Arcen Games

Games => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: Malkiel on November 16, 2015, 04:35:16 PM

Title: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 16, 2015, 04:35:16 PM
This will be an ongoing report updated as each hour of time passes in game, so even I don't know the outcome yet.
Settings:
I took inspiration from Pumpkin's and Red Queen's most recent AARs and went with somewhat similar settings and rules:
Full Visibility but not allowed to look at AI HWs until you've been there with a ship (honor system) -taken from Red Queen
60 planets - keep it short due to work being demanding.
Concentric map starting near the center. - Pumpkin did one starting near an edge.
All ships except DGLs turned on.
Shark B enabled at 4 for both AIs - They both had this on.
Schitzophrenic for both AIs
Broken Golems (I've never liked botnet) on hard 4 - RQ used botnet easy 8 and turned on something for the AI to balance it.
Human colony rebellions on 4
Human resistance fighters on 4
both AIs at diff. 8 with chivalric/Random types (it's counter spy for one and everything for the other) - Straight from RQ on the last few items
AIP Auto increase at 1 every 10 minutes (I normally play with this turned OFF, so didn't have the guts to go full Red Queen on it.)
After choosing my start location (connected by hub to dead center point of galaxy) I went with a random bonus ship type. - Pumpkin inspired this

---Beginning of battle---
Normally my first move is to unlock ScoutStar IV and map the galaxy, but due to mimicking settings from other players recent AARs, That wasn't needed. I'm minorly known for making the sentry eye salvage economy strategy back in destroyer of worlds beta, and when I saw 3 sentry eyes, one along my main path as the only C shield generator world, I knew it would be an option.
*Unlocked Logistics command 2
*Unlocked Logistics command 3
*Unlocked Heavy Beam Cannon
I lost both my early scouts getting a legit peek at my 3 adjacent planets, due to counter spy AI type. The central planet of the galaxy, a dead end, was my first priority for conquest. I saw design backups there and went galaxy map to check which ones.
I then determined I was fighting an everything AI, which means no new achievements for me. I also realized 2 hops away on my ring was a 3 backup world: Firefly, Bulletproof, Beam Frigate. I earmarked that as my first planned hack and settled on getting whatever the ARS 3 jumps the other way gave me. (it was on my path)
I built a raid starship and attacked the central planet first, then the one by my hack target, then the last adjacent to HW planet to secure my borders. I also built a few missile turrets, 5 HBC between HCS and those wormholes, and a few needler turrets in front of the HBCs to soak enemy fleet alpha shots instead of my precious cannons.
The first enemy waves contained 270ish autolasers (easy kill) and a wave of only 27 ships, can't recall what type but it was comically ineffective. after those two waves, I finished taking out the third adjacent AI world.
This took less than 23 minutes.

I put up military command centers on the front line worlds for obvious reasons, economic 1 in the back line world. I then remembered I didn't have a silo yet and got myself a mk1 lightning warhead built.
A brief skirmish using fighters to clear tach. coverage was done on the next 2 worlds along the inner ring, as neither had counter spies. I put off hacking the one to the right while I built up defenses, cleaned another world, and got some K coming in.

I sent in a transport full of fighters next to a cloaker starship on the left side to ninja the command station. This triggered a rather brutal AI response as every ship on that planet went threat and all realized "He hasn't built his outer shell turrets yet!"
In my rush to get the cloaker SS and transport full of fighters back and into the fray, I lost the cloaker flying too close to a wormhole and had to mad dash around with the transport. (stupid gravity drains)

As the battle began to unfold I realized I was outclassed, and needed my turrets built two minutes ago.
*Unlocked Needler Turret 2
*Unlocked Heavy Beam Cannon 2
*Unlocked Heavy Beam Cannon 3
Built 10 engineers on the embattled world and started speedbuilding 10 sniper turrets, 20 needler mk II turrets, and 2 HBC mk III.
I had started too late and the zenith siege contingent took down the command station.
WTShark?!
I ended up fighting an intense battle on both my new frontier worlds and having a few (unlucky) teleporting enemy ships get onto my homeworld. At 43:50 I was forced to discharge a lightning warhead to save the right flank's command center, which lived at 4%. Another sharking would probably have killed me then and there.

After the storm had subsided, I decided I needed my offense to be faster than it usually is, and with 4/6 guard posts unshielded, 3 being needler and 1 being antistarship arachnid on the left world I had broken off the AI empire before the storm, Fighters would be the ideal choice for this.
*Unlocked Fighter 2
*Unlocked Heavy Beam Cannon 4

The HBC was just so I could stop having to keep the need of it's unlocking in the back of my mind, and enable me to focus on more immediate decisions for the rest of my tech unlocks.
My fighters moved to clear those 4 posts, noting the MLRS and Specops ones under shields would probably be a while to kill. I brought in a neinzul starship and sat it just out of the MLRS's range to wear down the FF.
One the Right side planet I built the HBC mk IV as a temporary placement nearer the enemy wormhole, since if you're going to unlock it you may as well use the thing.
I began a design download for those 3 designs at about 52 minutes in.
After the download, enemy ships came pouring into my right side system. I greatly enjoyed watching them get vaporized by the dozens from that HBC4... but then it wasn't seeming to fire.
Paralyzers, Bane of the HBC4. I routed my fleet over and between my other defenses and my fleetball, the enemy was massacred.
I finished clearing the second left world and tachyon cleared the ARS (and next ring access point) next to it.
ARS Has Commando (decent) Sabotuer (possibly my favorite bonus ship type, for style alone) and Scapegoats (never really liked those)
Guess I'm going with commando because 1) I already have firefly to work alongside it and 2) my current HAP is -140 due to the triple hack.

Good Heavens, would you look at the time!

Time: 1:01:03
Planets: 5 (none under attack)
AIP: 97
HAP: -140
K reserves: 4000 with none incoming
Metal nodes controlled: 34 (well above average)
Metal on hand: just under 2 million (merc dock works on neinzul SS merc when it passes the 2M mark)
Fleetships all built, only starships are 1 raid 1 bomber 1 neinzul
Unlockables: Firefly 1, Maw 1, Bulletproof 1, Beam Frigate 1
Range from my closest planets to AI homeworlds by intended path: 15 hops to 1, 16 to the other. 11 shared hops along those routes.


A brief synopsis of goals for future sections:
1) take out that munition command center on the ARS world and start knocking out the A network.
2) get a golem before the 3 hour mark or the exo will kill me.
3) get my research costly metal generation system running so the 19,000 research I put into setting up for it doesn't go to waste
4) figure out who to neuter and who to conquer along the way to golem worlds (8 hops out on intended path, fyi)
5) build missile reserves and minefields because the exo will most likely attack from the planet described as "right" meaning I'll have barely any time at all to stop it cold, and my HBC4 won't be there by the time the exo hit since it will have been redeployed as part of my metal farm.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 17, 2015, 10:17:14 AM
upon looking further at the ARS system I intend to take on first, I realized 2 things:
1) everything is definitely clumped together per the commander, except a couple stray ships at tachyone posts.
2) nothing had over 100k health except the Munitions command station, which is rather useless alone...
Lightning Warhead for expediency, then fly through to neuter adjacent system. then time it will save me should be at least ten minutes of messing around in there, which is the 1 AIP for the warhead.
1:08:55
ARS world secured, commandos added to the youngling team

1:20:34
Have neutered planet I am skipping on next ring out. Many younglings lost. also 2 waves came in during this time, one everything wave and another that died so fast I didn't find out what it even contained.

That's all I have time for today sadly. next post in 24+ hours.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Pumpkin on November 17, 2015, 01:27:56 PM
Wohoo! A new AAR friend!

I love the colors you're using. I don't know why. ;D

You didn't write much explanation about your plot behind the game. Why "outside the insanity", for instance? I would love to hear more about the story you'll tell us with your AAR. From inside of a concentric to the outside? Is there a "break free" trope?

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to read what's next.
Fortune favours the bold!
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 19, 2015, 08:32:52 AM
Hey Pumpkin, good to see one of my inspirations is checking in :)
Outside is a nod to your AARs, Insanity is a nod to Red Queen's.
I really liked how in your AARs, you are forcing yourself to use different tools than your normal methods, and different methods/settings.
For myself, I took that to a lesser degree... I took away my exodian and showdown devices, for example, as they're my 2 main roads to victory, but I left my golems intact.
The addition of auto-AIP is directly taken from Red Queen, and is a huge departure from the normal way I play. I've found it's already greatly changing the way I perceive warheads.

The main story behind my AAR will receive more focus after the first CPA, for right now I've committed to getting far enough along that the project gains traction within my priorities... I was also holding off until my vacation, which just started 4 days early. It directly references the second Red Queen "Incident".

1:21:47
Used Younglings to fly through a couple mk IV worlds and knock down a data center. got greedy and went for a post on the target world, didn't get it and lost remaining younglings.

1:23:27
Due to youngling combat clearing threatfleet, Reprisal Level 1 announced.

1:24:46
Sacrificed a pair of raid starships to take out another Data Center.

1:26:15
87 ship reprisal headed for my staging system in 2:28. Threat deemed minimal and plans shall continue towards expansion.

*Unlocked Heavy Bomber Starship 2


multiple needler posts, a swarm of cloaked etherjets, a counter spy, and a sentry eye means the next op needs a lighter touch than has been my typical.
The raid went reasonably well, taking out 2 needler posts, a counter spy, the remaining tachyon detectors, and bringing the final needler post to 4% hp, all at a loss of 1 heavy bomber mk II starship. This should free up a large number of ships into local threat making that system far safer to traverse in the future.

System past that analysis:
laser post under forcefield
mlrs post under forcefield
cloaker post
missile post
radar damp (everyone)
primary defense ship: bombards
3 backups
planning advisory:
insertion method: uncloaked transport rush
destroy command with younglings, their speed will help counter bombards, assisted by radar jammer cutting bombard range.
take out cloaker post and missile post using frigates.
leave remaining posts up until a better takedown plan is devised.


during that combat, I will have both marks of fighters assaulting the system I just weakened, aiming to remove the needler post, the arachnid post, and a spire implosion guardian. new younglings will be routed to the neutered system prior to it so any fighters carried away by etherjets will be heading into systems where I have active combat forces to rescue them. adding 1 flagship to accompany younglings.

Operational results where mixed: the threat piling up in the neutered system was bad for my efforts to control space there, SF was flying through the entire combat area when the attack was launched, 2 level 1 reprisals where triggered, but every single targeted item was destroyed.
 The fighters and missile frigates are also in overall excellent shape following the attacks, though the younglings did all die (I threw the remainder at the shielded posts since there was no getting them home at that point)

1:44:13
I have taken control of the system with the 2 shielded posts, gaining mk V MLRS turrets, which have been deployed in core worlds.
Looking forward, the next 2 systems on my strike list both possess fortresses and data centers. the first is an ARS world, the second has Spider Turret V and Artillery Golem. the one past that has my beloved Black Widow Golem, though I have yet to review it's defenses.
world 1 has a fort 3 by the command station, a fort 1 by the data center and specops post, and a shielded MLRS post in the middle of nowhere.
world 2 has a fort by the data center with a needler post, another needler post nearby but out of missile blast range. It's 3 MLRS posts are near the command station shielding post, I might be able to catch 2 of those and the shield post in a single, well placed warhead strike. if that will not work, I can definitely get 2 MLRS posts with the missile, though I question the value of such a strike with it being a rather soft world in general.

Reviewing the defenses of world 3, it'll be a nightmare scenario:
counter spy, gravetric command station, all posts clustered around the station, radar jammer 2, anti starship arachnid post, widow post... 187 units in barracks and the world is mk IV. Did I mention it's all under a pair of mk III ai forcefields?

Thank god for artillery golem.

by precise strikes I could knock out the command stations of worlds 1 and 2, putting the fortresses on world 1 offline. Then I'd only have to deal with the one on world 2, but the issue with this method is world 3 becoming alerted making for an even greater nightmare when I am forced to take it on. A brief test indicated that counter spy does not, in fact, take out armored warheads. this means it will be possible to hit the command station with one on world 3 with relative ease, which would knock out the fortress on world 2.
then the only time-intensive portions of clearing would be 1) the shielded MLRS on world 1 and 2) the 187 mk IV ships released from barracks on world 3.

Goal for 2 hour mark is to neutralize all 3 worlds inside the next 15 minutes utilizing 1 armored warhead and 1 lightning warhead 1 to clean up the barracks ships. AIP should end up in the 150-160 range at that time.

Attack Plan:
World 1: Younglings kill command station and retreat to strike point, later second fighter wave knocks out tachyons, then colonize.
World 2: transport of 70 bombers knocks out command shield post, transport of 24 bombers knocks out command station, bombers attempt to flee to strike point but no survivors are expected. Youngling spam to distract while second wave bombers clear MLRS posts and bulletproofs clear needler posts. send starship support.
World 3: transport of fighters takes down tachyon, heads back to world 2 taking out tachyons. after second wave of fighters clears remaining detectors along the route, armored warhead hits command station. when youngling spam arrives, roll a lightning warhead in to clear threat while they are distracted.


1:50:24
Special forces intervened, as should be expected. the sudden surge into world 2 prevented my first fighter wave from taking out any tachyon posts.
worlds 1 and 2 where both removed from AI control, but the detection net is still intact. also, there was a plasma eye on world 2 I had not noticed before, thankfully it didn't activate during the battle due to SF boosting AI ship count. Threat is at 423, 237 of it at world 1 where SF has decided it'd be nice to hold a campout and sing kumbaya.
going to try slipping that armored warhead into world 3 despite the obvious detection issues, counting on it's large health pool to make it reach the target. once that threat piles in, it will easily be enough to prompt an attack against my strike world, where I will be preparing to receive them and holding on to that lightning warhead.
Also, Exo was announced at 50% charge... you know, because the AI wanted to cuddle.

1:54:35
at 93% health my armored warhead has made it onto world 3, where I only now notice the flaw in my plan... there is a command station shield post here.
SF has withdrawn further into AI territory and threatfleet was crushed on my strike world. Threat currently stands at 380 with about 4k total strength.

1:56:12
Bomber starship run took out the first 2 data centers and is on it's way back to strike point. it also cleared the detection network out to planet 3.
I don't know if counter spy can kill a cloaker starship, but that lightning warhead is getting escorted to planet 3 by 1. hopefully I can use that to knock out the shield post and the armored to kill command station, but if this works I may just use 3 more lightning warheads instead.. 2 for station 1 for barracks fleet. Downside to that is construction time would put me behind my 2 hour mark goal.

1:57:16
the missile/starship combo is indeed not falling victim to counter spy. a wave hit my staging world, logi 3 station survived at 90% (shields took a siege shot)
Began working on a mk II lightning warhead to deal with that command station, and it's time to work on colonizing the first world in the line.

1:58:41
lightning warhead takes out target. bomber starships are securing world 1. construction of mk II lightning warhead is complete and cloaker starship is en route to rendevous for delivery escort.

2:00:01
Cloaker is mostly through world 2 on way to pick up warheads. World 1 is building a command station and has bomber starships neutralizing the two fortresses.

Hourly Report:
Planets: 7 (1 building 2 clearing)
AIP: 131 (with 23 more incoming asap followed by 15 reduction when I hit that last DC)
HAP: -46
K reserves: 7905 with about 6K more incoming (9k more after taking world 3 down a peg)
Metal Harvesters: 43 with 12 more in near immediate future
Metal on hand is regularly exceeding the 2 million mark.
Fleet Status: fighters and bombers still rebuilding from my disastrous recent campaign, all other fleetships at cap. starships built include all bombers, 1 flagship, 1 cloaker, 1 neinzul, 1 merc. neinzul.
Mercenary forces include just 21 parasites.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Pumpkin on November 19, 2015, 10:52:51 AM
Hey Pumpkin, good to see one of my inspirations is checking in :)
Outside is a nod to your AARs, Insanity is a nod to Red Queen's.
I really liked how in your AARs, you are forcing yourself to use different tools than your normal methods, and different methods/settings.
For myself, I took that to a lesser degree... I took away my exodian and showdown devices, for example, as they're my 2 main roads to victory, but I left my golems intact.
Hehe. You make me want to do my Outa Tracks MkIII! I was rather sad when Red.Queen suddenly disappeared. Maybe you're the sparkle I was waiting for. ;)

Quote
The addition of auto-AIP is directly taken from Red Queen, and is a huge departure from the normal way I play. I've found it's already greatly changing the way I perceive warheads.
Yeah, warheads have a price that highly depends on auto-AIP, incidentally.

Quote
The main story behind my AAR will receive more focus after the first CPA, for right now I've committed to getting far enough along that the project gains traction within my priorities... I was also holding off until my vacation, which just started 4 days early. It directly references the second Red Queen "Incident".
I can't wait to discover that!

Oh, may I slip a request in? Would you post a galactic map with mspaint'ed custom annotations? I feel it's better to see which planet you're talking of and where they are, their connexion and stuff.

Oh, also, would you list the golems you currently have in your hourly reports? Or highlight their capture as you do with science unlocks? (I love putting color in AARs; I feel it's much more nice to read and it highlight the big actions and decisions on the long run.)

 (1:54:35)
Just a question: did you canceled the armored warhead detonation because the command station was protected by a Command Station Shield Post? Or did you blow up the warhead and was disappointed because the OCStation survived? IIRC, OCStations are immune to warheads, with or without external invincibility.

Anyway.
Keep it up!
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 19, 2015, 11:52:26 AM
That immunity is to detonation by method of the delete key. if you select warhead and right click command station, it gets hit too. I believe this is intentional design because sometimes you don't want to blow up a command station.
Also, I have been listing golems controlled. it's presently 0... and I have things needing cleared before I can capture the artillery/widow golems yet.
I did cancel the strike because when I went all zoomed in for the right click, I saw that invulnerability and was sad. :(

Just so people know, second ARS had Protector Starship for default unlock. that is going to be a huge help in the immediate future, as it settles how I'm going to kill some needler posts on "world 2"

regarding the screenshot request, any technical assistance on that front would be appreciated.
I have attempted to link a galaxy map screenshot to this post, where p1 is the planet referred to as "right" p2 is my current staging system, and p3 is the world where missiles are about to rock a grav command station.
p5 are worlds I intend to conquer.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Pumpkin on November 19, 2015, 01:56:54 PM
That immunity is to detonation by method of the delete key. if you select warhead and right click command station, it gets hit too. I believe this is intentional design because sometimes you don't want to blow up a command station.
Oh, nice. I wasn't aware of this. I always use the delete key to precisely control the bounds of the AoE. Thanks.

Quote
Also, I have been listing golems controlled. it's presently 0... and I have things needing cleared before I can capture the artillery/widow golems yet.
Oops, my bad. I thought you captured the golem when you said "Thank god for artillery golem." I wasn't reading carefully enough. :-[

Quote
regarding the screenshot request, any technical assistance on that front would be appreciated.
IIRC, you need to upload it somewhere and put the URL between "img" tags.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 19, 2015, 05:17:14 PM
2:09:58
Having knocked out the command station at the third world in my previous offensive with a mk II lightning warhead, I quickly used the mk I warhead on it's 187 barracks ships... turns out 43 where missile frigates.
I installed a starship warp gate on the staging system next to the warhead warp gate and unlocked Protector starships with the ARS from world 1.

*unlocked Mobile Space Dock

repairing my fleetships was taking too long. now I just need a bit more time for the bomber starships to repair then they, the flagship, and the protectors (one against missile, one against shell) can go wreck the needlers one system over.
That worked rather well... but after taking the system, golem repair is taking too long.

*Unlocked Engineer Drone mk II

built 5 and off we go! Metal supply ran out at 88%, took the mk II drones off the project.

***Artillery Golem online***

moved into next system and started working on widow golem only to do the math... I predict I'll have around 1 million total metal before the exo hits. repairing the widow will take about 3 million.
I'm not going to make it.
Backing off widow golem and beginning defense reconfigurations at worlds marked p1 and p3 on the map pic with most recent post. I'm going with something I refer to as the "en passant" defense config, named in honor of a chess rule.

*Unlocked Widow Mines
*unlocked Force Field Generator 2
*unlocked Hardened Force Field Generator

The thing about exos is.. they are under a speed buff and immune to slowing until the "lead ship" is destroyed. They also have a strong tendency to take the most direct available route from their spawn (exogalactic wormhole on AI HW) to your home system. The first fact makes them hard to stop before you take heavy damage, the second one makes them as predictable as the seasons.
Immunity to slowing isn't a problem when you slam a couple large forcefields in the way, providing time for your defenses to pound the grouping and hopefully take out the "lead ship", which then causes a failure of the group move order and devolves the exo into an every man for himself mindset, if I am remembering correctly.
Basically, I have no intention of killing the exos on the first worlds they hit. I'm going to break them.

Second part of the above statement means that section 1 of the exo, frome western ai homeworld, will only pass through p1 and into my HW.
Section 2 of the exo, from southeastern ai homeworld, will pass through p3 on it's way to p1.
P1 has the mk IV HBC
P3 gets the bigger slowing forcefields to make certain the 2 sections do not link up by a coincidence of timing, thus enabling me to deal with them piecemeal. Also has artillery golem camped out to kill the big stuff.
Had to pop a distribution node at 2:40, making a few hundred mines and mk V spider turrets really eats and already golem drained economy.

All offense stopped at 2:30 as exo prep began for estimated 3:10 strike time.

*unlocked Leech Starship 2
*unlocked Leech Starship 3
*Unlocked Military Command Station 2


CPA 1957 ships announced for 2:53 arrival
1490 Mark 2 ships freed in cross planet attack
467 Mark 1 ships from strategic reserve freed for cross planet attack
9 Mark 1 ships from shark plot freed in cross planet attack.. what?! I guess the incidental damage taken by my stations generated ships... though I have been replacing border stations with military 2 stations... you know, just in case of fire.

Massive strength gathering north of P1... and here we go!
As the defenses start to crumble I'm not really suprised.. the enemy was out of alignment for the mines because they where going for alternate targets and whatnot, fortunately there where so many that every mine got hit.
Early on in the battle I remember thinking "oh yeah, I got this"
When 29 stealth battleships got my paired shields around command center to 60% I thought "oh crap, I don't got this!"
I managed to move in a lightning warhead and detonate it while passing a hardened forcefield over the command center. then I grabbed a shield bearer I had leeched, added it to group 5 (the group of things that do not auto frd) and placed it over command center.
Total threatfleet strength was 17,000 involved in that assault out of around 31,000 available.
Of greater concern was the timing. My defenses just got rocked on a critical point with exo charge at 95%
3:00:08
Artillery golem lost. P3 station went out 30 seconds before that, shark attack location unknown. The warhead I had thought I had in the region.. well, it was not in the region.
enemy strength in the attack was about 9k of the cpa threat plus two waves hitting the planet.
The shark plot pulled another 11k strength out, hitting at p1 and the other side of my core defense group. so now I'm fighting on three fronts. With Exo at 98%.

3:00:08 hourly report
Oh My God, Everything is on FIRE!!!
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Pumpkin on November 19, 2015, 05:45:54 PM
 :o

I was tempted to post just the smiley, but... hell! Things are crazy, out there. Exo + CPA + Shark... ouch.

And the Artillery golem was lost during the battle? That would have been an abort point to me. What will you do? Try hard to survive this? Use the Zenith Time Reverser (aka reload autosave)? Throw your keyboard through the window and go play a less-than-10k-units game?

I wish you luck, but I feel you'll need more than luck to pull yourself out of there.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 19, 2015, 06:54:57 PM
3:00:08 report
Planets:9 (1 lost)
AIP:147
HAP: -16
K Reserves: 3k
Metal: 1,940,000 with most harvesting intact
Fleet Status: heavily engaged, mostly destroyed. the attached picture says it all. What I've managed to leech is putting out the fire at p4.
Starships: leech 4s, leech 3, bombers 1 and 2, neinzul 1
Mercenaries: neinzul hive, 87/88 parasites still alive at p1, rerouting to p4
Human resistance has arrived at P3, way to cock it up and be late you fools! still, should alleviate pressure and allow for a buildup+counterattack.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 19, 2015, 06:59:59 PM
I want you to take a good, hard look at the first 3 hours pumpkin. I was walking over the AI like it wasn't even there. My defenses are not designed for cpa fighting, but designed for the imminent exo instead (meaning I knew I was vulnerable)
The artillery was lost but widow is at 40% repair. the fires are under some form of control, but I don't think it's under my control _yet_
After this CPA + exo I have 3 hours to regain control of the situation during which time the AI is basically a helpless kitten against me, and forgetting a missile rebuild is the only reason I even lost that golem.

Also, the world is watching.
In other words....
I got this.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 19, 2015, 07:43:59 PM
lol, I don't got this.

Seriously, shark is _nasty_
I was just a hair shy of surviving.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Toranth on November 19, 2015, 08:10:50 PM
My defenses are not designed for cpa fighting, but designed for the imminent exo instead (meaning I knew I was vulnerable)
"Well, there's yer problem."
True, Shark does not mix well with Exos, but CPAs are still the usual killer.  It sounds like you planned on using pre-staged warheads to deal with the CPA, but something happened to them.  Did you ever figure out why they weren't in place when you needed them?
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 20, 2015, 02:38:30 PM
Yes. I had used that warhead and failed to replace it. This was 1 of 4 critical mistakes that led to my defeat. It was the warhead used against the 187 mark 4 ships from p3 barracks.
The second was activation of the artillery golem over the black widow. The widow is a far better defensive piece and it cost me dearly having the wrong golem. The worst part is that I _knew_ I wouldn't be doing any attacks until after the exo/cpa, and thus the artillery golem was basically a dead piece on the board.
The third was I had been lax in my overall defenses, as the energy surpluses in pictures clearly illustrates. This was a byproduct of every "wave" that hit being a complete joke, often numbering around 65-70 ships.
The final mistake was how I portioned out my defenses in my second section's interior (this was lacking to the tune of being about 30 spider V per planet nothing more). I suffered four shark attacks in the end section, and while it was technically the exo that killed me, the sharks are _why_ it was able to do so.

Basically, I got cocky and careless, and the AI smacked me down like an insubordinate child.
The best cure for a big ego is a little failure.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 20, 2015, 06:54:21 PM
General West looked at the data feed, knowing this was certain to prove a political nightmare.
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"Without the additional resources from LCZSO, defeat is projected at 3:14:08" displayed on the screen.
"Do a projection of events at that point with LCZSO active in the near immediate future" he commanded, taking out the least recent data chip.

"Estimated Progress includes both golems active, 100% more mercenary forces warped in from sector 1, and fortress coverage of all front line systems."
The general slumped his shoulders, let out a sigh, and turned for the door. He placed the data chip into the incinerator per protocol, triggering the door to open allowing him to leave the AI room.

"See general, I told you we didn't need to re-institute the barbaric practices of the first war" said the woman in a suit waiting outside.

"Senator, if we don't, we won't last another two days. I'm giving the order."

Senator Michelle Fleck looked aghast. Her people had assured her that even without Live Combat Zone Salvage Operations, this war could be won, especially with recent data showing the AIs where only sending 23% the number of ships comparative with the same portion of the first war. "General, I understand the golden shield AI did save us in the first war, but perhaps it's being a bit too pessimistic?"

"Ma'am, the AI is behaving differently than last time because this was supposed to be a war game to it. You're the one who suggested after the sector 2 and 37 Red Queen incidents that intervention was required, and now we're on the far side of the warp grid in a war we didn't have to fight. You swore you would let me handle this per martial law, and that means I have orders to issue before it's too late."




below is a picture of live combat salvage operations begun on the world to the immediate left of P0. I loaded a save from the 1:40:00 mark and am taking the same actions as before, the same unlocks as before, except I have replaced mobile space docks with fortress mark I
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 20, 2015, 07:55:43 PM
The only things that I did differently involved slightly changed tactics due to different guardian spawns on "world 2" from my earlier posts.
situation report at 2:38:52
Planets: 11 (1 with a live sentry eye spewing out tons of salvage, that's P0, pictured in an earlier post)
AIP: 182
HAP: 20
K Reserves: 6000
Metal incoming per second: about 9k
All fleetships built
Starships: 2 bomber 2, 1 bomber 1, 1 cloaker 1
Golems: 1 Artillery, 1 black widow, both active at full health
Mercenary fleet: 71 parasites, 1 neinzul
Fortresses located at P0,P1,P2,P3,and P4
CPA not yet announced but soon. EXO at 96%
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 21, 2015, 01:05:48 AM
2:47:06
The Exo had a hunter killer. I had an armored warhead. It did not end well for the exo.
5 min left on CPA timer, a pair of waves coming at my tank world P1 two minutes after the CPA hits.

2:55:09
CPA kinda hit... I gave a lightning warhead 1 against several hundred etherjets on my tank world during a 12k threat attack, many where reclaimed due to earlier damage from my leech 4s (which had left rather early at  35% with the other apparently not having made it out), and the reclaimed forces mopped up before merc parasite could even have any fun.
Defenses might have held without the warhead, but eh, what's 1 AIP between friends? besides, I said I'm bringing my "A" game this time around.
7K threat nearing P2, 11K threat near P3 but not nearly dumb enough to come in when they're reading multiple active golems and a fortress. going after the smaller threatball first.. using a golem.
All threat numbers are strength, not ship counts, due to differences between spire stealth battleship (near starship strength) and fighters (str of 1 or 2, I forget)

2:56:51
widow has kidnapped half the threat from the world with 3.5K and is at 92%. going for the world with 7.9K next. 1.9K remains on the first world I hit due to tractor immunity and a spire starship making fighting there a bad option.

First run reduced health to 68%. repairing before second run. many armor rotters.
second run put golem from 100% to 55% but I got those pesky implosion guardians. repairing up again.

3:00:00 report
Planets: 11 (P0 under sentry eye attack per usual, P3 had a wave hit 1 second before the hour)
AIP: 189
HAP: 26
K Reserves: 6000
Metal/second: 9k income, 40K spending due to golem repairs underway. currently 1.6M
Fleet status: all fleetships built. starships same as before except 2 mk IV leeches added and neinzuls are now both built and at P3
Golems: artillery full health, widow at 74%
Mercenaries: 10F 10B 8M 10E 79P 5Z

3:00:36
widow at full HP, wave at P3 cleared.

two golems working together is basically a steamroller. ran over the closest p5 world, reclassing it as p6. moving towards the next p5 in this layer, neutering planets along the way.

3:40
bottomed out metal repairing golems after battle at second p5 world. there where about a dozen implosion guardians and four implosion posts along with 2 plasma posts at close range to the entrance. widow came home at 17%, arty came home at 7%.
only 2 implosion posts where slain, but widow took down the plasmas for me along with a few guardians before the fighting withdrawal began in earnest.

4:00:01 report
Planets: 13 (only unplanned combat is a lone leech starship on an interior world about to get needler turreted to death)
AIP: 205 (peaked at 234 but got a pair of data centers in the last couple minutes)
HAP: 72
K Reserves: 12500
Metal at 9k/sec or better, stopped caring a while back.
Rebuilding a few bombers from recent wave, past that fleet is topped off.
Starship count remains unchanged
Golems are both clearing the way, embattled on P9. arty hp: 91%, widow at 98%
Merc fleet status: 80F 70B 70M 80E 144P 40Z
unlocked gravity drain at most recent ARS
Exo charging reported at 59%

edit to correct that I used an armored warhead on the H/K, not a mere lightning warhead.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 21, 2015, 04:01:19 AM
4:01:32
Space plane, powerslaver, combat carrier for options on final ARS.
Issued order for hacker to move out, it was on homeworld. This may take a bit. I have always felt neinzul combat carrier one of the strongest bonus ships in the game, and with a starship constructor under my control at P3.... yeah, gotta go for it. golems can handle things while I hack.

4:19:26
Hack was successful for research redirect, so I will have combat carriers this game! I lost 2 hackers just trying to get a hacker there.
Also, P9 is cleared, but repairing golems before colonizing in addition to allowing time for research to hit 3000 from normal labs before taking it and triggering archive gains. 6K more at 5/sec means 1200 seconds.. that's twenty minutes to get all the research.
I might need bigger fortresses just so I don't have to waste time golem camping here... or full marks of combat carriers... with regular enclave starships also full marks to back it up. that should be enough firepower, considering it's enough to hold against showdown at a hardpoint for me normally.

*unlocked Enclave Star 2
*unlocked Enclave Star 3
*unlocked Military Command Station 3
*unlocked Fortress 2
*unlocked Combat Carrier 2

4:48:47
The second Exo has launched.
Had to deploy the P3 armored warhead on the world just inside that part of my territory, exo is not behaving the way I expected lol.
Deploying 1 lightning warhead to P1 and P4, hoping the reserve deploy at P1 will prevent it's application.
A mark 5 spire at P1 forced my hand on the warhead. While it only took 100K damage, it's area was cleared allowing for focus fire to bring it down. At P4 I just decided to make it expedient since it was going to waste resources winning the traditional way, and popped a warhead. Also, I didn't know if Threatfleet was going to jump in at P1 and wanted my fleetships freed up.
The Exo.. is dead. 5 AIP from warheads was a relatively minor cost to pay.

4:54:43
*unlocked Combat Carrier 3


5:02:05
I got distracted speedbuilding a forcefield and stopping the constant attack for the few seconds I'd need with a warhead I missed the hour mark! (archive was on the wormhole to a core world is why)
Planets: 15
AIP: 257 (that core world.. has the final coprocessor, but another is 3 hops outside my space, so could be a pain)
HAP: 90
K Reserves: 5,675 with 5,775 more coming from the new archive
Metal per second: 15K (9.7K is from my salvage operation) currently spending twice that repairing hive golem though.
Fleet Status: fully built except for mark V mini rams, which I just got the fab for.
Starship Status: all marks of both neinzuls built, 2 protectors, 1 bomber 1, 2 bomber 2, and old faithful, the cloaker starship from early game who hasn't died yet!
Golems: Artillery 97% Widow 94% Hive rebuilding at 42%
Merc Fleet Status: 169F 169B 176M 163E 144P 90Z
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 21, 2015, 05:59:43 AM
5:35:53
threatfleet consists of 1,606 ships totaling 19,097 strength.
3,548 ships massing for cross planet attack in 9:07

Threatfleet has abandoned it's camps by P4 moving towards P3, which is now down a pair of mark 2 bomber starships due to a suicide run taking out that distant co-processor.
a few merc etherjets took out the CP by P5, and the mark 1 bomber starship did a quick in and out job for the last one. (the original had been on P0)
Fleet is otherwise in good shape. missiles are spread a bit more thin than I would like but nothing to be done of it now.
Golem healths are all above 90% and they are positioned on P9.

The core worlds have been stripped of warhead intercepts, OMDs, forts, and posts. The way is lit, the path is clear.

Going to bed, tomorrow I will tank the CPA then engage in the part of this game I can barely tolerate. (I did mention earlier that I win via exodian blade or showdown, right? the no cloaky, no snipey rules of homeworld attacks ruined the normal win for me, made it a chore. Also, the CPA countdown on those is just annoying.)
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Pumpkin on November 21, 2015, 06:13:31 AM
1 Archive and CSG-clean at the 5th hour mark? That's impressive. (Well, maybe Golems in the equation are shifting timings.)

*unlocked Enclave Star 2
*unlocked Enclave Star 3
*unlocked Military Command Station 3
*unlocked Fortress 2
*unlocked Combat Carrier 2
That's a big defensive stance! I like it! (I should play with MkII/III OCStations more often.)

Going to bed, tomorrow I will tank the CPA then engage in the part of this game I can barely tolerate. (I did mention earlier that I win via exodian blade or showdown, right? the no cloaky, no snipey rules of homeworld attacks ruined the normal win for me, made it a chore. Also, the CPA countdown on those is just annoying.)
You want to push yourself out of your tracks? Win a 7/7 vanilla game: no MF (not even the least), no plot, no Auto-AIP, no AI types. I have to admit: I needed to relearn the game before winning without golems, especially the HWorlds assaults part. But now I never use them; I think it's too easy to end a game with golems. Trust me: AI War is a different game without power-goodies. And not a less fun one.


For the lore side... Well, okay. But I want more! >D
So after Red.Queen was gone nuts and bananas, the Golden Shield AI... did what? What is this first war? Did the Golden Shield saved humans from Red.Queen? Or from the Exodian AI (the one behind the two sub-AI that are target of regular AIW games)?
Anyway. I like the LCZSO name. ;)
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 22, 2015, 07:26:51 AM
I took the day to watch Jessica Jones on Netflix. Also played a bit of payday, since the not fun part is all that's left of this game.
no MF.. meaning modular fortress? I have _never_ used one. I don't gate raid, as a rule even when it was popular, so I have never needed 3K knowledge worth of firepower on 1 planet.
no plot (done it) no auto aip (done it) no AI types- what does that mean? I always go random all (including technologist).. does that count?
Also note this game was made on a 60 planet map to keep it short (and honestly since I dont care much for unlocks I usually play with CSGs turned off because I don't value the ARS as much as most players.)
With the settings you describe, I believe I have already done that actually, one of the main reasons I leave golems on is because I find homeworld assaults tedious and unfun. The enforced CPAs after you deal significant damage to any post has a few effects I dislike and feel are detrimental to the experience

I have won on those settings on 8/8 btw, in my neinzul game off which I wrote a steam guide.

All these extra features where added to homeworlds as players got new toys, but the most recent add on was brutal posts. if I could turn off brutal posts, or turn off that counter CPA behavior (without going full lazy AI) I might not feel so strongly for alternate paths to victory. With the way they made HW attacking... I'd rather spend 30 minutes defending against all hell breaking loose following by 2 super H/Ks because it's less "unfun"

People have shown showdown can get nastier than final attacks in fallen spire campaign. Just saying.

-------My Rant about why I hate the *newer* homeworld mechanics-------
1) artificially inflates the value of the CPA post because you absolutely can't take 2 CPA at once, forcing you to alpha CPA post so you'll only have to take 2 inside 10 min. god help you if 2 CPA post spawn... if that hasn't been hard coded against.
2) forces mode switches between offense and heavy defense. I'd be fine with this happening once, but repeatedly you are basically forced to switch rapidly due to the 30 minute intervals on ever worse CPAs. This can stalemate you into defense and cost you a game because the artificial difficulty increase, my problem with that being that it happens only after several hours have been sunk into a match. If some arbitrary "U Lose" mechanic is going to screw me, do it before the endgame.
3) The deployment of reserves at all power to defend homeworlds means they're a tough nut to crack and having to switch into defense mode lets off pressure allowing them to rebuild. This means more tedious clearing at the offensive portions of HW assaults before you can even get close to a post.
4) No artillery/ other really great post cleaners on HW assaults.. so, force me to do it the slow way while running an artificial clock mechanism? That's punishing good play by not allowing it to work.
5) no cloaking on homeworlds: this is just a copout because spirecraft penetrators were deemed too powerful. Heavy anticloaking I could understand. a post type that has planetary tachyon so I can take it out early, I could understand. putting the anti cloaking on the final thing I kill, which I cannot kill earlier than last? that's bull. This particular gripe has a silver lining, it justifies the existence of the sensor hack.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 22, 2015, 08:06:46 AM
***2 weeks prior***
"General, long ranges scans are indicating combat activities are beginning in sector 37, but there were no remaining signs of human life there"  the ensign said.

General West glanced up from the documents he had been reading; "Are the AIs fighting among themselves? If not, then who or what is fighting them?"

"It appears to be following combat protocols from sector 2 liberation activities, sir. Since we have not detected any signs of extended range mobility developing there, we can only assume they are using the same remote hijacking methodology we developed here."

Another ensign rushed in "Sir, the heavy AI data streams we intercepted... There's a third AI, known as Red Quest- based in sector 2. Due to ddos style attacks and data overloading efforts on both sides of the communications, along with heavy encryption, that's all we have determined so far."

"Thank you both, you may return to your posts" ordered the general. He then looked back to his tablet and began writing a letter to the defense ministry, highlighting the earlier AI activity pattern changes in sector 37, the reveal of a new AI serving humanity in sector 2, and the engagement of hostilities in sector 37, and requesting the AI room be made available to analyze battle data from sector 37.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 22, 2015, 08:44:48 AM
*12 days prior to current*

"General, just because sector 2's Red Quest.." the senator began

"Queen actually, the technicians had it wrong at first..."

"Red Queen" continued the senator, annoyed by the interruption "has established contact with the AIs and begun fighting a proxy war in sector 37 does not mean there is any new threat to us here in sector 1. The warp grid is sealed off via those ancient devices, even if they are practicing warfare we are immune to attack. If they somehow try establishing a foothold, the outcast will find them and destroy them."

"Humanity once relied on well armed outside support in warfare, that is how this all began. While the Exodian Blade has not yet turned against us, it openly admits being cast out of their society, and none of us even know the reasons. Not knowing the reasons, our trust is poorly placed, regardless of it's performance against the AIs" countered general West. "We should reactivate the golden shield protocol until the enemy falls back into well known, well understood patterns of activity"

"Command doesn't agree about that. Running an AI, even in a sealed room with only a display for outputs and disposable data cards for input, is still considered asking for extinction by the people. Furthermore, the outcast was willing to sacrifice it's own existence to stop the AIs if need be. That was proof enough, and we have asked the exile to assist with decompiling the ongoing communications between Red, White, and Black. We shall continue to watch the battle unfold in sector 37."

"With all due respect ma'am, the red moves recently make no sense. We need that processing power to figure out what it's game is against White and Black."

"It is the opinion of the council that would not be in the best interests of humanity at this time general. You are dismissed."
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 22, 2015, 09:08:18 AM
*10 days before current*
A loud buzz sounded on the intercoms "General West to the defense council chambers, immediately"

The general continued down the corridor at a quick walk. He had known this would happen, had feared it would when Red's seemingly illogical strategic decisions revealed to have been issued to save a human colony. A colony that Red had destroyed with a nuclear weapon immediately after defeating the second AI in sector 37. The council had clearly been watching as well.

As he entered the council chambers, quiet conversations hushed. The chairwoman stared him down intently "I presume you're aware of the situations in sectors 2 and 37?" she began.

"37 I am regrettably aware, but I was not watching sector 2 as there was no combat there to the best of my knowledge."

"Sector 2 wasn't a battle, it was wholesale murder. Red opened the airlocks. The other AIs are attempting to turn Red into an ally via a series of wargames it would seem, and have already caused it's attitude to shift against humanity. We are re-authorizing the golden shield protocol. Have it study the entirety of Red's battle plans, along with the buildup you reported prior. Continue feeding it live sector scans so it can try and predict the next sector where the AI intends to do these practice runs."

"Yes ma'am. Might I ask what we should do if we detect another war game being set up?"

"Then we will intervene militarily under your command, general."

"Senator, how do you propose we do that? We're off the warp grid. Also since my life is not necessarily on the line for this one, how can I be certain politicians won't interfere should a war break out?"

"The outcast has been preparing a one way gate that can launch our command station into a different system, but there would be no way home. With proper equipment on the far side we could beam in mercenary forces from sector 1 though. When we go, we are taking golden shield with us."

"You evaded my second question, senator."

"In the event that we launch, only I will be coming along for the politicians, the rest will be remaining behind. We will also be enacting Martial Law. Under those circumstance, would you agree to accompany and lead this expedition, general?"

"I can only agree hoping it doesn't come to pass. I'll get simulations running."

"You are dismissed then, general."

As general West left the chambers heading back for his command briefing room to issue the orders, he silently prayed he wouldn't have to fight in another war.

8 days later, his prayers were answered.... with a resounding "NO"
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Pumpkin on November 22, 2015, 01:06:14 PM
no MF.. meaning modular fortress? I have _never_ used one. I don't gate raid, as a rule even when it was popular, so I have never needed 3K knowledge worth of firepower on 1 planet.
no plot (done it) no auto aip (done it) no AI types- what does that mean? I always go random all (including technologist).. does that count?
Also note this game was made on a 60 planet map to keep it short (and honestly since I dont care much for unlocks I usually play with CSGs turned off because I don't value the ARS as much as most players.)
With the settings you describe, I believe I have already done that actually, one of the main reasons I leave golems on is because I find homeworld assaults tedious and unfun. The enforced CPAs after you deal significant damage to any post has a few effects I dislike and feel are detrimental to the experience

I have won on those settings on 8/8 btw, in my neinzul game off which I wrote a steam guide.
Sorry, I didn't paid enough attention to my writing: I meant Minor Faction for MF. My point was to suggest you try a vanilla game with no superweapon and no painful plot. Just humans VS AI. Homeworld assaults may indeed be frustrating or tediously difficult, but I swear there is fun there, and this fun may only be unearthed by foregoing superweapons. As I said: it took me many defeats and a deep relearning of the game, but I managed to do it, and now I rarely play with golems.

Quote
All these extra features where added to homeworlds as players got new toys, but the most recent add on was brutal posts. if I could turn off brutal posts, or turn off that counter CPA behavior (without going full lazy AI) I might not feel so strongly for alternate paths to victory. With the way they made HW attacking... I'd rather spend 30 minutes defending against all hell breaking loose following by 2 super H/Ks because it's less "unfun"

People have shown showdown can get nastier than final attacks in fallen spire campaign. Just saying.
Mmkay, you're a defense guy. I love AI War because of that: many different players may find many different ways to both win and have fun. Hey, you make me want to do a showdown campaign again. I did it only once and I was rather newb beck in the days (I mean, even more than today). I guess I found my theme for my Outa Tracks MkIII.

Quote
-------My Rant about why I hate the *newer* homeworld mechanics-------
1) artificially inflates the value of the CPA post because you absolutely can't take 2 CPA at once, forcing you to alpha CPA post so you'll only have to take 2 inside 10 min. god help you if 2 CPA post spawn... if that hasn't been hard coded against.
I already withstood a double Teuthida. And a double Wrath Lance. That was rather !!fun!! .  There should be achievements for this kind of nasty double-trouble homeworlds.

Quote
2) forces mode switches between offense and heavy defense. I'd be fine with this happening once, but repeatedly you are basically forced to switch rapidly due to the 30 minute intervals on ever worse CPAs. This can stalemate you into defense and cost you a game because the artificial difficulty increase, my problem with that being that it happens only after several hours have been sunk into a match. If some arbitrary "U Lose" mechanic is going to screw me, do it before the endgame.
Attack guys are rewarded for running a complete Homeworld assault in less than 30 minutes (as I often do at 7/7). Defense guys are able to take down a Homeworld with more time. For me this mechanism isn't insanely hard.

Quote
3) The deployment of reserves at all power to defend homeworlds means they're a tough nut to crack and having to switch into defense mode lets off pressure allowing them to rebuild. This means more tedious clearing at the offensive portions of HW assaults before you can even get close to a post.
My strategy is barely alway to ignore Strategic Reserve and go for the GPosts.

Quote
4) No artillery/ other really great post cleaners on HW assaults.. so, force me to do it the slow way while running an artificial clock mechanism? That's punishing good play by not allowing it to work.
I don't understand that. You mean you can't use artillery on HWorlds? But-but-but... Artillery Golems (is this kind of artillery you're talking about) are working for HWorlds assaults! ... IIRC... ???

Quote
5) no cloaking on homeworlds: this is just a copout because spirecraft penetrators were deemed too powerful. Heavy anticloaking I could understand. a post type that has planetary tachyon so I can take it out early, I could understand. putting the anti cloaking on the final thing I kill, which I cannot kill earlier than last? that's bull. This particular gripe has a silver lining, it justifies the existence of the sensor hack.
Yeah, that's an artificial mechanism for avoiding cheezy attacks.

* * * Lore bits * * *

All right! Nice! The scene is being built. I like it. So Red.Queen is going bananas and general West is warped in with an army to clean the mess. Am I right? Am I? :D
Can't wait to see the rest of the story! (and the rest of the game, of course)

Well, I bet I have my MkIII setup pretty well established. Thanks for cheering me up in the AAR field! I was a bit sad and lonely since Mal and R.Q suddenly disappeared.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 22, 2015, 01:18:32 PM
5:45:00
CPA Launched
5:51:27
CPA dead

*unlocked firefly 2
*unlocked firefly 3
*unlocked commando 2

6:00:00 status is similar to before but about 220 of each merc ship type now (trying to attach pic failed and wiped my post, doing this from memory as I take notes directly into the post during play)

decide to knock out the core world I have to pass through because muni boost command post is annoying. Also that gets me the K I needed to:
*unlocked commando 3

used mk 2 and 3 youngling spam on AI HW to take down the mobile post and the anti starship post (note that at 1M damage a shot, it's really meant as anti golem)
flew youngling waves in transports across system to hit Tuethida post 1 repeatedly until destroyed.
Flew in lightning warhead 2 to take out zenith fort post and electric post as well as barracks ships and a chunk of reserves (shot barracks with widow golem quick to trigger release early then withdrew widow)
then started youngling spam to distract the defense ships to cover for a pair of mark 2 lightning warheads being applied against the exo as it tries to fly out a different wormhole. catch about 70% of it, rest will break on my defenses. also arty sniped out it's flagship.
got annoyed that I couldn't use wasps as a distraction, HW instant killed a full load from my hive golem. this happens every time I get a hive golem lol.
Gathered strength and waited for reserves to get put away. moment they where, rushed with younglings covering a lightning warhead 1 to take out the heavy beam post under a shield and catch most the reserves. took widow around wide to deal with riot control post and tuethida #2, then had it come back to kill HCS
total time used by attack: 15 minutes.
Total warheads used: 2 for posts, 2 vs cps, 4 total
AIP total of said warheads: 7
golems are all above 70% and back in friendly territory. Homeworld #1 is down.
Time: 6:18:37
now to get this war fleet to attack point 2, which i think was classed as P9
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Toranth on November 22, 2015, 01:40:04 PM
used mk 2 and 3 youngling spam on AI HW to take down the mobile post and the anti starship post (note that at 1M damage a shot, it's really meant as anti golem)
flew youngling waves in transports across system to hit Tuethida post 1 repeatedly until destroyed.
Younglings are a favorite method of mine to deal with Cthuhlu posts - quick, strong, and immune to reclamation!  They also clog the AI's targeting lists, which can be almost as good during Homeworld assaults.

got annoyed that I couldn't use wasps as a distraction, HW instant killed a full load from my hive golem. this happens every time I get a hive golem lol.
It used to be that Hive Golems were basically an instant-win on AI Homeworlds - pop through the wormhole, unload, pop back out.  Golem is never in any danger but the AI loses everything.  So that got, er, 'countered'.  I'd prefer the anti-Wasp mechanic to be less arbitrary (maybe have it auto-kill all minor drones AI or human?) but it solved a major problem.

Gathered strength and waited for reserves to get put away. moment they where, rushed with younglings covering a lightning warhead 1 to take out the heavy beam post under a shield and catch most the reserves. took widow around wide to deal with riot control post and tuethida #2, then had it come back to kill HCS
Huh.  Must admit, I've never tried going way to get the reserves to pop out as a strategy before.  That's a good idea - depending on where the AI HCS is, it could pull them halfway across the system...  Nice one.


Mmkay, you're a defense guy. I love AI War because of that: many different players may find many different ways to both win and have fun. Hey, you make me want to do a showdown campaign again. I did it only once and I was rather newb beck in the days (I mean, even more than today). I guess I found my theme for my Outa Tracks MkIII.
-------My Rant about why I hate the *newer* homeworld mechanics-------
1) artificially inflates the value of the CPA post because you absolutely can't take 2 CPA at once, forcing you to alpha CPA post so you'll only have to take 2 inside 10 min. god help you if 2 CPA post spawn... if that hasn't been hard coded against.
I already withstood a double Teuthida. And a double Wrath Lance. That was rather !!fun!! .  There should be achievements for this kind of nasty double-trouble homeworlds.
Double CPAs can be dealt with, easier than double Wrath Lance or double CREs in my opinion.  First strategy is kill the other AI first, of course.  But CPAs are slow to build.  If you're truly in the endgame, you often have time to kill the entire 2nd AI Homeworld before the CPA actually threatens to kill you.

If you can't handle it that way, you can actually use the CPA posts to make the HW assault easier:  Trigger them with just a few units, then kill the CPA with warheads + fleet.  Each time the CPAs trigger and die, the total number of AI units in the galaxy goes down.  Half of each CPA comes from the reserves, so after a few triggers the reserves are mostly gone without even needing to fight them on the AI HW.  If you aren't prepared, it can be difficult to kill the CPAs quickly or without losses that take time to replace - but if you are ready, it is a lot like tricking the AI into throwing its forces away.

And Pumpkin - Play around with the Brutal AI - randomly encountering Wrath Lances just a hop or two from your homeworld can be real !!fun!!.
Almost as much fun as Turtle-Bouncer Diff 9+ dual AI on a highly connected map.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Pumpkin on November 22, 2015, 02:38:49 PM
And Pumpkin - Play around with the Brutal AI - randomly encountering Wrath Lances just a hop or two from your homeworld can be real !!fun!!.
Almost as much fun as Turtle-Bouncer Diff 9+ dual AI on a highly connected map.
Héhé. :D
I tried the Brutal AI once -- never finished the game, thought (barely begun). I was so disappointed I posted this mad idea (https://arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=16610) on Mantis. I need to give it a full try.

Double Turtle-Bouncer on Lattice? Noted. ;D
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 22, 2015, 05:03:22 PM
lol Toranth, that's dwarf fortress fun right there! Sadly that game's ui is just too counter intuitive for me. I figure out a bit more each time I come back to it, but I'm completely incompetent there currently.

Units reached P9 by 6:25. knocked out the crippled core world and moved for HW assault.
the brutals where CPA sitting next to a Tuetha with a wrath lance in the deep south.
I thought I'd be able to ignore the wrath lance with it's range listed at 14,000 but was rapidly disabused of this notion.
With the excessive leftover threat in the galaxy and another CPA coming, I ordered a couple planets to decolonize to prevent shark issues. At times it was touch and go on the defenses, where more warheads where used than in the HW fight. P6 and the core world next to P5 where decolonized, the core world I barely made it out in time due to lack of warheads in the region. P6 there was never a battle there but I didn't feel like chancing it.

I used a lightning 2 to knock out the mobile posts that came right up close to the entrance for me like good dogs. I used an armored warhead to take out the wrath lance in the deep south (HCS was at very high 12 o'clock, entry was at 4:30 slightly near the mid)
after that I was delayed waiting for the next armored to build at my staging world P9 (I literally scrapped 23 engineer 2's at the HW to rebuild them on P9 to beat the CPA timer) and during the wait I tried slipping a lightning 1 into a beam and neinzul cockroach post. This did not go well. I got my armored in and pointed it at the CPA post, hoping to make it in time. the exo hit and the AI got an armored golem.
Golems are thankfully slower than molasses. it was going north to not face my staging world, I knew I had about a dozen hops before this would hit.
put widow after the 2 posts my missile had failed to reach, then to the final heavy beam post. youngling have been streaming in ever since the lightning warhead that didn't make it, and I had all but 1 enclave star 1 of my enclaves and carriers 1-4 present. arty finally ambled his tail in after the armored warhead wiped both it's targets and most of the remaining reserves (I had struck during a CPA)
Due to Arty being late to the party I redirected widow to take out ion cannons while arty chewed through shields to get at the fort to stay out of it's range.
widow ended up stealing the fort kill and made short work of the HCS after, I think the exo made it 2 hops away in that time.
final time: 6:47:25
Top 5 kill generators:
Heavy Beam Cannons 118,801
MLRS Turret 21,661
Golems 9,528 (note there was 2887 under experimental, I bet that's the wasps)
Heavy Defense (forts) 9,113
Warheads (35) 5,474

Would like to put in a picture but attachment bug keeps eating my posts...
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Toranth on November 22, 2015, 05:19:06 PM
Double Turtle-Bouncer on Lattice? Noted. ;D
60, count 'em, 60 little Bouncers in this system  :P

(http://i.imgur.com/040skKV.png)


final time: 6:47:25
Top 5 kill generators:
Heavy Beam Cannons 118,801
MLRS Turret 21,661
Golems 9,528 (note there was 2887 under experimental, I bet that's the wasps)
Heavy Defense (forts) 9,113
Warheads (35) 5,474
Ah, HBC love.  Only 20 times the kills of your Golems.  If they had just a little more range, I might try using the Mk IV offensively, even on HW assaults.  Who'd need Golems at that point?
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 22, 2015, 06:19:35 PM
well, the HBC4 was probably 100K of that, considering I sat it 16K off a sentry eye for metal farming... though in the end I replaced that command center with a military 3 (9K strength attack, the warhead made it in time) during the final HW assault.. I didn't want defense distractions.
also, 60 posts in one system... you, sir, are a glutton for punishment.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Malkiel on November 23, 2015, 07:27:04 PM
Post game thoughts:
the waves where disappointing. normal waves never reached a point where they could be considered an even pseudo-viable threat
CPAs are nastier than I remembered, but it had been a few months.
Shark plot B on both AIs was excessive as it was basically a sudden wave equal to 1/2 cpa strength the moment something went wrong.. per AI using the plot.
HW attacks aren't as bad as I recall, though I have never so heavily used warheads before
Golems really are rediculous.Their energy costs are way too low on high. should probably be 5 times where they sit.
Forts are oddly competant defensively compared to my less than favorable memory of their performance.
younglings are OP, I don't know why I bother making mercenaries when I used a total of 15 merc etherjets for combat during the whole game despite my well documented stockpile of mercs.
The decolonize option is something I will have to keep in mind for future games, ditching ground I no longer needed didn't hinder me at all.
Chivalric made me a sad panda, defense was too easy. It also meant I didn't have to bother hacking half the things I normally would have because taking them normally would be just as certain to have them forever. never choosing that again.
Human colony rebellions was turned on, I swear it.. apparently, their engineers built better cloaks this run. yay for minor faction failing to impact the game whatsoever.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 1
Post by: Pumpkin on November 24, 2015, 03:52:25 AM
Congratulations!

I agree: Shark plots are nasty. I think they are just like "I bet I won't do any mistake in this game". That's why I removed them from my next AAR's plans. If they would have been part of a larger, more interesting plot/faction/campaign, and self-balanced, Shark would have been interesting, but as they are now, they're really harsh.

Golem, eh? I think they make games too easy, even on hard. I know Homeworlds' assaults may seem daunting at first, but I feel golems are like Assault Transports: they're so powerful and so effective at dealing with heavily defended planets they make all other subtle strategies useless. Maybe try a low-difficulty game with no superweapon and do a homeworld assault with a regular fleet (and starships and nukes and stuff, of course!)

On the topic of the Human Colony Rebellion, I think there is many fun Minor Factions that are just crushed by superweapons. IMO, AI War has experienced a power creep that culminated with the Exodian Blade campaign. (See this (https://youtu.be/Bxszx60ZwGw) episode of Extra Credits.) I mean, I love them, but I'm sad there is so few lore-juicy campaigns that doesn't end in an insane powerfight. Anyway, I'm digressing. Sorry. I'll talk about that in one of my next mod drafts.

Well, congratulations again! I hope to see you in your next... Wait, what?
Thoughts for next game: (...)
;)