Author Topic: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense  (Read 4984 times)

Offline corfe83

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Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« on: February 10, 2012, 06:24:53 PM »
So I've played a lot of games on 7/7 difficulty, and never won any of them. I always feel like I need both more offense and more defense than what I have :-)

I'm curious - to those of you who have won - how much of your knowledge do you spend on defense, and how much on offense? I usually try to spend most of it on offense (Mk. 3 ships + starships + economic unlocks). Perhaps 75% offense, 25% defense (by defense I mean turrets, mines, shields, fortresses, etc.)

For those of you who have won, what do your unlock patterns look like? How much do you spend on offense vs. defense - do you try to unlock all the Mk. 3 ships available to you? Or do you unlock all the turrets? Or what portion in between?

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 06:31:21 PM »
Before fallen spire, I would usually only get turret MK II due to their very small knowledge cost. Sometimes, now with their reduced cost, I can also justify spider turrets. However, with the exception of laser MK II's, I find myself rarely, if ever, getting turrets unless I use them also for offense in the form of fallen spire.
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Offline corfe83

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 06:38:19 PM »
How many Mk. 3 ships do you typically get to unlock by end game?

I'm playing the vanilla game (no fallen spire, etc.).

Offline HellishFiend

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 06:51:40 PM »
Tell us a little more about how you customize the game. Do you have any plots or minor factions enabled? What flavor of AI? Number of planets?

In general, except for a few every-game unlocks, I spend my knowledge entirely based on my needs at the time.  Here are my every-game unlocks:

Engineers mkII and III
Scouts mk II and III
ForceField gen Mk II and Hardened Force Field gen mk I
Fortress mk I

Aside from that, all my unlocks are situational. If I'm facing exo-waves and/or planning a high AIP strategy, I unlock Military Command Stations, higher mk Fortresses, Turrets, Tractor Beams, etc, and then upgrade my mobile ships only as necessary to take the planets I want to take.

If I'm planning a low AIP strategy, I unlock my mobile ships and occasionally a starship here and there. I also upgrade my economic structures due to not having an abundance of planets harvesting resources, and unlock defensive structures only when I run out of cap on the starting structures.

One of the most entertaining things about this game is the fact that the techs you unlock are part of the "grand strategy" of the game, so I highly recommend just picking a few must-haves and then unlocking the rest based on your plan of action. I think its more fun that way.

A beginner approach would be to only unlock mk II tech in something if you are perpetually capped out of the mk I version, and only unlocking new mk I techs as you absolutely need them (decloaker, etc). Just let your knowledge accumulate until you find yourself saying "I wish I had ______", and then unlock it.  :)
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 07:04:20 PM »
How many Mk. 3 ships do you typically get to unlock by end game?

I'm playing the vanilla game (no fallen spire, etc.).

I almost always get, at the very least, MK III's for fighters, bombers, and my bonus ship (which I always choose and love). Some ARS ships I'll also upgrade, but that depends on what I get, but usually at least one of the many ARS ships I get is MK III.

EDIT: When I first start the game, I can either make the case for econ stations or military stations. Both are good. On large AIP games (or games with multiple fronts and /or cloacking units) I make the case for military stations, otherwise I make the case for economic stations. After the first 6 are placed, it is a good time to upgrade them to the next level. Other then making a 2 to 3 upgrades in defenses, most of my points go to fleet ships, which make up my offense. I can make the case toward end game for MK III lasers and basics, as well as spider and missile turrets, and in a few select cases fortresses, but this is the most I can spend on defense without fallen spire. Even then, I only spend points on heavy beam cannons.

***Extra edit: I always, ALWAYS get gravity turrets, and at least 2 upgrades to shields over time.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 07:11:20 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 07:07:16 PM »
Gravity Turrets are an always unlock for me.  So are Spider Turrets, but I don't generally get them until a little later.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 08:22:34 PM »
Offense first, then defense.  I can use offense as defense until I spread out a lot further.  A few minor exceptions would be grav turrets and warp detectors.  Then I'll push the upgrades on the Selected ship and one or two of the triangles depending on enemy usage.  I might also pop open tachyon turrets if I needed to.  I'll also concentrate on Econ II/III early for heavy economy behind the whipping boy I eventually setup.  Another early open for me is Raid Starship II/III.

I'll keep upping my attack power until I'm comfortable that I've reached beyond where I can reasonably respond to, then build up the whipping boy.  I'll keep pushing my offenses, and open up fortresses when I look to K-Raid once or twice.

I'll keep that up until the whipping boy starts taking heavy firepower that I start getting nervous that they'll pop through.  At that point either I'll invest in Logistic IIIs to guard the outer doors against teleporters or start investing in Basic IIs, Spiders, and Laser IIs.  This will go slow.  My priority will be beefing up to III's to make sure whatever Fact IV's I pick up don't go to waste.

From there, I'll usually just sit on K for new ARS builds or reaction choices.  Sometimes I need more tractors, or FFs.  Sometimes I need more grav turrets for random systems, or perhaps I'm feeling I need stronger starship power.
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Offline Spikey00

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 09:06:25 PM »
I'm a "capture all the planets" type of guy.  Right from the start I get MK3 economy stations and start butchering nearby planets up to a few manageable chokepoints.  MK2 ships then get unlocked, then MK3 engineers for universal CTRL-group.  Mid-game leans a lot more toward defensive tech:  forcefields and turrets, then fortresses.  I've come to really love Spirecraft attritioners + gravity turrets--I stack all the attritioners on that planet, my entire fleet guarding another chokepoint, and turrets/forts divvy on the others until all warp gates but ones connected to the attrition planet are destroyed.  Then I focus on capturing all the golems and ARS, then use the golems for the rest of the game with the MK3 engineers.  Fleet takes a defensive role. 

This is exactly how I played in my very recent 7/7 game.
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Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 09:51:58 PM »
gravity turrets are a must for me. Tractor turrets as well. usually they get mk II or sometimes even mk III. Basic might get mk II, but that's about it for the turrets. Forcefields get unlocked all the time, mostly all of them (even hardened), but never fortresses. I go for offensive the most... and logistics commands all the time.
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Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 10:11:33 PM »
ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK
Defence? ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK
Then a hardened force field, mkII or mkIII basic turrets, maybe some grav turrets.
Then ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK some more.

Seriously. Mobile ships can double as defensive units. Turrets can not double as offensive ones.
So I only unlock the cheapest of non-offensive units, and concentrate all remaining knowledge on Starships, Fleet Ships, my Bonus Ship, and whatever Support Ships best help to get my fleet in order.

Offline Martyn van Buren

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 11:49:10 PM »
Back to OP, what stage of the game are you having trouble with?  Early game, you might want to work on how you lay out the "trap" around your enemy wormholes --- for me, that means enough tractors to hold about 120% of a normal wave (some are going to get shot down) plus a mix of mostly normal/flak/laser turrets but backed up by a few longer-range turrets, hopefully placed to hit two or three wormholes.  Usually at least one row of mines as well.  I try to have enough that I can leave, say, half a cap of Mk I cruisers on FRD and have them mop up a standard wave with minimal losses.  With advanced warp sensors you can build traps only when you need them and move the defending fleet ships around to meet incoming waves.  Forcefield over the command center/wormhole toward your homeworld also helps a lot, with military command centers for especially tough world to defend.  I rarely unlock any defensive structures early game.

If your trouble is more mid-to-late game, you'll likely need some unlocks, but you might also want to look into how you manage where attacks are coming from too.  There is a *lot* of information here on the fora and on the Wiki about using gate raiding to set up "whipping boys," massively defended worlds that take the brunt of the AI's attack.   In many of my games I wind up building a core that only has one or two worlds bordering warp gates, funneling attacks into a fortress world with dozens of turrets, defending ships, martyrs (for emergencies), waves of mines, and sometimes two-three fortresses --- of course, you have to have decent luck with the map layout for this to work, and during CPAs the AI doesn't need warp gates to attack you. Then I'll leapfrog into the galaxy, creating some lightly-defended forward posts that I'm willing to replace occasionally.

In general, though, for defensive unlocks I follow a rule Keith posted some time ago --- focus on offense most of the time, and wait til you get in trouble with defense to unlock defensive units.  I find I most often unlock force field IIs or hardened force field Is (just for the extra cap when I have too many wormholes to defend), turret IIs, and spider and gravity turrets.

Offline corfe83

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 12:49:53 PM »
I'm playing with no plots or minor factions enabled. All expansions enabled, normal ship types. I'm mostly having trouble with the end game. Sounds like many folks have success with offense-as-defense, and so I suppose I'll continue to work with mostly unlocking offense, as I do now.

I've setup extreme whipping boys that can even protect against CPA's in the past (only one or two entrances to the rest of the galaxy), but made the mistake of leaving an un-neutered Mk3 world right outside my whipping boy (the main entrance to the rest of the galaxy), which really screwed me over one game as the AI continually reinforced it, and it was just about impossible to get past it or neuter it. This time I tried the "gate raiding" whipping boy strategy, but my network of planets is too spread out to effectively protect against a CPA or the huge flow of core ships that will stem from the AI homeworld's 2x core raid engine guard posts when I try to finish it :-P

Every game I play I learn something, and I'm getting better. I guess I just have to keep at it. Thanks for the replies, everyone.

Offline Nodor

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 04:44:04 PM »
Your unlocks need to be designed to fit your play style and strategy.  My first order of business is ALWAYS mark 3 of the ship I chose when I selected my homeworld.   (Under the assumption it is my best available fleet ship)

And then I figure out what type of AIs I am facing, how they will attack and what defenses/offensive tools I need.

For instance, against the Shield Ninny and Fortress Baron investing in defensive structures is not a great idea.   Vs. the Backdoor raider and the Vicious Raider you had better have some serious turret  and forcefield placements.

I'll purchase Military command stations Mk 3 to counter the Stealth Master, Economic Command 3 to feed Starship building, or none if I'm going with just fleet ships.

If you are failing in the later half of the game, then it's probably more to do with not being set-up on the map on a strategic basis for eliminating home worlds.   In my experience, attacking home worlds is when you are the most vulnerable - because all of your mobile defense is engaged on offense.   Limiting entry points clusters CPA's and makes threat harder to bleed (this is bad), but makes turrets and fortresses more efficient (this is good).    If you are a high AIP player, then you will have a bastion of worlds that can fall before the AI closes on your homeworld  With a Low AIP strategy, you can sniper the homeworlds before they have built up 1K + Mk 5 ships.   

What you need in these cases is different enough that there is no "right"answer to what to spend on.



Offline Martyn van Buren

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2012, 07:13:17 PM »
By the way, what kind of AIP are you getting to late game?  I go for a fairly low-AIP strategy, first building a defensible core and then using a lot of deep-raiding and skipping low-value or hard-to-defend worlds outside of my core whenever possible.  I tend to wind up with a few two- or three-world chains around advanced factories and important junctions and a few isolated worlds with just an economic command and a space dock to use as staging grounds for assaults, skipping one or two hostile worlds in between, so I tend to be around 400 AIP when I take on the first AI homeworld.  I think this is the low end of the normal range but not ultra-low, and I think it gives you a bit more room for error and makes the game a bit easier if you're not super efficient at defense.

You can use transports and player warp gates (not sure if it's the right word, a structure that warps new units directly to another world with a 1-minute wait) to build fleets up quickly during homeworld assaults, but otherwise I tend to build new fleets at the front.  Generally, this strategy allows you to focus most of your defenses on your own core, leaving behind a few caps of low-mark ships as defenders; except for factories and fabs you can replace outposts pretty cheaply, so you can just leave most of them with a minimal battery of turrets and let them be overrun once in a while.

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Knowledge Spending: Offense vs. Defense
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 05:56:10 AM »
I always end my games with very high AIP. I don't skip any enemy worlds. If I see a nice target 5 hops away from any one of my planets, I will take everything in between as well. I do this for defense purposes. I put logistics commands everywhere, which allows me to travel really fast, to anywhere in my empire, neutering and gate raiding nearly every bordering planet along the way. And placing gravity turrets and tractor turrets everywhere really slows enemy ships down even more. they'll have a hard time getting anywhere.
And if I manage to find a botnet in the galaxy or a dyson sphere early game, my defense is pretty much done for the rest of the game. Besides, I love high AIP when I have a botnet. Higher mark ships and more ships to turn into zombies.
I played a few games where I didn't rely on the botnet or dyson (not because I wanted to, but because I couldn't reach the dyson easily early game and there was no botnet in the galaxy -.-), and they were pretty tough. Still managed to win though, even with high AIP.
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