New Twitch.tv Series: Tarka (Me) Vs. 3 Hard AIs and 5 GMs

Tactics & After Action Reports

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Scourge of the Stars
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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:44 pm

New Twitch.tv Series: Tarka (Me) Vs. 3 Hard AIs and 5 GMs

Post by Scourge of the Stars » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:15 am

Hello, Everyone!

I have recently returned to SotS II after a very long time and thought it would be neat-o to use my novice broadcasting skills to create a new "series" of me playing against some Hard AIs. I have...hundreds of hours in SotS I and 100 hours of SotS II under my belt so I hope I offer at least some competent play. Though I'm sure I do more than my fair share of derps. Instead of doing the usual thread laden with screenshots, I'm going to instead link to highlights of my Singleplayer game experience, supplemented by some little write-ups about my strategy.

I have just completed my first two-hour gaming session, watched only by a few friends, so I'm mostly ranting to myself. I invite you all to click the "Follow" button on Twitch to stay updated on my stream. I plan to play daily or almost daily (we do have a few holidays coming up and my play-time may be limited). However, I will stream every second of my SotS II campaign experience and we're gonna play until 1) I win or 2) I lose or 3) the outcome becomes obvious but playing further is just extra tedium.

Here's the link to my channel page: http://www.twitch.tv/scourge013 if you would like to follow me and keep informed on my streaming habits and campaign progress. EDIT: I will keep updating this thread, of course, with new highlights and new narratives of each play session. Just wanted to clear that up.

Game Setup:

"Players": 3 Hard AIs, 1 Human AI, 1 Hiver AI, 1 Morrigi AI and me as Tarka (Immersion)
Map: Small Disc
Starting Colonies: 3
Starting Research: 0
Grand Menaces: 5
Randoms: 100%
All else is default.

Opening Strategy (First 100 Turns, 92 turns completed as of posting):

Well...it's been a long time since I've been in battle. Almost 7 months by my count. The very nature of this universe has changed. Technologies that didn't seem useful suddenly have a purpose and strategies that I once clung to...lay forgotten. As I know my enemies will be bloodthirsty, rapacious beasts, I have decided to prioritize ship weapons and defense technologies.
My first act of leader of the Thunder Lizards! empire was to commission a study on X-Ray Lasers, the gateway to Phasers and really flashy Point Defense laser technology. However, as the research completed, ahead of schedule I might add, we make contact with the first of our foes, the Morrigi. Rats. The only technology I have researched is mitigated by their early acquisition of Reflective Coating! The other technologies I look at have a huge turn-time cost. But what's this? Sniper Cannons? Only a dozen or so turns!

Sign me up, Scotty. I think that's how it goes, anyway. It occurred to me that I have never used Sniper Cannons in anger before. How will they perform in battle? Only one way to find out. At the very least it's not a laser or energy weapon, which knowing the character of the Morrigi, they will soon develop counters for.

Speaking of the Morrigi, we have had several skirmishes with them, mostly in deep space attempting to keep them out of my territory. For several turns a new Survey fleet rears it's ugly dragon head on one of my freshly colonized worlds. But being a strategist of consummate foresight, I have taken the precaution of placing a Naval Station on the frontier and these fleets are easily intercepted and turned back even with my primitive mixture of Mass Drivers, UV Lasers and Particle Beam cruisers. Unfortunately, a series of Meteor Storms at my naval yard have meant that the station itself remains dangerously undeveloped. It cannot cope with the casualties and battle damage. My fleet is getting worn down and...

The tide of the Morrigi soon picks up...and lo and behold! A sneaky Morrigi fleet attempts to gain entry to my side of the galaxy by exploring a planet I do not own---Orcus. Their intrusion does not go unnoticed. As my Battle Fleet is dangerously damaged from previous encounters, I was hesitant to send them in to battle. However, the Morrigi cannot get a foot hold on my side of the disk! I send them in...this time I plan to pop the enemy CnC ship and restreat from the battle immediately. We may be becoming outnumbered but no empire in history has ever defeated a determined local populace dedicated to guerilla warfare...right!!?!??! Caesar's conquest of Gaul doesn't count because...ummm... Well, anyway, the battle is joined and soon becomes known as a major turning point in the war for the sector...we lose some supplies. Extra ship-borne Supplies have been necessary from time to time due to the periodic interruptions in our logistics due to those pesky Meteor Showers. This may mean we need to abandon our outpost in the short-term should another storm hit the outpost.

For your review, esteemed members of the Counsel of the Board here's the video archive of that storied battle: http://www.twitch.tv/scourge013/c/2515157

It occurs to me that we will need some serious defense for this splendid little undeclared war we've been having. Alas! I do no get Shield technology. Once again making a decision based upon turn-times I research Deflector Shields. I then follow that up with some offense: Plague. And how fortuitous it is that I researched it. Within mere weeks we discovered the Morrigi Homeworld of Karugar. It seems relatively undefended...that is until my Survey fleet engaged "Combat Fleet." All hands were lost.

Unfortunately, not all is quiet on the other front, either. During our conflict with the Morrigi a few lone Hiver fleets were spotted on our radar, a few bug colonies discovered but far from our own borders. The government of the insects seemed friendly too...they requested a Ceasefire almost immediately. Then, to my horror, a Hiver gate fleet appears on the radar scope. And it's so close to our new Naval Base! How did this happen? Archival footage shows that I was notified of this approaching fleet many months beforehand. I regret the error. Flustered but not phased I send a fleet to intercept the bugs before they overwhelm us. As our fleets meet, I think that perhaps in honor of our cease-fire they will not move to attack. To my chagrin, they power up their mass drivers and launch missiles. And now the Bug War begins...

The Battle of Whoop-wahaha!1!11!??!?!1, named after a local nebula...or something: http://www.twitch.tv/scourge013/c/2515235

The bugs seem quite prepared for war...I decide it's time for a field test of our Bio Missile technology and send the World Breaker fleet to the Hiver colonies at Baltar. They arrive to find fairly developed worlds...but no satellites or defensive fleets. My ships successfully launch their payload. The cruisers themselves take some heavy damage from upgraded planetary missiles, but all the bio-weapons hit their marks.

As the hour grew dark, both realistically and metaphorically, I close this volume of my report in a tenuous position. Hivers are now interested in expanding into our space and have scrapped the Cease-Fire. The Morrigi have stepped up their raids...they've even been able to strike a colony deep in the heart of my territory for several turns in a row. We will need to greatly expand the fleet...I can only hope I can hold on as we complete the construction of our new Deflector Shield-equipped warships...
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Karu
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Re: New Twitch.tv Series: Tarka (Me) Vs. 3 Hard AIs and 5 GM

Post by Karu » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:42 pm

A nice summery :)

But get away from the biomissiles as they do not work as intended right now.
The should supress colony growth and kill inhabitants. The last time I checked they only did the last - which made them useless against high populated planets.

And if you havn't yet try to reach empathy - it will help you with taxes (tax slider +1) and also help to coop with all your events with a +1 moral bonus. (so losses of fleets and colonys don't hit that hard on the moral front).


Sincerly

Scourge of the Stars
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:44 pm

Re: New Twitch.tv Series: Tarka (Me) Vs. 3 Hard AIs and 5 GM

Post by Scourge of the Stars » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:12 pm

Thanks for your feedback, Karu. I really do appreciate it. I had a mic problem the other day when streaming and I'll have to do a traditional write-up of that gaming session since I can't rely in the video to fill in some details. However, I will say before I do the write up that I've used the Plague missiles several times. I can see them do pop damage but it doesn't seem to "kill worlds" as you said. Looks like I'll have to glass worlds instead. Is there a technology you (or any one else on the board) could recommend? The weapons seem rebalanced from the last time I seriously played a game of SotS 2. I remember bombarding worlds into dust, but I've had several battles now where I bombard a world with upgraded cannons, lasers/sniper cannons and neutron beams, and they hardly make a dent even after several turns of unopposed bombing.
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Karu
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Re: New Twitch.tv Series: Tarka (Me) Vs. 3 Hard AIs and 5 GM

Post by Karu » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:29 pm

Well what works best are 8 Assault shuttle cruiser with PD (against planets Phalanx imho) and Shield.
Change shield for armor if you don't roll one.
Against Planetcluster or a homeworld - take 1-2 PD cruiser with you.
As assaultshuttles the advance ones with 1 PD in the mount (it's a garanteed research in drones).

I would send 3 fleets (if financial possible): 1 Combat, 1 Assault and 1 R+S Fleet (1 command, many R+S Ships, as much suplly ship as needed).
So you get 1-2 comabt fights and 2-1 assault fights for the planet.
The R+S ships are their for the repairs and for the offchance for salvage (remember each planet destroyed gives chance of salvage too!).

Note on the R+S fleet: give them PD and longest endurance, deepscan should be on this fleet or your commandship - armor is not needed as they should never fight (instead have them send with another fleet). Against humans ... well ... they will need armor then ;)

Also run around manually when you want to disengage, if you succesfull flee a battle that battle is lost and you will get a moral hit.

edit says: early game mass driver are very good against planets - even though they do a lot hazard damage - else take missiles.

Sincerly

Sir Gaz
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:50 pm

Re: New Twitch.tv Series: Tarka (Me) Vs. 3 Hard AIs and 5 GM

Post by Sir Gaz » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:44 pm

I actually ended up watching the Morrigi game after your Tarka match on my 2nd monitor.
Couple of little things, since End of Flesh you can give new orders to returning ships; so you can give orders to a surveying fleet to survey another system without it needing to returning home first. If you have a lvl 1 naval in every system importing or exporting goods (so really every system, it's really not that expensive and they're just really handy to have in any case) you will never see pirates unless there's a pirate base/Zuul nearby or there's a hole in your naval base blanket

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Karu
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Re: New Twitch.tv Series: Tarka (Me) Vs. 3 Hard AIs and 5 GM

Post by Karu » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:54 pm

To be specific it is 1 naval + 1 police cutter for 0% pirate chance through trade.
There will allways be the random encouter with pirates.

But taking 5 police cutters in defence does the same.
Also the station slot might be more usefull for a Research Base ... depending on the size of the system.


Sincerly

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