RBSotS1 SG12

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BlueTemplar
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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by BlueTemplar » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:39 pm

Please don't use mines (or autoresolve) if you can find another way, it's way too easy to kill Sparky with them...

I'm not sure any kind of PD can really stop those extremely fast missiles, even Phaser PD...

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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by ZedF » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:02 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:Please don't use mines (or autoresolve) if you can find another way, it's way too easy to kill Sparky with them...

My Zuul travel through deep space at 0.2 LY per turn, have yet to research any mine or warhead techs, and fusion is still a long ways off. I'm not sure mines would even work under those conditions. If I were not a node-using race I could probably pull off one or more deep space intercepts with mine layers, but trying to fight a battle at a planet, using minelayers, doesn't strike me as a winning idea in this case. I wouldn't have enough running room if at one of my colonies, and he wouldn't follow my fleet if it were not.

As far as autoresolve goes... the game is already won. The only reason to extend it is to fight Sparky. Autoresolve would defeat the point.
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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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by BlueTemplar » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:19 am

I've actually killed it with 12 DE Gamma Warhead Minelayers and a CR CnC, as Zuul as well. (Well, almost killed. The last 3K of damage were dealt (in autoresolve?) by an Asteroid Monitor - that was quite a surprise, since I thought it would have healed.)
You can see the game here : Turn 116 for the Minelayer fight, turn 119 for the Monitor :
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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by ZedF » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:28 am

I see your game but your memory is faulty; Sparky survived the battles at T116 and T119, you eventually defeated him with 26 gamma warhead minelayers and a strikeforce CnC, plus a size 8 colony's planet missiles, on T122.

I would have thought that Sparky's missiles would make short work of your fleet, but he does start a fair ways back from the planet, so I imagine you must have had enough time and separation to get a good carpet of mines laid before he starts killing your fleet and running through the mines.

Strikeforce CnC would take a while to acquire. Getting that as well as Nuclear Mines, Shaped Warhead, and Gamma Warhead (if it's in my tree)... well, we'll see how much time I have before Sparky decides to move on. I had planned on trying something else first. If that doesn't work and I still have time, then maybe I'll fall back on mines, but I don't think it will be my first choice this time around.

To tell the truth, this is actually the first game in which I've ever had to fight Sparky. I almost always get Locusts or Puppet Master or occasionally Ortgay instead, when a GM shows up. I know some of the theory, and am aware that mines are the usual way to deal with Sparky, but let's see if this particular game lends itself to another solution.
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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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by ZedF » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:48 am

T130: AP Drivers is near enough 50% that I can turn down research. Looks like things are going to be relatively quiet on our various war fronts for a turn or two, but not for long, as a bore fleet is opening a route to Izakis this turn.

T131: Nothing much this turn other than a bore fleet arriving at Ke'Saal. Oh, and I lost a tunnel from Ke'Moramun to Shuu'nan this turn. That's because Shuu'nan is no longer on my map. It used to be coreward from a planet formerly known as Uwirii...

If Sparky is heading straight for the core, his next target would probably be Tasia, an iceball world with a Hiver gate.

T132: Assault Izakis this turn, eliminating the Hiver colony and 14 ships including the gate and what I believe is their only CnC, in exchange for 18 mass driver destroyers. Hopefully that means next turn we should be able to clear out the remaining Hivers in autoresolve relatively easily.

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Also, Sparky showed up again, only he's heading for Ke'Moramun, not Tasia. Good news: it's not heading straight for all my colonies in the core that I've just taken away from the Hivers. Bad news: instead it could be heading along the arm's worth of colonies I've taken from the Morrigi and the Tarka. To know for sure I'll need to see where it goes from Ke'Moramun.

Also, good news: AP drivers completed early this turn, so I have 3 turns to build as many AP driver destroyers as possible at Ke'Moramun, which will wind up being something in the neighborhood of 30. Bad news: it almost certainly won't be enough to save the colony...

T133: Continue attacking Izakis, though I worry that I don't have enough ships. This proves correct as I am forced to withdraw for repairs, taking a lot of damage to my fleet while destroying 12 more Hiver DDs including their last gate, though I did manage to limit actual losses to a handful.

T134: Very little news of note this turn.

T135: Orbital Foundries comes in. We do not have a link to Polysilicate alloys, unfortunately. I decide to quickly pick up Translate Liir, in case we can salvage some PD or armour from them; we have a couple upcoming battles with the fish.

This turn, however, the big fight isn't with the fish. It's with something considerably larger.

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At Ke'Moramun, our defenders stood their ground as best they could, formed up in the shadow of an asteroid for cover from the System Killer's missiles. The asteroid did nothing to stop the thing's beam weapons, however, and it killed several destroyers before entering range even of our new AP drivers. Nevertheless, our fleet persevered, throwing everything they had at the Devourer of Worlds.

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It wasn't remotely enough. The thing just kept on coming. It smashed through our fleet and the asteroid they were using as cover with equally contemptuous ease. Our reinforcements lacked the advantage of any such cover and were picked off by a fusillade of broadside beams before they could even get close enough to fire.

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And then, the System Killer lived up to its name.

Image
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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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by ZedF » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:55 am

T136: Fortunately, Ke'Moramun was not at a particularly important junction on our node network. The loss of the colony is a nuisance, of course, but we still need to figure a way to predict the likely path of the System Killer before we can guess either where we might be able to intercept its path with a more potent fleet, or how much damage it's likely to do to our economy before we can assemble such a fleet and arrange such an interception.

In the meantime, of course, the conquest of the rest of the galaxy proceeds apace. We have completed Translate Liir and started Disruptor Torpedo research. Assaults this turn are on Ke'Saal and Pylos, in each case seeking primarily to depopulate the world. At Ke'Saal, our forces were successful in that regard, but at Pylos, we faced the combined forces of the Morrigi and the Hiver empires, and we had to maneuver carefully to get a shot at the planet.

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Our decoy section threaded a needle between the Morrigi and Hiver fleets, luring them both out of position to defend against our shuttle launch. They were successful in doing so, and a large wave of shuttles began descending upon the planet, but the Morrigi could not be caught entirely out of position. Not only did they have a ring and a half of satellites, but their drones were fast enough to reposition and attack the incoming shuttles.

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Moreover, even though the Morrigi still have only nuclear warheads, Pylos is a relatively large world, with a relatively heavy complement of planet missiles and the ability to withstand a substantial assault shuttle bombardment. Only about half the shuttles survived to make atmosphere, and it would prove to be insufficient.

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Though unable to break the planet's defenses in a single blow, our fleet nevertheless was able to content itself with completing an important secondary objective: destroying the lone gate the Hivers had in-system. No further reinforcements will be coming from that quarter.

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Though at this point it seems unlikely this attack will ultimately succeed in its objectives, hopefully the Pylos defenses have been weakened to the point where a second assault, once the shuttles have withdrawn for repairs and returned, will be more successful. In the meantime, our current attack forces plan to continue softening the Morrigi defense, while new AP driver reinforcement fleets are constructed.
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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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by ZedF » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:33 pm

T137: Seven battles this turn means I'm not going into detail on any of them! Autoresolve at Izakis and Ke'Saal, where we hope to wipe out remnants of the defenders and claim the worlds, and at Pylos, where we just hope to do some damage. Autoresolve at Fornax to attempt to drive off a Tarkasian attack force. Manual at Tyzek'to and Shononu where we have bore fleets attempting to withdraw before getting wiped out, and at Tunguska where we are attempting to wipe out a Liir colony.

We have success at Ke'Saal, Fornax, Tyzek'to, Shononu, and Tunguska, but our fleets are repulsed at Izakis with heavy damage to the enemy defenders, and Pylos with sadly light damage to the enemy fleets.

T138: Fewer combats this turn, the main one being at Tunguska where we finish wiping out the Liir defenses in autoresolve and prepare to colonize shortly. We have completed Disruptor Torpedo early, and started Cruiser Construction.

T139: From our battles with the Liir over Tunguska, we gained a special project this turn, called Project Coppertop. I'm hopeful that it might be PD technology or perhaps light emitters; either would be very helpful as we currently lack any kind of PD. Of course, it will take a while to complete either way.

Sparky, having disappeared from our scopes after the destruction of Ke'Moramun, has reappeared and will be attacking Tasia next turn. Sparky's overall path is a bit of a conundrum, as he's nearly reversed his previous course; I anticipate him ping-ponging between several stars in the core in the near future. If I can't get a solid bead on where he's going, it will be hard to put a fleet in his path. The only good news is that most of the stars on that side of the core are uninhabited worlds, useful only to the Hivers to expand their gate network.

T140: Tasia is no more; next turn we'll see where Sparky is headed next. I've had to turn down research for Cruiser Construction early (before 50% complete) as I'm out of cash for building fleets and need to rebuild my bankroll. I've lost several of my old gauss fleets trying to crack Hiver and Morrigi worlds, but I've already got 8 AP driver-based fleets on the go, and climbing.

This last turn was a quiet one as far as battles go, and I'm not expecting much action at the end of this turn either, but things should heat up again shortly.

T141: Sparky is heading to uncolonized Koozebane now, to be eaten next turn. For our part, we are attacking Izakis (again), attacking Shononu (again), defending Fornax (again), and boring a route to Ke'Haaku this turn.

At Izakis, we fight manually this time; this time we have an AP driver fleet and it's so nice to have reasonably accurate weapons for a change! We lose only 1 ship; a far cry from previous efforts. At Fornax, we trade 12 destroyers for 10 cruisers and 4 destroyers, but at Shononu, we lose 25 mass driver destroyers and only take out 7 enemy cruisers in manual. Looks like I need more AP drivers here.

T142: Well Sparky ate Koozebane, but that's not the big news of the turn. Rather, it's that the Tarkasian empire has surrendered to my Zuul empire! That's worth a nice chunk of change and a sizeable research boost, plus I don't have to hunt down their last couple worlds. All my fleets on the Tarkasian front look for a way to get to other fronts, but of course the routes aren't quite lined up yet, so it will take a while before they can get back into action.

At Tyzek'to, we're surprised to discover the Hiver colony there is missing, but there are still civilians on the planet. Perhaps they suffered a rebellion? There are still a few Hiver ships there, plus the Morrigi asteroid monitor, but our fleet has no problem clearing out the former and our new disruptor torps allow us to pelt the latter without taking much punishment, though we can't destroy it in one turn. At Shononu, we trade most of our remaining fleet for the Liirian fleet, though they still have satellites in orbit and we are forced to withdraw for the moment; we'll be back shortly and hopefully will finally be able to take the planet.

T143: Sparky's still ping-ponging through the core and his next target is Keo'Va. No major combats this turn other than finishing off the Morrigi monitor at Tyzek'to, though we do also bore a route to Amuul.

T144: Cruiser construction completes and we start Data Synergy. I design a couple combat cruisers, one with Assault nose and the other with Strafe nose, for a future battle with Sparky. Assuming I can figure out where to build them. I'm thinking I'll opt for disruptor torps rather than mines as the weapons of ce to deal with him; deep space interception as Zuul is tricky and I lack PD to protect minelayers. No combats at all this round, for a change!

T145: Sparky has eaten Keo'Va. It's a world on one side of the core that used to have several neighbors, before Sparky ate them all. I think this means there's one of two possibilites. The first is that he's going to continue bouncing around the core, in which case I am about to lose a bunch of worlds, because he's eaten just about everything in the area that I haven't colonized. Alternatively, he may be about to leave the core, in which case he's probably going to head down one of the arms, and I might be able to get a better read on where he's going next.

The only significant combat this turn is at Pylos, where we take out the planet but lose several destroyers doing so, and only damage a bunch of enemy ships.

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Even with AP drivers, fighting two enemy fleets at the same time is tough, especially when there are lots of missiles and drones flying around and my ships lack anything remotely resembling PD, or armour, or modern CnC ships.

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We did manage to kill the only Hiver CnC present though, so hopefully the Hivers will be less of a factor in future turns.

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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

ZedF
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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by ZedF » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:44 pm

T146: I have a decision to make regarding my attack fleets at Pylos. Do I leave them here to keep whittling down the defenders at Pylos, but with a strong chance they will ultimately not be enough to take the planet? Or do I send them back down the pipe to bounce them off Gotham and return to Pylos in 7 turns? This question arises because I've now learned a crucial bit of new information.

Sparky is enroute to Kumixhos. This is both good and bad. It's good because that means he's almost certainly leaving the core without molesting any more of my colonies. And it's good because I think I can predict where he's headed next after that -- after Kumixhos he's likely headed toward Pylos, then Argos, and either Lefkandi or possibly Giedi Prime.

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It's bad because the only place I have a route to out of all those worlds is Pylos, and I'm still in the process of trying to take that world from the combined forces of the Morrigi and Hivers, as I just described last turn. That means I will never have a local production base available to build up a large force prior to a big Sparky showdown. Moreover, my route to Pylos is relatively long, which means any ships I do build to take the fight to Sparky will require several turns to get there. But I have a limited amount of time until Sparky arrives at Pylos -- in fact, exactly 7 more turns. That's going to seriously limit the number of ships I can build and get into the fray.

Moreover, I don't yet have all the puzzle pieces I think I need in order to even have a chance of taking Sparky on. Data Synergy is at 35% and will break 50% next turn. I need for it to come in within the next couple turns or I won't be able to field any Strikeforce CnCs, which (since I am not using mines) are going to be absolutely necessary if I want to do enough damage to Sparky to kill it before it can eat the planet and heal up. So that's going to come down to whether I get lucky enough to have an early breakthrough in time.

Also, since the fight is taking place at Pylos, I have to worry about other races sticking their noses into the Sparky showdown. It's currently looking unlikely that my existing destroyer-based attack fleets will be able to fully finish the job at Pylos prior to Sparky's arrival, due to a lack of PD. In that case, when Sparky does arrive, it'll be a multi-faction battle royale, which means my fleet is unlikely to start in an ideal position to jump on Sparky's bones straightaway with the disruptor torpedoes. And that probably spells disaster in and of itself.

All in all, I don't think my chances for being able to beat Sparky in this game are looking good. There are too many factors and circumstances working against me:
- Zuul only have those pre-existing routes they've already identified as desirable,
- low tech levels, slow engines, and slow research due to 50/50,
- Deliberate choice to avoid mine technologies as a first choice for attack method,
- Sparky's path has not been conducive to setting up a strong roadblock in the way

The last of these points in particular has been pretty crippling to my goal of killing Sparky. Even if I had built minelayers, I would have needed to know where to build them to get them where they need to be in time, and I would have needed to have control of the battleground for the initial positioning to be right. The attack at Ke'Moramun suggests that a disruptor torpedo centric approach might be possible... but it requires perfect conditions, such as Sparky attacking one of my own systems that has an asteroid belt and/or with me also having deflector shields, in order to counter his missiles until such time as my torpedoes can get into range. That's just not happening this time around.

As it stands, I will do my best to send some kind of fleet to challenge Sparky at Pylos, but I am thinking the end result isn't likely to be a lot better than it was at Ke'Moramun. On the other hand, this also means that by the time Sparky leaves the galaxy, he will have done minimal damage to my empire, so I guess it's only fair if I can only do minimal damage to him.

T147: Luck is with us on the tech front, and Data Synergy comes in early -- I will have Strikeforce CnC ships built in time to possibly make a difference at Pylos. Pulsed Fission is next for faster cruisers, to be followed by Salvage Technology, but neither of these will come in soon enough to matter to Sparky.

I decided to withdraw my Pylos attack fleets and bounce them off Gotham, before returning in time to try to hit Sparky, so no real combats last turn. This turn is another story, as our conquest of the rest of the galaxy continues apace, without reference to upcoming events in the Pylos arm. At Shononu we are clearing out the remnants of the Liir defense in preparation to colonize, whereas at Amuul we begin a new assault on another mature Liir colony. We are also ripping a route to the Hiver colony at Chiskatet, and some late Pylos reinforcements see how much damage they can inflict on the defenders there.

T148: Not much new this turn other than building the final ships that will be sent to Pylos. We continue cleaning up the Liir defenders at Amuul, and establish a new route to Nozokris.

T149: We launch our fleet for Sparky Showdown #2, eta to Pylos in 4 turns. This turn we finish off the last sats at Amuul, and begin a new assault at Chiskatet. The latter is so weakly defended that we completely clear the system out in a single turn.

T150: Pulsed Fission completes; we redesign our cruisers to use it and start Salvage Technology. Sparky ate Koozebane this turn, but for us, the only combat was a route bored to the Liir colony of Biiwa.

T151: Biiwa is less than 3 LY from Shononu, so we have a new assault on Biiwa this turn. As it happens, this is our first combat with a Strikeforce CnC present for the battle. Since the enemy also has a Strikeforce CnC here, we get a pretty sizeable battle... at least so long as the enemy first wave lasts; they don't have many reinforcements.

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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

ZedF
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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by ZedF » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:01 am

T153: Finally, the main event. Here's what things look like when my fleet warps in:

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And that tells me my fleet is probably toast. They are in planetary assault position, even though this is an uncolonized world! Not at all what I was expecting, but this has to be some special rules for the Sparky encounter. I was hoping to show up adjacent to Sparky in planetary orbit at the start of the fight, so I could get the disruptor torps pounding away ASAP, but it's not to be.

This means (a) my ships have to find Sparky, cross the map, and get into disruptor torpedo range to be effective -- through the teeth of Sparky's missiles, because I was unable to research deflector shields in time for this fight. And it means (b) that my ships have to waste a lot of time getting into firing position, so I doubt that even if they were to somehow survive the trip, I would have enough time and damage output left to kill Sparky within the fixed 4 minute combat timer.

Also, this is not exactly the angle I'd ideally want to be attacking from:

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I did manage to get a few disruptor torpedo hits. They did not really seem to cause any noticeable slackening in the rate of fire. I suspect you need to drown Sparky in disruptor torps for anything significant to happen in that regard.

Maybe if you had a whole strikeforce worth of disruptor torpedo destroyers hiding in the shadow of an asteroid, you could shut down Sparky's defense beams. You'd need to use torpedo destroyers though, not cruisers, because you would need to spread the hits out enough that the defense beams never recharge, and those defense beams recharge really quickly. Cruisers wouldn't give you enough firing platforms to do that reliably. And I'm not certain you could get enough DPS to take Sparky down, without having cruisers around to bolster the torpedoes' DPS.

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This suggests to me that in the Fission/DD (or very early CA) era, mines are not just the best solution, most of the time they are going to be the only practical solution. Getting the perfect setup for disruptor torpedoes to do the job requires a lot of luck and even then might not be possible. In contrast, mines are much more reliable because they allow you to dump all your DPS before Sparky even starts eliminating your fleet, and his killing your ships doesn't prevent that DPS from hitting its target. Given that disruptor torpedoes seem too chancy, and given that at this tech level you can't effectively challenge Sparky's weapons, that pretty much leaves mines as the only answer. However, it doesn't appear that I will have time to research them before Sparky leaves the map.

If I were to go back, knowing what I now know about Sparky's path and the approach required to beat him at this tech level, it probably would have been possible to defeat him. For instance, if I had started researching mine technologies instead of AP drivers on the turn Sparky arrived on the map, it's likely I would have had enough minelayers and strong enough mines available to defeat him at Ke'Moramun. But that would have required foreknowledge of when Sparky would appear, what his route would be, and what technologies would be required to defeat him.
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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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by usermist2 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:47 pm

At least it won't disrupt your empire too much, even though you now have to make new paths through the sector.
Image

Things Go Better With C2H5OH.

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Re: RBSotS1 SG12

Post by ZedF » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:25 pm

If I were continuing, I wouldn't really need any new paths even. My internal node network contains very few worlds I haven't colonized; in fact, everything Sparky ate was a peripheral system on my network, if it was on the network at all.

But since the game was won long ago and I was only sticking it out in order to see if anything other than mines would work, I'm calling the game done here. :)
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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