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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Psionic Snowflake

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I generally play games with 150 systems, four AIs. It doesn't happen often, but occasionally one of the AIs gets a great start and is way ahead by the time it's down to two. Here's an example. In the late game, I have absorbed two AIs, it has one. It's ahead in most pertinent categories. Military isn't too far apart, but with a big differential in Research and Production, it will only get worse.
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I'm playing an older version of the game due to hardware incompatibility with more recent builds. I only know really know one strategy for that situation. Quickly research Gateway to the Void and place Gateways at strategic points. Then concentrate forces and conduct raids to lure it into losing forces in the Gateways.

Any other strategies that have a chance of working here?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:27 pm 
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Quote:
I only know really know one strategy for that situation. Quickly research Gateway to the Void and place Gateways at strategic points. Then concentrate forces and conduct raids to lure it into losing forces in the Gateways.

Well, I tend to consider that to be ego-salve rather than an actual strategy, since the AI is ignorant of the Gateway to the Void, and handling it has been low priority (and even if the AI did get handling for it in the future it would be tricky-to-impossible for you to backport that to whatever version you're playing).

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Any other strategies that have a chance of working here?
Even for the aspects of military strategy that the AI handles generally, it is still not so strong, there are lots of opportunities for you to outmaneuver it. Get your planet defenses up, that will slow it down a lot. If its armada is much bigger than your's don't even try to face off against it-- fight more of a guerrilla war, trying to capture lesser-defended planets, cut off the supply lines by which it sends troopships and newly-built warships forward to its main armada(s), be careful to attack mostly just in situations where you will have much less losses than it.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:58 pm 
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Psionic Snowflake

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:15 pm
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Sure, and there are opportunities where it doesn't much in the way forces. The biggest problem with this particular one is that it has a larger force close to my largest one and also to my planet with the Geo facility. If I don't keep reinforcing that, it will eventually decide to push that direction.

Diverting research to planetary defense would lead to falling even farther behind in military. If it starts rolling out Titanic hull ships with Death Ray 4 way ahead of me, I'm going to be in trouble. And it already has planetary defenses well up there.

It hasn't been overly aggressive towards me so far, but it did take over my farthest system close to it, and concentrated that huge fleet there. I am playing Eaxaw, which helps a bit.

I could try building a second Geo facility in the backwater area and get a fleet up there. I think Stargate would take too long to be effective. The cost difference isn't too much and the time would be about 1/4. I guess that's worth a shot. Of course, trying to take planets away costs a lot for troops, meaning fewer ships.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:10 am 
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If the AI perceives there's a threat to important systems, especially main shipyard and homeworld, it will withdraw forces fairly heavily. If you've got a force able to threaten the homeworld, or move in that direction, it can decide to split forces in a way that then allows you to pick things off.

Every planet removed from them is both less resources for them and more for you, it's always worth troops: remember the AI doesn't tend to attack a defended system unless the odds are strongly in its favour, you only need a picket force to defend, not equal strength.

Also remember the AI is mission based, work out what mission a fleet is on and you can work around it, at least until the mission changes.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:29 pm 
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Psionic Snowflake

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Yeah, the remaining AI never did get very aggressive. I was able to siphon some forces off to the backwater area (starlane bore punch a shortcut), which actually was the Gysache system it had taken over. I was able to capture that homeworld, which helped.

The AI started doing that shuttling thing with its big fleet, where it moves forces in and out of a system. I caught a favorable match-up that cost about half my big fleet, but a lot of its so that things there were no longer a big threat there.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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Some tips I find useful sometimes when one AI gets cocky:

- If enemy's detection is not ahead of your stealth, mass up a few stealth no-gun carriers to soften the enemy's armada without retaliation. Once AI makes up for the necessary detection tech you can merge your carrier fleet with the main fleet so carriers are not useless.

- Get a fast commando force, strong enough to take down enemy planetary defenses in one turn (two if desperate), with continuous reinforcement of troop ships so that you can invade on the following turn, and then another commando force to attack on a different area, unless you want to take down a multi-planet system that needs more forces. Always keeping an eye on the enemy's big armada to take advantage of any of its bad strategic decissions.

- Comsats for cannon fodder in choke points with many planets. A large chunk of them in heavily defended systems can let you inflict some serious damage with a considerably smaller force and yet get little real losses. Problem is it makes very expensive any other ship you crank out off your shipyards.


Some tips I find helpful to prevent reaching the previous situation:

- Don't take advantage of the weaker enemies unless its really a piece of cake. Instead focus your militaristic expansion efforts on the strongest of your neighbouring enemies. That will force it to devote most of its forces to your shared borders, conquer less planets from the lesser AIs, and let those lesser AIs to fight it from other sides, which eventually can lead the stronger AI to divide its forces and let you crush a big chunk of its armada.

- At start, unless you are under direct attack or have no chance to colonise anything else, give priority to Adaptive Automation and efficient expansion (efficient in the sense of needing less PPs and less turns). Build your military arm only when you really need it. You may drag a little behind for the first 50 turns because of the focus on adaptive automation but then you get a huge boost on production to either trample over enemy's fleets or even faster colonisation.


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