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Bloody annoying feint-and-retreat tactics!

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  • Bloody annoying feint-and-retreat tactics!

    Has anyone explored a means to discourage the AI from its incessant habit of invading a system and retreating without firing a single shot (or worse, firing fighters/missiles and then retreating)?

    I don't mind the TACTIC itself so much, in fact it's an effective one for hit-and-run guerrilla attacks, BUT it consumes an enormous amount of game time and user interaction! So many times already, in just a few games, I've seen a comparably-sized force appear in a system I control; naturally I feel compelled to "control" that battle, but before I can spot the force it retreats, often without a single shot fired!

    And the general feint-and-retreat tactics the AI uses are CONSTANT... my border systems suffer this at least every other turn. Multiply that by at least several border systems and hundreds of turns, and one has spent HOURS merely trying to defend against attacks that never even happened!

    This is a HUGE waste of time, and for the sake of brevity I'd like to do something about it. I already have one notion that might help slightly, but I'd like to attack the retreat issue specifically. Oh, if only we had "warp interdictors" in this MOO game....

  • #2
    Don't watch the battles if a given AI player is doing this. It means they know they're outgunned, and are trying (sort of) anyhow.
    If I'd known then what I know now, I'd never have done all the stuff that led me to what I know now...

    Former member, MOO3 Road, Crew


    • #3
      Oh, it's not just one of them, it's all of them! Even with just a handful of border planets, having each one invaded nearly every turn by the nearest enemy is maddening!

      It's almost as if the AI was designed to piss me off and make me get careless and try to retaliate, leaving the system less protected so it can rush in and try finally to conquer it. But you folks wouldn't have coded the AI to be THAT under-handed, would you?

      No matter. Assuming I can muster the patience to endure, I'll have my revenge, and it will in fact be served cold... in the vacuum of space.


      • #4
        Macraig, I have a solution to this.

        Step 1: Design the latest in ship tech.

        Step 2: Split them into Recon and Long Range, and *must* add missiles to both classes.

        Step 3: Build Armada task forces, preferably 5 or more Armadas at each border planet in dispute.

        Step 4: Cede Control of the battles without watching.

        Result: Oftentimes your ships *WILL* kill some AI ships by auto-combat, rather than manual. You also have better win - loss ratios this way.

        I have noticed that every time I use Auto-Combat, my fleets suffer far fewer losses than they would if it was manual. Also, many times I have armadas of 180 ships at each chokepoint in my empire where the enemys keep coming in with fleets.

        Most of the time, my 180 ship fleets wipe out enemy fleets of up to 100 ships in Auto-Combat. BUT if I do it in manual, the 100 ships flee WITHOUT taking a hit, so basically Auto-Combat cuts down the time AND kills AI ships pretty well.

        Hope that helps, Macraig.
        Geniuses are ordinary people bestowed with the gift to see beyond common everyday perceptions.


        • #5

          You're right that missiles are noramlly the only hope of dealing with the tactic, but I have a mind to "fix" that.

          The designers did a good job of duplicating that offensive tactic in the AI, but failed to also duplicate the corresponding defensive responses. In the real world, if one's stronghold was attacked repeatedly, one would bore-sight weapons or arrange ambushes "along the road" at point of entry in an attempt to discourage the attacks. The AI lacks this defensive response behavior... in effect the AI isn't "human" enough, it's lop-sided in favor of offensive behaviors.

          Given the state of things, I feel little guilt about tweaking weapon ranges, ship speeds, and spotting to correct this little imbalance. If you've seen my post about spotting, you know I'm already working on this.


          • #6
            I have noticed that there are 2 possible situations when the battle starts - attacking and or defending, and one is randomly chosen if both players select to attack. When you are attacking you usually are close to the enemy and can fire at it from the start (this is the better case).
            When you are defending you do not see the enemy, and the first thing u see are incoming missiles and fighters (as you described). In this case only the LR task forces usually leave and start to "seek" the enemy. Actually they start travelling in its direction. The other task forces just fire the fighters and missiles and are "sitting". The missiles are circling arround because they do not see the enemy. If your missiles and fighters happen to be on the right side when the enemy missiles come then they may help you defend yourself successfully.

            This defending position seems to be unfair as you usually suffer loses even with much better ships than the enemy.
            Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.


            • #7
              Bakalov, I have had that happen to me.

              I remember one battle I had a bit ago.

              I had a full armada of levithans guarding a planetary system, and i got "attacked" by 4 armadas of enemy cruisers / battlecruisers (they had the cruiser graphic so I'm not sure exact which class they were since several hull classes use the same graphic).

              But basically, one levithan is supposed to be like 10x or more bigger than a cruiser, and can absorb far more damage than the cruisers.

              Here's what happened...

              My levithans fired an impressive salvo of missiles, upwards of 100 missiles at once (I remember my levithans had like 6 to 8 missile racks each, times 18 ships). Then the enemy missiles and fighters came.

              My levithans shot down most of them, but the ones that did get through somehow magically destroyed two levithans, when its not supposed to do that. I mean, only 5 or 6 missiles got through from the enemy....

              Another similiar thing happened in a different game. I had 180 ships (10 full armadas) of Dreadnoughts defending aganist 10 enemy armadas of cruiser hull "graphic" (either cruiser, battlecruiser, or battleship- I forgot)...

              The enemy destroyed ALL my 180 ships with only 10 - 20 ships destroyed on their side.... BUT I had the better tech weapons than the enemy, and ship classes better than the enemy!!!!

              That was in manual mode.

              BUT I retried the battle again in AUTO / cede control... and hot damn, it made a huge difference.

              I lost about 40 - 50 ships, while the enemy lost like 100 - 120.

              A reversal of win - losses, huh?
              Geniuses are ordinary people bestowed with the gift to see beyond common everyday perceptions.