Author Topic: Victory!  (Read 1676 times)

Offline Hearteater

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,334
Victory!
« on: October 06, 2011, 12:48:49 PM »
I have just won my first game:

7/7 Vicious Raider/Fortress Baron, No expansions, 70 planets, Maraduaders, Resistance Fighters, Rebelling Colonies, Astro Trains on AI2, Avenger on AI1.
My starting bonus ship: Deflector Drones

This game dragged on to 20 hours, mainly due to the Fortress Baron's home system.

My empire had nothing you could consider a choke point, and if you wanted to know how many fronts I had you could just look at the number of planets I controlled.  Up until about 16 hours, this didn't cause me much of a problem.  My turret defenses, even spread out across my various planets, were largely able to hold off waves.  I held threat to less than 100 for most of the first 16 hours, and in fact I controlled only 9 planets after about 10 hours.  I would go on to control 20 planets, and kill both AI home systems in a total of 20 hours so my system crushing pace actually increased in the last half of the game.

By 9 planets, with an AIP of 134, I finished scouting every planet using just Mark I and II Scouts with a little help from Eye Bots I unlocked from an ARS.  I then planned out how to take down the CSG's with an eye towards objectives I really wanted and how I planned to attack the enemy home systems.  In the end this required me to take 11 additional systems.  I took 4 of the ARS's, unlocking Electric Shuttles, Space Tanks, Eye Bots and Raptors.  I picked up an Anti-Starship Arachnid Fab, Bomber Starship IV Fab, and an Advanced Factory.

The first AI home system (AI1) fell fairly effortlessly.  But getting to that required me to pass through a Mark III system with an AI Eye.  This wasted so much time, largely because I hadn't been rebuilding starships and so my only choice was small fleet groups.  The addition of a Counter Attack GP forced me to back out to defend against the counter attack wave as well.  Finally that fell uncovering the Mark IV core world.  Concerned about too much build up, I rushed the system and quickly wiped it out in just over five minutes.  This opened up the first AI home system.

My fleet crushed it fairly quickly (not quite as fast as the core world) and I only needed to back out once to regroup and repair after initially breaching the system.  Note that at this point I had not used any warheads at all and had not even built a Missile Silo.  I decided to leave the AI home command station alone since it would spawn an Avenger and I didn't want the AIP hit until I had cleared a path to the second AI home system.  I did clear all the enemy ships around it before I left.  However, this system would go on to eventually build up to almost 1000 Mark IV+ units around the command station by the time I could return to it.

I had two paths to get to the second AI home system.  I could go through 3 systems, and get a Bomber V Fab but have to knock out an AI Eye on a Mark III planet.  Or I could go through just 2 systems with nothing special.  Given the issues I had with the AI Eye before, I decided to skip the Bomber V Fab, a decision I would later question.

My path through 2 systems (one of which a core system) was like sneezing into a wet tissue.  Before I knew it I was ready to breach the next home system.  Again I performed my initial breach and regrouped to repair.  Mobile Builders got me back in the game quickly and IGWG's got my reinforcements right to the front line without delay.  I breezed through the second AI home system until I came to the home command station.

Two Core Force Fields and a Mark III Fortress.  That is over 800 million health in just those three units.  This began the pain that would require another 4 hours to defeat.

Understand that I've lost most of my starships (I keep turning off my Starship Constructor for economic reasons) and my Bombers and Space Tanks are pretty heavily depleted.  The only thing that can survive against the Fortress are polycrystal ships, so really only my Bombers, Space Tanks and Bomber Starships matter.  I tried an all-out attack and found that my 800 non-polycrystal ships got minced in under a minute and did no really damage.  Trying with only my polycrystal units resulted in getting the Forcefields just under half before my losses were to high to remain.  It wasn't the Fortress damage that was a problem, but the combined firepower of the other enemy ships hiding under the shields that was wrecking me.  Then a 1.5k CPA announcement popped up.

In the next 4 hours, I fought off two CPAs that caused me huge problems because my systems are so spread out.  Further, the game has gone on so long barracks are popping up on planets and overcrowding is pushing a lot of small attacks into my systems.  My threat begins hovering around 500-900 and not only does a second colony rebel in a system I have no real hope of reaching in time, but the rebelling colony I rescued already is attacked, the system lost, restarting its reveal timer.  All the while my economy is struggling to produce enough ships to have any chance to break the Fortress Baron.

I discover that at some point, some Vampire Claws snuck in and killed my Advanced Factory and so I no longer have access to Mark IV Bombers and Space Tanks, which I was counting on.  Now I need to consider if I should go take the Bomber V Fab, because even with IV Bombers and Space Tanks I barely got the shields below half.  But that is a Mark III planet that has an AI Eye and has been on alert a long time, complete with Barracks.

I decide to try something else.  I have around 25k knowledge and I begin to spend it heavily.  Mark II Economic Stations get opened because I need the resources to build the Mark IV Bomber Starships.  I unlock Mark II Bomber Starships to hopefully make up for the loss of the Advanced Factory.  I eventually unlock Fortresses, Stealthed Tachyon and Mark II Tractors to shore up defenses.  Later I will unlock Mark II and III engineers to make a mad dash to rebuild my fleet before another CPA hits at 20 hours.

As I begin to position myself to take the Fortress Baron, I realized just how many ships are building up back at the other home world.    In preparation I set up a missile silo and crank out a few warheads to hopefully reduce that mess.  I also end up using a Lightning warhead on a wave, knocking out over 700 Autocannon Minipods, to keep from having to re-position my fleet and suffer loses my economy couldn't afford to replace.  This was actually done mainly as an experiment in using warheads and helped me learn the fragility of the Lightning Warhead as well as get a good feel for their radius both of which will be important on the other home system.

Finally with waves stopped, threat down in the low 400's, one colony rescued, and the other abandoned (but curiously at 91% health for almost 2 hours, thankfully avoiding any AIP penalty for leaving them to fend for themselves), I am ready to attack.  Using a Mobile Builder, I try many things to break the Fortress Baron.  Sniper Turrets go through shields according to tooltips.  Reality disagrees.  Missile Turrets to stop shield repairs.  Again, tooltips are wrong or incomplete; apparently Fortresses have Counter Missiles.

My final victory came maybe more from luck than planning.  I realized I could not attack with either my Bombers or Space Tanks because the enemy had too many Parasites and he was collecting far too many ships, making each successive attempt even harder.  I switched to trying attacks with only my Bomber IV Starships.  They could survive a handful of volleys before backing out, and so I was able to chip away 5% health at a time from the shields with no loses of my own.  Then, suddenly, almost half the 250 enemy ships attack, moving out from the protection of my shields on their own.

I have 14 spider turrets, a grav turret, stealthed tachyon turret and a pair of Mark II tractor turrets right outside fortress range.  Plus around 1600 fleet ships.  They may have been Mark IV and V units, but outnumbered almost 13:1 with turret support, it was no contest.  Now, with the remaining enemy ships sleeping, I could bring my full cap of Bomber Starships in and they were able to pound away for minutes at a time.  I actually left them beating on the shields while I stopped some border aggression elsewhere.

After some thought, I finally decided on focusing the Fortress down specifically instead of the Core Shields directly.  I reasoned that once the Fortress was down I had 800 more units I could bring in and the shields would fall quickly.  I needed to get the closer shield down to around 25% to uncover the Fortress and I knew my Bombers would end the Fortress fairly quickly.  Once the shields finally pulled back away from the Fortress, I sent in my Bombers and Space Tanks to assist and quickly crushed the Fortress.  After that was down my reserves came crashing in and the scant 125 enemy ships and the 100 million and change health of force fields melted.  Right after that, the home command station vanished in a blink: 100% to 0% health with no inbetween.

My AIP is now over 500 and I need to get all the way across the map with a CPA coming at any moment.  I also know, from previous save attempts, that I wasn't able to successfully stop that CPA without massive losses at 400 AIP.  I don't imagine it will be any easier.

Bumum.  CPA in 12 minutes.

Well, now I know how much time I have to win.  Unfortunately my Mark II Armored Warhead is taking awhile to finish, and I really wanted to have two of them.  I load up my fleet in transports and get them moving, and then spam engineers at my missile silo to finish it up as quick as possible.  Because I have one enemy system to pass-through from my missile silo, I need to use an IGWG to get the warhead in position which will add another minute of delay.  I could have built the Missile Silo next to the home world originally, but I wasn't sure if I'd need missiles for the Fortress Baron so I had placed it centrally.

My fleet gets into position and finally I have all the warheads I'm going to get: EMP I, Lighting I, Armored II.  I see three Spire Starships and two Zenith Starships right on the warp point so I send in my Anti-Starship Arachnid and manage to clear the three Spire Starships with two waves of Arachnids.  This is about the only useful thing they've done all game.  I send in my EMP and follow that with the Lightning and Armored warheads.  The Lightning hits first, followed by the Armored, killing over 400 units and leaving me just under 600 Mark IV and V units to clear with my force of 1600 Mark I-III.

Following right on the heels of the warheads, my fleet hits the still paralyzed enemies and although it is not a crushing defeat, my advantage is too great and I decimate the enemy ships losing less than 400 units.  I decided to clear everything in the system instead of rushing the home station for the win because I wanted to be in as strong a position as possible to face the Avenger.

And then the home station explodes, and although I've won, I want to take on the Avenger.  This epic struggle should be the crowning moment of this campaign.  The mighty Avenger appears...and quickly flees the system into enemy space.  Seriously.  "I am the Avenger...and I will Avenger my people, eventually."

And so it ends, Avenger fleeing my forces, escaping with its shield module under 25% health and me with more than half my fleet still in good shape and my injured ships already getting repaired to full at a Mobile Repair Station.

Thank you Arcen for a most excellent game!

Next up, 7.6/7.6 with The Zenith Remnant enabled and Hard Golems.  Lets see what all this fuss is about exo-waves.

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,404
Re: Victory!
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 12:57:34 PM »
Congratulations! :D
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Victory!
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 01:20:50 PM »
Well done! Glad you enjoyed the game :)

And then the home station explodes, and although I've won, I want to take on the Avenger.  This epic struggle should be the crowning moment of this campaign.  The mighty Avenger appears...and quickly flees the system into enemy space.  Seriously.  "I am the Avenger...and I will Avenger my people, eventually."
It's actually just beelining for your home command station.  But sure, you can think it's fleeing ;)  Sounds like you had it thrashed pretty good though.


Quote
Next up, 7.6/7.6 with The Zenith Remnant enabled and Hard Golems.  Lets see what all this fuss is about exo-waves.
That should be... interesting ;)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Hearteater

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,334
Re: Victory!
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 01:44:34 PM »
I still have the save, so I may try an finish it off.  I just didn't feel like chasing it into a core system that's been on alert for 4 hours while it healed to full.  But I could just pile up my ships into transports and head it off.

An AI voice message, something like, "Let's see how well defended YOUR home world is" when the Avenger spawns be awesomely ominous.

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Victory!
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 01:46:01 PM »
An AI voice message, something like, "Let's see how well defended YOUR home world is" when the Avenger spawns be awesomely ominous.
There is actually an AI voice message when the Avenger spawns, it's just that I was apparently way too soft spoken ;)  The text should show up in the chat log though.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Hearteater

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,334
Re: Victory!
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 02:44:51 PM »
Actually, I find all the AI voices are fairly soft and difficult to make out, so I generally don't notice them unless I'm expecting them.

Offline Coppermantis

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,212
  • Avenger? I hardly know 'er!
Re: Victory!
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 06:29:16 PM »
I think You can increase the volume of voices specifically in the audio settings. As far as I've heard, the AI says "So be it." When you trigger the Avenger."
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.