Tips for The Chaos Nebula fight?

I was looking at GSB for a while and just had to get it with the Steam sale. This game fills a number crunching need I get every once in a while.

I have played for about 5 hrs so far. Now I am on the Chaos Nebula fight. I have attempted it about 4 times with different mixes of ship setups each time and I just cant seem to get it. The center group of cruisers fire missiles like machine guns and overwhelm my best point defense setups. Does anyone have any tips on how win this fight?

I am playing as the Federation currently and I kind of want to do each fight with them first before I move on to the other races. My last fight I used 3 types of cruisers: one with cruiser missile launchers, one with megaton missile launchers, and one with just point defense. I also used some anti-fighter frigates for escort.

Instead of using missile boats for this fight should I focus more on beam weapons? Should I try and boost my shields and armor more (I normally run cruisers with 1 Multiphasic and 1 Reflective shield)? I’m currently at a loss for this fight.


I usually play rebels but the weapon systems are the same and the hulls are not that different and since this is not a fighter oriented map you can ignore them.

On shields - front line cruisers, I usually use 2 reflective and 2 turbo shields. Even rear line cruisers I have at least 2 shields.
For point defense - use GSB’s if you have it already, much better than PD weapons.
PD and GSB’s can cover other ships, so keeping ships together allows them to cover each other.

Multiple-Missile launchers are, in my opinion, the best way to break down shields.
Frigate Torpedo’s are nice as well.

I personally like to form a battle wall, and using formation orders and fiddling with the attack orders I usually can get all ships going to the same place. Heavy ships ahead - with lots of defense - I still slap on 2-3 heavy plasma launchers. Tailing them are support cruisers, each one set to “rescue” and put up EMP’s, GSB’s, a tractor beam for anti-fighter use.

Following them are missile heavy units but cheaply build. A federation unit with 8 missiles, multi, runs me just over 2000cr. Those should be set to cooperative. No shield system or PD system can defense against that many missiles (if you have 6 cruisers firing at the same time).

I don’t like frigates. But they might live long enough beside/behind to do good with EMP missiles and torpedos.
The reason I don’t like frigates is lots of people now have them targeted as a higher priority than cruisers.
One example - is four rocket mounted fighters squads (two rockets one engine) will take out all the frigates in the map.

The map really doesn’t use enough fighters to require dedicated anti-fighter abilities.

And keep your ships together. Single units die quicker than those supporting each other. All my cruisers have the same speed (0.06) - except specific duties - so they won’t break ahead and die unsupported.
And don’t forget armour - make sure all your ships have enough armour to shrug off fighter lasers.


The supply limits may be annoying but they don’t cover all racial weapons. E.g. using Rebel beam lasers instead of regular beam lasers doesn’t count towards the supply limit. Easiest is swarm, disruptors are unrestricted, as are swarm crew pods. Smart bombs are the only unrestricted PD I believe and they’re good against the heavy volleys.

Welcome aboard, ifandbut. Some ramblings for you to consider…overkill, perhaps, but it’ll give you a greater insight into winning in general, as well as winning your current mission.

For this mission, de-emphasize having numerous point defense guns on your cruisers and use the guidance scrambler as your primary missile shield, with a little bit of cruiser PD as a back-up. Two scramblers and one of the fastest-firing PD guns on each of your cruisers is a good place to start. Tweak that as needed. Many enemy Rebel fleets can dump enough missiles on your head to make it look like it’s raining. :confused:

Design a “Fleet Air Defense” frigate based on the Fed’s Puma or Fox hulls (four gun hardpoints): two PD, one ion cannon, and some kind of quick-firing short-range laser; the latter could be replaced with a third PD. A parallel design just for interdicting fighters could carry two tractor beams and two anti-fighter missiles.

Once that’s been addressed, use other frigates in an anti-shipping role. A fast harassment squadron of Fed Pumas or Foxes, each armed with two EMP missiles and two ion cannons, sent to flank the enemy or used as a trailing echelon just behind your cruisers, can cause a lot of mischief for him while your much more powerful cruisers are delivering the smackdown. Those two types of guns are among the very best frigate weapons. If you want to design a more aggressive attack frigate, consider giving it a pair of high-shield-penetration guns so the ship can join in leading an attack (albeit with heavy casualties), or a pair of high armor-pen guns for following-up an attack.

That last cruiser design hints at the problem. It’s a waste of a hull that can and should be loaded instead with heavy anti-ship weaponry. If you’re opposing a missile-heavy enemy, try one cruiser design with 5 or 6 guidance scramblers and zero anti-ship firepower. Keep two of these “Fleet Air Defense” cruisers guarding the cruiser core of your fleet. Don’t waste money on a dozen. :slight_smile: Resist the temptation to try putting heavy anti-missile resources aboard all of your cruisers. That latter error denies you the space needed for creating a truly effective offensive ship. See if you can get by with your actual attack cruisers sticking with the “2 scrambler+1 fast PD” defensive suite I mentioned elsewhere. I’m sure another veteran player will say that even going that far is excessive. If you feel it is, keep the scramblers but lose the single PD.

Frigates can be used as decent escorts for your cruisers but you must know their limitations. Their low durability means that in this role they need to be at close range; hiding under your cruisers’ guns, so to speak. A frigate is never going to survive a one-on-one brawl with an undamaged or even lightly-damaged cruiser…most fully-loaded frigates only have a grand total of around 300 hit points (excluding shields and armor). A single frigate gun turret only has about 10 hit points, so your little guys are going to get de-fanged quickly! Plan for that. When designing attack friagtes, think of them more as fast flankers or skirmishers looking to exploit a breakthrough spear-headed by your cruisers.

You need to carefully examine the shield penetration and armor penetration stats of your guns. When combined with the range min/max stats as well as re-arming time, that will help you design better ships.

Heavy armor thickness can be expensive, albeit somewhat effective; it depends on the kind of guns the enemy is using. Some guns have very high armor penetration but very low shield penetration. Typically, installing a large shield capacity will often be more useful than armor. Oh, and see if ditching the Reflective shield in favor of the Fast Recharge shield gives you better results with your Multiphasic. Alternatively, consider a pair (or a trio!) of Fast Recharge shields on your best cruisers. For frigates, Turbo shields are actually a trap; crappier stats than the medium-tier shields, and the resistance is lowered just enough to be a signifigant danger when fighters come calling!

BTW when up against fighters, unless your ships have a total armor value of at least 12 they’re gonna get eaten in a hurry. For a less passive fighter defense, tractor beams are your friend. They hold the speedy little bastards in a vice while your light-caliber short-range beam weapons carve them up. Both frigates and cruisers have tractors available to them.

Take a look at energy weapons for your cruisers such as the Cruiser Laser, Cruiser Beam Laser, and the (Fed-only) Fusion Beam. Compare their penetration and range stats carefully before using them.

Above all, remember the following when issuing combat orders to each ship during deployment: set each ship’s engagement range to reflect the optimum range stat for the type of gun it carries the largest quantity of. Mixed-munitions ships can be tough to use effectively if the optimum ranges are wildly different for its different gun systems.

“Now man your ships, and may the Force be with you.”

Wow lots of info for me to absorb Archduke.

The “total armor value of at least 12” that is the “Average Armor” stat in the ship builder correct? Well even my weakest cruiser has a armor value of 15 and one of the fights I was able to destroy half the fleet but the swarm of bees that was left over killed a cruiser while it was trying to reposition.

I had no idea how effective the Scrambler is vs the PD systems. When using the scramblers do I need any PD Scanners to make them more effective?

I guess missiles do not have an optimum range, so should I set then engagement range to max missile range then?

One more question. Target Painters. Is it a good idea to have one on each of my missile boats? Is there any benefit to having more then one one a ship?

Yes, that’s the ‘average armor’ stat. Note that the more modules you fill your ship with, the lower that value gets, so you’ll need to man up and buy more plating if needed. If you’re looking at 15 on your cruisers then that’s a very good minimum. However, getting that high with your frigates is much harder to accomplish.

The guidance scrambler was recently nerfed to a degree, but it’s still highly effective. PD guns are really quite poor at taking on more than a mere handful of missiles. I don’t believe that PD scanners boost the scramblers’ performance, though.

Correct, no optimum range on missiles or torpedoes. I tend not to set those ships to engage at max range on account of the fact that each individual launcher can have only ONE missile in flight! Sad but true. Until a missile either explodes on target, is shot down by PD, or misses the target and later runs out of fuel, that same launcher cannot fire another missile. I usually set the range for my missile-heavy boats to roughly 40-60% of max range in order to artifically increase my rate of fire. I tweak that depending on the nature of the battle.

I admit I rarely use the painters; call it a personal quirk. I don’t believe that they’re cumulative. Try using a single painter on most of your cruisers…perhaps the wide-spread size of the possible coverage all those painters can give will greatly increase the odds of hitting something. IIRC, painter lock-on from one friendly ship can be transferred to another friendly ship, but don’t quote me on that. BTW there are also painters small enough to fit aboard fighters, which suggests some interesting possibilities.

Thanks for the extra advice.

I was able to finish the Chaos Nebula fight last night. I refitted my cruisers with 2 scramblers and 1 PD laser. I then put a cluster f**k of them at the top of the map (where it looked like the weaker ships were) of about 8 cruisers with frigate escorts. I also put about 4 cruisers and 2 frigates at the bottom of the map to act as an distraction fleet. This worked well, the center enemy fleet (the ones with machine gun missiles) split in two so I did not have all that damage hitting my main fleet at once.