Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => After Action Reports => Topic started by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 04:05:49 AM

Title: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 04:05:49 AM
Data Angels plagued and gassed
Data Angels plagued and gassed

Mission Year 2356.  I am the Caretakers playing my SMACX AI Growth mod (http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=20959.0) version 1.37.  As an Alien faction, I have systematically eXploited the lack of any penalty for using chemical weapons against the humans.  They get a +50% attack bonus but count as an Atrocity.  This is expressly against the United Nations Charter, but as an Alien faction I'm not a member.  When used against cities, chemical weapons inflict mass casualties and soon wipe the city completely off the face of the map.  This is good if you're an Alien, because human cities will depopulate to 1 when you take them over anyways.  It seems we don't eat the same food, although oddly, we do use the same farmland, go figure!

In the early game I took on the Believers, the Pirates, and the Peacekeepers all at once.  I used mere Recon Rovers and Laser Skimships with Nerve Gas attachments, the weakest weapons of the game that still get the bonus.  The eXtermination of their cities was gradual but compelling.  I cleared out essentially a supercontinent for my own empire, keeping only the human cities that had built Secret Projects.

Oh, I wiped out the other Alien faction, the Usurpers, so long ago that I completely forgot about them!  Yes, I suppose the humans were untroubled for a short time.

This left only the University and the Data Angels.  The University managed to complete the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, as the powerful Secret Projects are quite expensive in my mod and one must choose what one is going after.  I've been unable to steal their tech, and consequently they've been ahead of me in tech the whole game.  I've left them alone to be my last victim.

The Data Angels were distant and not particularly strong.  I thought of sparing them in a brief period of post-genocidal peace, but they were soon up to their probe team hijacking antics!  They stole one of my ships, so I declared war and sealed their doom.  It's been a very slow process of merely using old units to clear out their few scattered sea bases.  I learned how to inflict Genetic Plagues meanwhile and have used them to good effect.  You are about to see the last of such tactics before the final showdown.

The main worry when nuking an opponent, is not what they're going to do about it.  It's the global warming, the flooding, and the vengeance of Planet itself for performing such a dastardly deed.  The piles of mindworms that show up can completely wipe you out.  The drownings aren't any fun either, in such a carefully crafted empire such as I have built.  The answer to these woes, is to wipe out everyone in one turn and achieve a Conquest Victory.  Can't suffer catastrophes when you've just declared yourself the winner!

It is easier and more impressive to do this with Singularity Reactors.  Their blast radius is so large, that it becomes a game of destroying 3 cities at a time!  But that's near the end of the tech tree and I have no interest in waiting that long.  Simple Fusion warheads will have to do.  I've used my productivity to prepare for this day for quite some time.  This is arguably a pretty short timeframe for me to have prepared such an apocalypse, at least in my mod, which doesn't allow factories until the late midgame.

completed 31 Planet Busters
completed 31 Planet Busters

This is a notable year!  I've completed my 2nd wave of Planet Busters, a quasi-nuclear weapon that leaves literal giant craters in Planet's surface.  The technical term for what you're about to see is NUKE PORN.  It's not quite enough to wipe out every University city, but it's probably enough if I attack outlying settlements with chemical weapons as well.  Certainly, the University has no chance of surviving my first strike.  They have 2 nukes to my 31.  I've also got 9 Orbital Defense Pods to their 2.

I've also completed the Space Elevator, which allows me to perform orbital insertions anywhere on Planet's Surface, should I want to keep the occasional human city.  I've already completed Genejack Factories in my major cities and am working on Robotic Assembly Plants.  This will allow me to quickly prepare a 3rd wave of Planet Busters if I think I need them.  Probably, I do not, but this is not a strategy of subtlety!
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 05:16:26 AM
stalking the Supercollider
stalking the Supercollider

MY 2357.  I land a Heavy Drop Fusion Hovertank Transport next to the one Data Angel city containing a Secret Project.  It's a nicety that I don't want these things falling into enemy hands or getting nuked, although I could do it.  I brought a modest older generation defensive unit and a Super Former.  I will build an Airbase so that my Drop Transport can jump back into orbit.  If anyone comes out on the fungal patch to bother me, I should be able to wipe them out with my air force already in theater.

overindustrialization
overindustrialization

I've not built more Drop Transports because I've now got a bit of an eco-damage problem.  I have a +4 PLANET rating, the maximum possible with my faction, and the Pholus Mutagen, but Genejack Factories + Robotic Assembly Plants will still do some damage.  In most games I typically forego the latter for that very reason.  I don't really need my plan going south prematurely, so I'm implementing an obligatory round of Centauri Preserves.  It's ok, I haven't finished wiping the Data Angels anyways.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 06:02:33 AM
high tech defense
high tech defense

MY 2358.  The University got rid of the 3-Pulse Probe Teams defending the large Data Angel sea base.  However I've only brought my old X Fission Impact Needlejets, preferring to keep anything vaguely modern in reserve for the University.  Even with wounds, a Fusion Probability Garrison can shoot that down.  I have a remedy though: plagues from my waiting Fusion 3-Pulse Cruiser Probe Teams!

pustules in the canals
pustules in the canals

Just look at the horrific damage that plague did!  Those units are now barely alive, and the population dropped by 10.  Dropping population isn't so exciting when you're Aliens fighting humans or vice versa, because the opposing side is going to drop to 1 on your victory anyways.  But it's still impressive to contemplate the level of damage these things do.  In human vs. human warfare, legalizing chemical weapons is one of the easiest paths through the game.  And with Aliens, it isn't even necessary.

cough syrup
cough syrup

Even on its last legs, the difference in tech is so large that it could conceivably have a chance to live through this.  Sometimes the odds calculator lies, or just isn't accurate.  We'll see!  Damn.  I actually lost the plane.

expectorate this
expectorate this

I bring up the one and only X Gatling Battleship, expensive and mighty scourge of the erstwhile Pirate empire.  I was really parsimonious about my units earlier in the game, just waiting for them to gradually wear inferior forces out.  Had better things to do, like beat the Peacekeepers and terraform everything.  No grand navy for me!  Did build some Isles that I'm still using.  They have a nice way of shocking their way through anything without explicit Trance defense.  Anyways, this shouldn't pose any further problem, and it'll reduce the base size yet again.  I take some wounds and drop it to size 2, leaving only that almost dead Transport for their final defense.

take it with a full glass of water
take it with a full glass of water

I have 1 non-wounded plane left.  It reduces the base to size 1.  I have no units left in range to finish off the base, as my Isles are sloooooow.  It might actually live until next turn as they're rushing a Clean Trance Scout.  The University might decide to pick it off though.  At least I've accomplished the primary purpose: preventing the University from taking it over, so that I won't have yet another sea base to clean out when the time comes.

a rousing tribute to Davy Jones
a rousing tribute to Davy Jones

A Carrier functions as a mobile airbase.  I wanted to know if I could launch my Drop Transport off of one.  When I first moved onto the Carrier, it did (L)oad and seemed to be working!  However when I tried to move the Carrier 1 square to get a slightly better position, it didn't move with the Carrier the way a plane would.  Moving the Carrier back to the original square, the Drop Transport isn't (L)oading on it anymore.  I fear it may sink next turn.  However it may have worked fine if I just hadn't tried to move again.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 07:01:46 AM
nukes can prevent eco damage
nukes can prevent eco damage

MY 2359.  The University is not being a good Eco Citizen.  I'm going to have to terminate them soon with eXtreme prejudice, if I want to prevent my nice empire from getting flooded.  In the worst case, in 4 more years I'll have Algorithmic Enhancement capability.  No more Hunter-Seeker Algorithm to stop my probe teams!  You just saw what my plagues can do to human cities, and I've got a team in every base.  All I'd need is a rail connection and it's goodbye University.

well at least I eat better
well at least I eat better

The University has also suddenly and surprisingly pulled a lot of Orbital Defense Pods out of its hindquarters.  I can probably outproduce them, as the Space Elevator lets me build them twice as fast, and I've got plenty of industrial capacity.  It's going to prevent me from making any new nukes though.  ODP warfare is horrible attrition, sometimes taking as many as 3 attackers to bring down 1 defending satellite.  It's actually a much better bet to just fire Conventional Missiles and make the enemy expend ODPs on them, then follow up with nukes when they've exhausted their supply of ODPs.  However again with the Space Elevator I can produce these things even more cheaply than CMs, so from an attrition perspective, a pure ODP fleet may be the way for me to go.

The AI can be downright obsessive about ODPs if it makes it to this point in the game though.  In the past I've often had to intervene on the ground to stop it.  I suppose the turning point in the University's capabilities, is they recently completed the Cloudbase Academy.  That means they can build satellites in any base they want.  I have that capability too, courtesy of the Space Elevator.  Only recently did I realize that's one of its capabilities.  The reason the University got one Secret Project and I got the other, is we're pursuing different research paths, and SPs are exceedingly expensive in my mod.

an A for effort
an A for effort

Good news is my Drop Transport didn't sink!  Bad news is a carrier deck isn't good enough to do an orbital insertion from.  Bet I can't do paradrops off a carrier deck either, which is a pity.  I've almost never needed carrier tactics over the years, since I'm a fan of rails and raising land to link continents together.

the finest logicsticians that Aliens can buy
the finest logicsticians that Aliens can buy

Oh well, next turn I'll just launch from my newly completed Airbase.  Problem is, it's gonna sink!  Thank you University.  I really didn't have "University are a bunch eco-Morons" on my planning ledger.  Seriously, aside from a volcano going off a n umber of years ago, it's the first I've heard of their coal burning proclivities.

never heard of guided bombs
never heard of guided bombs

The base I want to take is guarded by 2 Sensor Arrays.  They put up a big defensive penalty in my mod, so it's worth getting rid of them before trying to take a city intact.  Of course, both my planes miss their bombing runs.  I didn't get the memo on how I'm still fighting WW II.

Although I could try to take down the Perimeter Defense with my few remaining probe teams, the attrition rate for targeted probe team actions is horrific.  I'm likely to get them all killed without actually doing the job.  "Just stirring things up in there" is much less risky, but not helpful for taking bases intact.  All the bases I've liquidated and obliterated in this game, have generally been preceded by probe teams blowing up everything in them, eventually taking out the Perimeter Defense.  It will require more delay and cleverness to get past things this time.

I've completed another Drop Transport, so I bring up 2 mindworms to help break down the gates.  It won't be enough, unless the University weakens the base first.  I've got 2 more Drop Transports completing next turn, so I'll be able to bring in 4 more units.  If my patch of land doesn't sink before I launch my strike, it should be enough.

I have an uneasy feeling that I should keep my navy where it is, even though there are no Data Angel sea bases to liquidate anymore.  I don't know how the University's behavior is going to change once I eradicate the Data Angels.  I've have sucked up to them with the choice of Knowledge all this time, which is actually helpful to me as in my mod it gives +1 PLANET.  But who knows how the AI thinks, especially when I have so many nukes.

fluids are awesome responsibility
fluids are awesome responsibility

Thinking more about floods, I check if any of my cities are threatened.  Some are, so I rush their build queues to finish up the factories they were working on.  Pressure Domes begin next year.  This interferes with my ability to rush the Living Refinery, although I don't really need more SUPPORT.

Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 03:34:25 PM
the prudently obsessive AI
the prudently obsessive AI

MY 2360.  The University added a lot more ODPs, gaining an almost 2:1 advantage over me.  I've got 9 in production myself, and I'd like to believe they'll complete faster than the enemy's, due to my Space Elevator advantage.  However I haven't actually surveyed their industrial capacity, nor considered the AI's inherent +3 INDUSTRY advantage.  I really didn't expect this After Action Report to be something I'd have to fight for.  I thought I was just summarily ending the game.

Well, if it comes to that, I've got some Drop X Chaos Needlejets in production.  Plenty of Amphibious Hovertank Probe Teams once I get Sentient Machines and complete the Nethack Terminus.  I'm also ready to storm the Data Angels' last worthwhile city next year, then liquidate the rest.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 04:29:06 PM
before a plague
before a plague

MY 2361.  I have finally bombarded the Sensor Arrays into oblivion and am ready for my main assault.  I am thinking the city's population is large enough, that I can afford 1 plague hit, without it depopulating so small as to be wiped out by my final assault.  Human cities depopulate to 1 when Aliens take them over anyways, so there's no loss.  Provided the city doesn't get knocked down too far.  As a precaution, I will save scum this turn.  After all, the last city I plagued lost 10 people.

and after
and after

Perfect!  Look how effective it is.  This has now become a complete cakewalk / move-in special.  Demon Boil mindworms are going up against this.  As a precaution I move my mindworms onto high ground before attacking, in case the North Pole sinks next year.  The conquest is uneventful and all my units move into their new northern home.

watch out for Sensors
watch out for Sensors

The +50% defense bonus for a Sensor Array in my mod is no joke.  I already hit this city with 1 plague, and I lost a Demon Boil mindworm to a mere wounded Trance Scout.  I had just come back from an interruption to my game and wasn't thinking much about the situation.  Only that the last scrap of a Datatech city was south of me and I wanted it gone.  I stop my attack in order to deal with the Sensor.  I shell it with my X Gatling Battleship and it blows up.

why we get rid of them
why we get rid of them

With the Sensor gone, my odds are improved and I should prevail.  Oh good grief I don't, I just barely die!  Well I do have some more mindworms yet, but that was annoying.  I brought those Demon Boils up from little grubs, and slowly destroyed all of the Believer and Peacekeeper empires with them.  Never had lots of them, just enough to destroy a city or two at a time.  So it's like losing my little grubby children, all grown up and ready to die!

I could have used yet another Cruiser Probe Team, but I've only got 1 left in theater and there's always a risk of losing it after the mission.  Didn't seem worth it, since the city was already knocked down to size 1.  Well, 2 more mindworms finished off the city without incident.  Mission accomplished, it's one less city the University will own on doomsday.  The Data Angels have only 1 city left now, and the University has been trying to soften it up.  I drop 2 old school fission Probe Teams into my newly acquired city, to finish the job off next year.



Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 07:13:32 PM
she had it comin'
she had it comin'

MY 2362.  Only the University remains.  Roze should never have stolen that ship of mine.  She could have had the honor of being in the endgame!  She could have even been my ally.  Well no one said humans are smart.

our cold war
our cold war

I feel it important to point out that the University is not beaten.  We're at Orbital Defense Pod parity.  It may take as much as a 3:1 advantage to risk a launch.  My industry is working on it, but they're still keeping up.  They have at least 44 cities, judging by the number of Network Nodes they have.  I have 37.  They have 5 techs that I don't.  On paper, we're fairly evenly matched.  On the graph, I'm slightly stronger than them.  I also still have my 31 Planet Busters ready and raring to go, against their 2.

I am Electric Eye
I am Electric Eye

My ace in the hole is I can direct my research and they can't.  I've been pursuing a different tech path than they have.  One that will end their research advantage, and make their bases completely vulnerable.  Next year, it's showtime!  Chemical attacks aren't going to trigger any vengeance by Planet, and I don't think the University can do anything militarily about me.  I will wear down their industry until I finally have ODP supremacy and can nuke the rest.  Once a hot war starts, they might even do me the favor of trying to attack my ODPs with theirs.  They're certain to lose more of their own than they take out, which would give me my launch window sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: Geo on November 16, 2019, 07:37:43 PM
Data Angels plagued and gassed
Data Angels plagued and gassed
It seems we don't eat the same food, although oddly, we do use the same farmland, go figure!

Why, yes, naturally, its not the resource but the processing of the harvest that does the trick!
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 16, 2019, 08:08:08 PM
So there you have it.  The Aliens eat a quantity of soy sauce so excessive, it would kill a human.

And perhaps they find the bark of trees delicious.

You know if you take captives, there are alternatives to simply starving them to death.  Particularly if you have the cropland handy.  It's not like when a city drops to size 1, that the Aliens need all that land immediately for their own produce.

When will these Aliens embrace low-sodium cuisine?  They're draining our oceans, I tell you!

 ;caretake; ;rockon ;liftoff

MY 2363.  Belatedly I realized that my existing Fusion Probe Teams will not be algorithmically enhanced until I actually complete the Nethack Terminus.  It's expensive and I can't do that instantly.  Supposedly I have an income of -2 energy credits, but I have trouble believing that because I have 1821 credits in my account.  Perhaps that's some wild mindworms I killed though.  I have diverted all ODPs that would take 2 turns to complete into Supply Crawler production.  8 of those should complete next turn.  I'm not sure if that's enough to complete the project, but it'll get me closer.  I still have 42 ODPs to their 30, and 6 more will complete next turn.

Meanwhile I'll build 1 Algorithmically Enhanced probe team in my capitol, where I keep my one Covert Ops Center.  That will be good enough to sneak around with, although I don't think I can frame anyone at this point?  I've also used this lull to move all my old non-amphibious X units to the northern captured city.  They should be able to make a right mess of the University's conquered Data Angel territory.

a species of suicide troops
a species of suicide troops

I've designed some cheap suicide squads.  Notably the Banzai Brigade: its purpose is to leap off a cliff, enter an empty enemy city, have enough movement remaining to Obliterate the base, and drown!  The Drop Frog is essentially the same thing but can be orbitally inserted.  If a base is only size 1 and adjacent to my rail network, I can send the even cheaper Banzai Flea to do the job, as I don't need any moves remaning.  It's basically a marine scout and only costs 10 minerals!  But my industrial capacity is high enough that I have cities that can easily produce a 30 or 40 minerals unit in 1 turn, without being able to produce more expensive things as quickly as I'd like. 
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 17, 2019, 05:03:32 AM
MY 2364.  My Elite Algorithmically Enhanced probe team didn't do much of a job against the University.  It was summarily compromised and Zhakarov declared war.  I'm tempted to take defensive actions only, as he doesn't seem to be keeping up with the ODP race.  I haven't committed any atrocities against him yet.  Can he be lulled into a false sense of security?

I don't really have enough offensive forces for conventional war.  Wasn't what I put my industry into.  I do have some units coming next turn.  Also the Nethack Terminus will be completed.  My Supply Crawlers got me almost all the way there, and it seems I do have some kind of unreported income, despite what the budget says.  After rushing the project I still have a 2125 credit reserve.

walk in
walk in

I don't have remotely enough amphibious units, let alone suicide units.  I take an undefended base, hoping to negotiate an immediate Truce afterwards.  Unfortunately I get the error where the enemy tries to make contact with you, but nothing is said and you can't respond.  Now he's ignoring me.  So, I'll have to kill his stuff and take another base.  I think I only have 1 more amphibious unit though.

silly party
silly party

It took a ridiculous number of Spore Launchers to sink 1 enemy Sea Colony Pod.  I'm not sure why they're so ineffective.  Perhaps conventional artillery works better, but this is what I've got.  I didn't want to waste a plane on the job, and what navy I bothered to make is all up north.

I killed a few more units in a few sea bases on the shores of my supercontinent.  I did not commit my "serious" air force to anything, they are waiting on the ground.  That was a pretty meek opening move by world conquest standards!  Maybe it will lull them into building the wrong things?

Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 17, 2019, 06:17:06 AM
MY 2365.  Somehow in my tiredness and being interrupted by real life, I actually forgot to rush the last 2 turns of the Nethack Terminus.  Consequently, I do not have my algorithmically enhanced probe teams ready to go this year.  I could just replay the turn, but I'm not enthusiastic about that.  That's part of being tired.

The University did not make much in the way of grievous attacks.  They did steal a tech from one of my newly acquired and unprotected sea bases.  That's not completely necessary as I do have amphibious probe teams, but I don't have any conventional units to prevent conventional attacks.  In short, this has been a long game, and my endgame plan is now fairly piss poor.  It's like, can we just end this already??  This was supposed to be a short writeup with a bunch of nuke porn, and I can't even launch yet.

The good news is the University is not making all that many ODPs all that rapidly.  I think I will eventually win that contest.  Then it's all over.  Meanwhile I guess I'm plunking with conventional conquest for a turn!

humans are fools
humans are fools

I finally take a base that doesn't generate escape pods.  So I'm able to have a conversation with Zhakarov about a Truce.  Which is perfectly convenient for me until the Nethack Terminus is finished next year.  I don't even need him to honor it, as it won't make any difference.  It's not that I'm untrustworthy.  In fact my Reputation is still Noble, for aesthetic reasons that exceed my limited Alien brain's capacity for reason.  It's that I've built an arsenal to destroy the planet a certain way, and that should be obvious.  I don't mind taking out some weak bases conventionally beforehand, as it saves missile costs.

dirty rotten polluting humans
dirty rotten polluting humans

The poles disappeared this year.  It may actually make some things easier, having the water access.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 17, 2019, 07:27:39 AM
an expensive heist
an expensive heist

MY 2366.  It took 4 probe teams to steal that tech.  I was beginning to think that algorithmic enhancement didn't actually work!  I mean, I only have a +3 PROBE rating.  Still a Knowledgeable Thought Control Green Police State.  Still buttering up Zhakarov to think of me as reasonable, still haven't committed any atrocities yet.  I will try to exhaust my inventory of probe teams before offering peace this time.

Well, using up the amphibious and maritime probe teams wasn't hard, but Speeder teams need a land connection that I don't have.  I used a Drop Transport to put 2 in my northern city, but their movement ended when they landed, so not so helpful this year.  After beating on Zhakarov I did get him to sign a Truce again, so I'm not quite done milking him for easy conquests.  I might as well drop more Speeder probe teams up north for next year.

All the size 16 cities are taking a break from ODP production to build Habitation Domes.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 17, 2019, 01:27:01 PM
a bigger KABOOM!
a bigger KABOOM!

MY 2367.  Although my probe team losses have been horrific, I've managed to steal Quantum Power.  This would be a serious situation if the University had enough brains to manufacture the units needed to stomp me, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  I merely continue to whittle away at the poorly defended sea bases on the shores of my supercontinent.  As of this year I've stolen everything he's got.  And once again, he signs a Truce after I suicide into one of his size 1 sea bases.  It's all about avoiding the dialogue bugs!

the cost of multiple deaths
the cost of multiple deaths

For a mere 300 credits apiece, I can upgrade my Fusion Planet Busters to Quantum.  This would increase the blast radius to 3.  That's only useful if cities are within 3 squares of each other.  By the time I actually get to launch, I don't know that they will be.  I will avoid upgrades for now.

the spreadsheet of power
the spreadsheet of power

Looking at my available intelligence on the University, I believe they only have 34 cities now.  That means I pretty much have the nukes to obliterate almost everything. If only I could launch.

guiding the people to a better world
guiding the people to a better world

My problem is I'm afraid to spend my reserve of money, because I don't have any money coming in.  I can fix that by going Democratic, and maybe some other changes.  I'm not going to need Knowledge much longer.  Once I start committing atrocities, there will be no fooling Zhakarov at the end of every turn.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 17, 2019, 06:14:39 PM
for once an easy gig
for once an easy gig

MY 2368.  Zhakarov came up with a new tech, so I stole it.  Didn't lose a probe team this time.  I don't have any easy conquests in reach of my supercontinent anymore, so I start expanding from my northern city.

actual opposition
actual opposition

I took 3 weakly defended northern cities before running into a Quantum unit.  My Demon Boil was not going to be able to penetrate its 3-Res armor so I didn't engage.  I was unable to avoid the dialogue bug so no Truce trickery at the end of this turn.  Zhakarov will be able to counterattack.

give me money or give me death
give me money or give me death

None of Zhakarov's remaining cities are small enough to avoid colonists escaping.  The dialogue bug is always going to be triggered, so I figure hostilities will be permanent.  Ergo, I have no need to butter him up with Knowledge anymore.  I don't actually need to fight well or conquer anything conventionally.  I need to make money, finish the Hab Domes, build a few Temples of Planet to prevent further flooding, and build ODPs or Conventional Missiles to wear out his reserve of ODPs.

Confident in my new income stream, I rush Clinical Immortality.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 17, 2019, 07:14:08 PM
some growth
some growth

MY 2369.  For once Zhakarov doesn't have any new tech.  I've got everything he's got, and maybe a few of my own.  I switch my budget to make more money and start growing those unlimited cities.  Every time a city's production gets high enough that I can bang out an ODP in 1 turn, I've met my goal.  I take 3 more poorly defended northern cities.  I'm almost at my logistical limit of what I can garrison without making new defensive units.  I don't wish to do that, I wish to light 'em up and win!

Zhakarov is probably down to 31 cities.  More importantly, he's not making any ODPs.  Taking some of his poorly defended cities, and creating a substantial northern front, may have gotten the AI to feel pressure that it previously didn't feel.  Well good, all I should have to do is wait!
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 18, 2019, 02:53:34 AM
tedious
tedious

MY 2370.  This is the problem with not having enough units to garrison everything.  I didn't have to deal with this when I was running a Thought Control Police State and had +3 PROBE.  They also dropped a Conventional Missile on a poorly defended city up north and retook it with a drop squad.  I'm mainly irked that they captured an old X Needlejet, but I haven't actually committed any atrocities so it doesn't inherently amount to anything.  These bases could actually become a basis for signing a Truce once I destroy them, and to be honest, I thought about leaving out "bait" cities for just that purpose.  Well that's not needed!

2 to 1 advantage
2 to 1 advantage

I just have to remind myself that wear and tear on the cannon fodder is irrelevant.  ODP production is everything, and the University hasn't seen fit to resume it.  I've got 10 cities cranking out 1 ODP per turn, if I've counted correctly.  Cities that aren't up to that production level, I'm building happiness facilities, so that they will pop boom up to a useful size.  If the AI doesn't wake up, this is going to be over soon.

eat beams
eat beams

My 2 new X Tachyon Quantum Skybases become available.  1 of them is just within flight range of my fallen city.  They're expensive units, but they get around!  I wanted to have something just in case some ground and pound became necessary.  I don't bother with a chemical attack.  It wipes out my erstwhile garrison unit, which did more damage than I might have liked, but hey I won.  Glad I didn't bother to put an AAA garrison in there!  A 2nd plane finishes off the weaker defender.  I now have a size 1 enemy city on my coast.  Where's that Banzai Brigade when I need it?  This is exactly the situation it was designed for.

jumping dutifully to his doom
jumping dutifully to his doom

Drop Frogs are a little more expensive but still work.  Useful when you're on the wrong continent.

greedy for research grants
greedy for research grants

Without any escapees, I avoid the dialogue bug and can negotiate a cease-fire.  Problem is Zhakarov has delusions of grandeur.  I think I can lower the price on his proposition by knocking off more cities.

a bold bluffer
a bold bluffer

Oh you really had me going there for a minute, ha ha ha!   :dunno:  You get to keep that overextended pipsqueak city you just took back.  Just as well, as he dropped a Quantum garrison in it that won't be so easy to dislodge.  I'm only fighting up north with hardscrabble.

Zhakarov didn't research anything this year, so I've secured my objective.  Time.  Just relax, Zhakarov, it will all be over soon...
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 18, 2019, 03:41:30 PM
does he cheat at research
does he cheat at research

MY 2371.  Zhakarov hasn't researched any new tech, so nothing for me to steal.  Ergo, no hostilities this year.  I notice he's supposedly researching Biomachinery.  Does it just say that because I myself have directed research, and so the user interface changes in a way it probably shouldn't?  Or is the AI given directed research as a cheat?  Anyways I will discover this tech myself next year, so our final showdown isn't likely to be triggered by tech theft.  I could steal his map lol.

I now have 3194 credits in reserve and an income of 420 credits/year.  I wonder how much it would cost to buy one of his Secret Project cities?  They're right next to his capitol, so probably more than I'll ever want to afford.

tempting target
tempting target

His other SP cities are piled to the brim with troops, but the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm is poorly defended.  I could probably take this if I use all my Drop X Chaos Needlejets to do it.  I could definitely do it if I got the X Tachyon Gravships up there, but 1 is badly wounded and the other is still flying up.

Hmm, I can't leave Needlejets hovering over a target.  I can't upgrade them to gravships either, as they're on the wrong chassis.  He doesn't have enough of an intact rail system to just ride down there and take it.  I may leave this well enough alone.  Realistically, the probe team stage of the game is over with anyways.  I'm waiting for launch.

Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 18, 2019, 06:03:49 PM
a few more turns
a few more turns

MY 2372.  The University is still researching Biomachinery.  I have started the Cloning Vats.  With a 4349 credit reserve it won't take long to complete it.  I just need to get the starting minerals done, which might be as soon as next year.  I want at least a 3 to 1 advantage before I strike.  Zhakarov will complete 1 ODP next year.  Otherwise he has 1 city that will complete in 12 turns, and 1 that will never complete at 47 turns.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 18, 2019, 06:44:22 PM
almost a 3 to 1 advantage
almost a 3 to 1 advantage

MY 2373.  The University has researched Biomachinery and has started on Sentient Resonance.  I have achieved the minimum necessary odds for orbital supremacy.  Additional ODPs would be good, and would bring the endgame to certainty.  Given that I'm now actually slightly beating the University on tech, it would probably have been faster overall if I'd pursued Subspace Generator technology and called in the Alien fleet for victory.  It didn't seem that way at the time though, and the game would have been long since over if the AI hadn't had the temerity to put up an ODP screen!

never learned Global Energy Theory
never learned Global Energy Theory

I rush the Cloning Vats.  It's horrifically expensive in my mod, but I've got piles of money.  I don't think my credits per turn is correctly reported, as I think that's a roughly 1000 credit increase over last year, and I didn't kill any indigenous life forms.  Next year I'll be immune to the negative effects of Thought Control and Power.  I will shift my government and then give an ultimatum to the University.  They can live... if they bow!

Rich as I am, it's probably not remotely enough money for Economic Victory.  In my mod it requires knowledge of Global Energy Theory, which is also how one gets Orbital Power Transmitters.  It's a pure Build tech and I don't believe I've been given the option to research that for a long time.  I guess my directed research ability isn't 100% directed.  There are still some categorical restrictions based on the last thing one researched.  Since I'm researching Quantum Machinery now, when that completes I'd expect to be given the option to learn Global Energy Theory.  But the game will be over by then, so the point is moot.

we will all drown soon anyways
we will all drown soon anyways

Some of the world sank this year.  I move a few ground units to shore, in preparation for the big death next year.  I also move units from other northern cities forwards, as the rail network has been partly disconnected.  Fungal patches and the Xenoempathy Dome make things passable.

eastern spearhead
eastern spearhead

In my mod, missiles do not consume fuel and can stay aloft indefinitely.  One might think of them as making stable orbits around the planet, if one wishes.  However they only move so many squares per turn.  My supercontinent is vast, so I have launched everything in preparation for a first strike next year.

northern cluster
northern cluster

Technically, the AI could break the Truce and shoot these things down.   A human player would certainly try to!  In the real world, the AI doesn't know that nukes stay aloft.  Or at least, I wouldn't expect it to, unless someone did some very generalized unit combat programming back in 1999 and it just happens to respond well to this situation.  All my nukes are hovering in neutral territory, so bet the AI will actually do nothing.  If this seems like I'm taking advantage of the poor hapless AI, consider that I could have put all these nukes on submarines, just like in the real world.  They could sail around in international waters and the enemy would have no chance when launched.

polar pocket
polar pocket

All 31 of my Fusion Planet Busters are in the air.  No portion of human civilization is safe.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 03:57:19 AM
more than 3 to 1 advantage
more than 3 to 1 advantage

MY 2374.  It's time to deliver an ultimatum to the University.  They can either join me as an ally, sealing my Total Conquest Victory, or they can be conquered!

typical
typical

Strictly speaking I don't have to observe diplomatic niceties to win this game.  But I like holding onto my Noble reputation.  We'll do this with probe teams.  He doesn't have any new tech, but he does have 3361 credits in his bank account, which should make for a mildly juicy endgame prize.  I'm going to be cheeky and steal it from University Base.  I can get a Hovertank Probe Team down there no problem.  Heck I'm realizing I could have taken the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm if I'd just bothered to make some Cloaked Hovertanks to slip past all the zones of control, but I didn't.  Some other game!

cheap price for war
cheap price for war

I ride around on the available rail network to see what sort of opponents I'm facing.  The bulk of the University's army is far and away a pile of indigenous life forms.  They have 108 mindworms, 4 in production, and have lost 40.  Spore Launchers are equally excessive at 100 active, 3 in production, and 61 lost.  They can be good weapons, but they chose Democratic Capitalist Knowledge Cybernetic for a net -1 PLANET rating.  I'm the one who got all the lifecycle buffs via the Xenoempathy Dome and the Pholus Mutagen.  They do have a Biology Lab in every base, but they only built 1 Centauri Preserve.  Generally speaking my mindworms seriously outclass their mindworms.  Their one saving grace is they built the Dream Twister.  I built the Neural Amplifier so they cancel out.

I pay with atoms
I pay with atoms

This is all academic anyways because mindworms can't stand up to quasi-nuclear blasts.  Nothing can!  The only question is how many nuke porn shots am I going to make per post?  6 might be a good number, since that corresponds to the frequency at which global flooding increases.  I can't remember if it happens while nukes are going off though.  We'll see!
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 05:28:21 AM
the calm of space junk
the calm of space junk

It's going to be a bit tricky to take screenshots of these fireworks.  I need to somehow hit the attack button and then rapidly hit the Fn-Windows-PrntScrn chord to capture the live animation of the explosions.  Well at least I have a lot of tries to get it right!

fingers on triggers
fingers on triggers

My 1st attempt resulted in me closing the menu screen.  And there's another step in the firing sequence I forgot.  Hmm, I wonder if the Windows 10 Snip & Sketch method would freeze the screen in 3 seconds, capturing the animation?  It might.  I'll try that, as it would be a lot more civilized.

auspicious salvo
auspicious salvo

My timing was too slow to capture the explosion.  At least my 1st attack hit its mark.  Only 35 more to go!  I hope to see a lot more of this screen than the other screen.

5th attack maybe
5th attack maybe

I don't think I can capture the tiny orbital explosion using the Snip & Sketch method.  It goes by too quick, it's almost instantaneous.  It's not all that spectacular in the scheme of things anyways.  At least I'm doing well so far.  If it keeps going like this, I'll have to revise my estimate of how orbital combat works.  Maybe if you have more satellites, you win more?  That would be good.  I like winning more.

what an orbital victory looks like
what an orbital victory looks like

Ok I pulled off a complicated 4 finger chord to get this screenshot.  Feel inspired!  Now was I just holding the buttons down and watching things continue to blow up?  That might have been an orbital defeat for all I know.  Something blows up, that much is certain.

wipeout
wipeout

Now that one, I'm sure was me losing a satellite.  At least I'm getting the hang of this.  There isn't nearly so much beauty and variety in these small explosions, as the big nuclear mushroom clouds frying Planet's surface later.  All sorts of artistic timing choices for capturing those.  For the present, once I've got a few more representatives of the explosion life cycle, I'll get this over with.  I'm currently 111 satellites to 32, so still within a good range of odds.

similitude
similitude

I'm having trouble remembering if I pasted this image before or not.  The UI of Paint 3D was acting weird and kept going backwards.  The score is 109 to 30.

bullseye!
bullseye!

Ok that was pretty accurate finger timing of the Fn-Windows-LeftClick-PrntScrn sequence.  I'm getting the hang of this and believe I could now capture any frame nearly at will, just with hand eye coordination.  The trick is to start by holding down Fn-Windows with fingers of the left hand.  Left thumb can be held over the left mouse touchpad button.  Right index finger is above the F11/PrntScrn button.  Hit left thumb, watch for what I want to see, hit right index finger, within a matter of tenths of a second I'm sure.

a bit of explosion fade
a bit of explosion fade

I watched a few battles to see what part of the explosions would be interesting to watch.  I think only the tail fadeout is interesting now.  This capture was a little premature.  Getting a good capture of some detail is a little bit of luck, and a lot of learning the correct timing.  Score is 102 to 27.

undramatic tail
undramatic tail

Pity I can't capture this as an animated GIF.  Note to developer self on what to include in a 4X game.

is this different
is this different

Maybe there's no more to see.  I think I'll give it a few more goes then stop bothering.  Score is 92 to 24.

nice earthy flare
nice earthy flare

Planet.  I meant Planet.  Anyone remember that old TV show Big Blue Marble?

some fade
some fade

This must be what it's like in AD&D to chase a will 'o' wisp to your death.  Score is 89 to 24.

pretty faded
pretty faded

I seriously doubt I'm going to capture any better frames.  It looks better live.

Yeah ok I'm done with it.  I've recreated the effect of watching a family slideshow with a 35 mm slide projector.  Like when there are lot of duplicates, and nobody removes them, because film was precious back then?  Let's skip on with some scores.  Currently 84 to 20.  Hey that's good, I've widened the gap to 4 to 1!

the advantage widens
the advantage widens

Over 6 to 1!

51 to 1
51 to 1

Watch this last one be stubborn.

the last gasp of their defense
the last gasp of their defense

Zhakarov you're in a lot of trouble now!  Wanna talk about it?

Darwin Award
Darwin Award

Ok, technically I haven't caused the loss of any person's life yet.  And it's only taken me 18 years to get to this point.  Maybe he has his reasons for feeling cocksure.

final orbital scoreboard
final orbital scoreboard

So I lost 33 Orbital Defense Pods to destroy 36 of them.  That's pretty much a 1:1 attrition rate.  I really didn't expect that.  This is the largest orbital war I've ever fought.  Maybe I've never had a large enough combat sample, to get a sense of the long term odds.  Maybe 2:1 odds is enough to ensure victory.

Well woulda coulda shoulda.  I mean when would I ever fight one of these things to begin with??!?  Only because I'd already built the nukes, only because I committed myself to writing an After Action Report about it, only because it's technically a During Action Report, and only because the AI was savvy enough to throw up a defense!  Whooda figured?


Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: Geo on November 19, 2019, 08:28:43 AM
Looks like the orbital screens caps off the number of 'dots' representing all those ODP's at some point?
It's definitely not showing 100+ orbital structures.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 11:59:23 AM
Heh, low budget.  Like making popcorn.   ;popcorn

a cop in every home
a cop in every home

I pay a stupid amount of money to get my society adjusted to take advantage of the Cloning Vats.  I'm rich and it's the end of the game so it doesn't matter.  If there's any conventional mopping up to be performed after the nukes go off, I want to be ready for it.

the eve of destruction
the eve of destruction

What would be the best way to get the University's attention?  Nuke University Base?  Pity, there are some nice Secret Projects in there.  However I don't believe I have the logistical capacity to make any ground conquests deep in enemy territory.  I spent all my production on nukes.  In other games I've typically had large fleets of Super Formers and just built rails to conquer everything conventionally.  I'm realizing another realistic conquest option is Cloaked Hovertanks, to avoid zones of control and skip over the gaps in enemy rail networks.  But if you get into all of that, you're talking about a very different kind of war than a nuclear barrage.  I made my bed and now it is time to lie in it!

oh lordy
oh lordy

I bring in my most distant, badly placed nuke to do the job.  It still only has to move 24 squares and has a range of 34.  My prelaunch posture was effective but... I totally forgot that the enemy could have built some Flechette defenses.  In fact I don't believe I've fired on a base that had them before.  I will have to look around and see which bases have them.  I was going to destroy things in order of how many tough troops they had in them, but this might call for a different strategy.

thatsa pasta!
thatsa pasta!

Let's see if Zhakarov will talk to me now.  You'd think that their fearless leader might be conveniently sitting in the capitol somewhere?  People in this game sure have a lot of ways to cheat death.

nuke got your tongue
nuke got your tongue

I'd feel better about this if there were a logical reason for his silence.  Like his communications being completely wiped out.  But nooooo, he's just a refusey kind of jerky McJerkface!  Look at that snotty, snide, orifice absent demeanor.  Clearly an inferior species and not deserving pity, even if I did steal a lot of my tech from him.  Humanizing him, definitely helps me sleep at night, having now committed my 1st and only atrocity against him.

some nice ones to destroy
some nice ones to destroy

Do craters mean nothing to you??  A reasonable species would be suing for peace.  What about Hiroshima?  What about Nagasaki?  What does it take to trigger delicious feelings of hopelessness?  Why won't you bow?

now that's brutality
now that's brutality

I really had some misgivings about destroying Buran Prospect.  It had a pile of Secret Projects in it, including the Manifold Harmonics!  But hey we're the Caretakers right?  Our species got in a lot of trouble messing with the Manifold Nexus before, so maybe I'm doing the most moral thing.  I like to tell myself this stuff.  The truth is, that base was heavily defended and I was unlikely to conquer it conventionally.  That's what nukes are for.  Well, assuming you want to save on the cost of manufacturing a pittance of conventional forces.  This did drag into the Quantum era, after all, and those were only Fusion troops I vaporized.

goodbye Maritime Control Center
goodbye Maritime Control Center

The Existential choices get easier.  I don't think he'll get a counterattack, but if he does, he can do it with slower ships.  That base was neither weakly nor strongly defended.  Pretty wasteful compared to conventional assault.  But again, no logistics to actually reach the base.  Nukes can hit everything.  Rails take time to build.  This is definitely the most wasteful game I've ever played, and it's clearly not about achieving the highest score.

a harder target
a harder target

Koppernigk Observatory was rather far away from the capitol.  Who builds the Network Backbone in the middle of nowhere?  The AI, that's who.  What a dummy.  I'd be thrilled to remove this scrap of human technology from the face of Planet, but it's got a Flechette Defense.  I could lose missiles targeting the thing.  I'll save this one for later.  Whatever lack of coverage I have with my nukes, I'll need to make up with chemical attacks in the northern territories.

enhance this!
enhance this!

It would have been nice to capture the poorly defended Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, but it still would have been a logistical nuisance.  I would probably have wanted use Probe Teams to chemically liquidate northern cities, just to get down to this city.  And that's assuming the rail network was good enough, which isn't a very good assumption.  My success rate with Probe Teams will be much higher now.  I'm realizing I made a minor mistake: I didn't forward deploy as many Probe Teams as I actually have.  It won't amount to much if my nukes do their job.

oh the humanity
oh the humanity

I now possess every remaining Secret Project except for the Network Backbone!  And that one is not a military threat.  I'm glad his bases don't usually have Flechette Defenses.  It could have seriously disrupted my plans.  Instead it's a minor hiccup.

Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 12:22:39 PM
like JFK in Turkey
like JFK in Turkey

Look at where that sneaky bastard decided to put his 2 nukes!  They're in range of a lot of my cities.  Yeah yeah I know, my entire arsenal is hovering right over his border, but they're in range of a lot of my cities.  Have you ever seen the AI build a trivial sea base, just to get a forward launch platform to nuke you to smithereens?  In another lifetime, I have.  Fortunately I've learned how to deploy 50 ODP shields since then.

needed a larger ocean anyways
needed a larger ocean anyways

This would have been easy to remedy with a fairly trivial navy.  Heck, I've got one of those, it's just up north.  I've even got X Chaos Marines to do a base assault with, but they're up north too.  It's a slow navy, half of it captured Isles, and dating from the time when my indigenous life forms were my best weapons.  Logistically I never gained a port city in this part of the world, and it was way too far away from my capitol to bother building one of my own.

much larger
much larger

Sea bases are a big logistical pain to invade in this game, due to the silly rule that you're not allowed to drop troops straight into the sea.  This is the future, why the heck not??  Probably for someone's misguided play balancing reasons.  Or maybe they just didn't get the AI done for it, who knows.  Anyways, this won't be part of my conventional invasions.  This was actually the logical place to land bridge the supercontinents, but unusually, I never bothered to create a Super Former fleet big enough to make such earthworks.  All the production budget got chewed up by nukes and ODPs.

by similar reasoning
by similar reasoning

Why keep around stuff you don't even like?  This is now my garden and I'm pruning it aggressively.

Buster Bay
Buster Bay

That's the last of the sea bases.  He had enough land not to have done too much sprawling of that sort.  What he did do, he put along my coast once upon a time.  So it was easy to take them conventionally.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 05:36:07 PM
purging units
purging units

Analyzing the enemy's "defenses", I'm not sure there's any great strategy for picking cities to destroy.  It seems prudent to leave the weakest cities for last, and to destroy the ones farthest away from my conventional forces.  Mainly it's shooting fish in a barrel though.  I paid a lot of production to make this into a turkey shoot, so I don't feel that bad about it.  Maybe that's because Zhakarov has never done anything likeable?  I wonder if I wrote a game where I put the energy into developing sympathetic characters, if people would feel differently about nuking them.  SMAC characters, at least in their diplomatic dialogue, are stuck in a cookie cutter of one phrase "zingers" where they have to be twits.

so take that, twit!
so take that, twit!

If I had had a bigger warhead, I could have knocked out a Quantum unit at a slight distance from the city.  Hm, or maybe I did?  Can't quite tell now.  It probably won't matter.  It was a ground unit that will have to walk a long ways to get anything done.

goodbye Uranium Flats
goodbye Uranium Flats

It would be cool if the blast interacted with the mineralogy of Planet's surface.  Producing pretty colors like for a chemical fireplace log.  Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way...

we'll just call them the Flats
we'll just call them the Flats

I haven't seen any Global Warming warnings.  Am I just too PLANET friendly to get them?

don't you build an ODP
don't you build an ODP

They weren't anywhere near to completing it, but it's the principle of the thing.

pesky
pesky

Well it had to happen sooner or later.  I haven't been checking for Flechette Defenses as most bases don't have them.  This is my 1st loss of a nuke.

wat

Or is it?  Was the 1st message a bug?  It sure was confusing.

[Limit reached]
A species of bug.  A note to all forward launch controllers: Don't Panic.  It's not advice for the University, they can panic all they want.  It's very disconcerting for a Caretaker forward launch team to see their rockets fizzle.
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 06:02:00 PM
[Limit reached]
I count 18 remaining University cities, and I have 16 nukes.  I'm being a little more careful to check for Flechette Defenses as I'd like this to be an easy cleanup.  I do wonder if they're bugged and don't even work though.  The Datalinks say they have a 50% chance of shooting down my PBs.  If I had a larger blast radius I could just sideswipe 'em, hitting some fool standing 3 squares from the base and avoiding their coverage.  I think if I upgraded anything, I'd have to wait until next year to launch it though.  I will try to get the whole job done now.  Some of these cities are only defended by a mindworm and a Trance Scout, and should be plenty vulnerable to a brute force Drop X Chaos Needlejet attack.

[Limit reached]
Mount Planet, I hardly knew ya.

[Limit reached]
Now we're just getting down to what would be most convenient to get rid of.

[Limit reached]
Is it genocide if you mildly like somebody?  Like have a passing appreciation for their culture and wisdom?

Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 07:03:34 PM
[Limit reached]
I'm sending in the ground forces, just to prove that I have the situation well under control.  I don't want to target my nukes where they are not necessary.  Plagues are extremely effective and it's clear I could have won the game a long time ago with them.  Instead I wanted a nuclear spectacle!  Please enjoy.  My only regret is you aren't seeing the pretty colors of the different size warheads.  I'll be sure to include all 4 reactor types if I ever do this again.

[Limit reached]
It's not going to matter though.  50% wounds and no defenses equals death in the face of my chemical weapons.

[Limit reached]
There are 2 wounded mindworms and 1 wounded Spore Launcher left in the base.  I think a chemical artillery attack on the base, might cause it to depopulate!  This would certainly be true if the defender was a conventional artillery unit.  A Spore Launcher might be immune to the effect though.  My unit is at its movement limit though, due to the tattered rail network, so I might as well make the attack.  Hm, didn't work.  I'll have to take out the 2 mindworms manually.  I brought up goofy lame things like an Elite Synthmetal Garrison for just that purpose.

[Limit reached]
Never underestimate the utility of carrying a blade as a sidearm.  Saves ammo.  Strictly speaking I don't need to kill the escaping colonists unless one of the University cities actually survives this debacle.  At this rate, that seems unlikely.

[Limit reached]
With some funky multiple Isle handoffs, I was able to destroy another coastal base.  That's pretty much the limit of what my ground units can reach though.  My Drop X Chaos Needlejets can probably destroy 1 or 2 cities somewhere.  It's time to get back to the nukes.

[Limit reached]
Counting University cities is a lot easier now!  I have 13 nukes to take them out.  Although that's a good margin for dealing with Flechette Defenses, I will nevertheless deploy Drop X Chaos Needlejets to make certain of it.




Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 09:22:12 PM
[Limit reached]
Watching Planet crater is fairly dramatic.  I wonder how much more dramatic it could be made with modern 3D graphics?

[Limit reached]
This sort of thing happens when I come back to a game after being distracted by something else in Real Life.  I can't remember stupid details like whether cities have Flechette Defenses or not.  I think this sort of design issue should be taken into consideration for very long games.  I don't know how many hours I've put into this particular game, but it has definitely spanned many days.  The writeup about the last 18 years alone has taken several days, and there are timestamps to verify all of that.

[Limit reached]
So this is what it looks like when you really do lose a Planet Buster.  Maybe the UI is not bugged per se, but it's definitely poorly designed, to be repeating essentially the same message twice for one event.

[Limit reached]
That base contained only a Spore Launcher and a Trance Scout.  However there are several bases like that, and Spore Launchers can conceivably hold up to weak "post drop" attacks.  I'm reducing the city spam to whatever seems most manageable.

[Limit reached]
I'm trying to get more captures of these post-blast doughnuts before this is over.

[Limit reached]
This is making me hungry.

[Limit reached]
I wonder how the artist decided on the shapes in these blasts.

[Limit reached]
Pretty much the anti-rails strategy.  Just keep nuking until a land bridge is impossible.

[Limit reached]
Zhakarov is down to 3 cities, all with Flechette Defenses.  2 are trivially defended.  I will try going after them first with plagues and Drop X Chaos Needlejets.  Koppernigk Observatory has a fair number of troops in it and I'd like to nuke it.  Hopefully by sheer overkill I can take it out.

Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 19, 2019, 10:44:21 PM
[Limit reached]
I needed a plague in the somewhat well defended Koppernigk Observatory, not the other 2 trivially defended cities.  I made a heroic leap over tattered pieces of rail network, even having another unit kill a straggling colonist to make way for me!  Only to barely underestimate the distance at the last.  I stop just west of the city's walls.  When the big ones drop, he's a goner!

[Limit reached]
I had an elite hovertank probe team in a more forward location.  It was able to reach the base and inflict a plague.  Notice that the Research Hospital and the Nanohospital combine to thwart any significant damage.  This would be equivalent at best to a decent artillery hit, although sometimes artillery is funny in that certain units seem to be immune from it.  Anyways I won't bother trying to inflict any more plagues on this city.  I just thought it advisable if it came down to conventional warfare.

[Limit reached]
Another city had the same defense.

[Limit reached]
The third city only had a Research Hospital, so I was able to do more damage.  It's helpful, but not as dramatic as a defenseless city.  I am out of probe teams in theater, so that will have to do.

[Limit reached]
As I suspected, the native unit defends first.  I have an X Tachyon Skybase to use against 1 of the cities, and I'll let the lesser Chaos plane have the first go at that later.  A good plan, because my Chaos plane did not survive this fight.  Native units are annoying like that.  It'll be easy enough to walk over the base now though.  It still takes a number of units though.  I may not have enough to take out the next "easy" base, which also has a Tachyon Field to guard it.

[Limit reached]
Weakening this unit may be sufficient, but I'm running out of Chaos planes.  Wow, I only knocked it down to 50%.  That was pretty sad.  The -50% "Orbital Insertion" penalty is no joke.

[Limit reached]
Fortunately I scrounged up another Chaos plane for a rematch.  Good grief it also died.  Do I have any left?  Nope, that's it.  I'll need other Drop units to keep going.  I think it's time to send in the X Tachyon Skybase.  Maybe it can take out the freaking Trance Scout.

[Limit reached]
Not even!  Frankly I didn't make these really expensive units, just to fight mindworms with them.  The game's combat system is kinda tweaky that way.  It somewhat makes sense that the University invested in so many indigenous life form units, except to the extent it doesn't.  It can be tricky to decide which kind of unit you're more likely to face.  And I have to wonder at the realism of this, having only a 50% chance of whether you're going to do any good against the kind of unit you're facing.  Problem is, I bet if I bring up any of my suicide Drop units that only have Guns, the Trance Scout is going to defend against those just fine.  Which might be the inevitable case here, as I think I'm fresh out of any real guns to deploy.

[Limit reached]
Wow I sure am having trouble scrounging up any units that can help.  I wanted to bring the wounded Battle Ogre from the beginning of the game right next to the city, but I'm not allowed.  If my Drop Transport had been armored, would it have been permissible?  The rail network is messed up around this city, so I have to lose moves if I can even move at all after I land.  For all I know maybe I'm not able to.  Maybe a Drop Transport sucks unless you land it in a city, or on an airbase?  Can't remember.  I don't do orbital combat mechanics all that often, as games are usually over before then.  Ok let's just drop on the hilltop and see what happens.  Nope that's an end of movement, not helpful.

[Limit reached]
As I suspected, I don't get to attack the mindworm with any Gun unit I bring in.  I don't think I can take this base conventionally this year.  Let's move on to nuking the opposition.  Maybe I won't have to take it.


Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 20, 2019, 12:52:03 AM
[Limit reached]
It took 2 more PBs to penetrate the defenses of Koppernigk Observatory.  That makes a Flechette Defense rather pricey to overcome.  Glad he didn't have more of them!

[Limit reached]
Another moral of the story is to make up your mind whether you're attacking conventionally or with nukes before moving troops forward.  And to measure your distances!  The loss of that probe team was completely unnecessary.

[Limit reached]
I have 4 nukes remaining to target the base with.  That's pretty good odds.  I move my Skybase and Drop Frog up the hillside to watch the fireworks with the grounded Drop Transport units.  It would be amusing to target the mindworm larva and take out the Quantum unit along with the city, but I wonder if Flechette Defense odds are different if you directly target the base.  I'm not going to do research on it and I'm not going to take a chance.  After all, once the base is destroyed, it doesn't matter whether the Quantum unit is alive or not.  The faction will be "eradicated" as there's no fight-on-with-whatever-you've-got rule in this game.  At least, I don't think there is.  Could I have to actually execute those few Clean Reactor Colony Pods floating around?  That would be an artifact of my mod, as such units require support in the original game.  Well, let's not fret unduly about the future.  The odds are in my favor!

[Limit reached]
The defenses fail immediately.  It did take out one of my PBs earlier, earning its 50% hit ratio.  I have neglected to ask Zhakarov if he'd like to surrender.  The numerous encounters we've had this year, where he screamed how I'd pay for each and every one of my atrocities, has made me assume the answer.  Sorry Professor, but sometimes The Final Solution is final!

[Limit reached]
Is it over?  The game hasn't told me I've won.  I'd better exterminate some colonists, just to be sure.

[Limit reached]
Well, maybe the concept of a silkworm is more universal than that.  I imagined it as something that dangles out of the sky from the Space Elevator.  It did the job.  Colonists dead.

[Limit reached]
I had some undeployed mindworms that hadn't been fed yet.  To be cheeky about it, I also sent out an obsolete plane on a gassing run.

[Limit reached]
The game hasn't declared me the winner, but, all of the University's units are now mysteriously gone.  The ones that required SUPPORT, I can understand as there are no cities left.  But he surely had some Clean Reactor or Independent units in the mix somewhere?  Maybe the game only evaluates victory conditions at the end of the turn.

[Limit reached]
I'm nervous because even cities with a Temple of Planet in them, are now doing things like 78 eco-damage.  131 eco-damage is more typical in other cities.  If this game goes on, Planet is going to kill me.  I took the precaution of having most bases build Quantum Trance 3-Res Phaser Squads, which should hold up ok to at least some mindworms.  And I do have the Neural Amplifier.

But the real problem could be, will waters now rise so fast between turns as to drown my cities?  I sure hope the game is not that abrupt.  It's mitigable if one knows it's coming, and even if one doesn't, I will survive because I have a few Pressure Domes here and there.  But I like my nice empire intact.  I'd like to think this was a brilliant strategem, a LifeDeathhack, and worthy of others repeating the feat.  But I've never actually played out a nuclear endgame this far, and I don't strictly know what's going to happen at the end of this turn...

...I could swear it worked that time I nuked everyone with Singularity Planet Busters though.  I don't remember coming to any special grief.  I am probably just imagining things.  Oh the guilt, the guilt!  Zhakarov, I love you... Miriam, where are you??  I'm forgetting all your faces...

[Limit reached]
UN Planning Authority is at almost 2200 meters.  I park my 3 remaining Planet Busters there.  Strictly speaking I don't need to park them anywhere, but what if Locusts start flying around and destroy them?  That would be a waste.  They're safer indoors.

[Limit reached]
I shuffle various units to prevent walk-ins.  I pull some ships and Isles into port.  I set my production nearly everywhere to defend against indigenous life.  But I also just work on a few more mines, and pretty much expect that I'm about to be declared the winner.  We shall see!

Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 20, 2019, 12:57:42 AM
Gosh I hope [Limit Reached] just means per post, not per image album or something.  Testing it now.  Weird, I can see them in the thread below the editor, meaning they were uploaded.  Hm, whatever the limit was, maybe it was mysteriously extended.  Fine by me, there are victory screenshots to take!

[Limit reached]
With some trepidation I hit Turn Complete.  I am instantly rewarded with my Conquest Victory screen!  I have done it.  I have completely avoided any and all consequences for finishing the game with nukes.  You just have to make sure you do it all at once.  One turn.  No mercy.

[Limit reached]
I think it would be cool to have a gruesome gallery of dead leader puppets, twisting and writhing on dehydrated sinews.  But perhaps necromancy is another genre.

[Limit reached]
Some people reading this After Action Report may have never played or beaten SMAC before.  So we're going to go through every one of these screens, to let you know what awaits.

Well somehow I just missed the story screenshot that tells you how cool I am.  The Windows Snip & Sketch method didn't work for that.  Should have done old fashioned yadda-PrntScrn, like I did for all those nuke shots.  All I've got now is credits rolling.  Since you can get that even from the main game menu, I'm not going to bother with a screen capture of that.

[Limit reached]
This was probably a low scoring game.  I mean, I trashed at least 1/3 of the Secret Projects.

Dammit, made the same mistake and lost the book titles.  I got "Sentient Econometrics Made Simple".  Yeah real simple, just nuke everything!

[Limit reached]
I suspect that I've periodically deleted the list of high scores in the course of my mod development.

[Limit reached]
This gives a replay of who owned what territory during the course of the game.  This is only the last year before I won.  You can see how much territory the University lost in 1 year.

[Limit reached]
This game has already gone for a long time, like have I been at it for a week?  There was a lot of play before I even got to the point of what was supposed to be a "quick" AAR about my summary nuclear victory.  I'm in no mood to sandbox anything.  But hey if anyone's got comments or questions on what they just witnessed, by all means have at it.

Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: Geo on November 20, 2019, 08:40:02 AM
For experience's sake, hit "wait, lemme make another few turns" and see how Planet reacts to your bombin' spree. :P
Title: Re: nuking the humans
Post by: bvanevery on November 20, 2019, 05:12:33 PM
Good God I'd rather not.  I still suffer PTSD from my other AARs, such as The Final Solution (http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=21015.0).  I've never actually won a post-chemical or post-nuke Planet vengeance scenario.  I wonder if it's even possible, although if it is, make sure you do not piss off multiple factions with atrocities.  They will eventually get around to nuking you!  You need to clean them out one at at time.  That's what I learned from The Final Solution.