Author Topic: How do you deal with Minefields?  (Read 2898 times)

Offline Valectar

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How do you deal with Minefields?
« on: January 17, 2016, 11:56:14 PM »
It seems my current campaign may be against a Mine enthusiast, as I am getting running in to a lot of minefields on enemy planets. I've mostly been ignoring them so far, trying to avoid the ones I knew about and using debris clearers to remove the destroyed ones, but I just sent a force in which was reduced by 80% at the worm hole from mines! With a serious reprisal wave coming and already having metal problems, I can't afford to ignore these minefields any more.

So my question is, what do I do about them?

I can tachyon them, but when there's only one viable wormhole to send my forces through I can't exactly avoid them. Do I send in cheap units to trigger them and then clean them up with debris clearers? Or can you destroy them easily once tachyon'd with a small force?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2016, 12:03:22 AM »
Fighters are excellent minesweepers. Or younglings, if you have them.
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Offline Bognor

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2016, 08:45:02 AM »
Yeah Keith likes the "facecheck" method of mine annihilation, and Fighters' low cost makes them good for that.  An alternative is to send some starships along with a Scout Starship or other source of tachyon beams, wait for the starships to destroy the mines (Zenith Starships get a bonus), then pop the starships back for repairs.

I don't think younglings can destroy mines by triggering them as they're all immune to mines, unless there's been a recent change.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2016, 12:30:45 PM »
I don't think younglings can destroy mines by triggering them as they're all immune to mines, unless there's been a recent change.
Oh, right. Terribly inconsiderate of them, being unwilling to die ignominiously so that the wave behind them can die ignominiously so that the ships-I-actually-care-about behind them can stroll through the wreckage.
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Offline Valectar

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2016, 02:57:40 PM »
I tried Keith's method but with infiltrators since they're cheaper, and it worked quite well. The stealth is also a bonus because as long as I get rid of the tachyon sentinel I dont' have to worry about the AI's ship coming to crash the party. Although the fighters have still been useful, as they valiantly move ahead of my fleetblob due to their higher speed to clear the mines around the command station I keep forgetting the AI places.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2016, 04:04:39 PM »
Scout starships are mine immune, IIRC; send a few through a wormhole and they'll reveal the mines without getting blown up by them. Then at least you know if you need to send the fighters in first. 

Raiders and some other ships are mine-immune; combine with a scout starship and you can reveal the mines and shoot them.

Decloakers are the best way to kill mines that aren't covering your entrance wormhole. 

Offline Draco18s

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2016, 03:59:00 PM »
People...actually...deal with minefields? :o

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2016, 05:29:21 AM »
People...actually...deal with minefields? :o
Indeed, AI minefields are rather underwhelming. The widow kind is interesting, though. Maybe by adding some !!fun!! AI-reserved minefield types it would be a more nasty surprise to step on those. I'm thinking of reclamation and/or zombie mines, right now. Maybe drone-spawning mines; something like a neinzul cluster turned into invisible mines.

The ability for the AI to at least rebuild them, let aside building new. Maybe the cleanup drone would be something, after all.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2016, 11:19:13 PM »
People...actually...deal with minefields? :o
Indeed, AI minefields are rather underwhelming.

<deadpan>
Oh no, my fleet has wandered in a minefield. Whatever shall I do.
</deadpan>

Offline Toranth

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2016, 12:13:28 AM »
People...actually...deal with minefields? :o
Indeed, AI minefields are rather underwhelming.
<deadpan>
Oh no, my fleet has wandered in a minefield. Whatever shall I do.
</deadpan>
Don't worry, I'm sure you can rebuild both fighters soon enough.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2016, 06:10:27 AM »
Bha, B srus plz

We have a french expression, I don't know if there is exactly the same in english, but I think it sounds rather self-explaining:
don't shoot the at ambulance

Yeah, okay, AI minefields are underwhelming. We get it. Now let's bring some ideas to it, shall we?

Note:
Just to be explicit: I'm totally not pissed off by two answers having fun of a minor AIW's quirk. I'm not actually reproaching you for that. I just felt the need to insist on the need of an actual solution for that underwhelming-ness. My way of saying "very fun; any serious ideas?" (You know, we all love this community because it's very respectful, and I wanted to make sure you clearly understand I'm actively trying to raining on your parade.) (And I think I overexplained it a bit.) (But you know I really wanted to make sure it's okay.)

So.
Reclamation mines? Zombie mines? Neinzul mines? Any comments? Any other ideas?

AIP mines might be on the other side of the spectrum. overwhelming. (+1AIP if it totally goes off; able to spawn only on MkIV or core worlds?)
Wave mines? Like multiple tiny one-shot Raid Engine? Targeting its own planet like a Raid Engine or a random human planet like a counterwave GPost?

Well, that sounds more like alarm triggers than mines. If the "theme" of mines is to harm the ships that fly through, I think I just get too far.

Ow, implosion mines dealing higher damage to big things could be interesting.
Or something like "arachnid" mines that only harm starships but cast big holes in them.

Listing through the (mental) list of damage types we have, I see engine damage (widow mines do the same already) and armor damage. Would be "corrosive" mines interesting? Maybe a bit underwhelming too.

Maybe we need some sort of "poison" damage. A ship with those would do very low alphastrike damages but much more damages on the long term. Like, for each hit, the target loses N hp, then after T seconds is loses M more hp, with N < M, and with X being an average damage for a ship of the same price/cap, N < X and N+M > X. The "poison" damage is a bonus in raw dps at the expense of a malus for killing with a delay, allowing enemy to fire a bit longer. ("You're dead but you don't know yet") A ship with poison damages could have two strategies: being bulky and armored, killing its targets slowly and tanking damages in the meantime. Or it could be tiny suicide craft that dies fast but does damages "after death".

Back to the mine topic: poison mines would have a much longer lasting time (for much bigger damages for a single strike) and could make up the kind of situation where a fleet walks on poison mines and the player goes "ow crap! poison! get back in friendly territory to repair before the loses are too high!" or "crap! my fleet's already dead! Let's charge now and try to deal all the damages we can in the meantime!"

Or, you know... "crap, this lame mines again. Let just scrap the fleet now. %#$ game."


*preview before posting*
That post got longer than I expected...
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Toranth

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2016, 08:13:29 AM »
Yeah, okay, AI minefields are underwhelming. We get it. Now let's bring some ideas to it, shall we?
;)

The real issues are that 1) they just don't do enough damage, and 2) cheap units can face-tank them away.
1 can be fixed by just upping the damage.  Imagine that normal AI mines did 100,000 damage.  You'd be a lot more careful with your units (especially Golems and such) right?
2 is more difficult.  Your "Arachnid mines" are one idea:  Make the mines not trigger on the first thing they hit.  Another idea is to bring back AI mine rebuilders (or have them auto-regen from debris back into normal mines again after X minutes).

Unfortunately, both problems need to be solved to make mines a real concern again.  Fix 2 only, and still no one cares.  Fix 1 only, and it's sacrificial Mk I Fighters first through every wormhole.
The ideas about Spider Mines or Reclamation Mines are interesting, but again: 1 and 2 still apply.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2016, 08:15:54 AM »
Make AI Minefields as powerful as human Minefields and give Hybrids the ability to build and/or rebuild them.
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2016, 06:57:58 AM »
Make AI Minefields as powerful as human Minefields and give Hybrids the ability to build and/or rebuild them.
The hybrid thread is kinda leaking into this one. How funny. Hybrids are definitely sneaky.

Your points are very interesting, Toranth. I add them to my notes.

EDIT:
I just got an idea. Kinda extreme, but you tell me.
Make AI mines never self-damage. Everything that goes through them take damage (or some kind of funny effect) but the mines stay here, cloaked and full-life. Players NEED to bring some tachyon (scout starships, tachyon drones, decloakers, etc) and be super careful about scouted cloaked AI units. Infinite mines can be a special kind of mines, but I believe it would be a very interesting way to solve this problem by making all existing mines (and new types) infinite. In Toranth's list, it would solve (2) and make (1) irrelevant.
(I love gameplay asymmetry.)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 07:11:30 AM by Pumpkin »
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Draco18s

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2016, 04:50:02 PM »
Infini-mines (or self-rebuilding/repairing mines) is pretty much the only change that I think would actually make me care about them and do something to get rid of them, rather than toss a timber rogue at them until they go away.