Author Topic: Fallen Spire Mechanics Questions on Difficulty 9 (Single AI)  (Read 1459 times)

Offline RabidDonkey

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So I've been twinkering with FS for a bit and really like the mechanics and storyline. I'd like to bag a win with it on a higher difficulty like 9. As I understand it, the AI exogalatic strikeforce counter for FS is completely AIP independent. This means I can consolidate my frontlines and run a super high AIP game (provided I survive the normal waves, threats etc). Would appreciate the help from more experienced commanders.

1) My first set of questions are, is the core shard for the galactic transceiver randomly generated the turn it's needed (i.e. save-scumable though I doubt it)? Or is it seeded at the start of the game?

If I "know" beforehand where it will spawn then I can clear a line to it before I initiate that phase. Very important since it can simply my frontline issues a lot.

2) Does the core shard spawn on the bordering world of EITHER AI homeworld? Or does it spawn only on a neighboring world of the AI further away?

Specifically, a map like concentric becomes very, very attractive if the core shard can spawn near the closer AI. Otherwise, map with equidistant AI homeworlds are much better like X.

3) The FS exogalactic strike force seem to target multiple objectives. Does it make sense to then place spire cities far away from my homeworld to split the exogalactic forces? I.e. not use just one big choke?

Something like the spokes map come to mind. I can use the various central hub systems as funnels to split the exogalactic strike force. Meanwhile there's still a main "highway" of planets I can use to move my mobile fleets to hotspots via time manipulators/logistic command centers.

4. This is more of a finding I guess. It seems like the FS chase gets spawned on AI warp gates from either AIs that are sufficiently close to the chase target(s). I thought wrongly that they would come from the exogalactic wormholes on the AI homeplanets. The strikes also seems to be based off of the difficulty of the higher AI and not AI 1 or the average of AI 1 and 2. I had a game where I cheese killed AI 2 which was difficulty 9 and then started the FS campaign. AI 1 with a difficulty of ONE started spawning thousands of mark V vessels out of the warp gates of one of the AI2 worlds next to my core systems. Result was not pretty.  :-\

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Fallen Spire Mechanics Questions on Difficulty 9 (Single AI)
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2015, 08:16:25 AM »
So I've been twinkering with FS for a bit and really like the mechanics and storyline. I'd like to bag a win with it on a higher difficulty like 9. As I understand it, the AI exogalatic strikeforce counter for FS is completely AIP independent. This means I can consolidate my frontlines and run a super high AIP game (provided I survive the normal waves, threats etc). Would appreciate the help from more experienced commanders.

1) My first set of questions are, is the core shard for the galactic transceiver randomly generated the turn it's needed (i.e. save-scumable though I doubt it)? Or is it seeded at the start of the game?

Shards in general are seeded on-the-fly and generated far enough in advance it is a major pain. It probably can be gamed, but you will need to backtrack at the very least 30-60 minutes. It used to be shards would always spawn far in advance (making low aip games optimal) but now it is truely random. Iirc the "core" shard is always on an AI core world.

If I "know" beforehand where it will spawn then I can clear a line to it before I initiate that phase. Very important since it can simply my frontline issues a lot.

2) Does the core shard spawn on the bordering world of EITHER AI homeworld? Or does it spawn only on a neighboring world of the AI further away?

Pretty sure it is always an AI HW border. It is designed to start the "Oh god the AI is actually afraid" phase of the game.

Specifically, a map like concentric becomes very, very attractive if the core shard can spawn near the closer AI. Otherwise, map with equidistant AI homeworlds are much better like X.

3) The FS exogalactic strike force seem to target multiple objectives. Does it make sense to then place spire cities far away from my homeworld to split the exogalactic forces? I.e. not use just one big choke?

It varies on opinion I think. Having a galactic chokepoint of several spire cities will increase the total time (and economic benefits) of the cities living, while spreading them out will probably make them more resistant to attacks on the basis of them being diluted. 
Something like the spokes map come to mind. I can use the various central hub systems as funnels to split the exogalactic strike force. Meanwhile there's still a main "highway" of planets I can use to move my mobile fleets to hotspots via time manipulators/logistic command centers.

4. This is more of a finding I guess. It seems like the FS chase gets spawned on AI warp gates from either AIs that are sufficiently close to the chase target(s). I thought wrongly that they would come from the exogalactic wormholes on the AI homeplanets. The strikes also seems to be based off of the difficulty of the higher AI and not AI 1 or the average of AI 1 and 2. I had a game where I cheese killed AI 2 which was difficulty 9 and then started the FS campaign. AI 1 with a difficulty of ONE started spawning thousands of mark V vessels out of the warp gates of one of the AI2 worlds next to my core systems. Result was not pretty.  :-\

I...don't...know?
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline cdn

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Re: Fallen Spire Mechanics Questions on Difficulty 9 (Single AI)
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2015, 11:35:01 AM »
I love giant epic space battles, so of course I love Fallen Spire.  I've done two 9/9 games with it now.

So..

1) The last shard is always on a core world.  I've never tried to save-scum it so I don't know firsthand if it's generated on the fly or not.  By that point in the game you shouldn't have a major issue clearing to it.

2) Not sure again

3) Here's the best defensive strategy I've found for FS so far:
3A) Planning phase: Plan out your empire in advance so all your territory is behind a single chokepoint.  No spire city should be on your front line because you can't build a 2nd hab / shipyard if there's any AI systems bordering the system the spire city is in.  Optimally, your entire empire is behind two chokepoints back-to-back with the spire city in the rear chokepoint where it function as a 2nd line of defense, but this is really only possible on large X-maps.
3B) Expansion phase: Take ALL your territory before starting FS.  Research Mk. III shields, Mk. III rail turrets, Mk. III laser turrets, and Mk. III beam cannons while you're expanding.  This is the hardest part on 9/9 since you're running up AIP and don't have the FS fleet to help you out, but it makes the exowaves much easier to deal with later.
3C) Prep phase: Build the strongest defense you can muster in your choke(s).  A lot of the good stuff is galaxy-capped - things like beam cannons, modular forts, forcefields, gravity turrets, armor boosters/inhibitors, golems, etc.  This is why a single choke is best if it's possible (and practical).  Fortify all the friendly planets 1 jump back as well to pick off any stragglers and function as a fallback position if your main chokepoint is overrun.
3D) Development phase: Research and build a cap of Mk. III engineers.  Start doing FS.  All the shards should spawn within your territory (except the last one) and you don't have to do anything except defend your chokepoint while they make their way to your home system.  Use your Mk. III engineers to power-build your FS cities - they build can an FS city in less than 20 seconds as long as you have the metal banked in advance and you'll only have to deal with whatever exowave material the AI generates in that brief interval.
3E) Breakout phase: By the time you finish the Galactic Capital and bring your Battleships and Dreadnought online the AI will have built up a substantial defensive force (10K+ on 9/9, from my experience) in the system(s) bordering your chokepoint(s).  Use your fancy new spire fleet to clean them out.  The best way I've found to do this is to bring along a Mk. IV scout starship for counter-sniper and counter-missle coverage, and then right-click to keep them moving and all stacked up on each other so their shields overlap.  None of them will die until the AI brings down the shields of all your destroyers, cruisers, battleships, and the dreadnought.  When you see only one or two shields still up go back through the wormhole to friendly territory.  Repair, repeat until everything is dead.  Fully neuter the system(s) and keep cleaning them out periodically to prevent very large buildups.
3F) Expeditionary phase: During this phase your goals are to hack any fabs and advanced constructors that you want but don't have (Mark V turrets are extremely useful, as I'm sure you already know), establish forward bases, and clear a path to the AI homeworlds.  If you're going for a standard victory you need a forward base for each AI, if you're going for the FS victory you only need a forward base on the way to the last shard.  The forward base(s) should be exactly 4 jumps from friendly territory, within 4 jumps of the AI homeworld, and a Mk. III (or highest available) military command station, spire city w/ hab center and shipyard (and fully improved hab center / reactors, including the Mk III shield generator) and a full cap of all your turrets.  Your Mk. III engineers can hop across neutered hostile territory to build/rebuild it and you can access it with remains rebuilders and colony ships via SC jumpship or assault transport.  This is important because when your FS fleet leaves it will be destroyed by exowaves, threat, CPAs, whatever.  But when you come back it's easy and quick to rebuild and you'll have a safe place to repair / replenish your fleet for the final push on the AI homeworlds (these are great places to engage the mothership, FS fleet + FS city defense makes quick work of them) or when escorting the shard back.
3G) Endgame phase: Homeworld assaults are straightforward - spawn the mothership, kite it back to somewhere you can kill it easily, take out the really nasty stuff with warheads, jump the FS fleet back in, kill it, do the same thing to the other homeworld and you win.  The shard is trickier since you have to escort it a long way through hostile territory while defending your chokepoint against exos without your FS fleet there to help.  Unless you load up on cheese (all 4 modular forts + superfortress in the same system, multiple golems, many types of Mk. V turrets, high-level champion + support ships, etc) you'll probably need to leave part of your FS fleet behind to shore up your chokepoint defense.  If you've built a forward base like I described in 3F you can break the shard escort into two smaller escorts which makes it a lot easier.  I've also found success using cloaker starships to keep the shard itself under cloak and group-moving my spirefleet with the shard so it stays under their shields at all times.  If you're going for an FS win the escort is harder than the final 30-minute defense, at least in my experience.  A fully defended choke + a full FS fleet is practically invulnerable, even when the AI throws 100 golems at it.

4) I've never seen exactly where the exos come from but I have seen them come from AI space that isn't connected to the homeworld and I've seen them come in when I have a presence in the systems immediately adjacent to the AI homeworlds, so they must be coming from warp gates.  Beyond that I'm not sure.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 11:46:02 AM by cdn »

Offline Nymous

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Re: Fallen Spire Mechanics Questions on Difficulty 9 (Single AI)
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2015, 03:00:30 PM »
4. This is more of a finding I guess. It seems like the FS chase gets spawned on AI warp gates from either AIs that are sufficiently close to the chase target(s). I thought wrongly that they would come from the exogalactic wormholes on the AI homeplanets. The strikes also seems to be based off of the difficulty of the higher AI and not AI 1 or the average of AI 1 and 2. I had a game where I cheese killed AI 2 which was difficulty 9 and then started the FS campaign. AI 1 with a difficulty of ONE started spawning thousands of mark V vessels out of the warp gates of one of the AI2 worlds next to my core systems. Result was not pretty.  :-\

Funny stuff. Anyway, Here's an explanation of the technical stuff going on behind the scenes. It's a bit old but I don't think the mechanics have changed all that much, if at all.
http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War:How_The_Fallen_Spire_Campaign_Really_Works#How_The_Fallen_Spire_Campaign_Really_Works

Here's the important part, how the AI launches its event attacks:
Quote
First, it takes the raw number of points (again, 2000 for this first one), and multiplies it by a special scaling factor, computed thus:
 If highest AI difficulty is < 7, base value is that difficulty * 0.15.
 If highest AI difficulty is >= 7 and < 9, base value is 1 + (difficulty - 7) * 0.5 (so diff 7 = base value of 1).
 If highest AI difficulty is >= 9, base value is 2 + (difficulty - 9).
 The base value is then multiplied by the number of human homeworlds or the number of human players, whichever is greater.

So if you're playing a one-player game with a single homeworld on difficulty 7, your multiplier is 1 and it just uses the raw 2000 points. If you're playing on difficulty 7.6 with two players each having 2 homeworlds, your multiplier is (1.3 * 4) = 5.2, so this first attack would be 10400 points. Rather more dangerous.

Second, it builds a list of targets to send battlegroups after. For these first couple recovery missions, this is just the object you're trying to recover. For later missions this generally includes each human home command station and Spire settlement (more on that later).

Third, it builds a list of eligible spawning locations, which is basically the nearby warp gates but also other things that act as warp gates (AI Eyes, Special Forces Guard Posts, etc).

Fourth, it builds a list of all ship types it can use based on which expansions are enabled, what bonus ship types it has unlocked, etc. Each eligible ship type has a designated tier and sub-tier that determines its point cost, so a Heavy Drone like a Fighter MkI costs 3 points, a Medium Corvette like a Bomber MkIV costs 24 points, and Light Battleship like a Black Widow Golem costs 4096 points.


Oh, and so you know: killing one AI homeworld doesn't kill the AI itself. It just makes them mad.

Offline Mal

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Re: Fallen Spire Mechanics Questions on Difficulty 9 (Single AI)
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2015, 03:02:24 PM »
Also, someone has done this exact game before( Fallen  Spire victory on Diff 9) and he has some really good planning, conclusions, plus it is a fun read - http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,15693.0.html

Offline cdn

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Re: Fallen Spire Mechanics Questions on Difficulty 9 (Single AI)
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2015, 11:44:47 PM »
So I've been twinkering with FS for a bit and really like the mechanics and storyline. I'd like to bag a win with it on a higher difficulty like 9. As I understand it, the AI exogalatic strikeforce counter for FS is completely AIP independent. This means I can consolidate my frontlines and run a super high AIP game (provided I survive the normal waves, threats etc). Would appreciate the help from more experienced commanders

While this is technically true, the exos come more frequently on 9/9 and they become more flexible about synchronizing with CPAs. 
http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War:How_Exogalactic_Strikeforces_Work

My first 9/9 FS game I followed this same line of thought and took a lot more territory than I normally do (35 systems instead of 20ish) and my main chokepoint system was actually overrun twice - once by 24K CPA sync'd with a late FS exo and again at the very very end when the exogalactic transceiver had like 1 minute left on it.  In both cases my fallback position held, but just barely.  It's still important not to let your AIP get too stupidly high, lest the AI forget any kind of units except carriers exist.

Offline RabidDonkey

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Re: Fallen Spire Mechanics Questions on Difficulty 9 (Single AI)
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2015, 04:59:25 AM »
Excellent! Thanks for the great info guys.

cdn, I'm doing more or less what you did except I sallied forth from my center choke at the middle of the X to take more territories toward one of the AI. I'm now really curious how the core shard is spawned so we'll see. It does seem a little unfortunate that the effective way to play FS at this level is to start it after you're entrenched as opposed to using it to spearhead your campaign.

Btw, how high of a AIP would be too high? I do have spire civilian outposts so I guess I could always wait it out.

Nymous, oh yes you're absolutely right. But I didn't realized how much the two AIs worked together. I figured in a difficulty 1/9 game if I killed off the 9, the difficulty 1 would be a peace of cake...nope at least as far as the FS campaign is concerned. The wiki articles were definitely nice, the exostrike size calculation was what made me not play with a two homeworld start, lol.

Thanks for the link Mal, I'll check it out.

Edit: Just tested it out.

The core shard spawns randomly on a world bordering either of the two AI worlds. You can save right before the countdown hits zero to force the spawn on a particular world you want. Tremendous potential with that one. :) Concentric might also be a good map for fallen spire I think. Thanks for the help everyone.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 12:30:19 PM by RabidDonkey »