Author Topic: Writings of a new player  (Read 2783 times)

Offline Nurgle84

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Writings of a new player
« on: June 08, 2011, 03:49:49 AM »
Hey there

I found AI Wars on steam and have played it for 23 hours now. These here are just notes about my campaigns to remember myself and maybe give other newbies a few hints, so they don´t have to suffer the same humiliating losses I suffered  :D.

BTW. I a from Germany, so please forgive grammar mistakes etc.

Campaign 1 (2x Easier AI, realistic, Difficulty 5, Mine Enthusiast/Shield Ninny (random, but I play with revealed AI)
Ok, the AIs are not really attacking. I already have conquered 20 of the 40 planets. My fleet just owns all opposition. Hmm... I read somewhere, that this game is pretty hard. Lets have a look at the forum.  Jup, everything under 7 is considered easy and the AIs are both defensive. Lets start another campaign a bit harder this time.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 03:53:20 AM by Nurgle84 »

Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 04:00:34 AM »
Campaign 2 (2 x easier AI, realistic, Difficulty 7, Tank/Vanilla)
Ok, just take the first map you get and then pick a starting point. These tractor platforms sound good, the AI used them in the last game. Lets start conquering some planets. The scouts tell me, there are a lot of useless targets around starting two jumps from home system. Lets neuter them and be good. On this map, it was really hard to build a proper front line. No pocket to hide. After 13 hours of play, where I lost about a dozen command stations underway, my frontline is pretty stretched. Oh, whats this? 2300 Ships are massing for a an attack. Ok, thats a Cross-Planet Attack right? They will get freed from their posts on various planets and attack everywhere. Lets bunker up the main planets. A few minutes later I realized, that 4 neutered Planets still can free about 1200 ships right into my core systems. Lesson learned: Keep your front lines short.

Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 04:10:05 AM »
Campaign 3 (2 x easier AI, realistic, Difficulty 7, One-Way Doormaster/Entrenched Homeworlder)
Ok, this time I will see, that I get a defensible front. Random position again, and I get the Zenith Chameleon. I know that ship, got it from a ARS in the last game. My home System has 4 Wormholes, but after a few conquers will be in a good defensive position, with only 2 entrances. Scouting first. I can conquer two systems adjacent no problem. The third will alarm a MK III World the other will trigger an alarm, which I cannot disarm, as I would have to cross a Black hole Machine. I start to carve out my pocket, taking out another MK III World underway and I am about to get the next. At this point I did not forgot, that there are still two active Warpgates next to my homeworld, but I considered my defensives appropiate with a double FF, Tractor Beams, Gravitational Turrets and about 20 Weaponturrets.
A Warning appears. 500 Cutlasses attack an outlying system. No problem that. A few gravitational turrets and MLRS will take care of it together with a part of my reserve fleet. Oh, another Warning. 160 MK II Cloaked ships at my home system. Lets build a few more turrets just in case, I should be able to keep them at bay until the reserve comes in. The main fleet is currently fighting in a Black Hole Machine secured System.
The cutlasses arrive, get slowed and cut down. No problem. And now lets see what comes in at my home system. Oh, never seen this one. An Eyebot, I wonder what they can do? It seems they ignore shields. great! Game Over.
Leason learned: Never assume your defences in Home System are appropiate.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 07:05:40 AM »
A player's first meeting with AI-controlled Eyebots is basically never pretty ;)

But sounds like you're getting the hang of it pretty good if you can shrug off 500 cutlasses.  Those are another ship type that give people significant pain from the AI.
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Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 12:00:05 PM »
Campaign 4 (2 x easier AI, realistic, Difficulty 7, Sledgehammer/Nenzul Viral Enthusiast)

Two MK IV Planets and two MK III within two jumps without any other way out + Viral Enthusiast with Etherjets. Lets say this game was very short and bloody. Got Swarmed with 200+ Nenzul Viral Swarmers and had an incoming Wave at the same time. :P

Lesson learned: none really, I saw nothing I could have done different.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 12:19:05 PM »
Ouch, yea, any of the neinzul-cluster AI types plus any ship-stealing ship type... pain ;)  In fact, Thief + Neinzul Nester could very likely be one of the harder combos.

Anyway, if you see clusters they won't spawn against you as long as you don't get military ships near them (though the rare "privacy" clusters get annoyed at scouts too).  But that's much harder with ship stealing going on; for those you might want to try to keep your ships covered by forcefields until you kill all the etherjets because a ship protected by a forcefield cannot be tractored.  Another thing is that you can scrap any trapped ship, though that's not very effective if the etherjet is within range of another target that it can just turn around and tractor when the first one is gone.

But yea, that sounds like a good combo to pass on ;)
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Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 03:53:42 AM »
Campaign 5 (2 x easier AI, simple, Difficulty 7, Vanilla/Vanilla)

The random generator gave me a little present here. Five ressource rich planets in a pocket with a single entrance. On top of it, I got the Deflector Drone as my bonus ship. This thing is great. Higher range than those Missile Frigates that always annoy me. The planet right next to my entrance got neutered while keeping the Warp Gate intact. The Planet behind had an ARS, but the planet itself was useless. So I destroyed the Command Station, settled the planet took Knowledge and ARS and left again. To bad the Mark IV Planet next to it is now alerted, but I got the Yng Tigers. Maybe they will help me if I use a transport for them.

to be continued

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 08:58:59 AM »
I got the Yng Tigers. Maybe they will help me if I use a transport for them.
A Transport is one way, yea, but I prefer building a space dock or two on the friendly side of a hostile wormhole (under ff cover if really hostile), set them to a control group with nothing else in it (say, 0) and having them loop build Tigers of all the marks I have.  Once I have a full cap I set the space dock rally point to the _other_ side of the wormhole (but they're not producing ships due to hitting the caps so none go through yet), and then send the built up group through.  I then switch my view to the enemy planet, press 0 to select the tigers, and move around the enemy planet right-clicking on things I want to see go away (notably Guard Posts) while tapping 0 every now and then to incorporate any replacement Tigers into my active selection.

Lots of them die, but they pack a real punch and their insane speed makes them basically unstoppable at border raids.  Unless, of course, the AI is using Grav Drills or Gravity Guardians, which can negate the speed of the Tigers.

To some extent this works with the other youngling types too, but the Tigers have the best bonuses against the more permanent targets like Guard Posts.  Nanoswarms are also not really suited to doing this solo, but _combined_ with a second youngling type and being sent through the wormhole on FRD... wow, that'd be really really nasty ;)

One downside of the approach is that even with the cheaper individual ships you'll probably burn through a lot more metal+crystal doing this than normal tactics with normal ships.  This isn't often a problem for a lot of players once they're past a certain point and they have all the m+c they really want aside from maybe Trader purchases and so on.
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Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 06:38:18 PM »
Campaign 5 (2 x easier AI, simple, Difficulty 7, Vanilla/Vanilla) Part 2

I was able to conquer the alerted MK IV Planet in a two wave attack, only to find out, that the next planet is also MK IV. But the planet on the other side had a Zenith e-Generator. Bunkered both planets with a fortress. Enemy attacks are under control. Only bad thing that happened: I tried to disarm a Special Forces Alarm. My Threat is now about 800. :D Found an experimental Engineer Fabricator behind the MK IV. Lets see if I can take it. (Is it worth it?)

Lesson learned: MK IVs can be crushed by superior numbers and brute force.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 01:43:09 AM by Nurgle84 »

Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 02:24:03 AM »
Campaign 5 (2 x easier AI, simple, Difficulty 7, Vanilla/Nenzul Viral Enthusiast) Part 3

Once again another MK IV World falls. This time I tested the use of EMPs. Very useful to shut the enemy for a few minutes down. But I wonder why not all enemy ships were affected. They were no MK V ships. Does a FF interfere with an EMP or some ship types? The Deflector Drone has an ability named "Absorbs EMP". The way to the Fabricator is now free, also behind the MK IV World, behind the first MK IV World, is another MK IV World. I do not want to alarm the Homeworld, so scout before you shoot.

Lesson learned: An EMP can, altough it costs progress, can make many fights much easier.

Edit: My opponents are not two Vanilla AIs but a Vanilla and a Viral Enthusiast. It seems I took only Vanilla planets until now
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 02:42:25 AM by Nurgle84 »

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 08:35:59 AM »
I got the Yng Tigers. Maybe they will help me if I use a transport for them.
A Transport is one way, yea, but I prefer building a space dock or two on the friendly side of a hostile wormhole (under ff cover if really hostile), set them to a control group with nothing else in it (say, 0) and having them loop build Tigers of all the marks I have.  Once I have a full cap I set the space dock rally point to the _other_ side of the wormhole (but they're not producing ships due to hitting the caps so none go through yet), and then send the built up group through.  I then switch my view to the enemy planet, press 0 to select the tigers, and move around the enemy planet right-clicking on things I want to see go away (notably Guard Posts) while tapping 0 every now and then to incorporate any replacement Tigers into my active selection.

Lots of them die, but they pack a real punch and their insane speed makes them basically unstoppable at border raids.  Unless, of course, the AI is using Grav Drills or Gravity Guardians, which can negate the speed of the Tigers.

To some extent this works with the other youngling types too, but the Tigers have the best bonuses against the more permanent targets like Guard Posts.  Nanoswarms are also not really suited to doing this solo, but _combined_ with a second youngling type and being sent through the wormhole on FRD... wow, that'd be really really nasty ;)

One downside of the approach is that even with the cheaper individual ships you'll probably burn through a lot more metal+crystal doing this than normal tactics with normal ships.  This isn't often a problem for a lot of players once they're past a certain point and they have all the m+c they really want aside from maybe Trader purchases and so on.

I love using Yng Tigers. Depending on a border planets strength I build 1 or multiple space docks, Have a full cap of mark I engineers (using mark II and III also depends on border planet's strenght) assist them and let them swarm through the wormhole. They'll often get destroyed at first but since they keep swarming in so quick they start taking things down really quickly. Keeping main fleet at bay as well to deal with any incoming enemy ships (often there aren't any because the AI is to busy killing off the Tigers first). I can destroy entire planets this way with very little impact on my economy. Rebuilding my main fleet everytime would have cost a lot more.

Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2011, 07:47:28 AM »
Campaign 5 (2 x easier AI, simple, Difficulty 7, Vanilla/Nenzul Viral Enthusiast) Part 4

The next MK IV planet falls under the human onslaught. And by the way, I was able to capture three fabricators: Laser Gatling MK V, Bomber Starship MK V and Speed Booster MK V. The Northern flank has no two heavily fortified planets, with neutered planets in Front. The Threat is down from 1000+ to ~200 by some punitive expeditions into the neutered systems within my borders. On top of It I was able to unlock Bombers MK II.

Current List of available Ships:
Fighters III
Bombers II
Deflector Drone III
Yng Tigers III
Raider Starship II
Laser Gatling V
Speed Boster V
Bomber Starship V
Experimental Eng.
Scout II

Other Unlocks:
MSLR Turret II
Basic Turret II
Fortress I

Lesson Learned: Slow and steady beats the fast rush. Lets hope I can end this game in a positive way

Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2011, 08:12:03 AM »
Campaign 5 (2 x easier AI, simple, Difficulty 7, Vanilla/Nenzul Viral Enthusiast) Part 5

Failure! Got surprised by the ability of Teleport Raiders to completely ignore my defenses. Thats the second time I got surprised by an unknown Ship type. *sigh* To the next attempt.

Lesson learned: Use the Ship type encyclopedia more often.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2011, 09:39:19 AM »
Ouch, yea, teleport raiders are bad news.  They can't quite _completely_ ignore your defenses, though.  They're not immune to forcefields and therefore cannot hit anything covered by one (until it's down, of course) and that should also prevent them from using a wormhole entrance covered by a forcefield (all ships can exit from an ff-covered wormhole, they just pop out as near to the wormhole as they can).

One cornerstone of my early defense strategy is to capture all planets bordering my homeworld and on each of them place the command station and a mkI forcefield generator right on top of the wormhole that leads to my homeworld.  And if I can manage it I do the same for the next "layer" of links out though sometimes it's more efficient and/or necessary to do that whatever planets form my current border.  And of course I try to have a ton of overlapping ff's on top of my home command station in case anything gets through.   There are still things that can fly/shoot right through those ffs, and it's still quite possible for the AI to just batter their way through, but rarely does something actually threaten my home command station without my knowing about it and having a chance to stop it quite a while earlier.

When dealing with AI teleporting units specifically you do have one really hard counter available to you: the MkIII Logistics Command Station.  The MkI and MkII both reduce enemy speed and enhance your own (which can be really great for defense), but the MkIII has the additional effect of disabling the teleportation ability for all enemy units on that planet.  I'm sure you can figure out what to do with that ;)
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Offline Nurgle84

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Re: Writings of a new player
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 06:20:17 PM »
Campaign 6 (2 x easier AI, simple, Difficulty 7, Shield Ninny/Entrenched Homeworlder)

Next loss. This time it were Zenith Blade Spawners. My attack waves just didn´t do anything when I attacked my first system. I gave up after the third attempt. (MK I planet with 50 Ships vs. my 200 Ships including 4 Riot Starships)

 

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