Finally, if anyone has any suggestions about my overall strategy in the game or things that I am doing horribly wrong, it would be fantastic to hear about it (e.g. tech choices or overall strategy)
Hi and welcome to the forums.
I play almost exclusively 10/10 difficulty games and I've been playing AI War quite a lot so I think I might have something useful to say.Some overall strategies and tech unlocks:
I myself tend to play very defensively. Usually I fortify my planets heavily and focus on doing surgical strikes with Raid Starships, small fleet of mostly MarkI, some MarkII fleet ships and Starships and/or Golems if I have them enabled.
At the beginning of the game I always unlock either MarkIIs or IIIs of both resource harvesters. Then I usually unlock higher Marks of turrets. Sometimes MarkII Bombers or Missile Frigates. Now I've started unlocking MarkII Leech Starships which are surprisingly powerful. Especially for defensive purposes. You can park them behind your turrets, let turrets kill the AI ships and watch as the Leech Starships reclaim the AI ships. You will notice their true power if you play against the Starfleet Commander AI. After I have captured 1 additional planet (Home planet + 1 planet = 16000 Knowledge)
I often unlock MarkII Raid Starships and MarkII Scouts so I can start finding and destroying Data Centers. I and probably everyone else always unlocks MarkI Gravitational Turrets right at the beginning. They greatly slow down the AI ships and give your turrets more time to shoot. You MUST unlock these. MarkIIs are very good (and expensive)
Place the Gravitational Turrets so when the Gravitational Turrets start slowing the other turrets will start shooting. It you place the Gravitational Turrets too far away long range AI ships will destroy you turrets before the AI ships get in range of your turrets. In this screenshot I've also added a Hardened Force Field Generator and Tractor Beam Turrets next to the Gravitational Turret. This will buy you even more
time. Unless there's a lot of Bombers it will take long before the AI ships have drilled trough that Force Field AND destroyed the Gravitational and Tractor Beam Turrets. Hell.. you could even add Flak and Lightning Turrets under that Force Field if you're feeling rich (they're expensive so repairing them is expensive. Also because of their short range they WILL be destroyed.)
As you may or may not know. Placing a turret under a Force Field will reduce the turret's damage by 75%. Flak and Lightning Turrets' damage is only reduced by 25%.
You can also add EMP Minefields in front of the turrets so the paralyzed ships will be in range of your turrets.
I also recommend placing Area Minefields between hostile wormholes and your command station. Like this:How to stop a wave in 3 seconds:Time: 4:02:22
Enemies left: 631Time: 4:02:25
Enemies left: 173
I strongly recommend unlocking Area Minefields when wave sizes are close to ~1000 ships. Use the line placing to line place them between the hostile wormholes and the command station. (Alt+Right click on the background-->line placing-->enable packed line. make a line by first clicking on point A then B. Then hold shift and start placing)
Probably the best turrets to unlock are:
1. MarkI Gravitational Turrets
2. Heavy Beam Cannons
3. Basic Turrets
4. Spider/Missile Turrets
Heavy Beam Cannon might actually be a bit overpowered. Nothing game breaking
though. The have long range, very high dps and aoe damage. The MarkIV is IN-SANE and awesome! You have to try it! But hey it should be.. unlocking MarkIV HBC costs 9000 knowledge (3 planets = ~+60 AIP). I like to manually control HBCs and order them to shoot at a huge pile of AI ships. They will destroy 1000 ships in no time.
MarkII and III Basic Turrets are really cheap and good at destroying heavy and ultra heavy ships (some starships, armor ships, spire stealth battleships and tractor platforms etc)
and Missile Frigates. I actually consider Missile Frigates the most dangerous of the "triangle ships" (Missile Firgate-->Fighter-->Bomber-->Missile Frigate)
because of the long range. They out range all Gravitational Turrets and will be able to destroy your turrets faster than other triangle ships.
Spider and Missile Turrets are very similar. Both of them have very long range (Spider has infinite and is immune to radar dampening though)
and have damage multipliers vs Polycrystal (Bombers)
and Medium (Some fleet ships but most importantly Guardians (The AIs have a bad habit of sending ~30 MarkV Guardians in CPAs))
. Missile Turrets have better base damage and do more damage vs multipliers. Spider Turrets on the other hand are immune to radar dampening, have infinite range, fire instantly (No projectile travel time = no 10 turrets shooting at a target that is already dead)
. It depends on situation which you want to unlock. Both cost 3000 Knowledge. Pick your poison.
Generally good and safe tech unlocks:
MarkIIs of fleet ships (MarkIIs only if you have access to Advanced Factory and you are sure you can defend the AF)
MarkIIs Raid, Leech, Plasmasiege, Heavy Bomber and Riot Starships.
MarkIs and IIs of Zenith and Spire Starships
MarkI Gravitatonal Turrets, HBCs, Basic Turrets, Spider Turrets and Missile Turrets.
Both minefields (EMP and Area)
MarkII Hardened Force Field Generators
What you should unlock depends on your play style, how you want to play and the AIs you're playing against and what ships the AIs have unlocked.About bonus ships:
My favourite bonus ships are Munitions Boosters, Snipers, Space Tanks and surprise surprise.. Neinzul Youngling Weasels. I recently discovered the "Zen of Weasels". I also may have discovered the Zen of Anti-Armor Ships.
Munitions Boosters are just awesome. They basically double the damage of your fleet ships and turrets. Yes. Turrets too. Park 10 Munitions Boosters next to you massive turret balls and watch AI ships go boom!
With Snipers all you need to do is.. unlock MarkIIs of Snipers, Bombers and Riot Starships. Boom!
AI pwnd! Snipers destroy Lights (Fighters)
, Polycrystals (Bombers)
and Mediums (Guardians)
. Bombers destroy big stuff like Force Fields, some Guard Posts and Fortresses. Riots basically do no damage but they will destroy enemy's engines so Snipers can easily clean up everything.
Space Tanks have very high DPS. They're like Bombers. Except in addition to having damage multiplier vs big stuff and Artillery (Missile Frigates)
they also do bonus damage vs Polycrystals (Bombers). If you choose Space Tanks I recommend unlocking MarkII Missile Frigates to destroy AI Fighters. Bombers and Space Tank both have Polycrystal Hull type which is countered by Fighters. Fighters are countered by Missile Frigates.
Weasels are surprisingly good. Not because of their damage but because they're basically free mobile Counter Missile Turrets. They're also very durable, spammable (put a Space Dock on loop to build any Neinzul Youngling ships) so they will be able to soak a lot of damage and thus protect other ships and turrets. They're pretty good at destroying Bombers too.
MarkIIs of Anti-Armor Ships, Missile Frigates and Riot Starships = awesome. Add Counter Missile Turrets when defending.