TAR - Angels & Demons

Tactics and Action Reports.
ZedF
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Wed May 07, 2014 2:38 am

T177

Maria picked her way among the scrub brush, in vivid russets and deep blues, which lined the top of the cliffside. The sea below the cliff was a brilliant aqua; could she have gotten down to it, she might have liked to stroll along the beach and feel the waves tickle her toes, as she often did in more familiar settings, when opportunity presented. Of course, she thought, even if it were possible, that probably wouldn't be at all comfortable or even entirely safe; who knew what sort of antifreeze must be present in the water to give it that colour and keep it liquid at its usual temperature.

She couldn't feel the cold, of course. She wasn't really there. However faithfully the holoconference suite mimicked the sights and sounds of a Morrigi colonial world, it couldn't replicate the temperature without air conditioning powerful enough -- and hence loud enough -- to ruin the effect. Besides, she would have had to wear some serious cold weather clothing; she preferred to remain in her shirtsleeves.

Ahead, a beautifully familiar angel sat, perched in the branches of a short, wind-gnarled tree. This was to be expected, of course; the entire purpose of the holoconference link was to make such meetings more convenient and more comfortable for all concerned. Leaving off her foray through the shrubbery, Maria broke toward more level ground, and strode up to the tree. "Good day, Abriele. Is this your home? I find it quite striking."

"Not mine, Maria, but some of my wives and sisters abide here. My home is amongst the stars. And it is from thence that I bring tidings, of sufficient import that it must be delivered personally."

Maria's eyebrows raised. "Oh? What news is this?"

"Three things: one observation, one action, the third reaction. Let us begin with the action. You will of course recall that for many seasons, our tribes have been at war with the Hive, as a Token of good will with respect to our alliance. In recent times, many of the trade goods we have brought to share have included items taken from worlds formerly held by the Hive. I must inform you that our war with the Hive is now over. The Vagabond Princess is a vagabond once more; she and her retinue have fled Athina's Necklace for other stars, leaving her people lost and leaderless in her absence. I take it this will meet with your government's approval?"

Image

It was curious, Maria thought. While intellectually she knew that the elimination of the Hive as an imperial power meant that there was one less threat in local space to trouble her race, she found that emotionally the news had less impact than she would have thought. With the angels interposing themselves between her kin and the insect menace, she personally had never found them to be all that menacing or frightful. Still, she knew a number of people in the government who would get quite a satisfactory hit of schadenfreude over the Hive's misfortunes, given what had happened back on Earth all those years ago. "Indeed, I would expect so, Abriele. They will no longer pose a threat, I take it?"

"No, you may rest assured of that. We have made plans to step in and provide leadership for the remaining lost clans, to ensure they shall not organize an interstellar empire again. Indeed, we shall establish our own colonies on the worlds in question in order to monitor the inhabitants more closely. In this way we hope to ensure that the flow of trade goods from the former Hive cluster to our own home systems, and yours, shall remain uninterrupted." He paused. "Your government will not, I hope, insist that the remaining Hive population be forced to suffer further for the actions of their distant ancestors?"

Maria considered for a moment, a wry grimace crossing her face, but then shook her head. "No. There might be some who would be tempted to grumble to that effect, but I think I can guarantee that no such complaint will be offered officially. It would not be charitable."

The angel inclined his head. "Quite so," he nodded once, sharply, in agreement. "Which brings me to an observation. During the entire time our tribes have been at war with the Hive, only once have we witnessed the Zuligi on the move in that region of space, and then not in force. Similarly, the Zuligi occupying worlds near your colonies and what remains of the Tarkasian holdings have not been active recently. They have visited no new worlds, but only travel amongst the colonies they have already settled."

Mother Velaquez thought briefly. "You have been expanding your influence, not just in the former Hive cluster, but also with your new colonies at Hyrakius and Foo. Perhaps they fear you?"

Abriele smiled wryly at this. "Fear us? Not likely. Not when they have ships such as these." He brought up an image, shown to scale with Human and Morrigi combat destroyers.

Image

Maria blanched. "You fought one of those? And someone escaped to tell the tale?"

The beautiful winged man shrugged, and his smile became more genuine; even a bit smug. "Our fleet not only escaped, it emerged victorious. For all its size and obvious power, the vessel was armed almost exclusively with missiles and primitive gauss cannon; these fared poorly in the face of our own fleet's offensive drones and laser point defense weapons. Moreover, despite its massive engine, the ship was insufficiently swift to give chase and overtake our fleet in a linear contest of speed." But then his expression became sober once again. "Still, with better armament and more speed, it would have posed a serious threat; it cost our fleet a great deal of time and effort before the Zuligi ship was eventually overcome. Moreover, our best theorists have supposed that with the amount of combat computing power that could be made available on a hull of that size, several could be fielded in battle at once. And if several such vessels were to attack a fixed point, such as a planet, the results would be fearful indeed. Given our encounters with Zuligi in the past, and given the obvious power they have at their disposal, it seems impossible that they should fear us -- or even fear the combined power of our races in alliance."

"So why do the Zuligi demons stay at home, then?" Maria wondered.

Abriele nodded. "A good question, and one to which we have not yet learned the answer. It is as though they have fallen asleep. Still, while we do not trust this reticence on their part, for it could change at any time, we are inclined to take advantage of it."

Maria's brow furrowed. "How do you mean?" she asked.

The angel's wings stretched as it sat up straighter to expand upon its point. "The demons are rapacious by nature," he explained. "They consume whatever they hold. While they slumber, they consume only themselves, and slowly diminish. Time is their enemy. Conversely, our races, yours and mine, we grow with time. We build upon what has come before; we amass wealth, knowledge, and power. Time is our ally." He looked to see if his human counterpart was following the argument, and she nodded, gesturing for him to keep going.

Abriele continued as he was bid. "This is the observation that brings us to our reaction. If the Zuligi are content to slumber, we will not provoke them. Not yet." He gestured once again to the image of the Zuligi dreadnought. "If they were to attack our worlds with several of those at once, our current fleets would have no choice but to fall back. Our fleets might be able to save themselves, but they could not save our women. That is... unacceptable. So, for now, we will not provoke them, until we have developed fleets which can stand before them and bar their way. We suggest you do the same."

"I will certainly bring that to our admiralty and strongly suggest they take it under advisement," Maria agreed wholeheartedly. But then she inclined her head. "Still, your Morru Qu'aan has moved a number of squadrons into orbit around Foo and Hyrakius recently, and the latter's shipyards are certainly capable of constructing more as needed. If you are content not to rile the Zuligi until it is on terms of your choosing, what are your plans for them? If the Zuligi do indeed slumber, those fleets would seem to be at loose ends."

Abriele considered for a moment, "Perhaps so," he allowed. "Of course we do wish to offer as stiff a defense as may be, in case the Zuligi wake up; they may not attack immediately with such monster fleets as I've alluded to. But it is thought we may have some warning if the Zuligi do decide to arouse themselves again and come questing for our worlds, and as you mention, we have ample fleets in the area to guard just two colonies."

Maria steepled her fingers. "In that case, I should introduce you to one or two members of our Admiralty. I believe they have a project in mind, and might be pleased if you were able to offer some assistance with it..."
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
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Wed May 07, 2014 9:51 pm

T183, Ko'Seth

By the time of the third assault on Ko'Seth, the Conclave would brook no Tarkasian opposition to their plans of conquest. Having doubled their fleet from the first attack to the second, they tripled it again for the third, bringing a massive armada of over 120 destroyers into the fray. This time, they even included a double handful of assault shuttle carriers in the fleet mix for planetary bombardment, though by far the bulk of their fleet was composed of the same sort of emitter/missile destroyers which had previously been so successful at eradicating the small mixed cruiser/destroyer contingents the relatively tiny Tarkasian empire was able to afford to field.

Image

Just as importantly, the Conclave had at last been able to secure the active assistance of their "angelic" benefactors in matters concerning the erstwhile Tarkasian cluster. The shipyards at Hyrakius, the nearest major Morrigi colony with a suitably high resource index, were by now fully operational, and the Morrigi had thereby been able to substantially increase their fleet presence in support of their own and of human expansion in the cluster. Their fleet being divided amongst two primary fronts, they did not have quite the depth of force available in the Tarkasian cluster that the humans did -- the six available Morrigi squadrons in the Tarkasian cluster numbered in total only about as many destroyers as the humans had brought just to this one battle at Ko'Seth. Nevertheless, the Morrigi had previously eliminated a relatively small Tarkasian colony at Ke'Moramun, which the Conclave had happily claimed at the behest of the gracious victors. Now, for the assault on Ko'Seth, they stood in battle alongside their human allies in a rare joint action.

The Morrigi had brought their standard complement of drone carriers, largely equipped with green lasers and beamers plus additional laser point defense, but more importantly, they had also brought their own assault shuttles. The Morrigi preferred not to operate in combat too closely to human forces -- one of the reasons joint actions between the two were uncommon -- due to the relatively indiscriminate nature of human lightning weaponry. Therefore, while the Conclave forces faced the brunt of the Tarkasian defense fleet, small though it was, the Morrigi braved Ko'Seth's substantial fixed defenses in order to execute the primary surface bombardment action. The Morrigi battle plan was to launch attack shuttles on planetary approach, then withdraw the shuttle carriers and escort the shuttles in using the drone ships, to provide covering fire and additional targets for any enemy point defense weapons. The shuttles would then be replaced after the battle by waiting repair vessels.

Image

If there was one thing the Morrigi did appreciate about the humans' emitter weapons that they could not easily match themselves, it was their combination of precision and high impact against hardened missile systems. The Morrigi had never had any luck reproducing that particular human technology -- they generally preferred laser weaponry in any case -- but Morrigi laser point defense systems were better suited to taking on relatively large numbers of soft targets rather than fewer hardened ones, and their targeting computers automatically assigned kill priorities accordingly. As a consequence, when faced with heavy bombardment from a well-populated world, the heavier warheads tended to get through rather more often than the Morrigi ship designers might have expected, despite the copious point defense clusters the Morrigi destroyers enjoyed. All too often those point defenses were busy shooting at distant soft targets as the heavier warheads closed, so that by the time they did start shooting at the largest and best-armoured planetary defense missiles, it was too late. Several Morrigi captains lost their ships or suffered heavy damage and compartment decompression as a result, and the Morrigi were forced to withdraw out of range of the smaller satellite-based missiles, lest more ships be destroyed. Instead they contented themselves with standing off from the planet and sending their drones to whittle away at Ko'Seth's ring of defensive platforms, while avoiding close combat themselves.

Nevertheless, by the time they had been forced to break from close planetary orbit, the escort mission had been successful. Nearly all the assault shuttles made it into the atmosphere, and their first order of business was a seek-and-destroy mission against the Tarkasian planetary missile defense complex. It did not take long for the barrage of heavy missiles launched from the surface to begin to thin.

Image

Full victory, however, would take another two seasons worth of combat.
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
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Thu May 08, 2014 10:57 pm

T192, Ka'Palum

From the diary of Admiral Emilio Esteban, CincTarkFlt, at TarkFltHQ, Zoroaster:

"...Some sort of congratulatory note to my counterpart would be appropriate, I suppose. The last two Tarka worlds in the cluster taken, without a shot fired; their people given shelter under the angels' wings, to be protected from the demonic Zuligi. A diplomatic coup, some might say. Perhaps so. Certainly it will allow us to concentrate on the enemy the angels have long been telling us is the real threat."

"Still, I have to wonder whether this will truly end up being to our benefit. Coindicent with the Tarka surrender, we now have more disturbing news to contend with. A substantial Zuligi fleet is enroute to Ka'Palum, and emissions from Zuligi comms relay stations have picked up across the board. Encrypted, of course, but the increased radio chatter has meaning in and of itself, even without knowing what is being said. Have the demons been shaken from their stupor, now that there remains only ourselves and the angels for them to contend with? Reports of several new demonic incursions along the former Hiver frontier -- far from our worlds, but certainly of concern to the angels -- suggest this might be the case."

"Thus far, only the single incursion on our frontier, though, at Ka'Palum. We have a large fleet stationed there to meet them, with more on the way; I am not truly concerned. The demons have only nine ships; we have well over 130, including a handful of the new Myoko-class missile cruisers and a Wasp-class command cruiser. They will be supported by a full 20 defense platforms, plus the Ka'Palum missile batteries of course. The system is heavily fortified, to the point where it seems impossible that our fleet could be defeated, even if the vast majority of the ships are destroyers. Still, if there is one vulnerability, it's that we only have the one command ship on station, and no backups. This is, admittedly, a cause for concern, though more command vessels will arrive with next season's reinforcements."

Image

"I suggested to Commodore Jacinto that it might be advisable to keep his command ship well back and out of the fighting. However, he is the one that will have to fight the battle, exercising his own judgement; I did not make it an order. It may be that those nine demon vessels can be easily defeated -- at this point, we do not know what exactly we are facing. And Commodore Jacinto is not one to be afraid to risk his own ship if the battle appears to be well in hand."

Image

"Even so, I can't shake the feeling that we should not be taking the angels' reports of massive demonic dreadnoughts lightly. If all of those ships are dreadnoughts... what then? Honestly, I don't know. We simply don't have enough of an idea of what these demonic dreadnoughts can do."

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
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sat May 10, 2014 1:46 am

T200

Editorial Note:

When I look back at the last 50 turns, I don't think I've played my most focused game ever. Without getting into a lot of detail, I got bogged down and mentally exhausted fighting the Hiver war, which led to some sub-optimal play with respect to the continued gearing up of my economy and military. I'm not certain that researching Hiver and Tarka xenotech was the best use of my research time and money compared to other things I could have been researching, and I think I could have picked the techs I've researched over the last 50 turns in a better order.

Image

Still, my economy has continued to improve steadily, via construction of mega-freighters. I'll need that economic might to catch up and compete with Zuul dreadnoughts and upcoming antimatter-era technologies, upon which they have a commanding lead. Up to this point I've largely been practicing my skills at warfare using a style appropriate for the late DD-era (e.g. deliberately postponing/ignoring Salvage tech and Data Synergy as long as possible), and have found that the Morrigi are pretty good at it, at least once they get their economy going. Their speed, drones, and stealthed scouts offer some powerful strengths in this regard.

Image

Of course, I can't keep using only drone DD squadrons forever unless I want to win purely by abusing the AI. My destroyer-era fleets are now getting more in the way of cruiser-era support and command ships. Even so, I would like to try to exercise some other Morrigi strengths going forward. My current plan is to unlock barrage cruisers and see if I can make use of them to relegate my drone destroyers to more of a defensive/support role; drone carriers are hard to catch and can wear down enemies, but don't always pack a ton of punch, and the pink Zuul have their own emitters with which to shoot down my drones.

Image

I have been glad to see much more activity out of the Zuul since I annexed the last Hiver and Tarka worlds. The pink Zuul in particular have stepped things up a notch; in the last 10 turns they've sent 5 fleets my way, as compared with the whole 2 fleets they sent this direction in the first 190 turns of the game. As the Zuligi wars heat up, I don't plan to document most of the battles I anticipate fighting over the next while, but hopefully I can pick a few of the most interesting ones to chronicle. I'm curious to see how much damage they can do in the next several turns. But if I can catch up in tech and/or trap them in their home clusters, where by now they must surely be running low on resources, I'll probably consider the game won.
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
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sun May 11, 2014 11:25 am

T207, Ko'Velan

Comms intercept, Ko'Velan system, during defense of the nascent human colony. Our xenolinguists are still trying to crack the encryption...

BFCheddar: Yo! Doodz!

Rokitman: 'Sup?

Dudebro: Yo

LiiroyJ: Hay, imma go afk

BFCheddar: Lol, miss all da fun, ur lose

LiiroyJ: whateverz, nede grub. Auto on, Brb.

BFCheddar: K, heerz da plan...

Rokitman: Lol, dey got lik 2 lil bitty doodz. Wat plan?

Dudebro: Hulk smash!

Rokitman: Rofl

BFCheddar: Dey gotz a ji11ion crowz, arrite? Aint cald Rookery fer nutin. Lookie.

Dudebro: O

Rokitman: kk, gotcha

BFCheddar: Sozyano, wez gota stick togeddr, els aint gotz nuf pd. Rokitman, wat odds iff smackdown apes 1st?

Rokitman: uh, mebbe 33.33

BFCheddar: gud nuf, membr, stick cloaz

Rokitman: on ya

Dudebro: imma with LiiroyJ

BFCheddar: kk

Dudebro: lookit, lil ape dood tryina hyde

BFCheddar: lol

Rokitman: fuggedaboudim, gunna mayk sum glass.

Dudbro: o ya, me 2

BFCheddar: kk, ammost dere. Launchin, ha

Rokitman: eat dat, apez!

Image

Dudebro: haha

Rokitman: byby apeland, lol

LiiroyJ: bak

BFCheddar: Dudebro n LiiroyJ, ur driftin 2 far out. Wez ammost at da planet ova heer.

Dudebro: cant cloz up, LiiroyJ ur inna way

LiiroyJ: whateverz, I spotted sum crowz, checkitout doodz

BFCheddar: stick 2 da plan!

LiiroyJ: eh, time's up. LiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiroyyyyyyJ!

Rokitman: WTF

BFCheddar: dammit

Dudebro: wez gotz 2 helpim, rite?

BFCheddar: Fuk dat, u go helpim. I membr how dis goz. Imma stayin bak heer.

Rokitman: lol, ur slow turnin anyway

BFCheddar: ya, cuz im da BFCheddarz y lol

Dudebro: whateverz, jus ketchup, imma cumin LiiroyJ!

Rokitman: lookit nub followin LiiroyJ

Dudebro: shutit an help uz, mofo

Rokitman: stikin with da cheez, datz da plan

BFCheddar: dam str8

Dudebro: sh1t, LiiroyJ bitin it, 2meny prrpl lazors

Image

BFCheddar: sok, gotz bakkup. Hoi, Kenny!

Rokitman: lol, Kenny

Kenny: Ya?

BFCheddar: Kenny, gotz ya a spot

Dudebro: Huri Kenny dem crowz cumin on me nao

Kenny: A spot in line! Cool!

BFCheddar: Ya, jus wach werre ya cumin

Kenny: Ok im here. Planet OMG nooo! Halp!

Rokitman: rofl!

Dudebro: OMG u kild Kenny!

BFCheddar: lol, nevr lykd Kenny neway...

Dudebro: Sh1t. Getn paystd. Damit Liiroy!

LiiroyJ: Leas i gotz chikn.

Rokitman: lol, u n Dudebro got pwnd by chikn!

BFCheddar: rofl

Dudebro: ....

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

User avatar
DervMan
Posts: 2774
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:23 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by DervMan » Sun May 11, 2014 11:38 am

Dudebro: OMG u kild Kenny!

BFCheddar: lol, nevr lykd Kenny neway..


Hahahahahaha! :googly:
Image

ZedF
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Mon May 12, 2014 11:19 pm

209, Ku'Raan

"Why'd it have to happen yesterday, of all days?" Stella groused, sitting at the counter, playing with her coffee cup, turning it slowly around on the saucer. She glanced over at a red light strobing in the hallway, looked away. "I should be..."

"On the bridge, yeah, I know," the cook sighed. "But no way you're getting a skinsuit over that cast, and even if you could you can't risk it catching those bandages and ripping them loose. Hell, you're lucky to be out of sickbay at all."

Stella Gabaldon, XO of the St. Roche-class cruiser Francesca, kept turning the cup in the saucer. She was trying to keep her hands busy, so as to avoid scratching at the itchy bandages. "I hate being stuck down here, knowing we're about to see combat."

Julio Esteban shrugged slightly. "Who doesn't? My active duty station is in the mess hall. I got used to it, but that doesn't mean I like it. Sure it's theoretically safer here -- at least, a little bit -- but you can't really do anything. Nothing that will make a difference, not during a battle. Believe me, I know where you're coming from. At least I've got this."

"What's... Madre de Dios... you've got a repeater setup down here? How in heaven's name did you manage that?" The XO asked, not sure whether to be grateful or aghast, as one wall panel slide aside, revealing several readouts and screens, including a miniature replica of the bridge's main display. This was in violation of about a dozen regulations, it compromised operational security -- and it was exactly what she needed right now.

"Being the best cook in the strikeforce has its perks," Julio smiled thinly. "Of course, there is also the fact that Admiral Esteban is my uncle; that might have had something to do with it."

"I could almost kiss you," Stella remarked quietly -- and then, when Julio joked with puckered lips in her direction, snorted wryly. "And yet, not quite. Still, this is an impressive setup, nearly equivalent to the aux bridge. How have you got it configured?"

'Well, as you can see, this is the main display. It echoes whatever is being presented on the main display in the bridge; the system is not designed for independent queries, because that would make this whole setup way too obvious. Right now it's showing we've arrived at Ku'Raan and headed toward the planet, obviously, but I don't see the Zuligi fleet..." Julio explained, now looking a bit puzzled. "Hang on, we're changing course."

The XO sat back in her chair, relieved. "That's actually good news."

"It is?"

"Yes," she continued. "It means the angels got our message in time. We weren't sure they would."

"What message... oh. An invitation to join the party?" Julio supposed.

Stella nodded. "The captain mentioned that the angels had a couple fleets that might be in range to lend a hand. I'm not sure what motivated our attack on Ku'Raan right now, and using this fleet rather than the much larger one based at Kao'Tuno. Maybe the Admiralty didn't want to leave our main shipyards uncovered. But given the latest angel intelligence on enemy force levels, we had to hope the angels would be able to send a force of their own. Otherwise our fleet is too evenly matched with the Zuligi to be certain of success."

"So if we don't see the enemy in scanner range and are not heading straight for the planet, that means the angels have engaged the Zuligi and we're burning to support them," the cook replied, working it out for himself. "I wonder what they're fielding?"

"Hopefully, they have a full complement of their UBeam drone carriers," Stella guessed. "Scuttlebutt has it that the angels are building up some new fleets operating under a different combat model, but they aren't ready yet. Still, those Morrigi drones have been pretty effective so far; every successful operation we've undertaken recently has been with their assistance. I imagine they're hanging out at the system periphery, trying to lure the Zuligi navy out of position and soften them up for us."

Image

Julio glanced at another readout, showing the Francesca's course and speed. "Maybe, but I'm a bit more concerned about our ship running out of position. We're heading straight for that asteroid."

Stella shook her head. "Domingo knows what he's doing. See, he's already adjusting course to take us over top of it. But you're right, it will slow us down," she added, frowning slightly. "The formation's getting a bit strung out, which I guess is not surprising. The commodore must have ordered us to flank speed. Our formation was set up for a straight shot at the planet, but that's not what we're doing. The fleet's going to be getting into combat range in a series of small groups, and the Francesca will be among the last to arrive. I hope the angels can cover us until we can form up again."

Then the image changed on the screen. "We might not get the chance to. Looks like the Parashu and the Tabarzin have closed to firing range. The closest enemy cruiser is a..." the cook squinted at the screen, trying to make out the silhouette.

"That's a refinery vessel," Stella noted. "And there's several other cruisers behind it... mining ships, looks like." But she frowned slightly.

Noticing this, Julio glanced at her. "We're up against non-combat ships for the most part then? I would have thought that would be good news. There's only a few destroyers harassing the Parashu and Tabarzin right now; their plasma cannon should be able make short work of them."

"Well..." answered the XO slowly, shifting to ease her arm in its cast, "I'm not so sure. Those destroyers are getting a lot of long-range supporting fire from the Zuligi command ship. and don't make the mistake of thinking Zuul refineries and mining ships defenseless; not only do they still mount a lot of guns, they also have... yes, see there?" She shook her head, reacting to events as they were fed to the display before her. "Not only did Parashu just lose her drive, but she's got boarders latched on, from that refinery ship. All those mining ships also carry boarding pods."

Image

Just then there was a brilliant, if distant, flash from the left side of the screen, well away from the planet on the right. "Ah, that looks like good news, at least!" Julio exclaimed. Stella also brightened, as he continued. "That had to be the Zuligi command ship going up. And look at those angel drones streaming in! Ubeam drones, just like you thought."

"That is good news. If they can soften up those mining and refinery ships enough -- take out enough of the boarding pods -- maybe we can still get out of this in one piece after all."

"What?!?" Julio asked, shocked.

"Look, I'm not going to lie to you. That had to be one of the Zuligi dreadnought CnC ships that just went up. Which means they have a lot more control over the battlespace than we do, even now that it's no longer coordinating the action on their side. Just look at how many cruisers they have there. That's more than we can fit into our CnC net. Even if they are not primarily combat cruisers, this is still going to be a very rough ride. Especially since we aren't coming upon them in any more of a coordinated formation than they have." Stella smiled slightly. "Maybe I should have taken you up on that kiss after all," she joked, with grim humor.

"So it's going to be a big furball, then," the cook replied, a bit sickly. He suddenly didn't feel very much like kissing. "One where we are outnumbered, and facing enemy boarding actions." His words were punctuated by the sounds of weapons fire and the whine of capacitors recharging: the Francesca had reached firing range, just as Morrigi drones fell upon the refinery they were targeting, and finished the job that had been started earlier by human vessels.

"I'm afraid so. The angels' drones will divert some of the enemy fire, but mostly it will fall on us and our fleetmates. We can't match the angels when it comes to dealing death from afar; our ships have to get stuck in. Our turreted plasma guns and particle beams can maybe fire more consistently than the angels' drones, once we are in range -- see, some of the latter are heading back for refuelling even now -- but not without putting ourselves at much more risk."

"I'm not sure those drones are heading back for refuelling... or at least, not just for refuelling," Julio contradicted, pointing at a secondary monitor, showing the Morrigi fleet approaching close enough to the planet to get within visual range of the human ships. "Some of those carriers are falling back and dropping out of combat as soon as the drones return. And it looks like new ships are replacing them. What are they... oh."

"Oh is right," the XO agreed. "I've heard about this. This is how the angels took out the Tarka at Ko'Seth. I remember seeing a vid on it. Only that time they escorted the shuttles in themselves to shoot down any missiles launched at their assault craft. This time, instead of that, they're letting us do the job of keeping the Zuligi busy." She snorted. "Clever of them, actually. I'm not sure that this helps us any more than their drones would have... but... yes, now that the shuttles are away, their carriers are dropping out and the drone ships are back in, now with rearmed and refuelled drones."

Image

"If those shuttles can make it to the planet, they'll start taking out missile bases, right? So it is in our best interests to cover them," Julio reasoned, as the hull shuddered from a near-miss with a proximity-fused fusion missile. A thrum of power and a capacitor's whine announced return fire. "At least, as best we are able," he added.

Stella nodded. She'd been trying to ignore the sounds of battle and focus on the conversation with the cook, to keep herself from fretting about what was going on about the ship while being able to do nothing about it, but it was getting harder; the sounds were getting more intense. "We must be getting close to high orbit now. Maybe our point defense can give those shuttles some covering fire, but there's a limit to what..."

There was another brilliant flash on the main display that washed everything out for a couple moments, then an expanding ring of fire washed over nearly all the combatants save themselves. "I guess that means we don't need to worry too much about boarding pods," the XO continued.

But Julio was looking at something else. "What in heaven's name is that?" he asked, stabbing out a finger to point at one of the shuttles. It had been caught in a greenish beam of some sort and was being rapidly yanked around the satellite from which the beam was being projected.

Image

Stella blinked. "I don't know, I've never heard of anything remotely similar. Maybe the angels know what it might be, but... from the looks of what it's doing to that shuttle, I don't like it. I hope the captain keeps well clear of the satellite ring."

The volume of combat sounds increased once again, and the Francesca lurched as an explosion outside the hull caught her amidships. "Sounds like we're in the thick of it now," the cook stated through gritted teeth as he struggled to return to a seat, to strap himself in. Purple beams danced on the combat display as the next wave of angelic drones returned to the fray, stabbing into the heart of what remained of the Zuligi formation. But there were only three human ships remaining from the first wave, and of those only the Francesca was not yet badly damaged.

The XO did her best to cling to her seat and brace herself against the countertop as the ship shook. Her coffee had no such luck, and flew across the mess hall to shatter against the far wall when the ship was rocked by a particularly bone-jarring blast. Julio stopped trying to get into his seat, realizing that there was no way the XO could strap herself in, not in her condition. "Hang on, let me get you to a chair," he offered, coming close and grabbing her good arm to offer support.

"It's too late for that," Stella gasped, clinging to Julio for support. On the viewscreen, explosions wracked three ships in sucession, blasting each apart: two Zuligi, one human. "Kiss me."

"Yes'm," the cook replied, with a small, sad smile. He braced himself, feet wide apart, and took Stella in his arms. In another time, another place, another life maybe... for now, all he could do was as he was ordered. For one surprisingly sweet moment they shared unexpected tenderness, and then --

The mess hall was in the engineering section, but the explosive decompression of the main pressure chamber still knocked them flying. Julio was thrown bodily into his G-seat. Stella was less fortunate, rebounding off the countertop from which she'd been drinking her coffee, before being flung across the mess hall, hitting the far bulkhead with a heavy crash and slumping to the floor, unconscious. Julio would perhaps have gone to her, but just then the artificial gravity cut out. He scrambled to buckle himself into his G-seat, and glanced once more at the display.

The main viewscreen was showing one of the Zuligi satellites. It appeared to be firing one of those greenish beams again.

The beam appeared to have latched onto the Francesca.

Image

The room -- indeed, the whole ship -- spun topsy turvy as the ship was forcefully rotated along with the satellite, before being tossed in a long, deadly arc. Stella's unconscious form flew once more, this time crashing into what had once been considered the ceiling, before floating there, pinned by the G forces unleashed by that launch.

Francesca was never designed for re-entry. Julio had only a few seconds to realize this, before she kissed the sky at far too fast a speed and at entirely the wrong angle. Re-entry would have been impossible in any case.

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

User avatar
The_Unificator
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:49 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by The_Unificator » Tue May 13, 2014 3:53 pm

i have read the entire TAR today i totally love it, especially the morrigi-human friendship relation, is cool and nice, perhaps you can add it a bit of romance or another type of friendship, like a morrigi adviser on a human vessel what fall is love with the young, inteligent and shy crewmember of the ship

i know i am romantic, i cant avoid it :D
An Argentinian SolForce Captain awaiting new orders

ZedF
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Tue May 13, 2014 5:04 pm

Well that last entry had a bit of romance in it (albeit tragic romance.) As far as inter-racial romance goes, the end of this game is in sight now -- and as I write my TARs in advance of when they are posted, it's already chronicled. I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you on that score this time around.
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
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Wed May 14, 2014 1:50 am

They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so I think I'll wrap up with a bunch of screencaps of the last several turns, wherein the red Zuligi have been evicted from the former Tarka cluster, a largish attack by the pink Zuligi was repulsed at Octans, and counterattacks have hit the latter hard at Crysta.


T 212- Ultara

Image


Image


Image


T 213 - Crysta

Image


Image


Image


T 215 - Octans

Image


Image


Image


Image


T 217 - Ku'Raan

Image


Image


Image


Image


Image


T 215 - Prism

Image


Image


Image


Image


T 216 - Thundara

Image


Image


Image


T 217 - Crysta

Image


T 219 Summary

Image

Image


I have been using two different fleets operating in tandem for these offensives. On the one hand, I now have a few fleets composed mainly of BB/Barrage cruisers armed with HCLs, Disruptor Torps, and Phasers, supported by assault shuttles. On the other hand, I am also supporting these cruiser fleets with my drone destroyer strikeforces. This is necessary because there are still some Zuligi toys my cruisers aren't well-equipped to fight, most especially Zuligi medium sats with tractor beams.

(Incidentally, why BB rather than assault noses, when Morrigi are more known for the latter than the former? Simply put, my turret weapons are stronger, overall, than my fixed mounts at this point. I'd need at least Lancers before Assault noses would be worth it at this stage of the game... and the phasers on the BB are needed to take out Zuul boarding pods.)

Some interesting statistics and observations:

- The cruiser fleets are dishing about triple the amount of damage as they are receiving, which is pretty good but not enough to completely prevent casualties. They are doing especially well against Zuligi DNs, because of the large amount of Disruptor torps in my cruiser fleets, which are largely able to shut single DNs down.

- Over the course of a 4 minute combat turn against the red Zuligi (who lack good anti-drone PD), one of my UVBeam drone destroyer strikeforces can dish out about 120k of damage, assuming they don't run out of targets. This is really quite a substantial figure. Moreover, they can do this in almost complete safety. On the other hand, they can't really manage more than about 120k, regardless of how intense the battle gets.

- My cruiser fleets, on the other hand, vary how much damage they are able to put out based on how intense the battle is. In a large battle where the majority of the combat turn is spent in brawling range, such as the defense of Octans, my cruisers can easily manage 50% more than that. In a less intense battle where there is a lot of time spent waiting for enemy ships to be in weapons range, they might only manage half of that.

- So, overall, I can't really say that the newer cruiser fleets are outperforming the older drone destroyer fleets. Rather, they are just more or less well suited for different types of engagements, and I'm finding it helpful to have some of each. That said, I probably could manage with just drones better than I could manage with just barrage cruisers -- at least until someone gets Interceptor missiles.

Loading up the game at this point shows the Morrigi in 1st place and the Humans in 2nd place, with the red Zuul 3rd and the pink Zuul 4th. If I swap to the red Zuul position, I see all its designs use green lasers and regular missiles in varying ratios. Really this is not very frightening stuff. The pink Zuul has better weapons on its designs, but its fleet is not very strong numerically and it has a substantial production crunch, because there are relatively few asteroid-laden worlds in their area of influence and by this point they've eaten over 2000 resources off of most of their worlds.

This game was never quite the challenge I was looking for due to Zuul AI peculiarities, but I think that now that I've pinned the Zuul in their starting clusters, it's time to put the game to bed. Hope you enjoyed the ride!
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

User avatar
The_Unificator
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:49 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by The_Unificator » Wed May 14, 2014 11:11 am

ZedF wrote:Well that last entry had a bit of romance in it (albeit tragic romance.) As far as inter-racial romance goes, the end of this game is in sight now -- and as I write my TARs in advance of when they are posted, it's already chronicled. I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you on that score this time around.


dont worry ZedF, the TAR is great, i really like the pics you have taken of the later battles against the Zuul, there are some what are epic
An Argentinian SolForce Captain awaiting new orders

ZedF
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Wed May 14, 2014 11:37 am

Glad you enjoyed it, Unificator!
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

User avatar
ivra
Posts: 1346
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:33 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ivra » Wed May 14, 2014 12:57 pm

To bad the Zuul empires let you down! :D

Nice TAR. Thanks!
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...

ZedF
Board Ninja
Board Ninja
Posts: 12582
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Wed May 14, 2014 1:30 pm

You're most welcome. :)

This format can work pretty well, just with different races as major antagonists; my most recent game as humans on this sort of map was challenging for quite a long time. If the Hivers are a major antagonist, it's all about pacifying your neighbor cluster with them before they can get an unopposed toe-hold, because if they do then you can be at such a military disadvantage as to make them all but impossible to dislodge. With the Tarka as a major antagonist it's different -- you still need to be expansionist, but it's because you have to absorb your neighbor cluster before the Tarka start rolling up their neighbors with a lot of long range strikeforces, and grabbing all that territory for themselves.

I haven't tried with Liir or Morrigi as major antagonists yet (though Morrigi seem to suffer somewhat in the AI's hands) but in those cases I imagine the tech disadvantage might be even more extreme.
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

Torezu
Posts: 1748
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:06 pm

Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by Torezu » Wed May 14, 2014 5:58 pm

ZedF wrote:...Morrigi seem to suffer somewhat in the AI's hands)

Somewhat is putting it mildly. AI-controlled Morrigi don't, of course, build CR freighters, so they lose much of the advantage the Morrigi have late game.

Post Reply

Return to “T.A.R.”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests