Author Topic: Worlds between my systems  (Read 831 times)

Offline Fleshbits

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Worlds between my systems
« on: May 16, 2020, 08:54:41 PM »
Played this game once and said meh. Gonna give it another go. Went and read as much as I can find, but much seems outdated.

I understand I am not to take every world, but I am too take a few around my home in order to get my econ going and buffer the defense of my main command center, right? So some kind of core of 3-4 worlds?

Then I am to make hops of about 6 worlds such that the supply doesn't cause ships to take dmg when traveling between. Right?

So, what do I do with all the neighboring worlds that I do not take? It seems some internet sources say to blow up the warp gates. That raises the AI progress though. In trade, I get to not worry about the AI placing his allotment of ships, in a risk like fashion, in those worlds, but have him focus them on a front of my choosing. All seem right?

Question is then, do I just make this sweeping generalization to take out warp gates of neighbors and only leave them at choke points? In what cases do I not want to take them out?

Offline x4000

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Re: Worlds between my systems
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 11:57:13 AM »
Any advice you see from 2014 or later is going to be accurate, as the game hasn't changed since 2014.  Just as one helpful note when trying to decide if something is out of date or not.

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I understand I am not to take every world, but I am too take a few around my home in order to get my econ going and buffer the defense of my main command center, right? So some kind of core of 3-4 worlds?

Yes, that's more or less correct, although it's heavily dependent on what type of map you are on.  If it's a really wide-open map where your "surface area" of that number of worlds is very high... things get challenging, because you can be attacked from so many directions.

Some maps types, if you get 4-5 total worlds all in a cluster, you might have 1-2 border planets next to your cluster.  Other maps, you might have 20+ border worlds.  Personally I find the latter extremely stressful and I tend to like maps that give me a corner to call my own.  But a lot of people play differently, and having a really wide perimeter can have advantages in making it harder for the AI to heavily reinforce at any one spot.  Having a large surface area against the AI can cause them to have to really spread out their own reinforcements more, which some players like to do a lot.

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Then I am to make hops of about 6 worlds such that the supply doesn't cause ships to take dmg when traveling between. Right?

That's a common distance, yes.  It depends on where there are things you want to capture, though. 

If there's an advanced factory or advanced research station 4 hops away, then just go for that. 

If there's something REALLY good 7-8 hops away, and it's not too heavily defended, then sometimes people will just go that far and take the deepstriking penalty, but then capture that world and hold it.  That's an aggressive, dangerous move, but can pay off for low-AIP playstyles in particular.

If there are enough things that you want all within a smaller vicinity, then you might ignore a lot of the map and just go 3-4 hops out at a time and neuter planets along your travel lanes between those worlds.  There's nothing that says you have to make equal use of all parts of the galaxy, so it's a judgement call if you want to have kind of a smaller "soft empire" that extends like this.

There are some advanced players who pretty much blend this strategy with the "extra far deep strikes," and then will skip the core of protective worlds that you were initially describing.  I find that INCREDIBLY distressing as a player if I try to use that, but it can be a way to optimize what you gain versus what AIP rises there are if you're in an extremely high difficulty (9+ in particular).

I don't recommend those sorts of strategies for if you're just starting out, but if you see someone talking about that sort of technique, they're not wrong, they're just... really advanced.  And comfortable with more risk and exposure than I am in my own empires.

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So, what do I do with all the neighboring worlds that I do not take? It seems some internet sources say to blow up the warp gates. That raises the AI progress though. In trade, I get to not worry about the AI placing his allotment of ships, in a risk like fashion, in those worlds, but have him focus them on a front of my choosing. All seem right?

It depends on how many worlds we're talking about.  If it's 20 worlds, or even 6, then probably you're really not going to want to blow up all those warp gates -- too much AIP.  You're kind of forced into a strategy where you accept waves from more sources.  If it's 2-3 worlds, then definitely destroy all the warp gates except one.  That then guarantees that waves against you are coming from that direction.

But that's talking about defense -- the AI's waves against you.

The next question is about safe travel for your ships, and protection from border worlds getting too large (and thus dangerous during a later Cross Planet Attack), and this can be an AIP-less proposition.  This is where you can get into "neutering" worlds, by destroying their guard posts but NOT their command station.  That keeps the maximum number of ships that can exist on that planet as passive guards for the AI far lower, and does not raise the AIP at all unless you go for the warp gate in addition to the rest of the neuter.

This also has a Risk-like bonus in that the AI will still reinforce those planets, but gets less reinforcements at each location they do that.  You essentially cause them to waste some of their budget because of how their hierarchy of knowledge is tiered.  It won't work forever, but it will work for the first few hours of the game until they hit their cap for each respective planet that you neuter.

If it's a ton of worlds, or the worlds are too high-level, then neutering is probably not something you really want to do on every last one of them.  That can also just frankly be time-consuming.  So here again it comes down to judgement on the given map: if it's not too many worlds, or you can get a high-level world early before it reinforces much (sweet!), or if it's a world you will be routing ships through frequently, then those are more the planets to focus on.

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Question is then, do I just make this sweeping generalization to take out warp gates of neighbors and only leave them at choke points? In what cases do I not want to take them out?

The AI has three overall mechanisms for attacking you.

1. Waves.  These only come from warp gates.  Any planet of yours that is next to a planet that has a warp gate on it could have a wave declared against it.  You can make waves a lot less dangerous to you by eliminating warp gates that are next to weak worlds. 

In general, try not to have weak worlds that are out and exposed too much.  You will want some worlds that are weak, aka mostly focused on economy, but mostly behind the front lines.  Trying to make sure that all your weak worlds are mostly bordering each other and your strong worlds is a good idea.  Then you can put more effort into making your strong worlds even stronger.

If you have a strong world, it's a good idea NOT to destroy warp gates next to that.  Otherwise the AI can't launch waves against it directly anymore, and you probabl want them to be waves crashing against that particular shore.

If the AI has no warp gates next to you, they will bring their waves in further back from your territory, on their own planets, and that will typically be bad news for you.   They will then approach a bit more scattershot and unpredictably, which can be bad, or they will join the threatfleet, which is also bad.  More on that later.

Essentially, waves are something you WANT to have hit you, and evaporate when they do.  So make sure and always leave at least one warp gate next to a strong world of yours.  If you have three strong worlds that can take the heat, then go ahead and leave any and all warp gates next to them -- saves you AIP increases, and it gives the AI lots of places from which to attack you that might spread out their waves more (giving you more time to rebuild at each place).  Just beware them deciding to lump all their attacks onto one strong world in such a scenario -- that can be dicey.

I will say, I play a very cautious, turtle-like, defensive style, so I tend to conquer a corner and then have one planet that is my "whipping boy" for getting attacked over and over again.  I generally try to have no other warp gates next to my core empire. I then capture other planets as-needed and often lose them over and over but rebuild them as needed.  It's hard to protect those outlying planets that you capture from all the warp gates, as that gets expensive in AIP fast.  BUT if there's some structure you captured that is right next to a wormhole from a planet, then destroying the warp gate on the other side of that  wormhole can save that structure, for example.

2. The next form of danger is a Cross Planet Attack (CPA).  These only happen every 2-6 hours, depending on how you're playing.  Basically it takes a lot of guards and "frees" them to attack you. 

So if, behind your lines, you've got a mark IV world that is harmless in a waves-sense, but has a ton of forces on it, you're in danger from that next time a CPA rolls around.  CPAs try to release low-level guards first, so honestly a mark II world would be more danger in that situation in terms of suddenly flooding your weak economic planets with lots of little junk from behind your normal lines.  Neutering is a good defense against this, and costs no AIP.  But CPAs do have to come from somewhere, so you shouldn't try to neuter the galaxy (not that you could, anyway, in any reasonable timeframe).

Wherever the AI can travel to you through normal wormhole paths is a danger for CPAs, and warp gates are irrelevant at this point. If you're getting hit by regular waves at the same time, it can double the pain.  For me, this is why I like having a corner of the map that is maybe 6-8 planets with only one entry to the rest of the galaxy.  There might be 2-3 AI planets in this corner, behind my lines, but I've neutered those planets so they won't contribute much to a CPA, if anything.  Mostly the CPA will be crashing against my whipping boy planet, and it may be very painful, but at least I have a front door, so to speak of.

I often have two-deep of front door planets, personally, when the map allows for it.  That way I've got strong turrets and such on a planet behind my main "get's attacked" planet, and during a CPA or similar if my outer planet crumbles, then I can still defend myself with my inner one.  That's a very defensive move, and lots of people play super differently from that, but it's how I tend to manage my stress. ;)

3. Threatfleet is the last main way the AI can attack you.  Basically these are ships that are "freed" from being guards for some reason.  They could be:

a. Remnants of a CPA (bits you did not kill or that ran away).

b. Parts of prior waves that ran away (this is why it's nice to kill all of every wave that arrives, with overwhelming force ideally in under 30 seconds).

c. Guards whose guardposts you destroyed, who then ran away from the fight.  This might be while you were neutering a planet, and you had overwhelming force but not in the right places to keep some of the guards from running away to fight you another day.

d. Waves that warped in behind enemy lines because there were no warp gates adjacent to any of your planets.

The threatfleet is dangerous in that it is relatively conservative.  It won't just crash into your overwhelming forces and die like a wave does.  It will typically hang out, and retreat a lot, and come after you at the worst possible time.  During a CPA and a wave both hitting your front door, and it sees that the numbers are in its favor, and suddenly it's just this storm of death that had been waiting for you.

You can see how much threat there is up in the upper bar.  If you are so inclined and are scouting well, you can go hunt down some of them that are lurking away from you and try to destroy them, but they are good at withdrawing and coming back later.

These are also forces that might ambush you when you take a lot of your sometimes-defenseive forces and send them out on a deep strike, making your defenses lower than usual.  During your deepstrike, the AI then sees that it has a chance to hit you in return, and suddenly threatfleet is engaging you on another front.

If you've limited your number of ingress points from the wider galaxy, you still know what direction the threatfleet will come from.  If you've got 3 AI planets in your little neighborhood that you've cut off from the rest of the galaxy, it's not like the threatfleet can attack you from those planets -- they can't get over there.  So unlike with a CPA, those planets pose no danger to you in terms of threatfleet, whether you neutered them or not.

Hope that helps!
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