Point Defense

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Sentenza
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Point Defense

Post by Sentenza » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:44 am

After losing 13 Cruisers to a colony and a handful of DEs, I realized that I should take a look at PD, and I aw the four different types.

I assume there isn't just one "best" PD, but rather that certain PDs fill certain roles.

By reading descriptions I'd assume Laser PD to be best against missiles, Gauss PD against Torpedoes, Interceptors against Drones/Riders/Shuttles/BioMissiles.
Phaser PD seems to render all other forms of PD obsolete once it's available, except maybe Interceptors?

1) Are my assumptions correct?
Also, assuming I have Gauss PD fitted in every small slots, 2) will they still shoot at Destroyers if no Missiles are around? 3) Would Laser PD? 4) Phaser PD?
5) Assuming once more I have Gauss PD fitted in every small slot, I'd assume they'd eat up torpedoes, but what about missiles, would they kill any at all, or will the spread just make them miss?
6) Assuming playing against the AI, is either Gauss or Laser PD generally more effective?
7) Is mounting Laser PDs on all Defense Satellites a good idea to increase their survival rate?

I'll do some test and try to answer at least some of my questions, will post back. In the meantime I appreciate any and all feedback :)

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Re: Point Defense

Post by ZedF » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:58 am

Sentenza wrote:After losing 13 Cruisers to a colony and a handful of DEs, I realized that I should take a look at PD, and I aw the four different types.

I assume there isn't just one "best" PD, but rather that certain PDs fill certain roles.

By reading descriptions I'd assume Laser PD to be best against missiles, Gauss PD against Torpedoes, Interceptors against Drones/Riders/Shuttles/BioMissiles.
Phaser PD seems to render all other forms of PD obsolete once it's available, except maybe Interceptors?

1) Are my assumptions correct?

Sort of, but not entirely. It's a bit more complicated than that. For example, lasers are great against normal missiles but have a hard time doing enough damage to stop some of the specialty missiles, in which case you might prefer gauss in the early game or phaser PD later. For another example, interceptors won't hit missiles (in SotS1) and their damage over time is not actually all that good relative to other PD, but they don't have to be mounted in the correct direction to fire because interceptors can track, so you can usually shoot all of them instead of some of them. There are lots of factors that come into play here, as with many other things about tactical combat in SotS1.

Also, assuming I have Gauss PD fitted in every small slots, 2) will they still shoot at Destroyers if no Missiles are around? 3) Would Laser PD? 4) Phaser PD?

Anything destroyer-sized or larger will take no damage from PD. (otherwise everything would get killed by PD really fast, they are the highest overall DPS weapons in the game.)

5) Assuming once more I have Gauss PD fitted in every small slot, I'd assume they'd eat up torpedoes, but what about missiles, would they kill any at all, or will the spread just make them miss?

Well some torpedoes cannot be shot down, and gauss is pretty short-ranged and their firing window is relatively short, so don't expect them to be a perfect counter to torpedoes. By the same token, they will shoot down some missiles, especially the larger specialty kinds.

6) Assuming playing against the AI, is either Gauss or Laser PD generally more effective?

Depends on your playstyle and what you expect to be facing, but I generally prefer to start with Laser PD and get other kinds of PD as needed, as my main concern in the early going tends to be regular planet missiles, and laser PD is best against those in most situations.

7) Is mounting Laser PDs on all Defense Satellites a good idea to increase their survival rate?

PD on satellites is good defensively, but more if you are worried about bioweapons and shuttles, IMHO. The satellites themselves are fairly fragile regardless of PD and in most cases cheap to replace anyway.
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

Sentenza
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Re: Point Defense

Post by Sentenza » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:56 pm

Thanks for your replies, I can report that Laser PD indeed work wonders! :)
I can't quite decide on my command or mission sections for my cruisers, still playing around with Battle Bridge, Deflectors, Shield, Frontal, Blazer, Armor, etc.

On the topic of Planetary Missiles, and thus, Planetary Bombardment...

It's rather simple if I don't want the colony, but if I'd like the colony as intact as possible, what weapons would I use early game? Which Late?

Also, I'm currently on the first scenario, 60 turns left, probably going to lose it :P
(this is my map: http://puu.sh/2gYK9, I guess I didn't expand enough... grey and green have allied and are attacking me on multiple fronts, but at least it's fun and edjumucational!)

How fast can I expect income from a taken over world? Do I assume correctly I take it over by killing the pop, and then can basically colonize it like any other uncolonized world, i.e. 50 colony ships = faster income?
Does a large amount of colony ships with suspended animation upgrade make sense for faster income, or is it a waste of money?

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Re: Point Defense

Post by ZedF » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:53 pm

Sentenza wrote:It's rather simple if I don't want the colony, but if I'd like the colony as intact as possible, what weapons would I use early game? Which Late?

Depends on what you mean when you say 'intact' as there are 2 different kinds of collateral damage (infrastructure and climate hazard), which are not equally easily repaired, and which don't necessarily engender equal amounts of long-term cost, depending on several factors of which race is one.

Generally, higher tech weapons will tend to do more of both infrastructure and CH damage and can more easily render a planet uninhabitable. Ballistics will tend to do more infrastructure and less CH damage than energy weapons, while missiles will do the most CH damage and a lot of infrastructure damage. Assault shuttles will kill population quickly and will not damage CH, but will cause a lot of infrastructure damage. The early bioweapons will not damage either CH or infrastructure but are more easily countered by vaccines, while top-end bioweapons are harder to get a vaccine for but tend to cause infrastructure damage due to rioting population.

If you want to keep a planet as pristine as possible (e.g. an enemy homeworld with it's 200% infrastructure bonus) then you either need to use plague/retro-plague or you need to bombard with early 'green' weapons such as green lasers and plasma cannon. However, these don't kill population very quickly at all and you will be under assault from enemy planet missiles and potential counter-attacks much longer, so IMHO it's generally not worth the effort.

Personally, I tend to prefer either AP drivers or assault shuttles as my preferred method of planetary conquest in the majority of my games; infrastructure damage tends to be easier to repair than CH damage.

How fast can I expect income from a taken over world? Do I assume correctly I take it over by killing the pop, and then can basically colonize it like any other uncolonized world, i.e. 50 colony ships = faster income?
Does a large amount of colony ships with suspended animation upgrade make sense for faster income, or is it a waste of money?

Yes, you generally take over an enemy world by glassing and recolonizing (with a couple exceptions.) How fast a world will mature will depend on how quickly your race can grow new population. How many ships to use is a matter of taste, how nasty the planet is, how much biotechnology you have, and how easily you can build your colony fleet and get it to the target world. Generally, the higher hazard a planet is, the more it will benefit from additional colonizers, and the lower the hazard the planet is, the fewer you really need to get good growth going -- even one can be enough for a really nice planet, especially if you are willing to overharvest a bit to build some initial infrastructure. However, I would say 50 colonizers is almost invariably massive overkill for most races in most situations (though I can envision rare exception cases.)
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

Sentenza
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Re: Point Defense

Post by Sentenza » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:15 pm

Can I stop ships with inappropriate weapons from shooting at the planet?
Can I stop ships with appropriate and inappropriate weapons from shooting their inappropriate weapons at the planets, while the appropriate ones hit?

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Re: Point Defense

Post by ZedF » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:33 pm

There are hold fire buttons and fire only at my target buttons on your tactical HUD for the group of ships you have selected, which can be set for individual weapons groupings (up to 3) you can assign your weapon banks to. If you play around with these you should be able to have as much control over which ships bombard with what as you like. However, be warned that this can require a lot of micromanagement as the controls are a bit fiddly. For instance, selecting a group of dissimilar ships and clicking a weapon group hold fire button on one of them will only apply the same weapon group hold fire to other ships of the same type in that selection group, so you have to treat each class of ship in your fleet separately.

There is also a 'bombard/don't bombard' toggle button at the top of the HUD for more global control, but in most cases you need incorporate tech for the race whose planet you are visiting for this button to be displayed.
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

Sentenza
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:46 pm

Re: Point Defense

Post by Sentenza » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:19 pm

Once more, thanks for all your answers :)

If I don't see those hold fire/fire only at my target buttons, what could be the issue? I'm playing the first scenario, and I found I couldn't NAP/Ally with the other races either (which didn't stop them from allying with eachother and NAPing my enemy, which made me lose the game), even though I did research the second language.

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Re: Point Defense

Post by ZedF » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:44 pm

I'm not sure what special rules said scenario might have regarding diplomacy. In general, though, other races may or may not like you due to quite a variety of factory such as how aggressive you've behaved toward them and how they feel about you compared to how they feel about your enemy, or whether you've helped them deal with their own enemies, and so forth, so it may not be surprising in and of itself that you were unable to secure a NAP or alliance. Without knowing some quite detailed and comprehensive specifics it'd be impossible to say.

Here's the relevant bit from the SotS1 wiki regarding the hold fire buttons:
SotS1 wiki wrote:Ships are capable of independently firing their weapons at any targets within range. As of 1.3.6 (BoB) you can also order ships to only fire at a designated target which will prevent them from firing on targets of opportunity.

You can assign weapons to one of three weapon groups. At the start of combat all weapons are by default assigned to weapon group 1, unless you placed them in different weapon groups in the design screen ( requires version 1.4.0 or greater ). To assign weapons to weapon groups, select the weapon group from the left of the ship commands segment of the Tactical Interface (1, 2 or 3). Then right click individual weapons to assign them to that group. To choose which weapon group to target with, select the appropriate number or the small button underneath meaning all. Weapons in the highlighted weapon group(s) will fire at the target selected, allowing you to choose which weapons fire on multiple targets as they bear.


Full page is here, however it's not 100% up to date with the latest version of the interface as it doesn't mention that hold fire and fire at my target are now separate buttons for each weapon group (and not encoded using red/yellow/green.) But it is worth mentioning that the functionality is version-specific so if you have an old version of SotS and are not running a relatively recent version (1.8.0 is the best and most recent) then you may not have the functionality.

Starting about 00:05 or so into this video, before the HUD is turned off, you should be able to see on the top right corner of the screen a vertical strip containing the numbers 1 2 3, and 6 buttons. These are used to control the weapon groups for the selected ship, displayed in the panel to the right, and any other identical ships that are also currently selected. It may be hard to see the weapon groups for the weapons on that ship but they are displayed in the upper right corner of each weapon box (for instance the torps and beams at the top of the ship display are in weapon group 1.)

Incidentally, around 00:16-00:17 or so, Profound Darkness displays the use of a different function, the withdraw to back lines button, to remove three cruisers from tactical combat and replace them with a dreadnought from his fleet reserves. That button is very handy at times, especially if you want to use assault shuttles to best effect, but it has its own set of rules regarding when it can be used. Something you might want to investigate and play around with given your recent questions about bombardment.
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

Sentenza
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Re: Point Defense

Post by Sentenza » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:20 pm

*facepalm*, I've seen those buttons, and always completely ignored them, assuming them irrelevant weapon group stuff... thanks :P

I watched that video a bit, those drones look awesome, but does the attacker not have PD? Shouldn't the drones be dying?

Damn, this game is SO AWESOME and exciting, it's incredible, a friend showed me Civ 1-5, I played a bit, was kinda meh, mostly at the combat, and here all this time SotS was hiding.

If it hadn't been for The Pit (which I dislike, dying just isn't my cup of tea ;)), I'd still be clueless.

Can't wait to be done with SotS and try SotS II :)

Thanks for that page, I had no idea you could get replacements in that way, I always tried to suicide a few units to get replacements in :)

Since we're on the topic of tactical stuff, I've been having issues getting my beam guys to properly face and hit their beams, with normal they just stood where I told them to move, is there no "optimal range" setting that also faces their target? I'm hazy on what pursue does (he said in the video faces the enemy, but what about distance?)

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Re: Point Defense

Post by ZedF » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:36 pm

I don't recall how much PD the Hivers had in that fleet, but there are some things drones can do to help ward off PD and not die like flies. Phaser PD tends to be pretty tough to stop but there are countermeasures such as armour to help deal with other forms of PD, which has various levels of effectiveness.

Sentenza wrote:Since we're on the topic of tactical stuff, I've been having issues getting my beam guys to properly face and hit their beams, with normal they just stood where I told them to move, is there no "optimal range" setting that also faces their target? I'm hazy on what pursue does (he said in the video faces the enemy, but what about distance?)

For beam ships I typically use normal orders and 'face target' stance, drive up fairly close to the enemy, then select a target for my beams, hit stop, and wait until the ship let's her rip against the target and the beams complete their firing cycle before issuing move orders again. While the ship is stopped it can use all its maneuvering thrusters to turn the ship and aim the beam, rather than having to worry about keeping formation or maneuvering.

The different stances are also visible in the video on the selected ships's tactical overlay. Face target is currently selected for the dreadnought and looks like two upward and downward arrows facing each other.
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

Sentenza
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Re: Point Defense

Post by Sentenza » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:13 pm

How dangerous are boarding pods? I assume PD takes care of them, so there's no cause for alarm?

On the flip side of that coin: What good are boarding pods?

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Re: Point Defense

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:20 pm

#Snip#. Wrong dang game. ;)
Last edited by Rossinna-Sama on Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

Sentenza
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Re: Point Defense

Post by Sentenza » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:24 pm

How do they work, though? I managed to get two pods on a cruiser (out of four, fired along with a truckload of missiles), and nothing much happened (besides a voice saying the ship is ours), it still shot at me

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Re: Point Defense

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:29 pm

#snip#. Wrong game.
Last edited by Rossinna-Sama on Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

ZedF
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Re: Point Defense

Post by ZedF » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:46 pm

Watch out!

Rossinna-Sama, this is the SotS1 forum -- make sure your advice is specific to SotS1. I am 99% certain you are talking about your SotS2 experience here, given mention of techs like Rapid-Fire Laser. Boarding in SotS1 is not precisely congruent with boarding in SotS2.

In SotS1, boarding pods operate a bit differently than in SotS2, as marines take much longer to take over a ship, so that shooting the pods off while the ship is being taken over is a valid tactic. That said... pods are still quite dangerous in the hands of certain races (most especially Zuul.) Their pods are the most durable (in SotS1, not so much in SotS2) and can take over enemy ships most easily. PD has more time to be an effective counter, but still suffers from being distracted by other things which need defending against.

In SotS2, a heavy dose of beam weapons (esp. emitters) may help clear pods away before they can get to your ships, but other weapons tend to be too inaccurate and not bursty enough given how little time you have to respond to pods once they get close to your ships. In SotS1, even medium accuracy weapons like AP drivers can and do help because latched-on pods are much easier to hit and because you have more time to work with.

If you are playing Zuul, loading up on boarding pods is an extremely powerful move because you can double your fleet by capturing the enemy first wave; captured ships won't be under your control, but they can still move and fight and absorb enemy weapon fire. (In SotS2, captured ships are much more likely to be heavily damaged and unable to contribute much to your cause.)
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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