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Games => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: Kahuna on December 16, 2016, 01:11:14 PM

Title: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 16, 2016, 01:11:14 PM
Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)

Originally the idea here was to try to find an effective and safe way to counter Zenith Siege Engines and Shield Bearers (I decided to man up instead of just complain about them, herp a derp) on 10 difficulty level. Unfortunatelly that didn't go quite as planned but I still got a challenging game. AI 2 surely gets Zenith Siege Engines and every wave sent by AI 2 usually has dozens of them. However it's Artillerist/Vorpal so it has many other unlocks too so the budget gets spread through out numerous ship types so I'm not getting beaten up by as many ZSEs as I'd hoped. And neither of the AIs seems to have unlocked Shield Bearers. Oh well. I'm still having fun and this is a challenging game as it is.

The last time I've really played AI War was probably like 2 years ago. I think my last AAR was like 3 or 4 years ago. Recently studying and fitness have taken vast majority of my energy and focus. However now that I have a 2 week vacation and I'm still recovering from a flu (in other words: no studying nor going to the gym) it seems like a perfect opportunity to reset my brain by slaughtering some robots.


AI 1: 10 Raid Engine/Vengeful
AI 2: 10 Artillerist/Vorpal

Settings:

(http://i.imgur.com/LzawaEO.png)


I'm already 3 hours in but I'd say I'm still in the early game. The beginning is by far the most difficult phase against the Raid Engine AI type. Especially without any kind of superweapon. No Golems, Spire, Spirecraft nor Champions. Only fleet ships, starships, turrets and other normal stuff. The only real way to destroy the Raid Engines is to first send an Assault Transport with Fighters and Munitions Boosters to clear the way of Tachyon Sentinels. And then another Assault Transport with Raider and Plasma Siege Starships and Munitions Boosters to destroy the Raid Engine. Sacrificing Starships to get rid of a Raid Engine is expensive and takes time. And most importantly, increases the AIP. At the beginning the AIP is 10 so the destroying the first Raid Engine increases the AIP by 50%. On high difficulty level that increase is very noticeable and hurts. I've already lost a command station a couple of times (both Shark plots) and at least one cryopod (nope, didn't save scum).

Which is why I used the first 10000+3000 knowledge to unlock Mark II Economical Command Stations for more power and Mark II Needler, Laser, Sniper and Gravitational Turrets and Mark I Hardened Force Fields. Mark III Gravitational Turrets and Area Minefields were unlocked shortly after.

Here's the current situation:
(http://i.imgur.com/6LdlMxT.png)
This is how I usually use the "priority" things. However for me P9 doesn't always have higher priority than P6 for example. For me they're just a way to mark things.
P0 = Avoid this planet
P1 = Beachhead / Neuter
P2 = Capture planet
P3 = Data Center
P4 = Co-Processor
P5 = Super Terminal
P6 = Just something
P7 = Advanced Factory / Starship Constructor
P8 = Fabricator
P9 = Advanced Research Station / Core Shield Generator A (Not enabled in this game)

And my planets:
(http://i.imgur.com/UZMjaRA.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/ydINJ3s.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/cNJrUQR.png)
At the moment Swog is vulnerable to threat coming from from Anthem which is why I'm going to capture it. I will also move the Command Station and the defenses farther away from the Ascs G20 wormhole in case an AI wave/something decides to retreat from from there Swog. To protect Acsc G20 I will beachhead it's wormhole on Crysantheum (The one with P5 (it has a Superterminal (which I'll hack (https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,16525.0.html) later))). To protect Ascs G20 even more and Anthem (when I have captured it in the future) I'll beachhead Crysantheum's wormhole on Revenge of the Lith.

I'm going to capture the planets marked as P2. With energy from the Zenith Power Generator from Acenstry VIII I'm going to beachhead all surrounding AI planets so I have more depth in my defenses against CPAs.
(http://i.imgur.com/CWQzpZu.png)

The problem is that I'm running out of energy and use Matter Converters. So I need the Zenith Power Generator ASAP. However the problem with that is the AS2009 planet (The one right below Ancestry VIII) marked as P8 (it has a Missile Turret Fabricator) which has a well protected Raid Engine. AS2009 is also too far for Assault Transports. The Assault Transport gets destroyed as it enters that planet.
(http://i.imgur.com/XdcSl6g.png)
At this AIP each Raid Engine wave is easily 3500 ships. So what I'm going to do is top up my metal storage with the help of Salvage, I mean Raid Engines, and then I'm going to capture Ancestry VIII with everything I have. I'm going to bring all the engineers and insta build all the defenses, send an EMP trough the wormhole and beachhead AS2009 with all the Sniper Turrets and focus down the Raid Engine. I'll probably have to use a couple of Lightning Warheads for defense as well.
(http://i.imgur.com/Lsk3RDF.png)
I think that will be cryptonite enough.. don't need no Shield Bearers on top of that..

Other important notes:
-SH 2069-28.21 (Planet with P8) has an Advanced Factory which I'm going to hack for Mark IV Bombers late game. It also has a Laser Turret Fabricator which I'm going to most likely hack too.
-If I manage to capture those 3 planets marked as P2 I'm probably set up for the rest of the game. They say well planned is half done.

03h08m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 RaidEngine/Vengeful // 10 Artillerist/Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 16, 2016, 01:19:18 PM
During the attack to Ancestry VIII I lost my command station on Swog to a normal wave and a few Raid Engine waves. Losing the Command Station triggered an exogalactic strike force in addition to the Raid Engine on AS2009. Half of the exo attacked my homeworld SHC-2511 and half attacked Ancestry VIII while I was still building the turrets. I had to use a full cap of Mark I Lightning Warheads to keep the Zenith Power Generator alive. I had to reload once because an Infiltrator Guardian snuck by and sniped the Zenith Power Generator. But not the second time. Now I had my Scout Starships in place to detect those sneaky bastards.

Before the last Warhead:
(http://i.imgur.com/0Tv6Apq.png)

After the last Warhead:
(http://i.imgur.com/62aTpqz.png)
Well that didn't do much.. At least I got rid of most of the AI Starships which were by far the biggest threat on that menu of destruction.

Thanks to strong defenses and salvage from thousands of AI ships on all of my planets I managed to finish building all of the defenses on Ancestry VIII. Now I need to clean up the planets, build more Lightning Warheads and beachhead AS2009 ASAP. I most likely wont make it before the next Raid Engine wave though.

Defenses built on Ancestry VIII, 37 seconds to the next Raid Engine wave from AS2009:
(http://i.imgur.com/BOjl6BG.png)

Mean while on my homeworld..
(http://i.imgur.com/4RLOV9H.png)
This after destroying the exo galactic strike force which had dozens of starships and a flagship booster Hunder/Killer. Defenses still stand strong however.

Now off to beachhead AS2009.
(http://i.imgur.com/RayZiDT.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/pYLVrqI.png)
This is what I mean when I tell you to "beachhead it"!

Meanwhile 4000 Missile Frigates from the Raid Engine are attacking Ancestry VIII:
(http://i.imgur.com/4SxNQPh.png)
Already managed to destroy most of them. Focus firing those Carriers. I gate raided Juliet November (the planet above Ancestry VIII) during the attack to make sure I don't gate waves from that wormhole. It's the closes wormhole to the Zenith Power Generator on Ancestry VIII. I also unlocked Mark II Force Fields. Scrapped some Mark I Force Fields my homeworld and replaced them with the Mark IIs. Built the scrapped Mark I Force Fields on Ancestry VIII to protect the Command Station and the Zeith Power Genrator. Mark IIs were too big since they would have covered some of the turrets.

(http://i.imgur.com/cc0MNND.png)
Dropped a Mark I EMP and then an Assault Transport filled with Engineers and Mobile Builders. I tried to focus build Mark II Sniper Turrets while stuff was still EMPd but building them took quite a while so I wansn't successful this time. I got the Raid Engine down to 76% health and managed to soften up some of the shields covering it. The main problem were the Ion Cannons. Will have to do another run but I think the next one will do it. Might have to use a Lightning Warhead or two. The next Raid Engine wave will come in 41 seconds.


Oh and now the Zenith Miners decided to come visit too! Got 3 Miners: on Ancestry VIII (of COURSE!), on Juliet November and on Reggeth. Looks like all of the stuff hit the fan at once.
(http://i.imgur.com/EUF6e5H.png)


Time for another beachhead. Oh great, I triggered the Raid Eye too. And nearly 6000 AI ships have been announced. Yeah definitely all of it hit the fan. Like all of it. Also there's only 442 AI Missile Frigates left on Ancestry VIII which are conveniently retreating on top of this beachhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/Jcqia8Q.png)


The Raid Engine is down to 54%, EMP will last for 4 more seconds and about 60% of the Sniper Turrets are 47% built. Also Raid Eye's wave has been announced and it's nearly 4000 ships. Might be a time for Mark II or even III Warhead.
(http://i.imgur.com/gXBVQ7i.png)


Aaand done. Ok now I just need to survive the fallout (not that I'm going to nuke or anything).
(http://i.imgur.com/MevonN2.png)


The AI has a very nice coctail going on. There was nearly 200 Eye Bots, nearly 100 Zenith Siege Engines, almost 20 hybrids, 15 Raid Starships and a lot more. All of that was boosted to 240% attack power by AI Munitions Boosters which I tried to focus fire with Laser Turrets.
(http://i.imgur.com/yY9g0oR.png)

Yep that was close. I waited until the last second before I detonated the Lightning Warhead. Would have died wihtout it. I actually had to reload once because I forgot to focus fire the Zenith Siege Engines and Munitions Boosters fast enough. The Zenith Siege Engines (thanks to that ability they have) destroyed the Counter Sniper Turret next to my Home Command Station which allowed all the Snipers and Sentinels to start bombarding the Force Fields. I died a couple minutes after that.
(http://i.imgur.com/ASCB4p3.png)


Now I just need to clean up this dirt and I can take a breath. Or so I think. It's almost 4 hours in-game time so it's time for the second CPA in an hour or so.
(http://i.imgur.com/tFxEczA.png)


Ancestry VIII I managed to save by order all Engineers to build a Mark I Lightning Warhead and a new Mark I Force Field NEXT to the Command Station and other Force Fields (See the selected force field). Because buildings can not be built under a Force Field that has taken damage in x amount of time. So I built a new Force Field next to the other ones and took everything (including the kitchen sink and my fleet commander's pet hamster) and focus fired the last AI Carrier that was about to drill trough the Force Fields and ruin my day.
(http://i.imgur.com/5j3iOoB.png)


Peace has come at last. Defenses are rebuilt and metal is flowing. For now. After that it feels strange to see only 423 threat.
(http://i.imgur.com/hV9ENBP.png)


The AIP is already 138. We'll see how far I get this time.

And wow that was intense. I feel drained. Off to sleep. Will capture the rest of the P2 planets tomorrow.

03h39m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 16, 2016, 01:32:44 PM
Good grief, it's like wrestling a grizzly bear made of razor blades. But, somehow, you plow through.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 16, 2016, 01:57:06 PM
For this success I thank the last second Lightning Warhead detonations, the hero Force Field which saved Ancestry VIII and the Zenith Power Generator and the Munitions Boosters. I had to reload a couple of times here and there whenever I forgot to take something into account. Forgetting to focus fire specific ships, forgetting to put scout starships in place to detect stealth ships and mistakes like that.

Also I accidentally put the same picture twice. "Before the last warhead" was twice and there was no after. Fixed that.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Atepa on December 16, 2016, 03:15:50 PM
Score! Reading material for when I get home!! :D
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Calamar on December 16, 2016, 03:20:42 PM
Fun read and enlightening.  I've got such a long way to go.  :D
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Atepa on December 16, 2016, 04:06:51 PM
oh god... oh god...and you're only at 134 AI Progress!!! *cowers*
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Cyborg on December 16, 2016, 08:33:38 PM
Great read.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: dotjd on December 17, 2016, 12:52:46 AM
Could you post what tech unlocks you have? I'd load the save to check but I don't have the final expansion ;_;

Also, what's the general plan for taking on the AI homeworlds in a game like this? You're taking so few planets and it looks like you're spending most of the K you do get on turrets. You've mentioned bomber IVs, but are you going to be unlocking IVs of any other fleet ship (also, is spending 100 hack points worth it for a single mark IV)?

it almost looks like you're just gonna dump a couple lightning warheads into the homeworld wormhole and then beachhead it. i... it can't be that easy, can it?
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 17, 2016, 03:06:46 AM
Fun read and enlightening.  I've got such a long way to go.  :D
Welcome to the forums and definitely enjoy the journey of learning AI War!

It's like remembering childhood when I think of my early days in AI War. (I just realized this could be interpreted very wrong)
When I played with my friends in the forest and climbed trees.
When I played against One-Way Doormaster for the first time and destroyed too many Black Hole Machines and had too many wormholes to defend.
Oh the good old days.

oh god... oh god...and you're only at 134 AI Progress!!! *cowers*
I once had over 400 AIP and I had to use Lightning Warheads to stop normal waves since they had well over 10k ships. It was right before I attacked the AI homeworlds. I don't remember if I won the game or if I abandoned it as too grindy.

Great read.
Great to hear!

Could you post what tech unlocks you have? I'd load the save to check but I don't have the final expansion ;_;
1. Mark II Economical Command Station, Mark II Gravitational Turrets, Mark II Laser Turrets, Mark II Needler Turrets, Mark I Hardened Force Fields
2. Mark II Sniper Turrets
3. Assault Transports
4. Area Minefields
5. Mark III Laser Turrets
6. Gravitational Turrets
7. Mark I Heavy Beam Cannons
8. Mark II Hardened Force Fields
9. Mark III Needler Turrets
10. Mark IV Needler Turrets
11. Mark II Force Fields

Sincerely,
Mr. Turret Syndrome


Also, what's the general plan for taking on the AI homeworlds in a game like this? You're taking so few planets and it looks like you're spending most of the K you do get on turrets. You've mentioned bomber IVs, but are you going to be unlocking IVs of any other fleet ship (also, is spending 100 hack points worth it for a single mark IV)?

it almost looks like you're just gonna dump a couple lightning warheads into the homeworld wormhole and then beachhead it. i... it can't be that easy, can it?
Well it's not as simple as just building full caps of all Warheads and attack moving them to AI Homeworld.

Since I chose Munitions Boosters as my bonus ships I might not actually have to get Mark IV Bombers. I might unlock Mark II Bombers, Mark II Munitions Boosters (After which my everything will do 2.1x damage), Mark II Plasma Siege Starships and Mark II Bomber Starships. The hacking points I'd have used to hack the Advanced Factory I could use for knowledge hacking. But I have hacked AF just to get Mark IV Bombers in the past and it worked. At this level it doesn't really matter how many ships you unlock in a sense that you will always be underpowered (unless you use superweapons).

To achieve superiority in firepower you basically just have to use enough Warheads. Edit: Mobile Space Docks help tremendously too. So I'm going to build full caps of all Lightning and Armored Warheads which are going to be stealthed by Cloaker Starships. My fleet is going to be in Assault Transports which are invisible too. When I enter the first Core planet the AI will spawn a part of it's strategic reserve in response. While still being invisible I'm going to destroy all of them with a Warhead. Then I enter the Homeworld itself which has planetary cloak detection. First I'm going to send a lot of empty Assault Transports as cannon fodder, then the Assault Transports with my fleet and then Warheads and Cloaker Starships except one. The Cloaker Starships don't usually last very long. I'll immediately send an Armored Warhead to each Core Guard Post and the normal Lightning Warheads will be used to destroy the strategic reserve and the Force Fields protecting the AI Home Command Station. I might use an Armored Warhead for that purpose too. The one Cloaker Starship which I left behind is still cloaking super boosting an EMP warhead on the adjacent AI Core planet. That EMP will be used to delay the Special Forces which have started coming towards me as soon as I entered the first core planet. Depending on how far the Special Forces are I may or may not have Warheads left to destroy them too. I could also lure the Special Forces on the core worlds by sending an empty Assault Transport on one of the Core planets and then destroy them with Warheads. I will probably lose full caps of all Lightning and Armored Warheads and my whole fleet but that is the cost of defeating the first AI. All of this will significantly increase the AIP and launch counter attacks (from destroying the Core Guard Posts). I will have to survive the fallout and rebuild and then do the same to the other AI. Edit: Yeah I'm going to definitely unlock Mobile Space Docks for the Homeworld assault. They will keep building more Munitions Boosters and Bombers and repair the damaged Starships. Munitions Boosters and Bombers are by far the most important ships since all AI ships except Missile Frigates will be destroyed by Warheads. Bombers and Munitions Boosters both have a bonus against Artillery hull. And of course Bombers are good at killing those Core Force Fields too. And AI Fortresses. Although if the Homeworlds have Fortresses I'll consider nuking them. If I remember correctly nuking disables AI Fortresses. Raid Starships do a lot of damage against Force Fields too especially when boosted so might unlock those too.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 17, 2016, 06:37:07 AM
Ahh.. got a good night's sleep and am done with my breakfast. Time to kick some butt again.
*opens up AI War*
Oookk where we left off..
..The Zenith Miners are still mining, defenses are rebuilt, metal is flowing and things look good. Ok lets get rid of these Miners and then capture the rest of the P2 planets..
*Warning sound!*
Oh a CPA was just announced. Just as I excepted. Around the 4 hour mark, a bit earlier. 14718 ships, great. Oh well, I love the smell of mangled oil leaking burning robots in the morning anyway.
*sips coffee*
Coffee tastest exceptionally good this morning. 8 minutes 51 seconds before the CPA spawns. Time to start building Mark II Warheads. I'll build every other on my homeworld and every other on Ancestry VIII. Scrapped the other Cloaker Starship and will build it on my homeworld (to cloak the Warheads). I also need to send scouts to all surrounding AI planets withing 2 hops so see in advance where the CPA is coming from. Oh and btw there's a Gravity Drill on Ascs 234-E (the planet adjacent/under my homeworld). I need to rebuild the beachhead there. It will do great job at softening the CPA if it decides to take that route. Although I'm afraid all of it is going to hit Ancestry VIII.
(http://i.imgur.com/FQCfb0C.png)



I need to get rid of the Miner on Ancestry VIII and I'd like to get rid of the Miner on Juliet November. If I am to do it I'll have to do it before the CPA since I have only 11 minutes 52 seconds before the Miners blow up the planets. I'd like to save Juliet November because it's very lightly defended and it's in a good position (adjacent to Ancestry VIII) for knowledge hacking later. Reggeth I wont even try to save. Don't have time. It has Ion Cannons and more guards so it would take too much time.
(http://i.imgur.com/EYdilBP.png)



Destroying the Miner on Ancestry VIII proved to be grindy enough that it made me give up on the idea of saving Juliet November. Instead I'll use the time and resources to capture and fortify Anthem (Adjacent to my homeworld) to protect my homeworld and other planets against the CPA. The problem is that Anthem has over 163 AI Sentinel Frigates..
..Oh never mind. Apparently the AI kindly sent all of that threat to my homeworld (yes that's a good thing). Makes capturing Anthem much easier.
(http://i.imgur.com/nxooyTB.png)
Except that now the Plasma Siege Starship desrtoyed the Counter Sniper Turret next to my Home Command Station and now the Sentinels started bombarding the Force Fields. Already died to this in this game before. Luckily that was fixed quite quickly by building a new one outside of the Force Fields.



Oh dear lord what have I done to myself. Destroying the Co-Processor on Anthem increased the AIP by 20 and triggered an exogalactic strike force because the AI is Raid Engine / Vengeful. As if either one alone wouldn't have been enough.
(http://i.imgur.com/E3m7pbq.png)



Thankfully my defenses were strong enough to auto stop that exo. That was a good "gear check". Had my defenses not been able to auto stop that amount of strength at this point I could have as well abandoned the game. But nope, that's why I unlock all the defenses. I've now captured Anthem and am focus building Needler Turrets before those AI Starships get in range. Also the CPA has spawned so I have only a couple of minutes to build everything. Aaannd I just now noticed something..
(http://i.imgur.com/cJ9hxFn.png)



..yet another exo for destroying the AI Command Station on Anthem. Of course. Heading towards my homeworld
(http://i.imgur.com/OMxmU5c.png)



Time to rebuild the mine fields. 5 hostile wormholes so that's 294/5/3 = 3 lines of 19 Area and Normal Minefields on each wormhole.
(http://i.imgur.com/nFidifL.png)



WHAT?? Another exo! I have no idea what this one is for. This one is also heading towards my homeworld. The first one was for the Co-Processor and the second one was for the Command Station.. don't know about this one. The first CPA Carriers also appeared and some are heading towards my homeworld and some towards Ancesrty VIII.
(http://i.imgur.com/QkzDCUD.png)



This is why I hate Zenith Siege Engines. The Carrier just dropped 249 Mark III Zenith Siege Engines almost in range of my Command Station. If it wasn't my Home Command Station they would simply one shot it, I'd lose power and it would the game. Luckily Home Command Station is immune to that ability's effect. Still I have no option but to use the Mark II Warhead I have.
(http://i.imgur.com/mUneNQw.png)

After the Warhead detonation:
(http://i.imgur.com/VnPLXF9.png)
..and few seconds after that..
(http://i.imgur.com/WZDPr6O.png)
..guess what the Carrier just dropped? Yep. Almost 100 Mark III Zenith Siege Engines almost in range of my Command Station. Now once again.. if this wasn't my Home Command Station.. they would one shot my Command Station thanks to that ability. Especially with the Munitions Boosters. They did destroy the Counter Sniper Turret so the AI snipers started to wreak havoc on the Force Field. Fixed that by building another Counter Sniper outside the Force Fields.

In the mean time I destroyed ~3700 AI ships on Swog. Decided to take no chances and pop a Mark II Warhead. I need my engineers, remain rebuilders and defenses to be ready when the biggest chunk of the CPA comes.
(http://i.imgur.com/arltgJX.png)

Update on the progress on surviving the CPA. Things are going much more smoothly than I though. Only ~8000 ships left of the 14k. The last 6000 will probably come together as a one big blob. The first couple thousand always come on their own here and there which makes things a lot easier. Also I had no time to rebuild any of the beachheads btw. So so much for the depth in my defenses. They will be ready for the next CPA though. This 14k one is still a small one. Oohh buddy.. the next CPA will probably be over 20k and all CPAs after that will have about 40k.
(http://i.imgur.com/Ghx97lv.png)
I'm moving all 39 Remain Rebuilder from my homeworld to Anthem (the rightmost planet, the one with the Black Hole Machine I just captured) to repair the Minefields before the 2k threat arrives.

Aaaannd a reload. Zenith Siege Engines did exactly what I described above to Swog. Wonderful. Back to 3h54m. Anthem is captured and the CPA has already spawned. 11429 threat left.

03h54m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 17, 2016, 07:12:39 AM
Lets try again..
..another reload for the same reason

Lets try yet again..
..Almost a third reload. This time I managed to capture it on camera. This is just ONE shot from a Mark III Zenith Siege Engine that was boosted by Mark III Munitions Boosters (240% damage). But that's not a surprise since the Command Stations are made of paper. 2999 health. Pitiful. Military Command Stations wouldn't be quite as vunerable to this but still. Oh.. and that one shot also destroyed the Counter Sniper Turret under the Force Field. And since the Force Fields are now taking damage from the snipers I can't repair the Command Station until I've built a Counter Sniper Turret outside of the Force Field and waited for x mount of time for the "has taken damage in y amount of time" thing goes away and I can repair stuff again. That one shot also one shotted all engineers and rebuilders that were under the Force Fields.
(http://i.imgur.com/v0d9TS5.png)

Off to slaughter puppies and punch kittens... erm I mean.. take a break. Cool down.
No I'm not done yet. Not gonna give up this time, at least not yet. If AI has the unfair advantage of ZSEs then I shall have the unfair advantage of save scumming. Note: Reloading because of a fatal mistake =/= save scumming. Save scumming = load over and over again until you get out of a hairy situation with a best possible out come. Which requires heavy micro, nerves of a cow and a lot of coffee.

EDIT: Now it happened to the third time. Literately the only way to stop this from happening is to preemptively Lightning Warhead all Carriers.

EDIT: This is another problem I've ran into numerous times. I'm unable to target the ship I want since they're all piled up like that. This can cost a game sometimes. Trying to get that Munitions Booster in there. And the Plasma Siege Starship.
(http://i.imgur.com/k7aENkc.png)
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 17, 2016, 10:39:20 AM
BWAHAHAHA! This has to be the best cheese ever! I don't care anymore, I'll use every cheese and savescum I can get. These EyeBots snuck by and would have destroyed that Command Station within ~10 second of loading that save file (a test save file). Letting the Scout Starship get destroyed and forgetting to replace it was my own mistake. But I'm still going to go with this cheese, I don't care anymore.

So here are the EyeBots. They have already shot their missiles and they're heading towards the Command Station as you see.
(http://i.imgur.com/rD7w99C.png)

It's ok I have some aces in my sleeve too. I'm just going to replace the Command Station and the missiles will disappear.
(http://i.imgur.com/3CoWV0V.png)

And while the EyeBots are reloading I'm going to focus fire them with all the Turrets. Take that you AI.
(http://i.imgur.com/7sTVl5K.png)
I have to say. I usually refrain myself from doing this level of cheese. I have numerous saves before and during the CPA but at this point I don't want to reload again. I got past the phase where the Carriers were dropping ZSEs on top of my Command Stations so I just want to move on with my life. Phew.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 17, 2016, 10:44:06 AM
Oh man. I wondered why I was smelling limburger all the way over here. Wow. I salute you.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 17, 2016, 11:34:18 AM
Ok the CPA has finally been repelled. It was definitely a good gear check and it seems like I need some upgrades..
..So I have 3000 knowledge at the moment. Next I'm going to beachhead and knowledge hack Ascs 234-E Edit: Never mind I've already hacked it. Going to hack Crysantheym (The Super Terminal planet) instead. after which I will have 6000 knowledge. I need stronger defenses and I need better tools for destroying Raid Engines since I need to start pushing further into AI's territory to find the Homeworlds.

If I unlocked Mark II Plasma Siege Starships all of my Plasma Sieges would have a total burst damage of 48000 and 86400 when boosted, which would be enough to one shot an unprotected Raid Engine. Mark II Plasma Sieges only cost 1000 knowledge while Mark II Raids cost 2000.

During the CPA I noticed I was running out of engineers so I might unlock Mark II Engineers which only cost 1000 knowledge. They would also enhance my ability beachhead and to spend the excess resources faster. Then I have 4000 knowledge left which I could use for Mark III Force Fields. Sounds good to me.

The CPA has been repelled and everything has been rebuilt. Except Force Fields. I scrapped all of my Force Fields and Counter Sniper Turrets and am spreading them more evenly between the planets. 1 Mark II Force Field = 2 Mark I Force Fields so I have (6*2+6*2+10+10)/5 ~ 8 "Force Fields" per planet. 6 to protect the Command Station and 2 to protect the Gravitational, Tractor, Flak and Lightning Turrets in the front line of defenses.

This seems like a good milestone to attach a savefile.
(http://i.imgur.com/WBtItfa.png)

04h04m.sav attached.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 17, 2016, 03:33:47 PM
The Traders have come to visit Ancenstry VIII! Awesome! Mark II Radar Jammer will help tremendously at making Ancestry VIII more autonomous/care free. And no more wasted salvage. This thing costs 10 million metal so whenever I have excess metal I'll just turn it on and it will take care of that problem.
(http://i.imgur.com/okfiuo8.png)


First waves afer the CPA and the AIP increases brought by it are massive. Both of them hit Ascs G20 at the same time.
Thankfully the ZSEs weren't inside a Carrier so I managed to focus them down before they got in range of anything. Needler Turrets make quick work of the AI Plasma Siege Starships.. while I'm focus building all of my own Plasma Sieges with a capful of Mark II Engineers.
(http://i.imgur.com/7xaDl9s.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/R4pQfJm.png)
These are just normal waves now. There's also quite a few Mark III AI ships too so things are starting to get fun now. Surely there were some Mark IVs and Mark Vs in the exos and the CPA but those were clearly the minority.

Radar Jammer II is now at 12%

Now off to knowledge hacking Crysantheum. Before I can start the hack I need to get rid of those 4 Ion Cannons. Going to send 3 Assault Transports. 2 with 1 Mark I and Mark I Plasma Sieges with 5 Munitions Boosters and one with 3 Mark I Raid Starships and 5 Munitions Boosters. Going to do my usual limburger infested raiding trick.
Take a loaded Assault Transport and park it right next to the target. Pause the game and unload.
(http://i.imgur.com/XLu4kpV.png)

Tap the pause very fast. As soon as you see the ships come out of the transport pause again and order them to attack the targets and return to the transport by holding shift.
(http://i.imgur.com/HLJ2V3D.png)

And get out. Job well done. Raid Starships are excellent for this since they and their projectiles move very fast. Plasma Sieges are a bit more clunky.
(http://i.imgur.com/m9YQpjr.png)



Ok now I'm ready to build the beachhead. Split my whole fleet between 2 Assault Transport and filled the third one with the Hacker and 24 Mark I Engineers, 58 Mark II Engineers, 20 Mobile Builders and 43 Remains Rebuilders.
(http://i.imgur.com/ytr2KIs.png)

Unloaded all Assault Transports and paused immediately. The very first things I did was focus builded a Counter Sniper Turret. Then I placed everything else and am going to focus build 2 more Counter Snipers, Mark II Gravitational Turrets and Force Fields. Then everything else. And by everything I mean everything.
(http://i.imgur.com/Xo6Bput.png)

Aaand the beachhead is ready in roughly 35 seconds. I wonder where those Mark III Fighters came from.. I hope they're not the Special Forces..
(http://i.imgur.com/mt8EJv6.png)

..yeah, they're the Special Forces. 75 Riot Control Starships. I actually don't think that's going to be a problem since I'm in a defensive position and there doesn't seem to be any Missile Guardians or things like that. My Needler and Laser Turrets will shred the Riots to pieces. If they were any other Starships I'd be dead. Good thing most of the Fighters are gone too.
(http://i.imgur.com/gy45gAu.png)
And as you can see I already started the hack. I'm pretty confident I can finish the hack either before the rest of the Special Forces arrive or I'll be able to repel them because they arrive in order of movement speed from highest to lowest. I still built some new Assault Transports so I can get away if things get too hairy. Also, two waves were announced and both of them have about 3k ships. Great. I might have to relocate some of these Mark II Engineers to help defend against those waves.


Bwahaha 75 Riot Starships destroyed in 58 seconds. Welcome to the meat grinder AI. As I predicted, easily cleaned up.
(http://i.imgur.com/ABlMDEo.png)
Once again: This is what I mean I say "beachhead it!". 8)


Good thing I built those Assault Transports. The rest of the Special Forces arrived with Carriers and it was too much for this beachhead. Especially when I had to scrap half of the Engineers and rebuild them on Swog. I'm going to leave the hacker there to do it's thing as long as possible and do another hacking run if it doesn't get to 3000 knowledge. Beachheads are partly meant to be disposable.. except that this beachhead was so big it triggered a reprisal. Wonderful. At least I softened up those Carriers quite a bit. The other one had 1000 ships and the other one had over 900.
(http://i.imgur.com/miBSgnM.png)

Will Continue from there tomorrow. Off to sleep.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 18, 2016, 05:49:20 AM
Yeah it has come time to quit this game. This game has become so tedious and micro heavy that I longer want to try continue this. All the Zenith Siege Starships, Munitions Boosters and Force Field ignoring units were too much. Never going to play against ZSEs and Vorpal again! :'(

Unfortunate and anticlimatic but I kind of saw this coming. Oh well, I died a glorious death and took a lot of AI's ships with me.

I may or may not start another AAR with a bit more normal settings. Ancient Shadows disabled and normal or simple ship types.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 18, 2016, 07:55:24 AM
SuperCat + All The ZSEs =

(http://thumbs2.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/m0LL0XohuAJ_PAb5kF-LseA.jpg)
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 18, 2016, 07:58:03 AM
Aptly put. They were my cryptonite indeed. And so was the Vorpal.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 18, 2016, 08:06:50 AM
Yea, I'm looking forward to balancing the sequel around the idea that your forcefields actually do their job without things that ignore them or do damage through them. If I did that in AIWC without other  major balance changes you'd just walk all over it, but with per-planet power, etc, it should be much more workable.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 18, 2016, 08:19:16 AM
Yeah I'm looking forward to AIW 2. I haven't had the time to follow the discussion much but I think the changes I've heard about sound good. The rest probably comes down to balancing.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Atepa on December 18, 2016, 11:34:03 AM
Good stab Kahuna, and thanks for the AAR of it. I'm still boggled you made it as far as you did against those types of mechanics... I can almost see keith twirling a moustache while read through it, heh.

It will be interesting to see / test the mechanics in II once they've been re-done / tweaked.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Cyborg on December 18, 2016, 06:23:31 PM
Honestly, I found the writeup very informative and educational. Thanks.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 19, 2016, 02:13:51 PM
Good stab Kahuna, and thanks for the AAR of it.
Honestly, I found the writeup very informative and educational. Thanks.
Thanks good to hear. My goal is to always explain what I'm doing and why. What's the rationale, how it's going to benefit me and how am I going to execute it strategically/tactically in practice. But just going with the flow really and putting my thoughts to words.

I started another one (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19423.0.html) today.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Cyborg on December 22, 2016, 10:43:44 AM
I know this particular AAR was doomed from the start because of the setup, but there's always that part of me that believes with enough time and ingenuity, most anything is possible. Even with cheese, if necessary.

What if you added golems? I noticed that in your latest game and in this one, I don't see a lot of toys from the expansions on *your* team. I don't see any spire jumping, for example. I don't see golems or champions (not that I like champions). I'm just thinking, maybe you need to activate one of these expansion events to get that extra firepower you need to win.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Toranth on December 22, 2016, 01:48:46 PM
I think a lot of people underestimate the danger of the Artillerist AI type.  Zombards, ZSiege Engines, Sentinel Frigates, Snipers, all supported by high-mark Munitions Boosters?
One of the most annoying games I ever played was against an Artillerist / Reservist combo.  The alpha from AI fleets gets so powerful that even superweapons can be one-volley'd.  I'm not sure anything but cheesing Champions (alt-progress 10 and no Nemesis) could have helped him.
Title: Re: Operation Cryptonite (10 Raid Engine / Vengeful // 10 Artillerist / Vorpal)
Post by: Kahuna on December 23, 2016, 02:06:34 AM
I know this particular AAR was doomed from the start because of the setup, but there's always that part of me that believes with enough time and ingenuity, most anything is possible. Even with cheese, if necessary.

What if you added golems? I noticed that in your latest game and in this one, I don't see a lot of toys from the expansions on *your* team. I don't see any spire jumping, for example. I don't see golems or champions (not that I like champions). I'm just thinking, maybe you need to activate one of these expansion events to get that extra firepower you need to win.

Yeah I've really taken the "You are outgunned. You are massively outnumbered." part to heart.

Golems I like and I think I should try to finish my current game as fast as possible and start a new one with Golems. Spirecraft are pretty cool too. Champions I don't like. When it comes to countering the exos or attacking AI Homeworlds I think Spirecraft are much better. Or at least they were. I actually haven't played with Golems after all of their stats were.. doubled? Tripled? Anyway Golems are better for defensive purposes in general. Tractoring, paralyzing and destroying the ZSEs with a Black Widow Golem could work. Hive Golem would absolutely obliterate all ZSEs and everything else too. It would probably eat a CPA too. Unless there's Gravity Guardians or Spire Gravity Drains, then Give Golem would be useless. But there weren't so it would have worked. Botnet Golem would obviously slaughter (or reclaim) everything even if it was safely sitting under a Force Field. Cursed golem does 1600*60=96000 damage every other second so it would destroy 2 or 3 Mark III ZSE every second. Not even close enough. Black Widow Golem would also destroy about 2 or 3 every second but it would instantly disable 200 of them. I could then tractor them out of range and destroy their engines, put the Widow in stand down mode (to shut down the tractors) and fly back and repeat. Armored Golem would destroy about 5 Mark III ZSEs every second. Although in all attacks the AI had close to hundred Zenith Bombards which make even Golems melt pretty quickly. 100 Mark II Zombards do 728000 burst damage against Ultra-Heavy.

Also I actually forgot to try to use Riot Control Starships with tasers to counter the ZSEs. I think the taser paralyzes all ships in it's range. Another tactic that might work would be to spam Doom Shrooms at the ZSEs to keep them paralyzed buy me more time to actually destroy them.

I too think it could be possible with some combination of these tactics and enough time (irl).

I think a lot of people underestimate the danger of the Artillerist AI type.  Zombards, ZSiege Engines, Sentinel Frigates, Snipers, all supported by high-mark Munitions Boosters?
One of the most annoying games I ever played was against an Artillerist / Reservist combo.  The alpha from AI fleets gets so powerful that even superweapons can be one-volley'd.  I'm not sure anything but cheesing Champions (alt-progress 10 and no Nemesis) could have helped him.
I also think Artillerist is surprisingly scary. On the other hand now that I think about it it's not that surprising. Surely snipers can be countered with Counter Sniper Turrets but that's only on your planets and beachheads. All long range ships tend to accumulate into massive threat fleets over time. They're always behind everything else so they're most likely to survive when the AI starts retreating. Which leads to hundreds of Mark II+ Zombards and snipers hanging around on AI planets. I think another underrated AI type is Cowardly. That's because Cowardly isn't as likely to feed it's ships to your meat grinder defenses and give you salvage and it's probably going to accumulate huge amounts of threat. Imagine something like RaidEngine/Cowardly as one AI. Or Artillerist/Cowardly or Artillerist/SpeedRacer.. (RaidEngine/SpeedRacer! :o) Yeah there are a lot of crazy combinations.

Anyway. It could be possible to manually move the Golems under Force Fields whenever you see a lot of Zombards firing at once. Force Fields are immune to Zombards' ammo type so the Golems could also be repaired while they're protected by a Force Field.