The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

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White Raven
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by White Raven » Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:36 am

Good read, silvermoon...

I especially liked the last bit that was told from the perspective of Admiral Eurix.

Keep it up, and don't worry, soon you will be crushing those weasels under your boot heels!

--WR
"This landing is gonna get pretty interesting..."
"Define 'Interesting'."

"OH, God, OH, God, we're all going to die?"

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silvermoon383
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by silvermoon383 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:37 pm

Situation Room, Lupus
Normally emergency meetings such as this was done with the combined leadership of the mission, but there was no time to get the Admirals on the comm, nor was there anything the other races could do in any case. So now, Governor Knitz at around a holographic projector along with the respective department heads. Once everyone was seated the projector came on, showing a graphic showing the Galactic Core.

Turn 101-104
Admiral Sor started the meeting. "To say we have a new problem would be overkill at this point Governor. The Zuul battlegroup we encountered at Wundagore was beyond anything we could have imagined." He pressed a few buttons and the projector changed images:
Image
The gasps came in droves. "We don't know how they managed to go unidentified on their approach, but 2 dreadnoughts were more than a match for the 7 ship-picket fleet we had in system at the time. Their weapon systems were primitive, but they had an extreme love of corrosive missiles, creating large clouds of acid that ate our ships to the bones. Even the reinforcement fleets that were en route suffered heavy losses, 29 destroyers and 4 cruisers destroyed by the time both dreadnoughts were eliminated. Then the 2 support ships were another matter. Their Antimatter drives allowed them to outrun our ships with ease so they set up an ambush. We still lost 2 more cruisers and 2 more destroyers by the time the Zuul were gone."

The shocked silence hung in the room like a storm cloud. "That was the majority of our force in the center section." the Governor remarked.

Nodding, "Yes it was, but thanks to the fleet in the right section that whole region is open to us. They were successful in clearing the Alien Wreckage in Adhara and Procyon II. Adhara was a rock, but Procyon II had a hazard rating of 478. Not the best, but it could be a nice fallback position if it comes to that."

"I'll keep that in mind. Amy, please tell me that you're able to offset these ship losses?" Kunitz turned to the head of the Shipbuliding Department, Amy Forn.

"We're doing everything we can. 3 new fleets have been completed and another begun. We've launched a set of 5 freighters with some leftover budget, and another set of 15 colony ships are under construction."

"Good. We need all the ships we can get right now. And hopefully the new Fusion drives we should be able to start giving the Zuul a more even fight, right Doctor?" Governor Kunitz now turned to the head of the Science Department.

"Once it's finished, it should." he promised. "At the very least the new Advanced Sensors will tell us more about where the Zuul are and where they're going. And now that we're starting to tap into the resources provided by Algol and Baltar II things should start moving a bit faster."

Turn 105-108
The Governor shifted in his seat a bit at the mention of Baltar II. The colony fleet had triggered a colony trap and only one ship had survived. Still, Gamma Cephi had been colonized without incident and Wundagore had been recolonized, both good news amid a sea of bad. Too bad Maltus II had to be a bare rock. They could have used another viable system at the Core's edge.

"For the most part things have quieted down a little bit, giving us some room to breath." Amy continued, breaking a short silence. "We've started a new colony fleet, built 3 HCL cruisers to assist with the forward defense, built another assault fleet, a new defense fleet, and added 10 more freighters."

"Too bad the Zuul didn't give us much of a break. Granted, we knew they would be going for Prion and Henja now that they've been cut off from us, but their loss was a blow to our intelligence capabilities." Admiral Sor just had to ruin a rising mood. "Prion was a lost cause, but the Zuul had a new surprise for us at Henja. We thought we could handle them, but they just had to be sneaky in two ways. First, they came at us with shielded ships. Worse, they made a run at our staging point after clashing with the primary group. They set up a line and blasted every ship that tried to round the planet. It was a massacre. All 21 ships were lost with the colony. At a cost of 2 of their ships."

"It's worse than you think Admiral." Governor Kunitz gulped. "The Zuul are moving in on the left section as well now. 99 ships are en route to Shaggai II."

"Fusion-equipped ships should help defend it!" the Doctor interjected. "Now that we can move a lot faster we can get fleets to endangered systems, prevent the Zuul from outflanking them, and we have access to much more powerful weaponry."

"True, but all Shaggai II can do is hope and pray. The Wundagore fleet in en route, but we can't risk sending ships from the other planets in the section. We won't be able to replace them soon enough if the Zuul make a run to them as well." the Admiral said, his voice pained.

"And weapons will have to wait for a little while." Kunitz announced. "We're colonizing planets again, but we need to be able to get them productive as soon as possible. Environmental Tailoring is your top priority Doctor."

Turn 109-110
"We've been working on it Governor, but it's currently overbudget. Even with our expanded research base it was on the cutting edge of our biologic science, and we weren't exactly equipped to deal with it here in the Core."

"Then we'll use the majority of your budget to build more ships." Kunitz fired back.

"We'll need it. We've only been able to get 3 colony ships, 2 freighters, and a defense fleet out." Amy reported, no joy in her tone. "The colony ship push sucked up a lot of our resources. But if we can get a lot more cruisers out quickly, we should be able to be back on our feet."

"Depending on those 99 ships..." Kunitz said under his breath. And hopefully Hebron II's new colony will be completed soon enough to matter. he added in his head.

Somewhere
She stumbled over the hatch and her caretaker clubbed her in the back of the head for it. He moved to do so again but the Master held up his hand. "Stop." he said and his will was obeyed. As she stood again he waved her over to his throne, willing her to sit next to him.

As she did so she felt the overwhelming need to tend to the Master's fur and a side of her screamed in revulsion. Still, his will must be obeyed and he made an pleasurable noise. "Yes....and I have a gift for you too." The ship shook and the swirling colors of nodespace calmed into the familiar black of normalspace. "You are about to be joined by many of your brothers and sisters in the service of the Lords." His grin filled the room.

State of the Mission
Image
Image

Notes and Questions
Ok, how the frak did the purple Zuul get Dreadnoughts and ANTIMATTER by turn 100?! They haven't been attacking much, and when they did it was mostly the Morrigi they dealt with. Worse, they haven't been seen since the last 10 turns, so how in the world did they get that level of research?

Sadly I never got a Deep Scan equipped ship built at Shaggai II before these 10 turns finished so I don't know what the Zuul are sending to Shaggai II. I really, really hope it's mostly destroyers cause I'm outnumbered 3 to 1 there, and without Shaggai II I'm cut off from a third of my planets. That's why I didn't send everything in range to the planet, the way they've been smacking me I can't risk leaving planets undefended.

Now I'm at a major impasse with my tech development and I could use some advice. Now that I have fusion I have a veritable mountain of weapons I can research. What do you think I should go for: plasma torpedoes (my 1st torpedo tech on the tree), polarized plasmatics, fusion cannon (I haven't used those much, they didn't seem to do much), heavy emitters, phasers, or lancers? do I start getting ballistics with Heavy drivers, AP drivers, or stormers? I know I should upgrade my missiles to Fusion warheads, but should that be sooner than later, along with Heavy Planet Missiles? Also, should I attempt to get node missiles to help harrass the Zuul, and would boarding pods be viable against the Zuul? I haven't seen them use point defense all that much, so they do have a decent chance of making it through.

Should I try to get Mega-freighters soon? I didn't jump on those immediately because I'm only able to squeeze in the occasional DE freighter right now thanks to my need for more battleships. Magnoceramics are looking tasty right now, and orbital drydocks could be the start of a push to dreadnoughts of my own.

Would shields be worth it at all? Mark 1 is on my tree, but there's no guarantee of the later shields.

And the big question: at what point of desperation would you consider AI? It's such a game changer that it might give me enough of an edge over the Zuul, but the only other time I've tried to research it I got a rebellion, and that was with a research time of half of what mine currently is (9 turns). Would it be viable to put everything into AI if the Zuul give me some breathing space again? Or should I give it a shot anyways, especially if the Zuul keep pressing?

One last question: I might not have to deal with Purple again for a while, but what's a good defense against Corrosive Missiles? The only thing I can think of is to spread my fleet out, but that only works until I get in close.
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ZedF
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The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by ZedF » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:40 pm

How they got all that tech is you started them on difficult with 10 planets; they just expanded until they had the economy to pull it off. ;)

I tend to like AP drivers for weapons as they are cost effective, not too expensive to research, versatile, and hard to counter. But if you can get data correlation you may be able to identify a weakness to exploit. Zuul don't get great odds for armour techs, in which case bursters with fire control can be a good option.

The best counters to corrosive missiles tend to be (a) superlative PD, or (b) keep moving!
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

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Sir Crashalot
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by Sir Crashalot » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:48 pm

Hi Silver

I only bought this game recently (complete collection) and reading your TAR inspired me to create a game with similar settings, except that I am playing as Morrigi which are my favourite race. (nice looking ships and no annoying colony traps) :mrgreen:

Luckily for me I had allies all around me with the Tarka starting in the core and the humans and hivers to the left and right creating a buffer zone which allowed the Liir and I to expand safely and clear away the multitude of swarms that were spawning left, right and centre.

It was not long after turn 100 that I noticed that the Zuul had Dreadnaughts in their fleets which was concerning because I had only just started building Cruisers and most of my allies were still using destroyers. :shock:

I put together a fleet of cruisers consisting of Blazers which were maxed out with heavy lasers (6 mounts) backed up by missile boats, this combination worked out very well against the Zuuls Dreads and managed to keep them occupied and give my allies a chance to get their acts together. I would focus fire all my blazers on one dreadnought and it wouldn't last long, the fact that they had no point defence left them very vunerable to the missiles comming from the back lines too.

To be fair though, I think the biggest balancing factor in my game was the arrival of the Peacekeeper who I'm sure had an entertaining time visiting the massive Zuul fleets. By the time he decided to leave I was close to building my own dreadnaughts and from then on it was pretty much plain sailing.

From your list of options, I would personally focus on phaser (for point defence and pulse), Fusion warheads (great if the enemy lacks point defence and might give to the option to progress to Antimatter) and Lancers (primary beams are my weapons of choice against Dreadnaughts played by the AI). I don't really rate the fusion cannon because it seems to have lousy accuracy. As for AI tech, I have researched it many times in different games and have yet to see an AI rebellion, but in your situation I think that focusing on enough firepower to at least hold them at bay should be the priority for now.

Good luck with your game and keep posting, it is enjoyable to read. :insane:

-Crashy

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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by Arcosian » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:50 pm

I can't recall if you've mentioned the Zuul PD situation- none, light, heavy?

As long as they aren't mounting heavy PD then two relatively cheap techs that will make a big difference are fusion warheads and heavy planet missiles. As long as you can stretch out a planet battle to it's full duration the amount of missile damage to the Zuul will be substantial.
Add in the Microfusion Drives for enhanced speed and more will get through any PD coverage.

Not everyone will be happy with this suggestion as it's a little cheesy- if you are heavily on the backfoot and want some breathing room then seriously consider some minelaying ships.
Fusion mines are fairly cheap to research- even nuclear mines pack a punch if you're researched up to Gamma Warheads.
The BIG killers (even busting Liir fleets with a lot of Phaser PD) are leap mines- chance off Fusion Mines or Micro Drives.

Of course the key to using mine layers effectively is to get them to chase you. Use fleet manager to start a compact swarm of DE minelayers forward and to one side & then lay mines across the front- the enemy fleet should just catch sight of you and turn to chase- usually running straight into the path of the mines... and continuing to chase you straight into the trail you leave behind. your C&C ship should be started back and to the OTHER side so the enemy never catch a glimpse of it.
Be warned that certain ship types don't chase you but instead head straight for your planet: Bio missiles, assault shuttles, most Dreadnoughts- perhaps even Zuul scavengers? so it's useful to have a double line of satellites to protect against those.

It's considered cheesy due to it being a bit of a manipulation of a limitation of the enemy AI that a human opponent would never fall for. Your call! Personally I'm not good enough most times to get away with not using mines *shrug*

Excellent writeup as well :D

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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by Arcosian » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:53 pm

Oh- minelayers are REALLY fragile- especially as you are usually showing your vulnerable node-rings to the enemy most of the time.
Virtually all small slots should be Laser PD (or Phaser) to stop you getting picked apart by missiles!
Don't try to lay mines within the reach of enemy PD as they will shoot that mines as they deploy- blowing your own ships up along with the mine..

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silvermoon383
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by silvermoon383 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:42 pm

Sunlight bathed the entire park and Governor Kunitz was enjoying it. Things may have become difficult for a while, but things were starting to look up. Maybe. Everything depended upon what the Zuul were planning, and if the Admiral really was one of their slaves, they could be gearing up to deal a deathblow.

Turn 111-113
Despite the fleet's best efforts, the Battle of Shaggai II was a disaster. Outnumbered 3 to 1, the main defenders were able to destroy 5 Zuul cruisers in the 1st wave, but everything fell apart after that. The fleets closed into a knife fight and the Alliance ships where no match. No matter which direction they turned another barrage cut them to ribbons. Worse, the experimental fleet of destroyers with spine-mounted particle beams only flew to their deaths. In the end all 24 cruisers and 15 destroyers were lost along with the colony, taking only 12 Zuul cruisers with them.

An analysis of the battle showed that Alliance weaponry was still too weak to effectively cripple the Zuul's ships, and still too few ships were on the line with the newest and heaviest weapons. Needing an immediate increase in firepower, Admiral Sor requested Fusion Warheads for every ship. Almost every ship in the fleet used missiles of some type, (usually dumb-fire racks, but there were a few guided missile mounts on some designs) so this was as easy sell. The Environmental Tailoring project was finished, followed up by Terraforming Bacteria, then the Science Department set to work on making our fusion generators fit on a rocket and blow up.

In an effort to quickly replace the ships lost at Shaggai II, 2 new assault fleets were commissioned, with 4 freighters to continue the steady trade expansion. It wasn't as much as the Governor wanted, but the shipyards were doing everything they could to get ships to the front lines.

At least some celebration was called for: Tupile was colonized, though starting with a hazard rating of 400, the colonists had their work cut out for them.

Turn 114-118
Unwilling to let the Zuul claim Shaggai II for themselves, thereby cutting the left section off from the rest of the sector, Admiral Sor ordered one of the newest fleets to survey the system. 5 cruisers against the entire Zuul armada was a suicide mission, but it provided the fleet with the information they needed: apparently the Zuul weren't interested in the system itself, but its inhabitants. Governor Kunitz shuddered at the thought of so many people being taken as slaves, but they couldn't do anything for them at the moment. Long range sensors watched the fleet depart for Zuul space, leaving behind a picket of 2 cruisers.

Taking advantage of this, the fleets geared up to retake Shaggai II. This came at a not-so-perfect time: smaller Zuul fleets tried to take Wundagore and Zenla II. Sadly the fleets had already departed for Shaggai II, leaving it up to Wundagore's defense fleet. Zenla II had to fend for themselves, but they were able to hold the line until Wundagore was secured. While Wundagore fell to a Zuul barrage (the new colony was too small to spread out far enough to avoid total annihilation), all but 1 of the 11 strong Zuul fleet was destroyed with the loss of only 3 ships. The Zuul pulled out a new weapon though: some sort of cannon that uses their node drives to slam ships into Nodespace. Two ships were caught in the blast, but were able to navigate to Zenla II. The rest of the fleet quickly rendezvoused with the ships and eliminated the 3 Zuul ships harassing the system with no losses. Shaggai II was also a victory: after being surprised by the cruisers' antimatter drives, the fleet set up an ambush again, losing a cruiser and a destroyer in the skirmish. Shaggai II was once again in Alliance hands, though the planet had taken a beating. While still recolonizable at CH 350, it would be vulnerable for a long while.

The shipyards cranked out 2 more assault fleets, 3 colony ships for Wundagore, and 4 freighters. Unfortunately, the Governor's announcement of the establishment of a police force proved to be a bit unpopular, and the building of a police force dominated the rest of the shipyard's capabilities. 9 police cutters were built in the first round, with more to come.

The Science Department proved to be a major boon to the battles of Shaggai II, Zenla II, and Wundagore. It turned out that getting fusion reactors to explode was easier than they thought, deploying the new warheads earlier than expected. Taking some inspiration from the Zuul, the Department researched Stormers, a new type of ballistic weapon. The Zuul used it to great effect, so the Doctor thought that it was time to return the favor. They completed their work quickly, and with the successes of late, they started a new small line of projects: a smaller fusion drive, one that can be used to power shuttles and other such craft. It's even hoped that these Small Scale Fusion Drives could be used as a thruster for larger ships.

Turn 119-120
While they succeeded at Shaggai II, the losses at Zenla II and Wundagore seem to have given the Zuul pause. Their fleets remained in their space, giving the Alliance time to build up and reclaim lost worlds. The last 4 police cutters needed to patrol the Alliance's planets were built, and 12 colony ships were prepared for Shaggai II. Wundagore was recolonized again, and the scientist's hopes for the Small Scale Fusion Drives bore fruit. It is indeed possible to use them as a thruster and they began on developing an Ionic Thruster to increase the maneuverability of the fleet.

Once the civilian projects were done, the shipyards switched back to war production, beginning a new assault fleet. Admiral Sor wanted to start pushing on the Zuul, and the sooner they did that the better. Governor Kunitz agreed, and with one look up in the Lupan sky, he headed back inside to start planning for the offensive.

State of the Mission
Image
Image

Notes and Questions
Well well well, this was an interesting turn of events. The Zuul fleet that attacked Shaggai II was indeed mostly destroyers, but they had enough cruisers to take out my defenders. It was a painful battle, but it's taught me what I needed to know. At the start of these 10 turns I was still on the losing side, but I was starting to hurt them back. The fights and Wundagore and Zenla II showed that I was just about on the threshold, eliminating their fleets with smaller losses. Now if I can just keep them from zooming past my ships and smacking the planet before I can catch up. Not to mention taking more care to keep my CnC alive, or if I lose it, keep the Zuul from besieging the new rally point.

I was starting to wonder why I took so long to get Fusion warheads, but I noticed that I didn't have a line to them until I got Fusion. Crazy how the sadoradomizer was cutting me out of basic techs (no Suspended Animation, no Fire Control, and no missile upgrades), but it's looking like I might just be able to get a lot of the rarer tech further up the tree (now watch as I just jinxed myself XD). Once I got those warheads I noticed my dumbfire racks doing a heck of a lot more damage.

The only question I have right now is if Microfusion Drives increase DFR speeds. If it doesn't I guess I'll skip to my next plan for research: ballistics in the hope of getting siege drivers. After that, phasers, then Mega-freighters. This'll be interesting.

Oh, there is 1 other question: the turns are taking longer and longer for the computer to process for the AIs after I hit the End Turn button. Is there anything I can do to get it to speed up? It's not a problem, but it's already taking several seconds, and I'm only up to turn 120. I'm worried that it could start taking up to a minute or more as the game progresses.
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ZedF
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by ZedF » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:22 pm

Microfusion drives won't help DF Racks, since they are more bullet than missile. Microfusion will help missiles including planet missiles though.

Siege Drivers require DN research, so don't expect to get that for a while. Phasers are also a costly research item if you're starting from particle beams, though obviously not as much as DNs.

Personally I would probably get megafreighters first, then worry about war techs while you work on further buffing your freighter nets.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

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silvermoon383
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by silvermoon383 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:59 pm

Pandemonium gripped the streets of Lupus. The police were doing everything they could to get everything back under control, Admiral Sor was begging for martial law, and Governor Kunitz was at a loss. Things had been looking up at last, but then the Zuul came crashing down like a sledgehammer. Could this be it? he wondered. If the Admiral was still with us she'd know what to do. She always did.

Turn 121-125
Construction was the order of the day with shipyards running at full tilt. 4 assault fleets were built, some leaving for the left section to reinforce the newly colonized systems. 6 refinery ships were built and sent to barren systems to provide refueling services to passing fleets (there were several strings of them between sections which made it a bit harder to get fleets through), and 6 freighters replaced those that were lost in the latest string of raider attacks.

They had been gone for so long that everyone had pretty much forgotten that they could strike. Raiders hit Sector 58 and 75 in a one-two punch, claiming 5 freighters total. Realizing the threat, the destroyer-based defense fleets were redeployed to the trade routes for escort duty. While this is leaving most planets undefended from things such as Von Neumann attack, this is a temporary situation, and it was hoped that the finances for defense satellites will appear soon.

The Science Department remained busy, equipping every ship in the fleet with Ionic Thrusters then developing the Mega-freighter. While much more expensive than the destroyer-sized freighters, the cruiser-sized freighters can carry much more material to where they're needed. With the upgrade projects finished, the Department began on a new weapon: Phasers.

With no more attempts by the Zuul to take Shaggai II, the system was recolonized. Things came to a head though, when long range sensors detected a Zuul armada heading to Zenla II, one with 5 dreadnoughts and several cruisers. The fleet in Zenla II readied itself for invasion and reinforcements were immediately dispatched, but they wouldn't be there in time. The 34 cruisers and destroyers in system are all that stands between the colony and the Zuul.

Turn 126-130
The first part of the 2nd Battle of Zenla resulted in the destruction of the colony and the eradication of the 22 cruisers and 12 destroyers defending it. Despite the horrific losses the fleet did manage to get the Zuul to bleed: 2 dreadnoughts and 2 cruisers were destroyed before the end. It was hoped that the 2nd group of ships could finish the job, but it was a disaster. All 14 cruisers and 3 destroyers were lost with no Zuul ships going with them. Despite their efforts, the Zuul's use of heavy combat lasers carved them up like roasts. Worse, panic began to set in when the Zuul sent reinforcements, bringing their total force to 12 dreadnoughts and additional cruisers. Then another Zuul faction arrived at the system adding their dreadnoughts to the force. All in all, 2 of the 3 Zuul factions were now poised on the human sector's doorstep, and there was precious little they could do about it.

Despite the initial panic, they were not going to give up. 3 mega-freighters were built with 2 freighters, but the rest of the production went to the military. 2 new assault fleets were built, one of them using a missile-based cruiser design. Intelligence noted that the Zuul had no point defense whatsoever, and since their cruisers were getting sliced apart at close range it's hoped that the long range of the missiles will even the field. It's not known for how long though, the Zuul's antimatter drives make it very easy to chase the humans' fusion-based ships.

Things were getting grim, but Governor Kunitz swore that if they were going to go down, they were going to go down fighting. If the missile cruisers work out, Admiral Sor's newest idea might just be worth a try. The Zuul had some success in the past boarding and capturing human ships. If it were possible to reverse that...

Somewhere
My name is Dana... Admiral Eurix tried desperately to retain her identity, but with every passing day it was harder to do. She watched in horror as Shaggai II was stripped if its citizens and was forced to watch as the Master turned them all into slaves. Many of them were already dead, some killed in a fit of rage as his attacks on Wundagore came to nothing. "The glory was to be mine not theirs!" he roared when Zenla II fell.

He grabbed Eurix by the throat and his eyes burned into hers. "You will tell me where to strike next!" She felt him burn through her mind and last conscious thought she had before passing out was There is no Dana only Zuul...

State of the Mission
Image
Image

Notes and Questions
Yeah I know, that was bad right there at the end, but I couldn't resist. I'd been trying to figure out a first name for Admiral Eurix and that came to me. Not the most original joke, but eh. 8)

Well, I try not to plunge into a defeatist attitude, but with 12+ dreadnoughts sitting right next to my colonies I don't know what I can do. I can't handle a dreadnought force right now, and if they decide to push I doubt I'll be able to do anything about it. I'm really hoping the missile destroyers work, at least as a stopgap. Phasers should be finished real soon, and I'll get the missile speed upgrade right afterwords.

As for the next set of research I'll probably go ahead and push to dreadnoughts. I hadn't yet because my economy can't really support building them en masse (I'll be lucky to get 1 a turn). Before I go there though, what're the chances of boarding pods capturing a dreadnought? I've never used them before so I have no idea how they work other than attaching them to a ship and praying.
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Sir Crashalot
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by Sir Crashalot » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:57 pm

From my experiences you will spend most of the rest of the game fighting endless waves of Dreads now, they can field four at a time too. I made a new game and tried taking out some of their Dreads with missile boats, it didn't work out very well because it takes a huge amount of missiles to even scratch these behemoths, however, I never had dumbfire salvos which I am sure will be much more effective against those bulky and cumbersome DNs. They are handy as a backup and extra damage but that is it, so far the only weapon that really deals with them is the primary beam but that means you will have to be prepared to throw away cruisers (at least at first) and I'm not sure how strong your economy is right now. (let's see a screenie of that on your next report)

Against 4 DNs you will certainly lose a few cruisers but if you can concentrate all fire on the command ship, then you suddenly have less to fight and it becomes that much easier. It is likely that they will have a spare but that will take a minute or two to get to you which should be enough time to take out another DN and then you can turn around and concentrate on it. Once they are gone you can pick off the rest of the DNs and they wont get any more reinforcements untill all are dead then you will only be dealing with one DN at a time which will be easy pickings for five Heavy beam Cruisers. While the initial losses may be heavy, you will hopefully get a satisfactory result and kill enough of them to consider it a victory. Of course, better beams and armour will give you better results and you might even get a liking for it and stick with them even when you have your own Dreadnaught options. I now use 2 DNs (command & Barrage) and fill the rest of these slots with these cruisers because they are so effective (they also tie up the enemy DNs and allow my own DNs the freedom to get in close without being fired upon).

The phaser PD will help keep those pesky boarding pods away because 4 DNs are bad enough without having 4 DNs + your heavily armed DN killers turning round and destroying you. I haven't had the chance to really test ballistics against them because I had too many other things to concentrate on, so I cannot say how effective they will be against the hordes of DNs you will be facing.

I can understand the defeatist attitude there, you hardly had time or places to expand to so your empire is small and you are not really prepared for them yet. I'm not sure if your position is winnable but will keep tabs and wish you the best with this, you are more experienced with this game and can probably pull off things that I can't. I hope you don't get the same problem I had with the Morrigi with every other reasearch going over time and over budget (hohoho) for 5-10 turns, that got infuriating after a short while. :x

Are there any worlds you can colonise on Tarkas or hiver territory, if they haven't colonised them by now then they either don't want them or dont deserve them ;), every little extra you can get will help.

You will need to try to keep them on the backfoot though, when you get a chance, otherwise they will just come in and start bumrushing your colonies, killing them in just a couple of minutes. Strike out at one of their weakly defended colonies, destroy it and retreat then strike out at another and so on, at least until you feel confident enough to push forward properly. Your allies wont be much help and just serve as buffers to prevent attacks comming from those directions.

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silvermoon383
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by silvermoon383 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:37 pm

Here's the economy as it currently stands:
Image

If I stop building freighters I can crank out entire CR assault fleets in 1-2 turns (barring construction time), but w/o new freighters the economy will stop growing.

I guess I now know how the Tarka and Hivers felt in my last TAR. Gotta love karma eh?
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ZedF
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The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by ZedF » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:02 pm

You pretty much have to keep the economy growing or you will probably never be able to overcome the Zuul, not to mention drowning yourself in fleet maintenance costs.

However:
1. Missiles are for light cavalry that runs away and kites. If the Zuul can catch you it won't pay off. Missile DPS is too low to be of much use in a slugging match.
2. You won't be able to defeat the Zuul in a slugging match anyway if you don't have your own dreads unless you have severe outnumbering bonus on your side or a defense that counters what they are attacking with -- eg disruptor shields.
3. Enemy boarding pods can capture your DNs if they come in enough volume. Enemy DN CnC has enough to perhaps pull it off. Your own pods would probably have a lot of trouble boarding Zuul but it might be possible. Humans have better luck boarding other races that are not great at close combat.
4. I would tend to think you will need to get sneaky here in order to try and survive long enough to build up. Overwhelming Zuul fleets will probably not advance thru your territory super quick but they will advance if you can't stop them. If you can flank their main fleets and strike at weakly guarded worlds in their back line it may pull some of the heat off your border. Otherwise you may have to fall back on minelayers with hefty PD batteries to try and thin the enemy DNs.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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silvermoon383
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by silvermoon383 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:55 pm

What are they waiting for? Governor Kunitz asked the computer screen for the hundredth time. Ever since the Zuul bulldozed Zenla II the human fleet and their colonies braced themselves for the onslaught, but they seemed content to stay there, at least for now. Their mistake. he thought to himself and pulled up the economy reports. For whatever reason, the Zuul had given them a chance to breathe, and they were taking it.

Turn 131-133
The shipyards began a new assault fleet, and it was then that the Governor had an idea. After reviewing the situation and the budget he decided that the need for ships was far more pressing than the need for new technology. While the Science Department didn't like it, the shipbuilding budget was doubled: 50% of the Alliance's entire budget. While it took another period for the increase in budget to come into effect, the assault fleet was completed and launched, with a new fleet established quickly thereafter.

Two Zuul cruisers made a run on Wundagore, and they were destroyed at the cost of only 1 Alliance cruiser, but apparently they were testing out some new technology: assault shuttles. The fleet was unable to destroy all of the shuttles and they proceeded to level the still recovering colony. New colonists volunteered to resettle the planet (again), but the fleet was forced to fall back when 100 Zuul ships were detected moving on Wundagore. It was a blow to abandon the planet, but they had little choice. Alpha Virginis II was established as the new Forward Base for the fleet.

With the new budget the shipyards were able to build another assault fleet, 5 mega-freighters, and began a new set of colony ships, starting with 5. At last, the Science Department finished the Phaser project, and with all new cruisers equipped with the weapon they began building Orbital Drydocks to better build and deploy ships.

Turn 134-137
Buoyed by the doubling of the budget, the shipyards broke all previous records, building 4 full assault fleets (all equipped with phasers, heavy combat lasers, and particle emitters), 10 colony ships, and 5 mega-freighters. This couldn't have come at a better time as Zuul fleets were spotted moving in towards both Wazn II (which would arrive first) and Alpha Virginis II.

Orbital Drydocks were finished quickly despite the reduced budget and the Department moved quickly to continue the development of human dreadnoughts with the developing of Heavy Platforms.

In the first of what both Governor Kunitz and Admiral Sor hoped would be a long line of joint missions, the human and Hiver fleets worked together to defend Wasn II from the 7 attacking Zuul cruisers. In a major victory (and morale boost) the Zuul were soundly defeated with no losses, though their assault shuttles and drones did damage the colony itself.

Turn 138-140
After reviewing the results of the Battle of Wazn II, the Shipbuilders Guild was issued a revised construction order: with the Zuul's new use of drones and assault shuttles imperiled planets were instructed to start building rings of defense satellites. Starting with Light platforms, Wazn II and Alpha Virginis II were both equipped, hoping that they could prevent any shuttles and drones from attacking the planet. With much of the industry busy building satellites the Guild was only able to launch 2 assault fleets, but they finished the newest set of colony ships with 12 filling out the fleet.

Readying themselves, the fleet at Alpha Virginis II met with the advancing Zuul, and once again scored a major victory against the rampaging weasels. 11 of the 12 cruisers were destroyed at a loss of 4 ships, and the satellite ring performed admirably, eliminating the drones and shuttles that escaped the fleet, though 3 satellites were knocked out of the sky.

The satellites were quickly replaced with another assault fleet and 2 freighters departing their orbital drydocks and joining their sisters in their respective fleets. Also, Hyperion II joined the Alliance's resource pool, and with it far away from the front and nestled right next to the Tarkan border it will develop fully with no issues (hopefully).

The Zuul had given the Alliance a chance to catch its breath, and Governor Kunitz was ready to hit them back. First, they had to assemble a large enough fleet to retake Wundagore, once and for all.

Somewhere
Dana had visited Wundagore before so the features were familiar to her. The Master took full advantage of that knowledge, building his new base right on top of the human city that had been leveled. She watched as the survivors of the earlier attack were hunted down and brought to thrall, always at His side, tending to his needs. He was in a much better mood now, but he was still mad at the others for having bigger ships than His, and taking Zenla II before he could.

His fleet was visible in the sky and on the ground, all 100 destroyers and cruisers, waiting for his order to move to the next world. But their ships are better and stronger than they were before. she caught herself thinking. It won't be so easy next time...

State of the Mission
Image
Image

Notes and Questions
Well that was a nice surprise for once. While I'd like to know what the Zuul are up to I'm not going to cry over their lack of a push. Another interesting surprise was seeing them pull out drones and shuttles. I've never had the Zuul use either in any game I've played against them (and that's practically every game). Thank heavens for satellites. I usually don't use them since they're easy for ships to kill, but when facing drones and shuttles they're great. Not to mention I have no idea why it took me so long to increase the savings pie to 50%. You said I needed more ships but I just couldn't see cutting back on research. Thank heavens the Zuul don't have armor, my current weapons (and the addition of phasers) are able to handle the Zuul well enough, it's just a matter of not running out of ships.

If my luck holds I'll be able to get dreadnought really soon, but I do have a pair questions: I was looking at disruptor shield and I was wondering if it would be worth getting. The wiki says it'll stop HCLs (which is the main reason why I'd want it), but does it hold? If so and it's worth it, should I get the shield before or after DNs? And while equipping ships with phasers I realized it's primarily a medium mount weapon. The damage bar was pretty much the same as the large mount particle beams and I was wondering if I should keep the beams in the large mounts I have them in, or should I replace them with phasers?

One bit of bad news: next week is my family's beach week and there's a good chance I'm moving the weekend after so I might have to go on hiatus for a little while until I get situated again (wherever that is). I'll keep you guys informed, and rest assured, if I disappear for a little bit, Governor Kunitz and Admiral Eurix will return.
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ZedF
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by ZedF » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:17 pm

silvermoon383 wrote:If my luck holds I'll be able to get dreadnought really soon, but I do have a pair questions: I was looking at disruptor shield and I was wondering if it would be worth getting. The wiki says it'll stop HCLs (which is the main reason why I'd want it), but does it hold? If so and it's worth it, should I get the shield before or after DNs?

It's invulnerable to energy weapons but completely permeable to non-energy weapons like missiles and ballistics. The shield section tends to be fairly fragile as well, so whatever gets through the shield will hit pretty hard. It also has very few weapons compared to something like Battle Bridge. If your opponents are using predominantly energy weapons it's very worth it, otherwise not so much. You might only want a couple of them to lead your formation, though, with the rest having heavier weapons in the second rank. Note that your shields won't block the owner's weapon fire (including your own energy weapons) but it *will* block the fire of other ships in the fleet, so watch out for that. They are far less expensive to acquire than DNs so if you think they would be useful I would get them first.

And while equipping ships with phasers I realized it's primarily a medium mount weapon. The damage bar was pretty much the same as the large mount particle beams and I was wondering if I should keep the beams in the large mounts I have them in, or should I replace them with phasers?

Dual phasers have better range than particle beams, and about the same damage, but are more expensive. In many ways it's a toss-up.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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DervMan
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Re: The Unified Alliance of Worlds II: The Core

Post by DervMan » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:24 am

Although I don't study the mechanics of the game all that much, so my observations are purely anecdotal, I find dual dual Phasers more effective than a single Particle Beam against enemy warships but less effective against colonies. The extra range and I believe damage too is very welcome. It may be that Phasers have a greater rate of fire rather than cause more damage per strike...
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