Author Topic: Keith's Challenge  (Read 3095 times)

Offline zoutzakje

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Keith's Challenge
« on: March 07, 2012, 04:46:12 PM »
original:

Concentric is my favorite for anything, really, and I like it for FS too.

It'd be interesting to see someone win a diff 9+ on grid (crosshatch is probably too brutal), as it really complicates the defensive situation.

I will take you up on that challenge when I have finished my current game. Not going to play with random AI types though... I'm not THAT confident.


So here goes :P

80 planets, dif 9/9 and AI types are Vanilla and The Tank. I was planning to go with Gravity Driller instead of The Tank, but after giving it some thought I figured Gravity Driller would be to much of a pain in the butt. Besides, i have already played against Gravity Driller quite recently (even though that was only a 7/7 game) and I like variety in my games.
map seed: 1777452422
map style is Crosshatch of course and I play with complex avilable ships. all ships are turned on, even the hateful (to a lot of players, but not to me) CSG's.
Furthermore there is a 1 AIP increase per 30 minutes. That's more than i used to play with in the past (0 AIP increase), but I figured one per 30 minutes wouldn't matter much.
Minor factions are resistance fighters, traders, miners, dyson sphere, fallen spire, golems moderate and spirecraft hard.
Usually I play with the avenger on, but I figured I'd leave the plots alone for this game (especially the hybrids). I've already made it hard enough as it is.
Oh and I play on ultra low caps. In my previous 120 planet low caps game, my crappy laptop was still having trouble with the thousands of zombies who were patrolling my systems. I have a feeling that this game is going to last longer than 18 and a half hours (if I don't screw up) so I figured the new ultra low option would be best.
I have to be honest and say that I cheesed with the "new map seed" option until I had my fav ship type at the location I wanted; blade spawners at an edge (not in a corner, but it would probably take to long to get that done :D).
So, here's a screenshot of my current galaxy layout. I'll occasionally post some updates.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 05:11:42 PM »
Very interesting :)  That's a lot of wormholes to defend... ;)

Hopefully the rounding-down-ness of ultra low caps won't mess with you too much.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 07:59:03 AM »
There's a reason they call laptops "craptops" when it comes to raw crunching power :(

I wish you the best of luck. This should become interesting :D
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 07:25:06 PM »
wow, this game sure is interesting. I didn't want to post again until I had my first planet captured. And god it took me more than 2 hours :D
2 out of the 5 bordering enemy worlds turned out to be mk IV. "Could be worse",I thought. Well probably it could, but it was painful nonetheless. The worlds were reinforcing faster than i could kill off ships (and they still are). The numbers of enemy ships were going into the 200... on ultra low caps -.- Sending my fleet in would be suicide and I didn't have the resources to handle it. so I send waves of caps mk I and II fighters. I had to attack about 3 or 4 times to kill a single guard post. The enemy starts out with Tractor Platforms -.- have a few fighters get taken away, destroy them before they enter another wormhole, and TP still goes into that system, waiting there as threat. After I few maneuvres involving fighters and frigates (I have way more crystal income) I could finally destroy 2 more guard posts. My ships die and a threat of 70+ ships stalks the wormhole. A wave launches and the threat comes by to join the fight. Damn, that was tough. Good thing I had gravity and tractor turrets up everywhere already. About 100 mk I and II ships really isn't enough to kill 70+ Mk IV ships before they reach your home command lol. Thank god I had plasma siege starships, they saved the day by succesfully destroying large chunks of enemy engines.
After I managed to destroy the attacking threat, I noticed I had free game on that mk IV world (the one in the corner), so I send in what little remained of my fleet and my full caps of mk I and II blade spawners... Blade spawners did all the work, destroying guard posts and enemy ships from afar. Finally victorious. It will soon be time to take out the other mk IV world, which is getting close to the 300 ships now.
I don't think it will be possible for me to get very far in this game, but so far I'm enjoying the early epic battles :D
As a side note, enemy Armor ships are Extremely hard to kill. Even bombers do fairly little damage, even though they're supposed to be hard counters. 24k armor on mk IV... Yeah, they're Armor ships allright.
A small list of the goodies I've found so far in my galaxy:

co-p and Warbird factory on Ember
Zenith power generator on Rime and Balm
ARS on Eclipse and Neptune
Factory Mk IV on Spark
Black widow golem on Sleet
Hive golem on Flower and Fog

and my favorite and most important target for now:
Botnet golem and Blade spawner mk V fabricator on Haures

Black widow, hive and botnet planet are all in a straight line at the upper edge. If I can reach the Botnet I can pretty much take care of my defense for the rest of the game (I hope) and actually move my progress "inland". But getting there is another story since it's 5 hops away
-.-
I already figured it would be best to destroy every single wormhole guard post whenever I neuter a planet... And I neuter a lot.
First spire shard is on a planet deeper in enemy territory (Balm). I figured I'd wait with the first shard until I have that botnet. Or at least the black widow.
So far very entertaining and really challenging already. Not enough challenge to run me over, but enough to keep me on my toes. I have to admit I have already savescummed several times though. Not because I lost the game, but simply because I knew I could play more optimal and have fewer losses. Learning new strategies along the way I guess. I'm so not used to playing dif 9 games :D

Adding screenshot of current galaxy. More to come!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 07:28:32 PM by zoutzakje »

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 08:46:42 PM »
2 Recommendations when arguing with High Level MK IV worlds.

1) Use Raid starships to 'buzz' guardposts and release threat.  They should come at your HW and you should be able to handle them easier.
2) Attack from alternate wormholes when possible.  Sneak through MK II/III systems you've cleansed and come in via a different angle.  The wormhole campers will stream at you, giving you a better chance of chewing through them.  At the least more will die before your fleet is in disrepair.

With the # of wormhold guardposts you're facing you're right, full neuters are mandatory to clean out border aggression, but it shouldn't be a signficant concern until you're at 3-4 worlds taken.  Right now only one/two worlds will reinforce at a time, so CBA shouldn't be a huge deal.  Wait until you've got Bomber IIIs then go back and 'cleanup', or you'll spend way too much time on the guardposts and not enough taking on the early game.  I've blown a few AI 9/10 games trying to do that and ended up on the wrong end of CPAs and the like because of time.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 07:01:19 AM »
yes I had thought of using raid starships to take the guard post threat, but I disregarded that tactic for now. I only had limited energy available (stacking up unefficient energy reactors would cost me a significant resource income) and I decided to build plasma sieges instead of raid starships with my extra crystal. Considering the amount of enemy ships already on the planet, I figured my raid starships would die to fast. It might have worked out well anyways, but I'm happy with my choice of plasma siege starships. They did save the day after all.
number 2 will be an excellent tactic for this game yes, especially since I have blade spawners to thin them out from afar. It is a tactic I will most certainly use for taking the second Mk IV world, since I will neuter the remaining border planets first.
Thanks for the tip about the wormhole guardposts, I would have made the same mistake as you did. I was already planning to take them out when I start neutering right about now. But now I will wait until I have mk III bombers to speed things up (which I should have after taking the second mk IV world). I don't want to K-hack just yet though. I rather save my hacking for a super terminal in case there is one and otherwise for 1 or 2 of the ARS. With the amount of planets I usually take in a game (and especially will in this game), I shouldn't have much knowledge problems.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 09:27:38 AM »
Hmm, you're surviving, something's slacking off ;)

Glad the plasma-siege guys did something worthwhile; I've heard generally positive things about them since the last changes but not a lot.

Looking forward to the graph problems to come ;)
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 12:17:08 PM »
well, the ONLY reason I like plasma siege starships is because of the area of effect engine damage. Slowing enemies down with them has already saved me more than once. the amount of enemy ships streaming into my homeworld sometimes is nuts, and when your fleet is dying and you have little resources left, keeping my plasma siege starships alive is of vital importance (and not easy when you are out ranged).
anyway, I finally managed to destroy and capture the second Mk IV world :D I'm proud of myself of getting this far and I wouldn't mind if I would get killed right now lol.
Taking the second Mk IV world was much, much harder than the first one, mainly because it simply had build up forces quite a lot more. There is one single advantage to having a mk IV world next to your homeworld (or any mk): They have no tachyon guardians. After more than 500 hours of AI war playtime, I figured it was finally time to use the cloacker starships for the very first time. And they did their job very well.
Caps of mk I and II blade spawners in a transport (for some silly reason blade spawners are immune to cloacking so I had to use a transport, which actually worked out very nice), and send the cloacker starships + transport through the wormhole. Make them go to a spot as far away from any enemy units as possible (but staying within the limits of the gravity wells) and unload the transport. Blade spawners unleash their blades to some guard posts, guards become threat and attack. when they come close, move the blade spawners back in the still cloacked transport and watch the threat ships move towards your wormhole to stalk it. When they're far away enough from your transport, unleash spawners again. Repeat a couple of times and the enemy forces get thinned out pretty quick. Of course another batch of resistance fighters spawned as well so I could move in my fleet to clean things up.
Still took me a while to get all this done though (or even to figure out this tactic), because a bunch of waves and the first CPA spawned during that time. CPA freed 88 Mk I ships... I laughed at it.
However, I'm getting really scared of the very first Spirecraft exo, which is at 54% now. I expected the first exo would hit me a lot earlier, like it usually does in my 7/7 games (1:30 - 2 hours, while I'm almost at 4 hours now). The fact that it has been building up for so long makes me think it could be a massive exo. Next steps are unlocking bombers Mk III, neutering all of my neighbouring systems, and prepare for the exo.
I didn't do much scouting, because I didn't want to waste my precious metal on scouts, but I did scout 2 new planets... One of them had an unusual high amount of ships on it so I started to wonder... I scouted the next planet and I was right: the Dyson Sphere. Additionally there's an ARS and a Cursed Golem on it.
This sucks. I had hoped the dyson sphere would be on an "edge planet" but now it has 8 worlds on alert at all times. I've realized that this might very well kill me eventually, especially if some of the alerted worlds are Mk IV. Knowing my luck, a lot of em probably are.
Ah well, that's a worry for another time. I better focus on the matters at hand. Next time we'll find out how the first exo went.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 12:28:29 PM »
well, the ONLY reason I like plasma siege starships is because of the area of effect engine damage.
I find that odd because their sheer dps (when there's enough targets to fully utilize the aoe) is way up there (I expected reports of OP), but either way :)  If you like engine damage, Riots are great for that.  If you used Riots with laser modules like you were with the blade spawners popping back into the cloaked transport, you could probably engine-kill a fair number of them.


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Still took me a while to get all this done though (or even to figure out this tactic), because a bunch of waves and the first CPA spawned during that time. CPA freed 88 Mk I ships... I laughed at it.
Hmm, that's odd, it should have started going up in marks after freeing all the MkIs... or did it tell you ahead of time that it would only be an 88 ship CPA?  I suppose that's possible at low AIP, but 50/70 or whatever isn't that low, particularly on diff 9.

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However, I'm getting really scared of the very first Spirecraft exo, which is at 54% now. I expected the first exo would hit me a lot earlier, like it usually does in my 7/7 games (1:30 - 2 hours, while I'm almost at 4 hours now). The fact that it has been building up for so long makes me think it could be a massive exo.
It'll be about 2x as large as a diff7 exo, but the buildup time is the same if the AIP is the same.  I think you've just kept your AIP lower longer than usual so it's taken a while for the exo to get off the ground (note: FS exos are not at all related to AIP, but spirecraft/golems ones are)

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I scouted the next planet and I was right: the Dyson Sphere. Additionally there's an ARS and a Cursed Golem on it.
Mapgen with the suckerpunch, again! ;)

Good progress thus far :)
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 12:52:58 PM »
ah yes, talk about another ship I have never used... the riot :P I should try them out soon.
the fact that I'm not impressed by the firepower of the plasma siege starships is probably because my enemies were all Mk IV :D they're doing really great against Mk I waves, but I don't think they're overpowered. Combined with the engine damage they really seem like a nice asset to the rest of my fleet; like starships are supposed to be in my opinion.
But the only reason I build them in this game was to stop those Mk IV ships from moving to fast. And they're doing their job fairly well.

The CPA told me ahead that it was going to be 88 ships. I think it occured when my AIP was 45-50. I agree it wasn't much, which is why I laughed. I had regular waves with more ships (neinzul ships, but ships nonetheless).

ahh that makes sense.. normally I would have a lot more AIP at 4 hours ingame, hence the exo spawning faster. What if you have a 250 AIP per 5 minutes increase? does that mean you get an exo within 10 minutes? lol.
Still, about twice as stronger isn't something to overlook. and I was aware of the difference between FS exo's and "regular" exo's. One of the reasons I'm waiting with collecting shards for now.

mapgen has quite been working out in my favor mostly, so far. I'm very satisfied with the botnet on an edge world, only 5 hops away.


Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 09:26:20 AM »
allright, it's been a week since my last update, but I really didn't have much to share. I still don't actually lol. I have 5 other games going on and I try to divide my time among them, which is why progress of this game is going slow. I can however say that I succesfully destroyed the first exo. Easily. I laughed when I read that 2 massive AI ships with 0 firepower were en route to my planets. The lead ships were 2 Mk III spirecraft implosion artillery's. Still, the fact that they start at mk III already.... The rest of the exo was slightly more problematic, but not much. A few starships managed to sneak past my defenses and attempted to assault my home command... which is protected by 8 forcefields. Nice try, AI.
I unlocked Heavy Beam cannons Mk I. I figured they would be a great help against the nearly constant stream of enemy ships leaking into my systems. I was right. Defense is working out nicely so far, especially with the resistance fighters showing up every know and then. they always seem join the fight whenever I need them the most. Very well timed.
So far I've managed to fully neuter.... one single planet -.- Taking out 16 wormhole guard posts certainly takes a lot of time. It wasn't boring though. There was always something happening to keep my attention. Incoming waves (I survived the second CPA, had about 140 mk I ships) and of course the enemy tractor platforms.... Always had to keep an eye out for them, so they wouldn't drag my ships to some random planet and cause threat everywhere. I actually even had to savescum a couple of times for this lol. When killing wormhole guard posts, all your ships are of course very close to a wormhole. If a reinforcement pulse spawns a tractor platform on top of you, and your bombers have just fired their shots at the guard post already, your ships will most likely get taken away pretty much instantly lol. I wasn't planning to live with the consequences :P
Anyhow, I still haven't taken the next planet yet. and it's gonna take a while before I will do so most likely. My plan is to fully neuter Tonic, then fully neuter Rime except for the warp gate, then reneuter Fury and Zagan (killing wormhole guard posts this time) and then I will take Tonic. The reason I'm not going to take Tonic right away is because I will put another mk III world on permanent alert when I do so. I would like to avoid that for now. After I've taken Tonic I will push forward to get that black widow golem on Sleet rather quickly, I could really use it's firepower and paralyze ability. After that Flower and Haures will have to go down quick as well, since they're both Mk IV. then I'll have a hive golem and a botnet golem.... Then the fun actually begins and I can start moving deeper in enemy territory. That's still a lot of hours from now on though, considering I'm almost at 7 and a half hours already lol. But hey, I'm not dead yet.
Mining Golem will destroy Rime in about 2 and a half minutes and the second exo is at 59%. Wish me luck.


Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 10:40:16 AM »
The first few exos are kind of training runs, yea.  Of course, if it rolls a bunch of raid starships it can still be a big pain.

Defense is working out nicely so far, especially with the resistance fighters showing up every know and then. they always seem join the fight whenever I need them the most. Very well timed.
Ally-AI only gets to do one thing right, so they try to make it count ;)

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So far I've managed to fully neuter.... one single planet -.- Taking out 16 wormhole guard posts certainly takes a lot of time.
Ouch, yea, that's like scrubbing the deck of an aircraft carrier with a toothbrush.

Glad the tractor platforms kept things interesting ;)

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I wasn't planning to live with the consequences :P
They weren't planning for you to live through the consequences.

I hope the golem-getting operations go well, though by then it might be the 20 hour mark ;)
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2012, 02:30:25 PM »
I think I actually might have to restart the game. I didn't think I would ever say this, but... I'm going to have to turn off the Dyson Sphere. The dyson sphere has 8 worlds on perma alert from the moment the game started. Those alerted worlds have been leaking ships into my systems from time to time. But now it's getting worse. Threat is going up more frequently and in bigger numbers. So far I'm getting about 100-150 mk III ships about every 10 minutes now. Considering I'm far from ready to free the dyson sphere and kill off all massive piles off ships on those 9 worlds, I don't want to see what the AI will throw at me 20 hours later.
This pretty much makes high dif dyson sphere games way tougher to play than it should be, if not impossibly so. I suggest a fix. Dyson sphere only putting bordering planets on alert when they're spewing out ships seems like a much better (and more logical) idea. So as long as you don't have at least a scout present on the dyson world, threat wont be caused. And once you've freed it, bordering worlds will permanently be on alert of course.
Because this is just silly lol. It's like dyson sphere bordering a core world, only now it's bordering 8 random planets of which most probably mark III. I hate the idea of causing massive threats to happen without actually doing anything wrong lol. If this idea gets in, you could also make dyson sphere's able to border core worlds again, since it won't matter anymore then. That would mean you just have to leave the dyson sphere alone until you're ready to take the homeworld.
anyways, I will wait with restarting the game depending on Keith's response :P

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2012, 02:49:35 PM »
Working on the reinforcements logging I did see that the dyson sphere is actually alerting on the AI-thread, just not on the main-thread, so I can probably fix that, yea.  But it'll probably not be in a release until sometime next week :)
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Offline Nodor

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Re: Keith's Challenge
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2012, 03:10:23 PM »
The Dyson, much like a number of things, is a curse and a blessing.   Having 96 Dyson Gatlings on my homeworld when the Exo's show up is very nice.    Having 5 MK IV carriers coming my way because the Dyson was on the far side of the map?  Perhaps not for the best.