Author Topic: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?  (Read 676 times)

Offline Genedefect

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Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« on: July 06, 2018, 06:33:25 AM »
Hi all, been browsing the forum for a while but only just got round to registering.
I've just started playing the Eden Starship Colony Game, because this was my favourite scenario from childhood. However, I'm getting absolutely spanked by the AI, & I don't remember them attacking me when I used to play. Has this been changed in later patches or is my selective memory playing tricks on me?

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 08:31:16 AM »
The built-in scenarios haven't been modified at all. It's just a really hard game.

From what I remember the AI doesn't start sending combat units until you start building them and after that sends tougher units based on the research you perform. Or something like that.
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Offline lordpalandus

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 09:41:08 AM »
Uh, that is the Eden Colony Game, where if you research weapons, the enemy sends nasties at you.

The Eden Starship Game on the other hand, is all dependent on difficulty level chosen. On easy, the AI never sends enemies at you, unless you consider that 1-3 units/scouts moving in a specific route as an assault. On normal, they send attacks at you in regular intervals, but won't usually assault you with night-assaults. On hard, expect frequent attacks and night assaults.
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Offline leeor_net

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 10:00:11 AM »
Thanks for clearing that up... I was indeed thinking of the colony games... but it's been something like 20 years since I really sat down and played Outpost 2. :-[ :-[
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Offline lordpalandus

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2018, 02:40:41 PM »
So you are more of an Outpost 1 guy, rather than Outpost 2, which is what initially attracted you to OPU?
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Offline Genedefect

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 02:18:54 AM »
Ah, that explains it. Just loaded up the most recent save & noticed that Plymouth is sending units off the map, which is something I'd forgotten.
Conclusion: I only ever played this on easy because I got whooped all the time. Maybe one day, I'll be able to ramp up the difficulty...

Thanks for the replies!

Offline Hooman

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 03:40:45 AM »
For some reason, I remember the computer being more aggressive after you researched weapons. Though I'm looking at the level in OllyDbg now, and I don't see anything obvious that would indicate that.

I usually tried to kill their expansion bases soon after or right as they were trying to expand. You have to be quick with weapons to do this. The level is much easier if you deny their chance to expand. After the two expansions are killed, I then went for the main base. It's a pretty easy level if you manage to kill or cripple the computer early on.

Offline lordpalandus

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 10:34:54 AM »
Game difficulty for Colony missions are increased the moment you research weapons. Starship missions, it is consistently hard; if you refuse to research weapons, then when the enemy sends his first wave of 3 microwave lynxes, they'll go straight for your command center and kill you. But, if you delay researching weapons in Colony missions, then Plymouth doesn't come. However, I believe that there are a lot of technologies that are locked off until you research weapons (as they require researching Mobile Weapons Platform), so you can't exactly avoid Plymouth forever.

As for the Starship mission, I tend to rush making about 9 Laser Lynxes, and destroy the enemy's main base before they can even build the majority of their walls or turrets. Once the main base is gone, the player has a lot more breathing room, as the expansion bases will take some time to develop their armies, allowing the player to focus on colony matters and better weapons. Whereas the main base, always sends the bulk of the attacking forces, so getting rid of it first significantly reduces the missions difficulty; also as the volcanic eruption makes it very easy for the main base to funnel your forces down a narrow walled trench with turrets blasting at you, you really will want to kill the base before that happens, otherwise you will suffer insane attrition losses trying to break through it. Hence why I destroy the base before it has a chance to succeed. Simplest way I found was to blow up the common smelter or both it's tokamaks in the early game.
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Offline Hooman

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2018, 06:31:59 AM »
Just a side note, but the computer cheats in that level. I've seen code that gives the computer ore additions. If you destroyed only the smelters, that may not stop the computer. Though it's possible the additions depend on time and difficulty level. I never analysed the routine too closely, so I'm not sure of the exact details.

Offline Crow!

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2018, 03:56:07 PM »
I spent some time looking into the Plymouth Starship colony mission on hard mode.  My guess at how enemy attacks work is as follows:

The game has a script of attacks that it sends your way.  Each successive attack will have a higher technological level, and each tech level attack comes from a certain direction or combination of directions.
When you complete military research, the game skips ahead one technological level in its attacks.
There is a certain minimum size for attacks of each tech level.
On top of that basic attack size, the game counts how many "military" units you have, and adds an extra attacking unit for each one.

Of note, haing 3 spiders reparing stuff in your base will cause the same amount of extra enemy military hardware as having 3 tigers.
Also, and this is how I finally completed the mission: guard posts, scouts, and ConVecs are all NOT counted when deciding how big of an attack to send your way.

So, my strategy revolves around never researching mobile weapons platform at all.  I defeat the first Laser Lynx attack by self destructing Scouts, then for future attacks I just have 8 or so ConVecs on Microwave Guard Post deploying duty.  I build tubes to enhance the posts' attacks, and walls to make sure the attacks go through the guard posts. When a post comes under fire from a unit with longer range than it, I idle it so it takes less damage (Acid Cloud goes down to 1 damage per tick this way), then I literally build a new guard post in range of the attacking unit.

An alternative strategy would be to get mobile weapons platform and like 4 vehicle factories.  You'd wait for the incoming attack to be created, then turn on all the factories and make defenses.  At the end of every attack, you self destruct all combat units you made.  I don't like that strategy because it would probably involve pulling a lot of scientists off of research every time an attack came in.
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Offline Hooman

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2018, 04:37:49 AM »
I like your strategy. I've used both approaches before myself. Personally I prefer the GP strategy, as there is less waste.

I didn't know about reducing damage by idling a GP. I'm going to have to look into that now.

Offline Highlander

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2018, 11:42:59 PM »
Probably you could survive the scenario if you avoided military research and only relied on self destructing scouts, though you'd need 2-4 VF's to have a high enough scout production. I haen't tried this approach though, so I dont know how well it would actually work. I'd also regard it as somewhat cheating, since you are manipulating the game to some extent (Im sure self destructing scouts was not an intended way of passing the scenarion :P )

The other method which you (Crow!) mention, (which will also work on most maps where enemy units enter the map if I remember correctly) is to self destruct your military units and rebuild your forces once the next enemy attack wave enters the map. This keeps enemy attacking units to a minimum, and if you place your VF's strategically on the map, you will have enough time to build defenses and intercept enemy units. But again, this is manipulating the game a bit..


The only way I have succeeded with this scenario on hard is to stall weapon research as long as possible, while building up my base and population. Then, when the first microwave attack begins, blow those lynxes up with scouts and jump start weapons research.
The enemy will enter the map on 6 different locations after that - two groups with 4x Vehicle Factories on each side will probably be able to produce enough units to keep up with the attacks.
EMP + ESG  Tigers is my main choice in weaponry -> set up bottlenecks at locations attacks pass through and the EMP/ESG combo will clear out most of the enemy units. As a backup you might want to keep 1 spaceport armed with an EMP missile + a few supernova or microwave lynx.
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Offline Crow!

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Re: Has Colony Game difficulty changed?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2018, 09:00:07 AM »
Idling structures reduces the damage they take from all sources.  It's mentioned in the game's electronic manual but not its physical one.

Quote
You may choose to deactivate, or Idle, any Active or Disabled structure, generally for the purpose of freeing up resources for use at other structures. (Another reason to Idle a structure is that Idled structures take less damage from disasters and attacks.) All Power, Scientists, and Workers are released...
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 09:05:35 AM by Crow! »
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