Author Topic: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?  (Read 9026 times)

Offline Jus7ice

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Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« on: October 21, 2012, 11:52:27 AM »
I'm not especially good at strategy games but I'm not totally inexperienced. I've played through SC2 on hard mode and I spent a season or two laddering. I've also played a couple games of Civ5. AI War looks pretty daunting though. I've done the tutorials and the next chance I get I want to start a campaign. I've had the game in my library for a while and when I bought it, it included the first three expansions. On the campaign setup screen I noticed that you have the option of enabling or disabling the expansions. For my first play-through, would it be a good idea to keep it vanilla? I'm worried that playing with one or all the expansions will introduce so many elements as to change the learning curve of the game into more of a learning cliff. Thoughts/experiences?

Offline Volatar

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 12:44:13 PM »
I am honestly not sure. The expansions don't add difficulty so much as they add variety. Variety is difficulty in itself though.

I would recommend playing with them enabled for the ship type variety, but with the plots disabled. The expansions add some map types which are really awesome.

That's me though.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 12:57:47 PM »
Try learning the base game first if you are not very good at adaptation. The base game has a whole lot of things to play with, and none of them are going to be particularly too hard to manage. When you throw the expansions into the mix, you need to be a very adaptive gamer to be able to figure out what's happening sometimes.

Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 01:06:06 PM »
Play the beginner script and just enable all the expansion features you think would be interesting without being overwhelming. Also, don't expect to win. Feel free to ask for advice on the forums for your game, but I also suggest discovering solutions on your own when you can. AI War allows for a lot of approaches, and part of the reward is figuring out your own.

I'll say this much, that I was (and still frequently am) completely unprepared for Hybrids, and I suggest keeping them off for a while. And as exciting as champions might be, you might want to wait a bit before introducing their mechanics (and the 20% bump given to the AI).

The last bit of advice is to explore the tech tree a slightly different way each new game you play. There are some 'sleeper' technologies that you might not see a use for until you unlock and figure them out.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 02:29:09 PM »
NEW VERSION:
Kahuna's Guide To AI War - Find Your Inner Super Cat!
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,13369.msg151816.html#msg151816



Hi and welcome to the forums.

When I first started playing I had pretty much everything enabled because I didn't know what everything does. That eneded up making things too hard so I disabled most of the stuff. Expansions were still enabled. The first time I won a game was vs 6 difficulty Feeding Parasite and 6 difficulty Vanilla.

I recommend you enable all expansions and use the following settings or something similar:
2 6 difficulty AIs of your choice. I'd recommend The Tank and Shield Ninny. OR Vanilla and Neinzul Viral Enthusiast.

Map
80 planets
Map type: Simple
Map seed: Whatever you want. I just found 1888254074. It looks nice and clear. Some maps look a bit messy.

Ships
Available Ships: Simple or Normal
All enabled except Core Shield Gen(erator)s. You can enable CSGs if you want a bit more challenge. You will have to destroy the generator before you can destroy the AI Home Command Station.
EDIT: Good point by Hearteater:
I recommend having CSGs on, just because they really focus you on completing objectives which will naturally get you ready to take out the AI homeworlds.  Without them, it's pretty easy for a beginner to find the mid-game gets a little directionless.

Game Options
Combat Style: Normal
Unit Cap Scale: Normal
Visibility: Full fog of war

AI Options
Minor Factions To Include:
Human Marauders: Disabled (These guys are powerful and annoying)
Human Resistance Fighters: 4/10
Human Colony Rebellions: Disabled
Zenith Trader: Enabled
Zenith Miners: Disabled or 2/10
Zenith Dyson Sphere: Disabled or 2/10
Zenith Devourer: Disabled (Devourer aka Cookie Monster. This thing will destroy ALL (AIs or your) ships (except MarkV aka Core ships) on it's way. Sometimes it will stay a while on 1 planet and chase ships around)
Broken Golems: Easy or Hard: 1/10
Botnet Golem: Easy or Hard: 1/10
Neinzul Rocketry Corps: 2/10
Neinzul Preservation Wardens: 1/10
Neinzul Roaming Enclaves: 1/10
Fallen Spire: Disabled
Fallen Spire Civilian Leaders: Disabled
Spirecraft: Easy or Hard: 2/10

NOTE that Broken Golems Hard, Botnet Golem Hard and Spirecraft Hard will cause the AIs to send Exogalactic Strike Forces which are very powerful. If you feel lucky you can enable one Hard. I recommend Enabling 1 hard and setting the 2 others on Easy.

AI Modifiers:
Schizophrenic: Enabled
Reveal Random AI Types: Enabled
Others disabled

Auto AI Progress (aka Auto AIP)
0 every
0 min
or
1 every
30 min

AI Plots First AI / Second AI
Avenger: Enabled / Disabled (An Avenger will spawn after you have destroyed an AI Home Command Station. It's VERY powerful and half impossible to destroy without super weapons like Golems or Spirecraft ships. You can still win the game even if you don't destroy these. You just need to destroy the AI Home Command Stations and you win.)
Hybrid Hives: 1/10 / 1/10
Advanced Hybrids: Disabled / Disabled
Astro Trains: 1/10 / 1/10
Beachheads: Disabled / Disabled (These things are very nasty. They will knock out your turrets and Force Fields until you have destroyed them. They also have a built in blackhole machine which will prevent your ships from leaving the planet.)

For me the best way to learn this game was to just try stuff and get my ass whooped!

Just ask if you need help with anything!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 09:10:08 AM by Kahuna »
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 Hearteater

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 02:54:49 PM »
Kahuna has a pretty good starter setup, but I'd make the following tweaks:

Expansions: All are fine, but you might want to disable Light of the Spire.  That's got some really nasty gravity-based toys for the AI that make systems noticeably tougher.

60 planets vs 80 planets.  60 just plays much quicker.  If you don't mind a learning game that could last 12-20 hours, 80 is fine.  But I find 60 cuts 2-5 hours off my game time.

I recommend having CSGs on, just because they really focus you on completing objectives which will naturally get you ready to take out the AI homeworlds.  Without them, it's pretty easy for a beginner to find the mid-game gets a little directionless.

Don't enable: Zenith Miners, Neinzul Rocketry Corps, Neinzul Roaming Enclaves or Neinzul Preservation Wardens.  All are annoying for a first real game.

Go with: Broken Golems Easy, Botnet Golem off, and Spirecraft off.  Golems are easy to work with, understand, use, and are pretty clearly powerful.  Spirecraft are trickier to use and much more specialist.  Botnet works best with some experience.

Don't enable Schizophrenic waves.  That really pulls you away from learning individual ship types.  When every wave is a single ship type, you really start to learn and feel the ship differences.

Don't enable Astro Trains.  They are fairly pointless, and really nothing more than annoying.

Don't enable Hybrid Hives.  Way too aggresive and annoying for a new player, and very prone to building up to something that feels unbeatable for a beginner.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 03:13:21 PM »
Ye good points.
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 KDR_11k

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 05:14:12 PM »
Maybe dial down the ship complexity for your first run. You don't play Agricola with the K deck on your first run either :P.

Offline madcow

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 05:21:26 PM »
I'll add another vote for playing with the Core Shield Generators (CSGs) turned on.

Also golems are fun, I recommend playing with them on with on.

I wouldn't play with too many minor factions enabled, maybe just one or two. Resistance Fighters are basically allies. The other factions can make things seriously weird if it is your first game. Heartseaker basically nailed it on his recommendations.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 05:43:18 PM »
I'd say that the advices given above are fairly spot on for a beginner. You do want to step above 7 difficulty later though to unlock the AIs full potential.
Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.

Thank you for contributing to making the game better!

Offline LordSloth

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 06:37:01 PM »
Personally, I'd advise on turning off all the expansions except Zenith, perhaps, for your very first game.

Zenith adds Golems to your toolkit (minor faction, easy), a fun way to break a strategic deadlock. They are a superweapon, however, so try not to go for them first thing, see what you can do with just ships for as long as possible. Zenith bonus ships have their quirks, but still tend to play fairly standard. Plus, Zenith expansion gives you two more mine types, if you like mines.

Neinzul is great, but... Neinzul ships will really stress your defenses the first time you encounter them. They're designed around short life spans, high speed, huge numbers, etc. They can be countered with static defenses but it's a bit much to ask you to adapt to them while you're still figuring out how to defend against standard wave.

Spire is also great, but I believe it adds a lot of new guardian types (i think it added emp guardians), and some bonus ships that are particularly good at trollling you when you're inattentive, such as tractor platforms. It's generally very player friendly, but if you're still busy learning all the basic icons and stuff, it might lead to a few nasty surprises. Raiding and the like is also generally much easier before this expansion, due to the AI getting several gravity effect units (slow).

For your second game, whether you beat the first or not, turn on all the expansions, make sure ship complexity is on complex, and turn golems on to medium, spirecraft to easy, and whatever non-neinzul factions you feel comfortable with.

Neinzul is great fun, but unlike the rest of the game, it is very pro-active, rather than reactive. Stay away from Wandering Enclaves and Hives and the like until you're looking for the AI to apply a lot more pressure regardless of how hard you push.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 08:16:26 PM »
Just try rocking a level 1 universe on a small map to get used to the mechanics of moving around, producing units, and fighting battles.

Bump that up to level 6 against some easy AI.

Lastly, level seven is where the main game is at. Should be good to go by then.
Kahuna strategy guide:
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,13369.0.html

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Offline Volatar

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 08:22:48 PM »
Just try rocking a level 1 universe on a small map to get used to the mechanics of moving around, producing units, and fighting battles.

If you do the Intermediate tutorial you have already done that.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 08:41:51 PM »
Just try rocking a level 1 universe on a small map to get used to the mechanics of moving around, producing units, and fighting battles.

If you do the Intermediate tutorial you have already done that.
On a very tiny map.

Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Going for my first game of AI War. Should I use the expansions?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 02:05:03 AM »
There is some real good discussion coming out of this. Would it be worth coming to a general consensus and trying to come up with a lobby script? I tried tooling around with a few of the lobby scripts myself, but I am the farthest thing from a programmer and it wasn't long before I was starting to think of the tall bottle of scotch hidden in the upper shelf of my closet.