Arcen Games

Games => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: RockyBst on February 25, 2015, 06:26:08 PM

Title: Don't worry, I'm a professional tester: Proving the bug remains
Post by: RockyBst on February 25, 2015, 06:26:08 PM
A mildly cheesy attempt at the double godlike achievement I was so cruelly robbed of back in my 10/10/10 planet game, wherein the AI's mouth continues to write cheques that it can't cash (even after that special forces CPA 'fix').


(The CPA before that one though, when the special forces were still going strong and the Mk V ships still slumbering on the homeworlds... whoo, that was a doozy)

This one will be short-ish form (for a change), and I'm primarily doing it because I'm a fair way through and I have a good feeling about this game. I imagine that will turn out to be wildly misplaced.

The cheese:

X-Map: This is the biggie, I'm still not a massive fan of X/snake/vine or whatever else maps but let's be honest you can't survive on 10/10 without a defensible perimeter.

Spire Asteroids (Medium): Second biggest piece of cheddar, because really who can live without Martyrs.

Zenith Traders: Despite the occasional One-Shot raid engine (which can be particularly nasty on diff 10), I count this guy as cheese due to the utterly irreplaceable Zenith Power Generator.

The Rest:

Easyish AIs: Let's go for an Attritioner (really, this guy is classed as 'hard'?) backed up by a support corps. The support corps can be intensely annoying with their tachyons decloaking my mine fields, but the lack of waves is a godsend.

Broken Golems (Medium): +20AIP per golem is more than balanced of diff 10, let alone the absurd energy costs. In fact, I may well have been better off going for Hard.

Human Resistance: Always nice to have a little last minute defence boost

Dyson Sphere, Dark Spire, Cookie Monster: I can't remember the last game I played without these

Fallen Spire, Roaming Enclaves: Always nice to have a touch of extra firepower.

The Map:


I think I'll hide away in that little defensible spot in the bottom left, which will give me two buffer planets before the AI gets to me. Bonus ship type this time ... Zenith Reprocessors. Reasonably nice anti-guardpost ships and extra metal income can't hurt.

The first hour and a half:

Are, as you might expect, spent clearing out the nearest two planets to get some defense in depth. Important unlocks: Mil 2, Heavy Beam 2, Area Mines. Gotta love area mines. Both sets of Mk II forcefields, along with grav turrets, then leave my knowledge completely tapped out until I take the second planet.

After far too much pain shuttling ships around in regular transports, on taking Fusharp I immediately splurge on assault transports. I have really come to love these little beauties over the past year or so. Those should help me clear out some of the guardposts on Zingrin (the junction planet next door) just in time for the first CPA to hit. State of the galaxy:

Title: Re: Don't worry, I'm a professional tester: Proving the bug remains
Post by: RockyBst on February 26, 2015, 03:55:30 PM
So, let's take a look at the local neighbourhood.


There's a Mk V grendade launcher fab right next door, so let's hack that while clearing out the guardposts. The response to that actually catches me off guard a little, for a first hack at 50AIP spawning the best part of 1,000 Mk IV ships seems somewhat excessive. Luckily my whipping boy with it's piles of areas mines can handle that reasonably well.


Other juicy goodies in the area. An advanced starship constructor that I may or may not hack in the future. A couple of fabs in the other arms, but nothing I can really justify going after. And, in the top left arm of this little cluster, a lovely little pair of planets. An ARS on Juub, and a hive golem on Nepiramond.

The hive golem for me is an instant winner. If the AI is going to start flinging waves of multiple thousands of ships around, the next best thing to a heaping pile of Martyrs is a regenerating 'kill everything on this planet' switch. Sadly I don't have time to retrieve it before the first CPA, but I do take Juub and gain myself some armor ships. Total AIP: 70.

Oh, and Juub also has a trio of Xampite asteroids. A little juggling of cloakers to get them back to my whipping boy, and when the 6,000 ship CPA shows up at around 2:20 it gets pretty well vaporised by a single Martyr and my fixed defences.


3 hours into the game, Nepiramond has been taken and the hive golem is under construction. Should hopefully be ready in time for the second CPA. Unfortunately I now have 90 AIP, and the AI sends its first 6.5k ship wave at me. 'Only' tachyon microfighters, but still let's try not to enrage the AI much beyond 100 AIP. A bit more scouting reveals a data centre on Vilmar which is quickly popped to take me back down to 80AIP. The rest of this hour is then spent pouring metal into the hive golem, using assault transports to take out the guardposts on Murdoch (which I'm going to use as my forward operating base), and building up a turret beachhead on the junction planet just outside my whipping boy to take out some of the special forces and eventually dissuade the AI from reinforcing that planet anymore. Oh, and also a quick 500 point knowledge hack, which gives me just enough research to unlock Mil III command stations.

4:15. Hive golem comes online, backed by a heaping load of matter converters as the zenith trader still hasn't deigned to wend its way down my arm of the cluster. 100 AIP. Second CPA hits, this time 13,000 ships. What happens when 10,000 threat meets a hive golem on a denuded DMZ planet next to my whipping boy?


Death. Death happens. About 6,000 ships die from that onslaught. The only real problem I have here that the AI has unlocked spire grav drains, which completely screw up the wasps attack. If they lock on to a ship halfway across the grav well and try to get into melee range at 44 speed while ignoring everything else around them they lose a vast amount of effectiveness. The only thing more annoying that that is the tachyon microfighters the special forces has, which have a nasty habit of roaming between planets using the exact same route my cloaked assault transports are trying to take. So many fighter + assault transport tachyon drilling fleets lost to those guys.

Anyway, the CPA is defeated without even needing to resort to Martyrs. My two outlying planets get wiped, but really that's expected at this point. As long as I can always fall back to my three main defence in depth worlds, everything else can be rebuilt.

In the next hour Murdoch is taken, a pair of fallen spire shard chases undertaken, and another data centre taken to the undertaker. 110 AIP at hour five, with the 3,000 knowledge from Murdoch spent on unlocking, possibly for the first time ever, the human modular fortress. Missiles and lasers and heavy beam cannons ahoy at only 100,000 energy. Oh, and the traders finally show up. Unfortunately they sniffily refuse to enter my actual homeworld, so I end up having to build the Zenith power generator on Ginwig, my middle defence in depth planet, instead.


Oh, and this guy randomly shows up on Murdoch. That would be an amazing stroke of luck if, uh, I was actually going to use the exile.


Anyway, additional scouting efforts have found another ARS, a pair of data centres, the AI superterminal and an interesting dyson sphere / advanced factory combo up in the top-most cluster. And now that Murdoch is mine, attacking those will no longer cause deepstrike...
Title: Re: Don't worry, I'm a professional tester: Proving the bug remains
Post by: Mal on February 27, 2015, 07:30:08 AM
Yes! Another Rockybst AAR!

And the Rockybst war machine is poised to strike at some great goodies with the partially neutered Hive I want to know is if the spire grav driller was unlocked to counter the hive golem or if you were just unlucky...
Title: Re: Don't worry, I'm a professional tester: Proving the bug remains
Post by: RockyBst on March 01, 2015, 09:35:20 AM
Hour 6 is spent tachyon blasting routes to all the areas of interest up in the top cluster. An assault transport filled with fighters is exceptionally good in that role (especially as that bug where assault transports retain all the firepower of the ships in them even after unloading is still there - shhh). Two data centres go down, taking us down to a mere 80 AIP, before the command station of Jaha and the warp gate on Zigrin are popped taking us back up to 105.

The reasoning behind popping the warp gate on Zingrin is that I didn't want waves hitting Juub anymore. This way, essentially all waves will hit my FOB or one of the other outlying planets that I'll eventually take, before slowly wending their way to Zigrin as threat. Then, when a few thousand are built up there, the Hive golem can move in to terminate them.

The reasoning behind killing Jaha command is ... well, it has the super-terminal on it. But before that, CPA time!


This one is nice, a 19,000 ship CPA back up by another 6k wave. Murdoch ... does not handle it too well. This one took an Ebonite and a pair of Xampite class martyrs to take down, but is otherwise handled relatively handily. I think only about 6,000 ships survived to attack Fusharp in the end. These CPAs actually take me about 45 minutes to take down and then rebuild afterwards, so I've only really got an hour at a time to press my attacks.


Speaking of pressing the attack, here's the super-terminal hack. Which quickly goes wildly wrong when about 45 seconds after starting it there are 13,000 Mk IV threat ships doing their darndest to make sure I can't blow up the super-terminal. Oh, and that 73 AIP? That's actually the progress floor. As you might expect fending off this horde does not go well, especially when it contains the best part of 300 Mk IV power slavers. They crash through the defences on Fusharp, blow a hole in the hive golem and destroy my home command with about 4,000 ships remaining. Game over.

Aaand then I try it again, cutting off the super-terminal at an AIP floor of 65 this time for a grand total of 82 AIP reduction. This time 'only' 8,000 Mk IV ships spawn, along with a reprisal wave or two, and wreak a sustainable amount of havoc. In the end the Fusharp defences are still wiped out, but the hive golem and defence in depth on Ginwig are enough to keep them off the homeworld.


The next hour is mostly spent rebuilding ships and preparing for the mother of all CPAs. Given Mk IV ships were released last time I expect the next one to contain Mk V ships from the homeworlds, and probably most of the special forces as well. To help hold them off the ARS on Derosek goes up in smoke. That unlocks Zenith polarisers, not my favourite ship but could be useful against Mk V stuff. OMD and planetary armor inhibitor go up on Fusharp, science is spent on Heavy Beam turret IIIs and missile/laser 2s along with Mk II leeches/flagships. And then it's time to rock and roll...

Title: Re: Don't worry, I'm a professional tester: Proving the bug remains
Post by: Mal on March 02, 2015, 05:45:54 AM
Whewww! Wicked response on the super-terminal. Kahuna actually had an amazing strat with these utilizing a nuke and several warheads and still getting 50-80ish AIP reduction. Your method seems to work as well, especially with the defensive line-up you have going for you.

I usually play on random starting positions so I don't get this gravy of a position. But! I am not playing on 10/10 yet! So keep going Rocky, loving the game report and style of writing.