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General Category => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: Diazo on April 30, 2012, 12:20:53 AM

Title: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on April 30, 2012, 12:20:53 AM
Alright, time for a report on a game I might actually finish.

Between working on the wiki and games I've been playing with weird options to try stuff out, I wanted to unwind and just play a game. As I wanted to just play, I did not examine the map, I just started. What I mean by that is I setup my options, hit New Map Seed and then start game without looking at the map.

More exactly, diff 7/7, random all, all minor factions and ai modifiers off, except for core shield generators which are on. One of the AIs I am fighting is the experimentalist, decoy drones are all over the place. Have not figured out what the other AI is yet. 80 planet, lattice map type.

I ended up on a homeworld with 14 hostile wormholes and the Autocannon Minipod as my bonus ship.

After pausing the game and considering my position, and the fact that the Minipod has cloaking, I settled on a super-low AIP strategy. With 14 hostile connections, I am not going to be able to prevent waves arriving at my homeworld, even if I only destroy the warp gates, that is 70 aip for no other gain.

The strategy depends on the fact that with the cloaking I can destroy the Tachyon guardians to create highways between worlds that I can use without losing ships.

And then one of the AIs goes and unlocks Sentinel Frigates which have tachyon beams. Oh well, still going to try this.

I've attached my galaxy map from the 5 hour mark. I have only captured 2 systems, but my AIP is only 16.

For reference, the yellow-green circle is my homeworld, the blue circle is the first world I took early, I needed the second system for power generation and resources, it had 7 resource spots.

The purple is the highway I have setup to the central world on the left side of the map, I took that to enable scouting. Note the low ship counts on those worlds, I have actually taken the time to destroy the wormhole guard posts so I can send uncloaked ships back and forth. I then captured the world at the end of the highway to avoid the Deep Strike counter-reaction from the AI.

I then scouted every single world on the map. The red and yellow circles on the left edge of the map are the AI homeworlds.

It has taken me 5 hours to reach this point, there were 3 Data Centers nice and close that were easy to raid with my minipods which is why my AIP is still so low.

I now have to start taking worlds to destroy Core Shield Generators, all 5 networks are still up. Probably going to pause the game and take 10-15 minutes real time to figure out what is next. AIP is going to jump fast, 4 A-network + 4 other networks means 8 planets and 160 AIP minimum. I'm hoping to keep it that low and keep using highways.

On another note, this is the first game I've seriously used Cloaker Starships to pair up with my minipods. Went Mk II Siege Starships and I run the 10 Sieges, 4 Light Starships (for the attack boost) and the 2 cloakers as a strike group. Pair that up with a second strike group of my minipods and that is a lot of cloaked striking power. And because it is cloaked they can raid almost with impunity. It does take a wave per tachyon guardian but with how cheap minipods are throwing away a Mk I/II shipcap of minipods is not a big deal.

The other thing is ship build up is noticeably lower then I'm used to. I assume it's because I've kept AIP so ridiculously low but I have yet to see 300 enemy ships on a single planet.

Once AIP starts rising it will be interesting to see if the highways I setup between worlds give me enough (and secure enough) mobility to defend my planets or if I will be abandoning a lot of worlds once I've destroyed the Shield Generator on them.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: PokerChen on April 30, 2012, 04:46:02 AM
So, you've alerted a core world at AIP 16. That could be fun.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: zoutzakje on April 30, 2012, 06:43:44 AM
hehe yeah, I'm curious to see how that works out. Especially without the help of spirecraft or golems. With that coreworld on alert, you really gotta keep AIP extremely low, but you seem to be doing a great job with that so far.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on April 30, 2012, 12:54:42 PM
I will admit to having not expected that to be a core world when I captured the purple circled planet. I had not been able to scout that side of the map before capturing my purple circled colony.

However, I should be able to bypass it, go over it via the mark III world. It is one extra system to do so but may be worth it.

Either way, until I get those core shields down I'm not that worried about it. I don't have the forces present to go after it yet either, no Mk III unlocks at all so far.

At 1 homeworld and 2 systems captured, my total knowledge so far is only 19,000. I've got Mk II Scouts, Fighters, Bombers, Minipods and Plasma Siege SS. The 6,000 K you can see in the Screenshot are what I'm saving to unlock a Mk III fleet ship, just have not decided which one yet. Going to settle on a strategy first.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: zoutzakje on April 30, 2012, 02:26:07 PM
I'd try to avoid all the high # of wormhole planets. Defending those is gonna be a pain in the butt.
And yeah, you could probably work your way around the alerted coreworld. I just hope you get it all done before the coreworld starts leaking mk V ships into your planets....
I like challenges and reading how other people solve them. Let us know if you found a way =)
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 30, 2012, 06:20:55 PM
and then start game without looking at the map
That explains why the RNG was salivating.

Quote
And then one of the AIs goes and unlocks Sentinel Frigates which have tachyon beams.
It's on a roll!

Quote
The other thing is ship build up is noticeably lower then I'm used to. I assume it's because I've kept AIP so ridiculously low but I have yet to see 300 enemy ships on a single planet.
16 AIP on 7 = not many reinforcements.  And the recent big fixes to reinforcements may be playing into it too, dunno.

Quote
Once AIP starts rising it will be interesting to see if the highways I setup between worlds give me enough (and secure enough) mobility to defend my planets or if I will be abandoning a lot of worlds once I've destroyed the Shield Generator on them.
Yea; I'm guessing it will depend on how much m+c you need to replace losses in a timely fashion, and how much energy you need to run the fleet.  Other than those, and once you have the knowledge, just writing those planets off may be the better move.  On the other hand, having speedbumps to deal with CPAs and whatnot is nice.  On the third hand, rebuilding speedbumps every 10 minutes is not nice ;)
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on April 30, 2012, 09:13:29 PM
I'd try to avoid all the high # of wormhole planets. Defending those is gonna be a pain in the butt.
And yeah, you could probably work your way around the alerted coreworld. I just hope you get it all done before the coreworld starts leaking mk V ships into your planets....
I like challenges and reading how other people solve them. Let us know if you found a way =)

Well, seeing as my homeworld was a 14 wormhole system I did not really have much choice. The 2nd world I captured on the left I deliberately chose one with as many wormholes as possible to make scouting easier.

and then start game without looking at the map
That explains why the RNG was salivating.

Quote
And then one of the AIs goes and unlocks Sentinel Frigates which have tachyon beams.
It's on a roll!
Oddly enough, I think the RNG was pretty friendly this game. The shield gens should not be too bad.

Quote
Quote
The other thing is ship build up is noticeably lower then I'm used to. I assume it's because I've kept AIP so ridiculously low but I have yet to see 300 enemy ships on a single planet.
16 AIP on 7 = not many reinforcements.  And the recent big fixes to reinforcements may be playing into it too, dunno.
Oddly enough, I finding reclaimed ships to be a bigger threat at this low AIP. At least minipods, I've been sending them in solo to take advantage of the cloak and running into a leech starship hurts. As in "How the hell does this planet have 100 MORE ships then before I attacked it?" pain.

Quote
Quote
Once AIP starts rising it will be interesting to see if the highways I setup between worlds give me enough (and secure enough) mobility to defend my planets or if I will be abandoning a lot of worlds once I've destroyed the Shield Generator on them.
Yea; I'm guessing it will depend on how much m+c you need to replace losses in a timely fashion, and how much energy you need to run the fleet.  Other than those, and once you have the knowledge, just writing those planets off may be the better move.  On the other hand, having speedbumps to deal with CPAs and whatnot is nice.  On the third hand, rebuilding speedbumps every 10 minutes is not nice ;)

Ya, the RNG was not totally evil in laying out the core shields.

And on to my game.

Before I go any further, I've attached _Unmarked.jpg as my galaxy map showing the core shield if you want to take a look and see what you would do. The 'RAID' in the bottom centerish is a system with a raid engine.

As for what I am going to do, see My Strategy.jpg. My current empire is marked in purple with the highway I've got set up between them.

I've actually gotten quite lucky in the shields layout. 3 A-shields are adjacent to my deep strike world and so easy pickings. The placement of the B-shields is kind of annoying, and there is only 2 of them. At least the 4th A-Shield is adjacent to the B-Shield I am going to take.

C,D,E is also adjacent to my deep strike world and so easy pickings.

The D-shield is the only one I was not really sure about, the one I am going to take is marked 8th. 8a and 8b were the possible alternates, 8a being already neutered as it's on my highway and 8b to isolate 3 from waves. But as 3 is an A-shield (ARS) and not a B-Shield (Adv Fac) I'm not as concerned about defending it.

I've marked the order of the planets I'm going to take. 6 of the 8 planets I need to take are adjacent to my deep strike world so it's actually a pretty simple layout.

The planet marked 9 is the Mark III I will use to go around the alerted core world. I was hoping to use that planet to destroy the E Shield but I want to neuter that planet and strike past it so I don't perma-alert the core world I will be going through to reach that home world.

This way, by the time I take planet 4 (B-Shield ADV FAC) I will have enough knowledge to unlock 3 Tier III ships.

The downside is nothing is expendable, I will be holding all these systems.

I have not marked anything past 9 planets from now, but at that point it's blow the center left AI homeworld then steamroll the top homeworld ASAP.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Wanderer on April 30, 2012, 10:55:43 PM
Personally I'd take 8a.  Simply obliterating it along the supply run and easing the concern of smaller fleets getting jumped in transit.

Very interesting game, I must say.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on April 30, 2012, 11:56:00 PM
Well, that went pretty well.

Captured planets 1 through 4 and have 5 mostly cleared.

The 3 ARS gave me Zenith Shredders, Microfighters, and Teleport Raiders. One more ARS as soon as I capture 5.

Unlocked Mk III Fighters and Bombers, not sure I'm going to unlock a 3rd fleet ship, not unless the next ARS is a great ship, wanting to unlock Siege Mk III also.

As for taking 8 vs 8a, I went with 8 because my main fleet node is going to be on the left side of the map and I want the waves arriving there if possible.

Also with teleport raiders, they can cross back to my homeworld in about 10 seconds and take no losses so I think I'm okay there.

We will see. AIP is still below 100 so I'm no where near how high it's going to get.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: keith.lamothe on May 01, 2012, 07:38:20 PM
The 3 ARS gave me Zenith Shredders, Microfighters, and Teleport Raiders. One more ARS as soon as I capture 5.
An interesting variety in your bonus ship types: a cloaker (minipod), a melee, a teleporter, and a "normal".

The combination of the cloaker and the teleporter could be pretty nice for "reach out and hammer someone".
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 03, 2012, 10:26:14 AM
Only had time for a single shortish session but I was able to capture a few more planets.

5 is cleared and the ARS there gave me Zenith Bombards, unlocked Mk III of those.

8 went down pretty easy also. (oops, went out of order.)

6 and 7 are Mk IV worlds, so the rest of the session was a building cycle to finish off the Mk III and Mk IV ships and build up my defenses.

There have been no serious threats, but Sentinel Frigates are annoying. They are only coming in waves of about 30 but they hit hard and they always spawn at the wormhole the farthest away from my defending fleet.  >:(

The threat count is getting a bit high also, it's been in the 500-600 range for a while. I'm trying to track it down but annoyingly cloaked ships that are loose on threat do not show on the threat counter on the galaxy map while they are cloaked.

Anyways, two Mk IV planet assaults to start off my next game session, those will be interesting.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 04, 2012, 12:21:44 AM
And things are still going nicely, keeping the AIP low can be a pain running your fleet around playing defense, I'm used to more K for more turrets and having a more defensive map layout.

In this game every single system I have has a hostile wormhole with an intact warp gate.

In general, waves are in the 250-300 range with the occasional 400-500 wave if it goes a long time between them.

AIP is 113 so I'm still solidly in the Mark I waves range.

I've taken all the systems I plan to, I'm going to neuter my way to both homeworlds then take them out as close together as possible.

I've got 4k knowledge left and that's all I'm going to have for the rest of the game, not sure what to spend it on yet.

Major unlocks so far are Mk III Fighters, Bombers, Zenith Bombards, Plasma Siege Mk II and Fortress Mk I. Only economic unlock is Harverters Mk II and no turrets so far. I'm thinking I may go HBC I & II and Basic Turrets Mk II for the last of my K.

I've actually done quite well on fabricators. I've got my Mk IV of course, but I've captured a Speed Booster, Youngling Tiger, Bomber Starship, Beam Starship, Zenith Mirror as well.

All the core shields are down and it's time to attack the home worlds.

On the map, the purple circle is my fleet node I'll be attacking from. Planet 3 is neutered already. Going to start neutering planet 4 next and neuter planet 5 (the homeworld.)

Then repeat going up to the other homeworld, blow that home command station (planet 6) and come back down and blow the other ai home command station (planet 3).

In theory this will be simple, no Eyes, Raid Engines or other really bad structures in my way, no core raid engines even.

The only catch is that one Core world i've had on alert (yellow circle), it's up to 1800 units, 1500 of which are Mark V units.

But I'm only at AIP 113, not counting the AIP from the AI home command stations, that will put me at the end of the game at 153 aip with the number of core guard posts there are.

Regardless, we'll see how this goes. Going to be using those captured fabricators a lot I expect.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: zoutzakje on May 04, 2012, 09:45:51 AM
looking good ^^
you dealt with this game pretty quickly. I hope you can beat the game before the alerted coreworld decides it's time to hammer you with all it's mk V ships...
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 04, 2012, 10:04:13 AM
Yes, that is my major worry at this point.

I've got a cap of Lightning warheads waiting at my fleet node however for emergencies, at this point a few points of AIP is not a major worry.

Anyways, we'll see what happens this weekend.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: keith.lamothe on May 04, 2012, 05:43:37 PM
The only catch is that one Core world i've had on alert (yellow circle), it's up to 1800 units, 1500 of which are Mark V units.
Yeaaah... all on the wormhole, or just guarding?

Other than that, seems to be well in hand :)
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 05, 2012, 07:28:27 PM
The only catch is that one Core world i've had on alert (yellow circle), it's up to 1800 units, 1500 of which are Mark V units.
Yeaaah... all on the wormhole, or just guarding?

Other than that, seems to be well in hand :)

Well, it was less then 100 threat in that system. I did end up making that system angry though so that changed rather rapidly.


Overall, my session today was mostly on the good side.

(Same map as last post)

Planet 3 (The Core Mk IV) is now also neutered.

However, when I probed the home world (only sent in the teleport raiders) there is apparently a heavy beam guard post is in range. 2 salvos and all my units gone.  :o

And this frees a few units from the homeworld onto thread which go into the danger system. Including an EMP Guardian?  :-X

Okay, that EMP guardian has to die, if my fleet node gets EMP'd I am screwed beyond belief.

Fortunately the EMP does not beeline for my fleet node but goes to the threat system first (yellow circle).

As the EMP guardian is threat, it is right on the wormhole, dump my fleet in, kill it and run. Well, the AI did not like that, threat skyrockets to 1800, of which several hundred follow me home. I did get the EMP guaridan so this is a straight up fight.

As I only lost my teleport raiders probing the homeworld I am able to handle the threat wave, although it does turn and run quickly it spreads out over my adjacent planets. I lose the Beam Starship Fab before I get any built, did not have the resources and built the Bomber Starship IV's first.

Alright, rebuilding time (and supper time too so we're done for the day.) There's still 400 threat in the threat system (yellow circle) and 1200 threat total. I need to get that down before I prod the homeworld again.

Probably will spend a full hour of gametime hunting threat. Cloaked threat is hard to track down and kill. Hoping to not have to resort to tachyon warheads but it may be necessary.

The Second AI type I never identified is one of the cloak types. Several times I've had ships appear in the middle of no where and I had something like 5 stealth guard posts in the last system with an AI eye.

So Experimental and Cloaker (Stealth Master? Only a single system has a planetary cloaker though), actually a reasonable easy pair of AI Types.

I'm hoping to get that first homeworld neutered by the end of my gametime tomorrow, but hunting threat first is going to be a pain.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 07, 2012, 10:03:04 AM
Ow. Ow. Ow. OW!!!!!!

Well, the day started well, hunting threat I got it down to under 500, at which point I was getting annoyed with it so I turned to the AI Homeworld.

I managed to get 2 core guard posts down.

Then things went to hell.

I have not got enough of the AI homeworld cleared to bring my fleet in to fight, I'm still hitting and running away so some ships are getting loose.

The first 2 guard posts only added maybe 50-80 ships to the threat meter so no big deal.

The next post is a Neinzul spawner so I prepare to lightning warhead the spawns when I destroy it. It almost works, only about 400 cockroaches (of what I think was about 1500) get away.

The problem is they get away to the threat system (yellow circle) and apparently the AI finally says 'enough is enough' and sends its entire fleet after my fleet node.

You know how I mentioned earlier that ships that are cloaked do not show as threat on the galaxy map when you select 'show threat'? Well, I seriously underestimated how much of the threat was adjacent to my fleet node. About 1000 ships (mostly Mk V) to my fleet node and it rapidly falls.

Which is game over. With my fleet destroyed my homeworld defences are not even going to be noticed by what's coming at me so I save-scum.

I think I'm going to have to neuter every single planet next to my fleet node to get this threat. Because a lot of it is cloaked, I'm not sure how else to get it all, and with that Neinzul Cluster Core Guard Post, I want threat down to near zero before I go after it again.

Rest of the day is spent experimenting with different strategies.

I'm down to 3000 knowledge, I unlocked Cloaker Statship Mk II to participate in the homeworld attack. Thinking I'm going to have to get decloakers at this rate.

Anyways, I did get 2 core guard posts down, but it's looking like another couple hours of threat hunting before I can go after a 3rd one.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: zoutzakje on May 07, 2012, 10:31:34 AM
a tough endgame, nice =) My last endgame was rather disappointing (since the FS ships took care of it), but I'm not looking forward to my crosshatch endgame either lol.

Anyway, I think it's indeed a good idea to kill all the threat first. Killing threat is always my highest priority. After that you can take your time to prapare for the homeworld and destroy it. Cockroach spawner on the homeworld is annoying, but it could have been worse.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: keith.lamothe on May 07, 2012, 06:24:49 PM
Hmm, I didn't realize the cloaked ships wouldn't go in the galaxy map threat totals.

If you really want to know what's on a planet, a tachyon warhead will do it.  Or a military command station III but that's a lot of K (and only applies to planets you have taken)
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 07, 2012, 08:04:38 PM
Heh, I'll actually sit down and count it.

It's a case of "I think I've only got 200-250 threat adjacent to my fleet node, let's go for it", followed by "OMG! That 1000 ships attacking me!!!"

Probably will load a dead copy of my game and cheat full visibilty so I can count all threat I see. I've got so many adjacent planets I don't have enough scouts.

Threat will always move to a planet adjacent to a human held world correct?

D.

edit: Alright, cheated my way to full visibility. Cloaked ships do in fact show in 'show threat' on the galaxy map. There's over 400 threat on a couple planets that I can't figure out how it got there, I've been ignoring over there the entire game, it all adds up though.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 07, 2012, 10:42:06 PM
Argh.

Anyways, managed to get the threat out of the danger system (core world I've had on alert) so I went after the homeworld again and got a couple more guard posts down.

Then I triggered the Neinzul Spawner post, ow.

My fleet dies shortly after, double ow.

And there was a zombie guardian or two there, the AI now has a couple hundered teleport raiders and zenith bombards it stole from me. Triple Ow.

Manage to fight the cockroach swarm off with fixed defences and a lightning warhead.

Oh, I've got teleport raiders, speed build those to blow the neizul spawner guard post before it can rebuild it's fleet.

Get the raiders back in there ASAP, it's only 20 minutes later, maybe 25 minutes, cockroach spawn? FFS, and it's 600 of them too!

Raiders die after not even scratching the neinzul spawner guard post.

Ugh, fine. Full rebuild before I go back in there again, going to take a while, my fleet is pretty much totally gone.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 13, 2012, 10:37:58 AM
Ow.

I really don't have the economy to replace my entire fleet like this. Over 2 hours of gametime later and I still have not replaced all my starships. (I turn off the starship fab while rebuilding my fleet ships.)

I've been active and making progress with just my fleet ships so I'm not just standing around.

The purple circle is my fleet node.

Anyways, first AI Homeworld is neutered (lower left red circle). Once my fleet ships were rebuilt I triggered the Neinzul Spawned with my teleporters while keeping the rest of my fleet out of the system.

The cockroaches all go onto the threat counter and head for my fleet node via the one hop shortest path where my fixed defenses and a lightning missile make short work of them. (Yellow path)

My fleet then hops in to the AI Homeworld via the longer, 2 hop route once the cockroaches leave, the homeworld is shortly neutered. (Purple Path)

I then go into another rebuild cycle, it was not a complete fleet wipe but I'm still down roughly half my fleet ships.

I then clear my way to the top left homeworld, again only neutering planets so I do not put them on permanent alert. (The yellow-green path)

The second homeworld is going to be interesting. It has an Eye, a Neinzul Spawner also and both a Neinzul Melee and a Zenith Fortress guard post are in range of my entry wormhole.

Any fleet small enough not to trigger the eye will just instantly die so I dump my entire fleet in to clear the wormhole accepting the Eye spawns to get it clear.

I clear the warp point and then retreat my fleet to consider my strategy and probably wait for my starships to finish rebuilding.

Although I'm not sure how much use starships are going to be. The Orbital Mass Driver for this homeworld is protected underneath the same forcefield as the Neinzul Spawner guard post.

I'm worried I may have to accept another entire fleet dump in and just plow through the cockroaches to destroy the neinzul spawner because it is under the force field. I do have Zenith Shredders available but the guard post is immune to them.  :(

If I do have to do that, add in the Eye spawns and I'm looking at a LOT of ships being dumped onto my already high threat count.

And now a CPA just got announced. My current threat and CPA combined is 2000 ships. Going to have to go threat hunting again.

I don't feel like threat hunting at the moment, time to save and go make the weekly run to the shopping center, need food for the week.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: zoutzakje on May 13, 2012, 11:38:38 AM
first homeworld neutered already, nice. But having an AI eye at the other one is bad. And a neinzul spawner....  Better get some lightning warheads ready to deal with those.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: PokerChen on May 13, 2012, 07:17:28 PM
If you can afford 6 raid starships, they can be suicided into the OMD with some micro... I've been doing this regularly for Core Raids and Core CPAs... although I thought the core AI Eye was removed some time ago?

I don't feel like threat hunting at the moment, time to save and go make the weekly run to the shopping center, need food for the week.

For a moment I thought about requesting a /pizza command. Then I thought: "No. Just no."
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 19, 2012, 10:11:49 AM
If you can afford 6 raid starships, they can be suicided into the OMD with some micro... I've been doing this regularly for Core Raids and Core CPAs... although I thought the core AI Eye was removed some time ago?

I don't feel like threat hunting at the moment, time to save and go make the weekly run to the shopping center, need food for the week.

For a moment I thought about requesting a /pizza command. Then I thought: "No. Just no."

Ohh... pizza!

And the raids are not an option, never unlocked Mk II of them and I play single HW start so I only have 3 raids available to me. I'm actually not using raids to raid, they are holding 3 systems down, one raid on FRD in each to chase down straggler AI ships when the military command station teleports them away.

And it's just a regular eye as far as I can tell, dying once all guard posts are dead.

And on that note I was able to get back to this and get a good session in so....

VICTORY!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVTaD1PY1aw).

(See overall game notes at the end of my post.)

The end game went pretty much exactly as planned. Because of the Eye in the second AI homeworld, I went after the Neinzul Spawner underneath the force field next so I could bring in my bomber swarm and not trigger the eye. Hiding the bombers in transports under cloak, I used the teleport raiders to trigger the Spawner. The cockroaches streamed to my fleet node and quickly died on the defences there as my transports unloaded as soon as they'd left the system. The Spawner dies pretty quick, as well as the OMD that was next to it.

There's only one other guard post under a force field but it's only a Core Leech and it dies quickly.

As there are no more force fields left over guard posts, I pull my bomber swarm back and finish the rest of the guard posts off with my starships.

The Eye quietly dies without having spawned a single ship during my attack.

Dump my fleet in and kill the AI Home Command and it's defenders. The fortress and 2 force fields make it take quite a while but with my entire fleet sitting there the Command Center ends up dying in short order.

My fleet is actually quite depleted at this point but as I previously neutered the other AI Homeworld I have more then enough left to quickly destroy it aswell.

Final stats: 16 hours game time, 382 AIP (Or only 182 if you don't count the AIP from the home commands), 10 systems captured and I fear not the Stealth Master and the way he hides from me, nor the Experimentalist and his weird and wonderful toys.

Now, for my thoughts in general on the game overall:

Low AIP: Because the RNG gave me a homeworld with 14 hostile wormholes, I decided that this game I would not gate raid, rather I would take the absolute minimum number of systems to keep AIP as low as possible, helped out by Data Centers and such. I did have Core Shield Generators enabled and I ended up taking only the systems I needed to destroy those, plus one more for a total of 11 systems under my control at the end of the game. Overall I would say this suits me and my playstyle, I like a slower game which the smaller wave sizes at lower AIP leans towards. The low number of systems means I did lack Knowledge to unlock more then a couple turrets and I had no defensive chokepoint with every single on of my 11 systems having a hostile wormhole which forced me to use part of my fleet for defense. With the small wave size however that was not an issue at all.

Economy: If there is an area I screwed up this game it would be economically. Because of each system having a hostile wormhole I build exclusively military command stations and unlocked Harverster Mk IIs for economic purposes. However, my economy could not keep up at the end game, I spend a large part of the last 4 hours of gametime waiting on fleet rebuilds. Now, losing my entire mobile fleet when I screwed up on the first Neinzul Spawner hurts bad but when I was AFK without pausing the game waiting for my fleet to rebuild something's gone wrong.

Stealthed Threat: Stealthed threat is broken, I can't put it any other way. That CPA I was worried about last post? I never saw a single ship from it. My threat jumped to over 2000 when it hit, after a couple minutes of sitting on the defensive and not being attacked I said screw it and resumed my own attacks. They still just sat there. That 2500 threat on my victory screen shot? That's ships sitting around doing nothing, not me rushing ahead of freed ships before they attack me. Not sure the answer but something needs to happen, when I afk for 5 minutes to get drink with the game unpaused because I'm not worried about 2000 threat that is not working as intended.

Zenith Bombards: Ow. There's just too much in the late game immune to these, their range looks great but I was not able to use it much. Not unlocking Mk III of these again.

Teleport Raiders: What I wished I'd unlocked Mk III of. I only had Mk I and II of these, but I could hop them in, destroy a Core Guard Post (that was not under an FF) and warp out with about 40-50% losses. If I'd had Mk III and IV things would have been much more straightforward. I may take these as my bonus ship next game to really see what they can do.

Difficulty: Having said all that, I was only playing on Diff 7/7 as I wanted a break from all the super challenges I had been throwing myself lately. I may try this again at diff 8 or 9 to properly challenge myself and see how a low AIP strategy works at those levels. I'll probably bash my head against the 10/10 wall some more first however.

D.
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: keith.lamothe on May 19, 2012, 11:05:19 AM
Congratulations!  I've been following even when not commenting, less time/energy nowadays.

A solid game, particularly showing the opposite of the chokepoint approach.

I'll need to look into that stealth threat thing ;)  Is there a save you would suggest looking at for that?
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: zoutzakje on May 19, 2012, 01:15:54 PM
you managed to win even though a coreworld had been on alert for a long time? Very nice. And no chokepoints either. I'm not used to a low AIP playstyle, so I probably wouldn't be able to pull it off myself :D
congratz on the win (and achievs?).
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Wanderer on May 19, 2012, 02:26:45 PM
Congratulations, that's a tough defense.  Nice work. :)
Title: Re: 14 Wormholes of Fun
Post by: Diazo on May 19, 2012, 04:42:10 PM
Congratulations!  I've been following even when not commenting, less time/energy nowadays.

A solid game, particularly showing the opposite of the chokepoint approach.

I'll need to look into that stealth threat thing ;)  Is there a save you would suggest looking at for that?

I've attached a save from about 5 minute before I blow the second AI command station. Threat just sits at 2400 when I let the game clock run.

you managed to win even though a coreworld had been on alert for a long time? Very nice. And no chokepoints either. I'm not used to a low AIP playstyle, so I probably wouldn't be able to pull it off myself :D
congratz on the win (and achievs?).

Yup, got a bunch of achievements this game. 5 or 6 I think?

And the coreworld was actually not a big deal. Because the CPA only freed mark I and II ships it did not free any of those Mk IV and V ships sitting on the core world. And because I went around, I never aggro'd the system to free the ships that way. The cockroaches did move through that system on their way to attacking my fleet node but they did not pick up any extra ships when they did so.

The biggest advantage I found in the low AIP strategy was the low ship count on the AI Homeworlds, neither Homeworld ever had more then 300 ships in it (not counting the cockroaches). The other advantage is that the waves were small. The biggest wave the entire game was a wave of space planes that was announced as I was clearing the second AI homeworld (the first system being neutered with the command station left alive.) AIP was about 175 and it was only 900 ships (space planes being one of the highest cap ships in the game I think).

Anyways, time to decided on my next go around, I think it's actually time I try the Fallen Spire campaign for real, never actually played that to completion.

D.