Trying to play as empire, help?

I am trying to learn to play as empire for the sole reason that i am a shield guy. I never liked armor much, and the empires shield bonuses seem perfect for me.

Except for the fact that i suck with them.
I get stomped in hard and sometimes even easy campain battles.

But there is one thing i like, which i have nicknamed the “soaker” and like the name, the ship soaks up a ton of damage.

Basically, its a mix of regenerating shields, the tough-but-low-resistance shields, and high resistance shields in battles where there are fighters on the large cruiser hull. the one that costs 230 (sorry for the descriptions, i have not got the names quite down yet.)
Just one of these, going up against small forces, never dies. Quite literally, it continually repairs its shields and i have antifighters to make sure they dont bomb it.
In medium battles, going at 4.0 speed, i have seen it last under a malstorm of fire for about a few minutes, maybe more. I dont have a great sense of time lol.

in large battles, they sit out there long enough to gain the advantage.

So heres my main problem, from what i have been testing with my minimal amount of time is that beam weapons suck, unless the shields are down. The weapon platforms could be a great weapon if i can get a good mix with them ( i had this seemingly great idea, where i have a ton of weapon platforms with All missle launchers, and 1 shield. I had cruisers and a few anti-fighter destroyers out front, on the orders of escort so they stay in front of the weapon platforms. In theory, the cruisers would take the punishment long enough for the missles to wreck havoc on the enemy fleet. So by then, my minimally protected platforms would be able to defeat the last stranglers if there were any. It didnt quite work out… enemy frigates went behind my lines after they destroyed my anti-fighter frigates, and wrecked me.)

So i havent done a lot of testing, but any good rule of thumbs to keep in mind? tips? what not to do?
Sounds like each race has their own rules that you have to follow or you will get demolished.

The weapons platform I think you’re referring to is a frigate.

Most frigate longrange missile options are actually pretty subpar for attacking cruisers. The missile and fast missile are not even capable of penetrating the highend cruiser shields - those weapon systems seem like they’re intended to be used for plinking at other frigates. Don’t use them as an all around weapon.

The striking thing about the Empire is that some of their stuff is so unusually large. (a 180 meter frigate?!) That makes fighter defense really important, you don’t want things slipping under your shields.

The usual key to Fighter defense being, ironically, armor. The difficulty of coping with this contradiction is probably why there are so few Imperial players around.

wow that is indeed ironic.

But i actually have been playing a few games tonight, and i have been doing quite well. i have 3 main cruiser designs, one with all beam weapons, one with all missle launchers, and one with 4 proton beams and 2 large missle launchers (forgot the name, the one with 750 range and are powerfull and slow)

so proton and beam cruisers out front while the missle cruisers pound away at the enemy. I put in an equal number of fighters to my enemy to make sure i dont get overrun.

I would agree, I’m having a lot of trouble playing as the Empire properly. When those shields collapse, their paper hulls just crumple. Which sucks, because I want to play as the Empire.

In more gameplay challenges, i have been finding that i have been having a real tough time beating the tribe. They just rush in, and most of the time always wreck me. Maybe i just need to add some orders of retaliation, but even so. The one strategy i have been seeing alot is with 2 tank cruisers out front, and missle cruisers in the back that just destroy me.

I think I’ve made significant progress in playing Empire.

As for fighting the Tribe, there are three important things to remember.

  1. As the great Corbeau has often mentioned, the Retaliate order is great for bypassing Tanks, as your ships fire on whatever is shooting them, i.e. backup long range units rather than the hulking things right in front of them.
  2. Concentrate firepower with the Co-Operate order. If you’re lucky one of your ships will take out the Repair Module, but more than likely it will simply take overwhelming firepower to outrun the repairs.
  3. Use long-range units yourself. The Kinetic Weapons that the Tribe are apt to use tend to have short range - use fast long-ranged ships to outrun them, and simply pelt them with fire.

I made an Empire fleet last night I thought was decent.

Off the top of my head…

Cruisers heavy on shields, light on armor, 2x anti-missile scramblers, 1x tractor beam, 2x cruiser laser, fighter bay.
AA frigate, no shields, 1 tractor beam, 1 engine, 1 crew compartment, 1 generator, the rest armor (hmm, did I fit a gun on them too? I can’t remember.)
Attack frigate, very light on defense, lots of ion cannons, 2 engines
Lots of fighters (I used torp fighters for amusement but I should really either go with lasers or rockets. Maybe I’ll try a 50/50 torp/rocket mix. I’d really like to find a way to make use of torp fighters.)

I basically set them in formation like:

X = attack frigate
Y = AA frigate
Z = Cruiser
P = “pusher”, a slightly faster cruiser that the rest of the ships have as a formation target

Note that the attack frigates are set back from the rest of the fleet. This is so when the enemy fighters come they’ll hit the AA frigates and not my attack frigates which are basically defenseless.

The “Pusher” is set to ignore fighters and close to 100 range with “keep moving”. Basically his job is to push forward through the fleet slowly and die relatively early in the battle so that the attack frigates and all the torp fighters get “released” from the formation and use their faster speed to rush forward to attack, while the AA frigates and cruisers tank.

That worked reasonably well. Should work better if I don’t use so many torp fighters (fighter heavy enemy fleets kill all my torp fighters really fast).

I think I posted it as “And Now For Something Slightly Different” on Caspan IV and Gravity Well. (Gravity Well made me change out my cruiser shields and armor and use fewer fighters, so it’s not that strong there. I’ll have to work on it some more with the Supply limits.)

I’ve always assumed that the low-resistance shields are effectively worthless because a lot of good weapons are reflected by normal shields but not by them.

I’m actually not sure how it works.

If you equip a low resist and a high resist shield, what’s your shield resist?

I guess I’ll have to do some tests. I assumed it took the highest resist and used that but maybe it averages it out?


i have actully no idea, but could it be possible that the resistance of all equipped shields is added and then divided by the number of shields?
could it be as simple as that?


I’m fairly certain it currently just uses the highest resist as your resist value. This may or may not apply for when you have a shield knocked out but others active.

It’d be a simple test - try using a multiphasic and a reflective together on a craft and set it against proton beams.

Well, shield generators take packets of damage and can burn out independently according to the last page of the manual, so I’d guess that damage and resistance are tracked per shield.

Unless this changed in the last version or two, the surviving shield with the highest resistance is what matters. However, shields are apportioned damage randomly and a shield that goes down will never recharge.

I always mount a single Reflective shield on my cruisers (often even Tribe), and typically use Multiphasic for any subsequent shields (because only the resistance of your highest resistance shield matters 99.9% of the time). It’s worth noting that several beam weapons (the ones with 24 shield penetration) will go through any shield save for Reflective shields (yes, equal penetration to resistance will punch through).