Author Topic: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)  (Read 10588 times)

Offline Diazo

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Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« on: August 18, 2012, 11:58:31 AM »
This is going to be fun, leaving the AI types on random is the only way to play.  8)

Well, the new seeding placement for the home command station came out last patch so I figured I'd take advantage.

I play lattice maps and I like my homeworld having lots of connections, gives me more strategic options.

So, game setup:

Diff 10/10 Random All Non-Tech.
Single HW + Champion
80 Planet Lattice Maps, All ships, including CSG on.
All minor factions and AI options off. (Except reveal random AI types.) This means schizio waves is off.
What's this? The new Zenith Medic on a 10 warp point homeworld? SOLD!
0 AIP auto-progress also.

And here we go.

For my random AIs I draw Special Forces Captain which is no big deal.

I draw Scorched Earth for the other.

Wait, Scorched Earth? PDS*(HFP(*HW#$_(*RHGp9fuigbapifugbdpsifngsdobf0[nbn;vcbn.........

Just so everyone is clear, when you destroy a Command Station belonging to a Scorched Earth AI type, it nukes the system as a "take that" to the human forces. So no resources and no supply in those systems.

As my expansion strategy is built around warp jammers to control which systems are on alert I can't afford to destroy a scorched earth command station until late game.

This is going to really screw my strategic options up, I can't capture half the systems on the map until I'm ready to take on the AI Homeworlds.

Anyways, the game itself.



The Galaxy Map is at the 2 hour mark but I have not made any major moves yet.

Now, with the Zenith Medic I decide to go full starship, especially with the champion enabled.

Repair my starships outside of supply? Yes, please.

It seems the RNG does not hate me entirely. Sucbulu just top right of my HW is an offroad nebula that I clear. It is the new neinzul scenario, I actually almost lose, popping 4 boxes at once is a no-no.

I am now able to build the Neinzul Modular Fortress however which is getting built as soon as I capture a second system and can afford the energy.

Unfortunately, the rest of the offroad nebulas are minimum 5 hops away, they will have to wait.

Now, turning to my regular empire and scouting. Because I play 10/10 I try my hardest to kill enough Data Centers that the AIP does not increase until my 3rd system capture.

So, scout and carve highways to move around with my starships.

Found 3 Data Centers so far, one in very top left at Lociosifi, two in the middle right in that clump at Zairann and Achizingshu.

I'm currently carving my highways, one down the left side of the map, one down the right.

It's been slow, so far I've had to kill a planetary cloak and 2 fortresses.

I got lucky on the Black Hole Machine however as I can go around that system without too much trouble.

So, I'll have enough data centers popped to capture my first system shortly, but I'm stumped as to where.

The yellow AI is the scorched earth AI, the red is the special forces. So I have to capture a red system.

I usually find an ARS close to my HW to take because it has the A-Network CSG on it but the 2 ARS I've found are on those two Mk IV's in the top left, both on yellow so they are not an option.

I'm hoping one of those systems on the bottom right that are not scouted yet are a red planet with a CSG so I can take one of them but I have not got my highway cleared down that far yet.

As for clearing highways, Zenith Medic + Starships is nice.

With both a champions and Riot shields I have enough to generally survive the Alpha damage when I warp into a system and then I start kiting with the riots which gets me out of combat long enough to refresh the repair timer so the Medics repair everything, including Champion modules if it's lost it's shield.

It's not perfect but I swarmed a Mk IV system with about 300 AI ships like that, only lost two starships.

Having said that, bomber starships are useless. I brought them along because I get them at game start but the only time they have done anything was to that FF over a guard post. I'm so unimpressed I've started leaving them behind to deal with the starships sent with the AI waves.

Which so far have been pretty easy. The biggest was a 450 ship anti-armor wave but I've got gravity turrets up, 180 or so turrets and I leave my fleet ships behind, so a cap of Mk I fighters/bombers/frigates are on hand to stonewall whatever survives the turrets.

Really, it's been a normal game so far, it's once I start popping Scorched Earth command stations that this game is going to get weird.

D.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 12:18:09 PM by Diazo »

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 06:35:25 PM »
Well.

Deep strike? Ow.

Owowowowowow.

I found the world I want to take over as my second world but it's 5 hops out, with an eye.

On the picture linked in my first post it is on the right edge near the center name Usbapar. It has a data center, a spire Archive and 7 resource deposits. Only thing it is missing is a CSG.

I figure I can take the Deep Strike threat generated, none of the waves generated so far have been the least threatening.

To avoid losing half my starships by crossing the center of the system while in range I take the extra time to go around outside.

I clear the system and conquer it and everything looks good, both my home world and the system I've just conquered have no AI ships on them.

Wait, 2000 threat? WTF?

I guess because it took so long for the threat to get from the AI homeworld to mine I seriously underestimated how much there was.

1000 ships rush my homeworld and my defences can't handle that. They actually last long enough for my Starship fleet 5 hops out to get halfway home but it's no good.

Going to save scum this, deep strike apparently works differently then I thought.

D.

Offline RCIX

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 09:25:42 PM »
Wait, Scorched Earth? PDS*(HFP(*HW#$_(*RHGp9fuigbapifugbdpsifngsdobf0[nbn;vcbn.........
I started trying to read that as a math equation :P

Just so everyone is clear, when you destroy a Command Station belonging to a Scorched Earth AI type, it nukes the system as a "take that" to the human forces. So no resources and no supply in those systems.
No ships either. Which gives me an idea... *posts in mantis*

Well.

Deep strike? Ow.

Owowowowowow.
I know right?

I figure I can take the Deep Strike threat generated, none of the waves generated so far have been the least threatening.
Toss in moving your fleet off so the threat decides it can come through, some of it MkIV from raid-happy deepstrikes on ALL THE ION CANNONS and it hurts more ::)
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 10:18:03 PM »
Okay.

I ended up save-scumming it a few times but I ended up brute forcing it and taking the 2000 deep strike threat on homeworld by building up more defenses.

I hate gravity guardians, it takes forever to reach that command shield guard post, why I generated so much threat.

Anyways, command station down, 2000 threat is dead.

Now rebuilding my home system and my conquered star system.

D.

edit: Okay, captured system is somewhat secure. Neinzul Fortress started!

For the record, my defences that I used to handle the 2000 deep strike threat (which fortunately streamed in, never broke 600 hostile ships on my homeworld at once):
Mk I fighter: Cap
Mk I Bomber: Cap
Mk I Frigate: Cap
Human Shadow Frigate Lvl 5 with Shield Spam <- this was crucial to keeping my turrets alive.
Mk I Missile Turret: Cap
Mk I MLRS Turret: Cap
Gravity Turrets Covering System
40 Mk I Laser Turrets
20 Sniper Turrts

So ya, lots of turrets.

D.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 10:36:16 PM by Diazo »

Offline Coppermantis

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 10:47:26 PM »

No ships either. Which gives me an idea... *posts in mantis*


Scorched Earth blasts only affect supply and resources.

I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 11:29:56 PM »
Yes, I called it a nuke but it is not really.

To have the AI nuke a world when it's command station is destroyed like a Nuclear Warhead (without AIP) enable Nuclear Command in the AIs options.

A scorched earth AI 'nukes' the world to destroy the resource points and render that system permanently out of supply, no ships in the system get destroyed.

Ran a quick test to check as I'm currently trying to work with this.

Still in build phase of my newly captured system, probalby won't go on the offensive again tonight.

D.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2012, 03:58:23 AM »
Wait, 2000 threat? WTF?
I got 8000 threat when I deep striked the last time. That's why I made that mantis thing and nominated deep striking so it would be nerfed.
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Offline Toranth

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012, 06:21:42 AM »
Wait, 2000 threat? WTF?
I got 8000 threat when I deep striked the last time. That's why I made that mantis thing and nominated deep striking so it would be nerfed.
Pshaw.  That's not a deepstrike threat.


THAT'S a deepstrike threat.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2012, 06:37:45 AM »
Wait, 2000 threat? WTF?
I got 8000 threat when I deep striked the last time. That's why I made that mantis thing and nominated deep striking so it would be nerfed.
Pshaw.  That's not a deepstrike threat.


THAT'S a deepstrike threat.
I played with 1 home planet.
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline Toranth

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 07:57:41 AM »
Wait, 2000 threat? WTF?
I got 8000 threat when I deep striked the last time. That's why I made that mantis thing and nominated deep striking so it would be nerfed.
Pshaw.  That's not a deepstrike threat.


THAT'S a deepstrike threat.
I played with 1 home planet.
Is deepstrike affected by HW count?  Or difficulty?  I thought it wasn't.
That was from the end of a 40+ hour FS campaign. 


As early as it happened to Diazo, 2000 threat is quite enough.  I'm impressed he survived it with only the Mk I defenses, and especially without Heavy Beam Cannons.  I absolutely rely on HBCs to deal with large ship counts, since my fleet never seems to be enough.


Having said that, bomber starships are useless. I brought them along because I get them at game start but the only time they have done anything was to that FF over a guard post. I'm so unimpressed I've started leaving them behind to deal with the starships sent with the AI waves.
That's... pretty harsh.  Sure, they die fast, but they've got good DPS even without multipliers.  What didn't you like?
Also, what do you think of the new Spire and Zenith starships?  I'm curious to hear the opinion of someone who is actually basing their strategy around starships, since I only use them as minor fleet support.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2012, 08:59:04 AM »
Deepstrikes are supposed to be punishing, because you aren't supposed to be making them.  You can avoid deepstrike threat just by killing an AI Command Station; you don't even need to claim the system.  If you must deepstrike, do it very fast.  I've gone 6 hops deep knocking out Tachyon Guardians and I incurred less than 200 threat.  Protracted deepstrike battles are not recommended.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2012, 09:11:45 AM »
Deepstrikes are supposed to be punishing, because you aren't supposed to be making them.
I wouldn't say that; limited deepstrikes to nail a DC or whatever 1 or 2 hops past the limit is pretty fair-game, just with consequences :)  We weren't trying to make it impossible, just painful.
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 10:03:26 AM »
I suppose I should have timed it, but I was in the deep strike system for quite a while.

I had to kill a command shield guard post under an FF with a gravity drain guardian first, I was in the system for quite a long time because of that so I'm not sure 2000 deep strike threat is unreasonable for the minutes I was present in the system.

It is just a lot more then I expected so I was quite surprised. Also, because it comes from the AI homeworld the transit times made me underestimate it.

As for surviving it, I pretty much spammed my champions shield on top of my turret ball. My turrets did much better before dying because of that. Having said that of the 250 turrets in my home system I think about only 25 were still alive when everything was said and done.

As for the game, found the first homeworld two hops out from the system I captured. No raid engine but it has a CPA post.

Going back to the left side of the map to find the other homeworld, I used a warp jammer command post so I won't accumulate reinforcements down next the to homeworld.

Or I will once this build phase finishes, Neinzul Fort costs a lot.

D.

edit: On bomber starships, I find they are too limited by the "can't attack small things" limitation.

Big things they can hit, such as guardians or guard posts are primary targets, my starship ball kills them as a priority meaning the bomber starship can not target anything for most of the battle.

Looking at their stats, using them like a raid starship solo to raid a high value target I think is a more appropriate use for them.

Yes, they contributed against FFs and fortresses but they stay at home for general combat.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 10:07:11 AM by Diazo »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 10:25:27 AM »
The main purpose of the bomber starship not targeting the little stuff is to keep it from getting distracted.  I don't mind taking that off if that's what folks want.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 10:49:35 AM »
The main purpose of the bomber starship not targeting the little stuff is to keep it from getting distracted.  I don't mind taking that off if that's what folks want.

Can you give them the same "prefer large stuff" targeting logic that the plasma sieges have? That would help to keep them from getting really distracted in large battles, but should still give them use if you are dealing specifically with smaller stuff.