Author Topic: New player with questions  (Read 3354 times)

Offline DinosaurVet

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New player with questions
« on: June 22, 2015, 03:45:46 PM »
Hi.  I'm just about to finish the Beginner Game for vanilla AI War and I've put together a few questions to help my next game go a little smoother.

I'm not sure about gate raiding and neutering.  They don't seem to have much effect.  I gate raided and neutered planets around my planets with irreplaceable structures and left the ones at my chokepoints, but the AI just gathers forces at the next planet back and attacks anyway.  Am I doing something wrong? It is helpful for low value planets I skipped in my backfield though.

Taking out Tachyon guardians for scouting purposes generates a lot of deepstrike reprisals.  Is there a better way?  I'm grouping up Mk I and II scouts and Scout Starships and group sending them for good range.  I may be able to load them up in a transport for extra range, but I'd still need to deepstrike ships to get the whole map.

I feel like I'm not getting the most out of my turrets.  I'm more or less following Kahuna's guide with a full cap of Mk I and II turrets and they're doing well in my game, but I don't think they could handle the 2-3k waves I see in some of the AARs.  Are the higher mark turrets worth it?

I've taken ~23 planets in my 80 planet galaxy like most people have been saying (20-30) and destroyed all the Data Centers I can find, but my AIP is still 360.  That seems a bit high.  Did I do something wrong?  How many data centers should there be on an 80 planet map?

Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 04:41:15 PM »
I'm not sure about gate raiding and neutering.  They don't seem to have much effect.  I gate raided and neutered planets around my planets with irreplaceable structures and left the ones at my chokepoints, but the AI just gathers forces at the next planet back and attacks anyway.  Am I doing something wrong? It is helpful for low value planets I skipped in my backfield though.
Neutering planets has be done somewhat quickly. If you stick around in those systems, you'll just put the neighbouring ones on alert. I'm guessing you had some military presence that caused alert states on those further-away planets, which led to them being reinforced and thread gathering there.

Taking out Tachyon guardians for scouting purposes generates a lot of deepstrike reprisals.  Is there a better way?  I'm grouping up Mk I and II scouts and Scout Starships and group sending them for good range.  I may be able to load them up in a transport for extra range, but I'd still need to deepstrike ships to get the whole map.
Well, you don't really have to scout the entire map straight from the get-go. You can just see deepstrike range as a limit to your anti-tachyon activities and wait with deeper scouting until you've taken a planet in the corresponding direction.

I feel like I'm not getting the most out of my turrets.  I'm more or less following Kahuna's guide with a full cap of Mk I and II turrets and they're doing well in my game, but I don't think they could handle the 2-3k waves I see in some of the AARs.  Are the higher mark turrets worth it?
In my experience, turrets alone rarely stand up to repeated waves. Others say otherwise, so I guess I must be doing something wrong.
Still, my recommendation is to keep a moderately sized reserve fleet around and swing it to wherever a wave hits. That'll take some pressure off your turrets, and is just generally a sound strategic practise  :D

I've taken ~23 planets in my 80 planet galaxy like most people have been saying (20-30) and destroyed all the Data Centers I can find, but my AIP is still 360.  That seems a bit high.  Did I do something wrong?  How many data centers should there be on an 80 planet map?
Unless you exploit the Superterminal, you will generally see very little absolute AIP reduction. Make sure you get something that's worth it whenever you take an AIP hit, and roll with it. Low-AIP stealth runs are entirely possible, but require a specialised play style. Just look at the numbers - for 25 planets, that's already 500 AIP. Nothing to be concerned about.
The beatings shall continue
until morale improves!

Offline DinosaurVet

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2015, 05:41:15 PM »
Neutering planets has be done somewhat quickly. If you stick around in those systems, you'll just put the neighbouring ones on alert. I'm guessing you had some military presence that caused alert states on those further-away planets, which led to them being reinforced and thread gathering there.

I neutered them then moved on, but attacks are still coming several hours later.  They are unannounced waves though.  I get normal waves on my southern border where I left the systems intact, but the AI sneaks attacks onto my northern worlds all the time.

Unless you exploit the Superterminal, you will generally see very little absolute AIP reduction. Make sure you get something that's worth it whenever you take an AIP hit, and roll with it. Low-AIP stealth runs are entirely possible, but require a specialised play style. Just look at the numbers - for 25 planets, that's already 500 AIP. Nothing to be concerned about.

Ok cool.  Just from reading the forums briefly looking for answers the general consensus seemed to be that AIP>300 is ghastly.  Glad to know I haven't screwed it up.  Though I did accidentally get to -38 HaP.  That was...enlightening.

Actually that raises another question.  Does the AI keep spawning threat as long as the HaP is negative?  I'd kill a few thousand then it'd rebound back up.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 05:42:50 PM by DinosaurVet »

Offline Radiant Phoenix

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2015, 07:31:20 PM »
I feel like I'm not getting the most out of my turrets.  I'm more or less following Kahuna's guide with a full cap of Mk I and II turrets and they're doing well in my game, but I don't think they could handle the 2-3k waves I see in some of the AARs.  Are the higher mark turrets worth it?
In my experience, turrets alone rarely stand up to repeated waves. Others say otherwise, so I guess I must be doing something wrong.
Still, my recommendation is to keep a moderately sized reserve fleet around and swing it to wherever a wave hits. That'll take some pressure off your turrets, and is just generally a sound strategic practise  :D
CS-Mil 3 is equivalent to doubling the mark level of all turrets.

Firepower:

One cap:
LevelCS-EconCS-Mil 1CS-Mil 2CS-Mil 3
111.21.52
222.434
333.64.56
444.868
57.5911.2515
All caps:
LevelCS-EconCS-Mil 1CS-Mil 2CS-Mil 3
111.21.52
233.64.56
367.2912
410121520
517.52126.2535
(Yeah, I know that Mk5 is unlocked separately)

Neutering planets has be done somewhat quickly. If you stick around in those systems, you'll just put the neighbouring ones on alert. I'm guessing you had some military presence that caused alert states on those further-away planets, which led to them being reinforced and thread gathering there.

I neutered them then moved on, but attacks are still coming several hours later.  They are unannounced waves though.  I get normal waves on my southern border where I left the systems intact, but the AI sneaks attacks onto my northern worlds all the time.
There are various kinds of attack the AI can make:
  • Regular waves: They appear with warning, on your planets.
  • Threat: Ships the AI can do whatever it wants with. They generally won't attack without overwhelming local superiority.
  • Cross-planet waves: The AI sends a wave to its own planet and... somethingsomething.
  • Special Forces: A bunch of riot control starships and tractor platforms that run around AI space with a bit of support. On higher difficulties, I've
  • Cross-planet attack: this releases a bunch of ships into threat. It is dangerous because threat is dangerous.
  • Exogalactic strike force: a bunch of ships that try to fly straight at your home command station, no matter the opposition. Often huge.

Offline Traveller

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015, 03:30:37 PM »
Sounds like the attacks you're seeing are almost exclusively Threat.  You should do what you can to avoid provoking it; attacking guard posts or tachyon posts without killing the things you wake up is a really good way to get a lot of threat very fast.  Keep a close eye on the threat warning at the top of the screen, and put scouts on enemy planets at least 2-3 deep from your territory...you'll want to check the galaxy map for threat on a regular basis (that's one of the dropdown options and I think it defaults to shift-T, or maybe that's something I configured on mine), so you know where it might come in from.  If threat gets to be more than a hundred or two you should consider proactively attacking their threat ships.  Threat hits you where you're weak, so compare that threat number to your defenses on any planet that borders AI territory...if you'd lose a planet if that many ships attack, then they probably will attack.  Otherwise they bide their time.

You mentioned deepstrikes...yeah, don't do deepstrikes, or at least don't keep your ships in deepstrike-level territory unless you're going to pull them back REALLY fast.  If you're trying to hit a DC or co-processor, seriously consider scrapping your ships as soon as they've killed their target.  Threat builds up by the second when you are deepstriking.  That, and seriously do NOT underestimate how much stuff you'll wake up by just hunting tachyons.  Every once in a while I decide to send some raid starships or a wad of cloaked things to exterminate like ten or twenty planets' worth of tachyons in one go, and every time I do it, I lose the game almost immediately.  You'll wake up a bunch of stuff and it'll join up with Threat as soon as you leave.  Doing that on Mk.IV planets is suicide.  Be careful--you don't even need to be deepstriking to screw yourself over this way.  If you really really want to scout things out but you can't clear a path without a lot of deepstrikes, consider 1) loading scouts into a full cap of assault transports and planning to lose a whole ton of them, and 2) find a planet really far out in the direction you want to scout that you'll want to keep later in the game, even just as a chokepoint or something with a lot of metal, and capture it early.  That'll push back the range of what's considered deepstriking, and will let your transports hop a lot farther before dying of attrition.  Just remember to be careful what you wake up!

Now, threat can't quite come from ANYwhere.  If you have captured a lot of territory but there's a lone AI planet somewhere in the middle, not connected to the rest of their space, gate raiding (and maybe neutering) is entirely sufficient.  Threat from elsewhere can't get there, so you don't need to significantly defend against attacks.  Once you gate raid it, as long as you stay out you can pretty much ignore it...maybe sweep through once every few hours to clean out their ships, but otherwise you're fine.  You probably don't even need force fields on your command stations that only border an isolated and neutered planet, because there's just not much they can do with it at all.

Offline DinosaurVet

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015, 05:43:11 PM »
I take back what I said earlier.  I was just playing and my game is actually in an unwinnable situation so *shrug*.  I can hold them off very easily, but I can't even scratch their Core Worlds.  I just think I'm not smart/tactical enough to play this game If I can't beat the beginner game. I'm a turtler in most other RTS and I'm terrible at guerrilla warfare.  :(

Sounds like the attacks you're seeing are almost exclusively Threat.  You should do what you can to avoid provoking it; attacking guard posts or tachyon posts without killing the things you wake up is a really good way to get a lot of threat very fast.  Keep a close eye on the threat warning at the top of the screen, and put scouts on enemy planets at least 2-3 deep from your territory...you'll want to check the galaxy map for threat on a regular basis (that's one of the dropdown options and I think it defaults to shift-T, or maybe that's something I configured on mine), so you know where it might come in from.  If threat gets to be more than a hundred or two you should consider proactively attacking their threat ships.  Threat hits you where you're weak, so compare that threat number to your defenses on any planet that borders AI territory...if you'd lose a planet if that many ships attack, then they probably will attack.  Otherwise they bide their time.

I watched where the attacks are coming from and it was threat.  My general strategy was take 4 bomber starships and fly through enemy space destroying Tachyon Guardians until the starships died.  That'd build up a bunch of threat so I'd wait until I destroyed it before going again.  I did station scouts on critical enemy paths and that let me see threat coming from far away so that was very helpful.  Once I knew where they were I'd take them out first.

You mentioned deepstrikes...yeah, don't do deepstrikes, or at least don't keep your ships in deepstrike-level territory unless you're going to pull them back REALLY fast.  If you're trying to hit a DC or co-processor, seriously consider scrapping your ships as soon as they've killed their target.  Threat builds up by the second when you are deepstriking.  That, and seriously do NOT underestimate how much stuff you'll wake up by just hunting tachyons.  Every once in a while I decide to send some raid starships or a wad of cloaked things to exterminate like ten or twenty planets' worth of tachyons in one go, and every time I do it, I lose the game almost immediately.  You'll wake up a bunch of stuff and it'll join up with Threat as soon as you leave.  Doing that on Mk.IV planets is suicide.  Be careful--you don't even need to be deepstriking to screw yourself over this way.  If you really really want to scout things out but you can't clear a path without a lot of deepstrikes, consider 1) loading scouts into a full cap of assault transports and planning to lose a whole ton of them, and 2) find a planet really far out in the direction you want to scout that you'll want to keep later in the game, even just as a chokepoint or something with a lot of metal, and capture it early.  That'll push back the range of what's considered deepstriking, and will let your transports hop a lot farther before dying of attrition.  Just remember to be careful what you wake up!

I tried the transport strategy and it doesn't really work unfortunately.  I can Tachyon Drill 4 jumps out without deepstriking, but the transports attrition to death before I make it to what would be deepstrike territory.  Taking planets might be possible.  How do you defend planets way out in the sticks though?  I can neuter the planets surrounding it, but it'd be the first thing to kill on the threat fleets list.

Now, threat can't quite come from ANYwhere.  If you have captured a lot of territory but there's a lone AI planet somewhere in the middle, not connected to the rest of their space, gate raiding (and maybe neutering) is entirely sufficient.  Threat from elsewhere can't get there, so you don't need to significantly defend against attacks.  Once you gate raid it, as long as you stay out you can pretty much ignore it...maybe sweep through once every few hours to clean out their ships, but otherwise you're fine.  You probably don't even need force fields on your command stations that only border an isolated and neutered planet, because there's just not much they can do with it at all.

I had a few of those.  One of my space docks was routing built units through there on the way to the front, but they weren't waking anything up.  Is that ok?

Offline Traveller

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015, 07:33:29 PM »
I take back what I said earlier.  I was just playing and my game is actually in an unwinnable situation so *shrug*.  I can hold them off very easily, but I can't even scratch their Core Worlds.  I just think I'm not smart/tactical enough to play this game If I can't beat the beginner game. I'm a turtler in most other RTS and I'm terrible at guerrilla warfare.  :(
The things you unlock, and the things you capture, are a big part of it.  What does your list of unlocks look like?  Have you captured all the advanced research stations?  There's two main ways to make the game unwinnable long term, 1) push the AIP too high and 2) make really, really bad knowledge-spending decisions.  Both are remedied with a little practice.  What difficulty are you playing on?

The quickest things I'd suggest to try for knocking down core worlds, that you could probably try in your current game, are... Try using stealth more, to sneak up on the nastier turrets.  Park a minifortress on the other side of the wormhole so you can hit-and-run better.  Establish a beachhead by bringing like twenty engineers after your fleet, build some way to heal, and a huge pile of turrets.  Of course you need supply next door to do that.

I tried the transport strategy and it doesn't really work unfortunately.  I can Tachyon Drill 4 jumps out without deepstriking, but the transports attrition to death before I make it to what would be deepstrike territory.  Taking planets might be possible.  How do you defend planets way out in the sticks though?  I can neuter the planets surrounding it, but it'd be the first thing to kill on the threat fleets list.
If you haven't unlocked assault transports--give them a shot.  Not only is the stealth really nice, but they suffer less attrition per jump in hostile territory.  They can also take a surprising amount of punishment.

Oh yeah, and check the controls menu.  There's keys you can assign that tell your ships to find the nearest transport and get into them.  They make it possible to use transports tactically in combat (and if you use assault transports, putting them to sleep will let your whole fleet vanish into thin air by loading into a cloaked transport).

If the system doesn't have anything irreplaceable, losing it is fine.  Plus it'll keep the AI distracted.  Honestly though, if the AI ever attacks using their threat fleet at all, it usually means you let it get too big.  (Lots of turrets will help deter or stop them too...and if they are attacking something you can afford to lose, then you're getting scrap from them dying in your territory, and you're whittling away at their forces almost for free.)

I had a few of those.  One of my space docks was routing built units through there on the way to the front, but they weren't waking anything up.  Is that ok?
Yeah, that's totally fine.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 07:36:23 PM by Traveller »

Offline DinosaurVet

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015, 10:37:53 PM »
The things you unlock, and the things you capture, are a big part of it.  What does your list of unlocks look like?  Have you captured all the advanced research stations?  There's two main ways to make the game unwinnable long term, 1) push the AIP too high and 2) make really, really bad knowledge-spending decisions.  Both are remedied with a little practice.  What difficulty are you playing on?

6/10

My AIP is 399  :'(

My unlocks so far are
Fighter/bomber/frigate I-IV
Raider I
Laser Gatling/Space Tank/Armor Ship/MRLS/Bulletproof Fighter I, II
Electric Shuttle I, V
Space Tank/Armor Ship V

Flagship I,II
Zenith Starship I,II, V
Spire Starship I-IV
Leech I,II, V
Plasma Siege I,II
Heavy Bomber I,II, V

One thing I did notice was that I got notice of a 2,000 ship Laser Gatling wave to one of my planets. I watched the only AI planet that they could have come from, but the ships just appeared out of thin air.  They didn't travel to my system from anywhere they just poofed into existence in my system.   Is that normal?

:edit:  Just tried again.  The beachhead strategy worked and I cleared the Core World but the response was 6,000 fighters and that was all she wrote.  Oh well so much for that.  Gonna try some Assault Transport Cheese.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 11:25:42 PM by DinosaurVet »

Offline Kahuna

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2015, 01:17:09 PM »
deepstrike reprisals.
Do you mean threat generated from deepstriking or reprisal waves?

I feel like I'm not getting the most out of my turrets.  I'm more or less following Kahuna's guide with a full cap of Mk I and II turrets and they're doing well in my game, but I don't think they could handle the 2-3k waves I see in some of the AARs.  Are the higher mark turrets worth it?
Upload a screenshot or the .sav file so we can take a look at your stuff. Yes higher marks of turrets are very much worth it. Especially when combined with Military Command Station, Munitions Boosters or Flagships.

In my experience, turrets alone rarely stand up to repeated waves. Others say otherwise, so I guess I must be doing something wrong.
Still, my recommendation is to keep a moderately sized reserve fleet around and swing it to wherever a wave hits. That'll take some pressure off your turrets, and is just generally a sound strategic practise  :D
There are 3 strategies: Turrets (and all the defenses in general), fleet (fleet ship and starship styles being the sub types) and a mix of those 2. If you're not going for pure turret style then yes you will need ships for defense purposes. Also if you're not going for pure turret style then it really is a good idea to get rid of some of the threat before moving your fleet far from your planets (attack etc.). When you do that you're missing some of the defensive firepower and then the threat will attack. I think the AI "keeps an eye" on human fleets 3 hops away. So when you move your fleet >3 hops away from a planet you want to defend the threat might attack.

They are unannounced waves though.
Are you getting those "x ships to ? ? ?" wave warnings?

Does the AI keep spawning threat as long as the HaP is negative?  I'd kill a few thousand then it'd rebound back up.
HaP only affects on the hacking response.

minifortress
Noooo no no no. Minifortress is on of the most useless things in the game.

I take back what I said earlier.  I was just playing and my game is actually in an unwinnable situation so *shrug*.  I can hold them off very easily, but I can't even scratch their Core Worlds.
Beachheading as Traveller said or you can use Warheads cloaked by Cloaker Starships to blow up the AI's strategic reserve and everything in fact.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 01:52:09 PM by Kahuna »
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline Traveller

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 03:01:17 PM »
If you don't have a different multiplexed repair unlock, I'm never gonna be convinced that miniforts aren't worth it.  I'm waaaay in the minority though, I accept that.

Hmm.  I'm really curious what AIs you're playing against--there's a small possibility you might be using a weird one with weird wave rules.

"the response was 6,000 fighters" -- what type of response was it?  Seems pretty huge.  I'd be very interested in seeing one of your save files, yeah.

Offline DinosaurVet

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2015, 03:27:44 PM »
Here's the save.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2015, 10:55:20 PM »
If you don't have a different multiplexed repair unlock, I'm never gonna be convinced that miniforts aren't worth it.  I'm waaaay in the minority though, I accept that.
It is true the repair ability is very useful but I'd rather pay 2000 knowledge "extra" and unlock Mobile Space Docks which also have that ability. You can have up to 10 MSDs and they all have that repair ability. In addition to that all 10 MSDs combined build ships_really_fast so you can just keep spamming in a big fight if you have the metal.
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline Toranth

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2015, 11:25:38 AM »
If you don't have a different multiplexed repair unlock, I'm never gonna be convinced that miniforts aren't worth it.  I'm waaaay in the minority though, I accept that.
It is true the repair ability is very useful but I'd rather pay 2000 knowledge "extra" and unlock Mobile Space Docks which also have that ability. You can have up to 10 MSDs and they all have that repair ability. In addition to that all 10 MSDs combined build ships_really_fast so you can just keep spamming in a big fight if you have the metal.
Generally I unlock them when I'm setting up lots of unattended beachheads.  A bunch of turrets, a rebuilder drone, and some mini-forts to keep everything repaired.  Without them, attrition helps the AI wear down the beachhead much faster.

But for general usage?  Yeah, pretty bad.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2015, 11:42:03 AM »
I'm wondering, how do you think about normal fortresses?

Offline Radiant Phoenix

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Re: New player with questions
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2015, 11:45:43 AM »
I'm wondering, how do you think about normal fortresses?
They come after turrets in the unlock list. Not terrible if you have chokes.

ModForts are good, though. (Parasite turrets! IRE turrets! Plasma Siege Turrets! Defense drone turrets! Cloaking Turrets! Heat beam turrets!  >D )