Gratuitous Space Battles Catch-all

Haven't had a chance to check it out yet. Whats it like?

The game or the update? I've not tried the update yet either, probably tomorrow or so.

I'm sure he meant the update. I'll check it out today. I'm off work and it's supposed to rain all day ... which is not a normal occurrence in Colorado, but whatever. Games sound like a good use of my day.

Well, I fired it up on my laptop and hit go on one of the missions. Here's a couple screen grabs.

New bar on left

Damage Over Time

Hitpoints Over Time

Damage Distribution

Damage Per Weapon

I left all the ships selected, but you can click on your own and enemy ships along the sides of the graphs to select and deselect certain ships. Pretty cool stuff.

Oh, nice.

I got the complete collection today from Gamersgate, I bought it in despair of not being able to load up X3:TC like I wanted to for a few months. Going to try to get it downloaded and installed for today.

Citizen86 wrote:

I got the complete collection today from Gamersgate, I bought it in despair of not being able to load up X3:TC like I wanted to for a few months. Going to try to get it downloaded and installed for today.

$17 and change isn't a bad price for the whole thing. I only have the vanilla game and can't bring myself to plop down the money for the expansions as of yet.

Also just picked up the full collection from Gamersgate. I've always been interested and that seemed like a great price. Played around with it a bit last night and it seems like a lot of fun. I just messed around with the tutorial mission, trying different loadouts to see how they changed the battle outcome.

Is there a way to compare your outcome with previous ones? I know you only get points when you score better than your previous best but when I fail I'd like to know how far behind I was from my last high score.

Okay, this game is really dangerous... I stayed up way too late messing around just on the second mission! I'd set up my ships, run it at 4x speed, tweak my ships, run again. Really fun to try different ship loadouts and formations to see what happens.

I do wish the post-combat screen was more useful. Instead of (or alongside) graphs I'd like some plain text telling me what my most and least effective weapons were. It's tough to parse out from those graphs, especially when you have a big fleet. Just quickly tell me that 40% of my beams were deflected by shields, 80% of rockets pierced armor, etc. That way I'll quickly know what I need to tweak.

My tactic last night was to make sort of themed fleets to see what would happen. Made an all beam weapon fleet, then an all rocket fleet and compared the two. Then that gave me an idea of what balance of the two I'd want.

I see myself spending way too much time with this

The game and all the DLC are 75% off on Steam. I'm glad I held out on the DLC cause that's a sweet deal.

I bought it.

They supposedly recently released a Mac version of the game as well, but it does not appear to be available on Steam yet.

I dunno, I bought this game a few months ago when it was on sale on Gamers Gate... maybe I didnt give it enough time, but it didn't do a thing for me. Not one thing. I played around for a bit with placement, moved some guns around, pressed go, and... that was about it. I think I understood the draw, but maybe it just wasn't my game. I should give it another try probably, but yeah... those were my initial impressions.

I'm so psyched this game went on sale. I loved the demo and was waiting until just the right moment to pick it up. What a great game. So much nerdy fun!

It may be worth pointing out that it looks like this game is completely configured using text files. I was poking around a little bit and you can change just about everything via a text editor. For some good, clean fun you can add to the random ship name list, among other things.

Lost about three hours to this game tonight just playing around with the design feature and unlocking different gear. Missile cruisers rock!

SpyNavy wrote:

Lost about three hours to this game tonight just playing around with the design feature and unlocking different gear. Missile cruisers rock!

Interestingly enough, torpedo frigates (the small ones, right?) are my mainstay. I like to set them up on the back in sets of three to work cooperatively while the frontlines soak up attention and damage.

It's not a setup that works every time, but it works damn well most of the time.

Bought this on Steam over the weekend. Oh my God this is such a great game.

It is, isn't it?

Loving it.
Hating bits of it.
Hate #1 - Show me my current high score for the level I'm playing somewhere in the Dispatch screen.
Hate #2 - Show me what class an upgrade is for if it is exclusive to them! I saved up 4000+ points to unlock Nukes only to find out that they only show up for the Order.

Theres a few other niggles, but those two annoyed me the most. I found where you can see you current highest score (hovering over the difficulty button on the mission select screen), and maybe I've missed some sort of visual tell, but I've been spending a lot of time experimenting with different approaches and it's kind of a let-down to win a huge battle by the skin of your teeth only to discover after the fact that you were several points over your previous best and don't earn any magic unlock points.

Wow. I am just awful at this game. I beat the tutorial and that's about it.

Any hints?

LobsterMobster wrote:

Wow. I am just awful at this game. I beat the tutorial and that's about it.

Any hints?

Don't use the tutorial ships outside of the tutorial. They're junk.

Use orders. Group stuff together. For instance, I keep defensive frigates out in front of my capital ships (can't think of what they're called). The frigates are setup to suck up damage, but mostly to shoot down enemy missiles. They aren't designed to survive, but to take some flak so my heavily gunned cap ships can blast everything to pieces.

Fighters are awesome. As are bombers. But to be effective you need to set their attack priorities. Have fighters take out enemy bombers and bombers take out enemy cp ships. I usually put my bombers in the back of the starting formation so they don't get shot down first thing.

Honestly, it's about playing until you find what you like and what works. Most of the time what works for you can be used over and over again with some tweaks.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Wow. I am just awful at this game. I beat the tutorial and that's about it.

Any hints?

Beat the tutorial again, but with less ships!
I'm still in the 'throw random modules onto ships and assign basic orders' mode. I am now on the first non-small map, and have noticed that the enemy is using mixed squadrons which tear through my disorganized ranks like butter. So I've gone back to the first few missions and have started experimenting with different builds and orders and that's really all I can recommend unless you go look for some walk-throughs. I'm sure there are 'perfect' solutions to each battle, but that's not where the fun is.

My current personal best for the tutorial mission is one carrier and 8 fighters. Fighters set to cautious and the carrier has no engines + hangar + reflective shields, attack ranges set to the max range of the rocket launcher.
It takes a while, but the fighters cut down a couple of the frigates and the carrier can usually wipe out the rest as long as the shields hold. Easy 3000 points.

...You can assign orders? :/

LobsterMobster wrote:

...You can assign orders? :/

Ok... well, at this point I would say your biggest help will come from the letters R, T, F, and M.
If you type those into a chat window in rapid succession a mystical creature called Manual will appear and give you a basic outline of the things you can do with a thing called Gooey.

(it is actually quite nicely written, but I wish it would delve more into tactics rather than interface.)

Give your ships specific roles and specialize them. What you are trying to do is build a ship that can earn more than its points.

I'm just starting to make rebel ships instead of federation atm so I don't have all of these designs made yet. I'm building my fleet up starting with fighters. And I don't have any cruisers yet. But this is the breakdown I use:

1. Tank: Very high armour and stacked shields. If you put these ships in the very front you don't even need to give them engines. Nothing will miss them, but the armour will be so high most shots will bounce off. Add point defence for extra staying power. A disabling weapon like EMP or disruptor torpedoes will make these ships a huge threat and they will be targeted more over other ships.
2. Shield breaker: Lots of rapid fire weapons. Ion cannons work the best for taking down shields. I also mount one pulse laser and one EMP torpedo for balance. The pulse laser is a good fighter killer and does okay hull damage once the shields are gone. The EMP torpedo disables weapons which helps keep them alive. They also work pretty well against fighters. High speed is a plus, because you engage at close range most weapons will be under optimal range and extra speed helps them miss.
3. Armour shredder: I use beams mainly to arm these ships. As many as you can fit on, plus one disruptor torpedo to pop shield bubbles the other ships haven't taken care of yet.
4. Artillery: I have two types of these ships. One armed with missiles/torpedoes. The other armed with plasma cannons. Both try to sit at the very back and help take down cruisers. I find torpedoes a bit more effective than missiles, even if they have superior range. Frigate missiles tend to bounce off cruiser shields. Plasma cannons have a hard time hitting frigates, so don't mix them with other weapons or they will miss a lot.
5. Flak: I rarely use this ship type. Its just a cheap frigate with as many antifighter missiles as I can put on it. Tractor beams a plus if you have them. If you have a fighter problem in a specific area or they tend to target one ship above others. Position a few of these in the right spot and the problem tends to go away. If you like using mass waves of fighters these frigates work great on offence too. They are very effective at breaking the enemies fighter cover. Antifighter missiles also deal decent hull damage once armour and shields are gone.

My cruisers follow the same general pattern. But I also use carriers which are basically tanks with hangar bays attached. I tried to make hybrid ships in the beginning but they never seemed as effective as a balanced combined arms approach.

For fighter craft I use these designs.

1. Fighter: Dual lasers. Very effective against fighters and ships without shields or armour. Have them attack other fighters from optimal range and cruisers from minimum range. Cruisers are so big that the fighters can actually attack from inside the bubble. But cruiser armour is generally too tough.
2. Assault: Dual rocket launchers. Very VERY effective against frigates. Frigate shields are below par when fending off rockets. So rocket spam will chew them up in a hurry. Very effective against massed frigates, but this is balanced out by being relatively useless against cruisers.
3. Interceptors: These are apparently the most popular design. One rocket launcher and one targeting laser. The laser ensures that the rockets never miss, so you can even use them against other fighters. I find them fairly useful, but not as useful as 2 squadrons of fighters and assaults. Great when paired with torpedoes.
4. Bombers: Dual or single torpedo/laser. Fighter torpedoes can take out cruisers and frigates. But they tend to be targeted first and don't live very long unless you support them a lot. 2 launchers is a lot of weight so they tend to be fat and slow. If you have one specific target giving you trouble and pilots to spare, these work pretty well.

Its worth noting that once the dual layers of shield and armour are gone fighters with rockets or lasers will eat cruisers up like a school of pirahnas. And always tell your fighters to stay in formation. Tight formations seem to work best,. There are little/no AoE weapons so I haven't discovered any benefit to letting them spread out.

I picked this up in the Steam sale and I've already put in a few good hours. I basically kept playing until I had worked through all the scenarios up until one that has the condition of no cruisers.

I haven't rtfm so the extent of my "orders" have been adjusting the priority sliders. Obviously I'll have to look into this.

My cruiser designs have been fantastic just chewing up the enemy and spitting them out while taking minimal casualties and I really only have 3 designs. A heavily shielded Defender that sports every counter-measure available, an Imperial Destroyer model that has no shields, heavy armor, and beams galore for that pesky "no shields" scenario, and finally the biggest suprise to me, the Galactica model that fills every weapons slot with quick fire missile launchers while sporting 1 carrier slot. That thing just tears the enemies up while sitting comfortably behind the Defenders.

My weaknesses are frigates and fighters. Since I didn't know about orders I'm hoping that can fix my problem with fighters dying in the first 10 seconds of an engagement. For frigates, I have no idea. I've tried toying around with special frigates that sport EMPs and ion cannons, flak frigates that focus on anti-fighter weapons, gunboats that focus on missiles, etc. They all seem to go up in a cloud of smoke with just a few shots.

I found that going back and running old scenarios with the same ships, just taking out the fighters and frigates made no real difference. I still won using just cruisers. Obviously I've got to work on the use of frigates.

Kehama wrote:

Obviously I've got to work on the use of frigates.

Same here, I've actually found Cruisers + Fighters to be more effective than Cruisers + Frigates so far. I wish there was a quicker way to set up skirmishes (and maybe there is). I'd love to pit a single cruiser against various combinations of Frigates and Fighters to better gauge (huh, Firefox claims I spelled gauge wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's right...) relative strengths and weaknesses.

EDIT: Aaaand it's one am. Stupid game.

Frigates are important because they can carry equipment that cruisers can't. Disruptor torpedoes are probably the most important. But frigates in general make excellent screens for cruisers. Put the attack/disabler/point defence/flak frigates in front of the cruisers. The artillery frigates behind.

I focused a bit more on fighters last night and managed to increase their survivability immensely. I even avoided the use of carriers just to see how long I could keep the fighters alive. With 3 engines, one laser, and keeping them in formation I had 3 out of 4 fighter groups make it through the entire battle while eliminating all enemy fighters. For me that's unheard of. I'd been making the mistake of putting armor on the fighters. Yeah, speed > armor. I also ran a couple of battles using 2 bomber squads escorted by 2 fighter squads. Those bombers can really chew up frigates but I was averaging maybe 2 or 3 frigates destroyed before I'd lose the 2 squads of bombers. For the number of pilots that takes I'm not sure it was that great of a trade.

I too picked up this game with Steam's sale, though I don't think I'll have time to play it anytime soon. Looking forward to it!