Author Topic: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2 (victory!)  (Read 6531 times)

Offline zoutzakje

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Keith's Challenge Attempt #2 (victory!)
« on: April 24, 2012, 07:56:41 AM »
Allright, fired up a new game. Settings are mostly the same. Most important change is of course the dyson sphere. I turned it off because it was creating to much threat in my previous attempt. Furthermore I changed ultra low caps to low caps, just because I prefer battles with a lot of weak ships over battles with a few powerful ships (a shame my laptop won't be able to handle normal or high caps). A few new map seeds and I managed to get a blade spawner at an edge again :D
For the rest:
9/9 difficulty
80 planets
Crosshatch map
Vanilla / The Tank AI types
Resistance Fighters
Traders
Miners
Golems Medium
Spirecraft Hard
Fallen Spire
Complex ship types
Extra fog of war
1 AIP per 30 minutes

Homeworld is called Fire Bird. Screenshot of game start attached. I will update more in a while.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 12:09:09 PM by zoutzakje »
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 09:43:15 AM »
After taking my dog for a walk and smoking a cig, I figured it was time to get this one going. First thing I did was upgrading my harvesters to mk III. In my previous attempt I went for higher mark ships instead of better economy, so now it's time to try it the other way around. I am already gaining more resources than with my first attempt, though I'm afraid the lack of firepower (especially mk III bombers) will kill me sooner or later.
After this I decided to send a single scout to each of my surrounding planets. I was hoping the mapgen wouldn't screw me over, but that was silly of course. Once again, 2 mk IV worlds right next to me (Rabbit and Faery). Only this time, one of the mk IV worlds (Rabbit) is not at the edge, but actually inside the grid. Depending on the worlds surrounding Rabbit, I will decide whether I am going to take it or just neuter it (and keep it neutered). I'm worried I have to take it, which kinda puts me in a bad spot.
After scouting some more I realized it's probably a bad idea to take Rabbit. The 3 remaining planets next to Rabbit are all mk III. I had hoped at least 2 of them would be mk II, but mapgen really doesn't seem to like me. I did find an Armored Golem on Mars and an Advanced Factory on Sorceress though.
oh yeah, did I mention the AI also has blade spawners? great -.-  At least the Tractor platforms in my last attempt could be dealt with. But blade spawners... this makes offense significantly tougher. To bad i don't have gravity drains.
First wave arrives. The 51 missile frigs get eaten by my bombers pretty quick. The second wave of 51 fighters dies even faster.
ARS on Dark Archer. Good, a nice target on an edge world.
Co-Processor on Viloent Viper.
And that's about everything I can find with mk II scouts. Time to start making a plan on how to proceed.
First I will neuter Rabbit (all but the wormhole guard posts), then I will take Faery, then take Clay Gargoyle, unlock mk III bombers, neuter nearly everything (including wormhole guard posts) and then move towards the ARS. Let's hope my plan won't get interrupted by the AI....
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 10:34:05 AM »
I appreciate any map whose (probable) AI Homeworlds are named "Gold Dragon" and "Shadow".

I was hoping the mapgen wouldn't screw me over
Ha.  Hahahaha.

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I did find an Armored Golem on Mars and an Advanced Factory on Sorceress though.
Finding an Adv Fact so early is a good sign, though holding it could be a royal pain.  And an Armored Golem is about as solid a fighter as you're gonna get outside FS (which you do have turned on, so we'll see).

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oh yeah, did I mention the AI also has blade spawners? great -.-
The Spire Ginsu has noted your lack of enthusiasm.

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At least the Tractor platforms in my last attempt could be dealt with.
Preferring Honeycombs to something says a lot about that something.

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ARS on Dark Archer. Good, a nice target on an edge world.
Another small kindness from the mapgen... be worried ;)

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First I will neuter Rabbit (all but the wormhole guard posts)
I kind of wonder whether that actually helps anymore.  I mean, you probably don't want to turn on reinforcement logging because the log file would tell you where the homeworlds are, etc, but from all that study of reinforcements unless Rabbit has over 10 guard posts or it's really important to concentrate the defensive presence to the command station, there's not much point in killing any of the posts.

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Let's hope my plan won't get interrupted by the AI....
Ha. ;)
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 11:27:07 AM »
hehe, I got about 400 names listed for planet names and one of them is called Core. I laughed when Core actually was a coreworld in an other game.
As for destroying the wormhole guard posts... destroying them no longer (or never did?) slightly decreases enemy reinforcement on that planet? Not that it matters much. With 16 wormhole guard posts on nearly every planet, leaving them alone would just bother me eventually. Plus having all enemy ships spawn at only the command center makes it easier to reneuter. Having enemy ships come from all directions can be very deadly.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 11:31:45 AM »
With 16 wormhole guard posts on nearly every planet
Oh, right, that does make it advantageous to kill all the non-wormhole guardposts because the command station doesn't start getting "compensation" reinforcements unless the number of guard posts drops below 11, iirc.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 10:54:01 PM »
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First I will neuter Rabbit (all but the wormhole guard posts)
I kind of wonder whether that actually helps anymore.  I mean, you probably don't want to turn on reinforcement logging because the log file would tell you where the homeworlds are, etc, but from all that study of reinforcements unless Rabbit has over 10 guard posts or it's really important to concentrate the defensive presence to the command station, there's not much point in killing any of the posts.

You forget one thing... population cap is still affected.  You need to neuter to lower Cross Border Aggression and total buildup.

Command station reinforces FASTER, but only is one post for cap-check.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 09:10:16 AM »
You forget one thing... population cap is still affected.  You need to neuter to lower Cross Border Aggression and total buildup.
It lowers total potential buildup, but it would cause border aggression to happen earlier due to the lower cap, I'd think.  But I vaguely recall discovering I'd been wrong about that ;)
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 09:58:14 AM »
wow, destroying the 2 mk IV worlds was extremely easy compared to the last game. I don't know why it's easier though. Perhaps I started attacking sooner or perhaps ultra low caps massively screwed me over last time. Either way, Rabbit is now in ruins and Faery is under my control. I'm waiting with destroying the wormhole guard posts until I have mk III bombers, which I will get after I capture one more planet (I'm not going hack knowledge. I'd rather hack an ARS or a ST if there is one).
Had a few minor waves when suddenly a wave of 231 frigs appeared (with AIP at only 43). Luckily my bombers, blade spawners, plasma sieges, tractor turrets and gravity turrets managed to stop them without to much trouble. I always place my gravity turrets in a straight line from the wormhole to my CC (only placing 2 or 3 per wormhole), and the frigs didn't even make it past the first one.

Another ARS discovered on Torent, also an edge world. hmmm, which one should I take first... I haven't been able to scout all planets adjacent to the ARS systems yet, which is bad. What if a mk IV world is hiding there. Or worse, a Raid engine. Or worse, a Raid engine on a mk IV world. I'm tempted to use my 3k knowledge to unlock mk III scouts, but then it will take longer before I have mk III bombers... Making progress has been really easy so far though. I think I will unlock mk III scouts now. I'll have mk III bombers before I reach any of the ARS, which is good.
looks like I made a good call. There is an alarm post on Merman. Also another armored golem, but that's not important. If I can't find anything bad on Dirge, I will go for the ARS on Dark Archer first. Also found a data center on Magnius, but I will get that one later.
nothing bad on Dirge it seems, so I will continue as I had planned in the first place.
Clay Gargoyle falls within a minute (only lost a single frig) and that brings my total number of planets to 3.
second co-processor discovered at Geode. And right after that a wave warning of 567 youngling tigers appears -.- Had to use my whole fleet in order to stop it. Otherwise they would have breached my forcefields and killed my home cc. The wave of 177 missile frigs that came right after was a lot easier to deal with.
allright, that's it for now. The warp gate guardian that just spawned on Whorl (which I have already neutered) will be dealt with later.
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2012, 12:36:35 PM »

Quote
First I will neuter Rabbit (all but the wormhole guard posts)
I kind of wonder whether that actually helps anymore.  I mean, you probably don't want to turn on reinforcement logging because the log file would tell you where the homeworlds are, etc, but from all that study of reinforcements unless Rabbit has over 10 guard posts or it's really important to concentrate the defensive presence to the command station, there's not much point in killing any of the posts.

One strategy it is useful for is setting up travel routes. If I'm worried about keeping AIP really low, I will take only every 3rd or 4th planet and destroy all the wormhole guard posts in between so that I can shuttle ships back and forth with minimal (or no) damage taken.

It is quite time consuming, but doable without Mk III bombers, but since no reinforcements arrive at the wormholes any more, I can just send my ships through without having to re-clear the system points first.

D.

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 08:20:49 AM »
yeah i prefer having enemy build up at the cc only. Makes it a whole lot easier to reneuter if I have to (warp gate guardians HAVE to be destroyed, or they will cause me pain).

Speaking of warp gate guardians, the most silly thing just happened. While I moved my fleet back to destroy the warp gate guardian that just spawned on Whorl, another one spawned, also on Whorl. That's kind of pointless lol. Ah well, all the better for me.
While I was busy keeping enemy numbers low on Rabbit, I found out that the first shard is on Doom Dragon. Shouldn't be to hard to retrieve (I hope), but I will wait till after I get my first ARS.
Meanwhile I have scouted as far as I can with mk III scouts (for now), so it's time to take over Cutlass. The blade spawners and ion cannons were destroying me, but luckily I had enough resources to rebuild my whole fleet (which isn't that large yet anyway). Unfortunately a wave of about 250 bombers had to spawn during the process -.- took a while to take them out, but I managed it.
I'm about 2 hours ingame now and I already own more planets than I had in my previous attempt (which ended at nearly 10 hours). Even though i haven't started killing wormhole guard posts yet, I doubt it will take me 7 and a half hours to do so. I blame the Dyson Sphere for this :P No constant hammering on my planets. I actually have some breathing room now.
I expect the first Spirecraft exo warning to show up soon, but I'm confident that it won't be to much trouble just yet.
Allright, time for my first real challenge in this game. Neutering Haures. Haures has is mk III world, has an AI Eye, a counter guard post and a mk III fortress. My only advantage here is that my wormholes are not in the fort's range (which is quite a huge advantage actually).
Had to sacrifice my fleet in order to take out a few guard posts (which were near the fort), but the AI eye died in a few minutes and after that the fort was easy.
Counter attack will land on Clay Gargoyle, so I gotta prepare for that. Also the first exo warning showed up, but I still got about 30 minutes before it hits.
next time I'll deal with the exo, take the ARS, and then start fully neutering worlds around me.
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 06:50:06 PM »
Terrible timing just now. 30 seconds left on the counter attack timer when a wave warning of about 450 fighters appears on Cutlass. Not to bad I think, I can handle that. So I send my missile frigs and plasma sieges to hold the fighters at bay until the rest of my fleet has dealt with the counter attack. Counter attack spawns (mk III) and I'm slowly killing them. Again, 30 seconds before the fighter wave hits, another wave warning for Cutlass appears, counting 610 space tanks this time. AIP has reached 100+, so I expected waves to get out of control, but still... If it wasn't for that single martyr I had build, I probably would have had to savescum.
haha, right when most of the waves have been cleaned up, about 100 resistance fighters show up. Better late than never I guess lol.
Fairess falls without much trouble, and now I have 5 planets. Going from Clay Gargoyle to Haures and then the ARS would have been faster... But the inside of the grid scares the crap out of me, so I'd rather risk the extra 21 AIP and stay at the edge. I'll move inside later, when I have at least logistics cc mk II unlocked.
Mk III bombers unlocked (finally), but I'll wait with destroying wormhole guard posts till after I got the ARS.
exo almost coming.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 07:47:26 PM »
You forget one thing... population cap is still affected.  You need to neuter to lower Cross Border Aggression and total buildup.
It lowers total potential buildup, but it would cause border aggression to happen earlier due to the lower cap, I'd think.  But I vaguely recall discovering I'd been wrong about that ;)

From everything I understand, Cross Border Aggression starts at X value for system population and goes down via AIP as to how many ships stay in cold storage.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2012, 08:42:37 AM »
wow, first exo and already a regenerator golem. Didn't expect that. It's a good thing I got 6 forcefields protecting my home cc. Even with the help of resistance fighters, it still took me quite some time to take it out. And of course, 2 waves had to spawn during the process. One of them got destroyed by my fighters, plasma sieges and 5 heavy beam cannons mk I, the other wave got a martyr on their heads.
Those heavy beam cannons remind me of how badly I need a spire fleet. Until then I will just have to keep scrapping the HBC's and replace them wherever I need them the most.
Ooze has been neutered and now I'm busy destroying Dark Archer. Unfortunately the first CPA timer arrives and warns me that 503 ships will attack from all directions in 11 minutes. This is troublesome and means I will most likely have to reneuter every planet. I can't have to much threat lying around.
And now, 3 mining golems appear, all 3 on planets I might want to use later. One at Dark Archer, one at Ooze and the last one at Haures. More reneuter time I guess.
But first I want to find out what available ship types Dark Archer has. I won't have enough time to capture and defend it well enough before the CPA. But I at least want to take a look at it. Hope I don't have to hack the ARS. While my fleet is still busy destroying guard posts, I figured I'd sneak in a single research station to have a look.
hmm this is a tough one. Without hacking I'd get zenith chameleons. Otherwise I can chose between space planes and space tanks. All 3 are excellent units, I just don't know which one would fit my playstyle best. Well, I'll decide later. First I better deal with the problems at hand.
First mining golem on Dark Archer dies quickly due to my bombers and with less than 3 minutes left on the CPA timer, I decide to retreat my fleet and get ready. Not before taking out the counter guard post, which decides to launch a wave of 437 ships to Clay Gargoyle in 14 minutes. A lot can happen in 14 minutes, so we'll see where this goes. I seriously hope I won't get waves while I'm busy destroying the counter attack.
Allright, for Fairess and Cutlass I got one martyr each and a whole bunch of turrets. I send my blade spawners, plasma sieges and riots to Clay Gargoyle. I cut the rest of my fleet in half and send one half to my homeworld and the other half to fairy. Combined with the resistance fighters, this should do the trick. oh looks like I had another martyr ready. Well, off to protect my homeworld you go then.
CPA hits. about 50 mk I and 450 mk II ships get released. I realized I shouldn't have neutered the mk I planets surrounding my homeworld yet, but this mistake shouldn't be deadly.
The "primary attack" of the CPA as I like to call it wasn't that hard to deal with. they only attacked my homeworld and Fairess, which both had a decent amount of fleet ships, turrets and resistance fighters to clean them up. Half of the CPA is still listed as threat though, so I hope I can destroy most of it before the counter attack hits (8 mins left).
looks like another big part of the threat just went offensive, emerging right from the wormhole on Fairess I had covered with all 12 mk I HBC's. Needless to say, the enemy ships didn't last long. Bad choice AI, bad choice.
Meanwhile, a wave of 580 missile frigs is about to spawn, also on Fairess. My fleet is to busy (and to small) to be able to deal with that right now. So I'll just send another martyr to it's death. Running low on martyrs, but fortunately Dark Archer has quite a few nice asteroids.
CPA has been completely dealt with and I got 2 and a half minutes left before the counter. Not bad.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 08:51:44 AM by zoutzakje »
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 08:08:16 PM »
About a minute before the counter attack arrives, a wave warning shows up. Figures -.-  720 missile frigs this time. I'm curious to see what endgame waves look like.
I think I have reached the point where it's no longer effective to send my "counters" only, especially against missile frigs. Bombers might have a hard counter against artillery hulls, but being outnumbered with more than 6 to 1 really doesn't do my bombers much good. So I figured I'd wreck the counter attack first and then move my whole fleet to Fairess. I had hoped my defenses would be able to keep the frigs at bay long enough for my fleet to arrive. I was right. Gravity turrets, tractor turrets and 12 heavy beam cannons (among others) really know how to get things done. Almost 200 frigs were obliterated already before my fleet arrived and after that it wasn't much trouble at all.

There is one major advantage in having multiple wormholes to defend, I've noticed. Waves can't get anywhere because each of my planets is filled with grav and tractor turrets :D Until you run out of turrets, that is...
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge Attempt #2
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 10:09:12 PM »
AVWW frying brain, forums exploding... Oh, look, an AAR post! ;)

wow, first exo and already a regenerator golem. Didn't expect that.
Diff 9 has a 2x multiplier on exo budgets, and it sounds like the exo made the random roll which shifts it from 33%/33%/33% distribution for lead/escorts/pickets to the 66%/16.5%/16.5% distribution.  That doesn't happen for FS-city-provoked exos but can  for spirecraft-hard or golems-hard.  And iirc regenerator golems are one of the lower-cost golems.

Interesting how things interact :)

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It's a good thing I got 6 forcefields protecting my home cc.
Ah, a good ol' faithful defensive tactic right there.  Stack it so deep they can't even see the command station, and maybe they'll just go away.

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Ooze has been neutered
Must remember this is not AVWW...

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And now, 3 mining golems appear, all 3 on planets I might want to use later.
And the RNG makes a rude gesture.

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hmm this is a tough one. Without hacking I'd get zenith chameleons. Otherwise I can chose between space planes and space tanks. All 3 are excellent units, I just don't know which one would fit my playstyle best.
Decisions, decisions ;)  Glad we could add that one.  I forget (and am too lazy/fried to look up the earlier posts), do you have a cloaking ship?  That could tip things in favor of space planes, depending on how much you like the romulan maneuver.

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CPA hits. about 50 mk I and 450 mk II ships get released. I realized I shouldn't have neutered the mk I planets surrounding my homeworld yet
That does take people surprise, doesn't it?  Well, at least it wasn't sending mkIV and V stuff at you due to an entirely-hypothetical prior systematic cleansing of the galaxy.

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Bad choice AI, bad choice.
I didn't see him, officer, honest!  The beams got in my eyes!

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Meanwhile, a wave of 580 missile frigs is about to spawn, also on Fairess. My fleet is to busy (and to small) to be able to deal with that right now. So I'll just send another martyr to it's death.
And the missile frigates once again curse whatever budget-conscious buffoon figured that cutting corners on the meaning of "immunity to AOE" was a good idea.

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I think I have reached the point where it's no longer effective to send my "counters" only, especially against missile frigs. Bombers might have a hard counter against artillery hulls, but being outnumbered with more than 6 to 1 really doesn't do my bombers much good.
Yea, those are pretty stiff numbers.  You could continue to "hard counter" the missile frigates by unlocking counter-missile turrets (or scout starship IV), but that's not cheap.

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There is one major advantage in having multiple wormholes to defend, I've noticed. Waves can't get anywhere because each of my planets is filled with grav and tractor turrets :D Until you run out of turrets, that is...
Yep, the AI's biding its time... ;)
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