Arcen Games

Games => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - After Action Reports => Topic started by: Diazo on August 18, 2012, 11:58:31 AM

Title: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

(http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/920112322685926708/8C2063933ACBB6C08BBAECB39476348B6F8EA38D/)

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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: RCIX 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 ::)
(my story)
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Coppermantis 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.

Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Kahuna 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Toranth 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.
(http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/9317/realthreat.png)

THAT'S a deepstrike threat.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Kahuna 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.
(http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/9317/realthreat.png)

THAT'S a deepstrike threat.
I played with 1 home planet.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Toranth 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.
(http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/9317/realthreat.png)

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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Hearteater 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: keith.lamothe 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: keith.lamothe 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: TechSY730 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: RCIX 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
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Faulty Logic 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.

Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

(http://members.shaw.ca/diazo/TheGame.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: keith.lamothe 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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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 ;)

Quote
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.

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

Quote
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!

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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

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

Quote
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 ;)
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

Quote
Quote
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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: keith.lamothe 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 ;)

Quote
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 :)

Quote
(Double post so you get the alert.)
You gain wisdom.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
(http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=11393.0;attach=5911;image)

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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Mánagarmr 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?
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Mánagarmr 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: EMP GUARDIANS! ****! ****! ****!**!*!*!*!*!**!*!**!*!!!!!!
Post by: Diazo 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.......

**** TRANSPORT THREAT!!!!!!

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

...

Okay.

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.

Ya.

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.

D.

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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

D.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Faulty Logic on August 28, 2012, 11:56:27 PM
10,000 ships? What was your AIP?

This does not bode well for my current game.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

D.
Title: CPA of doom.
Post by: Diazo 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 HBC
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.

D.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo on August 30, 2012, 09:49:49 AM
Hmmm.

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.

D.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: keith.lamothe 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 ;)
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: chemical_art 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

D.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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:

(http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=11393.0;attach=5962;image)
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:
(http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=11393.0;attach=5964;image)

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:
(http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=11393.0;attach=5960;image)
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.)

D.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo on September 03, 2012, 08:49:26 PM
Well.

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.

D.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

Ugh.

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.

D.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: wyvern83 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.

D.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: wyvern83 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: keith.lamothe 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?
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: keith.lamothe 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: TechSY730 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
Title: Re: Scorched Earth? (The RNG is off to a good start.)
Post by: Diazo 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.