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AFT-DSA-09 (Ships & Combat)

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AFT-DSA-09 (Ships & Combat)

Post by Universe Overwatch on 02.10.11 18:42



When you're not out harvesting to build a fleet or satisfy the upkeep of the infrastructure you don't own yet because we haven't covered that tutorial, you'll probably find yourself pillaging the locals or otherwise fending off voracious lowlifes who threaten your income. Whatever the reason, combat finds everyone at some point and it's essential to know just what to expect and how to prepare for hostilities.


Know Your Ship & Your Enemy

First you must save the Ship Database somewhere handy, because you'll be needing it a lot once you get into serious warfare. You'll also want to familiarize yourself with Armaments & Protection over the course of this tutorial. Now, here's a run-down of the fundamentals of combat:


Defense

When it comes to defense, everything in the universe is protected by a shield and/or a hefty bulk of armor. This value is listed at the top, and naturally the bigger the better. Immediately you may be thinking that shields are always better than armor because they recharge themselves and every sci-fi movie ever made says so. Wrong. While they may be very strong against Paranid particle beam weaponry, shields do absolutely nothing to stop incoming projectiles; for that you'll want armor.

Armor is that heavy, expensive plating you weld to the ship's carapace to block everything else nasty that's bound to come your way at some point. Be it tumbling asteroids in a deposit or the vicious bombardment of pirate artillery, armor is purpose-built to block physical attacks with the highest degree of efficiency. Unfortunately, particle beams slice through armor like a knife through hot butter, so you can't have total protection against everything unless your ship is capable of equipping shields and armor simultaneously.

When it comes to knowing what you want to equip, you should first consider your combat style. There are three different types of armor and two types of shields available -- each vastly different in protection quality and overall drawback. Know your enemy, know your ship, and know the consequences of everything.


Offense

Below the ship's defensive characteristics in the database you will find the craft's available weapon hardpoints. These slots are used to mount turrets to your ship, as detailed in the Armaments & Protection database. Warships nearly always offer racial combat bonuses to a specific weapon type, so it's wise to consider what you'll be getting out of your guns before you spend the resources it takes to install them, but other than that it's down to your combat style and ingenuity to find a suitable loadout for your spacecraft. Any gun can, in theory, be equipped to any ship (provided they are of the same size class), though fitting Paranid particle beams to a non-Paranid ship takes some engineering modification to pull off and vice versa. Still, nothing's impossible.

Just to throw you off once more you'll find that the M8 class is unique, for cruisers use missiles in combat rather than conventional turrets. Cruisers have a specific quantity of launch tubes (which may be fired and loaded independently, but they must all carry the same type of ordnance at one time), and may deploy torpedoes or missile swarms in space.

Torpedoes are slow yet powerful monsters built to bring down enemy capital ships. Broadsword heavy torpedoes easy to shoot down and take some time to reload, but they'll certainly ruin the day of anything that gets in their way. If you're in the mood for good balance between speed and power, the Shortsword precision torpedo is an excellent close-range alternative. Torpedo drones carry only the former, and must return to the carrier to re-arm once released.

Missile swarms are just that -- small, fast clusters of independent rockets built to take down drones and other missiles. As with torpedoes, there are two types of swarms one can deploy from a cruiser: Spectre precision swarms are launched against a single target and are very hard to shoot down, even with chainguns and other missile swarms, but are fairly wasteful if spammed against only a few targets. Poltergeist multiple-homing swarms are deployed against up to a dozen enemy ships and will independently seek and destroy their targets efficiently. They are, however, fairly susceptible to enemy chaingun fire despite their high speed and agility in space.


Radar

Carrying down further we see the ship's radar detection range. This figure equates to just how far away the ship can spot anything in space, from ships and stations to deposits and anomalies. Most capital ships can observe up to several thousand kilometres while drones will be lucky to view more than a few hundred, though the M5 reconnaissance class has a rather generous range due to its role niche.


Docking

Below that is hangar size, if applicable, which is fairly self-explanatory. Here the amount and types of ships that can be docked aboard a carrier are detailed. Very few ship classes are capable of carrying other vessels, though capital industrial ships and dedicated fighter carriers boast impressive internal berthing facilities. Docked ships do not increase your fleet's signature on radar, thus permitting you to travel undetected more so than if you were to fly these ships in space, and internally docked ships can be carried into warp without taxing the carrier ship's FTL propulsion systems.


Generic Ship Utilities

Velocity and cargo capacity. Do I really need to explain these? Moving on. Construction Cost is also fairly straight-forward, as explained in an earlier tutorial regarding shipbuilding and industry.

Lastly you will find the bonuses of each race ship available in each class. Seeing as not everyone builds their ships the same way, it's very important to use the technology that best suits your needs and flight style, so always consider the positive and negative consequences of a specific race when construction a new spacecraft. I've mentioned this before but it's a very important aspect of ship combat, so learn it like your senior year exam review.

Now, get out there and blow someone up.

The Unknown

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