SotS1-SG15

Tactics and Action Reports.
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ivra
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by ivra » Mon May 26, 2014 3:40 pm

Trygvasson wrote:Nice work taking out those Zuul CR's, even though you took some losses - how did you cope with that volume of fire? I tried some dancing, but the Zuul just danced along... couldn't stay away from those turret-packed hammerheads, and damn they turned around quickly...

Like I always do when I fight hard battles. I put my ships close together and stand still. In my experience standing still improves both turning times and accuracy. Thus I can fire with more of my weapons and I am able to hit better. On the downside my ships are easier to hit by the enemy, but I feel the advantages of standing still far outweighs the disadvantages. (The only time I use close in to dance around an enemy is when I fight DNs with obsolete CRs.) When the enemy comes close I target the nose of the first ship. When it blows I shift to the next ship. I continue this until the enemy CnC ship is within range. Then I focus on its middle section until it is down. After that I put my focus back on the damaged ships and take them out one by one. During this I have to watch my ships. If my CnC ship is getting some damage I put a CnC ship on top of the reinforcement queue. What is absolutely a disaster in a situation like this is to lose the middle section of the CnC ship. I want a new CnC ship in from the reserve list before the original one pops. I also replace all damaged ships between the waves of enemy ships. I use two more tricks. The first is that I always have 2 DE CnC ships in a DE fleet since they are so fragile. That way I can send in a new one immediately when the first one is destroyed. Sometime if I expect a very tough CR fight I start with 2 CR CnC ships as well. The point is make sure the reinforcements arrive in the thick of the battle and can immediately contribute. The other trick is to stand still at the spawning point and wait for the planetary missiles to arrive and thus the enemy fleet. It wastes away about 2 minutes of the combat timer, but sometimes 2 minutes of fight is all you can take before you have to repair your ships.
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Trygvasson
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by Trygvasson » Mon May 26, 2014 4:34 pm

...hmh, thought the UVB weaponry was so accurate, there would be no need to stand still.. but I guess turret/hull turn times and beam-on-target helped! Another thing you mentioned, about helping an ally in a battle - is the godwill actually dependent on killing enemy ships?
Brute force. If it's not working, you're not using enough.

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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by ZedF » Mon May 26, 2014 4:50 pm

Beamer turrets turn slowly; having the ship turn as target moves is actually helpful for them. I agree with ivra that standing still and concentrating fire is usually the way to go, unless you are so outclassed that you are more concerned with providing a diversion than hurting enemy ships.

Another trick that can sometimes help when outmatched by a strong hard-charging enemy force like Zuul or Hivers is to shoot out the engines on some of their ships as they go by, then let them drift far away from the main battle. They won't get replaced in the enemy battle line until they manage to crawl back, so you have to face fewer enemies at once. Works better away from enemy colonies, though.

As far as getting relations credit for helping to defend requiring actual participation in the battle? Don't think so, I believe you just need a ship present in the system. But it's more satisfying on a personal level if you can contribute meaningfully. :)
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: SotS1-SG15

Post by ZedF » Mon May 26, 2014 11:18 pm

Ok, got 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

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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by ZedF » Tue May 27, 2014 4:09 am

Quick report this time.

Tech news: We have Fusion, Improved Stutterwarp, HCL. Next up is Atmospheric Adaptation, then we can start thinking about Deep Scan and other weapons.

Ship designs: We have new ship designs capable of going at 8 LY/turn rather than 3 -- much better! And with more firepower as well, at least on ships that are intended to fight. I dislike the practice of ignoring defensive weapons on non-combat ships, so I have made sure they all have at least some PD. Our combat cruisers are using BB/Armour designs for the moment, as Blazer sections currently are much more expensive but lacking in firepower. Lancers would fix that...

Incoming threats: We have a couple incoming attack fleets to worry about.
- The first is at Marklar where 23 red Zuul cruisers are due next turn. A03 Zuulbane will arrive next turn as well to defend. Marklar is building a couple modern cruisers to assist with the defense in case Zuulbane is not enough, but make sure you use the old ships to defend first, as we want to use up the old fission cruisers and get their maintenance costs off the books while we build up a modern navy to replace them. Note: we almost didn't detect this attack in time to get a fleet here to defend, which suggests Deep Scan is becoming more of a priority.
- A similar story holds at Ke'Kaldo where the Tarka have a fleet of 41 ships incoming, and A03 Electric Eels is moving in position to defend. No new construction has been built at Ke'Kaldo yet.
- The Tarka have a lone scout approaching Zo'Trak but that's not a concern.

Outgoing attacks:
- We have one attack in progress at Procyon where A03 Blackfin Sharks has eliminated the Zuul colony and fleet assets; only a few sats remain plus whatever reinforcements the Zuul are sending. I suspect Alpha Virginis may also have been colonized by the Zuul; it's outside our habitability range, but not theirs. We are sending a scout to check it out and if the world needs fumigation then BlackFin Sharks may have another job to do.
- A03 Flying Fish has arrived at Corvus. If reinforced with shuttles and/or a modern cruiser strikeforce they can take another crack at reducing Ilmatar. Make sure to bring adequate repair ships and enough gas this time in case a retreat proves advisable; losing the last fleet there due to poor planning and lack of fuel to withdraw was frankly an embarrassment that should never have happened.

Economic growth:
- Several new colonies have just been established or are in the process of being established at Sera, Naltor, Racha'tep, and Altair. There are of course quite a few other possibilities as well. I have been going for worlds with high resource levels first, as they can terraform quickest once the biomes land.
- We have recently gained a lot of trade routes as a result of improved engine tech, many of which could be filled. Make sure, however, to be mindful of which front line worlds will need to be producing fleets instead of trade goods! Preserve high I/O worlds near the front lines as forge worlds, not trade worlds.

Here is the save file; good luck and have fun!

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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

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Trygvasson
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by Trygvasson » Tue May 27, 2014 8:30 am

- about those forge worlds, should we maybe put a few mining ships at work? Do you consider this worthwile if we don't have mega-strip mining?

- about the 'shooting gallery' tactics(i.e. the classic stand-still-and-fire-away-as-they-come): I've been doing some variations on that theme in other games:
a) if your primary armament is short range, putting your ships in a circular formation works nicely, as the enemy ships will move above and below the fighting plane, giving your all your ships a clear field of fire. I usually aim for the low ships first, to give my rear-facing turrets a better field fo fire at the high ships (as most ship models have better firing arcs on the back than on the belly)

b) with torpedo-armed ships or long-range guns, I find a line-of battle works better, avoiding friendly fire; as the AI will predictably attack one end of the line, one possibility is to move the battleline obliquely in the direction of the attack [i]prior[i] to getting in range of your guns, then hit 'stop' command and let your ships drift while they face target as the enemy approaches. Forces enemy ships to change direction, as they slew around to stay on target. If you do it right, the rear of your line will come into contact with the enemy CnC, as it lags the combat ships.

Another line-of-battle tactic when facing a ballistics armed enemy is to put a deflector/armor cruiser in front, point your line toward the enemy formation and go straight through. Stay on 'face heading' and you will have all your guns in action as you pass through the enemy formation, while he is unable to keep focusing fire on the lead ship after you've gone through. If your lead ships takes so much incoming that it's stopped in its tracks, detach it from the formation and go through with the rest. The enemy will usually shift fire anyway as you go through.
Brute force. If it's not working, you're not using enough.

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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by ZedF » Tue May 27, 2014 11:36 am

Trygvasson wrote:- about those forge worlds, should we maybe put a few mining ships at work? Do you consider this worthwhile if we don't have mega-strip mining?

This is a good question. From my experience, mining ships are most useful for Hivers and Zuul; those are the only two races where I will always build mining ships once I have asteroid mining. But that doesn't mean other races can't make effective use of it. The thing to remember, though, is that mining is pretty much solely about getting more I/O, not getting more income; in the short-to-medium term, the cost of building and maintaining mining fleets about cancels out the extra income you get from dropping off permanent resources at planets that aren't building ships. So when mining, it's generally best to focus primarily on maximizing the I/O dividends at fleet production centers, and consider any extra income you get as a bonus.

In this particular game, however, we have allies who have climate preferences very different from our own. In fact, pretty much anything we can't colonize is still good for them to settle, so anything we do mine will be at their expense. I'm not certain that mining worlds our allies might want to eventually settle will annoy them -- the AI might not be programmed to care about this -- but it doesn't seem neighborly. I guess we'll have to see whether the AI continues settling worlds in our sphere of influence; if not, then we can probably feel free to mine areas they don't seem interested in.

if your primary armament is short range, putting your ships in a circular formation works nicely, as the enemy ships will move above and below the fighting plane

Remember to account for mass discrepancy between your fleet and the enemy; this will only work if you are both using similar sizes of ships. If you are using DDs and the enemy CAs, then they will blow right through your formation instead of going above or below. Otherwise, you're right that maintaining a compact formation will encourage ships of similar size to yours to go around.

with torpedo-armed ships or long-range guns, I find a line-of battle works better, avoiding friendly fire;

Yep, depending on what weapons specifically, I've similarly found this is often a good approach. For torpedo DDs this can be a bit impractical due to how wide the line of battle can get, so I will often use a double line of battle in that case, with the second line offset to fire between the ships in the first line. For a DD line of battle you also often need to maneuver each wing of the line of battle separately; these ships rely a lot more on maneuver to keep safe than long range torpedo or impactor cruisers do, as the latter typically just want to stand and deliver.
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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Trygvasson
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by Trygvasson » Tue May 27, 2014 12:09 pm

...hence the real-life practicality of destroyer squadrons :)

Not sure if you guys are into naval history, but a few of the old principles guiding big fleet tactics in the start of the 20th century are valid here. However, the Dreadnoughts of SOTS are not true dreadnoughts: the big revolution was when Britain started building battleships with just big guns as primary armament, in later ships with centerline turrets. The lumbering giants of SOTS are pre-dreadnoughts, with an assorted array of weapons with sub-optimal firing arcs. A true SOTS Dreadnought would be armed - as an example - with three or four centerline turrets with two to four large weapons each, and a smattering of small/medium turrets on each broadside for anti-destoryer work.

About AI reactions to mining: I've observed consitent negative relations when mining where an ally/NAP player is present.
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by ZedF » Tue May 27, 2014 1:00 pm

I am a little bit familiar with that sort of thing, not from the point of view of studying military history, but from the point of view of playing war games that often reference military history. :)
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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Trygvasson
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by Trygvasson » Tue May 27, 2014 1:46 pm

Brute force. If it's not working, you're not using enough.

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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by ZedF » Tue May 27, 2014 4:26 pm

Note in SotS1, the beginning of the move to more longer ranged guns and fewer short-ranged ones is represented by the advent of War sections. But it's not until SotS2 that we begin to see ships with designs specialized for long range warfare.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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acastus
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by acastus » Tue May 27, 2014 11:40 pm

T180: Switched research to Integrated Sensors.
Defending Marklar: Us 33 DE 10 CR + Hiver 57 DE 36 CR vs red Zuul 23 CR. The Zuul lose all their ships in this futile attack. The alliance losses include 2 old DEs on our side and 3 CRs for the Hivers. Our planet takes some minor damage.
Defending Zo'trak: Us 2 DE + Hiver 5 DE vs Tarka 1 DE. Easy win
Procyon: Clean up 5 sats.

T181: Naltor colonized.
Alpha Viginis: 1 DE ER vs red Zuul 21 DE 3 CR. Dove. Strangely friendly considering the beating we have given them.
Octans: 1 DE ER vs red Zuul 1 DE 2 CR. Our ER hides in the shadow of an asteroid to avoid the CR missiles. Apparently the Zuul CR only has an emitter so our UVB ER beats the crap out of it. Zuul take the dove I set at the start.

T182: Altair colonized.
Alpha Viginis: 1 DE ER lost to red Zuul.
Octans: 1 DE ER lost to red Zuul.

T183: Griffin is complete.
Defending Ke'Kaldo: Us 56 DE 12 CR + Hiver 1 DE 49 CR vs Tarka 41 DE. The Tarka lose 34 ships and we lose 1 DE.

T184: Colonized Racha'tep.
Defending Ke'Kaldo: AR for all 7 Tarka ships destroyed with the Hivers doing most of the work.

T185: Colonized Procyon. Integrated Sensors completed.
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by ZedF » Wed May 28, 2014 11:16 am

Sounds like things went pretty well! Hiver allies can be really useful sometimes.

As a note for the future, acastus, when you edit your results into a pre-existing post, there's no notification of a new post in the thread, so people might not see it for a while. It might be better to post your results in a separate post from your "got it" post.

Who'd like to go next? Ivra and Tryg haven't gone in a little while...
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

Trygvasson
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by Trygvasson » Wed May 28, 2014 12:51 pm

Ivra, you want to play? IMHO this one's a wrap but would be fun to see what can be done in 10 turns now that we're in Fusion. I'll pick up the game tonight unless you do first!
Brute force. If it's not working, you're not using enough.

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ivra
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Re: SotS1-SG15

Post by ivra » Wed May 28, 2014 6:22 pm

Trygvasson wrote:Ivra, you want to play? IMHO this one's a wrap but would be fun to see what can be done in 10 turns now that we're in Fusion. I'll pick up the game tonight unless you do first!

Go for it. Tomorrow is better for me anyway :)
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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