newbie needs some help to beat the Hard AI :D

Share and discuss your gameplay strategies.
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posted on August 12th, 2012, 10:14 pm
Hey guys,

I'm new to fleet ops and I'm really enjoying it, great what you are doing here, thanks a lot! :thumbsup:
Though, I'm crap to be honest :D I decided to go with the Feds but well, I'm literally losing EVERY game against the Hard AI :blush: , except when playing against federation :blink:

I already read the guides on this site and everything made sense, but the result is not what i want it to be :D So i thought that maybe you guys could give me some advices and help me get things working.

Therefore i recorded some example matches:



These matches are pretty much how it goes everytime: When I have got some Intrepids/Monsoons and just want to go and take out some expansions i face like 100 enemy ships and get completely destroyed.

Of course I'm doing a lot of mistakes and such but maybe you can tell me some major things i really have to improve (maybe get proper ships earlier?).

Btw, sry for the videoquality, my notebook is a piece of shit :D

That's it,

greetz Sphere ;)
posted on August 13th, 2012, 12:14 am
welcome to the forum.

looking at your second video i have some points for you:

- the strats in the guide are mainly for playing against humans. the game is balanced for multiplayer, single player mode is a mixed bag in comparison.

- klingons are pretty difficult as AI players, because of supply. humans are very restricted by supply, AI is not, klingons need lots of supply, as do dominion, so these races get a boost when they are AIs, as the AI gets tons of free supply. thats why they can easily overrun you.

- if you have to play as feds vs klink AI, don't spam intreps, the computer will have plenty of ships that beat the intrep down hard:

human players can't afford the tri for qawduj spam and their specials, the AI can easily afford qawdujs, as is seen in the video, they can use the star base to add to their numbers. qawduj smack intreps badly.

humans won't spam susa often as they are a specialist ship, the ai includes susa with no problem, and susa hurt your intreps.

make monsoons, they aren't as easily countered and will tank sangs. also proximity torp is an excellent weapon. they're also fast.

- you expanded really fast, you went for second yard and lots of mining at your expansion immediately, that's a lot of stuff. you didn't get a turret up for ages. try going for one or the other. support mining with a turret, a yard can substitute as a turret for a while, but you'll need scouting....

- you lost your scout way too easily in the second vid, fed scouts are great cloak detect, keep it around longer and benefit from its special.

- AI is very vulnerable to turrets, lots of turrets. human players will outsmart your turrets, AI will not. a pulse turret to soak up susa damage is handy.

- your station placement shows you didn't think about where to put your stations, even against AI this can help. you saved a small amount of time rushing stations, but they ended up spread out and undefended. in longer games the AI will pick off exposed parts of your base. don't rely on starbases too much either, if you're getting pounded like in video 1, fight at your yard entrance, starbases can't protect you for long. get your yards near your mining and keep your expansion mining stations closer together, between the moons. turrets can cover more stuff then.

- retreat your fed ships faster. fed ship at 0 shields is mostly dead, fed hitpoints are skewed towards shields. fed hull is weaker.

- stick to the rules of mining:

if moons are not close, then each moon gets 1 mining station, and 3 miners working. you didn't get the third miner sometimes, costing you in the long run.

if moons are close, you can get away with 1 mining station equidistant between the moons, still 6 miners needed, 3 per moon. see replays for "closeness of moons". starting moons on duel are NOT close enough by far. expansion moons are a candidate.

- manage resources better. i saw you had hundreds of tritanium, and everything you were spamming was draining your dilithium, yet you had a miner that was working on your expansion tri moon, and only 2 dil miners on the dil moon, you should have moved the tri miner over to get more dil.

- don't sit around, scout empty areas of the map to find out where enemy expansions are, and to open up areas for warpin. or randomly use pings near your mining.
posted on August 13th, 2012, 12:21 am
Wow, that's a lot stuff, thx! :) Will go through it in detail later :)

edit: went through it and found some things:


- you lost your scout way too easily in the second vid, fed scouts are great cloak detect, keep it around longer and benefit from its special.
Yeah that was really retarded, because i attacked the constructor ship I didn't noticed that their scout actually started to attacking me :pinch: :D


- retreat your fed ships faster. fed ship at 0 shields is mostly dead, fed hitpoints are skewed towards shields. fed hull is weaker.
That's definetely true, i still have problems with the right timing for sending them back to the yard.


if moons are not close, then each moon gets 1 mining station, and 3 miners working.
Didn't know about this one. I always sent 2 freighters per moon, cause i thought that only one freighter will be able to collect resources at once and therefore there's no need for a third freighter. Will start working with 3 freighters in the future :)


- don't sit around, scout empty areas of the map to find out where enemy expansions are, and to open up areas for warpin. or randomly use pings near your mining.
do you also recommend when currently being attacked? For example if there's an enemy fleet in front of my base and some interps or whatever are trying to defend it. If I now have another fleet like from the starfleet command, shall i rather defend myself with that additional fleet or try attacking some expansions? In those videos for example I felt like i don't even have the chance to attack, that i have to defense all the time with such an enemy fleet in front of the door :D


Everything else makes sense to me, thanks a lot for your help! :)

greetz Sphere
posted on August 13th, 2012, 1:48 am
Didn't watch everything, but a few tips and see what you think.

1) Not generally used against people, but for AI it should be ok. Build a third constructor near the beginning. In my games, I build four miners for my home base (3 per moon) then build a third constructor, than build 6 more miners. Having a constructor for every expansion is just easier for getting up turrets, and repairing rebuilding etc. Spreading out two constructors can be a pain. invest in a third

2) Expand to the centre di moon first with that extra third constructor. Hunker down with a yard and a few turrets. Send two miners there quickly for that moon. (Building a base here forces the AI to engage you at that point, although they may move to attack your home base still, this helps to relieve some pressure).

3) Build more turrets in general, at least one or two per every moon you have, and 1 or 2 per yard for defence as ships retreat repair. It's a matter of timing that with ship production, start with 1 every, then when you have one build another. Except probably bulk up the centre di moon right away with 2-3, that location will get some action once you take it :D

4) So Ai builds fleets. Quantity. You can't outmatch them in that area, although I like to try with getting a very strong economy early one, expanding to centre and the horizontal expansion, and then once those are good, and I have two yards, take the other for total of three expansions. This takes time. Also you are playing Hard, so that helps, but its klingon so they spam regardless. What you really want to work towards is Quality. You can't stick with intrepids, sabres or monsoons for too long. I like to build initial 2 sabres, 3 intrepids (or monsoons), while relying on turrets as well and a star base upgrade in offensive. And go right into building akiras. I therefore play mostly risner.

5) All this takes time. So you might need to play a bit to workout the finer details. You can't rush everything above, expand miners and mining stations, build extra yards, tech to akira, build turrets everywhere, and a few ships - all at once? It's not gonna happen. So mentally, be aware that you are looking at solid 15-20 minutes of just building. And AI will have some attacks that go and squash you where you are weakest. But in the long run, you will be able to recuperate what you lose and come back stronger. And try capturing some of their ships when the star base breaks shields. Use research stations and mining stations to help.

-

Now, trying to overlap that with what you are doing somewhat to try and help illustrate why I think these adjustments will help. Very plainly - where you choose to expand. Expanding to centre is like your body weight is leaning forward towards enemy AI, and it is more focussed. Instead of rallying your troops to go left and right and back again all over the place, there's a point guard that helps to break incoming fleets. You are more easily distributed to defend, and mount attacks, that central yard by the di moon will become a powerful place for another star base potentially, or rallying point for large attacks to retreat back to. Take the centre!

Going to akiras instead of just intrepids. I generally forgo warping for longer than I should probably. But you just can't afford the loss of supply they bring, and the high investment of the station all at once that easily. So yeah, at a later later point maybe bring in star fleet command, but only when you see you are solid. And of course, the Akiras take a beating and can dish it out especially once ranked. And then your good for counters right up till AI builds vorchas. Double Yard akira spam with 3 expansions is pretty good for against Ai.

Um, yeah. Basically matter of weathering the AI storm. Defend. Even in defending you are attacking because the AI dishes out so much. You get rank ups, can slaughter their fleets etc. Don't mount hopeless attacks.

I generally attack when I have about 8 akiras, start testing the layout and try beating down some miners. And then you climb the ladder. Either go into eraudi if you feel you have the time for some long range e2s, or larger akira fleet of maybe 16-20 to really lay it on thick.

You are looking for a win. If it means single unit spam so be it. You can get more creative when you've got a few games under the belt and get a taste for the AI is strong and weak with.
posted on August 13th, 2012, 10:52 am
Sphere wrote:That's definetely true, i still have problems with the right timing for sending them back to the yard.

it varies per battle, larger ships can retreat later, if the enemy has more ships you have to retreat earlier. if the ai will stupidly follow a ship, then you can retreat it immediately and see if they'll stupidly shoot at it in the yard. for intreps in your videos i'd suggest starting the retreat at about 30% shields, if near your base.

Sphere wrote:Didn't know about this one. I always sent 2 freighters per moon, cause i thought that only one freighter will be able to collect resources at once and therefore there's no need for a third freighter. Will start working with 3 freighters in the future :)

It's true that only 1 freighter works on the moon at any time, but the delay for dropping off resources is long enough so that with 2 miners there will be a time when no ship is mining. adding the third miner means a miner is always on the moon, and hence you are drawing full resources from that moon. borg are different, borg are 2 miners per moon.

if you're going heavy on combat ships and end up with too much tri, then 2 miners on a tri moon is an acceptable early game compromise, just add the third one later. and then spend the tri on research/support ships

Sphere wrote:do you also recommend when currently being attacked? For example if there's an enemy fleet in front of my base and some interps or whatever are trying to defend it. If I now have another fleet like from the starfleet command, shall i rather defend myself with that additional fleet or try attacking some expansions? In those videos for example I felt like i don't even have the chance to attack, that i have to defense all the time with such an enemy fleet in front of the door :D

no, defend when attacked. but i saw you sitting around watching your fleet of intreps doing nothing in that recording. that's when you need to be active.
posted on August 13th, 2012, 11:10 am
Thx to godvoice, too :) Will try going with Akiras and the recommendation to go to the center moon also sounds really interesting :)

------

no, defend when attacked. but i saw you sitting around watching your fleet of intreps doing nothing in that recording. that's when you need to be active.
Okay, will watch out that i get myself out of the base :D
posted on August 13th, 2012, 9:30 pm
With my idea you won't need to attack so much early on. (In fact, you won't be able to at all)

For one, your fleet will consist of 2 sabres and a few intrep/monsoons for quite some time and this is nothing spectacular to go hunting with while you bolster your turret defence.

Eventually you'll turn out 2 akiras, but even then it won't be much of a fleet.

There will be no warpins either to assist for a while.

The point is to make them pay when they attack you. Your five early ships can shift from your amongst your bases fast enough. Long range phaser turrets are what you want. They will slice and dice early klingon vessels.

The key will be in the transition. When you first go to attack with a small force of 8-10 ships, even though most will be akiras, you will have left the AI on its own to build and amass whatever it wants. So keep it low key, the attack is just as much a scouting venture. If you walk in to a large AI fleet retreat back to the centre where you should have either a healthy number of phaser turrets or possibly even a star base with those turrets with a yard there to repair.

A fleet with turret support is the easiest way to take out hoards of AI units.

And you want all three expansions with defences. Then you can turn over to 2-3 yards or more of whatever ships you want.

Try a few games out with whatever style or route you want, let us know how it turns out, what needs improvement.

I played this scenario, and although my favourite set up is Klingon vs Fed Mercy, I still enjoy the occasional Klingon stomp playing as feds.
posted on August 13th, 2012, 11:43 pm
Id help ya out but im not that good in fed gameplay if u decide to play borg tell me in ts3 or here i can tell u a thing or two :assimilate:
posted on August 17th, 2012, 1:59 am
just a quick blurb of an overview for thinking about AI, not sure if it will help or not

each race seems to have a particular method which you can get accustomed to and help you to gage how things are going

scouting really becomes less of a necessity in some ways when you become tuned in to the Ai's patterns. In some ways scouting is always helpful, but not always so imminently.

So just to look over the races and what they're like and when you are in trouble/not for the tech climb and ai difficulty.

Federation: easiest AI, and is possible to play against multiple. They start out predictably with sabre, send a steady stream of ships and tech up rather slowly to eraudi. There are a lot of ships in the antares yard, and the ai builds them all. Even when you get to eraudi for the ai, it is manageable.

Dominion: dominion is similarly easy as the federation when they are in the small yard. The ships are not particularly powerful, but the AI spams them, but it is fairly easy to counteract. The problem comes when you start seeing large yard vessels being thrown at you. The tech up is slow when your in small yard as is difficulty, but once the Dominion AI reaches large yard, they will spam those units and become increasingly more difficult to fight if you are not prepared. They can still be beat when you see large yard, but definitely is time to mount some crushing offensives to keep the ai in check.

Romulan: Romulans are tough. They have cloak, retreat and repair well. The ships are used rather well by AI merciless. They reach large yard rather quickly, and are just as deadly as dominion really when they do. But with cloak and weapons fire increase upon decloak and just altogether, I'd say they are a bit tougher. However, weak defences. Turrets aren't intimidating even though they cloak with ai. Mining is easy to bust. With other races you want to think of offensive as a hammer, just smash the ai, beat down fleets and bases. With romulans, I think the tool of choice is more of a scalpel, get in, pick your target, and get out. Don't let their warbirds dictate the game. Avoid large fleet engagements early on.

Borg: Borg only have early game units. Very hard to get even a pyramid out, or above that. It can be done with managing the game settings. But just naturally, sphere is about as high as it goes. Few ships of choice. Find ways of dealing with spheres, dodes, and assimilators and focus on it. I don't find them to be that a big deal though.

Klingons: Klingons give a short burst of death early on, but don't really build toward anything quickly. They jump out screaming with every field yard unit imaginable, slowly with some brels and kvorts, but they'll be throwing those and kbeajqs and veqs and susas in no time. The battle yard is also a very quick transition. Right into qawduj and sang. But here the trouble almost ends, because once they get into vorcha the tech up for ai almost stops completely. Very slow to get to vutpa, and the imperial yard is ages away, but they will eventually throw chonaq and neghvars at you. But that's stretching it. So this is how you must think of the Klingons and their having a blistering achilles heal that instead of a hammer, or scalpel, it's like a knife stab, and once you pierce just keep wrenching that wound: The offensive is a large fleet of small ships, followed up to vorcha, and then the 'threat' subsides if you survive. Unlike dominion and romulan where the problem is in later part of game, the klingon threat is right in the beginning... so just survive. Defend. Because if you survive the initial phase, they take a while to throw something new at you.

This is another reason why akiras and phaser turrets are key. Akiras and phaser turrets can handle everything in the klingon early game, brel kvort kbeajq veqs susa qawduj sang and vorcha. However, if you are taking to long to break away from sabre, monsoon, intrepids and other lower ships the quality just isn't there, so there numbers might overwhelm you, especially with no turrets. I really think what is key is the turrets in this case for you. But if you can tech to akiras the klingon threat is gone, you've got a great ship that matches their vorcha in function. The numbers game is k-put.

For federation, akira seems to be the unit of choice to get the job done. And that long range phaser turret is a pain for every race to deal with. Rather easy to tech to akira, and does the job well when ranked. Any unit from any other race when faced with a handful of ranked akiras feels pain.

Beyond the AIs mode of unit development, also key is map orientation. Small, medium large etc. Number of moons. You need to get a healthy number of expansions compared to size of ai and map size. Some races depending on map size either become very much harder, or quite easier. If you have only one expansion on a small map vs Romulan, that is probably pretty tough game. But yeah....

when you pick up on the ai, you can learn to 'scout' without using a ship at all. just look at where they are in their tech tree and where you are. for playing against klingon, a key point is qawduj, and when they hit vorcha. feds its when they dish out akiras, and their first eraudi vessel. dominion instantaneously, as soon as you see large yard unit - start working!
posted on August 17th, 2012, 1:15 pm
posted on August 17th, 2012, 4:07 pm
Ok so I've done a lot of AI merc matches in the past and i don't disagree with the turret strategy but after awhile it get really boring and the matches take a long time. At least for me because then it turned into turtling. When i do AI stomps as i call them i use 0 turrets i only build ships.

I start with the two constructors and instant Que 4 miners. The one constructor builds a ship yard the other does the resource mining. Then once they are both done which is around the same time i send one to finish the other moon and the other starts towards starfleet command. but i don't allow any of it to interrupt my ship building cause you will get overwhelmed there is no helping that. O and i forgot to mention build your yard a little ways from your base so that if they come early theyll stay away from your moons and such.

From here its micro till you have a good group of ships i usually go to expansion when i have 5+ ships and bring your constructors one builds shipyard farther from the moons again to keep them from your expansion and the other starts on the moons. u'll easily have starfleet command by this time and depending on which faction I'm playing against ill do either the decent cause of its special and early game it is very powerful or ill do standard warp-ins i dislike the other warp in a lot.

rinse and repeat i win every time with feds.

It is also dependent on which map and so on but for the most part especially on a bigger map i don't like turrets cause they cant move if you need defense leave a ship behind but for every turret you build that's a ship you could use for attacking and expanding.
posted on August 17th, 2012, 4:28 pm
Tanner_Rosso wrote:i don't disagree with the turret strategy but after awhile it get really boring

^^ Why most people eventually abandon single player and go online. fighting the ai will eventually get very dull, even if you handicap yourself by not fighting their spam with turtling.
posted on August 17th, 2012, 4:33 pm
I think you would just end up losing a larger part of your fleet.

You can't just 'leave back' one ship to guard against an AI swarm.

With turrets in good 3-5 groupings over several key points, AI loses much more.

Sure ships are mobile, but building more ships just to have AI destroy them...

Large fleets of akira, and eraudi units and warpins is ok to go offensive surge.

But early on, most antares yard vessels you build will end up being destroyed before middle game.

So would you rather have a turret that stays standing but can not move, or many ships that can move but just end up being destroyed?

After seeing brels, bugs, sabres and so forth just be eradicated, I opted for the turret route. It's all in your preference, I see both ways working, I just prefer most of what I build to stay built.
posted on August 18th, 2012, 6:52 am
@godsvoice i didnt literally mean 1 ship i just meant that turrets are not mobile and a ship is. A ship can be moved to a different location and can repair where a turret can not. Yes the newton class but if you dont have to build and upgrade it why would you its a waste of money early game.
And i see where your going with the small ships but akiras are a very viable ship and i usually end up spamming them and warpins to keep down on the cost of building a large ship yard and research plus the cost of those larger ships as well (especially on a smaller map where resources are limited or spammed by enemies).
And again if you micro manage which is a very large part of this game you wont lose your ships with a giant exclamation point. try not microing once and see how far you get i put money down you get rolled within <10 mins.
I'm not saying that the turret strategy doesn't work I'm only saying that its faster and more fun to go without turrets.
and also Its a guaranteed win with double resources but if your looking for a challenge, Hard mode against a merc Klingon or Romulan, right now those are the two hardest to beat.
@myles i can see where your coming from but i do enjoy an AI stomp on occasion its always fun to throw down on the cheap AI and laugh in their face when you beat them. Even though they are as smart as the metal they're made of. :lol:
posted on August 18th, 2012, 3:31 pm
I actually won 2 of three games lately, was quite easy with akiras and lots of turrets. Also the 3 freighters per moon tip really worked out awesome, i felt like having so many more ressources than before, thanks again guys! ;D
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