Author Topic: Fastball  (Read 4310 times)

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
« on: May 07, 2020, 12:47:14 AM »
Hello again everyone. Time for another rousing round of AIW2...oh wait, the game's over already?

I've found myself tired of all the long games. 12+ hour marathons, whittling away at that AI until you finally tip over the edge.


I have a new goal: Beat the AI before the first CPA launches.

2 hours. 10 minutes. No more.

Can I do it? Will RNG be nice to me?

Let's find out.

Map: Simple/Simple/Rectangle
80 planets
Seed: 367619863
5/5/5 Ensemble/Base/Pred

Starting Planet: Cormack
Version: 2.032

Let the games begin.

0:00 - Yes, I's only a diff 5 AI. I need to even the odds somewhere. Since that's the default when you add an AI faction, I figure it will be a good baseline.

Kinda bland starting scouts. I'm hoping for good reveals. I'm smack dab in the middle of everything.

1:02 - Cadez is mine...move move move!

Oh...scouting data reveals some TDLs. I'll need to get those.

3:05 - Next planet! MDC revealed. Also a DC shows it's face.

8:43 - 3 distribution nodes are down, as well as that DC

10:31 - Now Faresa drops...moving toward that MDC.

Brief timeout for some hacking and neutering along the way....I'm short on metal. An extender and a GCA.

19:30 - Command station on the MDC drops

21:49 - and now it's mine and secured.

I'm hoping for a golem...maybe a hive or artillery. Since I don't have one of those spotted yet, let's push instead toward the Frigate coordinator...there is also a ZPG that way.

38:52 - Mine. Still no luck.

43:02 - And now I have a ZPG.

No golems yet...BUT I spy with my little eyes...a spire archive off to the southeast. AIHW, here I come. Let's grab another planet to scout some remaining areas and find those golems.

48:55 - Another one. This got me a Inhibitor citadel as well.

Yay! Finally! Golem's way off to the west though, but it is a hive. I'll dispatch some groups and pick up the other MDC along the way.
Oh...what's this? I also see the AIHW, let's take a look...Only 10 guard posts. I'm so used to the 12...that's nice.


5 Tesla posts? Ugh...


and 5 Shredder posts?! Double Ugh...

That's not very nice RNG. Drop two posts and give me a pile of that? *sigh* I don't think I'm going to make it with THAT grouping.

Ok...let's see what we can do. Half my fleets moving to get the hive. Rest with the citadels are going to start clearing to the archive and homeworld.

1:07:26 - Second MDC is mine. Moving on.

1:21:17 - And cleared to the Hive

1:27:22 - Hive mine.

30 minutes or so left...with that grouping, I really don't think I have a chance of wiping out that home world fast enough. I have to clear out the praetorians, kite around the shredder drones...AND get up close and personal to those teslas. TDLs will help somewhat, but with FIVE shredder posts there are just going to be too many.

Fine, you want to be that way AI? I'll just lazer you into dust...I'm grabbing the spire frigate as well.

1:45:08 - Planet claimed

1:48:18 - My frigate

Moving the golem and frigate to the front, doing a little clearing for levels along the way. Yeah...not going to make it.

1:59:28 - Grabbing the 2nd ZPG on my way to the homeworld.

2:00:02 - CPA declared. :(

2:02:17 - Starting the archive hack. Golem and frigate are clearing to the western approach.

2:10:02 - CPA launched :( For the record...381 ships for 33.5 strength.

2:12:17 - Archive done, now finish cleaning down.

2:18-2:22 - While that is going on, golem and frigate hack an ARS for science and also hack a planet.

Alright, I didn't make it but I'm not letting the AI get out of this one.

2:25:00 - Attack launched

It's...slow going to start with. Whittling away those Mk.7 ships takes a bit. Those shredders really do a number on things when they catch you.

2:39:30 - First post FINALLY goes down to the hive.

2:46:19 - Other 9 are dead by this point. Once the first one fell, it was a line of dominos.

2:47:05 - Phase 2

2:51:01 - Victory!

I really think I could have done it if the RNG gods were nicer. Any other "speed players" out there have any suggestions for round two?
Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Online BadgerBadger

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,223
  • BadgerBadgerBadgerBadger
Re: Fastball
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2020, 02:47:10 AM »
I wonder if a different map type might improve your speed?

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Fastball
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2020, 11:05:39 PM »
Hmm, Honeycomb maybe? Or something like that I guess?

Something with a lot of different routes and bypasses sounds good on paper...
Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Fastball
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 12:59:27 AM »
HAHA! I've done it!

Details tomorrow
Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Fastball
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2020, 01:04:36 PM »
A new map, and hopefully better RNG

Map: Honeycomb
80 planets
Seed: 456367861
5/5/5 Ensemble/Base/Pred

Starting Planet: Nadin
Version: 2.032

Let the games begin.

0:00 - Similar start to last time..however, I see two ARSs with torpedo frigates already. THAT is going to be a boon.

0:28 - First batch of frigates are mine

1:30 - And now first planet

2:40 - Second batch

8:40 - Second planet. Interceptor citadel with this one. That's going to be useful

14:24 - Next planet, with a GCA. Not going to bother hacking it, just FF it and leave it.

Got a ZPG revealed, but nothing else big...I wish I had a DC to snipe real quick...

16:13 - Another hack for more siege frigates. Haven't found any daggers and the like. Doing a lot of micro loading/unloading from the transports to cart around my slow units.

19:21 - Distribution node popped

23:50 - ZPG mine. Ah ha! There's a DC...and the AIHW. Target spotted. Tesla's and Heavy Beams this time...manageable.

32:12 - Bye Bye DC

32:22 - Doubled some parasites I picked up with an earlier fleet.

Need a little more power here. Oh, fleet with a bunch of frigates.

42:15 - Gimmie

Ohh...this is a nice planet. Two hops from the AIHW, with a fleet. A fleet with more torpedos AND some TDLs. Good jump off point for the attack.

45:58 - Double some tanks

47:25 - Hacking for gunboats.

55:05 - Planet mine. Now I have a staging ground.

I've spotted the frigate coordinator. Seems a good target to bump some counts up a bit. Oh, and another DC. Slight detour for it, but worth it...keeping the AI at Mk.I for a little longer.

59:20 - Tech hack for +1 Technologist

59:34 - Another distribution node.

1:03:54 - DC down

1:03:55 - Oh and another ARS for Bombards.

1:07:48 - Coordinator mine.

Alright...I could attack now, but it will drag me out a bit. I don't have the greatest force count, and those heavy beams will eat things. Let's get some more power.

1:07:58 - Hacking spree to reveal planets until I spot useful stuff. 7 planets scouted.

Oh. How nice. Hive and ZPG on the same planet.

1:10:31 - Nothing nice on this ARS as I'm passing converted to Science.

1:16:01 - Another DC to keep AI low...

1:16:27 - Second ZPG mine. Starting repair on the hive.

The hive will be my trigger to attack, so let's get a couple more things while it's being repaired...that strikecraft coordinator looks nice...

1:20:54 - DC down, but I need another to stay at Mk.I when the hive finishes...

1:23:18 - Doubled my bombards.

1:26:40 - Hive done. Mk.II AI at 122 AIP. It starts moving toward the AIHW right away.

1:26:44 - Strikecraft coordinator mine.

1:29:55 - Another DC for good measure.

1:30:59 - More bombards as I pass through.

1:34:17 - 1 more DC

1:34:58 - And a distribution node.

Alright. Clearing the core planet en-route to the homeworld. Definitely in a good place with this round.

First wave on the homeworld has one purpose...release as many Mk.VII ships as I can. Done....only about 100 or so threat. Manageable.

1:50:12 - First beam post down.

As the rest start dropping...I start thinking. What can I do to kill Phase 2 quickly? Oh, I know: One of my citidels has seeker turrets, plus all the other turrets I got.

2:00:02 - CPA declares...time is running out.

2:00:55 - Last post goes down. Command station is vulnerable. Turrets are finishing up and start firing.

2:01:06 - Phase 2.

For the record, 20 Mk.VI Seeker turrets against Phase 2 is...deadly.

2:01:46 - Victory!

Now, I need to ponder some more about what I can do to go even faster...though another run may wait for a bit.

-RNG and map choice is key.
Bad RNG that puts good ARSs, golems, and other goodies the wrong direction will doom a run before the 30 minute mark.
Good call Badger on looking over the maps some more. Thanks for that.

-Infinite rage units are needed as early as possible.
Not just for kills, but to release units and clear posts on your routes. Let them run away and join threat. You can whittle them down later. I had 100+ threat running around real quick and only once had to backtrack a single transport to cover a planet. Also, if you leave posts on planets next to yours that are not on the routes you are taking, release the units from them ASAP. The AI will spend reinforcement points there and not as much where you are going.

-Speed boosters are needed.
I didn't find any daggers or the like this run and didn't want to lose time rolling for them. I stuck with transport micro this round.

-Have something to kill Phase 2 quickly before it can run away.
If Phase 2 gets off planet, you're done if you didn't already clear the planet it went to. This round it was ambush/seeker turrets for me. Last game it was just everything I had.

Have fun folks, and good luck if you go for a speed clear. I'm looking forward to even faster times from someone out there.

Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Online BadgerBadger

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,223
  • BadgerBadgerBadgerBadger
Re: Fastball
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2020, 12:27:00 PM »
So since you've done this first, Pireciter, what are the rules you are playing by? Any particular pre-game settings? factions?

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Fastball
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2020, 01:58:01 PM »
My rounds were straight vanilla. No additional factions or adjustments from default.

-Custom start
-Generate a map and pick a starting planet
-Pick my starting fleet/factory/station. I used (Doorkicker/Shield/Rejuvenator in my runs
-Remove all extra factions
-Single AI faction(5/5/5) Random Easier/Base/Pred

One change I may try next round myself would be using the Raid fleet vs. Doorkicker.
Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Fastball
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 07:17:53 PM »
Alright, shaved another 20 minutes off.
Details to come.

Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Fastball
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 11:40:35 PM »
Map: Honeycomb
80 planets
Seed: 751577271
5/5/5 Ensemble/Base/Pred

Starting Planet: Ormuzd
Version: 2.032

Let the games begin.

0:00 - kinda lame. Not much visible or nice nearby. Best is a siege frigate hack for raw damage, though the fleet next door has raiders.

0:15 - Siege frigate

1:47 - And now first planet

Here we go, a fleet that rolled some bombards. Nice.

2:29 - Doubling my daggers on the way

4:19 - Bombard fleet mine. Moving the raiders over for them. Oh, and scouted BOTH the strikecraft and frigate to each other.

4:42 - Drive by hack on a tech vault. Not one I want so science it is.

7:43 - Detour for another double. This time on my stingrays

7:52 - Also a DC

9:04 - Group of parasites on the way to the first coordinator.

11:40 - Strikecraft coordinator mine.

Oh, spire archive spotted...and has the matter converter on it.

13:29 - Double bombards

13:37 - Melee tech vault eaten for science

16:06 - Frigate coordinator mine as well.

This RNG is nice. MDC/GCA planet next to the archive...AND a ZPG next to both of them.

17:58 - Double parasites

27:44 - Converter captured. The archive is going to wait for now.

40:11 - Now the MDC is mine

40:15 - and a GCA hacked for some pikes/harmonics

41:02 - One of my raider groups joins the double crowd.

43:10 - ZPG joins the crowd.

Well, AIHW not scouted yet but it's narrowed down. I've got eyes on all the core worlds. Second ZPG also spotted with the Orchid.

44:31 - DC detour

45:05 - and some stay behind for the archive while I get the Orchid

49:42 - Second ZPG mine. Starting on the Orchid.

RNG nice...the turtle is scouted right next door. Great A'Thomek AND the metal mine. Balanced out by that AIHW with shredders/teslas as it's post choices.

50:43 - Picked up some concussion corvettes. Those will sync nice

52:15 - Turtle planet under control

HAHA! Now the HIVE is scouted next door to that! A hive, turtle, and an orchid...there's a joke in there somewhere...

54:47 - Break for DC

55:18 - And another one

56:09 - Turtle's done cooking.

57:08 - Hive planet mine. Starting repairs on that.

57:56 - Orchid ready to go.

58:14 - First distribution node goes down

While I'm waiting on the Hive, my new goodies are going on a hacking spree

1:01:00 - Tech vault to science

1:03:08 - and another...two melee vaults this game.

1:05:53 - Some covert science extraction as well

1:10:31 - Doubled some kites that came with an Ark

1:10:33 - Hive done. Let's move out.

1:16:06 - Another covert hack while clearing core worlds. Only 1k science there.

1:20:48 - Another distribution node

1:21:00 - A little more hacking for 500 science.

1:22:45 - Core planets clear, it's attack time.

1:35:41 - Last post about to go down. My turret wall is in place by the AI command station. All units are on standby ready to pounce.

1:36:27 - Last post down. CS vulnerable

1:36:49 - Phase 2

1:37:54 - Victory!

I probably could have gotten sub-1:30 if I didn't have to back off for a couple minutes to do some threat clearing right before and during the HW attack. I only got the one GCA and it wasn't the best roll, so when the threat decided to attack my HW...kinda had to slow down the destruction rate briefly. Other than that, the RNG gods were nice.

Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Offline ArnaudB

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 76
Re: Fastball
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2020, 05:02:02 AM »
Very impressive. My record on vanilla 7 is 5h. I'll probably try some such speedrun.

It's probably harder to speed like that now, since raiders and daggers no longer provide speedbuffs. I'd probably use Webbed battlestation and drop 5 Spider Mark VI-VII with a couple nucleo and let those kill the AI guard posts and force, moving on the the next planets as soon as they're built (or even building them on the way), to move fast enough.

I'd Pop some beacons on the way too: marauders and nanocaust for the science. 80 planets probably slow down things a bit. I wonder if grabbing Fallen Spire would be worth it, for the eco boost as well as the cruiser, in a game where speed matters so much.

I'd buff battlestations over siege frigate though. Mark IV battlestations output pretty much as much dps as 8-9 siege frigates of the same mark, if I remember right.

Offline tadrinth

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
Re: Fastball
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2020, 12:36:06 PM »
Hrm, have you tried this with the X map? It has long been the king of cheese.

Also, I think the Overcharger support fleet gives a planetary speed boost, which seems like it would be good here. 

Offline ArnaudB

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 76
Re: Fastball
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2020, 03:14:33 PM »
Here is my time : 1h36min57s on a vanilla run, with no beacon popped. Cloak/Shield/Reju

I lost 10 min against the Homeworld due to being up against only Heavy Beam Guard posts and Tesla guard posts. Tesla was the biggest problem, between distance-attack protection and weapon jamming +20s, I had to put 3-5 nucleo Mark VII turrets by them and wait for several minutes for them to die, while being starving for metal in the most part. I had to load up my main fleet, because they cost me more metal than they were doing damage.
The Overlord was tight to kill. I had about 25 Nucleo in range of killing them plus the full 31 spider and about 10 MRLS, plus my fleet. I won the battle but it was close.

It's pretty interesting to play like that. Metal is the most significant issue, I kept running under 1m and starved a few times, despite ugprading. This likely makes Lone Wolf Fleet completely unattracting, since they have a huge metal investment. I think you can shave maybe 20 min if you are more aggressive than I was, and RNG smile on you. The thirst for metal is insane, I was very lucky to get a GCA with spider turrets which really helped secure my holding.
I did lose a Major Data Center, but by that point I already had 2 planets next to the AI Homeworld and was trying to stock up for the attack, so it didn't matter. Even had the Co-Processor done, which was only possible because I had a second fleet with raid frigates and Honeycomb being very good.

Honeycomb is a very good map, you can quickly scope out most of the map and get where you need to. Encapsulated might be better. I wouldn't recommend X, too much time lost if you run into tough chokepoints. Spending science on scouting was useful twice, revealing target to take that helped.
Hacking time is a timesink, even when I tried to use a second fleet and leave my battlestations turrets to kill the responding waves.
60 or 40 planets might be faster too. It's more of a RNG gamble, but it's easier to find AIP reducers and resources nodes.

@tadrinth: Overcharger lack engineers unfortunately so I am not sure the speedboost would be good enough. You'd need to rush another support station.

Mostly I think being more aggressive would help. I didn't have enough income to keep pushing, despite heavily using maxed out turrets from battlestations and keeping losses low. Grabbing the Zenith matter generator would also be a HUGE boost. Grabbing the abandonned mines is also a pretty big deal, as unlike energy generator they mark up: 1024m/s at Mark III is a big deal (I hadn't noticed that till this game). Double Home Command mark-up is mandatory, the metal boost to income is just too high not to do it.

It's a lot more relaxed to play than my usual game too. Much less time invested in it, and lower difficulty AI means you can land-grab without much getting slaughtered.

Added my second screenshot for funny and posterity sake, with my forces trying to kill the damn tesla and mostly failing.

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Fastball
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2020, 01:08:00 AM »
Now you've done it ArnaudB. You've raised the bar a notch. :)

New challenge time:


I'll post some details tomorrow.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 01:11:09 AM by Pireciter »
Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Offline Pireciter

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Fastball
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2020, 08:43:40 PM »
First off, I'm glad someone took up the gauntlet. I was curious to see how much time could be shaved off with the new updates. I first did this back in 2.032. Many changes since then.

So, I took your idea ArnaudB on aggression and ran with it. I remember the metal issue. That was a major holdup on my earlier I decided to use the new leveling mechanic and abused the heck out of it.

Now for the meat and potatos:

Map: Grid/Crosshatch
80 planets
Seed: 600173975

Starting Planet: Dourish
Version: 2.048

Let the games begin.

By the 11 minute mark, I've captured 3 planets, a Superterminal Driveby for -15 AIP, and I'm repairing an Armored Golem. Other goodies include some Railpods and Daggers for a big DPS boost. I've spotted my first Mk.7 planet. No homeworld yet, but I got a core.

15:41: A special hack...the Inciting Parasites. Not only zombie, but grant 150% attack boost to everything else in the fleet.

While the golem is repairing, time to discuss the leveling abuse. Levels require spire archive.

24:00: Archive hack done.

29:18: Golem done, and instantly Mk.6

I also now have eyes on the homeworld. Joy...8 heavy beams, and 2 spiders. Joy indeed...because they both are AWFUL against a single massive target. And the Dire is a Tesla...even better. So...I send the golem to the homeworld, Shift-click target every post, and Shift-rally back to the planet I captured next door. Then I forget about it while it kills every post and reinforcements.

So while the golem is murdering the homeworld, I send the rest of my fleet on a raiding spree. The goodies: 5 planets, a hive golem(Which also promptly goes Mk.6), spire frigate(Mk.4), 2 MDCs, matter converter, and strikecraft coordinator.

At 56 minutes, I'm building all my turrets on the AI homeworld and moving everything that way.

Phase 2 dead 3 minutes later at 59 minutes even.

I picked up one GCA that had Scrap/Vampire turrets with a garnish of area mines and tractors so that was nice. The ~1500 strikecraft with +50% attack was also good. I wonder if those bonuses stack? There was a ARS with Ultima Bombers(+50% hull/attack) that I thought of going for to find out, but they were several planets the wrong direction and I wanted to beat the hour mark.

I probably could have shaved another 5-10 minutes off if I didn't wait for the spire frigate, but it was on the same planet as the coordinator so I just rolled with it. It only took 3 minutes to repair with everything on it and the hive was killing time by eating everything in sight for metal to help out.


Edit: Some clarity changes
« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 08:52:50 PM by Pireciter »
Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Offline ArnaudB

  • Jr. Member Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 76
Re: Fastball
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2020, 02:34:25 AM »
56 minutes even then? Looking at Armor Golem and such (like Botnet), I don't think you can get them in a speedrun. They cost too much metal to rebuild. Hive might work, because it can pays for itself afterward and is very powerful.

Outguards won't work well, from my experience. Just not enough time to make them worthwhile. For Hacking, I noticed you can speed things up if you use battlestations turrets to ensure it killed the waves from hacking, while I hacked with a custom flagship.

I tried raid (but beta versions screwed me up) and I still think cloak is better. Easier to hack with it, and if you upgrade with science you won't have enough to upgrade everything.

We're using the default number of Metal producers and energy pods, right? Otherwise with home command upgraded, we would never run out of metal. It would make thing much easier... but probably too easy.

I might try hacking the fallen spire beacon and seeing if it helps. The cruiser would be the biggest selling point. I am not sure about the mining pods: 1 million metal investment giving back 3000m/s might not be good enough given the time constraints.

Great job though!


SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk