Author Topic: Assemble the Minions!  (Read 12007 times)

Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2012, 06:34:31 PM »
Halved wave sizes can also be a sign of incoming Beachheads so be careful.

I was wondering if it showed up in the wave size or not.  Thank you for the information.  Typically, I keep fleet ships or Starships around for defense anyways.  Be prepared.

That said, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll see one.  I didn't think about it when setting up the game, but the Support Corps probably doesn't count for Beachhead spawns.  I kind of want to see at least one, just to see their impact.  I guess someone could cheese the Beachhead Achievement by doing two turtle-type AIs with Beachheads  :-\
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 02:48:55 PM by Winge »
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Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 02:48:26 PM »
6:06:  Resuming my eastward scouting efforts.  I don’t think I’m going to get anywhere without killing quite a few Tachyon Guardians, though.  My efforts cause a few defenders to suicide into the defenses on Esuna.  A wave of 400 or so ships follows shortly.  I become very grateful for my foresight to pre-build matter converters, as Cutlasses strike my Energy Collector.

6:22:  Esuna is finally Tachyon free.  Grav Guardians stalled me a little there.  As an added bonus, it’s missing all guard posts except Special Forces, and a lot of its defenders.  Now, I can begin to whittle away at the surrounding planets.

6:34:  Wave of 489 incoming to Immobilize.  Special Forces have been interfering with my ‘trimming’, so I start clearing Stamp of guard posts to lure them to the other side of the map.  And into the freed Dyson Sphere.

7:00:  Civilian Leaders do their thing; I am now at 44 AIP with a floor of 32.  Working on Fira now—trying to clear it for future capture.  Nabbing its data center brings me down to the floor.  Special Forces show up, and I withdraw my Raiding party for repairs/replacement.  Threat is at 122, most of it hanging out on Vanishga, stalking Cloud.

7:08:  Pop another Data Center on Red XIII (one of the Advanced Factory worlds), even though it won’t take me any lower.  I’ll partially clear it, but my real objective is to clear a scouting path to Garnet.  A wave of 534 ships and 2 starships is announced against  my Homeworld.  I build up a few more defenses, even though almost all of my mobile military is on that planet.  Mad Bomber + Neinzul unlocks = not fun.  Most of the threat backlash suicides into Immobilizes defenses.

7:30:  I have cleared about half of the Tachyon Guardians on the Scout worlds, the Civilian Leaders on Achilles, and a few Guard Posts.  I lost my Cloakers by mistake, and withdraw my Raids earlier than planned.  An EMP detonates on my Homeworld.  I panic a little, but the AI doesn’t take advantage of the opening.  A cross-planet attack of 679 units is announced.  I’ll keep killing Tachyons before the attack, and after the attack, I will probably take one of the Northern ARS worlds.  I’m leaning towards Kimahri, as it will be a secure spot for an Energy Collector.  I won’t be able to get the knowledge on Aeroga until I take Infuse, though.

7:40:  I have cleared Tachyons to Ardor.  I regroup my Raids at Immobilize for repairs.  I also move my Fighters and Bombers to Immobilize, just in case I get EMPed again.  A wave for 300 and 2 starships announces against Immobilize, less than 30 seconds before the CPA.  The size makes me wonder if I might see a Beachhead after all.  I want to try and kill the Leaders on Poisana to try and keep the AIP floor at 32, but I’m not sure I’ll have time.

7:41:  Nope, no Beachhead, it just doesn't have any Neinzul.  I manage to kill the Civilian Leader, and almost take an EMP Guardian to the face.  CPA launches, my threat is now at 804.  This is going to be fun.  Roaming Enclaves join the show, and I have 500 ships at Cloud.  I pull my Fighters and Bombers back, and quash the incursion.  Between my one Leech Starships and a few Mercenary Parasites, I manage to reclaim 164 ships.  I lose all of my Flagship and Leech Starships, and all of my Raid Starships except one mark II.  Not bad at all.  A few ships slip away; threat is back down to 176.  I gotta say, defenses with EMP mines are quite powerful; only Neinzul-heavy waves give me real trouble.  Without those Starships, I am able to scrap all active Matter Converters.  I have many waiting in ‘cold standby,’ just in case.

7:53:  Still rebuilding.  I decide to try and clear some of the lingering threat from Esuna.  Or at least lure it to my defenses.

7:57:  An EMP warhead launches at a quite opportune time.  I smash it on Vanishga, where most of the AI's threatball is.  Marauders are attacking Immobilize, I send my Frigate team to kill them more quickly.

8:00:  5 Civilians tick off, 3 in my favor.  AIP changes by 2-9, the floor does not increase, so I am still at 32.  I have 163 AIP with 156 reduction right now.  I can take an ARS world or two at any time, but I want to do more detachying first.  Raids still rebuilding, economy is tanking from repairs/rebuilding.  No Matter Converters running, though.

8:07:  I manage to get scouts past Garnet, even as I am still clearing Tachyons (didn’t want to find a Raid Engine unaware).  Doing so reveals Vaan to have a Data Center and one of the two remaining AI Civilian Leaders (the other is under Planetary Cloak, on Souleater).  I even manage to get a scout to Float; it is indeed a Core world.  Either Fran or Poach should be the other Homeworld.  I still need to get scouts to the Homeworlds to make sure that I don’t accidentally ‘find’ a Core CPA or Raid Engine.

8:12:  Ready to scout beyond Garnet.  A wave of 325 ships is announced against Cloud.  Could have a Beachhead, if it consists of mostly Cutlasses and Neinzul.  Having Schizo waves definitely has the potential to increase the difficulty of Beachheads, as you are less likely to expect them.  That said, I’m still not sure that I will see one this game.

8:14:  Wave hits.  No Beachhead yet.

8:18:  I scout Fran after determining that it is an AI home.  Its brutal picks are a CPA Guard Post and a Sentry Eye.  I wouldn’t care about the eye, but it also has TWO Spire Shield Guard Posts.  Grumble grumble.  At least the Float entrance is close to the CPA guard post and very far from the Fortress spawn.  I am back to running one Matter Converter, to support a few reclaimed ships and one or two more starships.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 03:09:12 PM by Winge »
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Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 09:26:50 PM »
Here’s hoping the Guardian rebalancing patch doesn’t completely ruin my plans.

8:22:  Couldn’t scout much further to the East.  I am going to clear a few enemies from Blizzaga, but I will not take it until I can get Warp Jammer Stations.  Last thing I need is to put my best point of entry to a Homeworld on alert.  However, being able to run scouts through to said Homeworld is worth a little time investment.    As I close in on the wormhole, I ‘find’ some AI area mines.  Whoops, so long cloakers.  Guess I’ll clean up these mines while I have the chance.  After that, I’ll clear the first Tachyon Guardian on Blizzaga to prepare for cloak raiding.

8:27:  Special Forces interfere.  I switch to clearing Kimahri to keep them off-balance.

8:42:  Cloaker and Raid Starships clear Kimahri of guard posts pretty well.  Still have to decide when to pop the Barracks…357 mark IV units, should be great ‘fun’.  Wave of 313 incoming to Cloud.  I don’t think it’ll be a Beachhead wave, but I’ll keep an eye on it, just in case.  Yup, no Beachhead.  I’ll clear the wave, rebuild, and then pop Kimahri’s Barracks.

8:45:  Barracks destroyed, bringing me to 422 threat.  Mostly mark IV ships.  I’m pretty sure my defenses will hold, though.

8:52:  Defenses do excellent against the threatball; I gain 37 mark IV ships for my trouble.  I manage to scout Reflectga, the closer AI homeworld.  Its brutal picks are a Core Raid Engine and a Sentry Eye.  Bummer, was hoping it would be a Parasite or Ion Eye.  I will be trying to eliminate that Raid Engine before any other Core Guard Post.  When I get to sieging the homeworlds, that is.  I can technically reach Reflectga without incurring deepstrike threat, but it wouldn’t do me much good yet.  Too bad I have CSGs on; I’d love to kill the Core Raid engine while at only 32 AIP.

8:58:  Colony Rebellion on Stamp, an ARS world.  Unfortunately, it also has a Interplanetary Munitions Booster.  Fortunately, it is right next to the freed Dyson world.  I will finish clearing Kimahri first, as I have plenty of time to save the Rebels.  I’ve already cleared a cloaker path to Stamp.  I’ll build a Science Lab II to check out what all of the ARS worlds have.  Spire Leaders tick, bringing the AIP floor up to 33.  I’ll be raising it a bit more soon™.

9:01:  Stamp has Electric Bombers, Blade Spawners (!), or Sentinel Frigates.  Infuse has Shield Bearers, Teleport Raiders, and Spider Bots.  I can taste cheese already.  And I like it!  Definitely going to try to hack Stamp for Blade Spawners.  I just hope that I can hack it without popping its Ion Cannon IV, and that I still have a relatively low response for when I hack the Superterminal.  Kimahri has Snipers, IREs, and Electric Shuttles.  Blizzaga has Deflector Drones, Teleport Battle Stations, and Autocannons.  Both kinda meh, but I can kill their CSG-A’s, and Blizzaga has an Archive making them worthwhile.

9:11:  Wave of 183 announced to Immobilize.  I suspect that I may get to see a Beachhead after all!  Definitely going to finish that wave before I start my hack.

9:14:  Still no Beachhead???  How did I get such a small wave?

9:21:  Forgot to intercept an EMP warhead before it got to Cloud.  Major newb mistake on my part.  I withdraw my Raid Starships from the hack to prevent any loose threat from going wild on my Homeworld.  And pray.

9:22:  Defenses come back online.  I was definitely right to bring the raids back; the AI sent in a Raid Starship of their own.  Bringing Raids back to the hack-in-progress.   Which is going very well so far.  Being next to a Dyson world helps a lot 8).

9:29:  Ship-design hack successful; future hacking response is Low.  Time to free the colony, and claim my cheesy prize.  AIP at 37 after killing Stamp’s Command Station.  I will be able to gather 6,000 total knowledge from the ARS world and the Dyson world, which I now have supply in.

9:38:  Captured Stamp, gaining a Rebel Colony, a Vampire Claw V Fabricator, Spire Blade Spawners mark I and II, and 6,000 total knowledge.  A wave of 273 and 3 starships is heading to Immobilize.  I drop back to 1 Matter Converter (I built two extra to handle the Ship Design Hack starship load), and rebuild 2 in ‘cold standby’.  My economy will be in the tank, until I build my ship caps on Stamp.  I will probably keep the ships there to defend, although I’m not overly concerned about keeping the Vampire Claw Fab.  I never really liked Claws.  I get a Science II on Fira to see what the last ARS has.  Laser Gatlings, Armor Ships, and Armor Boosters.  I think I’ll skip that ARS world, and get Blizzaga instead.  Deflector Drones aren’t great, but the Spire Archive and excellent position for a Homeworld strike more than make up for the meh ship availability.

10:00:  Sieging Infuse with my newly-build Cheese Spawn…I mean, Blade Spawners.  I use fleetships here because the world has an Orbital Mass Driver.  This world will give me Shield Bearers and 9,000 knowledge (Bravery and Aeroga will gain supply).  I haven’t decided whether I will try to hold this world with defenses or whether I will let it fall and rebuild it.  Probably the latter; I’ll use Kimahri as my next Energy Collector world.  The only hazards Kimahri will face are threat, CPAs and Rocketry Corps Warheads, as it is completely isolated from any AI Warp Gates, thanks to me freeing the Civilian Leaders on Bravery.

10:03:  Special Forces rudely interrupt my siege on Infuse.  They don’t even have a Special Forces post there >:(.  I provide my Blade Spawners with an evasive move pattern, in an attempt to kill as many of the Special Forces with as few losses as possible.  The AI preps a wave against Stamp.  My Raids are down, so I send my Plasma Siege Starships to aid Stamp’s defenses.  They end up being too slow, but 36 Gatlings are a bit much for a small AI wave :).

10:10:  LOL, I still have a Blade Spawner II running the SFs around.  Bought myself enough time to revive my Fighters and Bombers.  I kill the Command Station to tell the Special Forces that their services are no longer required.  AIP now at 41 (still floored).  I begin clearing out the remaining forces/guard posts, and decide where to build my CC.

10:30:  Wave of 597 and 3 starships is on its way to Infuse.  Guess that’s what I get for irritating the AI a bit more.  Temporarily capturing Slowga to take its Youngling Fab and CSG-C is looking more desirable than ever.

10:50:  I capture Kimahri, bringing my AIP up to 54.  A wave for 330 ships and 2 starships is announced against Cloud.  If that wave doesn’t have a Beachhead, then I don’t know what wave will.  I now have Snipers as well; I add them to my roster.  AI ships are right outside of Kimahri, but they do not appear to be threat.  They do enter Kimahri when I leave, and die quickly.  The AI isn’t using its threat very well this game.

10:52:  Still no Beachhead.  Wonder why the wave was so small.  The AI now has Zenith Autobombs.  That could get fun.

11:00:  Odd.  All but one of the Civilian Leaders ticks off as expected.  It appears to be a side effect of an EMP detonating on its planet, as the last one ticks off 2 minutes later.  I now have 230 base AIP with 183 reduction, leaving me at 47 AIP, one point above the floor.  I have 18,000 knowledge that I am trying to decide how to spend.  Warp Jammer stations are a must, and I am strongly considering Enclave IIs, although my usage will be drastically different from my original plan.  Shield Bearer IIIs and Blade Spawner IIIs are also worth considering, although I will probably wait until I can get the Spire Archive to get those.  I have 106,810 Energy without any Matter Converters, which is a very nice change of pace.  Still have 6 Converters on cold standby, just in case.  I still haven’t found the last Co-Processor.  It will be on one of the 9 planets that I haven’t been able to scout,  2 of those are Core worlds.  There is also about 100 threat hiding somewhere in the galaxy.  Not bad, overall.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 09:31:32 PM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2012, 09:46:34 PM »

Not a lot of time to play tonight, so this report will mostly be my plans to reach and kill the AI.  The map shown identifies all remaining Core Shield Generators.  As of right now, I need one each of all generators except E (Immobilize had a CSG-E).  I will take Blizzaga for its CSG-A, Spire Archive, and excellent Homeworld staging location.  I plan to take Red XIII for the Advanced Factory and CSG-B.  Red XIII should be a little easier to defend as well, due to its two Ion Cannons (marks I and III).  I do not yet know if I will try to use Mark IV units.  If so, my two preferred unlocks will be Shield Bearers III and Blade Spawners III.

I have a few more options with the CSG-C and D.  For the CSG-C, I can temporarily build on Slowga, the Dyson world, and get Youngling Vulture Vs—I <3 Vultures.  Not having the world for economic purposes is a considerable minus; I need every Energy Collector that I can get.  If I did go with that option, I would capture Vaan for my strike on the AI 1 Homeworld.  The other viable option is Penelo.  I would have to Warp Jammer it, just like Blizzaga, but it would also give me a striking point to the second AI Homeworld.  It has MicroParasites and Spider Bot Vs.  Not bad, but not great either; I would probably use both defensively.  I could possibly try to take Amarant, which has Decoys and the ever-so-valuable Heavy Bomber Starship IV.  Doing so will require me to take one of two CSG-D worlds to avoid deepstrike threat, only one of which I wouldn’t mind having.  Regarding CSG-Ds, my preferred choice at this point is Vivi, which has a Zenith Power Generator.  If you have read any of my previous reports, its value should be immediately obvious.  As an added bonus, it is right next to my Homeworld, meaning I could defend it using my defense fleet with ease.  I could also destroy the CSG-D on Aeroga, which I cleared for its Spire Civilian Leaders earlier.  That would save AIP, although if I actually build there, I will put the freed leader at risk from the AI.  The last choice corresponds to eliminating the CSG-C on Amarant.  To do so, I would either need to take Oil or Horology to avoid a deepstrike.  Horology would be preferred, except for the fact that it is adjacent to THREE Core Worlds, one of them being my primary point of entry.  Not to mention the 6 unexplored worlds, which could contain a Raid Engine (not an Interplanetary Munitions Booster; Horology’s posts do not show an Attack Boost of 2.00).  Thankfully, I do not have to choose the CSG-C and CSG-D quite yet; I still need to frag defenses on Red XIII and Blizzaga.

I also need to introduce my new unit to the force.  An unholy hybrid of overpowered technologies, meet...Cheese Spawners!  Aside from a few unforseen circumstances, this union of technology should give us an edge against the AI.  It will probably also destroy the human race at some later date, but we'll worry about that after we beat the AI.  No risk, no gain, right?

11:03:  Unlocking Warp Jammer Stations; I will be needing them very soon.  997 CPA announced.  Well, so much for a full-force siege.  I will have just enough time to clear but not capture Red XIII (I want to be ready to nearly insta-build a Warp Jammer Station on Blizzaga; that’s my ticket onto AI 2’s Homeworld—that is why I will clear Red XIII first). 

11:05:  ???  What on earth killed my Blade Spawners and Shield Bearers?  Can’t be the Ion Cannons; they are immune to Insta-Kill  Well, looks like I’ll be starshipping this world.  And here come Special Forces.  I get the feeling that this Raid isn’t going like I planned.

11:08:  With the last of the Guard Posts killed, I decide to have my ships flee.  I will use my Raids to pop the Barracks on the way out.  I just hope the Barracks ships don’t wait 6 minutes for the rest of the CPA.  RUN STARSHIPS, RUN!!!

11:10:  Lost all my Cloaker Starship IIs, Plasma Siege Starships and one Zenith Starship.  My 6 Raids and the remaining Zenith Starships are dinged up pretty badly.  Threat is now at 482.  Whose brilliant idea was that?  I think I’ll blame the ensigns.

11:12:  The AI wastes half of its threat on Immobilize’s defenses and my newly rebuild Blade Spawners/Shield Bearers.  I think I know what killed them, at least—I forgot all about the Rocketry Corps Silo on Red XIII.  That’s embarrassing :-[.  I’m not sure why the AI is so loose with its threat.  I seem to remember the AI being more strategic with its threat on lower difficulties.  Then again, I am at 47 AIP with very few entry points into my empire.  With 2 minutes left on the CPA, I hunker down and prepare to defend my scattered worlds.

11:15:  309 Mark 1 ships and 688 Mark II ships are released by the CPA.  Time for some fun!  Looks like they will come from Esuna and Holy to Immobilize and Cloud.  The Devourer heads to Infuse, he might clear up the few ships that head that way.

11:20:  Catching the Rocketry Corps EMPs on AI worlds with threat is so much fun :D.  Incidentally, I think I found another EMP related bug:  Blade Spawners still spawn blades when EMPed.  The result allows me to clear out a lot of threat, and even nabs me a Turret Train down.  After hopping into Holy for a few minutes, I bring threat down to 298.  Suspecting that the AI is stalking Stamp, I send scouts to picket the next door neighbors.

11:26:  Yup, 80 or so ships are stalking Stamp.  I’ll send them a greeting from the rebellion.  At the same time, I’m going to take care of the threat on Holy with Team Blade.  Oh right, Rebel ships are blind :-[.  No losses, no worries, right?  Let’s get a few scouts there, then introduce them for real.  Infuse falls to the AI.  I should probably set alerts for more planets; I didn’t even know they were there.  I am forced to bring a Matter Converter online, otherwise I have no real losses.  I’ll rebuild with the hidden Remains Rebuilder once I deal with the remaining threat.

11:29:  Marauders and spare threat hit Kimahri.  I send my Raid Starships up to quell the threat.  I don’t want to have to activate 3 more Matter Converters, even though I have over 400,000 of each resource.  I’m going to want those resources to improve my fleet.

11:34:  A few Bombers and Electric Bombers rudely interrupt my calm rebuilding on Infuse.  I send Raid Starships over to resolve the situation.  Diplomatically, of course.  Infuse is rebuilt without any further trouble.

11:41:  I am back down to about 110 threat, 41 of it on Esuna with the rest hiding out of my sight range.  I have over 500,000 of each resource, although I just started building some Riot Starships to add to my primary strike force and a few Merc Bombers to bolster my Homeworld defense force.  AI Progress is still at 47, I have 87,000 energy with no Converters in service, and 13,000 Knowledge still available.  Looks like a good stopping point for the night 8).
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 10:45:30 PM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2012, 10:51:46 PM »

Greetings!  Me Randy, favored minion of Commander Winge—he my master!  That why I minion of the month!  The commander is on top-secret mission, known only as Torchlight II.  Because me favorite, master put me in charge!  He gave me list to do, while he gone.  Here it is!

Quote from: Commander Winge
To Randy,
As you are aware, I have been called away on a top-secret mission.  I will be unable to lead our forces for a while, so I must rely on you to command my armies.  I have listed below the objectives that I want you to attempt during this time—they are in order of decreasing importance.  Humanity will depend on you in my absence.  Do not fail me!

Primary Objectives:
1.   Protect the Home Command Station on Cloud.  I don’t need to tell you what happens if we lose it.
1a.   Keep our other Command Stations alive; we need to keep our power levels up.
1b.   Do NOT alert the AI’s Core Worlds or Homeworlds.  You aren’t ready for that kind of attack; don’t get cocky just because you won Minion of the Month for the 3rd month in a row.
2.   Under no circumstances may you unlock Advanced Warp Sensors.  No, I haven’t forgotten the last time you unlocked them, wasting knowledge I was planning to use for Riot IIs.  The only unlocks you may consider are Enclave Starships Mark II or Riot Starships Mark II.
3.   Clear the AI presence on Red XIII, then take out their Command Station.  Capture the system with a Warp Jammer Station and promptly set up defenses to protect the Advanced Factory against the AI, Roaming Enclaves, and the Rocketry Corps’ Warheads.  I want that Advanced Factory to remain intact!

Secondary Objectives:
4.   Clear out Threat and reinforcement buildup on Esuna.  I recommend doing this before striking Red XIII, but it is not necessary to do so.
4a.   If you find any other AI threat hideouts, destroy them as opportunity permits.
5.   Destroy the CSG-B on Red XIII.  This can be done at any time after taking the world, and it will save me the trouble of killing it myself. 
5.   Clear out defenses on Vivi, but do not destroy the Command Center.  It is highly probably that we will capture this world, but we are not prepared to do so yet.
6.   You may temporarily capture Slowga, but only to destroy its CSG-C.  As soon as the CSG-C is destroyed, and the Vulture V fabricator is under your control, SCRAP THE COMMAND CENTER.  Yes, I still remember when you nearly destroyed mankind by irritating a Dyson Sphere for too long.  Vividly.

- Commander Winge

Ok master!  I not fail you!

Since you say it OK, I unlock Enclave Starships II.  They help a lot against AI.  I use strong units to crush Red XIII.  Except Advanced Factory.  I know you want that.  Enemy send 199 ships to Immobilize.  Such a small number, I crush easy!  Marauders join in, but they no match for master’s defenses and my forces!  Enclaves at Infuse problem though, defenses not strong there.  I send ships to defend, but leave many at Cloud.  Must remember first objective!  Lost Infuse, sorry master.  I get rebuilders, we be off Converters in no time.  Enclaves move to Kimahri, but I stop them there.

I rebuild Infuse, and stop Matter Converters.  AI use all but 17 free ships.  Objective 4, check.  Spire Civilians at work, AIP still at 46.  Master says important to keep low, but I not sure why.  He say that why I only take one planet while he gone.  Roaming Enclaves attack Kimahri, I kill them gladly.  Me no like them.  Ion Cannons help much.  When all dead, I return ships to Cloud.  Must keep safe.  I not let human race die today, master, I promise!

I go to Red XIII soon, but Devourer Golem on Blind, so need to be careful.  Send scouts to keep eye on him.  He too strong, even for master.  Master say leave him be and I be ok.  Maybe he even kill AI ships much.  He pass by my forces at Vanishga, but ignore me.  Me happy.

Can now attack Red XIII.  I use Cloakers and Transports to get past other AI planets.  Me sneaky minion, is why master likes me!  I remember what master told me when forces get to Red XIII, and make sure to keep warheads from forces.  Defenders fall easy.  I head to Command Station, when Special Forces come.  Master warned me they might come, but I much stronger!  I disable, then I kill them good.  I bring in builders, but lose Engineers because they try to repair Cloakers.  Ion Cannons no like Engineers much.  I lose no combat units though; they strong.  Or, if I did, Enclaves rebuilt them quickly.  Is good enough for me.

I destroy AI Command Center, and start building Warp Jammer Station by Advanced Factory.  If must keep Factory alive with shields, I get benefit for Command Center too.  Have to scrap few Forcefields to build over Factory.  I pick ones that I know master not mind moving.  I use 2 FF II and 1 FF I to protect Factory.  Also take FF I for Ion Cannon III.  That help lots for defense, I want it alive too!  Objective 3, sorta check.  Gotta keep it alive until master return.  Threat now 15, AIP now 60.  I destroy CSG-B while building Jammer Station.  No more CSG-Bs left.  Objective 5, check.  Master be happy with me when he back!  Energy very low, I build and keep 1 Matter Converter online.  Losing power very bad.

AI sending wave of 762 ships to Cloud.  Wow.  That a lot.  I get attack team ready to recall quickly, I want them there for this.  When attack team leave, AI sends forces to Red XIII.  Ion Cannons rip them apart.  I laugh much at AI.  Attack team gets to Cloud right as wave arrives.  AI ships not last long against my forces.  I surprised, seemed really easy.  Reclaimers gain many ships for defense team.  Objective 1, check.  What other objective?  Oh right, no Advanced Warp Sensors.  I not unlock them.  All primary objectives, check.  Forces ready for master’s return!  He be so pleased!

« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 10:55:10 PM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2012, 01:08:29 AM »
The Torchlight II campaign has been going well enough to allow me to command the fleet once again.  It seems that Randy has done well.  He is very good tactically, but weaker strategically, and very forgetful.  I still have nightmares about those Gatlings…  Ahem, on to the next part of my campaign.  I unlock Riot II’s, putting me at 8,287/10,000 Knowledge (still gathering at Red XIII).  Threat is at only 18, which makes it an ideal time for me to strike at one of the ‘homeworld attack points’.  I just hope that the new ‘enhanced response’ doesn’t force me to make multiple passes at the Core Raid Engine when I am ready for the final fight.

My next target for capture is Vaan.  I will temporarily capture Slowga for the CSG-C, as I can still take Vivi for the CSG-D and Zenith Power Generator.  As an added bonus, Vaan has both a Data Center and one of the two remaining Spire Civilian Leaders.  If completed before hour 13, I will have a net gain of 2 AIP from this strike.  The other leaders may well bring me back down to the AIP floor.  I will be working without Riot IIs, but the risk to my strike force should be pretty low.  Randy’s report indicates that he was able to easily ice the Special Forces last time around, and that was on an Advanced Factory world.

12:24:  Astro Trains reveal my Cloaker IIs trying to sneak my forces past Esuna.  I am forced to abandon the sneaky approach, and decide that the defenders could use a little trimming.  I will need Cloakers for the strike on Esuna though.  I hope that the Cloaker Is will get my fleet to Vaan without being detected and freeing a bunch of threat.  On an unrelated note, Shield Bearers + Blade Spawners + Enclaves building those two + Riot Starships are rather unbalanced when combined.  I guess the RNG is on my side for unlocks this game.  Although I did have to hack for one of those.

12:28:  Right as I pack up my forces, an Enclave heads to Red XIII.  I unload the transports.  Enclaves have not done a good job on their timing.  I almost feel bad for them.  Almost.  I load my strike team back up as the rebuilders and engineers ply their trade.  The rebuilder change is definitely a HUGE improvement.  I need only around half as many rebuilders as before, which is VERY nice.  with defenses back up and economy in the tank…again…I load my strike force back into the transports.  This time, I catch my Cloakers as they wander right at a Turret Train.  Really now, do I have to do everything for them?

12:32:  I decide to unlock Hardened Forcefields I for some of my more critical areas, and to try and cover the Warp Jammer I will place on Vaan.  I will have very few defensive structures left, and I want Vaan to resist small threat groups (the Ion Cannon III will help).  9,000 knowledge left.  Now the fun part:  using the self-attrition of transports to drop my full force right on top of Vaan’s wormhole defense.  I knew that was put in for a reason!  My goal is to kill the CC as quickly as possible so that I can Warp Jammer before the AI gets significant resources on Float.  Float already has a LOT of defenders for being off alert all game, and I don’t see any need to antagonize the AI into adding more for any length of time.  I don’t have another path to Fran.

12:34:  I pop the CC, leading to Barracks happy fun time.  Most of the Threat leaves, and an AI EMP warhead detonates on Vaan, leading to an…interesting…change in the attack.  With defenders paralyzed, I bring my building convoy to the planet under cloak.  Whoops, the Ion Eye is still there; goodbye engineers.  Stupid SF Guard post, which isn’t autotargetted by blades (or anything else).  Those things should NOT keep Eyes alive.  Unfortunate, I wanted to speed build my Warp Jammer.  I rush my Raids and Riot IIs to Red XIII, which is bearing the brunt of the AI’s response from the Barracks.  Blade Spawners continue to devastate the now halted AI defenses.

12:38:  Warp Jammer station up, but still killing the SF Post.  Eyes do NOT actually die when you capture the planet, in case you were wondering.  I kill the stupid forces post and the Data Center.  For some odd reason, the Civilian Leader ticks.  That’s way off of the hour…maybe the Civies should be made EMP immune?  AIP is now at 63.  Threat is at 183.  I’m going to try to farm that down a bit before my next attack.  Most of it is on Achilles, stalking Red XIII.  Would be next to a Core world.  Oh well.

12:49:  Clearing threat on Achilles.  A wave of 365 with 3 Starships is announced against Infuse.  That sounds like it might have a Beachhead with it; the last reported raid was over 700 units, according to Randy’s report.  That was a while back too.  I mobilize my fighter team to Infuse, just in case.  Hostile warheads take out my Warp Jammer, Ion Cannon III, and Civilian Leader on Vaan.  Devourer gets my forces heading for Infuse, looks like it will fall too.  Minor factions this game are worse than the regular AI >:(.

12:51:  I was right about the Beachheads.  What I did not know is that there is more than one Beachhead when they spawn.  That’s very valuable information.  And I am VERY glad that I did not find that out on my Homeworld.  With the only forces able to respond being 2 systems away, I prepare for Infuse to fall.  I will lose it, but I can rebuild.  That said, this will give me an opportunity to test my forces against the Beachheads.  Oh yes, I will GREATLY enjoy those tests too.  First, though, I scramble my Raids to save Kimahri.  I’m hoping that I can keep the Ion Cannons alive as well, though that may be hoping to much after this rather…brutal…change of events.

12:58:  I manage to save everything irreplaceable on Kimahri.  That’s rather nice.  Vaan is rebuilt as well; thankfully, I managed to avoid any extra Core reinforcements at Float.  Now, I prepare my forces to have a little ‘fun time’ with those lingering Beachheads.  For their first test:  how quickly will Raid Starships I and II kill a Beachhead I?  Answer:  3 shots.  Next, how long will they last against my fast mover squad (Fighter/Bomber/Sniper, which I was in the process of routing to Infuse when the Cookie Monster showed up)?  Roaming Enclaves on Vaan rudely interrupt my testing.  I guess I need to deal with them first.  I get my fast movers to Kimahri, where they should be reasonably safe.

13:00:  I get Raid Starships to Vaan in time to prevent loss of my Warp Jammer.  Getting really tired of all of the ‘Minor Faction Drama’ going on.  I need a bit more turret support for all of this chaos.  I unlock Laser IIs, bringing me to 8,438/9,500.  I would use MLRS, but warheads are immune to Missile Ammo, and I need something to help trim those away.  Civilian Leaders tick for a total of -8 AIP.  There’s one faction that’s treating me kindly for now.  My AIP is now 55, with the floor at 44.  Back to my testing.  The Alpha strike from my fast movers can kill 2 Beachhead Is within seconds (I lost a few ships getting them there, but that is what we call ‘tolerance’).  Very encouraging.  I won’t get to test how fast they die to Blade Spawners this time around.  Oh well.  Time to rebuild Infuse and get back off of Matter Converters.  My econ is rather injured right now.  Threat is back down to 18, a very nice change.

13:12:  I manage to keep one Scout II alive on Fran.  Nice, now I can keep an eye on both AI Homeworlds.  I attrition down a few Turret Trains as well; be nice to have fewer of those to deal with.  Time to Neuter Blizzaga.  A wave of 406 AI ships is announced against Infuse.  After all game of having no Beachheads, have I managed to get back-to-back procs?  I almost hope so.  I want to see if I can halt the Beachheads before the AI can hit my defenses, and I’d much rather test that on a non-critical planet.  I check the position of the Devourer.  He might intercept my Fast Movers, so this time I gear up Transports.  My Limburger Launcher squad is having great fun on Blizzaga.  I haven’t lost a single primary unit, and my Enclaves are replacing my Shield Bearers as fast as their Special Forces can destroy them  8).

13:19:  No Beachhead.  I’m disappointed.  Back to my attack team.  SF Post on Blizzaga down, not sure if that actually lowers the influx of Special Forces for defense or not.  But at least I won’t have a “no autotarget” Guard Post keeping an AI Eye alive.

13:21:  Infuse down again.  I probably should have kept my fast movers near the C/C and what few turrets I have there rather than using FRD.  I’m tired, so my tactical thinking is kinda low right now.  On defense, that is.  My offense is kicking tail and taking names.  Now I’m just trying to take care of those pesky Bombards before they become threat.  After that, I should be able to clean up the rest of this planet with relative ease, though I might pull back early to try and keep Core planet Alert status to a minimum.  I’ve done pretty well with that so far.  Or, I might be able to simply take the planet outright.  I have to be very careful with the Spire Archives though.  I’m doing well enough against the AI that the Ion Eye activates.  Too bad all of my offensive force is Insta-kill Immune.  I could almost feel sorry for them.  Almost.

13:24:  All main Guard Posts down on Blizzaga.  I decide to go ahead and take out the Barracks now, freeing over 300 mark IV ships.  I retreat to Esuna and let the threat bleed away from Blizzaga.  I could probably take them out there, but I really want them to come to me so I can keep Dark off of Alert.  Here’s hoping this works.  They head for Red XIII instead, figures.  My defenses there can hold off for a while.  I bring my Raids from Vaan and my attack team from Esuna to bear.  The result devastates the AI’s threat strike.  I am down to 161 threat, almost all of which is leftover on Infuse from the AI’s attack there.  Roaming Enclaves attack Vaan, diverting Raids is enough to dispel any real threat.  I send in my fast movers to clear Infuse.  In true random-glitch fashion, the AI ships do not respond to my presence.  I kill them with a few losses; I could have kept losses lower, but I want to rebuild soon.

13:45:  Wave coming to Infuse for 281 ships, 2 starships.  Bets on whether this one has Beachheads or not?  Looks like Dark either has the reserve forces or was on Alert for too long; as it has more than 400 mark V units.  I might have to clear Souleater and get to Reflectga through Gravity.  Or perhaps Horology.  Also, I think I am going blind.  I somehow didn’t notice that all 4 Co-Processors were within two hops of Home…somehow I missed the Co-Processor on 1000 Needles until I noticed my planet numbering.  Not sure I’ll want to pop them before sieging a Homeworld though; right now, I would actually gain 11 AIP from killing all of the CPs.  Same story with the Superterminal.  I guess it worked out alright for me.

13:47:  No Beachhead.  I’m sad.  Sorta.  Marauders join in the fun on Infuse.  The AI doesn’t seem to like that world much.  I preemptively activate a Matter Converter, to put me over the ‘Energy Collector’ threshold.  Not surprisingly, Infuse falls—the Marauders’ firepower is too high for my very basic fleet.

13:58:  The Marauders left, and I’ve managed to rebuild Infuse.  I am at 9,500 Knowledge, 158,090 Energy (one converter running), I have neutered Blizzaga, but I am not sure that I can get in through Dark, I still have my Advanced Factory and my rather…unique…empire is intact.  I can tell that I am exhausted from all of the stupid mistakes I’ve made.  That and I can’t quite see straight anymore  :-\.  I think it’s time for bed.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 10:11:10 AM by Winge »
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Offline KDR_11k

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2012, 03:05:36 AM »
Beachheads only have a 10% chance to spawn with any wave. I don't think the AI gets to make any intelligent decisions on when to use them either.

Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2012, 10:13:49 AM »
Beachheads only have a 10% chance to spawn with any wave. I don't think the AI gets to make any intelligent decisions on when to use them either.

Yeah, I understand that.  I've been trying to predict them using wave sizes, which is proving very difficult this game.  I'm wondering if a non-wave sending AI should increase the 'Beachhead Chance' of the other AI, if they are enabled and a Turtle/Support Corps/Shield Ninny comes up for one of the AIs.

More than anything else, I think that this game is convincing me that I need to make a Mantis account  :P
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Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2012, 02:26:13 PM »
14:01:  I build a CC on Slowga and use rebels to quickly take care of the CSG-C there.  I scrap my CC before it finishes—I never noticed before, but the Dyson goes hostile even if you are still building the CC.  Whoops.  I may capture the Vulture fab later, but it will be safe for now.  The friendly Dyson Gatlings quickly take care of the enemy Gatlings.  I love those things.  Civilian Leaders bring me to 55 AIP, I am now floored again for the first time in a while.  I decide to clear out Vivi.  I’m still considering taking it, depending on how my first Homeworld strike goes.

14:11:  Clearing Vivi is going very smoothly.  A wave for 295 is announced against Cloud.  While the odds are against a Beachhead, that is a rather small raid.  I pull my strike force from the mostly-neutered Vivi and bring them home.

14:13:  No Beachheads, not too surprised.  The AI decides it’s time for a CPA.  1,284 ships heading my way in 12 minutes.  Looks like I’ll trim a few high-mark planets, just to be sure.  Tidus and Souleater are on my list for Homeworld-related reasons.  That might be all I have time for.

14:20:  I’ve cleared Shock (had more units than I thought), and moved my blade team to Tidus.  I manage to intercept an EMP warhead as it heads towards Red XIII.  Doing so also allows me to kill a Turret Train.  I’m starting to understand the person who activates Astro Trains just so he can kill them...  The strike on Tidus is taking much longer than I expected.  I will not have time to clear out Souleater, but I might be able to quickly alpha its Planet Cloaker.

14:25:  With 30 seconds on the clock, I bring my strike teams home.  The fast movers easily killed the planet cloak, thanks to Snipers.  They did not kill the entry Tachyon before I pulled them out.  Threat is at 77, and I don’t want to increase it any further before the CPA hits.

14:28:  The CPA consists of 330 mark I ships and 954 mark II ships.  About 200 ships overwhelm Vaan, I will almost certainly lose it.  I route my Blade team through Esuna, taking out the threat hiding there, and move them towards Red XIII, which has over 100 ships attacking it.  However, unlike Vaan, Red XIII’s defenses are designed to counter large forces, not to mention an Ion Cannon III and Ion Cannon.  Vaan falls; just too many Bombers.  Threat is already down to 416.  Somehow, there are no Command Center remains on Vaan.  I know that I didn’t scrap it…I route some colony ships to get the CC back up.  I don’t want Float reinforcing any more than it already has.

14:35:  Ugh.  That no-remains glitch cost me a lot.  Float now has 365 ships on it, mostly mark V.  That’s going to make striking Fran very difficult.  I might need to neuter Float just to get by…but I will need to kill the Core CPA post on Fran.  Oh yeah, this will be fun™.  In the meantime, I have 2 more CSG networks to silence and one more planet to capture.  Threat is hovering at 238, most of it is hiding on Vincent and Holy.  I’m not overly worried; the threat really has not built up enough to damage anything critical.  After some consideration, I move all of the defenses from Infuse to Vaan.  I don’t want to lose Vaan again, and Infuse is more or less a sacrificial lamb (since I don’t plan on destroying the Interplanetary Munitions Booster nearby).

14:43:  I begin clearing Souleater.  Wave incoming to Cloud for 490.  I quickly clear Souleater, including its Ion Cannon and Spire Leader.  Now all of the remaining leaders are free; 3 total.

14:59:  Still working on Blizzaga; I hate Fortress IIIs.  With the Cookie Monster irritating Core planets, I’m going to have to lawnmower through them.  That’ll be fun.

15:04:  I capture and jam Blizzaga.  Infuse falls to…well, I’m not actually sure what.  There wasn’t anything there ???.  Maybe a warhead.  A wave of 201 ships is announced against Stamp.  Might be a Beachhead, but it will probably be hilarious.  That’s the Rebel Colony and Vampire Claw V world, right next to a free Dyson Sphere.  Not even the Interplanetary Booster can limit my forces there.  The nearby threat will probably be more of an issue than the wave.  I destroy the last of the Core Shield Generator Network.  I still have to figure out how to take out the Raid Engine at Reflectga and the Core CPA Post on Fran, while getting past the Core worlds, but I have a little bit of time before that strike.

15:15:  I’m going to need some new tools, since the Devourer insists on putting the Homeworld with the Raid Engine on alert.  I am currently at 14,253/18,500 (still working that Spire Archive).  I get Shield Bearer IIIs, Enclave IIIs, and Blade Spawner IIIs to put my Advanced Factory to good use…and provide some additional defenses on Red XIII.  That leaves me at only a few hundred K until the Archive finishes.  Time to turtle and plan.

15:20:  I manage to get a scout picketing Dark, at the cost of almost all of my Scout Starhips.  That planet has over 600 mark V ships on it.  Curse the Cookie Monster!  To add insult to injury, he goes immediately to the OTHER AI Homeworld.  Really >:(?  I might end up going through Gravity, which has ‘only’ around 300 mark V ships on it.  At least for my strike on the Raid Engine; after that, I may be able to neuter Dark and go from there.  I haven't even reached 80 AIP--assuming my memory is working right now--and I still have massive AI buildup on the Core Worlds.  On the bright side, I won’t be tripping AI Eyes there anytime soon.

15:30:  Spire Archive finishes its work and vanishes from the scene.  There’s 80 AIP that I won’t have to worry about.  I am back up to 4,500 knowledge, but I’m not sure what I want to spend it on.  Raid IIIs are on top of the list, but I haven’t found them to be especially useful for Homeworld strikes.  I’m going to trim threat first anyways.  I’m still sitting at 190, leftover from the CPA.  Wave of 144 announced against Infuse.  That’s either very low multiplier wave or a Beachhead wave.  No harm in me running my blade team there, just in case.  I combine the Shield Bearer and Blade Spawner IVs from the Factory world with the rest of the blade team, and prepare to move out.  As an added bonus, there’s an EMP warhead wandering around, waiting to irritate me.

15:35:  It’s a sad day when I would rather have Beachheads in a strike force.  86 Bombards, plus other Schizo adds.  This’ll be a pain to clear, and my blade team is still a 2 planets out.  The EMP hits Blizzaga, but the CC still jams, and the Deflector Drones there absorb it.  Wow…Infuse actually survives a wave.  Put that down in the history books folks.  Time to trim the nearby planets a bit.

16:07:  Civilian leaders tick, no net effect.  I’ve neutered Poison and Blindna, as well as killed the Barracks on both.  I still have 196 threat lingering, but it will not be difficult for me to kill that.  I’m at 110,086 Energy, running 3 Converters.  Despite running all of those converters, I am doing well economically, thanks to the sheer survivability of my main attack force.  I will be able to strike the AI Homeworlds soon, but for now, I need a break.  Winge out.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 02:28:51 PM by Winge »
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Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2012, 12:08:45 AM »
16:08:  Clearing threat on Holy, leftover from the last CPA.  Seriously considering unlocking the Mini-fortress, but I might want Raid IIIs instead.  I decide to wait for a strike attempt on Reflectga before choosing my last few technologies—I will probably not get any more knowledge unless I attempt to mine an AI homeworld (and I will much more likely strike them both at the same time) or take Vivi for the Z Power Generator (I’d like to keep my AIP low).

16:23:  Devour Golem catches me off guard, forcing me to rebuild part of my strike force.  Not devastating, just really annoying.  Wave for 490 heading for Infuse.  Because of the weak defenses there, I send my blade team.  It’ll take a while longer to rebuild the remainder of my forces.  Really easy wave to fend off.  My fast-mover team is about halfway rebuilt, and I’m down to 139 threat.  I bring the Blade team to Immobilize for a quick repair boost, then run them to Blizzaga.  I think it’s about time that the AI had a wave hit their Home.

The name of the game is bait and switch.  I send in my fast mover team to take out the initial Tachyon Guardian V on Gravity, then distract the defenders (read:  die horribly while being rebuilt on Blizzaga).  Meanwhile, I bring my Fast Starship Team (Raid I, Raid II, and Heavy Bomber), my Disturbingly Slow Starship Team (Plasma Siege, what else?), my Minion Team (1x Enclave I and II building all available Neinzul—for me, that’s Needler, Laser, and Missile Drones, marks I and II, and Vulture Is), and my Ninja team (Blade Spawners I-IV, Shield Bearers I-IV, Flagships, Zenith Starships, Spire Starships, Riot I and IIs, and Enclaves I-III building Blade Spawners and Shield Bearers with Scout Starship and Decloaker coverage).  Really, I have only one main target, and everything else is gravy:  I must kill the Core Raid Engine.  Should I succeed, my next priorities are the ‘peacekeeper’ defenses, followed by Special Forces Guard Post, followed by Core Booster Guard Posts, followed by every other Core Guard Post.  I want to do is kill as much here as possible, then drop the Co-Processor network before heading for Fran’s Core CPA Guard Post.  If this works (kills the Core Raid Engine and a few other useful structures), then I will handle Fran the same way.

I complete one strike this way, but lose my Advanced Factory and 3 planets total, stopping the forces at my Home.  I was going to play off of it, but then realized that I couldn’t take screenshots.  What a silly reason to savescum  :-[.  Learning points:  Steam wants me to open up AI War through it to save screenshots, the AI has 2 Gravity Guardians on their home, 1 right by the Gravity entry point (who knew?).  As an added bonus, the Guardians stacked up, making it so that I couldn’t target it…way messed up ::).  Let’s try this again.  Savescum count at 1.  I was hoping for none this game too... :(

16:40:  This time, I destroy the Tachyon V, and then immediately retreat my forces.  This does mean that I have to eat a Raid Engine wave, but I’ll be able to trim off some of the rather hefty Mark V response.  Infuse falls while I clear out the response.  I have to bring a few Matter Converters online, but I’m still coming out ahead overall.  Based on this experience, I’m going to try the Mini-fortresses.

16:51:  A beachhead wave with high cap ships catches me by surprise on Immobilize.  By surprise, but not off-guard…let’s see how my Ninja team fares.  Well…that was very much in my favor.  I kill the beachheads before the Neinzul even reach my Missile Turrets.  I don’t even think I will have a threat increase from this.  Which is good.  I could use a break   :-\.  Threat is down to 28, but I’ll need to rebuild on Infuse before I do anything.  I desperately need more energy.

16:55:  A Rebel Colony is announced on Curaga, the other Factory world.  Really?  You have to come up now?  Looks like I’ll have to take that planet; I can’t deal with +100 AIP for no reason.  Infuse comes back online, allowing me to drop 3 more Matter Converters.

17:05:  For better or worse, I now own Curaga and both Advanced Factories.  I’m not really happy about that turn of events, but I’ll have to live with it.  AIP/floor are both at 63 now.  I start clearing the higher-mark worlds near Curaga, and start phasing out some Matter Converters.  If I’m going to have to take another world, I may as well make economic use of it.  It doesn’t take long for the AI to notice it, though.  Wave announced against Curaga, 577 ships.  At least that will probably not contain a Beachhead.  After some consideration, I pull all of my Rebel Ships to Curaga.  Stamps only irreplaceable structure is a Vampire Claw V Fabricator.  I’ll take an Advanced Factory over that any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

17:26:  Ok, let’s try this again.  With the entry tachy down on Gravity, I should be able to strike the AI without stirring up too much of a hornet’s nest.  Well, aside from the Core Raid Engine, but we can’t have everything, now can we?  This time, I burn the Gravity Guardian before he can hide.  My Fast Starships make a beeline for the Core Raid Engine; I should be able to kill it easily this time.

17:37:  I destroy the Core Raid Engine, a Sentinel Core Guard Post (stupid moving guard posts…), one of the Core Booster Guard Posts, and the Special Forces Guard Post on Reflectga.  I lose my entire strike team in the process, but I do not lose a planet from the backlash.  Distracted, I lose my defenders on Cloud, as the Devourer decides to camp my Homeworld.  I’m disabling him for a long time after this game…really, more for constantly alerting the AI Homeworlds than anything else.  I should have only been facing maybe 200 ships on the Core Worlds, and I see 3 times that on some of them.  Rebuilding my forces will take some time.  My economy is in the tank right now, even without Matter Converters.

17:44:  Cross-planet attack announced containing 1,601 Ships.  I swear, it feels like I just killed 3 of those.  The Devourer Golem finally stops camping my Home planet.  I need to rebuild as much of my Ninja team as possible to withstand this CPA without losses.

17:55:  Well, at least the CPA is all mark 1 ships (thanks to the new Strategic Reserve).  The AI bides its time…it has 840 threat on Dark, but it will not deploy it.  Which is actually pretty good for me.  I desperately need the time to finish rebuilding, so I can answer that threat.  Civilian Leaders bring me back to the AIP floor, 64.

18:12:  Looks like all I needed was a little bait.  I dropped a transport through the Dark wormhole, and managed to pull back a lot of the threat.  I’m down to 1,020 left, much of it on Float.  For the best bait…I wonder if attacking the last ARS world would lure them to me?  I’ll need Riots to try that though.  Time to switch up my build plans.

18:24:  I have my Riots.  I’m going to try to lure the remaining threat to me, now that it has entered its ‘special threat’ mode.  Time for a spontaneous trip to Fira, I hear the weather is quite warm there this year.

18:27:  So far, my plan is working fairly well.  I’ve already dropped threat by about 100.  Wave of 492 announced against my Home.  I manage to drop threat down to 555 before pulling my forces back to avoid the Special Forces response.  I sent my Ninja team towards Cloud, in case they are needed there.  I don’t think I’ll see Beachheads in this wave, but I’d rather have them nearby, just in case.  I still have a lot more to rebuild…

18:30:  Yup, no Beachheads, but a lot of the remaining threat joins the party.  Works for me.  My Ninja team is slacking; they never seem to make it back in time.  I guess that, with their level of strength on offense, I really can’t complain.  I ice a bunch of threat, and start stealing more of the ships that I lost.  As an added bonus, the Devourer Golem finally does something for me by noming a lot of the Special Forces threat.  It’s actually pretty funny to watch.  Threat down to 105.  Finally get something useful for all the cookies I lost.

18:40:  On a whim, I decide to try and neuter my path through Gravity.  The strike works out much better than I expected.  So well, that I take my Ninja team to Reflectga to try and neuter it.  I drop 3 more Core Guard Posts, and then the Barracks auto-pops.  Time to go!  For all that attacking, threat doesn’t even go over 200.  Reflectga now has only a Core Zenith Fortress Guard post defending its AI Home Command Center.  An excellent strike, after quite a few not-so-good ones by me.

19:05:  6,500 Knowledge, 137,045 Energy, no Converters, AIP at 66 (floored).  One Homeworld and one Core world essentially neutered (Homeworld still has Ion Cannon II and Orbital Mass Driver, though).  I am about ready to make a strike on Float, hoping to follow-through to Fran.  Survey says that there is only one Gravity Guardian to deal with too.  I might be able to neuter Fran in 1 strike, although I’m not sure I’ll like the response from the Core CPA Post.  A good place to pause, in any case.

One final note:  I love the new Mini-Fortress! :)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 12:13:27 AM by Winge »
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Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2012, 05:36:57 PM »
19:12:  Really hoping I can end this game soon.  I went ahead and bought Ancient Shadows, and I want to play around with some of the new toys!  I unlock MLRS Turrets II for the added drones and defenses, and Vulture IIs to help me against some of the high-hp final targets.  2,000 Knowledge left, not sure if there will be anything I can make use of it with.  Wave announced for 300 to Infuse.  Infuse is not well defended, and Blizzaga will be ok for now, so I reroute my Fast-moving fleetships to its defense.  I begin building up my new turrets on various planets.

19:20:  Wave defeated easily.  With threat at only 23, I decide that this would be the best time (if there ever is such a thing) to trigger and try to ice the Core CPA Post on Fran.  I will have to clear my path through Float, as I don’t think I can sneak by Float.  Planets are just too angry this game.  I bring my Fast movers to Vaan to try and protect against the near-certain backlash after my forces near-certain destruction.

19:27:  Yup, I’m going blind.  The Core CPA Post won’t actually activate until I get to Fran.  That’s good, as it means I can try and Neuter Float without anything other than the Mark V threat being freed.  And that’s not too bad, right ;)?

19:32:  Well, that didn’t go well, but it didn’t go too poorly either.  I have to rebuild my Enclaves and most of my Riots, but I managed to silence the Orbital Mass Driver, Special Forces Post, the entrance Tachyon Guardian, and a lot of the higher-mark ships on the planet.  I just need to clear the Tachyon Guardian before Fran, and I will be able to sneak Float.  That way, I don’t have to destroy the Fortress III camping the wormhole.  Threat up to 87, but it’s not enough for the AI to mobilize.

19:38:  Ready for the next round.  A wave of 469 is announced against Infuse.  I decide to reroute my fast fleetships back to Infuse; Vaan should hold against any backlash I will create by my antics.

19:42:  Infuse falls.  My forces were too slow getting there.  I’m on 2 Matter Converters, and I have to delay my attack, but otherwise I’m not too bad off.

19:58:  Float has been neutered, except for one Fortress Mark III.  No real losses, only 50 threat roaming around.  I pull off of Float and scrap my ‘minions’ to bring Fran off of alert.  Fran has 300 ships on it, which is closer to what I’m used to seeing on a Homeworld.  I’m going to switch gears to Reflectga again, and get rid of its ‘heavy defenses’ (last Core Post, Forcefields, and Fortress III, but not the command station).

20:03:  Mobilizing for Reflectga.  Wave of 477 announced against Stamp.  I pull half of my Rebel forces to Stamp.  I’m not overly worried about that planet, but I don’t want a bunch of threat running around right now.

20:14:  Almost done with the Forcefields III on Reflectga.  The AI’s counterattack hits Blizzaga, destroying its Command Center.  There are about 200 units total remaining as threat, not enough to really hurt anything I care about.  I bring my Ninja team back to Blizzaga, the Minion Team (2 Cloaker Is, 1x Enclave I and II spawning a ton of Neinzul) and Bombers will finish what I want done on Reflectga.  Shouldn’t take too long to rebuild, and strike at Fran’s Core CPA Post.

20:26:  Fortress IIIs have way too much HP.  Still working on it.  I’m at 57% right now :(.

20:30:  Finally!  Everything of real value on Reflectga is dead.  Time to kill a CPA.

20:42:  I’m on Fran.  Apparently, the Core CPA Guard Post doesn’t like that fact much, as it triggers a 1,055 ship CPA against me.  I’m pretty sure I’ll survive it.  In the meantime, I really don’t like the look of all of these buildings.  They need more blades in them.  Time to do some remodeling.

20:50:  Down to the Core Spire Shield Guard Posts.  The Barracks pops, releasing over 300 mark IV ships.  I’m going to try to kill them before the CPA hits.  I have 3.5 minutes before that bit of fun.  Another wave announces for 470 ships against Infuse, 2 minutes after the CPA.  I’ll try to save it this time.  Honest.

20:54:  The CPA hits Blizzaga almost immediately; 538 ships.  There’s no way I’ll be able to save it.  Instead, I pull the Heavy Bomber Starships that were there to destroy Reflectga.

20:57:  Reflectga destroyed.  They’ll feel that one in the morning.  At 162 AIP, so will I, if I don’t do something to stop the AI or lower their irritation.

21:01:  I destroy all the Co-Processors and Civilian Leaders tick, bringing AIP down to 108 (floor is now 100), but not before another CPA is announced.  This one has 1,903 ships in it.  I still have 560 ships left over from this CPA too.  This might sting a bit.  I’m going to try to bring Blizzaga back online.  May or may not work out for me.

21:09:  My planets are all back up, defenses included.  I’ve whittled threat down to 411.  I have to either bait that threat out or the CPA will be 2,300+ ships instead.  I’m sure I can survive it, but I’d like to do better than that.  Unlocking Crystal Harvester IIs; that’s the unlock I’ll get the most out of right now.  Nope, no luck with threat trimming.  This might hurt a bit…

21:16:  Ok, threat is just sitting on Dark.  I can’t believe I have more firepower than that.  A wave of 685 units is announced against Curaga.  Yup, I irritated the AI all right.

21:20:  Wow.  Blade Spawners are disturbingly overpowered :o.  Threat down to 1,000.  Time to finish this.

21:35:  Game over AI.  All your base are belong to me!  8)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 05:39:27 PM by Winge »
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Winge

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Re: Assemble the Minions! - few extra photos
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2012, 06:05:00 PM »
A few extra photos, and some closing thoughts:
1.  With the Starship energy changes, you really can't use them as your primary strike force, especially early on.  I got away with this before the change on a low AIP 7/7 game, but that was a completely different story.  A large part of my woes early on was trying to do just that.
2.  The AI's response to attacks is much more...eager...than I'm used to.  I'm not sure if that relates to the AI difficulty, personality types, Guardians, or long-range unlocks.  Or maybe I just whiffed my attacks?  :-\
3.  Getting Blade Spawners and Shield Bearers was pretty much GG (although I did scum once on a really, really, bad Homeworld strike).  I could probably have won normally, but that was like dropping a Freight Train on the odds scale.  I still wonder if Blade Spawners need a nerf, but I'm not sure how to do it.  I gotta give Keith credit:  even trying to balance that unit would probably cause me to rip my hair out.  :o
4.  Most of the minor factions had major impact on the game.  Spire Civilian Leaders caused me a gamer's heart attack early on (as I'm sure the reader can tell), and made it overly easy for me to maintain a low AIP later on.  The Devourer Golem wiped my forces a few times, but the greater effect was that he put the AI Core and Homeworlds on alert.  Frequently, in the case of Reflectga, which was more centrally located.  The Astro Trains AI plot seemed relatively minor by comparison.  All they did was occasionally decloak my forces.  I will probably not enable quite so many factions for my next few games.  I sorta enjoy it being just me and the AI, with nothing really special going on (one reason I haven't played Golems or Spirecraft Hard yet.  Soon, I'm sure).
5.  Beachheads are pretty rough  ><.  I think I agree with the poster who said wave sizes were too low on 8/8 for me to really feel the effect, though.  I can see them having a huge impact on 9+.  Also, I didn't think about it, but I should have selected 2 wave sending AIs (I thought the combination of Mad Bomber + Support Corps would provide deadly waves, and to some extent, it did) to get a better feel for them.  Maybe a non-wave sending AI should boost the probability of a Beachhead for the other AI?  No idea how easy or hard that code would be.
6.  I kinda like lattice maps.  Nice to have the universe be so interesting.
7.  Waiting on Steam to get Ancient Shadows took too long.  At least now I get more than 3 hours to play around with it!
8.  I really need to make a Mantis account.
9.  I think I'm ready to up the difficulty a little, but without some of those minor factions enabled.
10.  I wish I had minions in real life.  Maybe someday...

Winge out.  8)
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Assemble the Minions!
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2012, 08:22:48 PM »
Congratulations!  I hope you enjoy Ancient Shadows :)
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