Author Topic: Dealing with Threat Fleets  (Read 568 times)

Offline Flavin

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Dealing with Threat Fleets
« on: May 26, 2018, 12:35:42 PM »
I'm on difficulty 7 and I keep having to save scum because without warning threat fleets will randomly attack one of my planets with 1000-2000 ships overwhelming my defenses. There's no real way for me to deal with this unless I use up all my energy filling my planets to the brim with turrets which would mean 95% of the time I don't have the energy needed to go on the offensive and then the other 5% of the time when the planet I've invested massive amounts of energy into gets attacked these defenses may or not be enough to deal with the threat fleet. I've tried shaving down the number of ships in the threat fleet by raiding the AI planets with the largest/strongest threat fleets to get it down from 5K to something like a more manageable 1K total ships on the map which are part of the threat fleet, but the threat fleets regenerate so quickly that by the time I've finally shaved the amount down and I start attacking a new planet the amount of ships is back up to around 5K.

Strategically capturing planets at choke points does not seem to be able to do anything to hold back threat fleets from accumulating at all areas of the map because the threat ships seem to be able to spawn from any AI command station on the map where as I originally thought they were all coming from the AI homeworlds and then spreading outwards from there. How do people manage threat fleets and be able to get offensive objectives completed in the mid game once threat start to become a major issue? Do people just leave their own fleets spread thinly across the map and just do multiple strikes with small fleets when they try and take a new planet so they can leave the whole map defended? I feel like I must be playing the game wrong and I would imagine threat fleets become an even bigger problem at higher difficulties. There seems to be no way to predict or prepare for what they are going to do next.

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2018, 04:57:47 PM »
How high is your AIP?

Offline Ovalcircle1

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2018, 08:16:43 PM »
Screenshot of map
Winning a game of AI War provides me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Offline Flavin

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2018, 09:45:10 PM »

Offline Flavin

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2018, 09:48:37 PM »

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2018, 11:02:07 PM »
The thing that stands out most to me though is that you have 23K science That's an immense hoard; if I were you I'd just burn a bunch of it to let me build stronger defenses.

Offline Flavin

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2018, 11:32:55 PM »
The thing that stands out most to me though is that you have 23K science That's an immense hoard; if I were you I'd just burn a bunch of it to let me build stronger defenses.

You're right that I've been hoarding a massive amount of science and that's not good because I'm effectively capping my own strength. Part of that comes from inexperience and not knowing what is optimal to build next, part of that comes from my inclination to not spend anything until I decide I really need something. I'm the type of video game player where if I get this really strong weapon with limited ammo in an FPS campaign I'll never end up using it because I'll always wait for the time I think I really need it, and end up not using it at all.

Regardless, I already have Mark V variants of all the basic turret types out there because I was able to capture a bunch of turret controllers. Access to units that I can use to defend my planets is not really the issue. The problem is that to keep all of my planets in a state where they can defend themselves from these random unannounced threat fleet attacks I would need to invest a massive amount of energy, which in turn would mean that I would need a massive amount of matter converters. Now maybe that is how most people play the game, I'm not sure because I haven't seen much of how other people play. Perhaps having a massive amount of matter converters and keeping all your planets decked to the nines with turrets is the norm, I don't know.

Spending my science points isn't going to be the make or break factor in whether I can deal with these unannounced threat fleet attacks or not, what's the real make or break is the decision to invest all the energy to do it regardless of what is unlocked. I was under the impression there was a better way to deal with threat fleets that I wasn't considering, rather than just capping out all your turrets on all your planets and incurring a massive amount of energy expenses on every planet.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 11:55:26 PM by Flavin »

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2018, 12:03:12 AM »
Do you have Mark III Economic Command Centers? Those give a ton of Energy.

For me, when I'm this far into a game I've probably spent enough Science on my Fleetships/Starships that 5K threat isn't actually, well, much of a Threat. I typically also give up on a few of my more outlying planets to allow me to consolidate my defenses. Basically, if I don't ever want to consider sending my fleet there for defense then I typically don't bother defending it.

Offline Flavin

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2018, 12:39:20 AM »
Do you have Mark III Economic Command Centers? Those give a ton of Energy.

For me, when I'm this far into a game I've probably spent enough Science on my Fleetships/Starships that 5K threat isn't actually, well, much of a Threat. I typically also give up on a few of my more outlying planets to allow me to consolidate my defenses. Basically, if I don't ever want to consider sending my fleet there for defense then I typically don't bother defending it.

I do have Econ 3 Command stations, but there is a cap on them and I've already hit that cap. As for what you said about 5K threat not being much of a threat, to clarify even with all the science points I haven't spent, if a random threat fleet came to a planet I had my fleet on they'd get stomped on easily. The problem is that threat fleets of over a thousand ships are showing up all at once at random planets while my fleet is on the other side of the map. I've started to split up my fleet and have some hanging around in different areas rather than trying to keep it all together but even with that I run into situations where I can't get there in time. Perhaps what you're suggesting here about giving up planets is the way to go. That way I can cap out my turrets and spend all my energy on the planets I actually need and not waste energy defending planets I don't really need to hold anymore which is spreading my energy too thin. My metal income will take a hit but I can play around that.

Offline Toranth

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Re: Dealing with Threat Fleets
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2018, 10:39:40 PM »
Threatfleet is a collection of all AI ships that spawned for some other purpose, but lost that purpose and survived.  For example, when AI ships retreat from a wave, or during a deepstrike/hacking action, they join the threatfleet.  Another source is from Cross-Planet Attack Waves that don't immediately attack your planets.  CPA waves can spawn (almost) anywhere.
The primary means of dealing with the Threatfleet is to go out and kill it.  It won't attack you, unless it thinks it can win.  For a large threatfleet, this may take multiple tries.


Without knowing a lot of what you have done so far, here's some general comments:

You have 18 planets.  That's a lot - although you are beginning to approach the second AI Homeworld, so you can probably avoid taking more than one or two more.
--  Ask yourself - do you REALLY need all 18 of those planets?  For example: Demurderxi and Moatbul, towards the bottom of the map, or Roadraswo and Linneiuh up top.  These are isolated systems, and just abandoning them (letting the AI destroy them) may be a net gain, because of the reduced attack surface.  Especially Roadraswo and Linneiuh - they are 4 hops away from your next nearest planet; not conductive to quick reaction support.

Your 18 planets are scattered.  Only Ausare is not adjacent to an AI world.  This leaves the AI a lot of vectors to attack you.  This is related to your Threatfleet problem - the AI will maneuver to attack where you are weakest, and layouts like this give it a lot of choices.
--  Try to cluster your planets for mutual defense, and use chokepoints.  When you can isolate AI systems (like the Bouzudon-Swojerwo-Buldasamu or Uberas-Sosuo-Rewyunburn-Asiur groups) kill everything in there (called 'neutering') and then you won't need to worry about Waves or the Threatfleet coming from those systems.
-- -- So, do some cleanup of AI ships in those systems.  This will help you reduce the defenses needed in several of your systems, freeing up resources for use elsewhere.
--  Consider using Transports to move your fleet around quickly between your systems when they are attacked. 

Your AIP is only 215.  That's good for endgame, especially considering you have 18 planets. 
--  If you can time your AI Homeworld attacks correctly, you can raise the AIP a lot during the process, but finish the game before it has time to bite you.  Otherwise, though, try to avoid getting more unless it directly helps you end the game.

You have 23,500 Knowledge left.  That's substantial, especially if you are having trouble.  With 18 worlds, you should have acquired ~46,000 total Knowledge, so this represents almost half your growth in strength.
--  Consider upgrading you existing ships and turrets.  Higher marks are much better than lower ones.

Counter-intuitively, Military Stations are the primary defensive station, while Economic stations are the offensive station type.  Econ stations exist to produce more resources to help you rebuild you fleet faster.  If you have Econ stations, you should be spending your ships!  Let them die, as long as they accomplish something.
--  Suicide and hit-and-run attacks can help, if you have the right ship types.  Similarly, if you can catch the Threatfleet when it is moving, you can defeat it in detail since AI ships move at their default speeds. 
--  Consider Neinzul Starships as a support type.  They can help significantly in attrition battles.
-- -- Try NOT to suicide starships.  They are expensive enough that they should retreat when seriously threatened or damaged.

You seem to have a Champion active.  What's the current status of your Champion?  Is your energy currently being used by large allied Nebula fleets?
--  The Champion, especially if you've gotten a few hull upgrades, is immensely powerful, and a great way to clear threat without risk of resources.
--  Nebula ships are strong, but require lots of resources.  If you have them, consider using them, even though they are expensive to replace.

You have significant hack points left.  Hacking can be used to substitute for capturing systems (Fabricators, Controllers, Factories), to gain more Knowledge without capturing, or to debuff the AI.  You may be saving these for the final AI assault, but consider using them earlier in the future - you'll get more, whether you want them or not.
--  If it is too late now, then just keep it in mind for future games.

If you haven't already, read Kahuna's excellent guide to building defenses in your systems.  His strategy can improve your defensive efficiency significantly, allowing you to survive otherwise fatal attacks or to redirect your defensive resources elsewhere.

If all else fails... use Warheads.
--  Yes, this will raise the AIP a little.  But gaining a few points of AIP is preferable to dying.
--  Best usage would be to wipe the Threatfleet and Reserves with Warheads, then proceed directly into an AI Homework assault - that way, the AIP increase doesn't have time to matter.  But, again - AIP is better than losing now (even though it helps lose later).

Finally.  The primary* cause of death in AI War is the Threatfleet/Cross-Planet Attack waves.  They're large groups of AI units, and they're smart.  If you get to the point where it takes longer to kill the Threat then it does for the AI to replace it, you're on the edge of the death spiral.  Not every game is winnable at that point.  You can back up and try again, or start a new game.  But continuing to play a doomed game is not everyone's cup of tea - consider abandoning this game if you can't figure out a way to win.


*The actual primary cause is probably carelessness ("Wait, when did that wave hit my Homeworld?"), but the primary *strategic* cause is Threat.