Micro Vs Normal AI

Share and discuss your gameplay strategies.
posted on November 9th, 2011, 4:41 am
Last edited by godsvoice on November 9th, 2011, 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Past few days I've been doing a little reversal.

Playing as Feds Vs. Klingon Normal AI (I've played against as few as 1, and as many as 3).

Sort of dull, as this AI builds nothing beyond Qawduj.

So, I have limited myself to five offensive ships.

Turrets can defend you easily.

Personally, I've found it rather instructive. While in a more regular game I'm not sure what the application would be, as I can't micro five ships to do anything meaningful against a swarm of merciless fleets... still there is a more refined appreciation for what some of these ships can do.

For instance:

Two Veteran Defiants will destroy Normal AI. If you research only critical shot, and everything from star fleet engineering, these two ships alone will win you the game. You can easily disable a starbase's weapons with critical shot used several times.

With having fewer ships, you tend to get into the habit of repairing each of the ships more. The Sovvy's zero-point gravity field, or whatever it is (disables engines) is useful both in allowing it to retreat, and preventing enemy ships to repair themselves.

One Descent added to the mix needless to say bolsters your fleet.

Clearly, there is nothing new about any of this information I was just never aware of its effectiveness.

In the normal apex of the games I have played to date with this style, the Klingon fleet consists of 2 Veqlaragh, 4-5 brels, 2 qawduj, and a random low number of Kvorts and Kbeajqs, 1-3 each.

Easily though, I am facing 10+ ships. Defiant, Sovereign, and Descent really shine here.

The top two games so far was beating the AI with two defiants, and 1 Sovvy/1 Defiant. Descent makes it easier when you can reboot your shields, but not necessary to win it.

Also, while the 10+ fleet engagements require grouping with 5 ships, it is easy for 1 sovereign or 1 Defiant on a fairly high rank, as high as 1 gold bar to defeat three Klingon destroyers.

About as close as you can get to being a Captain in a game that is more Ambassador like. Sovvy can disable engines, retreat regain a bit of health then come back and shoot away. Defiant can disable weapons with critical shot, and is far better at dishing out damage, but overall, it doesn't old up as well against incoming fire it seems to me.

In any case, take any selection of five ships, and micro away at some Normal AI target destroyers.

I can't relate how much I've learned to respect different parts of the game. I attack an expansion with one ship, an Intrepid, or Akira, and see how the rank ups are earned after destroying constructors, miners, refineries etc all on their own. How much their shields can take, and the hull until retreating is really necessary. How some of these ships work together, I.e. Nova's special, or others. 1 on 1, these ships are actually really tough.

Something that was sort of missing from my games having played AI like I have. I imagine it is much closer to online gameplay though. I imagine moving to hard AI shouldn't be too too bad... I'm just not sure how much that will increase the fleet size of the AI. I am liking this handful of ships vs handful of ship business. Be nice to go up against a Vorcha Neghvar and few destroyers, with just a few of my own upper tier vessels and really duke it out.

Edit: Is there a way for me to use Control E, (map editor) to give my AI opponent some ships? Like can I give them a Neghvar or two for me to face? Can I start the game, give them four units, give myself 3 units, and just delete all other units on the board? i.e., get rid of both star bases, scouts, and constructors all together? Just have some 3 on 3 attacks?

How would I do this?
posted on November 9th, 2011, 9:23 am
Im not sure what exactly would like to achieve here...

How about playing vs. hard AI?
posted on November 9th, 2011, 10:54 am


I was just commenting.

Just so used to playing in large fleets... smaller numbers is awesome!

My only question... would be is there a way to use map editor to give the AI ships.

Other than that, I would just observe that if you want practise with your micro, I would suggest playing against normal AI, and try to beat it with 2-5 ships only.

Pretty fun.

About hard AI, I know it will get me the bigger ships I want to face, like Neghvar and Vorcha, but it might also mean that the fleet size becomes to large to win it with just a few ships. Against merciless and such, 5 ships does squat. It doesn't matter what the micro is, the AI would just build 50 ships and kill you.

In general the post isn't really asking or improving anything... was just posting observations, some more obvious, and a small suggestion for micro, which is fun with smaller ships to like intrepid, monsoon, akira for practise.

Again, can I use map editor to give the AI opponent ships, not just myself?
posted on November 9th, 2011, 10:59 am
Normal AI is dull beyond words. Merciless is the only real challenge (yeah, I'm one of those people...), and Merciless lacks the magic of online play.

On the other hand, the AI is great for micro practice, so there's that.

As for the map editor, I believe it's possible; just assign ships to a player and use map settings. Word of warning: unless you give yourself some ships too, you'll be caught flat-footed when the AI swarms everything at your base in the first two minutes of play.
posted on November 9th, 2011, 12:42 pm
What I would recommend is that you make a 3v1 map for yourself and make it so that the 1 player has a huge advantage making it easy for him to turtle up like crazy and and has rich resources, how should I say ehm, at hand!

This would make perfect practice grounds for you. If you don't know how to make such a map, I would accomodate you, but only if there is other people requesting this. :thumbsup:
posted on November 9th, 2011, 2:55 pm
godsvoice wrote:Again, can I use map editor to give the AI opponent ships, not just myself?

Yes. [Shift [Up]] and [Shift [Down]] cycle through the player numbers. When it changes to a colour, that's the team that's selected. (e.g., if AI is red, cycle through the teams until it goes red). Then add ships as normal, and the AI will use them.

It's a good way of practicing strategies, etc, as is playing against Normal AI but restraining yourself in what you use, as described in the OP. Plus when you get bored of it, you can just drop your restraints and have fun, annihilating the AI at your leisure.
posted on November 9th, 2011, 4:23 pm
Sweet! I'm glad to see that you're coming closer to the rest of the community, even if you haven't come online yet.

Games against a human are always like that.  The first battle is always fought with 2-5 ships, and you have to know the intricacies of both your race and your opponent's.  You have to balance microing your fleet with building new ships, building new ships vs expanding for more resources, expanding vs defending your existing base.  It's a really fun balancing act.

For even better practice, I recommend playing against hard AI with the AI cost handicap around 1.8, this negates some of the huge resource advantage they have but still lets you face a variety of ships.  I use it to test my maps in progress and my early-game build orders.

Practice using the early-game ships as well, in particular try to build up as big a fleet as possible as soon as possible.  I mean no upgrading your platforms unless you really have to, getting either double-antares yard or rushing straight to Starfleet Command.  Learn the balance between monsoons and intrepids and learn to choose your battles.

Both players are constantly balancing fleet size and initiative.  If you see that the enemy fleet can defeat yours, you trade initiative in order to escape.  For example, retreating to a yard.  Now the other player can cash in the initiative by either expanding or raiding you somewhere else.  If you split your fleet you get a boost in initiative because you can fight in two places at once, but you lose fleet size for a head-on conflict.  Two allies who combine their fleets get a big bonus to size but lose some initiative.

When one player has more fleet size AND more initiative than the other, he either wins the game or forces his opponent to retreat to their base indefinitely.  If something big doesn't happen, his opponent is done. (like when Boggz had OTP trapped in his base, but then nanites finished researching and OTP gained a HUGE bonus to the effectiveness of his fleet.)

When one player wins a big battle and gains a fleet advantage big enough to win even in the enemy's base, he goes and kills him.  Until then, he never attacks the starbase because it's futile and will only damage his fleet.  A large number of fights in Fleet Ops are never fought, they are predicted by both players and one backs down.

And then there are escape mechanics; ships that can enter a battle despite being outnumbered, get a kill, and escape without taking any losses (most Romulan ships and big, fast ships like the B-5 and Defiant or hyper-defensive ships like the Sphere).  These have their own related strategies because they are very effective early on but eventually the enemy fleet will have enough firepower to kill them before they can escape and their effectiveness drops off very quickly.  Every ship in the game has this "DPS threshold," the level of firepower at which it can still operate.  Damage-dealing specials can overwhelm this threshold which is why their actual damage is usually pretty low (monsoons sniping a leahval with proximity torp, for example.)  This is also why offensive passives have drawbacks so much bigger than defensive passives.


that was really long.  Guess I got a bit excited there.  You should totally join us online, we've had like 5 people start playing this week and they're loving it.  They're probably at the same skill level as you or lower but they're learning fast.
posted on November 9th, 2011, 11:06 pm
Atlantis wrote:Yes. [Shift [Up]] and [Shift [Down]] cycle through the player numbers. When it changes to a colour, that's the team that's selected. (e.g., if AI is red, cycle through the teams until it goes red). Then add ships as normal, and the AI will use them.

Thanks, I'll definitely test that out next time around.
Tryptic wrote:
that was really long.  Guess I got a bit excited there.  You should totally join us online, we've had like 5 people start playing this week and they're loving it.  They're probably at the same skill level as you or lower but they're learning fast.

No problem, I don't mind long quotes. I have tried joining online actually, I'm not very good with computers and all though. When I got tunngle, there was some German speak that I didn't understand, and my anti virus software stuff went crazy, it was "the thing you downloaded may be harmful to your computer, we suggest you remove the application". I ignored it, but even with it, I couldn't figure it out anyways, so I did remove it. Couldn't really understand it... I probably downloaded the German language one though, not the english but oh well.

In any case, thanks for the post. I didn't really mind it before, playing with huge fleets, but it made some specials impractical. Such as the defiants, it was really hard to manage. When facing hoards, microing to disable one or two ships weapons system just takes to long. Best to just focus on the numbers.

Anyways, I'm gonna play this out now, and get some fights in with the AI.

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