View Full Version : It's lonely here! (First post!)
June 20th, 2005, 03:04 AM
There's no threads here, so I was compelled to make one...I just couldn't help myself!
June 20th, 2005, 11:40 AM
This subforum could have used a better name... "after action report" sounds wrong somehow. Seems too limited, only applicable to battle reports. I think "game stories" would have been far more appropriate.
June 20th, 2005, 12:23 PM
How about "Game Synopses?"
June 20th, 2005, 01:31 PM
The AAR name is just a standard for the forums. This would be the place to put game stories.
June 21st, 2005, 02:25 AM
Imperator Fyron said:
This subforum could have used a better name... "after action report" sounds wrong somehow. Seems too limited, only applicable to battle reports. I think "game stories" would have been far more appropriate.
I think that's because most other forums out there call it AAR, regardless if this is making sense. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
June 21st, 2005, 02:32 AM
Strive to be different! Or something.
June 21st, 2005, 05:01 AM
Tessellates keep killing me on high bonus and high difficulty. One of these days I'll start right next to them and then I'll try to destroy them before they become powerful. All the gamey tactics and using tactical combat and exploiting the A.I. hasn't helped so far in beating them...
June 22nd, 2005, 10:45 PM
Interesting. How about more details on the game settings, your race, etc?
June 23rd, 2005, 11:11 AM
Maybe they should call this board "The Tactics Talk" and we could compare stratigies and ship builds here!!! I'm not familiar with the Tessellates (I've downloaded them but not played against them) so what is the general tactic that they use to defeat you?
June 23rd, 2005, 02:13 PM
The Tessellate won AI Deathmatch III, beating the United Flora for AI bragging rights.
In a 2000 point game I'm playing against the AIs, the Tessellate have Advanced Storage, Religious, and Crystallurgy. Their Strength is pathetic, Research and Mining are somewhat enhanced, Aggression is reduced, but Defense is improved. According to Master Belisarius, who ran the Deathmatch, the Tessellate beat the United Flora (another Religious race) by outbuilding and outnumbering them; Tessellate Construction is 120 in my game, and Maintenance is only 10%.
Given time to develop, I'm guessing a high-bonus Tessellate empire could overwhelm a human player with huge fleets of Crystalline-armored ships firing with the supernatural accuracy of the Talisman. I haven't seen that in my game, however, probably because I captured the Tessellate home system early.
June 23rd, 2005, 02:31 PM
Religious, and Crystallurgy is a tough combo. My initial thoughts would be to "long range" them with seekers, drones and fighters. I like the combo of Organic and Temporal. Organic gives you a range 3 small weapon (EP) for your fighters. Fighters are useless (for assult) till you can get them to carrry weapons and move at least speed 8-10. They need to be able to close range and then disengage. Temporal just gives you quick building shipyards to overwhelm your enemies. You can probably just give yourself this advantage in the racial traits setup.
What traits are you running? What's your "weapon of choice" stratigy for your race?
June 23rd, 2005, 08:01 PM
Bear in mind I'm still fairly new to the game and have only played against AIs. My advice assumes a simultaneous 2000 point game, large quadrant, normal tech start.
To counter the AI Tessellate without taking Religious or Crystallurgy, I'd suggest taking Hardy Industrialists, increasing Construction, Mineral, and Intelligence (research) traits, and reducing Maintenance to the bare minimum (5% per turn). This should allow the human to take the lead in weapons research, build and maintain a fleet at least twice the size of the AI's, and hopefully cripple the Tessellate before they get the Talisman.
I'm skeptical about countering the Tessellate with seekers/fighters. In theory they can overwhelm an enemy, but when the AI runs the battles they tend to come in waves rather than all at once. In a recent battle my 1 heavy and 2 light cruisers (8 PPB and 8 PDC total) defeated 3 Aquilaeian light carriers with 60+ fighters; no more than a dozen or so fighters came in at any one time. The Tessellate ships I've encountered so far seem adequately armed with PDCs.
I'm currently playing (slowly) a simultaneous 2000 point game against 5 of the top 6 Deathmatch III AIs (TDM Modpack 3.40). I play the Terran Confederation with modifications, e.g. Strength 45, Research 120, Minerals 120, Construction 120, Maintenance 119 (i.e. 6% per turn). I took Advanced Storage, Hardy Industrialists, and Propulsion Experts; culture is Merchants.
Tactically I've had good results against the AIs starting with seekers, then moving to PPBs and now to APBs. Of course, most of my tactical success (even against Berserker races) is due to a substantial lead in Combat Sensors and ECM, plus fleet training (and to a lesser extent ship training). However, my most devastating weapon by far has been the mine; in SEIV apparently one can't program a good anti-mine strategy for the AIs. At one point over half my frontline systems were held by minelayers alone while my fleets attacked elsewhere.
June 24th, 2005, 10:40 AM
I'm sorry, http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/frown.gif I keep forgetting that there are sooooo many options within the game that I have to remember that not everyone plays with the same settings. I love to fight my own battles and see how my designs hold up. I'm generally outnumbered and out gunned, but again it is the AI I'm fighting!
As far as fighting the battles Strategically, you need to make sure your strategy is set in the Empire options screen to get the best results. If you set your seeker ships to "max range" and try to keep them in their own fleet. They will launch a overwhelming drone wave.
Separating your fleets will yeild better results too! Keep your carrier group in one fleet and your seekers in another. You'll find that the AI does a better job of running your fleet this way.
I have seen the AI put together mine sweeper fleets, once it gets that tech. I checked my Tessellate download and found that it's the ship set only(no AI), so I'm going to have to find the complete race file and download that.
June 28th, 2005, 03:25 PM
The Tessellate race is in the TDM Modpack.
I, too, prefer to fight battles manually. If my ships have a range advantage over the enemy (e.g. PPB vs DUC or APB vs PPB), I can exploit it far better than the AI can. By the same token, however, manual combat makes it much harder to get a challenging game from the AIs, so I've learned to live with strategic combat (with all its shortcomings).
I haven't had much luck with fleet strategies in strategic combat. Using a max range strategy and compact formation, often the first row (only) is in range and the following rows can't fire. With a wide formation, a turn by the leader can put one wing out of the battle entirely and the other too close to the enemy. I've had better results setting all ships to break formation and use their individual ship strategies, though this doesn't always work well, either. Using separate fleets for different ship types may be a workable compromise.
June 29th, 2005, 07:59 PM
I've been using smaller fleets with varying stratigies. Early game fleets would consist of this for me. Carrier group= Carrier, ~4 escorts(PD), Minesweepers and a scout(scanners) as it becomes available. Missile Group= 4-6 missile ships. Combat Group= varies on what weapons are available. These three groups should work well in any situation. Carrier Group(Diamond formation, Fighter Attack orders and Don't get hurt movement. Missile Group (Wall formation, Max range order and Max range movement. Combat Group (ANY, break all ships out of formation and let the individual ships stratigy work for you. Remember that it's better to have ten 10 ship fleets then to have one 100 ship fleet.
July 2nd, 2005, 07:35 PM
It is generally considered best to simply have your fleet "Break Formation" all the time.
Let each ship fly to its own optimal range, plus as a bonus you get all the fleet experience in one bigger pool.
July 3rd, 2005, 11:24 AM
But it is soooooo unstructured! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
If you want to capture planets you'll have to use the small fleet theory or the fleet will trash the planet.
July 3rd, 2005, 01:38 PM
Actually, all you need are transports with "capture planet" strategies.
With the fleet set to break formation, those transports will definitely be trying to capture, and all the warships will oblige them.
Not long ago, I attacked an enemy homeworld with a three-pronged attack.
Two troop transports came in from the left sector, two from the right sector, and my warfleet came down from the top. (All on the same day, for a single combat)
The enemy fleet ended up in a wall formation facing to the side, which gave my warships a great flanking position at the top of the "T". The battle raged, and the troop transports swooped in from the sides, taking only a few hits before dropping about 500 units on the planet.
Almost all of my ships were crippled, but not many were destroyed. Quite a nice result, for what I was originally expecting to be a suicide mission against superior numbers http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
BTW; with break formation, my missile ships got to stay back and lob, my torpedo boats got in and slugged it out, and my PD ships ran around chasing missile packs. Every ship got to fire at their own best targets, and move to the proper range for their guns against that target. Staying in formation, even with small sub-fleets would mean lots of ships moving to sub-optimal positions in order to stay in formation.
I don't want any of my missile boats getting too close to the enemy guns, and my gunboats and PD ships need to hound their targets closely.
By the end that single warfleet had collected 2% experience (starting from scratch); all the ships will benefit from that in the future, and all the warships will contribute to increasing it (even though they are breaking formation, they are still part of the fleet)
July 26th, 2005, 06:03 PM
"What traits are you running? What's your "weapon of choice" stratigy for your race?"
The game I described has gotten to the point where I think it's pretty much won. I control about 40% of the quadrant, but more importantly I've captured enough aliens to populate nearly every planet with native breathers. The Narn have developed the Talisman, but I have them vastly outnumbered and have captured about half their Talisman-equipped ships via Intel projects.
The AIs seem to have a lot of trouble with mines, so I think I'll try to make a mod without mine technology. I just ran 35 turns of a test game in which I didn't use mines, set my Intel capacity to minimum, and set tech cost to High (I felt I went through the tech tree too quickly last time). I stopped the game when I ran into the first AI mines. I played with simultaneous move/strategic combat.
As it turned out, I ran into the Tessellate (again!) around turn 18. This time I directed my research to Projectile Weapons and Point Defense, while the Tessellate stuck with Missiles. With 1 to 3 PDC per ship, my frigates and destroyers were basically invulnerable to Tessellate missiles, and I won ship-to-ship battles handily. The AI also displayed a tendency to hurl its missile ships like lemmings against the DUC/PDC weapons platforms on my forward outpost.
On the other hand the Tessellate apparently did a decent job of developing their empire. Resource production, though inefficient, was ahead of mine (they traded with other AIs), research was at about 2/3, number of colonies and ships was about the same, and they had researched mines, satellites, and light cruisers before I did (I went for PDC, shields, and troops first). If I can just mod out the mines, I think the next game could be much more interesting.
July 28th, 2005, 02:25 PM
Silly rabbit! Mine tech can be removed during initial game setup! No modding necessary.
Now we'll see if the TDM AIs know how to cope with a mine-less universe.
July 28th, 2005, 06:01 PM
"Quiet, I'm hunting for Wabbit!"
What a great idea for a mod, an Elmer Fudd race that roams the Galaxy hunting Wabbit! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
Once you get numerical superiority, it's a matter of just cleaning up.
August 29th, 2005, 09:16 PM
Well, I'm nearly 60 turns into the next game against the "Big 5" AI empires, and it's certainly more fun. With mines turned off I'm inflicting less passive damage on the AI navies and fighting more actual battles (and not always winning). Admittedly part of this is poor play on my part (I've been slow to defend warp points with satellite groups), but overall I think the game balance is much better.
I also like the expensive tech option; it tends to prolong the usefulness of older ships, reduces the human player's tech advantage over the computer, and shifts the game's emphasis more from whiz-bang ultimate weapons toward good steady play.
Further play may reveal my expectations to be exaggerated, but so far it's looking good.
August 31st, 2005, 05:34 PM
Sounds like your having more fun then any human should ever have!!! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
August 31st, 2005, 09:44 PM
Not quite. I mean, it's not like I'm playing strip SEIV hotseat with supermodel Adriana Lima! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
September 1st, 2005, 06:00 PM
Well if you can play mindless games! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/shock.gif I'm sorry, that's mine less games. It must have been the super model thing! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
I've found that in the late game, mines become useless anyhow. All fleets run around with minesweepers and replacement capacity is limited because of production needs, say as in really BIG ships!
September 6th, 2005, 06:19 PM
While I have certainly made some "mindless" moves in this game http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/smile.gif, I believe the "mine-less" aspect has more to do with the AIs' performance so far. While human players can take them (almost) in stride, mines seem to pose a much harder problem for the AIs in SEIV. If I understand Master Belisarius correctly, it's impossible in SEIV to program an AI to build fleets with the proper number and design of minesweepers. In my first big game against the AIs, for example, by turn 100 the Narn were building battleship minesweepers with level 1 sweeper components, and sending them singly into my fields of 90-100 mines. The AIs do put haphazard fields at jump points, but apparently nowhere else, including planets. Since I consider SEIV's mines feature "gimmicky" anyway, I didn't think I'd miss them (and I don't).
Anyway, last night I had a big turn (#68). I had recolonized a border system sterilized earlier by the Aquilaeians, and was building weapons platforms in a frenzy (I had colonized both a planet and its moon to double production). Unfortunately a 22-ship CR/LC Aquilaeian fleet soon jumped in-system and headed for the planet and its rag-tag fleet of 10 LCs. Two jumps away, meanwhile, the 8 cruisers I had gathered to reinforce the first system were faced instead with another CR/LC fleet (of 20-odd ships) that had just blown through the satellites guarding the warp point.
My anxiety was misplaced, however. The cruiser fleet annihilated the second enemy fleet without loss, thanks to fleet/ship training, Level 2 ECM, and Level 3 Stealth/Scattering Armor. The first enemy fleet bypassed the recolonized planet (for now), giving me time to put two more weapons platforms in place. And on the other side of my little empire I captured the Narn Homeworld intact--just in time, too, because I also captured 5 undeployed satellites equipped with Talismans (Talismen?)! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/eek.gif With luck the Narn are too weak now to take advantage of their breakthrough, but I forsee hard fighting on this front.
BTW, the more I see of the Narn in these games against the AI, the more I wonder why they didn't make the final round of AI Deathmatch 3. With their strength in research (125%), they reached PPB V before I did, developed intelligence capability shortly after I did, and despite high tech cost developed the Talisman about the same time they did in an earlier normal tech cost game (and ahead of the Tessellate, winners of Deathmatch 3). Some time I'd like to try more min-maxing on their attributes (many are left at default) and put them up against the Tessellate.
September 7th, 2005, 04:48 PM
The reason that the AI does not build good minesweepers is because the AI Research only covers the techs that the specific race uses. The AI may, at a later time, move into other areas of research but only after they get the tech that is specified in the txt file. I have seen them build level 5 minesweepers, but they don't build enough of them to deal with a 100 mine minefield. BUT they will keep sending them one after another at the minefield and will eventually sweep all the mines (not very efficient). http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/Injured.gif
You are right about "SEIV's mines feature "gimmicky" anyway, I didn't think I'd miss them (and I don't)." if the AI does not use them correctly, then it wastes time and resources on building them.
I feel the same about the intel part of the game. I guess I've just seen to many games where the AI steals your tech and then all their "Friends" have it a few turns later. Then again I can see where there would be races that exisit to steal technology! Personel choice I guess.
September 7th, 2005, 06:57 PM
Speaking of intel, I started counter-intel at a low level maybe a dozen turns ago (racial intel set at 45%). When the Narn (intel at 100%) began running intel projects on me, I immediately ramped up counter-intel, but it was almost too late: the 3rd & 4th Narn projects got through (Fuel Leak and Order Snafu). Counter-intel has foiled the last two tries, so I may be out of the woods, unless the other AIs gang up on me. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/frown.gif
From my earlier games I got the impression that intel is another feature that works in the human player's favor. Toward the end of one game I was capturing enemy ships left and right; I was particularly proud of my little armada of Talisman-equipped former Narn ships. For this game I set my empire's cunning to minimum and decided to play counter-intel almost exclusively.
September 8th, 2005, 03:01 PM
Bad news on turn 69. The Aquilaeian fleet went for my outpost colony this time. The defending LCs were old, untrained, and only partly upgraded (in particular, none had Stealth/Scattering armor). Worse, they deployed around the planet and its moon; skirting the moon to get at the enemy they joined the action one or two at a time and were predictably crushed by the concentrated AI fleet. In retrospect I would have been smarter to retreat and hope the weapons platforms could take out a couple of enemy ships.
It cost them over half their fleet, but the Aquilaeians now own the moon (the planet was glassed--again). BTW, this was the first time (in my limited play against the AI) that I've seen an AI empire TAKE a world instead of glassing it. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/shock.gif
Meanwhile the Narn got two more projects past my counter-intel; I REALLY have to build more intel facilities! On the bright side the Narn continue to hurl their ships against my captured Talisman satellites...Narnburger, anyone? http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/firedevil.gif
September 10th, 2005, 11:45 AM
Time to re-group and counter attack! You can bet that the Aquilaeian has another fleet sitting behind that one.
To me Intel just adds time to my turn and the returns of it just are not worth it. AND when all the rest of the races join in, they will defeat your counter measures. The AI never goes after other AI so you become the prime target for intel attacks.
September 12th, 2005, 02:49 PM
With regard to the Aquilaeians, I'm hoping to use my victorious cruiser fleet to re-re-capture the disputed system; the cruisers can defeat any Aquilaeian fleet I've seen so far.
As for Intel, I have no immediate plans for offensive projects; it's all I can do to hold off enemy operations. Fortunately the Narn with their research aptitude seem to be the only ones who've developed Intel so far. If I can capture some of their Intel facilities it'll be a big swing in my favor, and may be enough to defeat any Intel attacks from the other AIs.
October 5th, 2005, 10:55 PM
Update: It's Turn 82 and the balance seems to be tipping my way (for now) against the five-AI TDM team.
Pyrochette: To the west of my south-center home system, the Pyrochette have relentlessly tried to sterilize and recolonize the system I took from them 20-odd turns ago. After being down to one planet in the system, I've taken three more they had recolonized; two- and three-cruiser fleets keep dashing themselves to death against my WP, Sat, and fleet defenses. In my experience the Pyros are the weakest of my five opponents, so this is my lowest priority front for resources.
Aquilaeian: They've been very aggressive all along my northern border. They captured a spaceyard planet in one frontier system, and it took several turns to throw them out (I inadvertently glassed the planet when my fleet "sought after" enemy ships that moved over it). In the long-disputed Ikrod system they've colonized several worlds to my one. Nevertheless, I just wiped out 15 CR/LC in Ikrod and captured a nearby Aquilaeian system with three mining worlds (finally alleviating my perennial minerals crunch). I've started ferrying captured civilians to my methane worlds.
Tessellate: They were a minor presence to the northeast until a few turns ago, when they showed up in force. In three turns, three CR/LC fleets popped through two warp points into my frontier system. Fortunately most of the CRs were armed only with anti-planet weapons (napalm); though outnumbered, I easily greased 60+ ships for the loss of 11 Sats and 1 LC (rammed).
United Flora: They started out hemmed in by the Narn to the east and my territory to the west, so when I took their home system and two others it put them on the ropes. They're not gone, but I expect only token resistance.
Narn: I pushed east past the UF and took the Narn home system. They counterattacked, glassing one of their former worlds, before I could drive them out. Capturing their second system has gotten me several ships crippled, but considering they have PPB V, the Talisman, and at least one BC, resistance has been light. The most recent Narn prisoners have been Angry, so I suspect Narn morale, production, and construction are in the toilet. If so, this is the time to strike; I've given this front first priority.
It's too soon to gloat, since hordes of Talisman-wielding Tessellate may show up at any time. That I've survived this long is due to the AIs' poor offensive coordination, "creative" shipbuilding programs (fleets of planet killers helpless against ships/sats), and inability to deal with my PPBs (most AI ships still mount 1-2 ordinary shield generators instead of extra armor). Win or lose, though, this is definitely the most fun I've had against the AI so far.
October 24th, 2005, 03:44 PM
I learned a nice little lesson from the AI this weekend. Wouldn't you know, it happened when I thought *I* was being the clever one. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif
I had a fleet of LC/CR, a supply ship, repair ship, and troop transport (13 ships total) ready to jump into an Aquilaeian system. The previous turn I had executed a successful random "crew insurrection" Intel project, and by good luck (hah!) captured a cloaked (!) CR on the far side of the very warp point my fleet was about to transit. (I knew the Acks had Stealth armor and I had previously detected the occasional cloaked ship infiltrating my systems).
My new allies reported that the far side of the warp point was guarded only by 2 LC and 6 Sats. Haha! I had caught the poor dumb Acks napping! Gloating, I ordered my Ack CR to uncloak and engage its former comrades, and sent my fleet through the warp point. Victory would soon be mine! Muahahahaha! http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/evil.gif
In retrospect, of course I should have asked myself two questions:
(1) Why was my Ack CR cloaked when I captured it?
(2) Wasn't it an incredible coincidence that, out of the entire Aquilaeian Empire, my random Intel project captured a ship in exactly the right place?
Well, I'm sure the Space Empires veterans reading this will know what happened next. The warp point was actually guarded by an additional BC and 22 CR, all cloaked. This fleet must have been a substantial part of the Ack navy, making a random crew insurrection more likely to strike it. Watching the turn's combat replays, I saw my liberated CR vaporized and figured my incoming fleet was doomed. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/eek.gif
Fortunately my crews paid only a small price for their commander's stupidity. Both fleet and individual ships were generally trained to the max, all combat ships had ECM, Stealth/Scattering armor, and shields, and they were armed with deadly PPBs. After the initial close range volley, ships on both sides scattered and continued the battle at medium and long range. In the end the Aquilaeian fleet was annihilated, at the cost of two ships crippled and two lightly damaged, mostly in the first combat turn. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/cool.gif
Taking the lesson to heart, I designed and crash-built a fast scout class with Hyper Optics and Stealth Armor. These ships will infiltrate enemy systems (only the Pyrochette have shown up with cloak detectors so far), or accompany my fleets into enemy territory. I've been slow to appreciate the potential of stealth technology in a game without mines, but I plan to make up for lost time. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/evil.gif
January 16th, 2006, 12:26 AM
Well, I didn't make any progress over the holidays (too many relatives, too many feasts), but now that things are back to abnormal, I'm resuming my interrupted game. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
It's turn 104 now, and the previous turn witnessed the biggest battle I've seen so far. As I mentioned last time, I've sent cloaked scouts into most of the enemy-controlled border systems. One of them spotted a fleet of 97 Tessellate ships (mostly CR) apparently headed for the Resshrak system, which I had recently captured. With two turns' warning, I gathered four fleets from neighboring stars, stripped most of the planets in the system, and fortified the most valuable planet (it has several captured Tessellate shrines) with 3 medium weapons platforms, four captured small missile sats, and 8 medium PPB sats.
On the third turn, the enemy fleet did indeed attack the expected target. On the replay, the enemy fleet packed into the northeast corner of the tactical map; my sats were to their west, and my fleets (40 LC, CR, & BC, 1 BB) were deployed around the planet. Despite my defensive efforts, my ships were still outnumbered about 2 to 1.
Unfortunately for the Tessellate, they had learned nothing from previous encounters; their fleet consisted almost entirely of napalm-armed planet killers. They were tough and heavily armored, to be sure, but they had no way of hurting my ships other than ramming. Worse, they inexplicably passed up nearly all their (rare) ramming opportunities. Even then they might have scorched the planet with sheer numbers, but for some reason the main body headed south, passing east of the planet, apparently just to ram my lone repair space station.
With the station gone, the six survivors finally turned to my world, but they were vaporized instantly. The combat ships were gone by turn eight; the don't-get-hurt ships lasted until turn 20. For the loss of 97 ships, the Tessellate destroyed one space station and inflicted negligible damage on one supply ship.
I'm at a loss to explain the poor performance of the Tessellate in the game so far. I can only speculate that the expensive tech option has hit them harder than the other AIs. Perhaps they'll rally later.
On the western front, I've located the Pyrochette home world; in a few turns I should have enough troops assembled to take it. To the northwest the Aquilaeians are fielding fleets of 20 to 30 battlecruisers each, but I'm capturing 1-2 per turn via Intel and slowly capturing more worlds. The Tessellate to the northeast are weakened after their disaster in Resshrack.
To the east, in Zanthris, two Narn worlds are still holding out, guarded by 60 and 71 sats, respectively. Assuming Talisman sats, PPBs, and a few weapons platforms, it would probably cost me several ships each to take them out by direct attack. Instead, I'm going to try launching large numbers of my own sats over these worlds and see if they can do the job.
The victory condition in this game is a 300% lead over the second place empire. With the Acks and Tessies still pretty much intact, it looks like the game will go on for some time.
April 24th, 2006, 10:27 PM
I'm still making slow progress on this game.
It's turn 114. I've captured the Pyrochette home world and set it to work building Terran battleships. My fleets are mopping up the remaining Pyro systems on the west side of the map. To the north and northwest I continue capturing Aquilaeian systems; so far their counterattacks have been ineffective. To the east I've had little trouble capturing Narn, United Flora, and Tessellate worlds. In the last few turns I've seen one UF ship and no Narn; I suspect their few remaining worlds are rioting by now.
In the Zanthris system I launched dozens of sats over one sat-protected Narn planet, but unfortunately after several turns they haven't engaged the 60 sats around the main planet or the weapon platforms on the ground. On the bright side, they did wipe out the Narn fighters and both moons. Since the game apparently won't permit sat-to-sat combat, I'm building a couple of missile battlecruisers to take out the Narn planets from long range. The Narn sats can stay there for the rest of the game as far as I'm concerned. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
The Tessellate have made a comeback of sorts. When one of their ships popped through a warp point (and was immediately destroyed by guardian sats), I found that they were finally building battlecruisers and had developed the Talisman and shard cannons. Now I see a fleet of 128(!) Tessellate ships (including a few of their new BC) passing through a disputed frontier system. We may soon have a battle that will dwarf the epic fight of turn 103.
I just hope I finish this game before SE V comes out. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
May 22nd, 2006, 09:19 PM
Victory! I got the announcement when the computer finished running turn 117. I was surprised, because the Aquilaeans and Tessellate still had nearly 250 colonies between them.
That turn I captured nearly a dozen enemy colonies, but I suspect it was the fleet action in Tyrik that tipped the balance. The large Tessellate fleet I mentioned in my last post moved into Tyrik, one jump from Resshrak (scene of the last big battle on turn 103). I gathered five fleets (65 ships total) and a number of sats to defend the most valuable colony in the system, but the enemy chose instead to re-capture the adjacent planet. So on turn 117 I sent all 5 fleets to attack the 129 Tessellate ships (almost all CR, and almost all armed only with planetary napalm).
Some of our ships started out intermingled, and six of mine spent most of the battle completely surrounded. Whenever possible the Tessellate closed to 1-square range, but the only ramming I saw was when 4 CR rammed one of my battleships (it survived with 68% damage). Otherwise it was a slaughter: 129 Tessellate ships destroyed vs. 1 Terran battleship damaged.
A few sectors away, another Tyrik colony with several captured shrines was threatened by a 15-ship Tessellate fleet. Wanting to save the shrines, I dumped thirty-odd sats backed up by a battleship and three battlecruisers. Unfortunately ten of the Tessellate were Talisman-equipped battlecruisers with shield depleters and shard cannons. Worse, my sats were out of position, and worse still, the enemy got the first shot. Fortunately my ships knocked off several Tessellate and lasted long enough to lure the enemy into my sats. The planet and all four ships survived, the latter with only one component each.
On top of that, having burned through Tessellate counter-intel the previous turn, I captured three Talisman battlecruisers via crew insurrection. All in all the Tessellate lost over 150 ships in that turn.
Final score was Terrans 6.1 million, Tessellate 1.4 million, Aquilaeians 0.7 million. The Narn and Pyrochette had two colonies each, and the United Flora had been completely liberated. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
This was quite an exciting game in the early stages, but it appears that even at five to one odds with a small bonus and no mines, the human player still has the edge. I'm thinking of going again but with everyone breathing the same air; I gained a major advantage by matching captured populations with the proper atmosphere. I like expensive tech but I hate the Talisman; I may mod the Talisman down to a super combat sensor (e.g. 100-120% accuracy, but subject to ECM, etc.).
Or I may wait for SE V. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
May 23rd, 2006, 07:14 PM
It sounds like you need a challenge.
How about some Carrier Battles mod?
Grab v1.5, and you will find that on No Bonus setting, the AIs are powerful adversaries, and even the Neutrals are scary!
May 24th, 2006, 06:14 PM
I'm tempted. I appreciate a good challenging AI. Problem is, I detest the concept of space fighters as seen in such sci fi productions as "Star Wars", "Battlestar Galactica", and "Babylon 5". The futuristic space carrier is supposedly analogous to the 20th Century aircraft carrier; however, since all spacecraft operate in the same medium, it's actually more like a 20th Century "PT boat carrier". I'm just not excited by the idea of "patrol boats in space".
In fact, I'm thinking of removing all fighter tech from the next game, just so the AIs don't waste any of their efforts on it. In the last game (stock + TDM) it didn't do them any good, anyway.
May 25th, 2006, 06:54 PM
A better equivalent would be choppers, I think.
Quick, manoeuverable, and fairly easy to replace when lost in combat.
Particularily compared to capital ships, which are slow, long ranged, tough, and very expensive.
By the way, don't let the name fool you.
Carrier Battles mod is about BALANCE, not fighters.
The fact that fighters and missiles are useful is a side-effect of the balance.
You may want to keep an eye on the PBW game "Carrier-Free Battles mod #1", and sign up as a replacement, should anyone have RL troubles.
I think I'll open a second CFB game too...
In CB#3 game, I use fleets composed of about 10% carriers, 30% Missile ships, 30% point defense, and 30% Assault ships (short range/high power, direct fire guns)
Eorg went a little nuts, building only carriers. That worked for a while, because he was a Disposable Society (double build rate), and he put his foot down with overwhelming force. However, the rest of us quickly learned to build a lot of antifighter designs... AF missiles, 40mm torpedoes, cluster missiles.
When Eorg failed to modify his own designs (IE use a mix of gunboats and missile ships, instead of all-fighters) to counter our new fighter-killers, he was defeated.
His carriers often got away, since we had little anti-ship firepower, but he was losing thousands of fighters in every battle, culminating in a big 300-ship vs 5000-fighter clash, which finally broke his navy.
The point to all this, is fighters are quite useful, but certainly not sufficient, and not completely nessesary.
The same can be said of ships, missiles, direct fire weapons, just about anything in CB.
The best fleet will have a healthy mix of everything, with strategies set so that the different types of ships and fighters support each other; covering each others' weaknesses, and clearing the way for their strengths.
With such a fleet, I recently defeated a 400 ship fleet which was over-fightered, over missiled, under-PD'd, and very lacking in direct-fire assault ships.
May 25th, 2006, 09:42 PM
Interesting. Maybe I will look into it.
One question: Would the AIs be disadvantaged if I took mine and fighter techs out of a CB game?
May 28th, 2006, 11:52 PM
There are no mines in CBmod. Heavy torpedo satellites on the blind side of a warppoint are the closest you'll get to that.
Removing fighters would certainly degrade the AI's performance, but if you also remove the carrier hulls, at least they won't waste their time building carriers.
I'm sure you'll find that fighters are not that bad, however.
They are just one of the many facets of a CB navy.
You could just leave the carriers and fighters in, but not use them yourself...
After all, anything a fighter can do, a ship can do too (except for the being placed in cargo thing)
You will, of course, have to build more ships than your enemies, but you will have more build queue time to dedicate...
You may also have to build a higher percentage of anti-fighter ships than normal, since dogfighting is the most common role for fighters, and your ships will have to take up the slack.
I would certainly be interested to know how a carrier-less empire fares in the mod. It should not be significantly more difficult than playing normally; you'll have more trouble with balancing fleet compositions (since you'll need to build whole new ships to change it), but less trouble with logistics (since you won't have to restock your carriers after battle).
Be sure to always have some troops present on all your colonies. You don't want to be an easy mark, and the AI will invade frequently.
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