Author Topic: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)  (Read 11734 times)

Offline Diazo

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EMP GUARDIANS! ****! ****! ****!**!*!*!*!*!**!*!**!*!!!!!!
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2012, 11:27:30 PM »
AWP(*YF{*(GY+*( Y#+)@(*YR +*(RG(FDHgpaoudnmpgiushdf[b98dhgs0ea--w]30rt4-398u40298ur08fhs0[sd;lgsdcx/bsd/fgsd/g..d.a.sdf.......


JUST.... REALLY.... ARGH(*&^(@*&%^$(#$



Had to get that out.

You know that mechanic where transports are releasing threat I was complaining about? That includes EMP guardians.

Said EMP guardian made a beeline for my fleet node world in the bottom right. The one that has no ships defending it.


I just spent over an hour of real time save scumming 5 minutes worth of game time to save my fleet node.

My main fleet is on the bottom left fleet node. I have not cleared a highway across the bottom so I would have to go back up around the top through my homeworld. Except there's a Grav Drill in the way.

In other words it would take at least 45 minutes game time to get a colony ship back down to the bottom right fleet node. I would be willing to do that except that once that warp jammer command station falls a Core World goes on alert which is a bad thing.

Such as that Core World that had 1200 ships in my last game, not doing that again.

Having said that, I did find out a couple interesting things.

Did you know that Gravity Turrets and Tractor Turrets are not affected by EMPs? They get the red outline saying they are not working but they do continue to work.

I ended up crash building 30 tractor turrets in my bottom right fleet node to buy time for my FFs and Turrets to come back online after the EMP pulse, it works on the second try and I'm back in the game.

Let's see if I can get back to the plan and actually reach those data centers in the bottom left now that I'm not being distracted.


edit: Okay, One Data Center dead, one system captured. Unlocking some more turrets for defence with the K. My economy is finally no longer a hole in the group, both metal and crystal are above 300,000 for the first time all game.

Calling it at 11 hours gametime for the night, AIP still on the floor, now at 24.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 12:17:28 AM by Diazo »

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2012, 11:21:38 PM »
Okay. I've calmed down from the EMP guardian and am getting back on track.

Update to 5.073 and lets go.

The last world I'm going to capture and defend is 4 hops out, but I have to go around a gravity well that mean my ships are traveling 5 hops.

I'm working on my highway through the 3rd world when the next CPA warning pops.

10,000 ships incoming. I'd say the CPA buffs in the recent patch worked.

However, I need my fleet on my HW to handle 10,000 ships so I turn it around with the system only partially cleared.

Contingency time, I build extra mass converters on all my worlds and a bunch of lighting warheads in my home system.

I'm building the mass converters because the AI has 3 different FF immune bonus ships unlocked so I'm hedging my bets here.

Let's see how I weather this.

Odd. Once the CPA releases, I immediately get the warnings that 9 AI Carriers have been created. I thought CPAs were a few ships from every system, not all centered in one system.

Which leads to a wave of pain as 9 carriers warp into my lower right fleet node. I was hoping the warp jammer would mean they would bypass it as it is off the path to my HW but no such luck.

Well, one system I'm rebuilding at least, probably more coming if the Warp Jammer does not mean the AI will bypass them.

It takes a bit as the fleet node they destroyed is 5 hops from my homeworld but the pain train reaches me.

I'm actually holding my own here.

Or I was.

4 Spirecraft Siege Towers, including a Mark V one just popped out of this carrier. Ow.

And that's that, 10K units is simply too many.

I get the CPA down to 2,700 units before losing.

Ow. Stupid carriers and their FF immunity.

Does not help that all the carriers spawned out of the same wormhole at the same time, with said wormhole only being about 20,000 range from my home command station. I've still got a decent chunk of my fleet alive, including a Neinzul Fort with Mk III modules, I just did not have the time to kill everything.

Will try and save-scum this tomorrow, going to have to think on what to do.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 11:40:41 PM by Diazo »

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2012, 11:56:27 PM »
10,000 ships? What was your AIP?

This does not bode well for my current game.
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2012, 12:02:37 AM »
My AIP was 25.

However, looking at the CPA generating log in MainThreadWaveComputationLog.txt, it looks like my 11:45:00 game time gave the wave an effective AIP of 233 instead.

Posted it in the patch notes thread to see what keith says.

Note that I did almost handled it, if the CPA had chosen any other warp point besides the closest one to my command station I think I might have done it on the first try.

As it is, save-scum attempts incoming tomorrow.


Offline Diazo

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CPA of doom.
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2012, 11:32:34 PM »
Alright. CPA of doom time.

CPA is 9,933 ships and will be released at 11:50:00 game time. It releases as 1,600 Mk I, 5,500 MK II, 2,900 Mk III.

I control my single homeoworld and 3 captured systems. The captured systems are all 5 hops from my homeworld so they are on their own, I'm not splitting my fleet.

I have 125 knoweldge so I'm not unlocking anything more.

My ships are, in addition to the ships you get at game start:
Champion on a Destroyer Hull
Mk I Zenith Medic Frigate
Mk II & III Flagship
Mk I & II Zenith Starship
Mk I Spire Starship
Mk II Plasma Siege Starship
Neinzul Mod. Fortress
FF Generator Mk II
Mk II Basic Turret
Mk II & III Missile Turret
Mk I Grav Turret

That comes out to about 1500 units to kill the 10,000 units bearing down on me.

My only real advantage is the amount of FFs on my home command station. I have about 240 million HP in force fields over it.

The AI also has Infiltrators and Vorticular Cutlasses though, both of which are EMP immune.

First Attempt (Last Night)
Straight up fight in my home system. I get the CPA down to 2,800 ships and then it kill my home command.

Second Attempt
Writing this off as exprimenting, going to but confirming details for further attemps.

Well, that is interesting. AI carriers are not EMP immune. My starship fleet is.

Forget experimenting, this just became a serious survival attempt.

Incoming warhead spam.

The system adjacent to my homeworld the CPA will be coming through is a Mk I. I setup my starship fleet to intercept when the carriers enter that system.

I then EMP spam to knock the carriers out. The problem being when I kill a carrier the ships inside are NOT emp'd and are firing back. I kill 6 of 9 carriers before my starships die.

It's now up to my fleet ships (all Mk I) and my fixed defenses, backed up by lighting warheads.

Because I had my starships pop carriers and not kill ships, there are several Spirecraft and a Golems that spawned from the carriers as the 'too many ships' mechanic engaged.

I send one more EMP warhead so the bigger EMP immune ships come alone before the rest.

At this point my Champion is rebuilt and I start shield spamming to backup my fortress shields. It becomes a straight up fight at this point with lighting warheads being tossed in immediately after each remaining carrier pops to try and get the ships while they are still clumped up. 3 carriers died in my home system this way.

Amazingly, I survive on the second try.

Killing the 10,000 ship CPA cost me the following as destroyed:

1 system destroyed, this puts a Core world on alert until I can rebuild the warp jammer station.
All my mobile units, including all starships, except for a single Raid Starship Mk I.
Most of my turrets. I have 350 turret remains and 75 turrets alive.
13 Cryogenic Pods are dead for +13 AIP
1 Home Settlement for +5 AIP
5 Lighting Warheads Mk I for +5 AIP
2 Mk I and 1 Mk II EMP warhead for +8 AIP.
Most of my tractor and grav turrets.
Half the FFs over my home command.

The only thing of note to survive in my home system was the Nienzul Fortress.

Oddly enough, the left side of the map was almost ignored. The system in the bottom left had about 500 ships warp in but I had enough turrets there to handle it.

Having said that, I think I have still lost the game. AIP is now off the floor and at 38. It increased by 31 during the CPA due to warhead and cryo pod losses.

Also, until I can rebuild the Warp Jammer in the bottom right that was destroyed, a Core World is on alert. Since I was almost totally wiped out it's going to be at least an hour game time to get said Warp Jammer rebuilt. That's going to hurt when I go to attack that homeworld.

There are only 2 data centers left in the entire galaxy, neither easy to get at.

I still have 5 systems (so 100 AIP) to destroy before I can start working on the AI homeworlds. That will put me at 138 AIP during my homeworld attacks, I wanted to be below 100 AIP.

With my homeworld as exposed as it is, that 45 AIP difference has a very good chance of making waves big enough to kill my homeworld.

We'll see what happened next week, I am done for tonight and I'm going camping for the long weekend starting tomorrow, so Monday evening will be my next chance to game if I'm home early enough.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 12:17:23 AM by Diazo »

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2012, 09:49:49 AM »

Having had a night to think about it, I'm actually pretty sure I can do better against this CPA.

Going to think on it over the weekend and I'll try again with a modified strategy that I'm hoping will only be +15 AIP or so.

I'll also post some pictures so you guys can actually see what's going on.

See you all Monday.


Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2012, 10:54:12 AM »
A valiant effort! :)  Glad to see it required some extracurricular defense, sounds more like the "we're gonna die!" effect 10/10 is supposed to deliver ;)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2012, 04:50:58 PM »
I'm back from camping, that was a fun weekend.

Not sure I could take another night on that thin mattress though, we were full on tent camping with just a tent and a cooler, no fridge in sight.  8)

Will be glad of my own, real, bed tonight.

Having said that, I'm looking forward to these changes I've missed.

Dark Spire? Ohhh...

But it will have to wait, I have a CPA to destroy.

Update to 5.076, load my game, I'm at -226,530 energy? WTF?

edit1: Oh. Starship energy costs went up by 6,000-8,000 more energy per ship, I have an all starship fleet, this hurts.

Into recovery mode we go.

-225K Energy is 5 Metal Converters, I'm going to lose my lower right system when the CPA hits so that Energy Collector is gone, that's 3 more Metal Converters.

I build 10 to give my 2 extra just in case, there's a lot of FF immune stuff flying around.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 05:03:12 PM by Diazo »

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2012, 05:01:05 PM »
Eagle scouts treat a tent as a luxery.

You sleep under the stars where frost is on your sleeping bag when you wake, then suddenly a tent, let alone a bed, suddenly feels awesome.
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2012, 05:12:21 PM »
Frost on the sleeping bag?

Ugh. It only got down to 9 or 10°C which is plenty close enough for me thank you very much. (0°C is freezing for those used to °F.)

Lots of dew to go around this trip, but no frost.

Anyways, I've recovered from the Energy Shortfall so pictures and strategy incoming next post.


Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2012, 05:22:16 PM »
Okay, here's my situation.

There's a huge CPA incoming and it is going to consist of 9 carriers and a few escorts.

Concentrating everything on my Homeworld and my Home Command dies with about 2,750 enemy ships left alive.

So, here's the galaxy as it stands with 30 seconds until the CPA is loosed:

The worlds in green are worlds I control. (It's an old screenshot, I've captured that planet in the bottom left that is shown as an AI Mk IV.)

The AI homeworld circled in purple is easy, about 500 or so ships will spawn there and follow the purple line to my world where the turrets mulch them without much problem so I don't have to worry about the left side at all.

The right side in red however......

The AI homeworld is circled, that's where the 9 carriers start from. They follow the red path and punch out my world in green with a red X easily, it does not even slow them down.

This buys me time to setup my defences however, I will be doing this in my homeworld (the green circle at the top) and the adjacent AI system marked P0 on the CPA's line of approach. (The Mk I world, not the Mk III world).

So, my homeworld:

See that close warpoint named Arrara? That's where the CPA will emerge in my home system. See that small green dashed circle? That's the range circle for a Missile Frigate. See that red dot from a Remains Rebuilder? That's where my home command is. I have very little distance to work with in my home system.

So, intercept in the adjacent system:

The CPA will emerge from the red circled warp point and head for my homeworld through the green warp point.

There are some AI ships floating around but they will be gone by the time the CPA gets here.

My plan revolves around EMPs as carriers are not immune to those but my Starship Fleet is. However, ships that spawn are not emped and focus firing the carriers last time caused my starship fleet to die early, this time I'm going to kite the contents of each carrier as they spawn.

How exactly that is going to work remains to be seen. Lighting Warheads are also emp immune so I may warhead each carrier as it spawns to allow my starships to kill the carriers faster, or I may use EMP Mk IIIs so the carriers are still emped by the time the previous carrier's load dies.

Experimenting and save-scumming ahead, but that's what is coming up.

(Next post will be in a few hours and summarize my different attempts at this.)

« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 05:35:54 PM by Diazo »

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2012, 08:49:26 PM »

Apparently the CPA can go a different route, guess I just rolled up the same path 4 times in a row last week.

This time the main thrust of the CPA came from the AI homeworld on the left side of the map, pretty much blindsided me.

Only get the CPA down to 3,500 units and I'm done.

This will require thought, probably going to take a break until tomorrow at this point.


Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2012, 12:56:25 AM »
I LIVE ON!!!!  8)

This was all on patch 5.078.

What enabled this is that this time the entire CPA came from the bottom left homeworld. This has left one of my conquered systems (in the bottom right) intact, including it's energy collector.

This is the first time the CPA has done this, it came entirely from the bottom right a few times but it has mostly split about evenly between the two homeworlds.

This meant I could keep building units after my two systems in the bottom left were destroyed and I lost those energy collectors.

If the CPA split up and came half from each side of the map, I lost all my conquered systems and the metal converters to keep my forcefields active bankrupted me. I could not even rebuild my Shadow Destroyer Modules.

So, how did it work? Well, warhead spam.

First, I did not mark it but on the galaxy map in the previous post, there is a Mk III world 2 hops from my homeworld in a bottom left direction, it is adjacent to both the CS-A worlds (red) over there.

It's got a gravity drill, this will be crucial.

I take my entire Starship fleet to that system, but they are really supporting my cloaked warheads, I have 18 Lighting Warheads and 6 EMP warheads which is the cap of all 3 marks for both of those.

A lighting warhead Mk II or III can one-shot a carrier. The catch is the gravity drill means my cloaked warheads have to be close.

Combining Lighting Warheads and EMPs to keep the ships locked down I pop 4 carriers, but that 4th carrier spits out an Armored Golem.  ow!

At this point things start going screwy and I've lost a cloaker starship somehow and I lose several lighting and emp warheads by having the AI kill them, I think it was 8 or 9 lighting and 3 EMP warheads die in about 2 seconds.

I'm also losing starships rapidly to the Armored Golem.

I have a few Warheads left which I spend before my starships die, threat is down to 3,400 with 2 carriers left, although it is spearheaded by an Armored Golem. I have used up (or lost) all the warheads and my entire starship fleet.

The remaining CPA ships are still 2 hops from my homeworld in a system with a gravity drill, I have several minutes to rebuild. I was also able to blow my last EMP warhead as a parting shot.

Hmm, my economy is tanked? Oops, I left the missile silo on loop build.

Well, I can't build enough starships to matter so I have my fixed defences, my fleet ships and several lighting warheads to handing 3,400 ships.

This would have been much simpler if a different golem had spawned.

At this point, I have to wait for the CPA to hit my home system, my Mk I fleet ships would not do anything.

I'm actually expecting the fleet ships to be a meat shield for my Neinzul Fort and allow my warheads to close.

I focus the Armored Golem. Thanks to that last EMP in the gravity drill system the carriers are no where in sight, indeed the carriers do not warp into my home system until the golem is half way to my command station.

The armored golem dies, but my fleet ships are gone. My fleet ships were good meat shields however and my fixed defences are pretty much intact.

I use two more lighting warheads in a one-two punch to pop a carrier and then warhead the units before they can separate and the CPA is down to 1,000 ship left. At this point I have it.

Clean up and start rebuilding.

And then I get a wave of 1,728 bombers in the face. I lost a couple Home Settlements (Stupid Raid Starships) and plenty of warhead spam so AIP is up to 80.

Normally, I could handle that easy but the CPA has destroyed my defences, I'm going to have to spend one last lighting warhead on the bombers.

So, final tally on my side:

81 AIP
2 Conquered Systems Lost, this leaves a core world on alert.
All mobile ships dead, including cap of Flagships up to Mk III, Plasma Siege up to Mk II and Zenith SS up to Mk II.
Warheads Used: 8x Lighting Mk I, 7x Lighting Mk II, 6x Lighting MK III, 2x EMP Warhead of each mark, so 6x EMPs total.
2 Home Settlements Lost
Several turrets, both offensive turrets, gravity, and tractor.

My neinzul fort survived however, this is really the reason I survived. It's kill count is in the thousands at this point, in the 5 to 6 thousand range I think, although a lot of that is from previous waves, it by far has the most defensive kills for my forces.

For the AI:
10,000 Unit CPA destroyed, including an Armored Golem.
1,728 unit Bomber wave that struck before I could rebuild anything.

We'll see how this plays out, I'm going to try and continue.

The problem is I've gone from being on the floor at AIP 25 (AIP 7 without the floor), to being at an AIP of 81. That's 75 AIP I did not account for. I still have 5 systems to capture before I can even being my homeworld assault, the CSGs are still up.

That means I have to survive 175 AIP for several hours gametime with my attack fleet 7 hops out, including a gravity drill system.


However, I'm alive and this game will continue.

Maybe I will use my previous time I survived from last week though, AIP was much lower on that survival somehow.


Offline wyvern83

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2012, 01:58:20 AM »
Most impressive. I look forward to hearing what happens next.

I must admit this AAR inspired me to start playing again when I found it a week or two ago.  Your usage of Warp Jammers while planet hopping was most instructive and because of it I'm doing very well in the 7/7 game I playing right now, which is another thing I didn't do before. I'm sure the idea has been around for a long time but I never pieced it together for myself before reading your AAR so thanks for sharing.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2012, 09:46:42 AM »
It's actually kind of interesting, the warp jammer command station has been around for a long time and I have periodically used it before.

And by a long time I mean since before I started playing, and I started back before the Zenith Remnant came out.

However, they used to only stop the AI from sending waves at that system, adjacent planets still went on alert and built up reinforcements.

It was a change 5 to 6 months ago that made it so AI planets adjacent to a warp jammer command did not go on alert that really made me a fan of them however.

If I can actually survive this, I will have had an outpost built adjacent to an AI Core world for over 10 hours gametime by the time I'm attacking said AI homeworld. Having the Core world not on alert however means that it should be relatively easy, not the 1200+ ships it would have if it had been on alert for that long.

Having said that, the recent energy re-work actually hurts warp jammers and is one of the biggest challenges this game has. Under the old energy reactor system, all energy cost resources so while you took a efficiency hit when you lost an outpost and had to build more reactors in  your home system, it was not economy killing like it is today.

To replace a single energy collector takes 3 metal converters, that's -300 metal and crystal. That is why I simply can't beat this CPA if it splits, losing all my conquered worlds means losing those energy collectors. At 3 conquered systems that is 9 metal converters I have to build to compensate.

Before the CPA releases I have 4 energy collectors and 2 metal converters running to keep my fleet going as it is, I'm not running an energy surplus or anything either.

The change to starships to make them energy hogs a couple patches ago is a metal converter all on its own as I'm running a pure starship fleet too.

Anyways, as for the game itself I will be trying this again. I have a save from after the CPA releases that will take everything up the left side so I know where it is coming from.

I have a strategy that should only cost me 20 AIP to destroy this CPA that I am going to try tonight.