10:42: 1,103 ship CPA announced. I have around 500 ships reinforcing Shawshank and SuperTerminal that will need to be cleared before arrival. Rebels are shipped to Homeworld to start backfield clearance.
The only other piece of import will be Llama holding so I don't lose the Hacker/Davion arm. The main fleet will stay positioned there until this CPA is over, same way the Rebels will remain at Homeworld until I'm sure it's safe.
The main fleet:
186 Acid Sprayers (I/II)
332 Bombers (I/II/III/IV)
98 Fighters (I)
186 Grenade Launchers (I/II)
98 Missile Frigates (I)
49 SpiderBots (V)
18 Maws (I/II/III/IV)
36 Zenith Sentinels (I/II)
78 Speed Boosters (V)
41 Resistance Fighter/Bombers
41 Resistance Frigates
6 Raid SSs (I/II)
The Rebel Responders hit and cleared Shawshank, lighting up the planet on entry of 260 units. The locals instead of staying to fight ran to attack the homeworld, but were chewed up pretty good by the Rebels. The rebels were parked on homeworld to deal with inbounds and get repairs before heading for SuperTerminal.
Hitting ST however cost me some Rebel ships, primarily from the minefield and then the guarding Guardians. Hitting the rest of the ships required them to do some heavy kiting instead of standing and brawling. By the time they were done the rebels were down to 66 ships after clearing out 500+ mixed MK II/III ships and were pretty badly banged up. Unfortunately, some of the freed threat from ST decided to go after Huge. Time to see how well one HBC can really hold up. Which ended up with the result of: Not too shabby, stopped 17 MK III ships that were only fleet ships.
MK II: 718
MK III: 44
MK IV: 99
MK V: 87
It's draining some of the coreworld. YES.
A massive threatball is starting to form against Llama in Batman on the Riker Road. Another one in Blackstone, another arm spinning off from Llama. Meanwhile, I land a perma-scout on Earth finally.
Some of that freed CPA went for Huge. It appears to be holding its own against the 15 or so ships.
847 threat is built up, and it's against the 3 ways into Llama. Great.
I stole the Engineers from Macross briefly to rebuild the Rebel Resistance fleet. I want to use them to bait the inbounds off the Confederation wormhole while the fleet handles the rest.
Basically setting up a 3 way war. The Rebels will handle the attack currently in Confederation. Once they've got the attention of the threat there, the main fleet and maws will move to Blackstone and wipe out the parked threatball.
That SHOULd get the threatball in Batman to invade Llama and get stalled up on the grav turrets in place, allowing the Sentinels to hammer on them until the main fleet and maws can come back and help out. Should end up flanking right into the side of the forces from Batman going after the station.
With the Rebels on Shift-Click kiting the fleet hits Blackstone... and Batman won't engage. Dangit. However, they clear Blackstone with little trouble and get repairs for Batman.
I retreat the Rebels out for repairs, since the majority of the Core Ships were in Confederation. The main fleet prepares to smack Batman and heads in. There's a lot of MK V in here, too.
With reasonable losses (20% or so) the fleet erases the 350 threat parked in Batman with the Maws absorbing about 250 ships or so. They just need to soak Confed and we're good to go.
At 11:00 we've cleared the threatballs, Radar Jammer II is up on Macross, and I'm preparing for a run at Desperado. Kirk nearly cleaned itself out FOR me in that CPA and I plan to take advantage of it. There's still 217 units on Earth but there's not much I can do about that quite yet.
Construction has started on the armor inhibitor on Macross. Fleet is just waiting for refills of the MK Is that were the cannon fodder.
When the main fleet hit Kirk, the Rebels went on FRD, hunting starships and guardians while the support team pulled back and simply hammered away at random things.
The main fleet went guardpost hunting in Kirk, cleaning the system up. A lot of FFs in here but I wanted it emptied. In particular SpireShieldPost Vs are rather HUGE.
Blowing the two warpgates off Kirk to protect Desperado, the fleet heads for Desperado to finish pounding the world into pieces. A colony ship in a transport is shipped from Llama.
I don't build out the command station yet as I don't want to lose the fabs yet. The fleet needs R&R before I'm ready to do that and after cleanup in Desperado (sans CSG but having blown the command center) they head back to Llama to get replacements and repairs.
A pair of Suicide Guardians did some pretty heavy pounding on the Rebels on their way back to Macross so they'll be out of the game for a bit. Besides, I need to rebuild my metal back up before I can use those fabs on Desperado. Only 34 F/Bs and 21 Frigates made it home from the Rebels, and they dragged a small threatball onto the WH from Craps' Cmd Center. We'll deal with them eventually.
The Main Fleet with auxiliaries being fully R&R'd, they head back down to Desperado. It's time to finish this.
Side note: Be careful when using Speed Boosters, you can spread your fleet out more than you expect.
I decide to Build a Mil I station on top of one of the Fabs most likely to be attacked in Desperado.
With the capture of Desperado and the removal of the CSG-C, the AI HWs are now open game. AIP is 172.
I set the local Space Plane Vs to be defenders for Desperado, FFs on the station and the fabs, and a few gravs on the inbound gate. The Blade Spawner MK Vs will end up in the Support Auxiliaries and the Bomber MK IV SSs, if they even get built, will be part of the main fleet.
To be spiteful, Kirk is a 0/0 resources planet. Fuuuuunnyyyyy... Desperado is a mere 1/1.
Debating on options, I decide Engi IIs probably would be a good investment at this point. I'm literally out of Engi Is to position anywhere.
11:20. Wave of 1,667 heads for Macross with AIP 172. At this point, I'm thinkin' that a short-timer. Max-Time waves will be BRUTAL.
Next stop: Earth. Time to neuter it.
The entire fleet heads into Earth, trying to 'awaken' it and drain off some of the defenders. I don't want to argue with the 4 Ions and the rest of the heavy artillery on the planet wholesale yet but I need to be able to get the Raids in.
I'm able to drain off 50 ships or so, heavy on the Guardian. The fleet however isn't in so good a shape so they head home to LLama... which without speed boosters takes a while.
Out of curiousity I check to see if the fleet was able to pop the Tach Guardian on the inbound to Earth, and they were. Ooooooooohhhh... What can be eaten by Space Plan in there...
I decide to help the Raids survive I'm going to use the Space Planes and cloak-assault the Mass Driver before it gets the Raids into trouble. My concern though is that awoken ships from Earth will go for Desperado. Fortunately, I have something that can deal with that. The Rebels are rebuilt and they head to protect Desperado from fallout.
I power down the Space Planes so there's no 'accidents' and they head for Earth to go do some headthumping. 85 MK V Space Planes are barely able to kill the Mass Driver before they're erased from the universe, but they did their job. Also emptied more off of Earth, got them to 121.
Waves are looking to be about 3,400 ships on average. Those EMP mines (I've built out the field) are working very nicely as we pop carriers who have moved further off the initial build point and another 400-500 get EMP'd on that burst (unless they're teleporters).
Next attack on Earth was the Raid SS assault. Four Ions, 6 Raids, GO! they're also going to try to pop the Core Booster hiding under glass but we'll see what happens.
Two Raid SS's were lost as they hit the first two Ions just from core-post fire. The Bomber IV up their tailpipes wasn't helping so I abandoned the Core Booster hit and ran the 4 left for LLama for resupply. The Ions are down however.
Those Infiltrators are suddely looking useful.
With the main fleet rebuilt, it's time. They head for Desperado to stage for Earth... with a minor detour to whack an EMP Guardian chilling out in Eridani. No reason to tempt fate.
In one shot, however, all my speed boosters were taken out by a flak guardian (I think). GYEAH!
While waiting for the fleet to repair in Desperado, I'm reviewing my options for the Spire Archives and deciding I don't want to try to defend them from the AI waves. Free K or not, it's just not worth it, particularly for the price of losing them. It was a nice dream but no way Jose.
1000 ships fly for Earth. It's time.
Initial contact including triggering the Neinzul Spawner loses 200 ships out of the gate. Ranged Auxiliaries are mostly intact. The Rebels are hunting the problem children down while the main force deals with the firepower. We really need to take that core booster down.
I call the Raid SSs down from LLama to deal with the booster under glass.
Kirk must have respawned an EMP that I didn't see. One just went off on Desperado. I'm in trouble. Luckily Space Planes are EMP immune. I send the Rebels for support anyway. I didn't have to, though. The few drifters were easily dealt with by space planes and a bomber SS IV.
The Raids easily dealt with the Core Booster under glass once the local starship defenders were dealt with by the main fleet. Only significant problem left will be the fortress/ff combo over the command station and popping a core spire shieldpost. the Fortress is positioned so it can't really protect anything, so the fleet goes to work on the rest of the system.
750 ships left and only the command station and fortress defenses are left. 69 ships left too.
I tried to do a Maw run against the underlying fleet at the fortress. Apparently I've soaked a lot of parasites as my fleet is turning against me. I have the fleet fall back to LLama for both R&R and to clear the parasite nanites. AIP is 194.
Tech III happens at 200, and that's when things get UGLY.
I haven't had a serious wave in a while, bunch of short timers hitting over and over, but nothing worthy of discussion. Of course, when I say a small wave I mean ~1500 units. Then there's the I laugh at you waves of 420 or so.
Fleet's rebuilt but there's a 300+ ship threatball forming on Batman. Clear that before we head back south for Earth... and Speed Boosters, with a health of a whopping 8800, die to a sneeze. Yeesh.
The fleet took a massive beatdown of the polycrystals getting that Fortress out from under two FFs with all the Guardian support, but finally, we cleared the cmd center of protection. Lost one of my Bomber IV SSs too.
Remember my last whoops, I start clearing the 5 WHGPs before i leave, shipping replacement bombers (about a 1/2 fleet) back down from Llama to help.
At 12:11, Earth is completely Neutered. The only thing standing is the Command Station and some token guards on the cmd.
Waves are looking healthier again, 2500 to Macross.
Having some spare research (3750 K available) and the defenses holding nicely, I decide to bring MK II Missile Frigs online.
AH! Finally, a REAL wave, 4200 ships to Macross. Come get some!
... Have I mentioned the EMP mines once you've got an intelligent layout for them to pop carriers in are a TAD overpowered? Mind you, either they're slightly overpowered or not worth buying, though. What's really the killshot on them is the Carriers are expected to get the ships out of the defenses. By having another minefield at the next deployment area not only are the mines 'reset' for the next 1000 ships, but they're not free yet.
That wave, however, blasted through all the FFs covering the AoE net and blew apart almost all the midrange turrets too (Basics and Lasers). AoEs need more Cowbell! errr, forcefields!
Back to backs of 4k each would have escaped the front net. Hrm. Needs more firepower... what to do? Well, I could send the Grenade launchers home. That might not be a bad idea. We'll see if it comes to that with the additional firepower.
Also, with 4k in research on the next planet (I'll need one for the Riker Road) I can pop open Riot IIs and Tazers.
Alright, Riker Road...
Batman's nerfed, HotStar and Krupp are pretty banged up too. Krupp's a 4/2 planet and will be a good staging area that won't keep the coreworld alerted and is as close as I can get.
Tau needs the 5 (5?!) Ion cannons on it still popped but otherwise is nerfed. That leaves me Three Kings (coreworld) and finally Riker.
Three Kings is a nasty nasty little planet. BHG, AI Eye, 3 Ions, and 11 guard posts, 2 of which are SpireShield Vs. Toss in 5 more regular FFs and it's a right mess.
But, *I* have rebels! Who, amongst other things, ignore BHGs.
So, push down to Krupp, and move the construction units. I'll even drop off a fab and Fact IV warpgate there.
Pop the two warp gates next door and have the AI move to Tech III. That should get frickin' ugly.
I can't seem to keep a permanent scout presense on Riker yet. Seems to have about 200 ships at the moment. 3Kings has 58, including all those WHGPs and the like.
I may need to do a K-Raid for more defenses at Macross. I'd like to bring Lightning IIs online, and with the extra K I could bring Basic IIIs online too for 3000 k.
The real question is where do I dare pop a K-Raid at?
Alternative would be to go take out Earth and Kirk, Raid off Eridani's warpgate, and setup shop in Kirk and soak the 9000k off Kirk since the Exo-Gate only warp-gates Earth. If I REALLY wanted to be a schmuck I could go to Earth and savescum away any wave that came at Earth, too, and soak the hell out of the K... but I could get 3k for free from Earth with supply from Kirk.
That'll throw AIP to the moon though, which is counter productive to me doing this to increase defenses.
What could I do with that 12,000 K though... hrm.
Let's dream a little dream.
Lightning IIs: 1500
Basic IIIs: 1500
FF IIs: 2000
Fort Is: 3000... Fortresses, hrm...
Lightning IIIs: 2000
2000 left gets me... Hrm....
MLRS IIs: 2000
That's a LOT of firepower uppage, and I'm going to need to do something about the Tech III upgrade. A couple of fortresses would go a LONG way towards equalizing the balance of power though in Macross.
Alright, with that dream over, if I wanted to K-Raid I'd have to K-Raid at... Blackstone. The 'off-planet' spawns would spawn in Liao and have to come through the Blackstone gate defenders. It'll be a wild ride though with having done a double ARS hack. Dammit, now I'm curious. Savescummable experiment sounds like a plan to me. First a little prep work, clear the WHGPs, which is never a horrible thing, also any minefields.
12:32: WHGPs are clear as is the minefields. Save game.
Okay, turn off the Armor Inhibitor on Macross (48%) and get a constructor built for some gravs to help the fleet defend and get a MK III Research up and running. Get the fleet repaired and rebuilt.. and we're good to go.
Wow is he TESTY.
72 K in and already 127 ships spawned on the planet. Wowsas. My sentinels are doing what they can to pick off the enemy. They're spawning as MK IIIs at the moment.
It's a veritable flood of enemies being dumped at me constantly. I've got 5 Engi IIs doing work to try to keep the fleet repaired, in particular the maws, the 'ace in the hole' that I'm abusing to hell and back here.
For some reason my hacker got moved around, not entirely sure how the hell that happened but it cost me some time, both because it moved and to get it back off the front line and under Riot I shield protection.
By 2000 K I'd started to get into a Rhythm. The Main Fleet basically held the front door from the primary forces coming in from the cmd center. The Rebels were on reaction, immediately responding to any starship level threat (zombies and raids) or any large spawn near the K-Raider. The Maws were my 'busy time' build, retreating to keep at 100% health and then immediately moving off to gobble up whatever else may have spawned or helping to alleviate the weight on the front line.
The Sentinels were pounding away at anything and everything so anything at range I let sit at range and get itself beaten on.
At 12:44 the K-Raid was completed. I'd lost minimal ships (maybe 100, at most) and had no issues in the backfield due to the cutoff I'd prepared with the grav-field for Raids and the fact that the enemy couldn't get past the fleet.
Any time a blob started to build up the Maws were there to inhale the mass and then we moved on. With them and the Rebels as reaction fleets no significant inroads were ever made towards the K-Raider.
However, there's one thing I DO want to mention. THAT WAS FUN! Reacting all over the place to the wild mage positionings and the randomness of the guardian assaults was a lot of fun.
I've sent the Rebels home for R&R (they lost a ship) and to do a backfield cleanup before a CPA hits (it's due).
I have 4,250 K now. Fortresses or Riot IIs...
I'm thinking fortresses. The EMPs are doing a decent to reasonable job of stalling up the enemy and the Tazers can't stunlock, but Fortresses are a significant weight of firepower. I think it's definately fortress time.
To make sure my econ bites the dust I drop three right behind the Basic turret lines, hopefully the fortresses will be able to repair them fast enough to keep firepower up and happy.
12:53 The backfield is finally cleared and the Rebels head to Macross to celebrate and honor the fallen... 3 Fortresses are now online on Macross. A fourth begins construction. The Main Fleet starts to move for Krupp.
13:00 Krupp falls. Warp Gates go down on HotStar and Tau. AIP is 228. Tech III.
Docks are disabled on LLama. Krupp is now the factory planet once it's built up. The Rebels are still rebuilding from the last backfield clear.
The Rebels will have to clear the way home to not release threat against Llama, which is basically defenseless now.
The AI just got Eyebots. I need Tachyon Turrets.
13:07: 1,823 ship CPA. Oh boy.
Krupp is completely abandonable, and I believe I shall do so, and fall back the entire fleet to Llama. Bring the Llama construction back online for now. This is gonna get ugly and I need to deflect this before anything else significant occurs.
Backfield has about 180 units. Rebels will be busy.
Even as I leave Krupp, the enemy is already attacking it. How nice.
I blow the local cmd station hoping they'll leave some of the infrastructure intact, and they do. I only got 1000 in K off Krupp before I abandoned it, I'll deal with the rest after the CPA. I decide to drop a Fortress on LLama to help out.
At 13:13, 4 minutes to the CPA... I'm hungry and this will take a bit. I'm gonna go find myself some dinner.