This continues my post about the silent destruction of a starbase. I wanted to reply to that topic with this, but the starbase topic directly relates to ideas on better starbase management, so I don't want to derail that. However, any further questions I have about this campaign (if any) will be posted here.To review, after they destroyed my starbase a second time, I followed them to one of their planets, and they jumped to another planet. I stayed behind, eliminated the stationary defenses and starbase, and then bombarded the planet. I waited a while to capture it, but the culture was too hostile, so after reinforcements arrived, I followed the fleet that jumped earlier. The planet they jumped to turned out to be their capital world and it was heavily defended (not surprised). I found myself facing overwhelming odds so I had to pull my forces back. In fact, I had to pull them all the way back to one of my worlds because they followed me back to the world I bombarded and then to the gas giant. So now my fleet is recovering by a world controlled by me (connected to the gas giant). I also have a starbase guarding the one lane leading to the gas giant. I want to improve my fleet effectiveness before returning. Any thoughts?The capital world defenses consisted of at least four hangars so I experienced a very thick cloud of SC activity. The enemy fleet that tore through my fleet and chased me away included several capital ships and cruisers, I think. After I get home from work, I can provide a more complete assessment of the enemy (ship types) if needed.How effective is the heavy cruiser? I have (or had) at least 20 of them. I have plans to construct another 20-30. I also plan to increase the number of carriers by 40-50 with an even distribution of fighter and bomber squadrons. I normally build LRM frigates, but didn’t this time. I read that they are effective against other frigates, but how do they fare against about cruisers and capital ships? I want to include torpedo cruisers, but I fear they will be destroyed before they can bring down the hangars.
It's a three star map. In the beginning, I had 4 planets. Now I control 13 planets and 3 (about to be 4) belts. My income has been amazing. You were absolutely right about trade ports. I have plenty of crystal coming in, but my metal is slow. I have all metal and crystal production fully upgraded, but I guess I don't have as many metal extractors as I have crystal. I keep having to buy metal which is annoying.
All of my planets except 2 have a starbase. The 2 without are in the far back with one route connecting them to one of the planets that has a starbase, so I didn't worry about them (though I did build two hangars, two turrets, and a repair platform for them). A starbase for 11 of the 13 planets is probably overkill, but after all the trouble I had with rebels and enemy fleets last game, I wanted to fortify everybody. However please look at the map and tell me what you would suggest when you talk about choke points. That will help me in future campaigns.
All of my starbases have a repair platform nearby, two hangars, two turrets (yes, they are right next to the starbase), and five flak frigates with orders to hold position. Both the starbase and hangars are full of bomber squadrons. My starbase has been upgraded with full weapons, full structure, one hangar, one auxillary government, and one docking beam.
I have also (for the first time) built two Novalith cannons - one on my capital world and one on another terran world half way across the star system. My fleet has been doing a great job: 1 Akkan, 1 Kol, 1 Dread, 2 Dunovs, 15 carriers (12 fighter squads/26 bomber squads), 20 hoshikos (originally it was 5, turned into 4, and now 20), and 4 LRMs (originally 5 or 10).
At the second Novalith site (across the system), I built a second fleet: 2 Dreads, 2 Kols, 2 Sovas, 1 Dunov, 30 carriers, 5 flak frigates, and 10 hoshikos. I plan to add another Dunov and LRM frigates to that fleet eventually.
One thing that has been a royal pain are homing mines. I initially moved a scout close enough for the reveal mine ability, and I watched my strike craft automatically shoot them down which was great. However, when I moved my scouts close enough to several other homing mines, my strike craft just sat there. I tried to select them and order them to attack the mines, but nothing. Eventually they did, but it was really weird. In the end, it took so long to eliminate the mine field, that I took the heavily armored Kol in, activated the Adaptive Forcefield (for shields) and Finest Hour (for quicker repairs) as mines hit it's hull. I also had my Dunovs nearby to hit it with shield boosts as it got smacked around. Then I had my Hoshikos go crazy with repairs to the Kol's hull. This allowed me to quickly clear those fields, but I don't like doing that. Is there another way?
Please dissect any of what I wrote and let me what is good or bad. I value all feedback.
If you see you aren't going to be getting much metal income, and you have at least a small amount of space, often it's a good idea close to the beginning of the game as TEC to research the first two metal income upgrade rates. That's sometimes a good idea even in competitive games, because that initial metal income research is tier 1 and is so cheap.
As TEC you can also research something to significantly decrease buying prices from the black market. In longer games where you have a significant resource imbalance it can help a lot.
I'm going to guess that Galatia in the south is your homeworld, because you said you have a lot of crystal income (allegiance effects). I'm also assuming that your enemy was red up on Caldiera, whom you conquered and took over.
If I were you, I would have started the game by scouting, and then sending a colony cap to Caladon or Krypton to kill siege, colonize, and build turret(s) while your scouts were looking around to see where the enemy is. Once I found that the enemy was up in the north, I'd beeline for the choke point on Persia, or I might even completely bypass it and go for Mirrin if my scouts saw that the enemy cap/fleet was going in a different direction.
Given that I knew how spacious the map was beforehand, I wouldn't go for trade and would research the starbase ASAP. After killing the siege on Mirrin and colonizing I'd immediately build a frigate factory, get a constructor, and build a starbase there. (I wouldn't even go for trade ports)
Once the planet was colonized and the frigate factory was under construction I might send the colony cap out to Ennomos or Cygania if my scouts showed that the enemy was in either of those gravity wells. I would bomb the planet if they tried to colonize, or would attack the colony frigate if the planet hasn't been colonized yet. Even the moderately advantaged AIs (hard and unfair) probably won't have a large fleet by this time so my capital ship would probably survive long enough to kill the colony frigate or to bomb the planet out.
I'd also research repair platforms and repair upgrades and build them on Mirrin just in case my capital ship offensive fails, which would be quite possible.
I might build a capital ship factory on Mirrin and build another capital, which would continuously attack whichever planet the enemy fleet isn't at (the asteroid, the desert, or the homeworld) and then retreat to repair once the enemy fleet came in. With continued cap harassment like that with my two capital ships, the enemy might even be too distracted to ever come attack my starbase. This would work for a few minutes until my starbase was strong enough to manage their fleet.
I would then build trade ports everywhere, and then would research Pervasive Economy, while the enemy would probably be attacking my starbase and leveling my caps. I'd probably send the colony cap back in the other direction to colonize planets I'd skipped. From that point you can basically do anything because you have an almost unlimited amount of funds, given your trade ports and Pervasive.
The enemy would eventually colonize Cygania again - when they do that I would hope to have a similar choke-point starbase up on Ra-Shalom in case the enemy decides to split part of their fleet and go that way.
Homing mines are annoying because often they place themselves where it's impossible to clear them, like in the middle of a star or inside of a planet or something. I generally clear the ones I'm able to clear and ignore the rest.
Not sure what you mean by long or why it takes hours. For multiplayer you would never even build such a fleet composition. But vs the AI it works fine. Remember you are building towards a goal. The fleet I outlined is useful along the way as well. You wipe out enemies along the way and expand. It is the Vasari way
If you skimp on capital ships (with the expensive logistics upgrades for caps) and stay at eight and go light on starbases (I try to use none) and light on research (except phase missile, some armor and the key economic ones) and heavy on trade and expansion in the beginning you can reach most of this mark in 75-90 minutes on unfair medium large random. Guaranteed. That doesn't seem long to me.
On cruel it might be 90 minutes to 2 hours to get to 2000-2400 logistic points depending on how hard you are getting pounded. I think the longest I can remember is 2 hours for a cruel on a medium random map where the AI TEC HW was one jump next to my own HW (that was an unpleasant surprise). I don't think I have played in ages a game I haven't had fully max fleet (I play large fleets which is actually an advantage for cruel AIs) at 2.5-3 hours and already crumpled at least 2 AIs as a Vasari on unfair or cruel. I usually have at least one full or near alliance by then with most Vasari pacts if I so choose.
I play unfair for speed testing. Cruel is the real deal. Vicious takes longer and can be laborious. Everything is harder in 1.32 with diplomacy off in FFA but it just depends more on the map and who hates who. Too easy to get ceasefires in 1.32. But it does mean necessary diplomacy spending or you die to mega alliances on cruel or vicious.
I am also not sure why a custom map at all is required.
I always play random large or medium large single star maps. Of late I have played DesConnor's Sedition map but that is probably not what you were thinking of since every start position is 3 lanes from the enemy HW. Sometimes I play random medium for a change of pace. Using a scout fleet with an Egg (I just learned watching Aquia), I can almost guarantee getting and holding 8-10 systems + multiple mine extractors before the action gets heavy.
As an aside ... in more than half my unfair and cruel games I can usually get to an asteroid, desert or terran planet one step from an enemy HW while the AI is building ships and defense cannons on his HW. From there it can get fun depending on various factors, but I usually send the Egg with scouts through his HW to the other side to box him in. The problem is how long it takes depending on the map to clean things up so my trade chain is connected. If I am lucky I can culture fry him early and he is out of the game even at cruel difficulty in under and hour while I am fighting on my other boundaries (which is actually where things get more dicey). From there once I am done absorbing the husk of his empire it is a very rapid expansion from say 1000 to 2000 logistics points as my economy is usually well over 100 credits / sec by that time. The remaining ship slots aren't that far off then. The pinch early on is the balance between expansion and getting trade ports up with enough assailants and sentinels to weather the incoming storms before you get enough carriers up to repulse any attacks.
I admit this strategy is less successful with TEC since their carriers are weaker and their Javelis are not robust enough comparatively speaking. On the other hand Advent are so gimped economically (too much crystal, no refineries) and the illuminators so underwhelming at 3 mil labs that I can't even think of doing this strategy at cruel. They would eat me for breakfast.
Anyways sorry for the long reply but I thought it more meaningful than just saying I disagree with you and it doesn't take hours and can be done reliably on random maps. This way I tried to provide some detail on how I regularly play and how I build inexorably to that unstoppable fleet. Once I have it the game is over regardless of difficulty it just depends on how long I want to spend fighting the last several AIs left. Usually at that point I always pick the biggest bully remaining and go right for the HW
The capital ship numbers you mentioned is the big one. Creating an ordinary combat fleet to wipe out AIs doesn't take that long, but if you have yourself first get up to 16 or even 8 capital ships, the funds required for that can make the game take significantly longer than I like, at least.
Maybe it's just my multiplayer experience talking but the very thought of a 3+ hour game does not sound pleasant.Oh, and if you spawn right next to a very hard AI's homeworld, that's actually not bad, and is easier than most situations IMO: if you attack immediately and attack their constructors with scouts/fighters and then their frigate factory with LRF and/or Disciples you can neutralize their production capability and take them over easily, even though you'll take a good number of frigate losses at the beginning. Try it on Point Blank to get a feel for it.It's difficult and takes practice to get it down well, but if you know how to do it it can save you quite a lot of time. Better to take some losses but wipe out a Vicious right next to you than to let it develop and build a fleet.
Advent get too much crystal? I don't get it. Don't they get the same overall resource bonuses as the other factions, except at slightly different research levels?Illuminators are only underwhelming against very large targets like capital ships and starbases. But when using illuminators to fight an enemy fleet of frigates, they're excellent, even better than the Assailants with their PMs. You have to micromanage them to make sure that their banks are all able to fire, but if you can do that, they're quite effective.
Well you did say "I don't think I have played in ages a game I haven't had fully max fleet (I play large fleets which is actually an advantage for cruel AIs) at 2.5-3 hours and already crumpled at least 2 AIs as a Vasari on unfair or cruel."2.5 to 3 hours is pretty long if you ask me!
Mostly, although you should make completely sure that you are able to hold them back. If the AI puts you on the retreat that means that starbases (your greatest anti-AI weapon) aren't being effective.
Sending the capital ships to the enemy's worlds is only meant to harass them really, to slow them down for a few minutes and hopefully prevent colonization for a bit, but is not intended to actually hold them back, because they'll probably soon have an overwhelming fleet if they're on the hardest difficulty levels.
Sometimes, in a way. On maps where you're most likely to have this sort of space (most likely 1v1 random small), you're also likely to have choke points similar to the ones you see on the multistar map you linked to. However, rushing for a choke point that close to the enemy in that situation is just asking be be rushed. Economy matters a whole lot in those more spacious maps, and since scouts can be built quickly and can kill siege frigates quickly (in combination with a colony cap), you can and should colonize all or nearly all planets on the way to the choke point you're aiming for. Getting to the choke point first is useful of course, but very quickly you'll need to have a fleet to defend it or to push the enemy even farther back - and for that, you often need economy. (more owned planets, plus logistics slots for trade ports).
On the more cramped maps like 4v4 and 5v5 this sort of thing is rarely that relevant because players are so close and there isn't even the freedom to start with a colony cap.
Against the AI, containment is always the strategy to use (if possible) if you're trying to win at all costs. The number of possible choke points is almost always more important than map size (unless you're playing on a very very small map like Point Blank or Wrathful).
And after you have a starbase (or a few) up for containment, the next thing to do regardless is to increase your income however you can: colonize more planets, or if your colony cap is busy harassing the enemy, build trade ports.
At least, that's what I do when I'm going for heavy entrenchment against very hard AIs. The strategy is cheap because it almost always works and takes advantage of the AI's biggest weaknesses (bad fleet logistics, and its inability to handle starbases), but the strategy will also virtually guarantee you (an eventual) win.
Sorry to hit you with so many questions. You and others on this board are very experienced and willing to help so I'm taking full advantage of that.I've honestly never used my scouts offensively. Well I once had them fire on a homing mine, but never a combat maneuver against siege frigates. That's interesting.Question on choke points. If you look at Persia on the map, notice that it is linked to Saturna, Mirrin, and the Kaseda wormhole. Let's say I had forces coming from each. I want to prevent them from jumping to the Demophen belt so I deploy my starbase on the side of Persia facing Demophen. Alternatively I can deploy it in the center of the area facing Saturna, Mirrin, and Kaseda.
What are your thoughts?
In a reasonably spacious map, scouts are the best ship to build at the very beginning of the game, hands-down. Look at those two replays I sent you to see how I used them to colonize planets very quickly.
The AI is too basic to bypass planets like that. It will attack an enemy front-line planet until it's gone and will then attack another front-line planet (not necessarily an adjacent one) and repeat. If you retain ownership of Persia, the AIs won't bother trying to move past it to attack your more inner worlds.
So I'd build the starbase on Persia in between the phase lanes going to the volcano planet and the wormhole, somewhat close to the planet, with repair platforms behind and turrets in front.
Valid point. Assume the AI was human. How would you respond then?
Build no static defenses, except possibly for a phase jump inhibitor or two. Rely on a fleet instead.
Thanks for the replays. I'll take a look.
So your fleet would be your primary defense. Wouldn't a starbase be good backup to assist the fleet in delivering heavy fire as the fleet keeps the enemy human occupied? And two inhibitors? I just read up on phase jump inhibitors and I'm seeing that one may not be enough to fully blanket a phase point. Interesting. Do you build them next to the phase point? I assumed you could build one right by the planet and that it would affect phase jumps from anywhere in the well.
Humans are not as dumb as the AI and would never run headfirst into a starbase. A stationary starbase is useful for area defense (defending a particular area of the gravity well from enemies - like, where your frigate factories and repair platforms are) and for weakening an enemy fleet as it jumps out (which is useful if you have a fleet to immediately pursue) but not much more.
As such, the cost is often not worth it. Building ships of your own instead would almost always be more effective.
Obvious exception: Vasari, due to the moving Orkulus. Some great Vasari players' playstyle completely revolves around strategic use of starbases while keeping fleet supply usage down.
Hover the cursor over the phase jump inhibitor to see how much of the well it covers. Unless you're on an asteroid, it should take at least 2 to cover all edges of the well - but sometimes if the phase lanes are close together only one is needed to cover enemies exiting.
That said, building 2 in that area anyway is not a bad idea because it's one more structure that your enemy absolutely has to destroy before thinking of retreating.
Good lesson on starbases. Thanks. I have yet to fight an Orkulus, but I did see one attacking another empire once. And thanks for the information on inhibitors. That will prove very useful. I hope to have some time this week to finish looking over the information as well as the replays you sent me. The experience of becoming a better player has been frustrating, but enlightening. Eventually, after I have the basics down, I'll be able to start developing my own strategies for offline and online matches.
Umm I stated 8-10 capitals which seems pretty reasonable and that is for the first 2000 or so logistics points. Going for 13 at the end is fine but 16 is inefficient in my experience and a waste. And yes I agree the capital ship logistics upgrades are expensive. 8 is more than enough to wipe put any AIs imo.
Multiplayer is over in 60-90 minutes when the 5v5 agree who is winning or not. If played to full completion they would take much longer. You have no handshake option with the AI though you do have the option to bow out and start a new game once you think you have won or are getting bored. If you mean victory through complete destruction of all players, I applaud you if you can do that regularly on large random maps on cruel as I certainly cannot.
Oh, and if you spawn right next to a very hard AI's homeworld, that's actually not bad, and is easier than most situations IMO: if you attack immediately and attack their constructors with scouts/fighters and then their frigate factory with LRF and/or Disciples you can neutralize their production capability and take them over easily, even though you'll take a good number of frigate losses at the beginning. Try it on Point Blank to get a feel for it.
It's difficult and takes practice to get it down well, but if you know how to do it it can save you quite a lot of time. Better to take some losses but wipe out a Vicious right next to you than to let it develop and build a fleet.
Thanks I have already done it on Point Blank on vicious as both Vasari and Advent some time ago. That being said it is pretty hard to execute flawlessly meaning the AI doesn't at least get some ships out to make life rough for a bit. What you suggest is certainly preferbale vs vicious since you have no choice else you die.
That being said I find a similar strategy on even cruel on a medium or large random map will stunt my early campaign as you will not expand enough in time nor will you be able to protect your other borders unless I suppose you exploit the 1.32 diplomacy ceasefire mechanics (try FFA for more fun). Point Blank is a very specific map. If on vicious the AI gets to one or more other worlds you have to commit so many resources to plug him it can be pain so you kill the constructors asap and never let a colony ship get out of the grav well.
But for cruel I guess I prefer the safe, secure high efficiency kills in my own grav well with occasional raids while I expand all around him and work towards my fleet. Remember vs 7 AIs, you will be fighting 2-3 simul early on. That dynamic is completely antithetical to any multiplayer 5v5s. You need to expand quickly or your game will be much more than 3+ hours. personally I don't think I have ever beaten large random vs 7 AIs vicious in anything close to 3 hours. Even decisive grav well victories can be reinforced instantly by the AIs until your economic advantage finally outweighs theirs near the end of the game.
Lol I meant that their crystal requirements are too much. i.e. they need to mine too much crystal ...
I think we can agree to disagree here. I know how the mechanics of the side beams works. I also know that managing them against an AI is much easier than against a player. I also know that using them up close to micro their beam dps makes repulse on the guardian moot. I also know that 50+ flak in their face will also wreck them (watch DT replays). Granted vs the AI you don't need to worry about the latter. But vs cruel or vicious AIs you will see lots of SBs, heavy cruisers, though not so many caps. I still think Vasari bomber heavy fleets are the most efficient per cost vs AIs. But maybe that is just me.
Fair enough. I guess my earlier assertion was more bout the times it takes to get a 2200-2400 logistic point fleet while fighting. The 2.5-3 hours is to win the game which can take a while at least for me on a large map,
I would be interested in seeing any replays you might have of cruel (or even an unfair for that matter) on a large random map that are substantially shorter in time. Maybe I play too conservatively and could learn something there. For me at least many of the tactics that work well in 5v5 mulltiplayer seem to end up getting me bogged down in attrition on large AI maps. Again maybe that is just me.
*Reading very in-depth conversation between dbkita and Wrath89*
Wow. *moves hand, palm down, over the top of my head*
That's okay. One day I'll be on board.
Last night, I engaged an Orkulus for the first time. Bombers took it out pretty quickly.
Indeed. I just like focusing on just a few capital ships at a time and putting my money into frigates with firepower instead.
Oh no, it's not that I could, it's that I just have little desire to try a game that long (against such predictable opponents).
You're right that bombers are more effective - I was just disagreeing with you saying that illuminators are "underwhelming". They're decent, just not the ship of choice.
Agreed. I usually use two for a while (Egg then Skirantra), go to four when I want to hit the AI hard, and wait for the rest once I have the economy to fill them in. I have seen to many people who 'over-capitalize' if you get my drift. A pack of kanraks and bombers takes care of that nicely.
I don't even bother with enforcers anymore. They were only useful as meat shields taking bomber fire. I can do better with flak if I want that ability.
Understood. Sadly my comp is so old that online play gets me yelled at when I lag the games. Such is life. And yes the computer is very predictable. My only recourse to make it less formulaic is to avoid Orkuli as much as possible.
Agreed and part of my 'underwhelming' comment is driven by playing Advent exclusively before the bug fix / nerf to illuminators. The bug made Advent the dominant faction for a long time before the fix. For the Advent to be so weakened and exposed once the illuminator beams were 'fixed' means the faction was never balanced properly to begin with and all their other faults are now glaring. Basically they are a semi-broken faction regardless of the skill level. Can they be mastered and played well in a relative sense? Yes but they were never balanced properly which is sad since aesthetically they are my favorite faction ((
Here's an embarrassing question: how do you secure a victory? I attacked the remaining empire's capital world (or I think it was their capital - it said Home) and after destroying the colony, there was no fanfare or anything, so...
In my experience at least, sometimes the game bugs out and doesn't give you a victory even when all enemy planets and colonizers are dead. (You win when all enemy planets and colony ships are dead or when all enemy players surrender - their home planet, while important, is not the only planet you have to kill)
Also send a scout to every gravity well you haven't colonized or put a SB in. Often the AI will have colony ships hanging around empty wells for the neutral extractors. If for some reason you've wiped out the AI's fleet and planets but they still haven't surrendered, try killing their colony ship.
So move from planet to planet and destroy everything. Got it. I'm starting to regret my decision to play a 3 star map. Thanks Wrath. I also have some questions about the information you sent so you should be getting an e-mail sometime today.
Sometimes the AI will surrender before you destroy all of their planets. You can increase the chance of this happening by building as big of a fleet as possible. If you have a huge military advantage plus a bigger economy (and they don't have any equally strong allies) the AI should throw in the towel.
Of course, some people then complain of the AI giving up to early, but you can please everyone it seems.
Further, I advise that the Devs add custom map sharing to Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion.
And target their caps. Very often when the AI has surrendered to me it's happened right after I destroyed their last capital ship. (But only prioritize this once you're sure you've already won and the AI is close to surrendering)
I was out of town last Thursday, got back on Sunday, but haven't had time to play until last night. When I re-visited an enemy world that I hadn’t captured because I blew past it to attack the enemy's homeworld, I discovered that they designated that planet as their new homeworld. It was guarded by a very strong fleet which took at least 10 or 15 minutes to wipe out. I found myself focus firing on a capital ship, sometimes tasking my bomber wings to bring down a separate cap, and I frequently managed my Dunovs to keep my caps alive, restoring shields on caps with the lowest shield strength.When set to auto, does the Dunov prioritize, charging the shields of ships that are down to, say, 125 versus ships that are down to 800? Or do they just automatically restore shields on whatever ship isn’t at full strength, even if it is just a few points below full capacity versus ships that are dangerously low?I found myself faced with a lot of capital ships, but after bringing them down and eliminating the rest of the fleet, I assaulted the planet which took almost no time (with four Marzas razing it), and for my first time, saw a victory screen!I'm ready to play another, but this time, I’ll fight one AI, so I can try different openers. In addition to my Dunov question above, what is the explanation of the Random playing style (Random, Economic, etc.)? Does Random mean the AI randomly chooses one of the playing styles or does it mean the AI will move between playing styles in-game?
Randomly chooses one play style.
The Dunov's Shield Restore's autocast only activates on targets which will mostly utilize the shield points restored. So if the ability is level 3 (+750 shield points), it'll never activate on ships that have a max capacity of something like 650 shield points or less.
Other than that though, it just seems to use Shield Restore on any ship that could use it, and I don't think it prioritizes any shield-hurt ship over another.
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