Author Topic: This ai is tough!!!  (Read 2544 times)

Offline vonduus

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This ai is tough!!!
« on: March 19, 2010, 08:58:50 AM »
This ai is awesome!

I have been playing the same map a few times now (grid map, 1033691406, ai level 7, no time-related aip, mining golems off, enemies: Mad Bomber,  Vicious Raider). Because the ai keeps beating me! Not by help of cpa's, but just by ordinary waves. What happens is this:

First time I played this map, I bought myself a Zenith Power Plant right away, as I wanted to prepare for all the nice Zenith Reserves nearby. This was a great mistake, game over in about half an hour.

Next time around I did not buy anything that would upset the ai. Instead I conquered most adjacent planets and erased the remaining adjacent warp gates, and began waiting for the trader to arrive. But he didn't. In the meantime I had an human colony invisibility loss situation, so I thought I would go and fix that while waiting, rather than accept an inconvenient ai progress jump. And so I did: I saved the humans and bought some of their nice ships. This must have annoyed the ai extremely, because he began sending wave after wave after wave, and finally he destroyed my command station on said planet. He kept sending waves, and kicked me out of the next system, and the next, and suddenly I had no more reserves, and no more resources, while the ai set course towards my home planet. So I decided that this game was lost.

In the game I am playing now I have un-ticked the human revolts in the game lobby. My goal is to build up an economy, so I can afford to crack open some of those Zenith reserves. So I have conquered all adjacent planets to my motherplanet and nerfed all other entrances thus creating a safe little planet cluster, leaving open only one way in, which I have filled up with all kinds of turrets. This way in is also my way out into the rest of the system. So when I was ready, ie. in possession of a full fleet mk. II, and having built the first two tiers of the Dreadnoughts and the Riots, plus Lights,  I went in. The objective is a planet with 9 (nine) wormholes. It has no mk. level, and it was only protected by some 300 ships. Piece of cake, I thought, AIP was only 120.

Within a minute after entering, there were suddenly not 300 ships, but 700. I killed them, but before I had finished them off, I got another alert, 3-400 ships in 50 seconds. And before I had finished that off, I got another wave, and again another, and again... - and it hasn't stopped yet! After half an hour I realized that I had to do something about this, so I sent in a mobile builder and began to build up some tower defences around my entrance, while my fleet continued to ward off the constant attacks. I had continuous casualties both among turrets and ships, so I decided to build a forward command station. I built an FF, that immediately got shot away, but eventually, one and a half hour after entering the system, I got one finished and built my command station underneath it. I still  expected that after a lot of fighting there would be some kind of a brief lull, so I could consolidate and move the fighting to one of the ai's planets.

Now it is two hours later, and no lull is in sight. In these two hours I have continually warded off waves of 300-800  ships, mostly mk. IIIs. I chose parasites as bonus ship, so I have got myself a nice amount of mk. IIIs by now. The typical countdown is one minute or less, and very often a new wave is announced before the previous one has launched. Several times I have had three waves on queue, plus the occasional cpa. But the cpa's are not a special problem, as they tend to be just another enemy wave on the same planet. During this time I managed to clean up 'my' new planet only once, for about five seconds, before the next wave hit. Most of the time there is immobilized enemy vehicles all over the place, I have some 50 spider turrets and I bought an Ion Cannnon mk. II when the trader dropped by. The trader seems not to be able to find my home planet, though.

Anyway, this has so far lasted for almost four hours, that is: four hours of continuous fighting without a pause. AIP is only 142. I had to go to bed (must work), so I just made a save in the middle of fighting. And this is where I am now, watching the situation while the game is on pause. 

My plan A: I will fight and wait for another half hour for a lull in the fighting, and then go take out first one of the planets that creates all the waves, then another etc. If no lull occurs after half an hour, I contemplate plan B, ie. the following desperate measure:

I keep a small mk. I fleet, bolstered with some conquered autocannons and raptors, to deal with the occasional wave that is not emerging on the problem planet. With this fleet I intend to make a raid on the nearest Zenith Reserves structure. What this means is, that all my defences will power down, as I have got no Zenith Power Plant. This means again, that I will have to rely on my main fleet only for defence, while the Zenith fleet hopefully kicks some enemy ass. I realize that in this way I may loose the game. But the alternative is fighting forever: If I concentrate fully, I can beat his attacks off, but there is no way I can at the same time go over to the offensive without more ships. I have no more towers, there are no more ships to build, no more knowledge, and ressources are low, so I cannot build ordinary power stations enough to unleash a Zenith fleet. But I guess I'll have to do it anyway.

I'll let you know what happens.

This ai is awesome!!!
If you miss the alert, you die. If you get the alert, you die. Summa summarum: You die. (Kierkegaard on CPAs)

Offline x4000

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 09:30:32 AM »
Glad you are enjoying it!  You may want to check for raid engines adjacent to that new planet you took. That migh. Be what is triggering the frequent, huge waves. In the case of the rebel human colony, that is also something that increases wave size against it's planet (see the abilities list), so the way to protect that is to destroy all adjacent warp gates to the planet it is on.

Those grid maps are very hard, because they give the ai lots of latitude and options for ways to kill you!
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Offline RCIX

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 11:53:35 PM »
Have you done any gate raiding? If you can cut down the warps to one wormhole then it should be easier to manage...
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Offline vonduus

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 08:25:12 AM »
It was a raid engine, coupled with ordinary raids and cpa's. There was no lulls in the fighting, I had to use my plan B, ie. grab a Zenith fleet and live with no defenses for some time. Which was very worrying, as most of my new heavy turrets did quite a good job of keeping the ai out. But I knew where there was another Zenith Power Plant, so I sent the Zenith fleet after the Raid Engine, my main fleet after the planet with the Power Plant, and all my mk I ships took up guard at the trouble point. We survived, casualty rate around 75%. And yes, RCIX, there is only one entrance left to my system, had there been more I would probably have been dead long ago. I had another exit, guarded by mk. Is, but when I realized that I needed all my ships in the same operation, I closed this hole and redeployed.

The problems on grid maps mainly occur in the considerable time period between conquering a new system (with 9-10-11-12 wormholes), and nerfing all adjacent planets (save one).

Anyway, the Raid Engine is now history, and I have gobbled up loads of knowledge from my new system, taken a mk  IV factory and are working my way towards the red mother planet. I did some reckless core terminal destruction without realizing that the last terminal is a little out of reach, so I had a temporary aip level of 430+, and was beginning to get worried. Then I stumbled upon a Super Terminal, so now my aip level is down to 360+, without the floor getting too high. The ai managed to get a raid in and destroy my command station on the planet with the Super Terminal, so now I am only guarding a lifeless monolith, while doing some additional knowledge raiding. After that I shall go back and bring down progress even further, I have decided to get all out of this terminal, I believe I will end up with an aip level around 200 when the floor reaches the actual aip.

But then I befriended a Dyson Sphere. This has made my game to a slideshow, I am discussing this with Keith in the bugs section. Basically what has happened is that I went in, took out the ai command station and went out again right away, believing the Dyson Sphere could take care of itself. Not so. The ai has camped 4000+ ships around the sphere, and is killing any single Dyson Gatling that shows its nose outside the sphere, and this is making the whole game crawl every 20-30 seconds. It has made the game virtually implayable - I could live with a continuous lag, but this "now it works, now it doesn't" is really annoying.

So I have made a grand save in this epic war, putting it on pause while waiting for a patch. This particular epic battle deserves to be finished. I am 35 hours in, and I believe I can still win.


Attached: Two nice pictures of a Dyson Sphere in trouble.

If you miss the alert, you die. If you get the alert, you die. Summa summarum: You die. (Kierkegaard on CPAs)

Offline vonduus

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2010, 08:27:06 AM »
Forgot the pictures  :-[
If you miss the alert, you die. If you get the alert, you die. Summa summarum: You die. (Kierkegaard on CPAs)

Offline vonduus

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2010, 08:49:04 AM »
I forgot to mention one point. Which is rather embarrassing to me.

After the Super Terminal planet temporarily was lost, I did some knowledge raids, and expanded my Human Confederacy one step in the general direction of the red mother planet. What I hadn't seen is that next to this new planet is - another Raid Engine.  >:(

Well, at least I know what is causing me all this trouble now.
If you miss the alert, you die. If you get the alert, you die. Summa summarum: You die. (Kierkegaard on CPAs)

Offline x4000

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2010, 10:05:56 AM »
Wow!  Cool pics. :)

And, scouting for the win, next time. ;)
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Offline vonduus

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2010, 12:38:10 PM »
I did scout ahead, and technically I knew there was trouble, I had put a little blue priority marker on the map, like I normally do when I find Ion Cannons and the like. Next game I will definitely give Raid engines one of those red markers, which I normally reserve to AI Home planets and their guardian stars.

Now I can't seem to find the second raid engine, as if it disappeared between two saves?!? Probably I dreamt about it. Yes, I actually dream of aiwar during my sleep! Waking up in the middle of the night, sweating because I am followed by a golem or a cpa  ;).
If you miss the alert, you die. If you get the alert, you die. Summa summarum: You die. (Kierkegaard on CPAs)

Offline x4000

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2010, 01:51:33 PM »
:)
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Offline vonduus

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 04:53:13 AM »
Well, I couldn't leave this game alone. So after making sure that the second Raid Engine was just a personal nightmare with no real existence in my virtual world, I had to acknowledge that I could go no further anyway, in the direction I was moving. Problem is, that next planet on the line is adjacent to the guardian star that is next to the first ai command station. And I have experienced that it is better to leave such planets alone, untill you are really sure that you want to take them out, and to take the adjacent ai home planet out. But I am not ready yet, I still need mkIII starships, and there is a single advanced lab out there, hopefully with some more decent ships than I got from the last one: Microfighters.

What are microfighters for? I am generally very satisfied with the bonus ships I have got: Antiarmor, Raiders, Bombards and such. But microfighters suck! If they do solo raids they get killed, and if they go with the main fleet they also get killed. I am basically leaving them at home as a last defence, hoping that they will not be needed. Imo these ships are among the most useless of all ships (unless I have overlooked something really basic).

Okay, I prepared for a big reshuffle: I wanted to get every drop out of the Superterminal, so I parked my main fleet around it and activated it. It seems it just continued its wave activity from where it left off, in no time it had spawned 700-800 core ships, and a moment later they destroyed my local command station, putting the Super Terminal out of action again. My 1000 ship main fleet had great difficulties dealing with this force, and when it suddenly left the Super Terminal planet heading for my home world, I got nervous. I build very strong front line defences, but this means that I will have to scrap some defences on former frontline planets, to get enough turrets to earn the adjective: "strong". The downside of this tactic is, that if the ai breaks through the two-three planets nearest to the front, it has an almost free run all the way to my home world. Eventually I managed to destroy this tough ai fleet, but first after it had destroyed two of my worlds, (= almost all my mkII turrets). So I decided with bleeding heart that the Super Terminal had to go. I ended up with 342 aip, so it gave me a reduction on almost 100 aip points, which is not that bad. The floor is around 150, so I have plenty of room for the last Core Data Center. So I killed the Super Terminal.

During the big reshuffle I noticed that the game went rather smoothly again, and I had a look at the Dyson Sphere: Somehow it had managed to get rid of the 4000+ ships that had held it under guard. Wonder how it did that? Anyways, now there is Dyson Gatlings all over the place, clogging up my repair stations >:(.

Now the battle order is reversed: My garrison fleet is located at the former front line, while the main fleet is ready to break out in the other end of the system. The objective is the central system in a big circle of planets, from here I can collect another 16.000 knowledge points, and get access to the last advanced lab. Plus a few data centers and Zenith Reserves. After completing these raids I expect my aip level to be back around 200, and then I shall cut a path through to ai home planet number two.

40 hours into the game, and still playing!

If you miss the alert, you die. If you get the alert, you die. Summa summarum: You die. (Kierkegaard on CPAs)

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2010, 12:34:58 PM »
Very good telling! I find myself crawing moar!
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Offline vonduus

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2010, 06:20:11 AM »
Well, the saga ended because I lost my Home planet to a CPA. As usual. 
If you miss the alert, you die. If you get the alert, you die. Summa summarum: You die. (Kierkegaard on CPAs)

Offline x4000

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2010, 09:10:18 AM »
If you can bottleneck the ships that are coming at you from a CPA, you can nuke them if you have no other options. Or, something like riot starships or spider turrets could give you the time you need to finish all those guys off. If you see huge clusters of the enemy, via scouts on planets they will come through, you can even send through lightning warheads on the wormhole they are gathering around. It's possible to survive some extremely massive cpas with trchiques like those, paired with just really careful positioning of your fleet proper and your docks. Hope that helps!
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Offline superking

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2010, 11:01:41 AM »
What are microfighters for? I am generally very satisfied with the bonus ships I have got: Antiarmor, Raiders, Bombards and such. But microfighters suck! If they do solo raids they get killed, and if they go with the main fleet they also get killed. I am basically leaving them at home as a last defence, hoping that they will not be needed. Imo these ships are among the most useless of all ships (unless I have overlooked something really basic).

you get more firepower out of a shipcap of microfighters than a shipcap of normal fighters

they decloak nearby ships. microfighter spam ownz cloaked ships

they are dirt cheap and build giga fast

they are effective vs bombers and starships


Offline vonduus

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Re: This ai is tough!!!
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2010, 10:56:54 AM »
If you can bottleneck the ships that are coming at you from a CPA, you can nuke them if you have no other options. Or, something like riot starships or spider turrets could give you the time you need to finish all those guys off. If you see huge clusters of the enemy, via scouts on planets they will come through, you can even send through lightning warheads on the wormhole they are gathering around. It's possible to survive some extremely massive cpas with trchiques like those, paired with just really careful positioning of your fleet proper and your docks. Hope that helps!

Thanks for your help. But I guess the main reason for my failures is that I habitually play strategy games the Rommel way, not the Montgomery way, if you get me. Using the Rommel approach I usually can conquer vast tracts of the universe in a relatively short amount of time, but then when the CPAs arrive, my home defences are inadequate. Using the Montgomery approach the CPAs never stand a chance, but my games then tend to go beyond 30+ hours, and then the ai home planets (and their guardian planets) have become massive obstacles - so massive that I pull out troops from my home defence to bolster those final attacks. As always it is a question of balance. I have a friend who is very much Montgomery, together we beat the ai every time. Well, almost.

What are microfighters for? I am generally very satisfied with the bonus ships I have got: Antiarmor, Raiders, Bombards and such. But microfighters suck! If they do solo raids they get killed, and if they go with the main fleet they also get killed. I am basically leaving them at home as a last defence, hoping that they will not be needed. Imo these ships are among the most useless of all ships (unless I have overlooked something really basic).

you get more firepower out of a shipcap of microfighters than a shipcap of normal fighters

they decloak nearby ships. microfighter spam ownz cloaked ships

they are dirt cheap and build giga fast

they are effective vs bombers and starships



Thanks a lot for the info, superking, I'll try them out again asap.

If you miss the alert, you die. If you get the alert, you die. Summa summarum: You die. (Kierkegaard on CPAs)