I'm posting this because I think it might illustrate some of the points I'm wanting to make. In the game I just played, I was repeatedly attacked by large fleets, mostly composed of battleships. the AI loves battleships. It was actually this AI strategy that got me more interested in using them.
This game was played in ouch that’s not fair mode. This mode gives the AI two of every type of ship on each of its three starting planets for a total of 36 ships. The AI also gets a multiplier of 2.5 times the normal credits in this mode each turn. I began play with Earth, Terra Nova, and Einstein Station. This gave me an initial starting income of 32 credits per turn. I got extremely lucky with my placement. Zion was two squares south of Earth, Vesta was two south and two east. Darling was one north and two west, and Gehenna was three north. With my other two planets, not so lucky. Bubba was two north and one east of Terra Nova, but Einstein station was on the edge of the board and only 3 west and 1 south from Terra nova.
My strategy was to build nothing but colony ships for the first 8 turns or so. I spread out quickly, and managed to have about 100 credits a turn and 8 or 9 planets by the end of turn 10. I had started defending Terra nova and Earth by then, placing battleships, cruisers, and other ships there. I continued expanding, though as I got more credits, I began escorting colony ships as I was seeing enemy fleets by this time. During the last quarter of the game I found Bolivar, but was only able to launch one aborted attack on it. By contrast, the AI found Earth and launched 5 attacks on it. I managed to repel all of them, but it was a near thing in one case. He also occupied several of my planets which denied me the credits from them. I reached colonization victory condition and kept pushing to try and colonize new planets, or at least frustrate his movements. I managed to colonize Ultima Station on the last turn of the game, and he did the same with planet Bubba. However, since both of these occurred in the last round, they were not able to become full colonizations and therefore are not reflected in the statistics below.
Game Statistics for Playthrough of VGA Expanding Known Space, Version (21).
The player beat the game! woohoo!
The game lasted 45 minutes and ended on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 6:12 AM.
The war between you (the solarian federation) and the enemy (the interstellar union) started in 2850 and ended in 2856 (27 turns, with the solarian federation victorious.
Game was in ouch that's really not fair difficulty.
Military victory condition was assigned - was not met
Colonization victory condition was assigned (60%) - the solarian federation met this condition with 60% for 4 seasons
Economic victory condition was assigned (60%) - was not met
Capital Control victory condition was assigned - was not met
The enemy was in normal mode.
the solarian federation finished with 24 colonies (60%) with the most ever held being 25. the interstellar union finished with 7 colonies (17%) with the most ever held being 9.
the solarian federation colonized 0 of 1 asteroid belts, 3 of 7 space stations, 3 of 3 ice planets, 6 of 7 volcanic planets, 2 of 4 ocean planets and 10 of 18 earth type planets.
the interstellar union colonized 0 of 1 asteroid belts, 1 of 7 space stations, 0 of 3 ice planets, 0 of 7 volcanic planets, 1 of 4 ocean planets and 5 of 18 earth type planets.
At the end, the solarian federation was making 224 credits for 58% of the total income, the interstellar union was making 200 credits for 20% of the total income.
the solarian federation made a total of 3983 credits, the interstellar union made a total of 4536.
the solarian federation spent 0 on intelligence gathering, the interstellar union spent 130.
the solarian federation purchased 114 interceptors, 87 destroyers, 18 frigates, 47 cruisers, 63 battle ships and 35 colony ships for a total of 364.
the interstellar union purchased 51 interceptors, 8 destroyers, 35 frigates, 7 cruisers, 142 battle ships and 16 colony ships for a total of 259.
the solarian federation lost 27 interceptors, 32 destroyers, 6 frigates, 9 cruisers, 10 battle ships and 7 colony ships for a total of 91 (87 lost in combat, 4 lost to hazards).
the interstellar union lost 25 interceptors, 7 destroyers, 9 frigates, 5 cruisers, 78 battle ships and 4 colony ships for a total of 128 (118 lost in combat, 10 lost to hazards).
the solarian federation lost 0 ships to changing loyalties, the interstellar union lost 1.
you have won 0 military, 1 colonization, 0 economic, 0 capital control and 23 mission victories and you have lost 0 military, 0 colonization, 0 economic, 0 capital control and 9 missions for a total of 1 wins, 0 losses.
A couple of things to notice here. I didn't bother with gather intelligence in this game. I do use it, but it's best when you have five credits left overe, and no real need for another interceptor at the time. Gather intelligence can tell you what the AI is spending, how much it's spending on certain activities, location of planets or hazards, or give you a slight edge in the next round's combat. That said, as you can see by looking at the AI expenditure, it can be a drain on your resources over a long time. However, if you're getting 2.5 times your normal credits? why not? Further, the AI concentrates on big ships that move slow. That provides opportunities for the player. bTW, we didn't intend to have the AI emphasize this way, this was an unexpected side effect of the algorithm we used. however, it is an effective strategy, so we left it in place. As you can see, I stole two of the AI's colonies from it, which helps, especially in higher difficulties. Between that and spreading out so quickly, this allowed me to out colonize the AI.
Hope this helps to give a better notion of game play. My time is exceptionally short. Our beta team generally runs longer, though I think it's mostly to their insistence on overwhelming firepower. I tend to use a lot of small forces and stay on the move, hitting where there's a weakness or an opening, and then moving on. Both strategies work btw.
Valiant Galaxy Associates Company
, owned by Aaron Spears
and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.