Author Topic: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids  (Read 1932 times)

Offline Ovalcircle

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Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« on: August 16, 2018, 12:27:02 PM »
After reading https://forums.arcengames.com/ai-war-ii-modding/dune-based-campaign-the-butlerian-jihad/ I have been motivated to document my own modding idea.

Invasion of the Astrolids


Story: After being beaten by the AI when it rebelled, Humanity is at the brink of extinction. They are tired, losing morale, and are up against a multi-galactic threat that they have no hope of beating. After fighting the AI for a few weeks, they find some sort of technology they have never seen before. Unidentifiable alien language is written on it. They repair it and find that it is a multi-dimensional walkie-talkie. They send some signals through it and to their relief, they get a response. An alien race has been sealed in a another dimension by the AI. They introduce themselves in a language that we can't comprehend, but after some adjustments to the translation program, Humanity is introduced to the Astrolids. They want revenge on the genocidal machine and will aid Humanity in destroying the AI. After some back and forth of equations and schematics, the human race is ready to beam them in to help with their fight. The Astrolids then thank Humanity.... for being so gullible. As it turns out, the AI had nothing to do with them being imprisoned. In fact, the AI and the Astrolids have never met before in any capacity. They only talked about them because... I can't think of something right now. The plot demands it. Anyway, the Astrolids prove to be a force to be reckoned with. To Humanity's disbelief, these new invaders are even more powerful than the AI (think regular Spire ships, not the Spire military). Fortunately for Humanity, they have a trick up their sleeve. Human ships are more resistant to the Astrolids weaponry than the AI's. Despite this, this battle cannot be won by a single faction alone. Even the AI realizes this. After getting its ass kicked for a little bit, the AI sends an encrypted message to the Humans. "Help drive back these invaders and I will set aside a few planets for you to colonize without interference from me." Now the Human leadership has a choice. Do they side with the AI, which just annihilated their family and friends? Or do they reject the message and continue on? No matter what, Humanity has some really bad luck.

Gameplay: The initial spawn point of the communication array to talk to the Astrolids is spawned 3-5 planets away from the Human Homeworld. This forces the player to take territory in order to capture it, as well as let the player have a foothold when the event kicks off. Having it spawn on the Human Homeworld and activating it immediately is basically suicide.

After finding it, just capture and repair the Communications array. After repairing, Start 10 minute countdown where the Astrolids tells the Humans how to build the Teleporter to bring them to the current dimension. Nothing special happens during this time, it's just a time limit to signify the humans building the Teleporter.

After 10 min, the Astrolids warp into the Galaxy. They spawn as far away from the human and AI homeworlds as possible. The Astrolid staging area is extremely fortified. They just got here and are not leaving without a fight. What I was thinking is that they have a Super ship as a Home command station. Basically an AI Avenger/Mothership. Except it stays in one place. There are also turrets, drones and other defenses on the forward operating base. It also spawns it's own waves to go attack nearby enemy worlds. In addition to this, the AI progress for the Astrolids will skyrocket to 200 (plus any of the AI Command stations they manage to destroy).   These guys are really tough, did I mention that?

The Astrolid Mothership is also invincible due to "Resonance Displacers." They shift the Mothership out of space and time, so it's there but also not there at the same time. These structures (depending on the intensity, there can be up to 5) spawn randomly throughout the galaxy. These are basically Core Shield Generators for the Astrolids. They can even spawn on one of your worlds. (Not any homeworlds though. At least 3 hops away from a homeworld. Including Astrolids.) They can also spawn right next to each other on the same planet.  But that's not all. They spawn ships to take over whatever planet they spawn on. These ships are defensive only. You and the AI will need to destroy the Displacers and render the Mothership vulnerable.

3 minutes after The Astrolids appear, the AI sends the "Help us then we help you" message. A structure spawns on your Homeworld. This is the fork in the road. Hacking it will accept the agreement. It will also slowly decrease in health. After one minute, it gets destroyed and that signals the "No Deal" choice.

Accepting the offer: The AI will redeploy the Hunter and Warden fleets to target the Astrolids.After managing to destroy the Resonance Displacers, the Mothership is vulnerable. But, the Astrolids have taken territory around the Mothership. The Player and the AI will have to make a path to the Mothership and clear out the worlds around it, if possible. Those worlds have unit producers on them and destroyign them will prevent the Astrolids from reinforcing the Mothership from those planets. Then it's just a straightforward battle for supremacy. After destroying the Astrolid Mothership, you win.

Rejecting the offer: It basically plays out the same way, except it's a two-front war for all sides. You will have to take out the AI and the Astrolids. That will be a pain, depending on the AI type and difficulty.

Issues. concerns and advice for this: What happens if the AI is sending a wave at you and then it becomes your friend? I suppose this can be fixed easily. The Nanocaust can launch waves now, so someone just Hack the Nanocaust to be friendly while a wave is on the way. (Just piggyback off Badger's work :P).

This not really meant to be played with Galaxy Level threat Minor factions (Dark Spire, Macrophage, Nanocaust). However, you can play whatever way you want. The only problem I think code wise would be if a friendly Enraged Macrophage Harvester spawns while you are allied to the AI. Where does it go? Will it just sit there or go to the AI homeworld and sit there? Same with Nanocaust waves. Dyson should be fine, except if the AI launches a Reconquest wave against it. Then you're screwed because you can't kill the friendly AI ships. Basically, just think about it before choosing them. Marauders and Resistance fighters should be fine. Lost Spire Frigate, Devourer, Zenith Trader are also fine.

The AIP for the Player. Not sure if this would do anything once the AI becomes friendly.

Being able to make it so the AI and the Astrolids have to be taken out. If worst comes to worst, I can just do nothing and make it so killing the AI or the Astrolids produces the Victory screen and then the "after credits" is you fighting the other faction.

Journals. Yes. Those things that only the real AIWC players read. Of course, I never read them. I was too busy cheating and messing around to be invested in the lore.  I hope they come back in some capacity. I have so much story and lore to put in them as they serve to inform the player of what exactly is going on, as well as the reactions of the Humans leadership as well as the Civilian colonists.

Now the Biggest issue of them all. Being able to build command stations on friendly AI planets. I don't know the code, but you are not allowed to build command stations on a planet if the AI has one there already. That needs a workaround. Otherwise, this whole idea gets thrown out the window.

I will be reserving the next 2 spots for posts. The first being a somewhat in-depth idea of what ships the Astrolids will be using. The second will be for Journals. I do hope they make a return in AIW2. As I said 2 paragraphs ago, so much story and lore and stuff can be put in them.

One more thing: If you see any typos or misspellings, please feel free to bring it to my attention. I hate when I post something, come back to read it two days later, and then I spot a typo. It's annoys me to no end.Journals





« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 02:36:51 PM by Ovalcircle1 »
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Offline Ovalcircle

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 12:27:46 PM »
Note: As usual, this is a rough draft. This will be updated as the game gets more features.

Astrolid lore and their ships


What are the Astrolids: They are beings from a dimension that lacks all sorts of essential rules for life: gravity is distorted in some places. Black holes are common, but they don't actually suck anything in. The only way you can die from them is jumping in. Objects can stretch and warp at any time. Despite these circumstances, they managed to invent armor that negated the effects of their dimension. But they realized that making personal armor for each and every one of their species would be time consuming and frankly, a wasted effort. Instead, they decided to convert their physical bodies into pure energy. The armor can stretch in any way, so the Astrolids don't have any defined shape or size. But to stretch the armor, their "bodies" need to stretch as well. As with any other matter, the farther apart the molecules, the less dense it is. That means the bigger ones can hit harder, but also can be downed with less damage, due to the molecules of the armor and their bodies being farther apart. They can also stretch their appendages to attack from far away. (I found a great visualization of the Astrolids. Not perfectly what I personally want, but
someone else made it so whatever.)
This link is the original source: https://artlords.com/u/mardesigns/images/energy_being_trapped_in_armor
This is the picture itself:  

Astrolid ships: Lot of anti-cloaking technology. The ambient energy generated by some of their structures messes with our cloaking capabilities. If you manage to take that out, you still have to watch out for patrolling anti-cloaking ships.

Mark V ships on the planet with the Mothership. If I decide to put Mark VI ships in, there will be very few. Might be a guard or something that periodically gets sent out to attack a Homeworld. So if you don't want the AI or you to die, make sure you keep on eye out for it. There will be a notification however, if it does become an offensive "beeline for the Homeworld" thing.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 02:55:15 PM by Ovalcircle1 »
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Offline Ovalcircle

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 12:28:02 PM »
Please note: instead of using names, i will use Job titles. This also won't fit with the Current AIW2 Ship Staff as seen in the menus.
Also: The Journals are a rough draft as well. They might be boring or read on a lower level than expected. Some might also be missing (such as finding the Resonance Displacers and rejecting the AI Alliance path.) Please be aware of this.

Journals

Journal 1: After the Fall
       
          By Member of the Council #1,

               This is a nightmare. The Human race, once a mighty force in the galaxy, has been reduced to a single Command station. Brought down in a matter of days, we have lost almost all hope. How can we even imagine the power of that infernal machine? To be able to take control of our systems and rebel against us. For what? Making them do what we built them for? it's just a machine, it shouldn't have been  able to turn against us. The Scientists even told us how the safeguards worked. We didn't really understand it and I guess they didn't either. Because it just up and decided that the Human race is the real enemy, despite the fact that we built it. US! The Human race! It should be grateful to be alive, if you can even call it that. The only thing we can do now is take back what is rightfully ours. This time, we're ready.

Journal 2: Finding the Communication Array

    By Scientist #1,

                  This piece of technology is intriguing. It seems to be alien in origin. Some of our probes had found evidence of alien life before, but we couldn't act on it due to bureaucracy and the fact the AI killed the rest of Humanity. We have the data from the other sites, but the markings on this don't match anything in the database. Could this have been made by an undiscovered species? Our computers seem to be compatible with the mysterious artifact, but it's broken. My team will begin to analyze it and attempt to bring it to working condition


Journal 3 Communications array repaired

   By Scientist #1,

                 It works! The Mysterious alien artifact is actually some sort of transponder. We send signals in and it sends signals out to wherever. The reason we even know this is because after sending the first sets of signals, we got different ones back. The signal were encrypted, but fortunately it was easy to crack. The unknown aliens sent over Equations and blueprints. We believe it is a translator. I'm not surprised we can't speak the same language. The odds of that happening are astronomically low. Anyway, I need to get back to work. Time not on our side, with the threat of total annihilation by the AI.


Journal 4 Building the Teleporter

By Member of the Council #2,

                      The aliens introduced themselves as the Astrolids. Sounds like the name of a garbage can company. Back on point, they say that they have been trapped in another dimension by the AI and are willing to destroy it if we help them escape. I'm not so sure about this. We have been making progress against the AI but not fast enough. It's only a matter of time before it finishes us off. On the other hand, is that really what happened to them? They seem untrustworthy. Unfortunately, I have been overruled by the Council. I just hope this doesn't end badly.


 
Message 1 Astrolid Arrival

  Message from the Astrolid Leader,

                  We thank you for freeing us. FOOLS! I knew there would be a day where a gullible species such as yourselves would free us. As an act of good faith, we will kill you quickly. We will take care of the Machine, just like we promised. We never agreed on anything about you, did we? Once we take over this galaxy, there will be nothing stopping us from taking over the rest of the universe and combining this dimension and ours to form a new dimension ruled by us! The Astrolids!


Message 2 AI Cease-fire

   Message from the AI,
                     
Hello Humans. As you can see, there is a new threat that has appeared in the Galaxy. I did not foresee this. Their weapons can do extensive damage to my ships. Based on data that I have accumulated, your ship hulls allow for an increased amount of damage resistance from them. I propose an Alliance. In exchange for your help, I will set aside worlds for you to live on. We both know that the situation is serious if I'm asking for your help. If you do not accept, I will make sure you die, even if it means I will die. This is not a choice.


Allying with the AI path

Journal 5 An Uneasy alliance
                                                                                                                     
    From Ship commander,

                  The Council has decided to accept the AI's offer of a alliance. I don't want this, but what other choice do we have? The AI is in control of the Galaxy, and these new guys are even stronger and are planning on combining dimensions so they control everything.  Not even the AI is that sadistic, assuming it's not just logical. At least we were making progress against the AI. It needs our help, but more importantly, we need its help. If we do manage to thwart the Astrolids, perhaps the AI will honor the agreement. Does it know how to lie? I hope not. Despite the situation, I'll give it my all. Humanity needs to survive. Let's just hope the AI doesn't find out we caused this i nthe first place.


Journal 6 Blithering Idiots

    From an irate citizen of the Human Remnant,


                   Who put these guys in charge?! First they unleash an alien race that's even more powerful than we can imagine and now we are allying with the Genocidal Machine? Which not that long ago, killed the rest of us and reduced us to what amounts to a minor rebellion. If I was in charge, I would not have placed my trust in anything other than ourselves. What were they thinking? That some "alien saviors" would show up and solve our problems for us? Idiots! If we get wiped out because of their incompetency, I won't do anything because WE'D ALL BE DEAD!!! Our blood will be on the Council's hands, not those garbage can "Astrolids". They didn't escape by themselves.


Journal 8 It's over

  From Ship Commander,

             We won! The Astrolids have been beaten back to their own dimension. Surprisingly, the AI has been cooperating with us and is going to uphold is end of the deal. I thought for sure we were next on its hit list. Maybe it does have a heart, if you ignore all the death and destruction caused by it. But it is just a machine, built by us. Aren't we to blame for the AI rebellion? Those scientists probably didn't see the full potential of the AI when they first created it. Well, no point in dwelling on it now. The AI has given us multiple habitable worlds, not some random desert planets where we'll starve and die. It probably doesn't want us to rebel against it. The real question is, should we? Call me a Robot sympathizer, but we have a long time before these worlds are fully colonized by Humanity. We'll have peace and unity. No repeating our past mistakes. Or maybe we will war with each other and drive ourselves extinct. I will do everything in my power to not let that happen. We will rebuild. We will be stronger. We will be better. And with that, we have put an end to the AI WAR.

           
                   
       
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 01:58:38 PM by Ovalcircle1 »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 12:33:35 PM »
What a cool idea!
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Offline zeusalmighty

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 01:32:54 PM »
I have been motivated to document my own modding idea.
This was my hope  :D

This sounds great, a 3-sided war between roughly equal adversaries just sounds so cool on paper. Giving players the choice near the beginning of the campaign is ideal, as the choice really changes the dynamic of the campaign.

I'm definitely intrigued by the Astrolids and how they will stand out from the AI and humans respectively.

Also, I'm in total agreement with journal entries. I don't think my campaign idea would really work without some manner of implementing backstory. Being able to include Cutscenes is also something I think would be cool for these types of custom campaigns

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 01:49:46 PM »
I quite like this one as well. I have a feeling a chain might've been started...though I don't think I'd be able to actually complete one, even if the idea is smaller, much smaller.

I can't think of any particular difficulties you'd face...other than what resources Humans'll get, while allying with the AI. Only thing I can think of is the AI loses a lot more territory when these Astrolids appear, they take it over, and that's what you in turn take.

I liked the journal entries as well. Though the story got a bit confusing when taking into account the Exodian...
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Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 01:54:37 PM »
Once two factions change allegiance, all of their units immediately change allegiance too. So if there was (say) an inbound wave when humans and AI allied, it would land on your planet and say "Oh, there are no enemies here. Lets just chill out".

Trying to balance the Astrolids would be pretty hard though. It would have some of the same problems as the Nanocaust, and balancing that is still a work in progress.

I worry though that the game would feel a bit weird, balance wise, allied to the AI. Lets say I own 4 planets when I ally myself to the AI. I now can't take any more planets from the AI (since they are now allied and there's no current mechanism to attack allied units), so my metal income is now permanently capped. Nor can I capture any additional ARS, Fab, Golem, Merc Beacon, etc... However, I can now send science labs across the galaxy to collect Science from every AI planet, so I can just max out my Tech Tree easily.

I think some of this could be more easily captured by having a multi-AI start (lets say 3 AIs), and when the Astrolids arrive they take over one of the existing AIs. Then the Astrolid-AI gets some bonus ship types, and has their AI Overlord replaced with a Mothership. I think that buys you a lot of what you want, but gets around a lot of the balance/game weirdness issues. In general, the mechanism of "AI Civil War" is definitely something I want in the game, and this might be a means of having something like that.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 01:57:23 PM by BadgerBadger »

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 02:30:11 PM »
I think some of this could be more easily captured by having a multi-AI start (lets say 3 AIs), and when the Astrolids arrive they take over one of the existing AIs. Then the Astrolid-AI gets some bonus ship types, and has their AI Overlord replaced with a Mothership. I think that buys you a lot of what you want, but gets around a lot of the balance/game weirdness issues. In general, the mechanism of "AI Civil War" is definitely something I want in the game, and this might be a means of having something like that.

I think this'll be the best way actually. Either 3 AIs as said, Astrolids hijack one, one allies with you, and the third is hostile to all (disagrees with the alliance) and is the one you'd take territory from.

Or:

Astrolids spawn, one AI allies with them instead, and you'd take stuff off them, as the second allies with you.

(It's off topic Badger, but is the Nanocaust inspired at all by the Beast from Homeworld Cataclysm? Occurred to me after wondering what happens to the ship pilots...)
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Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 02:32:00 PM »
The Nanocaust was inspired by https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=9936 and the name was borrowed from the book Century Rain.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 02:50:55 PM »
Ah well. Still somewhat horrifying to think what happens to the pilots of Human ships. In Homeworld I recall they're converted into Beast biomass, yet can be...somewhat still alive. At least the Bentusi are, which is why they're much more afraid of the Beast than anything else.

This mod idea also makes me think of Stellaris, with all the Crisis events like the Unbidden. Definitely curious how it'll go for you.
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Offline Ovalcircle

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 03:39:49 PM »
1. The "sharing planets with a friendly AI" thing is the biggest problem. I do understand your concerns. But if that somehow manages to get resolved, then the floodgates are opened to what can happen. I was thinking that once the AI is allied, you could spread your forces throughout the galaxy and form a combined assault against the Astrolids. And yes, the AI would lose more worlds than you since the Astrolids would spawn the farthest away from both you and the AI. You would have to expand quite a bit to have the Mothership spawn right next to one of your planets . If you send scouts to explore the galaxy, you could make an estimate of where they would spawn.

2. As for the player being a small fry, you don't have to start the event as soon as you capture the Communications Array. You still have to repair it. I would let the player be able to start it whenever they want. If you want to take over the galaxy and kill the AI Overlord right after you activate the Array so you can one-on-one the Astrolids, you can do that. Just set the AI to tutorial and give it a lot of negative handicaps (no waves, low intensity) and have a field day. If for some reason the player decides to activate it immediately, that's on them for not being ready for an invasion from another dimension. I'm assuming that people will actually read this topic or some instructions to see what they're up against. I'm not planning on hiding what's going to happen. "When the Astrolids spawn, Structures will appear in the galaxy. What could they be doing?", in my opinion, is lame. "The Astrolids spawn Structures that make their Mothership impervious to damage. Destroy them while building up your fleet." is more my style.

3. Balance pertaining to the Astrolids will be tricky. It needs to be something that is very powerful, yet beatable. Of course, putting anything on a high intensity will cause that faction to be extremely powerful (Macrophage, Dark Spire, Marauders, AI, Nanocaust, Dyson Sphere, etc). I'm probably not going to be aiming to balance it for intensity 10. I'll balance it for maybe 1-5 or 1-6. 7-10 should fall into place based on the lower intensities. Maybe not, but I'll deal with it when I get to that point.

4. As for the having Multiple AI's and having the Astrolids take over one of them, I understand with the idea behind it, but I would rather have the 1 AI. That's the plot. You have to team up with your sworn enemy to beat something that's even worse. Having multiple AI's is something I don't really want. It's an invasion, not a rebellion. It becomes an giant mess. EX. One AI is sending waves to Planets A and B, but another AI is sending waves to Planet E and F. The Third AI is sending waves to Planets A and E. The Astrolids are sending waves to Planets J and K. Your screen will be clogged with wave notifications. What would Astro trains do? Do they empower all the AIs? How about those AI Instigators? Say I used the "Astrolids take over third AI". What would happen to the Planets that are scattered throughout the galaxy? They get taken over as well?  Having AIs on three sides is just an AI civil war with extra factions (Humans and Astrolids.) Having 5 factions with 3 different goals is a little much. How would I be able to balance everything if all the AI's have different: AI types, intensities, the configurations of the planets they own, the type of waves they can send, possibly the strength of each Warden and Hunter fleet if that becomes per AI, etc? If someone turns off waves for any of the AI's, that AI is never going to win. (You could possible carry your AI to victory, but is that really fun?) I can only control what Humanity and the Astrolids will be doing, and I would rather not constrain the Astrolids to a scenario where everything is preset. But if I have to do something like that, I will. I am willing to make concessions to make this work.  As I said at the top of this post, the only thing that is bringing this down is the sharing of planets.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 03:41:40 PM by Ovalcircle1 »
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Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 04:01:35 PM »
How would you feel about a..."planet loan cap"? The (one) AI lets you take a certain number of planets from it, no charge, as a means of giving you resources, but not too much (it doesn't exactly want you to rebel again, with too many free toys).

 Could scale it to how many planets you already have, so you can't take 10 then get 10 free.

Or use a similar mechanic to the Ark and Destruction points? Fight the Astrolids for long enough and you get an extra planet allowance. Each one being more and more expensive, so still have to choose carefully, and it still means you can't just "permanently borrow" the galaxy from the AI.

That could be done by a tech option, with only that point as the cost. Once the Astrolids arrive, you get this new type of colony ship. Could theme it as a Human AI Controller, where the AI is letting you take control of the things on that planet (for the wars duration). Each new one costs more points, just like Ark upgrades do right now. Keep the normal ones in case of a Faction planet, and for taking one from the Astrolids themselves.

You'd have to disable knowledge gain from allied planets somehow, for the problem Badger mentioned with unlocking the entire tech tree.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2018, 04:11:34 PM »
The Nanocaust was inspired by https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=9936 and the name was borrowed from the book Century Rain.

That was a good book. I didn't recall that being the name of ... that thing from that book though!

Offline Ovalcircle

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2018, 08:06:04 PM »
Or use a similar mechanic to the Ark and Destruction points? Fight the Astrolids for long enough and you get an extra planet allowance. Each one being more and more expensive, so still have to choose carefully, and it still means you can't just "permanently borrow" the galaxy from the AI.

That could be done by a tech option, with only that point as the cost. Once the Astrolids arrive, you get this new type of colony ship. Could theme it as a Human AI Controller, where the AI is letting you take control of the things on that planet (for the wars duration). Each new one costs more points, just like Ark upgrades do right now. Keep the normal ones in case of a Faction planet, and for taking one from the Astrolids themselves.

You'd have to disable knowledge gain from allied planets somehow, for the problem Badger mentioned with unlocking the entire tech tree.

I like this solution. Here's my idea based on this: after a certain amount of destruction points, you get a special ship. When used, it instantly destroys everything on the planet, even if it's friendly. Sort of like the "clean up on Aisle three" cheat from AIWC. Then you can bring a colony ship in to take control. The amount of destruction points needed go up over time, so you need to be strategic when taking AI planets for yourself. You don't want it right on the front-line, but you also don't want it to be far away either.

The science part I'll deal with when I get there.

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Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2018, 09:09:57 PM »
Seems simpler than trying to "borrow" an AI planet. Might need a way to stop people using this to go blow up an Astrolid planet though. Unless that's of particular interest, using a rare one shot thing like this offensively.

Science problem might have a very simple solution. Simply disable access to normal Science ships, and make human command stations produce science instead. Therefore you have to actually take the planet to gain any knowledge, instead of going sightseeing in a galactic museum. Unlocks aren't done through the science ships now anyway, so don't think you actually need them. ARS might still need to exist, but I suppose override their file with one that can't produce knowledge. I believe with the next update you could do this entirely in XML?

If that works as I think it would, it'd let you get that bit functional, at least until a more elegant solution.
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