Author Topic: Losing to starships  (Read 2483 times)

Offline fatbooboo

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Losing to starships
« on: August 01, 2015, 10:35:17 PM »
I have now lost my second game in a row to star-ships flying past my defenses and be-lining straight to my home command station and my force fields last but only a few seconds in these cases,   normally I guard wormholes with tractor beams and turrets and sometimes mines,  but I am struggling to deal with lots or powerful star-ships that can just tank the damage and unaffected by the tractor beams,
in my last game I lost to shadow frigates that raced through my sector before my home sector and managed to knock out my power then HC in seconds and killed me,
I am unsure on how to deal with these star-ships besides using my fleet but I am trying to use them for my strikes into enemy sectors.

Here is my save
they came from Vostok and ran through Bodin into my Home sector.

Edit just added a save before the attack, if it helps.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 10:38:50 PM by fatbooboo »

Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 03:43:08 AM »
For starships, you might need either more well-rounded defenses (looking especially at gravity turrets), or just a good way of redirecting firepower at them. Fortresses, big turrets, or - my recommendation - a quick response fleet with the right damage bonuses to take out whatever starships bother you.
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Offline Toranth

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2015, 04:58:29 PM »
First, I'm going to strongly recommend reading Kahuna's very good AI War guide - specifically the section about setting up your defenses.

Basically, there are three groups of Starships to worry about.
1)  Raid Starships.
2)  Plasma Siege Starships.
3)  Spire and Zenith Starships.

Raid Starships ignore Force Fields, are very fast, and have high armor.  They don't do much damage, but Command Stations don't have many HP.  Best defense against them is Grav Turrets to slow them down, and Military Command Stations or Translocators for knockback, to keep them from reaching their target.  For the kill, Sniper and Spider Turrets have both the range AND the high multiplier against the Raid Starship's Ultra-Light hull type.

Plasma Siege Starships are slow, medium ranged, but hit hard and do splash damage to things under forcefields.  They usually aren't a problem, unless you get distracted and let them into range of your Command Station or protective forcefield.  They have an Artillery hull-type, so Bombers and Needler turrets will kill them easily.  Just remember to manually target them early, or if the auto-targeting of your units is ignoring them.  They aren't hurt to much by Grav turrets, but a 25% or more drop in speed (and hence, time to shoot them) is still good.
Zenith Siege Engines are a fleetship that behaves very similar - take the same care with those.

Finally, the Spire and Zenith Starships.  Zenith aren't so bad - they do mediocre damage, but have a HUGE amount of hitpoints.  With the Neutron hull-type as well, only MLRS and Missile turrets have a multiplier.  Mostly they just take time to kill.  So, as mentioned before, Grav Turrets will extend that time.
Spire Starships are the nasty killers of the AI Starship fleets.  They have a large number of hitpoints, and the Photon Lance hits HARD.  It's terrible against most moving units, but your Command Station and Force Fields aren't moving targets, giving the Spire Starship little chance to miss.  So if a Spire Starship manages to get close to your Command Station, you better kill it fast.  Best solution:  Keep it away from your stuff!  Best way to do that is Grav Turrets.  A 50% cut in speed means 100% more time to shoot at it.
Spire Starships have Medium hull-type:  Missile and Sniper turrets are your go-to turrets.  This is convenient, because they are the long ranged turrets, and can be shooting at the target the entire time.

If you are still having trouble, you can always get more turrets.  Needler and Laser for the anti-Heavy multiplier, and Sniper/Spider for the range and multipliers, are the popular ones.  Missile are a good choice as well, in many cases, although the presence of missile-immune units can limit their usefulness.
Getting Military Command Stations can also give your units, including turrets, a damage bonus of up to 100% - killing Starships up to twice as fast.  A good alternative to 'MOAR TURRETS', if you can spare the Knowledge.

The common theme here is that you should place the correct Turret type to counter each Starship type, and above all, get Grav Turrets to  give you more time to shoot at the starships and keep them away from your important stuff!

Offline fatbooboo

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2015, 05:06:19 PM »
Thanks for all the advice.

Should I invest in unlocking higher tier turrets and gravity turrets, mark II,IIIs?

I have always invested in Lighting turrets and Sniper turrets sometimes but in my most recent game I have unlocked Needler Turrets mark III and they have helped a lot with the starships in my most recent waves.

Offline Traveller

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 04:38:47 PM »
Higher tier gravity turrets are highly recommended.  They are a nearly universal unlock for higher difficulties I think, and combine well with every strategy and every build.  And, because there's no Mk.V version of them, you can grab them right away without worrying "what if I find a turret controller later on that makes them redundant".

Personally I do everything possible to capture either Mk.V spider or sniper turret controllers early on, so I can't say one way or another about researching those; there's almost always one available.  Needler turrets are pretty fine for research.

Offline Toranth

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 05:41:16 PM »
Higher tier gravity turrets are highly recommended.  They are a nearly universal unlock for higher difficulties I think, and combine well with every strategy and every build.  And, because there's no Mk.V version of them, you can grab them right away without worrying "what if I find a turret controller later on that makes them redundant".

Personally I do everything possible to capture either Mk.V spider or sniper turret controllers early on, so I can't say one way or another about researching those; there's almost always one available.  Needler turrets are pretty fine for research.
Mk I are an almost essential unlock.  Mk II can wait till mid or late game, and you only need Mk III on the really high-end difficulties.  But each higher tier slows the AI's units more, over a wider area.  Unlocking all the way up to Mk III basically stops any AI wave, fleetship or Starship, in its tracks, giving you at least 5, more like 10 times as long to shoot at them.
Of course, when you're outnumbered by 1000:1, sometimes even that isn't enough...

That said, while Mk I Grav turrets are cheap K-wise, the Mk II and Mk III are significantly more expensive.  Be careful about spending your K on them if you don't need them.
Remember:  Every K spent on a turret is a K NOT spent on something that will help you kill the AI's Home Command Station.  That's why force multipliers are so much better than mere additive unlocks.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 01:10:22 PM »
Unlocking MkII Military Command Stations will grant a foldout from your home command station that has the same stats. Since all military command stations have long range translocating railguns, every volley will push the targets out just beyond the range of the command station, which is quite considerable.  This doesn't do as much vs large hordes of fleet ships, but against a small number of starships, this can prevent them from ever reaching your home command station. 

If your force fields are not holding up under fire, you may need to unlock higher marks and stack multiple forcefields.  The special force field you start out with at your home command station is not really enough.

I described my defensive setup in my Limburger AAR; I had a lot of cheesy stuff going on, but the basic idea of the setup is pretty universal. Here's the relevant post: https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,15770.msg175890.html#msg175890

Offline Toranth

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 03:21:27 PM »
Unlocking MkII Military Command Stations will grant a foldout from your home command station that has the same stats. Since all military command stations have long range translocating railguns, every volley will push the targets out just beyond the range of the command station, which is quite considerable.  This doesn't do as much vs large hordes of fleet ships, but against a small number of starships, this can prevent them from ever reaching your home command station.
Not all starships can be knockback'd.  Military Command Stations are a great way to deal with Raid Starships, but Spire Starships, for example, are immune to this knockback and will just continue to bore on in.

Offline Archiewhite

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 02:15:57 PM »
Well, you could impair starships with mines (Use Shift button to build a line of mines) 'connecting' your Station and entry wormhole.
BTW, Spire/Zenith/Plasma Siege starships aren't immune to slows from Widow minefields.
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Offline Kahuna

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Re: Losing to starships
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2015, 02:34:05 AM »
^^I'd say Mark II Gravitational Turrets are a must because Mark Is just aren't strong enough. They're good for placing in front of_everything_else to absorb alpha strikes though (like Transports). Of course they're better than nothing but if the AI sends lets say 4 or more starships you're gonna wanna have Mark IIs. Especially if the Starships are Mark II and higher. I usually go for Mark II Grav Turrets right away and Mark II Tractors after that. Mid game or late mid game I get Mark III grav turrets.

Also turrets do help at destroying AI home command stations. If you have strong defenses you don't have to worry about defenses and can give 100% focus on attacking the AI. Fleet ships aren't as good at defending as Turrets. If you have a huge fleet (and thus huge AIP) but very few turrets sure your fleet can pack a punch but you're going to have to retreat from your attacks every time the AI sends a wave. There has to be some balance between turret and ship unlocks. The higher the difficulty level the more you need turrets. That's because turrets are more cost effective (in terms of knowledge and metal) than ships. Super weapons can change that though since they're very powerful and can be used for defense_and_offense. Of course turrets can be used for beachheading too. The lack of turrets can also be some what compensated by the occasional use of a Mark I Lightning Warhead (to stop a wave) which can justify unlocking more ships instead of turrets. Although I'd recommend that only for the late game because heavy use of Warheads is a downward spiral.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 04:13:42 AM by Kahuna »
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