Author Topic: The AI 9 through 10 run  (Read 40679 times)

Offline Wanderer

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 02:19:14 AM »
So, no maps at the moment, just words and a few oneoff screenies, I'm sitting here waiting on a rebuild after a few massive waves.  It was around 8:15 when I left off and I decided I was going to go neuter Kirk.  So, I bring the fleet down into Eridani, neuter the entire system, and sit my fleet on the wormhole into Kirk.  I setup my engineer repair corps off to the side under cloakers, and begin raiding Kirk.

Good grief.  Talk about waves.  AIP was around 220-230 and 700 ship MK IV waves are after me.  Sometimes they'd come through, sometimes they'd just SIT there.  Little fegs.  I'd retreat to bait them through to Eridani with the raiders hiding, let the raid come in, hammer on them, and repeat.

Eventually I got all but the shield spire guardpost and the 9 wormhole guardposts down.  It took about an hour, with reinforcements and baiting and the like.  Now, I need to head for Arrakkis.  A rebel colony has revolted.  I could use the firepower and I've been ignoring them for about 30 minutes.  I make my way across Cyborg and head for Arrakkis.

I neuter Ceaesar's Wormhole posts before I head into Arrakkis, figuring I really don't need the cross border aggression.  Then I take Arrakkis with very little trouble, and setup another Econ II on it, with minimal defenses.  I hang out for my rebel ships and head back to Cyborg, and evaluation my options.  It's now closing on 10:00.

I need to pop the CSG-Ds before popping the A against the core world does any good.  I've done what I can here for the moment.  I head for Llama.  It's got a MK IV Counterstrike on it.  Joy.



Well, alright then.  I pop down some research stations, neuter one of the local systems while I wait to head for Arrakkis to lower chances of aggression on Llama, take out the CSG-D, and head for Arrakkis with about 8 mins left.  En route, a CPA lights up, around 1400 ships.  Well, at least I'll be there to defend the locals.

I'm also getting raids like this, which got me to open up Riot IIs for stunning at the gates.


We stop the CPA on Arrakkis and I don't lose much mostly because I stayed back and let them come to me, so they came in piecemeal.  Dragged two Riot IIs along with me here.  Stunning the MK IVs also helped a goodly bit and about the time we're done cleaning that up the CPA starts landing.  I clean up the inbounds to Arrakkis and then have to make a choice.  Head for Canopus which has adequate defenses and help them or protect SolarMoon which is going to flash fry.

That's not a choice.  I head for Canopus. :)  I build a spare colony ship for SolarMoon on Arrakkis and I'll pick it up on my way back up.  I clean up the threat against Canopus, and head back to SolarMoon which has died again.  Part of the CPA spawned in one of the worlds behind it and just blew through it.  No biggie, rebuild the Econ II sitting there, clean up, and move on.  I'm now dragging a Colony Ship, 6-10 Engi Is, and a Mobile Builder ina  transport protected by two cloakers everywhere I go with the main fleets.

It's just shy of the 11th hour.  It's time to start making moves on the homeworld.  Welcome to savescum land.  Gah.  I had no idea what I was in for with the raid + cpa combination.

When I crack the first ARS, I always get Autobombers.  Just so I can stop repeating myself as I go through this list... :)

Attempt 1)
I save, figuring this should be ugly, before I take Eridani.  I slam into Eridani, drop a Mil I on it, and force a raid to head through by ducking into Eridani and waking up the locals, so I can try to get the fleet through.

It works, I lose about half my Raid ships, and the raid + most of the ships in Kirk head into Eridani at me.  I've got about 2/3s of my fleet left, mostly high marks.  I drop into Kirk and beeline with the raids for Earth.  We hit the gate and my raids get out.  They don't even make it to the Raid Engine before dying on the cold storage over there.  Most of what's left of my main fleet is retreating and a 1500+ CPA is about to be released.  I get steamrolled.

Well, crap.

Attempt 2)
Same plan, but leave the fleet at Eridani with the Mil I support to catch the backwash from the raid attempt.  I can't even get off the gate from Kirk because of the MK V Gravity Rippers.  I catch the backwash + CPA and get steamrolled.  Cyborg is flattened, Arrakkis is flattened, all I've got left is the homeworlds behind the Whipping Boy.  No Bueno.  I've got nothing for the loss.

Attempt 3) Trying to use Autobombers.
I shut off the warp gates and move my starship constructors and space docks to Cyborg before doing anything else.  I figure I need to do this anyway, so I resave after moving the construction facilities in general.  I move the engineers from homeworld down as well, and cleanup a few that were hiding in the back (I've been running tight between Is and IIs.  May need to open IIIs).

That done, I keep my entire fleet intact and try a streaming assault into Kirk from Eridani with Autobombers.  This is ludicrous.  They can barely kill MK V Missile Frigates when they're alone (took 5/6 of them).  They can do nothing pouring into the hole when the Raid is just sitting there shooting at them one at a time.  A waste of energy.

Attempt 4)
Mad Rush.  Drop two Fortresses on Cyborg to help it defend itself from the CPA and a Mil I complex.  Take the fleet and bumrush Earth.  Primary target: Raid Post.  It ALMOST works.  But yeah, no.  the Mk IV raid pours through Cyborg behind me and with support from the CPA rips through the front of the whipping boy before being finally stopped by the Dyson Brigade.  I was curious.

Alright, this isn't working.  Step back and rethink the plan.

I decide before I take down the AI HW I need to get in more K-Raiding.  I head over to LLama, where I recently popped the CSG-D, and start setting up K-Raids on top of the CMDStations.  That works a lot better.  The defense looked like this, after I stole a bunch of Lightning Is from the whipping boy.



This worked pretty well and netted me 9000 K.  I couldn't get the last world because the CoProcessor screwed up supply and I'm not ready to deal with the other AI HW yet.

9k gives me enough for another Tier III/IV ship.  I've got nothing that's 'amazing' and my Maws are already upgraded sometime in the last hour.  I also opened up Flagships for more gunning support.  It still wasn't enough for earlier.  I need something with a broader based build.  Tier III/IV Autobombs will be pointless.  What the heck am I gonna K up to make all the difference?  If only I could shove a Mil III station up their... wait, I can.

Research out to Mil IIIs.  I decide I'm going to move the whipping boy, and soak the Raid Engine for a while.  I'm gonna have to be quick about this.  Setup a Mil III on Cyborg since it could use it and then head for Kirk.  I slam Eridani enroute and drop a fast econ II on it, but that's not the primary.

I send the fleet into Kirk.  I've got *1* minute to clean house and get myself setup.  Immediately drop another colony ship as a Mil III behind the wormhole and get my 10+ engis working on it.  Well, right after my raid starships suicide their way to the cmd station on Kirk, anyway.  I got two back from that run.  Worth it.

Crash through the locals with my 2x firepower, and get ready for the wave with about 5 seconds to spare.  I start building off what few turrets I have kicking around (mostly my K-Raid turrets.  15 Snipers, 100 Basic IIIs, a few gravs, a FF II) and use the fleet for the first wave defense.  It works like a charm, I lost maybe 120 ships.  Rock this can work, but I've gotta move.  Drop 50 Lightning Is on the wormhole and go steal a few FFs from all over the place.  Get my Riot IIs under guard and in place and supported by a bunch of tractors.  This is chewing into my econ reasonably fast but not horribly.  Macross takes a wave while this is going on, then so does Kirk.

GAH!  Raid Engine + wave at the same time.  I'm not ready!!!!  Head for Macross, steal all their snipers, chuck them into place on Kirk.  c'mon engineers, move it move... wait, why are there only two of you?  Dangit!  Build some more.   ~900 fleet ships left.  Head for Cyborg and load up the transport squad, and start shipping replacements down (about 300 of them).  Econ's taking a beating, 400k right now and dropping fast.  We need to move.

Cyborgs got 7 Raids on it.  Ah, almost enough, wait for the other two... wait, they're on Kirk.  D'oh.  Send them to Cyborg so I have a full flock of 9 near the homeworlds.  Steal all the Lightning IIs and Flak Is from Macross, and drop them on Kirk.  Try to figure out why I'm short FFs, and realize I got a little nuts in the backfield.  Steal two more FF Is from the back and drop them on Kirk's entry wormhole.  Kirk gets a wave, and they're coming in from Desperado.  D'oh, well, only Mk IIs.  Thump them over the head with the fleet.  I guess I need to deal with that, but not yet.

Raid Engine attacks are landing every *4* minutes while this is occurring.  This is all happening at what feels like the speed of sound.

I take the Raid Starships up to Craps and blow the warp gate.  I debate on taking the system and remember the co-processor is still there so no point.  I run for it with the raid starships back to Kirk while the Dyson Crew does a cleanup in aisle 2.  I steal all my remaining turrets and wormhole forcefields from Macross, leaving just the tractor turrets on the wormhole.   I figure the Dyson crew can keep me safe from random incursions and Cyborg's going to take the brunt of any serious inbounds, being the cutoff system.

I plant all my turrets on Kirk and wipe out my economy doing it.  The only turrets I don't drop there are on other worlds as spot defenders, and only Canopus and Cyborg have any serious turreting.  Basics I, II, and III, lighting I and II, Flak I, MLRS I, LRMs I, Laser Is, about 60 snipers.  and the fleet.  I take the Raid Starships into Desperado and clean house.  Enough of the dual point wave attacks down here.

Send in the colony ship after my fleet pops its head in the door to clean up the wormhole hangers and start a quick build.  Space Planes still hanging around pop it.  Send the BladeSpawner/Bombard crew in to cover the next rebuild and they flatten the space planes nice and quick.  There's a Warbird and a Translocator factory in here.  Nice, but expensive.  I try anyway.

Things are finally stabilizing on Kirk with my fleet + turret power (x2!) handling the Raid Engine's constant assault.  I pull the fleet back to see if the turret wall + Riots can handle it.  They can't.  Alright, my fleet's basically stuck here. Now what?

Save.

I need options and I need to be able to handle the CPA when it blows.  I won't bore you with the effects me trying that once had.  Either I held the door to Kirk or I held the galaxy.

I have fortresses and Mil III stations waiting to be placed.  Drop an Econ II in Kerensky now that it's not wave bait.  Swap Cyborg for a Mil III.  Two Fortresses on Cyborg, two on Kirk.  Swap the Mil III in on Canopus.  I needed to do Solar Moon and Arrakkis too but we'll get back to that.  Econ III on Desperado since it's protected.  Get that stabilized and wait about 40-45 minutes for the forts to build while reinforcing Kirk now and then.  Even with forts, Kirk can't hold on its own, but now I can handle a CPA on Cyborg without getting flatlined.

I can't build warbirds yet so I turn that off, forts are more important than raiders.

Finally, I get the prep done.  I forget to swap a few things around like Solar and Arrakkis from Econ II to Mil III (because I didn't realize the econ difference was minimal.  64 on the Mil III vs. 80 on the Econ II).

Hm.  Riot Is with Tractor Beams.  Shield Bearers.  I have a plan!  Group them together, send them briefly into Earth and have them drag me back a few hundred wormhole hangers.

I lost 2 of the riot Is and most of the shield bearers in about 2 seconds.  Yeah, ow.  The fleet wrecks my new friends though.  Repeat again to clear the wormhole for the raid starships.  CPA igniting shortly.  AIP is currently 287.  I don't dare risk getting Mk V homeworld backwash from a raid right now, that's a HUGE CPA coming alongside the Raid Engine.  It'll wait.

We handle the 5000+ (4 carriers of 1k each) ships of mixxed MK II and IV in Kirk while small pockets of 300 ships or so wander into Arrakkis and SolarMoon.  I've got an Autosave just as LLama is being hit so I slam together a Mil III on that just to make me a little less 'all over the place'.

I lost both fortresses on Kirk but we held.  Awesome.  Check the other side of the wormhole and there's a few token defenders.  Do another Raid I tractor pull and send the raids through.

They survive the mass driver long enough to finally KILL the [email protected]#[email protected]#!!!!! Raid Engine!  Rock ON.  They don't even get CLOSE to the CPA driver.  My fleet is in tatters (maybe 500 of the main fleet left) and my econ's taken a beating.

Well, Kirk can whipping boy the standard waves, just not the Mk IV waves from the engine.  That'll work, time to go cleanup.  I get Arrakkis back and drop a Mil III on it and Solar Moon.  I hang around, waiting for rebel replacements, and truck back up to Cyborg for the rest of my squad.

We hang around a bit and my economy starts to feel a little more sane.  With reinforcements and my long range squad back at full strength, I clean out the threat against Canopus and then head to Cyborg to finish refilling.  The homeworld is reinforcing but I can deal with backwash if I'm careful.  With the shield bearers my Riot Is will live long enough to do gate clearances.  I finish figuring out what cmd stations to put where and bring the newly refilled fleet back down to Kirk.

I've got 9,750 K to work with if I need it, and I'm debating on what to use it on.  Nothing seems 'need to have' so I may just sit on it awhile.  Riot IIIs to backup the Riot Is on wormhole pulls might be nice.  Shield Bearer III/IV would also assist the I's to live longer, and be more versatile in supporting the main fleet as well.  Counter-Missile could be handy on the whipping boy to protect against the unstunnable Missile Frigates.  I'm just not sure.

While I was gone, the CPA counter reset on me.  My next visit triggers another one, so I'm going to make sure my raids are ready before I trigger it.  Gametime is 13:39.  I'm running a little behind, but that's alright.  I'm learning still. :)
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 06:11:05 AM »
Note to self: When AI Command station falls and waves are hitting 2k+, you're now fighting continuous CPAs until you get a whipping boy to work again.  You cannot use the AI Command AS the whipping boy after you've killed it.

OW.

Just OW.

New plan.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 01:35:29 PM »
A-ha! Now that's more like it, Diff 9 AI ;)

Quote
Riot Is with Tractor Beams.  Shield Bearers.  I have a plan!
I love Utility units :)

Were there no actual warp gates on the AI HW?  Just the exo wormhole?

All in all, stellar play; it's particularly fun to see things I didn't anticipate being useful.

FYI, those warbird starships aren't very good in 5.026.  Those and Beam Starships are moving up in 5.027.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 04:51:33 PM »
I'm wondering if wave sizes need a bit of a general buff after all the various changes in the last few weeks that have buffed the players.
I'm not entirely sure I'm the right one to ask that. Ask someone who usually plays at 7/7 would be my guess.  I can tell you they're blessed WEAK at 100 AIP to me at 9/9.   That may have more to do with the fact that I'm waaaay too used to handling 10/10 at this point though.

As someone who usually plays difficulty 7-8, I can say that yes, wave sizes seem a bit small. I think maybe a small overall buff in wave sizes may be in order. This should be combined with a decrease in wave rate. I think that would help out with the "you get locked down even mid game" effect that many games seem to devolve into.

Offline Flying_Bread

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2012, 09:34:54 PM »
Just wanted to say, only you could consider diff 9 a stroll in the park. I play on 8 most of the time and find it challenging. Kudos to you. I look forward to reading more of these in the future

Offline dotjd

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2012, 11:09:22 PM »
Heh, harsh map setup, but good way of dealing with it.  Forgot riots even had tractors.  Also wonder what would happen if you kept triggering the CPA post repeatedly.  Is it possible to deplete the entire galaxy of ships?

And yeah, diff 9 is fairly tame after spending a substantial amount of time on 10.  Nine out of ten doctors recommend mark i waves instead of mark ii.

re: autobombs, the best way I've found to use them is to set up a few spacedocks on the whipping boy, drop a few engineers for the docks, and just have them set to pump out a stream on frd.  They're really not that good if you set them to frd into an ai planet, but they're great at doing AOE damage to waves since they come in all bunched up.  And once you set it up it runs forever. 

(I also do a thing where I prioritize building higher marks (i.e. queue up 10 mark iii, 5 mark ii, 1 mark i on the docks), although I'm not sure how much that helps, if any)

Offline Wanderer

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2012, 02:07:57 PM »
Heh, harsh map setup, but good way of dealing with it.  Forgot riots even had tractors.  Also wonder what would happen if you kept triggering the CPA post repeatedly.  Is it possible to deplete the entire galaxy of ships?
No, because then the waves will exo-galaxy spawn.

@Keith: No, there is no warp gate in the AI Homeworld.  There's a Warp Gate Guardian which is what I'm assuming is allowing me to whipping boy it.  I have to get back to that game but my weekend was crazy.

Quote
And yeah, diff 9 is fairly tame after spending a substantial amount of time on 10.  Nine out of ten doctors recommend mark i waves instead of mark ii.
No joke.  I think that's really what ups the ante between AI 9.8 and AI 10.  Depending on how well that goes I may try a 10/9.8 game.

Quote
re: autobombs, the best way I've found to use them is to set up a few spacedocks on the whipping boy, drop a few engineers for the docks, and just have them set to pump out a stream on frd.  They're really not that good if you set them to frd into an ai planet, but they're great at doing AOE damage to waves since they come in all bunched up.  And once you set it up it runs forever. 
Yeah, I'd thought about that but when you start using warp gates for Space Docks that fails.  It's all good though, I've moved my main production facilities, so I will most likely do that.  Thanks for the recommendation that it's as functional as I'd expected.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2012, 10:34:35 PM »


Woot.



So, I grabbed my save from before I went into Earth to pop the command center.  I handle the inbound CPA and rebuild up to the point of attacking the system.  I get my fleet back intact and I'm barely able to raid the Raid Engine in the meanwhile.  I can't seem to get near the CPA engine no matter how hard I try, and I'm going bonkers pulling back 50-100 ships at a time with the Riot Is.

I setup the autobombs on the whipping boy and they're VERY effective at laying into the opening of a wave.  Good call on that, thanks.

Eventually I get rebuilt and a normal CPA fires up at around 14:00.  I clean up the mess that leaves and get down to Earth again.  I clear the wormhole with Riot Is to a reasonable level and send in the troops.  There's a fortress under the FF covering the homecommand station, but otherwise there's not much left here I'm concerned about.  With the Fleet on the wormhole taking most of the fire, I pillage the place with my raid starships.  they die on a fort on the opposite side of the system but they take that guard post with 'em.

I nerf the system and leave just the command station intact (I forgot to clear the wormhole guardposts, all 5 of them, though) after cleaning up all the locals.  Time to move for Riker.  I head back to Cyborg, and rebuild again.  About 14:20 I head east.

I decide I'm going to take a world one world away from the coreworld.  That would be Krupp.  Tau is easy to drop and I fully neuter it while I raid Three Kings.  Three Kings is a real piece of work.  Tau wormhole is central, and the exit wormhole is in the SE.  There's a gravity guardian sitting on top of the Orbital Mass Driver behind a ff down that way, so my raids literally cannot get to the blasted thing before they die a horrible death.  There's two Fortresses in here as well, a II and a III, and they bracket the entry wormhole at the extreme edge of their range.  You can get in small groups but if you bring in a large mass they flatten the edges.

It also has an Eye.  And about 10 guardposts.

Good grief.

I rebuilt the factory world on Krupp and get engineers moved over and the like.  Whipping boy is going strong as long as I don't pop the Cmd Station they hit it just fine.  I start trying to raid Three Kings but it's just too much between the double fortresses and that Mass Driver.  I ship in a full fleet of bombers and for once the hidden space planes are in my favor.  As long as I bring in 300 units or so I'm free and clear of the eye.  I blow apart the northern fortress first.  The southern one has a lot of firepower on it and I can't quite reach it, so I rebuild and reraid the north side of Three Kings.  When I retreat or rebuild I pull fully back to Krupp to keep the core world off alert.

Eventually I'm able to pop most of the system but I can't quite reach the guardpost that's under the FF.  The gravity is just too much.  Finally I remember I have Rebel Ships, who ignore gravity.  About time, dum dum!  Send them in and that's dealt with, along with the nearby MLRS post, very easily.  Woot woot.  Time for the final system.

I rebuild and head back down at around 15:15 or so.  This system has two Neinzul spawners, 2 Fortresses, one of which is on the cmd station and under two FF Vs, the other has a heavy beam post next to it which chews up any and all raid SSs, and a Forfield guardpost.  The rest of the posts are negligible annoyances.

I head in and clear the opening wormhole.  While we're dealing with the first of the major waves that are pouring in from all over the planet one of the blades apparently triggered the first of the spawners.   I Max speed the entire fleet at that post to keep it from spawning again.  While we're cleaning up the cockroaches, the other one goes.  I ship the Bomber Starships up there and they take that out again as it's still spawning extra roaches.  All the shields and Fortresses are on the extreme left side of the system, so we clean out the place.  Now to figure out how to handle this.   I take the bombers and starships up against the beam cannon post/ff/fortress in the upper left.  They get hammered to itsy bitsy pieces but thelast 90 or so are able to pop the beam cannon post and then the fortress.

Head all the way home for reinforcements.  Wait for them to build as well as starship replacements.

Head all the way back.  We conquer the ff guard post first now that the fortress covering its approach is dead and i've got room to move.  With the gravity guardian again under 2 FFs and a fortress near the cmd center, blades are useless, and I can't get the raids near it.   Another pure bomber attack, with the raids coming in from behind.  The raids died a sorry death but eventually we clear the FFs, Fortress, 100 or so core ships, and the cmd center.  Kaboom.  Time to finish the job on Earth.

I get to Earth and there's 1000 or so core ships that have reinforced the Homeworld.  Half of them are on the gate at the wormhole guardposts.  Meh, there's no reason to drag this out.  Send the entire fleet in and beeline at the cmd center.  ANOTHER dang gravity guardian.  I get what's left of my rebels to concentrate on it, and it's a free pass at the cmd center.  POP.  Bye bye!

Now, to do it again on 9.3 with the same settings.  :D

Edit: I forgot to mention, the next special ship the AI got was eyebots.  The one research I did was Missile Counters and dropped them all over the place so I didn't end up eating Eyebot raids continuously.  Other than that, I didn't even remember to build research stations on Krupp.  I just didn't need them.

Edit 2: The Warp Gate was IN the Command Center on homeworlds, which is what I'd missed.  Ah well.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 11:00:50 PM by GUDare »
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2012, 11:13:51 PM »
9.3 begun.  Opening notes:

Tried Scout Starship II, figuring their speed would allow them to get deeper.  The Scout Is go further.  Well, it was only 250 K to open them and try them (and a little time), but what a waste.

9.3 AIs start at Tech II.  It's not 10, it's anything over 9.

The Dyson and the SuperTerminal are not where they were.  My closest ARS is still in Fraggle Rock in the 'backfield', and instead of Weasel Vs the Fab is a Fighter V.  Might be handy.

No more easy outs in the beginning.  Now we fight!   8)
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2012, 04:05:51 AM »
Current Status:
Time: 4:08
Worlds: 8
AIP: 173
Ships: Fighter I, Bomber I/II/III, Missile I, Maw I/II/III, Armor I/II, Blade Spawner I/II/III, Scout Fleet I/II, Scout Starship I/II, Riot II, Raid I/II, Engineers II, Starships (The Rest) I.
Whipping Boy Erected
Unlocks: Grav, Tachyon, Warp Sensor, Econ II/III, Blade Spawn III, Bomber II/III, Maw II/III, Fortress I, Riot II

This game started out a bit differently than last time.  Twycross, the world that had the SuperTerminal last time, was just a dead system off the port bow.  This gave me some options.   A little deeper scouting showed that Macross, not Craps, had the Co-Processor.  That kills supply unless I'm willing to pop an extra 20 AIP to no purpose for a long time.  My immediate world will end at Twycross.

Here's the 2 hour map so you have a reference point.



So, I need econ because it's hurting a bit deflecting these waves.  I neuter the level III Roulette before I take anything, there's an Eye in the back in Huge, and an ARS in Fraggle Rock again.  Alright, cool.  I pop Shawshank after researching Econ II, which is the end of my researchables at this time.  I've got grav, warp sensor, Tachyon, Scout II, Econ II, Bomber and Maw II open off the homeworld's research.  Once I get the research from Shawshank I can open Econ IIIs.  I warp gate raid Roulette and Janeway, while my fleet cleans up Fraggle Rock and heads back when the token 10 snipers and 5 basics can't handle the leftovers.  I don't take Fraggle yet though, it's just prepped for later.  I also gate raid it.  Now, everything's coming in via Twycross.

I head to Twycross with the fleet and take the system.  I immediately begin prepping the whipping boy, which was good... because a double wave of about 600 ships is coming in already.  This won't be pretty, and it's only getting an Econ II for the moment.  I research III once I get enough research from Shawshank and both areas get an Econ III.  I need the income.

With a couple of dozen snipers for support my fleet holds off the inbounds on Twycross.  Tech II Bladespawners were hurting but we got there.

While the rebuilds I keep building up the whipping boy.  I start production on the basic starship set (Leech, Siege, Light, Bomber, Cloak) as well now that the economy's strong enough and default homeworld to 15 Engi Is to keep up with the new income.  I also start building off converters like usual, whenever I'm overloaded on one material and not enough of the other.

I take the fleet over to Fraggle and pop it while the whipping boy continues to build.  I get another Econ III in play there and I get Blade Spawners for my trouble.  Quite nice. 

I wait and let the whipping boy get comfortable and mostly built out.  I'm building off entire stacks of turrets in the middle of waves,  and it's taking a bit.  I send the blade spawners to Twycross to help out until the full turret stack is up.  With the research from Twycross I research off Riot IIs and get a set of 4 under the inbound FF.  Those Riot IIs will live there until I move the whipping boy.

I can't seem to get scouts any deeper so I'm stuck about where you see the map above after I use the Raids (I/II, needed to research them) to clean out Huge because of the Eye.  I completely clean out the backfield and get my econ up and strong. That nets me CSG-E and CSG-Cs as well.

So, now, I'm seeing waves like this:


Actually not too hard to handle, as long as the Riot IIs are in play.  I should probably Military station Twycross but for now I need the economy.  It's not going to be the permanent whipping boy anyway, I have a plan!... again.

So I take the fleet out and we hammer our way through to Kerensky, the next ARS on my list.  Nothing much to speak of here, it takes a bit to fight my way in and I clear out the next few systems leading out, either by Raid when there was an Eye or brute force.  I offline the space docks at homeworld, leave the starship line only producing Riot IIs for the whipping boy, and move the entire production unit to Kerensky.  I also open up Engineer IIs to keep up with production needs now that the econ can (kind of) handle the additional assistance.  There's also a Polarizer V on Kerensky.  There's a Fighter V back on Huge that I need the Fab WarpGate for to bring out of the backfield easily.

At around 3:00 I decide it's time to K-Raid.  I do the whole fortress research/turretball routine (leaving me at 0 K again) and setup the process.  At Tech III K-Raid responders it's too weak, even with stolen lightning Is and 60 snipers.  I shove the fleet over the top of the enemy cmd station and my turrets and fortresses go start a poker tournament out of boredom.  Well, alright then.  I full Neuter Craps to remove any Aggression and do a simple 'sit on the cmd center' K-Raid there.  Well, that kills roughly 40 minutes but I've got 6000 k now.  Bomber IIIs it is.

At about 3:40 a 1500 ship CPA is announced.  I've finally found Dyson as well, and it's hiding behind a MK IV world.  I finally get a scout on it to wake it up and watch as it bangs its head on the MK IV world it's been annoying for the last 3 and a half hours which has 800+ ships on it.  It's not getting far.  Good, I have time and it can do some cleanup of the mess it's left me.

That CPA wrecked me.  I tried to block down in Cyborg but the constant stream of 1500 MK II ships just ramming into the fleet nearly erased it.  At around 300 ships I fled back to the fortress I'd built on Kerensky (there's one on Twycross now, too).  I get some more ships and I just keep watching all the threat build up on the other side of the wormhole.  This can't end well.  I head out and thin them down some more, and retreat again.  Without the shield bearers the whole Riot I grabs stuff and runs away trick doesn't work.

It takes me nearly 20 minutes of rebuilding and raiding to clear off all that CPA threat.  I head north, neuter Macross completely in anticipation of moving the whipping boy, and for giggles nerf Sox with the Raid Starships just to lower chances of silliness behind me.

At 4:10, map looks like this:


So far things are going pretty well.  Other than the CPA nearly taking my head off because I was on a forward base (I could have surrendered the Polarizer if I had to) and that I can't KRaid Macross because of the Co-Processor, things are progressing pretty well.  Econ's strong, I've got a good scouting base.  I want to see if the Co-P is on Riker again, soon, though.  My immediate plan is to push through to Ceasar and Dyson, opening up Dyson and using Ceasar as the whipping boy with Dyson support.  Then I'll head down to Canopus and grab me a Fact IV.  With the research from those +3 KRaid targets, I should be able to fix myself up with a good heavy duty fleet.

I'll also want to clean up 4 worlds out along the east so I can dig scouts in further, particularly down into Earth and the Riker arm.  I'll probably do that so I can send the scouts down and give the Dyson a little longer to clean up its mess, and I want to see if I'll need to whipping boy against the AI Homeworld again before I go through all that work at Ceasar.  There's two more datacenters in easy reach that I'll pop once I clear the way for the Raid Starships, too, so that'll pop my AIP down a nice bit.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 04:09:30 AM by GUDare »
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline Solarity

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2012, 05:25:05 AM »
Whipping Boy Erected

Hmmm, that sounds really dirty.  Anyway good job, does splitting up your empire really not cause you grief later on?

Offline Wanderer

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2012, 05:39:02 AM »
Whipping Boy Erected

Hmmm, that sounds really dirty.  Anyway good job, does splitting up your empire really not cause you grief later on?

It can.  Notice earlier I was constantly retreating to Arrakkis and SolarMoon to rebuild them because they'd fall to random things like CPAs or a couple of whiney bombers off the Mk IV.  It depends on how important the system is to me long term (A Fact IV will be a lot more important than, say, Speed Booster V Fab) and how much defenses I'll invest.

However, those problems are a lot easier to deal with than 300+ AIP to string everything together.  You'll notice I use the term Neuter and Nerf a lot.  To me, that means: Nerf = pop all the easy guardposts, get the system down to a manageable level.  Neuter = The only thing standing is the Cmd Station and Warp Gate, and probably not a warp gate if it connects to one of my systems.  By taking the time to neuter systems cross border aggression is lowered, or even non-existant, because no system builds up high enough to actually free ships to attack me.  Make sure the Special Forces don't need to travel over you and you're golden.  A few snipers and some basics will usually keep the free floating 5 here 10 there at bay.

With effective use of warp gates you won't even have to make your guys travel through those in between systems so they stay nice and quiet.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2012, 10:15:35 AM »
Congratulations on conquering Earth!  Wait...

Good to see the 9.3s putting up a bit more of a fight thanks to tech II waves, though they don't seem to have a much better chance of cracking the shell ;)  Higher mark waves get a downwards multiplier to keep it from being simply 2x harder, but it's still a pretty big jump.

Interesting fight with the CPA, but you still didn't even have to fall back to the whipping boy if I read that right.

I'm starting to wonder about this K-Raiding business, but you're having to wreck your economy (edit: not really, with parking the fleet on the cmd) and 20-30 minutes to pull each one off, so it's not like it's free.  But the point of the mechanic is to be there in case you're stuck, because it gets to feel repetitive to do it over and over.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 10:17:07 AM by keith.lamothe »
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2012, 10:52:35 AM »
You could take Craps, leave the Co-Processor up, and get the Knowledge with a regular Science Lab.  That's 20 AIP but you get a Command Station's worth of economy boosting.

Maybe K-Raids might need the Super Terminal surges.  Or maybe K-Raids should stack in difficulty, so each successive K-Raid becomes more and more difficult.

Offline Solarity

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Re: The AI 9 through 10 run
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2012, 10:56:00 AM »
Or add a mechanic that gives the AI a slim chance to trigger on a CPA or counter attack as retaliation, perhaps the chance should grow the more times you have knowlege raided?  I'm only suggesting since you're probably going to nerf it in some way now anyway :)