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[MOO] MOO2: playing it 3X3L way (instead of 4X)

Discussion in 'Other Civ-Related Games' started by Fins, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    126
    Master of Orion is known as a "father" of all 4X games, even the term itself was coined at the preview of the 1st game (they say).

    The fourth "X", which is "eXterminate", is a part i always didn't enjoy so much, though. I am a peaceful creature. Fortunately, i found that the most classic game of the series up to this day, - Master of Orion 2, - allows to entirely avoid this fourth X part! In other words, i recently learned last critically important bits and pieces which allow me to entirely avoid hostilities against any other (computer controlled) race. On "Impossible" difficulty, that is. So, all the people who say AIs inevitably get hostile on Impossible sooner or later? Yep, they are wrong. And in this post, i'll explain all about it.

    The "3X3L" part from the title - is the genre MOO2 became nowadays, for me: "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, Live and Let Live". However, much of the following will be useful for any MOO2 player, both single-player and multi-player - whenever AIs are around.

    I've done 300th turn in my current Impossible-difficulty MOO2 game today, and it's still peaceful. No AIs make war with me. I could "win" the game dozens turns ago already by any of the 4 known ways to win - which are destroying Anataran homeworld; elections; being in alliance with enough AIs; wiping every AI out. But i still play it to see how things will develop, rejecting all alliance offers and picking "abstain" during elections. So far, two AIs were wiped out by other AIs, still 5 more survived to date.

    So here's how i do it. In 4 easy simple steps, given in bold just below.

    1. Things you need to do to have an entire peaceful game on Impossible difficulty in MOO2

    1.1. Avoid building spies. You must have 0 spies and 0 agents at all times (you still have a way to prevent AIs stealing technologies, with this).

    You don't need any defensive agents to prevent them stealing technologies - there is another way: regularly check Reports about each AI, and you'll see their spies whenever they are trying to steal technologies from you. So when you see that, contact the AI and demand to stop spying. If you have good relations (and you should), the AI will always agree to stop spying, and you won't take any diplomatic penalty for doing so. Even better, AIs refrain from any more spying action for quite a long time once they agreed to this demand you do - i don't (yet) have precise numbers, but it feels that it's for several dozens turns. Even if you're neither "Charismatic" nor "Telepathic" - this always works.

    The reason why you must avoid building spies - is "framing". As soon as you have any spies, AIs who spy on other AIs will sometimes "frame" you: one AI will tell another AI that it was you who stole the latter AI's technology or did some sabotage. When this happens, your relations with the latter AI deteriorate massively, and it's not unusual to have that AI to declare war right away. But, if you have zero spies, AIs don't have an option to frame you. Why is it so? I don't know. But that's how it works, up to and including the most up-to-date 1.50.9 version when running it in "classic" mode.

    AIs start to "frame" you the player during their own spy wars as soon as you got a spy. I tested it: built two spies, kept them as "agents". Very soon AIs started to regularly contact me, saying bad things, with that "You were framed" part appended to the end of their furious messages. Then i sent both spies to duty against one of AIs, but selected "hide" option, in hope that doing this will stop accusations. But nope, even that didn't stop framing. But much later during the test, both spies were killed - despite being in hiding, interesting, eh, - and soon after last spy of mine died, framing stopped! In my current game, i don't have any spies, and i don't have AIs framing me. Ever.

    This is the key thing to maintain good diplomatic relations for longer than you'd normally want: thousands turns, probably. May be forever, even, provided you don't do anything bad to AIs. Granted, you could still have both spies and good relations with AIs by regularly making gifts, - but there are only so many technologies in the game, you'll run out sooner or later of techs for gifts, and i found that late in the game, money gifts sometimes do not improve relations with AIs at all.

    1.2. Create strong enough fleet ASAP, maintain it at all times, and try to have much more powerful fleet than any AI has, also ASAP. Keep an eye on it as the game goes on, and build more and deadlier ships as needed.

    Now this is self-explanatory. Si vis pacem, para bellum. As an additional precaution, i place most of my fleet into my "frontier" systems - let AIs see my boys are ready to kick ass if i'll ever get attacked.

    No idea if AIs "see" it or not, - but i'm 100% sure that AIs don't hesitate to attack as soon as they see a defenseless system. No matter how good relations are: i've seen AIs attacking despite "Harmony" standing, breaking non-aggression, research and trade treaties and declaring war, completely out of the blue. And it was done by "Honorable Technologist" AI race whom i never did any bad before. So yeah, no AIs are "friends", but they always respect your borders if they see your fleet would easily vaporize theirs, if things go hot. Always. ;)

    Additionally, it helps if one is playing a Warlord race, and Imperium government (end-game; starts as Dictatorship). Because all the great many command points allow to eventually create a fleet so large and powerful that no AI would dare to attack it, - and yet still pay 0 BC for its maintenance.

    1.3. Don't provoke AIs to make war, and obviously do not attack them yourself.

    AIs don't like plenty things you may do and deem non-aggressive. Like, colonizing an empty system several parsecs away from their territory; declining an offer of allied to you AI to make war to another AI (for this reason, if you want eternal peace - decline any AI offer to become allies, maintain non-aggression pact only); keeping your ships in AI's system or in nobody's system near their territory; making demands; etc.

    One special thing which you must pay much attention to - is your outposts, which you may make mid-game in order to "reach" certain system you want. Protect those as if they are your full-colony systems, - even more, actually, because outposts can't have star bases and ground batteries. And then, as soon as you don't need such outposts anymore, - give them away to some AI, as gifts. Because i've seen AIs sending fleet to attack a lone outpost without any my ships in its system - despite all the good relations. Worst thing of all, there is a bug in the game which forces the AI to declare a war once such an attacking fleet reaches the outpost's system - even if by the time it does you already gave away that outpost to that very AI who attempts to attack it, couple turns ago!

    1.4. Make pacts with AIs ASAP (research treaty, trade treaty, non-aggression pact) and don't cancel them yourself.

    Those serve to improve diplomatic relations enough to compensate self-deterioration of relations if no treaties are signed (which on Impossible difficulty happens quite fast). And it's a free source of extra RPs and BCs - and one big source early-game, too. So, win/win things to do.

    Late-game, though, it's possible to cancel research treaty if you want, still maintaining peace. AIs won't like it, but it won't lead to instant war if everything else is fine. Why would you want to do it? Well, to slow AI development down, of course. Amount of RPs you get from any research treaty depends on how good the AI's science is. I imagine same is true on the "other side" of the treaty. Means, AIs get huge boost to their science if your science is uber-powerful. Like, in my current game, i'm doing well over 20k RPs a turn, and i imagine research treaty with me boosts AIs' science quite much.

    Very late in the game, may be cancel trade treaty with most powerful AIs, too - if your per-turn BC income is in thousands and you want to maintain some balance between AIs.


    That's it! Those 4 things in bold text right above, when done well, - will guarantee you a peaceful MOO2 game even on Impossible difficulty!*

    Even if you have several systems colonized deep into AIs' own territory - like in my current game, where i colonized 4 systems deep "inside" AI's parts of the galaxy, those were ones protected by space monsters, so great systems to have. AI's did not attack me for colonizing those, nor ever after.

    *One possible exception are "Repulsive" AI races, since you just can't do 1.4 with those. Well, in my current game, no AI races are repulsive, but i realize it might be not a common case. So, either roll starts with "save turn 1, then scout around to see if there are any repulsive races, if there is - restart, if there is not - load turn 1 and play on", - though i was lucky to have such a game without doing this, i understand it's something quite easily doable; OR, just kick that repulsive guys' butts to extinction after they declare a war on you. That p.1.2 is not just for show, after all, right? :)


    2. Usefulnesses of peace for any usual 4X-style game

    Even if you prefer to eXterminate everything, maintaining reliable peace with certain AI players for a certain while - is highly useful endeavor due to the following:

    - not building spies (the 1st step above) means a bit faster development of everything else early-game;

    - every extra AI who's not at war with you, especially ones at high positive diplomatic standing, - is one more source of technologies whenever you're playing non-creative race even while you're not using any spies to steal their technologies. Because you can still exchange technologies with AIs, and at certain points, once you know diplomatic system of MOO2, you can even learn how to make certain types of AI players to agree to your demands - in particular, to "demand technology". The latter way, you can get technologies when AIs don't offer them for exchange (and they often don't offer most recently-discovered ones);

    - strategically, every AI who doesn't make war on you will most likely wage another war - against some other AI; they love to fight between themselves. This means that more AIs spend extra resources on making that war, more AIs lose ships, sometimes planets and lots of population, etc - all that slows them down quite much. Making you more able to get ahead, becoming the ultimate military force of the galaxy faster than otherwise possible;

    - more trade and research treaties means, once again, faster overall development and earlier ability to wipe whole galaxy out, if you'd wish to;

    - you can't prevent AIs to spy on you and occasionally steal your technologies even if you're running 63 agents to defend against it - if you're at war with them. They will do it. But when you're at peace - you can (see details of p.1.1 above).

    And, because of the second requirement for peace (p.1.2 above - having most powerful fleet there can be), - you'll be ever ready to attack any enemy whenever you feel ready, so it's in no way _forcing_ you to remain peaceful. Just an option, which you may or may not use at your own discretion at any given moment, when you know how. ;)


    3. Details and notes for my current game (which i intend to play on, past turn 300 - possibly for many thousands turns)

    Impossible difficulty game, Antarans on, Pre-warp start. Could technically win (end) this game by some turn ~200 iirc, back then i had two AIs voting for me plus my own people were already more than half population of the galaxy (subterranian race, and i love to do housing). Still, i keep going, selecting "abstain" during voting. By turn 300, over 75% of the galaxy's population is my race, and that's with only 20 systems out of "Huge" galaxy colonized by me.

    Nearly 10 of those systems are near my homeworld system, the other half though are single systems here and there, some forming a "cluster" on the other side of the galaxy and some just being single systems deep into some AI's territory. This latter half are mostly systems which have 3 or 4 planets in them, and/or huge or couple of large planets. Which explains how i get over 75% of the galaxy's population out of only 20 star systems. And "subterranian", of course.

    I named the race "Chenjesu" (yep, that's Star Control 2 folks). After evolutionary mutation, the race is:

    -lowG, -ground_combat, -ship_defense, +subterranian, +large_home_world, +warlord, +charismatic, +telepathic, +lucky.

    This race started as Lithovore + subterranian, and selected-then-deselected cybernetic to cancel out Lithovore during evolutionary mutation, allowing it to take all the above mentioned + picks. The Lithovore allows for very rapid development when paired with subterranian, and by the time i triggered the Mutation, which was early 200sh turn, most of my planets were already terraformed, so food did not become a problem. Having good reserve of freighters beforehard is recommended for this kind of mutation, of course. I didn't run into any trouble.

    The end-game picks of this race are all focused towards things which are not obtainable by any other means, after-end-game-like. Like, i can get over 1.5k production per turn from my Orion system's best planet even now, why would i need more. My science is over 20k a turn, food is overabundant everywhere, and i've seen growth rates for over 2000k per turn on some UR planets i have at certain housing moments. While all 6 "+" picks named above - all give unique benefits otherwise unobtainable in the game, no matter how big and how well you grow your empire. Even the "large homeworld" is a thing you can't get otherwise, even if extremely very unimportant thing late-game, that is.

    I especially adore "Lucky" pick. When you go for that "Live and Let Live" part, means you ain't going to do galaxy-wide genocide of other races and you purposedly avoid "winning" the game to keep going into the future, - this means very long games (thousands turns) and very high chances that without "Lucky", some of your planets will forever be reduced in their mineral classification. It's just a shame to see it happen. Of course, in practice it still means nothing, because you're so OP end-game. So it's 3 points "wasted" if to be pragmatic. Could be another 4-points + pick if not taking large homeworld, too. But hey, i see nothing better, too. For this thousand-turns-like end-game kind, that is. ;)

    I started to write down exact turns when remaining 5 AIs put spies against me. I feel there is a pattern about it. It probably will be certain, quite specific amount of turns after a demand to stop spying when they resume their spying attempts. I hope to find out how many, precisely, turns it takes, and i'll put my findings into this post via edit or into this topic if somehow unable to edit this post, soon.

    -- in progress --
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  2. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    126
    Apparently i can't add the following to the 1st post. Length limit? %)


    Update: played 56 more turns writing down when spies appear, checking reports every turn. Will continue to do it, but for now, it's already clear to me that:
    - it's indeed few dozens turns after each demand to stop spying before spies from that same AI resume their spying;
    - this "cooldown" period varies massively: sometimes it's ~30 turns, other times it's 50+ turns. Further monitoring will allow to guess if this length depends on a race, or is entirely random each time;
    - after this "cooldown" period ends, an AI player sometimes does not resume spying right away, instead sending his spies in few turns later on.

    On another note, last night i played the game in "not serious" mode for over 1000 turns. I managed to reach a state where only one AI player remains - in this case it was Human race, - and remains peaceful for that many turns. The key thing to this, i believe, is still doing 1.2 well enough: maintaining a fleet stronger than AI's. It took over 1000 command points total to do so, some ~600 of them granted by Chenjesu's race features and facilities, and the rest paid for in BCs.

    It was still a minor part of my BC income to maintain it, though; if need be, i could further double the size of my fleet to about ~2000 command points worth (yep, that's about 330 Death Stars, so 16...17 Death Stars per each of my 20 systems). Of course, i don't need that many ships to actually fight any AI, however well developed; in any given combat, some ~5 properly set up "gunboat" Death Stars under player's control is enough to take out any AI fleet technically possible. But that many ships is what gives AIs the impression that it's hopeless to attack, and thus they do not declare war even after 1000+ turns.

    I observed (on the history graph) how that Human AI maxed out his fleet size, which then remained practically constant for last few hundreds turns, and it was just ~10% less size, based on the graph, than mine. All the above, together, makes me sure that it is indeed possible to maintain peace for thousands turns at very least.

    I also tested various "gunboat" ship designs late-game, with max miniaturization (all fields except Sociology, Biology and Chemistry developed to hyper-advanced level V or higher). I found the following setup is, by far, the most efficient for player-controlled combat vs any end-game AI fleet; note that it's much different from what you may find in existing guides and wiki pages related to end-game Death Star construction. It excels at destroying AI fleets even solo in prolonged fights (i'll describe the tactic, below), but is most effective in small groups of 3...5 ships. And no, it's not the infamous Phase Cloak + Time Warp variety. It's better.

    Let this Death Star end-game design be known as "Fins' gunboat". :)

    - main weaponry: Phasors (forward, heavy-mounted, auto-fire, shield-piercing*) - as many as it fits after all the following is installed, should be two weapon groups with max miniaturization: 99 + 25, so 124 of those in total;

    - secondary weaponry: 36 Phasors (forward-extended, point-defense, auto-fire);

    - best shield available (typically level X for Creative, or at least level VII for non-creative);

    - computer: Moleculatronic (+125) when it gets available, but certainly not worse than +100 one;

    - drive: any;

    additional systems:
    - Achilles Targeting Unit
    - Battle Pods;
    - Battle Scanner;
    - High Energy Focus;
    - Hyper-X Capacitors;
    - Inertial Nulifier;
    - Structural Analizer;
    - Subspace Teleporter.

    * remove "shield-piercing" if you're facing AIs who got "Hardened Shields" tech and use it often on their ships, since this tech makes Phasors' shield-piercing useless waste of space. Doing this will reduce size of each main phasor from 10 to 8, use freed space to install more main Hv phasors. But it's best to not allow AIs to learn "Hardened Shields" as much / long as possible, of course. In my game, most of AIs did not discover it on their own, and i never exchange it away even if they ask, and i'm not allowing AIs to steal any techs of mine neither, so for me Shield Piercing is still a benefit. Still, the ship is still perfectly capable even against hardened shields, just ~15% or so less efficient vs Hardened shields level X on AIs, i think.

    This ship looks rather defenseless, but it's not. It also looks "wrong" to not include Time Warp Facilitator - but it's not. Here's how and why this design fares better against AIs than any other i could fathom. Here's all the reasoning (tested and verified in practice!) for all said weapons and systems installed.

    s1. Main weapons are Phasors and not Disruptors (which are better heavy mount weapons, i.e. at medium and long range) for two unusual but important reasons: 1st, usually this ship won't be fighting long-range, and short to medium range Phasors excel; and 2nd, at any range, Phasor animation takes way less time to be done than Disruptor animation. Phasors don't make me feel shots take too long time to land; Disuptors often do - whenever there is a big AI fleet to deal with, Disruptors' animations easily get annoyingly long.

    s2. Point-defense auto-fire forward-extended Phasors take 2 space each at max miniaturization level, and are best point-defense solution i was able to find. 360° makes them take 3 space, that's obviously worse as you'd have 1.5 less point-defense firepower for same space. I found that 36 of them is good enough protection even against rather large swarms of missiles and fighters - given all the special systems of this ship which makes those PD phasors so much more powerful. Hyper-X Capacitors included.

    It's totally possible to even reduce their amount to 31 or even to 26 and it would still be no problem - to get 1 or 2 more heavy phasors instead (those take 10 space each). But it's be substantial reduction of point defense ability for getting insignificant increase of "main caliber" firepower, so i don't go for it.

    s3. Shield. Without any special systems boosting its efficiency, it may seem rather useless. But it's the key system for those unexpected times when this ship is alone and large AI fleet attacks, at which times the Gunboat may often survive for several turns by fighting at long to maximum range, soaking damage by different faces of the shield, using its Inertial Nulifier for both mobility and its Beam Defense bonus and shield's regeneration to stay alive much longer than it otherwise would. The second reason for it are all the planetary defenses, which end-game may blow up your engine real good if you're shieldless. And with max miniaturization, a shield is only 50 space - as opposed to Damper Field, which is 125 (iirc).

    s4. High-grade computer (+100 or better) plus Battle Scanner, coupled with much experienced crew (elite / ultra-elite) is exactly enough to open fire before any AI ship would do anything. Without Battle Scanner, - not the case, some AI ships will have higher beam attack and thus initiative. This is why Battle Scanner is already a requirement. The extra good of high long-range hit chance, given by very high (270 and more) Beam Attack - is also critically important for this ship when it's alone against excessively large AI fleet.

    s5. Hyper-X Capacitors are better than Timewarp for this ship. There is only one slot to install one of those two, and it's clearly Hyper-X - for the following reasons:
    - takes less space than Timewarp, so more heavy phasors possible;
    - allows to destroy 2 times more enemy ships before the enemy could do anything, giving more tactical freedom;
    - doubles "emergency times" efficiency of the ship's point defense, since point defense phasors can fire twice during one and same turn - namely enemy's turn which involves large amount of missiles and/or fighters "arriving".

    s6. Subspace Teleporter. This is the key system of the ship, which allows the most efficient, "usual" tactic this Gunboat of mine truly shines at: namely, teleport right next to enemy ships right away, take them out, then move (using ship's drive) towards remaining ships, take them out too, and then take out the rest. Thing is, even while being Heavy Mounted, phasors still lose great deal of their damage when fired from medium to long ranges - unlike Disruptors, they do dissipate their damage over range. This means you need to move to short range to your targets for Phasors to deal way much more damage than they do from medium range - and Subspace Teleporter allows just that in an instant.

    s7. Various extra notes about this Gunboat.

    In short range, Heavy Mount phasors do their maximum listed damage - 30 per each shot, 90 per weapon, subject to further increases by all the systems of the Gunboat; in practice, each Phasor shot once will deal some 200...300 damage directly to structure/systems (as both Shields and Armor are bypassed by this Gunboat design, except vs Hard Shield enemies).

    Non-heavy-mount Phasors still lose much of their kick at any distance except point-black range, so that's why i'm using Heavy Mount versions; and also because Heavy Mount allows for long-distance "emergency" tactics whenever outnumbered/outgunned, also. Yet the 3rd reason is, if i'll however find this Gunboat dealing with Hardened Shields opponents, - then Heavy Mount versions will be much more effective at neglecting that shield's ability to block some 13 points of each shot's damage (assuming level X shield and +3 from the special).

    For non-creative players, such is Chenjesu race i play in my current game, it is difficult to get all the needed systems. Especially in non-violent way. But i managed to do it. Some few systems, i got from technology exchange with AIs when they were asking for unimportant-enough technology in return. Few others, amazingly including Achilles Targeting Unit, i got via "Demand Technology" option, managing to have AIs agree to the demand (and not deny it and declare war, as is their usual habit). +125 Beam Attack computer - is always possible to get from captured Antaran ships. Xentronium Armor from them is a good thing to have, too (usual "armor piercing" weapons don't pierce it). Shield level X still eludes me, though - but i run with Shield level VII and it's OK. But of course level X one is better.

    Rangemaster Unit - this one system seems like very useful for this Gunboat design, most likely allowing to use regular auto-fire Phasors instead of heavy-mounted ones, getting higher total damage output as a result (HV version uses 2 times more space, but deals only 1.5 more damage total). However, Heavy Mounted also has huge maximum range bonus, thus allowing the above described "plan B" tactic of long-range attrition fight, plus above mentioned ease of shield penetrating if it comes to Hardened Shields. So both ways have big benefits. But the deciding factor here, for me, is that Rangemaster Unit - is still one more additional system, and this design already has no open system slot. So i'd have to "sacrifice" some other system to get Rangemaster in. And i don't see what could i sacrifire without compromising the Gunboat's efficiency much. This is why Rangemaster did not make it into this design.

    In particular, the only "potential" sacrifice would be Inertial Nulifier - but i find it highly useful not only for "hit and run away" multi-turn tactic (that "plan B" one), but also for having all the drive's mobility during the standard "teleport to enemies and melt them short-range" tactic: turning around freely allows to have more mobility of the ship remaining to get closer to next lines of targets after eliminating ones directly near the Gunboat. This movement allows to fire Phasors at their top damage to more targets, thus increasing total damage done significantly. And, of course, +100 Beam Defense from Inertial Nulifier is one critically important thing for "plan B" times, too.

    The rest of the Gunboat's systems are pretty self-explanatory. Depending on enemy Death Stars' defensive systems, and using the usual "jump in and melt things close-range" tactic during 1st turn (before enemy could do anything at all), a wing of 5 such gunboats will be able to take out some 120...400 enemy Death Stars before the last of them will have to end its 1st turn. The total damage done by all those Phasers will be some 250000 or more, and good percentage of targets will blow up way before their structure points would come to zero, because Achilles Targeting Unit often blows up their critical systems: sometimes i see an intact enemy Death Star blowing up after being hit by 1 or 2 phasers only. That's way more targets than possible to have in any single battle*.

    *I read, the max number of ships in any battle is 100, i didn't verify this one thing myself, but i think it's true - i've seen AIs using only parts of their fleet for a single battle when they were perfectly able to use all of it, and i have never seen any battle with something like 150 or more ships, - i'd notice. :)

    To conclude this big Death Star section: you may wonder how exactly this kind of ship "belongs" to a 3X3L - sort of pacifist, - game. But it's all within scope of 1.2 in the 1st post: when you want peace, you prepare for war. I'll enjoy the certainty that even if any AI would ever attack any of my systems out of the blue, using stealth to arrive undetected, - i'd still have more than enough Gunboats in every last system of mine to take out the attacker.

    -- further progress suspended indefinitely (i may be back to this game some time later in 2018) --
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  3. Nelphine

    Nelphine Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Playing the ice-x mod, I tried never building a single spy. However, I was still framed (presumably by repulsive darloks), and so the Mrsshan broke a NAP, and both treaties, then attacked me.
     
  4. Volcanon

    Volcanon Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    290
    If I play peaceful in Impossible I always get attacked, but that might be because the AI doesn't appear to count how good ships are, just how many you have versus them. The AI builds carpets of ships (and sometimes hits the ship limit) but these ships are poorly designed so my smaller army of ships usually blows them all away and captures a bunch of their ships (though, really, its not that amazing to have a doom star that can launch 200 nuclear missiles for 20 turns with a titanium hull/armor)

    Just to respond to above, its either 99 ships or 100 ships is the limit per battle. The game will field the largest ships first. So if the AI has 50 doom stars and 100 titans, the battle will be vs 50 doom stars and 50 titans, and there will be a fleet of 50 titans left if you win.

    Telepathic on Impossible is loads of fun, btw, because of the extra bonuses enemy citizens get. I've mind controlled a Sssla or Silicoid empire full of 30 population planets with subterranean, aquatic and tolerant citizens (so better than you could do even if you wanted to).
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  5. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    126
    Interestingly, framing started in my (no mods) game too, but very late (after some 400sh turns). Still it was possible to develop to very end-game without any AI declaring war, and with all of them doing treaties. Perhaps this is related to the fact i had yet another AI wiped out from my game and so remaining AIs didn't have "enough" other empires to shift blames on? Or may be it's related to the size of the fleet, as it's about that time i had one of AIs obtaining "more" fleet (per graph) than me, so i imagine may be he's "not affraid" anymore to risk a war with me and starts to frame me in his spying affairs.

    It's not even how many ships you got; it's some simplistic evaluation of your fleet's strength. How i know? See i have that massive fleet and at some point i went and refitted most of it per all the end-game "Hyper" technologies i researched, which allowed me to have much more efficient design of ships. However this refit involved replacing Disruptors by Phasors (by this point phasors became more effective in practice), and after i done it, my "fleet" graph dropped significantly! Despite the fact i didn't lose any single ship at the time.
     

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