Author Topic: Pony Express  (Read 6532 times)

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2012, 04:38:31 AM »
3 core raid engines? Holy crap! Max I've seen so far was 2.
If you keep your AIP this low, you probably don't need to gate raid. I always take a lot of planets in my games, since it just works for my playstyle. But this also means that gate raiding is definitely a must for me.
Since you only take the planets you really really need (for CSG/golem purposes), you should be fine without having to gate raid. I would advise you to get a few crowd control golems before you take that homeworld though. A botnet, black widow, maybe cursed. Hive could do a great job too probably.
I got off easy in my game luckily :D Just a single Core Raid engine on one of the homeworlds and that's it. AIP has reached 300+ and will still increase some more... but I got 3 black widows so I'm quite confident I can take it on.
I'm not sure if Warp jammers work with raid engines though. I will have to try that out.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2012, 09:37:48 AM »
I'm 99% sure a warp jammer command station does not stop a raid engine.

The description is quite specific in that it triggers off a military ship, not off a planets alert status.

I've triggered a raid engine with a lightning missile I sent through a wormhole and immediately scrapped to reduce the threat sitting on that side of the wormhole.

D

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2012, 02:30:36 PM »
I'm 99% sure a warp jammer command station does not stop a raid engine.
It doesn't stop a raid engine.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2012, 12:07:26 PM »
I... Wow.  That Bully homeworld should swap this in for its background planet texture, with 6-sided dice instead of eyes.

As for what to do... if taking that black widow didn't mean permanently alerting 2 core worlds, I'd say go for it.  Though I guess a warp jammer would help there.  But remember that trick with "stealing" enemy ships out of a threatball with Riot-Tractors + Shield Bearers?  The Black Widow is the Grand Matron of that trick (particularly with the paralysis tractors).

But that doesn't deal with the fact that if your AIP gets to any kind of significant level, a 3x core-raid-engine trigger... game over.  Even if you had a decent whipping-boy, probably, and as you pointed out establishing one would just mean a ton more AIP.

Hive golems wield a fairly frightening amount of firepower, but the wasps accord not well with AI Eyes.

That Arty golem is probably a necessity for rapidly dealing with the key structures; can it hit the blue homeworld AI Eye currently?  I forget if it has enough firepower to take it down without taking the guard posts down.

In theory I'd go with:
1) Grab black widow (with warp jammer), use it to free and nerf either the north or northeast from the blue homeworld, whichever seems less painful.
2) Using black widow, use it to free and threat-clear blue homeworld.  Hope your AIP is low enough and your Cheese is high enough through this process to survive the raid engines.
3) Grab arty, use it to put out the blue homeworld's Eye, pull back from raid engine range.
4) Grab one or both Hive Golems, get them to max capacity.
5) Clear the CSG network.
6) Use the arty plus all necessary support (hive wasps will probably help a lot) to one-by-one the core raid engines on the blue homeworld.
7) Take all the golems and everything you can spare to smash the blue homeworld.

But my guess is that would go horribly wrong at the first mention of "core raid engine" ;)  And depending on your thoroughness in threat clearing and the strength of your mobile offensive fleet, the hives may not be necessary.  But they could be good clutch defenders, too, because I rather doubt that AI's going down without going for the throat.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2012, 12:12:36 PM »
Oh, there's also the Rebel Fleet, of course, for additional firepower. 

And if you use the black widow for Grand Theft Threatball in conjunction with leech starships and any other reclamation you can get your hands on (even mercenary parasites, if you aren't pulling too many paralyze-immune ships through the wormhole) you can reclaim yourself a cap of IIIs/IVs, if you don't have the K to build them yourself.  That might be a tad on the time consuming side, though, and not really "rebuildable".
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2012, 12:49:11 PM »
Amusingly I don't actually have any threatballs just chillin' out there, at least not yet.  Clearing entry wormholes would be helpful however.  The rest are good ideas.  The Rebel Fleet will most likely become my anti-wave response force, freeing up the vamps and raptors to help out with the main fleetball + special raids.

I don't own the Artillery Golem yet, I intend to eventually.  The nice part about raid engines is they won't trigger to a single unit, they need 2 or more.  That means I can sneak in one golem at a time to deal with the raids later... most likely the artillery.  Bang bang bang, and then it high-tails it.  I just need to make sure the door's open for it later.

This will probably take a few save-scums to get the pattern right, I haven't tried this before and I figure I'm going to foul up a few things on the inbound.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2012, 01:06:15 PM »
"There's a Golem firing shots the size of a moon at me!  Why hasn't the alarm gone off?!"

"It's just one ship, sir."
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2012, 01:25:22 PM »
Core Raid engine also only triggers with 2 or more ships? I thought that was just the Core CPA. Good to know though.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2012, 02:26:14 PM »
Core Raid engine also only triggers with 2 or more ships? I thought that was just the Core CPA. Good to know though.
Errr, maybe I swapped them, I thought it was the Raid Engine.

Guess I find out.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #39 on: May 19, 2012, 04:46:20 PM »
Core Raid engine also only triggers with 2 or more ships? I thought that was just the Core CPA. Good to know though.
Errr, maybe I swapped them, I thought it was the Raid Engine.

Guess I find out.

Be carefrul, a normal raid engine triggers on a single unit. I sent a lone Lightning warhead in to clear a warp point and triggered the engine. I would assume the same is true from the Core Raids.

As for strategy advice, umm..... a raid engine wave is 4 minutes correct?

I don't actually have enough info to know if this could work, but there is the blitz option. You intend to have several golems correct?

How it would work is without touching the 3 raids HW or any of its coreworlds, kill the CSGs, kill the other homeworld then build up everything, including warheads. Then using golems and transports dump everything into the homeworld. The 3 raid engines will trigger but you have 4 minutes to clear the system. This is all or nothing however, if the second AI command is not dead after 4 minutes, your own fleet is dead and the raid engine waves will rapidly mop up any static defences you have.

This highly depends on your wormhole locations however if it even has a chance of working.

D.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 05:00:23 PM by Diazo »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2012, 05:53:49 PM »
That would indeed be all or nothing, triggering the raid engines after getting +100 AIP from the other homeworld (plus AIP from the CSG worlds, but the CoP's and DCs could probably account for most of that).
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2012, 08:13:50 PM »
Be carefrul, a normal raid engine triggers on a single unit. I sent a lone Lightning warhead in to clear a warp point and triggered the engine. I would assume the same is true from the Core Raids.
Thanks for the reconfirm.

Quote
As for strategy advice, umm..... a raid engine wave is 4 minutes correct?
Fires at 1 minute, resets in 4.

Quote
This is all or nothing however, if the second AI command is not dead after 4 minutes, your own fleet is dead and the raid engine waves will rapidly mop up any static defences you have.

This highly depends on your wormhole locations however if it even has a chance of working.
Realistically not probable.  I'd actually have 7-8 minutes worth of time while the raid travelled but the second raid firing off at 4 minutes in the home system would tear into what's left of the troops.  I could base it all off the artillery golem's firing pattern but I'm not entirely sure what home system guardposts are immune to the blessed thing.

A worthy thought if I had chokepoints to perform that stunt in 'waves'.  Without chokepoints the homesystems would fall in nothing flat against a raid engine of that size.

For reference, I expect to be ~100 AIP when I hit the first homeworld.  That's plenty of firepower right there from a raid engine.  Doubling it with the 2.5 multiplier and... ewww, yeaaaah.

Really, it's that dang Eye that's really going to mess me up later, too... but I have a plan for that.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #42 on: May 29, 2012, 12:08:54 AM »
So, having been recently distracted by Diablo III and my life in general, I haven't looked at this game in a while.  To to rev up the game again.

Well, not much had changed so I'm relatively good to go.  I start heading in for the northern entry world to West 1, the AI HW, and bring in some raid SSs to do the ion-cannon clear before I get rolling.

They fire up the 3x Raid Engine, as expected.  Mk IV ships, 183, 162, and 138 of them.  Yikes.  My main fleet is 582 ships of mixed mk 1 and 2... and an armored golem.  There's 583 in this raid engine burst and they outnumber me... at AIP 25.

Holy shrike.  WTF am I gonna do with this tragedy?  I'm very, VERY tempted to just cancel the game right here, right now.  I really have only one chance that I can see within reason.  Open the door now, and make sure they don't re-alert.  This will take an hour or two of beating on the worlds and getting HW to actually dump their defensive units... All the while getting Raid Engined every 4 minutes.

I can't see this ending well.  But if I can pull it off I'll have a very small window to play race the AI as was previously mentioned.  I'll need not just a fleet, but an overwhelming one.  I'll have to erase everything on the AI HW in under 4 minutes.  Though, there's another option.  Small fleets under cloak causing the AI to dump the raids on non-HW planets.  Well, I'll get to that when I get there.

First up, Raids vs. Ions.  Which actually means Raids vs. orbital Mass Driver first.

The fleet was going to hang out up in Northwest 5 but a marauder raid convinced me to back them off a world so the Marauders could get themselves abused in other AI worlds.

The 6 Raid SSs never even make it near the Orbital Mass Driver, never mind hit it.  Artillery Golems + Mass Driver = 6 dead Raid SSs.  Utterly and COMPLETELY useless assault.  I lost track of the raid spawn, and there's 566 MK IV ships out there just hanging loose now.  Some of it, including some starships and the like, went for Center 8.  Some released guardians from Northwest 7 (Coreworld I tried to raid ss) are also floating... somewhere.

Eventually, the mob heads almost completely to C8.  I send the fleet to back them up.  Response fleet goes to buy the main fleet time.  Not really even a partial success.  The mass of parasites chews up the response fleet and now I'm fighting my own response fleet as well.

Smacking down what was left about 380 hit Center 5, the borderworld.  Energy issues had me fire up all remaining powered down reactors to keep everything operational.  Leaving about 70 ships behind of the enemy in Center 8 we move to protect Center 5, which pulls the majority of the threat off the station and they're running for the wormholes.  Oh great.

I've lost 15 minutes of time on the Rebel Colony with literally no gain.  Threat's still out there, too, but it's trickling in and dying.

Out of sheer frustration, I concede this match.  The RNG wins!  I might be able to find a way to work around it with a lot of time, but I don't really feel like playing this anymore.  Between the triple Raid Engines and the AI Eye, I'm simply frustrated with the layout.

However, like all games, there's things to be learned from this match.

1) All-Planet defensive setups are doable with very low planet counts and a response fleet to supplement your turreting.  However, you will have to abandon satellites.  You will also need to keep your AIP down at the 'The AI is still asleep' levels.

2) Rediculously low AIP levels gave me 1 Exo wave at ~ 7 1/2 hours in.  That's good to know.

3) Exo waves on Crosshatch are insanely deadly.  I got lucky.  VERY lucky.  The Artillery golem sent for me went after the Homeworld Forcefield, not the Homeworld Command Station.

4) Econ isn't half as important as power, when you're running low-planet games.  This makes for a very aggressive defensive environment.  If one falls, you risk all of the falling, very very quickly.

5) The RNG is a little tart.

... and then we'll have cake.

Offline PokerChen

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #43 on: May 29, 2012, 03:20:59 AM »
Is D3 any good? My partner and I will be avoiding it until we (1) get all of our important RL stuff done concerning international relocations, and (2) getting Torchlight 2 first. I've also got PoE once they stop wiping the closed beta and switch to open beta.

W.r.t. the game, there's just nothing to say about that setup. The AI actually has an artillery golem stationed on its home-planet?! It's as if they expected a human counter attack all-along... all that "they have moved on to conquering other galaxies" rhetoric is pure propaganda.

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Pony Express
« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2012, 03:48:18 AM »
Is D3 any good? My partner and I will be avoiding it until we (1) get all of our important RL stuff done concerning international relocations, and (2) getting Torchlight 2 first. I've also got PoE once they stop wiping the closed beta and switch to open beta.

W.r.t. the game, there's just nothing to say about that setup. The AI actually has an artillery golem stationed on its home-planet?! It's as if they expected a human counter attack all-along... all that "they have moved on to conquering other galaxies" rhetoric is pure propaganda.

I believe he means that there was an artillery golem attacking his homeworld during an exo.
That's lucky though. Artillery golems aren't to hard to deal with. I had to savescum a couple of times, because a single Hunter/Killer would just rampage through my homeworld whenever I didn't have my fleet there. I guess that's just my punishment for playing high AIP games :P

Also, NOOOOO don't give up now! You're nearly there! From the looks of it, you should be able to handle those waves from the Core Raid Engines. I only had 1 Core Raid Engine (and an AI eye), but it was giving 700-800 mk IV ship waves due to my high AIP. You should certainly be able to handle these. I forgot if you play with spirecraft but martyrs work wonders. Warp jammer on the coreworld + turretball on the wormhole (Heavy beam cannons, lightning turrets, gravity turrets and tractor turrets) and using your fleet to finish up will work as well. You just need to make sure you retreat your Armored golem / part of fleet in time from the homeworld to deal with another bunch of raid engine waves.
The armored golem may not be very good in crowd control, but it is certainly capable of luring small pieces of threat back to your fleet, slowly killing guard posts one at a time.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 11:29:30 AM by zoutzakje »