TAR - Angels & Demons

Tactics and Action Reports.
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ivra
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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ivra » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:38 pm

ZedF wrote:Sounds from that you are not expecting them to have gained any ground, but have lost ground to the Hivers. Ok, how much?

Image
Ok, I'll take a guess. Way back, looking at the picture from T075 you had managed to take 3 colonies in the Hiver cluster. My guess is that the AI has lost two of them, Lagash and Ti'xhik.

ZedF wrote:As far as pushing ships out to Tarka space from the main Human core worlds... not so much! All the emitter ships in the Tarka cluster are new construction out of the two most rapidly developing and most productive colonies on that front. The long path through dead worlds between the Human core and the Tarkasian frontier is still infested with Tarka scout groups, and the Humans have had their new emitter fleets kept too busy with other jobs to clear that path.

Wow, you managed to keep them until two of them developed. I had expected the AI to be more aggressive. It should be easier now that you can build ships locally.
A lot of these road signs go missing every year as the tourists collect their trophies. It makes me wonder if this road sign is indeed the most wanted souvenir of Norway...

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:21 pm

Ok, ivra, guess noted. Anyone else want to take a shot? I'll be posting a T125 overview (and a save for kjn) this evening so you'll find out then.

As far as AI aggression levels go... well that's been a bit of a theme this game. The next report will contain some in-character thoughts on the subject.
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:36 am

T125

"Come in, Maria. Have a seat." Mother Velaquez inclined her head, and did as she was bid. The guards outside the door to El Presidente's office shut it behind her, and she walked over to one of the guest chairs at the large executive desk that dominated the room. El Presidente himself was not seated behind it, however, but standing near one of the portraits; he had the air of a man who had been pacing with nervous energy. Nevertheless, he composed himself, walked over to the desk, and sat on its edge, leaning over to touch an unremarkable control on its surface, one of several. The small green light that illuminated was the only indication that a sophisticated jamming device had been activated to eliminate even the remotest possibility of their conversation being overheard.

"I will not be running for office again in the next election."

There were several moments of silence, during which you could have heard a pin drop. "If you are concerned about the possibility of being outvoted, I can assure you --"

"That's not it," El Presidente interrupted. "As you know, I've found the mantle of leadership at this level to be a heavy burden. I never sought this office out of love of power or prestige. I only knew that our government was failing in its duty to the people. There were many problems. Foolish decisions were made. Corruption was rampant. But the biggest problem was the economy. You convinced me that one person could make a difference, with the right support. You were right."

El Presidente paused momentarily, but Maria knew he was not finished. She waited for him to continue. "I have done my best to fix these problems, or at least ameliorate them as much as I could. I think, in some measure, I have succeeded. But I have paid a price for that success. I feel as though I have grown old, Maria, and tired. My health isn't what it used to be; I can't get as much exercise as I'd been accustomed to, and I have far too much stress to deal with. Even my most intimate personal relationships aren't what they once were; I can't afford to be truly close to anyone, because everyone has an agenda."

The big man stood, and stepped back over to the wall, looking once again at a portrait. Maria sighed. "I wish you had told me sooner."

"I know," he replied quietly, without turning. "I regret that it took me so long to come to this decision. I needed time to weigh the good I felt I could still do in this office for another term, against the cost it would exact from me. I know you will have a great deal of difficulty finding a new candidate behind whom to throw your support in the next election, who will prove as willing to listen to your advice, on such short notice." He turned, and gave Maria a direct look. "But it is nevertheless my decision, and I am making it."

"I understand," Maria replied simply, feeling mixed emotions, but keeping them out of her voice and expression. "You really have done well, you know. Especially regarding the economy. If you feel that you need a good long rest... well, you certainly have earned one, regardless of any worries I might have about what the policies of the next leader might be, or their ability to stand up to the Zuligi demons."

El Presidente smiled, a bit wryly. "With any luck, you may perhaps be able to assist the next president to convince the Morrigi to take a more active role against the Zuligi than they have done thus far. I understand the Honing is concluded?"

Maria returned the small smile with one of her own. "Indeed it has. Abriele informed me that the old Morru Qu'aan's illness has been successfully treated. It took him less than a Rigellan week to reassert his position as ruler and kick the previous contenders back into line. A good thing, too, if you ask me; their nation had begun to stagnate under divided leadership during the Honing. Not entirely so -- they did develop fusion reactors small enough to be used to power their destroyers, after all -- but they have not been nearly as active in recent seasons as they had been previously. Abriele left me with the impression that the Morru Qu'aan intended to shake things up."

Image

El Presidente nodded, returning to his desk, and sitting behind it once again. "Good," he replied succinctly. "Although the Zuligi have yet to make an assault on any of our new colonies, I have the feeling we will be needing Morrigi assistance on that front before too long."

"What will you do when you step down from the Presidency?" Maria asked.

"I believe I will return to the observatory," her brother answered. "I would prefer to fade into scientific obscurity, if I can manage it. Though I am not at all certain it will be possible."

Maria shook her head. "I wouldn't count on it. People will remember you, Jose. Even as you take your well-deserved rest, they will remember your leadership, and fondly. There may yet come a time when it will be needed again."
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:43 am

Ivra, your guess was actually not too far off. The Morrigi AI almost did lose Ti'xhik; it came under assault by a Hiver attack fleet and only barely managed to repulse them. Some of the AI ship designs used in the defense of Ti'xhik were... let's say they were interesting. And, as you can see, there is another attack force enroute to Lagash right as I am taking over; probably if I were not taking over, Lagash would fall, as the Hivers have cruisers now, where the Morrigi do not. The Morrigi did in fact lose one colony, and without much of a fight, at that: their conquest at Ekkep has fallen back into Hiver hands.

So, if you were thinking that the Morrigi AI would basically allow the Hivers to fully colonize their own cluster uncontested, and not really put up a significant fight to claim any of it for themselves, you would have been right. :lol: The Morrigi AI did try to attack a couple times, but their attempts were fairly pathetic and met with predictable results.

Incidentally, the T125 save file is here.
Last edited by ZedF on Sun May 04, 2014 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:27 am

T127, Lagash


"Final coordinates confirmed, my chieftain," Tanuur reported. "The Matriarch of Lagash bids us farewell and good hunting."

Akhelios acknowledged the signoff with a rustle of wings. "It has been good to visit our wives and kin, and renew our alliances, but I am eager to be away. Is the fleet prepared?"

"Nearly, zo'qu'aan," the communications officer replied. "Reaction mass is at 88% and climbing; we should be fully provisioned shortly."

"Good," the warleader observed briefly, before turning to other thoughts. "Tell me, are you sorry to be away from the capital, now that the Honing is concluded? Were you able to gain the alliance you sought?"

Tanuur paused momentarily before replying. "You know I was unsuccessful, else I would not be available to serve with you; I'd have a command of my own. There was too much competition, anyway; too many suitors returned for the Honing, with trophies that outstripped mine. I am not sorry to have returned to your banner, zo'qu'aan, while there yet remains battle to be sought. I am content to assist you with your art. Perhaps next time my offerings will come from Hiver worlds."

"Indeed, Tanuur, you speak well. I admit to having similar feelings," Akhelios admitted ruefully. "I did not appreciate how unsuited I was to wear the mantle of the Morru Qu'aan until I sought to contend for it. Mine is the art and craft of war; I am no administrator, and that soon became very plain. I was honestly relieved when the Morru Qu'aan woke from his recuperative slumber and bid us all to depart to our posts; he is far better suited to rule the clans than I. My place was here, and so here I have returned. Besides, it appears the war with the dustlings has suffered for my absence."

"What are your plans, zo'qu'aan?"

"For the coming battle, or beyond?" the warleader queried.

"Both, if you will," Tanuur clarified.

Image

Another rustle of wings. "The coming battle will prove whether our advantage in war materiel still obtains," Akhelios answered. "Much will rest on that. Has the Hive developed reflective armours to counter our laser weaponry? Point defense or other accurate weapons to foil our drones? Our latest intelligence is sketchy on the matter. We do know, from the disastrous attacks at Ozoris, that the Hive have developed larger cruisers while our attention was focused elsewhere. What other surprises might they have set aside for us? But we are not without new advantages of our own, at least now that we have sorted out the difficulty with the supply of laser weaponry, and our new ships will not be fitted with gauss cannons. The new fusion engines will allow us to continue building upon our maneuverability advantage for some time to come."

"But if all goes according to plan?"

Image

"Then our ships will run before them while our drones focus on their cruisers' engines," the zo'qu'aan amplified. "We do not yet have enough of the new fusion vessels to form a full squadron, at least not near Lagash. So we will go in with our older fission vessels first, while the fusion vessels remain as a reserve force. We attack with three squadrons in sequence, which is all we shall have time for before they arrive in Lagash orbit, supposing that at least some of them survive our gauntlet. Each squadron will be responsible for softening the initial enemy wave and forcing the dustlings to scuttle as many of their cruisers as possible, due to the engine damage we shall inflict."

Image

"And when that is done?" the communications officer prompted further.

"Then, we shall have what is known as a target-rich environment," Akhelios continued with wry amusement. "There is the matter of the gate which must be at Marklar, from whence this attack originated. Ekkep has fallen once again into the clutches of the Hive in our absence, and should be reclaimed. Beyond that, our intelligence suffers; we know little of matters transpiring behind the immediate front, despite the fact that the dustlings cannot interdict our scouts effectively when we have faster and stealthier ships than theirs. While our core worlds have prospered during the Honing, our front line worlds have changed little; I doubt the latter can also be said for the Hive during our absence. Never fear, Tanuur. We shall not become bored anytime soon."
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:41 pm

T131, Ko'Velan

The colonization mission was a rush job. The fleet of a half dozen ships left port without an escort; the local defense squadron's orders hadn't been cut yet due to a bureaucratic snafu. Ko'Velan had been visited some time ago by an exploring destroyer, and a nascent Tarka colony had been eliminated. Now the world was in the middle of the no-man's land between the human frontier worlds, the Tarka core on one side, and the Zuligi invaders on the other. Fleet command wasn't certain whether the Tarka still had any presence in the area, but someone had gotten a bee in their bonnet. If Ko'Velan was to fall into human hands at all, it needed to be as soon as possible, before other forces could arrive to claim the world. And so, the colonization fleet was dispatched.

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As soon as the fleet emerged from nodespace, it was obvious that if the window for humanity to claim Ko'Velan had ever been open in the first place, it was closed now. Acting without unified leadership, but with nevertheless unified will, the captains of the colony ships maneuvered their vessels into the asteroid belt and under cover of the largest nearby asteroid to negate enemy missile fire. They then prepared to sell their lives, and the lives of everyone under their command, for as dear a price as possible.

For their bravery and cleverness, it is possible that they managed to take an enemy destroyer with them. All other Zuligi battle damage would shortly be repaired by Ko'Velan's latest inhabitants.
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Fri May 02, 2014 12:24 am

T140

The farmer climbed down from the tractor carefully, its engine stopped now, the metal pinging from released heat. He wiped his brow of the summer sweat with one hand, then shaded his eyes with the other against Taosi's brilliance, looking back to see his small son approaching along the path by the side of the road. He'd stopped to see what his son wanted, and almost looked at his watch, but then he grunted and dropped his other arm. Now that he'd stopped anyway, his stomach was reminding him that it was almost lunchtime. Why not take a break, he thought. A few minutes either way wouldn't make much of a difference to the crops. Pausing to kick some of the mud off his boots against the tractor's tire, he stepped out onto the pathway and began to head back toward the farmhouse.

His son met him halfway down the dirt track to the house. The father reached down and swept his son up into his arms for a giggling hug, then set him back down so they could proceed back to shelter from the heat of the day, a hot meal, and a cool drink. He walked slowly so that the boy could keep up easily. "Have you had a good morning, son?" He asked.

The boy nodded solemnly. "I have, Papa. Enrique and I played tag, and I helped Mama with the baking. Oh, and I had a daydream, too. It was really vivid this time, and pretty scary. Mama said I should write a story about it; then I could let the story do the remembering for me, and I wouldn't have so many nightmares."

"What was the daydream about?" the father asked, doing his best to keep his voice and expression interested, but otherwise neutral. The alarm he and his wife felt whenever his boy had one of his daydreams was something they tried to hide from the lad. It might have been different if his son's daydreams didn't always seem to be about misfortune or deliberate harm... or if they hadn't had a distressing tendency to show up in the news a few days later. Still, at least one life had already been saved by the warnings. He and his wife had had to conclude their son had a gift, albeit a double-edged one. The toll his daydreams took on him was sometimes terrible to behold.

The boy clutched his father's hand a little more tightly, but he needed no further encouragement. Talking about his daydreams seemed to be theraputic for him; by now he had realized they would bother him less the more often he talked about them. "It started out nicely. I was flying, Papa, just like a bird. It was fun to see all the people down on the ground, they looked like ants! But then I started flying higher and higher, and as I got higher the sky got darker, and soon I was flying through blackness. I couldn't see which way I was going, or how fast I was going. But then I turned around, and I saw our sun; it was tiny, Papa, just like the people got small enough to be ants! Then all the other stars came out, everywhere I looked, just like they come out at night. Our sun was only a little bigger than any of the other stars in the sky, so instead I turned around again and there was another sun nearby. This one was orange, and a lot bigger than the stars, but it still didn't seem very big to me."

Inwardly, the farmer breathed a sigh of relief, hoping that meant that whatever trouble the dream presaged was far enough away that it would never bother him and his. "What happened then?" he asked.

"Well, that's when things started to really get scary," his son answered. "I got this feeling that something wasn't right. There was a patch of... something. It was black all over, so I could hardly see it, and it slid between the stars. But when it slid between a star and me, it shimmered, and I could see that star's light shine through it, in lots of colours. It felt... wrong, somehow. Like it didn't belong. It seemed to change shape every time I tried to look at it. But no matter what shape it had, no matter what colours it borrowed, it always felt wrong, and every time it changed I got a little more scared of it. But that wasn't all. It was hungry."

Image

"The darkness was hungry?" asked the boy's father. That relieved feeling? Gone now, he thought.

The child nodded, his eyes far away. "Yeah. That was the scariest thing, I think. The little orange sun had a lot of things growing around it, like branches from a tree, and the darkness was hungry for it, so it stretched out toward the sun. The darkness didn't want the sun, but it did want what grew from the branches. You know how dandelions have seeds that fly in the sky? The little orange sun's branches were like dandelions, and all these tiny seeds were flying around the sun on their feathery wings. The darkness was hungry for the seeds. It wanted to swallow the orange sun and everything around it, so the seeds would became part of it. The seeds would pass into the darkness, and through, and come out the other side, but they would come out all wrong. They wouldn't be all feathery anymore; they'd be all black and gooey and shiny instead. And when the darkness had done all that, it would move on to another sun, leaving behind only black seeds, to grow into a dark plant."

"Oh," the man said faintly, troubled by the ominous portent, but having difficulty following the more abstract aspects of the daydream. He wasn't sure what more to say.

Still, his son was fully in the grip of the tale now, and neither noticed nor stopped his recount. "The dark plant is all wrong, too. It's like a weed in the garden. It wants to grow everywhere it can. Mama says we have to keep the garden clear of weeds or they will choke out the good plants we eat. The dark plant is like that, and the darkness in the sky is like a bad gardener that plants weeds instead of good seeds to grow food. In my dream, I knew they both needed to be stopped." The boy shivered, coming in close against his father's leg for a hug.

Image

The farmer knelt down on the path with his son, and held him close. Clearly his son was now out of the grip of the dream for the moment, but he realized the significance of his son's last statement. If whatever the darkness represented needed to be stopped, did that mean it could be stopped? He looked into his child's eyes. "Son, did anything happen in your dream to show how the darkness could be stopped?"

The boy shook his head, then lowered it, eyes downcast. He looked at the dirt of the track, unseeing, for a few moments, while his father continued to hold him close and offer what support and affection he could. Then his eyes widened, as if he'd caught a glimpse of something unexpected. "A road. A road in the sky! If the darkness travels on a gravel road to nowhere, then nowhere is where it will go," he pronounced, then looked at his father, with a sudden delighted smile, as if he'd just been given a surprise treat.

Good, brave little boy, his father thought, tears forming. "Come on, let's go find your mama." And he picked his son up in his arms, stood, and began walking as fast as he could back home. He had no idea who, but someone needed to know what his son had told him.

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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ScoSteSal118 » Fri May 02, 2014 1:36 am

Oh my, that was beautiful. Genius work taking a game event and encapsulating it in a scene like that. Did you have Doomsayers researched, by any chance?

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Fri May 02, 2014 5:26 am

Thanks for the props. But researching Doomsayers would be a little difficult to do in SotS1. :)

Might be a note for what might be possible in the future in this universe, however... ;)
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ScoSteSal118 » Fri May 02, 2014 11:05 am

ZedF wrote:Thanks for the props. But researching Doomsayers would be a little difficult to do in SotS1. :)

Might be a note for what might be possible in the future in this universe, however... ;)


:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sat May 03, 2014 2:32 pm

T141, Ko'Seth

When Commodore Ellison ordered us forward to engagement range, after we dropped out of the pipe, I was confident. After all, the Commodore had sounded confident when he had delivered his pre-battle address over the all-ships channel. The fleet had had success against the Tarka before, both out here at the frontier and back at our core worlds. Scuttlebutt had it that that the Tarka didn't have an answer for our lightning guns and were running scared. Our fleet of 20 destroyers was the biggest we'd ever assembled; I doubted the Tarka could field anything to match it, even if they did have cruisers.

Image

Certainly as we pushed in-system, little changed to disabuse my confidence. The Tarka might have cruisers, but even so they didn't have our numbers and couldn't stand up to our weaponry. We were met by a mixed enemy force including two cruisers and several destroyers, mostly using gauss-based weapons. To be sure their mass drivers were a higher calibre than anything we could have managed, but we'd abandoned that line of weaponry for a reason. The accuracy of their mass drivers couldn't compare to our lightning weapons. We closed the range and let the sparks fly.

Soon enough we had the upper hand, with Tarka destroyers going up like firecrackers. Even their cruisers couldn't withstand repeated blasts of lightning forever, and lost compression in their main compartments. The Ipanema went down with all hands, and most ships in the fleet took a few hits; still, all-in-all we were battered but otherwise in fighting shape. Another ship slotted into the command net to replace Ipanema, and we burned for the planet.

Image

All during that short journey we congratulated ourselves on beating the Tarka fleet, our lightning guns automatically picking off every missile the planet launched our way before it could do any harm. It was only once we arrived in orbit that my confidence first started to ebb. Our weapons lit up the atmosphere with a brilliant display, like the brightest auroras anyone had ever seen, incidentally frying any missile that happened to pass nearby. But we couldn't penetrate the atmosphere directly. Bolt after bolt of 30 KAmp charge we fired, only to be absorbed by the clouds and flash between them, or get redirected earthward on a random path not of our choosing. And random lightning already struck Ko'Velan's surface thousands or even millions of times daily; it seemed our weapons did not add much to that natural fury.

With our assault on the planet at an impasse, it was with a sense of tense anticipation that another pair of enemy destroyers was spotted on a closing vector. We were convinced these had to be the last remaining enemy reinforcements, and they didn't seem like much of a threat. If we couldn't easily glass the planet, we could at least clear it of enemy shipping!

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It wasn't until we got too close to back out of it that we realized we had been too eager -- or the enemy had laid a clever trap. I had just enough time to witness the repeated explosions of hot plasma ripping through the formation before my own ship was hit. I remember screaming as the skin of the hull glowed white and melted like butter, washing fire and molten metal all over my action station, but I don't recall much after that. I'm only alive at all because another crewman managed to pull me forward to the command deck before they had to seal the hatches.

They say I'm one of the lucky survivors. I lost both legs, one to a white hot splinter of a bulkhead, the other to amputation after it was burned too badly to save. But I don't feel very lucky. Commodore Ellison's ship was caught in the explosions too; he didn't make it. And when I listen to our captain argue with the other captains about what our next course should be, I think that perhaps the luck has run out for the whole fleet...
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ivra » Sat May 03, 2014 3:37 pm

Yes I concur. The worst threat to emitter fleets is refineries.

Too bad about the lost legs. Hopefully, he lives in an advanced enough time that they can be regenerated. :)
A lot of these road signs go missing every year as the tourists collect their trophies. It makes me wonder if this road sign is indeed the most wanted souvenir of Norway...

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sat May 03, 2014 4:15 pm

Unfortunately, the AI is not known for diligence in retreating damaged assault fleets back to base for repairs... ;p
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sun May 04, 2014 11:53 am

T150

Editorial Note:

The game is up to turn 150 now, and the Zuul are still behaving relatively passively -- especially the pink Zuul. The latter have thus far remained content to sit in their own cluster, doing not much at all. They have taken out the independent colony at Mogo, and bored a rip from there to Octans, the nearest world in the Hiver cluster, but have not followed up on that to launch any kind of serious attack toward Hiver space. I think the moral of this story is not to use the Zuul as a major antagonist for this sort of challenge on a cluster map, where they don't have a relatively contiguous volume of stars to contest. The Zuul can work fine as an early-game stumbling block in this scenario, as they will explore their own cluster to the best of their ability; they just won't reliably rampage inward from the map edges if set up as a major antagonist. For that role I should probably stick to races with relatively straightforward movement mechanics, such as Tarka, Liir, and Hiver. Maybe Humans, though I'm less certain about them.

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To be fair, the red Zuul have to some extent been trying to explore the Tarka cluster, but they are doing so at a leisurely pace. Even though they've had fusion for as long as I've known them, they are still only using Rip Bores. Moreover they seem to be focusing their exploration toward the Tarka side of the cluster rather than toward the human side; they haven't even followed up on their rip to Zoroaster, and that route is so old now that it's in danger of collapsing entirely. As a result, the alliance hasn't had to deal with any kind of serious setbacks in the Tarka cluster yet, apart from the loss of a few handfuls of human ships here and there, which is to be expected.

The Tarka are not lauching any serious attacks either, but in this case they were intended as a minor stumbling block from the beginning, so that's not a big concern. They appear to be stuck in a defensive/exploratory mode due to a lack of colonies and enemies on their doorstep, and aren't launching any major attacks. Instead they are sending small cruiser sections farther and farther away from their core worlds, trying to find vacant planets they can settle, though of course this late in the game they're pretty much all taken, and anything they did settle that far from home would be indefensible. Hopefully they are at least trying to defend their handful of colonies, but I don't yet have visibility on their worlds, so I can't see how good a job they are doing. Incidentally, that same pattern of exploration can make them dangerous when placed in the role of major antagonist, as they start tossing lots of cruiser strikeforces about the map relatively early in the game, but that doesn't apply this time around.

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The only race that's currently being active in trying to put up a fight is the Hivers; they are at least trying to attack Morrigi worlds occasionally. The AI here is performing about as well as I'd expect it to. It's picking good techs to research to try and deal with my kiting strategy: better warheads (pretty much a given for the AI in any case), heavy missiles to give its planets more defensive bite, PD to try and counter my drones, and most recently, Fusion to close the speed gap a bit. I'm sure it would have researched reflective coat by now if it could, so it's probably missing that tech; Hivers don't have great odds for it to start with. It's not doing as well with avoiding leaving worlds completely uncovered where I could rush in and snipe a colony with a small and frankly underequipped attack force, but that's pretty much a universal vulnerability for every AI empire, and a relatively complex problem for even a live player to manage. It's just worse for the Hivers because of their lack of counterattack potential. They would be well-advised to research Integrated and Advanced Sensors, in order to find my stealthed pickets that are feeding me all kinds of useful info about his fleet dispositions and acting as waypoints for my fleets to make sudden jumps to his worlds, but they haven't done that yet.

That said, the era where the Morrigi can just skate along military-wise on techs they've had access to since very early in the game is coming to an end. Basic green laser and green beamer drones die pretty quick to a strikeforce worth of PD laser fire; even with multiple interceptions it's going to be slow going taking down the Hiver fleet that's trying to attack Lagash. If I'm going to keep using drones as my main mode of attack, they desperately need some upgrades in terms of weaponry and especially armour. My drone and shuttle carriers, too, could benefit from some PD of my own. And if the Zuul aren't going to come to me, then I'm going to have to go to them; that's going to require me to bring along repair cruisers, since traveling between clusters is a bit far to go just to get repairs done. Researching Void Carver for more strategic speed would also help to get reinforcements to an adjacent cluster in a reasonable timeframe. Until recently I've had other priorities, but now that's starting to change, so these sorts of upgrades should be coming down the pipe shortly.

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Also, here's another save file for the curious...
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: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Mon May 05, 2014 9:23 pm

T155 - Ko'Seth

The admiralty continues to consider the Tarka a viable target for conquest, in order to bolster our presence in their sector and increase our defensive bulkwark against the Zuligi demons. Accordingly, they have launched a second attack fleet against the world of Ko'Seth, this time nearly double in number compared with the previous attempt.

Once our fleet arrived for the second battle of Ko'Seth, the ball went up. The Tarka brought some new weapons to the party. Some of them initially seemed quite deadly.

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We had also switched up our armament mix, bringing missiles for more planetary bombardment potential. But our main weapons remained primarily our lightning guns, which continued to be as effective as before. The enemy defensive fleet was soon eliminated despite their new weapons, and our forces fell upon the planet's fixed defenses.

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Still, there remained a significant oversight; our destroyers are simply not large enough to mount missiles with full WMD capability. It would take a long time to reduce Ko'Seth with only tactical nuclear missiles. There is some question whether it can be done at all before the fixed planetary defenses take too heavy a toll on our fleet for it to be able to continue.

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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

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