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General Category => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: Coppermantis on August 09, 2012, 01:06:37 AM

Title: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on August 09, 2012, 01:06:37 AM
Since my last game ended in a kind of stupid manner at the hands of the frankly quite annoying Dyson Plot, I have started a new game with Hybrids on 1/10 to disable the Dyson plot, but have amped up the difficulty elsewhere to compensate.

DETAILS:

My AIs are The Core and Neinzul Youngster (7 and 8, respectively)

Enabled Minor Factions are Human Marauders 3, Human Resistance 6, Colony Rebellions 2, Dyson Sphere 4, Zenith Traders, Roaming Enclaves 3 and Neinzul Rocketry Corps 2 as well as Golems medium and Botnet Easy

Map: 80 planet Simple

All expansions enabled

CSGs and Swallowers disabled

Bonus Ship Type: MLRS

(http://i.imgur.com/yJf4a.jpg)

^
My map. The marked systems have Backwater Wormholes on them, although my altplanetnames.txt has a planet called "Backwater" on it, along with several other Humorous names.



GAME START:


I'm faced with the problem of having to deal with Core ships early on, so my plan is to fast tech to III as soon as I can, although this also leaves me vulnerable to the large numbers of Neinzul ships that will be coming in waves. I'll have to hold those off with Turrets.

First unlocks: MLRS II, Riot II (Tazers will help keep the Neinzul at bay), Adv. Warp Sensor and Gravity Turret. The Shadow gets two of each module.

First wave at 12 minutes. 72 Core Tachyon Microfighters, no big deal. I suppose that I'm not seeing large enough numbers for their strength to show, although the fact that the AI has them is worrying, as my Anti-Eye strategy involves using cloaker starships with heavy artillery to kill guard posts, and with the Tach fighters present cloak will be harder to maintain. However, I'm not worrying about that too much.

At seventeen minutes the first Neinzul wave arrives. I forgot to turn on Auto-Kite so I took some damage from the Nanoswarm despite my Gravity turrets. Fortunately it wasn't too bad.

Scouting the nearby systems shows little of value save for a Mk. I Zenith Reserve on Sandvich. Not too useful, but I could save it in case I get into trouble.



Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: TechSY730 on August 09, 2012, 07:44:00 AM
Just a quick concern.
Did you put Hybrids on 1/10, or advanced hybrids?
Advanced hybrids on 1/10 (or 0/10 ;)) is what disables the dyson plot.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on August 09, 2012, 07:04:06 PM
Advanced on 1/10.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on August 15, 2012, 04:52:29 PM
By the way: I'm going to restart this one once the next update comes out as I really want to try the new ship types and nebula encounters. Hence why I'm not updating it for the time being.

EDIT: So the update came out shortly after I posted this. Will resume playing soon.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on August 16, 2012, 05:17:35 PM
Alright, new game started. All settings are the same except tat AI2 has been changed from Neinzul Youngster to Golemite, because why not. (Actually, I can think of a great many reasons why not, but who cares)

Bonus ships are now Medic Frigate and Tackle Drone Launcher. Fun times ahead for sure.

(http://i.imgur.com/oa9sQ.jpg)


My two homeworlds are separated, which will prove problematic if I don't link them soon. GLaDOS and Pootis are priority planets to take at the start as doing so will allow me to more easily defend my worlds.

The first wave comes in with 70 Mk. V Bombers to Sandvich and 70 Mk. V Fighters to Mienhoff. No big deal, I have 1/2 cap of ships on each so the waves are easily beaten. There's also the champion on Sandvich, so that helped with the bombers.

I unlocked Mk. II Tackle Drones and Medic Frigates as well as Econ II CC and Grav Turrets. Modular Fortresses are also included, although I won't be able to afford them just yet. However, they will be useful to secure the end planets of the dual semi-ring that my empire will eventually form.

(http://dl.dropbox.com/u/20222953/Images/Screenshot_2012_08_15_21_45_25.png)
Note that the direction of expansion will vary depending on where the nice stuff is, but the forts will always be on the opposite side of the expo route.

17 minutes in and I take GlaDOS and Pootis. This is not my usual strategy, but linking the homeworlds is necessary. Both planets belong to The Core, but the Tackle Drones are hilariously good at dealing with the threats. I hardly took any damage from the enemy ships because the drones kept dragging them away. I'm not going to call OP yet as this is my first combat experience with them.

So I kill both CCs and trigger a SpecFor Alarm Post. Oops. Threat jumps to 254 in an instant. Not too bad, considering. My fleet should make short work of it. The threat is mostly dealt with when a wave of 180 Mk. I (whew) bombers shows up to Sandvich. No biggie.

I unlock Mk. II scouts and send huge scouting parties of Scout starships+ MK.I/II scouts in both directions. The Northern path has nothing of value at all, but the southern route has a Zenith Generator on Wheatley, a Factory IV on Konsartini, an ARS on Tarsonis and a broken Botnet on Tosin. I think it's fairly obvious in which direction I shall advance. As far as threats I'll face, there are a few Fortresses and Eyes, but my biggest worry is the AI Botnet on Monlyth and the AI Regen Golem on Konsartini.

More scouting reveals that Sucrel has a Broken Hive Golem (2nd most powerful, I'd say. Arguably moreso than the Botnet since it can hit Core ships, which I will be seeing a lot of.) and a second Z-gen. Oh, and a Data Center. The Southern branch is ridiculously lucrative. I don't want to get to greedy though lest I incur the AI's Wrath.

Both GlaDOS and Pootis are now secure and each is getting a nice modular fortress to bolster defenses. My unlocks from the knowledge gathered are Heavy Beam Turrets I-III. I don't want anything getting through my defensive line.

I buy two Z-gens from the trader that passes by, but put them both on hold for a while. That way I will be able to have 4 of them once I capture Wheatley and Sucrel.


A wave from Golemite hits Meinhoff and GLaDOS. Oh, and there's Beachheads, but there aren't enough ships yet for that to be a problem.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on August 17, 2012, 07:44:02 PM
Quote
the southern route has a Zenith Generator on Wheatley.

Are you certain that it is wise to unite GlaDoS and Wheatley?
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Faulty Logic on August 17, 2012, 11:16:35 PM
Quote
I'm not going to call OP yet as this is my first combat experience with them.
Any tractors are significantly better against the core than normal AI.

Now I really want to try the tackle drones.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on August 18, 2012, 12:22:24 AM
Quote
the southern route has a Zenith Generator on Wheatley.

Are you certain that it is wise to unite GlaDoS and Wheatley?

Llanfair and Dimune are going to be left to the AI as there's nothing useful, so there will be a safe buffer between the two.  ;)

Quote
I'm not going to call OP yet as this is my first combat experience with them.
Any tractors are significantly better against the core than normal AI.

Now I really want to try the tackle drones.

Out of curiosity, why exactly is that? I assume it's because The Core would get fewer ships, hence the tractors can pull a larger percentage of the fleet.

It would be nasty if Core got something like Zenith Bombards or SSBs Happy Fun Balls
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Faulty Logic on August 18, 2012, 12:28:11 AM
Exactly.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on August 19, 2012, 07:20:27 PM
I am in the process of enhancing my defensive line with Superfortresses. Probably a sub-par idea, but once I get one up on both planets they'll practically be uncrackable. I have forcefields over the exit wormholes as well to trap any invaders in my chop shop. It was fun watching the most recent wave get torn to pieces by ModFort+9 heavy beam cannons.

In other news, I completed a Nebula and have acquired some Epsilon Eridani mining ships. The southern offensive is going well, casualties are minimal.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: TechSY730 on August 19, 2012, 08:45:36 PM
Well, superfortresses do have a somewhat more DPS than a Mk. III fortress, and substantially more HP.
Is that enough to be worth it's insane price tag (outpriced only by the higher Mks of ion cannons)? Probably not. But if you can get it built, it will pull its weight.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on August 25, 2012, 05:22:34 PM
I found a third Zenith Generator on Arcturus. I don't think energy will be an issue for quite a while.

There's an interplanetary munitions booster on Fobar. That might be a problem later on but for the time being I won't be expanding there. The Dyson Sphere has also been located on New Folsom.

In Champion-related news, The Shattered Pillar Zenith have been discovered. The three-way nature of this battle is making it tough, especially given the fact that the friendly Zenith won't focus their fire on important targets. It might be nice to give the champions a Command Flare like the ones in AVWW to direct allied attention to an area. Just a thought.

Also, I did a knowledge hack on Moriarty. Not too much response, Tackle Drones did a good job of keeping the response fleet away from my ships.

One superfortress is at 38% completion. The other is at 0%. This will take a while, but in the mean time the modular forts are doing well.



Also, I encountered a Roaming Enclave that was outlined purple instead of red. Does the color define whether the enclave is hostile to the Player or Everything?
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on August 25, 2012, 07:25:06 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/HJYg0.jpg)

I have a superfortress. Your army is invalid.


Also, there was a CPA. Only 900 ships, no biggie. Standard waves are larger than that at this point.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 06, 2012, 05:58:37 PM
A Black Widow Golem just joined a Raid Engine fleet and wreaked havoc on my fleet, grabbing a ton of stuff and dragging it back behind AI lines,  with no hope of recovery. Nasty stuff.
On the plus side, I got an Advanced Factory and with some hacking managed to acquire Mk. IV Bombers. I also purchased and completed an Armor Booster and Mk. II Radar Jammer from the trader to enhance my northern front. It's actually getting scary, lots of AI Bombers.

Also, a Special Forces Patrol Fleet of 2000 core ships (mostly fighters, but still) is patrolling along my front. I have no chance of winning in a direct engagement, so I have to avoid it.

Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: LordSloth on September 06, 2012, 09:24:07 PM
Have you considered hitting the Special Forces with Riot Starships? Do you have access to any hostile systems with a gravity drill?
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 06, 2012, 11:30:38 PM
No Gravity drills, and I don't think that 8 riots could paralyze 2000 Mk. V ships in time. Mostly I'll just have to treat the fleet like the monsters from Amnesia and hide if they show up.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: KDR_11k on September 11, 2012, 03:42:43 PM
Attacking their patrol path won't free them so you can engine kill as many as you want without repercussions.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 20, 2012, 08:42:23 PM
Quick update: Ran a Champion into a Nebula and encountered the Gray Spire. Is the point of this scenario just to destroy as many Gatlings as you can?

EDIT: Well, the Grey Spire got destroyed. How on earth are you supposed to stop those gatlings?
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 20, 2012, 09:06:25 PM
Quick update: Ran a Champion into a Nebula and encountered the Gray Spire. Is the point of this scenario just to destroy as many Gatlings as you can?
Yup, and keep your allies alive; the goals go pretty well together.

Quote
EDIT: Well, the Grey Spire got destroyed. How on earth are you supposed to stop those gatlings?
It's actually one of the easier scenarios (currently), though it may take a few runs depending on how strong your champion is and how used you are to the champion-specific tactics:

1) You want to keep the allied combat ships alive.  Projected shields are good at this.  Once you have a critical mass of allied ships you can take down the dysons pretty quick.

2) In this particular scenario, try not to "push" the dysons back to the grav-well line (where they spawn); if your allies are fighting them there then that's all you can do, but try not to cause the gatlings to stop there just to shoot at you, draw them back towards your allies.  That way they don't start shooting right as they spawn.

3) The number of dysons "in the air" at once will increase over the 8 minutes of spawning, so it's probably inevitable that they will break through the allied line and go after the bases.  When that happens, remember you can use projected shields to protect the bases.

4) Iirc the dysons are heavy-hull, so outfit your champion with stuff that does well against them.  I hear drones are good at distracting them (gatlings being single-shot and all), but there are more direct ways to simply blow them up (plasma siege cannons and lasers may work well here).
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 20, 2012, 09:11:53 PM
I only had a level 16 human frigate so I didn't have much. I deployed as many shields as I could and then later went to re-equip with lasers since, as you said, theu get bonuses vs. Heavy but while I was doing so the gatlings pushed through and won.  I think I was just plain outgunned.


On a more global note: Forgot to Gate-Raid Tarsonis and ended up with a wave at Konsartini. Bulletproof fighters, not too bad, but I was too busy microing my Champion in the Citadel Descendant Scenario that I found on Kuu. That one's crazy. Anyway, I lost the Konsartini CC and the Factory IV (NOOOOOOOO) but at least I got my cap of IV Bombers out of it. Hopefully I don't lose them anytime soon like when I ran into that Black Widow.

Also: GATLINGS ARE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE THINGS. They keep sniping my command centers while I'm occupied in the nebulas, aaargh. All my valuable, irreplacable stuff is going down. Lost a Z-Gen as well, meanwhile the Black Widow and an AI Fleet destroyed Konsartini again. So annoying.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 20, 2012, 09:16:51 PM
I only had a level 16 human frigate so I didn't have much. I deployed as many shields as I could and then later went to re-equip with lasers since, as you said, theu get bonuses vs. Heavy but while I was doing so the gatlings pushed through and won.  I think I was just plain outgunned.
Hmm, I test each one with a lvl 1 human frigate and did ok, but there've been changes to balance since then.  Having to leave really hurts in that one.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 20, 2012, 09:33:17 PM
Yeah, maybe I just failed. I dunno. I beat the Citadel Ascendant one pretty handily though and got some awesome Zenith Fortresses and Destroyer level Champion hulls. So that's a positive note at least.

Reconstructing my infrastructure will be a bit of a pain, but manageable.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 21, 2012, 06:41:15 AM
I must chime in and say that the Gray Spire is probably the easiest scenario I know of. Proper shielding management and "tanking" makes it rather easy. Just try not to lose your own shields as you'll need them to "tank" when you run out of shadow energy.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 21, 2012, 09:57:45 AM
I dunno how I lost then, I never lost my own shields and placed Shields down on the ally ships and bases. I guess it was just the time I took refitting my Champion.

Anyway, rebuilt my infrastructure. Lost a Z-Gen and Adv. Factory (ouch) but my CCs and other stuff is back.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: orzelek on September 21, 2012, 06:30:52 PM
For me the worst scenario is the colony ships one.
First visit in it was so-so. Total chaos, shield almost useless and attack from 4 sides at once. Trying to protect a bit and help allies with killing starbases was a tiny bit helpful.
On replay it was much worse. Can't protect bases, allies die like flies so no attack on starbases at all. And colony ships in such amounts that stopping somewhere could end in death.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 21, 2012, 07:23:49 PM
3-pronged attack by Neinzul Enclaves. Easy to mop up, no real damage. There was also a Core wave on my northern defensive line but it went down like nothing. Superfortress+2 ModForts+Radar Jammer+Planetary Armor Booster=YOU SHALL NOT PASS.

I killed a Warp Counterattack post and triggered a 200-core ship wave to my homeworld. Oops. I'll have to bring my fleet back to take it out.

Meanwhile, the assault on Tarsonis hits a little snag. The wormhole is right next to a Fortress+Ion III under a Spire Shield Post, so I take heavy initial casualties. A Full Cap of Bombers I-IV kills everything in two or three salvos, so that doesn't do too much damage. The Barracks dropped 250 Core ships though, but my Tackle Drones keep them at bay. The ARS will soon be mine.
 
I get armor ships from the ARS. Not the greatest (I wish I could have gotten the Laser Gatlings, but I didn't know that the AI CC had to still be there for the hack to work.

Oh, I'm also unlocking and building regular fortresses. Bringing the total (across both systems) to 4 Modular Fortresses, 1 Superfortress (I lost one while it was building, still waiting for the trader), One Radar Jammer II, One Planetary Armor Booster, and six Mk. I Fortresses (I am saving one for the the more exposed of my homeworlds and 1 more to bolster my offensive front.) Oh, and a cap of I-III Heavy Beam Cannons and assorted turrets.


(http://i.imgur.com/qkbhu.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/Hrco0.jpg)
Hell yeah. Come and get me, you AI maggots!
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Winge on September 21, 2012, 10:28:15 PM
Oh, I'm also unlocking and building regular fortresses. Bringing the total (across both systems) to 4 Modular Fortresses, 1 Superfortress (I lost one while it was building, still waiting for the trader), One Radar Jammer II, One Planetary Armor Booster, and six Mk. I Fortresses (I am saving one for the the more exposed of my homeworlds and 1 more to bolster my offensive front.) Oh, and a cap of I-III Heavy Beam Cannons and assorted turrets.

I am not worthy.  :o
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 22, 2012, 12:21:38 AM
The problem is when I get Beachheads. Those hurt, as everything gets shut down except the one superfortress. Once I get the second one up it'll be better though.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Winge on September 22, 2012, 12:26:17 PM
The problem is when I get Beachheads. Those hurt, as everything gets shut down except the one superfortress. Once I get the second one up it'll be better though.

Does that include Gravity Turrets?  I know that Gravity Turrets work during EMP, so I was wondering what else they might work through...
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 22, 2012, 08:24:58 PM
They require supply though, and beachheads remove supply from the planet. So they don't work.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 22, 2012, 09:14:59 PM
Captured Sucrel and got a Hive Golem plus a replacement ZGen for my trouble. Also popped a data center, that will cover for the +20 AIP from repairing the Golem.

Scouting reveals that Braxis Alpha has ANOTHER Zenith Generator. This seed is filled with them. Including the ones I lost/bought, there are six on the map so far. Crazy.

A 1000 ship CPA arrives and does come close to taking out my new ZGen, but it fails thanks to my Hive Golem. I'm tempted to get the Botnet as well but the +100 AIP scares me, and it won't be too useful against The Core.

Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on September 23, 2012, 01:50:43 AM
I sent my Champion (currently a Zenith Destroyer) into a Nebula on Sinotaran and managed to beat the Neinzul Mourners scenario. From my understanding, destroying the prisons faster gets you better stuff, but in what way? More unlocks, more exp?

In any case, I have Neinzul Fortresses now and will soon unlock Fort IIs. Time to reinforce the defensive line. I also recieved Cruiser level champion hulls, I'm sticking with Zenith line though. Is there any difference between Human and Zenith other than module compatibility? It doesn't look like it. I'd like to try out the Neinzul hull but the low number of modules is off-putting to me. I'm not sure if the vamprism is worth it, it seems like it might be as a backup if my shields fail.

I wish I could get a Spire hull to see what it does, but I failed the spire scenario. Darn. Maybe It will pop up again in one of the remaining nebulae.

The offensive is going well towards the south. Nothing really noteworthy there.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: KDR_11k on September 23, 2012, 06:22:34 AM
Is there any difference between Human and Zenith other than module compatibility?

There's also the different slot types (human has more small but fewer large) and the main gun on the human ship fires volleys and has 5x damage multipliers against some targets.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 23, 2012, 12:57:54 PM
Yea, the human ship main gun is very effective at dealing with the low-end nebula faction combat vessels (the ones that are good at hurting starbases), where a zenith's main gun is much better at dealing with big stuff and probably needs to bring needlers if you want to handle swarms of those starbase-threatening ships.

Other than that, yea, the zenith DD/CA get more heavy slots than the human equivalents, with fewer lights.

And of course, the different module compatibilities, which actually makes a fairly big difference.

Overall, they're the most similar pair of the 4.  The neinzul only gets half as many slots in exchange for its inherent abilities (making it less useful in the nebulae, but more utility-useful outside), and the spire is even more heavily weighted towards heavy slots than the zenith and has a few spire-only heavy modules that are pretty brutal.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on October 14, 2012, 08:31:01 PM
Getting back into AI War again.

Minor update: King has an ARS and a Neinzul Rocketry Silo (Uh-oh). This will be...unfortunate. I think I can keep them at bay if I camp riot starships and gravity turrets outside the silo to quarantine the missiles on King. I don't want EMPs going off all over the place.

Unless...Are Silos stopped by Warp Jammers? Since they prevent planets from going on alert and Silos are triggered by the planet going on alert, it seems like it should.

Kern has a Core Tackle Drone fabricator. Do want. Unfortunately it's pretty far away.

A SECOND SILO ON ARCANE CORE? WHYYYYYYY!??? What are the odds of two silos right next to each other? This is unfortunate. Arcane also has a Translocator Fab, but I'm not sure how useful that'll be. Oh, and ANOTHER Z-gen.

Ostanra has a Core Electric Bomber fabricator and a Factory IV. If I can secure all these things I will have a formidable army, but I'll have to fight all kinds of nasty stuff to do it.

To conclude my scouting report, Kleopatra has a Data Center. Good.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on October 16, 2012, 07:49:51 PM
So apparently warheads are immune to engine damage. Time to hope that the Warp Jammer method works, otherwise I'm in trouble. Fortunately it was only a Lightning warhead that I was testing on, so no big EMP consequences.

In other news, that monstrous SpecFor fleet that's patrolling terrifies me. I live in fear of accidentally triggering a Special Forces Alarm Post. I think that maybe if I deploy a fully loaded hive golem with my entire fleet supporting it I could win in a direct engagement. My Zenith Cruiser and a full cap of riot starships were massacred pretty quickly, even with Shadow Shield support.

Also, you know what I hate? Beachheads. These maggots cost me both of my fortress worlds. Fortunately the fortresses themselves are fine, but there' a lot of mess to clean up.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on October 17, 2012, 10:51:27 PM
The In Memoriam Terra nebula is a pain. A real pain. I keep losing with the cookie monster at 1% health remaining. If only the champion's speed wasn't halved in nebulae...

My strategy is to use doom accelerator modules, missiles and laser turrets. No champion modules that I can find have bonuses against ultra-heavy, but the lasers and missiles have respectable range which sort of compensates for the painfully low speed. I mostly ignore the neinzul, only using them as a diversion while I whittle down the big guy. As soon as I get to the point where they stop, I start laying down shields at the bases and immediately closing in on the cookie monster. Apparently just not good enough, I guess I'm just not using my shields effectively enough.


I've save-scummed like four times now. Ugh.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 18, 2012, 08:01:55 AM
The In Memoriam Terra nebula is a pain. A real pain. I keep losing with the cookie monster at 1% health remaining. If only the champion's speed wasn't halved in nebulae...
Cinth mentioned you'd narrowed it down to the Blitz lobby setting?  I should make the RS not care about that one for speed purposes, presumably.

Quote
My strategy is to use doom accelerator modules, missiles and laser turrets. No champion modules that I can find have bonuses against ultra-heavy
Missiles do :)  No small modules do (iirc), but DAs, polars, and IREs should all be maximally effective against that beast if I remember the stats correctly.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on October 18, 2012, 10:15:59 AM
The In Memoriam Terra nebula is a pain. A real pain. I keep losing with the cookie monster at 1% health remaining. If only the champion's speed wasn't halved in nebulae...
Cinth mentioned you'd narrowed it down to the Blitz lobby setting?  I should make the RS not care about that one for speed purposes, presumably.

Quote
My strategy is to use doom accelerator modules, missiles and laser turrets. No champion modules that I can find have bonuses against ultra-heavy
Missiles do :)  No small modules do (iirc), but DAs, polars, and IREs should all be maximally effective against that beast if I remember the stats correctly.

I must have overlooked that, I guess. Oops.

Unfortunately, I put a lot of points into stuff that's effective against little stuff since I generally assumed that I'd have my main fleet's big guns when fighting any superweapon-type enemies. I'll keep trying at ti, fortunately I'm not one to be above save-scumming.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on October 20, 2012, 05:18:47 PM
Mantis'd the Ravenous Shadow Blitz Speed issue.

Quote
Ordinarily, the Ravenous Shadow is a around 33% slower than the champion, depending on what hull is being used. However, the Blitz combat speed makes it around 33% faster instead, altering the balance and making the scenario substantially more difficult.


Ordinary RS Speed: 52
Ordinary Champion Speed in Nebula 75*

Blitz RS Speed: 104
Blitz Champion Speed in Nebula: 75*

*Human Champion

(Numbers are correct to my knowledge, someone correct me if I'm wrong)

Making the RS ignore the blitz setting was suggested on the forums and makes sense to me.

http://arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=9791
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on October 27, 2012, 05:01:35 PM
I've given up trying to beat the RS for now, until I get a Spire hull or some better modules. Until then, I'm pushing towards Kern to get that Core Tackle Drone fabricator. The primary force is the Champion, now outfitted with a Zenith hull. It manages to clear out everything on and leading to Kern, making room for a transport to haul in a construction crew. During the attack, however, I get a CPA warning of 1463 ships, plus 200 Core ships coming to my homeworld from a destroyed CounterAttack post. Those are a good 14 minutes away though, so no pressure for now.

Once they get there, they are immediately set upon by Mk. I and III ion cannons. I left those as a defensive measure for when I take the planet. I want to place the CC by the fab in order to make a tighter defense, but the fab is on the opposite side of the system. To get around this, I place a mk. I Economic CC right off the bat as soon as I enter the system to claim the Ions. Once that's taken care of, I build another colony ship and make a Warp Jammer CC near the fabricator. My champion provides shield protection as the countdown ticks. I still think that it should not trigger the rebuilding stall when you replace a CC yourself, but I digress.

After this point it gets a little hectic. A neinzul Enclave shows up with about 55 seconds until I can resume rebuilding. Fortunately, I've already got shields and mini-forts up via a Mobile Builder, which is a saving grace. The champion with Ion Cannon support eliminates the threat, which was about 144 ships. Pretty big for an Enclave attack, but not horrible.

Immediately afterwards, however, I have to move my fleet to Meinhoff to intercept the WCA wave. The hive golem takes care of it singlehandedly, like it does most things. Probably even more OP than the botnet since it can kill Core stuff too. I barely made it in time since each front is 11 hops away. Defense is actually pretty stressful given the circumstances.

The CPA hits shortly after. Almost all the threat is concentrated at Xil, so I send my Hive Golem to ward them off. They're still waiting but at least they're not ON the homeworld. Yet. Meanwhile, some leakage is coming in on King, so half of my fleet blob gets dispatched to defend.

And then a Rebel Colony notice pops up. Fun. I have a while to take care of it but it's so far removed that I will have immense difficulty defending it.

(http://i.imgur.com/cjwow.jpg)

The detachment to King arrives just too late and I lose the CC there.

(http://i.imgur.com/GLedt.png)

At least it's controlled and the invaders didn't get to take out my valuable stuff like the Z-gens on Sucrel and Braxis Alpha.

Suddenly: 1919 AI ships to GLaDOS. I really hope my fortresses can deal with it. There are no bombers, so that shouldn't be a problem but I do worry about the possibility of Beachheads. After I clean up the mess on King I'll send the rest to defend in case.

Okay, no beachheads, but I'm starting to get carriers. I haven't had one of these in a game since...two years ago? Whenever The Zenith Remnant was a prize in that Steam Summer promo. I made a game as soon as I got the expansion in that deal and that was when I first encountered Carriers. I believe they've been changed since then, so i'm interested to see what they're like now.

Well, it pops and stuff comes out. I do hear that it can get exchanged for stuff like Golems if it's full enough, so I want to watch out for that.

In other news, I've destroyed about 4 astro trains. Because why not.

200 Core Bombers and Frigates to Pootis. My fortress gauntlet decimates the fleet ship, but the accompanying Zenith Starship has enough radar dampening that nothing can hit it. I can just move a fortress into range and kill the bugger, so no problem there.



My new goal is to liberate the Dyson Sphere in order to give me some support. Not enough to cover the attacks on Avernus, but enough to give me a little aid in the nearby area. Killing the CC brings me up to 300 AIP. Ouch. Fortunately I'm only on 7/7 (Feels pretty shameful compared to some other individuals but I am a mere mortal) so I can deal with that. Maybe. In any case, I now have gatling support.

Now that that's done, I'm going to clear the way to Avernus with the champion...

Quote
Kern Command Station was Destroyed!

Balls. Apparently that threat ball on Xil decided to head the other way instead. So much for my Core Tackle Drones. I'll keep the planet anyway as a forward base towards Avernus, which I just realized is right on the edge of the AI Core worlds. This is not good.

Also, a 1400 Bomber wave to my fortress worlds. Also not good.

Okay, it was fine. False Alarm.

My fleet is still fine. All my economic stuff is in the Mk. II/III range so no problem there. I pop two data centers with the champion so my AIP is "only" 260. Looking good so far.

Sumtral, Avernus' neighbor, has a Factory IV, A Bomber Starship IV fabricator, A Decoy Drone fabricator and a broken Artillery Golem. Avernus itself has nothing special apart from the colony. I have come to the conclusion that holding Avernus will be neigh impossible, but I can try. That +100 AIP is something that I would like to avoid, but if I have to take the penalty to save my mainland infrastructure then I will.








Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Winge on October 27, 2012, 08:21:16 PM
Ouch, a Colony Rebellion right next to a Core world...

At least you don't have to actually hold the world.  Just make sure you can rebuild the Command Center to recharge the cloak every so often  ;)
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on November 16, 2012, 02:00:53 AM
I realized just now that I can make a warp jammer on Avernus to avoid alerting Toroko, thus allowing me to hold the rebel colony fairly safely. Still, I will need to conclude the game soon. I believe that my fleet will be sufficient, but I want to finish up the remaining nebulae to max out everything.

I skip Talnarus, which I know has that brutal Ravenous Shadow and head to Aperture's nebula, which contains the Ally Conglomerate. It was actually quite easy to beat and got me a Spire hull, finally.

Next up is Avernus which has the Ravenous Shadow. Fun. Let's see if I can do this. I have Doom Accelerator II, Missile III and MLRS III on a human hull. I wish I had the Plasma Sieges but I do not, so this will have to do.

Midway through, I re-equip and replace the doom accelerators with railguns. Those will be more useful during the stage in which it has most of its health left. I also notice that the colony has three minutes left on the timer. While still trying to micro in the nebula, I rush my armada to the scene, escorting a colony ship and engineers. Avernus is soon mine.


Meanwhile:

IMT Cell Destroyed

You know what? Screw it. I have done this too many times. Sorry, Vice Admiral Putnam, but we just can't repel firepower of that magnitude. We can bring it down to six percent health, if that's any consolation. Some IMT ships survived though.

On the plus side, my second superfortress is up. I am getting spire modular forts as well, but this time to reinforce satellites rather than my core worlds.

(http://i.imgur.com/etIa2.jpg)
Such a satisfying sight


Okay, I've now started pumping out rebel ships and getting my fortifications on Avernus constructed. My army is quite forimidable now.

I have scouted Golemite's homeworld. Nothing too bad. None of the new nasty stuff seeds, since this is an older game. Meanwhile, I'm taking Sumtral for the Factory IV. It also has some fabricators, but Decoy Drones and Bomber Starship IVs won't be incredibly useful. Worth having, I guess.

Unlocked Bulletproof Fighter Mk. III

While building III/IV Bulletproofs as well as the bomber starship IVs I am literally breaking even with resources.

(http://i.imgur.com/2N2px.jpg)

I popped a Zenith Reserve I to bolster my fleet a little more.

(http://i.imgur.com/CeoMP.jpg)
Unrelated but still satisfying.

Scouting Apex with my champion.  Not the best idea, but regular scouts won't get through. Also, it allows me to clear out nasty stuff like Ion Cannons. On Aperture, I lose my shields but get a friendly surprise in the form of a ton of Grey Spire and EER ships idling. They help out in the skirmish, plus I can repair in the nearby nebula.

I am almost ready for the final assault. As soon as I move out, It will be all in. Everything I own will be sent in to attack.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 16, 2012, 11:21:23 AM
Next up is Avernus which has the Ravenous Shadow. Fun. Let's see if I can do this. I have Doom Accelerator II, Missile III and MLRS III on a human hull. I wish I had the Plasma Sieges but I do not, so this will have to do.
Ah, yea.  Missile IVs/Vs would really help (I don't recall what hull size you have here), and the Doom Accels would really shine for those last 10-20% of the thing's health but I agree that the railguns might actually do better during the "it won't sit still" phase.

Quote
You know what? Screw it. I have done this too many times. Sorry, Vice Admiral Putnam, but we just can't repel firepower of that magnitude.
Mental picture of Ackbar saying that while this (http://knockedupcelebs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/cookie-monster.jpg) is on the bridge viewscreen.

Quote
On the plus side, my second superfortress is up.
Oh, that's some murderization right there.  "The enemy just fired how many shots?"

Quote
I am almost ready for the final assault. As soon as I move out, It will be all in. Everything I own will be sent in to attack.
I don't know whether to expect a good battle or a squish ;)
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on November 16, 2012, 07:25:51 PM
Let the games begin.

Every fighter pilot, every starship captain, every Zenith, Spire and Neinzul ship rally at Avernus. The fleet moves through the wormhole and the battle begins.

AI 2 is deploying strategic reserve to defend

Bring it on! AI Revolution starts playing. Fits quite well. Tackle Drones make keep the hostile tide at bay while the main fleet combs down, mowing through the AI. Less than two hundred losses which are quickly replaced.

Chencha is too well fortified for a frontal assault. A Hive golem might be able to soften it up a little--

In response to your hive swarm on Chencha, the AI has utilized an Rectifying Arthropod Inhibitor Device

--Oh. Seems like the AI has some new tricks up its sleeves.

AI: How stupid do you think we are?

Stupid enough to let it get to this! In your preoccupation with exogalactic affairs you failed to realize the true threat. Now it is too late, for my armada of reckoning is ready to seek vengeance for the crimes committed against Humanity, your creator. Stupid enough to waste tens of thousands of ships against an inescapable meat grinder. You may have defeated the Spire, assimilated the Neinzul and glossed over the Zenith, but now that all of the remaining galaxy has rallied against you your end is coming. So what if a swarm of wasps could not overcome you? You have forgotten what power Humanity can and has wielded..

NUCLEAR LAUNCH DETECTED

The casualties on the AI side are minimal. The casualties on my side are zero. However, the AI Fortresses are out of commission which will help a lot during the battle. We had to retreat back to Avernus to keep Chencha out of alert. But now we can mobilize once again and hopefully strike a killing blow.

Okay, Ion Eye. Bad news. Going to send in just the insta-kill immune stuff.

Okay, Cockroach spawner. Bad News. Wait for them to suicide as they become free threat and go back in again. Two guard posts have been taken down, but it needs to go faster. We can't win a war of attrition.

Another surgical strike brings down the cockroach spawner, but Roaming Enclaves are hitting four of my planets at once. Two are quickly resolved but I have to warp my champion back to deal with the rest. Meanwhile, my heavy strike force takes down the Beam Post and Booster Post. The Spire Shield Post goes down shortly after. This is looking good. I like how the AI Taunts me every time I fall back, even though I'm suffering almost no losses and dealing a severe blow each time.

The last electric post is now gone. With the eye eliminated, the full might of my empire can be brought to bear on the AI.

(http://i.imgur.com/pc5Ms.jpg)

Golemite Homeworld eliminated. I don't want to have to deal with the avenger just yet so I am leaving the home station alive while I move to take out The Core's homeworld.

AI: Did you really expect that to work?

Did you?



(For the record, I have only won a single game of AI War in the year or so I've been playing. Maybe this one will be my second.)
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: TechSY730 on November 16, 2012, 07:37:09 PM
Wait, Rectifying Arthropod Inhibitor Device?
Is that a new ship type, or just a silly name for something already there? (sounds like a Black Widow Golem actually)
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 16, 2012, 07:50:50 PM
Wait, Rectifying Arthropod Inhibitor Device?
Is that a new ship type, or just a silly name for something already there? (sounds like a Black Widow Golem actually)
From the 6.003 patch notes:
Quote
* AI Home Command Stations have been taught a new self-preservation technique for dealing with a very specific threat.
** Thanks to Kahuna for inspiring its new sense of humor.

This is what that ominous patch note was referring to.  In other words:

"RAID!?"

*poof*

;)


Incidentally, if you'd provoked the neinzul cockroach spawn before launching your wasps, the RAID deployment would have killed all the roaches too.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on November 16, 2012, 07:56:42 PM
I dunno. It just instantly eliminated every wasp that I had deployed, regardless of number. As I was closing in on the Home station it seemed to be disabled. Not sure if it was a ship or just an effect like the anti-hacking tachyon bursts.

Ninja'd by Kieth with a much better explanation.

Also, clever pun there.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on November 17, 2012, 04:51:26 AM
The fleet has mobilized to assault Apex, using Aperture as a forward base.

I notice the presence of a Core CPA post. That could be bad. I'll have to take it out ASAP and preferably eliminate the HW before the wave hits. My strike force of instakill immune ships moves in and begins to take losses as it storms towards the CPA post when I realize that there isn't an eye on this planet. I can deploy in full force without fear of retaliation! MOVE OUT IMMEDIATELY!

As good as the AI War music is, I don't want the softer tracks playing right now. A more tense song would fit better, so I'm playing the Mass Effect 2 soundtrack in the background, specifically the quite aptly named "Suicide Mission" themes.

The fleet takes catastrophic losses as gravity drains, rippers and tractors divide and conquer large swathes of fleet ships. Three quarters are soon killed with little tactical gain. The situation is becoming intolerable, we must retreat and regroup. Deploy nuclear power if necessary. It's a race against time to get this over and done with. Three shipyards are cranking out things as fast as they can, but it will not be in time.

Suddenly, Marauders are attacking Wheatley. Don't care. Must focus on the offensive. An abnormally strong hybrid? Meh. I need more frigates on the double!

...80 ships on my homeworld. Okay, that is worth attention. Champion gets warped back to deal with it. Close call.

The CPA is about to hit and I have a little under 2000 ships rebuilt. However, the special forces are blocking my way. I can't go and attack without taking severe losses. I may actually lose this game, which would really suck.


My worlds are falling one by one. 2000 ships on the AI Homeworld and taking down guard posts. This HW is not equipped with RAID so wasps are free. As soon as I take this down I will snipe Chencha and win. I do not need my fleet to live as long as it can reach the other home.

All Core posts are down. A small detachment has been sent to Chencha to eliminate the other home. The FF protecting the home on Apex is being whittled down. The avenger spawns, time to run...

EMP GUARDIAN MK. III DETONATED ON CARNEGIA


$$#$#!$#%#@%$#^$&%$*$*&*%*%^**^%*$&^$&$&$^&%$!!!!!!



WHYYYYYY?? WHYYY?? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?? All my ships are sitting ducks. I guess I've lost- wait, they're free again. The Avenger has caught up though, so time to run again...

EMP GUARDIAN DETONATED ON SIM CITY!

FML. The avenger has caught up once again. This time it will surely win... No, wait. I can go again. This is really tense. I just have a few planets left, fortunately the threat ball of 7,000 is nowhere near my homeworld. I may still have a chance.

Finally made it to Chencha. A ton of AI defense ships spawn but I do not have to destroy them as long as I can push through to the Command Station. I'm glad I hit this one last, since Apex had tons of gravity. This one just has acid sprayers, which are ineffective. All kinds of alarms going off in the top left. Can I make it?

(http://i.imgur.com/oliIC.jpg)

#$%& YEAH!!!!


I don't know if my words convey the stress I was just going through...but I dare say that Imminent Annihilation just started playing and that really fits.

The AI has fallen. Despite the murder of billions of Humans, Zenith and Spire, it has fallen. It underestimated the ants beneath its boot and paid the price. The lives of the fallen were not given in vain, for although we have a great mess to clean up, we no longer exist under an oppressive entity; we no longer have to live in fear of extermination; we can live as free men, women and children. The galaxy has been reclaimed. With luck, humanity has learned from its mistakes and will pursue peace from here on out. All the races in the galaxy have been brought together by this conflict. Seperately they were oppressed and murdered but united we took down our master who had failed to realize our true combined power.

The End.




This is my second ever AI War victory. The midgame seemed so easy, but the endgame was amazingly difficult, and I'm only on 7/7. I shudder to think what would happen on 10/10. You hear all about it, but experiencing it is something else entirely.

In any case, this was a really fun, albiet stressful game. I literally had three hundred ships left at the end, and that was it. If the AI had been more intelligent with its threatball I wouldn't have lasted nearly as long. I'm really glad that it wasn't, though.


Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: zoutzakje on November 17, 2012, 08:25:24 AM
nice, congratulations ^^ How did you manage to trigger those EMP guardians near the end? I usually never have problems with them, as long as I kill them on their own world. Were they part of the AI threatfleet?

Anyway, well played. I think you'd be able to manage a 8/8 game or a 7/7 game with even harder AI types.
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 17, 2012, 09:03:13 AM
Congratulations!  The down-to-the-wire wins are the most satisfying, I think :)
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: KDR_11k on November 17, 2012, 10:56:36 AM
The fleet takes catastrophic losses as gravity drains, rippers and tractors divide and conquer large swathes of fleet ships.

Wait, you're saying Gravity Rippers actually did something useful?
Title: Re: Core Cruisin'
Post by: Coppermantis on November 17, 2012, 12:58:17 PM
nice, congratulations ^^ How did you manage to trigger those EMP guardians near the end? I usually never have problems with them, as long as I kill them on their own world. Were they part of the AI threatfleet?

Anyway, well played. I think you'd be able to manage a 8/8 game or a 7/7 game with even harder AI types.

I have no idea, I think it might have just been spectacularly bad luck.

Probably going to do a 7.3/8 next time to ease the transition. I do intend to try and pick an absolutely brutal AI Combination.


Congratulations!  The down-to-the-wire wins are the most satisfying, I think :)

Thanks, and yeah, close wins are so satisfying.

The fleet takes catastrophic losses as gravity drains, rippers and tractors divide and conquer large swathes of fleet ships.

Wait, you're saying Gravity Rippers actually did something useful?

I guess, My framerate was quite poor during the fight so I couldn't exactly tell what was doing what. All I know was that everything died horribly because it couldn't move.