Author Topic: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon  (Read 4349 times)

Offline Minotaar

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« on: November 15, 2012, 04:46:22 PM »
Welcome to the second episode of What Could Possibly Go Wrong, an irregular show which is devoted to finding out if the new features of AI War are up to the standard. Last time we covered the Hybrid-Dyson plot, and today the focus will be the new Astro Trains!

Settings:

Seed 881498682, Map type: X, 80 planets, Bonus ship: Sentinel Frigate

Normal caps, Normal combat style, Full fog

10/10 Train Master / Train Master

Core Shield Generators off

Minor Factions:
Spirecraft Hard 10/10

AI Plots:
Astro Trains 10/10 on both

Auto AIP: 5 AIP every 10 minutes

F-F-F-FIGHT!

First thing to do: rename homeworld to X Marks The Spot



00:30 One of my starting mk2 scouts actually died on Earthquake. Cause of death unknown. The other died on Hecatomb, turns out that AI (pink) has Sentinel Frigates. AND Blade Spawners. Yep.
Unlocked mk3 Harvesters. Did I mention we are not planning to take any planets?

01:38 Scouted 2 hops in every direction. We have a Inter-Munitions booster to the southwest, a Raid Eye to the northeast. That leaves Blizzard and Nightmare as places to mine some easy Pysite to get the ball rolling. Every planet so far has a Train Station, and I picked the biggest train hub possible, on purpose. What could possibly go wrong here?
Oh, the other (yellow) AI has Tackle Drone Launchers and Beam Frigates. I'm obviously the luckiest.
No Distribution nodes anywhere, which is a shame, as I would like to get all 4 of my Leech Starships up in time for the first wave.

03:25 Finished my caps of Fighters, Frigates and Sentinels. The Sentinel Frigate has pretty insane stats, and it will be a necessary ingredient for the cheese I'm going to be making in this one.

04:21 Those Sentinel Frigates are screwing my scouting up pretty good, my 10 mk1's can't get to Quagmire. Will have to clear those out, and I need to clear the way anyway.

04:59 I build a transport as a damage-sponge for hostile wormholes. At least, I try, but I'm out of money.

05:09 What the-
== HORN SOUND ==


Dude, where's my supply?

Let's at least see how much we can take off that shie-
== HORN SOUND ==

ALL ABOARD THE PAIN TRAIN!!! [captcha: don't tase me. Tinypic has the best captchas]

Well, at least I don't have to build turrets, or forcefields, or reactors, because none of that will work anyway. What did you say, there are also nuclear trains? That exist and are nuclear? This should be fun.

06:41
~~~~ 22 AI Sentinel Frigates, 3 Starships(II)
That forcefield better be up! Or my home command could get one-shot. If I defend, I get a bunch of free Sentinels, so yay to that I guess.

09:59 So I traded a Cryogenic Pod for 12 Sentinel mk2's. No trains were involved, thankfully, but I should have put up at least an extra forcefield.

10:00 +5 AI Progress from Auto Progress
Oh, that too. Well, this is going to be a quick game, one way or another.

10:02
~~~~ 99 Bombers, that should not go too badly, but those trains...

10:21 Well, tachyon trains just demolish scout pickets. I guess the Auto-Picket(TM) feature might actually get used at some point. Or at some 100 points. Actually, let me see the specs for that nuke train.. <F1> <F1> 40m hp? That's unfortunate. An EMP to remove shields and two penetrator shots should do it, assuming I actually manage to get penetrators up in time. Oh, rams exist too. Right. Calm down, calm down..

11:31
- Wave comes in
- 1 second later train comes in
Let's see what we have to deal with!
Gravity turret jammer
Armor Booster
Armor Inhibitor
Regenerator
Supply Interdictor (hello -60000 energy brownout)
.. can I wait for it to pass.. ?!

12:41 Yeah, that kinda works! It passed in time just before the bombers reached the nonexistent home FF. I need a Martyr NOW. Maybe a tractor Riot can suffice until I get one.
Got 34 mk2 Bombers out of the deal, though, so it's not all bad, right? Right?
Okay, now we really need to ATTACKATTACKATTACK while there is time. First target: Hecatomb, then Blizzard.
Random observation: Merc Fighters now have a cap of 288! I guarantee it will stay there this game, though. Let's see how we can deal with TDLs and Blade Spawners AND Sentinels.

20:00 +5 AI Progress from Auto Progress
So yeah, I cleaned up a mk1 planet. No, that shouldn't have taken this much time. TDL's WHY YOU SO ABSURD

22:41 EMP Train detonated on Castle
.. how nice of you to point that out! I wish nuke trains were this considerate.

24:40 EMP Train passed. (effects of said passage caused me to savescum, the details are too embarassing to be revealed) Unlocking spire starships.

25:18
~~~~ 267 Fighters

26:09 All of my stuff is still paralyzed from those trains. 35 seconds until the wave hits.

28:04 I seriously just died to fighters! Nerf fighters! Argh! (it was the armor inhibitor train turning the forcefields off)
Okay, let's actually build units this time (I died with 350/550k in the bank, since my constructor was paralyzed and I didn't bother to build a new one, or turrets, or something)
... activate time machine [Y/N]? Y

24:03
Welcome back!
Unlock spire starships again. The trains mostly can't screw with starships, so those should be prioritized. I already begun building enclaves just to have reliable docks.

25:17
~~~~ 42 Sentinel Frigates
That sounds somewhat harder than fighters, but we'll have to see..

27:34
Whew, no trains during that! Got a full cap of mk2 Sentinels this time. The Spire starships also pulled their weight.

28:20
~~~~ 168 Bombers

28:37 Oh no, the EMP train is coming for more! I hide the fleet in transports and head to Ambush to wait it out, hopefully can get back in time for the wave.

29:07 Why are my transports taking 35% on the first hop? Oh, it's the unsupply train again.

29:34 Damn, they even take 35% back on the homeworld. 13 seconds on the timer, seems like the trains will get out just in time.

30:30 I'm dead AGAIN!
... but I wanted to see what the cargo trains were building!
Okay, last time...
... activate time machine [Y/N]? Y

29:03
Welcome back!
Actually, this might not be enough time to do anything at all, but we'll try.
I build new engineers right after the EMP to try and get more defenses in place. Unfortunately, the whole -156,450 Energy Brownout thing does not cooperate.

29:42 00:05 on the timer and that damn train finally leaves. Build things!

30:40 Whew!
Now to this "Major AI Construction Effort at 50%" buddy. I'm so, so curious.
We're going to Blizzard now to try and seize asteroids.

32:50 Of course, in the meantime Hecatomb reinforced about a million TDLs and Blade Spawners.

35:08 There were 44 Mk3 Beam Frigates on Blizzard among other stuff. They're still there, and I can't say the same thing about my fleet.

40:56 Oh no, this EMP Train is not done!

I wonder if I should go attack Blizzard again. Pretty sure that's not going to go well, but I'll try it anyway..

42:17 I eat an EMP. My fleet on Hecatomb is also going to eat an EMP. What can I do about that? Nothin'. Oh, actually it's going for a different planet, nevermind.

45:45 Looks like I managed to secure a small beachhead on Blizzard! Bring in the miners. What's that noise?


Must've been the wind... Wait, I'm in space. And there are no rats in space, either. Yeah, this is actually serious.
[captcha: braaaains!]


46:35 Oh, why do I not have extra cash money right now.. I really need a jumpship to progress in this game, but safety first!


I'm IN UR BASE STEALING UR ASTEROIDS!

47:13 Do I win now?

I accept your unconditional surrender.

48:25 Had to scrap my whole fleet again. Those tractor trains never give me a break. The jumpship will have to wait...

48:59

Wat

51:36
~~~ 481 Bombers. Why am I not worried? Oh, I have a Martyr. It's definitely that.

52:15 Damn, the EMP train is back.
With friends.

How about a little game of "Where's HK mk1?"

53:26

Q: Which routing protocol do the Astro Trains use?
A: RIP


You've been watching What Could Possibly Go Wrong, and I'm Minotaar telling you:
Don't Mess with the Trains.

See you next time!

Offline Aklyon

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 05:27:55 PM »
RIPv2 makes more sense, since its the future. ;)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 05:30:11 PM »
10/10 Train Master / Train Master

(...)

Astro Trains 10/10 on both
I knew at least one of you would feel morally compelled to do this.

I made sure it would be interesting.

But yea, picking this setup and the center planet of an X map is basically gg right there.  Even if the AI was on 7/7 I don't think it's winnable.

But winning was never the point of this AAR.

Quote
05:09 What the-
== HORN SOUND ==
Gonna be a lot of that.

Quote
What did you say, there are also nuclear trains? That exist and are nuclear? This should be fun.
They're simply "part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic clients, and the fully armed nuclear warheads are of course merely a courtesy detail. We look forward to your custom in future lives ... thank you." (lifted straight from Hitchikers', I can't improve upon it)

Quote
Dude, where's my supply?
Take it up with the teamsters.

Quote
22:41 EMP Train detonated on Castle
.. how nice of you to point that out! I wish nuke trains were this considerate.
Oh, they are.

Quote
48:25 Had to scrap my whole fleet again. Those tractor trains never give me a break.
Not sure if it helps your case, but if you put a tractored ally ship under forcefield protection it breaks the tractor.  Maybe send in the Riot Control firemen in with a ladder to get the cat down from the tree?

Quote
How about a little game of "Where's HK mk1?"
Ooh, ooh, I know this one!

"Right Behind You"

Quote
Q: Which routing protocol do the Astro Trains use?
A: RIP
*Rimshot

Unidirectional protocol, delivers recipient directly to the grave.  Ack response is inferred by passive sensors.

Quote
You've been watching What Could Possibly Go Wrong, and I'm Minotaar telling you:
Don't Mess with the Trains.
This public service announcement brought to you by the Sirius Cybernetics Complaints Department.  Share And Enjoy!
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 05:59:28 PM »
haha nice ^^ Interesting to read what kind of problems the trains are causing. It's gonna be really tough to play with them on 10/10 intensity for both.

Offline Minotaar

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 02:25:48 AM »
Quote from: keith.lamothe
I knew at least one of you would feel morally compelled to do this.
I knew it the minute I read the patch notes.

Quote
But yea, picking this setup and the center planet of an X map is basically gg right there.  Even if the AI was on 7/7 I don't think it's winnable.
Yeah, racing a 50 minute clock is pretty unrealistic.
The funny thing is I'm pretty sure I can beat this map with just the AI and no trains, but probably can't with just the trains and no AI  :)

Quote
But winning was never the point of this AAR.

Throughout this game (and that hybrid/dyson game) I kept thinking to myself, "It can't be that bad."
One day I will learn. One day.

Quote
Not sure if it helps your case, but if you put a tractored ally ship under forcefield protection it breaks the tractor.  Maybe send in the Riot Control firemen in with a ladder to get the cat down from the tree?
I'm sure one of those other 21 cars had an armor inhibitor on it anyway.

Offline Kahuna

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Offline Hearteater

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 10:21:03 AM »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 11:43:07 AM »
What is this?
The accumulation from the cargo train deliveries.

The cargo trains themselves are the ones that don't actually mess with you at all while they're on your planets.

And on train-intensity < 8 you don't get anything excessively brutal (offensively, at least) from the cargo projects.  But this wasn't < 8.  And it hurt.
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Offline KDR_11k

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 11:47:03 AM »
Do they create one unit or a whole strike force?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 01:28:33 PM »
Do they create one unit or a whole strike force?
A small force.  When the cargo counter hits full:
Each point of plot-intensity produces a mkV guardian.
Every 2 points of plot-intensity produces a core starship.
Every 4 points of plot-intensity produces a golem.
Every 8 points of plot-intensity produces a mkI HK. (since 10 is the max intensity and the train master 2x doesn't apply for this purpose, this is a 0 or 1 thing).

They spawn on the AI player's homeworld under threatfleet behavior.

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Offline Hearteater

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 02:32:48 PM »
I misread this at first, and almost choked on my cookie:

They spawn on the AI player's homeworld under threatfleet behavior.

Offline Fluffiest

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 03:38:04 PM »
Do they create one unit or a whole strike force?
A small force.  When the cargo counter hits full:
Each point of plot-intensity produces a mkV guardian.
Every 2 points of plot-intensity produces a core starship.
Every 4 points of plot-intensity produces a golem.
Every 8 points of plot-intensity produces a mkI HK. (since 10 is the max intensity and the train master 2x doesn't apply for this purpose, this is a 0 or 1 thing).

They spawn on the AI player's homeworld under threatfleet behavior.

Hang on, so moving from intensity 7 to 8 gets you an extra mkV guardian, an extra core starship, a second golem and a Hunter-Killer? Isn't that a bit of a difficulty cliff?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 03:46:33 PM »
Do they create one unit or a whole strike force?
A small force.  When the cargo counter hits full:
Each point of plot-intensity produces a mkV guardian.
Every 2 points of plot-intensity produces a core starship.
Every 4 points of plot-intensity produces a golem.
Every 8 points of plot-intensity produces a mkI HK. (since 10 is the max intensity and the train master 2x doesn't apply for this purpose, this is a 0 or 1 thing).

They spawn on the AI player's homeworld under threatfleet behavior.

Hang on, so moving from intensity 7 to 8 gets you an extra mkV guardian, an extra core starship, a second golem and a Hunter-Killer? Isn't that a bit of a difficulty cliff?
Sure is.  Setting it to higher than 7 is basically asking to die, may as well go all-in :)

There's one other thing that every cargo spawn generates, but I don't think anyone's noticed it yet.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 04:29:01 PM »
I'd almost say 9 should be the HK.  8's got plenty going over 7 already :) .  This won't matter much to me, since I will need to test out 10 anyway :) .

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong 2: Failroad Tycoon
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 04:46:44 PM »
This won't matter much to me, since I will need to test out 10 anyway :) .
One does not simply "test" intensity-10 Astro-Trains.

;)
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