First exo turned out to be very easy. Artillery golem popped the lead ship and that was that. I probably had more ships after that fight than before because of the leeches. Learing to love the Artillery golem, its much weaker than just about every golem in most fights but it shines in lot of thing. Takes out fortresses or eyes like nothing else. Haven't really used raid ships this game as i just zap everythin with the golem.
I took the 2nd ARS and ended up with Zenith electric bombers. It was the default ship, others were Cutlasses and Zenith mirrors. Figured cutlasses would be next to uselesss with all those gravity drains around. And as i use a lot more crystal than metal, i dont want to use the mirros. Of course i hack the ARS for 7minutes before realising i can check the ship types beforehand and stopped the hacking.
Taking the next 2 planets takes around 1:30 hours, as i lose a lot of troops in every fight. None of my bonus ships(space plane, teleporting leech, electric bomber) are all that good in prolonged fight, and my triangle ships are still MK I. I've reclaimed a lot of the higher marks but not enough, and they just keep dying. Evem with mark 3 harvesters it takes a bit to gather enough to replace all my stuff. Clearly i need to do something else besides just trying to fleetball enemy systems as fast as possible.
2nd exo is coming in fairly soon after i lose 90% of my fleet in another fiasco. I barely have enough time to reproduce my fleet when it strikes. Turns out i shouldn't have worries, my 5 core planets closest to home all have 60+ gatlings. Rest have nothing but i really do not have to worry about attacks to my home .
Abnormally strong hybrid, after bit of scouting i find it on one of the core worlds.
Shortly after the exo i get my first CPA warning, 1137 ships. Regular waves are between 400-1200 ships, i laugh and go raid some Data centers. I never use whipping boy so CPAs aren't usually that big a deal for me, every system has better than token defense, should be able to at least delay enough to get mobile fleet in. Turns out this time was bit different, all ships are MKII, i don't know why but i get bit worried and start doing some last second defenses. CPA goes to my gatling free zone and i get to fight pretty sizable force head on. Fight goes suprisingly badly as there is over 30 Stealth battle ships in this crowd and more seems to be appearing. Then i get command station destroyed message and check it out . Another 20ish Stealth BS. I check my 3rd system that is under attack and yes, another 20ish Stealth BS near my command station. I fly them towards gatling zone with a martyr(martyrs on all of my forward bases). I lose a big chunk out of my main fleet but nothing too hard to replace, besides that one martyr.
I start getting lots of alerts from hybrids, perservation wardens and roaming enclaves. My defenses are taking care of them on their own but these have continued non-stop ever since.
I go on offense , decide to take it bit slower and just send Starship fleet with Artillery golem in and take a couple of shots and retreat. This actually turns out to be pretty fast method, especially when i figure i can trick them into coming after me if i remove rest of my fleet from the parent planet. I take 3 planets in a hour or so, new goodies include Advanced Factory, BeamSS FAB and 2nd artillery golem + hive golem. This puts me at 260AIP which is way beyond the MK II limit. Taking that 2nd Artillery golem wasn't that smart, 2nd one doesn't really add that much utility. And they sometimes fire at same thing.
Next to take that ARS and clear all the remaining DC co-processors. Should be able to briefly get back under 210AIP.
Remaining ARS position is bit tricky. Both are next to 2 core worlds. The bottom right one is even more annyoing. To get there i must alert a core world 2 planets before. In addition to ARS it has a golem(only artillery but still) and 3 FABs. Ugh. Well considering how favorable RNG has been for me otherwise, that sounds about fair.