A word of warning. This thread covers topics which frustrate many players, but trolling or flaming will not be tolerated. Please use constructive criticism where possible to avoid heated arguments.
Many of you may have played games from the Worms series, a collection of artillery games featuring bazookas, grenades, machine guns and exploding sheep. Some players of these games would use excessively defensive tactics, such as using construction tools to deflect enemy grenades, or digging deep underground and using these burrows to hide from enemy fire. These tactics, though effective, would draw out the game and detract from the fun of it, so they came to be known as “Dark Side” tactics. Players who used such tactics were usually shunned.
Likewise, GSB allows a number of tactics which are considered unethical. I am ashamed to admit that I have used one or two of them myself. For those new to the game, I will list them here:
Bait Balls - Placed at the front of a fleet formation, these ships are armed with little weaponry, if they are armed at all. Their sole purpose is to draw enemy fire, distracting from the much more dangerous ships behind, or splitting up enemy formations. Since intelligent pilots and captains would know to ignore such ships, this detracts from the realism of the fight and makes it frustrating instead of fun.
Spamming - Equipping all hardpoints on a ship with the same weapon, or using too many identical ships in one fleet. In moderation, this isn’t too harmful to the game, but fleets that overuse this tactic are not much fun to fight. If every ship uses only one weapon mounted on all hardpoints, or nearly all the ships are identical, the fight quickly becomes dull.
Tanks - These ships are extremely slow, as almost all of their equipment slots are filled with armour. This raises the average armour rating of the ship higher than the armour penetration stat of any available weapon, meaning that only lucky hits can actually damage the ship at all. Taking out these ships is a slow and tedious affair.
Turtling - This tactic involves using densely-packed formations of cruisers, with an excessive focus on defence. These fleets can barely move, but are heavily armed and almost invulnerable. The only countermeasure for fleets of this kind is to either start spamming with fighters, or start turtling with your own fleet, which slows the whole battle to a crawl.
I fear that I may have made a few unethical choices in building my own fleets as well, so I am going to list my more dubious tactical choices for you to give your opinions on. Please let me know whether you think these tactics are ethical or not, and if you feel I should alter my ship designs, please post your suggestions.
Missile cruisers - These cruisers are equipped with a variety of missiles and are designed to engage enemy ships at very long range. They only rarely have non-missile weapons.
Heavy assault cruisers - Equipped with a couple of beam weapons and lots of plasma cannons, these cruisers sacrifice accuracy for raw firepower. I mainly made these because I enjoy the visual effect of plasma weapons.
Dogfighters - These fighters have only one order: destroy all enemy fighters. Only when they have eliminated all opposing fighters do they turn their attention to the larger ships. With no fighters left to oppose them, they quickly swarm the capital ships and pick them apart.
If you have encountered other “Dark Side” tactics, or have an opinion on the tactics presented here, please feel free to speak up, but try to avoid offending anyone, as this is likely to be a controversial subject.