Maybe YOU took that learning curve graciously and went straight to L7.
80-planet map, simple-hubs map, conquest, normal ships, AIP
1/30, factions: Golems (moderate), Spirecraft (moderate), no plots, all
expansions. Both AIs Level 6 Random Easier.
First being glad from having found a snug corner with bombards for my HQ,
I'm soon bothered by the facts that one of two neighbors is a IV planet, and
my opponents are Stealth Master and Spire Hammer.
99 Cloaked Ships, 1 Starship
I'm putting a tachyon drone on each wormhole, and place a decloaker
strategically, and start building snipers. I send my single raider into the
lion's mouth (the IV planet) to pull the warp gate -- she even manages to get
away, so I think why not send her for the gate of a third planet, and so she
goes. My main attacking force (2x98 fighters/bombers+light starship) is sent
to the other neighbor, trusting the rest with the defense.
At 0:14, two minutes before the expected first wave, probably due to my
attack, a Spire Stealth Battleship MkIV makes a showing at HQ. Not that it
would need those few MkIV bombers accompanying it... a salvo from my 70 MkI
frigates manages to diminish its health by three per cent! But fortunately,
the 24 bombards can kill it, my force field being down to 65 per cent. Oh
well, 90 seconds time to repair and get my main force back, or maybe finish
building those snipers? Perhaps also repair the frigates, as the main force
will not make it in time? Check if you're really playing at level 6?
ATM, the main force is near a distribution node, kill it. The material is
sorely needed for all tasks at hand. Now quickly kill that 3rd warp gate, then
back. Somehow, although I have a scout at the I-planet, the AI manages to
sport an AI Artillery Guardian MkIII and an AI Heavy Beam Guardian MkIII, both
invisible at the planet summary from the galactic map, a bug? Ah no, they move
as fast as starships, I have never seen this on lower levels. Meanwhile, at
home, my first Leech ship is built, so there may be a chance of soon having
better equipment. 30 seconds to go. On that "I-planet", my main force (all
MkI, the brave ones!) are now fighting 3 artillery, 1 heavy beam guardian, and
2 MkIII stealth battleships. How many will make it back?
Worries were unfounded. It's 17 minutes in the game, my MkI units and 20
snipers do astonishingly well against six spire starships and a hundred MkI raptors.
19 minutes. I'm 50 raptors richer and the rest of the enemy has escaped --
where to? Following through their wormhole to I-planet, the wounded spires are
nowhere to be seen. Well then, continue what you started five minutes ago. D'ned
interruptions, spire hammer, phh... Guess why it's named stealth battleship? So I find
the escapees, too, and complete their fate.
This game turned soon and I learned
Lesson 1: Do not expect a quiet game
Game 2. I thought it was a good decision: placing myself at a 2-hole planet
with parasite bonus ship. I weathered the first waves and took a neighbor,
only to find that that next ARS neighbor which I couldn't take in one go was now
so alarmed that, regardless what I was throwing at him, I didn't get through.
Of course, the warp gates were destroyed and so the threat constantly was at
300, so he always got supply. Me not. I gave up, as I couldn't see how to
break the "stalemate". Do you?
Lesson 2: chose an aggressive bonus ship
Game 3. That looked better. First. The bonus was Raider and my neighbors all
I-planets. Farther away, some III,IV but they could be ignored, as they had
nothing I was interested in atm. So make a nest. Wait, if I take that warp
gate from the IV-planet, then I can make this one the inlet, the whipping boy.
Send that raider starship, huh what's this, a new ship type, Zenith Paralyzer,
bother, click the warp gate. What, 80, 60, 40, 20, dead! Bummer, but you won't
do that to 150 raiders, I swear...
Well, the raiders had to wait, as that IV-planet staged an immediate
counterattack with MkIV ships which I was just defending with MkI when...
50 AI I Zenith Beam Frigates I, Starships (1) to Homeworld in 3:00
OK. I'm now 30 beam frigates richer but I saw myself at the edge, again.
However, the lesson is
Lesson 3: do not tickle the lion without a good defense
So, what's good against MkIV paralyzers. just for a raid of that warp gate, not
more? Lots of raptors?