Author Topic: I return!  (Read 1152 times)

Offline trillioneyes

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I return!
« on: February 11, 2014, 04:19:57 PM »
It feels nice to be back in the game :D

A couple weeks ago (I don't usually play every day) I started a new campaign. I tend to take a kitchen sink approach to game settings: I have each of human colony rebellions, zenith miners, dyson sphere, neinzul rocketry, preservation wardens, and roaming enclaves, broken golems (hard), and dark spire at settings between 2 and 4. I also have human marauders and resistance fighters, spirecraft and botnet golem moderate, and showdown devices, and the AIs both use advanced hybrids and one has beachheads. I also like huge galaxies, so I'm playing with 100 planets.

I'm about 5 hours in right now. I started by taking 4 planets in 40 minutes (which is really fast for me!), mostly for the resources, and unlocking most mark 2 fleetships and harvesters. After that I started meeting more resistance including a couple of dire guardian lairs, so I started being more careful.

Face and No Wolves looked easy enough to pick up and were fairly juicy resource-wise. Also, they didn't have any points of interest, but both of them bordered Count to Space, which had an ARS. I captured both of these and cleared out Count to Space with the help of a lightning warhead (which alone killed like 400 mark 1 ships). The ARS gives me saboteurs, which I've never used before but which are awesome. At some point during this I had also pulled off a knowledge raid on Sooner and unlocked mark 2 leech starships and mark 3 bombers.

Soon after this (about 3 and a half hours in?) I get a warning about an incoming exo. This sends me into a full-blown panic because I lost my last game to an exo led by an artillery golem. I knowledge raid Speechless so I can unlock fortresses and immediately build three: two on my homeworld and one on Count to Space (not because it's important but because it's far from my homeworld). My plan is to ensure that I have everything capped out by the time the exo hits, and pull it all back to my homeworld.

I started to eye the one nearby distribution node, but it turns out I don't need it. By this time I have mark 3 harvesters of both resources, and I hit all my ship and starship caps in plenty of time. My fortresses even finish building. Desperate to spend my money on something, I download grenade launchers from the design backup on Speechless (15 hacking progress left...) when suddenly my command station on No Wolves goes down and I realize I'm dangerously low on power. I decide to put matter converters on all of my defensible worlds.

In a few minutes I cap out my grenade launchers (I already had some 40 from leech starships), so I start producing mercenary triangle ships. I'd put resources into the mark V ion cannon on my homeworld, but that was only ever a wild dream anyway. It's not like I'm going to finish it. I also notice that there are some 500 ships (not counting a fully-loaded AI barracks) on 3 of 10. I fortify Version Control.

Speaking of Version Control, I have some asteroids. I build a mark 1 Penetrator and a pair of attritioners. It's enough to keep my resources from hitting maximum.

The exo hits at about 5 hours. I... overreacted. It consists of about 150 fleetships (admittedly of high mark) and some mark 4 starships. I was prepared for an artillery golem guarded by hunter killers. It doesn't even hit my homeworld, but my 900-strong fleet makes one hop and crushes the exo handily.

At this point, I'm staring worriedly at 3 of 10. It has a core starship fabricator and a regenerator golem. I must have them.

But at this point its garrison has grown to 670 ships, plus the 250 sitting in the barracks.

This is the galaxy we see today.

I also have videos!
http://www.twitch.tv/trillioneyes/b/501261283
http://www.twitch.tv/trillioneyes/b/501415882
http://www.twitch.tv/trillioneyes/b/502473578 (this one is long, and future videos probably will also be long)

Offline trillioneyes

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Re: I return!
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 11:59:32 PM »
Now that the exo is behind me, I need to start reaching for the big guns. I've captured all the soft, juicy planets, and the way forward will be met with much stiffer resistance than I've been seeing. The first thing I have my eyes on is a regenerator golem on 3 of 10. There's also an advanced starship constructor, so I plan to unlock mark 3 leech starships, and a gravity drill, which I'd kind of like to capture for the resources and energy and to avoid taking the AI progress hit from killing it.

Unfortunately, there's also some 700 ships, an AI barracks with another 250, a mark 3 force field, and a translocator command station. There's also a gravity drill, which is both good and bad.

I desperately need that golem. My plan is to use an EMP warhead and try to get my riot starships close enough to pull most of the fleet ships out from under the force field so I can destroy them on my own terms. Unfortunately my scout starship flies ahead of my little raider fleet, which disintegrates under the command station's fire before accomplishing anything. So much for that. I even lost a couple spirecraft shield bearers. :(

I decide to send in my fleet ships anyway to take advantage of the EMP. I destroy a few guard posts and lose that entire army, but the fighting attracts 40 human marauders and 80 resistance fighters. Together they destroy a couple hundred AI ships. Not bad. (I did lose a spirecraft attritioner though. I need to be more careful with my spirecraft.)

Now to formulate plan B. I don't want to deal with that force field, so why don't I just destroy it with a sabotage hacker? This takes me two attempts.

At this point I decided to take a break, because the next step was an attritionary slog.
There is a video of this session here.

Offline trillioneyes

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Re: I return!
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 11:30:43 PM »
Ugh, I'm two sessions behind. Whenever I start writing these up it's so tempting to start playing again. :P

Mining golems show up, so I decide to pause and see if there are any planets I'd like to save. They're on Speechless (which I've already knowledge raided), Scepter (which has zero resources), and Sniffle (which has nothing interesting). I guess I'll just get on with my assault, then...

Actually, wait a minute. There's a hybrid hive equipment spawner on Sniffle, only a single hop outside my territory. Hybrid hives have been making lots of trouble for me, so I decide to take it out. It's right by the wormhole, so it can't hurt to pop a couple bombers through and let off a single volley, right?

Except after my bombers flee back through the wormhole to friendly space... they're followed. The AI seems to have taken issue with my two seconds of trespassing and sends in what looks like Sniffle's entire garrison. And I didn't realize this before, but Sniffle is a mark four planet.

Oops.

The mark 4 swarm makes short work of No Wolves and trickle into the adjacent territories. The forts on Count To Space and Don't Worry handle the attackers pretty easily, but Face was lightly defended already. While my neinzul drones are distracted by dyson gatlings, the threatships take out my command station.

There are still lots of mark 4 ships on No Wolves, but Face is defended mostly by much weaker ships. I send in a proper fleet and capture it back without issue, then start thinking about how to recapture No Wolves -- I really need those resources. Luckily, most of Sniffle's garrison seems to have fallen back to that planet by now, leaving only a hundred or so defenders, most of them mark 1. I'll just need to wait a few minutes for my fleet to finish regenerating and...

Wait a minute, Face command station has fallen again? There was no attack, just the same trickle of dyson gatlings. I send a remains rebuilder and get back to planning my attack on No Wolves. There are still a couple hybrids, so I'll need to make sure I have a good number of bombers. I add a couple to my construction loop to skew the ratio a bit.

Face command station is down... again? This time I watch the command station be rebuilt, and almost instantly it's destroyed by a gatling (they're force field immune, of course). About 5 gatlings then continue on to Don't Worry, my homeworld. They're quickly dispatched by the fortresses there, but... they used to not even make it to the wormhole on Face. They're coming faster now.

And sure enough, I notice that the message in my notifications thing has changed. The dyson antagonizer is now a... converter. Quoth the mouseover text: "What is the dyson sphere changing into? Hint: Probably something that will lose you the game."

I can believe that. Destroying that dyson converter is now my top priority.

...except the AI chooses this moment to announce a wave against Caught, and the converter is on Fallow Knight two hops out of my territory. I'll need to fight my way there, and I'd rather not do that while a wave is coming that close to my homeworld. I decide to stay.

Two minutes later, Caught command station falls, and hybrids decide to attack Version Control while it's cut off from supply. Version Control falls too and for a scary moment I'm down to a single planet.

No video this time, but hopefully I'll be able to write up the next session soon!

Offline Kron

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Re: I return!
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 01:04:46 PM »
I haven't played AI War in a while, but reading stories about it really do make me want to get back into playing it.

It's like every few months I blink and suddenly there are two times as many features and complexities than there used to be and that's pretty awesome. :P
Time travel in the classic sense has no place in rational theory, but temporal distortion does exist on the quantum level, and more importantly it can be controlled.
- Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted the Fruit"

Offline trillioneyes

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Re: I return!
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 10:49:31 PM »
I'm down to a single planet, my homeworld. So of course my first order of business is to figure out which planets to take back first. I send scouts to all of them. Version Control has been completely vacated by the AI, so I send a remains rebuilder out to set up the command station. It's two hops out, but the AI doesn't have any tachyon units, so it doesn't really matter.

Unfortunately a hybrid comes by to destroy the command station again. I still have two enclave starships that the AI seems to be ignoring, so I move them to a safer and more valuable position, but they're not enough to stop the hybrid in time. I decide to recapture Caught while I wait for the command station rebuilding cooldown. Caught has a lot of ships still defending it, but they're all mark 1. Even my tiny fleet is enough to disperse them. And happily, once the command station gives me supply on Version Control, the turrets there take care of the leftover hybrid. Next I work my way back into control of No Wolves and Count to Space, and now I'm almost back to where I was before in terms of resources. Face is off limits until I destroy that dyson converter.

Speaking of which. I send scouts to Fallow Knight and to Moon Lord, the planet I'll have to move through on the way. It turns out the converter has 80 million health -- it will be neatly destroyed by two spirecraft rams, which is equivalent to one reptite asteroid, and there are a couple reptite asteroids on Count to Space! This is starting to look doable. All I need is to destroy enough tachyon sentinels to bring my rams the two hops to Fallow Knight and everything will be okay.

I gather up a bunch of fighters at Version Control, next to the Moon Lord wormhole. When they're all ready I pop them through and... a tractor guardian grabs them all. Luckily tractor guardians are medium too, and after a scary few seconds of losing lots of fighters the guardian goes down. I pause and frantically search for the tachyon sentinel... but it looks like it's already been destroyed. I guess they don't really have that much HP.

I bring the fighters back home, and while I'm waiting to replenish their losses I start building a transport and bring over my cloak starship. My plan is to have the fighters pop out of the transport as close as possible to the next sentinel and kill it before the other tractor guardians take them away. On a whim, I queue up a cap of raid starships too. Just in case I lose this crop of fighters, one or two raiders should be done by then.

...and sure enough, a tractor guardian waiting by my target steals all my fighters before they can get close enough. I try to focus it down but I don't have as much firepower as I did before, and my fighters aren't able to escape. Sigh.

Five minutes later, I'm down to two raid starships but both remaining tachyon sentinels are destroyed. I have a free path to Fallow Knight. A free path to the Dyson converter. I task 5 engineers to build my rams (luckily they only cost metal; I'm still pretty low on crystal) and send them down to Version Control, where they rendezvous with my cloak starship. The group traverses Moon Lord without incident, but just as I order them to cross into Fallow Knight, a wave arrives against Version Control, and with it a scattering of hybrid attacks against my fringes. I momentarily glance away to deal with these... and when I get back my rams are nowhere to be seen. I must have botched the movement order and left the rams uncloaked somewhere. Another spire asteroid wasted. :(

Fortunately, I still have plenty of reptite. I rush out a second pair of rams and make the whole trip again. This time everything goes perfectly and both rams reach the Dyson converter. It only takes a single ram to destroy it; I didn't realize they got x2 against Structural. Unfortunately the second ram is destroyed before I can think to target it on the super hybrid, which escapes. I am so irresponsible I don't even deserve spirecraft.

Despite this, the deed is done. No more guarding Face against a slowly intensifying stream of assailants! And as a bonus, I catch the last group of evil gatlings coming out of a wormhole and send scouts through it. And there's the dyson sphere itself! It's on Curdled Milk, one hop out from Fallow Knight and two hops from my territory.

I feel so much safer now.