleet is at full power and ready to fight, warheads are deployed to valuable systems, all border AI systems have scouts.

--- Exo-Wave 2 ---

8:28:20. Here it comes. This time the exo seems to be split in many parts. Two parts converge at Pentagram Flight, while another one goes to Phantom Dinning. There is a missile at Tunnel Effect, 1 hop away from Pentagram flight, i immediately send it there. Also there are some of my police units (riots and enclaves), some raid starships and the BotNet. Hopefully that will be enough to defend the system and not lose the starship constructor. The wave at Phantom Dinning is 1 hop away from Home, so my main fleet goes there to quickly destroy it.

8:29:16. Nope. Not even close. The  zombies and my meager defences are not nearly enough to defend against the AI exo waves. The Warhead comes too late and only clears one wave, and since there are two coming, it doesnt help at all. Meanwhile, my fleet at Phantom Dinning has lost about 30% of its strength and destroyed most of the wave. Some ships have managed to break through to the Home, but they dont have nearly enough DPS to kill anything of value, so instead of pursuing, my fleet is sent to defend Tunnel Effect and retake Pentagram Flight. The forces i have at Pentagram Flight are also ordered to retreat to Tunnel Effect and make their stand there.
8:31:56. Welp, thats it for the wave. The main exo is dead, one small shark wave is also easily killed at home. I really dont want to deal with more of those goddamn waves. Gotta speed up my game progress somehow.

---Clearing the path to unexplored systems---

8:44:30. I begin my raid to the unscouted systems. I go through Royal Flare and manage to get to Stardust Reverie, where i meet some resistance. While clearing said resistance, the damn Special Forces suddenly come from behind and force me to retreat. Luckily, the SF arent large enough yet, so while most of my fleetships get wiped, the starships survive. Survival of high-mark starships is very important as they are not renewable anymore.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 06:28:17 PM by _K_ »