Author Topic: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)  (Read 11043 times)

Offline wyvern83

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2012, 12:03:05 PM »
Ah, that would explain why I wasn't too interested in them before. I also stopped reading the changelogs a while back because I was in the middle of my last year of college so I'm not surprised I missed it.

You're quite right about the energy collector/metal converter balance as I'm running into it in my game as well, though I actually like it as it introduces good complications to work around while still allowing the planet hopping warp jammer strategy.

The grav drill cloaker missile ambush is a wildly crazy and awesome idea, I hope it works. I never used missiles much before either, I'll have to add it to my list of things to try out again to see how they've changed. My upcoming FS game will likely require some at some point.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2012, 12:07:45 PM »
Missiles have not really changed much.

Armored did get a tweak a while ago and Lighting Warheads AOE now gets bigger as the Mark level goes up, rather then smaller.

Beyond that, the AIP means they are a last resort weapon, but I figure with 10K ships incoming I don't really have a choice.

Having said that, losing several warheads to AI kills and so getting the AIP increase for no return hurts, biggest thing I'm going to try and clean up on my next attempt.

D.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2012, 10:32:17 PM »
AAR time.

I'm now satisfied with my latest attempt I'm at and going to take tonight's result.

In the end, brute force did this for me.

Loading up my save from when the CPA releases I crash build my full cap of 18 lighting warheads and don't bother with emp warheads.

I cloaker sneak them into the grav drill system with my fleet acting as decoys.

Carriers don't have tachyon so I get all 18 lighting warheads right on top of them.

I blow a single Mk II warhead to pop the carriers, I then immediatly blow the other 17 and the CPA is gone, it's down to only 700 ships.

I pull my fleet back to my home system and await the remains of the CPA there.

Final tally on my side:
2 conquered systems lost, they are too far out to get warheads there in time.
18 Lighting warheads
A few random turrets in my home system but nothing of note.
I lose nothing else, my starship fleet is intact and it should take 15 minutes to rebuild my two lost systems.
The lighting warheads do take my AIP off the floor however to 43, but I'm going to have to live with that.

And the AI is down 10,000 ships which I hope will make things easier for the next bit before the reinforcement waves kick in.

Report tomorrow on the rebuild, I had a few aborted attempts tonight that ate up my playtime.

D.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #48 on: September 06, 2012, 10:51:54 AM »
Okay, getting my empire back in order.

But I've got a problem, and it's a big one.

Running enough matter converters to keep my fleet going is bankrupting me, I have to start scrapping units to get my resources positive again so I can re-build my command stations.

I end up having to scrap a lot.
All my fleet units go bye-bye, so do about 100 turrets. I also lose several starships against the black widow golem (see below) and as I'm not using them I scrap my heavy bomber starships, raid starships and leech starships.

It is not quite enough, so I scrap one more matter converter. I'm running a -20K energy balance, but Force Fields don't turn off until -30K energy so I'm going to have to live with it.

Except Shadow Destroyer modules cost energy? The hell? I can't rebuild my shield modules.

I guess my champion has no shields until I get these colony systems back up.

Sticking my nose out also reveals another problem.

There is a Black Widow Golem left over from the CPA, it's gone into guard mode in the Gravity Drill system.

I can't rebuild my cloaker starships and it does not seem to want to be baited so I have to send my starships in for a straight up fight. My starship fleet goes from 35 to 27 ship in the fight, but I've got the highway cleared so I don't think I'll need any more then that.

It's not like I can rebuild anything anyway at the moment.

I did lose my cloakers starships to get my warheads close enough to kill the CPA so my colony ships this time will have to stay with the fleet uncloaked, I'm hoping at least 2 make it.

However, there should be no more obstacles so I'm going to get these two systems rebuild and then post again.

D.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2012, 02:20:43 PM »
Okay.

Things started smoothly.

I rebuilt my two lost systems and quickly captured another. That takes me to the 4 systems I'm taking and holding.

Now I have 5 systems controlled by the SPecial Forces AI to destroy.

One of those systems is adjacent to the world I just captured, a quick raid in pops the command station.

However, a 5,200 unit Infiltrator wave was just announced.

This is significantly larger then the previous 1,700 unit fighter wave I previously got 20 gametime minutes ago.

I simply don't have the defences to handle that, so I need to resort to warheads.

However, from previous experience, once you start resorting to warheads to survive normal waves the game is lost. The Warheads cost AIP which increase the wave size which you use warheads to destroy driving the AIP up further etc etc etc.

I've poked Keith about the wave size but if he comes back and says everything is worked as expected I'm conceding this game.

Unfortunately playing across multiple patches got me, especially as a rebalance was underway at the time. I started this game on 5.054 or so which is before the barracks were added, before the latest tweaks to reinforcements and before several other tweaks to make 10/10 feel DOOMy again.

This caused me to end up overextending for what I would end up facing. I was okay on patch 5.054 but after the difficulty bumps through to 5.078 I can no longer defend what I've taken and am simply left scrambling to defend. It also left my fleet smaller as I paid significantly more knowledge then I would on a fresh game to unlock the higher mark starships I have.

I do have 3K knowledge from the system I've captured if I can stay alive long enough to unlock another fort, but I need to survive at least 2, probably 3 waves with warheads first and that's another 10-15 AIP I really can't afford.

I'll probably give this game a few more pokes and probably write a real wrap-up post, but it is looking like it's done.

D.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 02:22:56 PM by Diazo »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #50 on: September 06, 2012, 03:05:54 PM »
I've poked Keith about the wave size but if he comes back and says everything is worked as expected I'm conceding this game.
I'm kind of out of it lately, so I think I missed the poke; is it a post or a PM and are the wave-calc logs included?
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #51 on: September 06, 2012, 03:25:19 PM »
Oh, I put it in the main patch thread.

But here it is again.

AIThread
Code: [Select]
9/6/2012 10:03:15 AM (5.078)
-----------------------------------
Starting CreateHomogenousWaveToPlanet at Game Time: 13:31:02 ; Player.AIType: Special_Forces_Captain ; Player.AIDifficulty: 10 ; AIProgressionLevel: 56 ; AITechLevel: 2
WaveSize = MultiplierFromWaveInterval * MultiplierFromHumanHomePlanetAndChampionCount: 3 * 1.2 = 3.6
aiTypeBasedAIPIncrement : 0
since difficulty >= 8, effectiveAIP = floor( ( AIProgressionLevel * 0.8 ) ^ 1.1 ) : 65
workingShips = ( effectiveAIP * player.AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - player.AIDifficulty ) : 216.67
workingShips *= FInt.FromParts( 0, AILoop.Instance.AIRandom.Next( 800, 1100 ) ) : 205.13
workingShips = Max(workingShips,34 * handicap_multiplier) :205.13
Inside AdjustNumberShipsFromAIType, multiplier: 1
after AdjustNumberShipsFromAIType call, workingShips :205.13
numberShips = workingShips.IntValue :205
numberTech123 = numberShips - numberExplosive - numberCore :205

MainThread
Code: [Select]
9/6/2012 10:31:01 AM (5.078)
-----------------------------------
Performing first CheckWave with size factor of 3.21 on wave at Game Time: 13:50:55

CheckWave: populating count of InfiltratorII with base magnitude of 248
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 795.95
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 1127.66
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 1127.66
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 1014.78
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 1014.78
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 4566.52
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 4566

CheckWave: populating count of ZenithStarshipII with base magnitude of 1
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 3.21
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 0.07
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.06
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 1
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 4.5
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 4
it's a starship so only adding one rule : 1 (had you going there, didn't we)

CheckWave: populating count of BomberStarship with base magnitude of 1
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 3.21
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 0.07
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.1
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 1
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 4.5
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 4
it's a starship so only adding one rule : 1 (had you going there, didn't we)

CheckWave: populating count of DreadnoughtII with base magnitude of 1
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 3.21
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 0.07
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.06
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 1
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 4.5
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 4
it's a starship so only adding one rule : 1 (had you going there, didn't we)

CheckWave: populating count of InfiltratorIII with base magnitude of 45
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 144.43
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 204.62
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 204.62
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 143.22
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 143.22
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 644.49
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 644

Wave total ships: 5213
TypesForDirectAdd count by type:
InfiltratorII => 1000
ZenithStarshipII => 1
BomberStarship => 1
DreadnoughtII => 1
TypesForCarrierAdd count by type:
InfiltratorII => 3566
InfiltratorIII => 644

Note that I'm thinking everything is okay, it's just the jump from 1700 units the wave before to 5200 units in this wave has left my defences in the dust.

I did capture a planet and boost the AIP by 20, but I was not expecting that to triple the wave size so I don't have enough on my homeworld.

My fleet is also 4 hops out and can't make it back in time either so.....

D.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2012, 04:14:28 PM »
Do you have the logged calcs of the wave before?

Bear in mind that Infiltrators have one of the largest caps in the game, so the individual ships are much weaker than fighters.
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2012, 04:20:30 PM »
Yes, but infiltrators are FF immune.

I'm taking all the waves on my home system, most of them do some damage to the FFs I have protection my command station.

I'm up to something like 250 million HP of force field over it.

Anyways, more details on the waves.

The fighter wave that preceeded the infiltrators:

AIThreadWave
Code: [Select]
Starting CreateHomogenousWaveToPlanet at Game Time: 13:31:02 ; Player.AIType: Special_Forces_Captain ; Player.AIDifficulty: 10 ; AIProgressionLevel: 56 ; AITechLevel: 2
WaveSize = MultiplierFromWaveInterval * MultiplierFromHumanHomePlanetAndChampionCount: 3 * 1.2 = 3.6
aiTypeBasedAIPIncrement : 0
since difficulty >= 8, effectiveAIP = floor( ( AIProgressionLevel * 0.8 ) ^ 1.1 ) : 65
workingShips = ( effectiveAIP * player.AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - player.AIDifficulty ) : 216.67
workingShips *= FInt.FromParts( 0, AILoop.Instance.AIRandom.Next( 800, 1100 ) ) : 205.13
workingShips = Max(workingShips,34 * handicap_multiplier) :205.13
Inside AdjustNumberShipsFromAIType, multiplier: 1
after AdjustNumberShipsFromAIType call, workingShips :205.13
numberShips = workingShips.IntValue :205
numberTech123 = numberShips - numberExplosive - numberCore :205

MainThreadWave
Code: [Select]
9/6/2012 10:03:14 AM (5.078)
-----------------------------------
Triggering Normal Wave for player 9; wave size factor: 3; Game Time: 13:31:03
Next-wave-time-calc: base = floor( ( 14 - this.AIDifficulty ) * 3 * 60 ) = 720
Next-wave-time-calc: random is based on floor( this.AIDifficulty * 30 ) = 300
Next-wave-time-calc: normal range of mulitiplier for modifier is -2:4, or: -600:1200
Next-wave-time-calc: because Diff >= 7 and entry_points = 1, entry-point-modified range of mulitiplier for modifier is 3:5, so: 900:1500
Next-wave-time-calc: because game time > 2 hours, using entry-point-modified range: 900:1500
Next-wave-time-calc: actual random modifier rolled: 956; that + base = 1676
Next-wave-time-calc: NextWaveSizeMultiplier = timeToWait / originalTime = 1676/720 = 2.33


9/6/2012 10:03:15 AM (5.078)
-----------------------------------
Receiving AddInboundWave from AI Thread at Game Time: 13:31:03
WaveSize factor: 3.6
Raw Units Dictionary Entries:
FighterII => 183
DreadnoughtII => 1
ZenithStarshipII => 1
SpireStarshipII => 2
LeechStarshipII => 1
FighterIII => 22


9/6/2012 10:03:15 AM (5.078)
-----------------------------------
Performing first CheckWave with size factor of 3.6 on wave at Game Time: 13:31:03

CheckWave: populating count of FighterII with base magnitude of 183
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 659.35
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 329.68
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 395.6
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 356
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 356
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 1601.99
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 1601

CheckWave: populating count of DreadnoughtII with base magnitude of 1
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 3.6
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 0.07
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 1
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 4.5
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 4
it's a starship so only adding one rule : 1 (had you going there, didn't we)

CheckWave: populating count of ZenithStarshipII with base magnitude of 1
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 3.6
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 0.07
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 1
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 4.5
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 4
it's a starship so only adding one rule : 1 (had you going there, didn't we)

CheckWave: populating count of SpireStarshipII with base magnitude of 2
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 7.21
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 0.15
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.15
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.13
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 1
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 4.5
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 4
it's a starship so only adding one rule : 1 (had you going there, didn't we)

CheckWave: populating count of LeechStarshipII with base magnitude of 1
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 3.6
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 0.07
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 0.07
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 1
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 4.5
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 4
it's a starship so only adding one rule : 1 (had you going there, didn't we)

CheckWave: populating count of FighterIII with base magnitude of 22
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 79.27
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 39.63
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 47.56
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 33.29
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 33.29
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 149.8
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 149

Wave total ships: 1754
TypesForDirectAdd count by type:
FighterII => 1000
DreadnoughtII => 1
ZenithStarshipII => 1
SpireStarshipII => 1
LeechStarshipII => 1
TypesForCarrierAdd count by type:
FighterII => 601
FighterIII => 149

I'm actually that concerned about it now that I've had a chance to think on it and suspect everything is correct.

I posted about it earlier because I was playing and was kind of flabbergasted at a difference in waves sizes that big.

D.

edit: Ouch, infiltrators have a cap 2.83 times bigger then fighters. I calculate back to get the 'equivalent' fighter wave size as if those had been rolled instead and come out to 1,812 units, only 100 or 150 or so bigger then the previous wave. (Assuming ship cap scales to wave size directly.) As AIP has gone up in between the two waves that looks like it is correct to me.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 04:25:32 PM by Diazo »

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2012, 04:31:38 PM »
Yes, but infiltrators are FF immune.

That is something that has been bugging me a while.
There is no (general purpose) alternate mechanic to do what forcefields do.

If you want to hamper the movement of something, you have engine damage, tractor beams, and gravity. Each one of those is a different mechanic, but they all have the same purpose, make it harder for something to get somewhere. This prevents any one of those mechanics and any one of the immunities to those mechanics from being overpowered.
Similarly, for armor, you have two ways of countering it, armor peircing, and armor rotting.

However, there is no such alternate mechanic for forcefields. Because there is no such general purpose alternate mechanic for "I'll take the damage for you", this inflates the value (and danger) of force field immunity to crazy levels.

Yes, I know there are some alternate mechanics for this stuff, decoy/shot attraction, and exo-shields. But the shot attraction mechanic is only available from the rare experimental unit or only works for certain ammo types, and exo-shields can only be applied to one type of thing currently, harvesters. Thus, they fail the general purpose condition.

EDIT: Reposted at http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,11619.0.html
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 04:41:57 PM by TechSY730 »

Offline Diazo

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Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
« Reply #55 on: September 06, 2012, 10:08:10 PM »
Okay, as I have officially conceded this game, it's time for the post game wrap-up.

Going to try and keep this short, rather then my usual rambling posts I tend to make.

Why I'm conceding: Despite the fact that I have just recovered from killing off a 10K unit CPA, and was even able to conquer two more systems afterwards, I am still conceding the game. I am right where I wanted to be strategically, however a combination of factors (I'm listing them off later) mean my position is untenable, notably because I would have to resort to using warheads to survive this next normal wave and that is the start of the Warhead AIP Spiral of Doom. I have no prospects of breaking the Spiral either for at least the next 4 waves and that is a lot of AIP.

Warhead AIP Spiral of Doom: This is the game ending spiral using warheads can lock you into. When your defences can not handle a normal wave and you use a Warhead on it, that is the start of this. Using said warhead increases AIP, which makes the next wave even bigger, so your defences have even a harder time, so you warhead that wave, AIP goes up and repeat until AIP is so high even warheads can't kill the wave. Note that I only apply this to normal waves, other waves such as Exo or CPA are rare enough they do not lock you into this cycle.

Champion: This was my first game of any length with a Champion enabled and they are odd unit. They made life for my starship fleet much easier, especially on wormhole attacks when I could send them through, shield the wormhole and then bring the rest of my starships through without taking any damage. However, as the AI waves got bigger, they were not worth the bonus the AI got for their presence. (I believe it is about 20%.) That 10K CPA would have been in the 8,200 unit range and the 5,200 unit wave that I ended up conceding the game on would only have been about 4,400 units. Even when the Champion is present it is not worth that many extra AI ships attacking me and more often then not I had the Champion out with my fleet on the attack and it could not help my defence, yet the AI is still attacking with the bonus ships it gets for my champion being 'present'. Overall, I like the champion but it still needs quite a lot of polish.


Factors that lost me the game: While it is perhaps something of an excuse, I'm going to blame the changes across the recent patches as the biggest reason for my loss. I started this game on patch 5.054 and ended on patch 5.078. A lot of those patches actually had significant changes on the strategic layout of my game. The two biggest patch changes that screwed me up were:

Tweaks to Difficulty 10: The patches I was playing on during the early game phase were before the latest round of buffs to difficulty 10 and so I ended up over-extended for what I was facing by end-game. I think I would have been okay had I played the entire game on patch 5.054, so without the difficulty buffs, but I'm not about to reset my game version to check.  :P
These tweaks include things such as me facing 3 CPAs, the first of 144 units, the second of 2,000 units and the 3rd of 10,000 units. They also include the barracks being seeded on worlds which is actually a big deal to take a planet with one of those and other changes to the numbers on reinforcements and wave sizes.

Starship Rework: Oddly enough, for all that my individual starships got buffed, this change happening in the middle of the game significantly hurt me. First was the energy requirements increase, my first time loading my game after the starship rework I was at an energy debt of -226K due to my 40 strong fleet of starships. The 3 metal converters I had to build to compensate hurt me economically for the rest of the game. (See my notes about the energy collector below.) The other was knowledge. I ended up 'wasting' knowledge because I unlocked all my starships before the change with the cheaper knowledge costs in effect.  I guesstimate that it was probably 5K or so worth of knowledge that I lost due to this.

Energy Collectors:This change did happen before I started my game but I was not aware of the implications they would have on my strategy of using the Warp Jammer command station to establish outposts. Under the old energy reactor system there was no free energy. When I lost a system I moved the reactors to my home system to compensate. This did cost me more in terms of resources but it was actually not that bad because I had been spending resources on the energy reactors anyway, I just got better numbers out of them. With the new energy collectors, losing an energy collector is catastrophic. It takes 3 Metal Converters to replace a single Energy Collector, that is -300 Metal and Crystal. That can quickly destroy your economy, so badly that metal converters alone are costing more metal and crystal then you are producing which means you can not build or repair anything as the metal converters keep your resources at 0. Witness me scrapping probably 15-20% of my fleet so I could scrap enough metal converters to get a positive resource flow to rebuild my Warp Jammer Command stations.


What I would do different: Perhaps one of my favorite things about AI War is that you can look back and see your mistakes. There's no question of where you went wrong and what you need to fix.

Knowledge Unlocks: This ties into the over-extending mistake I made, but I unlocked my starships too fast. Notably Flagship Mk III which cost me 6K knowledge. In hindsight I should have spend that on defensive unlocks of some type to handle the normal waves as they got bigger. I probably also would have focused on specific types of starships more. I unlocked every type of starship but several of them overlap in their abilities so I don't need them all.

Capturing an extra system: When I started the game I intended to only capture the 8 systems necessary to destroy the CSGs. With the easy early game I got overconfident and captured an extra system. In theory it was worth it, it had lots of resources nodes, a Spire Archive and was only 2 hops from a homeworld. With a warp jammer station I don't alert the adjacent Core World so I can leave it as long as I like and use it as my forward base to attack that homeworld in the end-game. As it turns out, I could not afford the extra 20 AIP after all and the AI's wave ends up getting big enough to kill me.

Disable the Champion: For the champion to even be close to worth the extra hundreds (or thousands) ships the AI gets for its presence you have to max the Champion early and abuse the fact that it can not be destroyed, it just teleports home. The extra ships the AI sends means you have to skew quite far towards defence and the ships you can send out to help out your Champion are going to be a lot less then you would like, so the Champion has to be powerful to compensate.

So, that's the game in a nutshell as I see it. I'm going to be out of town the next couple days so I'll have internet but no ability to play. Look for another game with similar settings to start up next week.

D.