AI War:Astro Trains

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This page is a work in progress. Some information may not be up to date, difficult to read, unfinished, etc.
Astro Train
These robotic couriers are used by the AI only. They travel between train stations at random, causing various problems for players depending on the type of train. Many trains enhance AI ships on the same planet, while others disable certain abilities of human ships. Some are even very destructive, but not by conventional weaponry. There are also "harmless" trains that only carry cargo from planet to planet, but over time they contribute to AI construction efforts that can be very dangerous in their own right.

Overview

Nearly-indestructible robotic courier. Forms convoys and travels between Train Stations causing various problems for the human forces depending on the type of trains in the convoy. Note that Astrotrains do not have a direct attack themselves, they cause problems in other ways....
Astrotrains are enabled individually for each AI under the AI Plots tab during game setup. The range varies from 0 (off) to 10 (nigh-impossible) with 4 being considered the default.

Most Astrotrains are so difficult to destroy (400 million health) that they're not even autotargeted; Cargo, Regenerator, Shield, EMP, and Nuclear trains are much weaker (though still very tough) and your ships will target them automatically.

When this plot is enabled for an AI, it will spawn Astrotrain Stations on its planets that act as way points for the Astrotrains.
Destroying Astrotrain stations reduces the AI's possible destinations and can be used to influence the routes the trains take.

This plot can be enabled for one or both AIs depending on the challenge you are looking for. Note that the higher this minor faction is set to the nastier the train types it will have access to are. Increasing the intensity of the minor faction will also result in larger convoys so their are more trains in total.

Train Mechanics

Train Spawning

Regardless of the AI's difficulty level or the intensity of the Astrotrain minor faction setting, no Astrotrains will spawn during map generation.

Rather, if the Astrotrain Minor Faction is enabled, roughly every 20 minutes the AI will check to see if there are less then 10 Astrotrain Convoys alive. If there are less, the AI will spawn an Astrotrain Convoy at a random Astrotrain Station and that convoy will be present for the rest of the game.
This means that it will be roughly at the 3 hour, 20 minute mark (200 minutes) that the Astrotrains will reach their maximum population of 10 convoys (20 convoys if Astrotrains are enabled for both AIs) for that game.
Note that it is currently unknown if the population cap is per convoy or per train. IE: Will destroying 50% of two trains allow another convoy to spawn or do you have to destroy a convoy in its entirety to allow another convoy to spawn? (If you know leave a note on the forums please.)

Train Caps

The Astrotrain Intensity setting is the only factor in determining how big an Astrotrain Convoy will be when it spawns. AI difficulty does not affect it.
The type of Astrotrains available to the AI to populate a convoy with are also determined by the Astrotrain Intensity setting.
Exact convoy sizes at each intensity are not known and how a convoy gets populated with train types is also unknown.
On Intensity 4 a convoy size of 4 Astrotrains has been reported.

Cargo Trains

The surprises that Cargo trains spawn once they have delivered enough materials are also affected by the Astrotrain Intensity.
Not enough reports are in to determine everything that can spawn at the different intensities, however at Intensity 4 SuperFortresses have been reported and at Intensity 8 Golems have been reported as spawning.

Train Types (Minimum Intensity to spawn)

Train Station (1): Waypoint for astro trains. Destroy to influence train routing. Causes 3 AIP on death. Note that the AI can build Train Stations once the game is under way by purchasing them from the Zenith Trader. Train stations bought this way do not incur any AIP on death. Stats
Armor Booster (1): Acts like the unit of the same name: boosts armor of all AI ships on the planet.
Armor Inhibitor (7): Acts like the unit of the same name: negates armor of all enemy-to-AI ships on the planet (also disables shields, like that unit does, though that may be changed in the future for both; it's a holdover from when the armor inhibitor was the shield inhibitor).
Attack Booster (1): Boosts the attack of all AI ships on the planet.
Cargo Train (5): Harmless in itself, but each "delivery" contributes towards a counter for that player, and when that fills up (you'll see an alert once it's past 50%) it spawns some surprises. The spawns are unpleasant but not massively so (unless you're on intensity 8 or higher, where you're asking for it).
EMP Train (6): Basically an EMP-guardian in train form. This is another one of the train types that's got way less hp and thus more feasible to destroy than others. If you have scouting on a planet with one of these, it shows up in the alert box.
Forcefield Jammer (7): Prevents human forcefields/shields from working on the planet it's on.
Gravity Train (4): Halves the speed of all enemy-to-AI ships on the planet.
Gravity Jammer (6): Prevents human gravity emitters from working on the planet it's on (the limited-range stuff, not planet-wide stuff like logistics stations or grav drills).
Nuclear Train (10): Kinda like an EMP guardian, but only triggers on non-destroyed planets with a human command station present. Oh, and it's a nuke instead of an EMP. Destroys itself when it goes off. This is one of the train types that's got way less hp and thus more feasible to destroy than others. If you have scouting on a planet with one of these, it shows up in the alert box. If destroyed by hostile fire the nuclear explosion does not go off.
Radar Jammer (4): Acts like the unit of the same name: halves attack range of everything on the planet. There's also a MkII variant that only halves enemy (to the AI) ranges.
Regenerator Train (1): Resurrects AI units that are destroyed on the same planet. Sacrifices its own health to do so and resurrected units are teleported to a nearby AI planet nearby.
Repair Train (1): Basically a super-MRS.
Shield Train (2): Basically a shieldbearer (the shield does not push enemy units). Has a lot less health than most of the other trains and is thus somewhat feasible to kill.
Speed Booster (1): Boosts the speed of all allied units.
Tachyon Train (2): Provides planet-wide tachyon coverage for the AI.
Tachyon Jammer (3): Prevents human tachyon emitters from working on the planet it's on.
Tractor Train (2): Has a bunch of tractor beams.
Tractor Jammer (6): Prevents human tractor beams from working on the planet it's on.
Widow Train (4): Has a bunch of paralyzing tractor beams.

Note that the intensity as listed is the lowest intensity you will see that type of train. As the intensity setting goes above this minimum the more you will see that type of train, and higher Marks of trains for the types that have abilities that scale.

Train Station

Train stations simply act as waypoints for Astrotrains and have no abilities or attack of their own.

Ammo Type Armor Type Immunities Damage Bonuses
Structural Fusion Cutters, Attack Boosts, Armor Boosts, Gravity Effects, Attrition, Tractor Beams, Reclamation, Paralysis Attacks, Transport, Swallow, Being Insta-Killed, EMPs

Damage Attack Range Reload Health Armor Speed Engine Health Single Ship DPS Abilities
0 0 0 sec 50,000,000 0 0 Inf 0 dmg/sec


Trains Stats

Most Astrotrains are high-health trains with their own special ability.
Mark level for Astrotrains is in relation to the special ability only, none of the trains base stats change based on Mark.
The following table lists the standard train stats, train specific abilities and other stats are listed below.

Ammo Type Armor Type Immunities Damage Bonuses
Command-Grade Fusion Cutters, Black Hole Machines, Speed Boosts, Gravity Effects, Attrition, Tractor Beams, Reclamation, Paralysis Attacks, Transport, Swallow, Force Fields, Being Insta-Killed, Repair

Damage Attack Range Reload Health Armor Speed Engine Health Single Ship DPS Abilities
0 0 0 sec 400,000,000 10,000 80 Inf 0 dmg/sec

Special Abilities:

Armor Booster: Doubles the armor of all enemy-to-AI ships on the planet.
Armor Inhibitor: Reduces the armor to 0 and disables all Force Fields and Shields on all enemy-to-AI units on the planet.
Attack Booster: Boosts the attack of all AI ships on the planet by 39/79/119% (Mk. I/II/III).
Cargo Train: 20,000,000 Health, 1,000 Armor. No combat ability, but spawns a surprise after enough of these have delivered their cargo to its destination.
EMP Train: 10,000,000 Health. Enemy only EMP on wormhole exit. Lasts for 20/40/60 (Mk. I/II/III) seconds.
Forcefield Jammer: Disables all enemy force fields and shields on the same planet.
Gravity Train: Halves the speed of all enemy-to-AI ships on the planet.
Gravity Jammer: Prevents human gravity emitters from working on the planet it's on (the limited-range stuff, not planet-wide stuff like logistics stations or grav drills).
Nuclear Train: 10,000,000 Health. Nuclear Explosion on wormhole exit when the system has a human command station. Destroys itself to do so. If destroyed by hostile fire the nuclear explosion does not go off.
Radar Jammer: Mk. I: Halves the range of all units on planet. Mk. II: Halves the range of all enemy units on planet.
Regenerator Train: Resurrects AI units that are destroyed on the same planet. Sacrifices its own health to do so and resurrected units are teleported to a nearby AI planet.
Repair Train: 40,000,000 Health. Mounts a powerful multiplex repair beam that repairs all nearby units. Repair Rate 40/80/120 (Mk. I/II/III).
Shield Train: 40,000,000 Health. Projects a shield to protect nearby units. Shield health is the trains health.
Speed Booster: Boosts the speed of all allied units on the same planet. (Tests required on how much of a boost and if multiple boosts stack.)
Tachyon Train: Provides planet-wide tachyon coverage for the AI.
Tachyon Jammer: Prevents human tachyon emitters from working on the planet it's on.
Tractor Train: Mounts 100/200/300 tractor beams with a 4000/8000/12000 range (Mk. I/II/III)
Tractor Jammer: Prevents human tractor beams from working on the planet it's on.
Widow Train: Mounts 100/200/300 paralyzing tractor beams with a 4000/8000/12000 range (Mk. I/II/III)





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