Considering how massed reclamation beams projected by engineers can near instantly convert almost anything (forests, skyscraper sized boulders, buildings large enough to hold small towns within them, almost any kind of mobile or stationary fighting unit) into stored mass, I do believe that with a hundred or so engineers I could tunnel a few hundreds of miles into the crust of a world rendering myself immune to everything but Exterminatus-level weaponry or other planet crackers.
Base construction strategy
- Find a geologically dead world, relatively out of the way to prevent suspicion, about the size of Earth’s moon or larger. Land an ACU team there in secrecy.
- Get a legion of engineers up and running on the surface and use them to drill through the crust of the planet by reclamation, building mass storage buildings down the tunnel walls to prevent all that reclaimed mass going to waste.
- Hollow the planet out like Swiss cheese (again by reclamation) and build up a huge industrial and military fortress inside of it using the reclaimed mass, protected by stealth equipment.
- Reclaim everything left on the surface and seal the tunnel through the crust, leaving no evidence of my presence on the planet’s surface. Build several smaller, concealed tunnels that will allow spacecraft to pass from the base to the surface and into space.
- Build a Quantum Gate within the base, and teleport the ACU team through to another planet fitting the requirements.
- Rinse and repeat until I have several dozen or even several hundred mothballed bases buried deep within planetoids, ready for action whenever necessary.
I now have a whole network of interconnected well-hidden planetary bases.
- Gate from base to base and assume control over the industrial capability of each base as needed.
- Use the bases to build and deploy squadrons of FTL-equipped robotic spacecraft - some on suicide missions to distract the enemy, some to make hit-and-run attacks against isolated enemy worlds and space stations, some to disrupt enemy supply lines with surprise raids on fuel depots and such. All forces have orders to outright destroy themselves and any technology on board once the mission is complete or if they are crippled; this means that 1. They don't return to my bases and give away their location if pursued, and 2. They leave no technology to be captured by the enemy.
- If one base comes under attack I can gate to another base, control the attacked base by remote control, battle the enemy as long as I like, bloody them a bit, then rig everything to blow when I get bored, making it look like that was my only base by destroying the Quantum Gate after I gate out and laying some false evidence.
- By the time they find another of my bases I could have easily created dozens more.
All my bases are jointly-built structures inside fair-sized planetoids, each with several hundred ACUs' worth of structures and units per base, protected from enemy sensors by specially-designed stealth kit that hides the hollow parts of the planet and the large number of metal constructs within, connected by Quantum Gates. When an ACU gates in they assume command of an inactive part of the base and from there bring the whole thing online for whatever purpose is required.
My ACU teams could easily set up a system like this (after some predictable arguments and a few fratricidal conflicts between the Aeons) and render my armies hidden to outside interference in only a few days’ work. By the system described in the Battle Strategy section I can break an enemy supply line easily, increasing the isolation of many of their planets and thus allowing me to more easily conquer those worlds and strip them bare of resources for further conquest.
At any point, if I wished to destroy a planet, I could find a barren asteroid in the same system as that planet, build some engines on it and fire it at any planet I want to destroy, so heavily-protected fortress worlds can just be hit with planet-buster asteroid missiles meaning that I don't have to fight long sieges for them.
Universes this could work on
- SupCom itself (given prep time)
- SupCom 2 (obviously)
- Star Trek
- Star Wars
- StarCraft (given prep time)
- Warhammer 40K (given prep time)
- Keith Laumer’s Bolos (given prep time)
Universes this wouldn't work on because they're too OP even for SupCom
- Total Annihilation
- Culture series*
- Xeelee Sequence
- Manifold series
- “Real life” (because “real life” has Chuck Norris)
- Metal-music-verse (because the metal-music-verse has the ghosts of Cliff Burton and Jimi Hendrix)
- Strike Legion
- Doctor Who
*I found a calculation which estimated QAI to be considerably more powerful than a Culture Mind, suggesting that the Cybrans could maybe out-think the Culture and thus have superior tactics, and since Cybrans are the best at stealing or reverse-engineering tech they could end up with Culture technology sooner or later. As such this one is up for debate.
The only disadvantage of this strategy is that I'd need to invent some method of FTL other than Quantum Gates to use on the starships I deploy.