The Shattered Mirror

Tactics and Action Reports.
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ZedF
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:17 am

acastus wrote:Is it just me or does our tech-tree seem to be missing a bunch of bells-and-whistles?

The only things that leap out at me as missing that I would have otherwise potentially researched are environmental tailoring for arcologies, emitters, and neutronium. I'm sure there's other stuff missing too, mind.
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: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:26 am

purplemarmot wrote:Update. I've played through turn 170. I have a busy week and a half coming up so took the time to play those turns. I'll be doing write ups for those turns hopefully all by Sunday. Don't expect anything more from me until the following weekend

Short version:
The Liir have been hitting me hard with a major tech advantage. I've been able to hold them off at Ololobu using various tactics. The Tarka's have been attacking me on that front. The Zuul for the most part have been quiet, but I'd really concerned about them. There has only been one for about 75 turns and they've been in first place for most of that time. They did launch two attacks at me that I beat back, but I'm sure they're coming.

I was in a tough spot and decided to risk Artificial Intelligence. I got that, AI Factories, and AI Administration. That's helped a lot and pushed me into a 2 way tie for first, but fighting a two front war, and three front war whenever the Zuul show up. There have been other very pressing research requirements, and the Tesla University may have to change it's stance on only be offensive with the incorporate technology. At the end, Ololobu fell to Assimilation plague from the Liir. I had managed to fight off about 20 turns of bio missiles and they brought 5 of them in one attack when all I had was missile ships left (for 2 more turns). Ugh. Still tied for first, but stretched really thin.


Sounds like you've been focusing more on research and less on expansion. Good luck keeping it together!
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

purplemarmot
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by purplemarmot » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:18 pm

Sounds like you've been focusing more on research and less on expansion. Good luck keeping it together!


I guess I have, but I haven't been trying to that. I'm usually pretty good at expanding fast initially, but have problems sustaining that after about turn 50. I suppose I could have pushed out more scouts and pushed faster at the Zuul early, but I always feel I'm cutting on tech. I was still using Green lasers on turn 100, so it's hard for me to feel I was going to slow. When this is over, I'll return to an early save and try a different strategy.

For about 50 turns I couldn't do a melee pitched battle with the Liir because of their tech advantage, even if I had more ships. I tried once at one point, my 6 CRs got wiped before I damaged even a single section on one of theres. I was able to stay alive by drawing them away from the planet with a bunch of fast missile ships and slowly killing them that way. Right at the time I was able to have pitched battles, like that very turn that I had the research and the ships built, the Liir first seriously pulled out bio weapons.

I'm back to cardboard cutouts to the Liir in a lot of ways. Their masses of Antimatter Torps shred me up. I'm really concerned about the Zuul, they've colonized some of the center core planets now and I'm sure they'll be sending fleets at me, probably dreadnoughts soon. I'm surprised the Liir haven't yet.

If I can hold it together and win, I'll be surprised with a 3 front war against hard AI. That war with the Liir was bad for me. Perhaps I should have pressed at them really early. The Tesla University has decided they'll have to go on a massive ship building program and try to go on the offensive against Liir and Zuul now. Continuing to play defense is going to lose me the game.

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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by purplemarmot » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:19 pm

ZedF wrote:
acastus wrote:Is it just me or does our tech-tree seem to be missing a bunch of bells-and-whistles?

The only things that leap out at me as missing that I would have otherwise potentially researched are environmental tailoring for arcologies, emitters, and neutronium. I'm sure there's other stuff missing too, mind.


Well, my favorite thing about playing Humans is the Gluionic, Mesonic, Kelvinic torpedo path. Didn't hit that 85% chance for Gluonic Torps. :(

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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by purplemarmot » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:46 pm

What do you guys think of my plan of a massive offensives right now? Think it will work? I'm still at a huge tech disadvantage vs the Liir.

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?

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)?

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.

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.

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.

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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:43 am

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.
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

purplemarmot
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by purplemarmot » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:46 am

ZedF wrote:
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.

Yeah. Wasn't planning on doing that, slamming into his navy. My idea was more while I'm distracting the Liir at Ololobu (now their colony, attacking other places and trying to do damage to other parts of their empire. Same with the Zuul, better fighting over their colonies than mine. I'm sick of defending my colonies.

ZedF wrote:
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.

Sounds like good, I think I tend to side on the side of research.

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.

I'll get started on that.

ZedF wrote: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.

I've been getting better at that. I didn't even know about it (played the game off and on for several years) until reading one of the SG games in April/May of this year. Don't know how I missed that.

ZedF wrote:
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.

Police cutters were built everywhere the first turn I had fusion every. I have to admit, I've not used propaganda ships much. After looking into them it seems they may have helped. How effective at raising morale are they? The wiki doesn't seem to say.

ZedF wrote:
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.

OK! :)

ZedF wrote:
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.
[/quote]
I will say that this game as already forced me to learn new tactics. I'll take you suggestions and try out and learn some new strategies. Thank you for the advice, great as always!

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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:28 am

purplemarmot wrote:Police cutters were built everywhere the first turn I had fusion every. I have to admit, I've not used propaganda ships much. After looking into them it seems they may have helped. How effective at raising morale are they? The wiki doesn't seem to say.

They are a bit pricey (IIRC about as much as a megafreighter) but very effective, so I tend to build them at any particularly troublesome spots rather than all over and they take care of things quite nicely.

Thank you for the advice, great as always!

You're welcome. :)
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: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:43 am

End Turn 144

Image

Writeup will come later. :)
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

purplemarmot
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by purplemarmot » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:56 am

Well done!

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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:44 pm

Turn 140

Although the Hivers did come around and finally agree to peace with the Liir, the Morrigi never did. The Hiver AI does have a tendency to research Xenotech and aim to get NAPs with nearby rivals to spread gates, but the other AIs don't seem to be terribly inclined toward researching Xenotech -- in this case I suspect the Liir and Morrigi never bothered to research one another's language. Since I can't tell the AI what to research in-game, and didn't want to switch player positions to force one of them to do it, I did it the other way... though given that human relations with the Morrigi are maxed out, I prefer to think of this as more of a peaceful integration of the small Morrigi state as a protectorate of the Human and Hiver empires, rather than as a 'or else' surrender demand.

Image


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

ZedF
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:52 pm

The final campaign against the last 2 Zuul worlds was a foregone conclusion. The fact that the Zuul sent a relatively large fleet away from Slyggia right when I was about to attack anyway was merely icing on the cake.

Image

About the only hiccup was one of my support fleets of garrison destroyers arrived at Slyggia a turn before the main attack fleet, due to the fact that it was slightly faster, so I had to survive a round with just them. But the Zuul didn't have many combat ships left at Slyggia -- just a whole bunch of support ships -- so it wasn't a big issue. The destroyer garrison even managed to do a fair amount of damage to the colony before my cruiser fleet finished it off the following turn.

Image

Hebron, on the other hand, had pretty much no defenders at all, other than sats; the Zuul had been doing all their shipbuilding at Slyggia since it had much higher resources. Consequently, Hebron fell quickly.

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

ZedF
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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by ZedF » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:10 pm

Annals of the Tesla Edict, Charity 145.6329

...These sweeping changes started just 5 deciim ago, after lengthy negotiations finally culminated with a grand alliance between the Liir nation Song of the Void, the Hiver nation Matriarchate of Che'Kor, and ourselves. Temuur of the Burning Claws, Morru Khan of the Morrigi tribes, was not invited to join the alliance, but was instead relegated to the status of a minor power, on account of his long-standing war with the Liir and unwillingness to seek peace for its own sake. Seeing the writing on the wall regarding the military and economic capabilities of the alliance in comparison to his own small handful of worlds, he shortly thereafter accepted a protectorate status for his people.

Simultaneous with these gestures toward peace in the spinward arm, the final campaign against the Zuul in the anti-spinward arm was gearing up. The Zuul, pehaps noticing changes in the offing, attempted to launch a pre-emptive strike on Maltus, but their artificial node network had collapsed and required a new route to reach our colony there, which delayed their attack by many deciim. In the meantime, our own forces closed on the last two Zuul worlds from both sides, and within two deciim had cleansed this region of space from the Zuul, permanently.

The Edict has grown both prosperous and expansive; our wealth and power are unrivalled in the cluster. We have fulfilled the vision laid out by our founders, Sharon MacInnes and Benjamin Wilden, nearly 150 deciim ago. Now, we look forward to a new era of peace and harmony between Liir, Hiver, and Human alike. With the aid of our Liir and Hiver allies there seems to be nothing we cannot accomplish, together.


-------------------------------------------------------------------


And that's all she wrote!

I have to admit I got a bit careless toward the end of the game in a couple ways; for instance I stopped optimizing my freighter builds, and allowed the Hivers to take over a lot more planets than might have been wise if I'd been intending to keep playing longer. I could probably have finished the game something like 10 turns sooner if I'd skipped researching a few unnecessary techs toward the end; I didn't really need magnetoceramics or heavy drivers and never used them on any ships, and I didn't really need the stations or addiction xenotechs -- I had plenty of economy as is. Eventually I ran out of useful things to do with money other than jump up my research rate anyway, and I had no real plans to research DN- or AM-era techs. But I wasn't really certain how things would turn out with respect to the other races making peace with one another, and old habits die hard; if I had wanted to research a lot of late game stuff the extra income would have been useful. :)

Here's the save file from the turn before the victory screen. Note that if you load it, the first thing the Hivers will do is break the alliance, since there's nobody left other than Humans/Liir/Hiver, and loading the game causes diplo states to be re-evaluated with an eye toward keeping at least one race at war with someone.
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: The Shattered Mirror

Post by acastus » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:52 pm

Great work ZedF.

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Re: The Shattered Mirror

Post by acastus » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:07 pm

Turns: 126 - 150

Colonies: 43

Events:
- War escalates on our eastern and western fronts while we hold the core of the star cluster.
- Tarka reinforcements arrived at Chiskatet in a large fleet with 35 CRs but too late to save their colony. We slugged it out until the Tarka withdrew their battered fleet to Talos because in the meanwhile...
- We set siege to the Tarka world of Talos. A long struggle ensued but we managed to prevail.
- After claiming Chiskatet we moved on to take out the Tarka at Lefkandi and Xhubasos in quick succession.
- The Tarka retaliated with a 42 CR fleet attacking our new colony at Chiskatet. Despite taking heavy losses, we held firm due to our superior supply chain.
- On the other side of the star cluster we battled the Zuul at Ultara and Ixion where they had reestablished large colonies in a shockingly short amount of time.
- The Morrigi wandered into our borders with first encounters occurring at our worlds Grayson (7 CRs) and Gallandro (5 CRs).
- With no desire to fight a dual Tarka-Morrigi front, we arrange a ceasefire with Morrigi.

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