The Let's Play Archive

AI War: Fleet Command

by RockyB

Part 26: Question and Answer: Part Trois

After blowing the heck out of one of the AI homeworlds and dealing with the aftermath seems like it's time again, this time for the last time, for questions and comments from the audience.

lxjuvin posted:

Is there any way to get a sound alert as well as the text popup for things like your planets coming under attack, warheads appearing, etc? It's really annoying to have to check the map every 30 seconds just to make sure nerd robots aren't suddenly running wild on me. I mean the map gets checked a lot anyways but sometimes I just want to focus on enjoying my fleetblob mopping up a system.

Also just got babby's first botnet golem online. It's on a planet with a Vengeance Generator and a Nienzul Rocket Corps Silo, but still I think it will turn out to have been worth the trouble

Dropping an interface related truth bomb on you there. Admittedly, I don't know offhand how to make that toggle galaxy-wide.

There's also the 'Attack' in the top-right, which shows you if any of your planets are currently under attack without having to drop to the galaxy map. But I assume you knew that, and it doesn't come with a sound effect.

Enjoy the rocketry corps, by the way. And this extract from the last game I played with them turned on.

RockyB posted:

14.04: Uh, there's a Mk III lighting warhead here from the neinzul rocketry corps. It's just kinda ... sitting on the planet next to the Cenurin wormhole, doing nothing.


These neinzul rocketry warheads are definitely bugged by the way, they're all just sitting next to wormhole exits not doing anything. On some planets I've now got 2/3 by each wormhole. Target acquisition problems?


16.24: 2,200 youngling tiger reprisal to Jubuvi, the world with my brand spanking new advanced starship constructor. Luckily I have the time, money, asteroids and inclination to build Martyrs.

Oh, and there's also this little trick. Yup, that's a spirecraft translocator herding those lovely immobile Neinzul rocketry corps lightning warheads into position. 

16.24.14: Exhibit B:

Ahhh, just a shame that bug got fixed so fast.

Anti-cheese posted:

Define nasty.

Someone was asking me about the worst AI over-reaction. So, I gave them a sneak preview of what should have happened if I didn't manage to take out the super-terminal at all during my little miscalculation. You may remember this picture:

Let's get some reactions to that.

Neruz posted:

I'm not sure if my favorite part of that picture is the 2 million threat if the superterminal dies, the 76 million threat or the minus 1685 hack points.

Fooly Charged posted:

I love the way the ai will just stomp you flat when you do find something to piss it off with. It just really hammers home the whole don't piss off the ai lords theme in a way that wouldn't work without watching them personally smash your face in as a response.

AtomicKrab posted:

Rocky is avoiding a lot of the face smash by not having golems and spirecraft on hard, and also not doing the fallen spire stuff any farther.

Neruz posted:

He was avoiding the face smash until he touched the Superterminal.

The Bland Name posted:

My vote is that the picture is a mere 5 minutes after the last one where everything seemed so good.

Munnin posted:

The more I read these after action reports, the more I want to watch a marathon stream from someone that's actually Good at this game. You seem to have accomplished in 40minutes what took me 3 hours to accomplish at half the difficulty. 

Yeah, about that...

Admittedly, for this LP half of those 38 hours were probably spent writing stuff up while the game was running in the background. But I still tend to have a 1/1 parity between actually playing and planning while paused.

KrumbsThumbs posted:

What's the best way to deal with Eyes and/or Raid Engines? In my current game (pretty easy - started with spirecluster railthingies, 7/7, both chivalric/(medium-easy)) there are two planets I really want (one with a Advanced Factory and one with an ARS & core shield gen), but adjacent to them is a level IV planet with a Raid Engine. Connecting the IV/raid engine planet and my core there's a level III planet with a Threatening Eye (something like that? It says it randomly spawns crap throughout the galaxy).

I've temporarily been expanding in another direction to pick up an Armored Golem (easy golems woo) and the research to have two level 3 fleet ships (bombers & spirecluster thingies) but I feel like I need to deal with these systems quickly so that they aren't clogged with level III and IV ships when I want to clear them, but at the same time I'm worried about dealing with the Eye and Raid Engine.

My typical strategy to counter Eyes is: warp in a huge batch of ships, v+right-click somewhere, turn up speed and come back later and pray the damage isn't too bad.

Try using a small squad of starships. Class III Flagships with Leech and Plasma Siege ships can handle most systems long enough to remove threats. If you have access to long range ships (Snipers, Bombadiers or Sentinel Frigates) try leaving the mark I flagships at the warp in point with those ships to give some covering fire.

Lucky you for having an armored golem. That guy can tear through most of those systems solo. Be very careful though, if he finds an implosion guardian he will die very, very fast.

AtomickKrab posted:

Imagine two implosion guard posts under 5 spire shield guard posts with a munitions boosting command center and a nuclear eye.  (god I love lightning warheads/martyrs)

Two words: Spirecraft. Rams.

(and cloakers, natch)

Arcturus posted:

Another silly question: how do you display all the ranges on screen? I know Z will let me see the ranges of whatever I have my mouse over, but I'd like to display the ranges on all my stuff + the enemy's stuff so I can do things like appropriately place tractor turrets and kite around the outside of fortress ranges.

Munnin posted:

So.. I found an AI core world in one of my games that I think may be the ultimate troll? It had 6 shield guard posts all clustered into an area the size of a silver dollar, with another force field, a needler, and an MLRS post.

Just a giant blob of fuck you in the middle of nowhere. It wasn't even guarding anything important. What the hell, AI? I wanted to take that planet 

Yeah, the 'Rude gesture' logic was added a little while back along with the new AI command station types. The worst ones are when they decide to shove a nuclear eye and a half-dozen counter-attack guardposts under there.

Tutorials are fairly decent, and recently updated. But for someone who doesn't play strategy games of this nature very much you're looking at a solid 20+ hours to get the basic concepts down after that. Much like Dom4 in that way, really.

Arcturas, from the Wiki (
Seeing Target Ranges, Damage To Do, Percent Chance of Hit, Etc
Ship attack ranges can be useful for determining ship positioning, and staying out of range of ships that might attack you, etc. Please make sure that you understand that these are the maximum ranges assuming that targets have no shields, not the end effective ranges. See here for more information about how shields work.
Hold Z to see the ranges of all your selected ships, and the range of any ships you hover over.
Hold Z+X to see all the ranges of enemies in addition to your own ships.
Hold Z+A to show the range of selected units at your cursor location instead of at the current location of ships. This is invaluable for manually moving ships just into a specific range, although that's not a terribly common activity since ships do such a great job of firing at range on their own when in Attack-move or FRD modes.
To see what range of damage your selected ships will do to a given target, plus what their worst percent chance of hitting that target is, simply hover your mouse cursor over the target.

Arcturus posted:

RockyB, what are your thought on fabs? Obviously the turret controllers are great if you can get something along with them, but I imagine you probably wouldn't go out of your way to grab a turret controller system if it didn't have something else, unless that turret was really helpful at dealing with a particular AI's favorite ship type? The fleet ship/starship V fabs seem handy but I'm not really sure when it's worth clearing a full system for them.

Hmm, I thought core turret controllers were changed to galaxy-wide caps when the normal turrets moved to planet-specific caps? I haven't actually tried core turret controllers since that change. You're right though, turrets are absurdly energy expensive these days. I should really stop building so many of them.

With regards to fabs, I kind of take them as they come. If a particularly juicy fab is on a planet I'd want to take anyway, or ripe for hacking, I'll take it. See the missile frigate fab on Sucje (had to take that planet for the civvy leader and access further on anyway) and the teleport raider fab on Yarson. It's quite rare that I'd go chasing after any particular fab though, unless it has a specific tactical use that I wanted to put it to in the near future. 

Then again in this game I haven't even unlocked a Mk II version of any of my fleet ships yet, because generally I'm happy with chaff ships and high-power, low cap starships / drone spawners. Plus I think I've also got about 2,500 reclaimed ships from my leech starships, being constantly kept alive by the regen golem. So I'm not exactly hard up for forces.

OtherworldlyInvader posted:

The super-fortress thing costs like 36 million metal or something, and my stockpile caps out around 2.5 million.

That's a feature, not a bug. Like the Mk V Ion cannon, superforts are supposed to be long, long term defensive projects. I mean, the things cost an entire two planets worth of energy and 36 million metal. As a general rule you'd only really think about building them if you were elbow deep into a Fallen Spire campaign, or if you were tanking multiple high-value exos/waves and wanted something to pour the extra salvage into so it didn't just get wasted.

Best things to buy from the trader are definitely Zenith Power Generators, OMDs and planetary armour boosters. All three give you extremely useful effects for their cost by allowing you to field more ships / murder golems and starships easily / strengthen your forcefields. The other are far more hit-and-miss, and often not worth the metal investment unless you're going for a very heavy chokepoint strategy. Ion cannons in particular are orientated more about capturing the ones the AI has rather than building your own.

Aerion, if you're having a tough time economically there's nothing stopping you boosting your economy 'handicap' on the setup screen. I tend to run +50% on a dual homeworld game, to make up for the more aggressive AI response and take away some of the 'netflix time' rebuilding lulls.

Arcturas posted:

I get the feeling that RockyB is much better than I at getting through fleet engagements without losing ships

Actually, you may notice that my regen golem is going pretty much everywhere with my fleet. That, combined with leech starships to steal ships and drones to distract the enemies, accounts for why I never seem to lose many ships. After I send in early raiding groups and it's time for the fleet blob, generally I'll just set an auto-kite range of 1,000, tell my ships to burn down any high priority targets in close proximity, and maybe send off raids or anti-hull-effective groups to deal with specific threats.

EDIT: The regen also explains my economy to a degree as well, actually. With 'free' respawns, I don't need to pour metal into rebuilding expensive starships.

CokerPilot posted:

Did the AI just talk to you?

I like to imagine that the AIs use their hyper-advanced technology to open a miniature wormhole just behind my ear so they can whisper taunting insults to me. But they're too honourable to send a lightning warhead through it.

I still haven't had the taunt in the thread title come up, actually. Keep hoping to be able to point it out, but they ain't saying it. Maybe because I'm not losing enough ships.

(also, on reflection, I'm not even entirely sure I got the wording right)

Shady Amish Terror posted:

That...went more smoothly than I might have expected. I was kind of figuring 'smashing a planet into an AI core' would perk the AI's attention a little more than that. I mean, granted, that was still completely absurd, but it's interesting that the AI STILLdoesn't seem to consider you its main priority.

At this point I think you could consider the AI as having a fairly significant case of Alzheimers. We've been poking holes in its memory by taking out data centres, scrambled it's brain by removing the co-processors and then did a super-terminal hack on top of that. That has left it with a vague idea that something is wrong (~200 AIP floor), but not fully aware (~460AIP).

It also helps that most of the response forces were wiped out when the planet exploded. If I actually had to deal with 12+ exos/golems, this may have gone differently. 

Anyway, after that little digression it's time to get back to taking on last remaining AI homeworld. Next time, on AI War: Disintegrating the Core Shield Network.