Author Topic: Fastball  (Read 2121 times)

Offline ArnaudB

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Re: Fastball
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2020, 08:55:06 AM »
Here is a Difficulty 7 done in 1h11min36sec.

The usual Cloak/Webbed/Reju with 80 planets, in the Grid/Crosshatch.

I was stupidly lucky with that seed, given I got the Spire Archive literally next door. It was the planet north of my Homeworld. GCAs weren't as kind, but I was able to boost my forces quickly enough to go kill the AI. I picked a turbo raider and a Pulsar Tank thingy since it double health of the low-shield turbo raiders. I had others options for speedrunning, but it kept the AI mark at 2 so I don't know if it would have made things faster in the end.

I got three battlestations with turrets, and they were honestly carrying the day. Plus two overloader supports with engineers (I curse when they get no engineers). I think it might be tricky to lower the time needed with vanilla settings, as all this made for an exceptional seed. I followed Pireciter's direction and grabbed a couple Officer fleets: the Thanatos-zombifying one and the forcefield Ark. They were really good and definitively worth the investment. It's a big difference to my usual games where I find them rather useless, however playing quickly so I win within one+ hour rather than five hours in makes a lot of difference.

I found it necessary to science-hack a couple ARS, I got two decent vaults. Tech-wise it was all over the place. Subterfuge, Generalist, Raid and Fusion. I got a single metal upgrade not that quickly, but spend 500 science on every command station I had. This game I eschewed military ones more than in my last speedrun, as the 4x movespeed is overall more useful in multiple cases than the 50% damage boost of military.

As my screenshot show, it feels and seems best to trace a line toward your objectives rather than leave AI planets in the way. It makes reinforcing much, much, much faster. Mostly though, planets on the outer circles are often too tough for initial forces. It was better to go bottom, top, bottom, east for a couple picks, then all the way north to victory.
Surprisingly you don't need AIP reducers or GCA for the first 30min. My method was to leave 3 spiders, 1 Nucleo and 0-3 MLRS from my battlestation. At mark 5-7 they were enough to deter or kill AI stragglers and waves. I had a "guard" fleet that I swapped some ships that cost me metal or couldn't afford to mark up, which helped hold of waves in the 30 strength range. This was excessively efficient, since it meant I had potent turrets to help kill the AI forces on the planet and then to defend the planets, all for a minimal metal cost.

The key was to get to the zenith matter converter, in my opinion. It just gives too much metal to ignore, and doesn't need to be built first like Fallen Spire mining rig. I didn't pop any beacon this game, although it might have helped cut down on the time: 5000+2000 form Nano and Marauder would have helped... but it's also insanely risky since once you go for the AI Homeworld you're committed.

It was fun. A lot more fun than the slow approach of fighting difficulty9, or the anemic response of diff5. Diff7 kept me more on my toes, as I couldn't afford to leave my planets too undefended. It's weird being in situation where not building a second or third forcefield to protect a logistical is the superior choice, but it's pretty exhilarating: not needing to build every defense I can make on every planet.

The AI Homeworld was somewhat lucky. No tesla, just parasite... and spider guard posts. Not sentry spam either, so I was able to build turrets and expand.

Will try again!

***

(Note: Pirectier, do post screenshots of your wins. It makes it easier to picture things and get invested. Plus that's how we notice things that others players do or don't do.)

Offline Pireciter

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Re: Fastball
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2020, 01:39:07 PM »
(Note: Pirectier, do post screenshots of your wins. It makes it easier to picture things and get invested. Plus that's how we notice things that others players do or don't do.)



I did post a screenshot in the post before the details. Did you want some additional screenshots from that 59m win?


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

Offline ArnaudB

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Re: Fastball
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2020, 03:44:16 PM »
Sure! More screenshot are always good.

I did another Diff7 with 7hunter/warden and Dark Spire/Fallen Spire to see how it went. I finished in 2h3 with a much harder time. RNG wasn't nearly as kind. Sentry frigate spam is terrifying in the AI Homeworld, and I only pulled it off in two assaults thank to 124 Dark Phantoms.

I had to hop around more, and build defenses more. There was a couple times I ended up bringing back my main fleet to defend. Some scary 100+ Strength on my homeworld was particularly scary. Part of that might be me forgetting to put in an economic bait early on, allowing the threat to build more.

I took the GCA and 200 strength from counter-attack on the AI Homeworld, but it thankfully wasn't enough to stop me. I certainly spent a lot more tech than you did. Though I guess teching-up the phantom counts for a lot (coucu+light).

Challenging but pretty fun. I did realize the seed was bad early on, but I carried on and pulled it off without dying or needing to savescum, so I'm pretty content with it.

Offline Pireciter

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Re: Fastball
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2020, 11:51:20 PM »
Well, here you go. Some additional screenshots.

Here's about 15 minutes in. I've started on the Armored Golem(~20%) and moving toward the archive.



Now, at 30 minutes. The golem is starting on the HW clear and the rest of the fleet is moving out to grab more goodies.



And finally, the win screen. You can see all to extra planets I grabbed down to the southeast.





I started thinking...I did some extra things in this game I could have done better. Skipped a couple planets, not gotten the spire frigate as I mentioned. So, I grabbed my 30 minute save and played forward from there. Instead of ALL of those planets to the south, I only grabbed two. Then did some drive-by science hacking to get some more additions. My new best is thus:




50m30s

Pi
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 11:53:03 PM by Pireciter »
Welcome to reality...where it is never an ideal case.

Offline ArnaudB

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Re: Fastball
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2020, 03:10:21 AM »
Interesting, I wouldn't guess you needed to take less planets in order to win faster. Then again... if you rush a golem and science-it up, I could see how that can work.

I tried a Dark Spire rush but it didn't really work out. Too much metal and time investment to win within the short time.

You might be able to shove a minute or two by building a military station when you kill the Overlord first phase, to get the attack bonus at +50% or even 100% planetwide.

I tried a diff9 too, but that's way harder. The AI Homeworld has too much forces to kill it quickly.

Offline ArnaudB

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Re: Fastball
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2020, 02:52:08 PM »
Here for my most recent record with 28min30s.

A bit different rules with different testing: 40 Planets. I went with Consumer rather than Cloaked in the hope of getting metal that way. Unfortunately melee units moves pretty stupidly and have too many counter. They are good when microed for killing the like of Tesla, but otherwise they aren't that good.

One other significant difference was that I had maxed pods and metal producers sliders on the Home Command. It gives a significant metal boost. It's hard to say how much more time I'd have needed with default setting. No other setting was modified (except non-random ARS unit amount). I did go with full vision.

The way I went about it was to drop 3 spider, 1 nucleo and a military station that I quick-built and upgraded. I did end up building some forcefields that I didn't need. I did prove that military stations (on diff5) can handle surviving without backup. At Mark 2 and with the battlestations 3-4 turrets as backup, they can handle pretty much any stragglers. The game doesn't run long enough for the AI attacks to matter.

I needed a second fleet and used it with great success to kill the Communication nodes for resources. I also used those secondary fleets to hack while continuing to move on with my main fleet/support/battlestation. I took cluster because in this setup it was very much about making a way to the AI Homeworld while taking as much goods as needed. The best tactic at this level seems to be to kill the AI Command stations asap and drop a military. I saved a lot of time with the damage and movespeed buffs, as well as the military station damage which is surprisingly good.

On a Funny note, I never ended up getting the Hive Golem. It took too much resources, and I messed up by building a logistical there, which got momentarily killed. The Hive drained too much resources, I actually was in a better place once my support stopped helping build it. Luck played with I got the Novoid Turtle: planetwide damage is absurdly powerful. It proved excessively useful on the AI Homeworld. I got lucky with my second battlestation too: counter sniper, sniper plus engineers.

On a useful note, you can un-cripple flagships on enemy planets by upgrading them (it put their health above 10%). You can make Battlestations (and probably lone fleets) move and attack before they are claimed that way, although your units will still try to claim it (spending resources) and you can't build turrets from the battlestations till it's officially claimed. The mechanic is still useful when attacking the AI Homeworld.

It's probably possible to go faster but it'll be difficult. You need a good seed and lots of metal. I ended up using my 8000 science from the archive to mark up my metal harvesters twice, while I was already 80 seconds into the AI Homeworld assault. That should give an idea to how tight my metal was.

The speedruns are getting ridiculous at this point. It's a good kind of fun. Thank you for inspiring me, Pireciter, and for partaking in this crazy ride.

Offline BionicDues

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Re: Fastball
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2020, 08:24:35 PM »
I gave this a go today.  55 minute victory.

422249727 Seed, honeycomb

Standard defaults (80plan), 5/5/5 full ensemble, doorkicker, shield, rejuv

Started on Orion, 55minute victory.  Could easily be optimized for sub 40 I think.  I just played a straight shot.  Fleet str was > 500, I waited about 10 minutes building str; I think could have went in earlier.

EDIT: Looking at it again, you could probably get a sub 40 minute victory on this seed/map/80
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 08:27:41 PM by BionicDues »

Offline ArnaudB

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Re: Fastball
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2020, 04:01:27 AM »
Good job with a belated reply. I didn't check the forum for a while.

Yeah, 30min was very lucky because it's difficult to pull it off. I have done mostly 45-60min when I tried speedrun again (mostly at diff7 though).

Though I am impressed you did it with 80 planets. That adds quite a bit of length.

 

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