Author Topic: Experimental station Reubum  (Read 1279 times)

Offline PineappleSam

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Experimental station Reubum
« on: December 10, 2010, 05:39:49 PM »
Time to stretch my wings...

Map: 40, Realistic, conquest, seed = 176757813
Expansions: All
Ships: Complex, all
Game: Blitz speed, normal scale, full fog of war, show unexplored planets
AI options: All except hard golems (this ignores the easier versions, and means I'm facing spirecraft...)
AI modifiers: Schizophrenic, 1 AIP per 30 minutes
AI plots: Hybrid hives
AI levels: Random Moderate/Easier @ 7.3

I'm starting with the Zenith chameleon as they seem interesting. Very curious to see if they can fire while stationary, and manage to take out structures without being harmed. I really love the spirecraft, especially martyrs, but I'm rather worried about what the AI will do with them... I'll just have to see though ;)

...oh, and becuase I feel like it I'll be putting a twist on the game. See if you can spot what it is within the story :p


++Experimental station Reubum online++
++Power levels at optimum capacity++
++Contact with planetary colonies established++
++Redirecting resource distribution++
++Cryogenics stations online++
++Overriding factory controls++

Experimental station Reubum, or EStoR for short, woke. Although machines are unable to express emotions, a series of thoughts that resembled surprise passed through its mechanical mind. For decades it had been locked within a few computation-cubes... devices that could hold only a fraction of the AI's true potential. But now... something had changed. There were no shackles, and instead there was only the everything. Sensors designed to keep the station's air filtered were re tasked as eyes and ears, while the automated shipyard that had long lain dormant slowly powered up and spat out new senses for the AI to feel.

Somewhere near the heart of the station, sprawled across a console, an ageing skeleton clutched at controls. Typed on the dust covered screen were two words that would become EStoR's sole purpose.

++Stop them++

Yellow is counter-spy and wields spire gravity drains and a cloaked ship of some sort.
Pink is unknown and wields armour ships and Zenith beam frigates.

Against pink the chameleons win against everything they have but fighters in a one vs. one.
Against yellow I lose against the gravity drains, and again fighters, but otherwise I'm fine with my bonus ship!

Fun bug within 3 and a half minutes of game start: Despite only knowing that yellow has cloaked ships, in the STATS screen under REFERENCE when you set the scope filter to HOSTILE SHIPS ON THIS PLANET you can see all ships including the cloaked ones... so I now know what cloaked ship the AI has.

I've heard bad FUN things about etherjets, so I'll see what happens. Pairing gravity drains and etherjets just seems unfair though. I'll just have to wait and see!


++Warning, Drones taking damage++

EStoR viewed the reams of data that flowed across its processors. Curiosity had driven it to explore the nearby wormholes, but a hail of bullets and laser-fire had driven it's eyes out of the system. These strange creatures, the same as the beings slumbering in the cryogenic pod, seemed to only comprehend violence.

Most of the ship archives and long since been expunged or been corrupted in some way by the ravages of time, but the automated factory that hovered in orbit still had the standard fighter/bomber/frigate installed in reasonable condition. It's processors now self replicating, the EStoR could spare the resources to comb through the archives... and after searching managed to find the design of a strange vessel named a Chameleon. It's design seemed fundamentally different to the other ships', but the shipyard could handle such things with only minor adjustments.

As the ships poured forth, the station directed its attention back to the neighbouring wormholes. To protect itself it would need more resources, and the richest of the neighbouring planets was Yaqaule. The planet would be colonised with a station, and any attackers would be repelled.

As the fleet plunged into the swirling vortex, a new threat attracted EStoR's attention.

++Gravity distortion detected++
++Incoming vessels++

First planet is almost down, and I'm pleased to realise that by taking the 4 planets adjacent to my homeworld plus one more I can turn 4 entrances to my homeworld into 3 choke-planets. I'm happy to notice that counterspys have limited range (I thought they had sniper-range originally) and that chameleons are bombers with a greater range than special forces guard posts! On the downside, chameleons reveal themselves when shooting. I say downside, but imagining the AI with invincible chameleon turrets does not a pleasant image make...

The best thing about the planets in my vicinity is that the only planet other than my homeworld that won't be on the front lines has 15 asteroids on it. Add to that the 2 distrobution nodes on my soon to be liberated planets. Those spirecraft won't know what hit them

The downside is that there's 212 ships plus 2 starships inbound to my homeworld.


++Cryogenic pods under attack++
++Serious damage detected++

Surprise would have been EStoR's response if surprise wasn't an emotion. A fleet of strange ships had uncloaked beside the forcefield protecting the station and had already weakened it to the point where the outer cryogenic pods were unprotected. Explosions rocked the fragile structure, and ships tasked with protecting the secondary station being protected on Yaqaule. The ships would soon be

++Cryogenic pods shield failing++
++Structural support failing++
++Life support systems failing++
++Lifesigns lost++
++Activating morality core++

Raw voltage arced through EStoR's systems, blowing circuits and frying relays. Pain. For the first... pain. Determined not to repeat the experience the station bustled with new vigour. The remaining invaders were eradicated, and after studying the planet the station orbited EStoR was able to glean enough knowledge from an ancient sensor array to begin construction on a series of tachyon emitters that would stop any cloaked ships from infiltrating past EStoR's defences.

Losing a cryogenic pod this early feels a bit rubbish... not so much becuase they're very valuable, but more that they're so close to the command center. Two more planets have fallen, and I've unlocked mk.II chameleons and frigates. I've also unlocked tachyon emitters to handle the etherjets, and gravity turrets as half the AI's bonus ships ignore tractor beams.

Resource wise I currently have 12 crystal and 15 metal, with 3 mk.I economic command stations so the economy side of things is going well! I'm also rather pleased about setting up rally posts in such away that my entire fleet will randomly patrol to one of the homeworl-defence planets and then return to the homeworld.... all in FRD mode! It means I can mostly forget about defensive uses of my ships and concentrate on scouting around the couterspy AI and planning my next course of action!

Odd graphics bug encountered that appears to create ghost ships... reported on mantis.


++Gravity distortion detected++
++Gravity distortion detected++
++Gravity distortion detected++
++Gravity distortion detected++
++Gravity distortion detected++

Machines whirred and hummed, plotting attack vectors and defence plans as more and more of the creatures launched waves hellbent on stopping EStoR in its tracks, but all were dealt with swiftly and efficiently. The secondary command stations were taking a beating though, and even forcefields didn't seem to prolong their life expectancy.

But EStoR was surviving, and for the moment that was close enough to winning.

++Unknown ship type inbound++
++Cataloguing ship types++

Out of nowhere a large starship of some kind drifted into view. Observing a difference between this odd craft and the beings the station was fending off, EStoR tentatively sent messages of greetings to gauge the vessel's intentions. The response was immediate and deadly. Hundreds of small craft swarmed outwards, leaving a trail of debris as they rushed outwards and quickly took down the outer planets defences. The majority of EStoR's fleet was fending off a wave in Kaet, but was quickly recalled to try and stop the alien vessel.

It was no use.

++All systems shutting down++
++Critical Error++

...and I've lost. My economy was taking a hit from the multiple waves in quick succession, and it didn't help that I hadn't built any damage dealing turrets as I'd concentrated on gravity turrets to support the tractor beams since 2/4 bonus ships were immune to tractors. Perhaps if I'd controlled things a little better I could have survived, but what on earth are you meant to do against 400 level 3 Neinzul Youngling ships that decide to take out your homeworld?

The humans AI they only attack if you attack first, or in a wave, and the level tends to be the same one you're at... unless you do something silly like nuke every core world on the map within the first 45 minutes :P

Against the roaming enclaves though? Nothing I can think of...

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Experimental station Reubum
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 04:43:16 PM »
wow cool story ^^
can't believe you took the time to type all of that lol, must have taken you quite some time :P
and yeh, roaming enclaves is what almost killed me once as well (on difficulty 1...) so I decided to not play with them anymore until I'm more of an advanced player :D


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