The Let's Play Archive

AI War: Fleet Command

by RockyB

Part 25: The Aftermath

Someone was asking me about how I prioritise rebuilding a fleet earlier on. Looks like it's time to find out!

First up, we have 1.8 million energy going spare. 1.5 million of that is coming from 30 matter converters, which are costing me 6000 m/s to run. Destroying 2/3rds of those takes me down to 860,000 spare energy and boosts my economy back to ~8,000 metal/s (8,793 if we include current salvage figures). We can see from the image above that the vast majority of my income is coming from the Mk III metal harvesters I unlocked earlier, although we're also getting a significant chunk from our home and military III command stations.

If we were to put it in fighters terms, 1.3 million energy would be 26,000 fighters at a cost of 10.4 million metal. So our current economy (less salvage) would take roughly 1,300 seconds to rebuild the ships we lost. Using the more metal-intensive bombers as our point of comparison instead, that would be 13,000 bombers at a metal cost of 20.8 million metal, i.e. 2,600 seconds (or 43 minutes). In terms of a fairly standard Mk I starship (e.g. a flagship, bomber or a leech), 1,300 starships at a cost of 13 million metal. But any way you cut it, it's going to be at least half an hour before we're back up to full fighting force. And all that threat just ain't going to wait that long.

Location: Miknei

A 2,000 bomber wave is going to hit Miknei in roughly two minutes. The botnet golem is on his way there now. The rest of my fleet, which comprises the regen golem, artillery golem, champion and about 2,000 reclaimed fleet ships, is going to be placed on Oorto as a fast response force.

Location: Sother

Once again Sother is under attack. Only about 400 ships for the moment, but I imagine that will increase as the threat becomes more common. At least it'll take care of some of the threat for us before its inevitable destruction.

Location: Savkaeal

Right, let's shut down the most metal intensive manufacturing first. A spire tractor platform costs 127,000 metal for a ship that takes up only 2,000 energy. Pausing those will save us 1 million in metal cost right off the bat. The advanced starship constructor here also has some extremely expensive manufacturing going on, with each Mk IV leech starship costing 590,000 metal. I love leeches, but I can't justify that kind of cost when trying to scrape together a new defensive fleet. Especially as they take almost an hour and a half to build without engineer boosts.

The screenshot above shows all the constructors I have before sticking stuff into low power mode. Other things to put on hold include the Mk V missile frigate fabricator and 4/5 of the starship constructors, as at this point I'd rather have swarms of quick to build inexpensive ships than a few high-power vessels. I'm leaving the starship constructor building riot control starships alone though, as they are very handy for handling, well, a riot. I think we'll keep the teleport raider fab running, as they are fairly cheap and very useful as a fast response force. I'll also keep the spire refugee outpost running as the spire frigates are relatively powerful but slow to build, meaning they have a low per-second metal impact.

A couple of seconds after disabling these constructors we can see that the net impact of rebuilding our fleet is still -10,000 metal/s. Still, we're churning out probably 12-15 fleetships per second, which isn't bad.

Location: Sother

Sother held out fairly well for about a minute, but the 700 ship carrier which has just arrived pretty much spells the end. I can probably take another 2-300 ships before the command station dies. Spirecraft jumpship on the scene to pick up a couple of remains rebuilders and keep them safe for later.

Location: Ifice

Sother is just about to go down, about 2,500 enemy ships there. However Ifice has now come under attack from about 1,400 ships. I think it's worth sending in one our of defensive Martyrs to help with that situation. Speaking of Martyrs, our stocks are getting really quite low.

We only have five Martyrs on the defensive, including the one we're about to spend. Each (Pysite class) Martyr can generally take out about 1,000 ships if used carefully. Given we're facing more than 5,000 ships, new ones would be handy. We've still got 5 Pysite on Savkaeal and each Martyr costs 200,000 metal. Not a bad exchange rate given their destructive power, so our mining vessel is told to start construction.

Martyr takes out 700 ships on Ifice. And spawns in a fair few dark spire vessels, I forget about the vengeance generator here. We currently have a fleet of about 760 rebuilt ships over on Savkeael, so we'll send them in to do some cleanup.

Location: Miknei

Between the botnet golem and the area mines, this reprisal wave just melts.

Location: Udoniusma

Hmm, not sure about this one. Only about 400 ships attacking, but this is one of the least defended of my speedbump worlds. The half cap of spider turrets and Mil III command station might be just enough firepower to stop them.

Location: Ifice

Command station is down. Tattered remnants of my 'reinforcement' fleet are fleeing for Savkaeal. I'm going to bring my main forces back from Oorto to defend Savkaeal, I think.

Location: Savkeael

Bedraggled survivors from the charge of the light brigade are returning, hoping to get fixed up by the mini-forts. Another Martyr is online, and engineers are being redirected to speed build another. There are still 15,000 enemy ships out there, somewhere, and scouts are being sent out to picquet nearby planets in order to work out exactly where.

Not a particularly coherent picture at the moment, sadly, but we can say that around 1,500 ships are stacking up both near Savkaeal and down near Durxuha.

Location: Udoniusma

Between the grav rippers, tackle drone launchers and blade spawners Udoniusma didn't really stand a chance. All three are high health, translocation immune ships and there just weren't enough missile turrets to make a difference. Command station going down in a few seconds, leaving us with three destroyed planets and -900,000 energy. Maybe I shouldn't have been so hasty about taking out those matter converters.

Location: Ifice

Over on Ifice it's the battle of the minor factions as the AI cleans up the last of my turrets and the dyson gatlings / dark spire take potshots at them. Actually the dark spire are being pretty handy over there, taking out at least a few hundred enemy vessels.

Location: Diafrwa

A small wave that I'd previously ignored spawns in … with a beachhead. Forcefields offline, turrets offline, energy dips into negative figures. Luckily the mines on the planet catch the majority of the fleet ships that came with the wave. Some 200 teleport raiders on Savkaeal are told to get their arses down there are take that beachhead out.

Seconds after the beachhead is dealt with, some threat ships attack. And by 'some', I mean 'lots'.

Turrets do a fair job of taking out enemy vessels, as Diafrwa has a larger than normal complement for a 'crumple-zone' world. But it's the Martyr from Sucje next door that really makes a key difference, relieving the pressure just enough that the fixed defences can finish this fight.

Location: Durxuha

Love that botnet

Location: Savkeael

The battle for Savkeael has begun, although I'm not quite sure what the AI is thinking. I have over 3,000 ships on defence here, including the artillery golem to take down any high value targets and the regen to prevent any friendly losses.

Location: Oorto

A wild spirecraft siege tower appears, presumably a remnant of one of the exos that managed to escape the AI homeworld. Both the champion and a spire modular fortress deal with it, somewhat harshly. We'd normally need to spend an Ebonite asteroid to get one of these, and after their recent redesign they are nasty little blighters if you let them get into range of a forcefield. Essentially a massive plasma siege starship.

Aha! Now that's a little more like it. EMP guardian detonates, taking all the local defensive structures offline for the next 20 seconds. Including my mines, which is a bit of a blow. The only things unaffected are my orbital mass driver, modular fortress and champion. Even the forcefields are offline.

Priority number one is to take out the EMP guardian, which my champion rapidly does. Don't want that guy getting onto our homeworlds. By this point 4,000 enemy ships are on the planet. 8 seconds before our defences come back online. You know this needs?

ZOMBIES! Redirector rally post on Dageo is set to point to Oorto, and the undead horde starts shambling to the rescue.

Defences are back online, and a Martyr from Dageo has come to wipe some of the threat streaming from the Quimel wormhole. Quite what the roaming enclaves are doing I don't know, but they appear to be heading for Boomquonxu for some reason. Oh, maybe they're going to do some cleanup for me on Diafrwa, that would be nice.

It's zombie time!

Oh, I've also just noticed that I now have 1 million metal in the bank, and all my fleet ships have been rebuilt. Salvage is also contributing a significant amount of money to my economy. Time to turn all my starship constructors and the Mk V missile frigate fabricator back on.

Nobody expects the zombie armada. Or the second Martyr, which I've just shipped in from Zivu.

The the botnet golem arrives, and really it's all over bar the screaming.

Location: Boomquonxu

Yep, they're attacking here as well. Or possibly it was a 'tactical retreat' in the wrong direction.

Location: Durxuha

And here. Half the fleet that is currently sitting on Savkeael is told to get their arses down to Zivu in case anything breaks through.

Location: Boomquonxu

Between the Martyr and half the defensive fleet, this attack of ~1,500 ships was beaten back fairly easily. Especially as we also had some of the loose zombies from Oorto coming to play.

Location: Durxuha

And on Durxuha a combination of the champion, his friends, and the botnet golem has beaten that attack back. Although not before most of the fixed defences go down.

Oh, and if you're wondering what this does for my salvage...

I make that a good 24 million metal the AI has just poured into my coffers. Even at a 12% extraction efficiency, that's a solid 2.88 million additional metal.

Right, so where does that leave us. We're back down to 4.5k threat, with 2.5k of that sitting on Ifice. I say we go take our planet back.

Location: Sother

While we've got the money pouring in let's start rebuilding Sother. There's a reason we stuck those remains rebuilders in the jumpship, after all. We'll also send some to Udoniusma, which is similarly now clear of enemy ships.

Location: Ifice

It's fleet vs fleet in the Ifice battle royale. The dark spire look on from the sidelines, before throwing their beer away and joining in the barney.

The home team gets off to a good start, with a Martyr wiping the smirk off the AI's face. The botnet golem comes bearing down on the reeling fleet, while the artilley golem is taking potshots at the dark spire.

The crowd is going wild as the death-toll mounts. The regenerator golem looks on in horror, freshly revived ships streaming away from her and back into the fighting. The last defiant dregs of the once proud AI fleet make a risible attempt to engage the artillery golem, before being smashed into powder.

Finally the slaughter is all but over, as the fleet deals with a few overzealous fans. Time for the rebuilding to being.

Although elsewhere, the fans who were watching on TV continue to riot...

Next time, on AI War: Question and Answer: Part Trois