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eregimbald: Sorry for highjacking the thread.

I'll try your design. However, this game I'm not playing creative and I missed a lot of special items, making my ships glass cannons.

As for overwhelming force, who doesn't like it :P
It's just that the with the events of the game I'm playing right now, 3 people declared war on me and I'm fighting 3 fronts. I've been churning out ships for a while so I have 3 fleets that match the size of the main fleet of each of my enemies. So much for overwhelming force.
No worries. Getting off topic is a sign of good discussion. To clarify, though, is my setup resulting in the glass cannon ships? I tried to build them for defense, but maybe there's some scenario where they don't work so well.

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Avogadro6: But fighters are effective in the very early turns imo, I'd say they're almost on par with non-miniaturized Mirv Nukes, and are much cheaper to research.
It's a time when very few races have armor upgrades, lasers are the most common PB weapons, and targeting computers rubbish. Or, to put it in other words, everything has low HP and doesn't bite back for much.
Missiles defenses are somewhat of a problem, since as you noticed, fighters are slow and carriers will get hit way before the fighters reach their target; so cruisers or destroyers work better than battleships in this case. Where a battleship would be forced to retreat in two turns, here you can retreat one ship at a time and prolong the battle. The main target should be destroyed well before your last ship has to retreat.
Touche. And frankly, I don't even know why I'm arguing given that I was looking for different strategies to be begin with. This is certainly the most unusual suggestion, so I'll give it a spin next game. It'll be nice to finally have a reason to make a few destroyers.
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eregimbald: Sorry for highjacking the thread.

I'll try your design. However, this game I'm not playing creative and I missed a lot of special items, making my ships glass cannons.

As for overwhelming force, who doesn't like it :P
It's just that the with the events of the game I'm playing right now, 3 people declared war on me and I'm fighting 3 fronts. I've been churning out ships for a while so I have 3 fleets that match the size of the main fleet of each of my enemies. So much for overwhelming force.
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eon47: No worries. Getting off topic is a sign of good discussion. To clarify, though, is my setup resulting in the glass cannon ships? I tried to build them for defense, but maybe there's some scenario where they don't work so well.

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Avogadro6: But fighters are effective in the very early turns imo, I'd say they're almost on par with non-miniaturized Mirv Nukes, and are much cheaper to research.
It's a time when very few races have armor upgrades, lasers are the most common PB weapons, and targeting computers rubbish. Or, to put it in other words, everything has low HP and doesn't bite back for much.
Missiles defenses are somewhat of a problem, since as you noticed, fighters are slow and carriers will get hit way before the fighters reach their target; so cruisers or destroyers work better than battleships in this case. Where a battleship would be forced to retreat in two turns, here you can retreat one ship at a time and prolong the battle. The main target should be destroyed well before your last ship has to retreat.
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eon47: Touche. And frankly, I don't even know why I'm arguing given that I was looking for different strategies to be begin with. This is certainly the most unusual suggestion, so I'll give it a spin next game. It'll be nice to finally have a reason to make a few destroyers.
I crushed everyone, I was looking forward to a challenge so I declared war on the 4th computer just to see what would happen. I finished the game this morning with flying colours. I bombed the crap out of every colony. I didn't bother to capture anything.

Even on hard the computer makes such retarded choices for ship design. It's disappointing. I wish we could patch it. Out of a fleet of 20 ships, consisting of frigates, destroyers, cruisers and battleships, the AI chose to put his leaders on 2 frigates that had 20 nuclear bombs as weapons, nothing else. And his ground batteries were shooting me with disruptors.

After about 50 space battles (I'm not kidding), the only weapons that were able to destroy my ships were (sometimes) missiles and (everytime) fighters. My main objective during fights was to destroy his fighter ships/garrison because if fighters launched, I was guaranteed to lose a ship. And they always aimed for my titans.

Granted I had glass cannons because I never went over class 3 shields and the armor wasn't great either, but where ground batteries hit my ships for about 150, fighters would deal over 350 damage per shot and tear my ships a new one. I didn't take pulsar or lightning field either. My countermesure ship was a destroyer with a bunch of PD particle beams but they ended up being frontline shotguns. My carriers worked very well but in the end my final ship was a titan with death rays, Battle pods, Battle Scanner, High Energy Focus and a Hyper-X Capacitor (That the auto AI doesn't use, you have to manually fire it).

SO

My Point

Try fighters. I don't know which design works best but they have potential.
The Orion Globe is the most powerful ship ever designed. I have built it a couple of times but I have to confess it takes away part of the fun: Once you have 1 Orion Globe, you win the game. No matter what the opponnents throw at you (hmm, well, maybe you an lose if you lose all your planets before you neutralize all enemy ships). This ship is unbeatable however. For those who do not know the specs (spoiler alert!):

Phasors (Shield Piercing, autofire)

Achilles Targeting Unit
Battle pod
High Enegy Focus
Hyper-X Capacitor
Phasing Cloak
Structural Analyzer
Time Warp Facilitator
(optional: Subspace Teleporter or Inertial Nullifier)

Of course, use the biggest hull you have (DoomStar) and as much Phasors as possible.

Brief explanation:

Theoretical calculation of the total increase in weapon power after all the modifications have been done:

Normal weapon: x1
High energy focus: x1.5 (50% power up)
Achilles system: x2 (skipping the armor)
Structural analyzer: x2 (double structure damage)
Autofire: x3 (triple weapon fire)
Hyper-X Capacitor: x2 (double weapon fire)
---------------
x36

This means that with 1 of the modified weapons, you can do the damage that's needed by 36 of the non-modified weapons.

When the Globe becomes a veteran, each of the modified phasors will do 180 damage to the enemy ship structure. (the max damage the descriptions gave was only 20 points). This gets even better when becoming an ultra-elite.

NB: The combination of these technologies gives you a ship with weapons that ignore both armor and shields. All (ramped up) firepower is directed to the structure and once the structure is gone, the ship is gone :)

Other important features are the fact that as long as you are not visible because you are cloaked, you cannot be shot at. Using the combined effect of the Time Warp Facilitator
and the Phasing Cloak, it can decloak, fire weapons, next turn, take weapons offline and
recloak.

Of course, I am not smart enought to have figured this out myself. See: http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/197873-master-of-orion-ii-battle-at-antares/faqs/1726
for the full story. It also explains certain modifications made to also be effective against planets (Barrier Shields nullify Phasors), how to use the Time Warp Facilitator correctly and mods to have a bit more fun :)

Well, enjoy, and if you think you just won Multiplayer games: there is also a ship design in the link above that neutralizes the Globe - but the AI will never build it because it is just not smart enough :)

Cheers!