AI War - Special Forces Guard Posts
What Do These Do?
Q: What exactly are "Special Forces Guard Posts," and what does the AI use them for?
A: Special forces guard posts are guard posts that are not guarded, but rather feed the "wandering" ships that the AI uses. AI ships that are wandering will route between these various special forces guard posts on different planets, and will sometimes enter your planets as they are on the way to a distant guard post.
All AI ships are either:
- (1) guarding
- (2) special forces / wandering
- (3) "free" ships actively engaged in attacking you / pursuing you through your planets.
Ships in the first category will simply guard their local area, only attacking enemy ships that come close enough. If they pursue a player ship far enough outside of their guard area, they may change over to "free" mode, though.
Ships in the third category count as Threat in the upper right corner of the screen if they are on AI planets, or Attack if they are on your planets. These ships are fully free to do whatever they want using the tactical intelligence of the AI, so they will attack, retreat, regroup on their plants, etc.
Ships in that second category are our main subject here, and those are the special forces ships. They simply route around between those special forces guard posts along the map, as previously noted, but when they enter a planet with player ships on it they become "free" and go on the attack.
Keeping The Number Of Special Forces Ships Low
The number of special forces ships in the galaxy is only increased by reinforcements to planets with special forces guard posts on them. So, in other words, if you kill all the special forces guard posts on AI planets that are On Alert, the number of special forces ships in the galaxy is likely to dwindle to nearly nothing over time.
Keeping The Special Forces Ships Away From Your Planets
Special Forces ships only travel between special forces guard posts, and they always take the shortest route between those guard posts. What this means is that you can predict possible travel lanes for special forces units, and you can even disrupt and redirect travel lanes by destroying special forces guard posts. If AI special forces ships are coming through your territory, there is precisely one reason for that: your territory is in the middle of a travel lane between two (or more) special forces guard posts. If you can find the side of your territory that has fewer special forces guard posts, and then simply kill all the special forces units on that side, then you won't ever be having AI special forces ships wandering through your territory for the rest of that campaign.
Special Forces Captain AI Type
This AI Type uses only special forces guard posts instead of regular guard posts. When there are a lot of special forces guard posts, you'll have almost no guards at that planet, but a lot of the special forces units wandering through their and your planets. That can make wormhole defense a lot harder, but it can also make it comparably easier for you on the attack. Most AI types only have a single special forces guard post per planet, and not even at all planets -- but the Special Forces Captain uses all special forces posts, no regulars. That can make for a very difficult early game, in general.
Special Forces Alarm Post
These alarm posts will be triggered if the command station on their planet or an adjacent one is destroyed. Triggering a Special Forces Alarm post "frees" all special forces ships in the galaxy to attack the human player. Destroying the Special Forces Alarm Post itself results in only a 50% chance of triggering the alarm and freeing the ships.
How To Destroy?
How Do I Destroy Special Forces Guard Posts?
Q: I can send masses of bombers against them, but they just keep getting killed too fast. Do I have to wait for higher-level bombers?
A: No, you don't have to wait for higher-level bombers, although that would work. Instead, send in missile frigates. As far as hardened targets go, Special Forces Guard Posts have relatively low health, and they also have a fairly limited attack range (though they're brutal inside that range). Anytime you see big, mean, fixed-position enemies with a range of less than 7,000, see if your missile frigates can make a dent (since they'll be out of range and thus unharmed if it does work).