Tactical Combat Advice

Tactics and Action Reports.
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Idegen
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Tactical Combat Advice

Post by Idegen » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:31 am

Hello!
I have just recently started playing, I haven't finished any games yet, but I'll probably win with the Liir on normal (spiral galaxy, for some reason feel kinda like cheating :)), but I don't do well in combat, when I'm not outnumbering them, and/or have far better technology. I seem to lose, if I just send in my cruisers to fight theirs, on even ground. There must be something I'm missing. I know to target their Cnc, and focus fire, maybe pull back damaged ship, counter what weapons they have, but apart from that... Haven't really tried projectors yet, I hear they are good for this kind of brawling (read a bit into this forum, what I could find on this), but the seemed to miss an awful lot. May if I set them to only fire at my target, not sure. So, basically, any advice would be appreciated :)

Btw, when I realised, that people were still using the forum, and playing the game... just wow :D

ZedF
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by ZedF » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:25 pm

Some general thoughts:
- Some weapons are easier to use than others, and some weapons are rarely worth using. It's good to experiment to find out which weapons you like, but for a new player you can take advantage of the fact that the AI will almost always charge your ships with theirs. This means for energy-weapon-loving races like Liir and Morrigi and sometimes Humans, you will rarely go wrong by starting off with emitters or beamers. For ballistics-loving races, usually AP Mass Drivers are the go-to weapon of choice in the early-middle part of the game.
- Weapons that aren't pinpoint accurate will tend to miss more if your ship is moving, and if your ship is moving it's harder for the ship to maximize the number of weapons that are pointed at the enemy. Oftentimes it's useful to push S for stop when your fleet is in engagement range of the enemy to take them off any movement orders you've given them and allow them to turn to face or broadside the enemy.
- It can be useful to be familiar with the rules for outnumbering bonus -- whichever fleet is larger (by category -- DDs, CAs, DNs) will get a bonus number of command points depending on how much larger at each size class. Something that looks like an even fight based on CnC size might in fact not be.
- One thing to be mindful of as a new player is that it can be tempting to over-invest in technology. Generally speaking, technology has a slower return on investment in SotS1 than does investment in economy by getting more colonies and/or more or better freighters than your rivals. In most winning games of SotS1 the player is behind on total number of technologies researched (i.e. tech rank in the ranking screen) but ahead on colonies, population, and income.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

Idegen
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by Idegen » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:51 am

Right, thanks, reading some more TARs (which are really helpful :)), apparently I do rely too much on tech. :)

Stratos
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by Stratos » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:00 pm

For humans, which will be the best way to go regarding weapons? I play mostly against the Hiver and lose every tactical fight :(

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willdieh
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by willdieh » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:57 pm

I play mostly Morrigi, but can throw this out as hopefully helpful: Humans have average tech chances, so it's hard to give specific advice on a specific technology as they're 50/50 to get most. The big benefit of humans is expansion rate... their FTL speed makes them early expanders, so you need to take advantage of that, rather than weapons and tech, to overrun the hivers and stake out your territory.

If I were playing humans, I'd rush to colonize, then fortify my perimeter against the hivers to keep them from expanding.

With Morrigi, you can deep strike the Hivers without warning once you upgrade your engines. With humans you're stuck with node lines, but can usually strike two or more hiver worlds at once, so you'd have to whittle them down with feints and be prepared to lose at least one fleet (of the multi-pronged attack) when doing so.

Emitters work particularly well against Hivers if you get them (but you'll want Heavy Emitters in mid-late game, and those can be hard to get) as do shielded cruisers but I don't know how Human shield tech compares to Morrigi (ie, can you roll the shield enhancers, level 4 shields, etc).

Hope that helps!

Stratos
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by Stratos » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:01 pm

What about weapons? Lasers? Guns? Missiles?

ZedF
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by ZedF » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:46 pm

Emitters are good to start with if you can get them. If you can’t get emitters, but started with some bonus techs and know you got lucky enough to get beamers, you can substitute with those. Otherwise I would probably aim to climb the ballistics tree and try to get AP drivers, as they are a solid tech that doesn’t require a lot of investment in pre-requisites; humans are 80% likely to get them, so good odds though you should expect the occasional disappointment.

You will also want PD, HCL when you get to cruiser hulls. Node Focusing and at least Poly armour too. Particle beams or heavy drivers (when you can afford them) are good upgrades to that basic load-out... but once you have cruisers with AP drivers and HCL there are really a lot of directions humans can go from there, depending on what goodies they roll.

That said, humans can make just about anything work, weapons-wise. As has been mentioned, the key is to get out to a quick start economically so you can afford a bigger navy and to be in more places at the same time with a significant force than the enemy can. Make sure you’ve read my advice from earlier posts in this thread — prioritize your economy ahead of getting the latest weapons for your ships, and make sure you know how CnC /outnumbering works so you can bring more force to bear at the point of conflict on the tactical map. Once you can do that you’re free to experiment and find the weapons you like best.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

Stratos
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by Stratos » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:32 pm

Thanks! Regarding CnC, is all a matter of developing more technologies on that tree? I cannot find too much info about that in the manual.

ZedF
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by ZedF » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:09 pm

There are 3 techs specifically for the CnC section for each size class - Battle Computers for destroyers, Data Synergy for cruisers, and Armada CnC for dreadnoughts. (There's also flag command for a beefier dreadnought CnC and Command stations, but you generally won't see a lot of either of those.) Also, Combat Algorithms and Holographic Tactics give a small bonus to your total command points, regardless of other factors. Otherwise, CCC techs do a variety of things pertaining to information processing and/or denial. The wiki has a fair bit of useful info on what the various technologies do, and a lot more besides... but bear in mind it's not really being maintained any longer, and there are a few places where it gives info or advice that's misleading or wrong.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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willdieh
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by willdieh » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:13 pm

Use the wiki :) It's by far the best resource you can find other than perhaps the tech tree itself. I use this techtree (but have noticed at least one mistake [with arcology - it links off Environmental Tailoring, not Biodomes]): http://swordofthestars.wikia.com/wiki/F ... chTree.png

The main wiki is here: http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots1/Main_Page

ZedF
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by ZedF » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:15 pm

The link to Arcology is from Polysilicate Alloys, but Environmental Tailoring is a prerequisite.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

Stratos
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by Stratos » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:24 am

Thanks a lot! I tried to search for a AAR of humans VS Hiver without luck, so this tips are very well received.

So strategic will be, to rush for new colonies, and then fortificate the ones that make border with the Hivers (with stations maybe?) and get enough money to keep my armadas up to date and able to outnumber the enemy.

Tactically I should go for Emitters/heavy emitters and heavy combat lasers or If those technologies are not available, then go for particle beams or Heavy Drivers and Armor piercing rounds. right? Point defense with ballistic will be enough?

Very important too will be, industrial to get cruisers and Polysilicate alloys as well as many C3 techs as possible? I searched the wiki, but it says nothing about how many ships can I control regarding the C3 technologies.

About movement, only Node focusing or should I get other power technologies? Any tip on those?

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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by ZedF » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:29 am

RBSotS1 SG4a was a teaching game played as humans. Not a lot of fighting against Hivers specifically, as they were far away, but some useful discussion regardless. It gives a good example of how to expand quickly as humans so you can dominate economically.

Re: weapons - the advice above is really most appropriate for the beginning/middle of the game. Light emitters and AP mass drivers are good weapons to start with. You might not want to stick with them forever, depending on how well you are doing with them. But it's easily possible to win with AP mass drivers as your primary weapons if you are conquering fast enough that nobody else can tech up enough to make them obsolete.

Don't worry too much about things like stations or medium-expensive weapons like heavy drivers and heavy emitters -- these are fine when you can afford them but they will come in due course. You sound like you should be focusing on the basics. Put more of your money and attention into expanding your economy via colonization, trade, and ultimately conquest, than you do into techs. If you need to skimp on techs a bit to afford more expansion that's usually something you can get away with, at least for a while. Making sure your borders are defended is fine, but don't be a passive defender. One of your biggest advantages over the AI is that you can make and implement a lot more plans at once than the AI can; you should be using this to hamper AI expansion and prevent the Hivers from establishing their gate network. Once you have them contained you can move in for the kill. Against Hivers, this usually means surprising them with fast attacks from outside their sensor range, or hitting multiple places at once simultaneously, or both. It's often easier to win by focusing more on burning Hivers worlds and gates than on taking out their fleets.

If you look up squadron, strikeforce, and armada CnC sections on the wiki it will tell you how many command points they give. You need 2 command points to field a destroyer, 6 for a cruiser, and 18 for a dreadnought.

Most of the movement techs can be useful in the right circumstances. Techs that increase range allow you to go down longer node lines and need to build fewer tankers. Techs that increase strategic speed allow you to cover more area with a given fleet, improve your reaction time to enemy fleets, and potentially allow movement to attack an enemy planet from a position where the enemy could not observe the fleet on the previous turn. Techs that increase tactical speed allow your ships to get to their preferred fighting range and/or position more readily. Usually pairing node focusing with pulsed fission is a good starting point for humans, because it lets them get to 6 LY/turn strategic speed faster than most other races, which is often a useful advantage.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

Stratos
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Re: Tactical Combat Advice

Post by Stratos » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:12 pm

Thanks a lot for all the tips! Now I'm resatarting a new galaxy in order to try them. Really apreciatted.

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