Author Topic: Newbie AAR  (Read 3221 times)

Offline barryvm

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Newbie AAR
« on: May 03, 2012, 06:40:16 AM »
Hallo,

I'm fairly new at this game and I've already played a few games on the lower difficulties (dif 5 and 6, which posed no problems).
I've read several AAR's and looked through the strategy discussions (very helpfull forum this is) and thought about submitting an AAR of my own.
Since I'm a beginner at this game it will probably not be the "spectacular win against all odds" type of post: I'll probably get a sound pounding at some point.
Any comments and tips are appreciated as well as identifying strategic mistakes.

Now I think I'll begin my first "real" game with the following setup:

map type: complex
AI: both at difficulty 7 (all types enabled).
0 AIP per 30 minute because I will problably be very slow at this and I don't want to be rushed.
all bonus ships enabled (all expansions)
Dyson Sphere, Human resistance, medium golems and spirecraft enabled. (I only leave on the things that make the game a little easier)
I always play with random AI and homeworld and don't savescum..., or at least not too often  ;D.

With a suitable feeling of dread I push the start game button...
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 06:42:00 AM by barryvm »

Offline barryvm

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 07:49:14 AM »
And I'm off!



I seem to be in an good definsible position (only two wormholes).
My bonus ship is the laser gatling which seems a low damage low cost swarmer if I understand the tooltips correctly.

I unlock Economic command II and bombers II and start building a fleet to assault the neighbouring planets.
After assembling a small fleet I send them through to Tetherwasic and blast the defenders and command center to bits.

At first glance I'm lucky: there are two advanced research stations at Erroha and at Soafrea two hops away!
The party doesn"t last long however as a second look revealed that Erroha borders on a chain of mark IV worlds and Soafrea contains no less than four of those nasty Mk III counterattack guard posts (which I only noticed once I had popped the first one  >:().
It seems the map generator has been designed to play sadistical mindgames with unsuspecting players.

As I can't afford to let a mk IV planet build up a few hops away and my special ship is not exactly build for heavy Mk IV assault purposes I decided to gate raid Erroha and  Chalea (the other world neigbouring my homeworld) with a raid starship and attack Soafrea instead.

I popped the counterattack guard posts one at a time with a few minutes in between to spread the counterattack waves (700 Mk III ships total) and capture the planet.
I get the Spire Teleporting Leech and test it on the counterattack waves and on the "normal" waves which (naturally) spawn at the same time.
The AI's seem to be big fans of  Spire Gravity Rippers, Armor ships and raiders (no problems there).
Can't seem to use this unit properly though, they are teleporters so they don't stick with the fleet but they have a far too low attack to actually reclaim something.

Time to fortify Soafrea to absorb incoming waves (in the range of 70 - 120 ships) and prepare for the attack on Erroha.

The current plan is to capture Erroha and hope the ARS yields something with a little more firepower and (partially neuter) Murdoch (Mk IV).
Once I have a sound economic base I can then capture Murdoch and activate the hive golem on there (I heard these are really good but I've never tried them myself).
I also think I should periodicly attack Murdoch (with less than 50 ships ?) to keep the reinforcements from building up.
At this point I have no idea what to unlock (except scouts II,  fighters II and bombers III) so I'm leaving it at that.

I'm really feeling optimistic at this point.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 08:32:09 AM by barryvm »

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 10:07:03 AM »
ah yes, I always feel optimistic whenever I start my game as well. Until I get hammered on the AI homeworlds that is lol.
You play with random AI types right? Did you also enable the reveal random ai types option to see who you're up against? I'm curious about that.
So far you seem to be starting out good =) Just be careful of the mk IV worlds. Only put them on alert if you really have no choice.
As for unlocking things. I usually wait with unlocking stuff. I save my knowledge for when i really need it. It all depends on what happens in your game. Harvesters mk III will always get unlocked in my games. But when I unlock it all depends on how much of a hard time the enemy gives me.
Just try some stuff out I guess. See what works for you.

Offline barryvm

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 10:15:47 AM »
Thanks for the tip about the mk IV, they seem a bit more deadly challenging on this difficulty.

Can you turn the view AI type option on after starting ? (I seem to have forgotten that one) ?

Are higher level harvesters better than economic stations ? I saw several posts dismissing their usefullness in favour of economic command stations but they seem to have changed in one of the patches.
The current plan would be to put only the first mk IV on alert and partially neutering it, I kind of hope that would keep me safe from too much buildup  but I'm not sure.
I just hope the ARS unlock isn't some swarmer or my decision to take the Mk IV's out later could turn out to be a quite nasty mistake.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 10:19:50 AM by barryvm »

Offline Diazo

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 10:39:35 AM »
Welcome to the game.  8)

It looks like you are off to a good start.

If the ship type the ARS will give you is a big deal, you can see what you could get in advance by dropping a Science ship into the system with the ARS. (Make sure to use a Science Mk I or Mk II, NOT a K-Hacker or Ship-Hacker). A Transport works great for getting the science ship there alive.

A new tab will appear in the science menu called ARS with 3 ship types. If you capture the planet, the ARS will give you one of those 3 types at random. If you really want a specific ship you can use a Ship-Hacker but that will provoke a response from the AI.

Note that if you capture the system randomly, the ship you get is determined by the map seed. Save-Loading to get a different ship does not work.

On the command station vs. harvester, it depends on your situation. The fewer systems, the stronger economic command stations are, the more systems the better harvesters are. I think the patch notes have the actual math. Patch 5.033

I tend to go econ stations and build them in my behind the lines systems, but in my current game (The 14 wormholes of fun AAR) I don't have any systems behind the lines so I went harvesters.

I am a fan of military command stations for systems exposed to the AI, even at only 20% for the Mk I, the attack bonus is a huge boost.

As for finding out the AI types after the game starts, you either have to guess based on what it does or use a cheat code.

Let us know how it goes.

D.

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 10:55:46 AM »
Personally I only use Logistics command stations all the time. I've learned the value of speed effects in strategy games (decreasing enemy's, increasing yours) and therefore gravity turrets, tractor turrets and in late game often zenith time-space manipulators are part of my standard asset for every game. I never build economic commands. Logistics give less resources than economic, so harvester upgrades always have been a must for me. Imagine how happy I was when they finally got a buff.

As for ARS hacking, you can do this if you want to choose a bonus ship out of 3 available choices. But each time you hack something, the AI's reponse will increase. Make a choice about which ones you want to hack and which ones you're ok with. If you decide not to hack, you will get the bonus ship that's listed first, NOT a random one. I think it used to be random when hacking was first introduced, but that changed one or two patches after. I believe this was to prevent people from savescumming over and over until they got the ship they wanted.

Also, does hovering your mouse over the AI Progress bar on your screen not show the AI types you're playing against? I know it does if you have reveal random AI types enabled, but I'm not sure if it does that with the option disabled. If you see something about tech thresholds popping up, that's the right thing.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 12:22:32 PM by zoutzakje »

Offline madcow

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 11:28:57 AM »
Good luck in your game. I'm on my first 7/7 myself (played one at 6/6), which I'll update after I get a chance to play it some more. If you go into a mark IV world prepared, its not as bad as you might expect, just have a plan and don't dither around.

As for hive golems, yes. Those things are amazing, in my 6/6 game I basically took out the second home world with just a hive golem. Those little swarmers seem to ignore forcefields which makes them very nice for cracking defensive spots. Just be careful of AI eyes!

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 09:08:14 PM »
The party doesn"t last long however as a second look revealed that Erroha borders on a chain of mark IV worlds and Soafrea contains no less than four of those nasty Mk III counterattack guard posts
The RNG says hi!

Quote
It seems the map generator has been designed to play sadistical mindgames with unsuspecting players.
Nah, that's emergent behavior.

Quote
The AI's seem to be big fans of  Spire Gravity Rippers, Armor ships and raiders (no problems there)
Yea, those aren't too annoying.  Not like Spire Gravity Drains + Spire Blade Spawners + Eyebots, etc.

Quote
Once I have a sound economic base I can then capture Murdoch and activate the hive golem on there (I heard these are really good but I've never tried them myself).
A Hive Golem, properly used, can really rip stuff to shreds.

Quote
I also think I should periodicly attack Murdoch (with less than 50 ships ?) to keep the reinforcements from building up.
Or take out all the guard posts and station some stuff (turrets if you have supply, perhaps) near the command station to mop up reinforcements.

Quote
I'm really feeling optimistic at this point.
The RNG says hi!
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Offline barryvm

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 05:46:48 AM »
The ARS unlock turned out to be raiders.
This could pose a problem because my other unlocks are laser gattlings and teleporting leaches and I currently lack a hard hitting high hp ship for assault purposes.
The raiders appair to be an excellent counter against the armor ships the AI is using, so I'm happy with that.
I suppose I have to invest in starships if I want some offensive firepower.

I didn't feel confident my fleet could handle the Mk IV worlds since it consists mostly of laser gattlings, raiders and a few leeches so I split my fleet in two: one half would protect the Hive golem under construction and the other half would lay waste to the neigbouring lower mark AI worlds, dispatching any buildup and clearing the guardposts and warp gates.
Once the golem was ready, well...
Quote
A Hive Golem, properly used, can really rip stuff to shreds.
Exactly that: even the AI eye on the planet couldn't produce zombies fast enough to counter the +- 400 wasps the hive golem released.
My fleet came in to mop up the survivors (all zombies, which are apparently ignored by the wasps).

One important caveat I have to remember: the released thread didn't waste time trying to kill off the wasps but came straight through the wormhole to start pounding my fleet (which was out of position and split into several groups at the time).
Seems like a rather smart move on the part of the AI: if it had a little more ships it would have destroyed half my raider fleet before the others could react.

The teleporting leeches still confound me: I'm using them mainly on defense but they need a large amount of micromanagement to actually reclaim anything.

I've now captured an Advanced factory (currently building bomber IV's) and partially neutred all neighbouring Mk IV planets.
At this point I probably should consolidate my position and start destroying guard posts, warp gates and thread.
A bit more focus on scouting woudn't hurt either.

Also I just noticed there is another ARS at Tinleaban two hops away.
And a Blade Spawner factory (it's christmas!  :)) ).

One AI type identified by searching the wiki: the Retaliatory AI gets counterattack guardposts on almost all planets.
It doesn't pose much of a thread now but I imagine it could be nasty when AIP goes up or when I attack the core- or homeworlds.

Quote
Good luck in your game. I'm on my first 7/7 myself (played one at 6/6), which I'll update after I get a chance to play it some more. If you go into a mark IV world prepared, its not as bad as you might expect, just have a plan and don't dither around.
Thanks, good luck as well.

The situation so far (I didn't have much time to play this week, so not much difference here):


Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 05:50:59 PM »
Always good to see a Golem earn its provender ;)  Interesting on the wasps ignoring the zombies and the AI largely ignoring the wasps, I hadn't known it would handle it that way.
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Offline barryvm

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 04:09:26 PM »
Quote
Always good to see a Golem earn its provender   Interesting on the wasps ignoring the zombies and the AI largely ignoring the wasps, I hadn't known it would handle it that way.

It could be they were just following the hive golem and acquired easier targets after they entered my system.
The released thread did leave the system to attack my undefended worlds however.
The zombies were zenith mirrors and I looked it up in the wiki: they are immume to blade attacks.
Fortunately they don't pose much of a thread.

The golem has become the flagship of my offensive fleet by now (sometimes the only ship), so it was certainly worth the time spent repairing it.

Offline PokerChen

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 07:09:46 AM »
The ARS unlock turned out to be raiders.
This could pose a problem because my other unlocks are laser gattlings and teleporting leaches and I currently lack a hard hitting high hp ship for assault purposes.
The raiders appair to be an excellent counter against the armor ships the AI is using, so I'm happy with that.

With enough ships and steady production you should be ok just steamrolling the planets to be assaulted. Raiders and Laser Gatlings synergise each other rather well, as both have a good range and complementary hull bonuses. Against mark-IV worlds you should manoeuvre so as to engage AI ships at each guardpost separately - even when they all activate, you should be able to guide and kite most of the AI ships.

Offline barryvm

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2012, 06:19:38 AM »
Didn't have all that much time to play the last week so my progress is excruciatingly (not sure I spelled that right) slow.

I have captured another ARS and got etherjets.
I'm currently using them on defence, capturing escaped ships from incoming waves and dragging them back to the turretball.
On the offensive side they seem to be usefull for clearing lower level planets by sniping the guardpost after killing the tachyon guardians.

I also have to thank zharmad for his advice on the gattlings and raiders, they do team up rather well and I've cleared two Mk IV worlds simply by kiting the guards and killing them off one by one.

Admbark (Mk IV) borders one of my worlds and is building up fast despite having destroyed all non-wormhole guard posts.

At the moment I've cleared much of the thread spawned during my run for the next ARS (It was well over 1000 ships and it simply felt bad) and I'm building up my defences.
I'm not sure now wether to capture one or more planets to secure my homeworld and lessen the amount of hostile wormholes because it would probably push the AIP over the Mk II limit and (if I understand the game mechanics right) less alerted planets would mean Admbark (Mk IV) would get proportionally more reinforcements.
Another solution would be to raid a few Datacenters but I haven't found any of them as yet and would probably need jumpships to reach them anyway.



And a chaotic battle on Admbark when the etherjets decided to come in and play along with the rest of the fleet:



I really like the visuals of this game, they are very clear and easy to interpret and when you watch a group of ships with nice effects engage the visuals can be really epic.
Eat that you fancy 3D graphics.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 08:20:09 AM by barryvm »

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2012, 07:46:14 AM »
could you attach those screenshots using additional options when posting (or editing)? I'm unable to zoom in on them right now.

Offline barryvm

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Re: Newbie AAR
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2012, 08:20:43 AM »
I must have linked to the thumbnails instead of the images  ::)

 

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