Arcen Games

Games => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - Strategy Discussion => Topic started by: RCIX on October 22, 2009, 03:17:51 AM

Title: Tips for New Players
Post by: RCIX on October 22, 2009, 03:17:51 AM
Tips for New Players

If you're reading this you're either
 * Considering it but don't know what makes it special really
 * A new player starting out and want some tips for getting better and having fun playing single player.
 
this mini-guide is to help you understand what you're looking for in settings for some of your first games, as well as explain stuff you may not understand in detail. First thing i need to emphasize is this: this is not your regular RTS. Think of this as a bit like an RPG game only in space RTS form; your goal is to go through the levels beating enemies and freeing friends till you have enough power and skill to take on the final boss. Major differences from Regular RTS games are:

 * This game operates over an entire galaxy size, populated with planets (from 10 to 120) which you fight on.
 * there is no competitive play mode. You can either duke it out against the AI yourself or battle it with friends.
 * Games start at "long" and go to "epic" in duration. There is no way (outside of a couple edge cases perhaps) that you can actually finish a game in one sitting, so don't even try. Use the savegame feature liberally!
 * A small fleet consists of several hundred ships and large ones can go into the thousands (mostly in the late game, though i've gotten an early game fleet of a couple thousand)! The AI also has hundreds of ships up to several thousand as well per planet, and these ships are usually more advanced than the ones you have.
 * You need to pick and choose your targets. While you may expect that you are supposed to just steamroll every planet you come across, that will quickly get the AI worked up and slamming massive amounts of ships into you, far more than you can handle. Each planet has a Command station that you need to destroy in order to take control of the planet, but doing so makes the AI more agressive in attacking you. There are a lot of planets in a given galaxy that have little to no strategic value, so it's best to just leave some sentries on those to take care of any reinforcements they get. I can't emphasize this point enough; if you try and take every planet, you will also feel that this game is too boring and mostly a grind.
 * The AI is smart. This AI can handle as many fronts as you can battle on, and do it well. It has a main strategic mind, but it also relies a lot on individual ships having intelligence and knowing what defense group to join, what targets to attack, that sort of thing. Think of the AI as like a a general; it will control what happens on an overall level without getting bogged down in the details.
 * One ship tpye isn't going to do. If you only use one ship type there's sure to be some enemy ships that can counter it, so make sure you're well covered in terms of ship types in your group. This means an absolute minimum of 2, and most often 3 or more.

So you're thinking, "All of this is great but i can't figure out what settings to play on! what map size do i want, how strong should the AIs be, should i use this setting what about that one" etc. I will help you with all of that one thing at a time.

First up is your ship type. You're going to want a ship that will work well in most conditions, especially when paired with only one or two other ship types. That ship is the Lazer Gatling. It's fast, can be built ins swarms, and does reasonably well against most ship types. The other thing is that you'll need something to attack forcefields with, and something to cover you against cruisers. The ship types that handle these are Bombers and Fighters respectively. Most of the time you only need bombers and lazer gatlings, but if you expect a large number of cruisers then add some fighters.

Next up is the map size. If you start on a map too small the gameplay will be far too "fast and furious" for a new player, and if you select too large a map you'll be overwhelmed by the sheer number of planets. These factors are affected by whether you're new to the genre or have played other games like Supreme Commander, Starcraft, etc.
 * I found that 40 is just the right size after a bunch of experimentation with various map types, at least for those who like a faster paced game. Knowledge is limited here, but so is the AI size.
 * the general size recommendation for new players is 60+ planets. Personally i find this a little confusing and bewildering, but that might just be me. Try it if you don't like the smaller maps.
 * 10/15 planet maps and 70/above would probably be to hard for a new player, but if you want you could try them i guess...

 Another setting i will refer to is the Fast And Furious option (in the Game Options tab); If you like your games with a faster pace turn it on otherwise off.

 You can use the random map generator to make a planet set you like or use one of the following seeds. I'm explaining them based on you using a starting position of the lazer gatling planet, and you need to use the "simple" available ships option (under the Ships tab)

1651855469 - A well protected starting place with only two wormholes into/out of it. If there's something important on it (like lots of resources or something) then take the dead-end planet other wise just clean it out and leave th command station.

119140626 - It may not look like it but you're in a good position here as well.

Now that the main settings are taken care of, i'll cover the rest.
 
Ships tab: Turn off astro trains and mines but leave the rest on.

Game options: Set the AI progress to 1 every 15 minutes and leave the rest alone (except for fast and dnagerous which i covered earlier)

AI Types:
I'd best leave the AI type to the game, setting it to Random Moderate/Easier if you have played RTS games before or Random Easier if you haven't.

AI Strength: again, have you played RTS games before? if so, proceed directly to 7. Otherwise go directly to 5.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Volatar on October 22, 2009, 06:07:23 AM
For any newbies I recommend, no, I plead them. DO THE TUTORIALS!

Also, I think you play on too small maps. 20 planets? Way too small. For a newbie I would recommend 40-60. Bigger so not too fast, but not too big.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Echo35 on October 22, 2009, 03:03:47 PM
For any newbies I recommend, no, I plead them. DO THE TUTORIALS!

Also, I think you play on too small maps. 20 planets? Way too small. For a newbie I would recommend 40-60. Bigger so not too fast, but not too big.

Yeah, once you go below 40 maps its actually harder, as its faster and there's less knowledge to be had.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: eRe4s3r on October 22, 2009, 07:34:20 PM
Gotta agree, 20 planets is certainly a challenge but then again - its not unwinnable is what i said, but at dif 7/7 i had a bad case of 700 infiltrators coming at my home command station, those things shredded all my defenses like butter ;p Bottom Line - 20 Planets are dangerous because of massive amounts of IV all around you which will and can spawn massive cross planet raids - and the ai is smart, it retreats when it faces my defense fleets and holds its moving units in reserve until a cross planet raid comes - damn is the ai smart ;(

New players should NOT choose below 40 planets, that i definitely agree with ^^

I think the game isn't really meant to be played at these confined spaces, you need the buffer of 5-7 hops to the homeworlds otherwise you trigger any IV core worlds too early, which means 2000+ Core ships and you constantly starved for resources

I've gotta say this is the first time i have seen the ai retreat a large swarm of infiltrators after it destroyed my defenses and brings them to full use with a cross planet raid and a infiltrator wave - got to agree with previous posts, the Ai in ai war is absolute brutal sometimes - never let it get away with an attack!
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: RCIX on October 23, 2009, 03:21:28 AM
Huh. I'm playing 20 planets and i'm having a ball. But then i've played other RTS games before, so i understand the basics of the genre. I'll add a note for that and say that players new to the genre may prefer larger maps for their slower pace, but i wanted something just a little faster. (Which is why i'm running on Fast & Dangerous as well).
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: eRe4s3r on October 23, 2009, 03:41:53 AM
I think my fortify raid approach doesn't really work that well on 20p maps... for some reason i much prefer if i can select which planet to trigger on alert and which not - when i can do that i usually choose deep raid targets optimal for research raiding and then retreat from there and repeat it elsewhere always with the idea to never block a direct path to the homeworlds with "aware" planets on 80 planet maps you also tend to have a lot of closed loops which give vital advantage for that tactic..

And i agree with you.. i am not a huge RTS nut when it comes to games like these.. i like total war kind of strategy or 4x games, but rts always tend to have 50 things happening at once and i usually forget something important.

In this case i built my defenses and mines at the totally wrong places - and the ai attacked from a direction i would have NEVER expected....

But well, at least i got the 1st loss achievement ;p
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: RCIX on October 23, 2009, 03:53:25 AM
Try that first map seed i suggest and pick the planet near on a dead end- really! it offers you a rare chance to only have to defend one wormhole (if you wipe out and take the other planet) so it might go easier.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: RCIX on October 23, 2009, 04:57:05 AM
Updated; now what do you think?
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Haagenti on October 23, 2009, 05:40:00 AM
I think that you overestimate new players.
- If you haven't played an RTS, I think that two easy AI-6s will still kill you.
- If you have experience with RTSs, if one of the Easy/Medium AIs is a Vicious Raider, your 7.6 game will be brief. Other mediums at 7.6 can be brutal as well for new players.

Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Volatar on October 23, 2009, 05:55:02 AM
Initially I had a hard time against AI 4's, let alone 6's and 7's!
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Haagenti on October 23, 2009, 08:49:00 AM
My suggestion would be:
- totally new to RTSs: two AI3 Bullies (these have no particular strength/weaknesses in Single Player)
- experienced RTS: 2 AI5 Bullies in your first game to learn the ropes, then go to 7
- deathwish: 2 AI10 Technologist Raiders

Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Echo35 on October 23, 2009, 09:03:28 PM
- deathwish: 2 AI10 Technologist Raiders

Why would you ever post something that horrifying in a new player thread??
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: eRe4s3r on October 23, 2009, 09:07:10 PM
Well you could also play 2 DIF 1 Scorched Earth ai's  ;D
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: RCIX on October 24, 2009, 03:38:29 AM
I'll further correct the parts about new players however i must protest about the other parts. Those recommendations were given to me by X himself, in response to my request for good settings for maps (except 20 maps, that was mine)
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: RCIX on October 28, 2009, 04:23:23 AM
*bump*

Can this be pinned so it doesnt fall off of the main page?
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Revenantus on October 28, 2009, 04:33:12 AM
*bump*

Can this be pinned so it doesnt fall off of the main page?

I've moved this to the new strategy discussion forum, as there are now quite a lot of stickied topics in the main forum.

This forum was originally suggested by Pantera, and while I've decided that a dedicated forum for strategy discussion is a good idea, feel free to post your tips on the community wiki, too.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: RCIX on October 28, 2009, 04:51:48 AM
Cool!
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: nullspace on November 09, 2009, 09:09:35 PM
My tip for new players is:  Beware the AI home world!  I lost the intermediate tutorial because my failed attack on the home world unleashed a stream of core ships that rampaged through my planets.  Don't put it on alert until you're almost ready to attack it.  Have full caps of many types of mk3 and mk4 ships and starships.  Stockpile resources so that you can replace losses and build turrets and fortresses during the battle.  And don't go straight for the AI command center, it is much too tough and the AI ships will leave their posts to protect it. 
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: RCIX on November 09, 2009, 09:40:50 PM
Once i get to the actual ingame part, i'll add that. In the meantime i tweaked a bunch of the information to make more sense overall!
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: alphaone on November 21, 2009, 07:01:44 PM
The strategy I have found that works for me not to take a world from the AI without first neutering all adjacent planets to that world. It makes expansion a bit slower but ensures that there won't be any unecessary buildup on border planets. This goes significantly faster with raid starships, especially against class 3 and 4 worlds.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: pallenda on March 30, 2010, 06:42:42 PM
http://arcengames.com/communitywiki/index.php?title=Unit_Types_and_Tactics (http://arcengames.com/communitywiki/index.php?title=Unit_Types_and_Tactics)

Is a nice overview but I have a question... If I look at Standard Fighter

Description: Inexpensive, with a small attack range. Great against many smaller ships. Also excellent against starships in numbers.
Bonuses: 12 Raider, 5 Scout Starship, 2 Laser Gatling, 16 Bomber, 12 Parasite, 2 Plane, 12 Cutlass, 2 Autocannon, 2 EtherJet, 12 Vampire, 5 Raid Starship, 5 Fleet Starship, 5 Alien Starship, 5 Dreadnought, 5 Bomber Starship, 12 Grenade Launch, 16 Z Elec Bomber, 12 Z Paralyzer, 12 Z Shredder, 12 Impulse Emitter, 12 Marauder


What does those Bonuses mean?


Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: x4000 on March 30, 2010, 08:04:08 PM
Please note that that page is for 3.0 of the game, and hasn't yet been updated for the many changes in 3.060.  Really, all the information you generally need is in the game itself in the form of the more-informative strong vs and weak vs data (http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Strong_Vs_Weak) (which is different from the bonuses you are looking at there). 

Or, if you want the latest exports (in Excel XML format) of the AI War ship data that was used to create that page, you can export that yourself (http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Strong_Vs_Weak#Exporting_Raw_Bonuses).

Now: all that said, to fully answer your question. ;) This was such a good question, and one that has been raised a number of times before, that today I've made a whole wiki page about it (http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Strong_Vs_Weak#Raw_Bonuses).  Please let me know if there are any further questions on that, but hopefully that covers it in more depth than you could possibly want! :)
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Frozen Critical on May 02, 2010, 11:14:57 AM
Fix : Its possible to finish a game in one sitting if there are 10 planets , even without fast & Dangerous on , but playing a 10 planet game is totally a death wish : The first attack wave contains 100 Core Ships and will skyrocket to Thousands of Core ships should you shove several attack waves back to their base
Title: Tips for New Players
Post by: danando on May 03, 2010, 12:30:35 PM
i have been playing this game a month after it got released and have completed 10planet 80 planet and 120planet , easiest way is to disable cheats and keep defending your main base with ecessive amount of turrents then build raiders to defend to then attack a planet at a time with 300+ships ... send about 5-10 waves / if you act like an ai you can win send waves rather than a full scale force  ;D ::) :P if you want tips ask me ;)
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: danando on May 03, 2010, 12:36:41 PM
for the love of god plzzzzzzzzzz mix up your forces  :o ??? >:(  fighters alone in there 1000s will lose against 1000s of mixed drones capital ships bombers its scientific
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: BobTheJanitor on January 03, 2011, 11:46:03 AM
Please note that that page is for 3.0 of the game, and hasn't yet been updated for the many changes in 3.060.  Really, all the information you generally need is in the game itself in the form of the more-informative strong vs and weak vs data (https://server12.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/sboxmtbtsis/p1/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Strong_Vs_Weak) (which is different from the bonuses you are looking at there). 

Or, if you want the latest exports (in Excel XML format) of the AI War ship data that was used to create that page, you can export that yourself (https://server12.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/sboxmtbtsis/p1/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Strong_Vs_Weak#Exporting_Raw_Bonuses).

Now: all that said, to fully answer your question. ;) This was such a good question, and one that has been raised a number of times before, that today I've made a whole wiki page about it (https://server12.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/sboxmtbtsis/p1/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Strong_Vs_Weak#Raw_Bonuses).  Please let me know if there are any further questions on that, but hopefully that covers it in more depth than you could possibly want! :)

Since this page, and the previously mentioned page in this thread don't exist any more, is there any place where one could go to browse ship stats? I know I can just go in game and look at them, but sitting at work that's not exactly possible. Having a list of all the various ship types and numbers would be fantastic. I would have expected something like that would be an obvious thing to put in the wiki, but I can't find it anywhere. Am I blind, or is it just nonexistent?
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: x4000 on January 03, 2011, 11:57:38 AM
You can actually export that from the game itself by pressing F3, and then I think it's Ctrl+Alt+F8.  Then your game will close instantly, and you wind up with some spreadsheets in your Data folder under RuntimeData in your game folder.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Mithror on January 03, 2011, 05:41:35 PM
Tested it and it is ctrl+shift+F8, so: close =)
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: x4000 on January 03, 2011, 05:43:43 PM
Oh, that's right, I remapped that at one point. :)
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Lightbulb on February 24, 2011, 03:47:00 AM
As  a new player myself I think that AI level has less of an effect than AI type.

Some of the medium AI types are ridiculous for new players. I played my first game on 7-7 and picked 2 easy AI types. Sledgehammer and one of the defensive ones I believe.

The problem with random AI is some of them require totally different tactics. Since I tend to lose early and hard initially playing against radically different AI types when I restart would really frustrate trying to puzzle out how to play.

I would not play below 7 because this is when the AI has all of its 'tools' but I would not play on random type - I don't want to win because the AI is STUPID I want the full INTELLIGENCE of the AI but not one of the nasty to play against AI types.

For your first game maybe 2 difficulty 7.0 Vanilla or just pick any 2 easier AI types.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: pallenda on February 01, 2012, 02:44:14 PM
Coming back to AIW after 2 years or so I looked at this thread, and think I could need a bit more help on some less complex settings.

Quote
Map tab:

# Planets: 50
Map Style: Simple
Campaign Type: Conquest

Expansions:

So here is my first question, should I play with/without some/or all of the expansions? I know they are great and add depth to the game, but maybe its a bit overwhelming for a newbie/beginner.

Quote
Ships tab:

Available ships: Simple/Normal/Complex

Turn off Cloaking, Swallowers, Core Shield Gens

Simple sounds great, but will it lock out key ship type that are almost a must have for some AI Types?

Reasoning for turning the two first off is that it can be confusing. Reason for turning off Core Shield Gens was that in my 2nd game I played after getting back, I was gutted after making a plan and then finding out I had to take out a shield on the other side of the galaxy. (Yes newbie).

Quote
Game Options tab:

Combat Style: Normal
Visibility: Complete Visibility

I pick normal combat style as I have played RTS before. Epic if you like the gameplay a bit slower. Complete Visibility helps when still learning what is what.

Thinking about ticking Reveal Random AI Types on also.



Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 01, 2012, 03:32:22 PM
That sounds fine.  Normally I would strongly advise against disabling cloaking because that disables scouts, but you've also got complete visibility so that should be good :)
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: BobTheJanitor on February 01, 2012, 04:03:20 PM
Turning off certain ship types disables them for both you and the AI, so you won't have to worry about them using fancy tools that you can't get. Simple should be fine for a learning game where you don't want to have to check references every 5 minutes to figure out what the heck that new ship is. There's not anything I can think of that the AI might have that you have to have normal or complex ships to deal with. There are plenty of tools in your arsenal any way you set it up.

Core shield gens were really only put in to keep people from short-cutting most of the game and aiming straight for the AI homeworlds, so with or without them you shouldn't have much trouble.

I would suggest against turning off cloaking, thus disabling scouts, even with complete visibility on. The reasoning being that scouting is a sizable part of the game, and turning that off just doesn't seem right. I always feel like I've done a good job and passed a milestone in my games when I finally manage to scout out the entire galaxy. And for a game where you're trying NOT to get overwhelmed, starting out with visibility on the entire galaxy is a bad idea, in my opinion. Scouting nearby planets and finding those goals that are in range gives you bite-sized bits of gameplay to shoot for. Once you get to the first planet with something good on it, then you scout out again for the next one and so on. Seeing it all from the start would just make me feel like I had too many options and I wouldn't know what to shoot for.

That said, the reason there are so many options is that there is no 'right' way to play the game, except for the one that works best for you. So take all that with a grain of salt and go with what you enjoy. :)
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: pallenda on February 02, 2012, 07:02:29 AM
I totally get the scout thing, I mainly did the Complete Visibility because there are just so much to learn. Hmm I should maybe have made this in the after action reports section instead.

Cheers for the comments. :)
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: zoutzakje on February 02, 2012, 10:39:14 AM
I started my very first game with all ship types and expansions enabled, while I tried out any of the minor factions / plots one at a time (I'm still busy with that after 300 hours of playtime). Yes, it was overwhelming at first and I lost quite a few times as well.  But I did catch on really quick. I just have the feeling that you'll miss out on a lot of good stuff if you don't play with all ships and expansion enabled. You could also enable some of the easier minor factions like dyson sphere, golems easy and spirecraft easy
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Shrugging Khan on February 02, 2012, 10:43:30 AM
Just switch on everything and learn to do it the hard way, with AI level 8 but Zero AIP over time.

A steep learning curve is more satisfying to master than a shallow one, and being able to see all the features interact with no pressure of time is better than looking a bits and pieces in a hurry.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 02, 2012, 11:34:16 AM
True, some of the most excited "first posts" I've seen are from folks who just picked up the game, turned everything on, and spent their first few games figuring out how to survive exos and 2x advanced hybrids.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: chemical_art on February 24, 2012, 11:26:38 PM
That feel when your  first game ever and it was on 7/7 "simple" and think "laser gatlings and cockroaches are numerous and tough!  They must be special "AI ONLY units"


No defensive planets. No strategy. Just some "grand strategy" tactics of theater of war, objectives, and overall inefficency in exchange for broad security.

I remember losing a dozen planets in exchange for having a chock point twelve worlds back as a fallback defensive world before the homeworld. I played much more cautiously and casually then. Now I play on the edge so much. Maybe I should return to the strategies of old. At least I would finish games them.

Ha. I had no idea. I feel some sort of pride that my first game ever was 7/7 AND I finished it in victory. Now I don't even finish my games before I get bored.
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Teeani on November 22, 2012, 02:49:31 AM
Just switch on everything and learn to do it the hard way, with AI level 8 but Zero AIP over time.

A steep learning curve is more satisfying to master than a shallow one, and being able to see all the features interact with no pressure of time is better than looking a bits and pieces in a hurry.

Best advice ever!  I always find the same: throw me in and let me learn without rushing me and I'll enjoy it, no matter how complex.  Set me a time limit, but make it easier, and I'll panic ahaha!
Title: Re: Tips for New Players
Post by: Mánagarmr on November 22, 2012, 09:45:06 AM
Just switch on everything and learn to do it the hard way, with AI level 8 but Zero AIP over time.

A steep learning curve is more satisfying to master than a shallow one, and being able to see all the features interact with no pressure of time is better than looking a bits and pieces in a hurry.

Best advice ever!  I always find the same: throw me in and let me learn without rushing me and I'll enjoy it, no matter how complex.  Set me a time limit, but make it easier, and I'll panic ahaha!
This is what I did too. Everything on and died horribly. :) Took me a while to learn.