General Category > AI War II- After Action Reports

Command Theater

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"Commander on deck!"

The announcement echoed off the briefing room walls, accompanied by the sound of dozens of feet on the floor and all conversation subsiding. As the officer moved toward the front of the room, everyone recognized him as none other than the commander of 2nd Fleet, Terra's Own. 2nd fleet being one of those defending the Solar System itself. More than one looked uneasy, wondering what was going on.

"At ease. I'll keep my comments brief, but we don't have a lot of time. As you no doubt have heard, the AI has done devastating damage to our forces across the quadrant. Latest intel says the AI has seized control of most of our forces and it is only a matter of time until they arrive at Terra." Several gasps were heard as the gathered officers exchanged looks with each other. "I know, you have questions but we don't have time. You all have been brought here because you are the best we have, and the only ones we could gather in time."

"Are we here to coordinate the defense of Terra sir?" The commander shook his head, "No. You are here for something much harder. To not participate at all."

"What?!" exclaimed one. Others immediately made their voices heard as well. "Our brothers and sisters are dying out there! We have to..."

"Attention!" All conversation ceased as if a switch was thrown, though several looked like they were barely containing their anger. "No one likes this, myself included. You haven't heard the numbers, but over 85% of our forces have either been destroyed or taken over. All of our automated systems are compromised. Everything remaining has to be run using manual overrides if they exist, and sabotaged if we are unable to do that."

"But what can we do sir?" "Nothing. At least...not yet." Questions were on the faces of the assembled officers. Slowly, the answers started to dawn, "You all are here to be the commanders of the future fleets. Intel suggests that the AI won't eradicate humanity completely. Once we no longer appear to be a threat, they should ignore the remnants. That's where you will come in." With a few arm motions, he signaled the briefing room computers to dim the lights and bring up the map projectors.

The first map was of Sol System. "We expect the AI to advance along the plane of the ecliptic." Blood red arrows appeared and began advancing, "We've already evacuated our stations around Jupiter and the Mars and Luna colonies are beginning to clear out even now. We want to AI to focus it’s efforts on Terra itself. That will give them the time they need."

A quick gesture zoomed the map in on an orbital view of Terra, "2nd fleet will make our stand here, along with the remainder of our forces. When we engage, you will evacuate from the far side of the planet with as many scientists, engineers, and resources that we can store on a few ships. We have promising technology and manufacturing going along that should allow us to rebuild our fleets so the AI can't take them over, but it will take time to come online. And it's all for naught if the AI breaks through early." The map changed to an organizational chart and timeline. "You all will be placed into stasis during the evacuation. When the survivors have rebuilt facilities and a minimal fleet, you will be thawed out to take command. The rest will be up to you."

The briefing room lights were brought up. Several officers were stone faced, others were fighting back tears, but all were prepared to do their duty. "The shuttle will take you from this station to join the evacuees. You will be placed in stasis at that time. I am truly sorry, but there is no time for any outside contact. You depart immediately."

The commander met the eyes of the men and women assembled in front of him. With a sight bow of his head, he turned to go. Pausing briefly at the door, he turned back and faced them one last time. "All our hopes go with you."


-Some time later-

“Alright everyone, quiet down. I know we just got out of stasis a few weeks ago, but let’s review the situation.” With nods all around and a shifting of chairs, the assembled group turned their attention to the documents in front of them.

“We’ve all seen the data. Terra is gone. Humanity has been reduced to a few orbiting colonies, and the AI has blanketed the galaxy. However, they are currently ignoring us.” With a wave a map of the surrounding quadrant appeared over the conference table, with smaller maps in front of each of the assembled officers. “We may yet be able to strike back, but we must strike carefully. If we draw the AI’s attention to us, we have no chance.”

“But what is our best course of action?” another asked. “There are so many available avenues open to us. The wrong path will doom us all.” Nodding his head, “That is why we are here. To discuss our options and pick our strategy. We’ve all had time to review the strategic picture, so let’s go over the options we’ve come up with.”

A little different for this one folks. Some interaction from the community if you so choose. Those of you who wish can help pick the game strategy. With each post, I will present you with a few different options on how we can proceed. Then, I will rinse and give new ones. Or if you want to, give a door number 3. If no one offers an option, I will pick one myself. Also, I’m going to try and be a little “fluffy” on the posts. Hope it’s enjoyable.

Updates may be a little slower than I usually do. Playtime is harder to come by right now. My next post will present some more fluff and cover the initial bit of time along with the first strategy options.

Now for the game settings:

Map: Realistic/Original/Rectangular/80
Seed: 733829407
7/7/7 Adaptive Mod./Base/Reckless (Should give some more freedom and excitement)
Human Resistance 4/10
Marauders 4/10
Dyson 5/10
Zenith Trader
Cookie Monster

Starting Planet: Rhodia
Version 2.634

Let the games begin.

Day 5, 1936 Local
Home Fleet Command
Low Orbit, Rhodia Prime

“They want to trade?”

“That’s affirmative. The Zenith seem to have some fairly powerful blueprints we can purchase. Ranging from advanced power generators to support ships to assist with the local defenses.” Looking down, he slowly shook his head, “Our metal reserves are depleted right now. We’ve spent our stockpile on fortifying the two systems we just captured. Given the expenses involved, it would take a long time to bring anything online. In addition, the traders do not appear to be coming this way. They are heading toward Mote right now. Wouldn’t we prefer to have them here? Our first strike is also bound to rile up the AI a bit. It’s only a matter of time before they start putting feelers out this way.” Nodding slowly, he thought that one over. Scouting had so far only uncovered a single massive structure which seemed to be a major hub for the AI’s control systems. If they could capture it…

“Do we have enough forces to push through? Several stations in the surrounding systems contain information on ship designs. We can use them to increase the size of our fleet.” Glancing over the ship list on his terminal, the choices were very diverse. They could focus on a single ship type, or pick several varieties. Jack of all trades, or master of one.

Leaning closer to the map, he spotted something that he previously overlooked. Reaching out, he tapped his finger on the map slate. “There also appears to be a communications node in this system. We can use that to allow us to coordinate larger groups of our ships.” “That is also true, but do we have many ships that could benefit from this? It seems to be limited to larger craft only.”

“I want all senior commanders assembled at 2100. Orders will be issued at that time.”

“Yes sir.”

Strategic Theatres – Choose 1
A: Operation FLASHLIGHT – Our first opportunity to see what makes the AI tick. Move out and capture the major data center
B: Operation CHRONOS – The discovered communications node. It will boost our frigate C&C capabilities drastically.
C: Operation WAGON TRAIN – The traders have some powerful toys, but they will take time to come online. Focus on the long-term and pour our resources into bringing them into the fold quickly, even though the positions may not be optimal.

Secondary Objectives – Choose 1 of Each:
Ship research: Master one type / Spread things out
Directional focus: West / East

I'm always a fan of the Zenith Trader

----Operation WAGON TRAIN Selected----

Day 15, 0400 Local
Strike Group Orestes
Mote Wormhole, Vap System

“Say again, you are breaking up.” He turned up the gain on the communications system to try and cut through the static.
“I repeat, we…here to help…wondering…show up.”
The sensor officer waved his hand, “Sir, the ship signatures correspond to several isolated fleet groups that were able to avoid AI assimilation.”
“You mean there are other human survivors out there? His eyes narrowed, “A resistance group of sorts?”
“I can only speculate, but it would seem plausible. A space faring species is hard to eliminate.”
Nodding quickly, he came to a decision. “Very well. Try to get them back on the horn. Any help we can get while we hack these research stations would be great. Our resources are thin while home command is working on the constructions they procured from the Zenith.”
His 1st officer leaned over and whispered, “Do you think those items will help us in the long run? I’ve seen the estimated resource cost for them.”
“Yes, I do. I just hope that we can hold them. If the AI gets wind of them, we could be in a world of hurt.”

Day 21, 0424 Local
Strike Group Termagant
System Rim, Ulrickson System

“Keep them off us! We need to be ready to jump once the hack is complete.”
“I’m trying ma’am, but those AI ships have cut us off from the wormhole.”
“Damn…Comms, get a signal to the Orestes. We need some cover out here.”

0448 Local

“Thanks for the help Orestes. Those shields on the AI ships had us blocked.”
“Take more care when starting those ship hacks. I know you love those lightning boats, but those by themselves won’t win this.”
Dropping her head in acknowledgement of the reprimand, “I know. I thought we could use one more group and a drive-by hack looked like it could work.”
“We don’t have resources to be wasteful. We need to guard what we have.”
“Take point Termagant. Let’s go home. We are right behind you.”

Day 43, 2000 Local
Home Fleet Command
Low Orbit, Rhodia Prime

He closed the after-action report with a snap and looked up at his officers. “Nice work out there. We need to improve our response time a bit though. It was a little close on some of those advance posts.”
“Yes sir, however we are now cleared to a 1-system distance and we are preparing our way whichever that is.”
“Very good. That communications node and data center are still out there. Plus we need to capture some chokepoints coming into our core systems. Those Zenith structures are impressive, but they will need to be protected. The AI has been quiet. I fully expect a reaction soon.”
“We will be ready for them.”
“For all our sakes, I hope you are.”

Operation WAGON TRAIN Results:

2x ZPGs completed
2x Zenith Forcefields completed
2x Scrubbed Aberrations completed
2x Scrubbed Abominations completed

Fleet Status:

Strike Group Orestes –
40x Velociraptor Mk.I
50x Dagger Mk.II
80x Turbo Stingray Mk.I
32x Sniper Mk.I
32x Spider Mk.I
4x Raid Frigate Mk.II

Strike Group Termagant -
64x Space Plane Mk.II
36x Inhibiting Tesla Corvette Mk.II
10x Zapper Mk.II

Tech Updates:
Metal Generation Mk.I
Raid Mk.I
Splash Mk.I

Strategic Theatres – Choose 1
A: Operation FLASHLIGHT – That major center is still out there. And still open for capture. We are in a better position now for it.
B: Operation CHRONOS – The discovered communications node. We still don’t have many ships that will benefit, but it would still be useful
C: Operation CHROME DOME – Capture several planets on our northern flank to blockade and protect our core worlds. These planets are ringed in GREEN on the area map. In addition, clear and neuter the surrounding planets.

Side note: I’m going to try and maintain a 1-update/week rate with this. Give some time to jump in as well as a schedule/questions if anyone has any.

----Operation FLASHLIGHT Selected----

Day 46, 0736 Local
Strike Group Orestes
System Rim, Cresida System

“Sir, the command station is down, and AI is not happy.”
“Thank you for that blunt and direct assessment Ops. Now, what are you doing about it?”
“Um...scanning all warp signals. Seems the counter strike is on it’s way.”
“And we shall be on ours. Let’s pull back for the moment and let our raiding ships do their jobs. Helm, take us back to Dorigo. Tactical, keep those raid frigates killing the posts. We will be back once the AI calms down.”
“Yes sir.”
“Ops, forward me the latest scouting dispatches once we are back in Dorigo. I’ll be in my ready room.”

0800 Local
Dorigo System

“Damn. I was not expecting that. Multiple power generators sighted. One seems to be a similar copy to the two we purchased from the Zenith. And another one of those communications nodes.”
“Yes sir. This was an unexpected discovery.”
“It’s going to be a little challenging to take though. There is a lot of AI in the way. Let’s finish securing the data center first, then we can go exploit that.”

Day 56, 0712 Local
Home Fleet Command
Low Orbit, Rhodia Prime

“Very well Orestes. Keep me posted on what you find in that data center. Now that we have it under our control, let’s use it fully.
“Yes sir. Are we still pairing up with Termagant for the raid on the communications node?
“That’s affirmative Orestes. Let’s do some crowd control on that AI and finish securing the center for now. I have the Aegis out placing some defenses on our flanks to give us some warning and cover from the AI. Once that’s complete, we can proceed on.
“Understood sir. Orestes out.”

Day 73, 0800
Strike Group Termagant
System Rim, Cresida System

“What is it?”
“I’m not sure ma’am. It seems to be an amplifier of sorts. I can’t make heads or tails of it.”
“Well, whatever it is, it’s getting the AI riled up. Am I reading this right Ops? It’s increasing the AI’s response over time?”
“That is correct. The longer it sits, the worse it will get.”
“Hmm, at least it’s on Elban. That communications node is our next target. Comms, open a channel with Orestes. We may need to speed up our timetable.”

Day 79, 0200 Local
Citadel Aegis
System Rim, Lynch System

“I repeat, it’s larger than anything we have ever seen! It’s massive, and firing at anything mobile.”
“Can you clarify Aegis. Is it AI?”
“I don’t think so command. It seems to have a mind of it’s own. However, it’s making a beeline for Hopcroft.”
“Very well. We will alert our forces there, but if it’s making no overt threat movements we will give it a wide berth. The AI is finally taking notice of us and launching an attack on Mote. Finish your defensive constructions, then make haste that way.”
“Yes sir. We will be finished within a day. Will any other forces be coming to assist?”
“Negative Aegis. All available forces are currently on maneuvers.”
“Understood Command. We will signal you when we are enroute. Aegis out.”

0400 Local
Strike Group Orestes
System Rim, Elban System

“Instigator down.”
“Signal Termagant. Leave the remote ship links active and pull out the transports. Let them weaken the AI while we regroup.”
“Yes sir.”

Day 81, 1336 Local

“Our links are reporting Elban is almost clear. We should be able to move in soon and capture it. Termagant, stay on guard here in case Mote is in danger. Latest intel says the AI strike is imminent.”
“Roger that Orestes. We will keep the home fires burning. Good hunting.”
“Same to you.”

Day 83, 1200 Local
Strike Group Orestes
Low Orbit, Elban System

Looking at the newest Ops report of the communications node, he could only shake his head again in amazement. Initial calculations were showing a 30% increase in the fleet’s C&C capabilities. Standing up and walking to the viewport, he still had too many things on his plate and home command suddenly decided to be indecisive. Granted the scouting reports have pulled in many options, but it’s boiling down to forces. It’s a two hop jump to this communications node and clearing the shorter route would be too costly at the moment. Watching the swarm of ships fly past the viewport, he could only wonder if the AI got as confused as humans sometimes.

Fleet Status:
Strike Group Orestes –
52x Velociraptor Mk.I
156x Dagger Mk.III
208x Turbo Stingray Mk.I
42x Sniper Mk.I
42x Spider Mk.I
5x Raid Frigate Mk.III

Strike Group Termagant -
101x Space Plane Mk.III
48x Inhibiting Tesla Corvette Mk.II
10x Zapper Mk.II

Tech Updates:
Raid Mk.II

Strategic Theatres – Choose 1
A: Operation OVERLOAD – Zenith Matter Convertors. Who could have guessed it would be such a powerful item. Go get it and capture another planet along the way to act as a staging area. Circled in GREEN.
B: Operation CHRONOS – The discovered communications node. We still don’t have many ships that will benefit, but it would still be useful. Circled in RED. The next step would be to find ships to benefit.
C: Operation SWITCHBACK – Another Zenith Power Generator has been spotted. Scouting intel says it may be the wrong direction from the AI homeworld, but it could still be worth it. Circled in YELLOW


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