TAR - It's been a while

Tactics & After Action Reports

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TAR - It's been a while

Post by Erlkoenig » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:24 pm

So uh..it's been a while. Yeah. I bought it on launch and haven't really played much at all. But I decided to give it a try again and discovered that dropping SSAO (Ambient Occlusion) gives me +30FPS and makes the game wonderful and smooth and playable. So that was nice.

Anyway, this is pretty much my first full game. I started another one and got to about Turn 30 and realized I'd massively screwed up techs and colonization order blah blah blah (which I've probably done in this one too, shhh). I figured I'd do a TAR of my first full playthrough.

I tend to go pretty screenshot-heavy, so I'm gonna post links to non-essential screenies, don't want to slow anyone's thread-loading down.

Standard starting options...whatever those are. I just clicked through. Almach I believe, 5 players.

And in case it's relevant:
i7-2630QM, 2.0GHz
6GB RAM (I forget the speed)
Nvidia 460M GTX
Win7 64-bit

So...yeah. Feel free to criticize me although I prefer the constructive variety. I'm sure I'm doing stuff wrong. I'm still confused on what half of the UI means >.> but the wiki/instruction manual tend to answer most of my questions.

And now we shall follow the glorious Union of Soviet Teal Republics (Named because I started a game with a friend and he took blue and...well, I”m not a fan of the possible colors for your team. So I chose teal and decided to make fun of myself. Couple that with my fascination with the USSR and you have a strange name).

Turn 1: Whoops. Designed a couple ships. Hooray no prototyping costs. Set up a colony mission and a station building mission. Researching FTL Economics.

System Map

Turn 10: Stiiill Research FTL Economics. My home planet is named Zoon. Which is kind of awesome. I've colonized Talos 2. Both the Delta and Medea systems have 1+ planets that are good for colonization, so I'll be getting on that as soon as I can. I've been setting up naval stations in systems so that I can upgrade them and hopefully it'll help defend against menaces. Once I complete FTL Economics, I plan to keep some police cutters around for system defense, since proper fleet ships are super expensive. Additionally, I'll get drone satellites. Gotta be safe, don't want them darn slavers comin' up in here abducting my peeps. Still not sure what a lot of these icons mean, but whatever.

Turn 12: Of course, Turn 12, encountered a Swarm. Didn't remember til 57 seconds to go that I can destroy the base, so I had my ships sitting around in open space getting their arses kicked. Didn't lose anyone, but severe damage. I like to think that my synchronized barrel-rolling mitigated the damage somewhat. Point defense isn't in the research plan for a while, considering building Armors outfitted with all small weapons, maybe those will help. But then, prototyping is so expensive, and unless I encounter lots of Battle Riders later, I don't see that I'll be using it again.

Rhomboids of Death (Or 'Parallelepipeds,' if you're in calculus. I'm just glad I don't have to use them to find the distance between skew lines).

Turn 20: Business as usual. Finished FTL Economics early. Started Environmental Tailoring to help my early expansion efforts. Next I plan to go for drone satellites. I tend to turtle pretty hard, and those will help me against randoms early on. Colonized Medea 1, had a CH of like 44. It's not costing much. Started a couple of freighters and a civvie station at Zoon, get some trade up. From the 30 turns I played in my actual first game, small trade networks are good at paying for my colony costs. I kind of take the trade income as 'colony funds,' I won't colonize past what I make from trade routes. I figure it'll help me refrain from racking up colony costs that send me into debt, which I'd done a few times in SotS1. Haven't encountered anyone else, nor have I gone back for the swarm. All's quiet, so far.

Turn 30: Slavers happened at Soozle. Apparently the Naval Station, as I feared, has zero combat ability to start. So that was underwhelming. Lost some population and morale. So that was lame. Considering deploying 5 Police Cutter fleets (as in, 5 cutters per fleet) as system defense forces. At 50k each, that means 250k per system – not pretty, but possibly more effective than the 350k for a command and two Enforcer-Class ships. Plus those would take an admiral. I'm earning about 100k a turn, so it shouldn't be too hard to replace, but it'll slow my expansion a bit and limit my options for station upgrades for a while. I guess we'll find out. Started researching defense satellites, maybe those won't be hellishly expensive either. In other news, I managed to save this time (Every previous attempt at a manual save has resulted in crashing – autosave works fine, though). Anyway, I need a break. I'll come back to this later. Fiddled with my graphics settings and got the effect for Beamers to appear, finally. Apparently it was linked to texture quality. Wut.

Turn 41: As much as it irks my OCD to do 41 and not 40 without combat, I wanted to see how the placement of defense platforms worked. Basically you can slap em down anywhere. Which is nice. They also cost about as much as a Police Cutter, but with arguably more firepower. I've established another colony in...the Delta system, I think. Not entirely sure. Exploration has come to a grinding halt, as I've reached the edge of my supply range. I wish there were some way to send out say, Extended Range ships without an admiral. They seem kind of marginalized, since I still have to drag a command ship along regardless of what I do, so I can't have the long-range explorers that I used to. I'm contemplating whether slapping some more supply ships will help the problem sufficiently or if I'll need to develop some sort of technology. That being said, I do like how everything is painfully expensive in this one. Granted, I'm sure I suck at the game (I'm sure I'm expanding wrong, or something.) but it makes me wince when I lose a ship (not that I have, but I wince even when they're taking damage). I suppose it'll probably change late-game, but pretty early on in Sots1 I could generally throw destroyers at stuff without too much consequence. Even cruisers weren't a huge deal. But to pump out a 25-cruiser fleet now...well, not happening. Anyway, Defense Satellites had gone overbudget for one turn, to 101% (I tend to reduce the research money to as little as possible when I'm about to complete it, so that I can keep as much money as possible. As in, the minimum required for one turn to go. Although maybe that money gets refunded to you anyway?). But anyway, the second turn of overbudget my science person comes on and tells me how they completed the project ahead of schedule, at which point I wished there was a button for slapping them in their stupid face for lying to me. I remember how often I went overbudget in the first SotS, although I believe that was more due to my tendency to dump almost the entire budget into research than anything. I seem to remember osmething about that increasing chance of overbudgeting. What's even worse is when you go to like 140% on AI, and then they rebel. Ungrateful jerks. Anyway, I'm really hungry so I'm gonna stop rambling now.

Turn 42: I'm pretty sure you should rename 'Meteors' to 'Dinosaur-Murder Doom Asteroids,' because those were huge. Killed most of the population of Talos 2. Considering taking a detour and researching Sniper Cannons, and slapping those on the defense platforms – it'd give em an edge on shooting down the big'uns first. (Of course, in the Turn Events thing, it's an 'Asteroid Storm,' more appropriate). VRF has a 71% chance of success. That seems kind of crappy, PD is pretty important tech. Is there more to this feasibility thing than I see?

Giant Mega Super Doom Asteroids of Infinite Destruction and Unending Suffering

Turn 50: ...So VRF tech merely unlocks the path to Point Defense. I gotta say, that's kind of disappointing. I was going to outfit a fleet to take out the swarm (Rather, stick a couple of PD ships on a Survey Flotilla, but whatever). But uh...apparently not. I'll just add a couple of ships and barrel straight at the base and hope I can blow it up before I get smashed to pieces. Started researching Orbital Drydocks. Cheaper ships would be nice. All of this tech takes so long, I feel like I'm horribly behind where I should be. I'm trying not to overexpand – I don't want a bunch of colonies that I can't defend that get pounded to dust by a meteor strike or abducted by slavers. Discovered Science Center specialization...well I'm gonna need one for weapons and one for drive or maybe biotech early on, I guess?

Turn 53: Well, destroyed the swarm. However, Meteors hit delta and killed 404m people and 51% of my infrastructure at Delta 2. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU- that was my most developed colony, pretty sure. That's such a huge setback. Also I discovered the Hivers have set up a gate over at Alpha Virginis, so I have to keep an eye on that (coincidentally, I had JUST MOVED a fleet from Delta over to Medea in case of hivers – which I realize is stupid, since Hivers are slow as all get out. GAH. I need some defense fleets, I really do. Otherwise my colonies will just get smashed. This also makes me think I need to get more colonies. Sure some of them will die...but it won't be as much of a hit, I suppose. I need to keep an eye on those hiver.

I count this as a much-needed victory
Mecron wrote:you have purchased a universe


So I start up my computer, and get the message "Found New Hardware: Magic Device." Win.

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Re: TAR - It's been a while

Post by ScoSteSal118 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:02 pm

Btw, is your name a Dresden reference? If so, pretty ballsy one.

About "not seeing the Swarm again," think again :twisted:. Swarm Queens are always spawning from an infested system somewhere nearby, and they keep coming every several turns iirc.

Yes, VRF "just" makes it possible to conduct a feasibility study on PD, but it also gives ALL BALLISTIC WEAPONS A 10% ATTACK SPEED/DPS INCREASE. Also, there are multiple types of PD (Laser being the main other one at this point in the game), and the whole point of the sadorandomizer is to keep players from complacently assuming that they'll always get their favorite techs/toys. :twisted:

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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:04 pm

Re: TAR - It's been a while

Post by Erlkoenig » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:23 pm

Nope, it's not a Dresden reference, sorry. It just sort of means the same thing a my given name does. Depressing poem, that.

Turn 60: Went to colonize a planet on Griffin, CH 14 (woohoo!). There was a swarm at Paran Tar, which I had to go through to reach it. Luckily I had sent SF-3 along to check out Griffin before the colonization fleet go there. They destroyed the hive and limped home. I'm starting to think I need to use beamers instead of lasers, they seem to be a bit more accurate during weapons testing and would really help against the swarm. I started a multiplayer game last night and realized there were several first-turn designs that I really should've done this game, so I went ahead and designed those, yet I still have to prototype them so that'll suck. Still waiting on Orbital Drydocks, not really sure what I'll research next.

Turn 64: Asteroids at Zoon. 'Only' 8 million dead. I discovered that drones are 87 different types of useless against asteroids (I wondered where they hell they were – zoomed in on some and they just kind of spun around and died when they got close. Wut). Determined that I do indeed want Sniper Cannons for my defense platforms. Their rotation makes the guns they do have sort of useless at times.

Turn 70: It's been pretty quiet. Been researching fusion torpedoes, sniper cannons up next. I realize I probably shouldn't, but I'm pretty much buckling down and turtling until I can get some increased range technology (considering loading up a fleet with ER and supply ships, just to sort of probe beyond the edge of explored space, though). Realized I should've upgraded my trade stations forever ago, finally starting to do that. Found some systems that should've had more freighters, so I've gotten about 50k extra per turn so far. Gonna carve out a nice little galactic nook and chill for a bit.

Turn 80: I've been learning a lot of stuff from some games I've played with my friend. I have 5 colonies in that game, and yet more income than in this game. Beefing up all of my trade routes. Lost the colony at Peck to asteroids. It'll be easy enough to re-colonize, but I want to wait until I can establish a fleet presence there. Researching X-Ray lasers, hope to get the link to Rapid-Fire Lasers. I got Phalanx PD in my other game and ran into some heinous supply costs for ships – I'm hoping I can spread out the energy/supply strain of my systems this way. Gonna buckle down and develop trade routes, get PD and hopefully AP Rounds, then I can venture out and maybe kick the crap out of some AI.

Turn 90: **Possible Random Encounter Spoilers**
So the Ghost Ship paid me a visit. Yes I did see the markings. I also saw it cutting through literally everything like butter. I don't suppose I can throw some boarding pods at it? Heh. Scrapped a naval station, which I promptly replaced. I hit it with a few missiles but other than that nothing, didn't even make a scratc. X-Ray lasers have gone overbudget, which means the sadorandomizer has remembered me from the last game. Hivers are slowly moving in towards me empire, these techs can't complete fast enough for me.

The Leviathan isn't looking so good.

Turn 100: X-Ray Lasers completed...Feasibility of Rapid-Fire Lasers was...1%. CURSE YOU SADORANDOMIZER. CURSE YOU AND ALL YOUR OFFSPRING. Soooo skipped over to Phalanx PD. I seriously need some bio/drive tech after I get weapons. SO MUCH TO RESEARCH, SO LITTLE TIME. But yeah, basically sitting around waiting for stuff to finish. Oh, and I had an asteroid strike that caused -51 Morale. Ow. Is it proportional to planetwide deaths?

Turn 110: ONCE AGAIN, right after my fleet leaves Griffin, a random encounter happens. This time it was slavers, once again basically resetting my civilian count. Last time it was the doom 'roids, literally right after the patrol fleet was gone. I don't suppose there's a way to make them patrol longer? Anyway, working on AP rounds, twiddling thumbs, upgrading stations with the money I have lying around.

Turn 120: So I did some combat testing against the Hiver Gate Fleet that was coming in (they're gonna set up on Medea, but I'm not particularly interested in war. I'll maintain a fleet presence to ward off any attacks that come through). I've decided that I need armor tehcnology and that gun hardpoints on defense satellites are next to usless, since nothing ever really comes in range. Missiles seem pointless, since I can group maybe 4 platforms together, giving me 8 missiles which any half-decent PD system will swat aside without a second thought. Through writing this paragraph, I've decided that I don't want the hiver to have any gates in my systems and I'm basically twiddling my thumbs right now, so war with the Hivers it is. Even if I am woefully unprepared, I need to get some combat going.

Turn 121: Destroyed the Gateship and a Supply ship (their two combat ships were busy destroying defense platforms, which worked to my advantage) Minimal damage to my ships. Have to admit, slightly disappointed with the kinetic impact of AP drivers – I knew it was less, but I didn't think it was THAT much less. Perhaps on future designs the Large Turret will stay as a Heavy Mass Driver, to give me that fun spinning power that the AP drivers seem to lack. Purposefully did not destroy their command ship, I wanted to completely crush their fleet, not send it limping home.Resonably certain drones are the only things with Gauss Cannons, along with the defense platforms – those accounted for a lot of damage. I suppose I can forgive the defense platforms. I had some extra platforms in-system, so the losses weren't too upsetting. I will outfit future models with missiles and likely PD, to prevent enemies from picking them off at range. In neutral stance Torpedo ship seems unwilling to fire it's torpedoes, while in standoff mode it engages too close (I think it tries to stand off with the plasma cannons I put on there to reduce supply cost, as two more missile launchers drove me over the limit).

Hooray Fusion Torpedoes

Armor Piercing Doom

Combat Report 1

Combat Report 2

Turn 122: Destroyed everything but a singular supply ship that has no engine section, minimal damage. Found 'Rapid-Fire Missiles' from MicroFusion Drives, I like that Idea very much. It does not replace DumbFire Racks, Kerb. Those were my favorite mostly useless weapon. They were so fun to use, though. Oh well. Ideally, now, the hiver got the message and won't bother me for a while, although we all know that won't happen. I also gazed upon the glory that is HEAP rounds. As tempting as it is to research those now, I know drive/armor tech is really more important at present.

Turn 123: Apparently the engine-less Supply ship can limp home anyway. On what, maneuvering thrusters? It should take quite a while for that to traverse the distance...anyway, started on MagnoCerramic lattices. Hope to improve the survivability of defense platforms. Hopefully in the future I can grab Rapid-Fire Missiles to increase the defense platforms' effectiveness when using standard weapons. Anyway, I'm gonna stop for now. I have to go shave off my glorious beard so that I can be a mall cop. Le sigh. I shall miss you, beard.
Mecron wrote:you have purchased a universe


So I start up my computer, and get the message "Found New Hardware: Magic Device." Win.

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Post by marshb » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:54 pm

Good tar so far! A basic naval station at that colony will let that fleet patrol indefinitely.
Ships limping home without engines is an abstraction, the proverbial bailing wire, string and a prayer.
Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.

Orison of Sonmi-451

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