Seeing as there are no takers, I’ll just use the thread to document my own findings for others. So here goes:
Empire Build - 712K (Vreely)
Imperial Legion Cruiser x6
- Cruiser Laser
- Multiple Warhead Missiles x3
- Cruiser Defense Laser
- EMP Cannon
- Guidance Scrambler Beam
- Reflective Shield
- Fast Recharge Shield x4
- Ultra Heavy Armor
- Nanobot Repair System
- Power Generator III x2
- Crew Module II
Imperial Weapons Platform x1
- Anti-Fighter Missile Launcher x3
- Frigate Tractor Beam
- Shield Generator II x3
- Frigate Armor III x3
- Crew Module II
- Power Generator II
Cruisers in a tight overlapping vertically aligned 6-pack.
Frigate placed behind the back-center Cruiser
The entire formation 2 grid spots up from the SW corner
No special orders, only attack fighters for frigate. Basic three orders for cruisers with priority on frigates first, then cruisers, then fighters.
Notes: SW corner cruiser died around 40K due to shock wave damage form enemy ships, so I thought the deployment was doomed. The remaining 5 cruisers went the distance. Damage to all of them was pretty much spread across the board. The frigate lasted until at least 660K (the last time I checked it before finish). The AA-frigate was invaluable. I also found that not using co-op or retaliate seemed to work best for choosing targets to spread the EMP.
First collecting some info on the waves. This can get more detail, but I’ll start here with my notes. I see six primary waves.
- 3 short range cruisers, 2 escorting frigates (at least one with ECM), 2 squadrons of dog fighter escorts. Spawn in East
- Rocket Cruiser, 2 escorting frigates. Spawn in SW.
- 2 fat fighter squadrons from center, 3 plasma cruisers from North
- Rocket Cruiser w/ painter beam from NW corner, Missile Cruiser from SE corner, Missile Frigate from NE corner, Frigate from SE corner (nor sure of payload)
- 2 dogfighter squadrons from center, 3 missile cruisers from east, 1 laser cruiser with painter beam from east, 2 (maybe 3) escort frigates
- 4 plasma cruisers and 2 frigates all from the south; 2 dogfighter squadrons (I think) from SW
It then repeats except the escort dog fighter squadrons from wave 1 become attack squadrons.
To get a high score, I figure there needs to be a long-term survival strategy for each of these waves. Here are some general principals I am using that are nothing new, just recorded here:
- Fighters are not a long term solution. Even with Carrier Bays they will die sooner rather than later, so they are not a viable long term defense against fighter waves.
- For the same reason, frigates are also not a long term solution, although I am experimenting with keeping some around as a throw in.
- Anti-fighter solution must be viable with your cruiser pack.
- Engines – you don’t need them. Even with formation order, I can’t seem to keep ships in formation. Let them come to you. This means you need to use at least 1 MWM to chase off wave 5.
- I agree w/ the following insight from the Veiled Nebula Thread. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. So I am working to identify why my first ship falls, then try to mitigate it.
- I am using a bunch formation. It seems too valuable to have concentrated fire, even though it means I damage myself when a ship drops.
Question: When an enemy ship spawns and explodes on top of you, do you take damage?
Answer from Ramcat: Yes.
You don’t have to play too long to find the weak points:
- Plasma Spam
- Missile Spam
First thing I did after reading all the helpful threads on this forum was to get my armor to at least 8. This will reflect all but the critical laser hits. This is crucial, and cannot be compromised I think.
Secondly, You need to deal with the critical hits. There are 2 main vehicles I am trying to employ:
- Nanobot repair – This defines the breaking point for the scenario. When a cruiser runs out of repair, the armor quickly goes, and the cruiser is dead on the next wave of fighters, 2 if you are lucky. When my first cruiser drops, I am typically within 20-30K of death.
- Limit their shots – Reduce the number of critical hits they give you by cleaning them up quicker so you use less repair. This means more anti-fighter, the better. Of course, this has an opportunity cost. I have been experimenting with a good load for this and haven’t landed on something I like for sure.
Primarily I have tried combinations of tractor beams, cruiser defense lasers, and AA missile frigates. I do not know what the sweet spot here is, but I am thinking that tractor beams are not worth it. Keeping frigates alive is tricky, but with my current build I have cash for 6 cruisers, then can throw in a couple of AA frigates. One game for some reason, one was completely left alone all the way up to about 130K… I cannot seem to repeat that. I have found that if you limit the weaponry, they are not a target, except by some random chance of a fighter deciding to hit it. I tuck both of them behind my 6-pack of cruisers in the bottom left side of the screen. Eventually they die however, and typically before 50K.
Plasma Spam Defense:
I am doing a couple things to handle these. First of all, Wave 6 comes on the south border. I am currently doing my deploy placement in SW corner, and so often have the ability to kill these quickly before they really get going. Wave 3 is a bigger problem for me, and is turning out to be the wave I take the most damage, however its mostly due to the fighters.
Secondly, I am playing Empire for their shield bonus, and taking the hull with 16% shield boost. I load 1 reflective shield (requirement to repel the Cruiser Proton Beam), and then 4 other fast recharge shields. Combined with an EMP laser on each of my cruisers this keeps me alive through the plasma frigates. If I strip off the ECM, then they sometimes get a nice focused bunch to take down a shield battery before recharge (usually the reflective shield), and then I am quickly doomed. If I even turn one of my fast recharge shields into a multi-phase, then the same thing occurs. So, I have pretty much landed on needing these 5 shields, and an EMP.
Update: The Reflective shield is not needed, and even 7 fast recharge shields cannot handle focused plasma fire from 3 cruisers. This is clearly the biggest problem area for the scneario.
I think there is definitely room for improvement here as I am investing a lot to block these plasma cruisers. Please add your ideas.
Missile Spam Defense:
Heavy shields here are mostly good enough. However I found that mostly does not cut it. Every once in awhile a nice focused burst would get through the shields and hurt my armor. To combat this, I added a scrambler. Simple enough.
I am using 6 cruisers. I think with cost optimization you can get 7, but I would rather have 6 to my liking instead of 7 weaker ones, especially since the 7th has to stick out of the 6-pack and is vulnerable. I am using Empire for now mostly due to the fact that not many Empire scores on the list, and I like the shield bonus for the plasma defense.
I keep playing around with this, but here are some must have modules for me now:
- At least 1 Nanobot repair. Have to repair fighter critical hits.
- At least 1 UltraHeavy armor. Getting to 8 armor defense is required.
- At least 1 Multi-Warhead Missile. Need to deal with Wave 5.
- EMP Cannon. Wave 3
- At least 1 Cruiser Defense Laser. Need to deal with those fighters.
Aside from that, I am often trying 2 Cruiser Defense for fighter help; sometimes a tractor. I have used as many as 4 MWMs, once I tried a heavy plasma, and I almost always use a Cruiser Laser to rip things up short range. It seems like a no-brainer to throw in a 2nd Nano-repari, but I don’t always do it. Its harder than it seems cuz it often means losing a gun. To get good, I probably need to find a build that can fit a 2nd repair unit and still be effective.
I also throw in an AA frigate with 3 shield 2, 3 AA missiles, and some armor. I’m always changing this up for cost reasons once I try a new cruiser build.
Deployment & Orders:
I stick my 6-pack in the SE corner, and then hide an AA frigate behind it. I align the 6-pack vertically, so I have a 3-ship front facing the east. I have tried moving this around a bit, but not too much to report there yet. I’m not sure how big of a deal it is when the frigates spawn and blowup on top of me. Primarily, I want to figure out how to protect the AA frigate as long as I can.
I probably have a lot to learn here, but without engines, this is a lot simpler. For the AA frigate I delete everything but the attack fighters order. On the cruisers, I am going co-op with a priority on frigates. I tried retaliate once in hopes of spreading around EMP shots more, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. I have also tried no special orders.
That’s about it. I’ll keep updating this as I experiment more.