AI War:High Level AI Planets
What Is The Risk Of Taking A Planet Next To High-Level AI Planets?
Q: How do you deal with a high-level planet next to one of your planets? In my current game, there was a mk4 planet belonging to a turtle next to my home world. If I attacked it early on, it would have been very costly to do any damage, and destroying the command center would have been suicide if that released the defenders to attack my home planet. But I was worried that the AI would continually reinforce this planet so that I would never be strong enough to take it, until it did a cross-planet attack on my home.
A: In most senses, having a Mark IV world right next to your worlds is not particularly more dangerous than having a lower-level world. Basically, a cross-planet attack is a diffuse event, comprising a bunch of ships of the level that matches the current tech level, from a variety of enemy planets. So unless your AI's tech level is already mark IV, you'd never see mark IV ships coming against your planets in a cross-planet attack.
However, it is very important to note that as the campaign progresses (as of version 3.107 of the game), you may suddenly find yourself facing trickles or small swarms of high-level ships from this planet because of border aggression. The typical best thing to do is to partially neuter the high-level planet if you are worried about future border aggression from it. But that doesn't require a full incursion by any stretch, or even a full neutering.
So really, border aggression aside, the Mark IV worlds are really more roadblocks than anything else. They restrict travel, and they are hard to capture if there is something valuable on them. They are not otherwise all that much more threatening, though, in terms of adjacency. So the best strategy is usually just to ignore it so long as you have done a Gate Raid (if you care about that planet as a source of enemy waves enough to make the difficult raid). The other disadvantage is that it creates a lack of buffer between you and the AI, so if there is later high Threat Level, there is risk that the AI ships might just come straight into your home planet from the world you failed to take. So, there are those sort of positional disadvantages related to your inability (or choice not to) to take a high level planet.
That can be a significant effect, especially on higher difficulties, but it's not an exponentially-bad effect of having large numbers of high-level ships swarming you or anything. That would be pretty impossible! If you're used to playing terrestrial RTS games, think of the Mark IV planets almost as being like mountains or rivers in those games; their gameplay effect is fairly similar in this space game.
What Is The Risk Of Not Destroying A High-Level AI Planet Next To My Home Planet?
A: See above.