Author Topic: [Brutal Cheese II?][10/10]How to Hard Stop 10000 Ships(And then triple that)  (Read 1696 times)

Offline carldong

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Well,  first I'd say slight cheese is used. +300% handicap is put in, but it is probably not needed. Also, multiple bonus ships are edited in, but are not actually used in this situation. Look at the two saves, I will explain.

Definition: "Hard Stop" => Stopping without any micro, intervention(except for replenishing dead Engineers and Rebuilders), FRD spamming, Warheads or other superweapons, in one single world that spells the final destination of an incredibly strong AI force.

First, thanks to Kahuna's great guide! Now, my condition. 13000 K as provided with my sole Homeworld. At 10/10 Diff. First CPA sends ~10000 ships plus a synced wave(already destroyed in the saves). Here, you can see those supporting turrets are really, really awesome! Just load and watch. Don't need to do anything.

My first success was using EVERY single galactic capped turrets to support, plus spamming all those Neinzui things. Then another success with spamming only Railpods. Then another one without spamming anything(the first save). Then finally another with slightly more than half the support turrets(second save). There might be some sweat moment, but no, nothing ever got a shot on my station.

I failed a few times before this, and I noticed that all of them failed to those CARRIERS. Spider was useless unlock, since having them means either no HBC or no Laser III. I reloaded a really ancient save and changed my unlocks, and it was:

- Needler/Missile II
- Laser II/III
- Tractor II (added)
- Mil II
- HBC I (added)

Every bit of K were used. Also, I experimented with a few arrangements, and found that Mines are basically useless if I put them at the wormhole, because they can only be used once. Now look at the saves, Mines are mostly in range of my Rebuilders. Also, two clusters of Tractor IIs are really good at stopping loose ships at my minefield. Tractor IIs are unlocked because Grav MkIII can't really give me enough time, Tractor IIs alone can't stop such a huge wave, and Spider I does not stop enough ships(actually, even in general waves, they are creating more trouble than being useful).

Another trick used was to align force field so that Carriers can't get pass unless it completely destroys the FF, so that I have plenty of time to have all my Anti-Carrier stuff to shoot at it.

Now, I noticed that the salvage is about 9000M/s, with 40% efficiency. I am running 7 Matter Converters to keep my turrets up (two less if using the half-turret configuration), so my consumption is 1400M/s. Just make sure there are enough storage to drain before the CPA hits, and salvage alone with a Logistics I+/Econ II+/Mil II+ can support this death grinder, without the need of +300% resource modifier. Of course, that means you need some fancy flash-build microing...

And largely my defence successes are because Carriers have a strange habit of deploying... I don't know why, because the more they deploy, the better my defence is, because it just deploys directly in range of my Tractors... And the big reason I can stop themselves long enough is the Force Field jamming trick.

Oh, and HBCs must be manually set to target Carriers, or they will shoot at useless things, like Tachyon Microfighters.

Oh, and Lightning Turrets are really awesome. Awesome because they absorb so many fire from my other turrets, and they really wreck loose ships, especially Eye Bots, Bombers, Bombers, and Bombers. I can see them drain health from a huge group of ships, even with MkI only.

And I tried a cheat game before and got all HBC's in my HW, and even a CPA of entire galaxy won't really get pass my first line of defence. Wow!

Now, it's time to see whether I can break this 10/10 game(may I call it Brutal Cheese II?). Easy 40 planet, two Vanilla/Chivalric, +300% resource, 4 Neinzui Bonus Ships, Lazy AI, no CSG no DGL no Swallowers.

P.S. I am really surprised that Diff 10 starts with Tech II

Final question: How do I see which turrets have done the biggest damage?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 01:05:01 AM by carldong »

Offline carldong

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Re: [Brutal Cheese II?][10/10]How to Hard Stop 10000 Ships
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2016, 06:58:44 PM »
Oh, and looking at that Core CPA post... I can actually do War By Attrition against the AI, i think. There are only 6000 ships in the galaxy after that CPA (Of course, most are MkIV/V), so one more tickle to that Core CPA should drain everything at me. I think I am going to do that before HW assault.

And this time I plan to test whether I can make use of Sensor Hacks on AI HW. I expect that once I do the first sensor hack successfully,  I get a full 70 seconds(two hacks) to run warheads around the HW safely. That is the theory, and I am going to test it.

Two HW assaults, 4 hacks. I should have enough HaP when I finally decide to pull the trigger.

Of course, that means I only have MkI fleet... Because every K is spent on defence. I don't even expect me to have Assault Transports by the time of the final attack.

Offline carldong

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Then, here comes CPA 2. 19998 was announced, but AI does not really have that many ship. Less than 5000 actually came. BUT, most of them are MkIV, the whole galaxy of ships, including those MkV Guardians, came at my homeworld. Which is still at the same ancient technology level (OK, an Implosion Artillery and a Penetrator was there, but I doubt they did anything useful).

I lost quite a few times using my old setup. Until I figured that I should really push Tractors forward(while still in range of my Engr/Rebuilders) to separate loose ships and Carriers. Also, you MUST set Needlers to target Carriers as priority, and Lasers to target Guardians once you see them on the list. They will be right in front of my Carrier-blocking FFs. Any Guardian will work, just make sure they don't get the chance to shoot at the command station at range. If you don't set these two targets, you will lose, as the result was extremely close: my FF was hit multiple times and fixed multiple times. My station was scratched a few times.

Now, the galaxy is basically empty. It is my turn. AND if I can really stop THAT wave in the extremely hardcore automatic way with 13000 K worth of defence and theoretically supported by salvage only(unless you use Mil I), what wave can actually hurt me? Especially I will at least take two more planets, which means, I will get...

- HBC II
- Some MOAR Needlers/Lasers, or probably Area Mine

And I expect my third CPA to be way smaller. We will see whose Doom it is, Mr AI!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 01:15:21 AM by carldong »

Offline carldong

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Oh, and those Scout Starships are to provide counter-sniper coverage. Yeah, CS-turrets work, but they are too fragile.

Again, my salvage is overflowing me with megal, so this brutal front can actually be supported on a game without positive handicap, on one single world with Econ/Mil II+, Logistics, or Home station. Of course, with more than one world, you can get some more turrets... I am talking about HBC II's because they are simply excellent Liquid Defence. Notice that cap HBC I almost have the same DPS as cap Laser III DPS on Carriers. 8 HBC II's will really wreck the AI force, may it be 10,000 ships.

Offline carldong

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OK, I come to the false impression that I may actually win this 10/10 game, straight after I have done my second 7/7. Even without the +300% resource. I am going to do an Ironman AAR on the exact same map. We'll see.

Offline Bognor

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Sounds like you're having fun  :)

Definition: "Hard Stop" => Stopping without any micro, intervention(except for replenishing dead Engineers and Rebuilders)
If you click "CTRLS" down the bottom of your screen and go to the planet-specific tab, you can set a planet to maintain your chosen number engies and rebuilders, automatically rebuilding them as necessary.  Works best with the auto-FRD option.
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Offline carldong

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Sounds like you're having fun  :)

Definition: "Hard Stop" => Stopping without any micro, intervention(except for replenishing dead Engineers and Rebuilders)
If you click "CTRLS" down the bottom of your screen and go to the planet-specific tab, you can set a planet to maintain your chosen number engies and rebuilders, automatically rebuilding them as necessary.  Works best with the auto-FRD option.


Yes --- But new engies are built around command station, which in this case: Nothing ever is supposed to get in range of it. I find it easier to manage by hand, in this case. Or the engies fly around getting themselves killed. Minefields are constantly rebuilt, for example, even if two carriers carrying 1000+ ships are running across them. Turrets are rebuilt too, and it is much easier to control non-FRD engineers than those naughty FRD ones.

Oh, and in this case, the two defensive "arm" support each other, so where to put new engies is actually an important tactical decision

Offline Kahuna

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Yep that's a perfect setup, good one.

Also, I experimented with a few arrangements, and found that Mines are basically useless if I put them at the wormhole, because they can only be used once. Now look at the saves, Mines are mostly in range of my Rebuilders. Also, two clusters of Tractor IIs are really good at stopping loose ships at my minefield.
Yeah those minefields worked very well. They would have worked even better if they were Widow Minefields. Rebuilders would keep rebuilding the Widow Minefields and the Widow Minefields would keep paralyzing the AI's ships over and over again while the turrets do their thing. I too think placing Minefields like that works better. Still placing minefields at the wormholes isn't useless. Area Minefields can almost single-handedly stop waves. Still placing them like that allows for easier rebuilding.

Tractor IIs are unlocked because Grav MkIII can't really give me enough time, Tractor IIs alone can't stop such a huge wave
Both are a must when CPAs get to +40k ships. (At that point the galaxy will probably run out of ships and the total number of ships will be much less but the amount of strength will be the same, which means a lot of Mark V Guardians etc.)

Spider I does not stop enough ships(actually, even in general waves, they are creating more trouble than being useful).
It's pretty nuch either Spider Turrets and Mark III Military Command Stations or no Spider Turrets at all. Although Military Command Station's knockback shots make your own ships go and suicide around the system so that's kind of annoying, requires micro.

Another trick used was to align force field so that Carriers can't get pass unless it completely destroys the FF, so that I have plenty of time to have all my Anti-Carrier stuff to shoot at it.
Yeah they will get stuck in the vedge created by the FFs. I use that in all games.

And largely my defence successes are because Carriers have a strange habit of deploying... I don't know why, because the more they deploy, the better my defence is, because it just deploys directly in range of my Tractors... And the big reason I can stop themselves long enough is the Force Field jamming trick.
Yeah unless they deploy in front of your Command Station. That will happen if you can't destroy the AI's ships fast enough. Because (if I remember correctly) when a system has over 1000 ships the AI starts to put them into Carriers. When there's less than that it starts to deploy the ships. 10k ship CPA is still quite small and they're only Mark IIs so they get destroyed quite fast. When the Carriers are filled with Mark V Guardians they can take much more punishment and are more likely to drill trough those Force Fields.

Oh, and HBCs must be manually set to target Carriers, or they will shoot at useless things, like Tachyon Microfighters.
Yeah that's because HBCs don't have damage multipliers so they do the same damage to all targets. So they will prioritize the ones that are the easiest to kill. I always micro HBCs. I don't mind it. I enjoy watching the Mark IV HBC vaporize entire fleets.

Oh, and Lightning Turrets are really awesome. Awesome because they absorb so many fire from my other turrets, and they really wreck loose ships, especially Eye Bots, Bombers, Bombers, and Bombers. I can see them drain health from a huge group of ships, even with MkI only.
I know right.

Final question: How do I see which turrets have done the biggest damage?
You can't see how much damage they have done but you can see how many ships they have killed. Which will make "swarmer killers" look better but still. It's very useful.

Press the "STATS" button in lower left corner or the appropriate hotkey combo. I have it bound to CTRL+SHIFT+S. Then go to "Ships by player", scroll for turret, ship, minefield or whatever you want and take a look at the "Kills made by". I've noticed Sniper Turrets' (even if you only have Mark Is (thanks to their infinite range and multipliers)) and Area Minefields' kill counts tend to get quite crazy.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 05:42:32 PM by Kahuna »
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Offline carldong

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And then I never got to replicate this effect on any other maps, yet. Looks like an extra captured planet will cause 5000+ ships to flood my defence at once, so no, one planet works MUCH MUCH better than two because one planet will make sure only ~2000 ships are engaged at once.

Then, I found that I cannot really support this defence with a +0% econ... I mean, no way.

I also noticed that sometimes the Mil station kicks a Raid Starship around, and then gets swarmed by small ships, and the Raid blows my Energy Collector or something from the back of defence. Annoying. Then, it seems that no station upgrades + Decloaker + HBC II + No Laser III (something like that, in another game) didn't work... I think, mainly because I was engaging 5000+ ships at once. However, that succeeded with the slight cost of... a Lightning Warhead III (Oh, and it is much more effective than 3x MkI!).

Oh, and learned the hard way that I really don't need that '2x Wave Multiplier' in 10/10 to get me metal. Instead, that creates Threat faster than I can clear, which really mess up my attacks.

I hate the logic that makes wave retreat as the way it is. When the wormhole is far, far, away, those MISSILE FRIGATES only run across half the system, shoots at my Harvesters, maybe runs into my Minefield a bit, and then turn back. They are just too slow!

When the Carriers are filled with Mark V Guardians they can take much more punishment and are more likely to drill trough those Force Fields.

Yeah, on that successful game I actually have enough FF's to jam multiple Guardian MkV's enough time for my Laser Turrets to kill them.

I enjoy watching the Mark IV HBC vaporize entire fleets.

I found that Carriers are much better targets for HBCs because they eat all damage(too big!). Hmm. On 8 HW games you can legitimately place 8 HBC IV's on your favourite chokepoint! I did that once on a Fallen Spire game. All HBC's sitting under overlapping City Shields which also filled with HBC's along with All Mod Forts also filled with HBC's. And Spire Mod Forts, too. With Photon Lances. I hope I can get the Heat Beam for Zenith Mod Forts...  Mighty Wall Of Beams!

However, I don't quite know how the health of Carriers are calculated. I see something like 40,000 HP, and I see the (possibly) ship count, and the Health bar. I don't understand what that health bar stands for. However, Implosion Artillery use the Stat HP of Carriers, I think. So, I don't know how they are done. Sometimes a fire from my HBCs will drain the numbers a lot, sometimes only a little. I don't know how it calculates which ships are damaged first.

Offline tadrinth

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However, I don't quite know how the health of Carriers are calculated. I see something like 40,000 HP, and I see the (possibly) ship count, and the Health bar. I don't understand what that health bar stands for. However, Implosion Artillery use the Stat HP of Carriers, I think. So, I don't know how they are done. Sometimes a fire from my HBCs will drain the numbers a lot, sometimes only a little. I don't know how it calculates which ships are damaged first.


Patch notes on the current carrier mechanic: https://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War:Current_Post-7.000_Beta#Carrier_Revisions

Basically, dealing damage to the carrier deals damage to a ships inside of it, one at a time.  The health bar is the health bar of whatever ship inside the carrier is currently taking damage; that way when you're damaging a big starship, you can see that you're making progress even though the number stops moving (that was added later).

Waves are supposed to deploy their highest strength units first, but I think that's currently bugged so that it does the opposite.  Instead, you get the starships deployed last.


When carriers are assembled as part of CPAs, I'm not sure their contents are ordered at all; it may just grab ships in whatever order it happens to find them.  Then it'll just deploy in whatever order.

What it should do in all cases is deploy the strongest units first, while damaging the carrier should damage the weakest units first.