Author Topic: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.  (Read 12466 times)

Offline _K_

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Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« on: February 12, 2012, 11:20:37 AM »
Decided i want to write down stories of my AI war games somewhere, so why not let other people read em as well? Making a thread for each game seems too much, so thread for all games i play should be fine.

I usually play the game for the challenge of it, so i have set myself some rules to keep the game challenging and fun for myself. Then i just set myself some goal (or challenge) and keep on trying to beat it. Once its done, i add something new and different and try to beat that one, and so on.

Self-imposed rules:
  • Dont save-scum:
    Always save the game when quitting.
    Always load he oldest available save.
  • Accept your fate and fight to the end:
    Never reroll map seeds or AI types, never manually pick a homeworld.

Challenge 1:

  • 40 planets. Realistic. 1 random homeworld. All expansions.
  • All ships and unit classes available, including CSG's.
  • Minor factions: Broken golems - hard. Zenith Miners. Neinzul Preservation wardens. Fallen Spire. Spirecraft - hard.
  • No AI modiers. 1 AIP every 30 min.
  • Special Plots: Second AI - Hybrids. Advanced Hybrids.
  • 1 player, myself. No handicap.
  • All random lvl7 AI, grey color, no handicap.
  • All random lvl8 AI, red color, no handicap.
This is the current challenge level I'm currently trying to beat. Basically, there are 2 AI's, where the red one is the "Big Brother", who has more guns and uses hybrids, while the other one more of a supporter.

Game 1:
Status: Defeat.. Map seed:1380182673, AI types: Attritioner/Extreme raider. Game time: 1:50:17
Link
Game 2:
Status: Defeat.. Map seed:882978692, AI types: The Core/Technologist raider. Game time: 5:57:51
Link
Game 3:
Status: Defeat.. Map seed:636717294, AI types: Vanilla/Technologist Turtle. Game time: 4:49:34
Link
Game 4:
Status: Defeat.. Map seed:1080103856, AI types: Sledge hammer/Spire hammer. Game time: 7:22:15
Link
Game 5:
Status: Victory.. Map seed: 940662498, AI types: Experimentalist/Camouflager. Game time: 15:57:00
Link 1, Link 2.

Challenge 2
  • 90 planets. Realistic. 1 random homeworld. All expansions.
  • All ships and unit classes available, including CSG's.
  • Minor factions: Fallen Spire, Zenith Devourer.
  • No AI modifers. 1 AIP every 30 min.
  • Special Plots: Second AI - Astro Trains. Beachheads.
  • 1 player, myself. No handicap.
  • Random Harder lvl5 AI, grey color, no handicap.
  • All random lvl7 AI, red color, no handicap.
  • Researching some techs disallowed: MKIII fleet ships, MKIII harvesters and econ stations.

After the recent updates, i have realised how many things i have not tried beacuse i've been trying to play optimally. And since its a silly game anyway, why not add a whole lot of other things i havent tried: large map, trains, beachheads. I also intend to actually try and beat the game through spire campaign.

Game 1:
Status: defeat. Map seed: 590668480, AI types:Spire/One-way doormaster. Game time: 15:08:56
Link
Link
Link

So i (probably temporarily) gave up on challenge 2 because of a 2-year hiatus.

Challenge 3:Get some rust off.
  • 70 planets. Simple. 1 random homeworld. All expansions bu Destroyer of worlds. I will buy it the next time it hits 50%-75%, okay?
  • All ships and unit classes available,  CSG's on, full fog of war, dont show unexplored planets.
  • Minor factions: Human Resistance 4, Marauders 4, Zenith Miners 2, Botnet Golem Hard 5, Neinzul enclaves 3, Dark Spire 2, Showdown Devices.
  • No AI modifers. 1 AIP every 30 min.
  • Special Plots: AI 1: Hybrids 4, Adv Hybrids 4, Hunter 3, Shark-B 3.
  • 1 player, myself. No handicap.
  • Random Moderate/Easier 7.6 AI, grey color, no handicap.
  • Random Harder 8.6 AI, red color, no handicap.

The point of the challenge is just to play a moderately challenging game to get some rust off and get used to the changes, of which many have occured. Luckily, i have been checking the updates throughout those 2 years so i have an idea whats going on.
Game 1:
Status: defeat. Map seed: 354001583, AI types: Assassin/Alarmist. Game time: 1:20:10
Game 2:
Status: defeat. Map seed 1369955652, AI types: Assassin/Vengeful. Game time: 4:07:58
Link
Game 3:
Status: defeat. Map seed 1898931911, AI Types: Grav Driller/Extreme Raider. Game time: 5:06:47
Link 1, Link 2
Game 4:
Status: defeat. Map seed 395346100, AI Types: spireling/Golemite. Game time: 4:56:39
Link 1, Link 2
Game 5:
Status: In Progess. Map seed ???, AI Types: ???/??. Game time: 0:00:00
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 11:47:38 AM by _K_ »

Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 11:21:38 AM »
Past games
These games have been played before i started the thread, so i can only vaguely retell what happened. I have played these a while ago, peobably somewhere around 5.20-5.21

Game 1
Not much is remembered about this game. In fact, i dont remember it at all and there are no savegames left. But looking at the 1:50 gametime, apparently i got owned too fast. If i recall correctly it has something to do with me being careless, and dying to either the first exo-wave, or just some unlucky wave.

Game 2
Now this is where it got fun. The AI rolls have been pretty evil for me in this one.

This is the screenshot taken shortly before my game loss.
Basically the game was going relatively smooth, the AI was pressuring me, but not too hard, so i have taken over that nice cluster to the left, which had minimal number of connections to the AI systems, so i didn't have to overextend my defences.
The biggest problem was the Haju system, which was one of the first systems i have taken. It was being border-agressed and attacked all the time, sometimes even going down. Once i was done with that left system cluster, i have decided it was finally time to capture an adv. factory, which was in Vudoorsav (P8 marker). So i have sent my entire fleet to the Fuusyi... and met way more ships whan i could handle. That system, Fuusyi, has been on alert since i have taken Haju, around 1 hour from start, and i have never disturbed it ever since... until now. So the entire defence force of that system, which was something about maybe 500-600 Mk IV-V ships was unleashed upon me. My fleet died in seconds, then went down the Haju system. I was ready to make my stand at the home system. But the AI was more of a tricky dick, it sents its ships to that unprotected system cluster, which had minimal defence anywhere. In a few minutes, i was robbed of my entire resource income base, which would take a while to defeat. However, that gave me time to rebuild some ships at home and regroup. With AI fleet scattered and attritioned by light (but numerous) system defences, i have barely managed to clean up the mess and was about to start recolonising the systems. But then i got a wave alert. The game was lost 6 minutes later.

game 3
This time, i rolled a turtle AI. I didn't know if i should be happy about it, as handling waves felt like less of a problem than handling planets with over 1000 ships. Knowing from the previous experience how dangerous this can be, imade a new rule: NEVER let your fleet idle. If you have nothing to do with your fleet, go neuter some system, dont let it just sit around.

I didn't have too much trouble with regular activities, slowly gaining systems and getting valuable stuff. I have decided to use the Isdrevar system as some sort of punching bag, letting the AI reinforce it and neutering it often. IIRC i didn't want to take it over because i didn't want to set the adjacent lvl3 system on alert, and i was too busy to go take that one over as well. So i've been slowly setting up my border and trying to get to the Tozor system (P7 marker), which contained an ARP+armor golem+blade spawner fab+bombard V fab+Yng Weasel V fab+A-Prime gen. Taking that system and turning it into a massive fortress of awesomeness was my short-term plan.
But none of that came to happen, because of the exo-waves. I have barely managed to survive the first wave, where i used my etherjets to push the enemy bombers away from my home station shields, saving it from inevitable destruction.
But the second Wave was of course much more brutal, and for some reason i didn't manage to kill it begore it got tomy home station and wiped it. IIRC, the second exo-wave was split in 2 parts, and i focused on only one, missing the other wave.

Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 11:53:28 AM »
Game 4, part 1
Here's the picture of my current situation:

The most notable thing is the AIP number, which is extremely low for this number of systems.
When the game started, i had 2 AI Co-processors in systems advacent to my home. At first, i thought i was fucked, as keeping these alive makes me very weak against CPAs and exo's, but 40 AIP is quite alot as well, so killing them wasnt a good idea either.
Luckily, the other co-processors were not too far away from my home, so i just raided them once i got myself started, giving myself a nice AIP boost. Once i did that, i actually hot below my AIP floor, and could enjoy easy life for a while. But i still needed lots of knowledge and decent resource income. So i have decided to conquer the top-right corner of the map, which would give me some safe systems, as well as an adv factory (P0 system i control on the very top of the map), as well as an ARS, a Mk-V fighter fab, some golems and some decent asteroids, including ADAMTITE.
So far the progress is very nice: only 1 Mk-3 system is on alert, the AIP is low enough to make defence rather easy. The home is defended from all sides, hopefully giving me enough time to react if something nasty jumps out from somewhere. Resource income is great, even though i use eco-II's, i even built about 100 merc fighters when i was excessing resources.
Now off to take Riner and the rest of that corner.

Part 2, game over
Alright, here's a screenshot from my last save before the game end. I think i havent taken any new systems by the game end.

I believed this game was pretty much in my pocket. I had a decent fleet, and A LOT of reserves:
Cursed golem, botnet golem, artillery golem, 12 MkI-II spire siege towers (used with riot starships as some kind of police force), even 130 Merc fighters i built when i excessed for a while.
I was able to neuter AI systems no problem, hold off the waves, and the mining golems werent really bothering me.
Hell, i even didn't have too much problem holding off a Spire Dreadnaught which was spawned when i disturbed an AI core raid engine.

The plan was simple:
Take 2 A-Core shield systems, each also containing an ARS, set everything up for the final push, take the C-Core shield at Moatbulp, and start assaulting the homeworlds. That all would put me at ~300 AIP, which is quite fine for endgame.
Assaulting the AI homes wouldnt be very easy of course, given that BOTH had a core raid engine, and also Amana system (top of the map) had a gravdrill. Would probably just have to kill it, 5 AIP isnt that of a big deal after all.
...

And then an exo-wave happened. Well, not a big deal, right? I have a full cap of everything and generally ready to kick its ass.
The exo came from 2 directions - Uoxici and Pienanmik. And apparently i sent my fleet to intercept the wrong one, because as result, a bunch of AI ships got in my home system, with a lovably (its ok if i dont use it excessively, right?) BLACK WIDOW GOLEM among them. Of course, it was absolutely no match for my massive fleet. Except it didn't need to. Apparently that thing is very good at pummeling shields (or are all golems like that? why dont i remember it?). And as result, 2 MKII and 3 MKI shields were not enough to hold that thing for long enough for my ships to kill it. Good bye home command station, "You lost".

Of course, it was mostly my fault and carelessness though. As i said, i had reserves. I had an arty golem in a nearby system which i forgot to bring and it WAS EXACTLY WHAT WOULD HAVE SAVED ME. Or, if for some reason i didn't have it, i had a SPIRE PENETRATOR IN THE SAME GODDAMN SYSTEM! Sadly, i realised i had these way too late, in fact when the game was already over. Oh well, no save-scumming, gotta go start up a new game, now in 5.029.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 07:06:44 AM by _K_ »

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 02:18:09 PM »
nice ^^ gl to you with completing your current game. In game 2 and 3 you were just unlucky having to fight against Technologist AI types, and even The Core in game 3, which can be quite deadly. luckily you won't have that problem this game. I used to play 40 planet maps myself, until I realized my games were ending so quickly (both wins and losses). I prefer the somewhat longer games myself (80-120 planets).
Have you ever tried playing with "show unexplored wormholes" off? It adds another challenge to the game and really leaves you in the dark.
I like the thrill of scouting for new planets and wondering what's on them. And the "OMG, holy crap!" effect whenever I spot a coreworld lol.
also, I don't know how low you want to keep your AIP, but it might be a good idea to do some Warp Gate raiding. your empire is getting bigger and it will be hard to send your fleet to the other side of your empire in time to defend from a wave.
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,10328.msg100587.html#msg100587

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Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 07:08:10 AM »
Game 5

part 1
Alright, here's the map of the progress so far:


The start has been quite smooth, i have spent quite a while scouting the area, as well as taking out AI eyes in the systems before they could accumulate any decent defence.
Then i have noticed that nice chain of systems on the top and decided to take them to use as my resource base, and grabbed some ARS systems (P7).
The only notable loss so far is a MKV Missile Frigate fabricator, which i have lost during an exo wave. Seeing those things go for things other than my home had made them quite alot harder.

As you can see, theres an uncaptured system right beside my homeworld. The problem is that it contains a super-terminal, which i intend to take over in near future.
Theres also an empty system named Lartchul, which contains a co-processor. The other co-processors are marked as P3, and as you can see they are still outside of my reach.

Right now i have 2 waves coming in about 2 minutes, as well as a CPA with 750 ships. Also, theres a funny fact that i still havent built a single spire ship or repaired a golem. Why do i even bother enabling them?
Once these are done the plan is to see how long i can hold the terminal, then grab an adv factory, do the Co-processors, and get to the endgame. It all will largely depend on how much AIP i will be able to get through the super-terminal though, i guess. Well, we'll see.

Part 2:
Alright. Lots of progress has been made. First, i have taken the Super-Terminal planet and held it for 95 ticks. After that it started hurting my fleet so i decided to kill it early to be safe. At that point i wasnt sure which systems i wanted to take to take out all core shield generators and be ready for the final push.
So i decided to check how much knowledge i could get through raiding. As result, 2 planets have been raided, netting me a bonus MKIII fleet ship at minimal AIP cost. I was preparing to start taking out the co-processors, as the AIP started getting a little over what was super-comfortable, and i had about 6 systems to take over.
So i take out the first co-processor, located in a [P3] system on the top-right, lose all my raid starships in the process, start rebuilding them, and then THIS happens:


This is what was happening in my home system:


Apparently, my Co-processor raid aggroed a whole bunch of MKIII ships, those guys grabbed some EMP guardians and decided to go on rampage. All while my main fleet was defending one of my systems against a wave.
3 EMP GUARDIANS. IN A ROW. 2 SYSTEMS cuddly hugged . Oh god i am so glad the gravity turret works even when EMP'ed. The slow it provided was BARELY enough for my home station shields to reactivate, but luckily they turned on in time. And then my reserve MKV frigates and Merc fighters swooped in to hold the enemy ships off.
Meh, i really though this was going to be the end of me.
Yeah, and once i fought that wave off, i had barely 5 minues to rebuild until the CPA comes. I quickly built 20 rebuilders+25 constructors and sent them on a grand tour of rebuilding. Resources were not an issue since my Economy stations got minimal damage, so they actually rebuilt really fast.
CPA didn't hurt too much, as the systems rebuilt by that time.
Now all i need is to wait for the exo-wave, and hope it doesnt destroy my home or the MKV ion cannon i have recently aquired in Harginvu (bottom-left, 2 jumps away from my home, refer to the older map to see where it is).
Once that is done, i will finish the co-processors, take over the systems with shield gens, grab an Adv. Factory and start the final preparations.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 07:32:18 PM by _K_ »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 02:44:30 PM »
Hadn't noticed the updates, edits tend to slip in under the radar.

The only notable loss so far is a MKV Missile Frigate fabricator, which i have lost during an exo wave. Seeing those things go for things other than my home had made them quite alot harder.
Glad they were able to score a point :)  The random picking of other juicy targets does tend to improve the overall chance of finding a hole in player defenses and actually accomplishing something.

Quote
As you can see, theres an uncaptured system right beside my homeworld. The problem is that it contains a super-terminal, which i intend to take over in near future.
Speaking of things recently made a lot harder ;)

Looks like this one has a chance of ending in victory :)
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 05:21:21 PM »
yes I highly suggest you get some golems before trying the super terminal. I don't think you'll last long anymore with only your basic fleet.
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,10328.msg100587.html#msg100587

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Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2012, 10:30:02 AM »
Game 5
Part 3: OH GOD WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG?
Alright, quite a while has passed since the previous update. The clock is now at 12:30, and this does not count all the time the game has been paused, which is like 3-4 more hours.

First, the second exo-wave happened. Nothing interesting happened there, i think the AI spawned an artillery golem, and it died halfway to the homeworld wormhole, along with whatever was escorting it.

Then i have decided it was time to kill the Co-processors ( [P3] on the map). As you can see, one of them is located on a core world. By that time i have already killed tachyon posts all the way up to Bangmi, so getting in there with raid starships+cloakers wouldnt be a problem. The problem is that even after that i'd have to cross 2 core systems to get to that co-processor. Something you cant do with 6 ships.

So i have decided the dumb straightforward approach. Grab my entire fleet of 1526 ships and go on a holy crusade against the Co-processor. With the main fleet on a crusade, all i had on defence was a bunch of riot starships, and a bunch of reserve units: some merc fighters, MKV missile frigates which i have carefully preserved, 3 MKI spire penetrators, and a regen golem.

The crusade itself was, well, i dont know if it deserves a word "success". It had managed to cross all those AI systems, but by the time it reached the final destination only about 200 half-dead ships have left. Gladly, there were i think 3 or 4 raid starships among them. While the fleet ships were distracting the enemy, the raid starships made a run for the co-processor. And one survived and managed to kill it.

So there i was, with no fleet, barely any money to rebuild because i forgot to accumulate some, AND A lovably CORE RAID ENGINE TIMER TICKING AT ME. And i could not rely on static defences as they were spread very thinly over my many bordering planets. Almost all of my systems got utterly demolished, because along with a core engine wave came some regular waves. Once again i made my stand at the homeworld, where my secret reserves have been resting, along with whatever ships that got rebuild by then.
Gladly, by that time most of the AI offensive power has been soaked by my other systems, so i managed to fight back. I had about 230 fleet ships, and all of my reserves except for the merc fighters. And about 4 or 5 systems under my control, completely messing up my resource income. I had to rebuild FAST. And, well, so i did. A group of 20 constructors and 30 remains rebuilders works wonders, especially when the shipyards are turned off and dont drain anything. I have recovered.

Now it was the time for the next step: taking over a system with advfactory (one of the [P8]'s) and getting rid of the core shield gens.
That part went quite smoothly. As some weird coincidence, all A-core shield gens contained ARS's, so i was quite happy to take em over ([P7]) and the only other shield group remaining was group C, with Aosivu containing one of the gens for that network. Once i have taken over all the systems i intended to take, the "final" layout was this:


At some point, when i was almost done taking over those systems, this happened:


By that time i have already taken the Adv. Factory, as well as one ARS, so my total main fleet ship count has grown to ~2200, and the reserves were still there. In fact, these reserves have been improved a little, as i have built a full cap of MKI+MKII spire artillery towers. They would fly around with the riot starships and work as a "police force" of sorts. I have also aquired a cursed golem at some point.

I have split my fleet in 4 even parts, 2 would be sent to defend against the incoming regular waves, 1 would be sent to Adv. Fac system, and 1 to the homeworld.
The spotlight of this exo-wave was an armored golem. OH GOD WHY DOESNT IT JUST DIE? I HAVE HALF OF MY FLEET FOCUSING IT! 3 SPIRE PENETRATORS DAMAGE IT ONLY FOR 15% HP? WHAT THE HELL? The golem has picked my poor cursed golem as its target. Too bad the armor golem is slow as hell and the cursed golem can just kite.
And then i got distracted, because while cursed golem was yakety sax'ing with armored golem in the Adv. Fac system, another part of the exo has hit my homeworld. It was defended well, and all the AI had were some spire artillery ships, but while i was ensuring nothing killed my home station, the cursed golem ran out of his queued waypoints and decided to just stand around. By the time i got back, it was already at 3% HP with bullets flying in its direction. Bye-bye cursed golem.

Still, i consider this quite a success, as the core shield gen network is down, my main fleet is going to have about 2500 ships, there are LOADS of unused asteroids for spire fun, and i highly doubt the AI will have much to put up against all this.
The current plan is to somehow kill the core raid engines, neuter one of the AI homes, put a spire penetrator or two there, and go kill the other home.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 12:24:45 PM by _K_ »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2012, 11:20:28 AM »
While the fleet ships were distracting the enemy, the raid starships made a run for the co-processor. And one survived and managed to kill it.
Ah, nothing quite like a desperate deepstrike with little/no survivors :)  Good thing those ships don't get a say in their orders.

Quote
So there i was, with no fleet, barely any money to rebuild because i forgot to accumulate some, AND A (beep)ING CORE RAID ENGINE TIMER TICKING AT ME.
While said raid engine certainly warrants that level of intensity when it comes to adjectives, around here we ask that you refrain from that particular one.  Creative alternatives are encouraged and generally more fun.  Personally I tend to use "Belgium", but I'm not sure how to make that an adjective.

Quote
And i could not rely on static defences as they were spread very thinly over my many bordering planets. Almost all of my systems got utterly demolished, because along with a core engine wave came some regular waves. Once again i made my stand at the homeworld, where my secret reserves have been resting, along with whatever ships that got rebuild by then.
Gladly, by that time most of the AI offensive power has been soaked by my other systems, so i managed to fight back.
Apparently the deepstrike looked like such fun that the AI wanted to try it :)

Quote
As some weird coincidence, all A-core shield gens contained ARS's
Actually that's how it's coded: all ARS planets get an A shield.  All Adv-fact planets get a B.

Quote
At some point, when i was almost done taking over those systems, this happened
That AI just loves messing with plans.

Quote
The spotlight of this exo-wave was an armored golem.
Armor, armor, more armor.  There's a gun in there somewhere.

Very interesting to see the result of letting golem/spirecraft exos have a chance of picking an irreplaceable as a target instead of always a command station.  For a bit there I was thinking "ah, maybe it shouldn't have gone after the cursed golem, it just gets kited".  But then the armored golem was vindicated in thinking that the cursed golem's master would get distracted ;)

Quote
Still, i consider this quite a success, as the core shield gen network is down, my main fleet is going to have about 2500 ships, there are LOADS of unused asteroids for spire fun, and i highly doubt the AI will have much to put up against all this.
Yep, you may well have won those trades despite having to defend at the homeworld more than once.  They can check all they want, as long as you're the one who gets to say checkmate :)
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Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2012, 12:26:47 PM »
Quote
While said raid engine certainly warrants that level of intensity when it comes to adjectives, around here we ask that you refrain from that particular one.
Yeah, exactly the reason i hoped you'd let that slip.
But oh well, no profanity from now on.

Meanwhile, Game 5, Part 4

Now that my final borders have been established, it was time to pay the AI homeworlds a friendly visit. Once again i have decided to use the dumb "When you have the biggest stick, you dont need to talk at all" approach, and simply sent my entire fleet to go kill the core raid engine at Aiki. Half of that fleet would die on its way but it was fine because it meant the rebuilt ships would help defend against the core raid wave. I had plenty of reserves, the Adv. Fac system was heavily defended, as it would be most likely to get attacked, and i really didn't want to lose it.

This task was carried quite well. I mean, sure, i have lost my entire fleet, but i also killed the raid engine, along with a core neinzul spawner, and generally killing lots of ships. While the fleet was rebuilding,i flew around with what i had, neutering the less defended system, trying to drain the AI reinforcements.
Once the fleet was at full power again, it was time to go visit the other AI homeworld, which was not even scouted yet. First i aggroed the 1000 ships in murdoch and baited them to attack Asnobang. God, this trick is so cheap. By the time i rebuilt after that attack, Murdoch only got back to around 300, with a portion of these being the special forces patrolling.
Steamrolling through murdoch cost me only ~300 ships, and the next planets had minimal ship garrisons. As result, by the time i entered the AI home, i still had around 1800 ships.

The second home had a nasty thing called a planetary cloaker or something, which kinda confused me at first, but i have already beaten a cloak master a while ago so i knew what to do. Having to first go kill the cloaker of course drained alot of my fleet power, but the defences AI had in the system were meager. Who cares those 120 ships are all MKV? I have 1200! As such, i just cruised around, killing the guard posts, ion cannons and whatever else. Those all still hurt my fleet though, so by the time i killed everything except for the AI home station, all i had left were ~400 ships. They would surely not beat the AI home station, plus i didn't want that yet anyway, so the options were either to stay, go home, or just scuttle em. Scuttling is really inefficient though, so i have decided to just send them back, letting them kill whatever they meet on their way.

so the setup right now is:
Aiki home:
~70 ships, all posts intact save the raid engine and neinzul spawner. Tachyons down.
Umsiudon:
~30 ships, only the command station remains, but fully surrounded by the fortresses and shields.
Myself:
~2500 ships in the main fleet
14 SC siege towers+4 riots as police force
A bunch of martyrs at home for emergency defence (should have built them sooo much earlier)
2 Regen golems

Part 5: The finale
Remembering that i still had loads and loads of spare asteroids, i have decided to finally give them some use. Time to abuse me some spire rams. I mean, why send any real fleets to that half-finished AI home, if you could just ram everything?
Sadly, i forgot how clunky the Spire Ram AI was, so i wasted like 8 rams due to them aggroing at the AI units guarding the wormholes. Apparently the correct way is to give them a group move command with the cloakers so they dont have any opportunity to decide to ram anything.
Ramming the AI station directly yielded no result (i kinda hoped it'd automatically damage the shields), costing me 1 more ram, but then i just aimed the shields directly and they fell down quite quickly. With the command station exposed, i could just send a few penetrators at any time and kill it.

For the final push on the other home station, i have decided to use the traditional safe "cloakers+transports", approach. But before that, i had an exo coming for me. Basically that was my last real chance to lose, and i believed i was prepared. I even built a few shield bearers to add another defensive layer around my home station, as well as a few spire rams to ram them AI golems.

You know whats the worst part about exo waves? Its not only the waves on their own, no. Its also all that goddamn threat which finally gets released at your planets because now the AI believes it has the advantage.
Map right before the raid:

The main fleet is split in 3 chunks, guarding the most strategic systems, plus theres a 22-ships Jotienly which is actually my new police force: Full cap of MkI-III spire siege towers+4 raid starships.

And then they come. Oh god how much i hate those multidirectional attacks, forcing me to try to manage like 4 systems at once. And with static defences spread so evenly, of course i have to have my fleet everywhere at once. Also, the exos always happen to come EXACTLY at the same time as regular waves. Resulting in a few thousands of attacking ships you need to kill before they do damage. So ffffrustrating.
Here's what i ended up with at some point:


Fiuzve got attacked by a small exo group + loads of released threat, while Marseor got an armored golem cruising through it, aiming directly for my home (or the regen golems hidden in there), so i had to send my ships at Tides to intercept. And of course, once my fleet group left Tides, all of a sudden an exo-wave group appeared there as well. Goddomot. Meanwhile, Aecimi got attacked by a wave of zenith chameleon bombers. With only statics to defend it, the system got wiped out fast. Them bomber waves man. So, i send my spire towers over there form Jotienlu. They come out of the wormhole and meet ~500 hungry bombers. 2 towers die instantly, the rest get badly damaged. But the bombers dont care, Jotienlu itself has no defense now (because towers are over here huh), so they go in and proceed to kill the defences over there as well. And then they decide to go on a nice raid on my secure eco-3 stations. My main fleet which has just dealt with the armored golem only catches up to them by the time they have already killed 2 more stations. And then theres also agression coming through Tides, destroying Lartchul.

With exo-wave wiped out and me having ~700 ships, i manage to clean up the ravaged systems and rebuild. Takes a while as my resource base is damaged, as well as the fleet and pretty much everything else.

Time for payback.


The other homeworld has 4 spire penetrators, ready to finish the home station. Their presence causes AI aggro, and as result the home system and the core worlds all have over 500 ships. This includes shield fleet ships, but i hope they wont stop the penetrators from penetrating the AI home.

And the main attack force, with its 2 regen golems, is probably going to be a massive overkill, but meh, theres no kill quite like an overkill. So we set sail, and somehow, the transports manage to get through all the systems without any one of them popping.

The only real threat is the fortress. But god i hate that thing, its DPS against everything not-bomber is insane, and the range on MKIII is huge. AND WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SHIELDS? GODDAMN I NEED LIKE 4x MORE BOMBERS TO KILL IT QUICKLY ENOUGH TO NOT GET FRUSTRATED.
Doesnt matter though, we have regen golems. And who cares that my fleet ships dont have bonuses against shields, and those shields are all MKV's? I still have 2200 ships worth of pure DPS!
So yeah, with all ships focusing their firepower on those posts, they go down pretty quickly. Too bad its hard to maneuver aorund the fortress, especially with ships constantly respawning at regen golems. Still doesnt matter, who cares the fortress earned like 2000 kills. They all just respawn, cant stop me!

Meanwhile, my own systems are dying to incoming waves and stuff. At least the Adv. Fac is quickly rebuilding ships so if we somehow fail at the AI home, i WILL have a chance. But I'm in a hell of a hurry, so once all guard posts are down, i send EVERYTHING at the home station. Golems are completely exhausted by then, but i have plenty of ships, the shields should go down fast, screw the fortress. Meanwhile, the second AI home is killed by the penetrators.


15 hours on a 40-planet game. Man I'm slow. This was quite fun though, the AI is such a dick with those exos.
I challenge anyone to play vs lvl10 AI with spirecraft-hard, and fallen spire off, on a realistic map. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 09:59:31 PM by _K_ »

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012, 04:44:55 AM »
Quote
While said raid engine certainly warrants that level of intensity when it comes to adjectives, around here we ask that you refrain from that particular one.
Yeah, exactly the reason i hoped you'd let that slip.
But oh well, no profanity from now on.

I'm relatively sure the words "Core Raid Engine" IS considered vulgar language, at least it is to me.  Lousy mumble ruzzlefruckle sons of supernovas...

Looks like you've gotten yourself into a sound position though, you should be solid going forward.  You might think to go and blow out the FFs/fortress/Guardposts on the nerfed AI HW before you go re-tackle the other one though, otherwise it'll rebuild while you're busy.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 09:54:19 AM »
"Core Raid Engine" IS considered vulgar language
This is true, but I wouldn't want to attempt justifying the moderation of text that's quoted from the game :)
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Offline _K_

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2012, 09:18:11 AM »
Now that the harvester nerf has finally arrived, i can continue with my stupid game. Yeah, my game was easy enough so with OP harvesters it would be way too boring.

Part 1

But alright, i use lots of new settings i have never seen before, so its fun to watch new stuff.
The time is almost 2 hours, and i havent seen the beachheads yet.

What i have seen alot though are the astro trains. I would really like to see a detailed explanation of their mechanics. Especially the turret train, the one that's killable. Do these respawn? Or do i just have to keep killing them until none remain?
In general, they seem more of a nuisance, not a seirous problem. There are not too many of them (though 1 AI has them enabled) and all they do is scratch the turrets a little and wreck the minefields. And you even can fight that by placing counter-DM turrets. What is also annoying is that they shoot through shields. Dont remember that being mentioned anywhere, cost me a few manufactories.
I'd suggest giving them some small regeneration, so if a player wants to kill a train, he actually has to chase it until it dies or else it will just regenerate. The regular trains probably also need to deal ALOT more damage, so that they can wreck more than 4-5 turrets on their way.

But anyway, here's the progress so far:

God, scouting on 90 planets with no revealed map is a pain. Takes ages, especially with the astro trains sometimes messing the scout group.
After some initial scouting i have decided to secure my homeworld to ensure no random beachhead lets the AI blitz me, and then got back to scouting.
I have already made 2 mistakes with my research, going for raid starship MkII and the flagship.
The flagship cant be used at full potential because my fleet doesnt focus on fleet ships and starships have a cap on boost. And the reason the raid starships are unneeded is that one of the AIs is a one-way doormaster. This obviously means blackhole machines everywhere, and I'm not wasting AIP on killing these (even though i probably can afford it with level 6/7 AI's).
EDIT: "Immunities: Black Hole Machines". Do-ho-ho, Data Centers beware!

The number of MkIII and MkIV systems is annoying, as i kinda hate having these on alert, but i cant think of a way around em with this layout. Right now, my plan is to conquer some more systems, grab an ARS or two, maybe some fabricators, secure my borders as tightly as i can, and start focusing on the spire campaign. Which, as i have mentioned earlier, i have never got any further than hauling the second shard. The thing is so slow i never had enough patience to move it through 4-5 systems. By the way, what happens if it gets killed, is the spire campaign still somehow doable then?

Part 2
Yeah, i probably should have picked harder AI's.

Shard hauling against a one-way doormaster is a pony. I just cant get myself to pointlessly waste AIP on killing the Black hole machines, so i have to take the systems over instead.
The first shard is at Qaswowo. Ugh, those things are so awfully slow.
The second "shard" is at Ticcaus. I get a little sidetracked, taking the ARS's in Ordic and Saslovaki and some Fabricators nearby.
I also grab Kildorbang for the ZPG, which would be very handy in my game as i intend to try using forts. Those things have such insane power cost, that i actually never used them before.
Then i take Pandes, along with that whole cluster of systems to minimise the size of my borders. Pandes itself contains another ZPG, so I'm literally overflowing with energy. Time to build some forts.

Once the forts are done, i finally go get the shard. And instead of a stupidly slow shard i get a... spire refugee ship.  "Immune to black hole machines". Damn, i could have used it without actually taking Ticcaus. The thing is also reasonably fast.
Get it home, get my outpost, get the first 4 spire ships out. Woo, these are nice.

And the next shard is at... Varna. 4 jumps away from home, and with 2 red systems in between.
I kinda want to advance in the campaign as fast as i can because I'm very curious about the next steps, but those 2 systems really make me sad.

Some additional notes:
Leech Starships are cool and fun when you get a full MKI-MKIII cap of them.
Not having to spend 6k knowledge on MKIII fleet ships leaves you with alot of K to spend on stuff.
Astro trains are completely irrelevant.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 02:10:57 PM by _K_ »

Offline zharmad

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 08:07:34 AM »
]By the way, what happens if it gets killed, is the spire campaign still somehow doable then?

IIRC if it dies, then the campaign is over. You won't get another one.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Heroes of Skill and Patience 3: K's Personal AI War Blog.
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 03:46:21 PM »
]By the way, what happens if it gets killed, is the spire campaign still somehow doable then?

IIRC if it dies, then the campaign is over. You won't get another one.

If the shard dies you've lost the ability to proceed further into the campaign, another will not spawn anymore.  You'll either savescum or have to take on the AIs with what you've gotten so far.
... and then we'll have cake.