purplemarmot wrote:What do you guys think of my plan of a massive offensives right now? Think it will work?
If you do it right, certainly it can work, but you will have to be a bit cagey. You can't just slam your navy into his navy and expect to win often, if you are badly out-teched.
Should I just tech up AM and Dreadnoughts? Forget all research for a decade or two, try to hold on with the fleets I have and completely fill out my trade network?
You won't be able to get anywhere without striking a balance between research, economic growth, and military spending. However, I suggest erring on the side of economic growth and military spending at the expense of research, if you're not sure where the balance lies.
I'm sure you haven't been in a situation like mine in a long time, ZedF, and without spending a lot of time looking at it, any generic advice on techs or strategy/tactics, you might have (or anyone else)?
You might be surprised... fighting a more technologically advanced AI opponent is something I do pretty regularly, but usually if I'm in this sort of position it's because I deliberately dug myself a hole during game setup.
Some general advice: hit the enemy where he's not -- fight his planets, not his fleets. Have multiple fleets attacking and hit in more than one place at a time. Don't be afraid to use your mobility to execute deep strikes behind the front lines. Even if you have to go through a well-defended world to get behind the lines, you can always evade for the first combat round and move on afterwards, especially if you have some fast ships in your lineup. Or you can use/sacrifice some of your fleet to decoy the enemy into a bad position where he won't be able to get back in time to deal with your reinforcements. Get familiar with the 'withdraw to back lines' button in tactical and use it; similarly, get used to normal orders rather than AI-driven orders like close to attack, so you can use maneuver to your advantage.
If all that sounds like stuff that's easier to do when attacking than defending, it is. Where possible you want to get the enemy reacting to you, moving his fleets defensively, not planning which of your worlds to take out next. AI fleets that are following yours around the map are not glassing your colonies. Just be sure to have deep scan and lots of gas available and to keep your fleets moving if they are being hounded. If you have to fight defensive battles (and you probably still will have to fight some) your options are more limited, so just do your best but don't let up the pressure on the AI. Remember that the AI doesn't think, it only functions; you can make several decisions to attack in the time it takes the AI to make one such decision, if you plan and build fleets accordingly.
I'm first in Income, Ships, and Output, 2nd in colonies and Population, and last in tech.
I have about 2/3 of my trade network built, about 10% of that mega freighters. I've been pumping what I can into trade, but constant combats have played trouble with morale (I've had two rebellions) so I built up 10,000,000 for the +3/turn morale bonus.
If you have fusion engines, you should be able to get police cutters and propaganda ships to help with the morale.
My adv. techs include: Lancers, Heavy Platforms, AM warheads, MagnoCeramic Lattices, Heavy Driver AP, Expert Systems, Advanced Robotics, Point Defense. Still using Fusion engines without Node Focusing. 100% research gets me Antimatter in 5 turns, Dreadnoughts in 3, Quark Resonators in 2.
It sounds to me like you have plenty of tech to take out enemy planets. If you focus on that you shouldn't need to allocate a lot of your budget to research. I'd probably cut down to 25% research and focus strictly on what you need for hull size/command parity with your opponents, and use the rest for improving your economy and for hit-and-run fleets against enemy colonies.
The Liir are using: AM Projector (can one shot destroy a brand new cruiser of mine), Antimatter Projector, Heavy Fusion Cannon, PD Phaser, Positron Beam, Heavy Emitter, Improved Reflective Coating, MagnoCeramic Resonators, and a whole bunch of different shields. Once they start using Dreadnoughts I'm in big trouble, I think.
If you don't try to beat his fleets in a straight-up fight, then none of that is really important.
He does have antimatter engines to your fusion engines, which could be a pain in tactical, but if you are using armour sections and he is using specialty sections then that cancels out any speed advantage he might otherwise have had, so you should be able to evade him where he's strong and preserve your force so you can hit him later where he's weak.