Author Topic: Yet another 10/10  (Read 3016 times)

Offline Faulty Logic

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Yet another 10/10
« on: August 07, 2012, 06:25:33 PM »
Fearing that I have become reliant on superweapons, I decide to do this one with no alien minor factions.

AIs : Alarmist and Special Forces Captain, 10 difficulty, no plots.
Schizophrenic, of course.

Map: 60 planets Lattice 1189218187

Starting ship: Zenith Bombard. I heard this described as "fleetship king of the alpha strike" and was intrigued.

Minor Factions:
Marauders 4
Resistance 4
Colony Rebellions 6

Okay, every planet I take is going to be a project against the Alarmist. The spec force alarm posts may cause "Fun" when combined with the Spec Forces captain.

The map has many, many wormhole connections, so I will have a hard time defending. However, it makes it easier to run a low-AIP game.

Initial plan: take only ten planets (5 ARS, 1 Advanced Factory, 1 each of CDE CSGs, and one Rebel Colony), deal with Alarm posts without popping them, and use the extra DCs to kill the AI in its sleep (how else do you kill a Doom?).

First waves are repelled with riots/fleetships mk 1. I put up anti-drifter turrets, but there is no way I can repel a wave with just them (Or rather, I prefer to use the turrets for drifter immunity everywhere, and use the fleet to kill waves).

I think Z Bombards are my new second-favorite fleetship. They are like mini siege starships. Nothing will however, ever displace Shield Bearers from the #1 spot. They let me beat 10/10 for the first time.

Unlock Scout IIs and see what's what. I can scout up to four hops away without transports.

Only 1 DC and one Co-p within four hops. Grumblegrumble.

A CSG-D right next to me with no alarm posts next to it  will be my first conquest, after I pop the DC.
Only 1 ARS and 1 C-CSG (Core Bombers) in my scouting radius. They are next to each other, so I will probably take them next. But the ARS has thirteen wormholes, most of which I haven't scouted. This will be tricky.

Unlocked and built all four fleetships mkII. (2500 k left)

Then I:
Popped the DC, dealt with released threat.
Took the D-CSG world. The spec force post is on a metal asteroid. How annoying.
Zapped the two enemy planets next to mine. (kill all ships and non-wh guardposts)
Unlocked Spire SSs mkII and Zenith SSs mkI. (1000 k left)
Repelled a pathetic cpa (<200 ships).
Built the full SS fleet except for enclaves.
Carved a tachyon-free pathway to the core bomber fabricator.
Zapped the alarm post worlds around the core bomber fabricator.
Took the core bomber fabricator.
Dealt with the 400 or so ships released from alarms and a spec alarm.
By the time I finish my cap of bomber Vs, It is about 4.5 hours into the game.

Most of the above was tedious and slow, especially constructing the SSs without any economic upgrades. That is what Netflix is for.

Once the situation stabilized, I sent out another wave of scouts. Four worlds around the ARS have alarm posts, and the ARS world itself has a spec alarm. Spend about an hour zapping the alarm post worlds. The ARS has Teleport Battlestations/Laser Gatlings/Teleport Raiders. Nice, I always wanted to try the telestations.

187 ships massing for a cross-planet attack. Snort. But I should wait for the cpa and hunt down threat before taking anything. I do it with no problem.

I I finally took the ARS.
I almost lost the bomber fabricator to the counterattacks, but no lasting harm was done.

Unlock and build riot IIs. Have I mentioned riots are awesome in this AAR yet? I don't think I have.
Riots are awesome.

Another wave of scouting reveals DCs galore. 7 of them in the NW area of the galaxy. Also another co-p, and two archives (next to each other, hmm). Also found another Co-p and a Superterminal (double hmm). However, I was unable to get to the HW.

Also revealed are two ARSs, one with a beam starship fab, the other with both Exp. Engineers (I want those. So badly.) and Grenade Vs.

I also sent some scouts in a transport east. They found an ARS five hops away.

The plan is to take the NW ARSs, then move to the east end of the galaxy. The problem is that there is no world worth taking within four hops in that direction. I may just eat the deepstrike to capture the ARS, but I hope a colony will rebel on one of the intervening worlds, thus justifiying its capture.
I am also debating taking the archives for a total of 24000 k (well, 19000 after I buy warp jammers), and whether to hack the ST with a floor factor of 1/3, or to just knowledge hack.

I love all the choices I have to make. I also really like playing against the Alarmist. It feels even more like I am an insurgent.

I think:
Special Forces Captain in its current state should not be a hard AI.
Eyes should not have Spec Forces posts as part of their network, the SF post decision should be a separate aspect.

State of Empire:
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 03:34:37 PM »
Fearing that I have become reliant on superweapons, I decide to do this one with no alien minor factions.
Thanks, the result should be useful info :)  My strong suspicion is that 10/10 with no superweapons at all is pretty thoroughly an "up a creek without a paddle" situation for the player now in terms of actually winning, because the buffs didn't stop with the last 10/10 no-superweapon victory.  Further balance on the superweapon stuff itself is necessary, of course.

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Okay, every planet I take is going to be a project against the Alarmist. The spec force alarm posts may cause "Fun" when combined with the Spec Forces captain.
Yea, that Alarmist is a nervous one, finger always on the button ;)

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I think Z Bombards are my new second-favorite fleetship. They are like mini siege starships. Nothing will however, ever displace Shield Bearers from the #1 spot. They let me beat 10/10 for the first time.
Nothing quite says "freight-train-load of damage-soak" like a cap of shield bearers. 

And nothing quite says "that's a lot of antimatter" like a cap of zenith bombards ;)  A whole lot of reload time, too.

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Only 1 DC and one Co-p within four hops. Grumblegrumble.
And I didn't even nerf that!  For a while 10/10 was 2 DCs short of a full deck but I added those back in when I decreased the AIP reduction from 20 to 10.

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But the ARS has thirteen wormholes, most of which I haven't scouted. This will be tricky.
Um, yea.  The idea of taking (or even attacking) a planet without scouting the neighboring planets should cause severe anxiety problems in anyone familiar with the term "Raid Engine" :)

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Most of the above was tedious and slow, especially constructing the SSs without any economic upgrades. That is what Netflix is for.
Netflix!! *shakes fist*

One day, you will be able to play during the entirely of this game ;)

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Riots are awesome.
First new ship type I ever added to this game after starting part-time work at Arcen.  Quite possibly still my favorite.  Couldn't destroy a wet paper bag, and never has the need to.

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I love all the choices I have to make. I also really like playing against the Alarmist. It feels even more like I am an insurgent.
Glad to hear it :)

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I think:
Special Forces Captain in its current state should not be a hard AI.
Eyes should not have Spec Forces posts as part of their network, the SF post decision should be a separate aspect.
On the first: quite possibly.  On the second:  8)
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Offline Kahuna

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 03:43:36 PM »
The exos seem to make it impossible to win so I bet it's easier without golems and spirecraft.
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2012, 03:58:49 PM »
The exos seem to make it impossible to win so I bet it's easier without golems and spirecraft.
Then maybe the superweapon 10/10 situation is already balanced properly :)
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Offline Kahuna

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2012, 04:07:40 PM »
The exos seem to make it impossible to win so I bet it's easier without golems and spirecraft.
Then maybe the superweapon 10/10 situation is already balanced properly :)
Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see in few weeks.
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2012, 08:17:21 PM »
I don't need a paddle: I have warheads. (I actually used warheads seriously for the first time 6 games ago, in the quiet... too quiet AAR. Since then, well, see my signature)

I still think playing with the superweapons is far easier than not, at least at intensity 4.
I don't know how pre-5.050 exos at 10 and 6 compare to post-5.050 exos at 4, but I doubt they were buffed that much, and I didn't have any fatal problems with the former.

I rarely have the inclination to watch Netflix during AI War, as it is generally very engaging, and requires concentration, but when you have two planets and no econ upgrades and you want to build all your starships...

Anyway, 8.5 hours in...

I am finished with the NW for now. Both Core Worlds have Alarm posts, making a Spire Archive capture a potential problem (one archive borders one, the other borders both. Yeesh). The NW HW has a parasite eye and a cpa post. Seems too easy.

Unlock TeleStations III. I really like these for defending a fragmented empire from small waves.

Popped all the NW DCs.

Now my problem is that I have no way to go east, without wasting 20 AIP on a stepping stone or dealing with deepstrike.

I figure I will eat the deepstrike, as I prefer one-time problems to AIP (until the end, of course).

I carve a cloaking highway to Brink, and scout the local environs. The ARS I first found borders a core world with an alarm post, and has two warp counterattack posts. The ARS located by the new wave of scouting is next to three core worlds. Both are five hops away. I planned to pop one with my battlestations.

I pop the Distortion command center before I remember to check for hacking. After cleaning up the Alarmist response, I colonize the system and recieve Vampire Claws. Meh. More importantly, I get Exp. Engineers. Sanity+10. Grenade Vs are another nice bonus.

Hurricane's ARS has Space Plane/Autocannon minipod/Zenith Autobomb. No hack. The Vampire Claws/Space Planes/Telestations/Starship group under cloak make an excellent force for stealthily taking out just about anything. Beam Starships are nice too.

But I only have 1000 knowledge, which won't be enough to unlock warp jammers even with the 3k I get from the conquest. Hacking time.

I begin to k-hack Federation, but am interrupted by an eighty ship maruader attack, and a double wave against my HW. Okay, pause the hack.

Dealt with the waves, dealt with the marauders.

Finished the hack.

Now, how to take an ARS five hops out, next to a core world with an alarm post?
The answer came to me in a flash of inspiration: Don't.

Taking this new idea to heart, I scout the NE corner, and there is an E-CSG also within five hops, not surrounded by pain. I take that planet instead.

Lost the Grenade V fab to counterattack, and put the ships into cold storage until the final assaust.

CPA declared, 415 ships.
I will wait to colonize the world I popped until that is over.

State of Empire:




If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2012, 09:09:13 PM »
I don't need a paddle: I have warheads.
Kinda like the hypothetical space propulsion method of dropping a nuke out the aft bay every 30 seconds or so.

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More importantly, I get Exp. Engineers. Sanity+10.
Player Sanity on the rise?  Send in the Eyebots! ;)

Quote
Now, how to take an ARS five hops out, next to a core world with an alarm post?
The answer came to me in a flash of inspiration: Don't.
You gain wisdom, grasshopper.
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 Faulty Logic

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 05:14:34 PM »
Colonized Always Go Left, then took Out of Time (Advanced Factory) with no problem. 5 Spec forces posts seems like overkill. 3 of them are on resource points. Grumble.

Now time to take Labrynth, the ARS next to a core alarm world. Labrynth also has 2 (?) warp counter posts.

Actually taking the planet was not difficult.

Fallout time.

The core world ships decide to go for the juicy Advanced Factory. They fail (riots).

The two counterwaves (totaling about 1600 ships) will arrive at Magician, then Delusion. These planets are next to each other, and Delusion has my core bomber fabricator.

934 ships massing for a cross-planet attack in 9:59
That will hit just before the double counterwave.

4 minutes to impact.

1008 ship wave to Pandemic (home).
Uh oh.

1200 ship wave to Magician.
Double uh oh.

So I have about 4600 ships ready to hit my fragmented empire, and my fleet only has about 1100. I have not unlocked turrets or forts, so this is going to be very painful, possibly fatal.

This crisis forced me to develop a new tactic (for me), so bravo.
Put entire fleet in transports, park them on top of the wormhole the waves are coming through. Transports soak up the alpha from the waves, then you unload your fleet right on top of them. The tasers help.

Split the fleet, one to home, one to the Magician/Delusion sector. Used the new tactic on the normal waves. Then its time for the CPA + counterwaves.

Most of the ships in the CPA go for the advanced factory. Dispatch the home fleet.
Meanwhile, I hope the Magician fleet can still handle the 1600 ships coming at it. They can't. Core bomber fab lost.

The remnants decide to join the advanced factory attack, adding 600 or so more ships. They also convinced a tractor guardian from the core world (which had been waiting to attack ever since it was freed from the alarm) to attack. And grab some ships.

And trigger the Core. Raid. Engine.

At this point, the AI launches another double wave totalling 1000 ships at my home. Bravo. Also, AAARRRRGH.

Pull the remaining fleet (~300 fleetships, +most of my starships) back to home. Advanced Factory lost. Energy brownout.

Teleporting engineers solve the energy problem.

You wouldn't think 350 ships could repel 1000 core ships plus 1600 normal ships, including starships and guardians. But they can.
Riots. Are. Awesome.

I didn't die. I have a fleet to rebuild, no advanced factory, no bomber Vs, and 400 threat to hunt, but the CSGs are down, and home command is still alive. And I have warheads.

State of Empire:
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 07:24:17 PM by Faulty Logic »
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 10:47:25 PM »
Wanted to finish this one before really exploring the new expansion.

Popped a D-node to help refleet before the next set of waves. Refleeted, repelled waves, and recolonized. Send a bunch of starships in transports down to Earth to pop its CRE. Success, and most even made it back alive. Dealt with the core wave (riots). Then I sent wave after wave of vampire claws, space planes, and telestations to pop the other guardposts on Earth one by one. Then I used all my bombers to kill the ffs protecting the AI home command station.

Final attack time. Cleared a cloaking highway to No Retreat. Sent in the entire fleet in cloaked transports, along with a bunch of warheads. Nuked the eye out, and won. (30 merc bombers in a transport took out the other HW).

Nothing really exiting or dramatic happened at the end, and I really wanted to try Ancient Shadows, which is why this post is so short.

I think 10/10 still needs a bit of a buff. I have beaten it five times in a row now.

If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 10:52:45 PM »
Sigh, there's no stopping some people ;)

Congratulations :)
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 11:01:54 PM »
Other than the already mentioned in other threads the rather weak defenses of the AI (so long it is not an defensive AI type), I wonder if it is time to bite the bullet and start making the AI smarter. Especially with regards to the special forces (which would help the special forces captain pull its weight), and have the AI be a bit smarter about the presence of cloaked stuff (in particular, finding it and try to get rid of it before players can stealth WTFPWN homeworlds).

Also, Riots may still need a nerf. I would say warheads may need it too, but it seems that no matter what you do with them, if players save them for the end, the penalties would be worth it.

However, the AI did fare better. It did manage to take out Faulty Logic's important capturables before going down.


EDIT: Oh, besides cloaking, Riots, and end game warhead spam, wer there any other tricks that seemed to utterly overwhelm and/or baffle the AI in a rather exploity fashion?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 11:14:59 PM by TechSY730 »

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2012, 12:20:34 AM »
I won this game mainly due to extra data centers that Alarmist gets, dealing with the alarm posts rather than the AIP, which was easier than it should have been because...

It is generally far too easy to operate in AI territory. I would like the AI to have defence fleets, which patrol around, and are attracted to large human forces.
(http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=9137)

I think removing the ability to cloak warheads is called for. Before cloaker starships, there was always a good chance of warheads going horribly, horribly wrong.

I also think all AI homeworlds should have either a counterspy or a planetwide tachyon emitter.

Finally, I think that 10 AIs should get another brutal pick.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 12:56:26 AM by Faulty Logic »
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2012, 02:13:07 AM »
I think 10/10 still needs a bit of a buff. I have beaten it five times in a row now.
Do it with the new exos. 3 of them!
Pretty plz
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2012, 02:54:45 AM »
After an 8/8 game to try the champions, sure.
Any AI types you want me to try?
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Yet another 10/10
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2012, 04:35:16 AM »
Any AI types you want me to try?
Not really. Pick whatever you like.

Interesting combinations I'm gonna try at some point (not necessarily 10 diff):
Support Corps/Spire Hammer
Support Corps/Mad Bomber
Fortress Baron/Shield Ninny
One-Way Doormaster/Raid Engine
Tag Teamer/Speed Racer
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

 

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