Ok fingers crossed this doesn't wreck the forum...
So I decided it'd be fun to try a game against nine hard AI locked to the same team. No idea why. For fun?
Here's what happened:Opponents:
9 random locked to the same team @ hard settingChosen race:
Random huge 102 planetsMission:
To outright squish the other races
And so the massochism begins:
After a fairly unevenful start, fighting off the odd cap ship here and there, I find myself in a nice little corner of one of the five star systems. My first order of the day was to fortify the two choke points bordering my territory. (a not so impressive four planets and two asteroids) Little did I know that in over four hours time, I'd still have those same 6 planetoids.
I knew it wasn't going to be a walk in park, but six hours later it was looking grim. I still had only managed to put together two fleets worthy of combat. One of them was busy defending choke point one, and one defending choke point 2. At this point, choke point 1 had taken such a beating it was getting difficult to keep the replacement ships coming, and choke point 2 had been all but decimated.
Several capital ships and scores of frigates were lost and then replaced to the detriment of my waning economy. Short term, survival was about selling over-priced metal on the black market for credits. With my metal drying up however, this wasn't going to be an option for long. With economic research completed by this stage, the only option that would give any hope of medium term survival was expansion from choke point 2 with a fleet that was far from combat ready.
Taking the chance while it was there, the meagre fleet at choke 2 was ordered out to expand to the west with no backup plan in place, Leaving its home behind and undefended was a risk that had to be taken. Meanwhile back at choke 1, scouts show that a large force from five factions are amassing, ready to attack from three directions. With the attacks getting stronger and larger over the past hour and a half, this is going to be the one that breaks the back of my defense fleet. A pre-emptive strike was launched from choke 1 with the intention of at least delaying an overwhelming attack.
The pre-emptive stike hit three out of five factions (approximately 35% of the gathering force) Meanwhile a large amount of credits and research time are pumped into the Deliverance project with some hope of easing the pressure of expansion.
An hour and a half later - choke 2 failed miserably at its task of expansion, even with the assistance of two Deliverance engines. With only one stable planet to show for all its efforts, its ships couldn't be replaced fast enough, and the planets it had left behind were being hammered.
A new, third fleet had to be ccommissioned to fend off the invaders, with the remains of fleet 2 being left on the new front line in the hopes that it could eliminate the first faction (the light blue Vasari) in a series of hit and runs, along with the two new Deliverance Engines. The Engines wouldn't last long. Rebels appearing in my home system will make sure of that. With no funds to fortify properly, metal stores now officially falling short of whats required to replace lost ships, the expansion plan entirely failed, it isn't looking good.
Meanwhile, back at choke 1, things were becoming desperate. With the attacks becoming so large now, stationed fleet one can't cope.
With Deliverance no longer an option, the fleet now split into 3, choke 1 being overwhelmed and choke 2 unable to withstand another attack, it's now or never. A plan is formed to remove the ability for enemy factions to move quickly between choke 1 and 2 using the wormholes pictured. The Deliverance engines had done their job, and so choke 2 should only have to deal with the attacks of one faction. Shredded fleet #2 can stay on station there.
(Note this is where the MopySruggle replay begins - download at the bottom)
Fleet 3 is ordered to take up offensive positions ready to support choke 1, removing a single TEC (yellow) colony in the process. Struggling fleet 2 stays on station with orders to stave off any attacks from the west for as long as possible. At this point, the multi-fleet, multi-faction attack I'd been dreading looked imminent on choke 1. The only chance of survival was to remove points marked with green X's and form new choke points, restricting enemy movement at the same time.
And so the hostiles arrive at choke 1, where first fleet prepares to make its brave stand. Its been defending this point for more than ten hours now. With expansion all but impossible, with no sign of new ships out of the dock due to a crippled economy, outnumbered and outgunned, surely there's no surviving this one. The only hope is forcing a retreat.
Mallice and Cleansing Brilliance their only hope..
Failure! With just a third of the hostile fleet decimated, the retreat doesn't happen. If choke 1 is lost, the enemy has free access to the whole of the empire with no possible retort.
Fleet 1 stays to fight to the last frigate. An intense firefight ensues, still outnumbered two to one, the chances of survival are slim.. but there's a chance.
With heavy losses taken, fighter swarms taking out the system defences, and the metal supply 'just' being able to fire out one or two more frigates, there's one chance left to force a retreat. With Cleansing Brilliance finally ready again, the failing Progenitor fires off its last Mallice before losing its hull integrity and exploding, priming the invading fleet to receive a full force assault from the Radiance super weapon...
Meanwhile, re-enforcements gather around the adjacent dead asteroid, ready to smash through choke point 1
Finally - Cleansing Brilliance and the final act of Mallice by the Progenitor at choke 1 did its job. The hostile forces retreat - only to be replace by the waiting re-enforcements. The defense fleet is failing, and with all suply exhausted, one capital ship down, and no new frigates rolling off the production line, its the end of the road
With the retreat of the TEC (purple) and the need for assistance at choke 1, the awaiting fleet 3 makes its move. Jumping to the adjacent gravity well, and the source of enemy re-enforcements, and the destination for retreating hostile fleets. Its objective is simple, to cut off enemy re-enforcements, and ensure choke 1 sees no more attacks.
Fleet 3 arrives to face four factions. Outgunned just two to one, this now experienced group of frigates and capital ships can be confident of success. Time is of the essence however. Choke 1 is falling fast and needs assistance.
An unexpected side effect of cutting off retreating hostiles - the TEC (purple fleet) have jumped away from fleet 3, back in to choke point 1. Now facing three factions, more heavy casualties cannot be avoided.
Fleet 3 is succeeding. This could become the first major success of this campaign. Two factions have been removed as a threat, with only a capital ship or two remaining, one faction retreated entirely (dark green TEC) and the other two.. it was just a matter of time. If the Unity survives this engagement, there will surely be another like it soon, and recovery will become a priority. As much of fleet 1 needs to be saved as possible
With the combined efforts of fleets 1 (at choke 1) and fleet 3 (assaulting re-enforcement points used by the enemy) the invaders are finally pushed back. It's over. But they'll be back, Fleet supply is going to take a long time to recover, and the economy needs a boost. Badly.
Choke 2 is lost, and fleet 2 is forced back to it's original position by a huge fleet. They didn't stand a chance and were decimated. It was a small price to pay however. They may be able to recover in time. Now is the chance to gain from this situation. Whats left of fleet 1 was moved from the old choke point 1 to take the TEC (dark green) planets to the North.
If the enemy wants re-enforcements now, they'll have to send them through the star. A minor economy boost, but a anything is welcome at this point. A new choke point is established by fleet 3. The geen crosses represent old enemy re-enforcement points that were taken out during the raid.
Some time later... After re-building and fortifying the new choke point 1, and having the time to re-enforce choke point 2 and carry out a successful expansion mission, wiping out half of the Advent (Dark blues) planets to the west of the star system (on the back of the new econimic boost) and establish a solid income for the first time, trouble hits the cursed fleet 1.
Outgunned 5 to 1 and with no re-enforcements or daring assists impossible, will they survive overwhelming odds for a second time?---- End
Um.. well no is the short answer
The purples smashed through that fleet and.. well that's another story.
I'm still trying to sort out the recordings, but here's a couple;http://www.efraxis.com/recordings.zipMopyStruggle.record
is the actual recording from 7.jpg and onwards if you want to see it in real time (from where the yellow roid is taken by fleet 3).MopyEnd.record
is the end of the 9vs1 locked teams, hard AI game. I won't spoil what happened in the end.
Anyway, I haven't had that much fun since playing IG1 back in the late 90's. It resembled trying to hold off the Garthogs and their ridiculous non stop invasions. I don't remember very many games for long. IG1's epic campaign I do remember, and this I will remember in 10 years time. So that's my little tribute to the Devs for creating such a cool game, and congrats to anyone who read/watched this far without tl;dr.
Thanks for reading
PS There will be typos, sowies. I'll fix them later if there's an edit button.