Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 2 Votes - 3 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Combat Primer
07-26-2012, 09:45 AM (This post was last modified: 02-19-2014 03:40 AM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #1
Combat Primer
I wrote this up as a response to Seebs in one of the threads he started, but figured it'd be useful for other players as well (I know 37ddV has mentioned wanting to find out how I do combat orders before), so thought I'd give it it's own thread. Sticky? Guess I should go add it to the wiki as well...ended up being a tad longer than I originally expected/planned.

Weapons (other than nukes and torpedoes) do different damage depending on the range. Lasers do the most damage at short range and it drops off to very little at long range, though they still do some. Likewise IPC does massive damage at close range but again tapers off to far less when it gets out to medium range, and can't hit anything further away. Plasma Cannons do very little damage at close range, but ramp up to do decent damage at long range. Gauss is the other weapon I guess that doesn't vary damage, but like IPC, can't hit anything past medium range.

As a result, if you're using mainly lasers, IPC or gauss, you typically want to tell your ships to charge close range so you can do the maximum damage. With lasers, the exception would be if you're going up against an IPC or gauss fleet with your lasers. In that case, you'd want to tell your ships to keep long range so you can hit them - albeit with reduced damage - but they can't hit you. With plasma cannons, you want to tell your ships to keep long range to maximize their damage. If your opponent is using mainly plasma, then most likely you want to tell your ships to charge close to minimize their damage (unless you're using plasma as well).

If you're using nuke ships, it's actually frequently best to set them all to evasion or retreat due to their extreme range (retreat would be for if you don't know if you'll win, since they have limited ammo retreat allows them to flee the battle sometime after they've fired everything so they don't hang around to die. Edit: This is no longer true. As of a few updates ago (too lazy to look up which one), you now get an accuracy penalty to attacking when using evasion or retreat, so Keep Long Range is now the best option for nukes. Torpedoes I'll usually do long range, since they don't have the massive range to fire regardless of where they are like nukes do.

Targeting orders can be just as important. If you're using target closest (which is the default), that would indeed explain a lot of how you lose without an overwhelming advantage. Using target closest results in your damage being spread out over several, if not all of, your opponents ships. Having the damage spread out means that it takes much longer to kill any one ship. If you do orders that focus fire, such as target weakest, then the ships die off far faster under the focused fire, leaving your opponent fewer ships to fire back with. 90-95% of the time probably target weakest is your best option. The weaker ships die faster, thus removing them from the fight and leaving your opponent less weapons to fire back while you kill the bigger ships.

There are a couple of exceptions to the above. If you use a plasma fleet that you want to keep at long range, target closest is generally the best option, despite spreading out the damage. If you do keep long range and target weakest (or largest, smallest, etc), your ship will only attempt to keep long range in relation to it's target. That means that if an enemy ship flies up attacking it, it could fly right in to close range and your ship will ignore it. If you do target closest, as soon as a new ship gets closer than the current target, it'll switch targets to that ship and again try to keep long range, so overall it will attempt to keep long range to all enemy ships.

Another time I'll frequently make an exception is if I'm fielding a large fleet of IPC ships. Due to the massive damage per shot of the IPC and the incredible overall damage you can do in a round if you have a large fleet of them, I'll frequently use target largest instead of target weakest, since if you have enough you can kill a mammoth in a single round.

Primary target is definitely good to use, I pretty much use it exactly like you said you do. If my opponent has military leaders that will affect the fight (especially Rogue Captain or Cla-TK), I'll primary target on them, then set my ships to target weakest after. PT basically overrides your targeting orders (weakest, largets, closest etc) with whatever ship you tell it to target. If you're using non-missile weapons and the PT is out of range, it'll use the normal targeting orders to fire on other ships until you get in range of the PT, then target that. Missile weapons wont' target other ships since you don't want to run out of ammo before you get to fire on the PT. Once the PT is dead, your ships will again go back to using whatever target orders you set.

Escort can be handy as well. Escort overrides your distance orders (close, long, evasion, etc). If you set ship A to escort ship B, A will always attempt to stay close to B. It'll still use it's targeting orders to fire on the best ship that matches them within range, but will ignore distance orders as long as ship B is alive. If ship B dies, A will go back to whatever distance orders you gave it and go from there.

Two of the most powerful ship configurations in my experience are either all plasma weapons with thrusters and combat engines filling (or at least partly filling, depending on what your opponent is doing) your system slots. You want at least battleships most likely, as cruisers don't really have the system slots to do much with thrusters or engines, though if you have pacifist overhaul 1 to be able to do 2x of each it'll still do well. I generally do battleships then upgrade to mammoths down the line. For this fleet, you set everyone to target closest, keep long range, and watch as they basically fly circles around your enemy's ships pounding them with plasma while (theoretically) taking less damage themselves (unless your opponent has plasma as well).

The other configuration I'm a big fan of is massed IPC3. If your opponent is using energy shields, use 1/4 to 1/3 of your weapon slots for plasma cannons to take out the shields first (I typically do 2 plasma on a battleship without warlord overhaul, probably 3 with overhaul. Mammoth I'll do ~4 plasma). Fill the rest of the slots with IPC3. If your opponent is using thrusters/engines, you'll want some of your own so your ships can keep up and get in range, otherwise I'll typically do as much as I can of armor/bulkheads (within reason, 2-3 of each depending on the ship size and my production output) and shields with energy controller and shield modulation. If you're using mammoths, you can add some thrusters and engines on even after the armor/shields, which is always helpful for getting in range. Orbital bombardment can be handy on mammoths as well.

If you're going up against a pure plasma fleet (regardless of your own ship configuration), I never build energy shields. Plasma does 200% damage to shields, so any slots you would use for shields/energy controller/shield modulation will probably gain more benefit from...i forget whether it's armor or hull that plasma has a penalty against, but whichever it is, that'll do better for you.

Against a pure IPC fleet, you'll want energy shield 4, shield modulation and improved energy controller, as IPC has abysmal damage vs shields. If you know you're opponent is going IPC, plasma with shields and thrusters/combat engines are probably your best bet. You can also do the plasma/IPC combo I described above. The plasma will eat away their shields (if they have them, if not you can just go straight IPC and shields and win with an equal number of ships, probably even with slightly less) then leave them open to smack em with your IPC while they're still trying to take out your shields.
Hey, the spammers found the wiki now too!!!

GC ID - VanderLegion, GMT-9. Sandbox GC ID (Beta) - VanderLegion
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-26-2012, 05:14 PM
Post: #2
RE: Combat Primer
Very well written.
I am still trying to soak up most of the mental nourishment provided.

My only noob questions for now are:

what is IPC?
Nuke Missles have limited ammo? (How much does a ship carry)
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-26-2012, 06:34 PM
Post: #3
RE: Combat Primer
(07-26-2012 05:14 PM)tactfulgamer Wrote:  Very well written.
I am still trying to soak up most of the mental nourishment provided.

My only noob questions for now are:

what is IPC?
Nuke Missles have limited ammo? (How much does a ship carry)

Hehe, ion pulse cannons.

GC ID: 37ddV
"Invite me quickly there are preparations to be done!"
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-27-2012, 03:15 AM
Post: #4
RE: Combat Primer
(07-26-2012 05:14 PM)tactfulgamer Wrote:  Very well written.
I am still trying to soak up most of the mental nourishment provided.

My only noob questions for now are:

what is IPC?
Nuke Missles have limited ammo? (How much does a ship carry)

Nuke 1 has 3 shots per launcher, Nuke 2 has 4 shots per launcher, nuke 3 has 5 shots per launcher. Torpedoes have 5 shots each regardless of rank.

GC ID - VanderLegion, GMT-9. Sandbox GC ID (Beta) - VanderLegion
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-27-2012, 06:08 AM
Post: #5
RE: Combat Primer
"Lasers do most damage" should probably be "lasers do most damage at short range".

I seem to recall believing that plasma turrets had longer range once, but I may be mistaken. I had not noticed that nukes were longer range than torpedoes until quite recently, though.

In general, is it useful to specialize ships? e.g., have some ships that are nukes+launchers+ordinance, and others that have no missiles (and thus don't need launchers or ordinance to shine)?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-27-2012, 06:22 AM
Post: #6
RE: Combat Primer
(07-27-2012 06:08 AM)seebs Wrote:  "Lasers do most damage" should probably be "lasers do most damage at short range".

Haha, whoops, that's what it was supposed to say. fixed now.

Quote:In general, is it useful to specialize ships? e.g., have some ships that are nukes+launchers+ordinance, and others that have no missiles (and thus don't need launchers or ordinance to shine)?

I tend to specialize. If I'm doing nukes/torpedoes, I generally do that exclusively - I just build as big a fleet as I can with maxed launchers, 2-3 ordinance each and fml. If you get that built up and your opponent didn't build missile defenses, it's pretty much game over. Personally, I don't really mix missile boats with other ships, but if I were going to I'd specialize, so you don't have to put launchers and ordinance on everything, just on the nuke ships. That would also allow you to set the nuke ships to retreat so they can get out after they run out of ammo while the rest of your ships clean up.

GC ID - VanderLegion, GMT-9. Sandbox GC ID (Beta) - VanderLegion
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-27-2012, 06:35 AM
Post: #7
RE: Combat Primer
That makes a ton of sense, because one of the biggest problems I tend to have is that I lose a lot of ships and then I have nothing left. If I could reuse the nuke boats, that would save a lot of cost.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-27-2012, 11:52 AM
Post: #8
RE: Combat Primer
Wow. I need to refit my ships. I had no idea ably the nuke Missles being limited. Is it per battle? After they automatically restock?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-27-2012, 12:35 PM (This post was last modified: 07-27-2012 12:40 PM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #9
RE: Combat Primer
(07-27-2012 11:52 AM)tactfulgamer Wrote:  Wow. I need to refit my ships. I had no idea ably the nuke Missles being limited. Is it per battle? After they automatically restock?

Yah, per battle, restock to full as soon as the battle ends. If a battle lasts multiple rounds (ships survive on both sides or reinforcements show up for the losing player) your ships won't restock between turns, only when the battle actually ends. So if you have a buncha nuke ships and a battle lasts several rounds, those ships become useless pretty quick.
Thinking about limited ammo on missiles...rocco: How about a ships system that would let a missile boat reload between turns if a battle lasts more than one? Even if it only reloaded some of the ammo (half maybe?), that'd still give the ships the ability to be at least somewhat useful in a multi-turn battle. Maybe say they're reloading after all enemy ships die on the first turn in however much time remains for the battle. Maybe they reload 1 ammo per launcher every 5 or 10 rounds remaining after the last enemy ship dies? So if it takes you 30 out of 50 rounds to kill all of the enemy ships, you'd reload 2 or 4 ammo per launcher for the next round, depending on what numbers were used (probably closer to 1 every 10 rounds, since nukes tend to kill pretty quick...). I'd say it could be a starbase only system that would do it, except pretty much every time I've had it be an issue it's been at an OPPONENT's planet, so...

GC ID - VanderLegion, GMT-9. Sandbox GC ID (Beta) - VanderLegion
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-15-2012, 10:15 AM
Post: #10
RE: Combat Primer
Van. I hear there's a way to kill dark matters with 2 scouts laser 1. I can't seem to do 2 scouts, it keeps taking me 3. What are the battle commands and need traits, and order of battles, turns to send in scouts or both at the same time?

GC ID: 37ddV
"Invite me quickly there are preparations to be done!"
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | Starbase Orion | Return to Top | Return to Content | Lite (Archive) Mode | RSS Syndication