Please help me like this game. Please.

Hello all,
I’ve owned GSB since it came out on steam, and I recently picked up some of the DLC. I really like the ship designs, concept of the game, and the idea of the campaign mode that was just added.

But I suck at this game. And I don’t just suck, I’m freaking terrible, and I have no idea why. I have played games where you designed your ships for effectiveness dating back to Stars! and I have played games where you had to set up routines, AI or whatever you want to call it to win a fight and you watch. I have never had problems before. I’ve been playing games for a very long time and I am generally at least DECENT at them. Oh, but GSB? No sir. Couldn’t win a fight to save my life.

I have tried and failed to follow 123’s general GSB guide. Is it outdated? I can’t even tell. The last post was in December, so I assume so, especially since a lot of the tactics don’t seem to work anymore.
I have tried and failed to follow suggestions, and designs by other people. Of course, I haven’t been able to find a thread or forum specifically for designs and tactics, so my understanding of the game is limited to what I’ve able to piece together.

I have literally failed my way through the battles to Battle above Edyailx where even my fail balanced designs can’t win. I’ve tried the idea’s in 123’s thread that abuse flaws in the AI’s targeting.

I started playing as Rebels and switched to Nomads when I picked up the DLC. I fail at both.

If I try to design ships for a balance between combat and survival, they obviously don’t have enough of either to stay alive.
If I try to focus my designs solely on one type of defense or offense, they fail.
I cannot beat this challenge, and it’s not that I can’t beat it thats frustrating me, it’s that I’ve completely run out of ideas.

How do you beat this challenge using Nomads?
What exactly am I supposed to DO with Nomads? The lure & pull AI abuse doesn’t even seem to work (anymore?) as far as I can tell, the AI just changed targets instead of continuing to pursue the lure.
Can someone give me a basic understanding of how to survive? I’d like to know how to do so with Nomads, as I ilke their designs, but I feel like it doesn’t matter what I slap on a ship, I can never do anywhere near the damage or have anywhere near the resistance of the things I’m fighting.

I lost an entire fleet in campaign mode to two swarm ships that, despite having the highest shield pen lasers equipped in the game, I could not get through their shields. Just kept getting “no effect” over and over and over. If it was a ‘battle’ they’d have gotten like 50k honor because the two ships obliterated a screen full of ships that simply couldn’t penetrate their shields. I’ve never come close to being that resistant, and simultaneously carrying large enough lasers to cut through Frigate shield 2 or Cruiser shield 2’s.

I apologize for the length, but I am genuinely trying to enjoy this game, and I do not understand what I am missing here. I know I have to be missing something.

It’s still up to date. You really shouldn’t jump ahead in the chapter. Make sure you pay attention to the introduction, so you won’t have problems with shields penetration. Don’t read past chapter 2 until you have beaten all the missions.

You can try the online sample challenges I listed at the end if you have doubt in them working.

If you are playing the Campaign, then I can’t help you. The guide wasn’t written for that.

The mission I mention has no cruisers allowed.

I tried the challenges, but whether or not they “worked” wasn’t visible to me, because my practical experiences don’t match the numbers you have.
I’ve tried cruisers with the “cruiser laser” as you mention, and still failed to get through the shields of those swarm ships. No idea why.

I’m not playing the campaign. I tried it once and because I either don’t know how to play nomads, I guess? or because I simply don’t understand the game, I can’t compete with anything fielded by the AI.
I’m doing “Battle!” to try to finish unlocking parts, and while I can look at your numbers and understand them, applying them is totally different.
8 nomad missiles + 1 reflective shield + 2 ultraheavy armor == a bunch of cruisers sitting in one spot that can’t kill the enemy fleet before fighters, bombers or whatever you want to call them + the enemy fleet wipes them out.
I’ll try it again though. I think I’m failing to understand what you’re doing for power generation and crew capacity. I quickly run out of spaces trying to simply accommodate the builds you suggest, little alone actually field them.

I do appreciate a response from you of all people, however, as I recognize your guide is quite detailed. I just feel like I’m missing something from it. What about nomad frigates? How do I build viable frigates? Can nomads build cruisers that aren’t juts missile boats? I’ve tried using their armor bonus but it doesn’t actually seem like it makes much of a difference. Shields feel more functional most of the time, but taht doesn’t mean a lot sicne I usually lose fights by unimaginable proportions.

Edit: You edited your post. I’ve re-read your guide several times. It feels very… everywhere. Preparing my shields or my armor doesn’t seem to make any difference if I can’t do any damage, and I can’t seem to make the enemy fleet focus on the “tank” ships. On top of that, yes, I do change the orders- though it doesn’t seem to matter. Even when I remove fighters as a priority my ships will still fire on them when they come in.

You must have mistaken “cruiser laser” with “cruiser beam laser”. Cruiser laser is not a beam, it’s just some little bullet with 490 range. Just check all the weapons until you find it.

Make sure you set engagement range properly so your ship actually moves into that range.

You do actually have fighters of your own… and put engines on the missile ships right? Some of these stuff might be so obvious for myself that I don’t really mention them.

If you just want a spammable ship, then do this

1 pulse laser, 1 cruiser laser (make sure you get the right one), 1 cruiser BEAM laser, 1 guidance scrambler, 4 nomad missiles, 1 reflective shield, 2 ultraheavy armor, 1 engine 2, crews and engines. Remove fighter engagement range, set engagement range for frigate/cruiser to 1100 (just click on nomad missile), co-operate.

If I have to I’ll record a video for youtube. I promise you, I didn’t confuse the two. I love beam weapons, they’re my favorite type of starship weapon. I know when I’m firing little laser pellets that look useless. I recognize they have incredibly high shield pen. They didn’t pen. I promise.

But either way, it doesn’t matter.

I just tried your suggestion again and got the floor wiped with me by the AI in two different battles. I wipe out most of their fleet slowly with the nomad missiles but invariably they bear down on me and they get thruogh my shields as soon as they’re in range. The armor/shields stop teh fighter swarm until that point, then the fighters just obliterate each ship as its shields go down. Numbers flying everywhere. I removed a cruiser and added two fighter wings on escort at a range that will protect all of the cruisers, and they’re faring microscopically better. But generally as soon as the first one or two cruisers die, my fleet DPS tanks and I can’t out slug the enemy ships as they keep getting closer.

Can you recommend or point me towards somewhere I can see, I don’t know what the phrase would be, combat tested Nomad ships so I can understand what exactly I’m doing wrong?
Or is there a way I can view the fleet make up on challenges so I can see what their ships are set up like? I’ve tried looking but I can’t seem to find a way other than the end results and that only shows me things like what weapons they had, which I guessed from teh fight anyways.

Here is the exact build of a spammable ship.
Set range to 1150 (cruiser and frigate), remove target fighter, co-operate.

name = nomad cruiser spam
guiname = Nomad Cruiser SPAM
hull = Nomad Hajaya Cruiser hull

0 = cruiser fastmissile,
1 = cruiser_pulselaser,
2 = cruiser_beamlaser,
3 = cruiser fastmissile,
4 =
5 =
6 = cruiser_laser,
7 = cruiser_ecm beam,
8 = cruiser power,
9 = cruiser_engine III,
10 = cruiser shield reflective,
11 = cruiser_armour V,
12 = cruiser_armour V,
13 = nomadic missile,
14 = nomadic missile,
15 = cruiser crew II,
16 = cruiser power,

For the Frigate only battle, you can spam this

Range (frigate and cruiser) 500, remove fighter range, co-operate, keep moving

name = nomad frigate spam
guiname = Nomad Frigate SPAM
hull = Nomad Makki Frigate

0 = frigate_beamlaser,
1 =
2 = frigate_ion_cannon,
3 = frigate shield II,
4 = nomadic frigate_engine,
5 = nomadic frigate_engine,
6 = frigate power III,
7 =
8 =
9 =
10 = frigate crew II,

I’ll try it. That’s a huge mixture of weapons, wow. Thank you for your help. If I can get that to work maybe I can learn how to go from there.

Thank you for your patience. I love everything about the game, I just wish it was… more… specific, about why you lose a given fight, so you could learn from it. I get frustrated after running my head into the wall for long enough.

Normal fleets has even more mix then that. Like you will want fighters, tanks, 1x target painter, lures and counter lures, etc.

But yeah also included a frigate for those frigate only mission. It should also beat most of the normal ones.

Is the nomad beam laser any good? It seems like it would be better than the conventional beam laser, since 3x36 > 1x57, but obviously I’m probably the dumbest player you’ve helped so far, and I apologize for that. Sincerely. I’m a programmer by trade (who isn’t these days?) and I’m usually pretty good at the numbers game, but yeah… wow… I hadn’t even considered ships with that kind of array of weaponry. After reading your guides (repeatedly!) I pretty much focused on the idea of mass MWM or similar ships.I pride myself on being a semi competent gamer, so this has been a right kick in the old ego.

Edit Edit: Also, do you have a graphical glitch with several of the nomad criusers, where it’s side engines don’t have fire coming out of them, but instead white pulsating boxes? :o

Nomad Beam have “salvo”, a hidden variable that make it stop firing after a few consecutive shots. You can check for the exact stat by going into the game directory (modules are conveniently stored in txt). But anyway normal beams deals more DPS.

Not that nomad beam is bad. The extra 30 range can be useful in certain special conditions. I just use beam lasers because that is not very relevant in the mission.

I don’t notice any glitch on mine.

Yeah, wow, your designs didn’t just win the fights they won the hard and expert fights. I even screwed up on the orders on the cruisers and they still rolled them.

I don’t know if I’m more or less confused now. Going back to reanalyze everything now. x_X

First off, those advanced tactic’s are just that: advanced. Don’t try and pull them off right off the bat, understanding how to layer the orders and build good ships is just as if not more important!
123 and I have a lot of disagreements normally, but i have to say he’s done a great job outlining the basics to start with for you. Once you move into online play, look at the ones ranked high enjoyment, and medium difficulty. They’re the ones that tend NOT to be pure spam, annoying tactics, etc.

For campaign: Rebel dual laser fighters. Make 25+ squads. wipe stuff out. Repeat.

I don’t know if you’re willing to help me a little more, but this would give me cross reference material and definitely help me build a better understanding in general.

What about the Nomad Hareeb cruiser? How would you turn this into a viable weapons platform, even if generic, at first?
I tried emulating the other spammable cruiser design and failed somewhere along the way as my Hareeb cruisers collapse like the Ottoman Empire.

Admittedly I think the mistake may have been attempting to improve their survivability a little. Since they were already slow I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have more UH Armor, and that was the only variable besides hull I changed, and despite going basically the exact same speed, the Hareeb gets demolished. Your thread said the smaller the hull the less likely the hits will land, but this is confusing for me since most of the Nomad ships are Horizontal, not Vertical. I’m assuming at this point it doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is “Length” in the description?

Also, this is a screen cap in game to show the Nomad engine tom foolery I was talking about: … oolery.bmp
Sorry about the size I uploaded it as I was heading out for work. As you can see, the inner engines are white pulsating blocks. Happens on the cruiser I mentioned as well.

Thank you again. I’m definitely enjoying it more now that I have some core builds to play with. I’m still not quite grasping the entire concept I guess, since any deviation tends to get me swatted out of the sky like so much debris, but if you can help me with this I think I’ll be able to get some kind of cross understanding on functionality.

Yup, not all hulls are created equal. Only the number on description on size matters.

You end up with 1 good hull per race, and some also have 1 specifically for armor tanks, but that’s about it.

That’s a bit disappointing I must say.

So the Hareeb is simply an inferior hull?

The Hareeb is the tank hull. The other 2 are the inferior hull.

Nomad Hareeb Cruiser
8x Ultraheavy Armor, nano-repair, micro crew, engine 1, MWM

When you say MWM, you mean fill every weapon slot with MWM? Or just a single MWM?
That threw me off in your guide thread as well.

Do you generally then strip (nearly) all the engines off your other “damage” oriented ships so that they won’t pass the tanks?

Edit: Psh… nevermind. Played with the parts myself, it’s one MWM. I get it. Any more and it keeps decreasing the armor value and also pushes the power reqs into requiring a reactor.

Have you experimented with frigates and fighters?