SotS1 SG17

Tactics and Action Reports.
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ZedF
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:17 pm

T180 Overview
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I had a bunch of analysis about the tech situation at the start of my turn, but most of the points have been covered already. Suffice to say I ultimately decided to allow Heavy Stormers to complete, but think they will be ineffective and have no intention of designing any ships using them. Subsequent players may feel free to experiment if they wish.

Economically, we are doing better now that most of our colonies are done maturing. We are still pretty short on freighters -- we could probably build freighters everywhere and just build ships at Aaryn, in fact. Given Aaryn, we are definitely more limited by finances than by I/O. But our fleet maintenance budget is back to something a bit more reasonable and we probably don't really need to go whole hog into freighters if we want to wrap the game up in relatively short order anyway. I'll build some freighters but will also plan to build a few fleets as well, since we now have fusion void carvers.

I also apparently need to say something about where we build freighters and what routes we fill, because people seem to be filling up a lot of routes at every world in sector 3, right in the middle of our border with the remaining AI empires, and this is not really the right thing to be doing. Some of this has been unavoidable because for a long time we had borders on three sides, but not anymore. Instead we should be concentrating on filing new freighter routes at trade worlds and leaving forge worlds free for shipbuilding (or building freighters for trade worlds in the same sector.) Any planet can be either but it's important to note which worlds make better traders and which make better forge worlds, as worlds can and do change from one category to the other as time goes on.
Factors favouring trade world:
- Low resources
- High civilian population
- Distance from the front lines
Factors favouring forge world:
- High resources
- High Imperial population
- Close to front lines
We always want to prioritize freighter construction in sectors that have a lot of trade worlds, especially those far from the front lines. Generally by building freighters in the back lines first, you allow time for the front lines to shift and for former forge worlds to become trade worlds while new conquests develop into forge worlds. Admittedly most of our planned fleet construction will come from Aaryn, but it's important to have local forge worlds able to build fleets in response to defensive needs, especially with a border this extensive and playing as Morrigi who can't concentrate distributed production as well as other races.

As far as fleet design goes... I am not too fond of bloating fleets with reams and reams of tankers. If I have to build support DDs and can't use drones or torpedoes due to our variant rules, and if folks have decided not to prioritize Combat Algorithms for Disruptor DDs on point, then shuttles makes the most sense to me. Slipping a shuttle launch in between fighting the first and second waves of enemy ships is a great way to speed up conquest of a planet, which is most of what we are doing at this point.


T180: We currently have 5 fleets left, one of which is modern and 4 of which are fission-based. 3 of these are already attacking enemy worlds, so I move the other two to do the same.

Interturn.
Medea: Defend from Liir 2xCA with a mix of stuff. Autoresolve, trading 4 DDs for 2 cruisers. Liir have Heavy Emitters, Pulse Phasers.
Chanorr: Liir has 2 CAs + 19 sats. Liir have Deflector Shields, Pulse Phaser, PD Phaser, AM projector. Mass Drivers are not very effective but A09 Oldies but Goodies has enough ships to take out 2 CAs plus a couple sats, and kill the colony. Seeing Liir Deflectors, we need something to counter this. I note that I did not see a lot of deflections from green lasers, so it's possible that they have somehow missed out on Reflective Coat... going for X-Ray Lasers could be even better value than anticipated.
Mjolnir: Humans have 10 CAs + 13 sats left, versus our modern fleet A12 Emerald Lies. Humans have heavy plasma cannon plus gobs of medium and light emitters and fusion cannon. I am not normally very scared of heavy plasma, but our ships are not especially sturdy and this combination is uncomfortable to engage. Super-tight formations are not the answer here due to emitters, but the humans also have long range guns and our firing arcs are not nearly as good as the humans for a maneuver battle. I wind up sending a pair of Disruptor shielded cruisers off to one side of our formation and luring the humans into charging at them, rather than into the midst of our formation, while our heavy drivers do the work from a distance. This proves effective but costs us the sacrificial Disruptor ships.
Ymar: Liir have 1 CA + 9 sats left vs A10 Roaring 2050s. This is one of our anti-locust remnants and has more than ample firepower to crush the single CA but still is not able to kill the colony in a single turn despite minimal enemy resistance. This is extra evidence that some shuttles would be useful as bombardment support in fleets going forward.

T181: Heavy Stormers completes. I would like to get Neutronium and Combat Algorithms but I think getting either right now is a mistake; we need to convince the Liir that it is not in their best interests to rely on Deflectors or build a lot of them. I suspect X-Ray Lasers is our best bet within our variant rules. Shield Breakers takes too much away from our already limited firepower, whereas X-Ray will add to it by allowing us to judiciously convert some point defense to offense, especially on our Metallica Armour CAs and PD/Disruptor ships. Ultimately our ability to ever use Impactors in the future requires minimizing enemy use of Deflector shields now.

Interturn.
Chanorr: Killing remaining sats.
Mjolnir: Humans have 7 CAs but they are almost all CnC ships. Destroy all mobile forces, some sats, about 100M pop. More incoming next turn.
Ymar: Liir have 2 CAs, 9 sats, and a weak colony. Finish off all but a couple sats, but more ships incoming next turn.

T182: UV lasers complete, start X-Ray lasers.

Interturn.
Baymu: All Sensational 2060s vs. Liir 6xCA, 2xDD, 3 sats. Liir lack CnC and all are destroyed.
Chanorr: A08 Hopeful Audition is refining, kills 1x Liir CA.
Mjolnir: A12 Emerald Lies vs. Humans 4xCA + 9 sats. Humans lack CnC, all defenses are destroyed but colony is only damaged.
Shaggai: A09 Oldies but Goodies vs. Humans 1xDD, 16x sats. Colony destroyed, only a few sats remain.
Ymar: A10 Roaring 2050s vs. Liir 6x CA. All remaining defenses and colony destroyed.

T183: X-Ray at 30%. Still buffing freighter networks; waiting for X-Ray before building more fleets.

Interturn:
Baymu: All Sensational 2060s vs. Liir 8xCA. Liir have a fairly nasty fleet this turn, including Fusion Projector, Positron Beam, Fusion Torps, AMC, Heavy AMC. Manage to soak a fair bit on Disruptor shields and lose only 2 ships, killing 6.
Mjolnir: A12 Emerald Lies vs. Humans 7xCA + 6 sats. Kill the Human fleet, colony, and most sats in exchange for 2 CAs, but we are running low on spares.
Shaggai: A09 Oldies but Goodies killing off remaining 5 sats.

T184: X-Ray at 60%.

Interturn.
Baymu: Kill last Liir CA.
Mjolnir: Kill last 3 Human CAs and 4 sats.
Ko'Velan: A08 Hopeful Audition vs. 1 Liir CA + 16 sats. Liir have Chakkar in addition to their other toys. The cruiser, colony, and some sats are destroyed, but many CAs are incoming next turn and this is an old mass driver fleet that doesn't want to stick around for a serious fight.

T185: X-Ray Lasers completes and I redesign ships, resetting the minor version number back to 01. Start fleet construction. I set research to Neutronium but do not turn on research at this point; I have been building freighters up to this point and will need our income for fleet production for a few turns here. A11 Sensational 2060s is gassing up at a Tarka colony and then plans to hit the Liir HW again. A12 Emerald Lies is returning to Aaryn for some reinforcements, which will take 2 turns. A08 Hopeful Audition moves on to Muur. We do still have a couple fleets attacking this turn, however.

Interturn.
Zeta Reticuli: A10 Roaring 2050s vs. Liir 1xCA, 1xDD + 20 sats. Kill the ships + some sats. Colony is size 4 but we can't kill it in 1 combat round and we only do 240M damage to it. Unfortunately our FC doesn't help bombardment; 12-15 heavy drivers total doesn't really cut it. Next turn we should get some help from the Tarka, however.
Kao'Vaanu: A09 Oldies but Goodies vs. Liir 1xCA + 3 sats. Kill all of the above + 400M pop, destroying the colony.

T186: Our special project completes and Light Emitters is available for research, whoopee. Building more ships at Aaryn.

Interturn.
Zeta Reticuli: A10 Roaring 2050s + Tarka helpers - they brought CnC so a full fleet - vs. Liir 13 sats. Colony down but there are still a couple sats left that the Tarka weren't quite able to finish off, and Liir reinforcements arrive next turn.
Muur: A08 Hopeful Audition vs. Liir 3xDD + 16 sats. Liir shipping and colony eliminated along with a few sats, but we are again being chased away by Liir fleets before we can entirely clear the world.

T187: Several fleets moving into new attack positions over the next couple turns, including A12 Emerald Lies which has just been reinforced with new attack cruisers and assault shuttles. I plan to build a couple more fleets but by the end of my turns we ought to have enough for the moment and will be able to return our attention to economy and technology.

Interturn:
Zeta Reticuli: A10 Roaring 2050s + Tarka helpers vs. 4x Liir CA + 3 sats. Killed all Liir but the Tarka lost 6 of 11 ships, those Liir AM projector ships are dangerous when not shooting at a Disruptor shield. Engaging them at long range is also problematic due to how much they bob and weave, a lot more shots miss entirely than one might expect. Too bad we aren't allowed to use beam weapons... but at least their colonies can't dodge.
Keu'Loko: A09 Oldies but Goodies vs. Liir 2 sats + colony, all killed.
Uursh: A08 Hopeful Audition vs. Liir 1 sat + colony, killed.

T188: Dispatch new fleet A01 Battle of Evermore. Building one more fleet after this.

Interturn.
Aldebaran: A12 Emerald Lies, Humans have no defenses at what appears to be a new colony. Snuffed.
Aylu: A08 Hopeful Audition vs. Liir 2xDD, 20 sats. Colony eliminated, some sats remain.
Iirio: A11 Sensational 2060s vs. Liir HW, 2xCA, 3xDD, 20 sats. 350M pop destroyed along with 137 infra and 11 sats.
Wundagore: Our garrison runs away from VNs.

T189: Finish builds for new fleet at Aaryn, turn on research for Neutronium.

Interturn:
Delta Pavonis: A12 Emerald Lies vs. Human 2xDD, 20 sats. Killing well-developed planets using AP drivers goes much quicker with shuttles to help out.
Ku'Sulto: A09 Oldies but Goodies vs. Liir no defenders. Dead planet.
Iirio: A11 Sensational 2060s vs Liir HW 1xCA + 14 sats. Another 300M and a half-dozen sats off the top.
Zoroaster: A10 Roaring 2050s vs. Liir no defenders, baby colony. Snuffed.
W'kanda: A08 Hopeful Audition vs. Liir no defenders. Eliminated.

T190: As it turns out, it doesn't matter whether the Liir decide to use deflectors or not because they no longer have the economy to build a navy. Next player should be able to finish the game with fleets on hand, at least unless someone has a surprise fleet or two hidden away somewhere that we can't just avoid.

Map

Here is the save!
Last edited by ZedF on Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:16 pm, 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: SotS1 SG17

Post by ivra » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:52 pm

Very nice, and I think you are right: This game is soon over. I suspect it is over before it's my turn to play it again.
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by Starknight » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:16 pm

ivra wrote:Very nice, and I think you are right: This game is soon over. I suspect it is over before it's my turn to play it again.


Most likely. I couldn't quite finish it by the end of my set, but there's only one or two combat rounds to go barring something weird happening. And speaking of which:

Turn 190:
Everything looks good to me; no real surprises there.

IT:
Zamara - our new A01 Battle of Evermore vs. 1 CR plus colony. The enemy CNC goes down quickly, the shuttles are brought into play, and the colony follows the lone defender. We won't wait for the incoming enemy ship(s) to arrive, we have other places to hit.

Wester, Xhubasos - permanent peace

Orcus - 3 DEs, 23 CRs vs. 9 DEs, 2 CRs and the colony. No enemy CNC - the first 6 DEs are freighters, followed by a CR, then another. Unable to get in range of the planet, but no losses, little damage, and we destroy what ships we come across.

Terra - our assault on the Human homeworld is 18 DEs, 23 CRs. The Humans muster 31 DEs (mostly Kaga models... freighters?), 8 CRs, and 20 sats plus the world itself. The first two DEs engage, then the humans ask for peace... not likely. The next 4 DEs we find are freighters. One CR is lost... I'm too tired to be doing this tonight. I'll finish the turns in the morning.

Iirio - 2 DEs, 21 CRs vs. 6 sats and the planet. Kill a couple of sats, hammer the planet for a bit.

Turn 191:
Liir CR CNC - Shuulsi Ma. Liir DE Freighter - Blood Tide. Human DE Freighter - Kaga.

Freighters are ordered in sectors 10 and 17. Continuing the attacks against the enemies. Neutronium rounds at 49%, turned back research to cheapest 3 turn completion.

IT:
Orcus - 3 DEs, 23 CRs vs. 5 DEs, 1 CR, 2 sats and the colony. A Deflector Shielded DE meets us at first, then a handful of freighters. We beat on the planet while destroying them and a few more sats. A Refinery CR comes in and shoots at us a bit, but no losses and it isn't destroyed.

Terra - 18 DEs, 22 CRs vs. 26 DEs (most of them freighters), 8 CRs, 19 sats and the homeworld. The lead PD ship is lost to planet missiles as we approach. More damage to the world and a number of ships and sats removed.

Iirio - 2 DEs, 21 cRs vs. 6 sats and the colony. No losses, more sats down and more planetary damage.

Heegaraa - 18 DEs, 23 CRs vs. 11 DEs, 2 CRs, an AM, 13 sats and the colony. AM down, both CRs and a handful of DEs destroyed for 2 CRs. Attacking the planet next turn.

Turn 192:
A08 Hopeful Audition runs out of fuel just short of Moshu. A Refinery (the one that is nearly empty) is pulled out of A11 The Sensational 2060s and sent to rescue them via Moshu.

More freighters are ordered in sectors 10 and 17.

IT:
Archon - A02 Immigrant Song strikes an undefended baby colony. I retreat the extra ships, bring in shuttle carriers and they make short work of the Liir. No losses.

Orcus - 2 LDs remain. The colony falls, no losses. 1 LD still in orbit.

Terra - 22 DEs, 7 CRs still oppose us. Going for a shuttle run. A few shuttles make it to the planet and do some damage. One CR and one ShuttleDD lost.

Iirio - 4 LDs, 1 MD and the heavily damaged colony. Several sats down and some damage to the colony.

Pollux - Humans have 7 DEs, 2 CRs and 20 sats. We have 9 DEs, 21 CRs. No losses, we wipe out the ships and some sats, damaging the colony in the process.

Heegaraa - 5 DEs and 13 sats vs our 18 DEs and 21 CRs. Shuttle time. Heavy damage to the planet, some sats down. We lose one ShuttleDD.

Turn 193:
A02 Immigrant Song heads to Buunen to refuel and be in striking range of 4 Liir worlds. A10 Roaring 2050s pushes off to Zoroaster to prevent a Liir resettlement. A11 The Sensational 2060s heads to Na'may'shu.

Two CRs are incoming to Heegaraa, due next turn. A01 Battle of Evermore remains to destroy them and clear satellites. 9 ships headed to Terra, due in 2 turns. Continue the attack.

IT:
Terra - 20 DEs, 2 CRs, 16 sats remain. No losses, pounded on the planet, killed a number of ships and sats (including a Biowar cruiser... odd).

Pollux - 3 DEs, 17 sats. The DEs are killed on approach, we beat up the planet and some sats. No losses.

Heegaraa - 2 CRs, 10 sats. All clear, no losses.

Zoroaster - 1 CR (biome). AR.

Turn 194:
A10 Roaring 2050s refines at Zoroaster. A01 Battle of Evermore moves out to Aichi. 14 ships incoming to Terra next turn, 10 DEs and 4 CRs. Continue the attack. Infra at Terra has been reduced to 0, Imp pop just over 1 billion. 3 ships incoming to Pollux, unable to determine class.

Ships are ordered at Aaryn to replace losses in the newest fleets. More freighters are queued and new routes opened in sector 10.

Neutronium rounds goes overbudget. Max research.

IT:
Terra - 27 DEs, 5 CRs, 10 sats vs our 17 DEs, 20 CRs. One HeavyCA lost for 3 CRs, a handful of DEs and sats, and damage to the planet.

Na'may'shu - 2 CRs vs our 2 DEs, 20 CRs. The cruisers are Biomes; we crush them on the way to the planet. Colony destroyed.

Pollux - 3 DEs, 3 CRs, 16 sats vs our 9 DEs, 21 CRs. 2 CRs and 3 DEs destroyed, plus a few sats, with no losses.

Turn 195:
Neutronium Rounds completes. Advanced Command and Control beckons, set for 1 turn to complete.

The new Liir HW of Ushoba has 86 ships. Odds are a bunch of those are DEs, but it could be all CRs. On the other hand, Egoun has no ships guarding it. A02 Immigrant Song dispatched. 7 ships are incoming to Na'may'shu - A11 The Sensational 2060s heads off to Moshu to refuel. A09 Oldies but Goodies moves to strike Nu Ophiuchi, as Pollux has fallen.

Reinforcements are made into R01 Back on the Chain Gang, sent to Buunen to be ready to fill holes in A01 or A02.

IT:
Nu Ophiuchi - 2 DEs, 2 CRs and 10 sats stand in our way. The ships and colony fall, along with most of the satellites. No losses.

Terra - 18 DEs, 1 CR, and 10 sats. Shuttle run is ineffective as the only CR was a CNC, and a huge wave of emitter-armed freighters destroys the shuttles before they can make planetfall. Many of them are destroyed in retaliation, although we do lose 3 shuttle DDs.

Egoun - no enemy ships or satellites detected. Shuttles are successfully deployed and crush the colony.

Turn 196:
A09 Oldies but Goodies heads to Terra to back up the other fleet; Humans are almost done. A01 Battle of Evermore moves to strike Mintarr. A02 Immigrant Song heads back to Buunen.

Advanced C&C goes overbudget; well, it will complete next turn anyway.

IT:
Mintarr - 5 CRs vs our 17 DEs, 21 CRs. We crush the ships, shuttles kill the colony. One PD cruiser lost.

Terra - 22 DEs and 14 sats vs our 14 DE, 19 CR fleet. No losses, world nearly destroyed.

Turn 197:
Advanced C&C comes in. No link to Holographic Tactics. I choose to go for Orbital Drydocks at 1 turn.

A01 Battle of Evermore and A08 Hopeful Audition are sent to strike at Niishini. A11 The Sensational 2060s is sent to Ushoba - A02 Immigrant Song will meet them there.

IT:
Terra - 18 DEs and 8 sats vs 23 DEs, 40 CRs on our side. I put A09 Oldies but Goodies in the drivers seat. Planet destroyed, no losses.

Niishini - 99 DEs (88 of them freighters), 3 CRs, an AM, and 20 sats vs. 25 DEs, 39 CRs for us. Again, I opt to let the older fleet take the lead. We lose one ship, destroy 5 DEs, and beat up on the AM but don't destroy it. Hopefully they won't have the repair capacity to fix it fully.

Turn 198:
Rimward Mercs has been eliminated! (And Painful Burden isn't far behind...) Orbital Drydocks comes in, Heavy Platforms queued at 2 turns.

A09 Oldies but Goodies pushes off from Terra to refuel at Delta Pavonis. They probably won't make it back into combat, being Fission ships. A12 Emerald Lies heads to Buunen via Chanorr, 4 turns to get there.

I guess I left a bunch of cash on the table at Terra - 12 freighters were not destroyed, so 300k? Eh, no big, I think we have the ships we need anyway. The same thing will almost certainly happen at Niishini and Ushoba, to a much larger extent.

A11 The Sensational 2060s hits Ushoba in 2 turns. A10 Roaring 2050s is dispatched to assist, but will be a turn late because I forgot they were sitting around. Ooops.

IT:
Niishini - 94 DEs, 3 CRs, the AM and 20 sats. AM showing red in enemy list, we should easily crush it and move on to the planet this turn. Again, A08 Hopeful Audition takes the lead. AM down, colony down, a dozen DEs down and some sats as well.

Turn 199:
10 CRs incoming to Niishini. None are Biomes, we move off to Buunen and ignore them. The 89 ships at Ushoba prove to be 88 freighters and a CR. Attack!

IT:
Ushoba - 89 problems but a CRs just one. ;) Also 20 sats. We drive through the 6 freighters in our way to hit the planet. Shuttles brought in but PD phasers (or maybe just regular phasers) on the sats stop them. Next time, maybe.

Griffin - visit from our friendly neighborhood VN. The ships stand their ground and blow up the probes.

Turn 200:
Heavy Platforms comes in on time. I'm shocked. I choose not to make any decisions. Have fun, Abyss, although this is pretty much done.
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by Abyss » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:25 am

Yea, I wrapped it up,

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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:23 am

Okay, good work all. :)

Do folks want another one? If so, any preferences or suggestions?

Additionally, any thoughts on how this one went? I know not everyone was very familiar with the pros and cons of fire control sections coming into this, how did you find them? Normally I wouldn't use them with relatively accurate weapons like bolt lasers or AP drivers, and if I am going ballistics then I prefer to get the latter instead of fire control. But if I am going with energy cannons/DF racks or if I am missing AP drivers, I think fire control can be worthwhile.
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 ivra » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:48 am

I liked it a lot and am ready for another one. This one was kind of scary in the beginning before we had the navy to tackle the two Zuul players. Luckily the AI is a bit passive. There was a time in the game that we would definitely have lost the game if the purple Zuul had been commanded by a human player. Instead the AI was satisfied to take out a couple of our colonies and then stopped advancing. After we got our navy and could start attacking them I felt safe that we would win the game. By the time we had taken out the two Zuul players, the Liir and the Humans were not a problem even if they were way more advanced than we were. We had the entire half of the galaxy to our own and were relatively safe. Most of the attacks they did were on our Tarka ally.

I did find fire control to be a restriction rather than an advantage and I am not convinced it is worth the research. It was cool, though, as a restriction rule to make the game harder.


Here are a couple of ideas I have used to make the game different. I think all of them need to be played with the AI on normal difficulty since the restrictions are quite severe.

1) Colonize Everything: When we start the game we can send out as many scouts as we like, but then we have to wait until all of them have arrived. We also need to colonize every planet we can before we are allowed to send out a new wave of scouts. This rule set a heavy restriction on the expansion speed. It is best played using Hivers or Zuul since they are the best terraformers.

2) Evenly Distributed Research: We can pick the first research project freely, but from then on we have to pick a new project from the research tree to the right of the tree where we just finished one. If a tree is fully researched, we skip it and move to the tree to its right. There are 12 research trees, so it takes a lot of time to come back to a specific tree to pick another tech from that tree. To have any chance at all it might be necessary to start with a couple of research projects already done.

3) Flagship: We start with max settings ($10 000 000, 10 colonies, and 15 techs). The restriction is that no exploration is allowed until we can do so with an AM powered Flagship. This forces us to focus on building a strong trade network. It might be necessary to allow a few scouts to discover nearby planets in order to enable trade on all our 10 worlds.

4) Helping Hand: This is best played using the Clusters map. We can freely scout and colonize our own cluster, but from that point on our job is to help our ally win the game. We can give him as much research/cash we like and we can park fleets anywhere where he is present. We can even coordinate our arrival so that we arrive at a new location the same turn he does in order to help him.
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:21 am

ivra wrote:I am not convinced it is worth the research.

Much of the time, it's not, because there are other ways to improve your firepower and those other ways are usually better. However you don't always have immediate access to those other ways due to the random nature of the tech tree. In a non-variant game, the probability of it being worthwhile to research fire control (prior to impactors) is quite low, but non-zero.

In our game, the ships that benefitted most from the FC section were the mass driver ships, especially the war DDs; if one looked at them closely in combat one could clearly see just how much more punishing they were than they would have been without FC. If we had had to research FC though, we would have instead gotten AP drivers, because AP drivers improve range and penetration as well as accuracy, and because they are accurate enough to allow the use of more powerful cruiser command sections. Moreover, we would have been less likely to choose mass drivers initially in the first place, rather than a more accurate small mount weapon.

One interesting point to note about FC is that as time has gone on and more weapons/sections which weren't in the original game got introduced, FC's value has decreased overall. Weapons like AP drivers and beamers were not originally present but have given more options for accurate weapons, so that FC is less valuable than it originally was, although it still sees niche use with impactors. If the SotS1 HD project initially goes forward with relatively few accurate weapons, as did SotS1 originally, then FC's stock may rise 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: SotS1 SG17

Post by Starknight » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:06 am

ivra wrote:I liked it a lot and am ready for another one. This one was kind of scary in the beginning before we had the navy to tackle the two Zuul players. Luckily the AI is a bit passive. There was a time in the game that we would definitely have lost the game if the purple Zuul had been commanded by a human player. Instead the AI was satisfied to take out a couple of our colonies and then stopped advancing. After we got our navy and could start attacking them I felt safe that we would win the game. By the time we had taken out the two Zuul players, the Liir and the Humans were not a problem even if they were way more advanced than we were. We had the entire half of the galaxy to our own and were relatively safe. Most of the attacks they did were on our Tarka ally.


Agreed with the above. If the Zuul had been a bit more adventurous we could have been in big trouble. As it was, I was pretty sure the Purples were going to be a lot harder to take down than they were.

I did find fire control to be a restriction rather than an advantage and I am not convinced it is worth the research. It was cool, though, as a restriction rule to make the game harder.


It was an interesting restriction. As ZedF mentions, FC tends to be a fairly niche command section. Usually by the time I'd be ready to deploy it, I already have the superior AI command section... I think this is the first time I've ever used FC in a game of Prime, honestly.

Here are a couple of ideas I have used to make the game different. I think all of them need to be played with the AI on normal difficulty since the restrictions are quite severe.

1) Colonize Everything: When we start the game we can send out as many scouts as we like, but then we have to wait until all of them have arrived. We also need to colonize every planet we can before we are allowed to send out a new wave of scouts. This rule set a heavy restriction on the expansion speed. It is best played using Hivers or Zuul since they are the best terraformers.


Hrmm, interesting. It does restrict Hivers fairly severely, though, since they can't grow their gate network without sending more scouts. Still, if you wait to build up a sufficient number of gate/scout fleets - 10 turns production, maybe? - it could be doable. Also depends on the randoms we hit.

2) Evenly Distributed Research: We can pick the first research project freely, but from then on we have to pick a new project from the research tree to the right of the tree where we just finished one. If a tree is fully researched, we skip it and move to the tree to its right. There are 12 research trees, so it takes a lot of time to come back to a specific tree to pick another tech from that tree. To have any chance at all it might be necessary to start with a couple of research projects already done.


... this one could be fun or frustrating. Best to start research in Industrial, to give the max amount of time before we get back around to Xenotech - or else we'll wind up spending a lot of time on something like Temperance. Unless, of course, we run across another race early; but we won't know that until after we start.

3) Flagship: We start with max settings ($10 000 000, 10 colonies, and 15 techs). The restriction is that no exploration is allowed until we can do so with an AM powered Flagship. This forces us to focus on building a strong trade network. It might be necessary to allow a few scouts to discover nearby planets in order to enable trade on all our 10 worlds.


Hmm. Strong start, stagnant middle. I'm assuming you don't mean 'Flagship', but rather a DN CNC? Otherwise we'll only ever have one exploration fleet, since you can only have one Flagship. That would be overly restrictive, in my opinion. (Although it would sort of force a focus on Xenotech, since we could get alliances and 'explore' that way.)

4) Helping Hand: This is best played using the Clusters map. We can freely scout and colonize our own cluster, but from that point on our job is to help our ally win the game. We can give him as much research/cash we like and we can park fleets anywhere where he is present. We can even coordinate our arrival so that we arrive at a new location the same turn he does in order to help him.


Ugh. Not a fan, given how erratic the AI players can be. But if that's what everyone else wants, I'll give it a go.
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by Abyss » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:45 am

I enjoyed it, had a fun time. I'm glad that I didn't have to fight some of the particularly nasty engagements, but I agree that there were some points in which the Zuul could have taken several planets pretty easily. The fact that when the humans did come over, they hovered on one planet for several turns, was a great boon for us. We had nothing comparable at the time and it would have been pretty disastrous if they had pushed. I guess that's why the restriction came with a caveat, although I'm not sure how much more effective drones would have been either.

I'm up for another one, though maybe not Morrigi as a race.

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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ivra » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:33 am

Starknight wrote:Hmm. Strong start, stagnant middle. I'm assuming you don't mean 'Flagship', but rather a DN CNC? Otherwise we'll only ever have one exploration fleet, since you can only have one Flagship. That would be overly restrictive, in my opinion. (Although it would sort of force a focus on Xenotech, since we could get alliances and 'explore' that way.)

I was actually thinking of the Flagship, but after that fleet was sent out all the restrictions were fulfilled and from that point on we can play as we like, sending off several DN fleets if we like.

Note that my suggestions are a bit extreme and are meant to create ideas and discussion, and not necessarily to be used without modifications.
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:57 pm

ivra wrote:Here are a couple of ideas I have used to make the game different. I think all of them need to be played with the AI on normal difficulty since the restrictions are quite severe.

1) Colonize Everything: When we start the game we can send out as many scouts as we like, but then we have to wait until all of them have arrived. We also need to colonize every planet we can before we are allowed to send out a new wave of scouts. This rule set a heavy restriction on the expansion speed. It is best played using Hivers or Zuul since they are the best terraformers.

I don't think this works for Hivers very well unless you give them a sufficiently advanced start that they can afford to build up a huge initial scout wave and follow up with Biomes research. But if you do give such an advanced start then any race could do it. We would have to figure out what rules the node-using races would use for how far they are allowed to scout in any given wave since they can't visit dozens of stars in parallel like non-node races can - right now I am leaning toward the idea of simply disallowing tankers/refineries for node-using races but otherwise allowing unrestricted movement for scouting purposes. I think overall I could figure out a setup to make a game like this possible, though if we did not want a strongly advanced start then I think it should probably be as Zuul.

2) Evenly Distributed Research: We can pick the first research project freely, but from then on we have to pick a new project from the research tree to the right of the tree where we just finished one. If a tree is fully researched, we skip it and move to the tree to its right. There are 12 research trees, so it takes a lot of time to come back to a specific tree to pick another tech from that tree. To have any chance at all it might be necessary to start with a couple of research projects already done.

This doesn't sound too difficult to set up a game where victory is possible, but it will likely result in one where we focus on greatly out-expanding the AI empires and then overwhelming them with a lot of low-tech ships. If we can't reliably research useful techs then we must simply choose a strategy which minimizes the importance of technology.

3) Flagship: We start with max settings ($10 000 000, 10 colonies, and 15 techs). The restriction is that no exploration is allowed until we can do so with an AM powered Flagship. This forces us to focus on building a strong trade network. It might be necessary to allow a few scouts to discover nearby planets in order to enable trade on all our 10 worlds.

This is something of a polar opposite to the previous game idea, and sounds a lot like my TAR A Matter of Honour, except with a different condition for commencement of exploration. It should be very doable, probably a bit boring until we've unlocked exploration, and probably not very challenging afterwards.

4) Helping Hand: This is best played using the Clusters map. We can freely scout and colonize our own cluster, but from that point on our job is to help our ally win the game. We can give him as much research/cash we like and we can park fleets anywhere where he is present. We can even coordinate our arrival so that we arrive at a new location the same turn he does in order to help him.

This won't work as the AI is too passive and the game will become very boring. I have tried games like this before and inevitably the player just winds up wiping out the enemy empires whether the AI allies do much to take advantage of the help or just sit around with their thumbs up their butts.

Of these ideas, I tend to think the first has the most promise for being interesting and challenging, but it's probably also the most vulnerable to setup problems due to map variance.
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 SG17

Post by ivra » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:58 pm

A friend of mine and I have tried the first one (or some variant of it) a few times. It is as you say very dependent on the starting condition. It can be quite fun, but it can also be a game that goes nowhere. One of the variant we used was to send out only 10 ships in each wave.

We also tried the something similar to the second variant. The difference was that we rolled a D12 after each research to select which tree to select the new project from. We had to abandon that game since we fell too far behind. This was a straight up normal difficulty level game with no advantages given to us.

The third one was as you say a bit monotone, as we seemed to only use about 30% of the game features for a very long time. We ended up researching xeno-techs to force our opponents to surrender.

We did manage to win the game using our allies. It was a 2 team setup with 4 players on each team. In the end we gave them 60% of our research and several million dollars each turn. Eventually, our allies managed to build enough ships in order to attack enough worlds that we could force our enemies to surrender.

A side note: The most intense game we have played together was when he played as Hiver and I as Zuul in the "The End of Flesh" scenario. That game had several combats each turn for a very long time, often forcing me to build several full-overharvesting emergency fleets in order to stop the AI advances. For a while loaning several millions and being in debt was the norm. He had a hard time defending our other allies on our side of the rift, but eventually he managed to get a foothold on the other side of the rift. He managed to build up a good trade network and supplied me with money more than once. It was fun, but a lot of work...
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:33 pm

So any opinions on whether we should go with (1) with the understanding that variance could be on the high side and we might wind up with a tougher game than expected? Or if not, then what's the preference?
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 SG17

Post by Starknight » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:01 am

ZedF wrote:So any opinions on whether we should go with (1) with the understanding that variance could be on the high side and we might wind up with a tougher game than expected? Or if not, then what's the preference?


Option 1 works for me. I'd even like to do it as Hivers. That being said, I'd be just as glad for any of the options presented above, or something else if you have a different idea.
My Morrigi fleet-speed calculator for SotS Prime
The Holy Lands - Hivers vs. the infidel Liir (and others)
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Re: SotS1 SG17

Post by ZedF » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:25 am

Ivra, I was planning to start this up this weekend but was unable to get anything going. Since it's your idea would you mind creating the game and starting off?
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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