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General Category => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: Malkiel on November 23, 2015, 07:30:06 PM

Title: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 23, 2015, 07:30:06 PM
Thoughts for next game: probably doing something lopsided with one ai at 7 the other at 9. The one at 7 will be quadratic tank, the one at 9 will be vengeful and technologist raider.
The first AI being at 7 should limit CPA and exo strength to managable levels, quadratic should make it's waves interesting in the late game. The second AI being vengeful and technologist should provide a steady combat stream with higher mark ships, and at minimum wave sizes during early game the higher marks should prove sufficiently dangerous.
Probably going with realistic map.
Taking Spirecraft (hard 4) instead of golems.
Any suggestions from community for other portions would be appreciated. I am against shark because it lends itself to steamroller effects, which is already a risk when designing the AI to actually have threatening waves. I am against beachheads because supply disruption is simply not a mechanic I like.
There shall be no champions. Due to my overuse of schitzophrenic and preemption, neither will be turned on.
I'm game for other minor faction suggestions, will decide on auto aip based on minor factions in play and such... even things I know I hate will not be struck down without cause.
Had originally started this with AI 1 having astro trains 4, AI 2 having hybrid hives 4. Hybrid deaths trigger vengeful behavior. at 33:20 I had a wave of 1,560 bomber IV and when my missile hit most of them I was left facing 750 bomber IV and 3 spire starship 3. point of note, that one was set to 10. While I had turned on Dark Spire 4, I didn't manage to get near them.
I may have to take vengeful off the technologist. Either that or cut it to a normal viscious raider type.. vengeful + technologist = I lose.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Pumpkin on November 24, 2015, 04:01:37 AM
Bold setup! I see you came up with interesting (may I say !!fun!!) AI types combinations, plus hybrids and spirecrafts. But what about a theme? What about some lore and coherence?

Also, realistic map? Well, I guess not everybody should do some outatrack games. ;) Anyway, what map style have you never picked? Would you consider something exotic for the sake of the show? If you want to enable the trains, why not doing so in a tree or some map style that would play nice (read !!fun!!) with the routing mechanism? I personally hate trains, but I'm interesting to see how other players deal with them.

Fortune to the bold!
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 24, 2015, 02:36:27 PM
Why realistic?
Let's see here.. other map types either have too limited of pathing (maze, concentric, X) or such great pathing that there is no low AIP way to limit access to your space (crosshatch, grid)
Further, those that limit pathing you can often choose a spot where you can quickly and reliably establish a safe "backfield" for the placement of Econ stations. Where pathing is readily available, you can too easily avoid AI "hardpoints" and just shimmy around the edges of their defenses to get to your target.
Note that in map types with limited pathing, nomads throw a wrench into the works.. which is why you simply take a couple over, drift past the hardpoints, and have the best of both worlds. For fleet players like yourself, the mobility of your defense forces is able to make your econ worlds equivalent to hardpoints if you play it right. This is why I play realistic without nomads; nomads are too much of an advantage for me.
After trying a restart with AI #2 being vengeful technologist raider, I got flattened before the 11th minute mark by a spire starship 3.
AI #2 would have simply won the war being that much stronger than #1... unless there was a trait preventing it. AI#2 is now a Cowardly Technologist Raider.
On the topic of a tree map playing !!nice!! with trains... It's been far too long since you played on realistic m8. In my screenshots you'll see a tactical galaxy map that will show you why I should have gone with tree to save myself the headache.
Let's get this show started!
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 24, 2015, 03:17:52 PM
Having switched my map settings back to full fog of war (seriously, complete visibility is like cheating) I picked a nice, quiet spot in the middle of the galaxy, grabbed my hydras, and set up shop. FWIW, It was the same spot on the same map as the last 2 starts, with same bonus ship. I immediately set to unlocking the whole scout starship line, building a mark 4, and mapping the galaxy.
Then I unlocked Military Command 2 and began building my cap of fleet ships.

When waves where announced I rapidly built a science lab mark 2 to finish reaching 1250 knowledge and gain spider turrets. The initial assault was a flagship mark V with 96 raider IV. I rapidly built numerous turrets, favoring MLRS on the non sniping turrets, while my economy chugged like a cold engine. despite announcing a few seconds later than the fighter wave from the diff 7 enemy, shortened warning times meant this hit first.
My fleet engaged, naturally, with hydras and bombers focusing on the flagship while missile frigates struggled to catch the raiders.

The enemy, being a coward, was not attacking.
They where attempting to flee through a nearby wormhole. just as the bulk of the raiders that hadn't been immobilized made it out, the fighter wave hit with a plasma seige starship 1 in tow.
This caused a shift in the balance of power where the enemy suddenly favored their chances.
While I could rely on my turrets to deal with the fighters, I had to redirect my bombers after that plasma siege starship. I left the Hydras on the Flagship since it's armor of 50 looked very pretty with their armor piercing of 50. As an aside, I think I did a test once that showed armor piercing is counting twice with regards to reducing damage taken; ie 25 AP would completely negate that 50 armor. someone should verify that and put it on mantis if I'm remembering the test correctly. This was in DoW beta where I was dealing with all sorts of !!fun!! mime issues. Someone please double check me on this.

As the fighters reached the MLRS edge of range,  they began to die in droves. the bombers made short work of the plasma seige starship, and the Flagship V was once again fleeing with it's raiders in tow.
It escaped at 65% health, but a mere 8 raiders made it out alive. Thanks, spider turrets!

Of course, like a comic book villain, it fled in the direction of my planned expansion (Viape). Screw that I'm going all in. I brought the hydras and bombers in to take out that flagship, frigates in to deal with the laser post near the only other wormhole in system. The flagship escaped at about 30% health, using it's superior speed ot outrun the hydras, and the bombers had to break off pursuit due to the laser post's range.
After that I had the Hydras knock out command station and begin FRD in system, frigates knocked out laser post, bombers fled to home system to lick their wounds.

When I started building a military command station 2, the flagship came back alone. It died to hydra fire and just as the shields for station came online. Station was at about half health.
While that was on fire, my bombers, escorted by a starscout IV, destroyed another command station and flew close to an MLRS turret. I dont know why they let the turret live, I had to come back later with hydras under that same starscout IV's missile immunity aura while building the military command station there.

I then secured the third planet adjacent to my homeworld in a very non memorable battle and began classifying the rest of the galaxy, making a train map, tagging P1 for planets I wanted to take, P2 for planets I wanted to hack something from, P4 for train stations, P5 for planets I dont want to get close to (interplanetary muni boosters, raid engines, alarm posts, SF alarm posts), P7 for data centers, P8 for coprocessors, and p9 for ARS. If a planet qualified for multiple tags order of priority was descending (it got highest number tag it qualified for).

Since it's bothering me, does anyone know how to switch from the white background topic entry form to the old style? I somehow switched to this within the last 3 days and it is really irritating me.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 24, 2015, 04:51:29 PM
Due to my continued inability to add pictures to posts, this AAR may be delayed at the 1 hour mark until the issue is resolved. I have put a post is the forums help section regarding this.
During the assault on the third planet, an astro train containing a shield train and a tractor train swung by to say hello. This intercepted my missile frigates and took them for a joyride through AI territory. I scrapped them 3 hops out. Their role in the battle was replaced by Hydras, per my usual "substitutes for anything" hydra policy. Aside from that the attack went great.
After gathering research I unlocked mark 2 and 3 hydras and began production. I had to stop production almost immediately to build defenses on my newly conquered world, as 900 raider IV where coming for the housewarming party.
I don't think they're here to offer a fresh apple pie, either.
I move my fleet into position, placing missile frigates, plasma siege starships, and riot control starships out of the main path to my command station (I I correctly guessed the entry wormhole) while the bulk of my fleet was basically at point blank for a bloodletting.
They arrived, pasted the bulk of my fleet, I located the spire mark III and realize only 1 fighter is left alive in system. Fortunately, they are cowards. They begin a retreating protocol as, at the moment of their arrival, they didn't think they had me outgunned badly enough.
I redirected my spacedock to focus on fighters and got my lightning warhead into the shields on the afflicted world. Tractor train came by to say hello again. I backed off the fighters and redirected the plasma siege onto the spire starship, hoping to immobilize it and prevent it's escape.
Then the AI checked the balance of power, and with most of my fleet having been decimated on the opening 2 volleys of the battle decided it should have pressed the attack. the raiders return and the spire starship redirects it's route from escape to attacking.
I destroyed 536 raiders with that warhead, the plasma siege disabled the engines of the spire starship after it had gotten into range of my turret ball (poor turret ball), the trains passed by and the fighters came in, carnage ensued.
Victory, but at what cost? My fleet was in ruins, my economy was tanked, and I had been forced to use a warhead. I have got to come up with a better counter to those raiders.
I unlocked metal harvester mark II in my desperation to fix my struggling economy, noting the planet 2 hops towards the diff 9 AI HW that had been classed at "P1" (take this) had 8 metal. It also features a gravity drill and a vengeance generator, but no planet is perfect, right?
Nearing completion of my fleet rebuild, 140 tanks to Viape. This won't be a problem, so I am unconcerned. Thirty seconds later, 660 fighters (IV) to Viape, arriving 30 seconds before the tanks..
Well crapbaskets, I'm not even done refleeting! At least I replaced that missile....
I move the riot/plasma/missile group in covering the suspected entry wormhole. this time I guessed wrong, but the cowards headed straight for me with a mark III plasma siege in tow! They really need to work on gauging when they have the upper hand...
While they where getting immobilized and missiled to death, the tanks showed up from the same wormhole the fighters had come from. Thankfully, this put my fleet at a distance from those tanks, who brought another plasma siege starship. I rerouted bombers hydras and fighters to deal with that while watching the plasma siege III escape unharmed with a bit under 200 fighters. Most the rest where immobilized in viape, thinking about where they had gone wrong in life to die like this.
The bombers and hydras made short work of the starship and retreated to my homeworld per their orders, the fighters mopped up the few remaining tanks and went back to homeworld, leaving many immobilized tanks in the fighter conga line of missile death.
The human marauders reminded me that they're playing too, coming in from a different approach vector. I brought my other ships back in and rerouted all firepower to dealing with them.
After they where dealt with and things where back to mop-up duty missile frigs, I checked my attacking ship count, only to notice I had 2 worlds under attack, not just 1.
Please just be trains.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 24, 2015, 05:17:37 PM
Remember the under 200 fighters and plasma III that escaped Viape?

They went to the second world I had taken, which had a mil 3 station, 20 spider 1, 20 sniper 1, and a mk 1 forcefield for defense.
Lucky me, I caught it early.

I rerouted remaining bombers, hydras, bomber starship, and the fourth riot control starship into the system, sicking everything but the riot control onto the enemy starship.

A mere couple hundred fighters where rapidly immobilized by the riot starship, spiders, and station guns (the riots in this game used the first prebuilt option for those wondering)

The starship was shredded by the concentrated firepower of bombers and hydras. When it fell I put the hydras on FRD and bombers/bomber starship went right back to base to not suffer that fighter polycrystal multiplier.

While I would have preferred to use missile frigates for cleanup, they where busy in Viape yet, so again, hydras substitute for anything.
Turns out fighters are range 3200. Hydras are range 4500. The fighters where immobilized. This was a very efficient battle.

Time: 59:05 Hourly report
Planets: 4
AIP: 73 (after the hour mark ticks another from auto aip)
HAP: 73 (built hacker. uncertain if I want to lose it downloading lightning torpedo frigate design on a world with a black hole generator)
Threat: 359 ships, locations unknown. Main composition is raider IV. This is mostly from cowardly, a trait I get the distinct impression I am really going to regret taking.
K reserves: 500 with none incoming
Metal reserves: 280K with 1600/second generation
Energy reserves: 288K
Fleet Status: All fleetships built, 1 bomber 1 plasma 4 riot 1 scout IV for starships.
Warhead stockpile: 1 lightning warhead on hand, another coming in 13 seconds.

This is not working lol, I have probably put myself under too much pressure to win and with quadratic it'll only get worse. That being said.. perhaps I can turn this around yet.
There are 5 dark spire vengeance generators within reasonable striking distance (3 hops by my standards) of my worlds. One of the 5 is on a world I intend to take with a gravity drill. Another is on a P5 world due to the raid engine there.
The third and fourth are on unimportant worlds I have no designs on, the fifth being adjacent to an ARS world I plan to take. Of the 8 in the galaxy, 5 are in range and only 2 are on worlds I intend to conquer. If I can assassinate the command station on the second world I intend to conquer containing one (which is supposed to be a back line econ station world) I could kidnap most the freed defenders with a martyr, bringing them elsewhere and possibly preventing the activation of that vengeance generator. But that's a ways down the line. for now, I need to consider terrorist attacks with suicide fleets to incur the wrath of the dark spire, that way every time it triggers on my grav drill world, I will know the AI has problems of it's own to deal with nowhere near me.

That's right, I think poking the bear is an excellent idea.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 24, 2015, 06:06:45 PM
Operation Hacksaw

I decided that I wanted widow mines to further play into the engine damage defense theme, despite raiders being immune to mines. To make escaping my planets more difficult for future coward attacks against my core worlds, and put an end to the ever present risk of astro train abductions, I am desiring hardened force fields around all exit wormholes from my core. To gather these 2 items I need 1500 more knowledge, but I absolutely don't want to take my next planet from the AI yet due to it having a vengeance generator and the bear being yet not poked.
Well, I didn't love that hacker anyways. with 73 HAP I can spend 50 on stealing the lightning torpedo frigate design from the world with a black hole generator, hack 1500 research from it with a covert knowledge extractor, and still have a few HAP leftover conditional that I stop the K hack before it goes too far.
Time to get my red shirt and brown pants on. While on the target world I notice a pile of mark IV fighters sitting in a threat position. I send my scout IV to get a headcount: 324 ships of threatfleet are camped out here. This means I won't have to worry so much about other fronts during this escapade.The hacks begin at the 1 hour mark.
Attack boost, tractor, and speed boost trains are coming through within a couple seconds. at least that should be gone before any battles begin.
It was at that point I noticed the ships spawning where mark V. This has been a horrible, horrible mistake, but lacking a better idea and already having sacrificed my hacker for this (seeing how it's trapped by the black hole machine), I'm staying the course. A warhead is positioned at Viape to deal with the impending fallout from this effort.
As threat enters Viape, snipers fire. They start to retreat in cowardice. More threat pours in, they begin advancing again. I begin building widow mines at the other enemy wormhole in Viape, having reached my first K target. I focus on being calm, fearing I might be denied my lightning torpedo frigates by emp...
At 1:02:00 the front line of mark IV fighters have begun to feel the strength of my turret ball, but seem undeterred with a stable stream of mark V reinforcements. 17 seconds later I have deployed a lightning warhead, taking down many fighters, a few raiders, and a couple powerslavers. I begin building another, redirecting the reserve warhead to viape where I will most likely need it...
As the first mark V bombers enter range of my forcefields, I order the command station to prioritize knocking those away over other targets. The Widow minefield has been completed.
Before another minute is up I have been forced to blow a second lightning warhead to deal with the powerslaver hammering my forcefield. I begin building another and order 20 engineers speedbuilt to get it online NOW! I suspect there will be 5 forcefields in the red at this planet before I am done. The riot control starships arrive and begin focus firing on the powerslavers. At 1:03:15 I order 4 more forcefields to begin construction. I refuse to lose this command station!
Two forcefields down, third completed while station health fell to 84% in the mere moments shields where down.
257 gravity rippers to my second world, arriving 58 seconds after the hack is completed. With paralysis immunity, it's like the AI is mocking my widow mines! with the combat situation being truly desperate on Viape for another 55 seconds, and then becoming dire 10 seconds past that, I doubt I can hold. Also a missile frigate somehow got swallowed. Dammit guys, I ordered you to KITE!
Station went down at 1:04:38, I realized the K hack has gone farther than needed and scrapped the hacker. Thankfully only a few seconds left on the design hack, though I will definitely be blowing a third missile here.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 24, 2015, 06:24:53 PM
This, while it went better than last time and definitely made for an interesting battle, is too high a setting.

Hacking response being all mark V was completely unexpected, Waves being completely mark IV is probably an error (Technologist is supposed to start at mark III, reaching mark IV at 500 AIP and mark V at 900 for diff. 9 according to tooltip), and despite throwing more warheads at the problems I got annihilated, again.

I didn't even realize the grav drains had hit until I lost a station.
The threat from Viape overflowed into my homeworld
I slammed the third warhead into it on Viape, as promised, in addition to taking out the grav drains with one on my homeworld, but was 7 seconds from another and got taken down hard. I would have needed at least 3 more to survive this attack.

Taking a break, pumpkin, you're in charge of picking map type for next attempt. The difficulty 9 opponent will be a cowardly vicious raider. Technologists are flipping HARDCORE.

Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 24, 2015, 07:21:05 PM
okay, maybe if I had been ready for it... math time.
A sniper turret with 100% attack boost does 1880 damage to a core powerslaver. It takes 56 shots to down a core powerslaver at that level of damage per shot.
With a cap of 48 and a shot time of 8 seconds, this means I could with a cap set to focus fire single targets and prefer powerslavers over other targets achieve an average of 6 shots per second, taking down 1 powerslaver every 10 seconds. It takes them perhaps 30 seconds to get into range of my forcefields. That is not enough.

Next best turret: Laser Turret, at 1800 damage/shot with a shot every 8 seconds. It takes 59 shots to down a powerslaver for one of these, with the same cap of 48. This means that they could, in theory, take down another one every 10 seconds.
The AI is generating 3 or 4 every 5 seconds, warheads will have to be involved, but cleanup post warhead would be very quick... until the next wave of them hits my front line.
The hardened force field has 5K armor. a core powerslaver does 3120 damage/shot to forcefields with no armor penetration. this means a shot damage of 20% of that, so they will last 25% longer than the non hardened variety. at 624 damage/shot, it takes about 80 shots to kill a hardened force field mark I for core powerslavers. This means with 10 firing I will fall in 48 seconds, versus 40 seconds for a normal force field.
If I add bomber starships to the defense force, firing at point blank from just outside the shields, the powerslavers will likely ignore them due to having the shields in weapons range. That will add considerable DPS at effectively zero cost.
We're going all out here. I cannot allow OP hacking responses to set me back!
I will keep 1 warhead and most of my fleet in reserve in case of enemy attack elsewhere, as was indicated in the first effort.
Let's see how it goes when I'm ready for the technologist to cheat like a... not finishing statement.
Lacking immunity to tractor beams. Adding 40 tractor turrets to keep them out of range of the force fields for a bit longer.

at1:10:00 the hacks where completed, a wave of 600+ missile frigates is dying a slow death on my third world though a flagship 5 did escape wounded (missile frig waves are easy with scout starship 4, after all) And the powerslavers never got past the tractor wall.
I dare say this was a triumph, even though I continue to be under attack technically in 2 locations, it's very, very well contained right now.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Malkiel on November 24, 2015, 08:36:58 PM
okay, since I managed my personal mission of defeating that hacking response, I'm calling it over until pumpkin tells me what map to do this on. As I write this, there are 666 missile frigate IV on my homeworld, I did trigger the dark spire to attack the AI with a hatred but it was only moderately impressive, and I lost my entire fleet out there.

Basically, things went to pot.. at least I got a data center for triggering dark spire?

If I have no response from Pumpkin within 24 hours, I will be going with his original suggestion of a tree map.
Title: Re: Outside the insanity 2
Post by: Pumpkin on November 27, 2015, 11:36:34 AM
okay, since I managed my personal mission of defeating that hacking response, I'm calling it over until pumpkin tells me what map to do this on. As I write this, there are 666 missile frigate IV on my homeworld, I did trigger the dark spire to attack the AI with a hatred but it was only moderately impressive, and I lost my entire fleet out there.

Basically, things went to pot.. at least I got a data center for triggering dark spire?

If I have no response from Pumpkin within 24 hours, I will be going with his original suggestion of a tree map.
24 hours, you said? Well... Sorry about that.
Why do you want me specifically to choose your next map style? Anyway, if you want a personal outatrack challenge, I can give you some advices (no superweapon at 6/6 sounds like a good starting point, for you; debate is open, but I guess the core is there), but if you want to make an AAR, make it the way you want.

Also, I'm growing convinced that a good AAR must be designed like a show (and the following statements are applicable to my previous AARs; it is by no way a criticism addressed to your AAR in particular). No too much details (and this is particularly addressed to Outa Tracks MkII), enjoyable to read, not too long (Outa Track MkII again), and interesting per se (not "yet another AI War playthrough"). Fortunately for this last point, AIW has so many juicy options that it's easy to come up with a good theme that make interesting "tellable moments". (Dwarf Fortress is the king on this category, but it's designed for this.) Also, but that's a personal taste, a lore glazing is always a good thing. Next time (Outa Track MkIII), I'll make the game, craft the AAR and post if after. It's After Action Report, after all.

Well, end of digression.
I'm sorry for your game. I hope you'll have more fun next time. Also, what about your lore bits? What impacts do you think this has on the lil' story you've set up?