While said raid engine certainly warrants that level of intensity when it comes to adjectives, around here we ask that you refrain from that particular one.
Yeah, exactly the reason i hoped you'd let that slip.
But oh well, no profanity from now on.
Meanwhile, Game 5, Part 4
Now that my final borders have been established, it was time to pay the AI homeworlds a friendly visit. Once again i have decided to use the dumb "When you have the biggest stick, you dont need to talk at all" approach, and simply sent my entire fleet to go kill the core raid engine at Aiki. Half of that fleet would die on its way but it was fine because it meant the rebuilt ships would help defend against the core raid wave. I had plenty of reserves, the Adv. Fac system was heavily defended, as it would be most likely to get attacked, and i really didnt want to lose it.
This task was carried quite well. I mean, sure, i have lost my entire fleet, but i also killed the raid engine, along with a core neinzul spawner, and generally killing lots of ships. While the fleet was rebuilding,i flew around with what i had, neutering the less defended system, trying to drain the AI reinforcements.
Once the fleet was at full power again, it was time to go visit the other AI homeworld, which was not even scouted yet. First i aggroed the 1000 ships in murdoch and baited them to attack Asnobang. God, this trick is so cheap. By the time i rebuilt after that attack, Murdoch only got back to around 300, with a portion of these being the special forces patrolling.
Steamrolling through murdoch cost me only ~300 ships, and the next planets had minimal ship garrisons. As result, by the time i entered the AI home, i still had around 1800 ships.
The second home had a nasty thing called a planetary cloaker or something, which kinda confused me at first, but i have already beaten a cloak master a while ago so i knew what to do. Having to first go kill the cloaker of course drained alot of my fleet power, but the defences AI had in the system were meager. Who cares those 120 ships are all MKV? I have 1200! As such, i just cruised around, killing the guard posts, ion cannons and whatever else. Those all still hurt my fleet though, so by the time i killed everything except for the AI home station, all i had left were ~400 ships. They would surely not beat the AI home station, plus i didnt want that yet anyway, so the options were either to stay, go home, or just scuttle em. Scuttling is really inefficient though, so i have decided to just send them back, letting them kill whatever they meet on their way.
so the setup right now is:
~70 ships, all posts intact save the raid engine and neinzul spawner. Tachyons down.
~30 ships, only the command station remains, but fully surrounded by the fortresses and shields.
~2500 ships in the main fleet
14 SC siege towers+4 riots as police force
A bunch of martyrs at home for emergency defence (should have built them sooo much earlier)
2 Regen golemsPart 5: The finale
Remembering that i still had loads and loads of spare asteroids, i have decided to finally give them some use. Time to abuse me some spire rams. I mean, why send any real fleets to that half-finished AI home, if you could just ram everything?
Sadly, i forgot how clunky the Spire Ram AI was, so i wasted like 8 rams due to them aggroing at the AI units guarding the wormholes. Apparently the correct way is to give them a group move command with the cloakers so they dont have any opportunity to decide to ram anything.
Ramming the AI station directly yielded no result (i kinda hoped it'd automatically damage the shields), costing me 1 more ram, but then i just aimed the shields directly and they fell down quite quickly. With the command station exposed, i could just send a few penetrators at any time and kill it.
For the final push on the other home station, i have decided to use the traditional safe "cloakers+transports", approach. But before that, i had an exo coming for me. Basically that was my last real chance to lose, and i believed i was prepared. I even built a few shield bearers to add another defensive layer around my home station, as well as a few spire rams to ram them AI golems.
You know whats the worst part about exo waves? Its not only the waves on their own, no. Its also all that goddamn threat which finally gets released at your planets because now the AI believes it has the advantage.
Map right before the raid:
The main fleet is split in 3 chunks, guarding the most strategic systems, plus theres a 22-ships Jotienly which is actually my new police force: Full cap of MkI-III spire siege towers+4 raid starships.
And then they come. Oh god how much i hate those multidirectional attacks, forcing me to try to manage like 4 systems at once. And with static defences spread so evenly, of course i have to have my fleet everywhere at once. Also, the exos always happen to come EXACTLY at the same time as regular waves. Resulting in a few thousands of attacking ships you need to kill before they do damage. So ffffrustrating.
Here's what i ended up with at some point:
Fiuzve got attacked by a small exo group + loads of released threat, while Marseor got an armored golem cruising through it, aiming directly for my home (or the regen golems hidden in there), so i had to send my ships at Tides to intercept. And of course, once my fleet group left Tides, all of a sudden an exo-wave group appeared there as well. Goddomot. Meanwhile, Aecimi got attacked by a wave of zenith chameleon bombers. With only statics to defend it, the system got wiped out fast. Them bomber waves man. So, i send my spire towers over there form Jotienlu. They come out of the wormhole and meet ~500 hungry bombers. 2 towers die instantly, the rest get badly damaged. But the bombers dont care, Jotienlu itself has no defense now (because towers are over here huh), so they go in and proceed to kill the defences over there as well. And then they decide to go on a nice raid on my secure eco-3 stations. My main fleet which has just dealt with the armored golem only catches up to them by the time they have already killed 2 more stations. And then theres also agression coming through Tides, destroying Lartchul.
With exo-wave wiped out and me having ~700 ships, i manage to clean up the ravaged systems and rebuild. Takes a while as my resource base is damaged, as well as the fleet and pretty much everything else.
Time for payback.
The other homeworld has 4 spire penetrators, ready to finish the home station. Their presence causes AI aggro, and as result the home system and the core worlds all have over 500 ships. This includes shield fleet ships, but i hope they wont stop the penetrators from penetrating the AI home.
And the main attack force, with its 2 regen golems, is probably going to be a massive overkill, but meh, theres no kill quite like an overkill. So we set sail, and somehow, the transports manage to get through all the systems without any one of them popping.
The only real threat is the fortress. But god i hate that thing, its DPS against everything not-bomber is insane, and the range on MKIII is huge. AND WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SHIELDS? GODDAMN I NEED LIKE 4x MORE BOMBERS TO KILL IT QUICKLY ENOUGH TO NOT GET FRUSTRATED.
Doesnt matter though, we have regen golems. And who cares that my fleet ships dont have bonuses against shields, and those shields are all MKV's? I still have 2200 ships worth of pure DPS!
So yeah, with all ships focusing their firepower on those posts, they go down pretty quickly. Too bad its hard to maneuver aorund the fortress, especially with ships constantly respawning at regen golems. Still doesnt matter, who cares the fortress earned like 2000 kills. They all just respawn, cant stop me!
Meanwhile, my own systems are dying to incoming waves and stuff. At least the Adv. Fac is quickly rebuilding ships so if we somehow fail at the AI home, i WILL have a chance. But im in a hell of a hurry, so once all guard posts are down, i send EVERYTHING at the home station. Golems are completely exhausted by then, but i have plenty of ships, the shields should go down fast, screw the fortress. Meanwhile, the second AI home is killed by the penetrators.
15 hours on a 40-planet game. Man im slow. This was quite fun though, the AI is such a dick with those exos.
I challenge anyone to play vs lvl10 AI with spirecraft-hard, and fallen spire off, on a realistic map.