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Starshatter Tactics


braddw25
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Somebody on another thread mentioned a tactics discussion for starshatter, so I thought a crusty old veteran like me should start a new thread pertaining to tactics. I will start things off with probably the biggest mistake I see new players making. That is forgetting that space is 3 dimensional. It is easy to forget that and try to restrict your ship to a single plane. In other words, new players when approaching an enemy will fly forward toward the enemy and even side to side but forget completey about the 3rd dimension which is up or down. Most enemy ships have their point defenses pointing foward and to the sides. So if you approach head on or from either side it can be tough to get your torpedoes through the enemy ship's point defense batteries. If you can approach the enemy from the top or bottom, however they are much weaker. The Marakan Broadside destroyer in particular is a very tough nut to crack from in front. But if you are able to manuver underneath the beast and hit it's soft underbelly it is almost shocking how easily one can be taken out. I can fairly consistently defeat them now with a frigate whereas when I first started out I was convinced the Broadsword was unbeatable even with a cruiser. Give it a try commanders and see how it works first hand. Keep em flying!


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panzerde
(@panzerde)
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I've just spent several days discovering this for myself! Including the Z-axis in maneuvering makes a huge difference in my ability to land crippling hits on key ship systems while avoiding losing my own. I've also found that coordinating with other ships is pretty important. Just rushing off and head-on into battle will more often than not end you up sucking vacuum.


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braddw25
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LOL, you beat me to my next point. I was going to mention exactly what you said about coordinating with wingmen if you are flying fighters or attack craft and/or coordinating with fellow task force members if in a cap ship. IF you try to go solo you end up getting slagged because the multiple enemies you normally face will concentrate fire on the ship they deam to be the biggest threat. This usually ends up being the one in front which will be the player if you decide to ignore your team-mates. One other important factor is to be aware of the intended roles for other ships. Frigates should be used as screening vessles and to intercept incoming fighters and torpedoes. If they go head to head by themselves with a destroyer or cruiser they won't last long. Destroyers and Cruisers are more able to go after other cap ships and survive while dealing out enough punishment to keep the enemy honest.

I'm very glad you were already able to learn some of this through your own flight experience. That makes for a stronger gaming community which is what I believe we all want here.


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braddw25
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Here is a great example of a smaller ship (frigate) employing effective tactics and taking out a cruiser. In a head to head matchup, this one would have ended quickly in favor of the cruiser, but the skipper of the little frigate knew how to expose the weaknesses of the cruiser to his maximum advantage.


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panzerde
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Yes, my gameplay significantly improved after watching that video after I'd played awhile. I originally watched it before playing to get a sense of whether or not to try and track down the game. While it helped convince me I wanted to play I really didn't get what I was watching at the time.

I also didn't realize until this weekend that I could move the nav points on the map at the beginning of a scenario, and adjust the actions for each point. Mission planning is important in this game! Taking the time to set up more intelligent nav points to allow your forces to gather, to set up FFs to escort and the like makes an enormous difference in play.

I'm really enjoying commanding a Destroyer Squadron now, and having good luck with it despite using the realistic flight model and having enemies set to Veteran. In fact, I'm about to move them up to Ace to get tougher fights.

I also messed with the Honor Harrington mod this weekend. I've always enjoyed that series of books and the mod is really well done.


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braddw25
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I'm glad you found the video helpful. Sometimes being able to see how something is done is much more effective than reading about it. The Honor Harrington mod is an outstanding piece of work done by a modder named CaptBlanc. I am hoping he eventually makes his way here to participate again. His would be a great asset with his innovative modding style. The really neat thing about this game is that with some of the mods you have to completely change your tactics. If my memory serves me correctly the Harrington mod has ships that are heavily reliant on missiles as opposed to guns. This of course will change the tactics needed to be a successful commander. If you try other mods like my Renegade Legion mod you will find that those ships tend to do better when they can broadside the enemy much like sailing ships of the line did. With all the mods available, the possibilities are literally endless. I'm glad you are enjoying the game so far.


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Lucan
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Whenever I go up against larger cap ships (carriers especially), one of the first things I try to disable is their quantum drive. One of the most annoying things you will find when playing the campaign is bringing Hegemony Goliath class carrier down to 20% hull integrity only to have it quantum out. Very frustrating, indeed! 😡

As far as the Honor Harrington mods' creator goes...I fly IL2 with CaptBlanc on a fairly regular basis. Next time talk to him on Skype I'll give him a heads up about this site. 🙂


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braddw25
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Hey, I know that guy!!! Good to have you here, Lucan! Welcome. Your experience as a playtesting ace will be a great asset here.

Speaking of CaptBlanc, I've been trying to contact him without success since SSmods went down. It would be great if he showed up here someday soon. We need all the Sr members from the old site we can get. We could be entering some exciting times for SS now that the source code project has started to take root.


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pasmon
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How to hunt down a carrier as carrier command?

1. Well first take care of all the enemy ships and keep gunning down enemy fighters and bombers. By the end when the carrier is all alone. Its bombers would be surely thinned out.

2. Now close in the lone carrier within 120-150 km. Guard your carrier with fighters. Send all your remaining ships away as they will scare

the carrier away.

3. With your fighters having an upper hand, send in the bombers wave after wave. The enemy carrier will launch its fighters that can be taken

care by your own fighters, nearby(remember the close-in tip).

4. The carrier will go down with three or four waves of attacks.

5. Remember, a bomber would forget its mission, if it encounters enemy fighters. They will try to save them first.

I took down Dragon in the Garden sector all alone in carrier. I lost five bombers. Three of them were destroyed by the explosion that finished Dragon. Two of them were taken off by the point defense batteries.

None of my bomber was shot down by enemy fighters as they were suppressed by my own fighters, nearby.


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braddw25
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Passmon,

Sounds like you are developing some very good tactics for carrier warfare. This is an area of SS that I do not believe has previously been explored in great detail. As I mentioned before, most players that I know of tend to want to command cruisers when they gain enough experience instead of carriers. Great work.


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pasmon
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Starshatter is more fun to play as rts (Flight OPs) than FPS part (Strike Craft or a cruiser squadron). The FPS part can be made fun too, but it needs a lot of tweaking.


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braddw25
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Funny, but I feel the exaxt opposite is true. But that is what makes starshatter such an awesome platform. There is something in the game that will interest just about anyone who's into space warfare. I enjoy commanding capital ships, you enjoy flight ops, while others enjoy flying fighters and attack craft. There is something for everyone in this game!


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pasmon
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Okay, i may be mistaken here. The fun factor means replay-ability and lifespan.

1. As a fighter, you launch and goes to patrol on planet or fight enemy strike-crafts. If there is an AA on planet, your fun is short-lived. During space fighter combat, you and your enemy do not have shields. So if your guns get hit, the fun is over anyway. I do not have Track IR and joystick. So i may be missing some fun element here.

2. As bomber, you have to launch and reach a target safely and then head back to the safety of carrier. Normally, you are without fighter escort. So if enemy strike craft disables your missile launcher (again, no shields), fun is over. A fighter escort is absolutely necessary. So you have to request one.

"Without some shields, strike craft missions are really no fun. But i have to agree with Milo, you cannot put shields on crafts (it is a simulation). Even sins of solar empire has strike crafts without shields.

3. As frigate cap, you have to screen enemy bombers (really struggling) and fighters and save your weak ass.

4. As cruiser cap, you can advance towards carrier fleet and make some interesting engagements. But you are sitting duck for enemy bombers.

Even your frigates cannot destroy all advancing enemy bomber squadron (even four of them, eight of them would disable you completely).

5. As flight ops,

(i). You can decide fighter escorts for bombers, inject new fighters replacing damaged fighters.

(ii). Keep enemy bombers in check.

(iii). Order your fleet to engage whenever necessary. Ask other friendly squadrons to protect you. At commodore level all other friendly squadrons

respond to your request (any) .

In Op firestorm,all of my support ships were gone. I had to request a destroyer squadron to protect me. They approached and protected me in box formation. They even destroyed a cruiser (CA vendetta) advancing towards me.


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braddw25
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You are not mistaken at all. You just enjoy a different aspect of the game than I do. That is what makes this game great. You have focused on carrier ops because you find that more enjoyable. I have focused on cruisers because they are more enjoyable to me. I can also tell you that once you learn to properly use a cruiser you do not get killed nearly as easily by enemy bombers Keep you frigate escorts between your cruiser and the bombers and also make sure you keep your pdbs pointed toward any bombers that get through. Set the pdbs to defensive fire and watch the bombers die.


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pasmon
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It takes time to eliminate enemy bombers even after being fired by frigates and pdb. They indeed die out in the end but after launching their slavo of missiles.

Five bombers will take out an enemy frigate before it has the time to take even of them.

Eight for a destroyer and Twelve for a cruiser. Bombers are really powerful in this game that makes a carrier loaded with bombers lethal.


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braddw25
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SOunds like real life to me. That is why aircraft carriers today are by far the most highly valued naval units and nothing else even comes close. A ship that has the ability to launch a long range strike against a relatively slow moving target and then has the ability to do it all over again is of course going to be a very tough opponent. Just like carrier based aircraft pose an enormous threat to surface vessles, the bombers in starshatter similarly pose a huge (huge, but not insurmountable for a good cruiser commander) threat to ships that rely on their own guns for striking power.


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pasmon
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I would like to know which software was used to capture Stgs. Any advice would be helpful.


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braddw25
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What do you mean by "capture"?


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pasmon
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Well i finished last zolon destroyer and also Op Nightfall.

About zolon fleet in Op Nightfall. They were very heavily armored and shielded but without any AA. I was kinda surprised by the absence of zolon carrier. It would be fun to play with. The destroyers were just sitting ducks for my strike craft and the only thrill involved was about protecting my bombers from their explosion.

I noticed that my strike craft labelled attack bombers started shooting guns on the destroyers after they ran out of missiles.

It seems to be hard coded that crafts meant for bombing runs attack stationary target with their guns and interceptors only use guns on enemy strike craft.

I guess zolon are only fun to be played with cruisers and extremely challenging with destroyers only.

I will try hunting down zolon fleet in OP Firestorm. Perhaps that would prove more fun.


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icsDrafe
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Some hints with carriers:

Just after the start, hit pause and send up all your assets to an escort mission, with the heavy anti ship load out, with your mothership as objective. If that ship doesn't have any preplanned waypoints (default), the elevation of the 2nd waypoint of the escort mission will be a crazy stuff (not allways but most likely), so they will start to leave the initial battle plane. As they slowly start to approach that clear area, you have plenty of time to gain intel and then actually change that 2nd waypoint accordingly. Chnage it to "Assault" and select an objective from the list of so far discovered capships. Best to take out the guarding frigates 1st then the hostile carrier. They will attack from the soft belly side (most likely). I don't konw if its a bug, but lets call it a feature for now. 🙂 

 

I don't know any other way to change the elevation of the waypoints.


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