Author Topic: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10  (Read 5460 times)

Offline Fruden

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Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« on: June 25, 2010, 09:59:03 PM »
 Hi, i recently completed a game vs two level 10 AIs. Since i kept a journal as i was playing i decided i'd post about it in case other players would be interested. Long story short, it was quite a challenge, but i learned so much i could probably do it again much faster if i played on the same game version with the same parameters.

 This game took a large portion of my hobby time for many weeks. The actual time taken must be roughly double the game time since i had to pause so much to handle multiple fronts, make precise maneuvers, tab out of the game to refer to data export, or decide on strategies.

 The most useful units in this game were turrets boosted by starships, force fields, leech and raid starships, transports, cloakers, and mobile repair stations. Everything else was accessory to the main team as you'll see in the following posts.

 I'll be posting setup details for the game right in this post, and then i'll make a post for each of the game sessions it took me to get to the end. Posts will be accompanied by a map picture and a save at the end of that session.

Setup
-----
AI War + Zenith 3.1.2.0
120 planets with all player planets towards center, 1 random planet for player
Special Forces Captain AI 10, Raid Engine AI 10
Realistic map, Complex ships + all ship types
Normal combat, Full fog of war, Do not show unexplored planets
All minor factions, Schizophrenic, No wave warnings, Cross planet waves, 1 AI Progress per 30 minutes
Avenger on both AI
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 01:45:12 AM by Fruden »

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 10:02:28 PM »
___Part 1___

- First 10mins: turrets between wormholes and base + fighters + starship constructor + second force field on base + basic scouting
- 10-20mins: more turrets, more fighters, first mobile repair station, boost turret groups with light starship
- next ~hour: make more light starships, improve defenses, make first leech starship

 The first 20mins were pretty intense, had to reload the game at 1min ~5 times until i could repel the first few waves without wasting too many resources. I use equal number of missile, laser, mlrs and basic turrets in my groups, and light starships to boost them.

 The 2 force fields on main base are initially used to tank when required (one is being shot, the other is being healed). Once i have the trader pass my system, a level 2 ion cannon is built a bit outside of the main force field and the second force field is moved over it but turned off to manipulate the AI. All enemy ships will lock onto the ion cannon as soon as the force field is down, so it is useful to force enemy ships to ignore resources and run right through turret groups. Force field is turned on when enemy ships make it past turrets, but can be turned off for a few seconds during assault to force ships not locked on ion cannon to do so.

 The worst thing to happen in the first hour are speed booster trains since it makes it almost impossible to out maneuver the AI. Out of ~10 passages of speed boost trains, 3-4 resulted in reloads.

 Once the leech starship is built, the first part of the game is won. I can finally reclaim some bombers to kill the frigates, no more locking them on the ion cannon's force field and have fighters+light starships take 10mins to take them down. And on top of allowing me to build a free army leech starships make it possible to harvest the AIs ships for resources (capture/heal/scrap). Since there are waves every 5-10minutes that makes for a lot of resources and ships. If i get impatient i can also trigger some raid engines but likely wont do it for a while to avoid bad surprises. Hopefully, these few game loads in the first hour will be the only ones in the entire game.

01:20 - Planets: 1 AI Progress: 13 Kills: 2,809 Deaths: 446 Reclaimed: 0 Scrapped: 20

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 10:03:54 PM »
___Part 2___

 Next ~2.5 hours are spent improving defenses, making a second leech ship, scouting, making a transport, killing most inconvenient raid engines, research raiding and finishing the ion cannon 2. If i had found a nearby dead end (or a dyson sphere) i probably would have delayed (or maybe even skipped) the ion 2 but there wasnt any easy to defend land to be picked up in the immediate vicinity.

 After almost 4 hours, although i still only have 1 planet, things are looking extremely good. I'm very very tempted to build a zenith generator, make mad turrets, and feed off those reclaimed doubled waves. The AI has raiders, beam frigates, shield boosters and electric shuttles. That made for a challenging start, but at this point they make for rather easy to harvest resources.

 Regardless of the temptation, i probably won't go this way unless i can't find 2-4 planets i can hold with a single chokepoint. The resources required for the zenith power would take a really long time to get and the double waves could be problematic when i have to let the ai progress go up.

 Had to reload once after i raided a raid engine and as i was leaving rebels arrived to help out... but instead they triggered 3 waves of the neighbouring planet mk4 raid engine. I managed to get a good number of those ~1300 mk4 ships... but those i didn't definitely were getting me.

03:50 - Planets: 1 AI Progress: 40 Kills: 12,225 Deaths: 1,651 Reclaimed: 4,761 Scrapped: 3,364

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 10:05:00 PM »
___Part 3___

 Next hour was about making raid ships, neutering a couple planets, destroying another raid engine and a data center, upgrading most of my fighters and bombers to mk3 and mk4 (by capturing them, i still havent produced anything from my docks besides scouts and fighters mk1) and preparing a path to an mk4 factory. Can't wait to get the scout mk4 and get more info, scouting has been an expensive affair so far this game. Unless of course i change my mind before my next session.

 Anyway, plan as of now is to make a cloaker starship and sneak in builders and troops once the raid ships are done cleaning up the mk4 factory system, then speed build base, power, force fields and turrets. Saved up enough resources to get some things done, and hopefully i'll have time to do it all and also fetch more troops from main base before the mk3 raid engine neighbour overwhelms. There's also a devourer golem close by and if it moves in the right direction and i can time things properly it might make things a whole lot easier.

 Had to reload once when i didn't pay enough attention and my first 2 raid ships decided to move too close to a special forces guard post. I really dont understand why they decided not to shoot from max range but rather suicided on the post, guess i'll have to be more careful next time. "At least", when i reloaded, i got hit by some serious numbers and lost a couple buildings in my base, but the home base and ion cannon 2 survived so kinda works out in the end.

 Also i wish it was possible to load a transport while it is unloading. As it is anything that enters a transport after an unload command is issued but before it is completed will get unloaded, meaning its possible to keep a transport indefinitely in unload mode, but more importantly, its difficult to safeguard wounded units by putting them back in the transport if it isnt done unloading.

04:49 - Planets: 1 AI Progress: 35 Kills: 16,742 Deaths: 2,099 Reclaimed: 6,861 Scrapped: 5,171

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 10:06:12 PM »
___Part 4___

 Next hour and a half was all about taking the mk4 factory planet. It was impossible to hold it at first because of the neighbouring raid engine and alarm post, but before the inevitable wipe the scout mk4 was built and the engine was taken care of. A bit later it was possible to fully build it back and now i finally have 2 planets, both well protected. Scouting is also proceeding very well, and all planets within 3 hops have a scout on them so i can see what's coming on the map. I'm also almost certain i've found the neighbour of one of the AI core planets.

 Had to reload 6-7 times and replay that first half hour to finally be able to hold on to the second planet. Would probably not have needed to reload at all if it wasnt again for the speed boost trains, the reloads were done until i found good timing between them. I wish those trains increased by a certain percent the speed of enemy ships rather than by a flat 70.

 Anyway, next time will probably be about resource gathering, so i'm probably gonna shake up some raid engines. Havent decided yet if i'll unlock raid ships 2 or turrets. I'm thinking with raids mk1 and mk2 + cloaker + mobile repairs i could get some really neat things done, possibly even skip lots of planets and colonize far from home.

 And since i'd really like to finish the ion 2 on my second planet and the mass driver on my homeworld... it might be time to see just how much i'm able to farm.

06:15 - Planets: 2 AI Progress: 77 Kills: 25,332 Deaths: 3,013 Reclaimed: 8,736 Scrapped: 6,352

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2010, 10:07:58 PM »
___Part 5___

 Did some tests and... turns out transports can contain light starships, raid ships and mobile repair stations. Wish i had figured that out earlier but this info is definitely gonna get used from now on.

 Anyway, 1h15 used to produce raids mk2, cloaker, take down another data center, neuter many planets, scout, and recover from 2 back to back massive waves on my second planet. Lost my 10% done ion 2 and 1 force field. And i thought i was gonna be farming resources. Still, reclaiming is responsible for a significant portion of my income and it allows me to rarely build fleet ships so its totally worth it.

 Now i also have a mining golem ~5 hops from home, i intend to save the ai planet but i'll have to take a planet on the way. There's one with a black hole machine and ion cannons on a crossroad, i'll most likely take that one. The mining golem shouldnt be too much of a problem since i've got impulse ships but thats another bunch of resources i'd rather use differently.

 I have also found the second ai home world. They are soooo far however... i hope some of the many planets left to explore offer shortcuts. As for the ai progress, its really difficult to keep it under control with all that stuff everywhere. After the next couple turret unlocks i might have to make raids mk3 to be able to get some data centers with minimal losses, unless i successfully creep up to them with cloaker+raids+mobile repairs.

07:30 - Planets: 2 AI Progress: 63 Kills: 33,101 Deaths: 3,528 Reclaimed: 10,999 Scrapped: 8,530

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2010, 10:08:57 PM »
___Part 6___

 Well, i managed to take the planet, clear its raid engine mk4 neighbour, and destroy the mining golem but i didn't know it would just respawn with a 4-5 minute timer at the other end of the galaxy. Such an exciting fight too, i lost all my fleet ships and transport but finished it with my raid ships with 30 seconds to go. Not too happy about the respawn since that gave me another 30 ai progress from all the stuff over there. Considering the resources i dumped into taking it out i really felt like reloading and just letting it take its first pick. Especially considering i lost my 25% completed mass driver on my homeworld from a combo wave + many of the freed ships from my new planet and its raid neighbour.

 Anyway, that's just too bad i suppose, at least i've finally found a dead end planet after scouting my first 100 planets and it even has a zenith generator. Looks like this planet and its neighbour could be good candidates for taking once i'm done fortifying my 3 planets and i take out more data centers. However since i found a shortcut to one of the ai's home, it would probably be more reasonable to start going that way.

08:32 - Planets: 3 AI Progress: 107 Kills: 37,413 Deaths: 3,887 Reclaimed: 12,250 Scrapped: 9,687

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2010, 10:10:24 PM »
___Part 7___

 Short session this time. Got 2 data centers, fortified planets... and thats pretty much it!

 Did notice something unusual though. My captured ion 1 can tank bombers like they were fighters, but my built ion 2 gets crushed in no time at all. What's up with that?

 Next session... cant really decide what i'll do yet. Of course i'll continue fortifying my main bases but cant decide how to go about taking down the first ai. I've got 3 paths to it each with their own (dis)advantages, while there's only 1 reasonable known path to the second. I'd like to do them in this order since most of the remaining data centers are around the first, which would hopefully allow me to stay under 200 aip until i take down the second ai.

 Rather worried about the avenger though, havent faced one yet and its description says it has a built in nuclear bomb that detonates on death, sooooo gonna have to be careful with those.

 Maybe i'll tickle a raid engine and farm mk3 bombers and frigates, they seem to be the best money makers.

09:00 - Planets: 3 AI Progress: 68 Kills: 40,585 Deaths: 3,962 Reclaimed: 12,692 Scrapped: 10,153

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2010, 10:11:31 PM »
___Part 8___

 Soooooo, i decided to experiment with raid engines... and it didn't go quite perfectly! Well, i did make a bunch of resources, except for that one time i received help, and the rebels triggered 2 extra waves. That made for a fun pack of 1500 mk3 ships, but i managed to pull them into my system in 2 batches, so i survived. My turrets didn't though. Think i lost ~250 turrets total, that made a big hole in my budget. My mass driver is at 90% and my second ion 2 at 30%. Starting to think maybe those arent worth that much in a low progress game, now that i've unlocked more turrets i don't really need their help much. Still gonna finish them just in case, but all i could have done with those resources! And if only my turrets (and mass driver) could be bothered to shoot all those trains, i suspect by the time the game is done a few would go down.

 Anyways, i finished scouting the galaxy, but too tired now to make big plans. Next time.

 Also, dont know if its intentional, but the devourer golem wasnt firing on the anti starship arachnids. Since there's a fabricator for those maybe i'll capture it and see if i can catch the devourer in a turret system. Although... i probably wont feel like it in this game, maybe later.

 I also wish the electric shuttle's attack graphic was less extreme. It's annoying when i get to fight 20 at a time, but when i get ~75 then i can't see much at all. They werent very scary in the beginning but those large batches sure are now. To make things worst they really ruin a lot of perfectly good newly reclaimed units.

 It's also annoying ship caps arent indicated in the data export for things that have to be captured. Humm... i guess i wish there was an encyclopedia available within the game with the normal stuff and all the hidden numbers.

 I might try something crazy next time. Hopefully i'll forget before i play again.

10:50 - Planets: 3 AI Progress: 74 Kills: 50,401 Deaths: 5,038 Reclaimed: 15,522 Scrapped: 11,959

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2010, 10:12:35 PM »
___Part 9___

 After studying the paused map for like 20mins, i finally decided on a course of action. I'm taking the path that will allow me to take the fewest number of planets to get to the 2 ai homeworlds. I'm a bit worried the avengers will choose different paths, but i'll prepare for them later.

 During this session i cleaned up my next planet, repelled some pretty serious numbers of ships, got another data center, finished my mass driver, almost finished my second ion 2, and replaced all my lost stuff. I'm suffering rather light losses (except the low health reclaimed units i keep losing before they get repaired) but every last resource counts!

 Anyway, the crazy idea was to setup an mk3 raid engine farming emplacement. After some though it would be pretty silly to test this out in this game, there's enough challenge already and i hope i won't have to reload anymore. So i finally unlocked command center mk2, this is gonna help a bunch now that i'm soon gonna get a fourth planet.

 I also realized i made a pretty bad mistake on my current 3rd planet. I placed it so a third of my turrets dont reach the wormhole they should be covering. Feel like kicking myself right now. It's still very well defended, but if(when?) the avenger comes those mk2 mlrs would be more useful if they were shooting at it.

 I got lucky with the ai unlock when my total progress got over 200, they got microfighters. I'm definitely gonna use them to help defend my next bases against the large bomber waves i sometimes get. I really wish there was a turret that could do some real damage to bombers. I also wish basic turrets mk2 were 500 knowledge instead of 750.

12:00 - Planets: 3 AI Progress: 90 Kills: 56,099 Deaths: 5,405 Reclaimed: 17,639 Scrapped: 13,383

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2010, 10:13:08 PM »
___Part 10___

 Put everything in place for my fourth planet, filled transport + mobile repairs + cloaker, wait until waves have hit my main bases and current speed train leaves to decloak and start building, everything's going smoothly, then another speed train comes in just before base completes, small group of random enemy ships suddenly run right through my defenses, with more than enough bullets to destroy them all, but they go faster than the bullets, so they manage to get 1 shot in. Repeat 2-3 times and new base lost. Force fields wouldnt work here since I'm out of supply, so only option would be to cover with riot shields, but it hasnt been possible to unlock them yet.

 I need a break.

12:15

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2010, 10:14:05 PM »
___Part 11___

 Ok, took and fortified that 4th planet, i finally have good resource income now. Reloaded once since i got sloppy and didn't pause to build and assign construction priorities, and my new planet got hit by a speed trained wave and lost my base seconds before the force field came online. Really shouldnt have loaded but tooooo impatient tonight. Oh well.

 Otherwise, i unlocked riots to cover next bases and flagships to boost next turret groups. After i'll probably unlock raids mk3, turrets mk3, and then end game ships.

 Also i further figured out how the ai chooses target, but sadly only after finally building a force field on third planet. Being covered by a force field lowers priority of target, but also number of ships in firing range. Looks like they only lower priority of closest important target in range, so by putting defenders on right side of base and playing with force fields i can generally force ai ships to choose my prefered target.

 Next time should be fun, second cloaker is almost ready and then it will be time for some raiding.

12:45 - Planets: 4 AI Progress: 92 Kills: 58,557 Deaths: 5,498 Reclaimed: 18,225 Scrapped: 13,800

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2010, 10:15:10 PM »
___Part 12___

 Another data center and the coprocessors are down. I'm now at the aip floor of 54 with some room before my progress will increase. Good thing too, i got a wave when i was at ~130 and it was really big. And, uhhh mining golem again. Learned my lesson might not fight it this time, although it is on a neighbour planet with an advanced research so i might ask it to go play elsewhere.

 Next time i'll clear my fifth planet.

13:20 - Planets: 4 AI Progress: 54 Kills: 62,682 Deaths: 5,650 Reclaimed: 18,524 Scrapped: 13,892

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2010, 10:16:16 PM »
___Part 13___

 Another unexpected bunch of events... mostly triggered by me though. Firstly there was a pack of ~1000 mk4 ships that decided they wanted my fourth planet. I initially thought they were the usual mk2 waves, ouch big mistake. So reloaded and put up some force fields and it seems the ion cannons become vulnerable to bombers after being covered by force fileds. My 2 ion cannon tanks got exploded in no time so another reload, and just moved all my ships from everywhere to deal with the threat since there were 500 mk4 bombers to deal with. 150 mk2 turrets + almost 1000 ships, including 500 fighters, boosted by light starships and flagships, took ~3mins to destroy the bombers. They really scale better than the rest it seems.

 Sadly the reloads completely confused me and i thought the save was after i had destroyed the raid engines surrounding my fifth planet but oups, wasnt the case. didn't realize it until way too late so triggered 2-3 mk4 raid waves and 4-5 mk3 raid waves. Kills stat may have increased as a result.

 Rest of the session was partly about actually clearing the fifth planet and its neighbours, so next time i should take that new planet. But mostly it was about cleaning up that big mess. Overall i lost one of my tanking ions and the second got to 130k health at one point, i was very worried. But all worked out in the end, i even unlocked raids mk3 and built 1, and also finished building my flagships and riots.

 If all goes well i wont be scraping many more ships but rather start building up my end game fleet, i just might have enough energy to do so.

14:15 - Planets: 4 AI Progress: 62 Kills: 72,895 Deaths: 6,439 Reclaimed: 20,614 Scrapped: 14,620

Offline Fruden

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Re: Vs Captain 10 + Raid 10
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2010, 10:17:34 PM »
___Part 14___

 Turns out the ion weakness to bombers only happens when it was recently shielded by a force field. My ions 2 both take normal damage from bombers if i dont shield them. If only i had realized earlier... oh well.

 Anyway, took 2 planets, the one i was working on and the mining golem one as well. Were exciting fights all around, lost lots of ships, killed a lot more, and got help from the rebels for the golem. Would be fun if i could play with a computer ally vs the ai since my unstable schedule makes it unlikely to complete a multiplayer game and its fun to have allies.

 Finally decided to assault the golem after thinking that maybe if it repopped last time it could have been because of a regen train. Can't figure out why an ai train would rez a mining golem but since it didn't respawn this time i suppose that's what happened. And impulses were indeed very good to destroy the golem that fast last time, didn't use them this time since i had so many reclaimed ships, but i should have, golem lasted forever even vs mk3/mk4 bombers/frigates/beamers.

 Turns out i got shredders when i took the advanced research, they look like they may be good to deal with bombers, however those won't help vs the avengers booooo. But finished the raids mk3 yeeahhhh. Also unlocked the resource shields since i had some extra power and knowledge, and really, i was getting pretty tired of the crazy amount of micro, and even with lots of micro i still lost resources. This should help a bunch.

 Sneaked by the devourer to get the last data center that's not next to ai homeworlds. Next time i'll probably start clearing my next planet, which will be in range of an ai world, and i'll finish building up defenses on my 2 new planets. Also gonna have to research and unlock turrets and force fields mk3 since i'm almost out.

 Oh, and wish time, i really wish my mass driver would shoot things. I think it shot 1 bullet so far this game on a wave with a starship. I actually thought it would be perfect to finish the ships with dead engines. Sooo many things i assumed without testing before starting this game...

15:15 - Planets: 6 AI Progress: 66 Kills: 77,378 Deaths: 7,086 Reclaimed: 20,919 Scrapped: 14,672