Author Topic: Returning to AWII. Thoughts  (Read 978 times)

Offline carldong

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« on: January 15, 2020, 08:31:17 PM »
So I just got AI War 2 yesterday. I was an old player who can beat 7/7 (and especially with Fallen Spire) regularly on AI War 1, so I consider myself "familiar" with the previous game. AI war 2 brought some surprises, though.

I tried the "Guide" scenario, which is one AI on Difficulty 3 and lots of lots of friendly Marauders on 7. They are quite powerful, and in fact at the endgame basically they have every planet except for the AI Overlord. Other worlds are not that hard for my fleet, too: even the VI ones.

However, the home world, with multiple zombie posts and parasite posts are enormously difficult for my fleet (max tier  IV, I think), with two full transports and one with one line, the combat factory, and the Gravity Station. Force multipliers include Force Field Frigate and Healer Gunboat. They almost always get wiped out (twice) before I can take down one Dire guard post, and then comes a long period of waiting for metal generation and defending the reprisal wave of some 300 strength. It takes ~20min wall time for a recovery, mostly because game speed is running at 70% and below. Salvage (and/or Warheads) would be immensely helpful here but it seems that the mechanic is not implemented for the player in the second game.

I don't quite think that is the right strategy. Is AI War 2 more difficult than AW1 in low planet count games? Most notably, there are no warheads, so I can only brute force through enemy fleet and guards (though this is easier than the first game with the fleet leads). Or is the new game designed such that Hack Points should be liberally used?

Finally, I observe some major slowdown for the Guide scenario starting in the mid game. I think it is due to the tens of thousands of Marauder ships and drones. I have a very powerful workstation with 8 core i9 processor, but I run 70% speed at late game (just when I first assault Overloard), and down to 20% as I split fleet trying to do some more hacking. I had to abandon this campaign due to the performance.

Online Draco18s

  • Resident Velociraptor
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,250
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 11:30:54 PM »
Old difficulty 7 is new difficulty 5. And yes, Mauraders will do that.

As for homeworld assaults, they'll usually take more than one attempt. The first (and possibly second and third) will cause the pretorean guard to spawn and you'll have to back off to deal with them. Once that budget is exhausted you have to whittle the guard posts down.

Fortunately, there's only one AI homeworld (by default) so once you pop the command station, you win.

I won a diff-5 game where I accidentally'd the universe with mauraders (not enabled in lobby, popped a relic that made them spawn). Homeworld took about 5 attempts to finish. And the last three I was on the verge of collapse due to the mauraders. I spent a good hour or more between attempt #2 and attempt #3 having to clean up and reinforce my core worlds, which ended up "stranding" three of my fleets on that side of the galaxy, but I had to continuously fend off from-deep-space strikes from mauraders attempting to take my squishy econ worlds.

And I do mean stranded. Getting them back out to the front lines required that they pass through a series of worlds owned by the mauraders that were easily as tough as the AI homeworld and I had no permanent forward base (it kept getting destroyed). My forward fleets just had to recapture, fortify, and repair regularly in order to stay alive (I kept them in two groups, one that defended and one that attacked and I still regularly had to retreat to a neutralized planet in order to not lose the ability to capture planets by having no healthy flagships).
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 11:35:29 PM by Draco18s »

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 260
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 10:54:17 AM »
However, the home world, with multiple zombie posts and parasite posts are enormously difficult for my fleet (max tier  IV, I think), with two full transports and one with one line, the combat factory, and the Gravity Station. Force multipliers include Force Field Frigate and Healer Gunboat. They almost always get wiped out (twice) before I can take down one Dire guard post, and then comes a long period of waiting for metal generation and defending the reprisal wave of some 300 strength. It takes ~20min wall time for a recovery, mostly because game speed is running at 70% and below. Salvage (and/or Warheads) would be immensely helpful here but it seems that the mechanic is not implemented for the player in the second game.

Mark 4 is fairly low for a Homeworld assault. It goes up to Mark 7 now.  The number of Fleets there is I think also fairly low. I've seen people attack the Homeworlds with enough stuff to overpower it with only Pursuit mode in the past. An additional note is it rallies units from nearby planets if you go there, plus starts recalling things like threat and the Hunter Fleet. The hop range it alerts increases with difficulty, so it can be good to clear them out first.

Salvage (and/or Warheads) would be immensely helpful here but it seems that the mechanic is not implemented for the player in the second game.

Salvage was a thing but was removed. Metal costs for your units don't go up with Mark anymore, and metal income is notably higher in general.

https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.php?title=AI_War_2:_The_Refinement_of_Fleets#Counterattacks_From_the_AI_Replace_Reprisal_Waves

Here's a mention fairly recently of Outguard being used in a kind of Warhead-ish way: https://forums.arcengames.com/ai-war-ii/please-help-us-test-beta-ai-war-2-v1-1-now-out-on-steam!/15/
Autistic, so apologies for any communication difficulties!

Offline carldong

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2020, 03:25:16 PM »
Well, my other game at 2 AI Diff 5 (basic scenario) is approaching first Overlord assault too. I bring a fleet at V max heavily investigated in Force Fields and Snipers. It can handle home world defenses all right. This loadout is extremely survivable, but does not pack a lot of punch, and moves slowly at 400 when unloaded. Does not help if time critical missions are required (barely making an Instigator some 10 jumps away).

Now, there is another issue I saw: at AIP 185, the wave sizes are around 5~7 strength, and it seems about right.

Then QUESTION: why in a Diff 3 game does the AI send waves of 150 strength when my AIP is 70? And it (one AI) always sends two in a row. I recognize that the symbol is different from a counterattack, so that makes it even more baffling. It is the Helping Hands scenario, and Marauders are destroying every single Warp Gates in the galaxy. Does that incur hidden AIP? No matter what, getting 300 strength's worth of waves on difficulty 3 does not sound right.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 260
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2020, 03:59:53 PM »
I think I get it, though not for certain. If a Warp Gate is destroyed while a wave is in progress, it's delayed and has to go through another Gate. This does bump up the next wave and wormhole invasion (which is a thing that shouldn't be possible at that difficulty). So it might be that the Marauders there are constantly cancelling waves until you get that.

Have many waves been finishing and hitting 0 on the timer?

The Marauders in that scenario are set to not give you AIP, even though normally friendly ones would. Should be no hidden AIP.
Autistic, so apologies for any communication difficulties!

Offline carldong

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2020, 04:41:38 PM »
Have many waves been finishing and hitting 0 on the timer?

Only several are actually cancelled, and most spawn as threats (without interrupted). However, I get occasionally waves of 2 and then waves of some 150. I thought they were counterattacks at first, but I only lose 40 strength at max, and I think counterattacks spawn as threat so either way that is strange. They use the regular wave symbol in warnings. If you need the save I can find a way to upload that, but it runs at 20% speed and the only thing left in the galaxy is the AI Home world. I think it still spawns waves, though.

Aaaand holy cow, what is that Overloard phase 2??? It zombifies my entire fleet in one second (and then ignores my most powerful beachhead and goes straight into the Threat fleet). How is it possible to beat that thing? It's not like I have an Armored Warhead... First loss in AIW2. Had to savescum and leave AI #1 homeworld neutered and go capture every fleet upgrade possible in the galaxy.

AIW2 seems to bring lots of spikes in difficulty. My fleet can blow up a fully defended VI world and annihilate the AI Hunter and Warden fleet with no problem and then... boom

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 260
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2020, 05:44:46 PM »
The save may be useful, thank you.

Strange...Phase 2 was buffed recently because it was being slaughtered without killing much, just a few dozen units that I recall (and the zombies were wiped out just from player units with unused salvo shots (because it needs a separate target for each one)). What total strength did you have at the end? People tend to have 500-600+ before a Homeworld assault.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 05:46:51 PM by RocketAssistedPuffin »
Autistic, so apologies for any communication difficulties!

Offline carldong

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 06:59:06 PM »
The save may be useful, thank you.

Strange...Phase 2 was buffed recently because it was being slaughtered without killing much, just a few dozen units that I recall (and the zombies were wiped out just from player units with unused salvo shots (because it needs a separate target for each one)). What total strength did you have at the end? People tend to have 500-600+ before a Homeworld assault.

Attached is the Helping Hands scenario save at end game. Extremely laggy, so be warned.

For the 5/5 game set up from quick start scenario, I assaulted home world with a strength of 100 and blowing up guard posts one by one. I was able to do so because the reinforcement at low difficulty and AIP is not high, and I essentially achieve fleet supremacy, killing any reinforcements, warden fleet, hunters, etc as they spawn. My AIP right after Phase 1 was something like 205 as I was accustomed to a low AIP/low planet count style brought from AIWC. I have no more than 10 planets taken from a 80 planet map. Is that style no longer viable? My fleet couldn't even touch the Overlord: that thing alone have some 150 strength, I think. It instantly kills all 4 shield frigates I have and turns all my ships into zombies and kills all my fleet leads. I cannot recover from this with 5 million capped metal reserve because I can't even withdraw quickly enough without the Threat fleet catching up.

That, and the Overlord ignores my 400 strength (I think) core world outpost and eats up my logistics/econ worlds that has about 50 strength defense like candy.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 07:01:19 PM by carldong »

Offline carldong

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 07:08:20 PM »
Also, I can actually push AI force fields away using Force Field frigates. I don't think that is intended: at least make it happen only when total engine power is greater than X.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 260
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 07:38:06 PM »
I think the lag there is from something that Chris is investigating right now, of which Marauders fall victim to.

For your strength - 100 is extremely low at that point. I think that kind of low AIP style is still very viable currently, due to the addition of the Major Data Centers (when held, AIP reduced by 60. Goes up by 90 on destruction). It's actually been a thorn for Difficulty 10, how much reduction there is. You can capture more planets here while keeping it really low.

Looking around in the save, there's a lot of stuff untapped. You don't have any Major Data Centers, each of which would allow you to capture 2 planets beyond the one it's on while keeping AIP the same, and a lot of unused Hacking Points. A lot more of your power comes from Hacking here, as a major part of it are things like Advanced Research Stations, Tech Vaults and Fleet Capacity Extenders. There's also the Intra-Galactic Coordinators, one for Strikecraft (the Fleetship replacement), Frigates (Starships) and Turrets, which increase the cap of those things by 30%, after everything else.

So from the position in your save, you could capture a few Major Data Centers and get a lot of reduction, Hack a bunch of ARS to fill up some more Fleets, use some Fleet Capacity Extenders to get more of the things you like/want/need, get a Tech Vault or two for those units, then capture an Intra-Galactic Coordinator to boost it even further. Then destroy some Distribution Nodes to get more Science and Hacking to boost them more after, all with only a little AIP increase.

Hope some of that's helpful. The Overlord is...maybe a big spike for that difficulty compared to the normal defenses, but someone else with more programmer ability would have to change that. For the higher difficulties it's a bit of a pushover relative to the planets.
Autistic, so apologies for any communication difficulties!

Offline carldong

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 07:58:22 PM »
Hope some of that's helpful. The Overlord is...maybe a big spike for that difficulty compared to the normal defenses, but someone else with more programmer ability would have to change that. For the higher difficulties it's a bit of a pushover relative to the planets.

So it seems that I need to expand much more aggressively in AIW2. Perhaps 10 more planets would do. I am still experimenting with all those relics as I was unsure of their capabilities (for now). And I don't quite know what new items I would get when I upgrade techs, so I could only look at how much strength would add to my fleet/defenses using the tooltip. I was too conservative in taking planets... because I originally learned using Kahuna's guide, which is perhaps an extreme strategy for higher difficulty.

I have one idea for the phase 2, though I am uncertain whether this matches the design goals of AIW2. Have the Overlord with its capability, just less powerful. Then, send a last exogalactic strike wave proportional (or for more !!fun!! go exponential) to the current AIP. That would probably not hit the sneaky assassin style as much, while making it still very exciting to take on.

Was that how AIWC was done? Haven't played for some time. I remember constant exo waves starting at the moment I assault a homeworld until I kill the home station.

Offline Democracy? Democracy!

  • Newbie Mark II
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2020, 12:46:58 AM »
I've found quite a good amount of success playing high aip on dif 9 and wining (mostly hovering around 430 aip before engaging ai HW). You can engage the ai much more effectively once you have mk6 stuff. I find it best to focus on your starting fleet and maxing the tech relevant to it, then scouting the rest of the galaxy for what you're gonna take and invest into the other appropriate techs. One tech into turret is very nice as well. I'd highly recommend using the gorlems as they all have good utility in some way (sans armored golem). Usage of fleet doublers is also a very good way to increase strength.

Offline carldong

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2020, 02:57:02 PM »
So I managed to kill the first AI overlord with a fleet of 200 strength, including 8 MkIII FF frigates and a Hive Golem. For the first of the Phase 2 battle I blob up all of my fleets in the galaxy into a deathball and kite with all the sniper ships and frigates and the Hive Golem. Then I accidentally let the Overlord escape, and had to chase it all over the galaxy (with a number of worlds I did not neuter and included stuff like Mass Drivers).

But the Overlord made a huge mistake.

It attacks a group of 3 Logistic planets (with a Major Data Center). Each has 50 strength, and the Overlord brings all the threat in the galaxy plus one Usurper wave. It seemed that I would lose these planets... except each world has full cap of 9 factories and full cap of engineers, and I have capped 6.4M metal.

Which means the Overlord can't destroy and zombify my fleet as fast as I rebuild them. It was pure chaos with Threat pouring all over the wormholes and I throw the fleets into the Overlord's face. In the end, I killed it with a Lost Spire Frigate destroyed but without any permanent losses.


Offline BadgerBadger

  • Arcen Volunteer
  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,216
  • BadgerBadgerBadgerBadger
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2020, 03:21:05 PM »
That sounds like an awesome and epic final battle!

Offline carldong

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Re: Returning to AWII. Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2020, 04:07:06 PM »
And Finally! I killed the second AI too, and got my first victory!

The tactics I used, however, was extremely grindy (the carrier style). It took straight up 30 minutes to grind down the Phase 2 with basically nothing but the Hive Golem IV, with a fleet of strength 270. I would not do that on higher difficulties as it takes too long at AIP 340.

Note that Phase 1 didn't even last for 10 minutes. I think for lower difficulty, the mismatch of Phase 1 and Phase 2 is so huge: if you can kill Phase 2, then everything from core world to Phase 1 would be a blitz with absolutely 0 ship loss. I ordered my entire fleet to charge when the Overlord has about 3M health left, and still I lost half a fleet or so.

If anyone wants to try out the scenario, I attached a save right before I began Phase 2. The fleet I bring here can nuke any world on the map with 0 ship loss, and that is exactly the case for both phases if I keep distance. Once I charge in, losses are going to be severe (especially when FF Frigates are zombified).

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk