Arcen Games

Games => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: zoutzakje on February 09, 2012, 07:21:03 AM

Title: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: zoutzakje on February 09, 2012, 07:21:03 AM
Allright, after having my share of dif 7 and 8 wins, I figured it was time to try something new. Seeing a bunch of folks trying to win against dif 10/10 wave type AI’s, I figured I’d go with the flow and see how far I can get with my own strategies.


The settings are as follows:

Map seed: 1310147706
Map style: Realistic
80 planets
Available ships: Complex (even CSG’s are turned on)
0 AI progress over time
Minor Factions: Resistance fighters, traders, miners, dyson sphere, golems medium and spirecraft hard (the last one might become my doom, but I wanted my first try to be like how I normally play my games)
Furthermore I play with low caps, extra fog of war and the “show unexplored wormholes” box unchecked.
Normally I’d set the AI types on Random All, but I’m not THAT confident of my abilities so I’m playing against 2 vanilla’s.
Blade Spawner selected as my bonus ship (3 wormhole exits) and ready to go.

Almost all my planet names are djinni’s or summons from a game called Golden Sun: The Lost Age in case that sounds familiar to anyone. My Homeworld is called Ground and I start off with sending a single mk I scout to each of the exits. Since the planets surrounding your homeworld don’t have tachyon guardians, a single scout is enough.
The Planets Ether, Shine and Mist are discovered and I’m happy to tell you that none of them is MK IV. Shine is Mk III however, so I do have to be cautious. Both Shine and Mist have an E-type CSG on them and Mist has 4 metal and 3 crystal on it, so that might be nice. Unfortunately Mist has also 3 more unexplored exits so that might be tough defending it. Ether holds nothing special.
I decide I want to know what’s beyond Ether so I send my remaining 7 mk I scouts to find out. Started building mk I fighters at the same time, because I know single enemies will come and attack me if I don’t.
Well, I now at least know towards which direction I will NOT expand. Ether’s neighbor Aroma turns out to be MK IV, with 2 ion cannons and also an E-type CSG. Best to leave it alone.
2 more science labs and 14 engineers build to speed things up.

Knowledge unlock #1: Advanced Warp sensor

It’s a shame that I will not use this for any of my future planets, because I use logistics only. But it’s a must for my homeworld.

Knowledge Unlock #2: Gravity Turret Mk I

These are my main defense in any game. Place them in a straight line from the wormhole to your command station and the enemies will get nowhere.

Building the engineers drained my metal, but that’s ok. Perfect time to use the excess of crystal to build an extra forcefield for my command station.
Some more mk I scouts to scout past Shine and Flower is discovered (which also happens to be connected to Mist). This is a planet to avoid… Mk III fortress and a counter guard post on it. Also has a D-type CSG on it, but that’s not so important. I’m sure there will be better opportunities to take the D-types out.
Scouted the remaining 2 wormholes past mist, and it’s not looking good. On the mk III planet called Serac there is an AI-eye, a counter spy and 2 EMP guardians. The other one is called Corona and is Mk IV, with 2 ions, an orbital mass driver, a counter guard post, a warp gate guardian and a sniper guardian. It also has a D-type CSG, but this wasn’t really what I meant with a better opportunity lol.
Well, that’s as far as my mk I scouts could get… I’ll wait for the initial wave to unlock higher (almost 6 mins ingame).
Building some blade spawners and frigates in the meantime. I seriously hope I can beat the first wave lol. I remember trying dif 10 once a long time ago just for fun and the first waves killed me. Though I realize first wave has been made somewhat easier now and I certainly have improved in this game. So let’s hope for the best.

06:40 Wave #1
46 AI 1 fighters, 2 starships [II] to Ground

This seems…. Incredibly easy. I know the real challenge starts at somewhat higher AIP and that the first waves have been made easier for a purpose, but 46 mk II fighters? Come on lol. Oh well, lucky for me.
One gravity turret and 4 tractor turrets near wormhole build. Normally I would unlock missile frigates mk II, but my mk I ones, tractor turrets, gravity turret and blade spawners should be more than enough to deal with this.
I was right, it was fairly easy to deal with... until a single maw decided to join the fight and swallowed some of my ships. Right when I finished them all off the second wave arrives

10:00 Wave #2
47 AI 2 Missile Frigates, 3 starships [II] to Ground

This is gonna be somewhat tougher to defeat since I have yet to build bombers. Luckily I won’t have to build another grav turret and some tractor turrets. The wave spawns at a different wormhole but has to pass through the grav and tractor area in order to get to my homeworld.
Doing allright I think, wave is half dead. And then the next one spawns -.-

12:30 Wave #3
47 AI 1 Fighters, 3 starships [II] to Ground

Thankfully I had enough time to prepare before this one. If the waves are gonna keep up at this speed I will be making progress very slowly. Might take an hour or 2 before I take my first planet lol.
Dealt with the wave with no losses to my fleet, now I got a bit of time to prepare.

Knowledge unlock #4 fighter Mk II
Knowledge unlock #5 Scout mk II

Really need the extra fighters for some extra cheap firepower. And the scouts speak for themselves lol. Still haven’t found a good target to expand towards. Haven’t got enough metal yet to actually build the scouts though -.- getting way more crystal than metal.

17:50 Wave #4
90 AI 2 Vorticular Cutlasses, 2 starships [II] to Ground

Oh, something new. Good thing I unlocked those extra fighters with their bonus against close-combat. Scouted past Aroma to find Megaera, a mk III planet with a D-type CSG and a counter guard post. Wave dealt with, building more scouts to find a good target.

This concludes the first part of my AAR, more to come. Not looking forward to when I actually have to expand lol.
I'll add in a screenshot to display the current galaxy view.
(http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/1420/screenshot2012020913034.png) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/703/screenshot2012020913034.png/)

and yes, my games always start out really slow and defensive. I don't turn very aggressive until mid-game.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 09, 2012, 10:08:30 AM
Good to see another lamb for the slaughter player trying 10/10 :)  Yea, right now it's starting off pretty easy and it may well stay that way; or I may have it have a minimum of two caps or something like that instead of a minimum of 1 cap, for diff 10; we'll see.  The idea is that the very first wave crushing you before you even have time to build all your starting stuff kind of cuts you off from trying the more legitimate challenge of what happens when you increase AIP by any significant amount for any reason whatsoever :)
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: zoutzakje on February 09, 2012, 10:30:59 AM
yeah, I've noticed that it gets tougher :D
the difference between 10 AIP and 30 AIP is massive. I'm still alive though, so I'll post some more later :P
I realize I'm not gonna win this though lol. I've done some more scouting by now and the AI is not gonna make it easy for me
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: Wanderer on February 09, 2012, 09:02:29 PM
Heheh, good luck!  Offensive or defensive, I've found your best bet is to concentrate on just building Mk I fleet before first wave hits.  Where you go from there is a little more open, but getting that mobile defensive fleet up is nearly paramount.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: zoutzakje on February 10, 2012, 07:22:46 AM
yeah  it probably would have been best to save the scouting for after the first few waves. But I'm still alive so far, so it worked out allright. I should get the next part up today. I wonder how long it's gonna take before I get my ass kicked :D
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: Wanderer on February 10, 2012, 11:49:07 AM
yeah  it probably would have been best to save the scouting for after the first few waves. But I'm still alive so far, so it worked out allright. I should get the next part up today. I wonder how long it's gonna take before I get my ass kicked :D

If I might hazard a guess, fourth planet. :)
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: zoutzakje on February 10, 2012, 11:51:45 AM
Allright, time to continue where I left off. I was busy scouting some more while waiting for the next wave to arrive. Planet Mars discovered with 2 ions, mk III fort and a data center. Marked it with P2.
Finally a good target found. Planet Sleet has an ARS, an A-type CSG and a Mk V Bomber Fabricator. Unfortunately it also has an AI Eye, 2 ions and an orbital mass driver on it :/
Nothing special on a planet called Ember. It’s been 7 mins since the last wave, I’m expecting one really soon.
Mk IV planet Blitz found. I have no idea how I’m going to get to my target lol.
Eclipse, a planet with 2 counter guard posts and an AI eye. Finally scouted every of the 8 wormholes surrounding Serac. I’m considering leaving that alone and expand towards the north. To much nastyness out there.

Knowledge unlock #6 Scout Mk III

I prefer having as much intel as possible before making my first move.

29:33 Wave #5
61 AI 1 fighters, 3 starships [II] to Ground

Good, something to kill. I’m trying to keep the AIP at 10 for as long as possible lol.
Only lost 23 fighters in that wave, not bad.
Chill, planet with Ai Eye :/
Judgement, useless planet
Breeze, another useless planet

Knowledge Unlock #7 Blade spawner mk II

Starting to run out of energy, so I think it’s time to take my first planet soon. I already decided it’s going to be Shine, the mk III planet bordering my homeworld. Hope I have enough forces to take it out. Gonna do a tiny bit of more scouting before I take it though. I haven’t reached far enough yet with my scouts.
Zenith Power Generator on Zephyr, but also a counter guard post.
Crap, a Raid engine on Spring -.- and it borders the world with the ARS on it ?  Now I really have no hope of ever advancing that way.
Reflux, Mk IV planet with 2 ion cannons and an AI Eye.
Well, that’s about everything I can scout for now. 38 mins ingame, time for my first attack.
I took heavy losses with my attack, but that was expected from a mk III planet. I kill a few guard posts and decide to pop the command station so that the enemies under a spire shield guard post would move away…

41:50 Wave #6
385 AI 2 Vorticular Cutlasses, 1 starship [II] to Ground

Omg, the dif between 10 and 30 AIP is massive. Better retreat my fleet quickly and start getting ready, because I only got 1 and a half minute to prepare for every wave -.-
Wow, building a whole bunch of turrets really helped. Only lost 24 ships. And the cutlasses died right before entering my home command’s forcefield. Thank you gravity turrets for slowing them down.
Allright, time to colonize Shine and build up some defenses there.
E-Type CSG has been destroyed, so that’s one type less to worry about. Finally got some more energy, so it’s time for docks to spit out some more ships. I’m actually excited to see the next wave. Hope I can stop it :D
And of course, right when I was about to neuter a planet, a wave pops up.

51:37 Wave #7
140 AI 1 Bombers, 2 starships [II] to Shine

I should be able to stop this with all the turrets I placed and the fighters I got.
And I was right, only lost a bunch of fighters, but that really doesn’t matter.

Knowledge unlock #8 Bombers mk II

Time to continue neutering that planet. Need the extra bombers since a fort III is on it -.- Gonna take a while to take it out I’m afraid.
Planet Whorl found with an ARS and an artillery golem. Awesome. Also, it’s easier to get to than the other ARS, so I might have to go that way.
Mk IV planet fugue discovered… damn, there seem to be a lot of mk III and IV planets in my galaxy. Not that I’ll live long long enough to make a difference anyways :D

58:00 Wave #8
264 AI 2 Vorticular Cutlasses, 3 starships [II] to Ground

Well, I’ve survived worse than this…

Knowledge Unlock #9 Missile Frigates

Some extra firepower should really do the trick. I got to much crystal anyways.
Wave destroyed without to much hassle. It appears I can handle the 30 AIP waves well now…

I might need some strategic advice though. I realize that I will most likely not get enough knowledge from regular knowledge gathering. The problem is, I have never done knowledge raids. I understand that the AI will spawn enemy ships when I use mk III science labs. I’m just wondering how much of them I could expect on dif 10 with 30 AIP? Using forts is not an option.

Successfully neutered a planet. Taking down that mk III fortress took ages though, thank god I had those mk II bombers. Luckily no waves spawned while I was taking down the fort, that would have been annoying.
Allright, enough with the typing for now. I’ll post a screenie of the current galaxy layout. I might write less detailed from now on, but that depends on my mood lol. I spend more time writing all this stuff than I'm actually playing the game :D

(http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/7449/screenshot2012021017363.png) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/525/screenshot2012021017363.png/)

Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 10, 2012, 02:21:08 PM
Good progress thus far, on surviving :)  Yea, going from 10 AIP to 30 AIP is pretty intense, as it triples the base of the calculation.

Quote
I might need some strategic advice though. I realize that I will most likely not get enough knowledge from regular knowledge gathering. The problem is, I have never done knowledge raids. I understand that the AI will spawn enemy ships when I use mk III science labs. I’m just wondering how much of them I could expect on dif 10 with 30 AIP? Using forts is not an option.
Knowledge Raid Retaliation on Diff-10 is punishing.  10 ships a second.  Even on 9.8 it's only 9 ships every 2 seconds.

It can be done, but good luck coming out ahead on that deal.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: zoutzakje on February 10, 2012, 03:49:53 PM
Good progress thus far, on surviving :)  Yea, going from 10 AIP to 30 AIP is pretty intense, as it triples the base of the calculation.

Quote
I might need some strategic advice though. I realize that I will most likely not get enough knowledge from regular knowledge gathering. The problem is, I have never done knowledge raids. I understand that the AI will spawn enemy ships when I use mk III science labs. I’m just wondering how much of them I could expect on dif 10 with 30 AIP? Using forts is not an option.
Knowledge Raid Retaliation on Diff-10 is punishing.  10 ships a second.  Even on 9.8 it's only 9 ships every 2 seconds.

It can be done, but good luck coming out ahead on that deal.

allright, what mark will they be? Will they be the wave tech mark (II) or will they be the planet tech mark if that is higher? This is not in the description of the Mk III science lab, so I figured i just ask :P
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 10, 2012, 03:56:36 PM
allright, what mark will they be? Will they be the wave tech mark (II) or will they be the planet tech mark if that is higher?
I believe it's the planet's mark, but probably it would pick the tech level if the tech level were higher.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: Hearteater on February 10, 2012, 04:47:43 PM
One Mark higher than whatever you are prepared to deal with.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 10, 2012, 06:44:37 PM
One Mark higher than whatever you are prepared to deal with.
At least.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: Wanderer on February 10, 2012, 08:35:42 PM
Good progress thus far, on surviving :)  Yea, going from 10 AIP to 30 AIP is pretty intense, as it triples the base of the calculation.

Quote
I might need some strategic advice though. I realize that I will most likely not get enough knowledge from regular knowledge gathering. The problem is, I have never done knowledge raids. I understand that the AI will spawn enemy ships when I use mk III science labs. I’m just wondering how much of them I could expect on dif 10 with 30 AIP? Using forts is not an option.
Knowledge Raid Retaliation on Diff-10 is punishing.  10 ships a second.  Even on 9.8 it's only 9 ships every 2 seconds.

It can be done, but good luck coming out ahead on that deal.

Hm, I thought it was 5/second vs. 4/2 seconds.  Might explain the heavy duty hit I took on a recent 9/9 game.

K-Raiding on AI10 is nearly impossible without Fortresses, and 3/4 of them.  You'll also need a hefty bank of snipers (50-60) and probably a full bank of Basic IIs.

Punishing isn't the word for it.  Think continuous wave defense.  You need enough firepower to NOT TAKE LOSSES, or you will fall long before it's complete.  You will have no time to rebuild.  Teleporting anything in particular will drive you batty as you'll never get your fotresses to stop taking fire for 6 seconds to finally get fixed up.  Pull them in under your FFs to repair them off and on if you run into that scenario.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 10, 2012, 08:52:40 PM
Hm, I thought it was 5/second vs. 4/2 seconds.
You're right, actually.  I keep forgetting the /2 :)
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: Wanderer on February 11, 2012, 05:58:05 AM
Hm, I thought it was 5/second vs. 4/2 seconds.
You're right, actually.  I keep forgetting the /2 :)
 
Before you get evil on us Keith, I'll FRAPS a 5/second spawn if you like to see what you're dealing with, and that's with only Acid ships and Teleporting Parasites (whatever their name is) as the 'evil enemy'.

It's blasted VISCIOUS.  Seriously, in 10/10 you build to early K-Raid or early AIP raid.  You can't do both.

I'm still learning.  I WILL beat a 10/10 dangit.  I've actually come to the conclusion you need to play it dead opposite any other AI level.  You want umpteen wormhole entraces, hide at AIP 10 for defense, raid like mad, and K-Raid yourself into reality.

Which emphasizes the point... I think I made Keith turn down opening raids in AI 10 too far.  Your homeworld isn't in enough danger from the beginning.

Sitting in a pure defensive posture shouldn't be a legit strategy, nevermind an optimal one.  I'd say 2x might be necessary for the opening gambit, but instead I think floor should be cranked up to 50-60, because 2x was just too much, particulary if you crank up a heavy waver.  Opening waves need to hurt without being inane but keep you looking for your next opening, not something that can be handled 'easily'.

I'll get back to you on that.  The triple whammy that I pushed Keith to apply (34 floor, removal of the double waves, and staggering the first assault) almost makes AI 10 openings reasonable for solid strategies, which it shouldn't be.  Just trying to stay honest Keith, in case something along the lines later is actually rediculous. ;)

Erm, um, sorry, if this is thread abduction I'll move it elsewhere.  Just seemed like a good place to discuss this.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: zoutzakje on February 11, 2012, 06:55:58 AM
I don't mind, I'm used to topics changing on this forum :P I'll just post more when I got more. either this report will be my doom report and otherwise the next most likely lol.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 11, 2012, 09:29:06 AM
Yea, the initial d10 waves are too small now.  It's a tricky thing, though: if you don't have auto-AIP on, and there isn't anything skewing the first wave to be harder than the second wave, there are basically two possibilities:

1) The first wave is survivable, motivating you to not increase AIP at all for a long time until you build up.

or

2) The first wave is not survivable, and the game is over.


Of course, there is a spectrum between those two where it's fundamentally all 1) , but feels different psychologically because you're having to fight and scrape to survive but can somehow manage it.  And I think what we're targeting is the harder end of that spectrum.  You'll still wind up playing a 0-AIP game for a while if you want to survive, but I'm not sure that's avoidable on 10/10.

Anyway, what I'm thinking is having Diff 10 games start with 20 or even 30 AIP instead of 10.  That's kind of like the old wave size floor but it's more transparent.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: zoutzakje on February 11, 2012, 10:59:30 AM
having dif 10 start at 20 AIP probably would do the trick. 30 would be too hard. Waves of 300-400 mk II ships are impossible to stop in the first 7 mins of the game.
Not that any of this really matters, because completing a 10/10 wave type AI game is not gonna work out anyways. Most normal people don't play on 10/10 :P
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: Wanderer on February 11, 2012, 01:26:10 PM
Anyway, what I'm thinking is having Diff 10 games start with 20 or even 30 AIP instead of 10.  That's kind of like the old wave size floor but it's more transparent.  Thoughts?

Is it possible to have the floor 'float' on its own, back to its old value?  Say internally increase by 1/minute or two back to the original floors?  This way it builds instead of lands on you like a ton of bricks?  The biggest problem was time, you just didn't have enough.   A floor that floats up to heavy handed would solve the problem nicely and bring back the 'fierceness' of early waves.

And yes, I realize the normal game (for most people) isn't on 10/10.  But since that's the end of the 9-10 spectrum the same concepts apply to the 'lighter' matches.  MK I vs. MK II between 9.8 and 10.0 is almost enough of a difference to end you in early game.  I, however, simply can't resist the challenge, even if I do have a 9/9 'real' game going to enjoy myself with.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 11, 2012, 02:34:50 PM
Is it possible to have the floor 'float' on its own, back to its old value?  Say internally increase by 1/minute or two back to the original floors?  This way it builds instead of lands on you like a ton of bricks?  The biggest problem was time, you just didn't have enough.   A floor that floats up to heavy handed would solve the problem nicely and bring back the 'fierceness' of early waves.
I thought of doing something like that, but it seems like a very opaque thing for the player.  "Why are my wave sizes increasing even though AIP has not increased?", etc.

Basically the transparent equivalent of what you're describing is auto-aip-increase.  The game does actually recommend playing with some auto-aip (1 per 5 minutes, iirc), and basically if a player has said "no auto-aip" we don't want to sneak a little of it in through the back door while they're not looking :)  It's an option that reduces the challenge of the game, basically, and sometimes options like that open up strange strategies.

That said, what you're asking for is basically auto-aip that stops going after a certain point, which is a key distinction.  That could be doable, if that would help.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: Hearteater on February 11, 2012, 03:46:51 PM
1 AIP/5 seconds would basically be unwinnable probably as early at 3/3 :) .  I think 1 AIP/30 minutes is the default recommendation and I find it is a good setting to remind me to keep things moving without really impacting the game.  Difficulty 10 could require that minimum setting though.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 11, 2012, 03:59:34 PM
1 AIP/5 seconds would basically be unwinnable probably as early at 3/3 :) .
Hahaha.  Yes.  I've been knee deep in per-second calculations all day; does it show?

Quote
Difficulty 10 could require that minimum setting though.
Oh, I wouldn't do that any more than I would require not using the no-waves option, etc.  If someone _wants_ to play diff 10 with no-auto-aip I have no intention of stopping them.  Just wanted to point out that the game is intended to be played with at least some auto-aip in basically the same sense that it is intended to be played with at least some waves: it's valid to play without them, but it may make some strange strategies possible, etc.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: zoutzakje on February 11, 2012, 04:23:55 PM
I actually play with no AIP increase over time very often. 1 AIP per 30 mins really doesn't make a big difference in a 10 hour game, but it's just my preference I guess. I don't like AIP increasing without me doing anything to trigger it.
Title: Re: First Serious 10/10 attempt
Post by: Wanderer on February 11, 2012, 06:00:38 PM
Basically the transparent equivalent of what you're describing is auto-aip-increase.  The game does actually recommend playing with some auto-aip (1 per 5 minutes, iirc), and basically if a player has said "no auto-aip" we don't want to sneak a little of it in through the back door while they're not looking :)  It's an option that reduces the challenge of the game, basically, and sometimes options like that open up strange strategies.

Not exactly, because the floor is an independent value of AIP.  If the float revs up to 100 and I'm taking on 1 world AIP waves, taking over a world won't cause yet another boost to 50, it'll just catch me up to where the floor went.  I was more thinking along those lines, where you get an overwhelming need eventually to get off your butt and go do something. :)