Author Topic: Do not pass Go....  (Read 6802 times)

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2012, 01:34:55 AM »
Quote
a 10/10 on a tree at the moment vs. the Core and Grav Driller
Sounds like hardcore dental work ;)  And probably about as pleasant.

Actually, all was just fine until the 5th hour, when I realized that dead turrets kept enemies in FRD mode, and they would never commit to the turretball.  This occurred until the only recent save I have has me with a 3000 ship wave inbound and a 2000 ship threatball waiting to move that gets carriered into my defenses and I don't have the time to build a decent defense.  I'm going to end up savescumming about 2 and a half hours off the game and rethink defensive strategy.

On a side note, Heavy Beam Guardpost + Laser Guardian + Forcefield = Rediculous.  Toss in another beam nearby and it becomes inane.  I spent over an hour and a half grinding away at that mess on one of the homeworlds...  And a Heavy Beam can cut down 27 Raid SSs (I/II/III) in 3 salvos.  Twitch.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2012, 09:24:22 AM »
Too bad you didn't have Inflitrators: x4 damage vs Heavy Guard Posts and Ignore Force Fields :) .

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2012, 09:30:35 AM »
On a side note, Heavy Beam Guardpost + Laser Guardian + Forcefield = Rediculous.  Toss in another beam nearby and it becomes inane.  I spent over an hour and a half grinding away at that mess on one of the homeworlds...  And a Heavy Beam can cut down 27 Raid SSs (I/II/III) in 3 salvos.  Twitch.

Yea, while many of the core guard posts could use a nice attack buff, Core Heavy Beam Guardposts are about right in terms of how good their attack is ;).

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2012, 10:46:02 PM »
Too bad you didn't have Inflitrators: x4 damage vs Heavy Guard Posts and Ignore Force Fields :) .

No cloak + crap speed + low damage = Not really something I would consider as a counter to the problem.  Really what I needed were Blade Spawners or Eyebots.

So, the story so far:

Game started off simple enough.  Galaxy is 10 planets, basically a Y.  Center system is Canopus with me taking over one of the arms.  The other two arms are both 3 planets each, AI HW at the end of each one.  Starter ships were SSBs, Y.Tigers, and Mirrors.  I'd yet to heavily goof around with the SSBs outside of 8 planet games where they get lost in the shuffle so this would be interesting.  Standard start, Harvester IIIs + Grav Turrets + Tachy Turrets (eventually), which costs the opening 10k.  9k in research would be available for me through the rest of the game.

I should mention one of the reasons I recommend 3 homeworlds for Multi-HW play.  At 8 HWs, you get 280 Fighters at Normal/Normal.  At 3 HWs you get 240.  The balance is there because of the # of different ship types you get per additional homeworld but you have to keep in mind that after that you basically get one additional ship cap for each additional wave you're going to face.  For round numbers: If a wave has 1000 ships coming in, at standard you have 100 Fighters to face them... well, 98, but you get the idea.  At 3 HW, you have 3000 ships coming in, and you have 80 Fighters/1000 inbounds to face them.  At 8 HW, you have 8000 ships coming in, but only (280... carry the 2...) roughly 30 ships/1000 to face them.  The diminishing returns after 3 HW are pretty steep.  Well, anyway.

Enemy starter ships (so I though at first) were Mirrors, T-Leech, E-Shuttles and Vampires.  E-Shuttles and Vampires were the Grav Miner's ships, so they're a constant threat... and let me tell you, they ERASE the Younglings.  Yeesh.  However, what I didn't know at first and eventually figured out is that "The Core" is an everything AI.  You're going to face every ship in the galaxy.

For this match, I also turned on Cross Planet Waves (CPWs) to see how things would fall out.  This became pretty significant eventually, because threatballs eventually started to break my game and I needed to do something horribly drastic to deal with them... to the point where eventually I'm savescumming to 2.5 hours in.  Y.Tiger streams alone are not enough to handle a wave from threatballing, either.  Cloaked SSBs also weren't strong enough to force threatballs to commit on their own, but did eventually work.  For example, the first threatball I was able to push in was 417 ships of Mixed II/V ships.  It was a significant fight but nothing overly dangerous.

What I eventually ended up doing was splitting my defensive turrets, using a cloaked constructor on the inbound AI World (Canopus) and using half my turrets on the Homeworld as a 'last ditch defense' and the other half on the inbound world to handle the actual drifting waves.  One good thing about CPWs in multi-homeworld is that each wave independently spawns at different Warp Gates, which means the entire wave won't land at once in the AI system you're blocking.  It does make for VERY long fights though.

Also, the main MK I fleet vs. a Threatball of Mixed II/Vs of about 200 ships ends badly, particularly when there's T-Leeches.  My entire fleet ended up turned against me, nearly trebling the size of the enemy threatball that would commit after me.  That's about when I learned to make sure I parked most of my stuff on THEIR side of the wormhole or I wouldn't get much done.

It took me about an hour to actually get onto the AI world because of the threatballs and to have enough econ to build out the beginnings of the beachhead.  With no Data Centers in the galaxy I'm stuck chewing on whatever AIP I build up so there's no way I can 'lessen' the pain, either. 

At about an hour and a half in I beat my way (with Tigers and Raid Is) through enough of the galaxy to get all the planets scouted.  One AI world has a Raid Engine, the other has an Eye.  The one with the Raid Engine had two worlds with Eyes in front of it to hose me up.  Also, only 2 planets belong to the Grav Driller in this galaxy.  One's their HW.  I blew up the other Drill to +5 AIP out of annoyance.

Eventually I invested in Tiger MK II's to beef up the streaming assault/defenders (which took 6 docks dedicated to them and 30 Engi Is to keep up a permanent max flow) and Raid SS II/III. 

I also K-Raided the world that I had built the beachhead on, so I could get those Raid IIIs.  It was insignificant in difficulty, just tied up the fleet for a bit.  The beachhead would hold pretty soundly, even against mixed waves, until I ended up soaking a bunch back to back while I was assaulting one of the homeworlds and dealing with the released core threat.  Also, my econ ended up completely erased because of losing 27 Raid SSs to a Heavy Beam Guardpost with a grav guardian.  This started a cascade effect to where I ended up pushed back to the defenses on the homeworld at about 4 hours in and never really recovered.

A couple of savescums of trying different defensive methods and I'm not able to get enough firepower up in time to actually block what's basically a quadruple wave, since the last wave is stuck as a threatball and a new doublewave is inbound, forcing everything to basically land at once either by carrier or early threatball release.  I'm savescumming back to two and a half hours in and trying that again, this time making sure the beachhead doesn't fall.  The beachhead, because of the CPW, is both a positive and negative.  If it falls I'm boxxed in.  If it doesn't the 'spaced out' waves are easier to deal with.  I'm going to end up moving most of my firepower out to the beachhead.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2012, 08:32:22 AM »
Cross Planet Waves with a Diff 10 Core AI... that's bravery.  Or something ;)

The Core may well be the hardest AI type (aside from two Scorched Earth AIs together, but that's not really a challenge, that's just...).  I could be forgetting some, though.

Very interesting about the beachhead vs the normal whipping-boy approach; a little variety in the study of Cataclysmic Defenses is always good :)
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2012, 12:47:59 AM »
EDIT: I re-edited this entire post, it read like two monkeys sharing a keyboard to me.  Gyeah.

Well, with a bit of beefing (3/4 turret cap on beach-head, 1/4 on homeworld, and opening up HBCs) and VERY careful usage of the Raids to not lose the entire fleet at once, I was able to take this down around 5:24 in.

Basically, with the reinforcement of the beach-head, they were able to handle most middlin' waves.  With Siege and Leech on the beach-head, I simply would retreat any captured MK II ships back to the homeworld for a while.  This becomes important later.

In the meanwhile, I'm doing guerrilla style fast raids with the Raid SSs, being very picky about my targets.  The Tigers are the heavy lifters, with most of the fleet back on homeworld.  I'd even send the tigers into AI Eye worlds to 'distract' so the the Raid SSs would have friendly fleet cover. 

The Tiger assault team was streaming from behind the beach-head into enemy territory. This meant any time a wave went for the beach-head they'd immediately start supporting it.  The longest the beach-head was without them helping to defend was 4 minutes, the lifespan of a Tiger.

Finally, I got down to the homeworlds.  First target was the AI Eye HW.  Most of the planet had previously died to Raid SS runs, but the Tigers were getting completely hosed up by a Laser guardian and fort with a grav guardian under the same FF while trying to finish neutering the CC defenses, which stalled out the stream so they basically floated into a one shot - death scenario as the BEST case, usually the died before they could shoot. 

This wasn't going as planned, so I brought in the Raids, snuck them as close as possible to the grav and as far as possible from the Beam/Fortress, and they slow drove in and eventually popped it.  I lost four Raids but they escaped and that ended the last concern on the AI Eye homeworld, and the Tigers started clearing out the FFs and Fortress as well as another Fort hiding under a FF (popped the guardpost earlier).

That left the Raid Engine Homeworld, which I'd specifically left alone until the AI Eye world was utterly neutered, which took an hour or so with just Tigers and them also being heavily involved in defending as well.  Finally I was able to redirect the swarm down towards the Raid Engine.  This was going to take some timing.  When the Swarm hit coreworld and activated the Raid Engine, the Raid SSs booked it for the AI HW and the Raid Engine from one planet away.  No matter what it cost that Engine HAD to come down.  It came down pretty cheaply, all told.  Lost 3 Raids to the Mass Driver, another 3 to the local starship population, but it went down and the Raids ran for home.  So far, so good.

Eventually I'm able to stop the Raid + wave and the beach-head didn't look TOO bad, even though AIP was around 52 at this point.  Now, I had to deal with those 3 Beam Posts again, which basically completely wasted me last time.

New strategy; try the SSBs again with a 'divide and conquer' method.  Low and behold, they work just fine if you micro them in a circle around the beam post and then have them power up and uncloak just as they're about to attack.  Usually lost about 4/12 of them, if nothing else got involved... however, the first time they got pretty heavily abused by local defenders and just missed killing it.  Round two went like a dream.

That's one beam post down, but a LOT of starship defenders are screwing up the Tiger stream. The Raids can help now that the Mass Driver is down from SSB attacks, though.  Send the Raids in and park them in open space, and let them chew up the starships for a while.  4 Spire Starships, 2 Zenith, and 3 Bomber IVs later, I've lost 10 Raid SSs or so.  They head home for now.  SSBs come back out to play and hunt down the Ions and a few random posts.  Eventually, I need to deal with the final two Beam posts.

One's under glass, but no grav this time, the other one is nearby that one and they're supporting each other with firepower.  While using the SSBs to tackle other posts in the system, the Tigers sweep in near the unprotected one.  Well, that works.  The SSBs high tail it (as fast as anything at 56 KPH can go) and come in from the other side, where they were recently abusing a nearby post.  It cost me nearly the entire fleet of SSBs, but we took it down in one go.

Only the last Beam Post to go, and at 70 AIP, the waves are being far too small and quiet for my own taste.  The Raids rebuilt, I bring them to the AI HW and manually position 27 Raids in a huge circle around the last post... all attacking at once from diff directions so it couldn't mop the floors with the entire fleet in two or three bursts.  I lost 7 Raids, including a few IIIs, but worth it.  That's another one in a single attempt.  Rock.  On.

Now, it's just a matter of patience.  Send the Raids home and get them some R&R and some cloaker SSs to support them parking in the AI HW that we neutered earlier.  The Tigers start work on the double FF/Fortress for the last command center with some Bomber SS support that didn't last too long due to local guardians.

It was slow work, just a lot of twiddle while they work the FFs.  Eventually they get through it but then the waves hit while the Tigers are whittling the Cmd Center down and the Raid/Cloakers are prepped for the kill on the AI HW.  At about 2/3s a 3000 ship wave MK II and 750 or so MK V double-wave.  Raid/Cloaks head home, I stop the Tigers from continuing to attack the Cmd Center.  I order the entire main fleet out to the beach-head to support the defense, as well, including all the stolen ships.  This is what I protected them for.

2000 of the MK II wave spawned up on the beach-head directly.  It worked out very nicer than I'd expected.  Just as the fleet finishes killing off that portion of the wave with massive turret support, the next wave starts coming in. Also, my Raid/Cloak unit is still hiding at my homeworld, with the Raids powered down, waiting to be able to go.  I don't want to make a mistake (or have the HW reinforce for no reason), and want to make sure the Tigers will get the kill before the Raids get the other one.

Eventually, we dig through the mess that assaulted the beach-head with surprisingly little difficulty, just time.  I lost a good chunk of my MK II captures but still had 50/52 E-Shuttles left, which were all stolen anyway.  :D

With the tigers on final approach I wait for them to get there (they're abusing some local FFs that I'd raided the posts out from under) and send the Raid/Cloak unit down to the other homeworld, positioning them for a final strike when I'm ready.  The Tigers whomp one Cmd Center.  BOOM.  The Raids are quickly powered up and slam the other Cmd Center.  3 Salvos.

BOOOM

Bye core.  Bye grav. And that takes care of the 10 planet achievement as well.

That'll probably be my last game without CSGs on.  It's really an 'easy mode' button if you turn them off.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 04:32:56 AM by Wanderer »
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2012, 12:54:46 AM »
One thing I'd like to discuss, separate from the Mini-AAR, is CPW waves.  If you're chokepointing you're actually better off with CPWs and pushing your whipping boy one planet out onto AI territory.  3 reasons:

1) You no longer have to fight to keep the enemy ships from running away and threatballing, they won't leave an AI world undefended so they fully commit.  This can be a serious problem sometimes.
2) They 'trickle' in, meaning first you face the fighter/bomber complement, then the mid-speed ships, and then finally the Frigates.  You rarely face them all at once unless your Tigers bunch them up in another system and, particularly in multi-HW, the waves don't arrive together.  They're completely spread out.
3) You're obliterating one reinforcement right out of the gate with your beach-head.

I'm not positive about this, I didn't have the AIP to spare to test it, but I believe CPWs also will only spawn at Warp Gates, thus you do have *some* control of their attack pattern.

There are, of course, tradeoffs.  Satellite worlds are basically undefendable without serious investment.  That's a lot of threat that can hit your fleet from the side if you're not expecting it and were expecting a whipping boy attack, too.  Got caught out once with the fleet goofing around and got absolutely MURDERED by a wave spawning local in that system.

However, in general, I believe CPW may actually make the game *easier*, depending on map and system control.  Will depend a lot if you can raid out any 'backfields' of warp gates and be able to control the ingresses.  Guess I'll have to test that.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2012, 09:37:06 AM »
I think something that will help AI's blindly rushing into one of their planets that is too well seiged is to allow freed AI units to retreat if they are overfirepowered, even if it is on their own planet. Exceptions should probably be made for the AI homeworlds though.

Offline Varone

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2012, 11:50:53 AM »
I play with CPW's quite a bit and i can confirm that they must spawn from a warp point so clearing out the backfield of warp gates does control where the waves are sent from.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2012, 03:21:29 PM »
Just to clarify, a CPW actually spawn ships at warp gates and releases them, unlike a CPA which just releases existing ships from where ever.  Correct?

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2012, 03:25:52 PM »
Just to clarify, a CPW actually spawn ships at warp gates and releases them, unlike a CPA which just releases existing ships from where ever.  Correct?

That is correct. CPW just spawns a wave as normal, except at an AI warpgate instead of a wormhole to a planet with a warpgate. The ships are spawned freed just like ships in a wave do.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2012, 03:43:22 PM »
Just to clarify, a CPW actually spawn ships at warp gates and releases them, unlike a CPA which just releases existing ships from where ever.  Correct?

That is correct. CPW just spawns a wave as normal, except at an AI warpgate instead of a wormhole to a planet with a warpgate. The ships are spawned freed just like ships in a wave do.

They do, however, have a target planet in mind (as far as I can tell, anyway) when they're spawned, so they're 'coming', not just pure freefloat threat.  Then again, maybe they don't.  Errr, you know, I really have no idea, I don't have enough evidence yet.  How's that for decisive?!
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2012, 04:13:15 PM »
Just to clarify, a CPW actually spawn ships at warp gates and releases them, unlike a CPA which just releases existing ships from where ever.  Correct?

That is correct. CPW just spawns a wave as normal, except at an AI warpgate instead of a wormhole to a planet with a warpgate. The ships are spawned freed just like ships in a wave do.

They do, however, have a target planet in mind (as far as I can tell, anyway) when they're spawned, so they're 'coming', not just pure freefloat threat.  Then again, maybe they don't.  Errr, you know, I really have no idea, I don't have enough evidence yet.  How's that for decisive?!

IIRC, when a ship is freed, and not retreating, it chooses a "border" planet to head to so it can attack it. Often times (but not always), it will choose the same planet as nearby freed ships chose (if any). Once it gets to the wormhole to the planet, and it won't enter due to too much firepower on the other side, it will usually just sit there and wait (aka, threatball), though in some rare-ish cases I think it might try to choose another planet.

This is true of both freed ships from, say, a guard post, ships from a CPA, and ships spawned by CPW. It's just that since ships spawned by a CPW spawn from the same place and the same time, there is a very large chance that most if not all of them will choose the same border planet to try to attack.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2012, 04:25:55 PM »
They do, however, have a target planet in mind (as far as I can tell, anyway) when they're spawned, so they're 'coming', not just pure freefloat threat.  Then again, maybe they don't.  Errr, you know, I really have no idea, I don't have enough evidence yet.  How's that for decisive?!
Nah, it just dumps them as standard threat.

Interesting on CPW being easier due to the staggered arrival when combined with Schizo waves.  Not a problem with CPW per-se because youc an achieve the same thing with CPW off by simply killing all neighboring warp-gates (all CPW does is skip the check for neighboring warp-gates).  But some adjustment for distance-spawned schizo waves may be desirable, though I can't think of an obvious solution that doesn't involve changing them into something other than normal waves/threat.

And congratulations on the win :)
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Do not pass Go....
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2012, 04:37:21 PM »
But some adjustment for distance-spawned schizo waves may be desirable, though I can't think of an obvious solution that doesn't involve changing them into something other than normal waves/threat.
Perhaps simply group move them so they approach at the speed of the Siege Starship (alright, slowest ship, usually a siege), and possibly free them from that when they get into the system or meet an enemy ship?  Alright, the whole meet the enemy thing could be conned occassionally with selective engagements by the player, but that'd be a lot of constant micro.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 04:41:07 PM by Wanderer »
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