Author Topic: My first real game [long]  (Read 1904 times)

Offline Lemming

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My first real game [long]
« on: February 16, 2010, 04:44:02 PM »
Hello, this is my first true start to finish game. I played one before the expansion, but I was just capping every planet and it felt like such a grind. I didn't understand alert and reinforcements at all until I took a planet and then put a scout into the next system, finding it completely empty and realizing what that meant.

I destroyed all the tutorials, watched all the videos, and read the entire wiki. I'm not new to RTS or strategy so I started out on difficulty 7 for both AI's. This game was its result. It finished in a little less than 17 hours. Since I don't expect everyone to read this, I'm just going to put the learning points up front.

feel free to comment on any strategy mistakes!

Things I've learned this game:

-Save human colonies, for the love of god.
-13 systems is not enough for a base resource to mount attacks into enemy territory.
-Blow up warp gates in IV planets while assaulting.
-If you have good defenses, you can jump into a system and bumrush the orbital station, lessening the load your fleet in system has to mop up defenders.
-Miner Golem goes down easily to reactor ships. Possibly destroy them from killing AI planets to increase AI progress
-Fortresses and Mines are aweeeesome
-Force fields and mobile constructors only work in supply.
-high AI progress (400-600) isn't too bad...no reason to be scared of it. Beyond that though, things get dicey.
-If you're going to take an advanced factory, be damn sure you can protect it before capping the system.
-My tactical game sucks, and needs serious improvement.
-Vampire ships suck for a first ship choice.

Things I'd like to see in the future from the developer:

-Have an indicator on the minimap of which direction the mining golem is coming from




Settings:

80 stars realistic, map seed 1, complex ships with all options selected, normal combat style with full fog of war, all human factions and all zenith factions. I turned down AI progress to every 240 minutes. I like the grand strategy portion better, and I'd rather have time to look at the map and plan things out then worry about doing things under a time pressure, especially since I want to get this part down before adding in a clock.

Both AI's on difficulty 7, random easier personality.

I picked the Vampire ship in the top right because of its locality and only two entrances to my homebase. Valued that and besides I don't really know the value of ships at the moment anyways.

Beginning:

I put out 10 scouts first and sent them off while starting up my war machine. I unlocked gravitational turrets and tachyon cause my first game I was up against stealth and ships that couldn't be locked down by tractor beams. I learn. Also unlocked frigates II and III.

To my surprise, I found an advanced research two jumps away to the south. Further scouting reported both of the advanced factories were right next to each other at the bottom left of my little hub. To the right of my homebase, it was a long arm that was rich in resources.

Looking at the scout reports, every single system had a certain building that would not allow you to warp out once you were in the system, except for scouts. I couldn't just kill them because they added 20 to the progress of the AI. That boggled my mind, not sure of how to get to the home planets to win, without taking every system on the way there and leaving myself strung out. I guess worry about it later, time to harvest systems for resources.

I decided to start with the right arm, and continue down it til I find nothing of interest. My only other option was a system with 1 metal and had two III systems next to it, so rather not alert those guys for now.

As I stormed down the arm, I kept running into III's with rich resources. I was going to stop after one, but the next system was a III with a zenith power plant. Can't really turn that down, especially early in the game. Went deeper and deeper until I ran into a IV that had little value to me. 1 metal and just a data center inside. I raided the data center and heavily fortified my side with mines and turrets, and a force field to get out of the system.


With one side secure, I bum rushed the III the best you can with a building that doesn't allow you to use wormholes til you take the system. It had the advanced research center so it was definitely my first choice.

With that secure, I blew up the warp gate to the top of the III, and then hunkered down for the block of systems south of my advanced research center and homeworld. They all connected to each other and was going to be hell to secure until I cleared em out. The middle hub had a munitions upgrade, boosting all surround attack power by 3x. I had to clear a path to that, and then right next to it were the two advanced war factories. There was also a zenith cache in there that I had no idea how to use, but might become useful later.

I bum rushed for the munitions booster again, and then cleared out all the adjacent systems in a long process, finally securing the advanced war factory with the other one to the top, to be claimed soon.

I didn't secure one of my exits soon enough, and got hit by a cross planet attack that blew up my advanced war factory. After securing my borders better, and taking some time to do clean up, I took the other advanced war factory, this time putting a force field on it. It was the only one left in the galaxy. I cleaned up my borders some more, and I felt satisfied with my hunk of space.

I had 13 systems, 1 advanced war factory, 5 exits, 2 of which were in one system, and buttloads of resources and energy. Also have a zenith cache in the middle of my land in case things get rough. I also didn't blow up any of the wormhole inhibitors, so they are working against the AI now. They can't just fly around willy nilly in my space. I blew up 3 data centers during that time, so I think that's 210, plus however many spec ops I blew up. Which is another thing. Almost every system also has spec ops in it. I didn't remember that from my last game, so it's probably the other AI personalities caveat.

I unlocked the tier IV scout first. With me not being able to just hit every other system, or deep strike at all, I was going to have to carefully figure out what the hell I was going to do. So I sent him to scout and look for the enemy home planets. I had a few guesses where they could be.

While the scout was looking, I expanded my knowledge of surrounding systems. And I found a advanced research center right next to one of my exits. Haha lucky day.

While building up my forces, and making sure all exits are secure, I find the first AI's homeplanet. It's in the bottom left corner while being surrounded by like 4 data centers and 2 advanced research stations. Very juicy. The second I find in the bottom right corner, along a long arm that only has one in and out.

Looking at how many jumps it is, it'll take 9 or 10 planets to get to the juicy AI with research stations. hmm...how the hell am I going to do this. I can't just deep raid. I have to either take out all the black hole buildings on my way there, or I have to take every planet along the way.

I send my scout to find out what's in the top left of the map, and decide on a plan of action. While keeping my defenses in my 13 system hub, I'm going to slowly snake to the AI home planet. I will blow up the orbital station, but leave the warp gate there. This way I'm only upping the ai progress by 10 instead of 20, and it minimizes resources needed and I don't have to worry about the ai getting by me when I'm blowing up his stuff.

Starts off easy enough. Next to the advanced war factories I make my production center where we're going to begin. I set 20 factories to quickly make my forces, and then I raid for the advanced research facility, abandoning the system as soon as I take it.

The first five systems into deep ai territory is easy enough. He hasn't hit my supply train yet, and he hasn't warped anything in yet. He's only been hitting my heavy defenses back home. I put up a station, put a second and first tier power plant up, and utilize the resources. Barebones. If it gets picked off, oh well, I'll wait til his little raiding party hits my fortified defenses, then send in another colony to put up the barebones until it gets hit again, all the while driving deeper into territory.

My first actual resistance is when I come up against my first IV planet. That was a tough nut to crack. I think I need to work on my tactical side cause all my fighters usually die immediately and its just bombers and frigates left. Hope I don't need those. I lose my entire fleet but I neutered it, blowing up all the guard posts and the ion cannon.

The second wave of my forces finish it off, but now I'm starting to get heavy resistance behind me. I think the AI is learning. It is hitting me at the very spine of my supply chain, cutting off everything. But then it just goes and attacks my heavy fortifications, so its not completely smart. Maybe dumb luck?

The first engagement was pretty awesome. I was sending reinforcements to the IV right when they warp in, and so I send them to defend. It was a tough fight, but they managed to actually blow up my home station. That's when the devourer golem warps in. I tell my forces to back off, and all the AI's go after the golem. Saved my other systems for now.

I set up again in deep territory, all reinforced, and hit the next IV. This one has an advanced research station. I also discovered that I need to destroy the warp gates in IV planets, or otherwise they'll just keep warping people in even after I've destroyed the orbital command station, and then they head right for my backdoor. The other systems didn't do that, so odd. Possibly higher aggression with ai progression?

My fleet dies but not after I blow up every guard station and just barely got the warp drive. Last guy and all. I snicker, and begin reinforcing. He continues down my supply line, blowing up everything. Luckily I don't get AI progress when the blackhole generators die when I'm in control of them. Otherwise I'd be screwed.

My reinforcements are down the pipe, and colony ships are returning. I'm 3 jumps away from the first home planet.

My scout also found 3 golems, all in a row. Albeit they're guarded by level IV planets. Artillery golem, armored golem, and black widow. The first one is two jumps detour from the first IV I took...so might send those off to the other AI home planet after I take this one down.

That's when I get my cross planet attack warning. 2500 ships. Jesus. I have 150 turrets in each of my exits. Will it hold? I don't know, just continue doing what I'm doing.

Also during this time, the miner golem blew up two planets, and the human invisibility cloaking thing got turned off and they died, twice. I found out that's a lot of ai progress. The hard way.

I had something like 600 ships in the pipe, trying to clean up from the last attack, when I got hit on every front. Only one front didn't get over run. I checked each one, and watched them die.

I had a choice. Start over, or save it. I could've easily given up. But I didn't. I sent my reinforcements and all forward ships to save my front lines, but then I got ambushed in the middle of my strung out supply line by 600 ships. I hastily blew up the zenith stockpile, and turned on all my power plants that I had been turning off and on to conserve resources. It was amazing. They just completely dominated the AI. I had to turn off all my factories, cause the drain on my economy was huge.

They blew up my blackhole generator just as my forces arrived. That was connected to 5 other planets, and they all dispersed. I hastily sent everyone everywhere. My production capital got hit hard, with something like 600 enemy ships. But luckily I left it pumping and I was able to quell that exit. I sent the extra forces to help other fronts. The enemys started trickling through, closer to my home planet. I scrapped everything on the front lines, anything that was a drain on energy or resources. Then I noticed the long arm was completely gone. They had 1000 ships running down that pipe, with nothing in the way of them and my home planet. I quickly scrapped all my production and built one factory and several engineers in my home system, and told them to pump everything out. Everything that wasn't currently blowing something up was sent to my home planet. My entire front line was gone, everything was everywhere. The black hole generators were saving my ass, forcing the AI to blow them up to continue anywhere.

Most of my forces arrive right when the 1000 ships get into my home system. I built a mass driver and a II ion cannon earlier with the zenith traders, and it paid off. it was a huge battle, and my force field got down to 4 mil health, but it held. I wiped out the invasion.

All my resources were in shambles, and I was bleeding bad. I had 100k of each resource but I was -400 or so in each resource, and that wouldn't last forever. I started doing inventory of what the hell I had left. I quickly built 5 colony ships in my home station, and split up my ships to scout ahead and stay behind in case they jump me again. The engineers quickly rebuilt my crystal and metal harvesters as soon as my colony ship was up. I unlocked fortresses at this point. I had 4 entrances in my home, and I started building a fortress in every entrance. I rebuilt my 13 home system hub, but had to kill hundreds of cloaked fighters laying around, waiting for me not to pay attention and wonder what the hell happened. Maybe the computer is smart. Built a decloaker and purged my home. I reinforced all my exits, and unlocked better turrets. Man I hope I can with stand another cross planet attack. I'm not going to take that lightly again. I'm pulling my forces back when I get that warning.

After doing some housekeeping, I was ready to attack again. With my meager force of 2500 ships, we headed out for the 5 jumps to finish up that IV planet with the research facility. I decided I was spending too much in the pipe, so I built 3 tech 1 Force fields and 5 mobile builders and sent them with my fleet to build colony ships over there. I also sent a scout plane into every one of my planets and along the route to keep track of everything and enemy ship movements. That was omething I lost track of during the cross planet attack.

Upon reaching one jump, I discover that the forcefields and mobile builders need supply. DOH. I build some colony ships and send them there. The AI decided to send forces into those systems to intercept...odd I didn't see any when my fleet was passing through. Only one survived, thank god. I built up on the planet next, got some forcefields and colony ships ready, and hit it.

I seriously need to work on my tactical game. My 2500 ships up against 900 tech IV, and it was close. The force fields didn't hold, and went out when the AI assaulted my base and supply. I tried wiped out his orbital command station and tried to build a colony, but he wiped out every one, while my entire fleet was beating on his guys...damn it.

His forces wiped mine out eventually, with 250 tech iv ships left, and I had no supply out there. I went back to the task of rebuilding. On the bright side, I completely wiped out that star system, and the next one in the pipe didn't have a III or IV, so hopefully that'll be easier. Scouts say 250 ships currently. I also didn't get the research station, which is fine for now cause the next time I go through there I will be able to hold it.

The tech IV ships die nicely to my turrets and I'm rebuilding. Something I noticed is I don't have the resources to easily build back up. I only have 13 systems, and the last cross planet attack destroyed my zenith power plant I discovered, wondering why I was so low on power. Stil hurting or resources. I think I might have to expand before going any further. The AI progress is already at 687, and I don't want to grow that...but I think I have to. I'm thinking about making the IV planet I just wiped out the first one in my forward operating base. The next 3 planets are all in a line, with some nice resources in each one, and easily defendible.

The Miner Golem showed up now, deciding to attack one of my planets. I had 1000 ships ready, and sent them out tokill it. Guess my plans of attack will have to wait. One thing to note would be some kind of indicator of where in the system he is.

After the Miner Golem went down easily (not sure why..one of my ships was doing a million damage a shot...) another rebel colony popped up. I already lost two to not realizing they were a bi deal. I should be at 487 progress. It's not far off, about 3 planets out of my way. Looks like I have areason to expand now...

Looking at the path to the colony, There's a zenith generator on the way. This detour might not be so bad. I still have a zenith supply cache in the middle of my home base in case I need it. I'm going to redistribute the turrets from the two planets that I'm expanding from to secure the two planets I'm going to be taking.

Just got hit by a bunch of warps. They're taking out a few tractor beam turrets, but nothing else is getting damaged. Also mines and fortresses are an awesome addition to my defenses, don't know why I didn't use them before. I might unlock some more with the next few planet's knowledges to get ready for when the AI hits tech 3, which I bet is soon.

The two planets I need to take are both alerted because the miner golem destroyed the planet in between them...and the one I have eyes on has 1600 tech II ships. This is gonna be ugly.

My forces were getting surrounded, so I bumrushed the orbital command station and the warp gate. The path into my systems was heavily guarded...it's about a 1000 ships I freed. It worked just as I planed, and most of his forces pounding on my fleet spread out to my two systems and were easily picked off, allowing my fleet the ability to clean up the system. Going to have to reinforce though before taking the next system with the rebel colony in it. The zenith power generator will be nice.

Ugh, learned something again. I didn't even notice the special forces building in system, and it just dumped like 200 enemy ships into the system. I sent my last 200 ships that have survived to try and blow it up, but I don't think that's happening. Going to have to send another fleet in. Mental note, take out special forces posts in the future.

I haven't been using starships at all so far. I just unlocked my first one. Going to use the flagship with my forces next time, see how that effects things.

andddd there's the warning. 3,535 ships massing for cross planet attack. AI progress still at tech II, so at least I got that. I'm not going to be able to save that colony. I miss that zenith power plant, my resources are  stretched then with turning on and off power plants. I don't think I'm going to survive this attack.

Either way, I still have ships. I'm putting them on the front line, and will fall back as I go. Time to prepare. I will send my newfound flagships to my homeplanet, where I expect to make a final stand.

Looking at my borders, the big masses are coming from my production center, and the long arm that they penetrated last time. I pretty much just destroyed the entrance with two systems, so I don't expect them to come from that entrance. They have mines and two fortresses waiting for them this time. Just to be safe, I'm going to add 3 Force field generators to my home station.

4 minutes. I feel like I'm mentally digging in, and my soldiers are giving me that grim "sir, we're probably going to die, but we'll fight to the last breath," look. aaaaaaaa

Offline Lemming

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Re: My first real game [long]
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 04:44:53 PM »
4,100 threat. laffo. The computer just sent a single ship into my system...did he just probe my defenses? That one ship just got followed up by 500. They hit my most heavily defended port first. Lets see if it holds.

Well it was doing good, until the AI just dropped 1,000 ships on top of those. How nice of him. I have two turret systems for the two wormholes, and the black hole generator is behind the 2nd system. And holy shit as I'm typing this another 1,000 just droped into system. He's throwing everything at his one system. First turret system is down. He's going for my ion cannon.

I have no idea where these came from. My scouts didn't see them at all. Not sure how that worked, but need to look into it. Attack is at 1900 and threat is at 1700. Pulling all my other front line mobile defenses to my home station. My production center isn't going to hold.

I have 300k of resources each. I'm building constructors in my home system now, and getting engineers to start pumping out ships. My front line is falling already, and I will probably lose my advanced factory. Damn it. I wonder how to take screenshots, this is pretty epic. They're engaging my second turret defense, and my orbital station now. Another 700 ships just got into system...the same system. The AI is hitting one system this time instead of my entire front line. argh.

Devourer golem just came into system on one of the AI's entraces into my system. He's taking out the 400 ships that were staged there hahaha. Take that. My production center is completely annhilated now. Fortress got destroyed. Time to rebuild it in my home system.

There's now nothing in between a huge 2000 ship fleet and my home system. Only what I have in my home system. I have a mass driver, a II ion cannon, 4 force fields, a fortress being built, and basically my entire fleet. I don't have any turrets, and I don't have the resources to scrap my old ones and rebuild if I'm going to pump out ships and a fortress. Hopefully the fleet sidesteps my advanced factory and just goes for my homeworld, where I have a chance of fending him off. Shame the devourer isn't going into my systems.

Crap he's attacking my advanced factory. No more tech IV if I survive this :(

They seem to be bypassing my other systems though...so hopefully I will have resources left over to fuel the final stand. I sure am glad I put scouts in every system I own, watching them slowly get closer. They're now two systems away from my home planet. I have 1300 ships there, including a fortress and flagships and light starships. I want to build mines but I need to save my resources for more ships. hopefully if you're out of resources it doesn't shut down stuff. I should have enough power though.

2611 threat...so my defenses on that planet took out a thousand of em. Not too shabby. Mental note for future games.

It looks like 800 of his forces are going on a tour and destroying my resources. Awesome. I'm pretty sure I can survive this attack if he splits his forces.

And that's that. I depleted my resources. I'm turning off my drones to save power, and turning off all the power plants that will likely be destroyed off too, just so I don't have any surprises during the attack. With the generators that are likely to survive I should have enough power to hold out.

Haha, my ion cannon I took in the beginning of the game just disabled like 50 ships' engines. Way to go. All zenith bombardment ships.

They're in the next system now to my home planet, but it's only 744. I have 1600 ships, a fortress and two huge cannons. Energy is holding out with my back systems. The long arm held out this time. They're massing on the gate now.

Defenses holding, they are going after my mass driver. Hopefully the next wave goes as well.

The other half is now attacking my other front line defenses. Very odd. And they're coordinating with other scattered forces. Everything inside my systems hit this one planet. oh jesus I just saw my long arm just went down. I didn't even see it. it got warped by 253 spiders? I can't believe they were the only things coming through...either way I'm down to 4 systems now, and being hit by two sides.

Finally found the force that took them out. Bombers too. Argh. They're destroying al my power planets. I have attackers in 3/4 systems left...only thing not being attacked is my home planet. Power is gone. No way I can catch up to -100000 now. I'm going through my systems seeing what I can cut. Argh my force fields are down. Anyone can shoot at my home station. They shot it for 10k already.

I'm splitting my forces between the two wormholes. Threat at 1609. A raid starship tried to bumrush my station, but he got cut off. I'm building extra power plants in my home system. Maybe I can get everything back online with poor efficient power plants.

And that's that. 400 ships bumrushed my home system. Nothing I could do. All 1600 ships meant nothing.

and apparently I was up against two "one-way Doormasters". Whatever that means. Game lasted barely under 17 hours.

Next game will have screenshots!

Offline Captain Cake

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Re: My first real game [long]
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 07:03:55 PM »
Things I'd like to see in the future from the developer:

-Have an indicator on the minimap of which direction the mining golem is coming from

That would be pretty helpful, though you can find out by right clicking on the Mining Golem in the system overview and it will center your view on the Golem, which will be pointing towards the planet. Thats the best solution that I've found so far until something like like that exists, unless theres already something there that I don't know about.

Going to read through your AAR now. :D DONE READING!

I also didn't blow up any of the wormhole inhibitors, so they are working against the AI now. They can't just fly around willy nilly in my space.
I didn't know that those had any effect on the AI ships, I always assumed that it only hindered the player. Good to know! :D

I blew up 3 data centers during that time, so I think that's 210, plus however many spec ops I blew up. Which is another thing. Almost every system also has spec ops in it. I didn't remember that from my last game, so it's probably the other AI personalities caveat.

If there's only one in the system it's nothing special, Special Forces Captains (that the right name?) use ONLY special forces guard posts. If its not exclusively those then you're just having some bad luck.


I will blow up the orbital station, but leave the warp gate there. This way I'm only upping the ai progress by 10 instead of 20.

If you're playing with the newest betas you should know that the patch today fixed that so when you pop the orbital station the warp gate also explodes.

I set up again in deep territory, all reinforced, and hit the next IV. This one has an advanced research station. I also discovered that I need to destroy the warp gates in IV planets, or otherwise they'll just keep warping people in even after I've destroyed the orbital command station, and then they head right for my backdoor. The other systems didn't do that, so odd. Possibly higher aggression with ai progression?

Hmm... that sounds familiar, I think that was a bug that's been fixed. If you play with the newest beta that is, not too sure about 3.0 if that's what you're running.

That's when I get my cross planet attack warning. 2500 ships. Jesus. I have 150 turrets in each of my exits. Will it hold? I don't know, just continue doing what I'm doing.

Also during this time, the miner golem blew up two planets, and the human invisibility cloaking thing got turned off and they died, twice. I found out that's a lot of ai progress. The hard way.

It's even worse to setup on a Human Colony 6 jumps from any of your systems and having a cross planet attack happen moments after you get your command station built.  :-[

4 minutes. I feel like I'm mentally digging in, and my soldiers are giving me that grim "sir, we're probably going to die, but we'll fight to the last breath," look. aaaaaaaa

Thats why I love this game. :D

and apparently I was up against two "one-way Doormasters". Whatever that means. Game lasted barely under 17 hours.

The One-Way Doormaster is the reason for all the warp inhibitors, since there were 2 thats why they were on every planet. When making a new game the drop down where you choose the AI types has descriptions for what each AI does.

That was an interesting read! :D How did your mines work out for you? I've never tried them, but I can't seems to bring myself to try.  ::)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 07:43:42 PM by Captain Cake »
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Offline Lemming

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Re: My first real game [long]
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 10:36:24 PM »
Quote from: Captain
How did your mines work out for you? I've never tried them, but I can't seems to bring myself to try

I was trying to figure out how to add punch to my defenses without unlocking turrets, so that's when I tried out the mines. The AI hit me with like 200-250 ships per warp, and the mines obliterated half of them instantly. Plus they were cheap to maintain. For some reason, only the closest ones to the wormhole went off. I think its the way the game spaces the ships after entering from a wormhole, but there were ships stunned by tractor beams that weren't setting the mines off and they were right next to them. I would say 100 mines around a worm hole will reliably blow up. I was using 250 per wormhole.

Highly recommend :D

Offline Captain Cake

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Re: My first real game [long]
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 11:15:45 PM »
Quote from: Captain
How did your mines work out for you? I've never tried them, but I can't seems to bring myself to try

I was trying to figure out how to add punch to my defenses without unlocking turrets, so that's when I tried out the mines. The AI hit me with like 200-250 ships per warp, and the mines obliterated half of them instantly. Plus they were cheap to maintain. For some reason, only the closest ones to the wormhole went off. I think its the way the game spaces the ships after entering from a wormhole, but there were ships stunned by tractor beams that weren't setting the mines off and they were right next to them. I would say 100 mines around a worm hole will reliably blow up. I was using 250 per wormhole.

Highly recommend :D

Cool, thats good to know, definitely gunna give em a shot.

Oh and Here is a link to explain why not all ships set off the mines

Long and short of it: Everything is in simulated 3d space so some ships won't always be directly beside a mine in all aspects of 3d space (above or below) even though its beside it in the 2d game representation (north, south, east and west).
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 11:19:54 PM by Captain Cake »
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Offline Remagen

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Re: My first real game [long]
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 07:19:38 AM »
A very good read there!

Contained some good tips too, I would also like to note that it seems (to me) that frigates are the way to go.  As fighters/bombers die so easily when u send them into combat.  MOAR FRIGS XD

Offline jordot42

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Re: My first real game [long]
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 04:30:35 PM »
Very enjoyable read.  Looking forward to your next report.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: My first real game [long]
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 12:02:02 PM »
EXCELLENT write-up. I liked it a lot, and now I'm moody because I'm stuck at work and can't play :(
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