3/3 two-player co-op game. Random easy types: Sledge Hammer and Fortress Baron. Bonus ships: lightning shuttles and bulletproof fighters, neither seemed too useful in this game. First intro to the game for both of us, so no expansions on and simple ship types. Really easy play through, end game was basically FRDing the fleet ball into the second homeworld after wiping out the first. We kept a fairly low AIP with only about 15 planets taken on an 80 planet map. This took longer than it should have (due to rebuilding times) since we did not initially realize that you should only use bombers when taking a fortress, and there were a lot of them…
5/5 two-player co-op game, Random easy types: Support Corps and Mine Enthusiast. Zenith Remnant enabled with Easy Golems and Dyson Sphere, and normal ship types. Several things combined to make this one even easier than the first. The AI types were randomized, and we did not realize that there is such a large difference in difficulty between the types, even though they are all listed as easier. We never were really threatened after we found a botnet golem not too far away and soon had thousands of zombies patrolling our back worlds and responding in overwhelming force to any attacks on those planets. Near the center of the map was the Dyson Sphere, which when freed, patrolled around the central choke point where there also happened to be a bunch of fabricators and an Advanced Factory. With the backfield locked down, we had complete freedom to run around and take whatever we wanted. On the front two arms which each led to a homeworld. It got a little interesting after we popped the first homeworld, the AI response was pretty strong as we slowly moved the fleet and golems toward the second homeworld. Without any fleet help, we lost almost all of our forward planets, but the Dyson-backed central chokepoint held without any intervention from us. The Dyson and the botnet golem in particular made this particular game very free-flowing and easy since the defense side was taken care of for us. We finished the game with trying out 7 golems (in particular two artillery golems, and one fully charged hive golem), which made the second homeworld a piece of cake even if we had not brought the huge fleet ball along.
6/6 solo game, Random easy types: Gravity Driller and Tank. This was my second try on a 6/6 solo game, with similar settings to the 5/5 mulitplayer game above. The first time the AI had Zenith Bombardment ships and I had Laser Gatlings (not sure which AI types). The out-ranging effect was really annoying and I had a mark 3 planet with two fortresses (a mark 1 and a mark 3 with overlapping ranges and the mark 3 under a forcefield) right next to my homeworld. After banging my head against that for a while and finally taking it, I decided that I did not want to deal with the bombards for an entire game, so I restarted. The second one is going well, but the gravity driller means that this game is going to take a bunch of extra time just waiting around for ships to travel between worlds, and there are a couple of them near my homeworld that have a really long distance between the wormholes, which is good for defense, but really bad for game time. Can I scrap the gravity drill at no AIP cost after I own the planet?
4/4 two-player co-op game, Chose Vanilla AI and Tank to avoid some annoying things for this game. Bonus ships: Gravity ripper and Shield Bearers (for protecting the shards). Goal is to try the Fallen Spire campaign on a 120 planet snake map, to get the 110 planet achievement, as well as try some new stuff (Spirecraft easy, Golems easy, Spire Civilian leaders, Human rebels, Astro trains). This seems like the perfect combo, since Fallen Spire seems to make high AIP less damaging, and the snake map is perfect for defending against a strong AI response to our actions. Since high AIP could be a problem, we are taking a step back in difficulty after seeing this awesome AAR which I saw after I started thinking about trying this and looked around for what others have done. (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9517.0.html
Currently just under three hours in and we have one spire city hub, the first 12 planets on the snake, a spire fleet of 8 frigates each, and the second shard is located. First regular exo-wave was just repelled without a problem.