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Home » Stars! 2.6/7 » Game stories » Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) (game of beginners, lower intermediates and rusty oldtimers)
trophy.gif  Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Tue, 26 March 2013 15:12 Go to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
Game announcement, setup and rules with quite severe penalties for the more experienced

Ahoy,

galactic time is 2484 and the monster alliance of all 5 remaining players has finally smashed the alliance of the Packet Physics Duo of the Messy Monkeys played by Scott and Beeblebrox played by Vostromo.

After the battledust has settled down, the 5 remaining players find themselves looking bewildered at each other on how to proceed: The victory conditions state that victory can go only to an alliance of no more than 2 players. And the host seems not in the mood to change this.

It is difficult to dissolve an alliance which has grown into very close cooperation and trust to each other. So the idea comes up to vote which two empires have earned the most merits on the battlefield and will most likely win if it would be fought out to the bitter end. All 5 players agree that the result of the vote must be a consensus or back to fighting it out.

No 5 days and 40 emails later... and after a multitude of exchanged battlestories, most important conquests analysed from different angles... the host is behind in reading, thinks "it sure looks like they had fun but I seem to have lost a bit the overview, what's the state of the vote?"

Finally a consensus is found:

...Victory goes to the Crankies played by Ben (trader)
...and the Zorkians played by xb95!
...Congrats!


I must say it was sure fun to host this game of lively beginners, lower intermediates and rusty oldtimers.

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map of the starting positions Tue, 26 March 2013 15:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
I don't know wether the players have also made some maps on their own. As a starter I'll post some I made during the game at some stages.

m1: Messy Monkeys (PP), played by Scott
m2: Crankies (WM), played by Ben (trader)
m3: Alexons (IT), played by Alex_heney
m4: Witchetty Grubs (JoaT), played by bluechucky
m5: Clans (JoaT), played by Asmodai
m6: Zorkians (JoaT), played by xb95
m7: Beeblebrox (PP), played by Vostromo
m8: Kobold/Kobolds (Super Stealth), played by Mark Hewitt
m9: Kaparna (WM), played by Axel

Starting positions: 9 players of which 3 start with 2 planets (1 IT, 2 PP)
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/FA8-2400.png

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maps until 2440 Tue, 26 March 2013 15:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
2414
4 players still with the default research setting of 15%
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/FA8-2414.png

2422
* most -f don't build enough mines
* some mix freighters and weapons
* one factory race stopped building factories
* Zorkians by far with the best scouting but their "high" tech scanners make their scouts nice target
* Kaparna urgently need to expand but have no gates researched

2430
* PPs rely for scouting too much on packets only (that's not enough and rather expensive)

Rankings 2430:
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/rankings-2430.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/FA8-2430.png

2440
Kobolds with defenses in the autobuild order (very expensive)

Rankings 2440:
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/rankings-2440.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/FA8-2440.png


[Updated on: Tue, 26 March 2013 15:25]

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Re: map of the starting positions Tue, 26 March 2013 15:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nmid

 
Commander

Messages: 1608
Registered: January 2011
Location: GMT +5.5

Nice map... I liked the starting position of Grubs best.

Btw, been reading the fa8 sub forums and I would have suggested that they play 10-20 years of war against everyone else, even if they have decided winners.
In this starting game, the extra 10-20 years of war would be good practice, almost equivalent to a entire new game worth's experience.

Anyways, sounds like everyone had fun.. Hope you guys stick around.

Edit - Iirc, gates by 2420 and jihad DDs by 2425 at the most for a -f?


[Updated on: Tue, 26 March 2013 15:27]




I know my minefields.. but I'm a chaff sweeper.
I used to curse when I got stuck in traffic... till I realised I AM traffic.

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maps 2450 - 2474 Tue, 26 March 2013 15:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
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Location: Berlin
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/FA8-2450.png

Rankings 2463:
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/rankings-2463.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/FA8-2463.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/FA8-2474.png

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Final map of 2484 Tue, 26 March 2013 15:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
Rankings 2484:
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/rankings-2484.png

http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/FA8-2484.png

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Tue, 26 March 2013 15:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
Just to avoid confusion, names and HWs in blue on the maps indicate the former owners, who were then inative, conquered or wiped out.

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Tue, 26 March 2013 17:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Hewitt is currently offline Mark Hewitt

 
Master Chief Petty Officer

Messages: 105
Registered: June 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Congratulations to the victors, Crainky and Zorkian. And thanks to all that played and fought. Smile

Well....

Being -f was a mistake. I should have made tech more expensive and gone with factories. I was always hurting for resources and the numbers here reflect that.

I definitely played too defensive/tech a game early on.

And I didn't realise how few planets Zorkian held in 2414. I almost fought him for that planet midway between our homeworlds. Smile

Crainky, I think this shows your instincts about going after Zorkian first weren't that wrong. If I'd strongly supported you in that, it could have been a whole 'nother different game.

Grub appears to be doing well early too. But then he gets sandwiched by the PP players.


[Updated on: Tue, 26 March 2013 17:24]

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Tue, 26 March 2013 18:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
xb95 is currently offline xb95

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 24
Registered: September 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Yup -- my start was really bad. I was thinking "I will send out many scouts and find ideal planets" rather than "I will claim every d### rock that my people can scrape a living on and then just ship population to the best". It was a bad strategy. I was very weak early. Oh, and admittedly some of that was because of Crainky interference. He blew up a few freighters and I lost some people and was constrained in what I could do until I could deal with that.

I looked back at the emails and I see how things got rolling. Crainky was shooting Zorkians back in 2412 and we didn't like that. We had spent our money on scouting and didn't have many planets, and our colonization was curtailed for a few years. Kobolds made the first overture of peace -- because of how crowded we all were into the Southwest. Crainky agreed, saying, "However, it is a good point that four races share approx 1/4 of the galaxy and five races get the other 3/4." That was the beginning of the alliance that we would ultimately form.

Various agreements were made for the four of us not to shoot each other and to allow expansion. By 2413, Zorkians "also have a map of the habitability of approximately 80-85% of the worlds in the known Universe. We are working on finishing the rest of our map. We know the HW of every race (well, maybe one we don't). We know the PRT of 5-6 with guesses at others." This information would prove useful to the group.

The Zorkian NAP with the Kobolds was cancelled (by Kobold) and there was some tense times. It was renewed without incident a few years later (2420), though, and we allied ourselves more closely together. Shortly after this (2422), the Kaparna and Kobold went to war in a serious way. Kobold: "False Hopes's guard ship and dock fought valiantly but were lost. The planet was bombed but repelled the invasion. They are putting up a fort but expect the worse."

By 2424, Kobolds and Zorkians were starting to trade tech. By this point, Zorkians had little communication with anybody else and were happy to just work on expanding on their own terms. There is much intersettling with K/Z planets.

2425: the first discussion between K/Z about the state of the galaxy. Kobold said, "And B&M are the greater threat in the medium and long run." The stage was starting to get set for the later war. Kobold also correctly predicted, "Beeblebrox is rapidly expanding in all directions. He will shoot down your scouts. For now he will likely not attack you, as it is more likely he will want to focus on crushing Witchetty Grub and seizing their space before you or Crainky can do much about it." So true.

Kobold in 2425: I wish you well, Zorkian. Because although I am at war with Kaparna, you are closer to Beeblebrox. And you are under greater threat.

The same year, Crainky and Z started talking more in earnest. The idea of a Clan/Crainky/Zorkian alliance was proposed to fight the B/M threat while the Alexons and K were busy with the Kaparna in the northwest. Crainky also supposed that the B were a -f given the rate and nature of their expansion. I didn't understand the implications of this. We knew they and the Monkeys were strongly allied, though, given the high intersettling and, as Crainky said, "who would do that with a PP unless they were strongly allied?"

In 2427 a big wormhole opportunity opened up from Zorkian space and Crainky urged my people to send scouts quickly. Crainky lacked pen-scanners, so the intel Zorkians could bring would be useful.

2428 was a tense year. Clans sent scouts into Zorkian space, and we were unable to maintain good diplomatic contact with them. Z ships opened fire. Kobold was very concerned, as this threatened the peace we had established 15 years earlier. Kobold: "d### it, Zorkian, you are Beeblebrox and Monkey meal #2 after Grub. And if they get hungry they could start on you before they're done with Grub. Settle this now peacefully for all our sakes."

Zorkians decided not to wage war on the Clan. This was mostly because I wasn't sure where the alliances stood. I was quite sure K would abandon Z and/or help Clan kill us and I didn't want to be without any friends. A NAP was arranged.

In 2429, a Zorkian planet (Apple) was taken by the Monkeys. The B reached out though and claimed it was an accident. We had some discussion and it ended with some tense diplomacy and veiled threats. Beeblebrox: "Be careful of your battle fleet though, it would be a tragedy if it was to land on a defenseless world."

2431 is when Zorkian decided to start doing some organizing. "I am trying to organize a coalition for the dismantling of Grub space. It is prime real estate for us Zorkians, and we would like some of it to expand. This would then allow us to be better placed for pushing the assault into M/B space." Grub planets were green. Juicy, juicy green...

This year also, Crainky was attacked in earnest by B/M. He also concluded that the Grubs had joined the B/M side and similarly believed that the Grubs should be priority #1. Further discussion (this was a very busy day!) concluded that the Grubs were not actually with B/M, they were a target and would be hit hard soon.

Zorkians revealed that they had had a NAP with the Grubs, but then the G blew up Z scouts. Z declared the NAP had been violated. G disagreed. Z was confused and decided that the G were unstable and probably best destroyed. This is also the point where Zorkians proposed what would be the major alliance. To quote:

Quote:
So that we might have all the chips on the board: do all of us have a NAP with each other? Or is there a possibility that Kobolds will shoot Crainky, etc. I would like to fully know the dynamic since we are now speaking more openly.

It is my belief that the next steps should include:

* The four of us conclude a group-wide NAP with agreeable terms. This NAP should include a provision for moving warships through our claimed space.

* Stargates of any of us be opened up to any other of us. (This will require setting everybody to 'Friend', as I understand it.)


It took a few years to sort out the mechanics, but that is what happened. We decided that the real threat was the B/M combo, and that Grubs were a distraction for everybody involved. Crainky proposed we ask the Grubs for a planet each (three planets) and then we would have good places to push up against B/M.

2435. Quiet. Zorkians still aren't really in the wars yet. We are figuring out our next move while the Kaparna/Alexon/Kobold war continues to rage and the B/M continue assaulting the Grubs/Crainky.

Around 2437, I was able to reach the Grubs and start the diplomacy. A 'conference call' (emails) was convened between Clan/Crainky/Zorkian/Grubs to see if the G would accept handing over three planets for a NAP+defensive agreement. After some haggling over terms, it was signed by all parties and the Grubs were set friendly.

We started planning the Grub Rescue Operation. Clan pointed out that with such an alliance we needed a War Leader. Crainky was suggested and easily took the position. He started to dictate the overall flow of the war effort on the strategic level.

2438: Alexons were very happy about a strong victory over the Kaparna at Ziggurat. To quote, "He did, as I expected, send his attack fleet to Ziggurat. Where it was annihilated :)"

2439: Grubs will need 2-3 years to vacate the planets from the trade. This is OK. He provides a good war update. Morale is strong, but he's taking a very large beeting. This year Z and B also start more correspondence. It's cordial, although the B are concerned about Z's minesweeping. (The field was starting to overlap Z planets, so we pruned it.)

2440: Crainky: "Sorry for the gallows humour, but I find it hilarious that the Brox is firing a huge W11 packet at 200 colonists." Kobold: "There we were, 3 against a thousand. Toughest 3 we ever fought. >:)"

2441: Kaparna is starting to go inactive (or has, and is being played by Altruist).

2443: The jig is up. Z's attempts at diplomacy with the B have reached their breaking point, it's obvious now what is going on. Beeblebrox writes, "So it is now very clear that you plan to attack with the accursed Crankys. Battle fleets massing, mine clearing, testing my defences. I had hoped to keep the awkward but stable situation but i feel you are forcing my hand."

2446: Zorkians are bombing B planets now. Picture of Zorkian scanners. Our scans are extremely useful for determining ship movements, and the one ship deep in B/M space stayed there for 20+ years before getting destroyed. Deep-seated eyes were nice.

2447: Z receives some "Monkey Love" as we started calling it. Packets. Several planets were lost this year due to lack of freighters and defenses. Hundreds of thousands perished. (Z would repeat this tragic mistake many more times.)

This year I learn that Crainky had an agreement with B "way back" but the B decided to stab him in the back. Explains why he wants B dead so bad. Smile

2449: War Leader Crainky issues this summary: "Zorks have front #2 well in hand, (Grub is #1), 3M is front #3 and is primarily a Clan operation. I'm sort of spread out on all three. Meanwhile, we're hatching evil plans for #4 and #5 :-)"

2452: Z/C fleet shows up on Selenium but B/M showed up with ~130 cruisers and soundly defeated the main Zorkian battle fleet. Z said: "It's not a great outcome for my primary war fleet, though, which has been substantially annihilated." The Z offensive is stalled.

2454: Alexons are starting to get any/300 gates up for people to use. This becomes super useful later for other members of the coalition. Zorkians don't really use them -- the B/M space is right next door!

2456: Zorkians have Battleships in production. Yay. Z has also reallocated ships and has two fronts going on -- Eastern and Northern. Grub space is hotly contested at this point; Z is trying to take the planets from the B/M.

Alexon/Crainky/Zorkian coordinate a rushed-attack on 3M TA3 this year. It's a good opportunity. Warp 10 is involved, though... Smile

2457: B/M invades the Zorkian world of Uqbar. Z is driven back and abandons orbit to the hostile vessels. The planet is hit, but is not annihilated. Sadly, two of Z's brand new Battleships went to Uqbar this year and met with a grisly fate. First of the line to fight ... and fail.

2460: A major WH shift. This is good for the Coalition -- easier to get ships around. B/M fleets continue to dodge major engagements. Uqbar lives on and is reinforced, but we were unable to catch the B/M fleet. It's a very frustrating game of cat and mouse.

Also: Z is now building Battleships with Doomsday missiles. Weapon tech is very high, a full iteration higher than B/M. (At least, compared to their ships-of-the-line.)

2464: Grubs have gone inactive/quit. Crainky was expecting them to move some ships but they didn't; Crainky lost a fleet. This is ultimately a minor setback, but it was still sad to see the Grubs go.

...

I am going to stop the updates now. The rest of the game wasn't particularly interesting. We started mopping up the planets (which took 20 years) and then the B/M were defeated. Along the way Z got to W26 and started rolling out beam battleships (ran out of Ironium!) and there was little in the way of interesting diplomacy or events.

Goodness. I hope this was interesting. Smile

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Tue, 26 March 2013 21:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Hewitt is currently offline Mark Hewitt

 
Master Chief Petty Officer

Messages: 105
Registered: June 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Great summary, Zork. I'd forgetten a lot of those moments.

And yes, I was beating the drum about a Beeblebrox & Monkey threat very early. It was a side effect of them having so much space and taking it over very quickly. I could see that and with what fighting I knew about I saw them being a big threat soon.

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Wed, 27 March 2013 04:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Vostromo is currently offline Vostromo

 
Petty Officer 1st Class

Messages: 68
Registered: June 2010
Great write up! I think Altruists fantastic maps and data shows how things can be deceptive. I can't help but think our alliance was nothing more than a paper tiger when we look at it deeper.

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Wed, 27 March 2013 08:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Hewitt is currently offline Mark Hewitt

 
Master Chief Petty Officer

Messages: 105
Registered: June 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Vostromo wrote on Wed, 27 March 2013 02:33
Great write up! I think Altruists fantastic maps and data shows how things can be deceptive. I can't help but think our alliance was nothing more than a paper tiger when we look at it deeper.


I don't think you guys were a paper tiger at all.

The rankings show you lost economic lead before 2440 but that's a consequence of being -f facing a couple of +f JOAT's. (And that was a mistake I made too.)

Note that you mostly maintained your boundaries up to around 2464. With what you had you fought real well. And it still took 5 other players, a +f WM, 2 +f JOAT's, -f SS, and -f IT, in an alliance almost unheard of in Stars!, 20 more years to grind you down.

That's not a paper tiger at all.

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Thu, 28 March 2013 10:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trader is currently offline trader

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 21
Registered: September 2012
Location: Toronto
A very nice summary of the game diplo highlights from the Zork point of view. I'll just add a bit of colour on a couple of things.

The situation with the Grubs was really chaotic and had the potential to have a huge influence on the game. Once I realized that I had made a big booboo by thinking north, instead of east for early expansion, the Clan and I went through a lot of discussion about what to do.

At that point, I knew the Brox were f and a powerful starter, but my great fear was that the Monkeys were HP. The Brox would grab territory, then the Monkeys would feed up packets and heavy artillery to the front line.

This is how I laid it out in 2426:

Quote:
This is a tricky situation. As I see it our options are:
#1 Help the Witchetty to hold off the Beetlebrox.
#2 Attack the Witchetty and try to grab his space before the Beetlebrox.
#3 Cooperate with the Beetlebrox to divide up Witchetty space.
#4 Defend the Diablo-Farragut line and instead look to the north to
either the Kobolds or Zorks for expansion territory.


The Clan responded that maybe we could help both the Grubs and Brox to fight each other in a long war that would exhaust them. Vostromo, it might interest you to know that this is where I did my most intense analysis of the game, going so far as to build a race file for the Brox so that I could guess at your capacity. I've attached it here, I'm curious how close I came.
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7Ry9Tz6M9XUM3JTSVZNdE1ZMDA/ edit?usp=sharing

I wrote back:

Quote:
What worries me is not the meatgrinder, but the Blitzkrieg. Here is
what I would do if I was the Beetlebrox:

I would build cheap shielded frigates and minibombers across my
empire, all while feeding excess minerals up to Stamp and Selenium.
Then I'd gate the horde to Selenium and then move the armada to
Schwiing which does not appear to be under scan. In year one of the
attack I would destroy the station and bomb Peekaboo, fire a packet at
Misery from Stamp and fire a packet at Peekaboo from Selenium. The
next year move on to Oh Ho Ho, bomb that while firing another packet
from Selenium. The third year, bomb his HW, while continuing to packet
his defenceless planets. The main idea is destroy the base, thin out
the defences, reduce the pop with packets, then finish it off with a
pop drop. I reckon in five years I'd have his HW invaded and all of
his major population centres destroyed and/or occupied.


I'm curious Vostromo, did you consider such a blitz before the Grub had minefields? You did end up doing much of this, but was it viable earlier on an accelerated schedule?

When that attack didn't materialize, I started to think that they were allied. Their planets were so close together, it suggested close relations. We had seen a bit of skirmishing between the Grub and the Brox, but was it real, or a fake out? Maybe the Grub and Brox had a secret plan to attack the Zorks?

But then a couple of boranium packets were detected on the way to Yes and Peekaboo, so that clinched it. The Grub were not quite as vulnerable as a few years earlier, but I was still afraid they would be quickly overrun. It was necessary to intervene, but how? The debate, which now included the Zorks, went from rescue the Grubs, to kill him quickly ourselves before the Brox could, then back to rescue again.

As it turned out, the war was more grinder than blitz and we were in the thick of it. But with our HP economics and strong coordination, plus some Kobold tech, the eventual outcome was clear, despite reverses such as the defeat at Selenium.

Once again, thanks to all for an intriguing game and to Altruist for his patience.


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On Scanning Thu, 28 March 2013 12:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
On Scanning

While, from time to time, looking thru the game files of each player, I noticed several things: sometimes mistakes, sometimes just different styles of play and some of them which were easily visualizable I'd like to show here. So don't take it personal.

Let's start with scanning. The importance of scanning is often underestimated: factory-races tend to see a scout as 2 factories which they would prefer to build, factory-less races often enough don't realize how much scanning might be needed for a kick-start and to overwhelm the neighbours later on.

I have picked several images, all from 2425, to show how different scanning can be.

Here what the Zorkians saw and knew about the universe in 2425:
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/fa8-scanning_2425_zorkians-JoaT.png
What we can see here is the power of JoaT-scanning and their inbuilt "free" penetrating scanners:
  • almost all planets are scanned
  • additionally obviously several waves of scouts were built to keep possible hotspots and the surroundings of colonized planets under watch
  • 5 wormhole entries are detected (at 2425!), surprisingly it seems they weren't tested to see which connect with each other
But as important as scouting is, there is no other way but it needs to be balanced with the economy and as a gut feeling I'd think they overdid it a bit. 45 scouts were built (10 lost) to achieve this map:
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/scout-zorkians_mizerly.png
Mmmh, there are 2 problems with this design:
  1. It's rather expensive for an initial scout: 30res. And wait, haven't JoaT scouts, FFs and DDs not INbuilt scanners? Yes, the expensive scanner isn't really necessary. With the Zorkians' stats a scout without a scanner would still have 160-ly scanning of which 40-ly would be penetrating. Above scout with the mole scanner has 216/40, not really worth the higher price.
  2. The mole scanner is not only expensive but as an electric level 4 device something quite prized for players who haven't got that tech level yet. Which again will give your neighbours the incentive to build armed ships to collect not only some "free" tech but, once those armed ships are around, you might need to build more escorts for your freighters...



But you don't need to be a JoaT for good scanning (it makes things a lot easier, though). Here the Alexons as ITs with superb scanning in 2425:
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/fa8-scanning_2425_alexons-IT.png
12 scouts were built (5 lost) which is a bit low, there are also no later sent out scouts to keep the direct surrounding of the core under watch (this means you do know the planet data but you are basically blind, by now half of them might be colonized by enemies).
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/scout-alexons_ms.png
Faithful standard scout design with a cheap rhino scanner. On the map you can also see the advantage of having taken the rhino scanner (50-ly) and not the even cheaper bat scanner (only planet data): you get a surprising interesting picture of what happens far away out of your planetary scanner range, what kind of ships (construction level), who might fight whom.

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On Scanning (part 2) Thu, 28 March 2013 12:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
On Scanning (part 2)

The next example is one of lack of scanning, as above this is the map in the year 2425, this time from the Messy Monkeys:

http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/fa8-scanning_2425_messy-monkeys-PP.png
From the map and knowing that the Messy Monkeys are PP it looks like a PP trying to mask his PRT and thus not sending out packets for scanning but it seems no scouts, either. On top of it, the PP is a factoryless design, forced to rapid expansion or demise. At 2425 he must know as much as possible about his surrounding neighbours because already now or very soon he needs to attack and expand into their space... but not with such a reconnaissance. It's literally like attacking into the unknown dark. (To be fair, this player was in a close alliance and due to shared intel probably knew a lot more than one can see here but it's a fine example of lacking scanning nevertheless.)

Diving a bit deeper into the m-file it's getting a bit more complex and some explanations seem obvious. Messy Monkey had the steep penalty to leave 100 leftover pts in the race wizard, thus they took NAS but not IFE (fuel mizer), did not check the tech 3 box and electronics was expensive, so the "best" scout available with the starting tech was this:
http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/scout-messy-monkeys_long-range-scout.png
As a matter of fact in the year 2425 there were no less than 17 scouts built (11 lost) of 6 different designs. So the bad scanning wasn't due to lack of trying. On the contrary, together with their ally the Beeblebrox (a PP as well) they seem to have tried to specialize in roles:
* Messy Monkey tried to scan with scouts while hiding being PP
* Beeblebrox (no NAS and thus with penetrating scan ability) gave away being PP by scanning via packets
I think they tried to pass scouts from Beeblebrox (with fuel mizer and better elec-tech=rhino scanner) to Messy Monkey but as you can see in the above map, the result wasn't satisfying.
It also shows the power of shooting down the scouts of other players... their knowledge of the universe keeps severly low.


Here the Beeblebrox' map of 2425:

http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/fa8-scanning_2425_beeblebrox-PP.png
A PP, too, who is not masking his PRT. PP is seldomly played and rarely with giving away the PRT so freely with scanning packets. But it's an interesting view how the universe looks like for a packet-scanning PP.. Four things are important to point out:
  1. The other players make it easy for the PP to scan. It would be so easy to detach any freighter to pick up the even penetrating scanner-packet and voila: darkness for the PP. But they let the packets move thru their space.
  2. Not only due to the above descibed countermeasure, it's risky to rely completly on packets for scanning, some scouts would be needed, too.
  3. It's rather expensive to scan with packets. It's also giving away your PRT too easily, nobody wants a PP as a neighbour and gone the advantage of surprise when a PP starts to throw big ugly chunks to annihilate whole planets.
  4. On the other hand the ability to make penetrating scans with packets, if the other players allow those packets to pass thru, is surely a nice thing.


The 5th and last example is a JoaT again, the Witchetty Grubs, and the map is from a bit earlier than the others, from 2420:

http://stars.arglos.net/games/fa8/img/fa8-scanning_2420_witchetty-grubs-JoaT.png
In general around 3/4 of the planets of the universe are already scanned, not as excellent as the JoaT Zorkians in example 1 but good enough. Nevertheless the number of scouts is just 5. While this shows what a JoaT can achieve with even such a low number, the danger is high of 1 or 2 scouts getting shot down and the whole scanning process is stopped. Scouts are cheap to rebuild but their position on the map, perhaps already 300-ly away from the HW is difficult to regain. And the later your scouts arrive, the higher the chance that they get shot down.

I have chosen the tactical map view to show some points:
  1. Previously I was refering several times to "2nd wave or later waves of scouts". Here you can see that only 1 wave of scouts was built. Meanwhile the direct surrounding of the core planets is not under watch anymore.
  2. Some of the Grubs' planets were not colonized in force but there are only 3.000 pop on them (mistake), easy prey for a pop-drop from an enemy.
  3. It would be very cheap and easy guard at least the "entry"-point to his corner. The arrows indicate the positions for only 4 needed scouts to detect every incoming ship. This is a tactic possible and useful for everybody but a JoaT has the additional advantages that often enough his penetrating scanners detect ships while they are even not aware of being detected (and possbily marked and targetted for shoot down).

So much about scanning for today. Later, perhaps, the "funniest" ship designs...

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Thu, 28 March 2013 13:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
xb95 is currently offline xb95

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 24
Registered: September 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Funny story about Zorkian scanning... I was playing in a Windows VM on my work laptop. By the year 2430 or so people had really started to shoot down my scouts, so it was hard particularly up in the northeast. Then, I changed laptops -- and lost my files. All of my planetary scans were gone, I had to redo everything.

It was pretty hard to re-do the scanning at that point, so I didn't get some areas until much, much later. It made figuring out which way to go a little harder since I didn't have the habitability map anymore. Alas. Smile

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Thu, 28 March 2013 14:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
xb95 wrote on Thu, 28 March 2013 18:15
Then, I changed laptops -- and lost my files. All of my planetary scans were gone, I had to redo everything.


Oh, why didn't you message me? As I said in the beginning, I have a complete backup of all m-files of every player. Quite handy in case of dropouts, so a possible replacement player can get all the files and also the h-file. In this case it would had been also very good for the original player...

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Thu, 28 March 2013 14:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
xb95 is currently offline xb95

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 24
Registered: September 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

I didn't realize you had that. Sad

Sorry, I should have thought to ask! Alas. I had some fun trying to hide that lapse from my allies. "Suddenly, the Zorkians were flying blind..." I believe I was successful. Wink

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Thu, 28 March 2013 14:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
skoormit is currently offline skoormit

 
Lieutenant

Messages: 665
Registered: July 2008
Location: Alabama
xb95 wrote on Thu, 28 March 2013 12:15
...Then, I changed laptops -- and lost my files.


Might be a lesson in that. Keep your files in a cloud backup (Dropbox is so easy), and save your files for each year to a new folder (2400, 2401, 2402, etc), before you download the next year's .m file. Takes less than a minute each turn.



What we need's a few good taters.

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Fri, 29 March 2013 06:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Vostromo is currently offline Vostromo

 
Petty Officer 1st Class

Messages: 68
Registered: June 2010
Quote:
I would build cheap shielded frigates and minibombers across my
empire, all while feeding excess minerals up to Stamp and Selenium.
Then I'd gate the horde to Selenium and then move the armada to
Schwiing which does not appear to be under scan. In year one of the
attack I would destroy the station and bomb Peekaboo, fire a packet at
Misery from Stamp and fire a packet at Peekaboo from Selenium. The
next year move on to Oh Ho Ho, bomb that while firing another packet
from Selenium. The third year, bomb his HW, while continuing to packet
his defenceless planets. The main idea is destroy the base, thin out
the defences, reduce the pop with packets, then finish it off with a
pop drop. I reckon in five years I'd have his HW invaded and all of
his major population centres destroyed and/or occupied.


I think my basic Grub invasion plan was as you mentioned, apart from i intended to quickly get population onto the captured worlds and throw up a mass driver. Then i would use the captured minerals to fuel quick launches to the next worlds. I had IS so i could get a driver up very fast on a bare station so long as i got the pop there.

I can't access the dropbox to look at your file Trader, awaiting permission.

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exchanging m-files Fri, 29 March 2013 07:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
If one doesn't want to keep secret the race design, quite often players exchange their m-files and race-passwords at the end. Everybody can take a look at the map, the ships and with F8 you can access the race design.

Alternatively to google, if you want to put anything online, pass it on to me and I'll put it in the same webspace as the above images.

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Re: exchanging m-files Mon, 01 April 2013 20:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Hewitt is currently offline Mark Hewitt

 
Master Chief Petty Officer

Messages: 105
Registered: June 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
And looks like between the emails and the earlier threads everyone's talked out a bit and wanting to do other things.

I've no problem to having my race and m-files available.

And thanks to Altruist for running a great game.


[Updated on: Mon, 01 April 2013 20:56]

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Re: Fledgling Admirals VIII (FA8) Tue, 14 May 2013 05:02 Go to previous message
Asmodai is currently offline Asmodai

 
Officer Cadet 1st Year

Messages: 214
Registered: February 2012
Interesting feedback about scanning.

Altruist - my best Stars! game so far. Excellent hosting. Looking forward to see another FA soon.

And....congrats for winners!


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