AI War:Admiral's General Strategy In AI War

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This information is out of date.


Introduction

This is a basic guide that attempts to outline a reasonable overall strategy in AI War: Fleet Command. Edits, enhancements, clarifications and so forth are of course welcome by all in the wiki fashion!

Assumptions

This guide assumes a familiarity with AI War's interface and game mechanics as outlined in the in-game tutorials and the War:AI War Official Manual/FAQ

Player Goals

The ultimate goal of AI War: Fleet Command is to defeat the two malevolent AI's bent on the destruction of Humanity. This is achieved by locating the AI's Homeworlds and destroying their primary Command Stations.

There are also a number of optional intermediate objectives to complete, such as capturing Advanced Factories and destroying the AIs' Data Centers.

See AI War:All About Tweaking The Difficulty Level for a discussion of setting the game's difficulty level appropriately.

Strategies

Capturing Planets

Planets should not be captured frivolously. Capturing a planet requires destroying the AI's Command Station which will raise the AI Progress Level. Each planet's strategic value should be carefully considered before making the decision to begin an assault. See AI War:Factors Affecting The Strategic Value of Systems for a more detailed discussion of this topic.

Caveat: When assaulting an AI controlled planet, be cautious of targeting the AI Command Station on a planet too early - it can occasionally be a good way of drawing all the AI ships towards you for quick destruction, more so early on, but this tactic is highly risky - When the AI Command Station is destroyed there is a 50% chance that the AI ships guarding command posts will desert and attack you. Where possible, they will travel through the wormhole network and wreak havoc on your planets. In a particularly powerful AI system this can spell doom. There is also a 50% chance that AI ships will desert their posts when your own Command Station completes construction if they have not done so already.

Warp Gates

Warp Gates allow the AI to warp raids into adjacent systems. Periodically, each AI will send a wave of enemies at you through a warp gate. If there are no warp gates on planets adjacent to yours, then (on difficulty 6+) the AI will warp its raid to one of its own planets and those ships will use the wormhole network to travel to one of your planets - you will get no warning of the impending attack in this case. Hence, always keep at least one of your controlled planets adjacent to a planet with a Warp Gate so you always have warning of incoming attacks.

You should not destroy any Warp Gate you don't need to, as their destruction causes an AI Progress increase (+10).

Defending Planets

The AIs will send ships to attack you regularly, so it's important to ensure that you have appropriate defenses in place.

AI ships can come through wormholes, in ascending strength, as part of;

  • Special Forces Patrols
  • Warp Gate Waves
  • Cross-Planet Attacks

For this reason I generally place a few turrets on each wormhole, including a couple of tractor beam turrets. Placing a few ships in free-roaming defender mode (V+Right Click) can also be very handy in this regard (Once we get our Garrison Commands this will be even easier Cheesy). Remember that as the AI progress level increases your defenses will have to be upgraded accordingly - planets that were safe at the beginning of the game may begin to falter under the pressure. Consider building Harvester Exo-Shields on worlds that are under sustained attack.

Placing engineers in systems will help to maintain your turrets against damage from AI ships, and also from Astro-Trains on the higher difficulties. If you place the engineers into free-roaming/attack-move mode they can maintain a number of wormholes by flying between them, however, flying between wormholes takes time and it may be necessary to deploy multiple engineers. Investing in the Tech II/III teleporting engineers eliminates the travel time problem. Engineers cannot repair themselves so if you anticipate that they will take damage it is important to deploy more than one.

Forming Links With Allies

When you are starting a new game, you may choose to position yourself nearer or farther from allied home planets. Allied home planets can be those belonging to either yourself or other players. Allies with wormhole links to each other have the advantage of starting the game with fewer initial hostile wormholes to contend with. The process of aiding allies is greatly simplified if all players are near one another at the start (whereas it can be impossible to give mutual aid right at the very start if there are high-level AI planets between you and your allies, unless the ally in trouble can quickly build a Mobile Builder and then give it to the would-be rescuers).

Logistics

Don't build everything in your home planet and then send it to the front; the galaxy's too large. Periodically build new ship construction facilities in forward locations so that your supply lines are shorter.

Engineer Assistance at Space Docks

    • This info is out of date!**

Note that boosting docks with engineers is not the most efficient method of construction. Building a single dock and boosting with 3 engineers cost 8200 Metal and 4100 Crystal and allows you to build a Tech III Cruiser every 7 seconds. For 8000 Metal and 4000 Crystal I could build 8 space docks, this allows me to produce a Tech III Cruiser every 3.75 seconds - obviously this is much more efficient.

Engineer assistance is, however, very useful in an emergency where you need to boost production in order to defend a system but do not have time to construct additional space docks.

Even boosting each dock with a single engineer (which provides the greatest returns) is less efficient than multiple space docks.

Starship Construction

Starships, given that the later ones take upwards of an hour to build, would be built on a safe, well-defended planet and then flown to their destination.

Caveats

There is an economic cost to destroying old engineers and space docks and rebuilding them elsewhere (about 90% of their build cost). The engineers' cost can be saved by moving them.

A regular supply line from space docks can be redirected to the front and a steady stream of ships can traverse that, without moving the construction base. However, a change in the build composition will take some time to show up at the destination, and it will not be possible to add more space docks and engineers to assist the docks to build up a local fleet quickly.

Research

Raid planets for research and carefully consider what you and your partner(s) research.

You can't give a ship to your partner if they haven't unlocked that ship yet, or if giving them the ship would put them over their ship cap.

Tactics

Combat Tactics

Become familiar with the relative strengths of each ship type. Effective positioning and targeting will greatly minimize your losses. A good example of this is ordering groups of bombers to fly off and attack AI cruisers before they come into range of your main fleet, thereby protecting ships such as fighters. This tactic is especially important when the range of the relatively strong ship type is shorter than the weaker one - if the bombers were to stay cocooned in the protection of the main fleet they may never come into range of the cruisers that are attacking your flanks.

Ion Cannons

Where possible, capture Ion Cannons rather than destroying them. (-Revenantus)

Advanced Factories

Build forcefields over Advanced Factories, having these destroyed in bombing raids is dire. (-Revenantus)

Enemy Mines

Some AIs like to build mines. Unfortunately, they build those right around every wormhole, which makes it nearly impossible to go through. Even if you have Tachyon emitting ship/drone, your other ships will simply run into the mines even though they know there is something hidden. The cheapest/easiest way to deal with such a problem is to build a tachyon drone as well as a mobile forcefield. Send both through the wormhole at the same time. The forcefield has lots of health and can slowly move over all the mines, triggering them. Another beneficial factor is that the field pushes away enemy ships, especially minelayers and engineers, which would immediately rebuild any mines. If necessary, you can move the shield back through the gate to get it repaired. After cleaning send either engineers to clean up the mines (so they can't be rebuilt) or just get your fleet.

Tip: Build the forcefield right next to the wormhole. It moves slow!

References

War:Starting_Out Official Starting out FAQ

War:Gate_Raids Gate Raids FAQ

Forum Strategy Guide

Credits

Admiral (Guide Creator), X4000, Revenantus