Part 13: Taking on the ASC
Well, our next target is going to be Savkeael. Let's see what we've got.
Oh, this could be interesting. This planet has a special command station, bristling with lasers, which is going to be hell on my bombers or anything with a polycrystal hull. Not good when it's sitting under a forcefield, which bombers are the normal counter to. It's also got a couple of more unusual guardposts.
The munitions booster increases the firepower of allied ships by 90% in a fairly large radius. That's a nasty start. The enclave guardpost spits out drones while enemy ships are on the planet, essentially acting like my own drone spawners. I also get a nasty feeling that the special forces are likely to show up to defend this planet.
On the plus side, as well as the ASC there's a spire tractor platform fabricator here that I previously overlooked. We can always use more ships.
Very first move is to take out the tachyon sentinel over the wormhole. Teleport raiders manage that admirably.
Next up, take out the munitions booster guardpost.
At this point the enclave guardpost has wiped out most of our raiders. It has a bonus against ultra-light hulls, so putting the teleporters up against it would be suicide. The drones it generates are also floating off to other planets as threat. We need to take this out before the spam becomes unmanageable.
What's that, we've got almost 600 missile frigates with a bonus against light hulls? Well get half of them into the assault transports and get over there!
As predicted, the special forces have shown up to defend the planet. Good job these transports have cloaking, huh? These guys will stick around as long as there are military ships on the planet, even cloaked ones, so transports need to go back to Yarzon. I'm kind of put out by the response time actually, they must have been hanging around fairly close by.
Once the special forces have wandered off, the missile frigate dismount and blow away the enclave post. Some get caught out by tackle drone launchers, but most manage to make it back to the cars and escape.
Now we have to figure out some clever way of taking down the command station. With the addition of another laser guardpost under that forcefield bombers are going to get slaughtered long before they take it down. Teleport raiders could do some damage to the forcefield, by my calculations a full cap of 340 of them could take out all 1.7 million health in around 30 seconds. That assumes no attrition of course, which is nonsensical. But they seem like the best option for now.
Here's our strike-force then. Raiders to take down the forcefield. A number of medium or neutron hulled starships which the lasers aren't effective against. A quartet of plasma siege starships, whose damage 'bleeds' through forcefields to damage units under them. And a load of tackle drone launchers and drone spawners to distract the enemy ships and keep them off us.
OH GOD. We've made a huge mistake. Can you spot it?
The forcefield is melting, but so are our ships. The cookie monster is here! Told you we'd get back to him. This completely indestructible ships roams around the galaxy at random, looking for ships to eat. When he finds a juicy planet he can kill 1,350 ships per minute. The only way to survive is to escape. Which the teleporters rapidly do. The starships aren't quite so lucky, and I lose a lot of the slower ones. Reprisal level one.
The one good thing you can say for the devourer golem is that he's impartial. As harsh as it can be to run into him on an attack like this, he's also quite happy to sit and destroy 1,000+ ships worth of AI threat for you.
Okay, you know what at this point I'm just getting annoyed. Time to get out the penetrator. This spirecraft assassin gets only one shot every 30 minutes and needs scout support to fire. But what a shot it is, penetrating forcefields and doing 130,000 damage. Actually, technically I would need two shots to take out the command station as I only have Xampite. But with a bit of support from plasma siege starships and raids I should be good.
GODDAMN MIMES. Teleport raiders, starships and tackle drone launchers exactly the units I just selected to take down a forcefield. Thankfully I happen to have eight on Durxuha, rather than just one. Plus an OMD to help deal with the starships.
Round two, this time with less devourer golem. Penetrator takes his shot then high-tails it out of there.
The command station is severely damaged from that blow and soon goes down to the rest of the task force. +20 AIP. Now that the command station is down the special forces aren't going to show up again, so we can take the rest of the planet in a leisurely fashion without 2,000+ ships jumping down our necks.
Soon the planet has been cleansed and we put up a command station and what can conservatively be described as 'an arseload' of turrets and forcefields around the ASC and the fabricator. Oh, and a forcefield over the broken golem until we can get it up and repaired. Might as well take out the class B core shield generator network while we're here, too.
Scouts on Darkjayaq report that the planet has been vaporised. Looks like the mining golems got what they came for.
Defences on Savkeael are mostly online. 50 engineers are rapidly repairing the regen golem (at extortionate cost), and will speed build the spire modular fortress after that. All in all, a successful operation. It's notable that, despite the two zenith power generators, I'm now straight back into not having enough power. I think this is a side effect of the turret changes, which made them per-planet caps but twice as expensive.
Next time, on AI War: When Nemeses attack