I bought this game when Steam had that awesome gratuitously low priced sale a little while back and I’ve been in love with this game since… even though I can be quite terrible at it. I’ve beaten the campaigns for the most part and I’ve unlocked everything. An example of noobhood is that only recently have I started using frigates but I use them like those little fish that hang onto sharks. Just the sharks in this case are my cruisers, never really straying too far from them because of how fragile they generally seem to be. I’m not that great with using fighters either. I generally get my ass kicked in challenges. I’ve been trolling through the forums and learning a few things but does anyone have any tips that I promise not to dismiss? Right now I’m using Federation ships but I like playing as Rebels mostly. I have pretty bad luck when it comes to the space hippie faction I know that much x.x
Frigates die easily, so send MORE!
You already know to set them to Escort, Formation, or Protect.
If your cruisers are your main source of offensive weaponery, then your frigates are your support. Support your cruisers with Beam Lasers to carve up shieldless victims, Ion Cannons to help take down shields, Anti-Fighter Missiles to stave off fighters, EMP launchers to shut down the enemy’s weapons, or missiles (Fast or Frigate Missiles) to supplement and help overwhelm the enemy’s defenses. Tractor Beams, Pulse Lasers, Ion Connons, Rapid Fire Lasers, and Anti-Fighter Missiles can all be used to defend a cruiser (and the frigate itself) from fighters; Beam Lasers can work, too. Torpedos can be made to work (dropping shields) under an umbrella of missiles from the entire fleet.
A frigate’s primary purpose is fighter defence.
But, the occational fast frigate (U.S. Navy classification: FF) can be used as a “lone wolf”, causing mischief and mayhem, and generally disrupting the enemy’s lines. But, most frigates are going to be escort frigates (U.S. Navy classification: FE).
Frigates can also almost completely and persistently shutdown enemy cruisers and frigates with EMP weapons, but it is always best then to have a couple of cruisers with long range beam weapons to quickly destroy enemy frigates, so then remaining enemy cruisers are really continually disabled because all EMP fire is focused on them.
So far my cruisers are my main offensive weapons and I’ve got the method of using frigates as anti-fighter ships. Keeping it simple so far. I’m going to try the lone wolf thing next but I’d have to try it out a few times seeing that my frigates usually get blasted into space farts a few seconds into any non-support role endeavors.
Something I want to try is having a frigate do something like a lone wolf tactic, but with heavily armed fighters waiting far back in the background on a formation order, so when the frigate is turned into the inevitable space fart: the fighters head toward the fight and hopefully do enough damage to matter to any enemy ships that are engaged with the fleet.
Another tactic I was going to try later was something I read from an earlier post where you slap an engine and some armor onto a fighter, set it to Escort a cruiser (on cautious) with a repair bay and surround the cruiser with a few AF frigates armed with EMP and/or disruptors (don’t forget tractor beams!!!). Bug zapper defense! Still learning and I need to test all of this for myself.
When you slap an EMP onto a frigate, is it worth it to use two modules or just one? And would I be doing the right thing by setting them to escort/formation order on a cruiser so they don’t rush ahead like a lemming off a cliff?
For a lone wolf, timing is of the essence, not speed; put it all the way to the left or right, such that it comes in at an oblique angle to the rest of the fleet, after all of your front line units have already engaged, and hopefully it will come in behind the enemy’s lines.
In answer to the quantity of EMPs to use, it depends, at least one per EMP frigate (I designate mine as such), and 2 per frigate against more difficult opponents. Escort allows them to move around a bit, and they can get in front of your cruiser (saving your cruiser), and Formation is a bit rigid in my opinion, but seems safer for the frigate; but, yes, setting them to either will help them survive a lot longer.
Right now I’m fine tuning my fleet as far as speed goes. I’m using a three line approach with my cruisers to start. (Front, mid, rear) I’m not concerned very much yet about my frigates speed as for now they’re mostly support units with a few lone wolf concepts designs (thank you for your advice, I’m definitely going to be making designs and strategies using it) Right now my cruisers speed range from 19 all the way to 25, which in my opinion might be a little fast. The front line cruisers are among the fastest, but some engine changes will take care of that, easy stuff. My main concern is finding a good balance which I admit I have nooo idea yet what that is. Tonight is going to be a heavy night of trial and error I can tell you that much. Any suggestions are absolutely welcome.
I try to synch the speed of all the cruisers in a group, as well; usually putting the faster ones in back so the slower ones slow them down by getting in the way; once the slower ones die, the faster ones “break out” to wreck havoc.
Short range weapons usually in front, so the longer range weapons of the ships behind can reach ‘over’ them.
What I’m going to try first is to sync up the Front and second lines (out of three). The third line is the line carrying the heavy hitter / long range weaponry. I’m going to be experimenting though to find the right mix, but for now the third line is ok so long as it doesn’t get to the battle too quickly (or too late for that matter). I usually have a couple cruisers or so with a faster speed in the back set on vulture / rescue duty with a mix of medium and short range armaments.
Edit: I’ve got my cruisers synced to .20 after some minor engine tweaks here and there. That should keep their advance as close to lock-step as it needs to be right now, I did keep their previous variants though in the event I need a change in speed. I have a Front line, mid line and rear line of each cruiser hull in my fleet, keeping it relatively “Jaymus Cookie Cutter” for now until I can assess some weaknesses and strong points. Keeping it simple right now in regard to engine changes is step one before moving gear around, yes?
Edit 2: So .20 is a bit quick in some regards for my fleet, cutting down the speed on some of the ships by tweaking the engines again to .17 or .18. Doing this will probably get me to a place where I can start tweaking weapons eventually.