Ballistic Weapons

Galactic diplomacy with extreme prejudice.
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The Magus
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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by The Magus » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:35 am

For the reader who is too lazy to find out why they're wrong in multiple other threads.

Things that negate rail cannons:
-Heavier use of destroyers. 100% tech.
-Closing to close quarters with or without diversion/red herring tactics. I've yet to see an ANY game without overthrusters at the very least if that's a problem. Some good brawling weapons like energy cannons or beams and you're gold. Especially if you have some torpedoes to make them sweat on the approach.
-Deflectors...they're not exactly rare, and rail cannons aren't exactly 100%.
-Economy. Rail cannons aren't cheap, nor are they mid-game. A war is won in more ways than even-sided battles, and if they've invested in rail cannons hopefully you haven't just twiddled your thumbs and let them have an easy time of it.
-Jammers. 100% tech for most, otherwise really high. Rail cannons primary advantage is range. If you have just ONE jammer as you attempt to close range, they're screwed until you hit visual, at which point, assuming they have an ALL impactor fleet (bad for them) they'll only be able to focus their fire to kill off one or two cruisers in time. Not enough to save them from a close range specialized fleet. hell, if you have them and they don't, get your own long range weapons and make them regret it.

For ballistics in general:
-If they're not using AP or one of the fire control sections...DE brawlers or torpedo or spinal mount fleets are awesome. If you have a good small slot weapon (given they have rail cannons it's a good possibility) shielded DEs are a good idea too. Even with AP or FC they're less effective at dealing with small, fast vessels than a beam or tracking weapon heavy opponent.
-Pretty much any weapon tree in the game. Ballistics are not megaliths of weapons. They get outdamged by pretty much every other weapon type in a *cough* fair ...match. They're middle of the line, low tech, and dependable, but an AP Heavy Driver is not the raw ship shearing power of an antimatter projector or AM cannon broadside or assault command lancer focus or just two or three perfect accuracy positron beams etc. If they're ballistic heavy, it's costing them in several departments tactically for the sake of being generally good in every situation. Specialize, abuse, and conquer.
-Which leads to this point: don't fight them. Try and make the battles as one-sided as you can. When someone starts to use tactics to try and do this to an enemy, there's usually not a whole lot they can do about it that doesn't somehow harm them strategically. It's hard to have a good fleet everywhere in an entire interstellar empire. There's almost always soft targets, or not enough men to defend everywhere at once. Send decoy fleets with jammers, make them fear for every world. They'll have to spread out their fleets, weaken them individually, maybe even pull back aggression fleets to protect themselves.

In my personal experience, the only AI that's specially targeted engines have been Liir, and it is not very often they focus on ballistic weaponry. If you don't want to go flying, kill them outside their limited range. Even if they have an impactor ship or two, there's a good dead zone when you're too close for the ships to track as well and still just barely within NON armor piercing munition range. If they are armor piercing? Then you don't have to worry much about being sent flying. As much as they blow up your sections, you can do the same to them.
The teacher cut in smoothly, "Yes, of course. SolForce never fails to remind us how necessary they are to our...'survival'. ... It amazes me that the human race ever managed to exist, before you lot came along."

Cai Rui smiled thinly. "What amazes me is how quickly the human race could cease to exist, if we were gone."

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by Kimori » Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:31 pm

Wait, what? Hiver ships are fast in tactical? Since when?

They might be able to get a decent top speed, but it always seems to me that it takes forever with engines at maximum burn to GET to that speed. They just don't have that much thrust, even at antimatter.

Also, against impactors, if you're lacking deflectors and shields you could try sensor jammer DEs spread throughout your fleet. Then the enemy actually needs to get at least one ship into visual range before the impactors can fire.

edit: Magus got to jammers before I did. Phooey.

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by fibio » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:47 pm

Hivers are really fast in tactical, they just take ages to get up to crusing speed.
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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by Cralis » Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:24 pm

Well, as for lazy you can see I don't have an opportunity to log in much (or for long) or I'd have responded earlier. I'll call it even with ignorance on knowledge about me.

First, It wouldn't irritate me so much if I had more time to play. I'm tired of playing the game for the one hour I have sometimes only to find out that i'm fighting all ballistics and I feel like I've just wasted my time (I don't like to play frustrating games so I start over).

Second, I never said I lose at the strategic level. I rarely do. I'm just sick of having 10:1 losses in the enemy's favor and lose battles because my ships are sent spinning "coreward" one at a time. I usually out-produce them quite easily unless I get hosed on the random planets. Strategically I usually outmaneuver my opponent, and almost always outmaneuver the computer. So you can rest those "omg yer a noob you can't win" thoughts.

But to the basic points. Jammers are easily overcome with scout destroyers to go ahead of your impactors. They are really good to use when you have pursuit sections, you can usually stay out of range. Slap a deep space bridge on their and your set.

I've done this at least once where me and two friends played "End of all Flesh" or whatever that scenario is. We breezed through it with no problem after about a month of playing, using all impactor fleets with scouts when encountering jammers. Since the AI cannot use shields or deflectors it was a cake walk.

Computers are frustrating because they can pulsar/ram/blast, but players are especially annoying because they can compensate and maneuver to maximize their use of impactors. A few weeks ago one of them even laid a nice ambush using three groups of 2, so in order to run down one of them you had to let the other two blast you from beyond the range of your own weapons! I tried drones on that one only to find out the little hoser had interceptors. Of course eventually cruiser drones fixed that problem nicely - about 50 turns later. However, once again I had something like 5:1 or 10:1 losses because every group I'd attack the stormers would knock 1 or 2 of my ships into next year. It wasn't until I got DNs that it changed some but the DN impactor ships are absolutely brutal against other DN. Cruiser drones evened it out quite a bit though.

Oh yeah, did I mention that player ONLY targets engines? (obviously NOT on DN guys) And he doesn't kill any ship that flies into the sunset? That is extremely frustrating and no_other_weapon has that kind of power.

As for other races, yes the Liir destroy engine sections, but so do the Hiver. It is the Hiver that blasts engines about 1/3rd or so of the time and then send your ships flying. The zuul pulsar/ram/blast you into next year. Aside from players that is.

I did get a chance to play last night for about 20 minutes, and talked someone into doing some tests with dreads and node canons. I have to admit that I was wrong about one thing - node canons cannot destroy fresh DNs. I didn't realize that, probably because most of the time I encounter them its because they come in as reinforcements on damaged ships and immediately fire, wiping out the entire damaged fleet. Yay. But I will admit I was wrong on that one.

While I'm at it, I'll acquiesce on the whining issue - I didn't mean to come across whining. I apologize, and let me digress:

After the fourth game in a row of being presented with the opportunity to spend my few hours a week grinding mercilessly through hundreds of ship losses in order to win (due to this game mechanic), I got frustrated enough to make my first post ever.

All I want is an option or some way to modify the game so that I don't have to watch my ships spin into the ether. I believe it is a broken game mechanic, it is very frustrating to play against, and no other weapon in the game can match this ability of the ballistics. I don't get much time to play games, and I was trying to express that I would be very disappointed if I felt compelled switched to another game because I got so frustrated with SOTS - which otherwise IMHO is the best 4X space game I've ever played. I know this means very little to most of you, and less to the developers, but it means a lot to me.

PS. I did look up the chances of Tarka to get deflectors. According to the wiki it is 75%. However, I don't think I get it more than 1/3rd of the time. Is that value wrong on the wiki? It sure seems like it - I haven't gotten deflectors for the last 4 games at least.

Edit: Hivers are slow to accelerate but they seem to be slightly faster then Tarka. I can't remember the last time I've outrun a hiver ship. And I think Zuul are the highest speed...
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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by Mecron » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:35 pm

Its very meaningful that you like the game, on the other hand it doesn't make your pet peeve anything more than your pet peeve sadly. On the brighter side, the modding community is active and relatively socially skilled around here and I am sure you will be helped in the relatively simple matter of modding ballistic kinetics in very short order. Part of the reason the data base is made so accesible is so that in extreme cases, players can alter the DNA of their game experience to suit them.

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by (name here) » Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:13 am

You do realize that losing an engine section to beam weaponry means your ship coasts endlessly off past the enemy fleet? You seem to like playing as the Tarkans, so you shouldn't be letting them shoot at your engine section under any conditions whatsoever.

A few weeks ago one of them even laid a nice ambush using three groups of 2, so in order to run down one of them you had to let the other two blast you from beyond the range of your own weapons!

Okay, there actually isn't much to be done about that. Focus all fire on the mission section and pray. Ideally, though, you don't let that be a serious problem. Getting enough seperation to be meaningful takes time, and after you kill one group, they can't manage it again.

Since the AI cannot use shields or deflectors it was a cake walk.


Wait, that wasn't a joke? Funny, might want to tell that to my first truly successful hiver game and the fierce battles of maneuver against the Deflector-equipped human ships making up most of the midgame. Ended up using HCLs as my primary cruiser weapon. Actually, I never did get around to finishing that, It started to drag after I claimed multiple human arms and most of the core.

Also, if you find Ballistic weaponry so vastly overpowered, use it. The Tarkans have 100% odds for all the guns and 75% odds for neutronium rounds. You can laugh at stormers starting from the very early crusier era, I know from the "fun" that was Zuul stormers versus Tarkan warships. That was probably the most one-sided battle I've ever had that didn't involve cloaking or Meson Shields. Frankly, if you can keep your engine sections pointing away from incoming fire, even storms of Bursters shouldn't disrupt you more than three projectors shots to the face.

All in all, I think you're massively exaggerating the kinetic effect of Ballistics, and massively underestimating the advantage of being able to just kill a ship outright instead of sending it off a short distance into the black for a brief time period. Even in the worst-case scenario, a few repair ships will have all of them back next turn instead of them being flaming ruins at the hands of a few good projector volleys.

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by Magnum » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:15 am


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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by Mesaia » Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:42 am

I think the problem may lie in your tactics rather than the game mechanics themselves. Would you briefly describe what you are doing on the battlefield such that a ballistics-wielding computer controlled faction is able to man-handle your ships like that?

As a counter-example, last night, my Lancer + Photon Cannon + Fusion Cannon equipped Morrigi Assault Barrage Cruisers (Quark Resonators) were handily beating a Hiver faction that was using all Driver weaponry CRs (AM engines and also with Quark Resonators).

My tactics are simple. I split the fleet into two groups perpendicular to the enemy axis of advance. Each group has 2 CRs up front and 1 CR behind in an inverted triangle. There is about 1 CRs width of space between each group. When the Hiver CRs started to appear on sensors, I issued a move command 1/8" towards the enemy fleet to all my ships and started to press 'e' every second or so. Do not use the stop command as that would prevent your ships from using their drives to counter knock-back.

Once the Hivers come up on visuals, the 'e' button will focus my screen on the enemy. I then command each group to focus fire on one enemy CR each. The enemy will lose 2 CRs before their heavy drivers can become effective. I don't usually have to issue anny more move commands till the enemy has all been killed. I just keep giving new focus fire orders once the current targets are destroyed.

Using these basic tactics, I get really nice kill ratios and I don't get knocked all over the sky..

What are you doing that's different, Cralis?

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by Kimori » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:12 pm

(name here) wrote:
Since the AI cannot use shields or deflectors it was a cake walk.


Wait, that wasn't a joke? Funny, might want to tell that to my first truly successful hiver game and the fierce battles of maneuver against the Deflector-equipped human ships making up most of the midgame. Ended up using HCLs as my primary cruiser weapon. Actually, I never did get around to finishing that, It started to drag after I claimed multiple human arms and most of the core.

I think he means the AI Rebellion faction. They appear to get only AI Fire Control (with free AI Rebellion deep scan) command sections, which means no shields or half-shields on anything larger than a DE.

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by (name here) » Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:06 pm

Oh, that makes sense. Probably very good for game balance, all in all. Still kind of suprised anything involving the End of Flesh scenario can be described as a cakewalk.

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by alex1 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:53 am

Mecron wrote:Your place to ask questions and make observations about Ballistic Weapons in the Sots Universe. Ballistic direct fire weapon come in all 3 turret sizes and even includes the super-heavy Siege Driver Special Mount and a rapid fire point defence version.

I am really familiar with ballistic weapon. Can you post picture of ballistic weapon here???

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by Vemarkis » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:35 am

I must say, if you are having problems against Impactors as Tarka, that means your tactics are wrong. Tarka are one of the races that actually does not have a easily destroyable engine section, nor do their ships fly off the map like the Human ones do once they loose their engines, they might even get back to the battle before the battle ends(assuming you have about 3 minute battle timer).

I say this as a avid Tarka player, never show your tail to the enemy, but always show your face. Since that is how you are the strongest. And against Impactors you must divide your forces, so the Impactors have to spend time to turn and acquire target. Once you get up close, those impactors are doomed. You mentioned you have Shield Mark 1s, try using those, honestly. Even if they only shrug off 1 impactor shot, thats a lot more damage you won't be taking.

Also, you mention AI ships ramming against yours. There are two races that have a very high tendency to do that, Hivers, and Zuul. The former due to their high mass, and the Zuul just can't keep a grip on the wheel I must say. This is easy to avoid..don't go engage them on point blank ranges. Tarkas do torpedos, sniper cannons..everything long ranged really well. Sniper cannons really do go along with overthrust destroyers..

and I must ask, why as Tarka are you not wielding impactors of your own? The Tarka have 100% chance to get Accelerator Amplification on their tech tree. Also, if you can get Kinetic Kill Missiles, they are an absolutely awesome weapon against Impactors.

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by Darkchampion » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:20 pm

Heh. Just browsing the forums and noticed people still QQing over impactors. I rejoice when my enemy goes for impactor heavy fleets. It is a rather substantial tech investment that isn't too terribly difficult to counter.

Impactor investment:

Acceleration Amplifiers 90,000 RP
Predictive Gunnery 17,000 RP
Advanced Sensors 20,000 RP

If they don't have all 3 of the above, then they are a cake walk to kill. Impactors without fire control/AI fire control will usually miss a moving DE and will often miss CRs at longer ranges.

If they don't have advanced sensors then they can't effectively use the extreme impactor range and employ the rage inducing "kill 1/2 CRs within 3 seconds of map load with an impactor volley" and your DEs will wipe the floor with their expensive ships while you suffer light losses of cheaply replaced armor DEs.

If you are sending a shorter range CR/DN fleets into the teeth of an adv sensor/deep scan supported fire control impactor line while fielding no counters, you deserve to lose.

Hard Counter/make them weep:

Deflectors 15,000 RP


Hurf Durf DE spam 0 RP
Jammers 10,000 RP. Eliminates adv sensors advantage for extreme range targeting
Corrosive Missile 35,000 RP. Either they move, meaning their spinal mounted impactors dont fire, or they sit in a cloud of death and die.

EDIT: LOL topped off by a node cannon complaint. Pardon me if my 250k, slow, underarmed, easily disarmed, and easily out maneuvered CR managed to do something before it was killed with fire. Please continue to tailgate bores though!

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by usermist2 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:45 pm

The whole "Hivers r souper fast!" comment made me :lol: Hivers have decent top speed, but they maneuver like bricks. It's almost like they were specifically designed to accelerate for long periods of time to cross interstellar distances at a fraction of lightspeed or something.

As a Hooman or Croc, you should easily be able to outmaneuver Hivers without really trying. Yes, Zuul are fast and have tons of guns to play with. They also have low chances to get most tech, and have to "cheat" to get most cool techs, which coupled with their horrible research rate means that just about everybody is going to out-tech them.

So yes, please tell us again how the Zuul tech is hurting you, or the Hivers are chasing you down. Asynchronous warfare isn't always about having super tech. It's mostly about NOT doing what your enemy want you to do.

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Re: Ballistic Weapons

Post by tericc » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:57 am

A question to turret function. I been experimenting using various turret calibers with ballistic rounds.
(Explanation):Instead of using huge rounds. say massive armor piercing. I instead use med size ballistic to get a duel barrel on a large mount. I noticed and why I am experimenting.
Looking at the states the med size does slightly less damage and range then the larger.
Does using the dual version cause more damage then the single large since you are using 2 rounds per volley instead of 1?

Or am i blind and I only think i see an improvement to the brawler class :mrgreen:

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