If you can afford 6 raid starships, they can be suicided into the OMD with some micro... I've been doing this regularly for Core Raids and Core CPAs... although I thought the core AI Eye was removed some time ago?
I don't feel like threat hunting at the moment, time to save and go make the weekly run to the shopping center, need food for the week.
For a moment I thought about requesting a /pizza command. Then I thought: "No. Just no."
And the raids are not an option, never unlocked Mk II of them and I play single HW start so I only have 3 raids available to me. I'm actually not using raids to raid, they are holding 3 systems down, one raid on FRD in each to chase down straggler AI ships when the military command station teleports them away.
And it's just a regular eye as far as I can tell, dying once all guard posts are dead.
And on that note I was able to get back to this and get a good session in so....VICTORY!!!
(See overall game notes at the end of my post.)
The end game went pretty much exactly as planned. Because of the Eye in the second AI homeworld, I went after the Neinzul Spawner underneath the force field next so I could bring in my bomber swarm and not trigger the eye. Hiding the bombers in transports under cloak, I used the teleport raiders to trigger the Spawner. The cockroaches streamed to my fleet node and quickly died on the defences there as my transports unloaded as soon as they'd left the system. The Spawner dies pretty quick, as well as the OMD that was next to it.
There's only one other guard post under a force field but it's only a Core Leech and it dies quickly.
As there are no more force fields left over guard posts, I pull my bomber swarm back and finish the rest of the guard posts off with my starships.
The Eye quietly dies without having spawned a single ship during my attack.
Dump my fleet in and kill the AI Home Command and it's defenders. The fortress and 2 force fields make it take quite a while but with my entire fleet sitting there the Command Center ends up dying in short order.
My fleet is actually quite depleted at this point but as I previously neutered the other AI Homeworld I have more then enough left to quickly destroy it aswell.
Final stats: 16 hours game time, 382 AIP (Or only 182 if you don't count the AIP from the home commands), 10 systems captured and I fear not the Stealth Master and the way he hides from me, nor the Experimentalist and his weird and wonderful toys.
Now, for my thoughts in general on the game overall:Low AIP:
Because the RNG gave me a homeworld with 14 hostile wormholes, I decided that this game I would not gate raid, rather I would take the absolute minimum number of systems to keep AIP as low as possible, helped out by Data Centers and such. I did have Core Shield Generators enabled and I ended up taking only the systems I needed to destroy those, plus one more for a total of 11 systems under my control at the end of the game. Overall I would say this suits me and my playstyle, I like a slower game which the smaller wave sizes at lower AIP leans towards. The low number of systems means I did lack Knowledge to unlock more then a couple turrets and I had no defensive chokepoint with every single on of my 11 systems having a hostile wormhole which forced me to use part of my fleet for defense. With the small wave size however that was not an issue at all.Economy:
If there is an area I screwed up this game it would be economically. Because of each system having a hostile wormhole I build exclusively military command stations and unlocked Harverster Mk IIs for economic purposes. However, my economy could not keep up at the end game, I spend a large part of the last 4 hours of gametime waiting on fleet rebuilds. Now, losing my entire mobile fleet when I screwed up on the first Neinzul Spawner hurts bad but when I was AFK without pausing the game waiting for my fleet to rebuild something's gone wrong.Stealthed Threat:
Stealthed threat is broken, I can't put it any other way. That CPA I was worried about last post? I never saw a single ship from it. My threat jumped to over 2000 when it hit, after a couple minutes of sitting on the defensive and not being attacked I said screw it and resumed my own attacks. They still just sat there. That 2500 threat on my victory screen shot? That's ships sitting around doing nothing, not me rushing ahead of freed ships before they attack me. Not sure the answer but something needs to happen, when I afk for 5 minutes to get drink with the game unpaused because I'm not worried about 2000 threat that is not working as intended.Zenith Bombards:
Ow. There's just too much in the late game immune to these, their range looks great but I was not able to use it much. Not unlocking Mk III of these again.Teleport Raiders:
What I wished I'd unlocked Mk III of. I only had Mk I and II of these, but I could hop them in, destroy a Core Guard Post (that was not under an FF) and warp out with about 40-50% losses. If I'd had Mk III and IV things would have been much more straightforward. I may take these as my bonus ship next game to really see what they can do.Difficulty:
Having said all that, I was only playing on Diff 7/7 as I wanted a break from all the super challenges I had been throwing myself lately. I may try this again at diff 8 or 9 to properly challenge myself and see how a low AIP strategy works at those levels. I'll probably bash my head against the 10/10 wall some more first however.