As advised by a Ironclad guy (forgot who it was
) I tried a 1 vs 3 hard AI (all three of them in the same team, locked). I played on a normal generated small solar system. Nor marauders (I want to test the AI, not playing tower defense
I managed to grab an ice planet plus a second earth like planet before making contact with the AI. Meanwhile the first AI managed to colonize a volcanic world which I wanted to have for myself. Since I'm a bit capital ship crazy, I've had already built a capital shipyard and a second Kol Battleship plus a Sova Carrier. To finance all this, I built up the cities of all my planet and had already 5 trade ports up and running.
My Kols usually get the abilities gauss blast and adaptive shielding and a bomber squad, which gives them an edge over enemy Kols.
So I took my lvl 4 Kol Flagship, the lvl 1 Kol and the lvl 1 Sova (1 Fighter, 1 Bomber) and attacked my future holdings. Unfortunately for, me the enemy didn't want to give back my rightful estate to me, so I was forced to attack it's two Cobalt Light Frigates it had there. Even worse, it looks like that the AIs are actively working together. A few minutes after my attack had begun 10 Cobalts plus a Kol jumped in, and some seconds later, another 13 Cobalts from the second AI joined them. So the battle began. Meanwhile I was able to bring in a third Kol and a second Sova. This didn't helped me much, since the enemy was able to field another 7 Cobalts and the Kol from the second AI also arrived.
Just in time I managed to retreat, two of my Kols had under 150 hitpoints left, but all of my ships survived, while 6 enemy Cobalts were destroyed and one enemy Kol also badly damaged.
I got myself a bloody nose and the enemy still had my Planet!
Well, I built a third and a fourth Kol and gathered them at an asteroid of mine, next to the volcanic planet. Just in time for the first enemy attack. Little did I know at that time, that my insistence on the claim of the volcanic planet would light a spark that brought chaos and untold suffering over this solar system.
The enemy attacked with 4 Perichian light carriers (2 fighters, 2 bombers) and 12 Cobalt light frigates. It was up against my capital fleet consisting of... well only capital ships. I somehow forgot to build other ships as well... Anyway, it was my 4 Kols and 2 Sovas (2F,2B) against his fleet. And the supremacy of capital ships clearly showed it in this battle as all enemy ships were swiftly destroyed without even a scratch on my fleet. Assorted fire of Cobalts is unable to brake through the mighty shields of a lvl 5 Kol Battleship with lvl 2 adaptive shielding.
This battle showed me the way to go. The only danger to my capital fleet could only be another capital fleet. To fight capital ships you need capital ships, or dozens of bombers, and I didn't thought that the enemy would be able to field that many carriers. Well, I was quite wrong, as I found out some time later.
As I rejoiced in my victory and celebrations were prepared to the honor of my capital ships and my flawless skills, the two other AIs attacked my.
To far away for me to reach it in time, the AIs were attacking my hardly defended Ice planet. The enemy brought in 3 Garda flak frigates, 15 Cobalts, 4 light carriers (2F, 2B) against my lonely 2 Cobalts and the hangar (1F,1B) I had stationed there. So I was rudely interrupted in my victory celebrations. Now I was quite in a dilemma. My slow capital ships would need forever to jump those 4 nodes back to my ice planet. And I hadn't the money to build much defense there neither.
So, what to do, what to do? Abandon my ambitions to claim the volcanic planet and hurrying to defend my ice planet? Or should I wait, hoping that I would be able to build enough defenses there in time? It didn't look good when two siege frigates arrived. Now I was in danger to lose the planet and 3 trading stations, source of half of my income.
Desperate as I was I did the only thing that was left to me, I ordered my capital fleet to attack the volcanic planet. At least I wanted to do to them the same they did to me.
My fleet arrived there and found 7 Cobalts accompanied by 4 light carriers (3B,1F). As the first enemy Cobalts exploded under my Kols heavy fire the first were fired on my beautiful ice planet. I had nearly given up, when something strange happened. My enemies at the volcanic planet turned around and began to flee. Not only that, the besieging enemy fleet also stopped attacking they turned around and before I could understand it, they jumped out of the system. My ice planet was safe. Not only that, I also managed to conquer the volcanic planet.
I did suspect that the enemy only pulled out its fleet to help the other AI that I was attacking. In this case, he would probably attack the volcanic planet in a little while. Because of that I started to build defenses there, when suddenly a single Perichian light carrier jumped in. He was effortlessly destroyed, but I wondered why the enemy did that.
After this a short time of peace awaited me, only once did one of the AIs Kol flagship jumped into one of my heavily defended asteroid. It was quickly destroyed by the hangar defense (2F,4B) together with its 2 Cobalt picket ships. He was unable to escape, thanks to the jumpblockers I've built on all my planets and asteroid fields.
Since nothing interesting was going on, I jumped to an enemy asteroid field and conquered it without encountering any resistance. As if the enemy just had waited for me to be occupied somewhere he attacked me on three planets nearly simultaneously. Each of the AIs sent a fleet and attacked with it somewhere else, while a gamesmanship was started to bind my main fleet somewhere else.
One flak frigate, 3 Cobalts and 2 light carriers (1F,1B) attacked my main fleet consisting of 2 Sovas (4F,4B), 4 Kols, 3 Flaks and 11 Cobalts. They were effortlessly destroyed, but in the meantime my colonies were attacked.
3 flak, 4 Javelis LongRangeMissile frigates, 5 Hoshiko robotic cruiser, 2 Cobalts, 8 light carrier attacked my earth like planet with a meager defense of 3 gauss, 2 hangars and 1 Repair station. Luckily it wasn't far away from my main fleet so I was able to bring in reinforcements. I destroyed the attacker without losses.
At the same time, an asteroid field of mine was attacked. 3 flak, 2 Cobalts, 8 LRM, 4 Hoshiko, 6 light carriers against a garrison of 4 Cobalts, 2 gauss cannons and a hangar. As my capital planet was just next to it, I was able to bring reinforcements which I had constructed some time ago and which were meant for my capital fleet, but I forgot to bring them along. This was no my saving. The 11 Cobalts and 2 flaks were able to destroy the enemy with moderate (4 Cobalts, 1 flak) losses.
The third attack was a planet next to the second attack. 3 flak, 7 LRM, 3 Hoshiko, 2 Cobalts and 7 light carriers assaulted the local defense of 3 gauss, 4 hangars and 1 repair station. After the second attack was defeated, I brought in the remaining ships together with some new built (a total of 17 Cobalts and one flak) and defeated this attack also.
Shortly after the last enemy died I started myself an attack on another enemy asteroid field. I met quite a strong fleet consisting of 1 Kol battleship, 6 flak, 9 Cobalt, 4 LRM, 8 Hoshiko, 4 light carriers 5 gauss, 1 hangar (2F).
After a fierce and long battle the enemy's fleet retreated. I managed to destroy half of his fleet while I suffered a loss of 8 Cobalts. The hostile Kol flagship was also destroyed.
I conquered the field and built two hangars and a gauss after which the enemy attacked.
7 Cobalt, 1 flak, 1 light carrier, 1 Marza dreadnought endangered my new holdings. But after I brought back may capital fleet (still 2 Sova, 4 Kol, but added 5 flaks and 5 Cobalts) the enemy was defeated again.
Meanwhile my ice planet was attacked again. But this time the enemy wouldn't retreat (I've built a jump stopper, he couldn't even if he would have wanted to). 2 flak, 9 Cobalt, 7 Krosov siege frigates, 5 light carriers and 2 Hoshikos were attacking. My meager defense consisted of 2 Cobalt, 1 flak, 3 gauss and one hangar. The hostile siege frigates quickly reached lower orbit over my icy jewel and rained fiery death upon its peaceful inhabitants. I quickly ordered a detachment of Cobalts (7 of them) to the rescue, but they came to late. When they finally arrived, the once cold planet was smoldering under a never known heat, it's thick ice shields were molten and melt water was drowning the people.
Finally I killed the last of those dreadful siege frigates and my planet was no free from enemy presence. But to what price, the second most populous planet of my empire was now an empty wasteland...
Oh well, I've built a colony ship and quickly recolonized it, but still, it wasn't the same as before. Everything had to be built anew. At this time, I vowed to take terrible revenge on the enemy. I ordered my capital fleet to attack the enemy capital planet.
The meager defense (1 Sova carrier (1F,2B), 1 flak, 7 cobalt, 1 LRM, 4 gauss, 2 hangars) were swiftly destroyed and I razed the planet with my flagship myself!
The first AI was dead, two to go.
Learned from my experience I reinforced all my planets and asteroids with better defense. The small enemy attacks break against it without doing any damage.
After numerous small battles I arrived at the home planet of the second AI. My ships charged and met a quite numerous foe.
1 Marza dreadnought, 1 Kol battleship, 7 flak, 9 Cobalt, 5 LRM, 4 Cielo command cruisers, 4 Hoshiko, 6 light carriers (5F,1B), 5 gauss cannons were stationed there.
I myself brought along 1 Dunov support ship, 2 Sova carriers (4F,9B), 4 Kol battleships, 5 flak and 5 Cobalts. I prepared myself for some heavy losses, as an unbelievable sight greeted me. Instead of attacking my fleet with it might and fury, the enemy fleet turned around and fled. The enemies main fleet abandoned its home planet! What cowardice!
Shortly after its planet was razed and he was wiped out.
Not there was only one AI left, the strongest of the three, he had had the most planets of them and always the largest fleets.
I prepared my main fleet for the coming battle.
1 Dunov, 1 Akkan, 2 Sova (10B,4F), 4 Kol, 5 flak and 5 Cobalts were ready to make the last attack on the enemies stronghold, a heavy defended earth like planet. My fleet had a total of 15 bombers and 5 fighters and no capital ship was under lvl 5.
After a last rest period and lunch for the brave women and men on my ships I activated the jump signals. The largest enemy fleet ever seen awaited us.
1 Sova carrier, 1 Kol battleship, 8 flak, 7 LRM, 13 Cobalts, 7 Cielo command cruisers, 10 Hoshiko, 7 light carriers, 2 gauss, 3 hangars. A total of 7 fighters and 10 bombers. A total of 73 ships, fighters and bombers against my 32 units. It would be a hard fight, a fight to the death, I was sure.
Well... actually... it was a massacre.
But not for me.
The enemy, probably heard of my feats and skill in battle, lost all courage and strength on the sight of my brave fleet and begun to flee. But this time I wouldn't let them escape. My people were still angry over the tragedy of my icy planet and they wanted blood.
After all was over, under half of the enemy made the escape, no capital made it. My fleet had no losses, the high powered shields of the Kols were only slightly stressed. After that, the enemy planets fell one after the other without much of a fight. Even its culture didn't help him much. My broadcast centers brushed he's culture away quickly.
Finally, after 3 and a half hours of endless fighting, blood and carnage but also courage and bravery, it was finally peaceful in Rigil Kent again.
One empire now ruled over it. For ever...?
Hups... I got a bit carried away...
A bit long, probably.
Anyway, some observations from this game.
A 1 vs 3 team AIs can be a bit of a challenge, at least in the beginning.
But the AI hurt itself immensely with its squeamish behavior. It attacked, fell back, attacked again. Its attack fleet were most of the time to small. It lost dozens of frigates and quite some capital ships in suicide attacks, which consisted of 1-5 ships, which couldn't escape since I had jump stoppers in all of my colonies.
Also what's up with those fleets fleeing from my main fleet? If they had fight instead of run away they could have really damaged my fleet and probably could have halted my advance for some time, if not even reversed. At least they should defend its home planet to the death. Where will it go it it's last planet is destroyed?
The AIs fleet setup was also quite bad. To much Hoshiko robotic carriers (those things are useless in fighting), to much Perichian light carriers (if you have flaks to shoot down those fighters and bombers they become sitting ducks), to much Cielo command cruisers (one of them is enough for a fleet, imho).
They also lack capital ships, especially upleveled capital ships. I've beat the enemy ultimately with one fleet consisting of 2 Sovas, 4 Kols, 1 Dunov, 5 Cobalts and 5 flaks without losing more then about 15 Cobalts and 5 flaks in total in all battles with those ships!
A group of high lvl Kols can and will destroy about absolutely everything in a few seconds. Groups of 5 enemy gauss cannons? No problem, charge in with my Kols, and destroy them in a minute. They wont damage them because the mighty shields of the Kols. The only counter to a group of high lvl Kols is another group of high lvl Kols or lots of bombers. And bombers can easily be countered with a few flak frigates.
The AI should (instead of putting bounties on my head) lvl up some of its capital ships and concentrate some of them in a mighty attack group.
As you can see on the following picture, the enemy had me out taxed without problem.
I'm of course better in colony rushing then they're, but together they had a lot more planets in the middle of the game.
The following was the AIs downfall.
I had not only much more capitals than they had, I also had experienced capital ships! The AI needs to utilize high lvls capital ships more. They won't be able to win without them.
High lvl capital ships just kill everything, especially high lvl Kols. They pack quite a punch with its auto cannons, beam laser and especially the gauss blast ability. This ability, when used in group, kills enemy capital ships in seconds.
Oh yeah, I had this fleet waiting behind, for emergencies... but I never needed it...
Hmm... either this is a bug, or I can't count anymore. Zero plus 250 equals... zero!Puh... that was a long post