SotS1 SG17

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ZedF
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SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Sun May 15, 2016 12:50 pm

Players: Zed, Starknight, Abyss, Ivra (edited)

The setup is as follows:
- 120 stars (20 spp) Rift with default star parameters & randoms. 50/150 econ & research.
- All slots are 3PE, $100K, 5 techs, difficult AI (if applicable)
- Team 1: Morrigi (player) + Tarka
- Team 2: Liir + Zuul
- Team 3: Humans + Zuul

Variant restrictions:
- All ships with armour or war mission sections must use fire control command sections
- Weapons research should focus on bolt lasers or other weapons improved by fire control unless 'losing'
- May not design new drones or use drone sections unless 'losing'


Map


Story-wise, this is a 'cold zone' with relatively little supernova activity in the past, leading to low availability of elements heavier than iron, with consequent hardships for life, industry, and economy. However, the Tarka and Morrigi at least are getting technical support from more advanced off-map core empires as they expand into this region, leading to hightened research rates. The local Liir are attempting to tame one of the two sub-factions of Zuul on the map (as per Deacon's Tale), but the Tarka and especially the Morrigi are extremely distrustful of this and are concerned that the Liir are being corrupted by the Zuul instead. As for the Rimward Mercs, these are a collection of independent worlds which have banded togethr and have proven themselves to be little better than pirate warlords; they have allied with the other Zuul sub-faction out of survival and shared interests rather than under any illusion about the nature of the Zuul.

The Morrigi tribe in charge of this expansion effort prides themselves on marksmanship, and prefers to use weapons and tactics designed to show off that marksmanship. They start with fire control section for free, but are forced to use it unless we as a team decide that sufficient evidence has been presented that this approach is not working out for the Morrigi. At minimum this requires the SG team to have lost a mature colony of at least size 4, but we can decide collectively if it requires more evidence than that.

Report as of T020 to follow shortly.
Last edited by ZedF on Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:05 pm, edited 3 times 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

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

ZedF
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Sun May 15, 2016 2:03 pm

T020

As it turns out, we have drawn a friendly map as far as nearby habitable stars goes. The humans and Zuul are at the edges of the CH-preference curve, whereas the Tarka, Morrigi, and Liir are close to the middle, which means more habitable stars for us; as a result, this game will probably not turn out to be too challenging even though we have enemies on both sides. So far we have new colonies at 5 worlds:
  • Orxhmenos: Our first colony since Mitrou was guarded by a Mk1 monitor; very low hazard and already has 4.5M pop, should mature relatively soon
  • Kumixhos: Central on our side of the map and a good jumping-off point to other colonizable worlds
  • Mitrou: We had to destroy a Mk1 montor in order to colonize this nice world ASAP. For this purpose we used a dozen green laser destroyers. With careful positioning at the very edge of laser range, we were able to take out the monitor without much in the way of losses, in part thanks to our fire control. Building up a fleet to take out the monitor was pretty expensive, but I think in this case it was worth it to speed colonization.
    Mitrou Battle

  • Laertes: currently our border colony with the purple Zuul, but there is still some room between us; we would like to settle more worlds in this direction as opportunity allows but there are other prospects we might want to grab first.
  • Formalhaut: our border colony with the red Zuul. This is right on their doorstep and a very greedy grab, but there was a derelict here so I suspect if the Zuul decide they want to grab this they will first build up a fleet suitable for taking out a derelict; either that or they just skipped exploring here. We might have some time to stand it up, and very low hazard for us so worth a risk. Our fleet from killing the monitor at Mitrou is here (with part on the way after getting repairs.) There is also a spare colonizer parked about a light-year off the planet in case it gets wiped out, so we can re-found the world relatively easily if we can take it back.

We also have colony fleets outbound as follows:
  • Winath: a size 8 world close to the rift with a decent CH rating, might be under threat by red Zuul explorers and far from our core, so will need defenses soon. May need to defer colonization if you see them sniffing around.
  • Shamballa: size 7, very high resources, decent CH, again could be probed by red Zuul explorers and you may need to defer colonization if a threat materializes.
  • Henja: This is another very greedy grab, this time right on the purple Zuul border. This is far from any of our other worlds and will be hard to support until we get in a position to pick up some intermediate worlds at Prion and Wundergore, but again it's very low hazard so should grow quickly. I've sent this fleet off in order that the next player can colonize ASAP if they choose to do so but if you feel this is under too much risk from the purple Zuul before we can get defenses there, feel free to divert these elsewhere.

Note that we are closing in on 50% colony maintenance, so we might not want to found all these colonies immediately, so be selective about which reach colonies are the best calculated gamble to take. In addition to the above there are also several other worlds at less than 50% of our max hazard we'd like to grab as opportunity allows. There is an additional nice colony prospect hiding under a swarm random, which we might like to clear out and get a look at. There are a couple indy worlds as well (human/liir) we could eventually nab too, one way or another. Of course we could just leave them be for foreign trade purposes, since they are close to home and we do get a big Morrigi bonus for that.

That said, I think our main priority for the next turn set is likely to be getting some more defenses up. We need at least 2 ERs for VN defense (to run away from VNs and lure them on a goose chase) at each colony, and right now we don't have them. We also need some defensive fleets to cover our expansion, other than at Formalhaut. There are two Zuul empires to contend with (fortunately only using gauss right now but this can change quickly on these settings) as well as a few swarm in the area which could try to expand; Kumixhos in particular has an asteroid belt and is at risk from the latter (closest to swarm at Syrma), and Mitrou also might be closest to the swarm at Durla.

Tech-wise, we completed Suspended Animation early on then turned off tech for our initial colony push, but I didn't want to leave it off for very long on these settings. As of T020 we have just completed Expert Systems and could start a new tech; we have about 200k as a bankroll we could use while getting to 50% on something, but bear in mind our fire control destroyers are expensive and we could chew through that in a hurry if we were of a mind to. As far as choices for next tech goes, the best economy option is probably Atmospheric Adaptation, while military techs would be Battle Computers and UV lasers, or possibly Zuul language for war DDs and follow-on Mass Drivers. UV lasers vs Mass Drivers depends on how up-close and personal we want to get; the former is more in-theme but might require more of a maneuver battle to make best use of.

Our scouts are our eyes, try to keep them alive. There are a couple that might need to move and/or get gassed up; I have a tanker enroute to one of the latter. We do have a stealth design that can sit exactly 2 LY out from a planet, spy on it, and probably not get spotted, but it can't get closer without being seen so this might require some finangling to get it in just the right position. We also probably need more pickets to keep tabs on Zuul exploration efforts; I've had to leave a lot of worlds bare of coverage in order to find colonizable worlds ASAP, but we'll want to remedy that.

Further notes: morale on our core worlds is up to 85 but will soon begin dropping as they reach the civ pop cap. There are a couple monitors we could hack but they are all around iceballs so might not really be a priority yet; hopefully we can get around to it before the Zuul find them. It would be nice to send some scouts to the other side of the rift to help our allies explore, but this seems like a lower priority right now. We have scouts in orbit of a couple derelict worlds; the best time to polish off the derelicts is when we turn on research for a relatively expensive new tech so you should be able to pop one or both of these right away or at least soon.


Map

Good luck and gool hunting! Here's the save.
Last edited by ZedF on Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:09 pm, edited 2 times 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

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

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Abyss
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by Abyss » Sun May 15, 2016 8:37 pm

Cool, I'll work on it in the coming days.

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ivra
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ivra » Sun May 15, 2016 8:44 pm

Looks like a very good start :)

I have never used the Fire Control section so that is going to be interesting. I do not normally research AI, but when I do it is to use the AI Command, which I love on Impactors. But early on, I have never been able to prioritize increased accuracy.

You mentioned that we are limited to "bolt lasers or other weapons improved by fire control". What does that mean specifically? I guess that all Ballistic Weapons are ok, but what about the direct fire torpedoes like Photonic Torpedoes (that we can research in this game), are they ok? In the Energy Weapons research tree is it correct to assume that the Plasma Cannon branch is ok as well as the four laser weapons (from red to x-ray)? I guess green and UV Beamers, the Particle Beam branch, and the Heavy Combat Laser branch are forbidden. What about missiles and warheads? Can we research better warheads? Can we build platforms with missiles or are we forbidden to use platforms at all?

Who is next? If nobody has any objections I suggest we just use the order stated in the player list in the top of ZedF's first post. In which case Abyss is next.
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
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Sun May 15, 2016 9:55 pm

ivra wrote:You mentioned that we are limited to "bolt lasers or other weapons improved by fire control". What does that mean specifically? I guess that all Ballistic Weapons are ok, but what about the direct fire torpedoes like Photonic Torpedoes (that we can research in this game), are they ok? In the Energy Weapons research tree is it correct to assume that the Plasma Cannon branch is ok as well as the four laser weapons (from red to x-ray)? I guess green and UV Beamers, the Particle Beam branch, and the Heavy Combat Laser branch are forbidden. What about missiles and warheads? Can we research better warheads? Can we build platforms with missiles or are we forbidden to use platforms at all?

We should probably try to make do without torpedoes, and since we shouldn't be researching heavy beams anyway there isn't much point to them; I think we can make do without direct fire torpedo destroyers. We can build platforms with no problem, but should probably avoid warhead research. Our medium and large platforms don't have to include missiles anyway since we're Morrigi. Plasma cannons are fine, and I think we can make an exception for phasers to unlock pulse phasers, but we probably won't use phasers ourselves so we won't need them until the AM era (if we don't win before then.)

Who is next? If nobody has any objections I suggest we just use the order stated in the player list in the top of ZedF's first post. In which case Abyss is next.

Looks that way.
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 SG17

Post by Abyss » Thu May 19, 2016 5:34 am

I'll have the write up for my turns up tomorrow.

ZedF
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Thu May 19, 2016 1:05 pm

Looking forward to it. :)

Starknight, haven't heard from you in a bit, are you around to take your turn next?
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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Starknight
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by Starknight » Thu May 19, 2016 8:13 pm

ZedF wrote:Looking forward to it. :)

Starknight, haven't heard from you in a bit, are you around to take your turn next?


Yup, still here and checking in. Just not very chatty recently. :)
My Morrigi fleet-speed calculator for SotS Prime
The Holy Lands - Hivers vs. the infidel Liir (and others)
Currently working on getting my board game Dragon Raiders into final condition before going to Kickstarter...

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Abyss
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by Abyss » Fri May 20, 2016 5:45 am

Alright, I didn't take a lot of pictures so it'll mostly be text. Here's a rundown on where we stand.

Defense fleets have been assigned to most of our colonies with at least three ERs at core planets and 5 Green Laser DDs at colonizing projects.
Atmospheric Adaptation was finally finished on T38, VRF is now the current one with 3 turns remaining at 50% dedication.
I failed to prevent a Swarm infestation on our colony of Kumixhos, that'll need to be dealt with. Lost 12 ships in my two manual battles, lost 7 in my auto so I stuck with that one.
The other Swarm infestation went to the independent colony of Wester, I haven't gone there to see if they dealt with it or not.

Colonies that finished colonization: Fomalhaut, Henja, Laertes, Orxhmenos (lost 400 resources due to VN attack, ERs were kiting but planet killed one screwing up orders and positioning), and Mitrou

Current Colonization: Shamballa, Kumixhos (Swarm present), fleet headed to Mamoru

Both Alien Derelicts were destroyed by the Zuul, very quickly after picking up the game and not leaving me ample time to whittle down the derelicts with the one ER. Purple Zuul are now using Green Lasers, Red still using Gauss. One of the Zuul also researched the Asteroid Monitor at Mon El first, after that notification I started for the other one. No clue if we'll get it.

Tried to improve our picket situation, but there's still a few areas where more are needed. No new Spy designs were manufactured due to funds needed for defensive forces. However, should have ample funds to build more ERs to serve as pickets. I also defended against a bore fleet going to Mitrou and noted where other fleets had been going and where they came from.

Also, even after 745 hours into the game, today I learned that you can queue up where fleets move by using the Ctrl button when giving orders. I only figured that out after seeing that Zed had queued a fleet to pass through a colony for refueling before heading to another planet. Mind blown.

I think for the next 20 turns we should focus on getting some Gauss PD on some ships to deal with the swarms and bolstering our colonies' defenses that are on the outer rim and closer to Zuul territories. Increasing our pickets should be a priority as well.

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ivra
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ivra » Fri May 20, 2016 9:03 am

Very good. I also noticed that our Tarka ally is doing great, already at 13 colonies. That looks reassuring.
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: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Fri May 20, 2016 2:27 pm

Looks ok overall, though we definitely have some work ahead of us if we want to keep ahead of the curve. Some thoughts:
  • I should think what we want to deal with Swarm is actually Battle Computers, not PD. Battle Computers are a lot less expensive to research than VRF -> PD and will be much more useful against the Zuul, who are probably going to find an attack fleet or two to send our way shortly. DD CnC and an organized fleet against the swarm is a very different from 8 random ships out of a dozen; we have a lot of ERs lying about but don't actually want to be fighting with them if we can avoid it, as they lack fire control and are very squishy. Also it's a lot easier to kill swarm that are sitting at a planet than swarm that are just arriving at a world or in deep space, so I don't think we really need PD to take care of the swarm; we just need to hit them before they can spread again.
  • As Abyss mentioned, we do need to expand our picket network, especially toward the purple Zuul. There is a lot of space out here for the claiming and we want to make sure not just that we get our share of it, but also that we are able to spot any potential opportunities we might be able to seize to thwart purple Zuul expansion.
  • We also need to step up expansion. We have a lot of colonization opportunities and a lot of worlds that will be mature soon and no longer soaking up our development budget, so spreading out for our next colony wave should be a priority right now.
  • On a more micro note, we have a couple ships that need re-routing. There are tankers heading to Bronson Alpha and Baltar, the latter of which is flying into trouble; we should not be using tankers as pickets, but to refuel our pickets so they can move if necessary not to get creamed by Zuul fleets, or else send them home so they can assist with colonization or mobilization efforts. We have tons of ERs laying about to use as pickets. Speaking of which, there is a tanker and two ERs sitting just off the unexplored star of Aaryn; one of the latter should take a peek at the planet, while the tanker should be assigned new duties.

We've already put 2 turns of 50% research into VRF and are at 21% complete, but to my mind this was the wrong call. This research will decay if we switch away from it, but it won't do us any good if we complete it unless we then go on to research PD. In this case I think the risk of being pot-committed to going all the way to PD is too great; if we are still lacking DD CnC by turn 50-60 we stand a good chance of being punished for it. What do you guys think?

Normally in these SGs the first player takes 20 turns and then from there on out it's 10 turns per player... did we want to stick with that? It looks like Abyss assumed it was 20 turns per player throughout. If folks would like to try that, I'm amenable to give it a shot and see if folks prefer it that way.
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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ivra
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ivra » Fri May 20, 2016 3:16 pm

I think we need both PD and DD CnC to handle Zuul since they use a lot of missiles. I would also add Mass Drivers to our needs. On the other hand, I think ZedF is right that we are better off researching the CnC ship first since I also agree that a CnC together with our armor ships should be enough to take out swarms. After the CnC ship is researched we also have the opportunity to add another project before continuing with VRF+PD.
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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Abyss
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by Abyss » Fri May 20, 2016 6:09 pm

Whoops, I always forget the turn length. Just finished a 25 year a piece CK2 SG and have that on the mind. I have a save at Turn 36, so we could redo the research if we wanted. I am fond of using tankers as pickets after they've expended their usefulness, though usually they are on the node lines that I use. However, they weren't meant to be permanent but more than anything they were being sent to planets as temporary pickets.

I've had very poor luck trying to take out swarm infestations with a lot of DEs without PD, considering the swarm bugs have some level of reflective coating and they are difficult to target with just lasers. However, a more competent commander can probably mop it up better than I can with CnC. I think if we go for Battle Computers now, PD should be on the table very soon afterwards. With the two Alien Derelicts that the purple AI obtained, they are probably researching or are close to researching cruiser construction at the moment, and missile cruisers are a favorite of the Zuul. While the Zuul cruisers are just as flimsy as their DEs, with no armor tech, the missiles have the potential to overwhelm us should we not have the ability to defend against them.

ZedF
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Fri May 20, 2016 7:04 pm

The small swarm bugs don't have reflective coat as I recall, but the large swarm larva and the swarm queen do IIRC. To that end, when taking out swarm nests, it might be good to have some gauss (or mass drivers) on hand for that eventuality.

The trick I've found works best to tackle the small swarm bugs is just to remain stationary, let them come to you, and target the slightly bigger ones that shoot fusion cannon first; sitting still gives a significant accuracy bonus. A squadron of 10-12 stationary DDs with mostly lasers can handle that no problem, even without fire control, providing again it's not a deep space intercept or colony defense. Even then you can probably shoot down the bugs, you just won't have enough left to tackle the queen afterwards and will have to let it make a nest to clear out later.

Our fire control should of course make that matchup even more advantageous, but probably isn't enough by itself without CnC.

Are folks inclined to backtrack to Abyss's alternate save or just eat the lost turns of research if we do switch to Battle Computers?
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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ivra
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ivra » Fri May 20, 2016 10:09 pm

Nah, let's just continue. It is only 3-4 turns to complete it so that might also be an option. Then go for CnC before PD. Starknight since you are up I think your opinion is the most important one. What do you want to do?
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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