EDITED TO ADD THIS FAIR WARNING: It appears that Sins playbacks (and save games because they are related) are unreliable or at least very sensitive to goodness-knows-what. Basically, Sins playback can internally desync and can show two different things on two different playbacks of the same recording. Apparently, that happened a lot the first time I watched the first recording posted here. For example, when I watched it a second time, HuyMac wasn't the dummy I saw the first time around, e.g. he did upgrade his Sovas with missile batteries and fighters as soon as he produced them or at least that's what I saw on a 2nd playback. And after beating off Sleeper's (50/50's) attack he immediately pursued him, which seems far more plausible; the first time I watched this he appeared to do nothing for some 20 minutes thereafter. And since I was tracking down the Advent corvette guns bug when I discovered this, I also did a fairly comprehensive hardware check on my game box, including 8 hours of memtest overnight and then two hours of SSD data integrity test while also keeping the CPU loaded at 100 and finally ran a "sfc /scannow" for any Windows issues. Computer still works with no errors in any of these.
Sins, even re-installed [now the non-beta 1.82], seems pretty buggy though... If the playback desyncs, the out of sync ships keep going under a limited form of AI. E.g. if there's something in their system, they attack. Deaths and shots are recomputed when playback is played, so if you have more/fewer ships than the game playback diverges into an alternate reality and keeps going ever deeper into it. The same thing happens with playbacks recorded with the dev exe if you use any dev features basically. A kill (or spawn) with the dev interface for example isn't recorded in the playback, so the ship(s) keep shooting or just don't exist, so a playback affected by this can show a completely different result than what you saw did. The workaround for this in the dev exe is a save-load cycle, but you can't do that during playback. I ran into the latter set of issued in my experiments for the Orky guide. For example, I wanted to cut down the initial number of attackers in one of my Orky guide tests from 62 to 50, but I forgot to save&reload after killing 12 Disciples with a dev command, so while I did the fight with 50, in the playback I still got 62 of them and they all attacked, so the recorded result was completely different! Alas, as conceived, the Sins playback system isn't' anything like (say) MPEG playback, where a corrupted frame is eventually fixed by later good ones. In Sins a corrupted/bugged event in playback has good chances of amplifying itself and having a major impact everything you see thereafter; there are basically no key frames (I-frames in MPEG-speak) or checkpoints in the playback except the initial one (which is basically a save game), and apparently there's no mechanism to check for corruption/desync during playback... So, it's entirely possible you're going to see something else when you play those recordings. Basically, whenever I said that someone didn't do something obvious or acted very silly for a human, it's entirely possible that's just a recording playback bug/artifact.
Below is the original post...
I always hold off on upgrading the lvl 1 ability for the marza until I make contact with the enemy and evaluate the situation accordingly.
Yeah, in general there's no downside to picking abilities as late as possible/needed.
Im pretty sure my marza blew up that roid...
The first time around (around 6:15), yes it died to your Mazra. But oloo lost it a second time (around 13:30), after he had taken it back, this time to--literally--nothing. This was right after you (Hydraling=sinkillr, I assume) paused the game and resumed it. Probably some desync issue or something like that.
Further comments after watching the midgame (till the 30 minute mark): oloo made some serious mistakes now. He lost the desert planet to the militia by failing to kill the last krosov with his cap. His attack on sinkillr with two Jaruns wasn't exactly skilled. He did try to distract sinkillr with one Jarun while trying to slip by with another to sinkllr's homeworld. But this was pretty cheesy and most non-noobs would hardly fall for it. A much more plausible attack would have been to use his two Ruiners (which were at the edge of oloo's asteroid) in support of the 2nd Jarun for an attack on the moon itself. Basically, distract with one Jarun, lay mines with both Ruiners while deploying the 2nd Jarun might have worked, although against 34 Cobalts the odds were slim except for some very lucky mine hits on a cluster of Cobalts.
Oh, I should have watched one more minute. oloo did send two Ruiners and one more Jarun to sinkillr's howmeworld, but in a completely piecemeal/uncoordinated fashion. This couldn't have worked even against an AI player. And oloo lost his lonely capital ship one minute later.
I've also watched the beginning of the fight between Matz[estinkt] and Higgy. When Matz warped in to Higgy's moon first I thought he was his ally... because he let his LFs kill the militia Krosov, which was bombing the planet. The LOL moment happened when his capital ship started bombing the planet immediately after the Krosov died. (In a similar situation sinkillr did not make that mistake.) Higgy also made a mistake when he let his Junra Fabricator (constructor frigate) move under the nose of the capital ship bombarding the moon, which happily used its guns to the fullest on it. Then Matz made another fairly serious mistake by letting his LFs shoot at one missile platform (turret), while his cap ship fired at the other one. Since these structures don't have shields, it makes no practical sense not to focus fire on one at a time. (The result was that by 9:15 both turrets were under half health, but were both still in action.) When the moon was recaptured by Higgy's Egg, he got a bonus constructor and immediately started building two more turrets. Instead of targeting these constructors, Matz kept shooting at the existing turrets. Pretty much a how-not-to-attack-a-planet tutorial. Also, the OP criticized Higgy for building assailants (LRFs), but given that Higgy was in combat for his planets almost right from the bat, it made sens to pump out some of these; he got four out shooting at back of Matz's 8 LFs by the 9 minute mark, which wasn't really a bad call at this point. Higgy did make a mistake by not using his level-2 abiltiy on the Egg to buy a nanodisassembler level. He had enough AM to use it and recolonize his moon at will. It would have made a fair bit of difference in that fight. Also, I would have targeted the LFs with the Egg, but I guess the enemy's battleship looked a lot more nasty. Anyway, Matz didn't know when to retreat (non-Kortul level-1 cap ship vs. 4 turrets?) and lost his Radiance. Matz's second wave of 9 LFs was met by 10 Assailants plus a lvl-3 Egg (now correctly armed with lvl-2 nanodisassembler) with rather predictable results. Again, you can't really criticize Higgy for sticking with Assailants at this point, although by the 14-minute mark Higgy's scout at the Plasma Storm (connecting his moon to Matz's homeworld) did see corvettes starting to trickle in. (And Higgy would have gotten a lot more mileage out of that scout had he plotted a circular path for it.)
Higgy's mistake around the 16-minute mark is that failed to build any repair platforms or SBs on his moon; he chose to put the money in a repair platform at his homeworld, probably planning to retreat damaged ships there, but I don't expect that work well against human players. By now he was fighting only against corvettes... Although Matz had 13 more LFs parked at the plasma storm, he wisely didn't feed any more to Higgy's Assailants. What's odd is that by this point in the game, Matz still hadn't colonized the moon to his rear, adjacent to his homeworld. His econ was hurting for metal (4K credits and 50 metal at one point), so he should have taken those two 90%-worthy mexes. Higgy also made an econ mistake in that he didn't try to take any of the two volcanic planets adjacent to his hw. Had he deployed a SB (or another capital ship, a level-1 Kortul would have been ok) at the moon, he would have been able to redeploy his Egg, which alone would have taken any of these volcanic planets with ease. Instead Higgy made the questionable decision of starting to build LFs, which are very inefficient from a damage-per-fleet supply perspective, and although ok, not great vs. corvettes. Even worse, Higgy forgot to build any extractors at his fiercely defende moon, even though the corvettes left his Junra constructors unharmed. So he defended a big a fairly small (30) population at moon all this time... Makes you wonder what the big fight was about... He finally remembered to build those in the 18th minute of the game.
Around 21-minutes in the game, Higgy decided to capture the neutrals at the plasma storm. His attack was fairly suboptimal. He only jumped one scout in, when he should have jumped at least two (so he could have claimed both extractors in parallel). He also failed to move the scout once jumped in. The opposition were LFs, which would have had to either turn chasing the scout(s) while being pummeled by the rest of Higgy's fleet or stand and fight and let the scouts take the extractors. Higgy also had pretty bad timing with his attack in that he began before his Skira carrier could join this fight and he didn't commit his Assailants, even when he saw that the opposition was 90% LFs here. Also a SB would have been great to start deploying at the plasma storm during this fight. And speaking of SBs, Matz could have deployed his own by now here, in-between the extractors. One of the few things that immobile SBs do defend well are those indestructible extractors. Anyway, Higgy's failed attack on the plasma storm was a textbook example why you should never attack as Vasari without the simultaneous threat of building a SB somewhere in enemy territory; the Vasari fleet is simply too inefficient per fleet supply unit to compete otherwise. It appears that Higgy gave up on the game around the 30-minute mark. He withdrew both his capital ships to his homeworld and just sat there. Actually, a couple of minutes later, he attacked a volcanic with both his caps and a bunch of frigates, while leaving his moon undefended by any fleet. Not even the AI is that inefficient.
By the way, I have no idea why the OP thinks that Matz thought "all hope is lost". Matz was actually winning his fight at the moon at the point that he quit, but for some reason didn't commit his reserves, which were appreciable (30 vettes and 20 LFs). He also had plenty of stockpiled credis (13K) and 128 unused fleet supply. Maybe he got bored of Higgy's non-combat. Given his spare resources, he could have easily researched starfish and razed that moon's defenses earlier. I'm guessing some real life stuff got in the way, as he gave the impression of being afk for the last 15 minutes of the game or so. In particular, he didn't even try to move his fleet (at the moon) past the turrets to take out the two extractors which were outside the range of the turrets. His fleet had all the appearance of being purely AI controlled for the last 10-15 minutes of the game.
o'( )'o, which I'll call MrAngry from now on (see his full Unicode sig why so) and Fallen had a rather boring match. Fallen went for mothership (suicide spot) and was caught wiht pants down on his rear roid, which was connected to MrAngry's rear roid. MrAngry correctly guess which way to send his battleship and fleet, while Fallen's mothership was clearing out a volcanic, after having claimed two roids while a moon was taken by Fallen's single colony ship, which ammounts to a good start, except for not scouting well, despite having 5 scouts. MrAngry did a textbook attack on an undefended roid, taking out the constructor with his fleet while his Radiance battleship started bombing the planet and shooting at an extractor close by at the same time. Fallen reacted by sending everything back and pumping out more LFs. MrAngry inflicted just about the right amount of damage by wiping out two extractors, but retreated when the odds became even in term of LFs. Strangely, Fallen chose to pursue him, but sent only his mothership and a small proportion of his frigates. I don't know what Fallen was thinking at this point, but he failed to even hint to a retreat when the odds became seriously stacked against him, with MrAngry ammassing 20+ LFs against the mothership (never mind the Radiance). Pretty lame loss of a mothership there. Fallen also proved one of the least skilled players in his subsequent lame attempts to harass that roid (if that's what he was doing), kamikazeing ship after ship in a line for basically the next 10 minutes. (He gave the impression he doesn't even know you can move ships inside a grav well by right clicking.) MrAngry's situational awareness wasn't great either. He did no scouting of Fallen's planets, so he had no idea that Fallen's moon (connected to his volcanic) was undefended. So he turned his BB back for no discernible reason. He remedied this mistake around the 28-minute mark and finally attacked Fallen's moon. (These two guys did very little during the whole game, I could watch their duel at 8x speed, without losing much.) MrAngry also colonized a moon past his volcanic with a single colony ship, which wasn't a bad econ move, except he was probably too busy watching his fleet pummel the undefended moon of FAllen and so he forgot to built a turret at his own moon and so he lost it to the militia Krosov. Strangely enough, MrAngry pulled back before finishing off Fallen's moon, even though no enemy was atacking him anywhere. I guess that's what no scouting does; you become very afraid of potential attacks. Whatever the reason, from this point on, MrAngry played like those annoying and clueless AIs do, moving his capital ship back and forth between Fallen's. I'm not sure if there's was some masterful ruse here, but I wouldn't rate this as skilled. Eventually, he launched a 60-LF attack on that moon again, but by this time Fallen had ammassed a comparable number of ships at his hw, which oddly enough he did not commit to defense. The game had ended by then.