Author Topic: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6  (Read 2018 times)

Offline rwst9

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there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« on: May 14, 2012, 12:05:48 PM »
Maybe YOU took that learning curve graciously and went straight to L7.

80-planet map, simple-hubs map, conquest, normal ships, AIP
1/30, factions: Golems (moderate), Spirecraft (moderate), no plots, all
expansions. Both AIs Level 6 Random Easier.

First being glad from having found a snug corner with bombards for my HQ,
I'm soon bothered by the facts that one of two neighbors is a IV planet, and
my opponents are Stealth Master and Spire Hammer.

99 Cloaked Ships, 1 Starship

I'm putting a tachyon drone on each wormhole, and place a decloaker
strategically, and start building snipers. I send my single raider into the
lion's mouth (the IV planet) to pull the warp gate -- she even manages to get
away, so I think why not send her for the gate of a third planet, and so she
goes. My main attacking force (2x98 fighters/bombers+light starship) is sent
to the other neighbor, trusting the rest with the defense.

At 0:14, two minutes before the expected first wave, probably due to my
attack, a Spire Stealth Battleship MkIV makes a showing at HQ. Not that it
would need those few MkIV bombers accompanying it... a salvo from my 70 MkI
frigates manages to diminish its health by three per cent! But fortunately,
the 24 bombards can kill it, my force field being down to 65 per cent. Oh
well, 90 seconds time to repair and get my main force back, or maybe finish
building those snipers? Perhaps also repair the frigates, as the main force
will not make it in time? Check if you're really playing at level 6?

ATM, the main force is near a distribution node, kill it. The material is
sorely needed for all tasks at hand. Now quickly kill that 3rd warp gate, then
back. Somehow, although I have a scout at the I-planet, the AI manages to
sport an AI Artillery Guardian MkIII and an AI Heavy Beam Guardian MkIII, both
invisible at the planet summary from the galactic map, a bug? Ah no, they move
as fast as starships, I have never seen this on lower levels. Meanwhile, at
home, my first Leech ship is built, so there may be a chance of soon having
better equipment. 30 seconds to go. On that "I-planet", my main force (all
MkI, the brave ones!) are now fighting 3 artillery, 1 heavy beam guardian, and
2 MkIII stealth battleships. How many will make it back?

Worries were unfounded. It's 17 minutes in the game, my MkI units and 20
snipers do astonishingly well against six spire starships and a hundred MkI raptors.

19 minutes. I'm 50 raptors richer and the rest of the enemy has escaped --
where to? Following through their wormhole to I-planet, the wounded spires are
nowhere to be seen. Well then, continue what you started five minutes ago. D'ned
interruptions, spire hammer, phh... Guess why it's named stealth battleship? So I find
the escapees, too, and complete their fate.

This game turned soon and I learned

Lesson 1: Do not expect a quiet game

Game 2. I thought it was a good decision: placing myself at a 2-hole planet
with parasite bonus ship. I weathered the first waves and took a neighbor,
only to find that that next ARS neighbor which I couldn't take in one go was now
so alarmed that, regardless what I was throwing at him, I didn't get through.
Of course, the warp gates were destroyed and so the threat constantly was at
300, so he always got supply. Me not. I gave up, as I couldn't see how to
break the "stalemate". Do you?

Lesson 2: chose an aggressive bonus ship

Game 3. That looked better. First. The bonus was Raider and my neighbors all
I-planets. Farther away, some III,IV but they could be ignored, as they had
nothing I was interested in atm. So make a nest. Wait, if I take that warp
gate from the IV-planet, then I can make this one the inlet, the whipping boy.
Send that raider starship, huh what's this, a new ship type, Zenith Paralyzer,
bother, click the warp gate. What, 80, 60, 40, 20, dead! Bummer, but you won't
do that to 150 raiders, I swear...

Well, the raiders had to wait, as that IV-planet staged an immediate
counterattack with MkIV ships which I was just defending with MkI when...

50 AI I Zenith Beam Frigates I, Starships (1) to Homeworld in 3:00

OK. I'm now 30 beam frigates richer but I saw myself at the edge, again.
However, the lesson is

Lesson 3: do not tickle the lion without a good defense

So, what's good against MkIV paralyzers. just for a raid of that warp gate, not
more? Lots of raptors?

Ce sont les microbes qui auront le dernier mot.  (Pasteur)

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 01:14:53 PM »
you went with random easier AI types and got Stealth Master and Spire Hammer? That's funny because Stealth master is moderate and Spire Hammer is hard. Perhaps that's why you're noticing a big difference between 5/5 and 6/6.
As for breaking stalemates, there are so many things you could try.

1) Build a few space docks. Have some enginners ready. Select each space dock, press v control right click on the wormhole you want them to go through. Start pumping out inexpensive units (fighters for example, though there are better units for this) and watch the show.

2) Send your entire fleet through the wormhole and immediately retreat. Some of enemy ships will become threat and either stalk you or attack you. Deal with the threat first (if they don't attack, move your fleet to another planet to lure the stalking ships in), rinse and repeat until you think the enemy numbers have become low enough to be able to handle them.

3) You have spirecraft enabled so you can work with that as well (once you have found some asteroids). Build an Attritioner (mark doesn't matter for this) and build a few martyrs. Send the attritioner in and immediately pull it back out (if you want it to survive). ALL the enemy ships will get some damage and will immediately want to attack you. That's where the martyrs come in. Have one waiting at the wormhole and scrap it once enough ships have come through. If a lot of enemy ships continue to stalk you, just send in another martyr. Spire fleet ships might survive, but your fleet should be able to handle it now.

There are more things you could try (warheads for example), but I'll leave that up to you to find out ^^

Hope this helps a bit.

oh, and lesson 3 is a very important lesson indeed. Took me a long time to learn that though lol.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 01:18:54 PM by zoutzakje »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 01:15:23 PM »
Stealth Master and Spire Hammer.
That's going to be hard, possibly even on Diff 1, I dunno ;)  Certainly harder than, say, The Tank and Sledgehammer on Diff 7.

Quote
So, what's good against MkIV paralyzers. just for a raid of that warp gate, not
more? Lots of raptors?
Stuff that's immune to paralysis; I suggest some:
- raid starships
- if they can't make it to the target, put them in a transport and unload near the target
- if the transport can't make it to the target, build 3 transports, put the raids in one of them, send one of the empty ones in just before the raid-carrying one, and the other empty one in just after.
- if that still doesn't work, clear the tachyon guardians (and any other tachyon emitting AI units, unless they have too many in which case scratch this) between you and the target and build a cloaker starship or two to provide cloaking coverage for the transports (if cloaking the raids directly, the raids need to be in low-power mode to avoid autotargeting and blowing their cover until at the target).
- if that still doesn't work, hit the system with an EMP Warhead MkI first. AIP, yea, but it usually gets the job done.

Glad you're having fun with it :)
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 01:23:46 PM »
Wait, you set both AIs to Random Easier and it gave you Spire Hammer and Stealth Master?  Neither is marked in the code as one of the Easier types.
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Offline rwst9

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 02:04:54 PM »
Wait, you set both AIs to Random Easier and it gave you Spire Hammer and Stealth Master?  Neither is marked in the code as one of the Easier types.
Ah no, that was the very first game where I thought I could progress to Random All. Sorry for the confusion.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 05:35:24 PM »
Setting your ai to random will really be random.

The difficulty ranges of the ai are that they can inflate your ai difficulty by at least 2. So if in your case your difficulty is  6 but your ai type makes it feel like 7.3 or even 8.

Spire hammer is like a hammer but nothing fancy if you are used to exo waves.

But there is no preparation in standard play for the stealth master. Focus on military comms for defense. Good luck on offense!
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Offline Diazo

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 09:52:43 AM »
I'll agree that those the AI types are going to be nasty.

I've got a Stealth master in my current game and it is a pain.

If you can spare the Knowledge, Command Military III will be very nice as it provides system-wide tachyon coverage but don't think that is required, I did not unlock any Command Stations in my game and I'm in a good position to win the game pretty quick.

The other thing is I did not see a comment about building more force fields on your home command. I've gotten to the point where the first thing I build is a second force field over my home command, depending on the AI type and my defensive strategy for the game, I'll build another couple within the first 10 minutes.

About 90 minutes ago (game time) that saved me from losing, a wave of Sentinel Frigates hit my home system (a sniper type) and were able to pound my force field down enough they killed a couple of cryo pods, but the overlapping forcefields lasted long enough that I was able to kill them before they could kill anything else.

I also saw you were aggressive early. A large part of the ships you'll end up with in your systems are in response to your attacks on AI systems. The more aggressive you are the faster you will see ships attacking your system on threat. However, going slow is not correct either, the slower you are the more time the AI has to reinforce its systems and make attacking them more difficult.

The biggest challenge is finding what rate of expansion works for your play style, and because everyone's playstyle is different, every answer you get to a strategy question will also be different.

Wow, wall of text time apparently.  :P

Welcome to the game and keep having fun, we are always here to chat or answer questions.  ;D

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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 11:04:26 AM »
The other thing is I did not see a comment about building more force fields on your home command. I've gotten to the point where the first thing I build is a second force field over my home command, depending on the AI type and my defensive strategy for the game, I'll build another couple within the first 10 minutes.
Absolutely: zoom in to close-zoom on your home command station.  If you can still see it through all the purple haze, there aren't enough forcefields on it.

Ok, I'm joking, but not by much ;)
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Offline Diazo

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 11:17:31 AM »
Heh.

In my current game, the Adv Fac I captured is kind of off in the middle of nowhere a long ways from my main territory.

If something goes wrong, I need time to get my forces there to save it so I'll keep it under 6 forcefields, that should be enough.  :o
I can kind of still see the factory under all those FFs......

Yes, Hardened FF Mk I are a pretty early unlock for me but I think I'm one of the most defensive players (among those who post on the forum anyway) so that works with my play style.

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Offline chemical_art

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 05:57:54 PM »
I'm used to building at least 2* number of homeworlds of mk I shields over my HW.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 09:38:56 PM »
What is this 'Forcefield on Homeworld Command Station' thing you all speak of?  You get one!  You greedy people, sheesh.  Now, on entry point to the whipping boy however... 10 FF Is... 10 HFF Is... Hm, I need a few more.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline eronrauch

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 10:27:31 PM »
I'll agree that those the AI types are going to be nasty.

I've got a Stealth master in my current game and it is a pain.

If you can spare the Knowledge, Command Military III will be very nice as it provides system-wide tachyon coverage but don't think that is required, I did not unlock any Command Stations in my game and I'm in a good position to win the game pretty quick.

I'll second this statement. Brise and I have had Stealth Masters in our last three games (thanks random) and they can be obnoxious. Though I will say, at least at diff 7, hang in there because that AI type moves from "ugh-dangerous" to "merely-annoying" as mid-game sets in.

Again, doubling up, but getting Mil Command II fast (and then III when it makes sense) is a must along with double or better FFs. I also like blocks of 10-20 Spider turrets and 10-20 sniper turrets at worlds I need to defend because the engine damage + unlimited range + Mil Command tele will clean up after hangers-on or random threat spill without any trouble when they pop out of cloak. 

The other way to deal with heavy stealth is to go with heavy reclamation — So many of the stealth units (except those horrible horrible Spire Stealth Battleships) have very little health and get reclaimed very fast to create fodder for your cap.

Good luck! 

Offline rwst9

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 05:11:02 AM »
I abandoned that last game because I learned

Lesson 4: that AI Eye is a warp gate, too

surprises after surprises, at least for those who don't read the small print...
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 06:29:17 AM »
yup yup, taking out just the warp gate often won't do the trick. The AI eye and any warp gate guardians have to die too. This is exactly why I always neuter the entire system when I want to gate raid. It takes more time yes, but it's worth it.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: there IS a learning curve from L5 to L6
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 10:10:02 AM »
In case you didn't know, you can kill an AI Eye by building a Command Station in the system with it.  To do this you need to kill the enemy Command Station first.  But if there are 8 Guard Posts, you can leave them alone, assassinate the enemy Command Station, and then build a Command Station in a corner.  It doesn't matter if it gets destroyed as long as you complete it, because that kills the AI Eye and you can then bring your full fleet in to deal with the Guard Posts.

Several things make this not always a practical option: 1) Guard Posts that protect the Command Station need to be killed first, 2) really long range enemy ships such a Zenith Bombards, Sentinel Frigates, or Snipers.  You'll need a lot of engineers to get the build done as fast as possible, and a Riot Starships with shields is strongly recommended.

 

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