Author Topic: Alpha AAR  (Read 383 times)

Offline Malkiel

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Alpha AAR
« on: September 07, 2018, 04:17:12 AM »
I put forth the suggestion of alpha testers each doing an AAR as a way to unveil testing "blind spots" including options nobody seems to be taking, etc.
If there is a more appropriate subforum for these to go into, please move this for me.

This initial report started on the 0.767 patch with a custom modification to fix the command station placement bug (my fix can be found on mantis report until X4000 can get it in game.)

marauders 7 attack all, golems 5, dark spire 7, Dyson 7, all AI levels at 7
I forgot to select an Ark, as usual.
I started with space tanks, wanting to garner my revenge on the AI armor fleet now that it has an armor piercing special, on a world with 4 wormholes but two of them could be sealed behind a bottleneck in a third system just past them.

I began building my triangle + special fleet after getting eyes in all 4 adjacent systems. at 2:50 I paused the game because the voice warning for attack on a "border world"... well crap, that's here!
Sure enough, there were a trio of raider guardians shooting at a cryopod. I moved the fleet over to where the shots came from, started building a forcefield to cover the cryopods from future attacks, and moved the other forcefield down to parallel with my starting science lab.
Shortly after this the raiders decloaked and died horribly, no other hunter fleet ships came to play.

I then reviewed my scout intel. a world full of Mk III stuff was next to me (str. 5), rest were weak systems (Str. 1). I decided to save the Mk III world for last and start with the ARS system. The ARS ship was pike! because Multi needler wasn't borderline OP without specials? (in fairness they did cut down the base damage to compensate and it reinforces the pike concept's theme...)

moving the fleet in on FRD I realized it's basically an "infinite range" mode. so.. great against spider turrets, check.
Upgraded all non scout fleet ships to Mk. II while there after building a pair of colony ships.
Built Military station and unlocked level 2 beam cannons to serve as a false threat against AI.

First problem! I can't build them because I don't have the energy yet! waited for energy and got one up, then moved fleet to attack another system while second one built.

Second system fell fast as well, this time I had a delay waiting for energy just to build the forcefield. Paused ship construction and fleet waited patiently. mil command, 2 beam cannons to scare away the enemy, on to third world.

Third world fell quickly, mil station and 2 beam cannons for deterrance, fleet back on homeworld to intercept first real wave of the game. Also restarted spacedock because I wanted a fleetball for the imposing strength of 5.

ARS finished gathering science, moved to second system I had taken, upgraded the pikes.

While attacking the fourth world, which I had mentally typecasted as a "bleeder" world (more on that later) Marauders are attacking Kapo... well good for them.. ohwaitthat'smyhomeworld!!PAUSE!

Told the pikes I had gathered there to FRD, watched infinite range death destroy the marauders before they even got close. I know it's a bug, but I'm not a gentleman.

Fourth world now taken. the warden fleet only sent raiders this time, probably because it was a really long flight from third target I took and they just did not have time. I had taken away most their guardians in the brief battle for the third world.

Built 10 ambush turrets just barely in range of both wormholes, and 10 each of pike, MLRS, and laser turrets further in. world has Str of 4 without my fleet, my 2 beam cannon setup on other worlds reads as a strength of 8. If hunter fleet gets frisky, they'll do so here. That's what a bleeder world is, it eats preemption plot units to reduce threat by being far more powerful than it looks.

Fleet countered more marauders on home system. I really should do something about that.....

Wave announcement for system 1 of raiders and space planes. lucky them for their new special lol, since FRD = cheat on range right now...
Remember kids: the AI does it too.
I unlocked decloakers and built 10 of each non missile turret. I built 2 decloakers, one in front of the wormhole by a distance and one behind opposite it by a distance. Back to what I was doing....

fifth system is the bottleneck beyond second and third system. scout goes in and ... survives? When did these get 2K cloak at rank 1? how does it have 450 cloak left? can I get a bagel?

It also has.. a Cursed golem? now I really miss my Ark! Guess I'll be repairing that.

sent fleet in, same old, same old. built 10 missile turrets inside the homeworld shields to deter more pirates there. The range circles for these are no longer showing, I hope they still work.

Fifth system taken. sent a single scout to each of my 5 neighboring AI systems, built beam cannons of intimidation on fifth system. I'll have to hardpoint this later.

hurried fleet to system 1 to help against the wave in progress there.

as systems 2 and 3 are no longer border worlds, used science to upgrade my economic command stations and replaced stations there with them.

metal cap at 2.5M from mouseover. current metal at 2.8M. well crap, guess he missed that one after all.

watched it continue to climb for a bit, now at 2.12M... not certain it knows how to count at this juncture. 2.9 --> 3.0, not 2.10
I'll have to post save in that bug and ask the report be classified back to "outstanding" instead of resolved.

Science: 6262 with 1987 left to gather
Tech unlocks: beam cannon 1 and 2, decloaker 1, pike 2, vwing 2, bomber 2, concussion 2, space tank 2, econ station 2
Time: 29 minutes 30 seconds
time spent writing this: probably more.
save can be found on mantis if anyone wants to play along. I gotta go write 2 more reports there now.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2018, 05:41:07 AM »
Sure enough, there were a trio of raider guardians shooting at a cryopod.

Darn it. I had hoped I had reduced their starting strength enough...oh well, it's still much better than running into 7-8 Guardians instead, + fleetships.

How was the extra metal? Bumped that up a bit.

While attacking the fourth world, which I had mentally typecasted as a "bleeder" world (more on that later) Marauders are attacking Kapo... well good for them.. ohwaitthat'smyhomeworld!!PAUSE!

Bahaha, yes. They'll happily try to evict you from the word start.

scout goes in and ... survives? When did these get 2K cloak at rank 1? how does it have 450 cloak left? can I get a bagel?

I did that. People thought they were dying far too easily. They seemed alright before but...multiple cases of these things dying near instantly. It should make them more like Classics, anyway, with their cloak boosting. They get even more at Mark 2. Should remember Sentry Starships give you intel on planets neighbouring the one they're on now.

It also has.. a Cursed golem? now I really miss my Ark! Guess I'll be repairing that.

These'd probably need a big boost - so once you toy around with it info'd be great.

- - -

Well, this is the first AAR of AIWar 2! Hope to get a lot out of it.

(Nice job on the command station fix, incidentally. I didn't think of finding that tag).

Offline Malkiel

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2018, 10:08:26 AM »
the extra metal was nice, I made it a point to not do my fleet upgrades until after I had finished building my cap for that exact reason.
as for the cursed golem.. well, this'll be funny/sad, uncertain which.

The session where momentum seems lost:
I made it a point to scout adjacent planets: there are 2 systems next to each of planets 1 and 4, and a single system next to planet 5. Those are my borders.
Next to planet 4 was Dyson world, world with artillery golem (Paulson, this place gets a name for being a pain in my backside)
Next to planet 1 was Dark Spire world, and Armored Golem
Next to planet 5 was Sniper Starship ARS (and 4 AI wormholes...)

I started with Dyson liberation. it went well but due to many shields I decided to lose the AIP and just shoot the command station.
then I went for the ARS world next to planet 5, intent on making it a marauder fortress to offtank the AI. The method I use for this is fly in, explode all the things, and leave command station standing alone.
That world was Mk IV.
I went in, did a fair amount of damage but got chased away by warden fleet, which has more than twice my fleet's firepower.
due to AI suffering a long path, I decided to hit Paulson (next the planet 4 and the dyson world) to pull warden fleet. this went well.... too well.
Back to the ARS world, did a LOT more damage before fleeing the warden fleet again. I really need to trim that down...
This time I hit the vengeance generator world, since Dysons had been harassing Paulson steadily since the original raid.
I believe the command station got destroyed by the dyson allies, but not before warden fleet was landing on grid... on Paulson (it was on the way to the dark spire world)
Warden fleet has been stuck there for the past hour or so because...
I fled a large concentration of dark spire craft. the AI didn't and lost the fight. there was 26 strength worth of dark spire there at this point.

A bit later I accidently ordered my fleet there but quickly selected things and told them "no, gather on planet 1, don't attack them you fools!"

... so about that cursed golem? it was in the selection that got ordered there by accident. I didn't notice it was still heading there. I didn't notice when it was there, getting rocked by the dark spire.

When I later went looking for the golem to help bash down 26 ai forcefields on a world bordering both dark spire world (because trust me, they own it now!) and Paulson (Warden fleet retirement home) I couldn't find it. I looked for the big icon on galaxy map....
it was overlapped by a dark spire Icon.

Mother. Of. Pearl.
dark spire strength is now at 56. I should've gate raided while I had the chance.
Warden fleet strength 48. they're eating my poor dysons but not stupid enough to try and counter the attack of dark spire next door.

Oh! the Marauders are finally coming home to roost in that planet I'm trying to give them!


My plan is falling apart around me. The only bright side is that the hunter fleet is indeed taking that path I left for them, which amounts to a trap.
Might need to upgrade some turrets pretty soon here, but need to find the gas pedal for my offense.
I may have to bite the AIP and blast that station on the marauder world. if I do so, at least I'll get an ARS out of it I suppose.
Cursed golem is lost to Dark Spire, Artillery golem is untouchable because wardens use it as a tourist trap, but if I take the planet I'm at after bashing through the forcefields, I could get an armored golem? Seems messed up, yet fitting.

Same techs unlocked as before. 10250 Research in reserves.
1 hour 43 minutes in and I desperately need a new plan. I believe the Warden fleet is gathering in hope of countering Dark spire. If they get the guts to do it, I'm totally gate raiding during the distraction. Otherwise I really need a cloaked ship unlock that I don't know I can find.

Doom. Doom. Doom.
I might just have to start taking planets and playing aggressive again at this rate. stagnating hard.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2018, 04:31:03 PM »
the extra metal was nice, I made it a point to not do my fleet upgrades until after I had finished building my cap for that exact reason.

I feel justified in it! Phew. It felt a spur of the moment thing - glad to know it worked out.

I fled a large concentration of dark spire craft. the AI didn't and lost the fight. there was 26 strength worth of dark spire there at this point.

The Bloom is angry! And it has lots of guns!

I wonder if you could find a mostly undefended Vengeance Generator, and hack it to cause an attack...maybe get the Dark Spire tipped over the edge to cause an offensive against the AI. Or it'll kill you!

Otherwise I really need a cloaked ship unlock that I don't know I can find.

Raid Starships have cloaking! And shield piercing! They're in the tech unlocks, have to buy Mark 1.

Doom. Doom. Doom.
I might just have to start taking planets and playing aggressive again at this rate. stagnating hard.


Well, it certainly got interesting. Golems are getting a large beef up next update, so if you can get one or two, you may have a chance...

Offline Malkiel

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2018, 07:55:05 PM »
I felt like I'd need some motivation to get moving again on this one, so hadn't been back for last couple of days. I'm going to be continuing today on 0.768 with Puffin's 25% damage bump test...  After a brief visit to my test chamber to get a good look at beam cannon performance. Since I have a pair on every world except the "hunter fleet" path (planet 4), their effectiveness could be a massive defensive gain for me.

Also Puffin Thanks for reminding me raid SS is in the unlocks and I don't need an ARS for it.  I'm probably going to spend some tech.
current plan: immediately turtle my fleet because I ain't got the patience to break 26 FFs (and am afraid warden fleet might visit me with the changes there), then fly right through that planet to a farther point and attempt to expand there. Ideally, marauders will harass that planet. If warden fleet camps there, I'll go east to distract them instead. Perhaps I can find some goodies.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 11:20:04 PM by Malkiel »

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2018, 07:59:21 PM »
Please remember not to use the Guard Post file - a change in there breaks saves, even though Chris made a near exact change...

Beams weirdly damage things inbetween them and the ship they target, so you have to tell them to fire at the back units. Though they are, heh, very impressive...

It'll be good to get more opinions on that damage bump...HeartHunter tried it but he seems to have broken Hunter and Warden fleets for whatever reason.

Armored Golems swapped out their gun for the next update incidentally.  Some bizarre targeting errors meant the original really wasn't impressive.

Offline Malkiel

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2018, 11:17:51 PM »
Apparently I had damaged the FF pile far more than I had realized. with the damage boost it took 8 minutes to completely clear what remained of them (manually targeting my bombers and tanks, of course.) Left station standing for now, can let marauders deal with it for all i care. Also wanting to see if I can swipe golem without ever "owning" the planet. risky, but it's for alpha testing! So I need the marauders to do their thing.

Then I realized dark spire word was fighting a freshly built AI force field! dashed in with the bombers and gate raided it while spire were too busy trolling the field.
Dark spire vengeance is coming up at about the 2 hour mark. not going to lie, bit worried. we'll see how it goes.
Also beginning to upgrade system defenses with tractor turrets since FRD =/= infinite range anymore.

It seems threatfleet (not to be confused with the raider fleet) is now a lot more frisky. have driven them off from planet #4 twice as of 1:58 system time. vengeance strike wasn't notable to me. well, that dark spire ball got bigger, but who's counting.
Oh wait, that might've been the CPA. in any case, they're doing what I told them to do with regards to my bleeder world and fleeing my fleet as intended.

2h 1m marauders have taken the world which only 15 minutes ago had 26 force fields. glad I hired those goons. now to try and cheese a golem retrieval.
can't get the golem without building a CC at that planet. Glad that's working, I'll consider it later, right now warden fleet paying me a visit! My science ships fled the world. I think perhaps they're what attracted wardenfleet? will try using them as a lure elsewhere later to attempt verification.
2h, 4m Did a light - moderate amount of damage to warden fleet, my fleet got wiped. Rebuilding.

Snuck fleet through Paulson to attack a Mk IV world behind it (Santanni). upon exiting WH was on top of CS defenses, blew up a FF with bombers and killed many turrets/guardians before A line of
spiders started flying through. that's... hunterfleet? where the heck are they going? briefly sat my forces along their path to do some damage then decided discretion was better part of valor as casualties mounted. ordered fleet to planet 5 to repel an incoming wave. Planet 5 has become my whipping boy due to all other gates destroyed, but the defenses don't handle spiders or sentinel frigates very well. (haven't got sniper or spider turrets yet)

got rebuilt portion of fleet heading to intercept that wave on FRD. forces retreating through paulson are taking a slight detour south to help the instigator (missile guardians) vs. Dyson battle in the system.
Changed planet 3 from Econ2 station to Logi1 station since that's the preferred route for my ships. considering a similar change on planet 4 but not feeling that gutsy yet.
Rebuilt portion arrives right as ... A line of raiders and spiders from hunterfleet comes in? Bad timing for them. wave is also swiftly handled, rest of hunterfleet apparently stopped to pick up crisps on the way and didn't make it for the culling.
Might want to upmark my space tanks to counter that missile guardian spawning problem since dysons seem slightly outmatched. I can't get at where I suspect the source is because it's behind the warden fleet party zone.
timestamp 2:21:27 with 5 minutes before spiders hit whipping boy. I bet I can get one more good stab at Santanni. goal is to cripple, not take since nothing worth the AIP here.

briefly detour fleet on the way to harass the missile guardians, watch dysons fly off like idiots into Santanni. seems AI isn't routing them there anymore, this could be bad...
They're routing to Planet 1. my defenses are eating them for breakfast. sending main fleet to clear resistance off Santanni now.
2:26:30 the rebuilt portion of the fleet countered the wave, the main fleet got wiped one world past Santanni because apparently hunterfleet is camping other side of the wormhole. WONDERFUL. Just like that the AI has stonewalled me in the west, which I need to break into. Lost everything but 18 concussions and the 57 bombers that were still busily cracking forcefields.

in the east I now see 431 spiders half of which are hiding under shields.
Dark Spire is at 122 strength. warden fleet now at 50 strength, hunter fleet at 27 strength with 6 planetary strength backing them up camped on my entry point in System Name: Vitter. I believe the AI is most like headquartered within 4 hops of Vitter on the other side but haven't used the vision debug to check... that'd be cheating, right?
Really tempted to use vision hack because I want to see how other dark spire locations are faring, especially since I fed them a golem.

The easy way through would be to just take Paulson over, Hunterfleet tries to gather 3 hops from player space iirc. That would push border and cause them to back the hell off. The problem is the adjacency to Demaine, where Wardenfleet is stationed. It would probably attack, and even if hunterfleet stayed back I'd get spanked. There would be an artillery golem as a reward though.
I'll try going east for a bit, see if I can attract wardenfleet to come dance, or hunterfleet.
the spiders from the east just joined hunterfleet and decided through the whipping boy was the best route to merge with the main fleet. Invigorated Dumbots, they are. well, were.

2h 30m 18s calling it a wrap on this report.
Damage seems to be good, but part of that is I haven't unlocked a tech in hours (meaning 25% could be a bit high but fits my playstyle well). Next installment would hopefully include me finding something worth attacking. right now I'm fighting for ground, not tools. That's where these turn into slogs. Pity the eastern ARS is south of the chokepoint world with no new links, and is sniper starship on top of it. when AI has sentinels and spiders I just don't need sniper starship as it would die to counter attackers.

might go for it anyways since I would much rather lure wardenfleet over there. It'd be SO CONVENIENT!!!!

Beam cannons are my happy face devices. they make my face happy. it's never gonna be pretty, may as well be happy. Once I can stop manually firing the big guns they'll be even better, I hate having to actively manage my defenses. The price I pay for beauty.

Offline Malkiel

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2018, 08:15:55 PM »
Another hour and a half... summarized in brief.

Warden fleet went back to Paulson, I went after the world behind where they had been camping. during that attack, raider fleet showed up there.
Rebuilt fleet went to Vitter, then flew south crippling AI worlds until I found and destroyed the instigator that was spawning missile guardians. I then went west from Vitter. Still noting interesting aside from a merc beacon on a Mk IV world.
Unlocked Mk II science and mobile builder.
Wardens wandered back south of Paulson, so I built a cap of Mk. II science stations and gathered knowledge at Paulson under protection of full turret cap. eventually they responded but I was done by then so I left. I don't think the science vessels lured them, it took too long. My cap of turrets got smoked as did the warfleet protecting the op.
Rebuilt fleet and went north of dyson world to deal with a new instigator spawning missile guardians.
took 2 waves of full warfleet to take out 51 strength of marauders north of dyson world.
Upgraded bombers, concussions, pikes, and tanks to Mk III as part of that.
The instigator was 5 hops from dyson world when I finally found and killed it.
I decided to explore the rest of that area, crippling most of it, since warfleet was there. found 2 more ARS up there, one for MLRS and one for Agravic Pods. the pods are lethal as heck to final enemy, so I might actually take that.
2 data centers where destroyed in the region. Another Merc Beacon was found.
Marauder infestation actually caused warden fleet to fly off and answer it but is still severe in the western sector. one world has 7 outposts. Vitter is new raider fleet camp, Santanni has 8 marauder outposts. looks like my marauder shield is up and functional :)
Threat is at 779, I'm starting to wonder why I haven't been horribly killed yet. my leading theory is the dark spire world might be reading as a mobile defense fleet of 181 strength.
nearly everything I have is within 3 hops of that, and the critical junctions of the galaxy that you have to go through to get anywhere are also within 3 hops of there. this might be walling in the CPAs and causing the threat buildup. Either that or it's counting Marauders. I'll have to kill a bunch to check.
I've already taken science from a couple of the worlds I crippled in the north that I then cleared of Marauders. I'll be escorting a colony ship with the warfleet to get me that Agravic Pod world, will bring science with since no reason not to.
I hereby dub the agravic pod ARS world "Planet 6".

Question for readers: can I hack a merc beacon after killing all AI forces and taking the planet, or does hacking still require AI control of the world?

Time: 5h 3m
Science left: 5564
unlocks: vwing 2 bomber 3 concussion 3 pike 3 tank 3 science 2 econ 2 beam cannon 2 mobile builder

Offline Ovalcircle1

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2018, 08:40:15 PM »
Mercenary beacons can be hacked on a Neutral or Player-owned world. Just watch out, AI ships will spawn from it.

Also: The threat at the top right doesn't just count AI ships. It will also tally up other minor factions as well. Marauders are one of them. I'm not sure what other factions count.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 08:48:59 PM by Ovalcircle1 »
Winning a game of AI War provides me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Offline Malkiel

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Re: Alpha AAR
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2018, 01:27:33 AM »
5h 27m: scouted remaining eastern section of galaxy. Found a data center and literally NOTHING else. I am beginning to wonder if the dark spire only had 1 vengeance generator.
there are still 6 unscouted planets in central north of galaxy. those are next target. might actually bring a scout starship along just to reduce the amount of killing I have to do.

After that I'll be starting to clear marauders in western sector and using scout starship to try and find AI HW.
new techs purchased: brought vwing and agravic pod to 3, engineer to 2 (cap screwing me since I can't tell it to only build 1 engineer per planet as is my normal)
starting to consider a zenith power generator as a target since my fleet is eating so much energy now.
Scouting to the north center revealed another merc beacon and an ARS for Armor ships. I elected not to go there.

Tech upgrades: plasma starship 2, metal harvester 2, spider turret 1.
Spider turrets were for Planet 6 defenses since it's going to be on it's own. I didn't notice marauder raid starships were now immune, so guess that settlement is temporary. :/
plasma starship 2 was because I got spanked by marauders at vitter in the first fight. Metal harvester 2 was because I was starving (26%) with estimated 8m26s wait while rebuilding fleet. with simulation at 38% speed, that's a long wait.
left it running while I went out for a smoke, came back to 0 energy left, meaning I can no longer support my full fleet cap. colonized Paulson due to this.
Took the partial fleet and slammed Vitter's defenses hard. The rebuilt half fleet finished the job.
found what might be a bug... apparently there's 72 million salvage on Paulson? says I'm gathering 145,536 at 1%, but my total inflow is only 12,412. screenied for later report.
found a bug on my objectives menu too since planets I can gather science on is going offscreen. (thanks marauders, I'm workin on it!)
Bugs reported.

finished repairing artillery golem at Paulson. since Vitter's cleared now I'll need to prevent marauders from retaking the system. This is why I took the ARS for Agravic Pods, they're strong against every type of ship the raiders send on a conquest wave. A few well chosen turrets will keep Santanni clear, and Paulson is my front edge. (keeping hunterfleet off the junction)
Had to upgrade sentry starships to mark 2 for increased health and cap to make certain. AI homeworld located 3 hops north of the marauder path. Unless the planet past it has one, that early vengeance generator (now at 228 strength) was the only one.

6h20m, 4971 research points left with 1 marauder system and 2 AI systems to go. Hunterfleet parked in the way but I'm not really that worried, Marauders read as far higher strength. saving artillery golem for the homeworld assault. The planet past the AI HW is the only unscouted planet on the map. There's nothing left that I'm interested in taking and no merc beacons were found along the path. Next session: Homeworld Push. Mal out.