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How do you beat the AI in ship design?

 
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How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/14/2013 5:38:45 PM   
Haree78


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Some questions for those who design the perfect ships.

1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?

2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it?

3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?

4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?

5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?

6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?

7) What designs do you put troops on? Or fighters? How many?

8) How fast do you do your various ships?

9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?

10) How much do you use Ion weapons?

11) What components do you never bother with?

Any other comments on AI ship design, or how you prefer your designs would be really useful.

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/14/2013 7:31:19 PM   
Darkspire


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I would be careful with putting the time into designs, there is still a major bug in that somehow the design files are in conflict with the policy files. There have been a few lines added to the policy files that were not saving from in game in a recent update, problem is using those policy files for the race with those lines added will mean the design files for that race can not be deleted or moved or it will just come up 'could not start this game' when you start a new game with the design files moved or deleted, as folks like to change things about in a mod that would break the mod if they moved / deleted design files for a race and also saved the policy files in game. Using the old policy files without those lines added doesn't have any problems.
Ive tried to point out the problem but no one seems to want to notice, I gave up with post in tech support in the end.

Darkspire

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/14/2013 10:41:34 PM   
Haree78


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Imagine that the AI design worked and ignore the current issues. I want to hear the thoughts of the actual questions. A lot of people criticise the AI designs so we need actual answers if we are to improve the game, now is your best chance for real improvements to the game you love.

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/14/2013 11:26:44 PM   
StarLab


Posts: 480
Joined: 8/27/2012
From: Ontario, Canada
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I don't think I design 'perfect' ships but will contribute some thoughts...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78

Some questions for those who design the perfect ships.

1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?

Not sure - pass.

quote:

2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it?

a) I increase the number of fuel cells on the initial explorers for better range before needing to refuel.
b) I put 'some' weapons on the constructors, but that's not really an issue - likely falls into the category of 'personal preference'.
c) I put an addition 5 blasters on any station that may end up being in deep space. (Miners, research bases, etc)

quote:

3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?

I'll pass on this one too.

quote:

4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?

I don't really do this but have been considering try it out.

quote:

5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?

I try to limit myself to 98% full (295/300-ish)but quite often find myself filling them to the brim.

quote:

6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?

See #2 above.

quote:

7) What designs do you put troops on? Or fighters? How many?

a) Unless early game where I'm lacking size for dedicated troop transports, (I'll outfit a destroyer with troops in that case), I stick to putting troops on troop transports only.
b) Fighters only on dedicated carriers. I always put fighter bays in my space port designs as soon as the tech is discovered. Other than that I'm still experimenting on what all I want them on.

quote:

8) How fast do you do your various ships?

I assume you're talking about designs/retrofits? Unless it's something I'm desperate for I generally save up a few new techs before re-designing/retrofitting.

quote:

9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?

Lots? Tons? Dunno... Still haven't drawn any conclusions on this one...

quote:

10) How much do you use Ion weapons?

Ions are generally present in at least one of my designs per fleet. (Especially of silvermists are around)

quote:

11) What components do you never bother with?

Wow... I'd have to go look. Not sure - pass...

quote:

Any other comments on AI ship design, or how you prefer your designs would be really useful.


I'll pass on that last one too. Just not experienced enough to add anything constructive.

Hope this helps. Thx


< Message edited by StarLab -- 2/14/2013 11:29:25 PM >


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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/14/2013 11:26:54 PM   
HectorOfTroy


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2) What I do when I redesign AI designed ships is: basically I make ships much more powerful. I increase shielding, armour, firepower. As games can get huge and there can be a lot of ships, I prefer to have fewer number of ships which are more powerful and easier to manage.

Haree whya re you asking this and why are you saying "A lot of people criticise the AI designs so we need actual answers if we are to improve the game, now is your best chance for real improvements to the game you love"?

Is there something you are not telling us?

Just winkw twice if you had some contact with Erik or Elliot and we will leave it at that

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/15/2013 12:45:23 AM   
unclean

 

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Interesting topic. Pretty much all the "perfect" designs I've heard about on here were just massive invincible capitals, it would be cool to see what else people have come up with.

My biggest gripes are that the AI doesn't make specialist ships, just more or less different size versions of one design, and that it doesn't adjust its build based on the competition - but I'm damned sure I don't make perfect ships so I'll shut up.

Especially interested about #10. Biggest use I've ever found for ions is just sticking a couple on larger ships late game to disrupt engines and make things a little easier to hit.

They kind of suck at actually disabling things though. If you use enough ion cannons to disable something you could have just put on enough blasters to kill it outright, and they're not great at taking out really tough or higher tech ships because they don't affect hyperdrives.

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/15/2013 1:20:56 AM   
pipewrench


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Hope this is what your looking for Haree78 and great O.P.


1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?

Not catching upgrades in research to reactors,collectors,habitat improvements. This leads to wasted space or upgrades that make the upgraded design exceed hull size.

---

2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it?
starting ships

destroyer
increase beam,increase turn to max hull size
no troops

frigate brought up to (Destroyer hull size)
only torpedo's or ranged weapons
lighter armor and shields
light point defense if need be
fast turn
no troops

escort
2 of each short and long range weapons, increase fuel to 3 and increase 1 for every increase in hull size until 5 is reached.

explorer
delete collector, increase fuel by 2.Increase 1 fuel every hull size and keep turn and thrust constant.

freighters
delete weapons
add 1 fuel and 1 thruster. Increase 1 fuel every hull size and keep turn and thrust constant.

constructor
add 2 cargo and increase thrust and turn to compensate.

passenger
delete 2 shield and add passenger compartments and thrust to max hull size. With each hull increase add 1 fuel ,increase engines to maintain same turn and thrust and max out passenger capacity.

--

3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?

always stick with a specialty
torpedo's -> research quickest jump time and fastest turn. You can hit, turn and run.

--

4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?

Always!

mid game example:
e - escorts patrol shipping lanes.
d - destroyers heavy armored,heavy shield,beam weapons and ion only
f - frigates long range, light armor and shield, fast turn and hyper deny( until there is enough cruisers).
c - cruisers long range ,point defense and hyper deny
C - Capital ships are carriers....

1 e for each colony
approx research dependent....
1 f = 1 d
2 f + 2 d = 1 c
4 f + 4 d + 2 c = 1 C

--

5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?
------
escort - 190 - 240 max thru game
destroyer & frigate - max till 300
every tech advancement that creates space
add armor and shields to the destroyer
add more long range to the frigate and cruiser
cruiser max
Capital max
------
all mining bases
beginning - add 2 beam and 2 armor
add 2 long range when researched
------
Small port
create new design with bare min for initial quicker build on a new colony. max = no research,5 beam,10 armor,cut shipyards & docking in half
bring up to original design when pop gets to 500m and install
10 long range weapons.
------
Med port
Add research as fast as possible to 20 in steps depending on cash. Add long range early-mid and slowly remove research components as each research station is built.
--------
Large port
In mid-late game install over strategic colonies with 1.5x weapons and defense.
------
Every port gets fighters when available.

--

6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?
=======
weaponless
freighters
constructors
-------
stay the same
resorts,research facilities
-------
increase mining bases to max 4 beam and 2 long range
increase small, med and large ports to 1:1 beam:long range,ion,fighters. no hyper-deny.

--

7) What designs do you put troops on? Or fighters? How many?

troops only on troop transports
fighters on carriers and ports.

--

8) How fast do you do your various ships?

freighters, mining, constructors and colony no changes

escort is fastest when possible in hyper and normal.

all other military are constant in hyper
Frigate and destroyer try and keep same turn and accel with each increase in hull size.
slower cruiser and capital to increase weapons and defense payload.

--

9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?

2 armor for every shield, heavy shield beam,light shield ranged,

--

10) How much do you use Ion weapons?

Fair amount.

Example:

1 beam and 1 long range have completed 2nd stage research.

flip a coin when the first offensive weapon is researched to at the 3rd stage of development.

(tails ion to the destroyer, heads hyper-deny to the frigate)

then research to the 4th stage of the first offensive weapon

now research either the ion or hyper that was missed.

Now flip a coin again.....

(heads fighters to bombers 3rd stage, tails 2nd offensive weapon to 4th stage and then 2nd ion and hyper-deny.

--

11) What components do you never bother with?

area effect (damages friendly)
bombard hardly used. (but fun when playing evil)

--

Any other comments on AI ship design, or how you prefer your designs would be really useful.

For the AI

Assess what is in scanning range and retreat if necessary to launch a counter attack at a later date. All ships retreat when battle is lopsided.

if attacking a port only attack from one side with armor up front and ranged behind. Take advantage of a weak point......

if the port is too strong but the defending fleet is weak attack freighters and mining bases in the system to force the defending fleet to react.

pirates - attack freighters if the mining base is too strong.

now that above would be a nightmare......


< Message edited by pipewrench -- 2/15/2013 4:02:24 AM >


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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/15/2013 6:48:55 AM   
Tanaka


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Simple. A carrier completely loaded to the brim with fighters. Or a capital ship completely loaded to the brim with missles or lasers. Rinse and repeat.

The AI fills up their ships and bases with all kinds of useless stuff. In other words we humans make specific roles for our ships and bases. AI ships are just all over the place filled up with all kinds of mismatched stuff! So they get outgunned and overpowered!

Same with invasions. We design one troopship that carries troops to the max. Invade. Take over. Rinse and Repeat. The AI lands troops with cruisers and destroyers in piddly amounts and rarely takes a planet!

< Message edited by Tanaka -- 2/15/2013 7:50:57 AM >


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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/15/2013 3:03:20 PM   
feelotraveller


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Argh. 

Just spent two hours typing up a reply and then accidentally hit ctrl-r rather than shift-r.

Sure it's part of an AI revenge plot.  Or the Ketarov took control of my hand momentarily.  Or I'm just an idiot.  A teeth grinding idiot right now.

Will post something after my teeth have worn down a bit.

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/15/2013 4:35:43 PM   
Haree78


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Many thanks pipe, and looking forward to it traveller :)

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/15/2013 5:23:39 PM   
Canute

 

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Joined: 4/30/2010
From: Germany
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quote:

Some questions for those who design the perfect ships.

There are no perfect ships, only stupid designed ship.

quote:

2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it?

On game start, when i start with starting tech i need to add a 2. reactor to the most ships. All private ships got extra engines 10-15 depend on size. And i remove all weapons and most of the defence beside 1 shield from private ships. It better a private ship get destroyed then a Constructor need to repair them.

quote:

3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?


Depend on the playstyle.
Mosttimes i prefer fighter/carrier. The ships don't need to be very fast but medium defended. Tactics are evade/evade. 1-2 blaster or later 5 point defence . Fighter are the universal tool, they even work against Silvermist very well.

Torpedo only Ships, Stay out of Beam Weapons, so they need to be fast with less defence. Or well defended with slower speed. Some point defence help later against fighters.

Beam Weapons, i only play this style when i play Ikkuro with the starting repair bot tech. Beam ships need to be very fast and agile, Medium defended, but since i got Repair bots i don't add so much shields like i would do Carrier or Torpedo ships, but more Armor. I prefer Phaser or Laser wepons, since i don't like the Massive Railgun much, but they would do the job too.

quote:

4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?


I concentrate at only one weapon role, to get the superior weapons for this role from research.
Since my combat ships don't got any Troop, i got Troop transport with 8,16,32 troops who do that job.

quote:

5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?

Always max. ! And i don't use any role smaller then Cruiser.
I prefer just to have 2-4 fleets with 2-6 ships each fleet. At this way i got the control of my attack ships. Later when i got enough income, i let build 30-100 Cruiser on automate.

quote:

6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?

All research station, less module then possible . Just to claim the research bonus. Since Pirates ignore these stations no weapons just 1 shield.

Mining/gas mining, 5-10 shield 10-20 Armor. 2 fighter bay, 1-2 of the best weapon.

Home Star Port, Hvy defended, 4-6 Fighter bay (20 when i use Fighter as main weapon) 20-30 of the best weapons when i don't use fighters. Since it is the Home base 10 research lab's from each category. Long range scanner.


quote:

9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?

Depend on size,weapon and race/tech.
Size 300, max. 5 shield, 10 armor
Size 500, 10 shield 20 Armor.

when you got repair bots, you can reduce the shields and add more Armor, and add some more weapons or engines.
But don't forget to change the tactic so these ships never try to escape.

quote:

10) How much do you use Ion weapons?

On Ships never, except as Silvermist hunter.
On Star ports sometimes, i think they can slow down troop transport a bit.


quote:

Any other comments on AI ship design, or how you prefer your designs would be really useful.


Never let the AI design any ships for you !! :-))

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/15/2013 6:55:40 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I am no hard core ship designer, but have some thoughts.

1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?
I think the link research/design is still weak. The common error is not being targeted enough in research, and not having a ship built to max size as long at least as it is 800 or less. I hate troop compartments on fighting ships, but that is probably a personal style issues.

2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it?

I don't do full redesigns. More guns on fighting ships.

3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?

Pretty much the same balance as the AI has. If a good racial tech, more focus.

4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?

If I every designed to late game I would have a plan for each class, but not in the line of "long range fighter".

5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?

The biggest ship for battles will hug the max size. Others are built to suitable punch...

6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?

I like the AI policy on this. But weapons on freighters are stupid.

7) What designs do you put troops on? Or fighters? How many?

Troops only on troop transports.

Fighters?
Carriers - as many as will fit.
Cruisers - until carriers.
If I ever play far enough to have a self designed "end game", I would probably put one on destroyers. But that is from the plan on using them for raiding/pirate mopping. Carriers provides fighters for main fleets.


8) How fast do you do your various ships?


Not very fast. My battles are brute force. If I have frigates, they have some speed. I also tend to only have fleets.

9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?

I follow the AI pattern, but do beef the cruisers and carriers some.

10) How much do you use Ion weapons?

A one or two on cruisers+ because it seems right...

11) What components do you never bother with?

None in particular, if you ignore certain tech choices.

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RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/16/2013 4:18:15 AM   
Tehlongone


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It seems a lot of you has answered already, but I thought I'd add my opinion regardless.

quote:

1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?

Most importantly it tries to make every ship slightly useful at everything, instead of specializing for specific roles. It also places far too much stock in small ships, in this game large ships are usually MUCH stronger than their combined firepower when compared to larger amounts of small ships would suggest.

I have often seen an AI with similar technology to myself use only a few cruisers and capital ships together with vast amounts of easily destroyed escorts, frigates and destroyers. The worst thing is it seems to think combined firepower of all it's small ships is a good way to compare it's power level to a player, who will likely be using strike teams of cruisers/capital ships.

quote:

2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it?

On civilian ships REMOVE WEAPONS, they are programmed to flee from anything anyway and they will never beat any ship that isn't hopelessly outdated anyway. I'll often add engines to improve efficiency so they don't take forever about everything. On all fuel bases, extra extractors and VASTLY expand cargo space, so that an entire fleet can potentially refuel. The lack of this is actually harmful to the galactic economy, the more bases I build the better the entire fuel economy is doing.
Also fuel bases should NOT have luxury extractors, way too situational and doesn't offer much even when appropriate.
The same thing applies to fuel ships, they should have higher cargo space, doesn't have to be too much though, and more extractors, with extra engines to get the fuel delivered faster. I've experienced too many infuriating global fuel crisis's to not make that a top priority.

On a similar note I usually make use of a heavily modified refuel ships in my home system to guarantee that I can always refuel an entire fleet (with 600+ fuel needed pr ship) when needed. Basically I make it maximum size with many extractors and ridiculous amounts of cargo space for the fuel and vast shields, speed is mostly irrelevant. These behemoths can often be parked in the middle of enemy space if a task force is left with it.

On all non-troop transports I remove troop module and med-bay, while it has some use it is far too situational and a pure luxury, which detracts from their ultimate performance in their primary role.
I then vastly expand fuel capacity (on ships I intend to control myself at least, but also a bit on other ships), though this is largely because I don't want my strike force wasting time refueling, the AI might handle this particular aspect better itself. I will then usually make a ship with large amount of decent ranged firearms and a big shield (often very big), when I can spare it decent engines too, but that's a luxury. I'll also expand the size of my ships so that eventually the smallest design is around size 300, with cruisers up to size 650 or less depending on my tech, sometimes around size 500 to maintain speed.

Early game, when I'm still technologically weak, I can usually beat a much more advanced AI with task groups of 12 cruisers, size 400, with semi-decent railguns and tons of shield, this works because the combined firepower of the group can take down targets and the shields keep the attrition low.

When constructing defense bases, size is unlimited, the real issue is how to maximize performance compared to maintenance cost. Any shot fired on one of these is essentially wasted, so it doesn't need to have more shield than a cruiser, and armor is too expensive, instead just fill it up with long-range weaponry and perhaps a few fighters, size is not too important as you can always just build more, the key thing is to add the full amount of weaponry its reactor can sustain.

quote:

3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?

I don't really use the race specific weapons, I think they are weak. The Boskara missiles are eventually surpassed and end up glorified bombard weapons while rail guns will allow me to destroy any colony I want with a bit of patience.
For early game I'll pick something accurate with long range (so speed is less of an issue), that means rail guns or missiles, later I'll start using phasers or torpedos (when they are advanced enough to have a little range at least).

quote:

4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?

Sometimes I do, though it is not really essential, what really matters is to use fleets with big ships.
I like a frigate design with super-high speed, one missile, one fighter hangar, with max-range policy it will potentially keep kiting an enemy indefinitely (due to long missile range, while the fighters attack), I've seen them hold their own against technically superior ships and they happen to be cheap.

Escorts are technically useless in their intended role, but I've taken to designing them as having huge firepower and little else, they'll destroy pirates and lone enemy ships which is all you can really expect.

Destroyers I'll make somewhat large (350-400), with good engines, decent shield, hyper-deny and ion gun plus torpedos (if I have them advanced enough), this will convincingly crush most single ships as they can't escape and if they drag the fight out more automatic ships will start to port in and swarm them.

If I do build carriers they will have just engines, shield/armor and hangars, nothing else. Likewise with troop carriers, only troop modules.
I'll usually design a "flagship" capital design that can carry the fleet components so the other ships don't have to, then add 1-2 of those to each fleet.

quote:

5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?

If I bother, the space stations should be redesigned so that the small stations are smaller without research/weapons, slightly buffed shield, armor removed in early game. Research is useless once you hit the cap, weapons won't make a difference in case of attack, the priority should be to survive until help arrives, if help doesn't arrive it's hopeless anyways.

If the economy can sustain it the big stations need to have vaaaast shields and armor with massive firepower (LONG RANGE, not those tiny short-range lasers the AI often puts on them). Considering the massive economy the AI often has, these stations ought to be fortresses. Once in a game where I was hard-pressed I redesigned my capital port to be 10 times the original power, despite superior tech the AI couldn't touch it.

Most ships should be as large as practically possible. The only time it makes sense to settle for smaller is when maintaining reasonable speed starts to consume too much fuel or require too many reactors. So less than size 400 for smaller than cruisers, less then 600 for cruisers and max-size capital ships.

quote:

6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?

Anything civilian might as well be unarmed, a base might have sufficient guns to scare off pirates but anything more is inefficient and won't make any difference when it counts. High shields are much more effective as it gives help some time to arrive.

quote:

7) What designs do you put troops on? Or fighters? How many?

Ideally ONLY troop carriers get troop modules. Sometimes I'll add one module to each of my fleet cruisers so that they can claim undefended new colonies or colones I previously bombarded, this is for convenience, not because it's necessary. Fighters have no business being on proper battleships, it will distract from their ultimate power, if I want them I'll add 1-2 carriers pr fleet group.

quote:

8) How fast do you do your various ships?

If I'm pressed I'll keep them slow with long-range weaponry, once I get more advanced I'll try to make them faster than most enemy ships, this helps them work together better. If they have less than 40 speed I am somewhat unhappy.

quote:

9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?

Unless it's one of the last two armor tiers I don't like more than one component pr ship (perhaps 10 on a cruiser), shield regenerate better AND protect more AND are cheaper, MUCH cheaper. You can never have too much shield, once I have the essentials covered on my ships I usually dump the remaining space into shields unless I want to maintain speed. Usually the defining factor is a balancing act around how many reactors I'm willing give the ship (only 1 for escort/frigate, 1-2 for destroyer, as many as needed for cruisers/capitals).
The nice thing about shields is that they don't drain your power (perhaps they should though), so the main limiter on shields is how much speed you are willing to settle with.

quote:

10) How much do you use Ion weapons?

Aside from a few specialized designs, I don't. If I wanted to painstakingly micromanage the battles I might see some uses, but it wouldn't help the AI. Basically using large ships with powerful short range weapons and low speed, working together with small fast ships with ions to slow the other ships down. Not something the AI could manage, though.

quote:

11) What components do you never bother with?

Weapons on civilian vessels, regeneration-focused shields, hyper-drives that aren't the fastest one, med-bay on anything but troop-carriers/bases, short-range lasers, low-tech torpedos, Boskara/Wekkarus/Zenox racial techs.


< Message edited by Tehlongone -- 2/16/2013 4:56:27 AM >

(in reply to Haree78)
Post #: 13
RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/16/2013 3:08:21 PM   
turtlefang

 

Posts: 333
Joined: 7/18/2012
Status: offline
Some questions for those who design the perfect ships.

1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?

AI ships tend to be generalist and not very specialize; research upgrades aren't always logical so you end up with "slow" beam armed ships or "fast" torp arm ships.


2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it.


I'm sure I overarm my gas/mining bases, add weapons to my constructors, and generally add extra fuel cells to most ships if space allows; I redesign my explorer ships several times as new tech comes along but in the begining I give them more fuel cells and shields - later, better sensors and more engines to run.

3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?


It varies. If your using long range weapons, then speed/manuverability isn't that important. Using torp/missiles, you need ships that can get in fast, slash and run. And in most cases, I don't use racial weapons as they are deadends on the tech tree.

4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?

Some, although I'm lazy. I usually don't built to many ships below the destroyer size if I can help it. I try to have one destroyer hull with a long range sensor in each fleet, and a mix of missle/beam destroyers. Ion weapons I usually reserve for crusiers and above. I usually end up with more of brute force beat them into the ground although I'm getting better at tactics.

5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?

At max size.

6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?

Frieghters I disarm and up the engines/thrusters. Constructors I arm to keep away a small pirate or give me time to get there. I arm all my bases - usually overarm them but I hate lossing a base especially to pirates. I always add some fighters to my spaceports.

7) What designs do you put troops on? Or fighters? How many?

Troops stay on troop carriers. Fighters on carriers - as many as possible. I will use a crusier hull as a light carrier until the big boys arrive.

8) How fast do you do your various ships?

Depends on the weapons - torp weapons get increased speed, ion usually don't.

9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?

Arm is usually around 4 or so on destroyer class or even FG and ESC when I do build them. On shields, I put as many as I can affort/fit. I've found shield are a lot better at protection than armour.

10) How much do you use Ion weapons?

Usually two ships per fleet of 8 to 10.

11) What components do you never bother with?

NA

(in reply to Tehlongone)
Post #: 14
RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/16/2013 4:57:20 PM   
Dd_01


Posts: 63
Joined: 12/19/2012
From: Russia
Status: offline
1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?
- As mentioned above, it tries to make universal ships, but in our grimdark galaxy there's only suffering for them.

2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it?
- More fuel cells, more thrusters, auxiliary reactor for max hyperspeed - for everyone.
More cargo bays, passengers and extractors - for haulers, liners and miners.
Totally redesign all bases and warships.

3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?
- Usually place blasters (Wave weapons), 1-2 Ion cannons, some missiles. Heavily depends from size of the ship.

4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?
- Usually at beginning all ships have the same range. In late game Capitals receive close up weaponry (because of their tough shieldpower) plus Hyperwells. Cruisers weaponed with missiles and (rarely) torpedoes.

5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?
- Capital and resupply ships to max.

6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?
- I usually place at least 1 gun at every ship and base. Just for the case. Add shields and full pack of weaponry on gas and mining bases. And each planet receives orbital fortress, fortified to hell.

7) What designs do you put troops on? Or fighters? How many?
- Specialized troop carriers with LOTS of shields and armor.

8) How fast do you do your various ships?
- As fast as i can.

9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?
- Usually prefer shields. For cruisers - 7-10, capitals - 10-15 and more. Gargantuan Resupply Deathstars receive up to 50.

10) How much do you use Ion weapons?
- 1-2 on cruisers, 3-4 on capitals.

11) What components do you never bother with?
- Area weapons (friendly fire), Ion pulse (same reason), Railguns (too inaccurate), Solar collectors (i usually have enough reactors and fuel), Shield recharge (just useless i think).

So, in this game, where i prefer to control everything myself, i can't entrust AI in such complex thing as designing.

(in reply to turtlefang)
Post #: 15
RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/16/2013 8:04:13 PM   
Tanaka


Posts: 2825
Joined: 4/8/2003
From: USA
Status: offline
I think one way to greatly help the AI with invasions is to only allow troop carrier pods on troop transports only and not on every ship. Maybe then they would build troop transports like we do!

Also I think not allowing ships to be built without the needed resources stored would go a long way in helping the AI and the human with those annoying bottlenecks!

_____________________________


(in reply to Dd_01)
Post #: 16
RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 2/20/2013 12:34:49 AM   
feelotraveller


Posts: 1038
Joined: 9/12/2011
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL:  Haree78
Some questions for those who design the perfect ships.
1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?
2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do
it?
3) What balance of weapons do you use?  If you are using a race that has specialist weapons
such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?
4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles?  Such as keeping capital ships very long range
while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?
5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?
6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?
7) What designs do you put troops on?  Or fighters?  How many?
8) How fast do you do your various ships?
9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?
10) How much do you use Ion weapons?
11) What components do you never bother with?
Any other comments on AI ship design, or how you prefer your designs would be really useful.


Well that's not me but I'll try to give some feedback anyways... 

First some specifics of my design weirdnesses and then on to the important stuff.

Personally I am a compulsive thourough-going micromanager with my designs.  I redesign
everything at the start and update every appropriate design whenever a new technology
comes along. 

My ships/bases are all specialists.  (Love my monster frigate, yep I only usually build one, which
has missiles, no shields and 3 armour.)  Often I will have several destroyer designs current, each
with a different weapon/defenses/range set up. Usually have system defence (collectors but
few fuel tanks) and long range (no collectors lots of tanks) fleets.  Start with two explorer
designs (namers and surveyors) and add two more later (spies and scanners).  Later game I will
sometimes have a specialist 'nebula' fleet without shields but loads of armour.  And on and on... 
Mining bases are tailored to their location.

Most military ships I keep near the maximum size.  They will sometimes be a bit smaller so that I
don't have to add another life support/habitation step, or so that I can get an extra point of
speed.  Explorers I go with about 175 (2 habs).  Freighters tend to be around 250-300,
efficiency is key here and 8-10 cargo is pretty good.  Miners are bigger but top out at an
efficiecy limit.  Contructors I keep as small as possible (often 350 at start game) but I sometimes
have extended range/cargo varieties as the game requires.  Passenger ships stay near the
maximum.  Bases on the other hand I like to keep minimal (usually around 340, 2 habs, in the
early game) except for resorts which vary according to demand .  Spaceports are likewise kept
minimal, 300ish for small 500ish for medium and whatever is needed for large (my one or two
major ship-builders), although I will increase size for extra weapons in trouble spots.

Bases are generally unnarmed except for spaceports which get fighters.  Explorers, constructors,
miners, passenger ships and freighters are unnarmed.  Mainly I use energy weapons backed up
by torpedoes and carriers packed with fighters (as many as I can fit).  Each ship specialises in
one weapon type with secondaries only included for balancing space/power loadouts.  I
virtually never use Ion weapons except for carriers and at colonies.  I never bother with area
weapons or bombard, very rarely use rail-guns and don't generally research missiles past the
initial one which is needed to get to point defence.  If somehow I end up with the technologies I
generally still don't find any reason to use them...

I will increase torpedo ships if I am Boskara but only to an extent.  If I am Wekkarus I'm looking
for the point to switch over and don't change my ship balance. Particularly early on I find that
non-weapon specials (Haakon, Quameno) influence my designs more by allowing much more
usable space.  Often I end up with them anyways... at least if the game lasts long enough.

Troops are only carried on troop transports, usually 3-6 on most and the occasional 'as many as
I can fit' if there are appropriate targets (I don't usually invade homeworlds... if I did I'd have
several of these).

The question of speed (as much as possible) and shields/armour (as little as possible) really I
can't answer outside of the context of a given game.  Early game I try for around 39 speed for
most ships (yep, including freighters...) but I want most of my military faster than most enemies. 
(My monster frigate though doens't need anywhere near this speed to run away from ardilus
and slugs...)  Similarly with shields and armour I want my military to have enough but no more. 
Usually start with 3 shields and maybe 4 or 5 armour.  Might bump the armour a bit if I plan on
hunting kaltor lots with these maxos chumps.  (Races differ too, Kiadians get by, easily with 2
shields...)  My namer explorers on the other hand sometimes start with as little as 9 speed (I think
that might be the Quameno version, 11 for most races?).  The surveyors are about 45-50 at
start game.  Most civilian ships get 1 shield 1 armour but even these are luxuries really. 
Constructors usually get 2 as they are slow and more valuable.  (If I played with graveyards
this would change...)  Passenger ships sometimes get a bit more protection later in the game
when space is more readily available.




The major problem with AI ship/base design is that it does not integrate research; a secondary
problem is its lack of 'awareness' of the game environment.  The final problem is balancing out
the needs of different components (i.e. how many shields vs. weapons, etc).

To deal with the second problem the game could log and analyse data about the
ships/bases/monsters a given cpu empire has encoutered.  Size, shields, armour, weapons, and
so on (in both type and number) logged by date and owner empire, and maybe even galactic
location (although the latter is likely to be more difficult to adequately quantify).  Then put this
information to use in research and design by assigning somewhat flexible research and design
'builds'.  A simple case: if the cpu empire is encountering fighters only it should set about
improving its point defense, and probably armour as well, by researching and then adding this
to their designs.

The more major problem of research AND design (the AI is currently pathetic and erratic
because these are not connected appropriately) could be addressed by assigning each race
(and probably each government type) a default research and design 'build' order.  This order,
for replayability, should not be entirely static but have a series of weights which kick in through
the encounter data and a genuinely random component (which should not be overpowered...). 

A good way to get an idea of various 'build' orders for the different races would be through an
analysis of human strategies.  Barring this running computer vs. computer simulations would
provide decent information to weed out terrible 'builds' and establish some decent candidates
for testing on humans.  Remember that humans behave very differently to cpus when playing
the game.  Also remember the human playing experience should be 'fun', whatever that entails.

The design stuff proper really needs some sort of percentage of available hull size assignation.  So
you might have 40% for primary weapon 20% secondary, 20% shields, 10% armour and
10% other.  It needs subroutines outside of this for assigning adequate power, life support and
so on.  What I suggest is some sort of schema (I remember somone mocking up a screen of this
when the custom AI ship design was being added*, and quite frankly it was what I was
expecting and I was severely underwhelmed) for each ship role/type. 

Thus when designing a ship the AI would select the appropriate schema, access data on the
game environment, and then plug in the most appropriate components.  It would research (semi-)
intelligently based upon race characterisitics and what it needs in the game.  There are two
major parts to this - first writing the code for the routines, and secondly plugging in the
appropriate weighting of the various elements used as information for the AI decisions.

Obviously we can't have the second part without the first.  If there were robust routines then
allowing the player base access to the weightings of various potential elements (for example
the percentages of the schemas, or how much impact frequently encountering missiles should
have on the resarch and design routines) might be the best approach.


Edit: one thing I forgot to mention (lost to a teeth gnashing occurence) is that the cpu should also have 'awareness' of the resources needed for components. For example if it is planning a missile heavy early strategy it should prioritise mining krypton; and if it is going for fast ships it should have a substantial weighting on acquiring carbon fibre sources. This should also run the other way: weighting the cpu to adopt a fast ships strategy if carbon fibre is particularly abundant.

*Edit 2: it could be I was misremembering this images by Arcatus and Shadow Tiger in this thread
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3065137&mpage=1&key=design


< Message edited by feelotraveller -- 2/20/2013 1:26:47 AM >

(in reply to Tanaka)
Post #: 17
RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 3/4/2013 5:28:20 PM   
Limulus


Posts: 16
Joined: 2/23/2013
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
Some questions for those who design the perfect ships.
ORIGINAL: Haree78
Rule no. 1 - there is no perfect ship design. Maybe just optimized (& specialized) ones . Last but not least the fighting situation will need different tactics / designs.
So for the following I will try to answer your questions with regard to my standard design which is designed to perform in most fighting situations very well (meaning: zero/minimal losses and quick/complete kills).
Some of my thoughts I have already written in this (here was a link) thread. So it will just reflect this a little bit.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
1) What mistakes does the AI make in ship/base design?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
The AI ship designs are inbalanced and the tactic setting is not optimized. They do not differentiate between close combat tactics and long distant fighters.
With regard to opponent AI: they also do not consider whether it is worthy to fortify a specific base or just have it "place and forget".

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
2) What do you always update on the AI designs because the AI design isn't how you would do it?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
At the start of the game:
1) reactors on every ship which is not able to fly at full speed
2) strip of the colony ship to the absolute minimum necessary
3) fuel capacity for freighters and especially scouts
Later I controll each and every design by myself.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
3) What balance of weapons do you use? If you are using a race that has specialist weapons such as the Boskara torpedoes how does this change your designs?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
As per my dmg calculation (see excel sheet in other thread) in-field testing and design philosophy the only weapon I use is the titan beam and a handful of point defense weapons against fighters. Everything else I do consider as inefficient with regard to dps and dps(per space) / dps(per energy used).
Bases are more likely to also have fighters and torpedos so they cannot get outranged if no ship support is available.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
4) Do you use certain ships for specialist roles? Such as keeping capital ships very long range while keeping destroyers as close up weapons?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
Not counting the troop carriers I just have one single military ship design which has the newest technology available.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
5) How close to the max size do you keep your ships and bases?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
Ships: 399 in late game which is 3x130 support size + 9 (space required for the hab/life support which actually does not need further support).
Bases: The more money I have the heavier I fortify strategic places and the more wasteful I design them. These bases can get quite big but there is no standard I use. It's mostly up to what I just like to do right now.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
6) Which ships/bases do you arm and not arm?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
See 5)
But especially gas mining stations I like to arm and protect with powerful shields. I don't like to leave my fuel ressources unprotected. And my fleets need a lot of fuel

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
7) What designs do you put troops on? Or fighters? How many?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
See 3) and 4)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
8) How fast do you do your various ships?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
I usually try to keep as close as possible to the optimum utilization (speed achieved per space used in the ship). Usually it's between 70-80. As soon as I have access to the star burner of the sluken it will become the engine of my choice. As per my calculation it already provides the best efficiency for the ship size I am using (399).
If you are designing smaller ships you might go for the turbo thruster of the Ackdarian, because there is a break even when this engine type beats the star burner. This already considers the space used for fuel cells and the energy efficiency of the various types.

If you are interested in how I do my engine calculations I can upload you the excel sheet tomorrow. I do not have access to it right now.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
9) What is the right amount of armour or shields?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
Since I favour shield recharge rate over overall shield strength the shield strength is just an outcome of the amount of shields I put in to aquire a specific recharge rate.
Usually it's the Z4 shield and my ships tend to have like 11 of them --> 2695
Armor rating 200 - 400 on my military ships. Just enough so that some lucky shot's which were able to penetrate the armor are beeing absorbed. It shoudln't get too much since when you would need more your ship is definitely in trouble and it's quite unlikely it can flee even with more armor before its shot down.
To keep the ships independent and the armor healthy (especially with the new shield-piercing weapons) there are 2-5 repair bots.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
10) How much do you use Ion weapons?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
I gave up on using them. To inefficient; to slow firing rate - and just temporary dmg. I experienced it is more efficient to spend the space on extra titan beams.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
11) What components do you never bother with?
ORIGINAL: Haree78
- Bombard weapons
- Damage Control unit (bot's do the same, are smaller AND repair)
- Cloak (what for? the enemy is not trying to send fleets ahead in position when I'm incoming).
- trace scanner (I don't bother what the AI has - it's not providing any advantage in battle)
- scanner jammer (so AI scanned my ship. Now what?)
- later caslon reactors (just too inefficient)
- phased beams (7,62 dps (phaser) vs 4-20,71 dps (titan). Though they have 10% targeting bonus and a nice dmg potential on mid range the firing rate is just too slow and dmg potential is not competable with titan in close combat and they are almost twice as big (size 9 vs size 5)).

However, I still need to test the rail guns. But if I imagine what is possible with 18 space they will have a hard stand against titan. Probably they will be useful as seage braker on very heavy fortified bases. But this would need a specialized design

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
Any other comments on AI ship design, or how you prefer your designs would be really useful.

See the link to the other thread I posted above.

Thanks for your patience while reading through

[EDIT]
wtf? Now allowed to post links -.-
kk, then search for the thread "RE: Post your optimal base/ship design tips and why!?! "
[/EDIT]

(in reply to Haree78)
Post #: 18
RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 3/4/2013 5:52:36 PM   
Bingeling

 

Posts: 3685
Joined: 8/12/2010
Status: offline
It is strange that your games are always at max tech :)

(in reply to Limulus)
Post #: 19
RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 3/4/2013 5:59:13 PM   
Bloodly

 

Posts: 89
Joined: 4/14/2010
Status: offline
Maybe he runs with cheap research rather than just starting there. Regardless, it's his choice.

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 20
RE: How do you beat the AI in ship design? - 3/4/2013 7:09:58 PM   
Limulus


Posts: 16
Joined: 2/23/2013
Status: offline
I'm not running at max tech. I am looking forward to it.
If of interest I can state how I handle things in mid game, too, or make a let's play of it. Just if I am looking at optimized designes you need somewhere to start and hence I was looking to the target and how to get there / what is necessary for it.

(in reply to Bloodly)
Post #: 21
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