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General Category => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: Wanderer on October 17, 2012, 03:44:14 PM

Title: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 17, 2012, 03:44:14 PM
Well, somehow or another I've missed the 100 planet map achievement.  I still want Sledge and Zenith 9+ achievements too.  I'm mostly interested in BASE GAME changes at this point.  The Champions and whatnot have been used and abused heavily but to actually see how things are working I need to see base game with less variables.  so, setup:

Clusters looks interesting.  Eventually you can dual/triple chokepoint any region, but it should make for a fun game.

Let's see... what the hell is THAT thing... Zenith Reprocessor?  Oh, yeah, right right.  The ships that basically says "Come and die for me..."  Should be excellent in the early game, and has... 10k/second dps?  Oh, ship cap 8, I'd wondered.  You know, that'll be an interesting defensive ship to test out for early game economic boosting.  We'll try that puppy out.

100 worlds - Clusters Simple - Seed: 1210157283
Expands: All
AIs: Sledge Hammer 9.6/Zenith Descendant 9.6 
Ships: All
Game Options: Normal/Normal/High/Full Fog
AI Options:
  Modifiers: Reveal Random AI Types, Schizophrenic
  Minor Factions: Human Resistance Fighters, Human Colony Rebellions.  Temptations to turn on Golems - Hard and the new SCLs, but I'll get to those.  KISS.
AI Plots: None

So, why 9.6 instead of 10/10?  Because I wanted to test the game at about the extreme edge of where my abilities should lie.  Faulty and a few others are much better at particular micro or exploiting certain game events, so they should be able to usually get .2 ahead of me, and 9.8 is supposed to be that limit.  Also, I'd like to WIN my first AAR coming back after a long break. :) 

Fire in the hole!

Alright, first system (Zupyar... that can't stand, renamed to Homeworld) is a reasonable setup with 4 inbound WHs, and I've got reasonable distance from all of them.  Galaxy map needs almost no untangling... oh lords I love it.

Paused on entry, of course, I start looking over initial research options.  Nothing in particular strikes my eye but I notice I get this new Modular Fortress for 3k.  Ooooh, those could be handy.  Also, Mini-Fortress for 1k.  SOLD!  No significant changes to turret K costs, didn't miss anything there... Pop open grav Is.  Alright, now, hrm.  Harvester IIs of course.  I'll sit on the 4,250 K that's left for now, since I can't double tap the harvesters to III yet.

Alright, first builds.  10 scout/50 fighter/5 bomber/5 frigate/1 Reprocessor on repeating Local FRD.  Oh, wait, there's new controls for FRD, need to check those out!

Holy crap... errr, load my settings from disk, thank you...

Oooh, Brave Cloakers, let's get that turned on (YES, it's been a while, thank you...).

Alright, where was I?  Oh, right, intial constructions.  10 Econ Is on FRD, and a new Sci II lab.  Drop out two of those new Mini-forts and watch my econ plunge. Let's check in on the neighbors.

MK IV next door on Suolik (2/4).  That's nice.  Lesseee... AutoBombs, Beam Frigates, Bombars, Chameleons, Elect Bombers, Mirrors, Paralyzers... Polarizers... Shreders... Zenith Medics... Siege Engines... SERIOUSLY?  Who the hell ordered up an 'everything' AI?

Fort II and assundry MK III annoyances on Afrzi(4/2), next world clockwise.  Boatcini (4/0) is a nice easy MK I world, as is Geswo (1/1).  Well, that's going to be annoying.  The first choke world out of the cluster, Tusan(3/1) is a MK III and packs dual Counter-strike posts.  Yeeeeesh.

Another nearby world, inside the cluster, Ribvar (0/2) packs an Ion Eye.  This is an ugly starter position, but we'll see.  The first 10 Scout Is are up so I drive them deep into enemy territory at 0:0:56.

Edit: Hit wrong button, will continue in next post...
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 17, 2012, 06:01:23 PM
Those scouts don't even get past the second system out from Homeworld.  Triple Ion Cannons and a Fort III made short work of them on Mantis (1/2), that's going to get ugly.

At about 0:03:40 the Dual Minis come online, and fleet production re-activates.  Scouts find yet another MK IV right off the port bow on Isheis(2/4), Sentry Eye, couple of Ion cannons, already loaded for bear with units... and ANOTHER MK IV next to that at Tolyo... errr, changing that to Tokyo(1/2)... That's a square of MK IV worlds with a MK III mixed in just for amusement.  Yikes.

Lessee, MK III with PAralyzer V down at Xumir... and a counter, great.  Another MK IV two hops out at Pirafenori(3/0), also packing an Ion Eye.   C'mon, seriously?  I'm literally ringed by MK III+ worlds except for two crappy locals.

First wave announces.  69 ships 3 starships to homeworld in 1:39.  Fleet's still constructing... but I'm curious to see how the mini-forts hold the line alone.  Scouting continues, and another MK III is found at 3 out with 3x Counter-strikes.

Well, mini-forts alone are nice, but not enough to stuff the wave... though my poor grav turret positioning didn't help... and here I realize one of my mistakes, waiting for the docks to produce 98/98/98 instead of 96/96/96.  Whooops.

First targets are the MK IVs right off the entrance, and I might as well start with Afrzi that has the Fortress.  Get the entire mess out of the way early.  Confusion point arose here though... the mini-fortress when hi-lighted reads as 2 out of 1 in Service and Ship Cap 1.  It's... very non-intuitive.

At 10:45 ish I move to start the first assault and allow Raid Is to start construction.  A 93 + 3 wave announces for 1:40 out about 11:00 so I don't heavily commit the fleet in Afrzi, I just visit and clear the entryway and start working on a local FF3, and pull back at 30 secs out.

For the next 8 minutes or so I greet a single Railcluster, a single Mini-siege, and have only removed 50% of a MK III FF with my entire fleet... though we are building Fleet SS and Leech SS back at home.  I need more firepower.  Fire up Bomber II... and Harvester Metal III.

Scouts finally have found my first ARS in the starter cluster back at Dora.  Another MK III world with a Fort II on it and a counterstrike, but at least I know where one is now.  Scout Is aren't doing it anymore.  I'll use them to picket and upgrade to Scout IIs. 

My first run after the Fortress itself on Afrzi goes poorly.  I lose over half my bombers to a MK IV shredder replication that I BARELY get back under control when the bombers get abck to the main fleet.  It'd almost hit critical mass for my current firepower. 

At about 33:00 I finally have the fleet fully built, those Bomber IIs really chewed up my available materials, and I'm running into power concerns.  It's time to take a target, and I've been working Afrzi for a while, and have just been getting hung up on the FFs.  Railclusters still list cap as 5, btw, instead of 8/4... and DAMN they're brutal to MK Is as MK IIs.

JUST as I pop Afrzi, a wave announces for 333 ships against homeworld.  Dammit.

And i get 253+3 as a back to back.  I do get 99 Spider bots from my leeches though... :)  Afrzi is now sporting a mil I with dual minis and dual FFs building over the Mil I and my energy is back off the floor.  I'm not going to bother with it beyond that as it's really out of the way of just about everything... and I left a SF post alive on it.  AIP is currently 31.

this wave has nearly 200 Beam Frigates in it, must have homogenized on me.  The majority of 'em made a run for Boatcini to become threat, which is now at 81.  Got 45 Beam Frigates for my trouble though.  So far, so good.  Gonna go whap that threat tho'... which isn't hanging around there.  not quite sure where they got off to yet.

At 50:00 or so econ has hit 500k/500k, so I start building off Siege/Bomber/Cloaker SSs.  Battling on Suolik has taken a masive toll on my fleet, so they've retreated with only maybe half the fleet left and getting hunted down by a massive group of railcannons and reclaimers, with some mini-siege mixxed in.  My guess is this is the new SF group.  I'm going to need some more firepower.

I'd forgotten to bring another 10 Econ Is online on the homeworld for new construction after initial builds, so I've been twiddling a little too long here.  I use a bunch of K on Raid SS IIs, figuring I'm going to need them here eventually. 

At 59:00 A 16... 16? ship wave announces for Afrzi.  Errr, oookay.

Damn those spire railclusters are nasty.  I got a chance to jump the SF conga line at one point when they responded to my assault at Geswo.  They tore the fleet to pieces.  Wow.

The 16 ships were Railclusters, and they trashed the mini-forts on entrance.  They got 4 of them down though.  So much for that... the fleet responds.

1 hour update: One MK IV world destroyed and conquered, one MK IV world hurting, SF forces are becoming a problem, and minor upgrades to units have occurred.  Primary cluster almost fully scouted.

An 88 Zombard assault hits homeworld.  Niiice... not.   I do recover 25 of them for defensive fleet though before they take the leech ss's out.  I'm stuck doing a famine econ refleet so I start doing Raid SS work with 3/2 I/II of them.  You know, I'd SWEAR F3 used to turn on the debug system...   Oh, only visible in galaxy view now?  And it's under the P0-9 control.  Interesting. 

wow, I'm getting seriously stifled by the SF group.  NICE.  It's about time they were a power in the 'verse.  Hm, what to DO about it though... beach-head maybe, force a cleanup of them constantly.  That could work.  Btw, the reclaimers... not so joyful.

1:20:00 Suolik (another MK IV border world) falls to the fleet.  AIP 52.  1:30 we're refleeting due to a massive brawl and wave hitting homeworld while also trying to cover the initial buildup on Suolik.  A 607 ship wave announces for Afrzi.  I'm starting to see the beginning of the stagnation, as my econ is nearly pure famine at the moment.

There's the humans!  Wahoo, saved from economic destruction.  Afrzi was going to hold, barely, but the Humans coming in for cleanup saved me complete fleet wipe... though it's pretty close anyway.

So, time to really look over SF changes in detail.

Quote
Special Forces made more interesting
AI Special Forces: Now get periodic extra spawns (in addition to the usual trickle from reinforcements) if under a "special forces population cap" determined by difficulty, AIP, etc. The spawns are spread out among all special forces posts (and special forces guardians) in the galaxy, except those in non-AI territory. Each post in non-AI territory instead increases the special-forces-population-cap by about 5%. So there's a reason to kill them, in tension with the +1 AIP from killing them.
 If you're curious about the math, etc, turn on Advanced Logging and check SpecialForcesLogicLog.txt in your RuntimeData directory after the game has run for a bit. There's some minor spoilers in there about what ships each AI has, but nothing you probably won't find out looking at a few AI planets anyway.
 
Will now rally to defend an AI planet that is under significant attack and at least mildly important (AI Homeworld, core world, or a planet with a CSG, ARS, Advanced Factory, Super Terminal, or Broken Golem on it, giving priority to HWs/core-worlds).
 Now keep the special-forces flag even when they have encountered the enemy, so that rallying to a planet does not just dump all the special forces there as normal threat.
 When not rallying to defend a planet, will select a staging planet about 3 hops deep into AI territory and rally there until an eligible AI planet is attacked.
 To prevent a player's first attack from running into several hundred AI ships out for blood, as entertaining as it was during testing, special forces ships are no longer seeded during the initial map seeding.
 Thanks to Hearteater, Faulty Logic, Martyn van Buren, Diazo, TechSY730, Lancefighter, Sunshine!, Bossman, Draco18s, Ozymandiaz, Wingflier, and chemical_art for feedback inspiring these changes.

Ah, so that CSG-E I was fussing around with on Suolik was what was triggering the SF assault team to come a-knocking.  Good to know.  Also I've left two SF posts alive so that's around 10% increase to the cap with them on my planets.

Knocking them out however seems pointless on other planets unles they're "behind the wall", just mine.   Let's see what else is in the notes...

Quote
When a special forces alarm post is triggered it converts all special forces in the galaxy directly into threat-fleet, and then blows up the alarm post (not causing AIP, unless it was triggered because it was shot to death).

Hm, good to know.

Alright, simple enough.  I need to go beach-head a CSG world for a while and clean out the damn Special Forces.  Preferably OFF the beaten path.  As are ARSs, Bs are Fact IVs, Cs are Fabricators and Ds are Counterstrikes... sounds like a D is my best choice for that, as long as I don't eventually take a counterstrike world.... which I will at Tusan when I put up the real whipping boys... dammit.

Map as it stands:
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/NewChanges1_30map.jpg)

The two yellow arrows point at the two MK IV borderworlds I had to take out before AIP got too high.  Also, decent resources.  Boatcini, one of the borderworlds, will end up as the eastern whipping boy.  Eventually I'll also get down and take Tusan and make a southern-facing whipping boy as well, with the two blue lines indicating the entries to my cluster.

Over at Superman, there is a single Datacenter that I found, that's it.  I haven't popped it yet.  Over in the cluster, on Dora, is the ARS (P9).  Please note the mass of MK III/IV worlds between me and it.  I still can't get scouts onto Suoverjo. 

I'm debating on really fracking with the SF's head.  Go through the cluster and wipe out all local SF posts.  Then, invest Dora with a beachhead forcing the SF troops to constantly come through the two whipping boy gates.  Should be fun if I pull it off.

Time is 1:37... and my head cold is demanding some down time.  I'll come back to this later.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Volatar on October 17, 2012, 06:12:37 PM
Lesseee... AutoBombs, Beam Frigates, Bombars, Chameleons, Elect Bombers, Mirrors, Paralyzers... Polarizers... Shreders... Zenith Medics... Siege Engines... SERIOUSLY?  Who the hell ordered up an 'everything' AI?

With that lineup I would hack every ARS I can until I find Acid Sprayers.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Dichotomy on October 17, 2012, 06:17:30 PM
Only 9.6/9.6?!?
The insanity hypothesis gains credence.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 17, 2012, 06:39:16 PM
Only 9.6/9.6?!?
The insanity hypothesis gains credence.

When was this a mere hypothesis?  I thought that I was nuts was a well known fact...
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Faulty Logic on October 17, 2012, 06:39:56 PM
Only 9.6/9.6?!?
The insanity hypothesis gains credence.

When was this a mere hypothesis?  I thought that I was nuts was a well known fact...
He's new.
Glad to see you're back.
Edit: Why is this thread so named?
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 17, 2012, 08:35:11 PM
Let's see... what the hell is THAT thing...
Yep, you're gonna be saying that a lot.

Quote
Zenith Reprocessor?
Not actually one of the favorites out of the new bonus types, but it did get buffed pretty good more recently, so there's some potential here :) 

Quote
You know, that'll be an interesting defensive ship to test out for early game economic boosting.
With the cloaking it might make an amusing raiding ship.  The "I stopped at the traffic light and they field-dressed my car!" kind of raiding.

Quote
Galaxy map needs almost no untangling...
I believe that's a theme in all map types from CoN onward :)

Confusion point arose here though... the mini-fortress when hi-lighted reads as 2 out of 1 in Service and Ship Cap 1.  It's... very non-intuitive.
Ah, will need to fix that next week then.  The per-planet-cap thing hasn't been around long-enough/commonly-enough to get all the wrinkles shaken out. 

Suffice it to say, you can build 2 per planet.

Quote
Railclusters still list cap as 5, btw, instead of 8/4
The listed cap is true; I didn't adjust the caps of the stuff to which unit-cap-scale does not apply (namely, the stuff that was already low-cap like the spire fleetships)

Quote
Gonna go whap that threat tho'... which isn't hanging around there.  not quite sure where they got off to yet.
*whistles innocently* Threat?  What threat?

Quote
You know, I'd SWEAR F3 used to turn on the debug system...   Oh, only visible in galaxy view now?
If it's not showing the main info window, move your mouse cursor around.  The window is shy about the cursor.

Anyway, welcome back :)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Faulty Logic on October 17, 2012, 08:40:16 PM
Confusion point arose here though... the mini-fortress when hi-lighted reads as 2 out of 1 in Service and Ship Cap 1.  It's... very non-intuitive.
Ah, will need to fix that next week then.  The per-planet-cap thing hasn't been around long-enough/commonly-enough to get all the wrinkles shaken out. 

Suffice it to say, you can build 2 per planet.

The text description needs a bit of work. "A few" means three, dammit!
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 17, 2012, 08:57:22 PM
The text description needs a bit of work. "A few" means three, dammit!
http://xkcd.com/1070/
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Faulty Logic on October 17, 2012, 09:02:40 PM
 :)
"Few" alone is vague, but "a few" means three. No argument on this point will be sustained.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 17, 2012, 09:03:01 PM
Edit: Why is this thread so named?

Expectations... Merely because of expectations.

Quote
Zenith Reprocessor?
Not actually one of the favorites out of the new bonus types, but it did get buffed pretty good more recently, so there's some potential here :) 
Not a bad fighting ship but I'm a little disappointed in it.  I expected to be swimming in M/C after waves.  If it's doing much, I can't even tell.

Quote
Quote
You know, that'll be an interesting defensive ship to test out for early game economic boosting.
With the cloaking it might make an amusing raiding ship.  The "I stopped at the traffic light and they field-dressed my car!" kind of raiding.
Cloaking?  It can't shoot and cloak, can it?

Quote
Quote
Galaxy map needs almost no untangling...
I believe that's a theme in all map types from CoN onward :)
Yawhoot!


Quote
The listed cap is true; I didn't adjust the caps of the stuff to which unit-cap-scale does not apply (namely, the stuff that was already low-cap like the spire fleetships)
AH!  That makes sense... nasty little fegs though... very very nasty.

Quote
If it's not showing the main info window, move your mouse cursor around.  The window is shy about the cursor.
Ah, kk, will do.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 17, 2012, 09:04:25 PM
:)
"Few" alone is vague, but "a few" means three. No argument on this point will be sustained.

I wholeheartedly agree!  There is absolutely no reason to sustain an argument that has to do with a word that means more than 1 and less than a volume that actually matters.  :D
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 17, 2012, 09:12:18 PM
:)
"Few" alone is vague, but "a few" means three. No argument on this point will be sustained.
Ok, I'll have the AI send a few motherships to investigate.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Faulty Logic on October 17, 2012, 09:14:15 PM
Motherships don't scare me. I fought a few a couple games ago.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 17, 2012, 09:43:05 PM
Well, on spawn up I finally got a few scouts back to Suoverjo, and it was unimpressive.  The new 'dying on a different world sound' almost sounded like a flat gong... will take a few to get used to.

So, there are only two reasons to get into the backfield of my own cluster.  The ARS and to clean out Warp gates.  Next stop, Boatcini and its whipping boy off Mantis... which means I really need to pop the Eye and friends down on Pirafenori... which I need to do anyway.  Raids to the rescue!... besides, I'm still in famine econ.

With Econ never getting off the floor I unlock Crystal Havester III and am back down to 1,250 K again. 

God DAMN those Railclusters are evil at MK IV.  entire fleet only got 3 of them dead against a mini-threatball.  Holy crap.  Doesn't help that they're threat release from one of the other MK IV worlds and have a few artillery's parked there as well to lay out my starships.  However, with the Raid fleet active again, back to Perkadillio or whatever the hell that planet's name was.

I also popped a Distribution Node (Trojan of course) to try to get my economy off the floor.  No joy, but at least no serious loss either.

Homeworld gets an announcement for a wave inbound, 73 ships.  That's gonna hurt.  Most of the troops just got whapped when I tried to hit Boatcini while the Raids had dragged a bunch of wormholers off the entry.  The human rebels took on the inbound MK IV Guardian fleet at Afrzi though, so that saved me a bit.  However, 71 Reprocessors are just parked on Homeworld at the moment... great.  Unlock Tachyon emitters... TOO LATE.  Lost a Home Settlement... two of them.  dammit, savescum... and my autosave is right as they start opening fire on the home CC.  Crap. 

Going to restart this game.  I'm not happy with my additional unit and I stalled out hard trying to dig my way out of all those MK IVs right off the homeworld.  Same settings, new seed, new starter ship.  I'd blame the cold-medicine but that's not all of it.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 17, 2012, 09:53:49 PM
Score another one for the AI!

(though the AI's Zenith Reprocessors going after your home settlements is a disturbing bit of emergent imagery)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: TechSY730 on October 17, 2012, 10:45:51 PM
Do you feel like the Spire Railclusters are OP? I was sort of getting that feeling when I was playing around with them (and of course, the AI decided to unlock them the same game too, so I got to see the other side of this as well...)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 18, 2012, 12:46:45 AM
Score another one for the AI!

(though the AI's Zenith Reprocessors going after your home settlements is a disturbing bit of emergent imagery)

Funny, however.  Rather funny.

Hah, finally found a map where I could start with the Spire Railcluster.  To hell with that, with how badly those things ate me last game?  GIMME.

On a random personal side note: I'm getting rather sick of cough drops, but they're a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Alright, startup. Not making the same economic error twice, straight to Harvester IIIs... right after I stop having to restart the game because I CAN'T FRICKIN CLICK THE RIGHT TARGET....  and Mini-Fortress.

So, startup... homeworld is Picard, and it's one away from a cluster-road.  This cluster has 3 inroads to it.  Sox (2/2), the cluster road and my original intent as the primary whipping boy, is a MK IV with a CoP on it.  How special.

My other 'easy grabs' are really weak in resources and are MK Is. Greeeaaat. That's Meander (2/1) and Kirk (1/0).

Misery's a MK III (3/3) and is 3 hops out.  That might be a decent next point.  Spagetti, the inroad from the other cluster to Sox, is a MK III with a counter on it.  Tau is pretty much the same just no counter. 

2 Planets north of me on Eridani(2/2) is a grav drill... on the MK IV world.  Well, great.  Just past that is a Data Center on a MK III on Shawshank (1/2).

5:30 in.  Fleet's about half built, both mini-forts up on homeworld.  Econ's famine still but that's expected.  Open up Grav I turrets and drop a 5 turret screen near the CC to help screen it from problems.

First wave announces at 7:25 again, 75+2 to Homeworld.  Fleet should JUSt finish by the time they arrive.  I'm still poking my Scout Is around the starter cluster.  First defense went well enough but the enemy has fireflies, so there's now a bunch of threat out there.

Finally having gotten all my Scout I's to 3-outs I've got nothing of interest in the immediate neighborhood.  I've already begun the engagement on Sox, the MK IV neighbor and eventual whpping boy.  The enemy has Gravity Drains, so that's making this more uncomfortable as well.  It'll also pretty much negate any Raid SS tactics I'd usually apply.

I've decided I'm going to ride an artifically inflated AIP due to the neighboring CoP to set the whipping boy up properly and early... which is immediately short-circuited when I look at wormhole layouts for Sox.  Dammit.  Setting up over on Spagetti on the other side makes a lot more sense.  Planet is crap for resources though, 1/1... BAH, dangit.

I had to come back with the fleet after cleaning off a FF III with MK I units on Sox to catch a wave that was hitting homeworld from behind.  The trap between them and the mini-forts worked nicely.  Out of curiousity though I setup a mobile builder.  I'm going to try to build a few on Sox.  Nope, CoP blocks supply on those, too.  Rats.

Map is attached below.

So, hrm.  Do I take Sox and it's barely a Grav I distance between the homeworld and the cluster connector, or don't I.  I could, in theory, just pop the Warp Gate and move on somewhere else, but I'd particularly picked this world for both the Railgun and the cluster-connector whipping boy/chokepoint.  Hrm.

If I break through the Tach emitters at Smurf Village and Tau in the center I should be able to land scouts onto the rest of the cluster worlds.  I need to see more options.  Sox is basically broken at this point.  It's got an SF, the CC/Warp, and the CoP on it.  A whopping 7 combat ships, too.  Guess I'll punch through the middle.  I don't like ANY of my current options.

Problem one... Tau has a Parasite Eye and dual Ions.  The ions will need to go.  Send the Fleet to Meander to clear the way for the Raids.  I don't know how well this will work with that much Grav Drain out there but hell, worth a shot.

I grab a save at 38:00 simply because I'm morbidly curious about what a Parasite eye will actually do to the fleet.  Also, since one of the AIs at least is using mines, I fire up a few scout SSs so I can remove some of the space junk.

I... kind of sadly... never really end up actually FIGHTING the eye on round 1 in that system.  The fleet ended up running face first into a bunch of MK III and some guardians, and then trying to take out the FF III in that system over one of the posts just stalled up and died a lot.  They got sent home without ever lighting up the eye, but they did clear out a nice chunk of enemy.  The Raids head out to deal with the little MLRS under glass issue... and promptly die in the attempt, getting it to 31% before dual Artillery Guardians lay them to rest.  Oops.

Skipping some back and forth aginst Tau which is just me bitching about a double refleet, I get a lookeeloo at Confederation, with a DC, Z-Gennie, 0/0 world with 4 ions and is MK IV.  The only Mk II or less worlds I have seen in two games have been directly adjacent to the homeworld.  RNG hate me much?

1 hour update: Not a hell of a lot done. Dig dig dig.  Finally decide to drop the K on Scout IIs and hit energy edge.  Fire up a converter on homeworld.

At 1:10 I've finally punched through the Eye on Tau with the MK I fleet.  The first assault on Smurf Village with what's left goes... poorly.  It does release a bunch of defenders however.  It'll take a few runs.   right on the entry is a FF III with some guardians under glass to harass me to death so I'm refleeting, while the half-fleet hit the freed threat.

About when the Raids visit Smurf Village to knock out that FF/Guardpost that's going to give me so much grief I notice it's got a CSG-E on it... and the massive SF reinforcement that just showed up.. Ho boy.

The fleet had already retreated to prep for an inbound wave to homeworld. 

Finally got the cluster scouted about 1:24.  There is nothing particularly special... anywhere.

At about 1:35 my little dual mini-fort beachhead on Meander falls to a massive stockpile of Guardian IIIs, in particular the artillery's one-shot pop 'em.  The fleet has to go in and cover for the rebuild.

Hey!  The new mini-forts gather scout intel.  Keith finally got me my pickets!  WOOT... alright, not exactly, these still piss off the neighbors.  The unprotected beach-head however got itself slaughtered by drifters because I forgot to have the mini-forts stop shooting at a Wormhole Guardpost (note to self... not enough firepower to bother).

2 hour status: Not a damn thing has really happened other than fighting my way off homeworld with my MK I fleet and going nowhere.  I've toyed with a few strategies and learned more about the mini-forts and SF forces, and generally gotten a better feel for what the new ships are doing.  This game is dead and stagnant but I'm amused with it so far and I'm not done goofing around with a few things yet.  The map as I've continued to punch holes out for scouts to get through is a wasteland, but with 100 planets that's to be expected.

I really need to restart.  Border world resources were crap, CoP on primary whipping boy blockaded me, and I need to adjust my initial research build, particularly if I'm going to insist on clearing out MK IVs early.

Meh, fuggit, new game.  Btw, the railcannon is OP.  WAY OP.  Also SF ratios need to be looked at.  Getting nearly as many reclaimers as I am bombers when they finally get to me, and killing the reclaimers is like trying to kill a maw, just craptons of HP.

Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 18, 2012, 12:50:07 AM
Do you feel like the Spire Railclusters are OP? I was sort of getting that feeling when I was playing around with them (and of course, the AI decided to unlock them the same game too, so I got to see the other side of this as well...)

Yes.  They're kinda like the maw in some ways, particularly with early fleets.  The damage ratio is right but there's something off about them.  They clean up too easily.  I ran into a couple of MK IVs with my base fleet and my fighter contingent was removed in 3 salvos, the bombers shortly behind them... THAT'S it.

They too easily counter their triangle 'block', as the Railclusters are Polycrystal.  However, with fighters being fragile 'please don't sneeze on me' levels of HP, they fall over dead when they look at the Railcluster.  They're not OP, you just need a powerful anti-polycrystal to tackle them.  This series of games I'm playing for this AAR will almost require me to find that unit, as the Zenith will always apparently get the Railcluster.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Faulty Logic on October 18, 2012, 01:09:06 AM
Do you feel like the Spire Railclusters are OP? I was sort of getting that feeling when I was playing around with them (and of course, the AI decided to unlock them the same game too, so I got to see the other side of this as well...)

Yes.  They're kinda like the maw in some ways, particularly with early fleets.  The damage ratio is right but there's something off about them.  They clean up too easily.  I ran into a couple of MK IVs with my base fleet and my fighter contingent was removed in 3 salvos, the bombers shortly behind them... THAT'S it.

They too easily counter their triangle 'block', as the Railclusters are Polycrystal.  However, with fighters being fragile 'please don't sneeze on me' levels of HP, they fall over dead when they look at the Railcluster.  They're not OP, you just need a powerful anti-polycrystal to tackle them.  This series of games I'm playing for this AAR will almost require me to find that unit, as the Zenith will always apparently get the Railcluster.

I have no problem with the railclusters. Remember that a couple (2) represents .4 of a mkIV cap, and that mopping up a mkI fleet is to be expected. Fighters actually have the most hp out of the triangles; they just get stomped by the underapreciated missile frigates (and their heavy alpha strikes). Those same missile frigs are what I would use to counter the railclusters (alpha from out of range, retreat into transports/off planet).

Zenith shouldn't always get it, sounds like the RNG just hates you.

And as for the mk III-IV planets... that isn't the RNG, but the difficulty level.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 18, 2012, 01:26:54 AM
I have no problem with the railclusters. Remember that a couple (2) represents .4 of a mkIV cap, and that mopping up a mkI fleet is to be expected. Fighters actually have the most hp out of the triangles; they just get stomped by the underapreciated missile frigates (and their heavy alpha strikes). Those same missile frigs are what I would use to counter the railclusters (alpha from out of range, retreat into transports/off planet).
Point, but I've still got a usability problem with fighters.  When I retreat my fleet at about half strength, I've usually got 1/3 cap of bombers, 2/3s frigates, and no fighters.  Special ship is debateable.  Even with larger fleets the fighters always seem to go down first, even mixed in with melee ships and others that the frigates love to eat.  It's something particular about the fighter I've never nailed down.  Also, they're rather powerful in player hands, too, those MK Is last round were a huge edge.  It's not just an AI-hates me thing.

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And as for the mk III-IV planets... that isn't the RNG, but the difficulty level.
Yeah, I know, but usually get I get a *few* MK I/II stepstones to work with.  That's a LOT of MK IV.  The concentration of them for the last two games has been unusual.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Kahuna on October 18, 2012, 01:35:31 AM
Wanderer is back. Bitches.
You're going to like the AI home planets.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 18, 2012, 04:22:38 AM
So, new game, decide to give the new Corvettes a go.  Hm, interesting, they build out a bit like the higher end spire ships.  This could be interesting.

Homeworld (Strana) ain't so great position wise, two entries are nearly on top of the CC (maybe two Grav I's out) but I think I can work with it.

Starter Research: Harvester IIs, Minifort, Grav I, and... errr wait.  what.

Spire Corvette I - IV is in my researchables?  I can take these straight to MK IV for ... errr.. 2500/3500/5000?  Interesting.

Very.  Interesting.

I'm gonna leave a bit of wiggle room in my K for now so I can check out what the Corvette needs in more detail.

I have to turn off corvette building until I get the fleet built for now.  They're monstrous soaks and the Mini-Fort damage for half the M+C is worth more for the immediate defenses.

Speed scouting shows me a 4/3 and a 3/3 world next to me, along with a few junkers, 2/0, 0/1, and 1/4.  The 1/4 is Matrix, and that's going to end up as a cluster choke/whipping boy, eventually.  I finally managed to start with no immediate threat MK III/IV worlds.  Awesomesauce.

At 11:00 or so in I turn back on my corvettes for building (they'll be a bit) and head for Poker, the 4/3 world that's also a close WH to the CC, after I deflect the first wave.  About when the first wave hits my first Corvette's available.  I built it directly but I wanted a chance to look over the upgrades for the MK I.

Unlike the actual Spireships, this doesn't tell me what MK I need to reach for what, but it appears MK II modules are the best I can stuff into a MK I Spire Corvette.  Alright, fair.  HBCs will open up a new module line I don't have, and otherwise I need to upgrade FFs, Lasers, Spider Turrets, and/or siege starships.  Well, spiders usually get opened eventually, and I almost always need more FFs, so that'll work.  I usually will crack HBC Is as well, and that'll handle the small and large mount points.  Alright then.

15:45: Poker falls and we begin colonization.  AIP 30.  I upgrade to Corvette IIs to see what these will look like for module choices later.  Construction of those base monstrousities kills my economy.  Since the homeworld is a 4/8 world, I've got a pretty significant metal shortage.  Sadly I need to stop construction on the MK II Corvettes until we get Poker situated with its mini-forts.

21:30: Construction of the MK II Corvettes builds again.  Fleet heads to Nerf Neverending Story and to pop its Warp Gate to remove short-range threat from the HW CC.

AIP 35 at 23:30.  Warp Gate at Neverending Story is removed.

MK II Corvette is finally built, at least one of them.  They can get up to MK III gear on them.  Alright, so next investment is to build out some MK II items for these guys to beef 'em up.  For now they get MK I gear, same as their little brothers.

Hm, I can select everything on the corvette EXCEPT for the FF unit for later scrapping upgrades.  Good to know.

26:15 the fleet prepares to clear off Macross and Matrix.  Macross will be a supply world, Matrix will become the primary whipping boy.  I'm also killing time to 'spread' the waves a bit, as homeworld isn't Warp Gate secure yet.  I'd really like to ARS up some decent speed unit, like Raptors, to deal with the Zombards.

At 30:00 instead of cleaning out Matrix I head for Arrakkis to pop the Warp Gate there.  I want to remove more of the threat from Homeworld if this is going to keep stalling out and not launching a wave here.

Glad I waited a bit.  AIP 40, 229+3 to homeworld.  I unlock Tachyon Is for the Reprocessors.  They tend to float a lot around here apparently. 

Back to backs on Strana (homeworld).  229 + 516.  This should be ugly.  I decide since I've got some spare MC I'll dump some turrets on Homeworld while the fleet takes care of round 1.  20 each of LRM/Sniper/Basic should do for starters.  The reason the second wave was so large comparably was because of Youngling Vultures and 5 AIP.

... Whoops, Savescum back to 30:00.  I flubbed up and forgot to drop a pair of additional FFs over the HW CC... sigh, dumbass.  This time they're headin' for Poker with 203+3.  Well, I guess that works out... and then 670 + 3 1:40 after that.  Yeesh.

230 Cutlass and 150 vultures.  Daaamn.  This won't be pretty, Mil I not withstanding.

Yeah, they carved Poker to PIECES.  Need to refleet.  Defense ended up on Homeworld where we cleaned up what was left.  Eventually getting back to Strana to start rebuilds.  Yeesh, that was a desperate defense.

Alright, 41:00 or so and Strana's back on track, having dealt with waiting threat, and we head for Matrix to drop the hammer on the Warp Gate there for now, and clean it up for when I want to move in later.  There's a CSG here as well, so it's going to attract a bunch of SF attention... and does.  Too much, actually... I run for home as we get overwhelmed.  Did a decent cleanout of the enemy though.  Another run or two will get us where it needs to be.

I've yet to build any starships besides the corvettes, unfortunately.  I haven't had the econ up to strength between rebuilds.  I am however starting to get Crystal Heavy so I pop some Raid SSs into the queue while I hit Matrix again.  This should invite the SF back to play, too, I hope.

The Warp Gate on Matrix goes down 47:00'ish, only one more to go before HW is safe and all traffic is sent to Poker for the time being.  A massive brawl broke out on Matrix, forcing me to hunt down 30+ Zombards with the SF group.  About 35 reclaimers chased me off the planet again.  Still not done with the SF reinforcements I see.

462+2 to Poker at 52:30.  Erps, guess I need to get over there.

At 57:00 Macross falls to the Humans.  AIP is now at 66, and the wave entry is Poker, for the moment... move that eventually.  I have 7,500 worth of K to use and another 3000 K coming in.  Very nice.

532+2 to Poker at 59:30.  Fleet heads over to protect, even though Macross is still constructing.

1:03:00 Poker fell again.  Limited defenses, this was expected.  Saddening, but expected.  Still 175 ships left too.  That was a LOT of autobombs and Shredder with polarizer support.  Ow.

1:08... time to go get my Whippin' Boy.  HERE BOY!  C'mere now!  It's timez youse gotz yer whippins!

1:13.  Still trying to get the whipping boy up, and 834+2 head for Matrix.  Here we go! (luckily the fleet's hangin' ten...)

1:18... We block the wave, but barely.  All the turrets that were building were basically just cannon fodder the fleet hid behind.  A very small group of Human Rebels joined in and were almost immediately wiped out when they hit the massive frigate fleet.

1:23.  I've got over 12,000 in K right now and I'm trying very hard not to go to Harvester III just as an experiment.  It's very difficult to resist when my econ is in famine mode and I want to lock Poker out of the wave invasions.

1:34.  A nasty wave came into Matrix while the whipping boy was still rebuilding from the last defense, and still not operational.  That was deflected by the skin of my teeth and some selective powering down of certain things to allow other things to build out.  The whipping boy is finally fully operational except for mini-forts.  Back to rebuilding fleet and trying to pop the Gate/Eye on Nero's Fiddle, which is the last 'off Whipping Boy' gate to pop that feeds into Poker.

I also open up HBC Is for giggles.  That's a monster on the corvettes.  208k damage/7 seconds vs. 32k /8 on the siege cannon module.  AoE or straightline damage.  Hmmm.

1:39.  Of course, now that Matrix is up and I'm nearly in a position to finally get the warp gate off Poker... Poker gets a 1k wave.

Let's see... Carrier with 44 in it, 220 Vultures, 163 Frigates, 223 Fighters, 272 Cutlass, and 119 Bombers.  Oh nice.

Carrier pop spawns up more Cutlass.  Not sure that was a worthy trade... but there's almost no chance in hell Poker's going to hold.  I'm just going to try to keep the fleet alive.

Had to savescum, and the last autosave is while the wave was set to come to Poker.  Oddly, it's telling me AI 1 enemy Ships, 2 Starships to Poker in 00:39.  Attaching save.  It corrects to 1,044 ships eventually.  Just wierd.

confirmed it did it on reload, it's persistant for that save.

Hm, need to come up with a different plan for the defense though.  I've got a pattern that kind of works but apparently two of my FFs on the homeworld went AWOL.  Heh... apparently going in circles works.. interesting.  I was able to kite the majority of their fleet around Poker. 

1:50.  Ugh, I need to pay more attention sometimes.  Nero's Fiddle is packin' not one but TWO Spireshield Guardposts with its AI Eye.  I'll need Bombercraft to deal with this, as well as raids strong enough to clear out the under-guardians.  This'll take either some time or ingenuity, and I have neither at this point.  Time for the Nyquil to actually function... I hope.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 18, 2012, 09:41:15 AM
On a random personal side note: I'm getting rather sick of cough drops, but they're a hell of a lot better than the alternative.
Is it for cough prevention or topical anesthesia on the throat?  If the latter, have you tried those little spearmint candies from the grocery store (they look like peppermints, like $1 or $2 for a bag of about 60)?  I used to chain-pop cough drops if I had a really bad sore throat but I've found the spearmints actually do a better job of lowering the soreness and I don't get sick of them (and eventually chain-popping menthol has consequences).  Gotta watch the impact on the teeth, of course, but that's not difficult to mitigate (though I imagine it's a different story if one were a diabetic).

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RNG hate me much?
Just business.

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Hey!  The new mini-forts gather scout intel.  Keith finally got me my pickets!
Overkill-for-role much?  This fully armed and operational... recon station.

But glad it helps :)  Helps annoy the AI, anyhow.

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I really need to restart.
May I suggest the Tackle Drone Launcher as your next bonus ship?  It has enormous latent cheese potential.

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Also SF ratios need to be looked at.  Getting nearly as many reclaimers as I am bombers when they finally get to me, and killing the reclaimers is like trying to kill a maw, just craptons of HP.
The SF doesn't do strait-schizo distribution, fyi.  And it does pay according to the normal strength ratios.  If you want to see the math, advanced-logging will show the allocations in the special forces logs.

So, new game, decide to give the new Corvettes a go.
Ah, not a bad choice either.  Not as cheesy as the TDL's, but probably better for busting through some of those tough combat situations.

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Spire Corvette I - IV is in my researchables?
Yep, the advanced factory doesn't apply since it's a "bonus starship" (which is one reason we haven't done bonus starships before, but what the hay, we'll give it a shot).  So MkIVs are available out of the gate, but you have to unlock them individually from MkIIIs.  This makes the Corvettes somewhat stronger if you're not thinking you can get/hold and advfact.  If you actually want to spend that much K, at least.

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Hm, I can select everything on the corvette EXCEPT for the FF unit for later scrapping upgrades.  Good to know.
Ah, yea, the central position of all shields can be an issue there.  But you don't have to select them that way to replace, just:

1) Select corvette(s)
2) Press Ctrl+M (sends you to ship design screen)
3) Make desired module changes
4) Click "Apply to selection" and confirm
5) It will scrap the modules in the slots you changed, and queue up the replacements, and actually (in my experience) do a pretty good job of making sure the right modules go in the right slots (you wouldn't believe how dense those yard workers can be).

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1:08... time to go get my Whippin' Boy.  HERE BOY!  C'mere now!  It's timez youse gotz yer whippins!
I thought that was the AI's line ;)

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I also open up HBC Is for giggles.  That's a monster on the corvettes.  208k damage/7 seconds vs. 32k /8 on the siege cannon module.  AoE or straightline damage.  Hmmm.
It depends on what you want to be good at; the siege cannon's 10x multiplier against forcefields (among other heavy things) is brutal, in addition to the special under-forcefield splash.  But the HBC is usually much more effective for General Purpose Mayhem.

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Had to savescum, and the last autosave is while the wave was set to come to Poker.  Oddly, it's telling me AI 1 enemy Ships, 2 Starships to Poker in 00:39.  Attaching save.  It corrects to 1,044 ships eventually.  Just wierd.

confirmed it did it on reload, it's persistant for that save.
Interesting, will take a look, thanks.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Diazo on October 18, 2012, 10:00:55 AM
May I suggest the Tackle Drone Launcher as your next bonus ship?  It has enormous latent cheese potential.

Oh, does it ever.

I got these from my first ARS, a cap of Mk I and II takes 120 AI fleet ships out of engagement range every salvo.

Combined with a Mil Command station, even 500 fleet ships are not a threat.

Starships on the other hand.....

So, new game, decide to give the new Corvettes a go.

Oh, another Corvette adherent!

These were my starting ship in my current game and I'm quite liking them. I find you have to treat them as Starships rather then Fleet Ships however, they are expensive like starships but have the health of starships also (as long as you mount at least one FF module).

Anyways, welcome back. Always fun to read different peoples take on the game.  :)

D.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: LordSloth on October 18, 2012, 11:42:59 AM
May I suggest a neinzul enclave starship for your fighter woes? There's a version unlocked from the start, and a merc version with some more potency. While frigates and bomber production can drag on forever w/o engies, pumping out a pair of mk1 fighters every two seconds can help you keep your numbers up if you have any prolonged engagements. Won't of course help with huge threatballs, but it's only 40K metal and 40K crystal to get a pair out, and radar dampening should help keep you from having to re-invest.

I'm a big fan of fighters as implemented right now - especially with all the guardians moved to medium hull. That said, among the starting triangle they are particularly vulnerable to the alphastrike being first-in and outranged by their counter.  Since the rebalance, I often weight my build queue 5:1:1 or 10:1:1 in favor of fighters, and if they fill up first, pull off half for some tachyon guardian raiding or whatever. Of course, that's when they're not in a larger strike blob. Of course, I don't have to worry about ticking of 9.6 level system guardians and defense forces.

...I even sometimes unlock mark 3s before mark2 bombers or advanced factories, I like them that much. That's only in co-op, however.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 18, 2012, 02:37:27 PM
Is it for cough prevention or topical anesthesia on the throat?  If the latter, have you tried those little spearmint candies from the grocery store (they look like peppermints, like $1 or $2 for a bag of about 60)? 
Well, one kinda feeds the other, but yeah, basically.  Also to help keep all the drip moving downwards instead of 'hanging around'.  Halls are my friend.  I'll give 'er a go though, no reason not to try it out, thanks.


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Hey!  The new mini-forts gather scout intel.  Keith finally got me my pickets!
Overkill-for-role much?  This fully armed and operational... recon station.
They're pretty decent but they're not _that_ badass.  A handful of MK III Guardians can punch their way past two of em with ease.

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I really need to restart.
May I suggest the Tackle Drone Launcher as your next bonus ship?  It has enormous latent cheese potential.
Trying to save those for a rainy day when I need a cheesy grin on my face.  :)

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The SF doesn't do strait-schizo distribution, fyi.  And it does pay according to the normal strength ratios.  If you want to see the math, advanced-logging will show the allocations in the special forces logs.
So, I'm just seeing odd distribution.  It might be the reclaimer strength price is off.  We'll see.  They're not horribly dangerous in their own right, they just tank for the rest of the fleet while doing reasonable damage themselves, in pack sizes not achievable by the player.

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Yep, the advanced factory doesn't apply since it's a "bonus starship" (which is one reason we haven't done bonus starships before, but what the hay, we'll give it a shot).  So MkIVs are available out of the gate, but you have to unlock them individually from MkIIIs.
Well, this should be an interesting experiment then.  Most of the power is in the modules however, so we'll have to see where that really ends up.

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This makes the Corvettes somewhat stronger if you're not thinking you can get/hold and advfact.  If you actually want to spend that much K, at least.
Yeah, they are rather expensive to get to IV, another planet worth. 2500,3500,5000 K.  No biggie tho', probably worth it.

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Ah, yea, the central position of all shields can be an issue there.  But you don't have to select them that way to replace, just:

1) Select corvette(s)
2) Press Ctrl+M (sends you to ship design screen)
3) Make desired module changes
4) Click "Apply to selection" and confirm
5) It will scrap the modules in the slots you changed, and queue up the replacements, and actually (in my experience) do a pretty good job of making sure the right modules go in the right slots (you wouldn't believe how dense those yard workers can be).
SHAWEET.  Thanks.  Didn't know this was even an option!

Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 18, 2012, 02:39:56 PM
May I suggest a neinzul enclave starship for your fighter woes? There's a version unlocked from the start, and a merc version with some more potency.
I'd been thinking about including them in with the Spire Corvettes actually, but finances weren't really up for heavy experimentation.  Bringing out the drones + fighter replacement when I've got a small starship team already in use probably wouldn't hurt any.  I'm a little concerned about them sometimes as the enclave ships aren't all that sturdy in my recollection but I'll probably drag a few out here eventually.  Good suggestion, however. :)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: KDR_11k on October 18, 2012, 04:46:29 PM
Score another one for the AI!

(though the AI's Zenith Reprocessors going after your home settlements is a disturbing bit of emergent imagery)

It's the closest thing to bacon the AI could get on short notice.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 18, 2012, 07:05:14 PM
So, nice big ol' whipping boy while I work down the Eye/Gate on Nero's Fiddle, and the AI has sent two waves against Poker while I'm working on the two Spireshield guardposts in Nero's.  920 and another coming at 2:14 with 626.  The second wave even whacked my two of Corvette Is, and the fleet is obliterated.  I'd almost had Nero's down, too.

I've rebuilt my Bomber Is and Raid Is so they're going to try to finish the job so I can start taking the attacks on the WB.

2:23.  The last outer gate falls on Nero's Fiddle, and the sandpaper the shield to death team comes home.  Matrix's whipping boy is now the only way in.  Maybe I can get something done now.  AIP is 90, 3 worlds owned, 11,000 K available.

Attached below is a screenshot of the map in its current state.

First Max-time announces for 2:28, 1300 ships or so.  Defenses went reasonably well with fleet support since they came in the wrong wormhole.  Need to correct for that.  Next fight, Skye, for a quick gate pop.

AIP 96, Skye's Gate is down.  That'll stop that from happening.  Pah.

I finally get around to opening up Scout IIs, 10,500 K available.  I get some scouting done in the back of the cluster, only thing of significant interest back there is a CoP.  There's two Data Centers down near the south entry to the cluster, off Sox.  Sox itself is a MK III world, not much of a threat in its own right, and Argyle and Hotstar both have DCs I'd like to raid.

Misery's a MK IV and getting through that and its Fort II might be a bit much but there's no Eye so it's not horrible.  Definately think Sox is the next target.  I'll highway Neverending Story and Misery to make a road to Sox, grab that (4/2 world, not bad) and setup the second whipping boy.  It'll also give me a jump point to get deeper into the south cluster.

I think I need some additional firepower for the primary fleet.  I opened up FF IIs a while back for additional FF's available as well as beefing up the corvettes, however if I'm reading this right researching Spiders should give me max mark Rail Guns for them no matter the mark.  Also, I definately want some Bomber IIs.  Time to spend some K.

2:40 a 645 ship wave is heading for Matrix.  Time to see if the Whipping Boy can stand on its own.  The Railgun upgrade worked nicely, too, my Corvette II's are mounting MK III Railguns.  Matrix held rather nicely, very little threat escaping as well.  Excellent, and that's without me dropping in a ton of Spider.  I figure I'll hold off on that for Sox.

At ~3:00 the MK II waves hit Matrix for ~1,300 ships.  It couldn't hold without the fleet.  Something needs to be adjusted.  I add in 50 tractors or so at irregular spacing and unlock EMP Mines.  And line placement is still awesome.

3:15: 2000 ship CPA announces.  This should get ugly, my econ's been famine for a bit here, ever since I fouled up and lost the entire bomber squadron trying to whack the fortress in my way to Sox.

Perfectly timed, a 1.5k wave is heading for Matrix about 20 seconds after the CPA releases.  This is going to get wild and woolly.

748 MK II, 560 MK I, 104 MK III, and 604 MK II from strategic Reserve.  Yeeehaw.

... or not.  Savescum.  HW CC went down even doing a pull back defense at the wormhole with what was left of the primary fleet.


Savescum to Autosave at 6:33 to the CPA.  I'd harassed the MK IV going into this and it had weakened me, I'll avoid that until I clear the CPA this time.  980 Vultures was tough to deal with as well as a wave.  For the first time in a long time, I +10 the speed meter, and I also let the M/C bank out a bit since it JUSt got off the floor.  I'm guessing I'll need it.

Alright, apparently the internal timer is locked into sending these side by side.  Ugh. 1,383 this time to Matrix. 
776 IIs, 587 Is, 653 II from the reserve this time.

Hm, still no joy.  1,208 ships sitting on the homeworld.  That double-tap of Wave + CPA is crippling me.  I even ambushed a good 500+ of them in a different system but once they break Poker with the massive wave they just roll me.

Need to experiment a bit here.  I'll be back.

Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 19, 2012, 12:25:36 AM
Thread title is coming into play here...

Alright, just so I can keep track of the things I've tried, I end up with my autosave at 6.5 minutes till CPA.

Things tried:
-Overload Poker with FF IIs and Spider Turrets
-Jump one of the release planets nearby and stall for time.
-Swap out for a Log I on Poker and attempt to kite, including with Poker Overload of Spider Turrets and FF IIs.
-- This almost worked twice, but not enough.  I can't get enough spread on the Zombards and Siege machines which eventually knock my fleet out when the paralyzers get to them.
- EMP mine abuse.  This was so so, but eventually, no joy.  Enough EMP-proof stuff gets in and they just plow a hole for everything else.

Included in this mess is the apparently mandatory double-tap of a massive wave hitting Matrix.  Depending on the roll depends on what I end up facing.  It's been everything from 1800 Cutlasses which just blow through the system to 600 something or others which died on entry.  Sometimes the CPA supports it, sometimes it doesn't.

I've tried about 12 times to see if I can figure out a way to blunt this assault, but in the end I have to face a simple fact... my current defenses cannot defend against 3,000 ships in all directions.  That wave in particular pretty much puts the last nail in the coffin.  There is of course one other method.  Warheads.  I could just NUKE one of the entry systems when it's got 600+ ships in it.  Heck, at one point I'd lured over 1500 ships into one of my systems.  The problem with this is a nuke this early, or even significant warhead usage, would completely erase the late game chances I might have.

.... and on going back in for attempt #13 I find I managed to survive through another autosave in a completely untenable position... D'OH!  So be it, going back to the 1:50 save.  Ah well.  I learned a bunch of things that WON'T work however... XD
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: LordSloth on October 19, 2012, 12:48:17 AM
What mark are the ships? are there enough low mark ships that a mark 3 emp or two for a full ninety seconds of stun can help? I mean, EMP-immune stuff is getting in, but I'm at a bit of a loss.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 19, 2012, 10:14:14 AM
748 MK II, 560 MK I, 104 MK III, and 604 MK II from strategic Reserve.
Welcome to the new High Difficulty, we're just getting started.

Included in this mess is the apparently mandatory double-tap of a massive wave hitting Matrix.
It doesn't intentionally line up the wave with the CPA but the "when will the next wave hit?" is already set as of the launching of the last wave, or something like that.  I don't recall the exact sequence of events but suffice it to say that the wave timer ain't budging much. 

Quote
Warheads.
Seems like a judicious EMP-I or EMP-II could delay a chunk of the cpa long enough for you to "process" their overeager fellows.

But yea, nukes just aren't on the table for high-difficulty early-game.  Late game, oh yes, but not early.

Quote
D'OH!  So be it, going back to the 1:50 save.  Ah well.  I learned a bunch of things that WON'T work however... XD
And knowing is half the ba-*sniper'd*

(didn't know about the sniper, lost that half of the battle)

I'm curious if you have the special forces log file (if advanced-logging is on) from those cpa's, because it also contains the record of what exactly the strategic reserve was dumping into the CPA.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 19, 2012, 01:00:31 PM
I'm curious if you have the special forces log file (if advanced-logging is on) from those cpa's, because it also contains the record of what exactly the strategic reserve was dumping into the CPA.

As requested, the most recent one in the log:
Code: [Select]

10/18/2012 9:11:50 PM (5.097)
-----------------------------------
Doing Special Forces Spawn; Game Time: 3:30:00
baseSizeFactor = 19.8
specialDifficultyFactor = Game.Instance.Options.TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier (based on difficulty, homeworld count, handicap) = 4
effectiveAIP = 97
aiTypeMultiplier = (1 + 2 per Special Forces Captain AI) = 1
specialForcesPostsInNonAITerritoryMultiplier = Mat.One + ( FInt.FromParts( 0, 050 ) * numberOfSpecialForcesPostsInNonAITerritory ) = 1
specialForcesStrengthCap = baseSizeFactor * difficultyFactor * effectiveAIP * aiTypeMultiplier * specialForcesPostsInNonAITerritoryMultiplier = 7681.38
strengthMissing = specialForcesStrengthCap - totalExistingSpecialForcesStrength = 6865.89
percentMissing = strengthMissing / specialForcesStrengthCap = 0.89
maxNumberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength = ( ( 196 * 100 ) / specialForcesStrengthCap ) * 60 = 153.09
actualNumberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength = maxNumberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength - ( ( maxNumberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength / 2 ) * percentMissing ) = 84.67
strengthToSpawn = (FInt)( secondsPerSpawnCheck * 196 ) / actualNumberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength = 145.83
strengthToSpawn = Min(strengthToSpawn,strengthMissing) = 145.83
allocating 0.24 out of 1 (35.25 strength) for role: None , eligible types:MissileShipII, VorticularCutlassII, ZenithAutoBombII, ZenithMirrorII, ZenithParalyzerII, ZenithPolarizerII, ZenithViralShredderII, ZenithMedicFrigateII
allocating 0.51 out of 1 (74.69 strength) for role: AntiBomber , eligible types:FighterII, ZenithReprocessorII
allocating 0.14 out of 1 (20.15 strength) for role: LongRange , eligible types:ZenithBombardmentII
allocating 0 out of 1 (0 strength) for role: CopperPlatedBastard , eligible types:
allocating 0 out of 1 (0 strength) for role: Tractor , eligible types:
allocating 0 out of 1 (0 strength) for role: Gravity , eligible types:
allocating 0 out of 1 (0 strength) for role: Reclamator , eligible types:
allocating 0.11 out of 1 (15.67 strength) for role: DefenseCracker , eligible types:BomberII, ZenithElectricBomberII, ZenithBeamFrigateII, ZenithChameleonII, ZenithSiegeEngineII
actually bought:
1 ZenithViralShredderII @ 2 each, so total for line = 2
1 ZenithPolarizerII @ 2 each, so total for line = 2
2 ZenithMedicFrigateII @ 24 each, so total for line = 48
1 FighterII @ 2 each, so total for line = 2
4 ZenithReprocessorII @ 24 each, so total for line = 96
3 ZenithBombardmentII @ 8 each, so total for line = 24
1 ZenithBeamFrigateII @ 4 each, so total for line = 4
1 ZenithElectricBomberII @ 10.11 each, so total for line = 10.11
1 ZenithSiegeEngineII @ 12 each, so total for line = 12
Grand total: 15 ships, 200.11 strength


10/18/2012 9:11:50 PM (5.097)
-----------------------------------
Doing Threat Fleet Logic regular check; Game Time: 3:30:00
Fleet power check:
totalExistingThreatFleetFirepowerNotOnTarget:7233
totalExistingThreatFleetFirepowerOnTarget:0
humanFirepowerMustBeThisHighToCountAsBlockingPlanet:723
humanFirepowerMustBeThisLowToBeAttackable:3616
lowestSpeedAnywhere:44
typeCausingLowestSpeedAnywhere:AIGuardianLightningII
lowestSpeedOffTarget:44
typeCausingLowestSpeedOffTarget:AIGuardianLightningII
Keeping current target planet (Macross) because allied firepower on that planet already exceeds human firepower there, but human firepower has not dropped below 1/4 the bottom threshold.  Dropping speed limit to get there asap, math breakdown:
planet.HumanMilitaryFirepowerSim:35998
humanFirepowerMustBeThisHighToCountAsBlockingPlanet/4:180


10/18/2012 9:11:50 PM (5.097)
-----------------------------------
Strategic Reserve Logic check; Game Time: 3:30:00
*Computing MaxStrategicReserve for player 8
baseStrengthFactor = 19.8
specialDifficultyFactor = Game.Instance.Options.TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier (based on difficulty, homeworld count, handicap) = 4
effectiveAIP = 97
maxStrategicReserve = baseStrengthFactor * difficultyFactor * effectiveAIP = 7681.38
*Computing MaxStrategicReserve for player 9
baseStrengthFactor = 19.8
specialDifficultyFactor = Game.Instance.Options.TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier (based on difficulty, homeworld count, handicap) = 4
effectiveAIP = 97
maxStrategicReserve = baseStrengthFactor * difficultyFactor * effectiveAIP = 7681.38
*Doing add-to-reserve check for player 8
playerMaxStrategicReserve = 7681.38
playerCurrentStoredReserve = 4084.52
strengthMissing = playerMaxStrategicReserve - playerCurrentStoredReserve = 3596.85
numberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength = ( ( 196 * 100 ) / playerMaxStrategicReserve ) * 60 = 153.09
strengthToSpawn = (FInt)( secondsPerAddToReserveCheck * 196 ) / numberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength = 89.62
strengthToSpawn = Min(strengthToSpawn,strengthMissing) = 89.62
new reserve strength for player = 4174.14
*Doing add-to-reserve check for player 9
playerMaxStrategicReserve = 7681.38
playerCurrentStoredReserve = 4084.52
strengthMissing = playerMaxStrategicReserve - playerCurrentStoredReserve = 3596.85
numberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength = ( ( 196 * 100 ) / playerMaxStrategicReserve ) * 60 = 153.09
strengthToSpawn = (FInt)( secondsPerAddToReserveCheck * 196 ) / numberOfSecondsToSpawn196Strength = 89.62
strengthToSpawn = Min(strengthToSpawn,strengthMissing) = 89.62
new reserve strength for player = 4174.14


Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 19, 2012, 01:08:54 PM
Thanks :)  But that just has the bit where the strategic reserve is growing, not the bit where it's contributing to the CPA.  That will contain the string "Strategic Reserve contributing to CPA".

But while I'm in there, this bit from the Special Forces entry:

Code: [Select]
allocating 0.51 out of 1 (74.69 strength) for role: AntiBomber , eligible types:FighterII, ZenithReprocessorII
Explains the reprocessor preponderence in the response fleets.  It's considering the Reproc an anti-bomber ship (due to polycrystal multiplier of 8), and SF loves anti-bomber.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 19, 2012, 01:12:02 PM
Ah hah!  Sorry, you want this one then:

Code: [Select]
10/18/2012 9:06:13 PM (5.097)
-----------------------------------
Strategic Reserve contributing to CPA; Game Time: 3:25:24
*Computing MaxStrategicReserve for player 8
baseStrengthFactor = 19.8
specialDifficultyFactor = Game.Instance.Options.TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier (based on difficulty, homeworld count, handicap) = 4
effectiveAIP = 97
maxStrategicReserve = baseStrengthFactor * difficultyFactor * effectiveAIP = 7681.38
*Computing MaxStrategicReserve for player 9
baseStrengthFactor = 19.8
specialDifficultyFactor = Game.Instance.Options.TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier (based on difficulty, homeworld count, handicap) = 4
effectiveAIP = 97
maxStrategicReserve = baseStrengthFactor * difficultyFactor * effectiveAIP = 7681.38
**Doing Strategic Reserve Deployment to (Pre-filling CPA)
maxAllowedReserveDeploymentPercent = 0.5
playerMaxStrategicReserve = 15362.75
playerCurrentStoredReserve = 15362.75 (100%)
existingStrategicReservesStrengthOnPlanet = 0
strengthToSpawn = Min(playerCurrentStoredReserve,( playerMaxStrategicReserve * maxAllowedReserveDeploymentPercent ) - existingStrategicReservesStrengthOnPlanet) = 7681.38
maxTargetPopulation = 1008
currentPopulation = 0
allocating 0.02 out of 1 (172.53 strength) for role: None , eligible types:MissileShipII, VorticularCutlassII, ZenithAutoBombII, ZenithMirrorII, ZenithParalyzerII, ZenithPolarizerII, ZenithViralShredderII, ZenithMedicFrigateII
allocating 0.03 out of 1 (258.8 strength) for role: AntiBomber , eligible types:FighterII, ZenithReprocessorII
allocating 0.03 out of 1 (258.8 strength) for role: LongRange , eligible types:ZenithBombardmentII
allocating 0 out of 1 (0 strength) for role: CopperPlatedBastard , eligible types:
allocating 0 out of 1 (0 strength) for role: Tractor , eligible types:
allocating 0 out of 1 (0 strength) for role: Gravity , eligible types:
allocating 0 out of 1 (0 strength) for role: Reclamator , eligible types:
allocating 0.91 out of 1 (6987.5 strength) for role: DefenseCracker , eligible types:BomberII, ZenithElectricBomberII, ZenithBeamFrigateII, ZenithChameleonII, ZenithSiegeEngineII
actually bought:
2 MissileShipII @ 4 each, so total for line = 8
2 ZenithPolarizerII @ 4 each, so total for line = 8
3 ZenithParalyzerII @ 4 each, so total for line = 12
1 VorticularCutlassII @ 1.96 each, so total for line = 1.96
3 ZenithMedicFrigateII @ 48 each, so total for line = 144
2 ZenithAutoBombII @ 4 each, so total for line = 8
1 ZenithMirrorII @ 4 each, so total for line = 4
1 ZenithViralShredderII @ 4 each, so total for line = 4
9 FighterII @ 4 each, so total for line = 36
5 ZenithReprocessorII @ 48 each, so total for line = 240
17 ZenithBombardmentII @ 16 each, so total for line = 272
136 BomberII @ 4 each, so total for line = 544
121 ZenithElectricBomberII @ 20.21 each, so total for line = 2445.46
120 ZenithBeamFrigateII @ 8 each, so total for line = 960
113 ZenithChameleonII @ 4 each, so total for line = 452
108 ZenithSiegeEngineII @ 24 each, so total for line = 2592
Grand total: 644 ships, 7731.42 strength
Remaining reserve: 7631.33 out of 15362.75 (49.67%)

Needless to say I haven't really dug through the new logs to evaluate what's doing what yet.  I wanted the 'pure' experience.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 19, 2012, 01:14:46 PM
Yep! That's it.

Needless to say I haven't really dug through the new logs to evaluate what's doing what yet.  I wanted the 'pure' experience.
Oh, oops, won't spoil it for you then :)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 19, 2012, 01:20:12 PM
Yep! That's it.

Needless to say I haven't really dug through the new logs to evaluate what's doing what yet.  I wanted the 'pure' experience.
Oh, oops, won't spoil it for you then :)

Heheh, no worries.  I already knew I was eating the raw end of the defense cracker stick.  The problem with that was they also obliterate the corvettes, which are the tanks for my main fleet.  I've had to retreat to an earlier time period anyways, so it's moot for... about an hour of gameplay. :)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 19, 2012, 01:27:34 PM
I already knew I was eating the raw end of the defense cracker stick.
Yea, when I was adapting a copy of the special-forces-spawn logic for the strategic-reserves-dump-to-CPA logic and realized I didn't have to give it the same role priorities, there was a most unpleasant grin on my face.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Kahuna on October 19, 2012, 02:34:32 PM
my current defenses cannot defend against 3,000 ships in all directions.
May I suggest you do this
(http://i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p542/pdbKahuna/epicdefenses.png)
(http://i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p542/pdbKahuna/epicdefenses2.png)
or something similar to Matrix, Poker and Strana.

I had 3 whipping boys with that setup in my latest 10/10 game.
ps. area mines need a nerf.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 19, 2012, 02:37:56 PM
Attackers = SadPanda
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Kahuna on October 19, 2012, 02:55:24 PM
Attackers = SadPanda
Oh yes! Very sad indeed! :D

How to stop a wave in 3 seconds:
Time: 4.02.22
Enemies: 631
(http://i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p542/pdbKahuna/40222Howtostopawavein3seconds.png)

Time: 4.02.25
Enemies: 173
(http://i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p542/pdbKahuna/40225Howtostopawavein3seconds.png)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 19, 2012, 03:10:07 PM
That panda is in need of psychiatric care!
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: TechSY730 on October 19, 2012, 03:49:12 PM
Attackers = SadPanda
Oh yes! Very sad indeed! :D

How to stop a wave in 3 seconds:
Time: 4.02.22
Enemies: 631
(image skipped)

Time: 4.02.25
Enemies: 173
(image skipped)


ROFL!

I gotta say though. If you let it, the AI will eventually send waves too big for even that sort of setup...
I would hate to see those kinds of waves.  :o
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 22, 2012, 09:27:20 PM
Alright, savescummed to 1:48:53.  Things went horribly horribly wrong last time an hour from now.

First thing's first, where the heck am I at?

-- State of the universe --

Econ: Famine
Research: 11,000 K available
AIP: 83
Research unlocked:
- HBC I
- Spire Corvette II
- Harvester IIs
- FF IIs
- Mini-Forts
- Grav Is
- Tachyon Turrets


Well, that's pretty weak.

Universe:
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/1_50FullMap.jpg)

Local pathing and CPA attack vector:
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/MiniMap1_50.jpg)

The problem is Solaris VII is sitting on a massive Barracks, so is, I believe, one of the unscouted planets along the north rim.

Matrix Defenses:
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/MatrixDefenses.jpg)

The main fleet, which currently consists of merely MK I triangles and MK I/II Corvettes is currently parked at Poker.  I believe they just helped remove a wave attack.  They get sent back to Strana to reinforce.

This is before I popped the remaining Warpgate and Eye on Nero's Fiddle into Poker and the 'wrong path' warp gate on Skye into Matrix.

I've got two Raid SSs waiting for their third partner, and they'll go Ion/Gate hunting on Skye to bring that into line.  That leaves an immediate threat for Poker.  That needs to get re-arranged quickly.

-- Preparations --

Change of plans for the main fleet.  The triangle brigade will help to deal with released threat in Poker.  The Corvettes will need some repairs and then are heading in to start Eye gouging.  A good chunk of my econ is currently going to rebuilding the mini-forts and FFs on Poker.

Remembering the constant econ problems I had last round...

1:50:00  Unlock MK III Harvesters.  Research: 6,000 K remaining

With the econ still floored and my corvettes waiting for repairs, it's time to check in on the Raid SSs.

-- Raiding Skye --

1:51:00 The Raid SS Is take off from Strana's shipyards with a mission.  Kill the Warp Gate on Skye, and preferably the Ion cannons as well for later.  Items of note on Skye: Warp Gate, Attritioner, Sniper Guardian, 2 Ions, 5 Medic Frigate IIs and a siege Frigate II... and they've got a Raid SS II as well.  Lovely.

1:51:20 The Raids enter Skye.  Shift-Pathing is ignited to the Warp-Gate, the Ion IV, the Ion III, the Attritioner, then back to Sarna via Matrix and the defenses there.

1:51:15 The Warp Gate falls.  63%/23% for the Raid group.
1:51:36 Ion IV down, 2 Raids left, 76%/72%
1:51:44 Ion III down, 1 raid left, 78%.  Ditch the attrtioner attempt and RUN you fool!  He escapes with 32% left.  Skye mission accomplished.

AIP 88

-- The Battle of Nero's Fiddle and its All Seeing Eye --

1:52:00 The Corvettes head for the first attack on Nero's Fiddle.  This will be a bit grindy.

1:53:25 Having done nothing but abuse the entry defenders, the Corvettes have lost all shielding at this point to the MK III planet.  They are currently making their way down to the first base and have dealt with the Sniper Guardian.

1:54:06 The Corvettes have dealt with the two harassment guardians and taken out the first post.  There's two Spireshield Guardposts here.  I'll counter those after they head to Poker for repairs in a few, I want them to take out a line of posts first.

1:55:00 I'm forced to micro the corvettes into concentrating fire and taking out the harassers.

1:55:38 SF Post down.  AIP 89  The Corvettes are heading to Poker for repairs, and their HBCs are removed for Siege Cannons for anti-Spireshield Posts.

1:56:48 The Corvette fleet has returned to Poker and snuggle up with the Mini-Forts for repairs.  Nero's Fiddle is down to an Ion I, a Parasite Eye, a Warp Gate, 1 Tachyon Post, and 2 SpireShields.  Knock on wood, no wave announced YET.

Econ is also FLUSH at around 390k/350k.  It's time to bring Flagship Is online for the main fleet and a SS compound on Matrix to build Leeches for wave defenses.

1:57:30 Corvettes have returned to Nero's Fiddle and prepare to finish the job.

1:59:23 While micro'ing the Corvettes to clean up the harassment and work on the shield, a 707 + 2 (MK II) ship wave announces for... wait for it!... Poker.  Dammit.

They'll land at 2:02:00'ish.  I redirect the fleet spacedock to FRD to Poker to support the defenses.  It's currently packing a Mil I, 2xMinifort, 11 Gravs, 20 Laser Turrets, 20 MRMs, 20 Snipers, and two tachyons... and the MK I triangle fleet.  It probably won't hold but it will do some nice damage on its way out.  The Corvettes will stay on track.

2:01:00  AIP 90 from autoprogress.  The First spireshieldpost + Heavy Beam guardian just fell to the Corvettes.  Wave lands in 3 seconds.  The corvettes are sic'd on the final spirepost... well, actually on the dual heavy beam and medic frigate hiding under it to kill them as soon as possible, THEN the spirepost.

2:02:40 The last shieldpost is down, Corvettes stand at ~50% health, and the Warpgate on Nero's Fiddle Falls.  AIP 95.

The battle for Strana rages on and the Corvettes move to help deflect/defend.

-- The Defense of Poker and the Siege of Strana --

2:01:03 707 +2 ships land on Poker.  91 Bombers, 208 Cutlasses, 141 fighters, 125 Frigates, 140 Vultures, 2 Siege SS IIs, and a Spire SS II.  someone lied to me about the # of SSs.  Econ currently sits at 153k/350k.

to add to the pain, 14 threat pops in (including a MK II Flak Guardian) from another wormhole to support the wave.

2:01:29 360 ships get up on the miniforts.
2:01:38 There are no more miniforts.

2:02:04 The Mil I on Poker falls.  The Main fleet is directed to Homeworld to guard and Poker is temporarily abandoned.

Initial contact on Strana is 137 Fighters and 72 Vultures. The 202 Cutlasses follow VERY quickly.

2:02:49 The entire enemy fleet has reached Strana.  440 ships.  29 Bombers remain, 131 Cutlasses, 110 Fighters, 118 Frigates, 49 Vultures, 2 Siege, and the spire SS still alive.  My fleet has been neutered.  All that remains really defending the homeworld are two miniforts, 20 Basics, 20 snipes, 5 HBCs, and 20 LRMs.  Things don't look good for the home team.

2:03:49 We were semi-holding our own until the dual siege cannons popped the Space Docks under glass next to the home CC.  Houston, we have a problem.  There are still 227 enemy ships left in system.

2:04:08 The Corvettes make it home, to the resounding cheers of the command center.  They immediately get put on FRD.

2:04:25 The hastily erected space dock outside of the FFs comes online and begins mass fighter I production.  Cannon Fodder to the rescue!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/BarelySaved.jpg)

That was CLOSE, but I'm finally in a position to strike out at the world.

-- Rebuilding Poker and tactical evaluations --
Alright, step one, ship some Rebuilders out to Poker and begin the healing process.  The Corvette fleet heads over to cover the rebuild in case any of that 76 threat gets some ideas, though all of the visible amount of it is parked out in Skye from the Raid run.

Is there any particular reason 5 rebuilders just blew PAST the cc scraps and went straight for the farthest turrets they could reach?  I can't seem to force them to hit the CC scraps, either.

At 2:06:20 Poker CC is operational again.  The nearly dead corvettes snuggle up to the mini-forts and wait for some much needed repairs.

Scouts can't seem to stay alive when I get the 4 Scout I's left to Solaris VII.  I realize part of the problem and nuke the two scouts on planets I already own.  The Home Space Dock is now set to produce all ships again, including Scout Is.  Let's try that again with 6 of 'em.

Solaris VII, in the very brief moments I can see it, has 700+ ships on it and is a MK III.  That needs to go... but first, is there anywhere I can harass a SF prize?  Answer... not easily.  Alright, I've got a few immediate tasks.

Let's review my immediate goals for the next 45 minutes.
1) Nerf Solaris VII so half+ of the CPA doesn't pour in the back door.
2) Pop the two Data Centers I'm aware of on Argyle and HotStar
3) Bring up a second Whipping Boy down on Sox to seal the cluster against CPAs and Threatfleet
4) Rescout the eastern rim of the home cluster.
5) Take a whittling team over to Arrakkis with its 217 ships and smack it around a bit.

Of these, the Assault of the Data Centers will probably both be the hardest as well as most annoying.

I want to get a picket on Solaris VII asap.  That's the first goal.  Break open the front door, blow the tachyon post.  It's only got an Ion I on it but really... that's enough.  It's also got 9 guardposts and is a MK III... and a D-Class CSG and a barracks.

Let's get the band together while the Raids prepare a quick jaunt to Earth.  The MK IV on Misery is the actual fatest way to the Sox area and I'll have to deal with it eventually, but I don't want to get tied up there.  I'm better off boot shoving through Earth, Argyle, Sox, and finally HotStar with the fleet + anti-Ion Raids.  I'll knock off 20 AIP on that trip, too, and get a better foothold for Sox for later.

So with the fleet rebuilding... Go Raids Go!

-- Raiding Earth and Solaris VII --
2:09:18 The Raid SS I crew heads out for Earth to Ion Pop through Nero's Fiddle.

Earth appears to have a preference for cutlasses, zombards, and polarizers.  That should be fun later.  The Raids will need to come along for anti-zombard duty.

2:09:52 Two raids are lost on entry into Earth from the alpha-strike.  The last raid finishes his mission and kills the Ion I... and dies immediately after.

Well, that was a quick mission.  Threat's at 108 now, too.  A threatball is forming on the entry to Poker from Nero's Fiddle.  I'm preparing to have to deal with that when they just commit straight to Poker.

-- Poker learns to defend itself --

You wouldn't think 15 ships would threaten a planet with 20 snipers, 20 Lasers, 20 MRMs, 2 Mini-forts, and a Mil I.  Even if the DO have a Heavy Beam III, Arty Guard III, Flak III, 2 Laser IIIs, an Implosion III, and a Vampire III, with assorted small fleet for support.

You'd be right.  They really didn't.  Not once the missiles and lasers went to work.  But that's RIGHT about at the limit of those defenses.

-- The Fleet goes to work --
The fleet is rebuilt, and now includes 3 Flagships for a bit of extra oomph on the road.  The fourth will rebuild eventually.

2:12:27 676 + 3 (II) head for Matrix in 1:40.  They'll land at 2:14:07.  The fleet is currently organizing on Poker for the strike into Solaris VII's entrance and then will head to Earth for a Tach Drill/push to Argyle.

The fleet hits Nero's Fiddle, and clears the entry way and assorted annoyances while traveling for Solaris VII's entry.  They reach the entry with 15 seconds to go on the wave timer.  I decide to hold off on aggravating Solaris VII in case things go horribly awry and I end up with a two front war again.

The wave consists of (all MK II)
104 Autobomb ,
43 Beam ,
29 zombard,
82 Chameleons (oh, they'll be a blast to hunt down later),
107 paralyzers,
82 Mirrors,
22 Bombers,
x Fighters (dead on entry),
104 Polarizers,
70 Virus,
8 Medics,
7 Reprocessors,
15 siege engines,
1 bomber SS I,
1 Leech SS II,
and a Zenith II.
(and a partridge in a pear tree)

I decide I'm not worried.  Alright, Fleet, off you go!

2:14:30  The Fleet enters Solaris VII and challenges the Tachyon to its existance.  It fails.  The fleet, however, eats a suicide guardian and loses about 20% of the ships.

2:14:45 the fleet retreats back to Nero's Fiddle to challenge the threat-drift it just created, which was sitting at ~190.

Back at Matrix, the wave got some guardian support from Skye, who cut the corner on the long range turrets and chewed into them.  Hm, this may not go so well, but there's only 172 ships left there.  What could go wrong?  Not much, actually.  Matrix will hold.  I need a few more Gravs to deal with Skye threat assistance, but they'll be alright.

However, back at nero's Fiddle, I'm staring at 400+ ships... which, btw, don't appear to show properly when they're SF.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/ShipMiscount.jpg)

Anyway, luckily they're not actually attacking me.

2:15:44  Whoops!  Yes they are, RUN AWAY.  The fleet retreats to Poker.  I've got a serious SF problem on my hands at this point.



Stopping here for now.  I've got plans to meet a friend for dinner and formatting like this takes FOREVER.  Catch y'all later.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Kahuna on October 23, 2012, 12:14:01 AM
Alright, savescummed to 1:48:53.
In this case I wouldn't call that savescumming. Save scumming is loading if distribution node TOOK your resources.
Loading and trying to fix the problems is a good way to learn. You could have done the same by first possibly losing and starting a new game but that would just take unnecessarily long. If you have gotten this far you will get this far again. Just a matter of time.

If you find a way to fix the problems that made you to lose then it's not savescumming. If you load until you get lucky it is.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: relmz32 on October 23, 2012, 01:11:49 PM
Sorry for your pain, but it is good to read your AARs again!
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 23, 2012, 10:48:48 PM
Fun seeing the corvettes get a workout, sounds like they're pretty tough little buggers :)

And always good seeing the SF sticking it to the man.  They've got over a year of near-irrelevance-angst to work out.

Stopping here for now.  I've got plans to meet a friend for dinner and formatting like this takes FOREVER.  Catch y'all later.
What's making the formatting time-intensive?  One you've figured out your conventions (so they can be pattern-recognized) for stuff you want formatted, a decent text editor, a little regex experimentation, and a macro is all you need to make it a 5-second deal to format a whole post.

I mean, I wouldn't normally imply regex is easy, but I've been in the DB/IT trenches too: by now you could regex your way through a 2' steel wall.  Quietly.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 24, 2012, 04:06:27 PM
-- A bit of cleanup --

Alright, with the universe now a little 'saner' for me, it's time to do some cleanup.  In particular, I'm going to have some issues with the Special Forces.  So, we're going to need some additional firepower here.  Also, Matrix is still rebuilding off that last assault so my econ is plunging like a stripper's neckline.

I'm bringing Enclaves online to be able to build Fighters while we're in combat, and now we give the world a bit of a twiddle while I push scouts out a bit.

I've gotten eyes on Nero, which is a MK IV 4/0 planet with a Barracks without much else of note (3 Ions).  There's 520 Barrack Ships in Solaris VII, andother 102 down on Earth.  Lyran (1/4) is another MK IV and has a Sentry Eye and dual Ions.  Marlboro (3/4) is a MK III with CoP, CSG-D, single Ion I, and a couple of Counters... and another barracks.  I don't have permanent scout presense on any of these planets so it's tough to guage what's where.

2:19:40 The Fleet's ready to go and attack moves to Arrakkis, just to clean up the built up 200+ coldstorage there.

2:23:00 Arrakkis is cleaned back off, with two FF/Guardposts removed for good measure.  The Enclaves + Fighter rebuilds works VERY well.  Well enough that I may upgrade Basics to IIs immediately for additional drone support.  I need to look over my options first.  The fleet is heading for home, having to deal with only a single reinforcement pulse here.  Zombard chasing is of course highly annoying as always, however.

2:24:00 I can feel the time pressure to the CPA.  I need to deal with these barracks, and quickly.

Earth is the less defended of the two Barracks planets, and has a CSG on it.  I'm heading the fleet to Earth to start baiting the SF in to die horribly... I hope.

2:27:30 After having to retreat back to Nero's Fiddle due to heavy guardian assaults, the SF came through with 400+ ships of mixxed mark and shot me back to the stone age. I don't have the simple critical mass needed to deal with the huge SF fleet that's swarming around out here.  Currently my Corvettes are on the run and they're ... not going to make it.  Full refleet.  I need to come up with some alternatives.  There's over 578 ships in the SF Fleet right now.

The Raids, however, snuck into Solaris VII and popped the Ion cannon, so that'll help later.  Poker gets hit with about 44 ships from Earth that we awoke into threat.  What's rebuilt of the fleet heads over to try to help out with the MK III assault.  The mini-forts fell down practically on contact with the enemy.

Human Rebels (12/7) show up to assist in the defense of Poker.  A timely visit, if not overly superior in numbers.

2:31:00 AIP 96 from Autoprogress.  I really need to go get those Data Centers.  The Raids are issued orders... suicide time boys.

2:31:34 Wave announced: 1,455 + 2 (II) ships to Matrix in 1:40.  Will land at 2:33:10.

2:31:50 Raid SS team loses a SS on entry to Argyle due to artillery guardians.  They easily pop the DC under glass and head out for HotStar.  AIP 86.

2:32:20 Raids die to fortress covering entry wormhole in HotStar while I'm busy looking at the homeworld for a second. 

Poker is getting drifter traffic from Argyle's raid attack.  That'll help for later at least. 

The wave has hit Matrix for about 45 seconds, and I check in on it.  There's a carrier here with 455 ships and a mass of cutlasses still live (326 of them).  They've gotten out of the Lightning pocket already and are currently chewing through all the mid-range turrettry.  It barely held due to leech reclamations and the fleet showed up to get final pop on a pair of Siege SSs.

2:38:20  The econ's in famine again, but the majority of the main fleet is rebuilt.  It's time to go be annoying somewhere.  I'm going to go wake Solaris.

2:41:12  The SF have finally responded to the invasion of Solaris VII.  I've not been able to 'wake' Solaris VII but it's time to withdraw to Poker again.  Hopefully we'll whittle some more SF down on the way out and not get wiped.

2:41:53 Wave announce: 662 +3 to Matrix in 1:40.  Matrix is still rebuilding, but is nearly complete.  They probably won't have the entry FFs back up in time though to cover the short range turrets, we'll see.  The entire fleet just got popped, and only 3 corvettes survived to make it home.

The reason the wave was so 'small' was because of the # of Zombards and Siege Ships that came in as well, but it held well enough.  Just need econ...  SF seems to be 'posting up' somewhere south of Sox.  That may well end up being my answer to the SF if I can just get through the mess.

2:47:30 The Raids hit Earth, and pop the Barracks there, releasing 100+ MK III ships from the barracks.  They continue on to try to hit HotStar again.  I lose one of the Raids to the now free threat.

2:47:58 The Raids hit the Data Center on Hotstar, bringing AIP to 76.  They also try to pop the Ion I that's right next to it before attempting to escape for home.  There's only one left now... and the Zombards pop 'I'm.

The Barracks threat has gone for Poker.  What's rebuilt of the fleet heads over to help out.

2:52:00 The econ is in pure famine.  I've got maybe half the fleet (with 4 Corvettes built, luckily) trying to rebuild.  A second wave of barracks troops commits to attacking Poker, but it's light this time, so I let the turretry deal with it.  Reclamators are just so much tank though, gyeah.  It's like beating on a brick wall with those.  I may have to actually open Fighter II.

2:56:00 I take the fleet out to scour Neverending Story and remove the cold storage there.

2:58:40 With the fleet rebuilt, I head out to clean off the threat building in Nero's Fiddle and to make another run at Solaris VII.  Clock is ticking.

3:01:00 AIP 77 from AutoProgress.

SF enters Solaris VII from the entry for No Way Out. That is probably their staging area.  Will make for an ugly thing though, I'm slow-floating with the Frigates all the way across Solaris VII trying to get to the Barracks.

3:02:00 Wave Announce: 1,012 + 3 Ships to Matrix in 1:40.

3:02:11 520 ships deployed from Barracks on Solaris VII.  They're all MK III.  The entire fleet bolts at max speed for Poker, with the SF and the Barracks pop all over them, over 1000 ships strong. 13 Fighters actually make it to Nero's Fiddle.  Nothing makes it home.

3:03:50 355 ships are currently attacking Poker.  What's rebuilt of the fleet is sent to Poker to attempt to help deal with the issue, and the dock on Strana is FRD'ing replacements to Poker as quickly as possible.

The wave just hit Matrix.  Carrier with 12 units in it and a generic spread of ships: 260 Cutlass, 150 Fighter, 250 Frigate, 180 Vulture, 100 Bombers, a handful of Starships.  It'll HAVE to hold.

3:04:20 The full threat has arrived on Poker.  446 enemy ships remain.  All reclaimed ships on Matrix are issued orders to FRD their way to Poker.

3:05:25 Poker command falls.  379 ships remain.  They start pouring towards the wormhole to Strana.  It's going to be a last-ditch brawl.

3:07:51 Command Station Falls.

Note to self: Releasing 500+ MK III Barracks ships without a plan is a deadly event, especially if you let the SF ALSO chew up your fleet on escape.

I'm going to have to revert back to the 2:15 save.  I didn't save before I barracks popped and the Autosave has about a 1 minute death of the homeworld timer on it.

Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 24, 2012, 04:27:20 PM
You and those special forces just ain't getting along.

Not sure what to suggest other than to try some experimental roach motel designs.  The SF logic shouldn't be too hard to "gap in the wall" because it's pretty traditional AI (as opposed to emergent AI).  Even if you do that it still wins because of all the time/resources you spent doing that, but at least you'd have it off your back for a while.  It's a bit on the cautious side in terms of what it will path to, though.

It can be cheesed, I'm sure, you just have to find the right variety ;)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Toranth on October 24, 2012, 07:27:35 PM
You and those special forces just ain't getting along.

Not sure what to suggest other than to try some experimental roach motel designs.  The SF logic shouldn't be too hard to "gap in the wall" because it's pretty traditional AI (as opposed to emergent AI).  Even if you do that it still wins because of all the time/resources you spent doing that, but at least you'd have it off your back for a while.  It's a bit on the cautious side in terms of what it will path to, though.

It can be cheesed, I'm sure, you just have to find the right variety ;)
One potential cheese I've noticed is that when the SF units are redeploying between systems, they don't stop to fight in non-SF defendable systems (No CSG, etc).  I tried setting up a group of longer-ranged ships (5000-ish range in that game, to outrange bombers and fighters) off to the side of the path the SF ships were taking.  It worked, I guess.  I killed a portion of everything that streamed by, and while longer ranged things did shoot back, nothing stopped to fight.

Might work with Turrets, too, if you could manage to get the stellar cartography to work out right.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 26, 2012, 11:49:08 PM
Round four.  Five?  Six?  Meh.

For reference:
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/MiniMap1_50.jpg)

Round N + 1.

2:16:28 Fleet consists of 4 Corvettes, near cap of triangles, 2 Flagships.  3 Raids also available for work.  Econ needs to rebuild Matrix.  6,000 K available.

The fleet heads for Arrakkis again to do cleanup.  Raids are going to hang out and wait for a transport this time.  3x Transports start building on Strana.

2:18:45 Transports with raids head out to Argyle for first Data Center.  They're gonig to swing past the MK IV just to piss it off.  Fleet continues to annoy a pair of FF posts on Arrakkis.  The Transports die horribly on Argyle, but do make for nice bait to let the Raids live.  They head for HotStar.

AIP: 75

2:20:42 The random assaults of transports and Raids pissed off some MK III stuff that went for Poker.  The fleet redirects to help out, having just finished off the last guardpost in Arrakkis... There's a conga line coming through Nero's Fiddle to Poker... good plan I guess.

2:23:00 The main fleet has returned to Strana for R&R, having defended Poker after it lost both Mini-forts and most of its turretry.  Main Fleet now has full triangle and 4 Flagships.  Econ's a bit toasted though.

The fleet returned to Poker to clean up remaining threat, and a bunch of MK IV invaded Strana.  Oh CRAP!

-- Defense of Strana --

2:24:05 The fleet is making best time to run for Strana to protect the homeworld.  4 MK IV guardians, two MK IV Reprocessors, 2 Zombards, and a handful of MK IV fleet have invaded.

2:24:28  That was quick.  Strana is safe.

It's time to implement the new plan:

-- The Beach-heading of Nero's Fiddle --

2:25:25 Spider Turret Unlocked.  Research available: 3,000 K.

2:27:38 Nero's Fiddle is cleared of problematic MK III leftovers and reinforcements.  One of the two mini-forts is built, but we lost the Mobile Constructor and Engi Is I had for support.  A new mobile constructor is coming shortly from Poker.

The cheese must stink.

2:28:06 Miniforts prepared in mid-system, able to cover the Solaris VII and Earth WHs as well as reinforcements on the CC.  A smattering of gravs are being built near them, and a bank of 60 Spiders are being built at the edge of the system.  The fleet begins work on a full neutering, removing the Poker WHGP.

2:29:32 The Spider bank is complete.  With everything in-system now firing on the WHGP at 72%.

I start a rebuild on the Corvettes to swap them to HBCs + Max Railguns for Mark with the snipers now up.

2:30:33 50% on WHGP.  Twiddle.  Econ needed a break anyway.  I bring Neinzul Enclaves I production online for Fleet support.

2:31:00 AIP: 76 due to Auto-progress.

2:31:34 WHGP 23%.  1,114 + 3 Wave to Matrix in 1:40.

2:32:25 WHGP destroyed.  Fleet heads back for R&R at Strana and to wait for the Neinzul Fighter replacers.  Tempted to pickup Basic IIs for Needlers as well.

With reasonable econ room I bring Siege SS I production online on Matrix to assist the leeches and general defenses.

-- The defense of Matrix --

2:33:18 The Wave lands on Matrix.  Reasonably split fleet between bomber/cutlass/fighter/vulture/Firgate.  114 ship carrier as well.

During this fight, I realize that a huge mob of ships tends to break out of the 'runway' to the north of the line towards a pair of harvesters, ignoring the mass of gravs I've been using.  I'll have to park a few new ones along that flight path.

2:34:12 A massive Human Rebel fleet of 104 ships comes to the aid of Matrix.  I'm no longer worried but I do want to watch the combat pattern.

At the end of the fight, all SSs were lost.  Reclaimed about 8 ships, but that was because I forgot to put the rally marker up near the CC.  That'll be fixed shortly.  Econ will go to rebuild of Matrix.

-- Dealing with the beachhead --

One thing I probably should have mentioned was that beach-head is alerting a pair of MK III worlds, Earth and Solaris VII.  This can't last for long without me getting involved.  Since I want to piss off the SF anyway and try to bait them into Nero's Fiddle for this experiment, the fleet heads for Nero's Fiddle.

I also save the blinkin' game here at 2:34.

We start with Earth.  Also, another 20 spiders go up on Nero's Fiddle.

2:36:52 The SF arrive on Earth via the Argyle gate.  Needless to say it's a horde.  I'm already retreating back through to Nero's Fiddle and will pull the fleet back behind the Mini-Forts towards the spiders to get them some repairs from the local Engis as well as try to dwindle this mess down.

Unfortunately, the SF heads for Sox instead of following me back to Nero's.  Dammit.  At least I get to deal with the backwash in the beachhead.

2:38:20 Backwash is cleared, and the fleet took a pounding, losing over half the bombers and frigates.  They head back to Strana for R&R.

Econ's on the floor though.  Time to make it worse.

The fleet, nearly fully rebuilt but missing a pair of flagships, heads for Nero's.  The Raids head for Earth again.  They've got Barracks duty.

2:40:00  The Raids pop the Barracks and free 100+ MK III ships from Earth, and then they run like hell for home.  They actually escape.  The fleet hangs out in Nero's, helping out the defenses. 

2:42:00 Threat is down to 9 again, and the fleet is... well, relatively intact.  Only one problem... Medics are sniper immune.  Looks like I'll have to put a few short-range turrets in near the spider bank, but the fleet heads up to deal with that for now before heading home for R&R.  To add to my new financial woes, however, a 1k+ wave hits Matrix in 1:32.

-- Recovery --

2:43:37 The wave that hits Matrix is a homogeneous wave... of Mirrors.  Neutrons in the lightning field, this should be interesting.

... ooookay, Lightning Is suck against Mirror IIs.

Reclaimed 70 Mirrors, not bad at all.  52 threat got free though.

2:45:52 Unlock Basic Turret II, Scout II, 1,750 K available.

30 BIIs go near the spider bank on Nero, another 10 to Macross since it had no turrets and a few miniforts, another 20 to Poker since we know it's going to take the brunt, and the rest to support the Matrix wall.  Also, the Neinzul Enclaves are prepped to build Needlers as well as Fighters to support the fleet.

Econ's on the floor.  We twiddle.

Power's on the ground.  Hm.  I start a Matter Converter on Strana.

We level off at 42,500 power.  Alright, that needs a planet.

2:49:45 Econ's still in Famine.  Twiddle... try and figure out where my handful of lost bombers/frigates are and realize AGAIN that the new cap is 96, NOT 98... mumble.  The fleet heads out to Nero's Fiddle again to prepare to antagonize Solaris VII.  They can kill a WHGP while they're there.

2:50:30 Scout IIs start working west.

2:52:35 Econ is wholesome again.  Save.  I'm going to allow it to bank a bit while I take out this WHGP before annoying Solaris VII.

2:55:30 WHGP on Nero to Earth is removed.  Time to antagonize Solaris VII.  The fleet heads for the wormhole.  I'm simply going to 'buzz' the planet.  I'm hoping to pull the SF up through Nero's Fiddle here.

Then I realize I have a better way.  I send the Raids out to pop the Ion Cannon on Solaris VII.

-- Baiting the SF --

It works like a charm.  The fleet's in position to protect the mini-forts and harass the SF.

(http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=11807.0;attach=6298;image)

Notice the layout.  There's a small bank of gravs near the minis to give the fleet time to withdraw back twards the Poker WH, while most of the firepower will be in range of any 'breakaways' from the SF fleet.

2:56:51 The main SF fleet heads into Earth and starts traveling for Nero's.  Here we go.

However...

2:57:30 The majority of the SF fleet besides the slowpokes (Frigate (80)/Zombard (56)) have entered Nero's Fiddle.  The Mini-forts are getting overwhelmed QUICKLY.  I'd hoped SF would simply 'float' past the assault but the majority of them are turning to engage the locals. 

(http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=11807.0;attach=6300)

The fleet has turned to intercept the mass of Medical Frigates trying to bypass the gravwell and head after the spiders.  They'll chase them up to that region and let the spiders work.

2:58:02 The Med Frigates have been thoroughly abused, and the zombards have entered the fray.  Fleets at about 2/3s strength and turn around to engage a mass of Virus heading for the spiders before heading back south for Zombard hunting.

2:59:12 FRD vs. Zombard complete.  Fleet at 1/2 strength now.  3 of 4 flagships lost.  Fleet retreats to the mini-forts to see if it can sneak in some repairs.

3:00:00 Death of the SF.

The Special Forces are now cold-clocked, at least for a little bit.  I can finally get some damned work done.  Cost: 1/2 Bomber, 1/2 Frigate, 1 Neinzul, 4 Flagships, and a crapton of replaced fighters.  Luckily I've got some econ banked up.

3:00:40 Wave: 973 to Matrix in 1:40.

The fleet is heading to Strana for R&R.  Apparently too early.  15 Reprocessors, those DAMNED TANKS of the SF, have reached the spider-bank and are causing havoc.  I'll have to remember to drop a few Tach's in Nero's Fiddle.

3:01:00 AIP: 77 from Autoprogress.

3:01:06 Now there's 38 of them.  Fleet turns around.  Gyeah.

Reinforcements from Strana have rejoined the main fleet, but I need to rebuild the spider bank.  The fleet starts working on Solaris' WHGP.

3:04:40 WHGP at 59%, but the spiders are up.   Time to take it to the man.

-- Assaulting Solaris VII --

The assault on Solaris VII goes relatively well at the beginning, not having enough FP to actually wake the planet.  Meanwhile, the SF tries to get at us through Nero's Fiddle, and being weak still pay for their mistake.

3:06:09 Solaris WAKES.  The fleet runs for Nero's Fiddle to take 'em on in the beachhead.

3:07:32 1,600 CPA announced for 10:22 from now.  It's going to happen.  Ho boy.

Grab a save so I can try to react down the line.

3:09:42 With Nero's Fiddle protected again, and the fleet getting reinforcements shipped out from Strana, they re-engage the now nearly empty Solaris VII.  Hopefully we can break this (everything EXCEPT the Barracks) without significant losses and then return later.

A good chunk of SF comes in from the NE during the Nero's assault.  It's picked off by Fighters on FRD who were sent out hunting the Zombards.

3:13:39 4:15 till CPA.  Wave has hit and is dying on Matrix.  The fleet has cleared all but the Counterstrike, 2 SFs, CC/Wave, and WHGPs off of Solaris VII.  That's enough for now.  Barracks with 520 ships still stands.  The fleet retreats to Nero's Fiddle.

3:16:07 The fleet cleans off the final WHGP while waiting for the CPA... which lands in 1:47.

Econ: 650k/999k.  We've got enough to rebuild the clowns if we have to.  I turn off the docks back at Strana and let the local Neinzuls Rebuild any MK I Bomber/Frigates as well.  This will get ugly, I'm sure.

There's 339 threat just 'hanging around' out there, too.  I can't see it, wherever it is.

-- Defending the CPA --

3:17:55 CPA released.

225 MK I
531 MK II
44 MK III
800 MK I strategic Reserve.

Wait, MK I?  Oh god, I might live!

Most of the threat is invisible to me at the moment.

3:18:54  Earth has 304 threat and growing.  Wonder Woman (whipping boy feeder) has 200 or so.  Looks like they're trying the back door again.

The first thing the Siege engines hit are the neinzuls.  No rebuilds of forces on Nero's Fiddle... or wait.

I build a space dock up by the spiders.

3:19:43 A massive wave of zombard (50+), Z-Elecs(150), and Siege (115) has landed on Nero's and is growing.  Time to see how well the beach-head can blunt the force of this assault.  I pull the corvettes back near the mini-forts.  I don't want to lose their heavy handed attacks yet.

3:20:23 There are NO other incursions into my space.  This entire CPA is trying to come in the back door. 

3:21:30 The Space dock at the spiders is saving my arse.  Lost all the engis though and they just popped the Mobile Builder hiding in the back.   A new one is being prepped on Poker to take over, but it's unlikely it'll live long, so streaming reinforcements are begun on Strana as well to head to support Nero's Fiddle.

Also, Wonder Woman finally decided to assault the whipping boy.  Reinforcements from Skye are making a mess coming in from a side angle.

3:22:09 Corvette lost to massive concentrated ZElec and siege fire.

3:22:45 All Corvettes lost.  Reinforcements from Strana arriving.  Friendly Human Resistance (37 ships) spawns on Nero's Fiddle to help out.

3:24:29 The War for Nero's Fiddle's Beachhead completes.  304 threat remaining in the galaxy.  90 on Neverending story (Borderworld to Strana), 130 on Wonder Woman, and 60 on Arrakkis.  I'll take the fleet out on cleanup shortly.

-- Recovery from the CPA --

Space Dock on Nero dropped.  Space dock on Strana building local again.  Fleet being re-issued to Strana.

3:26:30 Triangle mostly rebuilt and 2 Corvettes back in operation.  Waiting on the MK IIs.  Nero's Fiddle continues to smack around drifter traffic.

3:28:00 Bored, I take the Raids out to go lay waste to the Ions in Wonder Woman so I can eventually punch a tachyon drill through the middle north cluster... but I'm going to need transports to get off the gate, so I build off 3.

3:29:15 Wave: 1,142 + 3 to Matrix in 1:20

3:32:00 Save Game.  A chunk of that wave escaped and is currently trying to make its way around the southern entry via Sox.  The fleet's rebuilt and is ready to rumble, and we'll start with a local cleanup of the mess.  The Raids were successful in removing the dual Ion Is from Wonder Woman so we'll pick off the two borderworlds (Arrakkis and Neverending Story) then go clock that.  From there, I'll look at pushing a tach-drill into the next cluster west so I can hopefully finally get my hands on an ARS.  There's none in the home cluster.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 27, 2012, 09:18:53 AM
Congratulations on slaughtering all those SF ships.  What better way to bait a mousetrap, than with cheese? ;)

And yea, the strategic reserve contributions to CPAs are always of the "target" mark, and happen first (a second chunk is pulled in later if the CPA could not be populated the rest of the way), so it actually substantially delays the point at which the CPA will start yanking MkIV and MKV stuff in just to make quota.

To that extent, the strategic reserve involvement is actually a modest nerf to CPAs (on high difficulty where it will yank higher-mark stuff in, anyhow).  This is counterbalanced by the fact that it makes it way less likely the CPAs will reach a point during a normal game where they can't make quota.

Quote
Also, Wonder Woman finally decided to assault the whipping boy.
This game just gets stranger and stranger.

Annnd... you survived the CPA! Congratulations :)  Good to see something requiring some out-of-the-box tactics, but can actually be stopped by said.  Too easy, that's easy to find.  Too hard, that's also pretty easy to find.  On-the-ragged-edge-between-victory-and-defeat, that's harder.  And the most fun, imo.

Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on October 30, 2012, 01:36:11 AM
-- State of the Universe --

Time: 3:32:00
Planets Controlled: 4
Resources: 188k Metal / 324k Crystal / 1,750 K / 46k Power
Threat: 663, half in unknown territory but known to be maneuvering for an easier entry.
AIP: 78 (Mk I)
Research Opened:
FleetScout II
Spire Corvette II
Harvester III
Forcefield II
Mini Forts
Basic II Turret
Spider Turret
Grav I Turret
Tach I Turret
HBC I Turret

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/3_32Map.jpg)

Primary Fleet Status: Rebuilt.  MK I Triangle ships + MK I/II Spire Corvettes + 4 Flagships + 2 Factory Is

Secondary Fleets:
Raider Fleet: 3x Raid Starship I

-- Threat Cleanup --

First stop: Arrakkis.  The fleet heads there and does a quick cleanup of threat.

While the fleet's there (and have pushed half of the threat into Poker) a huge chunk of threat randomly commits to attacking the turret wall on Matrix.  376 ships show up and die horribly.  I think it was because the Human Resistance finally wandered off.

3:34:22 Cleanup is complete for all visible threat.  164 remaining.

The fleet is heading for Wonder Woman to start driving the tach drill into the northern center Cluster.

By 3:40 I realized I was in a wall-banger of a situation.  The Fort III just wasn't falling to a Bomber I fleet and the rest of the fleet was getting into trouble, including losing one of the corvettes.  Before I ended up in a full refleet (especially with the Nero's Fiddle Beachhead having Zombard issues) I decide to pull back and R&R.  The 70 Mirrors (captured) I sent over from the turret wall just weren't enough to deal with the zombard issues.

3:42:43 the Mirrors make a liar out of me by the time I'm done screwing around with the R&R and the fleet travels.  They clean up the 20+ Zombards and let me build off a few rebuilders/engis to clean up the mess.  I need to get a small bank of LRMS in here to deal with the sniper immune Zombards, so I steal 10 from Matrix.

Figured out part of the problem.  Wonder Woman has a Planetary Armor Inhibitor, which isn't helping things.

3:49:10  Raiders have started workign on the next layer of Ions out from Wonder Woman, encouraging threat to attack in Wonder Woman.  Primarily fat MK III/IV guardians.  The fleet is still working on the Fort III and zombard armies, but have cleaned out everything else besides a counterstrike on WW.  We're starting to attrition Bombers with the guardian (MK III Laser to be precise) input so I'm going to withdraw to pull them to the WH for insta-strike after an R&R with the main fleet.


-- Oops --

With my Raids on Hacker, I notice I just got VERY lucky.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/JustMissEMP.jpg)

Well, ish.  If you take a closer look you'll notice the upper left hand corner of that once you're done staring at the near miss on dual EMP IVs.

I fired up a Raid Engine.  678 of them firing up off Spock.  CRAP.  Run little fleet run.  I'm going to have to pop that Raid engine but not this trip.

It's a MK IV Raid, and it's heading right at Matrix.  At least I got a little lucky.

3:53:00 With the fleet in FRD support Matrix holds with only short range turret obliteration and mid-rangers at 50%.  Yeeesh, 241 threat still out there.

The fleet needs some serious R&R here.  Loss of a Corvette and half the fleet will do that.

That Raid Engine on Spock will command most of the transit lines through North Central Cluster.  I can't move to Hacker or Cyborg without triggering it.  We're gonna have to do that one more time.

First, we need to clear the way.  There's a MK IV threatball in Wonder Woman.

3:59:00 I get distracted with the threat-ball clearance but my Raid SSs are ready.     

3:59:18 Raid Retriggered, 645 ships.  The fleet has removed the threatball and taken the Fort III down to 33% at this point.  They retreat to Matrix.

The Raid Fleet hits Spock and releases a ton more MK IV threat.  This probably won't end well, but it needs to happen.

3:59:41 The Raid Engine on Spock dies.  AIP: 83 (MK I).

4:01:00 AIP: 84 from Autoprogress.  The raid engine's last hurrah is currently landing on Matrix.  The fleet is supporting.

With 357 threat still out there, Matrix halts the Raid Engine.  Sporadic assaults continue once the fleet is retreated to Strana.  Checking in on Nero's Fiddle, they're holding strong.  The addition of the 11 LRMs made the difference.  33 Mirrors on response duty don't hurt either.

So, in the last 30 minutes I cleaned up threat, caused a crapton more dangerous threat to spawn, and whacked a Raid Engine.  Errr, I guess that's progress.

-- Back on Task... Tach Drilling --

I've started posting up scouts wherever they'll fit as pickets and have gotten a little extra information... including the Fact IV on Canopus.  That's... just... GREAT.  Thanks RNG.  Right next to my Whipping Boy feeder is the Fact IV.  Le Sigh.

Econ's a bit broken at the moment, so I'm letting that rebuild.  I'm hoping the threatball forming in Wonder Woman will commit to the whipping boy, but so far there's 91 MK IV ships parked there and they still won't budge.

4:05:00 873 ship wave to Matrix.  Well, THAT'LL get the threat to commit... I hope.  I take the fleet towards Earth to start paving the 'rear entrance' to Sox.

I've found an ARS on Roulette again.  I think I found it last time but I lost it in all the mess.  This has an Ion Eye protecting it, but not much else.

30 seconds before the wave hits, the threatball commits to attacking the turrets with 130 MK IV ships.  This should get ugly... The wave is a bomber wave.  710 bombers arrive and MELT the FFs covering the short range turrets.  Ugh....  Where'd I leave the fleet again?

The fleet reverses and heads for Matrix.  Sox apparently isn't on the menu yet.

They turned out to be unnecessary.  I also got 43 Bomber IIs for my troubles.  Very nice.  Think I'll go finish off the fort in WW... and clear the threatball that's reforming.

4:10:40 The Fort III on Wonder Woman has fallen.  I no longer have to worry about wanting to use one of the wormholes on the planet.  I expected more SF response, as WW has a CSG-D on it, but so far nothing in particular.  I change back to the Tach drill and decide i want to get my science II on Roulette to see my ARS options. The fleet heads north to Canopus to drill a bit while the Raids head for Kerensky, a MK IV along my path with Ion cannons.  Pai Gow, a MK III I could use as an alternate, has none, but Kerensky is the default pathing and I know my luck.

The Raids get... nowhere on Kerensky, they barely survived the trip.  Alright, wait on the rebuild for those while we work Canopus into something reasonable.

4:14:00 A ~700 ship wave heads for Matrix, I ignore it.

The SF Response team finally caught up with us on Canopus.  The fleet got into a massive brawl with them, with the siege units and Reprocessors causing amazing amounts of damage via tanking.  We win, but the fleet is in tatters.  They're heading home for R&R.  I've lost over 70% of my Bomber/Frigates and all the Flagships.  On the way however, there's a floatilla of Zombards with support guardians and fleet that the primary fleet FRDs to remove in Wonder Woman... that was the plan anyway, but they JUST.  KEEP. COMING.  Eventually they stop, after 5 minutes of continuous low-impact combat... The fleet leaves as more show up but it's got to stop sometime.

-- Smack a 'rax --

4:21:31  The fleet's rebuilt.  I dare to dance with the devil in the moonlight.  The fleet stations up on Matrix.  The Raids head for the 500+ MK III Barracks on Canopus with intent to release.

Only one ship survives the release, and then with 8% HP.  They'd had hopes to head for Kerensky and pop some Ions but no dice.

The fleet pulls back to Strana, hoping to bait the new threatball.

436 MK III ships... and they frustratingly WON'T GO.  More are coming, here's hoping...

586 ships... vs. the whipping boy... and they won't commit.

Sonofa... I just created a door-stopper.

4:24:36 Ah, there they go.  Apparently everyone was on tea break.  The fleet comes in on support and they make short work of the mess.  250 threat still alive.  The fleet prepares to hit WW again.

-- The assault of Kerensky --

4:27:29 Raids pop the two ions on Kerensky but don't survive the alphastrike from the zombards much longer than that.  They certainly don't do anything about the sniper guardian under glass, which was a bonus target on this raid.

The fleet hits Kerensky 30 seconds later, and find the planet VERY awake.  They withdraw back to Canopus, hoping at the LEAST to get a Knife-fight jump on the enemy zombards, if not take them on piecemeal back in the other system, SF assistance in Canopus or not.

-- The revenge of Kerensky --

The knife-fight jump becomes a common theme with this running battle against a MK IV threatgroup.  The fleet withdraws back to Wonder Woman to do it again, now that they've cleaned up a bunch of the guardian assistance.  Fleet's at about 50% effectiveness at this point, and we're losing the attrition war... but I may have finally gained ground.

Spoke too soon.  A lot of the previous fleet had bypassed me to head to threatball the Matrix entry.  The fleet beats feet for the homeworld for R&R.  Survivors number in the dozens, and don't include the Corvettes or the starships... I'm refleeting.

On a positive note... Kerensky is empty!

4:32:01 AIP: 85 due to autoprogress.
 
4:35:40 The refleet is nearly complete.  I decide I'm not waiting on the Flagships.  They're simply nice to haves...

Time to unpark that threatball in Wonder Woman.

-- Assaulting the Kerensky squad, round 2 --

The fleet gets underway heading for Wonder Woman.  No MK IV Frigates, no stacks of Bomber IIs, no capturables.  Pure fleet.  Hiyaaa!

(Random request... I should mantis it but I'm lazy.  When a fleet has drones, can they be the LAST option cycled to when you hit their hotkey, not the first?)

Threatball on Wonder Woman has reached 115 ships.  The fleet engages at knife range.  As soon as the zombards fleet shooting distance, the fleet retreats for repairs.  Then they do it again... and I realize why this isn't going to work well, there's a medic frigate in there.  CHARGE!  All guns on the medic!

The fleet, out of bombers, low on frigates, and with the corvettes in danger retreat after cleaning out the Guardian/Medic/Reprocessor parking lot.  They head for Strana to R&R again.  No need to refleet, everything's built on arrival.  We re-stage in Matrix for another run at the Zombard IVs.  Meanwhile, the Raids begin their run at the Ions on Roulette.  It's an Eye planet, everything's got to get raided down eventually.

There's two EMP Guardians in Roulette, too.  Joyful... and one's sitting next to the Ion I came to kill.  Well, actually, that could work out with the fleet bouncing around near the whipping boy.  Time to wake the neighbors.  The main fleet's busy FRD'ing Wonder Woman popping MK IV Zombards all over the place.  They're finally down to five.  It's like swatting mosquitos...

While I'm doing this...

4:42:01 Wave Announce: 1,187 + 2 to Matrix in 1:40.

Great.

The Raids have killed off one EMP which sat under glass and died for me.  The other is already enroute.  This could be... interesting.

The fleet moves back out to Wonder Woman to try to catch the EMP at Canopus, since we can't afford the wave to end up with EMP backup.  Wave ends up as a mixed wave landing on Matrix.  Shouldn't be too bad.  I hope.

Huge chunks of the wave escape Matrix and harass the fleet from behind as it runs to Canopus after the EMP detonates.  The Fleet, however, IS able to catch the EMP before it causes any significant harm.  With that dealt with, the fleet returns to Wonder Woman and goes into a toe-to-toe brawl with the enemy... and the Human Resistance shows up with 61 ships.  Nice timing boys.

4:46:10 With the majority of the threat dealt with and the resistance covering our retreat the fleet heads home for R&R.

The fleet's replacements are there waiting for them, so they re-organize at Matrix while the Raids make another run at Roulette.

Another wave is heading for Matrix (700) but I ignore it.

4:49:43 AIP: 86 Death of a SF Post.  MARK II WAVES.  Ah crap.

4:56:24 With all but the SF/CC/WG down on Kerensky finally, the fleet pops the 124 ship MK IV Barracks before it leaves to try to deal with the threat-ball sitting on Wonder Woman stopping my Raids from getting out.

... I've done smarter things.  I killed 20 of them and lost the fleet... complete wipe... and the rest of that is coming for the Whipping Boy.  Here boy!

4:58:41 The threatball attacks with 109 ships.  60 of them die in the alpha.  The rest die shortly after.

With the threatball moved, the Raids try to head out to Roulette again to finish the Anti-Eye movement.

5:01:00 AIP: 87 due to autoprogress.

5:01:19 AIP: 88 from death of SF.

5:01:20 Suicidal Raids pop the 500+ MK III 'rax on Roulette.  They don't survive running away afterwards.

The fleet is almost rebuilt, and my explorer class science station is enroute to Roulette to see my options.

Oh... My.

Shield Bearers, Railclusters/Reprocessors.  That's a hella choice.

Um.  Er.  Wow.  Hm.

5:03:30 The barracks assault force lands on Matrix and dies for their trouble.  There's still 150 threat on Wonder Woman though.

I need to think on this, and an hour and a half of gameplay per post is probably sufficient.

-- End of Round status --

Well, I got a lot of nothing done, but there was a whole LOT of it.  I probably wasted 30-45 minutes just dealing with the Barracks, but that was time I spent having to raid the Eye out of Roulette for the ARS anyway.  The rear beachhead is dealing with just about everything that shows up at this point, it just needs occassional attention so I can replace lost rebuilders.

The fleet is holding up reasonably well, but I want some Riot IIs with the next research to strengthen the defense point(s).  After that, we start looking at Sox again.  I figure I've got an hour, maybe an hour and a half, before the next CPA fires up.  Even though the beach-head is strong now, I'd still like to clear the backfield and take Sox so I can secure the borders.  I won't do that before the CPA though, most likely, particularly if I chase down Roulette.  Roulette's abandonable, there's nothing else there besides it being an 0/4 world, so I'll probably give it minimal protection and let it fall whenever the AI gets around to it while I do work elsewhere.

State of the universe:
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/5_05Map.jpg)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 30, 2012, 02:44:20 PM
3:34:22 Cleanup is complete for all visible threat.  164 remaining.
Plotting your demise, I'm sure.

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Figured out part of the problem.  Wonder Woman has a Planetary Armor Inhibitor, which isn't helping things.
How inconsiderate of her.

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Well, ish.  If you take a closer look you'll notice the upper left hand corner of that once you're done staring at the near miss on dual EMP IVs.
When the RNG gives an olive branch with one hand, the other is hitting you upside the head with a steel pipe.

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Thanks RNG.  Right next to my Whipping Boy feeder is the Fact IV.  Le Sigh.
Share And Enjoy!

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873 ship wave to Matrix.  Well, THAT'LL get the threat to commit... I hope.
You never know.  You'll never expect the Threat Inquisition!

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Where'd I leave the fleet again?
Sockdrawer.

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A ~700 ship wave heads for Matrix, I ignore it.
Ostrich Algorithm FTW!  (of course, it does kind of put one in position for an AI "field goal" kick)

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Sonofa... I just created a door-stopper.
You could have gotten a sony console for that! *rimshot* (at least, that's the current state of my PS3; the PS2 is still going strong)

Quote
(Random request... I should mantis it but I'm lazy.  When a fleet has drones, can they be the LAST option cycled to when you hit their hotkey, not the first?)
You mean when you have a control group that has drones in it, and you press something, it selects just a drone?  Or do you mean when you have military on the planet and press comma it goes to a drone first?

It doesn't specifically pay attention to what goes first, but I suspect the drone generally has the highest primary key.  You can guess the rest.

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CHARGE!  All guns on the medic!
"Medic!" can have so many meanings.  Well, two.

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Oh... My.

Shield Bearers, Railclusters/Reprocessors.  That's a hella choice.

Um.  Er.  Wow.  Hm.
Normally I'd say no contest when I see shield bearers in the default slot.  But railclusters are nasty combatants.

If the railclusters were the default slot I'd say keep 'em, but as-is I'd say SBs all the way, they'll keep stuff alive a lot longer, which helps you keep your "alpha strength" for more salvos in fleet-v-fleet.  And save the hack for something where you don't like the default choice.

Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Faulty Logic on October 31, 2012, 10:27:53 AM
Quote
Normally I'd say no contest when I see shield bearers in the default slot.  But railclusters are nasty combatants.

If the railclusters were the default slot I'd say keep 'em, but as-is I'd say SBs all the way, they'll keep stuff alive a lot longer, which helps you keep your "alpha strength" for more salvos in fleet-v-fleet.  And save the hack for something where you don't like the default choice.
No contest: keep the shields. If railclusters were the default, I would still seriously consider hacking for shields.

They are the best fleetship (at least for the kinds of games I play (even more AIP-phobic; lots of micro when necessary)).
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 01, 2012, 06:39:07 PM
Quote
(Random request... I should mantis it but I'm lazy.  When a fleet has drones, can they be the LAST option cycled to when you hit their hotkey, not the first?)
You mean when you have a control group that has drones in it, and you press something, it selects just a drone?  Or do you mean when you have military on the planet and press comma it goes to a drone first?

It doesn't specifically pay attention to what goes first, but I suspect the drone generally has the highest primary key.  You can guess the rest.

Not exactly, let's say my main fleet is on Ctrl-1 (including the neinzuls).  I flip to homeworld while my fleet travels.  Do xyz, then hit 11 to get back to the fleet.  First stop is always the drones in the wrong system.  Highly annoying.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 01, 2012, 08:36:43 PM
Map attached at end at 5:45:15 for reference.

-- Opening Salvo --

5:05:00

I really don't like the threat of that 520 MK III barracks that's been sitting on Solaris VII.  With the fleet repaired the Raids go out and pop the little devil.  Time to remove that dagger at my back.  Needless to say the Raids didn't survive.

We engage them in Nero's Fiddle.

Only problem is the SF comes in from Earth while the main MK III forces pour in from Solaris VII.  This is getting pretty fierce.  325 ships left still.

Signficant losses deeply chewed into the fleet.  No bombers or fighters left (even with factories) and the frigates are falling.  The vettes are still tanking for the fleet.  195 ships left.  I'm forced to retreat the ships back to the Miniforts to try to repair with a famine econ.

5:10:00 That was a failure, so I FRD the fleet after teh Zombards.  There's 24 of 'em at this point.

Somewhere along the way, the enemy got Shredders.

5:11:30 A 1k+ ship wave lands on Matrix, and the fleet's nearly obliterated.  They're retreating to Strana as the sniper support falls to 5 Reprocessors and a Medic... all sniper immune.  Only one Corvette remains alive.

The 1000 ship MK II wave is chewing deeply into the Matrix defenses.  They may not hold.  There's MK III/IV assistance coming in from Wonder Woman as well.

Does the damned AI have anything NOT sniper immune?  Zombards, Medics... yeesh.

5:13:22 Matrix has no defenses left besides the snipers.  They're about to fall.  444 enemy ships still alive and attacking.

5:14:30 The enemy fleet hits Strana.  The main fleet revolving doored with them on the wormhole, so ends up coming in behind them.  350+ of them.

It's not enough.  Savescum.


-- Take two... cleaning out the MK IV threat FIRST --

Threat's at 270, 156 of it sitting on Wonder Woman.  I hadn't realized it was as deadly as it looks though, FP 91 is not something that'll usually get my attention.

The fleet was devastated trying to take down enough of the medical frigates IVs to not lose the attrition war.  They were able to get all but 2.  Lost a Corvette and most of the MK I fleet.

5:09:30 1.2k wave heading for Matrix.  Need the fleet to help out this time, that threat's still waiting to go.

Nero's Fiddle is falling to that escapee wave/threat from earlier, however.  Not much I can do about that for the moment.

A good chunk of the wave/threat fled, 322 enemies are out there hunting for me now... but the fleet was able to block the loss of Matrix with reasonable losses.  The beachhead on Nero's Fiddle was obliterated though, and a Warp Guardian just spwaned there.  The fleet heads out to deal with that.  Massive rebuilding is currently taking place from the MK II fleet assault on Matrix.

5:21:30 Still rebuilding, a 700 ship wave hits Matrix.  Over half of them immediately retreat as threat.  Threat to 418.

5:28:00 Still rebuilding.  2 FF IIs are up over the short range turrets as well, and 25 Tractors are brought into play to try to reduce the amount of escaping threat from the whipping boy.  the Fleet is still waiting on the miniforts in Nero's Fiddle to come online before leaving.

5:31:00 AIP: 89 due to autoprogress.

5:31:52 Miniforts are finally completed.  The fleet heads for Strana to prep to assault the Wonder Woman threat.

350 enemy ships are sitting on the Matrix wormhole in WW.  This should be ugly.

44 of those ships were removed, I lost half the fleet.  R&R and try again.

5:37:30 This last assault didn't do much.  I think we actually multiplied a bunch of shredders, actually.  Siege and Medics are dwindled a bit though.  Lost nearly the entire triangle fleet however.

too many ships, too much time.  It's time to get nasty.

Savescum.


-- Threat removal... the heavy handed way. --

I'm already in MK II AIP.  Screw it.

5:05:15 Missile Silo constructed on Strana.  Cloaker Starships being prepared.  Fleet heads to Poker to prove response team for Nero's Fiddle.

2 FF IIs and 25 Tractors brought online on Matrix.

Existing Wonder Woman Threatball is 153 ships. 
Siege IVs have 2.5 mill HP.

The medics haven't strolled up yet... ah, there they are.  MK IV Medic is 4.5 mill hp.

Zombard IV is 1.5m.

Lightning warheads.  1.6M attack for MK I, 3.2M MK II, and 4.8M for MK III.  A MK II will take out the trash, leaving the medics (and frigates) for the fleet.

A MK II Lightning Warhead is prepared.

5:07:00 Almost all the threat out there is sitting on the Matrix entry point.  It's about time.  Fleet heads for Matrix.  Still waiting on warhead completion.

More are coming to the death-point.  Come here my little apples.  I'm gonna eatcha.

5:08:30  The Warhead arrives on Strana.  The fleet is in position to enter Wonder Woman as soon as it fires.  The warhead is sent out to go to work.

5:08:39 AIP: 90 due to detonation of Lightning Warhead II.

136 ships left to remove from 300+.  Medics have about had it.  The fleet goes in for the kill-strike.

5:10:00 1.1k wave heading for Matrix in a min, and the threatball is cleared.  ROAR.  Threat at 3.

While doing this, I missed an invasion at Nero's Fiddle, the fleet is enroute.

5:11:33 SERIOUSLY? C'mon dammit.  Threat at 285 because a chunk of fleet and the carrier insta-U-turned.  That's getting old.  Stay longer than it takes to piss your pants, guys.  Most of it was cutlasses.

The fleet cleaned off Nero's Fiddle but it was a little late, a lot of the place is wrecked.  Once we replace the mobile builder here the fleet will head for Strana to R&R.

5:15:00 Econ's famine right now, trying to get everything rebuilt.  280 frickin' threat, REALLY?

I'm getting ready to Beach-Head Wonder Woman.  Deal with the SF *AND* the blinkin' escapees all at once.

Threatball is forming on WW again.  Need to remove that, pronto.

Energy's a problem again, second Matter Converter going up on Strana.  Those cloakers are monsters.

5:18:15 Threatball's mostly cleared, Threat at 149.

5:19:00 The Raids are dispatched to Misery to clear out the 4 Ion cannons. 

Next wave hits.  50 escapees... 60... 70... mostly shredders, tractor immunes.  Meh.  Threat 219.

5:23:00 The fleet has killed the backwash from Misery (MK IV) and prepares an invasion.  SCout SS Is are being prepared to help hunt the dual stealth posts on Misery.

5:24:30 Dual Lightning IV Guardians erase the MK I Bomber fleet attacking the Fort II in a single twinned salvo.  Skippee.

The fleet deals with the freed threat there out of range of the Fort and then they run for Strana for R&R again.

5:24:15 I just noticed the Carrier hit Nero's Fiddle.   I force the locals to shoot the blasted thing, since it's been pounding away with impunity on my miniforts and already killed one off.

It's mostly vultures.  these should have been long dead.  Time to fix the problem.  2 Raid Starships are also on the loose here now too.  The Fleet moves to Poker and then to Nero's to try to halt the inevitable fall of the beach-head.

5:31:00 AIP 91 due to autoprogress.  The fleet's saved some of the Fiddle, but not a lot.  Threat's down to 59 though.

5:33:00 With Fiddle rebuilt the fleet is heading back to Strana for R&R and another attempt at Misery.
... right after they clear the threatball on Wonder Woman.

5:35:30 Threatball cleared, Threat at 11, fleet Strana bound.

Finally having gotten perma-scouts through the back area of my cluster, I have over 1200 ships waiting in MK III and IV barracks in my cluster.  Great.

5:41:17 With the fight going reasonably on Misery, Replacement Frigates and bombers are shipped from STrana up to help clean the world out a bit quicker.

200 more threat from insta-U-Turn ships at Matrix...  I'm not sure I'm putting the amount of loathing I feel for that crap into my words right now.  STAY AND FIGHT DAMMIT.

5:43:32 CPA 2,099 ships announced.  10:22 till arrival.

Crap.

Savegame.

5:44:00 Raids hit Sox to remove the Ion cannon, and are shortly jammed up by a Grav Guardian that's transiting.  They eventually get clear and then run for it.

5:45:15 Fort II on Misery finally falls.  I have 8:37 before the CPA releases.  I only have 2 MK II worlds behind the cluster entries if I decide to try to seal up the cluster before the CPA comes at me.  That'll give me dual Whips to reduce the heavy impact of the attacks, the chance to research up Riot IIs, another ~20ish AIP, and a lockout against the CPA... well, all the parts that don't end up MK III+ anyway.

Problem.

I'm out of turrets.

I'm gonna go think on this.  Right now I'm just a bit frustrated.

State of the universe attached below.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 01, 2012, 10:18:46 PM
Think I figured out why the Insta-U-Turn is so phenomenally bad of a sudden.

Quote
Since threat now behaves more intelligently when "stonewalled", removed the /10 modifier that turret firepower was given when evaluating whether a threatball should attack. Before it was better that they just get it over with, but now it's better that they regroup with other threat and look for an opening.
 

Recent beta release.  I'm going to have to say I wasn't a fan of the adjustment in the first place but now I'm REALLY not that joyful about it!   :-\
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: TechSY730 on November 01, 2012, 11:56:22 PM
Think I figured out why the Insta-U-Turn is so phenomenally bad of a sudden.

Quote
Since threat now behaves more intelligently when "stonewalled", removed the /10 modifier that turret firepower was given when evaluating whether a threatball should attack. Before it was better that they just get it over with, but now it's better that they regroup with other threat and look for an opening.
 

Recent beta release.  I'm going to have to say I wasn't a fan of the adjustment in the first place but now I'm REALLY not that joyful about it!   :-\

Yea, it will require a bit of strategy/tactics change to deal with, but rather that than idiotically simple to manipulate/stall threat, right?

Not saying that further tweaks can be made to make threat even more interesting, and/or less annoying to deal with while still being intelligent, but personally, I'd rather fight trickier and sometimes a tad annoying to deal unit intelligent behavior then dumb, easy to game behavior.
However, the best is fun (or at least interesting to deal with) and intelligent behavior.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 02, 2012, 02:49:40 AM
Think I figured out why the Insta-U-Turn is so phenomenally bad of a sudden.

Quote
Since threat now behaves more intelligently when "stonewalled", removed the /10 modifier that turret firepower was given when evaluating whether a threatball should attack. Before it was better that they just get it over with, but now it's better that they regroup with other threat and look for an opening.
 

Recent beta release.  I'm going to have to say I wasn't a fan of the adjustment in the first place but now I'm REALLY not that joyful about it!   :-\

Yea, it will require a bit of strategy/tactics change to deal with, but rather that than idiotically simple to manipulate/stall threat, right?
Well, we've generally disagreed with each other about how 'smart' the AI should be about when it'll commit against something.  For an enemy with 'endless resources' it sure is damned cagey about attacking. However, this change has the effect of necessitating the equivalent of BHG'ing any system that's expecting waves.  I don't currently have the trader available to use that option.

Quote
Not saying that further tweaks can be made to make threat even more interesting, and/or less annoying to deal with while still being intelligent, but personally, I'd rather fight trickier and sometimes a tad annoying to deal unit intelligent behavior then dumb, easy to game behavior.
However, the best is fun (or at least interesting to deal with) and intelligent behavior.
Constant threat at the level of fleet-stopper is not annoying, it's aggravating to the nth degree.  Part of it is that I've invested a lot into defense and I expect said defense to eat the threat when it waves in.  1/5th or more of any wave immediately beelining to get the hell out of there falls under the header of 'why did you show up in the first place?'  Particularly when it's already proven that it has enough firepower to break said whipping boy before, with just a little help from some MK IVs guardians.

I'm all for interesting, but this is just time-eating, not interesting.  Every wave I have to go out and break a threat-ball immediately, before it gathers strength.  I could play with CPWs and just expect to deal with it that way instead.

On the subject of intelligence, I only want my AI so intelligent.  I want to play a perfect game against the computer, I'll crank up chess.  I want to play amazingly adaptive response, I'll play a human.  At this difficulty level you need to be able to make some expectations about what will and won't work before you go in, things you've learned at earlier levels.  This is a massive game changer to me.  SF changes I like.  They're a bit heavy handed, but I like 'em, and certainly fall under the header of smart/interesting.  This... this not so much.

Words... I need words to explain why this is such a pain in my arse.  Ah, let's try these.

I go through all this work to setup a whipping boy, blowing up warp gates, eating huge AIP gains for it.  I break threatballs and SF forces floating through my backfield so I can get things done... and now, when the wave hits my defenses I've got MORE threat and MORE floating things that I just dealt with and my investment into defenses doesn't work unless the AI can obliterate them in the first place.  Why the heck did I just bother?!

There's a balance point here... I feel like we missed it.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: TechSY730 on November 02, 2012, 07:02:45 AM
Agreed on several things. (in how it applies to AI war), in particular

1. The minimum time until the AI considers retreat needs to be bumped up some. The 30 seconds of the past may have been too much, but the 3 seconds of now is too little. (the firepower ratio where it retreats may need some adjustment as well, as well adjusting as the halfing of the firepower estimate of its own firepower for higher level AIs (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=7016[/url))
2. I also agree that a /1 adjustment to turret firepower consideration (no adjustment) was a bit much. /3 maybe? /4?
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 02, 2012, 09:42:53 AM
On the wave retreat behavior, to clarify, is it:

- Retreating after 30 seconds?
- Retreating more or less instantly?
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Mánagarmr on November 02, 2012, 09:47:12 AM
On the wave retreat behavior, to clarify, is it:

- Retreating after 30 seconds?
- Retreating more or less instantly?
Wait a minute here...why would waves suddenly start retreating just because threat-mechanics (30 minutes camping, then form fleet) changed? I don't follow here.

Could it be that when the wave hits, the threatball feels it can join in on the fun, and when the wave gets obliterated, threat decides to bugger out? Or...am I missing something?
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 02, 2012, 09:53:07 AM
On the wave retreat behavior, to clarify, is it:

- Retreating after 30 seconds?
- Retreating more or less instantly?
Wait a minute here...why would waves suddenly start retreating just because threat-mechanics (30 minutes camping, then form fleet) changed? I don't follow here.

Could it be that when the wave hits, the threatball feels it can join in on the fun, and when the wave gets obliterated, threat decides to bugger out? Or...am I missing something?
The decisions "do I retreat from attacking the planet I'm on" and "do I attack the planet I'm waiting to attack" key off the same number: human firepower on the planet in question.

Previously, turrets counted 1/10th as much as their actual dps warranted.  After something like a year and a half of pestering, this was changed to no longer be so ;)  I felt it was time to try that because the threat logic was recently changed to be more intelligent than just sitting on a single wormhole forever if it has no chance of success.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: TechSY730 on November 02, 2012, 09:53:46 AM
I think the firepower calculation that was being used for "am I too out-firepowered to go in?" is the same one that is used for "am I out-firepowered enough that I should retreat from this attack?".

P.S. Ninja'd
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Mánagarmr on November 02, 2012, 11:48:17 AM
Ah, that would certainly explain the "on planet" behaviour then. I zee.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Toranth on November 02, 2012, 02:20:07 PM
Think I figured out why the Insta-U-Turn is so phenomenally bad of a sudden.

Quote
Since threat now behaves more intelligently when "stonewalled", removed the /10 modifier that turret firepower was given when evaluating whether a threatball should attack. Before it was better that they just get it over with, but now it's better that they regroup with other threat and look for an opening.
 

Recent beta release.  I'm going to have to say I wasn't a fan of the adjustment in the first place but now I'm REALLY not that joyful about it!   :-\
Looks like it means that Black Hole Generators are mandatory on your grinder systems now.  Hope you like having the Trader turned on.

Edit:  Any chance of getting the BHG to be a Knowledge unlock instead of Trader goody?
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Mánagarmr on November 02, 2012, 02:33:57 PM
Edit:  Any chance of getting the BHG to be a Knowledge unlock instead of Trader goody?
Wow...that's...actually not a bad idea at all. Hmm. Intrigued.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 17, 2012, 07:55:27 PM
5:45:00 The fleet cleans out Dyson Misery and then heads back to support Nero's Fiddle which is under significant assault.  The reclaimers have cloaked past the mini-forts and have heavily hit the spider-bank on the edge.  Eventually FRD is required for Zombard hunting.

5:50:00 3 mins, 30 secs till 2k ship CPA.  Threatball on Wonder Woman is at ~200 ships, including a 39 unit carrier from an earlier U-Turn.

Econ at 265k/747k.  I'm banking for repairs and rebuilding Nero's Beachhead until the CPA is cleaned up.

5:51:42 245 ship wave announced for Matrix.  There's... something horribly wrong with that value.  My guess, it's a mono-wave of something BIG.  The fleet heads to support.  The CPA releases 30 seconds after the wave so I want it cleaned up quickly either way.

5:53:22 Econ: 399k/945k.  the wave lands.  242 E-Bomber IIs and a smattering of IIIs.  Gyeads.

Support threat immediately comes in.  140 cutlasses and a handful of other trash.

5:53:54 CPA launches.
258 MK II
19 MK I
1,246 MK III
577 MK II from reserve.

Fleet's been hiding under the FFs so they're intact, and most of the cutlasses are down (or ran away again) and we're down to only 109 E-Bombers.

A huge amount of threat released off Marlboro, 866 ships, and another 125 on No Way Out.

They're both behind me.  The beach-head is going to get TOASTED.  I immediately ship the fleet out to Nero's and let the turretball handle the remaining e-bombers and starships.

5:55:00 Turretry on Poker is dealing with drifters coming in from Arrakkis.  631 enemy ships have landed on Nero's Fiddle so far.  The fleet's ALMOST there.

88 of those ships are Siege Engines.  Seriously?  That's like critical mass there.

5:56:30 90 ships are on Poker, seriously threatening the defenses.  20 of them are reprocessors just tanking the mini-forts, another 5 are medics which are doing their best to keep things alive.

Meanwhile, on the Fiddle, the spider-bank has been assaulted.  Just too many ships to try to stop them all.  The fleet is concentrating on shredders to try to keep them from multiplying but it means they're ignoring serious firepower ships, like the 54 Ebomber IIs, the 166 Bomber II/IIIs, or the 69 siege Engines.

With only two Corvettes and nothing else left, the fleet attempts to retreat to Poker.  Only the two corvettes make it ( a I and a II).  Homeworld fleet rebuilds are being shipped to FRD on Poker.

Only one corvette makes it through Poker and heads to Strana (homeworld) for repairs.  Poker is now defending from 181 ships and falling.

5:58:12 Poker command falls.  Defense is now on the homeworld.

Econ is at 1.3k/715k.  Manual metal converter activation ignited.

I've been wondering where the majority of the threat is, they're still in Nero's Fiddle.  Apparently the Human Resistance showed up to give a hand with what I THINK used to be ~100 ships.  They're fighting off on the edge and I have nothing left on that system to support them other than scrap metal.

Wonder Woman is also sitting on 860 threat now, 412 in firepower.  Only 366 threat still on Nero's.

The 825 ships on WW include 160 bombers (mostly IIIs), 383 Cutlasses (also mostly IIIs), 27 Siege engines, an Imposion Guardian III, and sporadic other inclusions.  They're not committing against the turret-ball.

6:00:00 An attempt to get back to Poker fails miserably, I send my scouts over so I can get eyes on it.

There's 192 ships just parked on Strana's wormhole.  That's great.

Wonder Woman is now up to 1000+ ships as a threatball.  The frigates are catching up.

Fleet is about half rebuilt.

6:00:45 The threatfleet assaults Matrix. 937 MK III with a smattering of IIs engage and the Missile Frigates are making quick work of anything without radar dampening.

6:01:00 AIP: 92 due to autoprogress.

6:01:14 Econ down to 16k/203k.  Final Corvette II should be off the lines shortly and the fleet will attempt to take back Poker.  The Turret ball will have to hold on its own.  The assault is down to 685 ships but the Lightning/Flak FFs are about to drop, which means the massive tractor wall will fall shortly... and the cutlasses have been wailing away on those turrets non-stop.

6:01:33 The fleet is rebuilt mostly, missing a bunch of flagships.  It'll have to do.  The fleet prepares to assault the Poker threat remnants.

6:02:00 With two FF IIs still alive protecting the tractors, the turretball is down to only 146 enemies, but all the short/mid range turrets are dead. Still 289 threat out there, but most of it's on Nero's Fiddle.

Unfortunately, we revolving doored the Poker fleet, and they poured into Strana as my fleet moved to engage them.

6:02:45 Econ is famine.  What we've got is what we've got.  Turretball trying to rebuild.

Strana is defended with minimal casualties, maybe 1/2 of the main fleet but no corvettes.  Time to get Poker online, need the resources.

6:04:30 No, SERIOUSLY you silly rebuilder, START WITH THE Command Center!!!  Dangit.  I can't even force it to do the command center first.  Twiddle.  C'mon...

6:05:00 Finally.  Sheesh.

6:06:42 The fleet's holding off the threatball formed up on Fiddle waiting to get into Poker.  Econ is at -4.5k/s  -5.5k/s.  Yeah, this'll take a bit.

Well, that's one of the rearward barracks emptied out at least.

6:08:45 Mil I on Poker comes online.  Can get that econ back up and running there again once the harvesters build.

6:09:40 Still rebuilding fleet/turrets/miniforts.  Twiddle.

6:10:22 1,350 enemy ships to Matrix in 140.  Turretball still trying to rebuild, too, mostly the FFs.

6:11:56 Fleet's rebuilt but Poker will drop like a rock if I move the fleet to support Matrix.  I'm going to bait the enemy in.  Fleet heads back to Strana now that the majority of the defenses are rebuilt on Poker, just waiting on mini-forts.

Wave lands.  350 ship carrier + 468 Cutlass, 254 Vulture, 158 Bomber, 120 Frigs.   Think the fighters died in the alpha.

Even with the fleet retreated, the threatball is not committing.  Hm.

6:12:33 Carrier pop was a mess of fighters and a few starships.  There's a Spire II and a Raid II that were hiding in this mess somewhere too.  Still no threatball committal.

6:13:00 Down to 633 wave ships but still no committal by the Fiddle threatball.  I'm not willing to commit the fleet until I know I don't have 300+ MK III's breathing down my neck.

6:13:30 The wave is mostly destroyed.  147 ships left.  It's time to deal with the Fiddle.  The fleet moves out to take that threatball on at point blank range.  The heavy tractor at the entry wormhole has kept escaping threat to a reasonable level.

6:14:00 the fleet hits Nero's Fiddle.  ALpha strike.  1/3 of the bombers, 1/2 of the fighters down for the fleet. I sic the fleet on the zombards attempting to escape.  With the FF's down on the Corvettes I retreat the fleet, 286 enemy ships remain, some are zombies.

I get out with 20 bombers, 18 frigates, 3 corvettes,  no Neinzuls, and 26 fighters.  Ow.

Medics are repairing the enemy fleet in Nero's Fiddle and there's shite I can do about it.

Econ's still on the floor.

Well, I was able to block the CPA but now I have to dig back out of the hole.  See earlier maps, nothing's changed and I've got dinner plans so I'm just going to post this for now and I'll try to make it 'pretty' later.

Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 17, 2012, 08:02:33 PM
Wow, quite a battle there :)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 18, 2012, 02:58:00 PM
Wow, quite a battle there :)

Tell me about it, and I'm not even done with it.  Those CPAs are getting viscious cleaning out the MK III barracks behind me.  I'm going to have to pop the other one before I seal the breach I think.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 18, 2012, 04:19:44 PM
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/GUDare/6_15FullMap.jpg)

-- State of the Universe --

Alright, where am I?  I've just reclaimed Poker and need to re-establish Nero's Fiddle (and clean out that other 500 ship barracks behind me before it gets rediculous).  The fleet's a tattered wreck after the first assault on Nero's Fiddle, they're rebuilding in a famine econ.

AIP is 92, threat is 286 (mostly MK III), no wave, and I seriously need to get another system before I end up completely stagnated.  Either Sox for the other Whipping Boy or Roulette for the Shield Bearers.  Both by preference.  Next research is Riot IIs for Tazers on the Whips.

Light 'em up.

-- Rebuilding the fleet --

6:15:25 The Raid I fleet is still viable, so there's got to be a target for 'em while I wait.  I decide I'm going to punch the Tach Drill through Cyborg next over in the northern cluster to my west to see if I can get scouts a little deeper over there.

There's a mob on the gate entry from Wonder Woman however.

6:17:03 The Raids trade one raid for one tachyon down and head home for repairs.

They don't make it home through Wonder Woman however.  There's a small battery on the Matrix gate.

6:19:52 Turn off starship construction once the last corvette is rebuilt to allow fleet to rebuild.

6:22:10 The fleet's finally rebuilt, sans Flagships and Factories.  I'm going to try to end-swing the blockade at Nero's Fiddle by going around the south and coming in from a different gate.

6:23:53 Wave announces for Matrix, 719 ships.  They're on their own, but hopefully some of the WW threatball will commit.  The fleet just arrived in Sox, having passed through Neverending Story and Misery on the way.  I'm going to let the fleet do a little cleanup work here in preparation to take it before moving north to Earth and then to Nero's Fiddle.

6:25:00 The fleet, down to 4 corvettes, 74 Frigates, and crapall else after duking it out in Sox against the SF stream as well as the local guardian defenders tucks tail for home to refleet.  More threat heads for Nero's Fiddle from the backwash of assaulting Sox.

6:29:00 Wave defeated, Fleet ready again, this time with Factory ships.  Econ still in the dirt.

6:31:00 Main fleet arrives on Sox again.  Most of the defenders are gone but the SF stream is strong here.  Lot of frigs with some zombard support.

6:31:00 AIP: 93 from autoprogress

6:32:54 The fleet clears Sox of all Tach and non WHGPs.  It's time to assault Earth.  175 ships of MK III Earth.

6:34:00 With the fleet having hammered into EArth and Earth now having 222 ships instead of 175, we did decent damage.  The fleet's retreated to Sox to handle any 'leftovers' that might come their way, recharge corvette shields, and rebuild fighters.  About 50% of the fleet survived first wave.

The enemy has chased us to Sox in force, with over 100 ships and rising.

6:35:00 At 54 ships left, the fleet realizes it's going to die.  Hoping the corvettes can use the frigates as a screen they run for homeworld.

That barely works, 3 Corvettes make it home.  The sheer firepower obliterated the fleet.  These are mostly SF units.  Looks like I need to bait them to their death again.

Meanwhile, Poker's been assaulted by the other portion of Earth that moved out.  The threatball on Nero's Fiddle still won't move, but these guys decided to attack.

Poker doesn't last very long.  I'm going to end up in an Econ Spiral here.

6:39:30 With the loss of Poker's resources I turn off the starship builder again so hopefully I can get enough fleet to evict the 60+ MK III ships parked on Poker.

Right now 440 SF troops are just parked in Sox, another 283 leftover threat from the CPA are chilling in Nero's, and 65 threat from Earth are hanging out on Poker.  I've got a mess.

6:42:23 The fleet, finally rebuilt, heads for Poker.

6:43:22 Eviction complete, minus a few hobos hiding under their cloaks.  I send in a rebuilder.  Over half the fleet was lost retaking Poker but at least the starships didn't fall.

6:44:30 An energy crisis has arisen with the loss of Poker.  That's just great.

6:45:19 As the Mil I on Poker comes online, the cloaked ships re-appear and blow it to pieces.  They ignored the fleet and were just waiting for the command center.  Tricksy hobbits.

6:45:50 The SF buildup in Sox is up to 500+ ships.  The backdoor is no longer open.

6:47:12 Fighting with Poker's problems has led me to the next issue.  Flat econ and 1,713 ship wave for Matrix.  I've definately econ spiraled.

Gods,a 713 ship carrier.  That thing's viscious.

6:51:00 With fleet support the wave is stopped with reasonable losses at the LRM lines, basically the last defensive point.

Sox is now a parking lot of nearly 600 ships.

6:52:30 the fleet heads after Nero's Fiddle.  Front door.  They barely survive the alpha strike... and aren't able to kill all the medics, one remains.  Only two corvettes are still alive.

6:55:00 Another wave hits Matrix, 107 ships.  Odd... all Reclaimers.  Great.

77 of them push up to the Basics and lay waste to them in a salvo.  63 make it to the laser banks and pretty much flatline those, too.

49 make it to the MLRS turrets and bypass the HBCs completely.

They're finally stopped about halfway to the mini-fort/LRM line.  Yeesh.

6:57:00 Wanderer says Fuggit.



Alright, there's a few things here that are seriously fouling me up... one of which is photobucket changing their site around and it screwing up horribly.

I've attached the save.  Keith, if you get bored enough, can you check out two things for me?

First, why is Sox a parking lot?

Second, why won't the threatball on Nero's Fiddle commit to anything?  Is it because of all the dead turrets?

100 planets I think is just too large a galaxy at this level, at least for me.  I can't drill/picket everything I want to and the extra planet or two between me and the first ARS is just too far to really work with.

The new SF are kicking me around like a ragdoll.  They are BRUTAL, and a massive delay between CPAs.  The next CPA will kill me, once again I'm dying to stagnation/econ spiral.

The new spire corvettes are too much of a research investment to use, particularly as a starter ship.  To really get the power out of them you need to drop a ton of research into turretry and the corvettes themselves.  They're a fun toy but the K cost is too high for the DPS delivery and they're inanely expensive on rebuilds.  The raw numbers may tell a different story but they're just not powerful enough for what they cost.

I did not have the critical mass of fleet to really fight this war.  This was a critical issue.  I just don't have the numbers in MK II ships to actually take on threatballs.

Medics and Reprocessors.  Oh gods, Medics and Reprocessors.  They're brutal in the hands of the AI.  You can't 'whittle' against a fleet with medics in it, it's kill or run.  Reprocessors are just tanks.  You beat on them all day in the volume the AI gets them and they just don't DIE... and then they cloak past your heavy defenses and pop up right in your face with all those HP.  Combine these two monsters and... yeah.  Ow.

I'm starting to think you may absolutely need to have Champs to play at this difficulty to avoid econ spirals.  Rebuilds against massive SF fleets and the like are just brutal.

I'm going to go enjoy a few games without taking the time to AAR them, and get a better handle on dealing with these new tactics without using the Champs. I'll get around to Champions, but in general I usually avoid superweapons in most of my AARs.  You've watched me bang my head on the desk here, now I'm gonna go have some fun with it until I get a better handle on things. :)

Y'all are welcome to pick up the save and see if you can get out of the hole I've dug here, however, I honestly won't take offense. 
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: zoutzakje on November 18, 2012, 05:30:37 PM
I am kind of tempted now to try out that save, but I got 3 games going on already. Besides, if a regular 10/10 player can't do it, I'm not exactly sure I can :P I'll practise some more with 9/9 first.
Still, you survived for about 7 hours. That's quite something.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 18, 2012, 08:01:03 PM
Alas, Don Quixote has hung up the spear.  There's always other windmills.

I've attached the save.  Keith, if you get bored enough, can you check out two things for me?

First, why is Sox a parking lot?
When the SF doesn't have an active "go crush human" mission it rallies to a random planet 3 hops deep in AI territory.  Just so happened it picked Sox after your last tangle.  If you provoke them into a defense mission again and then retreat, once the mission clears they'll roll the random for a rally planet again, and thus probably not re-park on Sox.

Quote
Second, why won't the threatball on Nero's Fiddle commit to anything?  Is it because of all the dead turrets?
That's because... because... um, er...

*Squish*

There was a bug.  It's fixed for next version.

As you guessed, it was due to the remains units under your control.  The threatfleet group there wasn't satisfied that those turrets were dead enough, so it was sticking around to finish the job.  Only it couldn't.

Your Sirius Cybernetics Complaints Department Representative is certain you'll be elated to know that once the bug in question was dislodged, the threatfleet blob immediately moved along its planned circuitous route around your borders to attack and flatten Macross, and then proceeded on schedule to Poker (I didn't watch that one).

As part of our referrals incentives program, you have received a substantial credit at the Sirius Cybernetics Complaints Department Gift Store for your assistance in exterminating the human race.

(i.e. thanks, that bug was probably causing all manner of problems)

Quote
Medics and Reprocessors.
And Siege Engines.

Zenith Descendents probably need a promotion.  Or two.


Well, thanks for leaving your forehead imprints in the brick wall in order to facilitate study and analysis.  For science!
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: TechSY730 on November 18, 2012, 08:09:02 PM
Alas, Don Quixote has hung up the spear.  There's always other windmills.

I've attached the save.  Keith, if you get bored enough, can you check out two things for me?

First, why is Sox a parking lot?
When the SF doesn't have an active "go crush human" mission it rallies to a random planet 3 hops deep in AI territory.  Just so happened it picked Sox after your last tangle.  If you provoke them into a defense mission again and then retreat, once the mission clears they'll roll the random for a rally planet again, and thus probably not re-park on Sox.

Quote
Second, why won't the threatball on Nero's Fiddle commit to anything?  Is it because of all the dead turrets?
That's because... because... um, er...

*Squish*

There was a bug.  It's fixed for next version.

As you guessed, it was due to the remains units under your control.  The threatfleet group there wasn't satisfied that those turrets were dead enough, so it was sticking around to finish the job.  Only it couldn't.
[...]
(i.e. thanks, that bug was probably causing all manner of problems)

Was this also causing special forces to hang around? Because in one of the saves I posted in the main version thread, the SF were treating the border world like a "parking lot" as well as the threat fleet.

Anyways, this probably fixes some of the stuff I was posting about there. Thanks.
Also, now I have a workaround in the mean time (scrap the remains on that border planet)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 18, 2012, 09:15:30 PM
Was this also causing special forces to hang around?
It might have been doing that, yea.


@Wanderer: did you ever find a suitably reproducible case of a wave demonstrating cowardice in the face of the enemy before the socially-acceptable 30-second threshold?
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 18, 2012, 09:55:08 PM
Alas, Don Quixote has hung up the spear.  There's always other windmills.
Rocintante, charge!

When the SF doesn't have an active "go crush human" mission it rallies to a random planet 3 hops deep in AI territory.  Just so happened it picked Sox after your last tangle.  If you provoke them into a defense mission again and then retreat, once the mission clears they'll roll the random for a rally planet again, and thus probably not re-park on Sox.
Ah, I'd been afraid of that.  Tiny little force they've got there.

Quote
As you guessed, it was due to the remains units under your control.  The threatfleet group there wasn't satisfied that those turrets were dead enough, so it was sticking around to finish the job.  Only it couldn't.
These humans... you, yes you 300 or so, stay around and make sure they STAY dead.  I've heard rumors of some bride of a prince that was only Mostly Dead!

Quote
Your Sirius Cybernetics Complaints Department Representative is certain you'll be elated to know that once the bug in question was dislodged, the threatfleet blob immediately moved along its planned circuitous route around your borders to attack and flatten Macross, and then proceeded on schedule to Poker (I didn't watch that one).

As part of our referrals incentives program, you have received a substantial credit at the Sirius Cybernetics Complaints Department Gift Store for your assistance in exterminating the human race.
LOL, Macross dying was an expected result. XD  Mouse in a field running in front of a tractor.  A few mini-forts won't halt up quite that horrible an assault. 

Quote
(i.e. thanks, that bug was probably causing all manner of problems)
LOL, no problem.  Glad you were able to nail it so easily. :)

Quote
Zenith Descendents probably need a promotion.  Or two.
Errr. I dunno.  If EVERYTHING is in hard then what's left?

Quote
Well, thanks for leaving your forehead imprints in the brick wall in order to facilitate study and analysis.  For science!
Glad to assist.  My dented noggin'... for !!fun!! and !!science!!
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 18, 2012, 10:09:36 PM
Quote
Zenith Descendents probably need a promotion.  Or two.
Errr. I dunno.  If EVERYTHING is in hard then what's left?
Honesty about the nature of this game? :)

(iirc, the "Everything" AI type is already categorized as Hard)
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Dichotomy on November 22, 2012, 01:45:53 AM
Quote
5:53:22 Econ: 399k/945k.  the wave lands.  242 E-Bomber IIs and a smattering of IIIs.  Gyeads.

Support threat immediately comes in.  140 cutlasses and a handful of other trash.

5:53:54 CPA launches.
AI: I believe you ordered pain.

Quote
The 825 ships on WW include 160 bombers (mostly IIIs), 383 Cutlasses (also mostly IIIs), 27 Siege engines, an Imposion Guardian III, and sporadic other inclusions.  They're not committing against the turret-ball.
I like the "you have half an hour before the threatball grows a brain and becomes threatfleet." mechanic. Ouch on the siege engines.
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6:13:00 Down to 633 wave ships but still no committal by the Fiddle threatball.  I'm not willing to commit the fleet until I know I don't have 300+ MK III's breathing down my neck.
This handy lightning warhead will solve your problem. Warning: may cause increased AI Agression. Endgame products inc. is not responsible for any games lost due to excessive use of our products.
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Econ's still on the floor.
It's natural state.

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6:57:00 Wanderer says Fuggit.
AIs secret victory condition: critical exasperation.


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Zenith Descendents probably need a promotion.  Or two.
Two? It shouldn't be red.

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Glad to assist.  My dented noggin'... for !!fun!! and !!science!!
Why is science on fire?

Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 22, 2012, 02:02:20 AM
@Wanderer: did you ever find a suitably reproducible case of a wave demonstrating cowardice in the face of the enemy before the socially-acceptable 30-second threshold?

Erg, I forgot about this, sorry, for some reason I though I'd gotten it to you.  I'll probably forget again by the time I get back into town from Turkey Festivities, but will try to remember.
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Mánagarmr on November 22, 2012, 09:42:49 AM
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Glad to assist.  My dented noggin'... for !!fun!! and !!science!!
Why is science on fire?
Right here I burst out laughing. xD
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: keith.lamothe on November 22, 2012, 10:10:58 AM
When is science not on fire?
Title: Re: Oh. Dear. Lord.
Post by: Wanderer on November 25, 2012, 11:22:03 PM
@Wanderer: did you ever find a suitably reproducible case of a wave demonstrating cowardice in the face of the enemy before the socially-acceptable 30-second threshold?

Erg, I forgot about this, sorry, for some reason I though I'd gotten it to you.  I'll probably forget again by the time I get back into town from Turkey Festivities, but will try to remember.

As requested Keith.

You don't even have to move the fleet into Matrix to have half the enemy bolt for it.