The Shattered Mirror

Tactics and Action Reports.
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Starknight
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The Shattered Mirror

Post by Starknight » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:42 am

Okay, so here we go. The player list is:

ZedF
purplemarmot
The_Unificator
acastus
Hawawaa

If anyone else wants to join in, please inform me through PM; you can catch up to the others if necessary and I'll have Marta 'discover' new timelines to write about. :) If you want to include RP details, such as your leader's name and (former) position on the Tesla, that is encouraged (but not mandatory), as are actual RP fiction for your turnsets.

Let's set the first turnset for 50 turns; each player should keep a log of things they do - technologies researched, ships built, enemies/friends encountered, etc. - and forward those to me via PM as soon as possible. (I'm actually going to be AFK this weekend - Nov 10th and 11th - so no big rush for this first set.) The second and subsequent turnsets should be 25 turns, at least for now; if things start getting very intense, we can cut that down later. We'll plan on a one-week turnaround for now; I'd like results by Tuesday or Wednesday so I can try to have the results out by Friday, okay?
Last edited by Starknight on Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Starknight
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by Starknight » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:45 am

The Black Section Leader looked down at the report in front of him. Even after reading through it twice, the conclusions he kept drawing seemed to be the sheerest fiction. Still, it came from one of the most trusted psi-ops in the division. Sighing, he began to read through it for the third time...

To: Black Section, all divisions
From: Marta Kelli, Psionic Operations
A report on the disposition of the SFS Nikola Tesla

In January of 2452, the SFS Nikola Tesla - an experimental dreadnaught-class Support ship with extensive electronic warfare gear - was dispatched to join Fifth Fleet on what was then the Zuul front. While traveling through the sparsely-inhabited Orion sector, she encountered a Zuul Radiant Bore belonging to the Zuul faction known as The Inheritors. Pursuant to orders, the Captain sent a message to SolForce Command apprising them of the situation and of her decision to flee to the nearest node-point. The Tesla was never heard from again, and has been listed as MIA ever since.

We now suspect that something rather strange has happened; an event unprecedented in the annals of Black Section. Somehow, the Universe became fractured into separate time-lines by an unexpected interaction between a Zuul Node Cannon and the Tesla's entry into node-space. The following journal entries detail my discovery of this fact.

Personal Journal, Marta Kelli - August, 2484

First Entry
Recently, my farseeing efforts have been disturbed by something unusual; a strange echo in the Universe. The best description I can give is that it is as if I am staring into a shattered mirror, with the fragments reflecting different portions of the same room, and yet somehow not the same room. The one thing I am certain of is that these images I am seeing are of the crew of a SolForce ship. There appear to be several different versions of these happenings, all going on at the same time.

I am currently unable to perform any other of my farseeing duties for SolForce, but the Commander has given me leave to continue to explore these farsight visions. Until such time as this issue is resolved and I make my report, I will continue to record my observations in this journal.

Second Entry
My waking hours are filled with vague images of this shattered mirror universe. A few things come through clearly - the fear of the crew, a deep-rooted longing for home - but most of it is just a blur. Last night, however, I had a true-dream; a dream about a lost SolForce ship. I shall record it in narration:

"Red Alert! Red Alert!"

Captain Sharon MacInnis jerked awake from a sound sleep, slapping the intercom contact reflexively. "Bridge, this is the Captain. What's the situation?"

"Captain, Tactical reports we have a Zuul dreadnought inbound. Attempting to isolate the engine signature to match against known factions and ship-types." As the lieutenant in charge of the off-watch spoke, Sharon had been getting into her uniform, with an ease born of long practice.

"I'm on my way to the bridge," she announced. "Continue on course for our next node-jump."

Sixty seconds later, Captain MacInnis arrived at the command center for the ship. "Captain on deck!" announced the lieutenant of the watch.

"At ease," Sharon grinned. "We're on alert, no need for that. Tactical, any luck on a ship ID?"

The rating manning the tactical panel looked lost. "Umm, sorry, sir. I'm a bit out of my depth with these new systems... the computer doesn't have anything yet."

The lift doors hissed open in the midst of this announcement, bringing several of the first-watch officers onto the bridge. Lt. Commander Han Shirong, the tactical officer, rolled his eyes. "I'll take over, Mendelsohn; the new systems are excellent, but there's a bug with the library integration."

Shirong busied himself at the tactical station. "After isolating the engine signature, you have to match it individually against each category of enemy vessel; that's the indexing fault I was talking about in the library. I'm working on a fix but it isn't ready just yet."

He turned to the Captain. "97% certainty match against a Radiant Bore-ship, Captain; 91% certainty of faction match against The Inheritors. They're a bit out of their normal prowling-grounds."

Sharon pinched her lower lip between her index finger and thumb. Zuul Radiant Bores were no pushovers; even among dreadnaught-class ships, they were considered to be fairly durable. And all Zuul ships were armed to the teeth. The SFS Nikola Tesla, her command, was only a support ship - admittedly, also a dreadnought - but only intended to fight as a last resort. Most of the forward battery space was taken up by the new Electronic Warfare suite, and of course the main body of the ship was filled with repair bays and fuel tankage.

"Send a message to SolForce, apprising them of our situation." She glanced at the tactical plot. "It looks like we'll be able to beat them to the node-point and escape, even though they're nearer to it than we are; once we're out of this system they can't catch us. Helm, keep us out of weapons range if at all possible."

"Aye aye, sir," responded the helmsman.

A tense hour followed, as the Tesla raced for the node-point, with the Radiant Bore attempting to cut them off. A few missiles fired by the Zuul were easily parried by the Tesla's point-defense lasers. Finally, the helm officer spoke. "Approaching node-point proximity, Captain."

"Charge node-drive, prepare for node entry."

Han Shirong spoke up from his Tactical station. "Captain! Zuul ship maneuvering to bring her aft battery to bear!"

"Node entry in ten seconds..." droned the helmsman.

"Can they fire the node cannon before we jump?" Sharon wondered aloud.

"Node entry, five seconds..."

"Zuul node-cannon firing! Detonation in three seconds!" shouted Shirong.

"Two..." counted the helmsman...

"One!" exclaimed the helmsman and the tactical officer, simultaneously...

"Node entry/Detonation!"

The shattering explosion mixed with the nausea that always accompanied entry into node-space... but this time, the nausea continued long past the initial shock, and seemed, somehow, magnified. Then it became divided... and then, finally, went away.

Sharon stared at the stars. "Where are we? Astrogation?"

"Unable to establish location, ma'am... we're not where we should be. Or in any known part of space."

The engineer spoke up. "Node-drive's dead, Captain. We burned out the coils making that jump while under the effects of the node-cannon. We can probably repair it, but where are we going to go?"

"Sensors report a habitable planet in-system, Captain," Shirong put in. "In fact, it appears to be already inhabited... and it's completely Earth-like. No radio transmissions... no high-energy sources... but there are definite signs of settlements and some surplus SolForce defense satellites in orbit."

"Communications, contact the settlement if possible. Advise them of our situation and ask if they can provide assistance. Helm, make for the planet. We might be here a while, people, but let's start thinking about ways to get home."


That's where the dream ended. I wonder if I can evoke this state through auto-hypnosis, and be able to farsee what's happening with these people now?

Third Entry
Autohypnosis seems to work... sort of. For some reason, I keep getting different visions - as if the Tesla somehow exists in multiple places at the same time. Different people seem to be leading the remaining crew - and the civilians they joined with - but that can't be possible, can it?
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siracer
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by siracer » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:28 am

ooooo :o already getting goosebumps :)
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The_Unificator
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by The_Unificator » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:42 pm

i recently download the savefile and i am begining to play the game :D
An Argentinian SolForce Captain awaiting new orders

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Hawawaa
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by Hawawaa » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:36 pm

Yep I just got the save and will start my game soon.

Would you like screenshots too?

ZedF
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:27 pm

I've started to write up my own TAR (or maybe a TAR-lite, we'll see.) I don't see why screens wouldn't be welcome. We might wind up posting our own threads in addition to whatever Starknight puts together. I guess we'll have to ask him after the weekend what his opinion is. :)
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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Hawawaa
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by Hawawaa » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:07 am

Done- I'll sent you my turn 50 save below. Also why not I will post my TAR below.

Homeworld: Jinx
Leader: Ion
Faction: Human- Prime Federation

Image

Turn 1- Well I'm smack dab right in the middle so 1st order of business is grab Suspended Animation. Redesign all ships with Hammerheads and Pulsed Fission engine section. I usually like to field expensive ships. I order up 5 survey fleets (4 fleets are 1 scout & 1 Tanker and last is 1S & 2T)

Turn 4- Start to research Atmospheric Adaptation. Survey fleets searching the galaxy.

Image

Turn 11- Hyperion encounter- Alien Derelict and no loses. Colony prospect reports from my survey fleets are
Cargg- Class 3 and cheap,
Hitomi- Class 5 and cheap,
Hynek- Class 7 but kinda expensive,
Lupus- Class 5 and normal cost.
Time to order up a colony fleet or 2. 5 colony ships and 1 tanker. :D

Image

Turn 13- Oh lovely swarm and my first dead survey fleet... I'm going to be feeding swarm for the 50 turns or so... :yell:
Start up research on Orbital Foundries.
Colony prospects-
Garnet- Class 5 and kinda expensive. (note kinda expensive is a ball park of 200-300 CH)

Turn 17- Colonize Cargg
Build a defense fleet for the Homeworld.

Turn 18- Meet the Liir- Song of the Void. Only a survey fleet and peaceful.
Random- Colony Trap at Cargg, Colony Fleet lost... :yell:
Colony Prospect-
Azar- Class 2 and cheap.

Image

Turn 19- Zuul at IIona and a neighboring system. I lose the survey fleet at their Homeworld. Oh hey that's their Homeworld and its damn close! 4-6 jumps from my Homeworld. Great... :evil:

Turn 20- Start research on Battle Computers.

Image

Turn 22- Grayson has swarm on it and another lost survey fleet. Start to make more small survey fleet replacements.

Turn 23- Liir Colony at Ishimo but in 10 turns or so this colony gets dusted, either random or Zuul...

Turn 24- Colonize Hitomi Class 5. Start researching Cruisers.
Colony Prospect-
IIuum- Class 5 and cheap.

Turn 31- Serenity is a Zuul world. Lose another survey fleet.

Image

Turn 32- Early tech and start researching Polysiliate Alloys. Hiitomi gets a guard fleet.

Image

Turn 34 Cuthbert I lose a survey fleet to Zuul Fleet.

Turn 39- Swarm destroy survey fleet at Azar. Colony support at Cargg.

Turn 41- Fight with Liir at IImatar, win and colonize it class 5. Fleet guards Cargg. Early tech and start researching Data Synergy. Redesign new ships with new armor. Also design new cruisers.

Turn 43- Random at Braal, swarm and another lost survey fleet. This is getting old... Make more survey fleets.

Turn 47- Zuul strike IImatar and destroy it. This colony was 2-3 jumps from Zuul space. Will come back to it later. First 2 colonies are already fully operational. Swarm heading for the homeworld.

Image

Turn 50- Defend the Homeworld from swarm and win. Early tech breakthrough and start VRF Technology. Design new Cruiser command ships and build them on all 3 worlds. Colonize new world Hynek Class 7 with 2 colony fleets.

Final Thoughts: Ok After I have my PD tech get some fleets up and running and hit back against the Zuul. Grab some weapons tech.

I have 4 worlds... This has me worried. I do have other prospects across the center of the map, but I have a close Zuul neighbor...

Long Term goals: I need more worlds and get the bank above 1 million. Keep exploring. Hold my worlds and where the hell are the Liir?

War Council: Anyone want to take a look at the save and give me some feedback...?

ZedF
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:29 am

Firstly, I would suggest scouting a heck of a lot more at the start of the game. On turn 1 you built 2 ships, on turn 2 you built another 2, on turn 3 & 4 you didn't build any, then 2-3 more ships on turns 6-7 and nothing again on turn 8. Generally, you should be building multiple ships every turn -- you need to churn out those scouts to get a good idea of where all the good planets are straightaway. I had built more ships by turn 3 than you had by turn 9. On a related note, don't assume that more expensive is always better. For scouting with humans, nothing beats a straight up Std/ER/Fission destroyer. It's cheap, so you can make buckets of them for little cost, which is exactly what you need when you only have the homeworld to work with. It generally pays to economize on costs where you can, so long as you're mindful of circumstances where a given section or improvement is mission-critical.

Secondly, rather than building scout/ER pairs and sending them off together, when playing as humans, start with single ERs and follow each pair or trio of scouts working in a given direction up with one tanker. Tankers are expensive compared to ERs, especially since you can get away with fission engines on the ERs but not on the tankers (which need at least range 12 on many maps, including this one.)

Thirdly, to deal with colony traps, colonize with one ship in advance of the rest. Sometimes this means you can send the first one you built ahead of the others while you're still building the rest, which should follow up two turns after the first one. (If they are only one turn later than the first they will get pulled into combat if the first one triggers a trap.) If you need to send them all in one fleet due to the need for tanker support, then move everyone but the one that's landing out-system by 1 turn's sublight movement. They can come back the next turn after any trap has been triggered, and land subsequently.

Fourthly, as a more advanced tactic, a good thing to do can often be to build small colony fleets of say 1-2 tankers and 2-4 colony ships and send them out into the black in a direction you expect you might at some point find something, i.e. because you have scouts pushing forward in that area and expect to be able to uncover a number of stars. This is especially powerful with humans because their fast drives allow them to follow-up more readily than other races, and because they have limited node pathing which makes it easier to choose what directions the colony ships have to go in order to best take advantage of any scouting you're doing. What these 'hail mary' colonization fleets are looking for are the really low hazard worlds where a new colony can stand itself up super-quickly so it can defend itself and act as a forward base for follow-up expansion efforts in that area. You might lose some colony fleets and/or fledgling colonies that reach out a bit too far, but in general this strategy tends to gain far more from these reach colonies than it loses.

Fifthly, I would not as a general rule go for cruisers so soon. You likely can't really afford them yet; don't forget they have 6x the maintenance cost of destroyers. I noticed you got Atmospheric Adaptation early on, but neglected Cyber Interfaces and Expert Systems. It's worth noting that the latter two are also powerful colony development tools because they boost I/O substantially, which not only improves terraforming ability but also the ability to build infrastructure on new colonies, the ability to build ships at worlds producing them, and the ability to generate money at mature worlds that are not involved in ship construction. Overall I would rate both of these more highly than Atmospheric Adaptation on most maps under most circumstances. Atmospheric Adaptation is more useful later on when you have run out of really low hazard worlds to colonize and are starting to look at worlds that are around half your max hazard rating as your best colony prospects.
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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Starknight
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by Starknight » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:52 pm

Hawawaa wrote:Yep I just got the save and will start my game soon.

Would you like screenshots too?


ZedF wrote:I've started to write up my own TAR (or maybe a TAR-lite, we'll see.) I don't see why screens wouldn't be welcome. We might wind up posting our own threads in addition to whatever Starknight puts together. I guess we'll have to ask him after the weekend what his opinion is. :)


Hmm... okay, I had intended to run this a little differently, but since we've started in this direction, why don't you each post up your first results and then I'll put Marta's thoughts up for everyone to read before we progress to the next turnset.

And yes, pictures are fine as well. :)
My Morrigi fleet-speed calculator for SotS Prime
The Holy Lands - Hivers vs. the infidel Liir (and others)
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Hawawaa
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by Hawawaa » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:11 am

Hehe sorry about that, this is my first time doing a T.A.R. ;p

ZedF
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:24 am

Hopefully that advice was helpful rather than pushy, Hawawaa. I wouldn't have said anything if you hadn't asked. Or maybe you were looking more for advice on what to do from here?

I should have my turns up tomorrow so you can look at what I did then, if it helps.
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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Hawawaa
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by Hawawaa » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:20 pm

Actually that was at Stark and not you Zed. ;p Since I assumed on how he wants this T.A.R to be done.

I also have my next 25 turns ready. With the corrections noted. :awesome:

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The_Unificator
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by The_Unificator » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:21 pm

hi guys i finish my turnset and i will send it right now, also i will send my game report

PS: Here is the Game Report:

http://www.mediafire.com/view/?qhb7s1s5um7u5iw
An Argentinian SolForce Captain awaiting new orders

ZedF
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:43 pm

Dude! :shock:

Wow. I guess now you know not to colonize everything in sight as soon as it's physically possible to. :lol:
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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acastus
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by acastus » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:53 pm

The_Unificator wrote:hi guys i finish my turnset and i will send it right now, also i will send my game report


You certainly made the story interesting by using such a unique strategy.

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