Author Topic: nuking the humans  (Read 1357 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #15 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...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #16 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.


Offline bvanevery

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #17 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.

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #18 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.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 07:30:54 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #19 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!

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #20 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?



Offline Geo

Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #21 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.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #22 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.


Offline bvanevery

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #23 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.

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #24 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.

no CMs either
no CMs either

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.

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2019, 06:02:00 PM »
bring me a ham sandwich
bring me a ham sandwich

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.

do you want to be fried with that
do you want to be fried with that

Mount Planet, I hardly knew ya.

for the love of mindworms
for the love of mindworms

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

I love humans flat
I love humans flat

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


Offline bvanevery

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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2019, 07:03:34 PM »
easy without the HSA
easy without the HSA

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.

Research Hospital provides some defense
Research Hospital provides some defense

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

a neat trick with X Artillery
a neat trick with X Artillery

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.

ending it the old fashioned way
ending it the old fashioned way

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.

the limit of wheels and slithering
the limit of wheels and slithering

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.

the nine unfortunate
the nine unfortunate

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.





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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2019, 09:22:12 PM »
land looks like ribbons
land looks like ribbons

Watching Planet crater is fairly dramatic.  I wonder how much more dramatic it could be made with modern 3D graphics?

I hate forgetting to look
I hate forgetting to look

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.

a for real shoot down
a for real shoot down

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.

trivial target
trivial target

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.

fading glory
fading glory

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

lemon iced
lemon iced

This is making me hungry.

Space Needle center
Space Needle center

I wonder how the artist decided on the shapes in these blasts.

a bigger better pond
a bigger better pond

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

the flechettes
the flechettes

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.


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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2019, 10:44:21 PM »
your sacrifice is commended
your sacrifice is commended

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!

unexpected resilience
unexpected resilience

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.

should have expected the defense
should have expected the defense

Another city had the same defense.

only research
only research

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.

may the odds be forever in your favor
may the odds be forever in your favor

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.

I lost this last time
I lost this last time

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.

send in Apollo Creed!
send in Apollo Creed!

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.

that's one tough worm
that's one tough worm

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.

forgot to armor up
forgot to armor up

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.

fughetaboutit
fughetaboutit

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.



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Re: nuking the humans
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2019, 12:52:03 AM »
three time's a charm
three time's a charm

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!

sorry about that
sorry about that

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.

the final countdown
the final countdown

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!

Zhakarov, would you like to talk about it
Zhakarov, would you like to talk about it

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!

a quivering wreck of empire
a quivering wreck of empire

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

Chinese food
Chinese food

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.

target practice
target practice

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.

the quietude
the quietude

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.

did I avoid Planet's vengeance
did I avoid Planet's vengeance

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!


 

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