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  #11  
Old October 18th, 2004, 02:25 AM
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Slick Slick is offline
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

As you all can tell, I finally got a weekend off! Worked 7 weeks straight and the 2nd thing I did on my day off was play SE4

Anyways, all the good ideas here will eventually make it to the FAQ.

There has to be more good ideas out there. What I would really like to see are neat or subtle interface tricks, special strings of ship orders, and the like. Unique planet or system setups that you find useful are also welcome. Any good multiplayer tricks are also good (keep the good ones secret if you want, but throw us a bone!) If you have had a headache with a certain part of the game and later found a workaround, post it here. Chances are good that others haven't found the trick yet.

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  #12  
Old October 18th, 2004, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

Quote:
Roanon said:
I usually attack multiple planets first, because after the load order it might be that only 1 transport may be loaded with troops, and the fleet be able to capture only single planets.
Do you send your transports out with full cargo loads? Troops are rarely lost in ground combat in stock SE4, except in the odd situation where some player filled their planet with troops (which I have never seen done myself...). If so, then all transports should be filled back up, as the first transport can't load everything. Of course, if you use a lot of carriers, losing fighters might skew the results... But then, in most situations fighters aren't really worth using in stock SE4.

Quote:
About 90% of the time, the load order didn't work unless preceeded by a sidestep move of one sector which I routinely do now.
Strange. I have never seen it fail.
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  #13  
Old October 18th, 2004, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

I have only seen the order fail very rarely. I usually only use a single Troop Transport in my fleets, though. Could it have to do with multiple transports?

Yeah, Yeah, I know...use more transports. Old dog, new trick...

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Old October 18th, 2004, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

22) If you disable Condensed View when designing a ship, you can stagger the placement of weapons to control which will fire first and in what order. This can be useful for using Ionic Dispersers, for example. You might want to put first 1 Shield Depleter, then 2 Anti-Proton Beams, then 1 Ionic Disperser, then several more Anti-Proton Beams. The purpose of this is to try to get all of the shields knocked out before the Ionic Disperser fires. If there are shield points remaining, the Ionic Disperser will be unable to do its damage to the engines. The Anti-Proton Beams do not care what they hit, shields or hull. Placing a few of them before the Ionic Disperser helps improve the chances that all of the shield points will be gone before the Ionic Disperser fires. You migh consider placing the Ionic Disperser Last. If you do this, you might create situations in which the Anti-Proton Beam shots get lucky and knock out some engines, thus wasting damage points overall.

23) One hit from a heavy mounted or two shots from large mounted Ionic Dispersers will wipe out all of the engines on any ship. This will eliminate all supply storage on the ship, thus rendering it unable to fire any weapons. All further weapons from the enemy fleet will now ignore your useless hulk and target other ships. So, you should always add a Supply Storage component to all warships (certainly of Light Cruiser size or larger, possibly Destroyers, but those tend to die very quickly anyways so the benefits are reduced). Later when you get Quantum Reactors, the Supply Storage component should be replaced with a Quantum Reactor. This will allow the ship to still have some supplies after all engines are knocked out. So, it is still a threatening target. Enemy warships will continue to fire weapons at it until it is disabled (all weapons destroyed) or utterly destroyed. This, fewer ships of yours can be disabled in a given round with the same amount of enemy firepower. At 20 kT, a Supply Storage component is almost trivial in size (especially once you get Battle Cruisers and larger sized ships), and has the added benefit of increasing the operational range of your fleets by 10-20%, depending on other factors.

Note: A Solar Collector is _not_ a viable replacement for a Supply Storage component! Surely, it provides greater benefits in terms of range, but it will not prevent your ships from being unable to fire at all if they are hit by Ionic Dispersers.

24) Computer Viruses are the bane of Master Computer equipped ships. For larger ships, you might consider adding 1 Bridge, 1 Life Support, and 1 Crew Quarter component in addition to the Master Computer. 1 of each is all you need to maintain full command and control of the ship (ie: no loss of movement). Surely, adding the extra C&C components is more expensive in cost and size than just the Master Computer. However, on larger ship hulls, it will still be cheaper than using no Master Computer at all and relying on normal C&C components. If the Master Computer is knocked out, you still have the required command and control components, so your ship is fully functional. It will still be protected from Allegience Subverters and Mental Flailers, even with a damaged Master Computer. Against Psychic races, you get immunity to Allegience Subverters and immunity to disablement from Computer Viruses. Against normal races, you still get the immunity to disablement from Computer Viruses, and can save a lot of space and resources on large ship hulls.
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  #15  
Old October 18th, 2004, 03:04 AM
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

Quote:
Slick said:
I have only seen the order fail very rarely. I usually only use a single Troop Transport in my fleets, though. Could it have to do with multiple transports?

Yeah, Yeah, I know...use more transports. Old dog, new trick...

Slick.
I have been using 2 troop transports to conquer planets with a moon in the same turn, and using the move to next planet trick, to great affect in the PBW game P&N on PBW, take 2. Yes, it is using SE4 1.49, so it is possible that some bug appeared in a later Version. I have a lot of carriers, due to fighters being useful in P&N Mod, and I haven't seen any of them load the troops up rather than the transports. I do occasionally have problems with all troops going on a single transport, as it is actually possible to lose troops in ground invasions in P&N Mod, so I only attack a single sector with 2 planets once per turn to make sure I don't glass the second moon. But other than that, I have had no problems at all conquering 3-7 planets in a turn (depending on system layout of course). The only time a problem occurs is when my invasion forces are unable to defeat all militia in a single combat (once again thanks to P&N Mod, this is actually possible). If there is just one planet, the second transport drops troops and it is usually enough. If it isn't, the fleet will do nothing further, as it will be unable to load troops. It will _not_ continue on it's merry way, leaving the troops behind on the embattled planet.

This is, of course, not the only game I have done such things in, but it is the one that I am doing it in currently.
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  #16  
Old October 18th, 2004, 04:55 AM

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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

Instead of building resource storage facilies, you can also build insanely expensive bases, and mothball them. When you're lacking in reserves, scrap a few. Becomes a lot more efficient with recycling facilities. It is also a perfect excuse for keeping hundreds of sunkillers around.
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  #17  
Old October 18th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

Quote:
Imperator Fyron said:
Troops are rarely lost in ground combat in stock SE4, except in the odd situation where some player filled their planet with troops (which I have never seen done myself...).
Try fighting real opponents . Yes, some of my enemies are so eager to deny me their planets that they build their police troops with weapons. Also, if you have the standard -50 ground combat racial trait, planets with higher population, i.e. nearly every planet when fighting against an organic enemy, will cause heavy losses from the militia. My transports only have about 500kt space, being heavily armored so they are able to advance alone against shipless planets. 2 x 50 troops are worn down to 1 x 50 (or less) troops after very few turns when fighting against an enemy who has the impertinence to make your victory as slow and fruitless as possible - hi Teal, hi Alneyan

Quote:
If it isn't, the fleet will do nothing further, as it will be unable to load troops. It will _not_ continue on it's merry way, leaving the troops behind on the embattled planet.
Very old and outdated game Version..... Tried this with the latest game Version?
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  #18  
Old October 18th, 2004, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

Do not fret Roanon, for the might of the Continuum will not keep your invading troops at bay for much longer. The previous player built more troops than I know what to do with, and these have been reconverted to the noble purpose of forcing you to glass my planets (you won't get free happiness from me!). I did build a couple more troops here and there, but my happiness collapsed before I could manage to fully protect all my planets.

Speaking of troops: the Shield Depleter is the most powerful weapon for troops in the regular game, as special damage does not matter for troops. Only cost and damage per kt have any incidence, and the Shield Depleter is the best by a fair amount in these two fields. It makes very little sense, so use your own mileage to determine whether it is a legitimate design or not. The writer declines any responsability for the mishandling of Small Shield Depleters.

A few reminders worth mentioning:
- The Crystalline Armour effectively works as a beefed up Emissive Armour, as it is able to negate weapons doing 149 normal damage or less (with 10 Crystalline Armour III per vessel, and at least 150 points of shielding). Adding more Crystalline Armour or more regular Armour only helps to increase the survivability of the ship. It does not go above 150 because the Crystalline Armour has a damage resistance of 150 points. So if you are fighting such a vessel with DUCs doing 120 damage points per turn, do not be surprised to see you have dealt no damage whatsoever to the enemy fleet.
- Unlike the Mental Flail (I am not sure of the exact name of this weapon... It is the Psychic weapon increasing reload time), the Energy Dampener is not countered by anything at all, including the Master Computer. These weapons do not pop in often, but be warned of their properties if you are fighting them.
- The War Shrine and the Temporal facility providing the same ability only affects offence (by +15% and +30% respectively at level III), and do not give any bonus to defence, contrary to what the description seems to imply.
- Never, ever, cloak a minesweeper. Minesweepers do not work when cloaked. For the sake of safety, not putting any kind of cloaking device on them would seem to be a good idea; unless you have perfectly accurate intelligence that is.

I do not know if it is really on topic, but I have taken the liberty of pasting a lengthy explanation on how damage really works in SE4. The quote comes straight from Dubious Guide, and has been posted on these Boards in 2001 by Zanthis. The only change since then is that Organic Armour no longer regenerates before being damaged; the rest remains valid with the 1.91 patch as far as I can tell. If it is irrelevant to your idea for this thread Slick, feel free to tell me so and I will cut off the quote below.

"In order to better understand how damage is dealt, I did some extensive testing with the simulator. Here are my results, in FAQ format:

1. How is damage assigned?
First, ignore shields for now (see Question #2). Now, every time you hit a ship, a random component is selected on the target. If the target still has armor, the random component will be a piece of armor. Now, if the amount of damage you've done with that hit equals or exceeds the damage resistance of the component, it is destroyed. If you have left-over damage, another component is randomly selected. Repeat until a component is selected for which not enough damage remains to destroy. This extra damage is stored by the target for use later.
Now, next time the target is hit, the first thing that happens is any extra damage (from previous hits) is added to your weapon's damage. Then, the selecting of components to be destroyed occurs as described in the above paragraph.
As you can see, this means components do not have "damage done to them." I have not been able to verify it, but it is likey that when a component is randomly selected and not destroyed, it is remembered and automatically selected in the future until destroyed. This would give the appearance of a single component taking damage. However, I do know that if you change damage types (say from normal to armor skipping) a new component is randomly selected.
That means, if you modify Armor III to take 400 (instead of 40) damage to destroy and change the Shard Cannon to do only 1 damage (it skips armor) and then hit a ship with one Armor III for 300 normal damage (which cannot destroy the piece of Armor III and so sits around as extra damage) and then hit the target for only 1 point of damage with the Shard Cannon, 301 damage will be randomly targeted at components inside the target's armor!!! This is why Shard Cannons and Null-Space Projectors sometimes really gut ships, especially those using high-resistant armor (Organic, Crystaline, etc).
Of course, the reverse is also true. If you hit with armor skipping damage but fail to destroy a component, you just generate extra damage. Future hits may apply that extra damage toward armor, even though it originally skipped armor.

2. Ok, so how do shields fit into this?
I'm glad you asked. First, don't mix phased and non-phased generating components. If you do, you get non-phased shields. That is, until all the non-phased shield generating components are destroyed; then suddenly, in the middle of battle, your shields will become phased.
Ok, otherwise, shields work just like you expect. Damage from weapons gets taken off your shields first. However, remember above where I told you extra damage is added to your weapon's damage before being applied? That happens before your weapon's damage is applied to shields. That means, hit a ship with normal shields and some Armor III with a PPB (skips non-phased shields) for 35 damage (not enough to destroy a piece of armor) and then with a Meson BLaster (normal damage) for 30 and the extra damage (35 from the PPB) is added to the Meson's 30 for a total of 65 damage delt to the target's non-phased shields!!!
This gets even more fun with shield regeneration. See, if you get some damage passed their shields without destroying components (so it's still extra damage), but the regenerators bring the shields back up, that damage you got passed their shields gets pulled back out and has to go through the shields again next time the ship gets hit.
As an added bonus, destroying a shield generating component drops your current shield value to your maximum shield value (assuming your current value was greater than max value) but it does this before the component is destroyed! This means, with 3 Shield V (900 shields), if you get hit by a PPB that kills one of the generators, your shields will be 900 out of 600! If a second hit kills another generator, your shields will be 600 out of 300.

[Snip: Zanthis was discussing the pre 1.49 Organic Armour in question 3]

4. Do I really want to know how Crystalline Armor works?
No, you really, really don't. But here it is. Let's do this by example. Assume a ship with 0/300 shields and 4 Crystalline Armor III (150 damage resistance each , 15 dmg converted to shields each) and no damage inside shields yet. This ship is hit by a Meson BLaster (normal damage) for 30. The CA regenerates the target's shields by 30 (it could have done up to 60, but the weapon damage was only 30). This shield regeneration is done after the weapon damage is applied against shields, so it doesn't block this hit. Now, the 30 weapon damage becomes extra damage since it cannot kill the armor (that takes 150). So, we now have 30/300 shields and 30 extra damage.
The target is hit again for another 30 damage. First, we added extra damage to this, so we get a hit doing 60 damage (see Question #1 if you've forgot about that ). Now, the shield blocks 30, so 30 damage is left which causes the CA to regen another 30 shields and the ships extra damage to be set to 30, again. So, we now have 30/300 shields and 30 extra damage. Look familar?
That's right, if you cannot, in a single hit, do either 150 damage OR more damage than the CA can convert to shields, you will NEVER hurt the ship without armor skipping weapons (see Question #1 for how much fun you can have sneaking non-armor skipping damage inside a ship with armor-skipping weapons).
Don't believe me? Ok, example continued, but doing 60 damage this time. Adding extra damage makes it 90, shield blocks 30, 60 points of shields regen'd and 60 points to extra damage. Now we have 60/300 shields and 60 extra damage. Hit again for 60, plus extra damage is 120, shields block 60, 60 left, regen shield 60 and extra damage becomes 60, leaving us with 60/300 shields and 60 extra damage? Fun, isn't it?
Again, 65 damage though. Add extra damage, 125, shield blocks 60, 65 left, regen shield 60 (max for 4 CA-III) and extra damage set to 65. Hit again for 65. Add extra damage, 130, shield blocks 60, 70 left, regen shield 60 and extra damage set to 70. Hit again for 65. Add extra damage, 135, shield blocks 60, 75 left, regen shield 60 and extra damage set to 75. As you can see, the extra damage slowly creeps up, and once it hits 150, it will kill a piece of CA. At which point only 45 damage can be converted to shields and doing 65 a hit, the ship will begin to die faster.
Now, here is the scary part. We're 60/300 shields with 75 extra damage and no CA destroyed yet. You've been slowly chipping away with 65 damage weapons. Guess what happens if you hit is for 60 or less damage? Hit for 40. Add extra damage, 115, shield blocks 60, 55 left, regen shield 55 and extra damage set to 55. Now we're at 55/300 and 55 extra damage. That's right, the ship has effectively healed 20!!!
Moral of the story, once you've got his shield almost down, fire *only* weapons that do more damage than he can convert to shields (or do 150+ damage). If you must use lower damaging weapons, fire only your highest low-damage weapon until his shields equal the damage that that weapon does. Then, switch to your big guns. This maximizes the amount of damage applied to his components. If your "big gun" happens to be armor skipping, even better. This will suck the extra damage from your weaker weapons right past his armor into his internals. Also, armor skipping also does not trigger CA's shield regeneration. This makes it the ability of choice for taking out crystalline armored ships.

5. And how do fighters fit into all this?
First off, a lone fighter works exactly the same as a ship...almost. You cannot fire only one of multiple identical weapons. All DUC-III's on a single fighter fire at once or not at all. In fact, you must unhighlight all of them or they all fire.
Further, all identical items are combined into a single super-weapon. DUC-III normally do 15 damage each. Mount four on a fighter and you almost have one weapon doing 60 damage. I say almost, because there is a separate roll to hit for each weapon. So if you have only a 50% to hit, your quad-DUC3's will normally behave like a single weapon dealing 30 damage, although it could do either 0 (all four miss) or up to 60.
Incidentally, DUC-III and DUC-II count as different weapons and do not combine in the above described manner. Also, this combining effect is not bad, and can be good. That means you normally don't want to mix weapons on your fighters.
Once you start grouping them, things get more confusing. Like lone fighters, all weapons of the same type combine, but across the entire group. To avoid firing your DUC3's in a squad of fighters, you must unhighlight all of them. Leave even one highlighted and ever fighter will fire their DUC3's.
It should not be surprising that this means larger fighter Groups rip up crystalline armor easier, not to mention help you bypass emmisive armor. Of course, larger Groups are easier to kill due to damage streaming.
If it weren't for how crystalline armor currently works, I'd say the combining effect of fighters is unimportant. It doesn't really effect how things play out. But with CA the way it stands, you might want to consider using larger Groups when dealing with ships protected by lots of CA."
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  #19  
Old October 18th, 2004, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

It's a well known strategy, but I'll mention it nevertheless:
If you want to achive maximum efficiency in ground combat, it's worth to design 3 types of troops: Defender, Offender and Leader.
Defender's design include small shields (or armor) only. Offenders are armed with you favorite weapon (ground cannons or small shield depleters) and nothing else. Leader is equiped with shields plus small combat sensor and small ecm components.
Produce them in 3:6:1 proportions (rough numbers). Now, then filling your troop transport, place Defenders first, then Offenders and Last Leaders. Being dropped to a planet, Defender will play a meat shield role, Offenders will stay behind Defenders unharmed and wipe out militia (or hostile troops) and Leaders will provide attack and defense bonus to the whole stack of troops.
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Old October 18th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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Gandalf Parker Gandalf Parker is offline
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Default Re: Gameplay tips & tricks

Quote:
iaen said:
Instead of building resource storage facilies, you can also build insanely expensive bases, and mothball them. When you're lacking in reserves, scrap a few. Becomes a lot more efficient with recycling facilities. It is also a perfect excuse for keeping hundreds of sunkillers around.
WOW and the light goes on!
I had excess materials, I wanted to have stupid tiny worlds at home do some sort of building, so I used precious planet slots making a cargo storage so I could buildup stockpiles of mines or drones. And sats/ftrs before I saw something here about autolaunch.

BUILD STORAGE BASES! They can be emergency resources as mentioned above, allows for full use of the planet building up possible use items, and if things get tight in that area the base can be retrofitted some something with weapons/shields.
And they have only .1 more build time than a cargo facility (in the check I just made YMMV)
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