Author Topic: Provoking the AI  (Read 5812 times)

Offline Winge

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Provoking the AI
« on: April 21, 2014, 11:03:04 PM »
After dealing with the worst kind of guardian, Real Life Dire Work Guardian, I decided it would be best to start with a simple game of 7/7.  And then take every single planet possible in a 120-planet galaxy.  Yup, finally time for me to do an AIP test!

All Expansions
120 Planets Realistic, random start
Map Seed:  339910652
7 Random Moderate/Easier + Random Easier
     +Avenger
7 Random Moderate + Moderate/Easier
     +Avenger
     +Trains 4
Revealing AI types after start

All Ships Enabled
Full Fog of War

Human Resistance 4
Human Marauders 4
Colony Rebellions 4
Zenith Traitor Trader
Dyson Sphere 4
Broken Golems Hard 4
Spirecraft Hard 4 (I might regret this; I've never done against Exos without FS)
Roaming Enclaves 4
Schizo Waves

Considering I've never done some of these options (or did very poorly), and I plan to take over 100+ planets (probably around 3,000 AIP in planets alone), this could be fun.
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2014, 09:07:38 AM »
Real Life Dire Work Guardian
A fearsome foe indeed.

Welcome back :)


Quote
Considering I've never done some of these options (or did very poorly), and I plan to take over 100+ planets (probably around 3,000 AIP in planets alone), this could be fun.
What could go wrong?

Oh, right, "multiple exos to the face" would qualify.
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 10:22:20 AM »
Trains in an AIP test! Sounds new to me.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 10:42:01 AM »
Trains in an AIP test! Sounds new to me.

Indeed.  I disabled those to have as vanilla as possible (even turned of Avengers).  Also, #IHateTrains

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2014, 05:53:19 PM »
And…I get Autocannon Minipods.  Lovely...

AI1 is Tag Teamer + Gravity Driller.  Well, I won’t hurt for resources.
AI2 is Assassin + Bully.  Uh…is that supposed to be possible.  LOL
Enemy bonus ships seen so far:  Vampire Claws, Parasites, Shrikes

Research Harvester II and Scout II almost immediately.  I’m going to want both.  Bomber II after I test New Income’s defenses out a bit.  New Income has a Planetary Armor Booster, and will be a good early defensive choke.  It also has 6 metal asteroids; the highest for a while.  And a CSG-E.

First wave announced…36 ships.  I’m trying not to laugh, but I’m not succeeding.  I like the new scrap mechanic so far.  Second wave for…16 ships?  OK, now I’m laughing.
Wait…the AI has TDLs?  Definitely going to Design Hack to remove those.  Researching Military II early for extra boost.  Found the first ARS.  Decent plant, has a lot of metal, a Grav Drill…and it’s right next to a DG Lair system.  I still haven’t faced those (which shows just how long I’ve been away…I haven’t even tried the new hacking mechanic!).

First ARS:


19:19   Oh, right, timestamps.  Forgot about those.  New Income cleared, and living up to its namesake.  I kind of want to clear The Moon, as it is a Mk IV world with a Troop Accelerator Command Station.  I don’t quite have the capability to do that yet, though.

20:53   Tanking my economy whilst building up defenses.  Yay.  I go ahead and take out the Warp Gate at Duke’s Vision, leaving the enemy with only one path into my territory, New Income.  At 35 AIP now.  Scouting continues, but so far I haven’t found anything else noteworthy.

31:46   Duke’s Vision captured.  I’m at 50 AIP; waves should give me a little bit more scrap now.  Decided that when the Exos hit, I really wanted a planet in between my HW and the AI’s.  Especially since the only golem I see is on a Dire Guardian Lair planet, 4 hops out or so.  I’m leaving the train station up here for now; time will tell if that’s a bad idea or not. 

36:23   Double wave to New Income for 101 ships.  Trader visits Duke’s Vision.  He doesn’t head towards my homeworld, so I order and pause a ZPG.  I also set up a Black Hole Machine, but I doubt I’ll make use of that one before moving on.

43:24   Unlock Hardened Forcefields, try to get some construction done on the ZPG.  I don’t get far, as I don’t have enough metal quite yet.  I’m OK on power anyway, I just don’t want to lose it to a random shot.  I also unlock Assault Transports to make attacks easier.

53:00   TDLs in the AI’s hands suck.  Thankfully, the Design Backup to get rid of them is only 2 hops away.

1:02:12   That’s enough for the night.  I’m about ready to wipe out all Tachyon Coverage from Mantalaar, then perform a Design Corruption hack on Perpetual Sin (Tackle Drone Launchers *shakes fist*).  That will allow me to progress reasonably without going completely Starship-heavy.  I haven’t hacked under the new mechanic, so I’m not sure what to expect.  State of the empire.

State of the Empire:


My numbering, for reference:
P0:   Pointless.  Basically, lets me know that I’ve checked a planet out, so I don’t need to pay any more attention to it.  I also mark my own planets with this if they aren’t important to me.
P1:   Minor Hazard, usually something like an Ion Cannon or really annoying defensive setup.
P2:   Gamechanging hazard.  AI Eyes, Black Hole Generators, or other major hurdles get this flag (so I don’t jump in a system with a Nuclear Eye or something).
P3:   Data Center, SuperTerminal.
P4:   Co-processor, Design Backup.
P5:   Fabricator or Turret Controller.
P6:   Interplanetary Hazard!  Can be something like a Dire Guardian Lair, Interplanetary Munitions Booster, or Raid Engine.  I pay close attention to these when attacking.
P7:   Advanced Factory/Starship Constructor.
P8:   ARS, Core World.
P9:   Homeworld or pressing objective.  In this case, Tackle Drone Launcher Design Backup.  Yeah, I want it gone badly.


Edit:  did something change with image linking?  for some reason, my images in the text are very small, and won't resize for me.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 05:57:17 PM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 12:30:49 AM »
1:12:49   I manage to trigger my first reprisal wave.  Only level 1, so it doesn’t do anything but add scrap towards my ZPG.  I’m working on clearing out The Moon, in preparation to hack on Perpetual Sin.  The hack itself should be pretty easy, as I have 50 HaP right now.  I use Assault Transports and Raid SS to take out a pesky Ion Cannon II under 2 Spire Shield Guardians, while my main force (still in some rather stout transports) lures the majority of the free AI ships away from the Raids.  Raid SS retreat into the transport and go back into hiding.  The commotion (read:  me getting hammered by Mk IV defenders) draws the ire of Marauders, so I pull back to let them duke it out.  I lost a lot of my fast ship group, but I still have a lot of the more expensive slow group.  Sadly, I do lose an Enclave.  You will be remembered…er…whatever your name was!  Refleet time.  Clearly, now is the time to unlock Riot IIs.  No remaining knowledge for now.

1:22:47   A Roaming Enclave befriends me.  How kind!  I go ahead and set up two matter converters, as I’m rather short on energy right now (and will be until I can knock out a few more worlds).  Note that, while I am taking all of the planets, I am not just carving out a line.  I’m going to try and get a few key worlds first to improve my strength, then start glassing territory.

1:24:33   At Midnight Star, I discover an ASC.  On Lucky Planets (lol?), I find the ST world with a Data Center as a bonus.  That whole area is a very dangerous and very profitable expanse of space.  Needless to say, that’s where I’m heading after the hack.

1:33:01   I’m ready to strike at The Moon again.  I’d like to at least neuter it, if not crush it completely.  If I do decide to cap it, it will be a sacrificial lamb at this point.  It doesn’t even have any metal deposits…

1:52:45   New Moon neutered; that should lower the danger of the Troop Accelerator.  Now time to clear a path to the Design Backup…oh, I went the wrong way…I hate un-untangleable maps  :'(

2:15:52   Montalaar neutered.  That was rougher than expected, especially for a Mk III planet.  I wonder if I found the SF staging point?  Marauders helped me out.  Also, outranging enemy starships who have their engines destroyed is wonderful and hilarious.  Sadly, reinforcements are surprisingly high this game, so I can’t just kite them down.  I am seriously considering just Assault Jumping my hacker onto Perpetual Sin.  With my limited amount of knowledge (and high Mk planets right next to me), I am having a very hard time neutering and capturing planets.  I might just take Mantalaar now for knowledge.

2:30:03   After a few setbacks (of all of the trains, the only one pissing me off is the Tachyon Train--I guess nuclear trains are diff 8+), I corrupted the enemy’s Tackle Drone Launcher Production.  Much celebration was had.  Now, I desperately need to capture a planet or two and get some more knowledge and resources in the bank.

2:37:28   Montalaar captured, AIP at 70, back up to 50 HaP.  Starting the knowledge gathering process and deciding what Spirecraft I want.

2:48:25   Time to call it a night.  I’ve located an Advanced Factory and a second ARS…both close to the first, actually.  I might snag the Gravity Drill world, Aldrin, and make it my new Whipping Boy.  I don’t think I’m strong enough yet to deepstrike the Dire Guardian Lair and destroy the spawned guardians (although I might be able to tank them).  But first, I’ll want to clear Veil of Delusion.
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2014, 10:11:19 PM »
You know what?  I used to take out AI defenses with much more ease on difficulty 9/9.  Time to stop playing around, and use the Ram Style* of space fighting.
*For those not familiar with 8-Bit Theater, the Ram Style involves breaking the enemy’s weapon with your head.  There are very few masters of the Ram Style of fighting…

2:51:31   I was going to research Spire Starships…and then I saw that they were no longer Gravity Immune.  Too bad, that would greatly speed up conquest of Gravity Drill Worlds.  I still get them for taking out heavy stationary targets (especially shields).


3:16:20   Ok, something seems wrong here.  I can’t go anywhere without seeing around 12+ Mk III starships.  It’s not special forces, as none of these locations have a CSG.  It shouldn’t be reinforcements, as I am at 70 AIP on 7/7.  I must be missing something, but I don’t know what.  CPA and wave coming in.  They had better actually come to me; I want the scrap.  Luring in some threat would be nice as well.
Also, Tachyon Trains need a major nerfbat hit.  Free planetary coverage is way too powerful (even if it’s temporary).  I’m starting to remember why I never play with trains enabled.


3:35:17   With 2 Exo waves incoming, and not very strong defenses, all told, I decide that it is well past time for some effective negotiations.  By which I mean, minor Assault Transport Cheese Whiz.  And savescumming.  And anything else I feel like doing.


3:50:25   The Ion Cannon and Anti-Starship guardian on Aldrin are down, without any heavy losses.  Zenith Power Generator up (no more Matter Converters).  I’d better start constructing that OMD for the Exos, which are at 60% right now.  Sadly, threat is being lazy and just hiding somewhere.  I hate it when it does that.


3:56:00   Aldrin’s defenders are down to only around 6 Mk III starships.  Pretty soon, I’ll be able to take it for my own.  Too bad I couldn’t keep the Ion Cannon as well, but I needed fleetships for this one, and I don’t like taking a lot of losses.  I hope to keep that Gravity Drill for a while; the extra income is nice.


4:03:42   Threat finally shows it’s lazy face at Montalaar.  Marauders and Resistance show up to.  I use the opportunity to collect scrap and remove a lot of the AI’s remaining TDLs.  I my strike team is too slow to get there, but my fast team, with Military Station and Resistance support, is able to clean up.


4:06:18   Can Resistance fighters please just hang around my planets unless I am attacking?  Such a waste…Unlocking EMP mines.  I’m going to need them.


4:21:28   Aldrin Command Station removed.  Now for the long process of…evicting…the remaining defenders.  Gravity Drills are both wonderful and annoying.


4:30:00   Aldrin colonized and partially defended.  I decide that it’s time for the Astro Train Station on Duke’s Vision to go.


4:36:58   Time to unlock and start placing Area Mines.  Yum.  Also, to the threat that just won’t come…say hello to shield bearer + Martyr.  Come.  Here.  NOW.


4:54:44   Time to call it a day.  I can’t say I’ve gotten very far, although I have thinned the enemy at Veil of Delusion a little bit.  I don’t remember attacking being this difficult; I probably need more offensive unlocks.  I’ll probably go for Enclave IIs when I come back, and reorder my groups a little bit.  I have my Enclaves too close to my other groups, and they’re dying off too soon.  Also, can swarmers in the player’s hands please get a buff?  I think I get more firepower out of my Autocannons when they are inside the Assault transport…

State of the Empire:




!Warning!
The Last Federation Guardian Detected.  AAR progress will likely slow.  Moons striking friendly planets also a mild possiblity.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 10:12:52 PM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 07:38:45 PM »
Time to stop playing around, and use the Ram Style* of space fighting.
When in doubt, use your head.

Then, lacking a head, your problems are solved.


Quote
3:16:20   Ok, something seems wrong here.  I can’t go anywhere without seeing around 12+ Mk III starships.
Yea, it's gotten a bit enthusiastic about those.  Nerf already incoming in 7.021. 

Quote
Also, Tachyon Trains need a major nerfbat hit.  Free planetary coverage is way too powerful (even if it’s temporary).  I’m starting to remember why I never play with trains enabled.
That's about as mild a train as there is, really.

Is it when they're on your planets that they especially bother you?  Or on AI planets, thus causing your scout pickets to die?


Quote
Also, can swarmers in the player’s hands please get a buff?  I think I get more firepower out of my Autocannons when they are inside the Assault transport…
Maybe they should just stay in the car :)


Quote
!Warning!
The Last Federation Guardian Detected.  AAR progress will likely slow.  Moons striking friendly planets also a mild possiblity.
Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of Magma.
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Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 11:11:10 PM »
Quote
Also, Tachyon Trains need a major nerfbat hit.  Free planetary coverage is way too powerful (even if it’s temporary).  I’m starting to remember why I never play with trains enabled.
That's about as mild a train as there is, really.

Is it when they're on your planets that they especially bother you?  Or on AI planets, thus causing your scout pickets to die?

I'm being melodramatic, to be sure.  I mostly hate losing my scout pickets.  Especially considering I have Exos on; I really need to know where those are coming from.  In addition, I am relying heavily on Assault Transports to get to good firing positions, as my next report will explain.  Losing cloak on those is very detrimental.  And honestly, I consider Shield Trains to be the least of my worries (at least since I'm not seeing Cargo or Nuke trains).  I don't mind the Armor Booster, Tachyon Jammer, or even Attack Booster trains much, tbh.  Tractor and Widow trains are the worst, but they only catch me if my forces are on a wormhole for any reason.


Quote
Also, can swarmers in the player’s hands please get a buff?  I think I get more firepower out of my Autocannons when they are inside the Assault transport…
Maybe they should just stay in the car :)

The thought had crossed my mind...

My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 11:23:44 PM »
And back to the show.
4:56:45   Enclaves Mk II unlocked.  I’m splitting the Enclaves into their own group (which includes an Assault Transport powered down, for good cloaking fun).  Hopefully, I can keep them from dying too quickly that way.  Exo progress is at 84%, so I also start building some Implosion Artillery.  I also have two ready Penetrators and Ram Is, should it come to that.  Which, given my experience with Exos, it probably will.


5:18:59   Astro trains are making it impossible for me to scout picket nearby planets for foreknowledge of the Exos’ paths.  Exo progress is at 92%, going upwards at a painfully slow rate.  I unlock the Zenith Starship Mk I for additional offensive and defensive power.  No knowledge left.


5:36:39   Exo wave timer…goes away?  Odd.  It didn’t show me how many ships were incoming.  Both exos head for Duke’s Vision.  Thankfully, my ships are right next door, and that planet has a OMD.


5:38:52   I don't know how, but the Command Center and all of my Zenith Trader (most importantly, the ZPG) on Duke's Vision survived.  The attackers shift to New Income.  Two Penetrator shots take down one of the 3 Plasma Siege Mk IVs, while the rest of my quickly rallied fast-movers come in to help.  I lose the Command Center there and 3 Spirecraft Implosion I’s, but nothing else of lasting consequence.  I begin mopping up the stragglers and rebuilding.  Yay for salvage!  And allied Enclaves.  And the OMD.





5:51:54   With repairs well under way (including the trader structures), I turn my attention once again to attacking.  I really want to bring Veil of Delusion under my control.  There’s a lot of threat there, including quite a few starships.  I think my best bet is to try and split/confuse the defenders using Assault Transport cloaking…and hope I don’t see a Tachyon train.  I’ll kill the Train Station there, to try and keep trains to the upper-right section of the map (although I’m sure this isn’t the only station I need to kill).


6:06:31   Now THAT was the cheese I was looking for!  Nothing like some brie to spice up the AI slaughter salad!
In all seriousness, though, you might want to tone down the AI’s aggression towards Enclave Starships.  I was able to keep the enemy’s Starships in partial limbo, in range of my Plasma Siege Starships by popping them in and out of a powered down Assault Transport.  Immune to Being Cloaked?  Not anymore!  I drop the ship count on Veil of Delusion to around 10 or so (sadly, almost all all starships and guardians), then pop back to friendly space to get rid of any lingering Reclamation damage.


6:11:07   Train Station, Co-Processor, and remaining defenders on Veil of Delusion are down.  116 AIP.  Shortly after, I take out the Command Center and colonize Veil of Delusion.  136 AIP, and a major thorn in my side gone.


6:15:24   Oh my.  In addition to the Ion Cannon IV on Thuruk’s Beard (which I knew about), that planet also has a Gravity Drill.  I would love to hold both of those against the AI, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to.  With a Dire Guardian Lair nextdoor, I’ll at least want to Warp Jammer it until I can get rid of that menace.  I’ll probably take The Moon first so that I have enough K to spend on Warp Jammer Stations.  That will also allow me to reduce the number of ingress points into my rather sprawling empire.  On the map, it looks close, but tracing the paths reveals that my empire may as well be on a Snake map.  I’m too tired to tackle any more AIW right now, so I call it a night.

State of the Empire



This brings up a question:  how on earth did I get vision on Gunne’s Crusade?   ???
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 11:27:08 PM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2014, 12:19:45 AM »
6:21:10   Cleared the incoming Tachyon of Thuruk’s Beard with Assault Transports.  An EMP Guardian wanders to The Moon, but doesn’t attack.  I will take The Moon next, partly for K purposes, and party to bring myself down to one wave entry point.  In fact, this seems like a wonderful opportunity to try out some of the Spirecraft changes.  After all, what could possibly go wrong?



6:58:25   That took way longer--and more tries--than expected.  That should be the last of the AI’s Tackle Drone Launchers, though.  A CPA hits and actually manages to take out a planet that I had left undefended because there were no irreplaceables.  Great opportunity to clear the threat from the CPA.

7:07:02   Unlocked Warp Jammer stations.  I replace my borders with Jammers, except for Aldrin, my wonderful, Gravity Drilling whipping boy.

7:20:46   The ARS I’ve been trying to reach for so long contains Munitions Boosters (default), Viral Shredders, and Attractor Drones  :-\.  Not my favorite choices overall.  I don’t think it’s worth hacking.

7:36:54   Golem Exo is over half…oddly enough, no sign of the Spirecraft Exo.  The AI manages to take out the Gravity Drill on Aldrin.  Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

7:54:28   The AI’s only wave way in has plenty of defenses built up.  I managed to clear a little bit off of Thuruk’s beard, including half of the Tachyon sources.  Incidentally, I found a way to keep my pickets alive—move them so far out of the gravity well that enemy ships cannot reach them before they can recloak (and out of the range of any Ion Cannons…it is possible, believe it or not).  If I can secure the area around the Ion Cannon IV (I’d like to keep that if possible…it’s shiny!), I’ll just slaughter the AI Command Center there and instabuild a Warp Jammer to hide my presence from the Dire Guardian Lair.  The Gravity Drill is doing wonders for keeping Special Forces (not to mention everything else) off of my Starship fleets.

State of the Empire



One thing that is confusing me:  some posters have said that Enclaves are extremely powerful because the AI focuses the drones and doesn't attack the Starships.  That has been the exact opposite of my experience.  The AI is so adamant about killing my Enclaves that I've found them useful for 'baiting' ships away from my other ships (which, since they include things like Riot and Plasma Siege Starships, means they eventually can't move at all).  In fact, I was losing horribly on offense until I separated my Enclaves from the fleet.  Does anyone else see the AI just sit and attack the drones?  Is there some trick with the Enclave Starships that I am missing?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 12:21:49 AM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2014, 11:35:11 AM »
7:59:29   Killed the Plasma Guard Posts next to the Ion Cannon IV on Thuruk’s Beard, while Enclaves kite away.  Taking a Gravity Drill world is somewhere in between trolling and being trolled by the AI.  Also killed the Data Center there, bring AIP back down to 136.  Trying to decide if I should use the calm before the Exos to deal with SF or neuter a few worlds before eating the next Exo.


Tasty Enclave Bait--just ignore my other forces, thank you!



8:36:15   Neutered, de-Data Centered, and gate-raided Hila’s Joy.  AIP now at 121.  Compared to all of the other planets I have attacked, this one was a piece of cake.  So few ships this time around.


8:44:13   Rebel Rebellion shows up 4 hops away from my worlds.  Thankfully, it’s in the direction I was going anyways, and there are no Gravity Drill worlds in between me and it.  I will probably end up Deepstriking it just to avoid any issues.  Rebel ships under my control will be a great boon.  Golem Exo at 95% (I’m kind of surprised that the Spirecraft Exo is behind, but I’m not complaining!).


8:54:54   Golem Exo repelled with no difficulty.  I expect the Spirecraft Exo to come in around 20 minutes or so.  I think I have enough time to Tachyon-raid my way to the rebelling colony.  Worst-case, I’m starting to build Armored Warheads.  In case of !!!FUN!!!


9:01:25   After a few tries (read: savescums with me cursing SF Riots and threatfleet), I realize that I pretty much have to take the ARS world first.  Otherwise, Riots with shields push around my cloaked transports, and I basically go nowhere.  Thuruk’s Beard Captured, AIP at 141.


9:25:41   Captured Family Njy, freeing the Rebel Colony.  For now, I have a jammer there, but I will probably switch to a Military C/C when I get a bit closer.  Threat takes out Montalaar, at which point I use a Martyr and my Spirecraft to tell the threat how I REALLY feel about it.  I can’t wait until I can find a Turret Controller.  The next exo is only minutes away, so I rally my defenders.





9:52:10   Situation stabilized.  I lost my second Gravity Drill, although I'm not entirely sure how.  Still, that's kind of a good thing--moving through that field is tedious.  I have threat down below 100, one new ARS, a very helpful Rebel Colony (which almost took the brunt of an EMP guardian; Colonies need to be EMP Immune).  I also have 7,500 K, but I’m not sure what to spend it on yet.  Between Exos, Rebellions, and Threat, I haven’t had much time to think.  I’ll ponder that a bit more in the interim.  This is a good time for a break.


State of the Empire
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 11:41:34 AM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 11:11:07 PM »
I guess I’ll update, even though that means I will be at more risk during the inevitable Superterminal hack.  Oh well, I guess that is an opportunity for some !Science!  At 7/7, I don’t really see anything else of major import changing.  So…unlocks…the AI has multiple cloaking ships, so I’m going to start with Military IIIs.  I really want Enclave IIIs (especially since I intend to either capture or hack an ASC), but I can’t afford them with Military IIIs.  I think I’ll hold off on anything else until I capture another planet.  But we’ll see how the next stage goes.

Before I begin that, though, I am going to get rid of what remains of threat.  Which has an EMP Guardian.  There’s nothing quite as disturbing as hearing the EMP sound, but not seeing the warning anywhere…  They are currently on Hila’s Joy, which I have thankfully neutered already.

Aaannddd, the AI immediately announces a CPA for 717 ships.  Not a huge amount, but I’ll have to deal with threat right after dealing with threat…*sigh*.  719 remaining threat won’t attack me…I hate the threat changes.  I understand that we want the AI to use threat better…but it just sitting in AI space while I trash their worlds really isn’t helping them.  Oh well, time for the next move.

--Operation:  If it Ain’t Broke, Fix It—
Time to start snipping.  I’m going to neuter as much of the AI’s space as I can safely do right now.  I might need a few unlocks (especially since I need some of my fleet to deter the AI’s threat, or kill it when it stops being useless).  This will take a while, so I’m only going to cover the highlights.

Special Forces stall me on Xenon Sector 101.  Assault transports getting pushed around by Riot shields is really annoying.  Strangely, they don’t show up again on my second visit.  I don’t understand why until I go to deal with the threat that finally shows up on Kha’ak Sector 101:  they hadn’t arrived yet.  Sadly, threat just turns tail and runs when I show up, and I couldn’t pursue due to enemy Riots.  Out of curiosity, should AI Carriers pop when they are still on AI worlds?  I don’t remember the criteria.

Popping a Counter Post III on Bad Debt sends a counter-wave to my Homeworld.  Annoying, but I ought to get some really good salvage out of that.  Sure enough, I’m able to neuter one world and still have my whole fleet back home by the time the wave hits.  Not that I need them.  I use my 3 Penetrators to take out the Plasma Siege III (the only real threat) in one shot.  Enclaves kill the rest before I can even reach them.  That will give me an additional 500,000 metal (currently at a rate of 4,000 m/s…hello Trader Goodies!).  Also, found an ARS on Senator’s Badlands.  I manage to take out the Tachyon Sentinel going in…but I nearly pay dearly for it.  Whatever those units/guard posts are, they immediately drop my Enclave’s Transport (thankfully, I was able to retreat them through the wormhole).  I nearly lose my other two transports between Tachyon trains and trying (unsuccessfully, but that’s largely my fault) to get rid of the Ion Cannon II on that system.  I’ll have to make a more dedicated effort later.  My next task is to take out the DG lair on Family Ryk.


11:39:10 Neutered so far:
Kha’ak Sector (+Warp Gate)
Xenon Sector 101
Bad Debt (+Train Station)
Family Rhy


State of the Empire
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 11:13:50 PM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 09:09:40 PM »
Another day, another patch.  I think I typically see 4-5 patches per game.  Not quite sure I understand the hacking changes, but I think I’ll have a better grasp on them after I start going hack-crazy (a ways off yet).  The “Scientific Approach” always works in AIW.

Back to business.


With Exo waves not far off and a Dire Guardian Lair to clear (which I am completely unfamiliar with), I go ahead and prep a Martyr and build another penetrators.  I’m up to 4 “oh snap” Penetrators now.  Going to clear Tachy coverage and neuter Family Ryk, then take out the Lair.  I should have more than enough time before a DG spawns, and I want to see how close the Exos will be before I pop the Lair.

11:53:53   Family Ryk Neutered, Gate Raided, and De-trained?  Is that the right word?  Next Exo is golems, at 91%...I want to kill that Lair, but I should probably wait for a bit.  That way, I can be sure that the Special Forces are distracted and that I don’t eat an Exo unawares.

Incidentally, Assault Transports may need to be changed a bit.  They don’t put a planet on alert, even when they are attacking enemies there (and loaded ones are strong enough to take out standard Guard Posts).  However, the Special Forces will still be distracted by them, even when they are unloaded and just chilling in AI space.  If needed, I can post a save or two of this behavior.

12:10:53   Lost a Penetrator (still in construction) due to a stupid mistake on my part…unfortunate.  Exo repelled with no difficulty, though.  The next one is only at 67% charge; should be good to clear a bit more.


--Operation:  I Wonder What’s Inside?—
Dire Guardian Lair Spawns an Implosion, Needler, and Sniper Guardian on death.  Wow, those things hurt.  I don’t lose anything too big (although one Assault Trasnport dies disturbingly fast).  5 Penetrators on cooldown after changing the paint job of the Implosion Guardian to “Molten Steel.”  The Needler eats a lot of my units (close to 200 fleetships), but I survive.  The only thing the Sniper might have done was kill an Assault Transport; I always bring Counter-Sniper coverage.  The losses from that fight alone amount to a Level 1 Reprisal.  I’m glad I didn’t leave the Lair alone to spawn periodically; having to hunt those things down in threat would be rather rough.

12:14:26   Refleeted and ready for fun.


--Operation:  If it Ain’t Broke, Fix It Too—
Family Ryk captured and Warp-Jammed, in preparation for more clearing.  But Special Forces comes to visit after I capture it.  That’s…unpleasant.  I manage to clear them out, without losing the Broken Artillery Golem there.  That will be fun to play with.  Lucky Planet’s Data Center Raided.  Not going to capture that one for a while (Superterminal).

Kuiper Belt cleared.  I got close to tripping the Nuclear Eye, before I remember something about Enclaves.  Artillery Golem smashes the Guard Posts to Prevent problems in the future.

Speaking of Enclaves, enemy Enclaves are attacking way too often.  I need some Distributed defenses, so I unlock Miniforts—4,500 K left for now.  Also, allied units on FRD need to prioritize enemy roaming Enclave Starships.  I’m getting tired of having to micro my defenders.  I clear threat just in time for a CPA announcement…really?  I mean, it’s not like the AI is actually doing anything with threat…

Looks like I spoke too soon.  The CPA synchronizes with the threat.  I lose a few Implosion I’s in the resulting struggles.  When I go to attack again, the AI threat decides to attack a few outlying systems.  I rally my defenders and destroy them.  Threat goes back down to controllable levels for a while.

The rest of the time I spend clearing a few more planets.  Defending all of my territory is getting very difficult; I’m going to need to capture or hack some Core Turret Controllers soon.  Those + Miniforts will help a ton.  I might get normal Forts soon too—if nothing else, they will deter threat from systems I don’t want the AI in.

14:04:34     Neutered, in addition to previous:
Kuiper Belt (+Warp Gate, Train Station)
Perpetual Sin (+Warp Gate, Train Station)
Lucky Planets (+Train Station)


State of the Empire



My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Provoking the AI
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 04:11:10 PM »
--Operation:  No Bad Grades--
With threat low, and the next Exo a long ways away, I go ahead and start working to capture more planets.  I really want to get rid of the CSG-Cs and Ds (so that, hopefully, I won’t have to kill the special forces every single planet).  That also gives me a Core Lightning Turret Controller.  Not my choice for a starting core turret, but I’ll still take it.  Unlocking Forcefied Mk IIs.  I’m in Mk II territory now, so I quickly pop the Data Center on Menelaus’ Oasis.  AIP now at 227.


--Operation:  Error 404 - File Not Found--
Since taking any more territory right away (or even popping a train station) will send me up a tech level, I use the time to build up and research a bit more.  I at least want to get the next Exo waves to hit me before increasing AIP more.  I go ahead and Unlock Enclave Mk IIIs.

16:03:55   I manage to take out the Exo with ease, then I clear a path to Reservoir of Tranquility and get the Data Center there.  AIP at 207.  I spend the rest of the time clearing threat.  I’m kind of torn—I don’t think that ships loaded in Assault Transports should count towards the firepower needed to free threat on a planet.  Then again, I’ve used Assault Transports to clear out guard posts before (especially pesky Missile Guard Posts).  I guess I’ll have to be more careful in the future with my new favorite toy.

17:15:35   Special Forces are really, really annoying.  I might end up using a Martyr to take more of them out (unless I capture another Golem for the job; Artillery alone isn’t enough).  I’ve almost neutered Senator’s Badlands.  That ARS has Space Tanks, Z Beam Frigates, and Z Chameleons.  Don’t think I’ll hack it.  I don’t know that I really want any of those.  Bonus ships for the AI have been amazing; bonus ships for me have been rather poor.

--Operation:  Liberate the Now-Useless--
Colony Rebellion on Elena’s Fortune, a planet I really didn’t care to take yet.  Oh well.  I clear a path and head that way.  Threat nearly gets the Lightning Turret Controller (technically it did, but I scummed—it was way too late for me to be playing AIW).  I liberate the colony with no difficulty.  Now if only it actually gave me something for holding 2 colonies…


--Operation:  THE BEES!!!--
I’m having trouble breaking the Special Forces.  I think it’s time for a new Recruit—I’m going after the Hive Golem on Spaceweed Drift.  Since the AI is largely sending Mk II units anyways (forgot about the ‘wave conversion’), I’m going to ignore the AIP threshold.  Which, I suppose, is the point of the “What AIP?” memo anyways…

I take Spaceweed Drift, but suffer heavy losses to the Special Forces, including most of my Spirecraft.  I don’t think Special Forces need to be as strong as they are; attacking is painful enough right now.  My economy is garbage right now, so I’m going to fortify and build up.

18:46:37   Hive Golem online.  Preparing bees.  In between operations, I unlock Fort I’s for more threat deterrent defensive power.  I begin preparing for a hack…and then have to deal with a Cross Planet attack.  the Spirecraft Exo isn’t far away either.  After dealing with the large number of angry ships (3,000; including a Mk IV counterwave to my home), I unlock HBC Is.  I still have 17,000 knowledge after that…I suppose I could go for the knowledge achievement.


--Operation:  Acquiring Passcodes--
There is a Spider Controller V on Ocean of Fantasy.  I really want it (I considered it early, but got distracted, needing more offensive strength, and to solidify my empire).  Moreover, I don’t ever want to lose it.  Let’s see how the ‘new’ new hacking works.

Hack successful.  First Fab hack, so not a huge response.  It felt about right to me.  I like how the alert menu shows the Strength and “Fighter equivalent” now.  And now I have Core Spiders…defense just got a lot less painful.


State of the Empire
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.