The SOTS2 player guide

Talk about all things to do with the sequel to our flagship 4X title.

Moderator: Erinys

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what topic would you like me to cover next?

Poll ended at Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:22 pm

Advanced combat
6
20%
Mission System
2
7%
In-depth techs
4
13%
Economy 101
8
27%
Unknown menaces
0
No votes
What you need to know about the horde
2
7%
Slaving, Biomissiles, shuttles, and drivers: how to cleanse a planet
1
3%
How to defend
2
7%
The Tarkasian Art of War
3
10%
FTL overview
2
7%
 
Total votes: 30

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wingren013
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The SOTS2 player guide

Post by wingren013 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:34 pm

This guide is the community master archive of all knowledge pertaining to SOTS2
Official Wiki Page http://sots2.rorschach.net/Sots2_players_guide
Version history:
2/8/13- Added poll to aid in best helping community, attempted to add spoilers for organization
2/11/13- Fixed links, added link to wiki, got frustrated that the forum does not allow spoilers, updated combat guide with missile link, added some Tarka ship designs


Check out the Wiki: http://sots2.rorschach.net/SotS2_Codex
Wiki Tutorials http://sots2.rorschach.net/Category:Tutorial
Economy 101 http://sots2.rorschach.net/Economy_101
some helpful links from Blue Templar:
____________________________________________________
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/sho%20...%20reen-guide
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/sho%20...%20ersion-1.3
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=25382&p=371480&hilit=guide#p371480
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=31182&p=401109&hilit=guide#p401109
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=367385#p367385
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=33546&p=424611&hilit=guide#p424611
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=34549&p=434942&hilit=guide#p434942
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=34563&p=435112&hilit=guide#p435112
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=34152
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=35644&hilit=guide
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=36732&p=456279&hilit=guide#p456279
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=37699&p=460182&hilit=guide#p460182
http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=38599&p=465575&hilit=guide#p465575

______________________________________________
I will be splitting it into four sections:
Basics of SOTS2 a.k.a. Help me I'm a noob!

The techs a.k.a. So much candy not enough time.

Combat a.k.a. What am I supposed to do exactly?

Long Term Strategy a.k.a. Why does everyone have a Leviathan but me?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Basics:
Map Settings: maps work differently in sots2 than in prime (slang for sots1) they have non-randomized positions for starters and are based on terrain. this new system ensures that every player has viable territory to expand in, makes it easier to navigate, and brings the average map size down from 100 stars to somewhere around 30
I recommend that you stick with the max players for each map as having less can make the start postilions unbalanced.
(Important: unlike in prime the econ and research efficiency sliders are not for noobs, they are meant for advanced play and short games, if you are just learning the game I recomend keeping them at default as it affects the speed of the game much more than you would think and can be overwhelming if you need time to figure out what you are doing.)

Start settings: I personally recommend putting the starting techs at somewhere between 7 and 10 and the starting colonies at 4 (if techs are at 7 or 8 ) or 5 (if techs are at 9 or 10) I find that this does a pretty good job of abstracting the first couple of turns where you are researching mandatory tech such as FTL Economy and grabbing another colony or two. I also find that since different players get different sets of starting tech it is a nice way to increase the diversity in a mono or duo faction game.

Open/closed systems: Open systems are the default state your systems are in. Closed systems are created by toggling an option in the system info-card. Closed systems have more resistance to negative morale effects, are immune to espionage, and suffer no corruption, however closed systems cannot trade and civilian development cannot take place (not sure what happens to existing development when switching to closed). Closing a system also has more subtle effects which will be discussed in the strategy section.

The Factions: (I will cover each faction in more depth in part 4 but for now am giving just a quick rundown)
Beginner Factions:
Liir

Specialties: Research and Battle-riders

FTL: Flickerwarp; almost as straightforward as Tarka Warp Drive the only real differences are that Liir ships are faster on longer trips while Tarka are better at short distance travel

Weaknesses: fragile ships, light armament

Reasons to play: The Liir are perhaps the easiest race to understand in terms of play style which is quite straightforward (ironic given their deceitful dolphin ways) , their ships are also not subject to inertia in combat and thus easier for beginners to understand the movements of, plus their BR's are quite powerful (the basic Liir BR cruiser carries the equivalent of another cruiser with it into battle), the look on your opponents face watching your LV outmaneuver his BR's is priceless

Reasons not to play: Preference to destroying conniving sociopath dolphins rather than aiding them (I know they are not sociopaths yet but they will be one day), like to smash not think.

Tarka

Specialties: building things with lots of straight lines, moving in straight lines, being straight line fanboys, preferring cruisers over dreadnoughts because dreadnoughts are to mainstream, jousting

FTL: as you may have guessed it moves in a straight line. Really nothing special here. Boring but reliable.

Weaknesses: Dreadnoughts are underpowered, prefer to attack by accelerating at their enemy and shooting them then turning around and compensating for their momentum making them sitting ducks

Reasons to play: If you prefer to stay at cruiser level for a while these are your guys, if you get confused by complex FTL drives these are your guys, the jocks of sots; crude but effective

Reasons not to play: Preference for DN's over CR's, A bit more boring than the other factions

Intermediate Factions:
Morrigi

Specialties: trade, dreadnoughts, leviathans, tormenting their enemies, and DRONES!!!.

FTL: similar to Tarka and Liir in its straightlineyness it has the added caveat of being painfully slow but moving faster the more ships that are in a fleet, this does tip off your opponents to the strength of your fleets though which is why they start with stealth armor, remember kids: if the crows are moving slow it wont be much of a show, if the crows are moving fast they're looking to blast.

Weaknesses: its is easy to judge the strength of your forces based on their speed and methods to obscure your ships are expensive and not ideal for combat, the early game can be a bit slow until you can build up your trading, expensive ships

Resons to play: DRONES, you like the idea of having your ridiculously powerful fleet of LV's and DN's move faster than humans in a node lane, you enjoy annoying other players, all your support ships carry DRONES, they have one of the better combat behaivors and good weapon coverage (individual weapons have poor coverage but the placement of all the weapons collectively provides excellent coverage), they have a pretty good chance of getting most techs.

Reasons not to play: Drones can be a bit weak compared to BR's, the Morrigi are painfully slow without a full fleet which is expensive to build and maintain, super expensive ships.

Hivers
(while the hivers were and advanced race in prime I feel that the fusion starting era combined with the mission mechanics make them easier to play)

Specialties: armor, structure, guns, moving slow, industrial might, defensive strategic maneuvers

FTL: none/gates; hiver ships all move at stl speed normally, however travel between two systems with gates takes only 1 turn, this allows them to easily move fleets to defend territory or reinforce invasions, it also gives hiver fleets effectivley limitless range within the gate system

Weaknesses: the Enemy has plenty of time to prepare for your attacks, due to the time required to travel to enemy systems your initial attack on the enemy will be with an outdated fleet, additionally the gateship takes up CP (command points) further weakening your initial attack. In summary easy to defend with hard to attack with.

Reasons to play: their ships just won't die, you like using a slow methodical play-style, you are still getting used to the mission system, you don't like turning, you prefer to follow the speed limit; in the late game hivers can become an unstoppable force because their slow expansion allows them to focus on imperial infrastructure such as stations and trade, and build up a large military.

Reasons not to play: they have a very slow start, hiver fleets are very slow without using the gate network, have a hard time on the offense

Advanced Factions:
Sol-Force

Specialties: Broadsides, strategic speed, long-range combat, DN's, having reserves, having dirt cheap ships

FTL: node drive; blazingly fast, non-interceptible, and horribly limited; the node drive allows sol-force ships to travel at breakneck speeds through set paths between systems, if there is no path they must travel at stl speed (which is slower than the hivers); unlike in prime they no longer have situations where there is a nodepath (a route of node-lines through multiple systems) to the destination but is longer than the fleets range forcing stl speeds, this is due to ship range being based on turns-in-transit in sots2 rather than distance traveled like in prime; as an unintended side effect of the new map system and its non-random placement of systems and node-lines is that humans no longer have the ability to attack in unexpected directions (at least when playing against players who are experienced with that particular map) however this is compensated by no longer having the complicated web of hundreds of node-lines that inevitably developed in prime

Weaknesses: Paper-thin engine sections, poorly armed engine sections, limited firing arcs, somewhat awkward at turning

Reasons to play: sol-force has a very fast early game and can easily travel great distances in a few turns, sol-force ships also have a slim profile that makes them very hard for the enemy to hit, their DN's are also sickeningly cheap

Reasons not to play: Node-lines limit your options, their chances to develop techs are fairly mediocre and equal leading to situations where a sol-force player may research heavily into a tree 2and then be unable to access the highest levels of it (which can happen with any faction but humans are especially prone to it), sol-force ships have horrible alpha strike and close range capabilities

Horde

Specialties: GUNS!, numbers, slavery, salvage, armor, building ships for the price of a space-turnip

FTL: Rip Bores; the horde essentially makes node lines of their own using special ships, these node-lines are temporary and must be maintained, horde ship also travel slower in node-space than sol-force ships, their stl speed is pretty much identical to sol-force's

Weaknesses: Despite having armor equal to the hivers once that armor is breached their ships are essentially wet newspaper (unlike liir who have ships of wet cardboard), Rip bore ships have a slow strategic speed (faster than hivers) and are unable to travel at node-line speeds forcing accompanying fleets to take quite a while to travel despite using node-lines

Reasons to play: they have more dakka, their alpha strike is SCARY, almost all the speed of sol-force with none of the middle fingers from the universe, did I mention the dakka

Reasons not to play: vulnerable ships, problems with supplies, must expand or wither

Loa

Specialties: accuracy, robot voices, being reminiscent of Tron, having the armor of hivers and the guns of horde, adaptability, exterminating, killing bunnies to make way for power plants, being super-duper religious

FTL: Neutrino-Pulse-Gates (NPG) these work similarly to the casting ability of hiver gates, essentially they propel a ship at ftl speeds for a limited distance after which they rely on stl. chains of these gates can be created in order to create what amounts to a permanent version of the Horde's riplines with the caveat of consuming the gateship. the drive research for this tech is very important, almost as important as Liir drive research.

Weaknesses: Long distance travel is as daunting for them as the hivers and unlike the hivers they cannot travel through their gate network instantly and must use connecting paths, no access to combat psi which is the ultimate equalizer, no access to the amazing mecha-empathy tech, no access to cybernetic econ techs, no interest for savings (1% may not seem like a lot but it is pretty significant once you have a few million in savings, I remember one game where I had amassed enough savings that the interest payed for my entire budget), going in the red is really bad (it stops everything in your empire including pop growth), taxes greatly reduce pop growth

Reasons to play: Loa ships often have qualities that are equivalent to the best example of these qualities among other factions (i.e. horde-like guns, hiver-like armor, sol force thrust, morrigi turning), Loa have several special exceptions and unique effects when it comes to techs, economy, and government that can make them very fun and interesting to play, their fleets can configure into anything they need (i.e. your colonozier fleet can transform into a warfleet) and yes this is as powerful as it sounds (plus it really cuts down on micro, upkeep, and where did that fleet go moments)

Reasons not to play: Loa are hard I would not recommend playing them until you are able to consistently defeat the medium ai and have experience with the three H's, Hivers, Horde, and Humans (sol-force), they are incapable of using some of the more interesting and fun techs in the game, they have a slow early game due to going into the read to pay for another colo or scout fleet is devestating and not worth it.

Unique things that you might not know

Hiver ships actually have very good forward acceleration because they have engineered their bodies to withstand high gees and have very powerful stl engines

the armor of CR's reduces the hit pattern of weapons by 1 row, DN's 2 rows, and LV's 3 rows, this makes them much more hardy than their stats suggest and make DN's worth 3.3 CE's (cruiser equivalents) in battle even though they are counted as 3 CE's for the purpose of CP, a similar thing applies to LV's

Horde fleets have more CP (I believe that it is 3 or 5)

Sol-force ships consume more supplies

Hiver and Morrigi ships consume less supplies

the Horde has a 5% salvage chance even without a R&S (repair and salvage ship)

missiles do very poor internal damage compared to mass drivers and energy cannons despite having better armor penetration capabilities (check out the damage pattern for AM missiles it is ridiculous)

Armor piercing mass drivers penetrate in a straight line then expand in a box

Inertial cannons and graviton beams do damage to internal structure even while the target still has armor

the pulsed graviton beam (regarded as one of the best weapons in the game) does less damage than a normal graviton beam

unless you have no large turret weapons or they are horribly outdated (I'm talking best small mount pulse phasers and best large mount particle beam) large turret weapons are always superior to a medium or small turret choice in that spot

the exception the the above rule is sniper cannons which when have they're incredible accuracy combine with concentrated firepower are extremely devastating and can strip the turrets off a DN disgustingly fast

the basic mass drivers are viable weapons throughout the entire game (except for gauss cannons which should be upgraded to sniper or AP asap)

the morrigi gravboat slows the acceleration, turning, and max speed of enemy ships

shields must be completely depleted in order to recharge and cannot shut-down and recharge when there is a lull in the battle (come'on Mecron give us a toggle shield command)

you need a civilian station to begin trading

the trade bonuses provided by civilian stations only affect the trade from (not to) planets in that system.

mining stations can only be built in systems with gas giants or barren worlds

Tarka ships have an additional 10% chance to deflect mass drivers

Shield strength is based on hulll size and does not vary by faction (I am looking into it and initial testing shows that morrigi shields may be slightly stronger)

that Xombie is pronounced K'Sombie

A good set-up for learning the game
This is the set-up that I used to teach my brother
grand menace: 0
random events: 200%
other settings: standard
victory condition: home worlds
map: duel
special rules: at the beginning of the game each player will message the other with the location of their first three systems, players are not allowed to attack these systems, the players will also agree on a single system to be neutral and cannot be colonized by either player. On turn 150 each player sends one fleet to the neutral system to battle. After the battle ends the protection on starting systems expires.

This set-up has the player build a small empire while not having to worry as much about other players while still making a military build-up important.

Optional rules: all of the new players systems are protected until the battle. (use this for those who are new to strategy games not just sots)

Please leave feedback I am sure that I got some stuff wrong and am open to adding additional info
Last edited by wingren013 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:28 pm, edited 19 times in total.
The SOTS2 players guide: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=43082&p=482769#p482769
Ultimate Enemy Mod: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/for ... 01#p499101
(I like line spacing, parentheses, and inter-sentence punctuation; deal with it)

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wingren013
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Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:59 am

Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by wingren013 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:17 am

Techs, what do they do?

there are six main categories of techs

Passives: what provides bonuses that take effect immediatly
(warheads, expert systems, mecha-empathy, etc...)

Capabilities: what lets you do new stuff
(clairvoyance, ftl economics, province techs, heavy planet missiles, etc...)

Ships: what lets you build new sections
(DN construction, advanced LV's, battleriders, drone squadrons, spinal mount, etc...)

Attachments: what you put on stuff
(weapons, armor, reflective coating, modules, etc...)

FTL: what you use for strategic movement only
(radiant bore, casting, node pathing, all drive techs except flickerwarp)

Engine: what you use for all movement
(antimatter, reflex furnaces, micro-fusion drives, flickerwarp)

These tech categories are spread over multiple trees although some trees focus more on one category of techs (i.e. energy weapons tree is basically all attachment techs)

Some factions benefit much more from certain categories than others

A Note I define early-game as the initial colonization, exploration, and infrastructure phase of the game. Mid-game as the initial contact and conflict between the factions as well as the point where empires stop colonizing and start consolidating their positions. Late-game is when everyone has dug-in and major conflicts are happening, this is also when antimatter and DN's start to show up. End-game is when the LV's and other top tier techs come into play.

Early-Game Research

regardless of faction your first priority should be to research expert systems, two terraforming techs of your choice, and FTL economics in that order
expert systems will dramatically increase the speed with which you build new colonizers and scouts (15% boost!) it will also increase the IO of your new colonies allowing them to develop faster. The purpose of all this is to get your new colonies to a productive stage as soon as possible thereby freeing up your home system to focus on production while your new systems focus on trade, it also cuts down on colony maintenance which can be quite expensive in the early game.

after that each faction and strategy has different priorities but the general rule is to only invest in stuff that you need now. In the early game those four turns it takes to research a new weapon would be much better used on a tech such as telekinesis, modular construction, mega-freighters, orbital dry-docks, heavy platforms, materials applications (which requires polysilicate alloys), etc...

Mid-Game Research
when entering the mid-game there are three very important techs to grab: Combat Algorithms, your first new drive tech, and enhanced jurisdiction. This is also the time to start researching attachment techs rather than capability and passive techs. When it comes to weapons it is best to either invest entirely in one of the main trees (ballistics/energy weapons) or in the two smaller trees (warheads/torpedoes) note that these trees have branches and it is better to go high on one branch than to spread out to every branch.

Late-Game Research
At this point you should upgrade your drives and econ techs if you haven't already. You can start researching techs for the long-term rather than what you need now. Due to your powerful econ at this point it can often be beneficial to grab all the lower tier techs in hope of unlocking something nice or just getting a small boost, generally if you have techs that can be researched in 1-3 turns you should just grab them as it will give you more options.

End-Game Research
Once you have LV's and AM your research strategy will move towards more of an early game style of grabbing passive techs due to the fact that refitting your ships (not to mention making new prototypes) at this point is very expensive and time consuming. Investing in BR tech is also a smart choice. Warhead upgrades are also a priority due to the fact that all LV's use Polaris missiles in the same way a DN uses heavy beams.

Factions and Research

(Research time ratings take into account economic strength as well as racial research efficencies)

Sol-Force: Have an average research time, prefer long-range weapon techs. Good chances for C3 techs. Have slightly higher chances for beams (large and heavy), have low chances for top tier techs, are better at lateral research than linear (they don't do well with researching the highest end techs of a path but have good chance to have access to most paths)

Tarka: Have above average research time in the early game but lag behind in the late-game. Have good chances for all direct fire weapons, high tier shield techs, cloaking, armor, and BR's. Have below average chances for lasers and beams. Have bad chances for grav and meson shields, biotech, psi, and missiles. Often play catch-up when it comes to starting major research like AM, DN con, and LV con.

Liir: Fastest research times although suffer from monetary issues due to expensive high-tech ships. Have amazing chances for bio-tech, emitters, energy cannons, and projectors. Have good chances for shields, beams, torpedoes, psi, and BR's. Have higher than average or average chances for all other techs besides grav techs and drones for which they have very poor chances. Are very good at all research strategies but prefer linear research over lateral. They will usually have AM long before everyone else but don't have as great a lead when it comes to ship sizes (its still there though)

Horde: Slowest research hands-down at all stages except for psi techs where they receive a massive 150% bonus. Have very good chances at psi techs, salvage, salvage related techs, and their unique racial techs. Have above average chances for EMP weapons, grav tech, warheads, and ballistics. Have poor chances for everything else especially C3 and drones.

Hiver: Slightly slower research speed. Almost 100% chances for armor techs, tracking torpedoes, and movement related techs. Good chances for ballistics, mid-game energy weapons, bio-tech, and engineering. Poor chances for high tier energy weapons, beams, and shields. It is worth noting that Hivers have good chances for techs relating to heat and physiology modification. In the late-game their research speed really picks up because of their high tolerance for climate hazard allowing them to have the highest number of colonies and therefore the most trade volume and tax-base.

Morrigi: Average research speed although the massive trade income bonus they have gives them plenty of money to pump into research. Have good chances for all techs. Have exceptional chances for beams, grav techs, drones, shields, xeno-tech, and direct fire torpedoes. Have slightly worse chances for BR, warhead, and cybernetic tech (still higher than average though). Have the worst chances for C3 tech. Have surprisingly low chances for psi techs.

Loa: High research efficiency although their poor income gives than an average research speed, however when the need arises a focused effort on research will bring results faster than any other faction. 100% chance for AI econ techs and no risk of AI rebellion. Very good chances for energy weapons, torpedoes, shields, drones, and engineering. Bad chances for ballistics, cloaking, and warhead tech. Have a 100% chance for all nanite related tech. Have 0% chances for biotech, psi, and cyber.

When to grab power and ship classes

There are five ways to approach this:

Get them when the research time is short (30 or < )

Get them when others have them

Get them based on a research plan (i.e. I will get DN's once I have upgraded my weapons, FTL, and defenses)

Get them asap (rushing to DN's while playing Liir or Sol-Force is a great way to dominate the mid-game)

Once you have no better options (getting all the techs at your current era is a risky strategy but can give you a very strong edge in the early phases of the next era)

I will further update this when I finish the other sections
Last edited by wingren013 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:48 am, edited 6 times in total.
The SOTS2 players guide: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=43082&p=482769#p482769
Ultimate Enemy Mod: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/for ... 01#p499101
(I like line spacing, parentheses, and inter-sentence punctuation; deal with it)

User avatar
wingren013
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Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:59 am

Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by wingren013 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:18 am

Combat!

Explosions!

Dakka!

Strategy?

Combat in Sots2 is more than just point two fleets at each other and watching pretty explosions. There is a certain amount of maneuvering, planning, and thinking before things go boom.

Before we start A SHIP MANGED BY A PLAYER IS FAR MORE EFFECTIVE THAN A SHIP MANAGED BY THE COMBAT AI WHICH SPENDS HALF ITS TIME TRYING TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO SHOOT ITS HEAVY BEAMS AT TARGETS ON ITS FLANKS (not knocking the combat AI's competency its just that a player will generally be able to use common sense to deal with things while the AI must calculate everything out)

Note: (accuracy vs precision; accuracy is the weapons chances of hitting a target, precision is how much deviation the weapons fire has. accuracy is determined by the turret tracking, projectile speed, and precision of the weapon with precision being the second most important)

Links
a missile discussion: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=43185&p=483366&hilit=reflex+warheads#p483366

The Weapons

There are two forms of weapons: direct-fire and guided. Direct fire weapons must point at a target and be in range. Guided only require that the target is in range.

Direct Fire Weapons

Beams
Examples: Particle, Neutron, Positron, Meson, UV beamers, Phasers, etc...
Pros: Pin-point precision, very high burst damage, not effected by range
Cons: must stay on target for duration in-order to inflict maximum damage, poor recharge time, limited options outside of large turrets, low dps, narrow armor penetration, expensive, energy heavy
Uses: turret stripping, alpha strike, anti-BR
Things to know: the range and armor penetration becomes progressively better, beamers have a damage reduction vs reflective coating, they look awesome, phasers are the best med mount you're getting so plan to replace your med mounts with non-beam weapons

Energy Cannons
examples: plasma cannon, heavy plasma cannon
pros: inexpensive, very little supply and energy use, very good dps, good damage pattern, scales with power tech, good range, the heavy versions are god-like, very high terraforming damage
cons: lacks specialization, ineffective at short range, low critical chance, basic version practically useless
uses: dps, medium range combat

Projectors
Examples: plasma projector, meson projector, etc...
Pros: 30 energy cannon shots!, turret mounted very-heavy, wreck LV's, outperforms all other comparable weapons in ideal conditions, meson projector pretty much insta-kills most things
Cons: inaccurate, expensive, turret has a big shoot me sign, requires a specialized ship section (would be cool to have a mini-projector module for DN's and LV's), power hogs
Uses: anti-LV, anti-DN, storm of lead, poor man's siege driver

Mass Drivers
Examples: I shouldn't have to list these
Pros: cheap, awesome dps, bombardment kings, fast firing, knock ships around, cheap, don't require refits to stay competitive, very high crit chances
Cons: pretty much the exact opposite of a precision weapon, slow moving shots (why does the heavy md shoot a more massive shot instead of a identical mass slug with a greater velocity? Seriously rule 3 of mass drivers guys), energy weapons are sexier, friendly fire all the time, short ranged
Uses: dps, criticals, bombardment, ruining formations, cheese tactics, mass produced suicide ships, short ranged brawls

AP Mass Drivers
Examples: pretty dang self-explanatory
Pros: greatly reduce the traditional weaknesses of MD's, allows Hiver's to not get screwed over by an opponents good armor tech rolls
Cons: also reduces many of the advantages of MD's, damage pattern does not synergize well with other weapons
Uses: in support of other weapons

HEAP MD's
Examples: nothing to see here move along
Pros: very effective vs heavy armor, better damage than AP MD's
Cons: expensive for ballistics, imparts very little velocity on targets, ineffective vs lightly armored targets
Uses: when AP drivers just aren't enough

Missiles
Examples: Missiles, Polaris Missiles, Jaegers, IOBM's
Pros: golly that's a long range, the kings of alpha strike, no refits neccesary, required techs
Cons: PD is so effective (my standard Liir dread design can comfortably shoot down 60 missiles), subversion is crazy effective vs medium missiles, very dependent on the tactical situation, looong recharge time
Uses: Hit N' Run (now coming to a location near you), stationary defenses, stand-off weapons

Guided Torpedoes
Examples: Plasma Torp, Detonating AM torp, Enveloping AM torp
Pros: long range, very accurate, high damage, scale with energy tech
Cons: a bit supply heavy, research intensive, slow rof (rate of fire)
Uses: artillery, alternative to heavy beams

Unguided Torps
Examples: Photon torps, tracking Photons, Disruptor torps, kelvinic torp, gluonic torp
Pros: long range, very powerful support abilities, some very interesting and fun weapons in belong in this category
Cons: less accurate than their guided brethren, sub-par damage, expensive, unwieldy
Uses: arty, in support of heavy beams

Heavy Beams
Examples: lancers, HCL's, cutting beams
Pros: the heavy hitters
Cons: surprisingly low range, must stay on target, unwieldy, the coolest sounding one (lancers) is only second best while the most boringly named one (cutting beams) is the best (not really gameplay relevant but it is disappointing to have your ultimate weapon be called a cutting beam, makes it sound like an appliance)
Uses: killing big things, unlocking ship sections

Gravy beams
examples: graviton beam, pulsed graviton beam
Pros: the ultimate turret strippers (normal gravy beams damage the turret they are targeting and the ships structure simultaneously while pulsed gravy damages all turrets on the ship as well), awesome damage, very accurate, has a tractor beam effect, ignore armor
Cons: very high tech, expensive
Uses: tractor beams, turret stripping, making the zuul cry

Special payload missiles
examples: blast beam, blast storm, corrosive missiles, thud missiles, kk missiles
Pros: blast beams and thud missiles bypass subversion, kk missiles have a very strong knockback (not as strong as in prime where three of them could knock something out of the battle), corrosive and nanite missiles have some very fun tactics attached :twisted:
Cons: more expensive than other missiles, require finesse and experience to use well
Uses: differs for each but generally as support weapons

Chakkars
The tech gives an explanation for these so I am not going to bother

Specialty Drivers
read each tech

stormers
fire a 10 shots of the mass driver a size class below

rippers
same as stormers but AP

Inertial cannons
examples: another obvious one
Pros: surprisingly good damage, concentrated fire leaves enemies crippled, ignore armor
Cons: low dps, ineffective in small numbers
Uses: trickery, support weapons

Drones
pros: flying guns, devastating against unprepared opponents, give ships tactical options
Cons: expensive, requires large numbers to be effective, easily countered
Uses: striking targets away from the main battle, standoff weapons

Drive cannons
examples: tachyon cannon, grav cannon, node cannon
Pros: devastatingly powerful
Cons: mounted on special ftl ships that are not exactly equipped for combat

Factions and Combat

Liir-Zuul
ships: many many small mounts, super-duper fragile, resistant to the push effect of kinetic weapons, slow max speeds, near instant accel and deccel.
philosophy: a few powerful long range high-tech weapons, quality over quantity. They may have the least weapons but they are the strongest weapons.
caveats: unlike in prime the Liir are the 3rd best race at boarding due to their Prester Zuul marines, unlike the other races Liir are basically restricted to two weapon trees (torpedoes and energy weapons) this makes Liir fleets very predictable.

Liir and Drones
in theory the combination of a drones natural speed and the ultra maneuverable Liir engines should be unstoppable. However an actual combat situation quickly dispels this myth. The Liir drones can do something well however: they are the ultimate dog-fighters. As a Liir player you would do well to think of your drones less like bombers and more like fighters.
Conversely drones are critical to a successful Liir combat fleet, due to the Liir's slow tactical speed they must focus on accomplishing one task at a time with their main body. The addition of drones allows them to pursue secondary objectives such as destroying mining stations without the use of expensive and valuable riders.

Liir and missiles
the Liiran approach to missiles is also unique to the other races. The lack of medium and heavy mounts on their ships prevents the conventional tactic of overwhelming PD through pure numbers. Liir missiles do have an advantage though: stutterdrive. Liir missiles have a chance for weapons fire to pass through them, they are also even more deadly accurate than normal missiles. With this in mind missiles should be used much like drones: to engage secondary targets. Planets, stations, and satellites are all fair game.
Exception: KK missiles the capability to destroy the enemies ordered fleets so that you can move in circle around the weakest ship and destroy it (just like regular evil terran dolphins) gives the Liir a powerful edge.

Liir and ballistics
Ballistics and Liir is one of the more powerful combinations in the game. It is however quite impractical. But just like everything else it has its place in the Liiran war machine. The use of ballistics weapons gives any fleet a maneuver advantage because an opponent will be reluctant to close range and be pounded by mass drivers. Liir ships rely on keeping the enemy at a comfortable distance. The connection is obvious. Just remember that if they are doing damage they are not doing their job well.

Liir and battle cruisers
With the inclusion of riders in sots2 the Liir have found a singular answer to their two greatest combat weaknesses. The use of BC's gives the Liir speed and puts their ships out of harms way. Your goal should be to replace all of the cruisers that you can with a Rider variant. The Liirs excellent riders are perhaps their greatest advantage. use it!

Liir and battle riders
Liir BC's are capable of filling any role that a BR can without the need for refueling. Then again they are faster and those DN's sure do carry a lot...

Liir and Leviathans
unlike every other faction the Liir do not get combat LV's they do have some unique options however. Generally LV's are just to expensive to be built for anything but BB's. If you want to use BC's and BR's use a DN. Their is also a unique Liir LV called The Black which is essentially their version of the Suul'ka that the horde get. (I have not been able to get the black so far and cannot find any info on the wiki for it but I have seen it in some videos)

Liir and Psi
surprisingly Liir are not very psi oriented (actually lore wise they are all hippies so it kind of makes sense not to use offensive psi). They benefit quite nicely from certain powers such as crush, hold, and subversion which can all prevent the enemy from attacking them but the others are generally not as useful for them as the other factions. the CE beams are incredibly powerful combined with Liir maneuverability, abuse this. Liiran biotech affinity allows them to make an early grab for biosphere preservation without sacrificing too much.

Liir Game-Changers
The Liir have three late-game techs that completely change the way that they wage war, Curvature Compensator, Focused Shielding, and Phase Dislocation. Curvature Compensator greatly decreases the slow-down Liir ships have near gravity wells (I am not quite sure if this also effects tactical combat). It also increases their strategic speed (according to ship screen, needs verification). Focused Shielding allows a Liir DN to bestow a mk3 shield upon its attendant fleet of BR's, BC's, and CR's combined with shield rechargers, shield magnifiers, and quantum capacitors, and the always amazing structural fields this makes Liir fleets tough nuts to crack. Future refinements could even see it's deployment on a Leviathan class vessel (likely in an ANY type expansion). Phase Dislocation reduces armor damage by 1 row effectively increasing the size class of each ship. This makes Liir ships much hardier and in combination with adamantium alloys makes Liir LV's immune to most conventional weapons.

Liir Ship Design
I will be saving this for when I have all my screenies in order

Tarkasian Empire

The Tarkasian Empire favors quick strike tactics. Using a combination of stealth, overwhelming firepower, and a long history of cruiser construction they strike their enemies like vipers and continue to the next target. Strategically the Tarkasians have the advantage of unrestricted travel at a uniform speed. With further refinements of their warp drive they gain access to unique abilities such as reducing the effectiveness of enemy sensors, increasing the speed of the slowest vessels to that of the fastest, and performing a short range tactical ftl dash. Tactically the Tarkasians benefit from superior cruisers, forward firepower that could put a Morrigi to shame, and superior deflection of enemy weapons fire. They prefer a mix of energy and ballistic weapons but lean towards energy weapons. They make common use of prow deflectors and prow disruptors. Barrage type vessels are also a common sight. While their turret layouts may seem perfect for mass missile tactics the Tarkasians put little stock in such dishonorable tactics preferring to rely on the firepower of heavy beams, torpedoes, and mass drivers. As Var Kona it is your duty to uphold the honor of the empire and prosecute the enemies of the Nine Emperors.

The proper use of Imperial ships in combat is strafing passes. At no point should you engage in the tactic the Apes call furballing. It is wasteful and inefficient, It also removes the psychological effect experienced by the enemy when watching Tarkasian heavy cruisers bearing down on them. It is advised that you practice this tactic in simulations.

The following is a report on our cruiser designs Var Kona:

Ke'Korum class light cruiser
The Ke'Korum class uses a combination of the versatile hammerhead and armor sections to obtain the best speeds our cruisers are currently capable of using fusion engines. The hammerhead command section also enables the Ke'Korum to rapidly turn after completing its pass on the enemy thus increasing the amount of time its forward firepower is brought to bear. The Ke'Korum is designed to follow up the alpha strikes of other ships by making quick short passes. It uses polysilicate alloyed armor and improved reflective coating. It has GOOP modules wherever possible. Its armament consists of medium AP mass drivers mounted in the forward half and fusion cannons on the back half. The small turrets of the command and engine sections are devoted to point defense while those on the mission section use either sniper cannons or x-ray lasers. The large turret on the armor section carries a heavy emitter when available and when not uses a normal heavy driver. The engine's large turret carries a neutron beam or when facing the Horde another heavy emitter/heavy driver. If supply becomes an issue several of the AP mass drivers can be replaced with emitters. Future versions of the design could include the magnoceramic lattices our scientists have been musing over, a heavy inertial cannon on the engine section to interfere with pursuit, and the replacement of the fusion cannons with chakkars. Through simulations the Imperial engineers have concluded that this design excels in combat against large amounts of enemy cruisers and battleriders. It's speed and anti-cruiser capabilities also make it the perfect ship for defending from enemy raiders. Its weakness is its poor performance vs large targets however that is a role fulfilled by other ships.
(this is a mid and late game cruiser design that I have used with great success as the bread and butter of my fleet. It can follow up the attacks of my BR swarms and heavy cruisers using its emitters to take out the weakened enemy forces. I generally switch out most of ballistic weaponry in favor of AM cannons once I reach antimatter but leave some for the sake of variety and utility)

Shonok class artillery cruiser
The Shonok class uses a combination of the heavily armed assault and barrage sections to deliver withering forward firepower. Using no additional armor to cut down on costs and loading up on camel modules to alleviate supply issues. Its armaments consists entirely of medium mount missiles, sniper cannons, and corrosive missiles. Its torpedo tubes are loaded with antimatter torpedoes and it uses the best heavy beams available. The Polaris load-out is based on the enemy it is expected to be fighting with blast beams as the standard load-out. It is assigned on a mission by mission basis as its expense and specialization prevent its use as a standard combat ship. It generally replaces one of the fleets heavy cruisers. The Shonok is ideal for missions against targets such as leviathans and heavily fortified planets where overwhelming precision firepower is required. When not assigned to combat missions they are used to guard important worlds where its artillery capabilities can supplement the planetary missiles. (this is a special-purpose cruiser that I use in the AM era to provide DN level firepower for CR level cp. as the description says it is prohibitively expensive and is not assigned willy nilly)

Lagash class heavy cruiser
The Lagash class is the second half of the Imperial fleets. Its role is to provide heavy firepower in order to accomplish tasks that the Ke'Korum is unsuited to as well as providing alpha strike capabilities. Utilizing an assault command section and a torpedo mission section the Lagash can bring an impressive four large turrets to the battle; enough to make a Zuul jealous. The small mount load-out is identical to that of the Ke'Korum. Its torpedo tubes carry disruptors with the aim of rendering the enemy helpless. Its medium mounts are dominated by chakkars for armor penetration capability. The command large mount carries a flechette cannon. AP heavy drivers fill the mounts on the mission section. Another flechette cannon is mounted on the engine section. Future versions of the design could incorporate meson beams or heavy AM cannons. This ship performs well against heavily armored large foes. It suffers vs swarms of smaller lighter ships although its flechette cannons alleviate this problem. (this is a counterpart design to my Ke'Korum cruisers designed to rip open enemy armor and destroy large targets, if my opponents lack heavy armor I switch its armament to mass shotguns, mass drivers, and beams)

Vit'Ka command cruiser
The Vit'Ka class is designed to lead fleets into battle with minimum cost. It uses a standard command section and a strikeforce cnc mission section. Its weaponry consists entirely of point defense and dual green lasers. The engine mount can be equipped with a corrosive missile for support capability. (this is the cheapo cruiser that I use during the early game, it is very inexpensive but cannot really contribute to combat. It sometimes sees use mid-game in defense fleets, otherwise I just use it to lead my outdated ships in a glorious final charge)

Vit'Rana command cruiser
The Vit'Rana is a modified Vit'Ka class with an eye towards support fire. It replaces the standard command with an assault section. It uses fusion torpedoes, point defense, missiles, and KK missiles. It is also equipped with armor because it will be closer to battle. (this is my mid-game command cruiser that comes onto the scene when squeezing every last bit of combat capability from my cp pool is more important than reducing expenses)

Dreadnaughts coming soon
Last edited by wingren013 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:38 pm, edited 11 times in total.
The SOTS2 players guide: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=43082&p=482769#p482769
Ultimate Enemy Mod: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/for ... 01#p499101
(I like line spacing, parentheses, and inter-sentence punctuation; deal with it)

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wingren013
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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by wingren013 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:18 am

reserved
The SOTS2 players guide: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=43082&p=482769#p482769
Ultimate Enemy Mod: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/for ... 01#p499101
(I like line spacing, parentheses, and inter-sentence punctuation; deal with it)


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Barleyman
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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by Barleyman » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:29 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:Also, it seems to me that if you try to add every random detail that is in the game (in "Unique things that you might not know"), you'll never get to the end of it...


Or you just add it to the wiki for future reference. Loads of didyaknow (tm) factoids like "homeworlds get 2xtax"

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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by War1910 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:32 pm

mining stations can only be built in systems with gas giants and their productivity is dependent on the gas giants moons


Mining stations can be built orbiting barren moons (most often found around gas giants), and asteroid belts.
I used to be indecisive, now I'm not so sure...

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Nspace
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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by Nspace » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:02 pm

mining stations ... their productivity is dependent on the gas giants moons

This is not true. Mining stations produce the same amount of IO no matter what they orbit.

"Each mining station in a system gives +500 IO to all the colonies in that system. Each mining station in a system without any colonies gives +250 IO to the nearest system with a colony. This bonus IO does stack with multiple mining stations."

the trade bonuses provided by civilian stations only affect the trade between planets in that system.

I don't believe this is correct either. Civilian Stations are for trade with other systems. I think that trade between planets in a single system is abstracted into the tax income of those planets.
"Quando omni flunkus, mortati" - "When all else fails, play dead"
SotS 1 wiki: http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots1/Main_Page
SotS 2 wiki: http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots2/SotS2_Codex

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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by SacremPyrobolum » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:52 pm

I don't know about the humans being so unfriendly to beginners, if anything I think they are good to start out with having the most straight forward drive system and ship design.

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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by BlueTemplar » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Um, I don't think you get more straighforward than Tarkas are, and nodelines can be a pain with the mission system or so I've heard.

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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by ZedF » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:41 pm

Much less so now, Blue. The ability to keep pushing onward down a node chain as long as you have endurance to spare makes a big difference to human gameplay.
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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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by BlueTemplar » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:13 pm

Yeah, but don't you have to have at least some experience with the mission system to be able to do that?

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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:37 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:Yeah, but don't you have to have at least some experience with the mission system to be able to do that?

"Experience with the mission system."

I had a friend of mine who hardly ever plays 4x games on vent with me, and I taught him how to play SOTS2. (while it was working, his MP kept locking up) He understood the mission system with ease. He's not even 30 mins into the game, and doesn't need me to tell him how to survey or more specifically, why some fleets can and some can't... endurance and speed.

How is this mission system so complex to some people?

To the OP, keep up the good work.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel.

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The SOTS2 player guide

Post by ZedF » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:48 pm

Not really, Blue. If you can order a fleet to survey, you can order a returning fleet to survey. It'll come up as a possibility any time you try to do a mission that fleet can get to and perform.
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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Re: The SOTS2 player guide

Post by wingren013 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:24 pm

Blue Templar I added those links thanks (I didn't even think to search :oops: I just scrolled through the first five forum pages looking if there were guides, plus I have wanted to write a guide for a long time now). About the misc information: This guide is meant to be a central repository of knowledge if you want to know about the guts of the formulas and all the other math things look at the wiki. This guide is intended as a guide not a textbook. The factoids included were the ones that have the most impact.

About Sol-Force being classed advanced: while I agree that node-drive is not hard to understand this decision was based on the totality of the faction and the lack of specialization, fragile ships, and heavy combat micro outweighed the simplicity of the node-drive. Furthermore the classifications are not based on how hard it is to play but how hard it is to play well.

Don't have much time but will be adding the next section soon.

btw has anyone else noticed the stronger morrigi shield thing?
The SOTS2 players guide: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=43082&p=482769#p482769
Ultimate Enemy Mod: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/for ... 01#p499101
(I like line spacing, parentheses, and inter-sentence punctuation; deal with it)

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