Just bought it last night....am I doing it wrong?


#1

SO I purchased the game last night after reading about it, and played for about 5 hours (very addictive).

Am I doing it wrong? I finished the Fed campaign and unlocked all races, ships, and modules in about 5 hours. Was it supposed to go that quick? Tonight I am going to see how fast i can plow through the other three campaigns. Once I unlocked everything I really stacked on more ships in the deployment to finish the fights faster. Once i figured out how to get 15k honor per fight, it only took a few battles to unlock everything.

Anyways, my strategy (I looked for a strategy section on the forums, is there one?) after losing very very badly with my first several designs was to create a cruiser without engines and frigates without engines. I added 1200 meter range cruiser missiles to the cruisers, all 8 slots, lots of shields, and some armor.

With the frigates I did the exact same thing, with the exception of swapping out anti-fighter missiles for the weapon.

THen I stuck them in the bottom or top corner of each battle, like so:
FF
CCCCFF
CCCCFF
CCCCFF
FF

Stacking them in the corner means that rather than hitting my battle line all at once, the enemy ends up getting strung out in a long curved line to approach me, which almost guarantees that my 1200 meter missiles will only have 1-2 targets to engage at any given moment.

I used fighters the first time, but after seeing how easily the 30-40 Frigate anti fighter missiles chewed up attacking fighters, I dropped them completely in favor of more honor. I set the frigates to only engage fighters. I set the cruisers to engage Frigates at 1200 meters with 80% attack, and to attack cruisers at 1200 meters with 50% attack and to ignore fighters. Once honor was no longer an issue, I added more stationary cruisers.

Even on expert mode this seemed to work quite well. There are some obvious weaknesses to this, primarily the orders prevent the cruisers form defending against fighters if all the frigates die. But the frigates are supposed to die in this battle, they act as a shield to the cruisers, in addition to pretty much obliterating attacking fighters. I suppose if an enemy used a lot of fighters with larger weapons, lots of speed, and sent them in to target frigates and to concentrate fire, it might overwhelm my Frigate defense line. However I have found that the number of anti fighter missile defense systems present on my frigates outstrips the allowed number of pilots in most (if not all ) scenarios. SO this may be a non-issue.

I did run into some issues where slower enemy cruisers were escorted by fighters, and by the time the cruisers and fighters were in range, all my frigates were destroyed, leaving my cruisers defenseless against the escort fighters. However this was usually too late in the battle for the fighters to make a difference.

The missile salvos from a cluster of cruisers is pretty awesome looking. As soon as frigates came within the 1200 meters, they almost invariably died in one salvo, or even half a salvo. Very satisfying watching two or three enemy Frigates go explody as soon as they hit range. Cruisers would take 2-3 salvos, unless several cruisers entered range simultaneously, then even with concentrated fire (note below) the cruisers would manage to last a lot longer against my salvos, but not so long that they were much of a threat.

When the scenario required mobile ships, I just swapped one missile launcher for one engine, and upgraded the power supply.

On the scenario with shields being ineffective, I used mobile cruisers (is a cruiser still a cruiser if it cannot cruise?) and stacked armor and tons of armor penetration lasers, but this was done before I started using stationary battle lines.

I didn’t really notice much of a difference between using vulture commands and concentrated fire commands and no extra commands.

The scenario was a LOT more effective when I ordered my cruisers to ignore enemy fighters and my frigates to ignore enemy capital ships.

One improvement I am thinking of is putting an additional two frigates behind my cluster of cruisers, to nail down those late to the party fighters.

So anyways I am going to have to upgrade to tribe, probably tonight, to see what kind of fun stuff it adds.

Fantastic game!


#2

Amassing a lot of honour very quickly is probably quite normal.

“Stacking them in the corner means that rather than hitting my battle line all at once, the enemy ends up getting strung out in a long curved line to approach me, which almost guarantees that my 1200 meter missiles will only have 1-2 targets to engage at any given moment.”

That’s a good observation. It’s actually a key observation as far as I’m concerned.

“I didn’t really notice much of a difference between using vulture commands and concentrated fire commands and no extra commands.”

Sometimes, you can see that excess missile fire is wasted with the ‘cooperative’ (concentrated?) command.

“So anyways I am going to have to upgrade to tribe, probably tonight, to see what kind of fun stuff it adds.”

The Tribe are the most powerful.

I began like you, with little or no engines, then realized that fast ships are a lot more fun to field and watch. So then the ‘holy grail’ became designing ships which could not only bring the battle to an opponent, but win. It’s a tough proposition.

One thing about engines; if you can get over say, .10 speed with your ships, they will be fairly immune from plasma. Certainly if you get to .20 or more, opposing plasma is not a real concern. If you can get your cruisers into the mid 30s (.35 or thereabouts), they actually begin to dodge opposing missiles.

As for competition, you can play the single-player, in-game scenarios on the levels with higher difficulty. If you want to compete against other players, simply hit the challenge button. You can accept posted challenges, and create your own.


#3

Sweet!

Thanks for the reply. I still have the 3 unlocked races to run through, and am eager to try the survival mode.

Cruisers moving at .3? I will have to try and see if I can cobble something together that does that. I still haven’t gotten an intuitive grasp of balancing these ships in the builder. I tried to build a multi-purpose frigate and lost in record time. After that I skipped the engines and stacked on shields and armor.


#4

FYI…missiles can be countered with scramblers and more missiles can be countered with more scramblers.

Try to mix up your weapons a bit and be ready to fight different threats.


#5

IME the single most important thing for getting fast cruisers is to unlock the “supercharged engine” module.


#6

Lightweight engine is a better rounder for fast ships.

Half of the little speed improvement of supercharged over lightweight is lost due to heavier crew and energy requirements.


#7

The lightweight engine requires only 6 fewer crew and 1.6 fewer power. Even if you have five engines on your cruiser, that’s less than half a micro crew module and one seventh of a basic power generator.


#8

Lightweight all the way.


#9

I’ve found, shock of all shocks, that to save cost it’s better to stick with the Engine 2 modules! That saves even more crew and power per module, and I think even saves on weight to boot. (Frankly I think this is a little broken, as supercharged engines should take more power and not crew, which makes it a bit simpler to squeeze them into a ship.)


#10

If you’re opting for high hitpoints (as in Tribe build) you could even go with Engine I since (IIRC) it has the highest hitpoint/cost ratio of the engines.