Author Topic: General strategies: What are some of the things you do to win fast?  (Read 109 times)

Gigaus

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I've played CW3 for some time now, several years now, and I'm still stumped on how some people are able to get such low times. Especially in the Alpha Sector, where some planets just seem impossible. It was only after finishing Cobrakill::Titan that I just had to shake my head and come here. It literally took me an hour to do, and most people had much, much lower times.

So my question is, what is some good strategies for beating a level quickly?

GoodMorning

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Re: General strategies: What are some of the things you do to win fast?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 08:49:18 am »
While I'm by no means a speedrunner, there is a three-word summary: energy is king.

Advice I've seen from speedrunners:
Build weapons late to get more power up earlier. Build Collectors early even where they will die, because 20 seconds is their repayment time. If you have a deficit, you're delaying something's build. If it gives power, that's bad. If you have more than 1 spare energy (green bar), you should be spending it on another Reactor by now.

The longer you take, the more Creeper you have to pound through.

Don't underestimate AC.

Build only what you need.
A narrative is a lightly-marked path to another reality.

Karsten75

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Re: General strategies: What are some of the things you do to win fast?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 09:21:28 am »
Great advice from GoodMorning, I'd add two things to the list
1. Pay attention to your starting position and
2. Look for weak enemy units that can be taken out quickly before they are engulfed with creeper.
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GoodMorning

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Re: General strategies: What are some of the things you do to win fast?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 09:31:46 am »
I can pass this advice on, I do not pretend that I can use it all that well.

One more, for player-created maps: Some things should be rushed. For instance, placing a Pulse Cannon to hold back Digitalis from a Void crossing can be far cheaper than trying to remove the bridge when it is covered in Creeper. Spore Towers are another favourite, as are Runner Nests - a Power Zone makes a Reactor 10x as effective.
A narrative is a lightly-marked path to another reality.

planetfall

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Re: General strategies: What are some of the things you do to win fast?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 11:17:25 am »
Moving your CN forward is better than building relays. (The cost of building a relay is 2.0 energy per second, the opportunity cost of having the CN in the air is 1.5 energy per second; building relays halves packet travel time, moving the CN a similar distance eliminates it completely)

If the map is such that "speedrunning" can include a forge, ration your aether. Energy efficiency and build speed are very useful. Weapon range and move speed mean your guns spend less time being useless in the air, though range is vastly better. Fire rate is less valuable, as you can just build more weapons (unless constrained by space), but really cranks the DPS you can get out of PZ mortars. Ore efficiency is situational, depending on the number of mines and relative effectiveness of AC on that map. Energy storage isn't useful unless you need lots of beams. AC storage is lame. Packet speed is only useful in situations when relays become necessary (you must attack more fronts than you have CNs, or space constraints prevent moving the CN forward.)

Range upgrades mean you can use the runners mode on pulse cannons with relative impunity - this is better than using snipers in a few ways. Firstly, it is more energy- and space-efficient, as the cannon also damages creeper and digi around the targeted runner. It can also damage multiple runners if they are very close together, and the high-rate low-damage pulse cannon will do less overkill damage (aka wasted energy and reload time).

Don't underestimate the singularity weapon, but don't use it unless you can take something out with it.

When filling new PZs, remember:
-If a PZ will take a nullifier, that is almost always the right thing to build there before putting in another unit.
-If you have a shield prebuilt, it may be better than a mortar depending on circumstances and upgrades.
-PZ relays may let you collector-ify otherwise inaccessible locations, and eliminate the messiness and throughput limitations of guppies.
-PZ beams can stop entire swarms of spores quite cheaply (mostly useful if space available for defense is limited)
-There are niche circumstances where a mere collector is the best choice, or that a cannon will do better than a mortar. Don't discount them.
-A PZ mortar has the DPS of 3 normal mortars - if you have the space and energy for 3 normal mortars, and don't need the bonus range, consider putting a "back" unit there immediately.

When backfilling power zones that can no longer host a mortar or other forward-thing, consider:

-A reactor's effectiveness is multiplied by 10, 10 reactors cost 500 packets and cover 90 cells
-A bertha's effectiveness is multiplied by 6, 6 berthas cost 1500 packets and cover 150 cells
-A strafer's effectiveness is multiplied by 4, 4 strafers cost 200 packets (but there's nothing better for killing digitalis) and cover 36 cells
-A bomber's effectiveness is multiplied by 8, 8 bombers cost 600 packets (but do not gain ammo efficiency like other weapons) and cover 72 cells
-A guppy's effectiveness is multiplied by 2, 2 guppies cost 50 packets and cover 18 cells at base and 18 cells at target, YOU MONSTER.
-Take into account the map's unit limits, if applicable

Suffice it to say, I very rarely do any of this.
"Build a ladder to the moon" is simple as a sentence, but actually doing it is not.

Gigaus

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Re: General strategies: What are some of the things you do to win fast?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2017, 12:32:13 pm »
Good and simple stuff GoodMorning and Karstan, though I will say I know all of that already. I'm more looking at methods of dealing with 'hard' maps like what you'd see in the Alpha Sector.

Good advanced stuff Planetfall, though I'd add in that Bombers/Sprayers are pretty much mandatory for quick advances. Especially if range is a consideration. What you need 3 or 5 cannons for, depending on map configuration, 1 Sprayer can cover and give you breathing room for. And Bombers allow for much more targeted, burst approaches when sustaining ore/AC isn't an option.

And Shield tends to outweigh Mortar in PZs when there's a heavy 'creeper wall'. Morter can clear anything below 10 layers of creeper easily, but above that and you'll need to get a Shield going so it's not overwhelmed.
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Again, I'm looking for stuff to get close to sub 10 minute times, or more on difficult maps. Something that might not be blatantly obvious or involves 'spam 15 units' basically. Again, I bring up Cobrakill::Titan, in Alpha Sector. There's people with sub 10, even sub 30 times. I know people do cheat in this game, but 100+ people can't all be cheating, and have to be doing something right. And it makes me question 'what?'