Satellite Recon

Tips, Tricks and Pearls of Wisdom

Satellite Recon

Postby Keypunch » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:06 pm

One of the first things I do, when a new game has been started, is to inspect the map.

Various specials can be recognized on the map. And I don't mean just towns and cities, which are obvious, but unique tiles. Stuff like the Great Berm, The Rift, Warrens, Highway of Death, Crashed Factory Ship, and others can be recognized from the sky.

Knowing what to look for can be very strategically advantageous.

I plan to keep a list here, making screenshots and detail the bonuses these places provide. Any help is welcome, though, since I'll probably won't have much time until the weekend to actually play. Let alone remember to take notes.

[edit]
I've got 7 unique tiles screenshotted, but only 6 of them identified. I'm still working to get the pictures uploaded somewhere convenient.
So far, the locations I've identified are:
The Freeway of Death
The Warrens
The Alien Junkyard
The Great Berm
Black Rock Mesa
Crashed Factory Pod

[edit]
I've put what I've got so far in a Flickr Photostream.
Last edited by Keypunch on Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby greymalkin » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:17 pm

Black Mesa, the genetics lab, can also be visible based on terrain.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby Severian » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:23 am

In all honesty, I wish this were not the case. This is another example of how the humans in AE have an advantage over the AI's from the get-go. Not only are we smarter and can juggle more variables, but we also have advanced information on strategic targets on the map. My least favorite manifestation of this is that the human player basically "knows" the general location of the AI HQ's from the beginning of the game, since starting locations don't vary much. Do the AI's "know" that in a 2-player game, the human opponent's HQ is going to be located on the opposite end of the map? I assume not, and I assume that the AI's can't recognize strategic locations from terrain graphics. Like others, I am fairly sensitive to the possibility of AI-cheating and have been thoroughly impressed by Vic's dedication to make play fair-and-square (along with building in some options to allow players to operate under a handicap, if they so chose). But this strikes me as even worse than AI-cheating, as the last thing our cortex needs is another bootstrap to climb on.

I see 2 possible solutions:
1. Make all terrain blank at the beginning of the game. Recon reveals terrain, much as it reveals armies and specials.
2. Provide the AI with algorithms that allow it to focus on strategic targets, like towns/cities/etc., based on terrain features, much like we do.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby Ian » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:06 am

That seems fair. It'd also be interesting if the base locations did vary at the start. It'd definitely throw a spanner in the works if you hadn't reconned properly, sent an army off to fight the Fist and then realised the enemy base is at the other end of your side of the map and you had to pull back and re-jig your armies.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby Keypunch » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:45 am

Do the AI's "know" that in a 2-player game, the human opponent's HQ is going to be located on the opposite end of the map?

This one I exploited mercilessly in the demo version :-). Sending an agent immediately up North and sweeping that 2-tile wide strip of the northern edge of the map.

1. Make all terrain blank at the beginning of the game. Recon reveals terrain, much as it reveals armies and specials.


Movement cost would make that problematic. It would work better if unique tiles are simply covered with equivalent-like same-movement tiles.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby Vide » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:08 pm

I've actually done worse than this, although it's a gamble. By building a terrain tile "bridge" to a probable start location of an AI, you can take one out on the first turn if you're lucky... or enjoy an incredibly brief game if you're not.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby greymalkin » Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:40 am

Canyon Temple also has a different tile.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby Keypunch » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:24 am

That must be #7 then.

[edit]
What I've got, I've put in a Flickr Photostream.
Should be helpful enough for newbies.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby DemonHunter » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:14 pm

The unidentified thing in the album is the Jinga Tower (The Alien Junkyard).
Facility Outpost, 1/2/1 3HP, collects 1M 1T 1E, Supply, Barracks, x4 Howlers defending the facility. ;)

Greetings from Spain.
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Re: Satellite Recon

Postby Stercus » Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:31 am

Vide wrote:I've actually done worse than this, although it's a gamble. By building a terrain tile "bridge" to a probable start location of an AI, you can take one out on the first turn if you're lucky... or enjoy an incredibly brief game if you're not.


I tried this after I read it.

Didn't help...
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