Author Topic: AI 9 difficulty  (Read 1065 times)

Offline Varone

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AI 9 difficulty
« on: June 23, 2012, 03:30:08 PM »
I've just won a Spire Hammer 9 and a Retaliation 9 AI but i felt my endgame was awfully messy. I had to extensively use nukes towards the end and barely managed to hold them back before i blew the two Ai homes in quick succession to avoid the massive counter attacks.

I think i need another go at Double 9 before moving onto 9.3, any tips for handling difficulty 9, especially towards the end! I hate having AI progress going north of 600 towards the end because of having to nuke half the galaxy.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: AI 9 difficulty
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 05:05:30 PM »
You'd need to describe what headaches and issues you ran into before we could seriously give you advice on avoiding it next time.

Your question comes under the header of "My car's broken, fix it." for detail. :)

In general, if you're seeing AIP of even 500 or so before assaulting a homeworld you've got a whole batch of other issues besides having to use nukes.  It sounds like you're early alerting core worlds on top of not being willing to sacrafice portions of your fleet for smaller objectives that will eventually help you.  Also, draining enemies off their worlds and fightning on other planets, particularly ones that won't keep the core/homeworlds alerted, will save you headaches in the long run.

However, I've yet to actually use a nuke except once for the giggles of it.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline Varone

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Re: AI 9 difficulty
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 06:58:24 PM »
Ok, i seem to get to about 220Ai progress and hit the MKII waves and that's when the AI's waves get a bit too much, i can't seem to use my fleet for offence without my chokepoint being overrun. I play with Nuclear command, Cross planet waves as well so the waves usually build up around my worlds and then when i leave they attack. I tend to get stuck clearing out the threat but it keeps pilling up quicker than i can beat it.

Therefore i end up nuking the threat and driving my fleet forward, nuking waves as they appear.

I'm not alerting any corewords, i usually steamroll through them and attack the first homeworld, neutering it. It's just if there is a core raid engine i end up losing my fleet to it and having to nuke the wave so i can rebuild my fleet. It ends up that i have a deep strike fleet of starships and golems near the homeworlds, desperately trying to kill them before the mass core raids or counterattack posts spawn and finish me off, whilst my other fleet holds my chokepoint. Everything feels so rushed at difficulty 9 compared to 8.6.

So i would say i'm reaching 220AI progress when i'm ready to attack the core worlds, should i aim to keep the progress lower at the higher difficulties? my play style is more break down the door method than sneaking around picking out targets at the moment ;)

Offline Bognor

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Re: AI 9 difficulty
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 09:25:59 PM »
Nuclear command + cross planet waves = very, very difficult game.

One tip comes to mind - it sounds like you're using nukes in situations where EMPs could get the job done with only a small AIP cost.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: AI 9 difficulty
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 08:13:42 AM »
Warning: Alcohol is involved...

I play with Nuclear command, Cross planet waves as well
There's no polite way to put this.  If baby's going to beg to be spanked, AI daddy's gonna spank the baby. You might as well turn on Cookie Monster and face the triumverate.

 
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so the waves usually build up around my worlds and then when i leave they attack.
In general, we call that a threatball, so the lingo makes more sense as you read the forum...

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I tend to get stuck clearing out the threat but it keeps pilling up quicker than i can beat it.
Beach-head.  It's your only option if you haven't nailed down the ways to force a threatball to commit. No, I haven't nailed down the perfect method either...

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Therefore i end up nuking the threat and driving my fleet forward, nuking waves as they appear.
For the price of the nuke AND the AIP... could you replace the fleet that can remove the issue?  In general, in my experience, the answer is yes.  Time costs you less, overall, than AIP.  I usually run 1 AIP/30 mins in pressure.

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It's just if there is a core raid engine i end up losing my fleet to it and having to nuke the wave so i can rebuild my fleet.
Those three words are considered a curse word around here for a reason.  Check the release notes for the next version for what needs to happen to 'brutal' guardposts.  There's better ways to deal with the fallout of Raid Engines (check AARs for the AI 9 through 10 run) but in general, yes, you WILL refleet after deflecting one at the endgame.

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It ends up that i have a deep strike fleet of starships and golems near the homeworlds, desperately trying to kill them before the mass core raids or counterattack posts spawn and finish me off
And that's why scouting is your friend.  You need to seek out the AI HWs before you need to hit them at 9+ so you know what you're fighting.

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whilst my other fleet holds my chokepoint.
That says a lot... Why is your other fleet hiding in the back?

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Everything feels so rushed at difficulty 9 compared to 8.6.
... Seriously?  I've got to ask.  You practically turned the game up to max at 9.  It's the end of the levels where the developer isn't actually out to mess with you.  It's the last level that the general top player (figure 5-10%) that reads the boards and digs into the generic mess of ship vs. countership on a gross level is supposed to be able to beat.  What the heck did you expect out of cranking the level up to 'Sonic can't stay on the screen because he's too fast' level of difficulty?  7 is normal.

I should say that while that comes off as a bit prickish, there's a gradient through that entire level section for a reason.  Most people can't play at level 9 without becoming immersed in the game.  It's not a fault, it's a decision about whether a game worth your utter intellect for a large period of time.  Wives, girlfriends, other games, carpentry, whatever.... is that level worth it to you?  I welcome (believe it or not) swapping game-breakers with other strategists.  Is spending hours during work on smoke breaks and lunch worth that to you?

If not, Diff 9 is probably beyond you.  If so, let's talk.   :)  I know how that sounds but you're talking top level play in a game MEANT to break you.  Diff 9 is the 'end zone' for probably 95% of players, if not more.  Taking on 9.x is for the few of us who have done this FAAAAR too long to remember what a girlfriend feels like.  If you're taking on 9.x and you disagree, you're rare.  Point in case... look at the life of anyone in Diamond League Starcraft.  No, I'm not giving you my Battle.Net name.  Everyone registered to this board is good, it's the morons looking for an edge on me I won't help that'll tag me via Google.  Sorry guys.  However, Macro Strategy here has helped my Starcraft Micro... for those curious.   Mr. Wiggen would be proud.

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So i would say i'm reaching 220AI progress when i'm ready to attack the core worlds, should i aim to keep the progress lower at the higher difficulties? my play style is more break down the door method than sneaking around picking out targets at the moment ;)
220 is a solid number for final assaults.  A bit high for my preference but it depends on world count.  However, your comment about break down the door?  Yeah, no joy.  If you're not playing ninja, the AI will smack you like a little girl at higher diffs.  You only get to break down the door when... running with the euphemism... you get to own the building.  AI War at the maximum difficulty anyone finds a challenge at (and I must reiterate here, for 20+ games I played at 5/5 and lost every damned one) is a tug-of-war between conquest vs. victory.  You either decide to win the map or own the universe... it's rare you can do both.  You need to learn to do the most with the least, or you'll end up hitting a brick wall on the tail.

Edit: Varone... I'm reading that and I know how it probably sounds coming from a 'top player'.  You need to understand I haven't invested hours into this game, I've invested weeks.  I adore AI War for the challenge it presents me, and the interaction of the developers to make it harder yet still fair to an adaptable mind that's willing to invest in it.

You've asked why the top end of the game is kicking your b***.  The reason is people like me who want it to go further towards said kicking without making it unbeatable as long as you understand most of its intricacy.  Diff 9 is the beginning of that.

Come join us.

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« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 08:23:53 AM by Wanderer »
... and then we'll have cake.