What do you look for in a challenge?

Lately I have been building moderately challenging fleets, with a focus on diversity rather than strategy or fire-power. What I am trying to do is field fleets that are fun as opposing forces - no spam and a reasonable variety of weaponry, ship types and orders. This is what I want in a challenge - a fun battle, as opposed to a large number of a single type of craft.

What do you look for? Do you want a highly-challenging scenario, one that is pretty to look at as the ships explode (not yours)?

Please stop reading my mind. You could get hurt in there. :slight_smile:

This is exactly what I want in a challenge - fun. There is something very depressing (for me) about loading up a challenge that looks good and varied, only to find that when the shooting starts there’s nothing over there but missiles. Another spam fleet in disguise. Ew.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a little bit of challenge, but more on the level of adjusting engagement ranges, deployment configurations, swapping out an AA ship here for a missile cruiser there, concentrating or dispersing short-range frigates, that sort of thing.

(The opinions expressed in this post belong solely to Ace Palarum and are not intended to reflect the opinions of other forum posters. Please take no offense. No similarity to other opinions, real or fictitious, is intended.)

Large numbers of the same thing are generally pretty easy anyway.

One thing that’s starting to grate on me are the custom challenge maps just for the sake of being custom.

Usually when I’m cruising the newest challenge list I’m looking to try out a fleet type or philosophy, and that means I have fleets on file. A legion of maps called “custom map” means I can’t reliably load/save fleets through the interface, which means I have to set a fleet up all over again each and every time.

I mean, I get that sometimes people want to play without fighters or something, but half the time it’s just Conquering Chiarn Prime all over again with slightly different starting costs.

The main thing that gets me to click on a challenge though, is a pulse. Does the challenge actually have a name, without being repeated six times on the list?

I like to play a challenge that shows me something new, a novel strategy or design that I can learn from in order to create even better fleets. I’ve learned a lot from some challenges.

I don’t care much about how challenging a challenge is (strange eh). It’s all about the big explosions. I bought gratuitous space battles, not Space Spreadsheet.

That is a great quote. :slight_smile:

I’m a mix of Yurch and Follick’s replies.

I always look for a named challenge, not a spammed generic taunt one. I also like to see new strategies for fleets and/or ship designs to learn how to improve my own. I’ve discovered a lot of interesting tactics and builds from other challenges.

Pretty much agree with the OP.

I like to post varied challenges, sometimes trying for themes, sometimes for truly challenging fights, and sometimes just trying to make something fun to work with. For instance, I loved trying to get as much honor as possible in the “campaign” by trying over and over again with different strategies how I can win with the least amount of ressources…

…and people retaliate with spam challenges. Then I spam back, and if doesn’t work then I just design a counter and usually win on the second or third try, but it’s so boring. I’m about to just ignore/delete spam retaliations.

Send me some interesting mixes, perhaps with interesting restrictions, then it’s all glorious fun to watch everything explode…!

I hear you. I will play any retaliation once in the spirit of fair play, but as soon as I realize “Oh … wall of cruiser missile spam” my interest immediately wanes. I may let the scenario play out, I may not, but I most likely won’t retaliate, and I definitely will delete the challenge as soon as I’m done. No point in keeping it around if I’m not enjoying it, right?

i personally enjoy small fleet skirmishes, i have a few challenges up with like 10 pilots and 14k budget, not a lot of room for spam there :smiley:

I have posted a couple “Limited” challenges this week…essentially a limited budget engagement with a limited amount of weapons/armor/engines + an engine requirement for all ships.

The goal was to ecourage creativity with these restrictions, and also sort of passively enforce a well balanced fleet and avoid spam. The engine restrictions in particular are the main way most fleets will end up with something like a 1:2:4 ratio of CRU:FRG:FIG, sort of like a “real” fleet almost.

The original challenge had no armor restrictions, and someone came up with a novel idea (to me at least), “armor spam”, something I had never even cosidered. Essentially there were just barely enough weapons allowed in the game to overcome the amount of armor used on one cruiser. Add in a couple wings of heavily armored high DPS frigates,some DPS cruisers, and some interesting tactics and formation, it was a tough fight for me to win.

The newer limited challenge has armor restictions now too. So you can still have one uber-tank, but the rest of the fleet is gonna be toast most likely. The budgets are increased as well, because with the lower budgets, fleets were still “spammy” when compared to the low number of hulls. With more $$ come more hulls and thus more variety so that ships have their slots filled with something useful.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy. Thoughts on improvements are alwsy welcome…

I tend to skip challenges with lots of limits. I find they are a hastle because most of my ships have to be completely redone. I like keeping a fairly limited stock of designs that I just pick and chose from - I don’t like tailoring a ship to a specific challenge that will never be used again.


I like to lose when playing a challenge, spam or mix. If it takes me more than 3 tries to beat I will be happy. I also like small maps like Defending Sirius.

I look for people who aren’t using federation. The game starts you on fed and some people, including myself, have gotten used to building fed ships. But I’m sick of seeing fed.

I look for people who don’t leave the fukken Order box checked when they aren’t using it.

I hear ya. I’m a bit guilty of this myself, though. I rarely design maps (prefer to use Cliff’s usually) but recently I seem to have put up a few challenges on a map that’s basically Chiarn Prime with a slightly bigger budget and 2 extra pilots(???). I don’t know who made it, I can’t remember where it came from, but nonetheless I’ve got about 6 fleets saved for it.

The annoying thing is that it’s self-perpetuating. If you design a fleet as a retaliation which you then want to post as a general challenge, you need to use the same map. Then people start retaliating to that and before you know it there are a hundred challenges using that map.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t about 500 scenarios called ‘Custom Map’ now. Would be nice if players had to assign a unique name to their maps.

Oh, and regarding fleet deployment, I’ve started adding the cost of a fleet to its name. It’s not a perfect system, but at least it means that I can roughly figure out which fleets are going to work within any given map’s deployment limits.

I am shamed to admit I started with a spam type setup because it worked vs the AI very easily, before I saw there were so many other challenges with damn hard stuff in and I got my ass handed to me :slight_smile:

What this game needs is a “Must have different ships” option so that you are forced to not place the same design repeatedly, that would make for some interesting fights.

I will try and post something a bit varied in the future.

I pretty much went the same route when I was a little noobling fresh out of the noobery. Aaaand got rolled on pretty hard. After trolling the forums and getting better familiar with the weapons and hulls I scrapped all my fleet designs and started fresh. I am guilty of using the same hull, and im also guilty of using the federation so let’s face it, I’m going to hell. I’ll be leaving the feds behind soon and switching to the rebels though for a chance at redemption! I primarily use the Panther for my cruiser of choice. It just has a lot of versatility, I’ve got about 8 variants of the thing and none of them spam oriented. I absolutely despise spam fleets now. Hardly a thought process involved to it for me.

I usually look for the top rated challenges these days and choose what I think the most unique challenge is out of the bunch where I can. I just finished one where it was a 3 on 3 cruiser match and loved it.

Well, I’m one of those bad players who uses ships all of the same type, federation, with lots of fast fire rockets. Hmmmm… There are reasons why though. In my mind, it matches reality. There were few unique tanks, they were many assembly line produced tanks. Battleships are somewhat the same way. We reuse designs.

I wonder how this will play out in the campaign? Fighters for defence as the first production orders. Then a few frigates? Conquer a neigboring star system and start rolling out unique cruisers?

I don’t think so… I would roll out my best all around cruiser, en mass. My “Mark3” as I’ve nicknamed it. I will build them until my production wheels fall off. And I would throw them at neiboring star systems as fast as I could. I can’t imagine any other build path than an efficient production roll augmenting my fleet with specialty builds only when I find a system I can’t conquer quickly.

Spam fleets mimic real world production (all the Apache helicopters I worked on for 9 years were the same). The US Army is a spam fleet. I can’t see space fleets being that much different. But I’m willing to see if it turns out differently in the campaign, actually I’m dying to see if it turns out differently.

I suppose I would qualify as using “ships all of the same type”, due to the relatively minimal design lists I maintain for each race. (I assume my design lists are minimal based primarily on the fact that every time folks post about how hard it is to sort through their lists I really can’t sympathize. Hence I assume that my less-than-a-dozen cruiser designs are below average).

I agree that it makes sense to stock up on identical ships. I have a few specialized designs - anti-fighter, missile platform, fast skirmisher, etc. - and I deploy groups of them to work together.

Don’t know that I’d limit my production to a single design, but certainly two or three tops except in special circumstances. I guess we shall see what we shall see when the campaign hits us all in the face demanding that we all kneel before Zod.

(Sorry, not sure where that last part came from. But I like the sound of it so I’m leaving it there.)