-- State of the Universe --
Alright, where am I? I've just reclaimed Poker and need to re-establish Nero's Fiddle (and clean out that other 500 ship barracks behind me before it gets rediculous). The fleet's a tattered wreck after the first assault on Nero's Fiddle, they're rebuilding in a famine econ.
AIP is 92, threat is 286 (mostly MK III), no wave, and I seriously need to get another system before I end up completely stagnated. Either Sox for the other Whipping Boy or Roulette for the Shield Bearers. Both by preference. Next research is Riot IIs for Tazers on the Whips.
Light 'em up.
-- Rebuilding the fleet --
6:15:25 The Raid I fleet is still viable, so there's got to be a target for 'em while I wait. I decide I'm going to punch the Tach Drill through Cyborg next over in the northern cluster to my west to see if I can get scouts a little deeper over there.
There's a mob on the gate entry from Wonder Woman however.
6:17:03 The Raids trade one raid for one tachyon down and head home for repairs.
They don't make it home through Wonder Woman however. There's a small battery on the Matrix gate.
6:19:52 Turn off starship construction once the last corvette is rebuilt to allow fleet to rebuild.
6:22:10 The fleet's finally rebuilt, sans Flagships and Factories. I'm going to try to end-swing the blockade at Nero's Fiddle by going around the south and coming in from a different gate.
6:23:53 Wave announces for Matrix, 719 ships. They're on their own, but hopefully some of the WW threatball will commit. The fleet just arrived in Sox, having passed through Neverending Story and Misery on the way. I'm going to let the fleet do a little cleanup work here in preparation to take it before moving north to Earth and then to Nero's Fiddle.
6:25:00 The fleet, down to 4 corvettes, 74 Frigates, and crapall else after duking it out in Sox against the SF stream as well as the local guardian defenders tucks tail for home to refleet. More threat heads for Nero's Fiddle from the backwash of assaulting Sox.
6:29:00 Wave defeated, Fleet ready again, this time with Factory ships. Econ still in the dirt.
6:31:00 Main fleet arrives on Sox again. Most of the defenders are gone but the SF stream is strong here. Lot of frigs with some zombard support.
6:31:00 AIP: 93 from autoprogress
6:32:54 The fleet clears Sox of all Tach and non WHGPs. It's time to assault Earth. 175 ships of MK III Earth.
6:34:00 With the fleet having hammered into EArth and Earth now having 222 ships instead of 175, we did decent damage. The fleet's retreated to Sox to handle any 'leftovers' that might come their way, recharge corvette shields, and rebuild fighters. About 50% of the fleet survived first wave.
The enemy has chased us to Sox in force, with over 100 ships and rising.
6:35:00 At 54 ships left, the fleet realizes it's going to die. Hoping the corvettes can use the frigates as a screen they run for homeworld.
That barely works, 3 Corvettes make it home. The sheer firepower obliterated the fleet. These are mostly SF units. Looks like I need to bait them to their death again.
Meanwhile, Poker's been assaulted by the other portion of Earth that moved out. The threatball on Nero's Fiddle still won't move, but these guys decided to attack.
Poker doesn't last very long. I'm going to end up in an Econ Spiral here.
6:39:30 With the loss of Poker's resources I turn off the starship builder again so hopefully I can get enough fleet to evict the 60+ MK III ships parked on Poker.
Right now 440 SF troops are just parked in Sox, another 283 leftover threat from the CPA are chilling in Nero's, and 65 threat from Earth are hanging out on Poker. I've got a mess.
6:42:23 The fleet, finally rebuilt, heads for Poker.
6:43:22 Eviction complete, minus a few hobos hiding under their cloaks. I send in a rebuilder. Over half the fleet was lost retaking Poker but at least the starships didn't fall.
6:44:30 An energy crisis has arisen with the loss of Poker. That's just great.
6:45:19 As the Mil I on Poker comes online, the cloaked ships re-appear and blow it to pieces. They ignored the fleet and were just waiting for the command center. Tricksy hobbits.
6:45:50 The SF buildup in Sox is up to 500+ ships. The backdoor is no longer open.
6:47:12 Fighting with Poker's problems has led me to the next issue. Flat econ and 1,713 ship wave for Matrix. I've definately econ spiraled.
Gods,a 713 ship carrier. That thing's viscious.
6:51:00 With fleet support the wave is stopped with reasonable losses at the LRM lines, basically the last defensive point.
Sox is now a parking lot of nearly 600 ships.
6:52:30 the fleet heads after Nero's Fiddle. Front door. They barely survive the alpha strike... and aren't able to kill all the medics, one remains. Only two corvettes are still alive.
6:55:00 Another wave hits Matrix, 107 ships. Odd... all Reclaimers. Great.
77 of them push up to the Basics and lay waste to them in a salvo. 63 make it to the laser banks and pretty much flatline those, too.
49 make it to the MLRS turrets and bypass the HBCs completely.
They're finally stopped about halfway to the mini-fort/LRM line. Yeesh.
6:57:00 Wanderer says Fuggit.
Alright, there's a few things here that are seriously fouling me up... one of which is photobucket changing their site around and it screwing up horribly.
I've attached the save. Keith, if you get bored enough, can you check out two things for me?
First, why is Sox a parking lot?
Second, why won't the threatball on Nero's Fiddle commit to anything? Is it because of all the dead turrets?
100 planets I think is just too large a galaxy at this level, at least for me. I can't drill/picket everything I want to and the extra planet or two between me and the first ARS is just too far to really work with.
The new SF are kicking me around like a ragdoll. They are BRUTAL, and a massive delay between CPAs. The next CPA will kill me, once again I'm dying to stagnation/econ spiral.
The new spire corvettes are too much of a research investment to use, particularly as a starter ship. To really get the power out of them you need to drop a ton of research into turretry and the corvettes themselves. They're a fun toy but the K cost is too high for the DPS delivery and they're inanely expensive on rebuilds. The raw numbers may tell a different story but they're just not powerful enough for what they cost.
I did not have the critical mass of fleet to really fight this war. This was a critical issue. I just don't have the numbers in MK II ships to actually take on threatballs.
Medics and Reprocessors. Oh gods, Medics and Reprocessors. They're brutal in the hands of the AI. You can't 'whittle' against a fleet with medics in it, it's kill or run. Reprocessors are just tanks. You beat on them all day in the volume the AI gets them and they just don't DIE... and then they cloak past your heavy defenses and pop up right in your face with all those HP. Combine these two monsters and... yeah. Ow.
I'm starting to think you may absolutely need to have Champs to play at this difficulty to avoid econ spirals. Rebuilds against massive SF fleets and the like are just brutal.
I'm going to go enjoy a few games without taking the time to AAR them, and get a better handle on dealing with these new tactics without using the Champs. I'll get around to Champions, but in general I usually avoid superweapons in most of my AARs. You've watched me bang my head on the desk here, now I'm gonna go have some fun with it until I get a better handle on things.
Y'all are welcome to pick up the save and see if you can get out of the hole I've dug here, however, I honestly won't take offense.