Author Topic: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)  (Read 10584 times)

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2012, 10:56:11 AM »
Careful here.

My initial thought on the problem with the bomber starship is the fact that it is a raider. Except the Raid Starship raids better due to the FF immunity and higher speed.

My first thought on how to tweak the bomber starship is to boost it's dps, but skewed towards an alpha strike. The bomber starship has two limitations in that it can only attack big things and has no attack multipliers so it should get a higher dps in return.

Ship Cap at Mk I (base damage):
Flagship :100,000
Zenith: 100,000
Spire: 120,000
Raid: 102,400
Plasma Siege: 250,000 (with AoE)
Bomber Starship: 280,000.

Okay, it has higher dps.

I think the problem is the 2 second reload then, in a starship ball it only has time to get 1 salvo off which does nothing because it has low alpha damage.

I'd like to see the dps stay the same, but boost the attack damage and lengthen the reload time to compensate, turn it into a "zoom and boom" tactic.

Nothing of note for my AAR, just clearing a highway down the left side of the map.

D.

Offline RCIX

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2012, 02:35:24 PM »
I mainly use it as a raid starship to help clear forts so it won't get shredded :x
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Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2012, 02:49:30 PM »
I would be equally happy with letting it target small stuff (it would make a great fleetship-killer) or giving it a more pronounced alpha-strike.

Interesting read: you stayed home for a long time. Do you always do this? I never have the patience.

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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2012, 11:25:51 PM »
Well, this game is not my record, but I'm not as passive as it seems.

Despite the fact that I am not capturing any systems, I have my fleet out on the attack to both keep ship counts down but also to hammer down tachyon guardians so my scouts can go out.

I am at the 6 hour 30 minute mark with one system captured, but I have several highways carved through AI territory. I have two long ones, one on each side of the map, but there are several side systems I also hammer down to allow scouting.

The perfect example being that one system I captured. It is 5 hops from my homeworld and the systems in between are all neutered so I can move ships back and forth pretty easily.

I do run with auto-AIP progress turned off however, that will be the next thing I enable when I'm looking to increase the challenge.

Game AAR: Was out golfing today, did not get any play time in.

D.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2012, 08:51:57 PM »
On bomber starships: Actually, now that I've given it some more thought, the way I'm using my starships is about the absolute worst way to use bomber starships.

Because of their range, Plasma Siege kill everything, the other starships are just there to keep the Sieges alive, which means killing fleet ships as they close.

As Bomber starships can't target fleet ships, they are useless as I am using them.

Bomber starships should be tried out solo as raiders before making major changes to them, the way I read their stats, they are more suited to solo raids then sitting around in a starship ball.

Game AAR: Booting it up in a bit, hoping to get some serious time in tonight.

D.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2012, 03:31:46 PM »
Okay, if I'm going to update, I'm going to update.

Galaxy Map as it stands at the 7 hour mark.



Map Legend:
Green Circles are my worlds, top center being my homeworld.
Red circles are AI homeworlds (Bottom left is suspected location.)
Blue Lines are my main highways I've carved so far.

Game summary so far:
Zenith Medic Frigate? New ship, and it does not require supply, nice! Starship time!

Now, saving 5k for Warp Jammers I start hammering down highways into AI space so I can get scouts outs.

I am playing with a champion and the first nebula is on a world adjacent to my homeworld. I get the Neinzul one with the prisons phasing into real space, I get the Neinzul Frigate and Neizul Modular Fortress out of it. I can't use either one yet, the Neinzul Frigate does not mesh well with my strategy this game and the Neinzul Fortresses is too much energy to build before I capture a second system.

As I'm playing Starships, pretty much all my K goes into them, except for gravity turrets and the warp jammer command station.

The next while is spend clearing out AI systems to scout. I run into a Planetary Cloaker and a couple fortresses but nothing major.

Having not yet scouted as far as I have on the image above, I am guessing that the AI homeworlds are in the bottom corners, one on each side but I'm too far away and running into Deep Strike retaliation so I need to take some systems to enable scouting.

Having killed Data Centers as I've stumbled across them I have enough reduction to keep AIP at the floor for my first two system captures.

Looking around for staging systems to capture I would like them to be CSG systems so I can start on those, it also has to be a system controlled by the Special Forces captain, I'm not yet ready to blow a Scorched Earth command station.

However, the world I capture on the right side is just too good to pass up. 7 resource nodes and a Spire Archive, that's good enough for me even without a CSG being on that world.

One problem, that world is 5 hops out, I'll be generating Deep Strike while I take care of it but I don't expect it to be too bad, even though there is a Command Shield Guard Post.

Except the Command Shield is under an FF, with a Gravity Guardian right next to it? Ugh.

Send raid starships, they die as the gravity slows them down without touching the Command Shield.

Send Spire Starships that are immune to gravity, they die before scratching the FF.

Fine, send my entire Starship fleet in to pound the FF down. This works but 2000 threat generated on the Deep Strike wipes my homeworld. #(*&#(P*&Y$)T*P(&E.

Save scum and try again having built up the defences on my homeworld and teleporting my Shadow Frigate home once the command station is popped. The shield the frigate lays down becomes critical for keeping my turrets alive.

This works and I survive the 2000 ship onslaught.

Getting a colony ship that far out is actually straight forward, I've pounded down a highway so cloaker starships keep the colony ships from ever being attacked.

Warp jammer goes up and fortifying of the system begins. Scout a bit farther out and confirm the location of the first AI homeworld.

I still need to get a forward base up on the left side of the map however so once I'm happy with the defences (about 130 turrets) I leave the system to take care of itself and head back to my homeworld. (The spire archive is finished and has self-destructed by this time.)

The second Energy Collector also allows me to get the Neinzul Fortress built, which I unlock Missile Turrets Mk II and Forcefields Mk II for the better modules. I don't see the icon for the HBC's on the Neinzul Fortress, they can't build them?

I then turn my attention to setting up my forward base down the left side of the map. Taking my Starship fleet out I start hammering down AI worlds and reach 4 hops out. Sending scouts out I pick my system. It only has 4 resource nodes and no special structures, but it does have a CSG so I will get the E-Network down. It is also a special forces system and going to be within 2 or 3 hops of the other AI homeworld.

This world is also 5 hops out, however there are no command shield stations or gravity guardians and I generate less then 500 ships on the deep strike threat.

And that's the state of my game, just got the warp jammer build in the second system, have not started on the defences for it yet.

However, with the 3 systems I now control, there is only 1 (or maybe 2) systems in the galaxy that are not within 4 hops of one of my worlds so I won't have to worry about deep strike again.

Once I have that system secure, going to turn my attention to scouting the entire map, I still have 20 to 25 worlds not scouted, including the second AI homeworld.

AIP is at 17 due to the floor, it would be at 10 still without the changes to the floor at higher difficulties a few patches ago but I still have not seen anything threatening.

My homeworld at this point is a Neinzul Fortress backed by 300 to 400 turrets with almost 200 million HP worth of force fields covering my home command station.

The biggest threat has been a wave of 1000 infiltrators because they ignore FFs. But the fortress plus a cap of Mk I & II missile turrets supported by gravity turrets meant my fleet ships never had to get involved.

Now, some notes on specific units:

Medic Frigates: I'm thinking these are OP when combined with starships. I have my starship fleet ball and the medic frigates sit  slightly behind along with cloaker starships. Because their repair range is longer then there attack range they can repair my starships without losing their cloak. Repairing another ship does not cause them to decloak like firing does so I have to screw my micro up to lose a starship. (Except on tough warp point transits.)

Shadow Frigate Shield: This makes warp point assaults easy. Send it through first, spam 3 shields, bring the rest of your fleet through and start kiting. Maybe put a delay on the shield being placed? I can pause and put 5 shields down if my shadow energy is at max.

Spire Starships: These need help, they never get into attack range really because they are countered by missile frigates. A Mk I missile frigate does 2% damage to a Mk I Spire Starship with a single shot. With a missile frigates range there are not worth bringing along as they are the most fragile ship due to this effect.  I'm not sure what to do here short of making the radar dampening shorter then the spire starships attack range. The Zenith Starship is the same hull type but has 50% more HP and a weapon better suited to taking out fleet ships and so can kill the missile frigates in return.

Bomber Starships: I'm struggling to figure out how to use this ship. Its high speed combined with its high DPS and the limitation that it can not attack smaller ships indicated that this should be a raider that operates by itself to kill a single target such as a guard post.

However, it is significantly slower then a raid starship and is not immune to FFs like a raid starship so you send raid starships to kill a single target, not bomber starships. In a fleet action, they are also useless if there is a plasma siege around as the plasma siege prioritizes large targets and kills them from 2 to 3 times the bomber starships range. Not sure if I have any tweak suggestions here.

Plasma Siege Starship: Still the best.  8) Even though they are relatively fragile due to their artillery hull type, their range, AOE and striking power make these my primary unit.

Starship (Fleet) Ball: This is actually working out quite well. The two units that matter are the Riot starships for their engine damage and the plasma sieges for their range. All the other starships are along to keep those two units alive during warp point assaults. 

Once in system start circling the outside, you won't kill many on your first pass but you will string them out as the engine damage renders the individual fleet ships dead in the water so that you can come back and mop up at your leisure. If the starship ball does not free all AI units, start knocking down guard posts with the plasma siege's range until you free all ships in the system and then start kiting from that point.

I have yet to find a system that seriously challenges me. Even a Mk IV with several hundred AI ships is not a big deal. I will probably lost a starship, maybe 2, but my attack does not really have a chance of failing.

I have yet to run into a Orbital Mass Driver however....

I probably won't update the AAR for a few days, I estimate it is going to take me 3 to 4 hours of gametime to finish scouting the entire galaxy and that is going to be a few real-time days for me to get that in.

I've found 3 ARS so far, all on Scorched Earth worlds so at some point I will have to destroy a scorched earth command station which is going to be a ride.

D.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2012, 08:43:01 PM »
I am playing with a champion and the first nebula is on a world adjacent to my homeworld. I get the Neinzul one with the prisons phasing into real space, I get the Neinzul Frigate and Neizul Modular Fortress out of it.
How many prisons did you try popping at once?  It should have given you at least one new module line too, even if you let them all auto-pop.

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Except the Command Shield is under an FF, with a Gravity Guardian right next to it? Ugh.
Yep, it's just the RNG's way of letting you know it cares.

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Send raid starships, they die as the gravity slows them down without touching the Command Shield.

Send Spire Starships that are immune to gravity, they die before scratching the FF.

Fine, send my entire Starship fleet in to pound the FF down. This works but 2000 threat generated on the Deep Strike wipes my homeworld. #(*&#(P*&Y$)T*P(&E.
Standard behavior: provoke human into making mistake ;)

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I don't see the icon for the HBC's on the Neinzul Fortress, they can't build them?
Correct, human-only.  Later on I'll be making mod-fort versions of some of the champion modules, and that will fill out the non-human mod-fort module selection more.

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However, with the 3 systems I now control
I wonder if the game encourages low AIP.  Nahhhh ;)

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My homeworld at this point is a Neinzul Fortress backed by 300 to 400 turrets with almost 200 million HP worth of force fields covering my home command station.
If you can still see your command station, there are not enough forcefields!

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a wave of 1000 infiltrators
A light snack.  Dangerous, but quick.

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Medic Frigates: I'm thinking these are OP when combined with starships. I have my starship fleet ball and the medic frigates sit  slightly behind along with cloaker starships. Because their repair range is longer then there attack range they can repair my starships without losing their cloak. Repairing another ship does not cause them to decloak like firing does so I have to screw my micro up to lose a starship. (Except on tough warp point transits.)
Hmm, may need to make multi-repair also decloak things, then.  Though I think I made sure it didn't for the sake of MRS units.  Which probably means that you could pull this off without the medic: just use the MRS.

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Shadow Frigate Shield: This makes warp point assaults easy. Send it through first, spam 3 shields, bring the rest of your fleet through and start kiting. Maybe put a delay on the shield being placed? I can pause and put 5 shields down if my shadow energy is at max.
Yes, it's pretty powerful, but I'm wondering if that's a bad thing.  People have been concerned that the champions simply can't justify the 20% increase the AI gets to waves, CPAs, exos, etc once you're into the late-game.  My thought was that the abilities (and the sheer power of the larger forms) would be a lot of what makes that work.

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Spire Starships: These need help, they never get into attack range really because they are countered by missile frigates. A Mk I missile frigate does 2% damage to a Mk I Spire Starship with a single shot.
Wow, I had no idea it was that bad.  A cap of missile frigates can one-salvo a spire starship?  I forget what cap scale you're playing on.

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Plasma Siege Starship: Still the best.
It's been a long, hard climb ;)

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I have yet to find a system that seriously challenges me. Even a Mk IV with several hundred AI ships is not a big deal. I will probably lost a starship, maybe 2, but my attack does not really have a chance of failing.
Hmm, countermeasures may be in order ;)
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2012, 11:50:44 PM »
Spire Starships: These need help, they never get into attack range really because they are countered by missile frigates. A Mk I missile frigate does 2% damage to a Mk I Spire Starship with a single shot.
Wow, I had no idea it was that bad.  A cap of missile frigates can one-salvo a spire starship?  I forget what cap scale you're playing on.
This is on normal, so a cap of Mk I frigates (98) can pretty much one-shot 2 Mk I Spire Starships.

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I have yet to find a system that seriously challenges me. Even a Mk IV with several hundred AI ships is not a big deal. I will probably lost a starship, maybe 2, but my attack does not really have a chance of failing.
Hmm, countermeasures may be in order ;)

Let's see what happens once the AIP climbs yes? I have 8 more systems to capture before I start my assault on the AI homeworlds and I've already killed several data centers. (I think over half but not finished scouting.)

D.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2012, 11:14:08 AM »
I am playing with a champion and the first nebula is on a world adjacent to my homeworld. I get the Neinzul one with the prisons phasing into real space, I get the Neinzul Frigate and Neizul Modular Fortress out of it.
How many prisons did you try popping at once?  It should have given you at least one new module line too, even if you let them all auto-pop.

Oops, missed this.

Yes, I think I did get a module line as well but it was a neinzul only one I think? As I stayed with the human frigate that means I could not use it. (I will have to check tonight.)

And I popped too many prisons at once when I entered. (4 I think?)

The warden starbase had 1% HP left when I won the scenario.....

(Double post so you get the alert.)

D.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2012, 11:24:16 AM »
Yes, I think I did get a module line as well but it was a neinzul only one I think? As I stayed with the human frigate that means I could not use it. (I will have to check tonight.)
Yea, it'll do that.  Trying to tempt you into using the shiny new inherently-cloaked champion ;)

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And I popped too many prisons at once when I entered. (4 I think?)

The warden starbase had 1% HP left when I won the scenario.....
Good show, sounds like an optimal run, then; push it as hard as you can while still winning :)

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(Double post so you get the alert.)
You gain wisdom.
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2012, 10:17:38 AM »
Alright, the end is in sight. Well, kind of. At the 10 hour game time mark, depending on how many more nebula missions I do I'm expecting end game at about the 15 hour mark.

Scouting complete! (Wait, only almost.)

I'm left with a single Core world in the bottom right that I am not able to scout. It's only 3 hops away which in theory I could just transport-scout out.

Except that every time I poke my transports down there threat goes up by 100. 300 of my current 600 threat has been from me trying to scout that world in the last 20 game minutes.

I'll get it eventually, I don't plan to attack it and I'll just have to pray it has no raid engine.

Having said that, the RNG absolutely hates me.

Every A network CSG (5 of them) and every C network shield (8 of them) is on a system controlled by the Scorched Earth AI.

Fortunately that is not true of the B and D networks and I will be able to capture a system from the Special Forces Captain to take those networks out.

E-network was previously destroyed when I captured my system in the lower left.

However, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here's my current galaxy.

Click to enlarge.


I've left the filter showing the CSGs, although I'm not sure you can really tell as I had to shrink the image to fit.

Anyways:
In game colors: Yellow is Scorched Earth, Red is Special Forces Captain systems.
Green Circles (3): My worlds, homeworld in top center.
Red Circles (2): AI Home worlds. Bottom Right has a CPA, Bottom left has a raid engine. Neither has been on alert yet at all.
Yellow Circles (5): The systems I am going to destroy to kill the CSGs. As they are Scorched Earth systems I can not build in them.
Yellow Square (1): The 5th A network that will self destruct, destroying all the CSGs in the galaxy.
Blue Circles (2): The worlds I am going to capture from the Special Forces AI to destroy the B and D networks. I can actually build in these systems.
Green Lines: My existing highways between worlds.
Blue Lines: Future highways between worlds showing where I'm going to be moving my fleet throughout the rest of the game.

However, I do have a Champion on my side. I have 3 nebula missions complete with all 3 frigates and the human destroyer hull unlocked. I want the destroyer hull so I can't use any of the fancy tech yet as that is all neinzul or zenith hull only. I did get the Attack Boost ability for my human destroyer but I favor the shield too much to actually use it.

I'm already at the 10 hour mark however. Every nebula I do is essentially adding a hour to my game time for this setup when I reach the end game, not sure how many I am going to do. I only have 3 more available to me without having to carve a highway to them. We'll see how many of those 3 I decide to do.

As for what's been happening in game, it's been pretty boring. I've been scouting the rest of the galaxy, I had about 20 unscouted worlds at the end of my last update. There was another CPA, this one of 2200 ships which is more reasonable.

There is not a single non-homeworld raid engine or superterminal, I may K-raid in that case. I was saving my hacking budget for the super-terminal but if there is not one in the galaxy no point in saving it.

The only surprise is that transports release threat. I'm actually getting concerned about my bottom right world with the 300 to 400 threat sitting next to it. My fleet is split between my homeworld (fleet ships) and bottom left system (star ships) so I only have turrets defending that system.

I may take an hour of game time and swing my starships back over to clear that out. I really don't want that system to fall, it would put a Core world on alert for the 30-45 minutes it would take me to get a colony ship back down to it.

Having said that, with scouting complete my strategy for the rest of the game is roughed out.

I have 3 warp jammer command stations left and enough AIP reduction in the bag already to take one more system without going above the AIP floor.

There are 3 Data Centers left alive. 2 down near my bottom left system and 1 up in the top left next to the system I am going to capture.

I am going to blow these two data centers, head up, blow the 3rd and last data center, capture the top left blue system and then head back down and capture the bottom left blue system. At this point AIP will be coming off the floor and I'll probably be at 30-35 AIP with no ways left to reduce it. I do have Co-Processors but one of those is on the bottom right AI homeworld so I'm not going to bother.

Depending on how it goes, I'll K-raid at this point.

I then have 5 systems left to destroy, 4 of those with ARS. I don't care what ships I get, they are all going into my homeworld for defence, unless I get something really special. (The yellow circles).

AIP will be in the 130-150 range at this point and I'll start on reducing the bottom left AI homeworld. It's got a raid engine so the lower I can keep the AIP the better.

Then it's off to the bottom right AI homeworld. It has a CPA post so I'll have to deal with that, but with 4 additional unlocks from the ARS beyond what I already have defending, I expect to be able to handle it.

Destroy the bottom right AI homeworld, hop back and destroy the bottom left AI and that's the game.

In theory, things never go that smooth, especially on 10/10

D.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 10:46:37 AM by Diazo »

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2012, 11:09:58 AM »
Quick question: Does blowing up a Data Center, even if you are AT the floor, do you benefit? Is there ever any reason to wait with Data Centers?
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2012, 11:20:04 AM »
Yes and no.

Blowing up a Data Center always gives you -10 AIP (Diff 10).

By blowing up the three data centers I'm effectively saving it up because I'm already at the floor and my effective AIP can't go any lower.

My AIP will stay at 17 by blowing those data centers because of the floor, but my AIP reduction is still increased, so when I go off and capture those two blue circle planets I will not see any (or very little) effective AIP increase and the AIP cost for those two systems will come out of the AIP reduction I have banked.

This works because current AIP is:

[AIP Increases] - [AIP Reduction] or [AIP Floor], whichever is greater. So as long as I have enough AIP reduction that [AIP Increases] - [AIP Reduction] is lower then my AIP floor, my effective AIP will be my AIP floor. AIP Reduction is never lost, it is saved up and used to counter AIP increases, in my case keeping AIP at the floor for another two planet captures.

D.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2012, 02:10:03 PM »
Ah, splendid! I thought DCs simply reduced AIP down to the floor and any excess was "lost", since it can't go below the floor.
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2012, 02:15:15 PM »
If you mouse-over the AIP at the top it will break down the AIP for your current game.

Mine currently stands at:

AIP Progress 52
AIP Reduction 60
AIP Floor 17
Effective AIP 17

52-60 is -8 which is well below the floor, but that reduction is still there.

When I capture my next system and AIP Progress goes to 72, I'll still be at the floor as 72 - 60 is 12, well below the floor.

Well, 72 - 90 as I still have 3 more data centers to kill.

(Note that the floor is a % of AIP Progress, my floor will go up a little when I capture the systems. I'm not sure on this calculation though.)

D.