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Author Topic: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?  (Read 6741 times)

Ghoti

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The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« on: February 20, 2012, 08:38:03 PM »

Any tips? Cause these missions are I-Wanna-Be-The-Guy no deaths hard.

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MidnightSun

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 09:20:26 PM »

The Last Hurrah: Two main points to try,
1.- Send out your fighters/interceptor craft first, to cap as many points as quickly as possible, and only then send your capital ship in.
2.- When piloting your capital ship, watch for the bombers and make sure to wipe out the entire wing when they come in close, so they can't refit and come back again. See tips here: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=1021.msg10002#msg10002

Predator or Prey:
1.- Keep your group together. You need all the firepower you can get, and that means you need to prevent your fighters from charging ahead.
2.- Have your group focus on one fighter wing at a time: remember, if you destroy every single fighter in a wing, they won't come back.
3.- When the main threats (the several torpedo wings) are gone, charge at the Astral with the Dominator and side strafe to avoid its torpedoes.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 09:25:00 PM by MidnightSun »
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Ghoti

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 11:04:54 PM »

welp. I know all this.

Can you beat these missions now? Because I've more or less executed those strategies and usually end up getting slaughtered. I'm operating under the belief that right now some AI changes have happened and made these missions impossible.  :'(
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MidnightSun

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 11:06:21 PM »

welp. I know all this.

Can you beat these missions now? Because I've more or less executed those strategies and usually end up getting slaughtered. I'm operating under the belief that right now some AI changes have happened and made these missions impossible.  :'(

True, I ended up with 80%+ scores on both of these before 0.50, and since then, the fighters have gotten much better at flanking. I'll give at least one of them a go right now and we'll see.

EDIT: Okay, just played The Last Hurrah, applying the same strategies. Got a 69%, but that's entirely because of the AI's new tendency to retreat once things aren't going well. I didn't lose a single ship or fighter wing.

Order of deployment:
1) Thunders + 1 x Gladius
2) Carrier + flagship
3) Other Gladius, Warthogs
4) Hammerhead
5) Sunder destroyer

Was planning to deploy my heavier ships at the end to mop up, but they all ran away by then. My fighter wings chased down two of the Dominators, but the (nearly dead!) Onslaught managed to slip past since it was on the opposite side of the map as my flagship.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 11:25:42 PM by MidnightSun »
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MidnightSun

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 11:41:22 PM »

Okay, after trying Predator or Prey five or so times, I can say it's pretty darned near impossible, if it isn't. The main problem is that turrets and engines can now be disabled. So, while my Dominator is busy homing in on the Astral, the Wasps will dart in and out and disable my engine and my Reaper launchers, which prevent me from knocking down the Astral's shield.

And that's if you can even get close to the Astral. The best way is to sit tight with a Defend order right at the spawn, and keep your forces together as best as possible to weather the fighters until the Astral comes blundering down, to minimize the travel distance.

I'm going to give it a few more tries before I officially call it quits on Predator or Prey  ;)

EDIT: Yeah, no go. Best I've gotten is to get the Astral down to a bit less than half health. But that was kind of luck, since the genius Omen decided to eat a Hurricane volley for me (and die).
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 12:00:36 AM by MidnightSun »
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Ghoti

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 05:01:28 AM »

Ok. I'm willing to accept that I might just suck at the Last Hurrah. Thanks for the deployment order I'll give that a wing.
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Ghoti

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 08:31:37 PM »

I'm no longer willing to accept I suck at last hurrah.

Video or it didn't happen.
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MidnightSun

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2012, 09:09:07 PM »

Video or it didn't happen.

Sigh. No trust?  :D

I'll see what I can do, but I'm swamped with schoolwork for the next week. Perhaps next weekend, I'll post a video of a run-through.
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Reapy

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 09:05:38 AM »

I'm still sorta new to the game, and was trying both these missions out this weekend. My experience is somewhat similar to MidnightSun's. I was able to get last hurrah down, had a pretty bad score, but won it.

I can't remember everything I did, but the key as he said was to put all the thunders out first and set cap orders on most of the close points.  I kept trying to get the fighters out, and then next the carrier.

I sent the carrier and fire support off to the right and kept them rallied together behind the lines. I tried to keep my forces mostly together on the right and pick off AI stragglers and keep my fighters/ships away from their main body.

I waited a while before I put out the flag ship, and I hit U to let the AI steer it and launch LRM's at my fire support rally while I was lording over the tactical map.

I think that was mostly it, I just tried to keep my fleet together, and get my ships to focus on getting to empty cap points whenever possible and doing my best to get the whole fleet out there.


For predator or prey I tried it a bunch of times but just felt like I lacked the piloting skills to do what needed doing to win that game. I think really my biggest problem was dealing with the fighter wings. I just couldn't contain them and keep myself alive to do anything.
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harrumph

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2012, 04:43:58 PM »

I've beaten Predator or Prey twice in 0.5a, first in a totally Pyrrhic victory where I lost every ship but the Shogun, and then in a slightly less abysmal one where my carrier and a Broadsword wing also survived. I honestly think, though, that (no offense, Alex) it's the worst-designed mission in the game. There's little the player can do to influence the outcome of the initial fight, so it's mostly down to luck. Deploy your cruiser first, then wait a beat and deploy the rest of your ships (if you deploy all at the outset, you come in behind the Condor and will probably lose a fighter wing or two before you even have a chance to fire your guns). Order an assault on the closest objective (keeping all your ships together until you've knocked out at least some of their bombers and frigates really is essential), set up a carrier group rally point farther back, and hope for the best.

Can't remember what I did in Last Hurrah that worked so well, though, sorry. And Dire Straits, yikes. Has anybody beaten that in 0.5a? In a half-dozen tries, I haven't even gotten ONE civilian ship safely off the map.
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Iscariot

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 07:14:21 PM »

My standing score for Last Hurrah is 95%, although I admit that I scored that during the 0.35a release, and it's since gotten MUCH MUCH harder.

The most important thing to know about Last Hurrah is that you need to know when to abandon objectives. The enemy outnumbers you so badly, and will zone you out so quickly that local superiority is extremely important to maintain. In Starfarer, the way to draw your fleet together is to eliminate the number of objectives present. The other important thing to know is that you have three of those LRM platform thingies, and you can actually keep them back the way the enemy keeps back their Condors and have them do basically the same role that those things do sans refreshing fighters. It's useful when you want to push those Dominators, or the Onslaught, around.

Finally, know when to stop frontloading fighters to get points and start bringing in cruisers. You'll need your eagle and two support cruisers if you want to have any hope against three freaking Dominators and an Onslaught.
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The idea is that the various tech levels represent different - not "better" - ways to do things.

MidnightSun

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2012, 07:15:23 PM »

Well, in any case, here's the requested proof of The Last Hurrah. I don't have time to do a video, but hopefully you trust me enough to think that I don't spend my days editing screenshots. Click the links, since this forum doesn't seem to like resized thumbnails.

http://i.imgur.com/fGuWm.png
http://i.imgur.com/mdu4e.png

Lost my Hammerhead and a wing this time, so it wasn't as "clean" as before, but that's because I played much more aggressively and didn't want the enemy to retreat.

EDIT: In general, I think your strategy is good, Iscariot. But, I've been playing it differently: in both my runs, I haven't deployed a single LRM ship (I feel they're redundant, since you have LRMs on your Conquest, and the carrier has some too), and only in the second game I've actually deployed one cruiser (and I've never used the Eagle).

Instead, I focus on maximizing fighter superiority, since the Thunder, Gladius, and Warthog fighters will happily neutralize anything smaller than a Dominator, and can even stand against an Enforcer if they all mob them.

That way, since I have a fighter advantage, I can control all the points without giving a single one up to the enemy, thus forcing them to deploy ships slowly. By then, I have my heavy hitters (including my flagship) at their doorstep, and it's simple mopup work. A Dominator besieged by 4 fighter wings doesn't stand a chance against 4 Reapers heading towards it.

And Dire Straits, yikes. Has anybody beaten that in 0.5a? In a half-dozen tries, I haven't even gotten ONE civilian ship safely off the map.

I actually couldn't beat it in 0.35, but I did manage to pull off a victory in 0.5a. The key is to plan out the battle from the beginning, and keep the enemy busy in as small of a location as possible, and then retreat your civilian ships in straight lines down the areas where there's no battle happening.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 07:22:37 PM by MidnightSun »
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Ghoti

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 06:35:00 PM »

well ok sure. I have no clue HOW you did it. I die horribly, consistently, every time. I'm having trouble believing were using the same game. Check your mods.
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Iscariot

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 06:58:51 PM »

EDIT: In general, I think your strategy is good, Iscariot. But, I've been playing it differently: in both my runs, I haven't deployed a single LRM ship (I feel they're redundant, since you have LRMs on your Conquest, and the carrier has some too), and only in the second game I've actually deployed one cruiser (and I've never used the Eagle).

Instead, I focus on maximizing fighter superiority, since the Thunder, Gladius, and Warthog fighters will happily neutralize anything smaller than a Dominator, and can even stand against an Enforcer if they all mob them.

That way, since I have a fighter advantage, I can control all the points without giving a single one up to the enemy, thus forcing them to deploy ships slowly. By then, I have my heavy hitters (including my flagship) at their doorstep, and it's simple mopup work. A Dominator besieged by 4 fighter wings doesn't stand a chance against 4 Reapers heading towards it.

I frontload fighters early on as well, but I'm confused as to how you manage to maintain fighter superiority, given how badly you're outnumbered by them. They spread lashers and fighter wings to almost the entire map, it's rather difficult to zone them out in my experience. It's true that thunders,  gladius's, and warthogs can mess up Talons and Lashers, but fast enough to not give up any points?

Anyway, the LRM thing is definitely a tertiary thing to do. It's just something to think about if you wind up deploying them, since they really kind of suck when pressed. Support auxiliaries, that's how you play 'em.
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Alex

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Re: The Last Hurrah and Predator or Prey?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 07:18:04 PM »

Hi guys - wanted to mention a couple of things.

One, things are changing rapidly, and balancing a mission well takes a lot of playtesting - so, yeah, the actual difficulty is going all over the place. AI changes in particular have a huge impact.

Two, I tried Predator or Prey? a couple of times (in the same build that you all have). Lost the first few times pretty badly, but then got the hang of it and rattled off a few wins in a row. Now, this might not be the only winning strategy, but what I've found that works is an assault on the nearby nav buoy, and a "Rally Carrier Group" *in front of it* and off to the side a bit. The Condor takes a lot off the heat off you - the bombers tend to go after it, and so do the fighters, and it absorbs a few MIRV volleys for you, too.

You can fairly easily mop up the bombers (though not the Wasps), then lay a course for the Astral - by following where the MIRVs come from, since you won't see it on the map. Make sure to coast in - that way, if your engines do flame out, it won't matter (for me, the flameouts weren't a problem - the Condor + your assorted light craft hold out until you're about halfway there). Then it's just a question of getting into point-blank range so that your Light MGs can take out the shields, and firing 3 torpedoes - enough for the kill.

After that, the remaining fighters and the Omen will harass you for a while, you'll kill most of them simply using autofire, and they'll retreat. Not exactly a clean win, since what you're left with is a half-dead Dominator, but it seemed a pretty reliable way to do it.


Now, all that said, the new in-dev AI is a lot meaner, and the Astral won't be as easy to get to. But there are other changes, too, so how that shakes out remains to be seen.
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