Author Topic: Botnet Shenanigans  (Read 72 times)

Offline thethingamabob

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Botnet Shenanigans
« on: May 31, 2018, 03:08:54 AM »
A while ago I noticed something: Hacking spawns an endless stream of tasty, reclamation-vulnerable fleetships. You have perfect control over the start, end, and volume of this stream, and you can control where it happens.

Another trick that has been known for a while: Zombie ships follow redirection posts. If you place two of these pointing at each other, you can 'trap' as many zombie bots as you want. When you have enough, you can point one of the redirection posts at an AI world, unleashing a CPA of your own.



The setup: Find an AI planet with something hackable. Fabricators work great (minimal SF response), but ARS's and Advanced factories work too. It is better if the planet is adjacent to your planets, even more so if it only connects to your planets or is at a dead end (this preserves more of the zombies). Completely neuter the planet, destroying everything except the command station, warp gate, and hacking target.

Set up defenses: Gravity turrets are amazing, Force fields in a triangular or square formation with a gap right over the AI Command Station to 'pin' those ships in one place, and maybe spider turrets. You could try a mk2 radar jammer if you're extremely dedicated to the project. Get a hacker anywhere on the planet. Finally, place your Botnet Golem so that the AI Command Station is just within range.

To activate this 'device', place twenty or thirty hacking modules of the relevant type (hold alt and click). Yes, you can place multiple devices. That's the secret part: Each one spawns a separate stream of hacking-ships. You can create as many AI ships as you want  under controlled circumstances using this method. As long as you delete the hackers before they finish, this can be repeated indefinitely.

The ships spawn, they get eaten by the botnet, and the zombies fly off to join your fleet. There are a couple of issues: Zombie bots will stick around while any hostile ships are on the planet, so you need to deactivate the device occasionally to get them to move on - if too many zombies acumulate, they will kill the AI ships faster than the Botnet can! Second, any reclamation-immune ships will severely gum up the device's operation. Consider hacking them first, or try it on the other AI's planets. Do not try against spirelings. If you go overboard with hackers, AI ships will spawn faster than your botnet can convert them, and zombies will have trouble accumulating.

When you're ready, set one of the redirector posts to aim at an AI homeworld then watch the fireworks. I recommend at least 3000 zombies for this.

Another potential use is for generating threat to feed into a grinder, as some sort of metal production machine.



The greatest success I had was using this against a technologist/artillerist: Zenith Bombards got converted by the hundreds, and their auto-kiting meant a lot more of them stayed alive too (a lot of the zombies sit right next to the command station and get killed by the new AI ships). I had 4000 mk4 bombards before I got bored of collecting more of them (you know, they're the ship you can build 24 of normally?). I sent them at one AI homeworld 20 jumps away. They obliterated everything on the path. They got to the HW, curbstomped the Strategic Reserve, then vaporized the core posts and Home Station in order. After all that, there were fewer than 500 casualties. It turns out once you get that many of them, the long reload doesn't matter.