1:47:00 Raids get done with first of 2 Spire Shield Guardposts in Solaris VII. They begin killing the OTHER one...
Desperado Fort II now dead, bugs are dealing with the SuperFortress.
1:49:00 Bored for a moment, I clean up double/triple stacked scouts trying to picket and take the scout mob and try to drive them into the 'loop' in Central, to see what's hiding in there. I also poke around and pick up the one-off reclaimed units like paralyzers and tank units that my little nanos tend to leave behind.
1:50:00 The kids take out the Superfortress on Desperado and begin working the multiple FFs/SpireShields on the planet. I poke around for their next target and decide they'll be heading for the area I opened in the Southwest that was guarded by an AI eye on both sides.
1:53:00 Raids get done with second spire shield in the SW. There's no more eyes there so they head home to JJ for refit/repairs. Next Target, Syphon in Central with the Eye and Fact IV.
Troops from the SuperFort killing in the Maze head towards the center area of the SouthWest and hit another Superfort. They get distracted and die instead of meeting up with the reinforcement pouring in further west. Remap the FRD from the Space Docks to include this planet after the other two they're mapped to cleanup.
1:55:00 The scouts got reasonably deep through Central even though it's uncleared. Not 123 scouts worth of deep, but deep enough. There's 2 more eyes found and another Fact IV in Central. Nice. The Raids will have their work cut out for them for a while, I think I want Raid IIs before I send them in. I plan on taking Kerensky, the first ARS planet and stepping stone to deeper into the Maze.
My Science II has reached Confederation, the other ARS planet I found. BulletProofs, Vamp Claws, and Mirrors.
Pause. Need a few minutes to think here.
If there was ever a game I wanted Mirrors, this is probably it. Talk about a suicide ship. Well, my first hack is determined. From Kerensky I should be able to pour the kids in after I move everything down. I've managed to inherit 8 Engi IIIs as well so that'll help with startup builds down there. I don't think I want the whipping boy down there when there's worlds in Central that lend themselves to a bottleneck better and are worlds I'll care about holding long term, with Fact IV's into a major region.
At this point, there's one 'threat' world in the Backyard, Kurita. I need a stepstone to really get at it or Raid IIs to pop that danged Spire shield. So, Speed Slam Kerensky, drop in 20-30 Science IIs, and take the ARS/pop the CSG. Continue to do bug-builds off JJ for now. Plan a hack for Confederation but hold off on those plans for 10-15 minutes while I use the Kerensky step-stone to drive up the back passage of the maze and open up more areas for the scouts so I can figure out what's back there.
Alright, game on.
1:56:30 Raids hit Kerensky's Counterstrike post. 137 ships to Ceasar, the turretball/whippingboy. BWAHAHA, alright, we're good. Advance the timelines.
1:57:30 kids start on the SuperFort in Confederation.
1:58:00 Zenith Bombardment ships are opened up. Well, if there was ever a beautiful ship for a whipping boy, that's it. Add it to the build list for the defensive fleet Shipyard on Ceasar.
1:58:30 20 Science II's land on Kerensky. 3000 K gained 45 seconds later. They head back to homeworlds to stay safer. I blow the Kerensky station.
2:00:00 The kids had gotten distracted by something, somewhere. They're back on task in Confederation now though and are working down the Fort II and SuperFort. Raid SS II researched and building.
2:02:00 The kids had a really tough time with the SuperFort this time, was odd. Finally take the thing out.
The entire Southwest is now clear of any significant obstacles. Just Cmd Posts and Warpgates.
2:03:00 Crap, there's a BHG on the back way through the Maze, I'll have to kill it or punch my way through the front door. There's another ARS in the upper Right corner of the maze I can get to if I keep going this way. I kind of need to go this way anyway, I need eyes in the Maze so I can see what the AI has, if anything, there, or if everything's up in Bob.
Power just started to become a problem. I start activating some of my 5xreactors on each of the homeworlds.
2:04:00 Omega, the BHG world in the Maze, is a MK IV with a Fortress and a Grav Guardian near the entry making life miserable. Well, looks like the kids will be there awhile. No problem. Gives me time to build off my Raid IIs.
Continue trying to drive the mass scout fleet into corners of the Maze from the front door with limited success.
2:07:00 Heh, Omega's got a Fact IV on it, too. That could be handy.
A dual wave is hitting me for 3000 ships on Ceasar at AIP 62. This could get interesting, but unlikely. I'll go watch though when it gets here.
2:07:30 I'm out of crystal. Those are some HUNGRY Raid IIs. And Zenith Bombards.
2:09:00 Massive pieces of the last wave escaped the grav well by avoiding it and going sideways. Improve the gravwell.
2:09:30 Second wave comes in as backup to the first... which left already with ~200 ships. The paralyzers practically shut down my entire Flak Turret set. They need some FFs apparently.
2:10:00 This is getting UGLY. I think I'll hold but they're breaking through the lines. I can't move the homeworld station or I'd get it a LOT further from this wormhole. Drop 5 FFs on the flak / lightnings. That's enough of THAT.
2:11:00 Put the kids back on defensive/scour duty. The ones out at the Fact IV are blowing the BHG, but there's an Eye just past them before they can get near the ARS planet. I need materials, so no reason to keep donating them to the enemy until my Raid SS armada is built.
2:11:30 Leftovers from before I reset it pissed off an EMP guardian coming down from the Fact IV through the AI Eye world. Redirect AGAIN to intercept this EMP before it does something annoying.
2:13:00 Wow, they really pissed off something heavily dug in. Over 600 ships are trying to get out of there. The kids are explaining things to them, using a bit of the ultraviolence.
2:14:00 the Raid Armada is ready and Cookie Monster just invaded the attack path. Well, that'll slow things up a bit, but it'll keep him busy for a minute or 10.
2:14:30 Heh, he moved on, interesting.
Raids are on their way to go remove that last Eye in the Backyard via Deepstrike, then we'll head into the Maze.
2:16:00 Ah, much better. Raids are at 50% on the SpireShield. No more twiddling my thumbs waiting for that to finish. Threat's not going through the roof so I'll be alright.
2:17:30 Finish the Eye cleanup with only 500 or so threat built up. Good enough.
2:18:30 Not sure how, but apparently the kids when they went through popped EVERY guardpost the Eye had on Neverending story in the back of the Maze. Well, ain't that nice. Redirect them to the Fact IV system back there and keep pushing scouts.
2:20:00 2 AI Eye Worlds in range of Kerensky's step-stone in the Maze, Blackstone and Huge. Raids go to work.
2:20:30 EMP warning on some random planet. Pause. Find planet, realize my Raids annoyed it and let it loose, they chase.
2:21:00 They catch it, and head back to work.
2:22:00 Find another ARS in the Maze. One world left to scout. No AI HW here. Both AIs are deep in Bob.
2:24:00 Raids finish with first world. Head home to JJ for repairs, took a bit of a beating from a local Fort.
2:28:00 Kids finish with the Fact IV world in the back of the Maze. I sic them on the fortress that beat up my Raid SSs and then will have them finish clearing out the entrance to the Maze.
2:30:00 Raids reach Blackstone. Pause. Primary pathing to Orbital Mass Driver, the killer of Raids. Then path them through all the guardposts, including *2* counterstrike posts. After this there's one more AI Eye in the Maze/Southwest entry area, and then they'll have to swing around the back of it to clear out another one. The Kids will keep everything busy in the meanwhile. Once the Counterstrike gets close I'll worry about repositioning things.
Time for a break. I've cleared out three entire sectors of the map and another two are half complete. Complete nerfage. This is intense, though, if you've noticed my time markers. Took me a bit to get going at full steam, had a few fumbles really early. Part of that was laughing too hard, though.
I have 12 Space Docks pumping out the Nienzuls to keep up with their load and inflated caps. They can swarm, well, anything. It's just NASTY. I'm half tempted to put this build up against Raid Engines or Technologies just to see what happens. Maybe after I finish this up.
At my present speed I think I might finish this game in 6 hours.