Author Topic: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR  (Read 2670 times)

Offline Kesseleth

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2019, 07:05:23 PM »


Greetings, adveturers! Welcome back to the War of the Dark Spire. Previously, I managed to capture Orsha, a planet which hosts a blueprint for sniper ships.

I, umm... misnamed the relevant save, as you can see. Regardless, there is little to be done but proceed onwards.


The first order of business is to recover my fleet, set up better defenses for Orsha, and overall lick my wounds from the Dire Guardian guarding the planet.

And there they are. I don't know much of their capabilities but infinite range is nothing to sneeze at.

Well. It would seem the AI is not wasting any time. Best get better turrets up quickly.

Not the prettiest but it will catch any AI ships trying to beeline for the home base from any wormhole.

I suspect this battle will be hard-fought. 50 strength is nothing to sneeze at. Still, at the end of the battle the AI probably won't be able to make another attempt like this for some time.

Eh, for good measure.

Oh, no you don't. I always forget that the force fields can move, heh.

The bulk of the force is Guardians. the Nucleophilic turrets will pull their weight, I hope. Still, this doesn't seem overwhelmingly dangerous.

Indeed, the force is defeated, though with some losses.

hiss... Some gate raiding may be in order.

 Raid starships and sentinel starships will be ready soon, or at least that's my hope.

I suspected this might happen... I'll have to make do without engineers for a bit.

Atanasoff, thankfully, has already been cleared out. My sniper turrets can simply be redirected to take on the warp gate and the issue will be resolved, at least temporarily.

Destroyed. My hope is that the wave, when inevitably reassigned to another warp gate, will be sent to Gyarm instead.

Only one engineer, the autobuilt one, remains on Orsha. In the meantime a Vengeance Strike is inbound, though I suspect it will not have a major impact based on the last one. The question becomes... what now? There is a data center and a zenith power generator, and from Orsha their distance is not so terrible. Despite that it would require another pilgrimmage to reach either of them. For now, while regaining my metal, I am going to simply continue to scout and decide how to proceed from there.

Damn. The Wardens. I need to set up a new honeypot to trap them, now that the old one is gone. Just outside of Orsha is not a terrible idea, now that I think about it. But just outside of Gyarm is perhaps even better. I will see what I can do with a few mobile builders once the scouting run is complete.

That may be one of the worst scouting runs I have ever completed. Whatever the case, it didn't reveal much and I will attempt to look at a few more planets as soon as the ships are rebuilt, but in the meantime I will try and set up a honeypot back on Alterra.

Here we are. Alterra. A mark I planet bordering Gyarm. Hopefully I can lure the Wardens here, and use that to remove most of their forces. I can also hopefully take the Hunter Fleet on with the honeypot here, and if they break through they will still have Gyarm itself to deal with. A solid plan, or at least that is my hope.

Oh, no... not now. Ugh. This will be painful.


Damn it, an incoming wave on Gyarm destroyed the energy generator. Things are going to get interesting soon, I think.

I did not realize a Turtle type AI makes it this much more troublesome to scout. I find myself more than a little concerned by this point... I think knowledge hacking will be in order to power up my fleet.

All I can do at this point is shake my head slowly. 349 strength... The words "critical warning" could not be more true.

It begins. And on Orsha, too. I'm not surprised they would target Orsha but I am concerned. My best bet, so far as I can see, is to put up the best fight possible, lose, and rebuild my fleet at Gyarm in time to fend off the rest.

mouth hangs open


All right. So, the instigator base is on Dietz, and is thankfully close to my own territory. I will destroy my raid starships and rebuild them on Gyarm to take it down. In the meantime, I will do my damnedest to keep the AI from taking Orsha - though, I do technically have everything I need here, so it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Hmm. Been a little bit, but the AI has yet to make any serious moves with the fleet. It's a bit nerve-wracking.

This... this is going to be tough to defend against, once they attack.

Aaaand, they're all dead. Hmm.

A second attempt gets to Dietz. Oh, dear, it's like every planet got enormous reinforcements.

This instigator base may just have to wait. That is unfortunate, since it will make the next CPA even worse... but I simply do not know what else I can do.

Well, time to do something risky in the hopes of ending this stalemate. I will send my fleet to Atanasoff and try to bring the wrath of the AI down, so that I can clear out its threat. I've taken the liberty of saving first, since this is such a dangerous idea.

Some beam cannons did a number on my fleet but it's within reason. Meanwhile, another recapture is inbound... to Orsha, again. Urgh.

It's gonna be one of *those* attacks. I see.

My fleet is vanquished, but I still have a fighting chance... maybe. I have a save from just before the attack launched, so I may try a second time.

The station is down, but I shall continue fighting.

This will be close, that much is obvious. The victor is not yet evident... though I do suspect it will not be me.

Or... perhaps!

Well, they've been repelled, though only just. Honestly, I'm not even really sure what I can do at this point.


Yeah, that's a good term, AI. Everywhere I go is too many ships to count. I suppose all I can do is get started clearing them out, you know?

All right. The fleet is rebuilt, and the game is quicksaved. I shall now move to Denning, and attempt to cull the herd.

The number of ships present is ludicrous. It would be nice if I could deliberately drag them into Orsha but alas, I have no ships with that capability on my side. As it stands I will hole up in a corner and try to clear through them as best I can.

Offline Kesseleth

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2019, 07:07:51 PM »

This was a bad idea, wasn't it...

Yes. Very poor idea.

All right. Time to reload this.

This time I will take the far safer Atanasoff. Hopefully I can start baiting their ships here, once I've prepared some defenses.

Damned engineers! Fix what needs to be fixed and stop buggering about with random sniper turrets that inexplicably ended up in the middle of the system!

Oof. Gyarm has been weathering some tough waves but I find this one a bit concerning.

The wave was defeated after all. Now is what comes after... Atanasoff's gate to Denning is relatively safe. Relatively. I will save again and attempt an entrance here, alongside as many turrets as I can throw down with my metal.

This may not go well but damn, I tried. And damn it, why is there *another* inbound reprisal wave!?

Orsha will survive. But... damn. I... I really just don't know what to do. I don't want to have to call it here, but... I may have no choice.


You're right, AI. It's too soon to give up.

Two attacks are incoming to Orsha shortly. I will fend them off, and meanwhile wait for my metal reserves to max out. I also re-enabled stacking, since even looking at the other planets was lagging things a lot.


An attack is inbound! I am surprised, to be honest. I had run some tests on this save at the request of Puffin and Badger and attacks didn't occur for another half hour when at 10 times speed just watching to see what the AI would do. Hmm.

Gyarm is being attacked as well. I must say, I'm actually relieved! Hopefully I can wipe them up quickly and then continue on.

Metal has been maxed. The first order of business is to create a full cap of engineers on Orsha.

All right. We are go.

Now, the next part of the plan (past a quicksave) is to build as many turrets as I possibly can as quickly as possible, and hope I can get enough up with max metal to start tearing some serious chunks out of the enemy forces. Let us see if that will work as I hope... Stacking set to 200, since the max is still lagging on battles of this size. Unfortunate... but necessary.

This just might work!

The fleet is gone, unfortunately, and so are a few turrets. still, progress is being made.

The partially rebuilt fleet from Orsha has returned to lend a hand! The enemies are being destroyed, though slowly. Hopefully it won't take too much longer.

Hmm. This could be a problem.

More reinforcements to help out. I will be serious and say I don't know whether I can keep this kind of battle up. If this becomes commonplace the game will lock into a stalemate. If that happens... I will be forced to hang up my hat.

Looks like I'm no the only one who called for reinforcements.


My metal is dwindling. This could be bad.

Pike turrets, you are now Mark III. Prove to me that you have earned it!

I have never been so relieved to see an Active Eye before. That means we're making headway - though more reinforcements appear to be coming.

The Eye is off again. Damnation.

At long last the battle seems to be nearing a close. I get the feeling more reinforcements are on their way but at least a large blow has been dealt.

Sure enough - reinforcements.

I shall send my sniper turrets to start taking out the guard posts. Getting the Eye out of the way will enable some fleet mobility - well, then again, the Eye is deactivated...

A sentinel starship reveals that there's yet more on their way. Damnation.

Ah, damn. I'll need to fix the Ark later, I suppose. Meanwhile, I think the Wardens are coming...

The Eye is down!




I... I don't know if I can keep going. This is really, really draining after a while.

At least the planet is nearly cleared. I will begin building the necessary raid starships.

Actually, first, let's see if I can take out that other base now.

Hmm. Guess not.

A new set of raid starships, this time on Orsha. I will see if they can get rid of the tachyon guard posts as they move - this will take multiple waves, I am sure.

The first set was destroyed. Now time for the second.

Nearly there.

The way is now clear, for the third barrage.

All right. Take the damned base down, blow it to pieces.

Offline Kesseleth

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2019, 07:09:10 PM »

Damn, not quite. Just a bit more, at least.

All right. Let's finish this.

There. Down.

... Now what? Hmm. There is a new hack inbound in the next update, one which will serve my purposes well, and will not require more than one hack to complete. As such I can be more free with my hacking points... science. I need science, desperately. That is what I shall do - science hacks...

... if it is possible.

For you see, the new update has hit, by this point. Thanks to a save I provided, the ships of the CPA simply sitting around were deemed to be a bug. That has now been fixed. As such, my empire will be shortly under very, very heavy attack. If I am unable to defend, the campaign will most likely end here. It's do or die.

The instant - and I mean the very instant - that I hit resume, ships began pouring in. Now is a good time to put down more turrets I have from new science purchases - I won't have another chance.

There they go. A veritable flood.

Orsha has this force on an adjacent planet, still waiting but I suspect not for long.

Well, in the meantime, might as well try to get some science. The new hack, essential to my plans, only requires 20 hacking points, so I can stand to be a bit freewheeling. Atanasoff is fairly clear...

Clearing out the rest is necessary, so I will send my fleet to do that. In an emergency they can return quickly.

... Damnation. Ah well, it was worth a shot.

Maybe Denning? Again, I can return the fleet if urgent.

Resistance is a bit stiffer than anticipated but still reasonable.

A wave on Gyarm will strike soon. I suspect it can hold out, but still...

Umm... when did all the guardians get here? Whatever, they will be dealt with. The CPA continues to trickle into my planets, only to be repelled with ease.

Looks like the wardens are interested in keeping Denning safe as well. Alterra has not attracted much - I will need to improve the Honeypot there, once the CPA is dealt with. Speaking of which, how is Alterra looking?



Ugh. Turrets are spawning in faster than I can take care of them. I'll just use Alterra's science for now and figure this out later.

I should perhaps have moved the Hacker further first... no matter. The waves sent to combat it are very poor and several engineers wait in the wings. This will be done easily, I hope.

Damn you engineers! Fix the bastard!

... No luck. Take 2 - at least I keep the science I earned and don't have to spend more hacking points for having needed two hackers.

Meanwhile, back by Orsha, the ships continue to trickle. Gyarm is seeing something similar...

...though it appears the trickle is going the other way.

And thus, the hack concludes. Damn me, I need to do more of this! That is some very quick and easy science, of which I am sorely in need.

I still await these ships with some nervousness. Yet they just sit there, still.

Ah. There they go.

Gyarm is being hit with some force this time! It's almost a relief.

And Orsha, for that matter.

Despite that, the Orsha is still being defended with relative ease.

The CPA is being drained of its ships, albeit slowly. I should look into hacking another planet in the meantime.

Atanasoff seems at least somewhat reasonable to clear out. I shall keep it in mind. My immediate instinct is to remove my turrets from Denning and use the energy for turrets on Atanasoff, but...

Yeah... not the best idea at the moment. They are keeping the Wardens off my tail.


Great idea, AI! It's almost like deep down you actually want me to succeed!


That should be enough to start clearing Atanasoff.

Everyone, dogpile on the Atanasoff wormhole!

That's, umm... messy. But it should do the trick, I think.

And of course the CPA forces decide to move through Atanasoff at just this moment. That could make this hack trickier, but with all these turrets I suspect it won't be too bad.

Perhaps I spoke too soon. At least this is an opportunity to get rid of quite a few of the CPA ships, and to enjoy the spectacle of big battle.

And now the Wardens are here. Lovely.

Offline Kesseleth

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2019, 07:10:08 PM »

The Hacker was lost - unfortunate but expected. Now is the time to stage a retreat and finish the hack later, methinks.

Not much to retreat with, alas. Ah well, just a few minutes should be enough to restore my forces.

The timing for this attack is... poor. Meanwhile the threat count just skyrocketed aghin. Urgh.

Okay. Orsha is safe and some time has passed outside of the galactic quest. Now, where were we... right. Science on Atanasoff. Unfortunately, since last time the cost for science hacking has increased and will continue to do so for each successive hack. This will pose a problem but hopefully not too much of one.

A bit of time later and my fleet is restored. It is time to try and hack Atanasoff once more - though I will try and clear it out some first.

Stiff resistance. The best thing to do, I think, is to rebuild all the turrets in a corner for better defensibility.

Well, this is interesting. Many of the ships just hightailed it to Orsha for whatever reason. They will be disposed of soon enough, so it's not concerning, just... strange.

This is... not going great. It will have to do, however.

Oh boy. I think two waves just spawned at once... I am not sure why that would have happened.

Damnation. Damnation! Ugh. I feel like reloading this...

Again, into Orsha. Why would they do that?

This seems to be going better, though not enormously so.

Ah, I see now. Two waves in very short succession, one a reconquest. That's concerning, to say the least.

Ugh, another loss. This will be painful.

And all my ships are gone. All of them. Deep breaths, Kes. Deep breaths.

Oh, f-

They didn't stick around for long... I couldn't say why. At least I can rebuild my forces again.

Damn it!

At the risk of stating the obvious... this is bad.

Gyarm's station is at risk as well. I am fighting them off as best I can but the situation is rather dire.


You've got to be kidding me.



I probably should have uploaded everything previous by now - my mistake. It has been almost two weeks since I last opened the game. There have been several updates between then and now... ones that buffed the AI a good deal. I suspect the AAR may end here... but there's only one way to be sure. Given that the .900 update will break all save games, that may be a good thing.

All right... here we are.

Orsha is in danger. Perhaps as good as gone, though I don't say that for sure.

Gyram survived... surprisingly. I'll do my best to rebuild what is here.

Engineers and rebuilders are dying before getting a chance to do much. Unfortunate.

Yeah... Orsha is gone. I'll do my best to rebuild my fleet at Gyarm.

shakes head sadly There's not really anything I can do about it now - the AI will take Orsha back, and that is that.

Another CPA will arrive in ten seconds. I don't know how I can defend against it - not like this.

What is happening? The game is running at such a small fraction of its intended performance. I am going to boost stacking, a lot.

... That didn't do much.

I don't know what's happening but the game is like a slideshow. More time to gloriously enjoy my defeat, I guess.

It's picking up again, seemingly. I am rather confused now.

Indeed. This is going to be the final installment. It's sad, but true.

Oh come on. No need to rub salt in the wound.


To Tulev they go. Ha.

That is so many ships...

A slow, foregone conclusion.

There they are... on the home planet. This will hurt.

Go! A last stand!

The image speaks for itself, I think.

And... and there it goes.

I suppose this ends the War of the Dark Spire. The Dark Spire itself didn't have much of an impact, though. I will say, it didn't go as I planned, nor did it last as long as I wanted, but it was fun. I'm not sure what I would do differently, on a second run. Be more aggressive in my planet captures, I think. I needed more science than I was getting, by a wide margin. Make better, multi-tiered defenses, instead of having just one or two ultra brutal planets too powerful to fail until they do. And, perhaps, don't have one game last through many patches, like I did.

So now what? What's next for me? A break is. The updates were excruciatingly slow, for which I apologize, but I am in college and have lots of work to do. Even when I had free time, something that requires this much critical thought was difficult for me. I'm going to play a different game for a while... I'm thinking Titan's Quest, or Grim Dawn perhaps. More actioney, though still requiring some thought.

Will I do any other AARs in the future? I'm not sure. Maybe. If I do it will probably be with a bunch of AIs, maybe 10 or 20 if it's possible. We will see.


Good game.

AI, fellow adventurers... until I see you next time. Stay sharp.


Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2019, 09:08:25 AM »
Well, that sounds like an epic confrontation! And it helped me fix at least one annoying bug.

Do you have a save game of the really slow performance you were observing?

Offline khadgar

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2019, 04:51:33 AM »
I've never played AI war 1 or 2 at all, but I thouroughly enjoyed reading this!

Offline Cyborg

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2019, 01:43:44 PM »
Great AAR. How did you get the images loaded so easily into this forum?
Kahuna strategy guide:,13369.0.html

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Offline Kesseleth

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2019, 07:54:39 PM »
Great AAR. How did you get the images loaded so easily into this forum?

It took a bit of experimentation to figure out a good way. What I settled on was this:

Take screenshots frequently, and number them as they are saved. Windows handles this automatically - any future AARs I will look into setting up quick and easy screenshots for Linux. As I typed out the AAR in a text file I put in notes of which image went where - [144] tells me to put in Screenshot # 144. When ready to post an update, I would upload every image to Imgur (this would normally take several minutes) and sort them by original name. Imgur already has a way to copy a link to an image with link tags around it, which made it easier. Finally, I would post the update, but split into several chunks because the site would oftentimes time out when having so many images being uploaded all at once!

Offline Kesseleth

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Re: War of the Dark Spire - AI War 2 AAR
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2019, 07:59:12 PM »
I've never played AI war 1 or 2 at all, but I thouroughly enjoyed reading this!

Why thank you!