Anacreon Era 2 Gameplay Guide and FAQ

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:31 pm

Updated again.

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by catfighter » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:31 am

...with a couple of seconds during refresh when interface elements like buttons are unresponsive...
The refresh period depends on the processing speed of your device and the size of your empire. I use a laptop with a tiny RAM/CPU, and the refresh period is fifteen to thirty seconds*; my friend has some sort of God-PC with so much processing power that her refresh period is down in the milliseconds. I also created a temporary empire on Alpha server to run an experiment, and the refresh period there was less than a second until I got above 25 worlds.

*This decreases to about 5 seconds if I run disk cleanup and disk defragment, then close all other programs before playing. Hibernating computers temporarily decreases processing power by terrifyingly immense amounts until the device has restarted several times (I did this for a while and my refresh period skyrocketed to 45 to 50 seconds, making it almost impossible to play).
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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:12 pm

catfighter wrote:
...with a couple of seconds during refresh when interface elements like buttons are unresponsive...
The refresh period depends on the processing speed of your device and the size of your empire. I use a laptop with a tiny RAM/CPU, and the refresh period is fifteen to thirty seconds*; my friend has some sort of God-PC with so much processing power that her refresh period is down in the milliseconds. I also created a temporary empire on Alpha server to run an experiment, and the refresh period there was less than a second until I got above 25 worlds.

*This decreases to about 5 seconds if I run disk cleanup and disk defragment, then close all other programs before playing. Hibernating computers temporarily decreases processing power by terrifyingly immense amounts until the device has restarted several times (I did this for a while and my refresh period skyrocketed to 45 to 50 seconds, making it almost impossible to play).
Are you sure? I had assumed it was a server-side/connection-speed issue. How client-side processing is actually going on on the player's computer?

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by catfighter » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:38 am

Watch TV, Do Nothing wrote:
catfighter wrote:
...with a couple of seconds during refresh when interface elements like buttons are unresponsive...
The refresh period depends on the processing speed of your device and the size of your empire. I use a laptop with a tiny RAM/CPU, and the refresh period is fifteen to thirty seconds*; my friend has some sort of God-PC with so much processing power that her refresh period is down in the milliseconds. I also created a temporary empire on Alpha server to run an experiment, and the refresh period there was less than a second until I got above 25 worlds.

*This decreases to about 5 seconds if I run disk cleanup and disk defragment, then close all other programs before playing. Hibernating computers temporarily decreases processing power by terrifyingly immense amounts until the device has restarted several times (I did this for a while and my refresh period skyrocketed to 45 to 50 seconds, making it almost impossible to play).
Are you sure? I had assumed it was a server-side/connection-speed issue. How client-side processing is actually going on on the player's computer?
Connection speed is definitely a big issue. My laptop's connection speed decreases the higher CPU/RAM go, but I guess I'm so used to this that I forgot to mention it.

I treat almost everything in life like an experiment, so I ran several tests on my laptop and can say fairly confidently that that is how it's going to work on every old/tiny Windows 7 laptop. I'm not sure exactly how client-side processing differs between devices from different manufacturers, but it shouldn't have too large of a performance variance.
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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:14 am

Added ship component resource cost tables. Once again no data for Typhon 'cause I'm not gonna bother building that POS.

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:15 pm

I've updated most sections and totally reorganized the FAQ, which now also includes a diplomacy section courtesy of Wayward Device.

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Thu May 07, 2015 6:50 pm

It turns out that there are a very small number of places in the galaxy where ramjets can actually move across normal space. Ramjets moving between my "Far East Capital" and "River East Capital" will fly straight through the 50ly gap that contains the RoR planet "Melik's Pool". They can't path to planets in normal space, though. The two capitals are in the same nebula, so a longer path would exist anyway, but they move right across the gap. I haven't found anywhere that ramjets can cross into a nebula that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by catfighter » Fri May 08, 2015 12:09 am

Hmph. And yet they still can't cross between nebula colors... :evil: I'll look around for any other places this can also happen in.
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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:20 pm

A few minor updates.

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:36 pm

A general request to any readers: Please let me know if there are any gaps, flaws, or errors with this guide before the new Beta starts. Additionally, let me know if you'd like to contribute to a section or even add one like Wayward Device did.

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:32 pm

I saw a graviton launcher surge about 24 hours after I thought I had manually set graviton launcher import %s to zero for all my autofacs. Has anyone else had this happen?

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:21 am

UNIVERSALLY USEFUL UNITS

Eldritch-class basic jumpships (TL9) – Beta 1 proved that the Eldritch is the ultimate fighting machine. They move really fast and attack really hard and you can store them totally out of reach of retaliation by anything other than another Eldritch fleet when you're AFK (say, on top of your capital or in a nebula pocket). A big fleet of Eldritches is immune to missiles and will destroy most other ship types via sheer massed firepower without taking meaningful losses. The really successful empires were designed as fragile machines to turns most of their labor into Eldritches when not getting eviscerated by fleets of same. Wars between strong empires are hugely destructive since they are won or lost based on who can first-strike the enemy’s critical infrastructure with their giant Eldritch fleet. It’s very difficult to protect every critical planet needed to build a big Eldritch fleet from attacks by a similar fleet. Keep in mind that you will need LOTS of chronimium to build Eldritches. Store them all on your most heavily-defended capital when they're not in use. Keep consolidating them as your jumpyards build them.

Helion-class explorers (TL8) - Beyond being useful for exploration and recon, Helions are useful in hybrid attacks against starfrigate fleets. You need to have at least two fleets- a decoy fleet containing a bunch of Helions and an attacker fleet containing Eldritches, Minotaurs or Cerberuses. Arrange the fleets so that the decoys arrive at the targeted world before the attackers. Right before the attacker fleet arrives, order the decoys to attack. The Gorgos will all target the decoy fleets and continue to fire at them as the attackers engage and destroy them. The starfrigates won't look for new targets until their targeted Helion wings are totally destroyed, so provided that you brought a lot of Helions, the decoy fleet will soak up all the starfrigate cannonfire and you'll lose fewer or no valuable ships. This strategy is less effective if there are other ships or defenses besides Gorgos- for example, hypersonic missile batteries will chew up Helions pretty badly. They are cheaper and faster than Stingers and do the same damage, although they don't have missile protection.

Gorgos-class starfrigates (TL9) – Gorgos have 3x the cannon range of most other ships, so they will always inflict serious first-strike casualties while the enemy fleet is trying to get into range. Capital starships like the Gorgos have low attrition, too, which makes them even more efficient in real-world terms and you won't lose them very fast even if your empire falls apart while you're AFK. Importantly, when fighting Eldritch-only fleets, a Gorgos fleet almost always destroy more labor than it cost to build, no matter the size of the respective fleets involved. This is not the case with most other ship classes, which have bad kill:cost ratios when they fight outnumbered. A fight between Gorgos and Eldritches will always be a victory in this sense even if all the Gorgos get destroyed. Gorgos-only fleets are vulnerable to the hybrid attack strategy described in the Helion section.

Gorgos move hideously slowly, so you still need jumpships to actually wage offensive wars against other active human players. Gorgos are liable to get hit by jumpmissile strikes if you send them through enemy territory guarded by citadels. Build Gorgos on starship yards near your sector capitals, foundations, and hubs (if you use hubs) and constantly send them to reinforce these planets. Against planetary defenses only a Gorgos fleet will always win without taking any casualties (even if the Gorgos fleet is tiny!). You only need like 1 autofac for every 3 yards or so, unlike Eldritches which need like 3 autofacs one autofac for every yard. Oh yeah- starfrigates are also protected against missiles, although not quite as effectively as jumpships since fleet size is smaller. A big jumpcruiser attack on them would see missiles get through, but that would require that your enemy be building lots of expensive jumpcruisers and not, say, Eldritches to defend the jumpcruisers against YOUR Eldritches.

Armored Infantry (TL5) – I'm pretty certain these are the most efficient way to turn labor into infantry. It's not a bad idea to use transports to consolidate them onto your capitals every few days. Smart players attack individual infantry academies with transport fleets that contain overwhelmingly larger numbers of infantry (consolidated from multiple of their own academies). Overwhelming attacks will result in infantry quickly surrendering and the enemy actually gaining infantry. This is probably an oversight on the designer's part, but don't let yourself fall victim to this type of attack.

Imperial Guards (TL5) – Big empires MUST use the Law and Order doctrine and L&O capitals can only build defenses or Imperial Guards. Build Imperial guards. They aren't the best fighters, but if you dump some of them (and no other infantry types) on the planets you capture, rebels can't win civil wars. Handy!

Reliant (TL6) and Warphant (TL9) transports carry equal numbers of troops. Don’t mix transport types in an invasion- use all Reliants or all Warphants, keep them all in the same fleet, and usually you don't want move the transports to the planet until enemy defenses are destroyed. Warphants are significantly more expensive but are 50% faster; they also land faster which can be important if your enemy is actively moving jumpfleets around while you're attacking them. It's convenient to build your own transports, but after the early game it's sometimes be more efficient to not build any yourself, and just buy them from Mesophon or capture them from other players when you need them.

CONDITIONALLY USEFUL UNITS

Stinger-class basic jumpships (TL5) and Adamant-class jumpcruisers (TL7) – in the early game when you are trying to expand quickly and don't have that sweet chronimium locked down. Adamants are better against AI planets with lots of HEL cannons and autocannons. If you price everything out an Adamant costs about as much as an Eldritch to build but is way worse in almost every respect, so try to switch to building Eldritches as soon as your planets can handle it.

Hypersonic missiles (TL6) - Hypersonics have double the range of most ships and can even cause problems for small basic jumpship fleets. The only good missiles in the game, these will help protect your starfrigate fleets against hybrid attacks using explorer decoys.

Vanguard-class explorers (TL6) - can be used in hybrid attacks just like Helions, except that they won't do any meaningful damage themselves since their attack is very weak and short-ranged.

Minotaur-class gunships (TL8) – Minotaur fleets use much less chronimium than Eldritches and seem stronger on a labor-spent/labor destroyed basis, but they lack jumpships' protection against missiles and they are so slow that it takes a long time to assemble a gunship fleet together from multiple yards and send it against the enemy. You'll rarely if ever be able to attack a jumpfleet with a gunship fleet; jumpfleets can be moved away from attacking gunships and stored on fortified planets like capitals; and gunship attrition is too high to defend planets long-term against jumpship attack (Gorgos are better for this because of their lower attrition and first-strike capability). From their stats, Minotaurs look like they should perform better against Eldritches than they actually do most of the time, IMO. Minotaurs are very strong against Gorgos if you perform a hybrid attack with them, but they're also very vulnerable to Gorgos cannons if the Gorgos aren't being decoyed with explorers.

Defiance-class starfrigates (TL6) – Gorgos' poor country cousin. The only ship with range>10 that doesn't require advanced resources. Long range means they get first strikes against all jumpship and gunship types and outrange cannon-type defenses. They are a less cost-effective use of labor than Gorgos, but they're a little easier to build early on and/or in spots where you don’t have enough planets to run a chronimium economy.

Jumpmissiles (TL7) – Protect your key planets with citadels if you are worried about an enemy with a strong starship fleet. They can destroy multiple weak units with a single hit, but seem to be most efficient on a labor/destruction basis when fired against starships, especially moving fleets- if a fleet is stationary and gets hit by jumpmissiles, the missile protection of jumpships or starfrigates will shoot the missiles down. How do you guard citadels against jumpships, though? Well, you can use gunships (high attrition), lots of starfrigates (expensive), armored infantry/exotroops (attrition, have to tediously keep dropping them off), or cannon-type defenses (building defenses means building fewer jumpmissiles).

HEL cannons (T4) and plasma towers (TL8)- If you have a planet with spare labor (e.g. a hub or foundation) you might as well dump some of it into cannon defenses. Really big late-game empires can amass Eldritch fleets that are so large they will steamroller even the strongest cannon defenses without taking significant casualties; defenses become mostly obsolete in the late game.

Cyclops-class starfrigates (TL9) – use them like Gorgos for defending key worlds in nebulas. These can also be bought from Mesophon for extortionate sums. Not as cost effective as Gorgos to build. The ONLY ship in nebulas with a longer cannon range than Eldritches. Do not require chronimium, which means more chronimium to build Eldritches. They are much faster than Gorgos so you can go on the offensive with them, especially against AI planets and in dark nebulas where player enemies might not see them coming. A funny trick is to suddenly buy an enormous number of them from a Mesophon planet and sic them on the nearest nebular sector capital or other weak point; sell captured ramjet parts to Mesophon to buy even more Cyclopses. Other players will get wise to this pretty quick though.

Undine-class jumpcruisers (TL10). One way to dodge the graviton launcher bug is to build a small number of these at each of your TL10 jumpyards. They are not as efficient as Eldritches in 99% of combat situations though. May be more effective against small Gorgos fleets than Eldritches in some cases, but this needs more testing. They have to be built at TL10 worlds, which have penalties associated with them above and beyond those of TL9 planets that can build Eldritches (TL-associated labor bonuses and consumer goods demand penalties are a can of worms that I'm reluctant to open quite yet).

BAD UNITS

Sirius-class gunships (TL5) – Their cannon range is half that of the Eldritch, so they get eaten alive. Dead slow. May be briefly useful in the early game to defend against aggressive players who use Stingers or Helions.

Hammerhead-class nebular gunships (TL5) – A gunship that fires missiles. Stats are actually identical to the Undine but it's slower, cheaper, and can't leave nebulas. Useless against Stingers, Eldritches and Cyclops. May be situationally useful in the early game. You are better off buying or building Cyclopses if you can.

Cerberus-class nebular gunships (TL8) – like the Minotaur but generally less effective against Eldritches despite being individually stronger. This is because they are more labor-intensive to build - smaller fleet size means they are more likely to not be able to inflict meaningful casualties against a giant jumpfleet before being destroyed. Ok to use in hybrid attacks with decoy explorers; in a dark nebula the enemy might not see them coming.

Exotroops (TL7) – Not as efficient to build as armored infantry and require more dedicated planets. Don’t require as many transports, though. Exotroops are unusually good against basic infantry but basic infantry are lousy anyway.

Basic infantry (TL1) – less efficient to build than armored infantry even though they don’t require any resources to build.

Autocannons (TL5) - They only seem to attack one enemy wing at a time, while an unlimited number of wings can attack them all at once.

TRASH UNITS

All Starcruisers- Victory, Megathere, Behemoth, Typhon – TOTALLY USELESS. Really expensive and can't hurt jumpships or starfrigates.

Manta-class nebular starfrigates (TL6)- A disgraceful excuse for a starfrigate. Range is only 10 Mm! Horrifying.

Battlestations – starcruisers that can’t move; also require heavy missile launchers, a resource built at starship autofacs. Those autofacs could be building Hellfire Cannons for more Gorgos.

GDMs (TL3), armored constellations (TL7) - provide almost no protection against jumpship attacks, which are 99% of the attacks you can expect other players to launch against you.
Last edited by Watch TV, Do Nothing on Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:36 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Wayward Device » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:21 pm

A fine summation! However your information on Eldritch production is a little off. It doesn't take 3 autofacs to supply a jumpyard. The ratio of production for advanced jumpdrives/Eldritchs is 1:1. A fully supplied TL10 Cave world at 100 efficiency with all pop structures makes 83 advanced jumpdrives while the exact same world as a jumpyard (fully supplied etc) makes 83 Eldritches/Warphants. Gorgos production is a little under 1:3 autofacs to staryards though, a maxed Barren World autofac will make 5.9 Basilisk Canons/R50 Reactors a watch and a max Barren staryard makes 2.1 Gorgos.

Still, spot on about the uses of most units. And now because I love them, here is some more info/suggested tactics for the Gorgos Starfrigate. As well as holding your key worlds, even in small numbers they can provide great defense. They can take on 33 times their number in Eldritchs and win, only suffering 5-10% losses. It takes 45 to 1 odds vs Eldritchs for them to guarantee victory with >10% losses. This means that 5000 Gorgos can protect a world from up to 165,000 Eldritchs, requiring 250,000 jumpships to take the world with acceptable losses. Pretty damn good, and you will still wear the attacking fleet down a bit. While 25,000-50,000 Eldritchs isn't a lot of damage to a multi-million jumpship murderball it does at least insure that any empire launching such an attack will have to concentrate and not split their junmpfleet into, say, 30 fleets of 100,000 and then ravage your delicate, unprotected innards in a a few hours. Also, it grants more or less total immunity to those annoying smaller empires that will grab your trillum worlds or whatever, hoping you are dormant/abandoned.

Finally, they also seem to prioritise transports, which they will always be in range of. If all the ground troops get killed before they can land it triggers an auto-retreat. This is why you will see many experienced empires deploying their ground forces in separate fleets in any major war. This is actually one of the factors that allowed Bismalia to hold out for so many cycles during the First Galactic War, despite facing a coalition that had close to 25 million jumpships to his 10, a lot of us had never gone up against them in large numbers before and didn't know what to look out for.

EDIT: Wait...wait....no mention of Helions? If I work out which "little empire" in the beta is actually yours (and I have my suspicions) my 34million strong "scout fleet" may have to come pay you a visit to repay this insult :P

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:58 pm

This is excellent feedback, thanks! I want to have a shorter, more navigable guide ready before Beta 2 and the stuff about autofac ratios is good to know. IDK where the 3:1 ratio for autofacs:yards came from, although I think it's around 2:1 for mature (95%+ efficiency) hazardous worlds feeding a mature cave/ocean/earthlike world. Since I abandoned my old empire a while ago I don't have mature planets to experiment with.

The info about Eldritch:Gorgos ratios is also definitely going in; that's much better performance than I had expected. From an adjusted labor cost perspective a Gorgos is equivalent like 12 Eldritches to build, and the lower attrition makes it effectively even cheaper- not sure how to calculate that though. Is there any cost-effective counter to an all-Gorgos fleet aside from another Gorgos fleet?

It would be good to know the ratios for the Victory and Cyclops against the Eldritch, too. (The less said about the Manta the better.) I feel like one opportunity we missed with the old Arena was testing starfrigates against things like gunships and jumpcruisers, probably because nobody felt like sending a lot of starfrigates there in the first place. Gunships have a higher delta-vee so Minotaurs should take fewer first-strike losses against starfrigates and rip them apart faster with their big guns (their armor is irrelevant though), although each Minotaur is a little more expensive than an Eldritch to build from an empire-wide-labor standpoint.

I intend to do a cost analysis on infantry at some point soon too; that should be fairly simple.

As for Helions, is it actually true that they prioritize low-orbit and ground targets, or am I imagining that? Is there a good strategic use for explorers that makes them worth dedicating resources away from more Eldritches?

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Re: Anacreon Gameplay Guide and FAQ

Post by Watch TV, Do Nothing » Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:42 pm

Updated parts of the FAQ and some of the information about jumpmissiles.

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