These Hints and tips are taken from my Game Guide, over a hundred pages of hints, tips, tricks and tactics that will help you get to grips with the finer points of the game, all for a paltry $2.99. However, if you use this link, you can get it for $1 off.
Frigates: Built for speed and maneuverability, Frigates can outrun and outmaneuver almost anything. But that agility comes at a price, as frigates suffer from restricted weapons coverage, a forward-facing fan shaped weapons-coverage arc. Frigates bring the fight to the enemy with great speed, but being small and light, they lack the armor to stay in the fight. For this reason, frigates tend to hunt in packs, and are often employed as escort ships for bigger ships. Frigates also have one of the highest sector speeds in the game, which makes them a great choice for deep-space reconnaissance.
In the late game, they are often used against destroyers; a fast-moving frigate is used as a distraction; to turn the destroyers so that they are facing the wrong direction when the heavy guns arrive within range. For this reason, Destroyer Captains have a particularly intense dislike for Frigates. The old saw about Frigates being bluish in color because of the Doppler shift caused by their high-speed retreats is just a vicious rumor circulated by disgruntled Destroyer Captains.
Enemy frigates have a tendency to head straight for their target and strafe in circles around it. A normal counter to this tactic is to keep moving; this stops their sideways motion and allows heavier weapons to be brought to bear against them.
Mark-upgraded Frigates an additional resistance slot (except the Harrier, which has an additional special slot instead), higher mass, extra cargo carrying capacity, reduced thruster mass, additional shield damage, extra damage to destroyers, and resistance to stasis.
Frigates are generally named after terms related to the bird world.
Cruisers: If Destroyer captains dislike frigates, they positively hate cruisers. Pound for pound the most useful and dangerous ships in the game, their longer range and 270-degree coverage arc makes them particularly dangerous to destroyers caught with their pants down and pointing the wrong way. Boasting no less than seven hardpoints (Shield, Special x2, Hull x2 and Gun x2), they can be fitted with a rear thruster to improve straight-line speed, giving them “Rabid Rabbit” mass-weapon-evading capability second only to frigates. Their only weakness is the lack of rear-quarter weapons coverage, which gives rise to the old Cruiser-Captain saying that “Cruisers never run”.
Mark-upgraded Cruisers feature an additional resistance slot, higher mass, extra cargo carrying capacity, reduced armor mass, additional armor health, and extra damage to frigates.
Cruisers are generally named after biblical terms.
Destroyers: Basically a light chassis built around a long gun, these ships are devastating at long range, but fragile and easily destroyed in a close-range knife-fight. As if that was not bad enough, only the most advanced Destroyers have a shield generator slot; the Longbow and Broadsword destroyers have no provision for shields, and are dependent on hull plating, maneuverability and moxie to keep them out of trouble.
Destroyers are the weapon of choice when attacking other bases, where the Destroyers’ range advantage really comes into its own. But while destroyers have the longest-range guns, this comes at a price; they have a narrow weapons-coverage arc, and are vulnerable to flanking by enemy ships. A heavily outgunned enemy frigate that can get outside of a Destroyer’s narrow engagement envelope can outmaneuver it and destroy it at leisure, as the destroyer cannot turn fast enough to bring its guns to bear, so destroyers always need support in FvF battles.
Due to their lack of speed and fragility, command of a shield-less Destroyer is often assigned as a punishment to a Frigate or Cruiser Captain who showed cowardice in battle.
Mark-upgraded destroyers feature an additional resistance slot, higher mass, extra cargo carrying capacity, reduced weapon mass, enhanced shield bypass and extra damage to cruisers.
Destroyers are generally named after medieval weapons.
Battleships: With an unmatched number of hardpoints – the base model, Rancor, sports nine, and the others go up from there), these ships unleash fearsome firepower on their enemies. Paradoxically, their greatest strength is also their biggest weakness: their bow-tie-shaped weapons-coverage arc gives them the ability to deliver truly awesome broadsides, but also leaves them vulnerable to attack from front and rear quarters. For this reason, Battleships prize the ability to turn swiftly in battle to bring their broadsides to bear – hence the common use of Rotation Thrusters – and the cry of “Turn and Burn!” being a common order from the bridge of a battleship.
One unique feature of this class is that they can deliver broadsides to both sides simultaneously. This means that Battleships are at their most dangerous in the thick of the battle, engaging two enemies at once. But all that firepower comes at a price; Battleships have only one shield slot.
Mark-upgraded battleships feature an additional resistance slot, higher mass, extra cargo carrying capacity, reduced weapon mass, enhanced shield bypass, and extra damage to cruisers.
Battleships are generally named after terms related to anger.
Cutters: Designed for blockade-running, they are among the fastest ships in the game, but their poor maneuverability caused Fleet Admiral Douglas “Hitch-hiker” Adams to comment: “Looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow.”
They are however, incredibly useful in situations where you need to bring the fight to the enemy. They were designed first and foremost to be Carrier-killers; to withstand the withering fire of a carrier’s squadrons and unload some serious firepower on that gargantuan hull, and the raw speed to bring that power to the enemy Carrier as quickly as possible. A fleet of cutters can bring the fight to a Carrier and bring one of those big fellows down with ease, particularly if augmented with rear thrusters – or better, Fusion thrusters, which help overcome the Cutters’ legendary inability to turn. They are also useful against Apocrypha Cruisers – few ships can outrun an Apocrypha Cruiser, but these can do so handily.
Mark-upgraded cutters feature higher mass and extra cargo carrying capacity, additional armor health, reduced armor mass, enhanced shield damage, stasis resist and extra damage to battleships.
Cutters are named after lizards.
Carriers: The Carrier belongs to, and is currently the only occupant of, a very specialized class of ship – Flagship class. By definition, there can only be one flagship in a fleet. They are by far the largest ships in the game, and the slowest. Carriers do not have any conventional weaponry. Big, slow, ponderous and unarmed, a Carrier would be a sitting duck if it wasn’t for the two game-changing technologies that a Carrier brings to the battle:
- Support Field: All Carriers have a support field that provides a boost for either shields or speed of friendly ships, and a corresponding handicap for enemy ships. It is not known precisely what happens when two opposing carriers’ fields intersect; either the universe will cease to exist, or the two fields will cancel each other out.
- Squadrons: All carriers come with launchers for long-range squadrons. Squadrons come in several different flavors – Fighters, Bombers, and Interceptors. All are semi-autonomous drones which are launched from the carrier and home in on the nearest enemy ship. They will attack that ship until it is destroyed (in which case they will attack another enemy or return to the carrier) or they are destroyed (in which case another squadron is launched).
The Carrier is the ultimate long-range, stand-off weapon. Its long-range squadrons can reach out and touch enemy ships from a long way off. For this reason the canny player will always keep the enemy as far from the carrier as possible. In practice, this means beaming slow-moving enemies such as Battleships and Destroyers, and running away from faster enemies such as cruisers, frigates, and the Carrier Commander’s bane – Cutters.
Mark-upgraded Carriers feature an additional resistance slot, higher mass and extra cargo carrying capacity, extra damage to all ships, reduced squadron mass and additional shield damage.
Carriers are all named after ancient apocalyptic Scandanavian terms.