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Fledging Admirals II Wed, 24 October 2007 23:35 Go to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin

Fledging Admirals II
A Stars!-games played during 2007 in a small/packed universe with 9 players: Announcement of Fledging Admirals II

The winners of Fledging Admirals II are:
* Lil Halpas, played by regiss
* Sitting Ducks, played by Dolphin/Dirk

Congratulations to this unusual pair of winners!

Well, that's a rather surprising result since both players are in different alliances and... at war with each others. But from what I've seen of the game, I can fully understand the decision of the players.

Regiss would prefer to call it unfinished/undetermined, Paul (Atlantians) hasn't voted (due to ISP-troubles), everybody else has agreed. And regiss is right, I think nobody will object to it, that this game can be only called unfinished.

I am sorry for all the trouble, the bugs, delays etc. this game has seen. It seems that in FAII everything what possibly could go wrong did go wrong. We started at ah and crashed it regularly, had to change to manual generation, switched to an internet-interface-based generation again (thanks a lot to Paul for this) and then in the 70th game year server/ISP/webhoster/whatever crashed. I salute my players for their stubborness to cling to this game. Let me assure you, especially the beginners, that this is NOT the norm. FA1 for example went smoothly without bugs, almost no delays, even no dropouts.

Nevertheless, when looking at your turns, you were able to develop a really exciting game with lots of action on the diplomatic as much as on the warfare frontier. And I got the impression that all of you learned a lot and taught each other well. I, at least, am quite impressed what kind of stunts you pulled off in a beginner/intermediate game.

Here an overview showing the game in 2470:

http://stars.arglos.net/games/admirals-II/2470-fa2.png
http://stars.arglos.net/games/admirals-II/2470-fa2-score.png

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Re: Fledging Admirals II: Sitting Ducks EoG Comments Sun, 28 October 2007 13:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dolphin

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 21
Registered: February 2005
Location: Germany
As nobody seems to step forward, I might as well take my shot at recalling the game history of Fledgling Admirals II . Let me first thank my fellow players for the fun that hopefully all of us had and let me especially thank our Host Altruist for guiding us through this game. I take that it has been as much of a learning experience for him as for us. Please keep up your dedication and your good work for the Stars! community, Patrick.

This was my first game of Stars. I am a novice, although I must admit to having extensive experience in VGA Planets, a game with some similarities. Still, this game was a about learning for me, not about wining. Yet that is what I seem to have done now. Wow! Smile For my race design I chose CA - after all, there should be few chances to ever again play one. LRTs were IFE, ISB, NRSE, OBRM, RS, hab 0.31 to 3.20g,-116 to 116C, 21 to 79mR, 19% growth (1 in 4, for a CA that amounts to 1 in 3 in the early, almost 1 in 1 in the late game), 1 resource per 1000 col., -f: 5/25/5 10/3/16 m, En./Const./W./Prop. cheap, El./Bio expensive. Being (as far as I know) the only novice in the game among more experienced players, I decided to go for an -f strategy: Early resources help to counter early attacks while I was hoping for diplomacy to ensure my survival until late in the game as a useful ally.

The game started with a shock - I was in the center of the map. Everyone else had a maximum of three neighbors, I was surrounded by eight other powers, at least some of them likely to be hostile against my aptly named "Sitting Ducks." Instead of the five planned probes, I ended up building 35 early DNA scouts. It was a drain on my resources but soon gave me a lots of information. That was helpful - I probably knew more about the board than most other players combined. I also decided to ignore the advice on early diplomacy (= shut up) and sent a 2400 intro message to every player, claiming my Sitting Ducks to be "peaceful, vegetarian birds, struggling not to get turned into a delicacy by your favorite Chinese chefs." Everyone but the Black Pearl pirates reacted and I soon had lively, entertaining and insightful email discussions especially with the Atlantians (IT) and the Andorianer (WM). I think that this friendly start helped my diplomacy a lot. People tend to ally with their first contact. When I met the others later, I remained friendly (e.g. refueling their scouts), while making clear that I would not tolerate warships heading my way or anyone shooting down my scouts. The only one who attacked my probes were the Pirates and they eventually suffered a bad defeat for it.
I guess that I would have normally allied with the Atlantians but they instantly found their secondary world close to the HW of the Halpas. From what they told me, the Halpas put a pistol to their neck and suggested "ally or die", so by 2401 we had the first game long alliance: Two HG ITs in the Southwest corner. When public scores in 2420 showed them in first/second place, almost everyone rushed into a stop-the-leader alliance. Being in the center and the most actice diplomat, I was the natural center of gravity for it. Yet, I had a NAP with the Atlantians/Halpas already, so they attacked the Andorianer and Tsunami, who willingly traded (for them uncharted) planets for my technology, minerals, chaff and escorts. This allowed me the room to grow that any -f needs. I kept all my planets at 25% capacity and my Sitting Ducks were breeding like rabbits. Currently they occupy 90 planets; the second largest player has 36.
The victory condition was that the only two players could be declared winners. The Atlantians made clear that they would never leave their Halpas ally, so I had to look elsewhere. After all, even as this was not about winning for me, it is not my style to throw away any chance for it. The Halpas/Atlantians later claimed that having third parties as allies violates a NAP but IMHO that is just a load of hogwash. Besides, the two of them repeatedly violated our NAP and later tried to force a unilateral change of our agreement onto me. Another one of my backgrounds is in a game called Diplomacy, so their attempt to strongarm me failed badly. Especially the Halpas almost constantly broke the NAP. I protested repeatedly and to keep me from attacking when they were busy against the Tsunami, the Atlantians offered me two minor planets on their side of the border. I accepted but claimed them only after a meteor strike made one of them valuable. I announced my intention and ship routes only to see the Halpas killing my ships and ground attacking me on these planets. I had enough of their treachery, declared an end to our NAP and my intention to attack after the stipulated five-year exit phase. At the time I was busy with the Jack Sparrow on the other end of the board, so the timing was lousy. Yet, I just could not stand more of their split-tongue talk/behavior. To my amazement, the Halpas/Atlantians did not continue their attack, just their aggressive sweeping my minefields (one of their more annoying NAP violations). When the war started, I still had no decent warfleets nearby, so I sent greetings and four mineral packets. Result: four planets, 10% of their rescoures and the better part of a mio. clans were history. My strategy at the time and ever since was to buy time for our team that the Andorianer, Tsunami, Haliburton and I had finally formed. Being -f means that my planets were not nearly as valuable as my allies' planets. So I teased the Halpas/Atlantians and tried hard and successfully to lure them into attacking me. Yes, they gained planets and won most major battles but I got twenty valuable game years in return. But let's look at the other players first:

Jack Sparrow Pirate
The Jack Sparrow/Black Pearl (WM, -f) were played by a silent wargamer. He was #3 in the first public ranking and overconfidentiall attacked all neighbors at once. Alric did not follow through on his early successes against the Haliburton. They build warships and fought back. I rushed North to support and pop-dropped the Southernmost pirate's nests. His initial Frigate attack groups caused some trouble but our biggest concern was an early hord of 70 Bazooka frigates with Wolverine shields. Yet, the fleet mostly sat around idly. To make his own position worse, the pirates very frequently missed turns. Still, fighting his fleets proved a valuable testing ground for understanding the game. I wasted much of my early war fleet until I learned some of the finer points of battle planning. My losses were not due anything he did. I just had to learn that gut feeling without experience did not work out well in Stars! - the game is often counter-intuitive.
Yet, the first few counter-attacks seem to have forced the Pirates into a defensive mindset. That is the worst a WM can do IMHO (funnily all three WM in our game kept doing it). Once I realized that the Pirates woud not attack, I refocused my attention and just killed most of his bases to have his unattended clans working as mining slaves until I had smart bombs to cheaply take over his planets. After 1950, when my NAP with the Halpas/Atlantians was ending, I started being afraid of the Pirates allying with the two ITs at the other end of the board. I would have been in deep trouble, had they joined forces. But then, the two ITs never were into small fleets. They seem like firm believers in "big ships, big battles". Alric also never changed tack, even when his situation became desperate. So, I started mopping up the North, took all but one Pirate planet that was in Tsunami space. By 2460, I had turned the North from a battleground to a shipyard.

Andorianer and Tsunami
When the Atlantians made clear that they would not be a game-long ally, I went with the Andorianer (WM in the SE corner). Martin was a good teacher, fun to talk to and survived several early Halpas/Atlantians attacks. Later the Tsunami (TT CA, in the West of the galaxy) joined us. He and Martin had briefly clashed in 2401 - a Tsunami scout went through a wormhole to Andorianer space. Eventually they started a tech exchange and when the Halpas/Atlantians started attacking both, we formed a three-party alliance. The Tsunami amazingly held his own against the superior ITs. IMO Max was at times brilliant in his defense - the two board leaders needed 20 years to wear down a player ranked #9 at the start of their attack. Yet, Max was a CA without FM - that lack of fuel made him colonize every planet nearby instead of focusing on the better ones in the early game - I believe that this hurt his long-term potential much more than the Atlantian attacks.

Haliburton, Promethians and Andrla
The Haliburton (IT, LSP, HG in the North/center and unhappy with their race design) were the first race I met: they had a scout at my homeworld in 2403. Aaron's secondary was just 111 ly away from it as I found out in 2404. We eventually cooperated but Aaron missed many key turns despite email promises not to. His not showing up cost us some major battles: the battle board had the Andorianer beamers away and my torp ships near the Halpas instead of the opposite, allowing the Halpas to shred our fleets. Aaron was a good ally but his busy real life made him rather unreliable. On a border planet he also handed large amounts of Ironium to the Halpas instead of leaving scorched earth. That wrecked his own defensive potential (hardly any fleet builds since despite my minerals offer).
The Promethian (AR) showed up to my East in 2404. They were my closest neighbor but agreed to a very favorable terraforming agreement (intersettling their space and getting AR colonizers = the best early bombers in the game - the Pirates hated them). Unfortunately Adrian repeatedly missed turns and was notoriously late in keeping his side of the deal. In the mid 2430s, he completely dropped from the game. The host decided to upgrade his bases, so the Andrla (HP WM to his North) rushed in and took some of his planets from us. That almost let to war between them and my Andorianer ally. It took me a lot of diplomacy, minerals and ship gifts to avoid that. In return, Bill (Andrla) joined our alliance, started building pen scan scouts and rode one counter-attack on the Black Pearl. Then he left without a trace.

And now, dear Regiss (Halpas), we come to the key question: Why am I optimistic about winning against you? It is not your repeated violations of our NAP - that will haunt you in future games, not this. It is not your race design - it proved to work in this setting. It is not even your tactical skills or experience. I admire both. No, IMHO you will lose on the following ten counts:

1. Resources: By now all but one Andrla HP planet are smart-bombed, pop-dropped and handed to the Andorianer. For them, that means tons of minerals and >4000 additional factories for free on worlds soon to be terraformed into green paradises. In a few turns the Andorianer would have replaced you as the largest resource producer.
2. WM Battlecruisers: Think about swarms of WM battlecruisers - that would be hard to counter for the Halpas/Atlantians. In the past, you fared rather badly against the Andorianer. You won only if your fleet was three times as costly as his. Martin gained several victories back even when his technology was way backward-ish. He still is WM, so fighting him will be tough for you.
3. Battle Board Management: You (Halpas/Atlantians) have not shown much effort to manage the battle board. You rely on firepower and on still being ahead in weapon tech. Yet, you were unable to capitalize much on it due to our battle board management. Our beating your superior forces is probably what our host Patrick is referring to as the "stunts" being pulled off.
4. Fog of War: The Halpas/Atlantians are blind. Both of you appear to have NAP but you send probes to only a few of our planets. Thus predicting attack targets is easy. We have several 97% cloaked pen scanners deep in your space (not a single one ever being hunted, i.e. you do not see us). You saw the designs when they came through the wormhole defeating your guards there. WM pen scanning is fun - we get to see any new designs when they are first build; you see ours, when hell breaks loose. To make matters worse, you have been traditionally slow to counter our ship designs even after you knew them. Just look at my sappers - they are deisgned to be highly unattractive targets. Indeed, so far they got attacked only if no other ships were in range, i.e. your wonderful battleships lose their shields while I lose chaff. Then I lose more chaff and my missiles hit your battleships. You saw it, you did not react. Point made.
5. Vulnerability: Yes, ITs can concentrate force better but I have eleven potential targets in range of my fleet that just went through a wormhole into your rear. Hand to your heart: How much of your fleet would have defended Spay this turn? When you rush to recapture it in 2471 (fearing my building a gate), how much of your fleet would have prevented me from turning Icepatch into another desert? You see just the first wing of my strike force. The next one will jump in this turn. Any reasonable chance for covering your rear would mean stopping you attacks on me and my allies. Doing so would have you losing momentum, not doing so would mean losing your economic base. Please press button A or B to choose now. Smile Besides, where is the concentration of force in your attacking with seven main axes? In the last couple of turns, the two of you lost a dozen battleships, I lost none.
6. Efficiency: We have all been sloppy (I actually once had to rebuild a starbase because I loaded all clans aboard ships). Yet, with you I see signs of being overconfident and inefficient. Look at it: you chase cheap destroyers with battleships, you need 4-5 turns to take enemy planets (I need one to turn a fully defended HG world into a near-desert). And you are experienced, while I am still learning. It cost me many (minor) ships to figure out the mechanism of the split-fleet dogde. Ever since, your minefields are shrinking - at a marginal cost for me but a heavy defensive investment for you. Your operational sloppiness is also costing you dearly. Just two turns ago, my besieged HW build a starbase. It was intended to burn minerals and ended up defeating all your warships in orbit.
7. Clans. Currently I have >32 mio. colonists, more than the two of you combined. I can afford sieges or pop drop battles with you. At least the Atlantians cannot.
8. Scorched earth: Being -f, I can afford to lose planets (especially after heavily mining them for 60+ years). It is even better that every besieged planet seems to keep a large enemy fleet busy for five+ years. You however, feel the pain of every lost planet. There is a wormhole currently connecting my rear space to your rear space. You and your ally sent three escorts through it (all got killed), I sent >800 ships (battleships, minesweepers, minelayers, bombers, clan freighters, colonizers and a lot of chaff). Now, I know that our small first attempt at a counter-attack ages ago did not do much harm. Yet, it kept you busy for ten game years. Can you afford another time like that?
We do not need to fight your battleships, we need to fight your planets. Many of them are weakly defended, especially in the rear. Even single destroyers/cruisers of mine occasionally killed unprotected bases (and we know where they are - I gave penscanners to our WM). As a result, you are now covering some of the planets in your rear with major warships. That helps against skirmishers, not against a serious attack fleet.
Besides, if our second wormhole attack keeps you busy for another ten years, you are to be in trouble. When I head deep into your space, you risk major planets, when you do so in mine, I risk spacedocks.
9. Minerals: I am swimming in it and able to help two allies into meeting every tech MT with max. minerals (Max had enough himself). The Atlantians show first signs of a mineral crunch, you are likely to feel it eventually, too. Yes, ITs are good at shipping minerals but we hold 70% of the universe against your 30%. Your races might be better at producing but I doubt that you can beat us on mining.
10. Nubians: You might be production powerhouses but I am not far behind despite being a lousy -f. BUT: my con is cheap, yours probably expensive => we are likely to reach the Nubian age first. Once we do, we will have the minerals left to build them, you might not.

Predicting the future is of course a fool's business. Yes, you might have won. But it is not the foregone conclusion that you seem to believe in. Unfortunately, we will not be able to test our assumptions. Paul, your Atlantian ally and our current host dropped from the game. Without his host files, we cannot continue.
The game is over even as it sounds strange to have the two of us declared "winners". Congratulations for that. Unfortunately we are unlikely to cross swords again anytime soon. This was my first game of Stars! and it is likely to remain my last for the time being. The game is extremely micro-management intensive (even when I play something other than -f CA). Stars! automatizations help only a little. Tricks like setting scouts to "colonize" show how desperately Stars! needs micromanagement tools. VGA Planets used to be like that but then people developed and published tools to take care of that. Instead of micromanaging turns, players can now focus on strategy and outsmarting each other. That is much more fun. In Stars! I do not see that coming. The 'experts' are secretive, the game is aging, the community is shrinking. I think that this community does not need free-stars, what it needs much more is a joint effort to put all the available insider knowledge into a series of tools that level the battlefield and allow player to refocus on strategy instead of micromanagement. Without that change of mentality, Stars! is unlikely to ever again attract enough new blood to remain viable. Strategy games should be battle of wits, not battles of boring endurance.

Best regards,

Dirk


[Updated on: Mon, 29 October 2007 15:22]

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Re: Fledging Admirals II: Sitting Ducks EoG Comments Mon, 29 October 2007 17:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Stars! V.I.P

Messages: 187
Registered: February 2007
Location: An Island that kinda look...
My internet connection has been down for 2 weeks and it's only just back up, I've also been incredibly busy having just started a part time college course and unfortunately the server decided to go down again when I had no connection, the only way of getting any internet access was when I had time to go to the library which blocks all none web ports so I was unable to connect to the server to see what the problem was. I have now got a new server since the old host was so unreliable and I'm in the process of moving to it.

I did send a .hst file to Altruist from the backups I have after about a week but it was a turn out of date, I'll be adding the option to email the .hst file to the host on the new server if the game pages get used by anybody again since the file is generally less than 100kb.

With regard to the game, your 5 player alliance suggested you has a joint winner and only your alliance agreed to it, I certainly didn't and as I understand it neither did the lil halpas.

As for you sticking to the NAP and us not, you really have a way of twisting things. You were delibrately building ships whos only purpose was to attack us and getting virtually nothing in return, sticking a Andorian flag on top of your own does not mean that you are not taking aggressive action against us, despite that we still stuck to giving you the 5yr notice period.

As to our so called breaches, the minesweeping was only in the border areas since they were closer to our planets than they were to yours, as you have admitted yourself, it was not a prelude to an attack on your planets and you were doing likewise building ships at your border planets, moving them towards our minefields and transferring them to the tsunami.

Not only were you arming the andorians and tsunami but you and the Andorians were practically a single entity having your turns emailed directly to each other, I wouldn't be surprised if you were giving the orders for your ships that you donated to him, I'm not surprised you handed most of your armed fleet over to the andorians before the NAP was cancelled, being a WM they get the .5 movement bonus and you get to try and claim that you were not breaking the NAP.

I had actually convinced the lil halpas to concentrate on the Andorians precisely because his planets averaged 1k compared to you 3-400 resources and he could soon be building dreadnaughts which would be much harder to counter, as such if the game had continued his major planets would have gone quickly, especially since I was intending to just bomb them completely out rather than taking longer to try and keep the infrastructure intact. We were outbuilding your entire alliance and the only substantial battle your alliance managed to win was when I made a mistake with my small fleet of old battleships, even then resource wise it was practically a stalemate.

You are the only player I have ever met in a game that I would never want to make an agreement with if I were ever to meet you in another game.

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Re: Fledging Admirals II: Sitting Ducks EoG Comments Mon, 29 October 2007 18:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dolphin

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 21
Registered: February 2005
Location: Germany
Hi Paul,
The game is over, so please calm down, will ya. Smile We all are very sorry for your server problems. And yes, nobody is happy about having the game ending that way. Yet, look at it this way - if you had not been the guy with the host files, your race would have been long set to "inactive." That happened to two allies of mine and nobody complained about it, even as it shifted the game balance in your favor.

Your mail sounds rather angry. Mad Do you really hate me for handing chaff and minesweepers to an ally? Oh, yes that denied your an easy march to victory. Instead you got the fun of facing a (in my case only somewhat) competent opposition. It might be hard to accept but enemies or third parties usually do not do what you want them to. Live with it.

Most of your comments show a different view of the game than my files and memory. But then, unlike me, you did not see much of what was happening outside your empire. BTW, sharing M-files among allies is not uncommon in Stars. And no, Martin moved his ships all by himself. Besides, he is a better and more experienced player than me. BTW, your response still seems to show that "big guns" type of thinking. Please foregive us for not volunteering to go down in a decisive battle. Battleships can be replaced much faster than HG planets. Enemies are nasty on that - they will always go for your weak spots. Also, one last word on your building more warships. Your mining rates are down already and from what I understand, battleships are expensive pieces of mineral junk once we enter the Nubian era.

I understand from your response that your view of the game differs from mine. That is sad but normal. Still, it is sad to hear that you now hold a grudge against me. Too bad, I enjoyed our conversations. I just did not appreciate our NAP being constantly violated. While I cannot tell for Stars!, in other games, people have a general consensus that "what is in a game should stay in a game." Pre-game feuds are just as bad for the community as pre-game alliances. So please, calm down. Time will heal your wounds.

Best regards and best of luck with your studies, PC woes and future games,

Dirk

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Re: Fledging Admirals II: Sitting Ducks EoG Comments Tue, 30 October 2007 10:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Stars! V.I.P

Messages: 187
Registered: February 2007
Location: An Island that kinda look...
This thread is in serious danger of degenerating into a flame war, as such I will try and avoid responding to the ducks provocations. We obviously have a major difference in the values we hold.

This is the first game I had played in about 7 year, as such I made a number of mistakes in the race design I had and made a few other mistakes during the game.

The game started with me in the very SW corner, in 2401 when the gate scanning kicked in I found that the location of the Lil Halpas HW and 2nd world would prevent me expanding without going through his territory. As such it was obvious to us both that we would either have to enter a full alliance immediately or we would be at war from the very start. Luckily the hab settings for us both complemented each other very well and by 2404 we had already agreed to a full alliance, there was a 5yr notice period allowing either side to break but given our hab compatibility and intercolonisation it was pretty much guarenteed to last the entire game. Given my committment to loyalty the only reason I would have broken the alliance is if I thought the lil halpas were betraying it or if they ignored the agreements with other races, I would have stuck to it even if he had turned out weak rathe than strong and that is a position I have found myself in in another game. The lil halpas were completely loyal though and despite claims by the ducks that he was breaking the agreement we had with him, whenever I asked him for details, ie the locations of ships that were breaking the agreements he failed to respond. Despite him knowing about our 5 year notice period and that I would be willing to break the alliance with the lil halpas if others could prove he was delibrately breaking the agreements we had with them.

Pretty quickly I started exchanging messages with the ducks and if I hadn't already been allied I almost certainly would have allied at that stage. I did offer him the opportunity to join our alliance which he rejected, if he had accepted I would have kept to it until we were the last 3 remaining and then propose the 3 of us fight it out to be the eventual winner.

I had some contact with the Andorians fairly early when he tried to convince me to attack the lil halpas, we eventually clashed over a planet and eventually came to a cease fire.

The remaining races apart from the Tsunami were well away from my territory and I had pretty much no contact with them. Apart from Haliburton all of them were practically dead or had dropped by the time it would have been worth contacting them anyway.

There was some communication between me and Jack sparrow shortly before he dropped but he was so far from us and in the area we had agreed with the ducks not to enter there was nothing we could do to help, I did offer to give him an armed ship deep in my territory and bring in some tech ships for him to attack but by then it was already too late for it to have helped. I did give him some advice on how to defend against the ducks and looking at the public scores the ducks advance on him did seem to slow down after that point.

By this point it was obvious that we we were up against the remaining races of the Ducks, Haliburton, Andorian, Tsunami and Andrla although they were at the complete opposite end of the map and I had no contact with him through the entire game.

The notice period for our agreement with the ducks was given and after that ended the lil halpas concentrated his attacks against the ducks, he did seem to lose a couple of planets to packet attacks in the early stage of the war but then he appears to having been rolloing through the ducks territoryalmost without loss.

The andorians and ducks did bring a large fleet through the wormhole, and other than 2 yellow planets of mine with about 50k pop and no defenses the entire fleet was wiped out with almost no loss on our side. The 2 yellows the ducks did take were wiped out almost immediately. That fleet was stronger than the fleet he has just brought through so why he thinks that would have faired any better is beyond me. We were outproducing their entire alliance, we were winning practically every battle and we were in the process of changing tactics to take out the Andorians rather than concentrating on the Ducks since if he got to C16 for the dreadnaught he would have been able to out init or Beamer and Arm BBs. I expect their alliance to be at C14 and probably racing to try and get to C16 before we had done enough damage to make it inconsequential.

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Re: Fledging Admirals II: Sitting Ducks EoG Comments Tue, 30 October 2007 14:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
Commander

Messages: 2765
Registered: October 2004
Location: Third star to the left
Hello,

I hope you'll forgive my gatecrashing this interesting thread, but there's some things Dolphin said that deserve attention. Twisted Evil

Dolphin wrote on Sun, 28 October 2007 18:44

The game is extremely micro-management intensive (even when I play something other than -f CA). Stars! automatizations help only a little. Tricks like setting scouts to "colonize" show how desperately Stars! needs micromanagement tools. VGA Planets used to be like that but then people developed and published tools to take care of that. Instead of micromanaging turns, players can now focus on strategy and outsmarting each other. That is much more fun. In Stars! I do not see that coming. The 'experts' are secretive, the game is aging, the community is shrinking. I think that this community does not need free-stars, what it needs much more is a joint effort to put all the available insider knowledge into a series of tools that level the battlefield and allow player to refocus on strategy instead of micromanagement. Without that change of mentality, Stars! is unlikely to ever again attract enough new blood to remain viable. Strategy games should be battle of wits, not battles of boring endurance.


Ah, yes, you are with the vast majority of players in this. Too much micromanagement and little strategy makes a game rather dull... Whip

You seem, however, to have drawn some hasty conclusions. Confused

Deal "non-economic" races (SS, SD...) seem to do well with less micromanagement than CAs and JoaTs, particularly in the smaller universes and/or in duels. Dueling

Deal there's some tools, or at least calculators, available, most of them here at AutoHost, the rest can be easily found. Packets, bombing, fuel usage, battle attractiveness and many more important details can be easily calculated before making in-game decisions. 2 Guns

Deal all the known "experts" have reached their status by sharing their knowledge. Cool Just have a look at the Academy, or the old r.g.c.s usenet group, and you'll be able to find all "secrets" explained. Sherlock

Deal the game structure and its files don't allow for truly automated tools beyond what can be gleaned from the simple game reports (fleets, planets). Wall Bash As has been explained elsewhere, the real problem is that anything which meddles with game turns opens the gates for all kinds of nasty cheats and problems and that is hard to fix for this aged game. Hit Computer

Deal Freestars, even in its early uncomplete stage, has allowed many tinkerers to share their knowledge of game files, game dynamics and game goals, as you can see in its Forum, which also harbors many interesting algorithms, should you wish to build your own version/tools. Teleport

Deal for anything else you may ask, or offer, there's the Bar, the Academy, the Freestars Forum itself... Just drop a message, you might be surprised! Cheers

Deal I'm particularly interested in any "battlefield-leveling-tools" you care to suggest/devise/build, particularly any that can cope with the bigger universes. Very Happy

Thanks for helping keep the old aging beast alive and kicking! Pirate



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Fledging Admirals II Tue, 30 October 2007 15:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
regiss

 
Petty Officer 1st Class

Messages: 65
Registered: November 2002
Hehe yeah, it's so full of assumptions, innacuracies and borderline
flames I wouldn't dare try replying. Not a place for that.

Paul relayed our side of the story fully enough, so I won't go too
deeply into that. Was pretty content with having a border with
Andorianer at first and open with having a tech trade relationship
once he had smth other than weap tech to offer. Him claiming couple
planets too close to my HW forced to go into an early clash though.

Then Tsunami colonies started reaching ours' in North-East and
till the end of NAP with Sitting Duck was moving slowly in those
directions with more of a skirmishing than anything else. Got some
support techs from pop drops later on, if only for miniaturisation.
Was ignoring Andorianer later on mostly because had nothing to
gain there.

Was urging Atlantians to go after Ducks earlier couple times to
have access to wider selection of targets and because there was
a bunch of habitable to me planets in his space. But it took some
time for his factories to build up and to get to breakpoint tech.

Being less efficient with packets as an IT decided going with pop-lift
rather than MDs and defenses which worked fine except for 1 initial
target that didn't have enough freighters ready and another red gate
world getting obliterated in the launch year. Other than that never
felt threatened enough to build defenses or highly upgraded SBs
anywhere (not that it's much of an obstacle anyway).

The race I used was IT (QS I guess)
IFE NRSE CE OBRM NAS
1.28-2.48 | i | 11-31
19% (1 in 22) 1/1000
14/8/13g
10/3/15
Weap cheap, rest expensive, start at 3
100 points to surface mins

Started out designing a 1WW race, hence the whole IT bussiness
with 2nd starting planet (plus haven't played it before). Decided it
won't be enough in a small universe, so switched it to all centered
narrowest habs to rely on conquering, but seemed like lower ramp
up speed won't be able to do it. Hence the one I used, only by
that time forgot why I chose IT in the first place.

Got to hate CE and NAS during play. Any skirmishing or attacking
without massing up first gets so much harder. No RS forced using
high firepower ships in skirmishing to do 1 hit kills. Was nice playing
smth different nevertheless.

I'd think what I did wrong during the game was jumping too much
from one target to another in beginning trying to keep them in check
and not breaking either completely. That led to advancing through
the whole border in the end. Not that it went bad, but that allowed
them to keep trading throughout all those years and forced me to stop
after advancing some to consolidate taken space and bomb out planets.

Was fun game no doubt and must say Thank You to all for making it
possible. Good luck in other ones! Smile

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Re: Fledging Admirals II Fri, 02 November 2007 06:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dolphin

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 21
Registered: February 2005
Location: Germany
Thanks Regiss, Very Happy
the teasing tone of my previous remarks has reached it's goal - getting you to comment with more than a three-liner. Thank you for your insightful remarks! (Paul, if you do not believe me on this, ask our host Altruist for a confirmation).
Contrary to his post-game statements, Paul made very clear that he would NEVER leave his Halpas ally. I inquired repeatedly but he always emphasized his "committment to loyalty". No strings, no exit clause, no dangling worms, just a plain 'loyalty until death' to the board leader at the time.
Unlike he claims now, I repeatedly reported NAP violation details to him. Paul's reactions were denial, a suggestion that I shoot the offenders down and having his own scouts violating the NAP. In-game actions speak louder than post-game assertions.

Dirk


[Updated on: Fri, 02 November 2007 07:16]

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Re: Fledging Admirals II Fri, 02 November 2007 07:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Stars! V.I.P

Messages: 187
Registered: February 2007
Location: An Island that kinda look...
Congratulations Dolphin, you've become the only person I've clicked the link 'ignore all posts from this user' for. If I continue reading the rubbish your spouting I'll end up responding and I do not want to stoop to your level, no matter the provocation.

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Re: Fledging Admirals II Sat, 03 November 2007 04:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
regiss

 
Petty Officer 1st Class

Messages: 65
Registered: November 2002
I was pretty much thinking it was Dolphin's diplomacy game for
the most part and was willing to write it off, but apparently it
extends to more than that.

Perhaps you are better off going back to your less demanding
games.

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Re: Fledging Admirals II Sat, 03 November 2007 08:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dolphin

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 21
Registered: February 2005
Location: Germany
LOL,
less demanding games? Laughing Have a look at VGA Planets. It does not require 90% micromanagement and 10% strategy but much more of the latter. Besides, the community is much larger, i.e. there are loads of excellent players around. As for Diplomacy, it is a different kind of (board) game but also with thousands of players, not a few hundred.
But that is not the issue here, is it? You and especially Paul are unhappy about my pointing out your NAP violations. The M-files prove them, so why deny?

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purpose of this forum Sat, 03 November 2007 08:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
Whow, as usual the host knows less than half of what's going on.

Do me, autohost and the other readers a favour: this is the area for game stories, so behave and write accordingly.

It's common enough that things heat up between players, although I usually find it sad and usually completly unneccessary if it gets to a stage where players find it annoying on a personal level... nevertheless if you want to continue this way, please, do so in the private forum of FA2.

"Dolphin"

the teasing tone of my previous remarks has reached it's goal
If it was just an answere you wanted to get, politely asking would had served you much better.

One last comment, especially to Dolphin: the game is over as is the diplomatic war. Do not continue it in this thread.

If you want to reply to this, do it in our private forum.
But if you want to add stories and views about the game, please, feel encouraged to post them in this thread here.

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Re: purpose of this forum Tue, 06 November 2007 13:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Martin is currently offline Martin

 
Crewman 3rd Class

Messages: 5
Registered: February 2007
Location: Germany
Congratulations and thanks to all.
I think I made some mistakes with my Andorianer. Only 17% growth wasn't enough...
With a starting position in the corner, i couldn't expand much. I decided to attack Promethians first, but than the Lil Halpaz made trouble. I didn't want a war against two races...
I got early allied with the Sitting Ducks, but that wasn't the best choice. They wanted the same planets and I got not a single terraformer during the game. Later, when Promethians were gone and I had to defend against the Lil Halpaz they got all Promethian planets. Then they waisted a lot of resources in a war against the Black Pearl. And so on.
Regardless, I got tech, chaff and minerals, but I think with better assistance in the 40's we could win a war against Lil Halpaz. But this are the things happens in a beginner game and we can learn for a next one. Hope to meet you in another universe.
Martin
Andorianer: WM
ISB, NRSE, OBRM, NAS, RS
0.29-4.40/-144-120/22-90, 17% 1 of 3
1/1000
11/9/14 gem checked
10/3/14
weap cheap rest expensiv, not checked
100 Points to factories

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Some more stats Sun, 11 November 2007 20:33 Go to previous message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin

Some more stats:

http://stars.arglos.net/games/admirals-II/FA2-res.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/admirals-II/FA2-score.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/admirals-II/FA2-planets.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/admirals-II/FA2-escorts.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/admirals-II/FA2-capitals.png

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