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Tenlar's Guide to Lasers and Tactics (updated 8 August 09)
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Tenlar Scarflame





Joined: 30 May 2005
Posts: 3069 on topic
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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 09:01    Post subject: Tenlar's Guide to Lasers and Tactics (updated 8 August 09) Reply with quote Print

Tenlar's Complete Qualitative Guide to Laser Weapons and Battle Tactics
(version 1.1)

I wrote this up because of the lack of really useful descriptions for laser weapons, old and new, in Terran Conflict. Sure, you can see exactly what a weapon looks like on paper, but it's another thing entirely to see how it translates once it's in your hands or the hands of your ships.

Keep in mind that this is a Qualitative analysis of weapons, meaning it's largely based on my own opinions. However I hope it's at least a one-size-fits-most account of how the incredibly diverse laser selection can play out to your advantage.

Enjoy. Smile

version 1.0 - first version.
version 1.1 - added "in the field" description for guns (what they look like, essentially.) Some corrections made.


_________________
My music - Von Neumann's Children - Lasers and Tactics


Last edited by Tenlar Scarflame on Mon, 22. Feb 10, 22:07; edited 3 times in total
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Tenlar Scarflame





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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 09:04    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

GENERAL TACTICS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.

A few recommendations and tips I've found useful in my travails.

-Donít be afraid to use wings.
Itís often tempting to fly everything solo, especially if youíre well-bunkered-down in your mighty M6. However, what can be done with this M6 can also often be done with 6-10 M4ís armed with PACís. A fast and well-marshaled interceptor charge can be what saves you from getting toasted, and losing one or two M4ís wonít usually cost you more than a few million creds, unless youíve given them all incredibly expensive weapons. Iíve used a wing of four Elites to spectacular effect against Pirate Ospreys/Centaurs, fighter wings, and even a Q once (though we didnít kill it, the shields were going down- I got bored). Wings of M3ís can act as cheap fighter-bombers pretty well, especially if theyíre fast and you check for blind spots in your targetís flak screen. And bomber wings, well, thatís just pretty to watch.

-Always, always, always use a freight scanner.
Canít say it enough. At the very least, make sure you know exactly what your foe has mounted in all his gun slots and form at least a rudimentary battle plan to cook him. If youíre engaging a fighter, check his forward battery and swap your loadout to counter it if needed. If youíre engaging a corvette or larger ships, check their turret loadouts and send in the right wing to counter it. It's not difficult, and can be done from 4 kilometers out, which is greater than the range of almost every gun. Failing to scan can get you swamped with flamethrowers, mass driver rounds, pulse beams, and other nasty things that induce swearing and bashing your keyboard like a monkey.

-Keep a stock of weapons on board your personal ship.
Not just the ones you have in your batteries at the moment. A diverse loadout in your forward battery is always a good idea (when possible, obviously this is a tall order for Terran ships). What can be done with eight CIGís can usually be done with four or even two with a bit of patience, and that leaves you room for a few Ions, PBGs, and other options.

-Flexibility wins battles.
The best weapons are often the simplest ones. The PAC, for example, is a great staple for killing anything smaller than a frigate- you just need enough of them, and fortunately, theyíre dirt cheap. If you use more specialized ships (i.e. interceptors mounted with PRGs, bombers) make sure they remain in only the situations where they excel, or they will (not surprisingly) need rescuing.

-Launch missiles, often.
Theyíre not that expensive, you can pick them up for free, and they hurt things. You might get frustrated because theyíre being shot down, but you know what? That means you arenít using enough. This also applies to your wingies- giving your M4ís a compliment of Silkworms and high fire probability can give them surprising punch against big targets. Again, flexibility. HOWEVER- mounting large missiles on lightly shielded fighters can lead to them exploding themselves, so use discretion. Your Nova might be able to mount Hornets, but if you send this Nova into an engagement against M5ís with high missile fire probability, I can almost guarantee that the Nova will explodify itself by launching a Hornet while under fire.

-Donít be too intimidated by large ships.
Of course, big ships do have their specialties. And you obviously canít expect to fell a mighty M2 in your thin-skinned interceptor. But thereís things you can use to destroy this M2 that cost a lot less than it did- for example, Tomahawk missiles, small wings of M6, M3ís with missiles. If youíre on a tight budget, try your hand at a little piracy and raise a few cheap fighter wings: youíll be surprised at what you can do with it. Example- I have dragged down a Khaíak Destroyer using fifteen captured Pirate Falcons. Loadout: 4 HEPTís, 20 Wasps each. The HEPTís are relatively inexpensive and will drag down M2 shielding rather effectively in large numbers, and the wasps keep the Kyon turrets somewhat occupied. Estimated expense: < 10 million in weapons, repairs, tunings and upgrades. I lost eight Falcons, but they were dirt cheap to begin with! Of course, that same job can be done with a larger ship- potentially without expense- but that is not the only option in a pinch.

-Expense does not always equal strength.
Take the money spent on fully outfitting your average frigate: about 40-45 million. You could use this same amount of money to buy three wings of five M3ís, armed with HEPTís and fully tuned and upgraded. Half this many M3ís could stand toe-to-toe with a frigate, if marshaled correctly.

-Donít underestimate large ships.
Donít take what I just said above and complain when youíre ripped a new one by a frigateís flak broadside. You didnít check his loadout, did you? Razz If you had, youíd know to send M6ís mounted with CIGís instead.


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Last edited by Tenlar Scarflame on Sun, 9. Aug 09, 03:57; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 09:10    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

and now for the guns...

LOW CALIBER WEAPONS.

low caliber weapons are generally more at home in an anti-fighter role. They're generally inexpensive and mass-producible. Largely found in interceptors, transporter turrets, corvette and sometimes frigate batteries.


-Impulse Ray Emitter-


Taken by FreudianSlip172

In the field: a dim, fast, rapid-firing orange-red lance.

In a nutshell: a small, rapid fire, low-energy gun. Very cheap.

Found: everywhere.

Mounted on: anything that canít mount a different weapon.

Uses: IREís are peashooters, essentially. They can damage any fighters up to M3+, but itís slow going and takes considerable patience. On fighters, donít use them if you have the capital to acquire Phased Repeater Guns. On capitals, you could use them for anti-missile purposes if you really wanted to, but the PRG would probably still be better.

Countermeasures: If thereís just one ship firing them at you, just let them hit you. They donít hurt. If youíre being swamped by thirty fighter drones, you might be in trouble.


-Particle Accelerator Cannon-


Taken by FreudianSlip172

In the field: a bluish-turquoise lance, rapid-firing.

In a nutshell: a higher caliber gun, rapid fire, low-mid energy. Fairly cheap.

Found: everywhere.

Mounted on: scouts, interceptors, small turrets.

Uses: the PAC is what you generally use as a mass-producible/mass-acquirable anti-fighter solution for wings of interceptors. They do very well against fighters of any size for a very reasonable cost. Only M4ís and smaller should experience energy problems, and only when engaging M3ís and bigger. They could have trouble tracking faster M5ís and M4ís.

Countermeasures: The player can generally strafe-dodge a PAC pretty effectively. When using a wing of interceptors, speed and maneuverability play the biggest role in countering a foe with PACís (a solid volley of hits will generally drain 75mj of shields pretty fast.) On larger ships, donít sweat too much unless thereís a whole lot of them.


-Phased Repeater Gun-


Taken by RyuKazuha

In the field: bullets are a small cluster of three dim, red balls. A bit hard to make out, but very rapid-firing.

In a nutshell: an incredibly fast-firing gun, smaller damage, mid energy. Moderately expensive for its caliber.

Found: Argon space, often in Military Outposts.

Mounted on: scouts, interceptors, small turrets.

Uses: the PRG replaces the PAC in many regards, mostly because of its firing speed and velocity. It can hit things that the PAC would have a lot of trouble with. Its main drawback is expense, and its scarcity relative to the PAC. It does excel when mounted in turrets, for picking off tiny fighters, though its range can feel a bit stunted in this role. It also has enough caliber to munch through an M3 or even an M6 if you have enough patience/shields. In the hands of an interceptor itís a specialty weapon for dealing with fast scouts and other interceptors. It can tend to munch energy more than youíd expect, even in an M6.

Countermeasures: this weapon can hurt more than you expect, because itís hard to strafe-dodge it. If you have M6-quality shields you can withstand it for a while, but massed fire could get you into trouble. The best countermeasure is shielding in this case.


-Mass Driver-

In the field: very small, blue bullets, fast-firing.

In a nutshell: fast firing gun, smaller damage, ammunition based: bypasses shields completely. A bit expensive for what it does.

Found: in select locations, generally in Argon and Split space.

Mounted on: interceptors, fighters, some M6 turrets- more often on Split vessels, some Pirate vessels.

Uses: this is a specialty weapon, fun because it absolutely ignores shields. This actually isnít its greatest asset, although it does give it a use against heavy fighters, or bigger things if you have enough ammunition on hand. It excels in the same role as the PRG as a small-ship swatter, and is almost better since every shot WILL slow the target down.

Countermeasures: this weapon is the leading cause of chronic swearing amongst X-players because you never expect it, and it immediately incurs either EVA time or expense at a shipyard. It can also put you in a painlocker very fast in a larger engagement since it steadily decreases your speed, even if youíre in your mightily-shielded M6. Priority-target any vessel carrying it to minimize lost profits. It luckily is outranged by the PAC and larger-caliber guns. Use these. Donít try strafe-dodging it unless thatís your last option, itís even harder to avoid than the PRG.


-Fragmentation Bomb Launcher-

In the field: a medium-small sized blue ball. Explodes at the end of its flight with a loud bang and a shower of blue fireworks.

In a nutshell: a very poor manís flak gun, negligible damage, medium energy. Unnecessarily expensive and basically worthless.

Found: Paranid space, and mounted on pirate ships and the odd freighter.

Mounted on: Paranid and pirate ships, some freighters.

Uses: none. Iím actually not kidding. The FBL is supposed to fire a round that detonates on a proximity fuse into little razor-like bits that chew your ship apart, but thatís not what actually happens. 1) it doesnít go off by proximity, only at its maximum range. 2) the little flying razor bits almost never hit you. 3) even if it hits you on the nose, it hardly hurts at all unless youíre in an M5 or your space suit. 4) it happily sucks down your energy to no effect. So hereís what you use it for: sell it, and you get a hundred thousand or so credits.

Countermeasures: point and laugh. If you ever get killed by one, tell me. I want to know how. Granted, they're a bit more effective when mounted in the primary battery of an interceptor, but the PAC and PRG both do a better job.


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Last edited by Tenlar Scarflame on Mon, 22. Feb 10, 22:03; edited 8 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 09:16    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

HIGH CALIBER WEAPONS.

High caliber weapons are the most diverse weapon class and generally find a home on heavy fighters, the main batteries of corvettes and frigates, and lighter batteries of destroyers. They can be general-purpose or specialty, but are also generally expensive.


-High Energy Plasma Thrower-

In the field: a large green lance.

In a nutshell: a high-yield gun with good fire rate, good damage, medium-high energy. Pretty cheap for what it does. This is the staple and quintessential M3 weapon.

Found: basically everywhere.

Mounted on: M3ís and in M6 turrets, sometimes in its main battery. Can be featured in M7 turrets, very rarely in M2 turrets.

Uses: this is a good stock weapon for anything bigger than an interceptor. It lacks the projectile speed to hit faster fighters but does quite well against the slower ones, and has significant stopping power. A decent mass of these can press a destroyer if fielded on faster ships. They do tend to munch up energy quite happily. Theyíre also less than spectacular in turrets, firstly because theyíll have a hard time hitting anything small, and second because there arenít enough of them in a turret to significantly harm anything big. Using them on destroyers is a bit silly, unless youíre stinking broke or canít find any CIGís.

Countermeasures: lucky for you, the HEPT is quite easy to strafe-dodge. They have a range advantage over small-caliber weapons so be careful how you orchestrate your first interceptor charge or youíll certainly lose a ship or two. Past the first charge your interceptors ought to be fast enough to be significantly safer, unless they do something silly. Heavy M6ís have enough shielding to take a few hard lashings from HEPTís but I would advise relying on your relative grace to dodge around them. Bigger ships should counter HEPT-carrying ships with flak cannons and speed.


-Energy Bolt Chaingun-


Taken by FreudianSlip172

In the field: a medium-small greenish spike, fast-firing.

In a nutshell: an ammunition-based alternative to the HEPT. Similar numbers in all other regards.

Found: Teladi space, and a few other select locations.

Mounted on: some M3ís, M6 turrets and main batteries. Sometimes on M7ís.

Uses: The EBC presents a unique opportunity for a select breed of ships: those M3+, M6, and heavy M6. It uses ammunition and therefore uses no energy. Some choices are mounting them in your turrets so your main battery is free to sling CIGís all day with less worry, or putting them in your main batteries (which hurts quite enough) to allow your turrets a basically limitless supply of energy. And, of course, you can just use them instead of HEPTís if you really want to. The stats are slightly different, just see which gives you the edge youíre looking for.

Countermeasures: same as the HEPT.


-Concussion Impulse Generator-

In the field: a very bright blue ball/lance, explodes loudly and knocks things around.

In a nutshell: a high-yield, long-range gun with medium-low fire rate, high damage, high energy use. Knocks smaller ships around. Rather expensive.

Found: Mostly everywhere, though in small numbers.
Mounted on: M6/M7 main batteries, M2 turrets.

Uses: The Concussion Impulse Generator is the smallest of the ďbig gunsĒ and the only reason it isnít placed in the ďCapitalĒ weapons list is because most M6ís can put them in their front battery. Itís unreasonable to ask the CIG to hit anything smaller than an M6, though it can nail (and vaporize) a sluggish M3. Anything fighter-sized that manages to survive the first round of a CIG volley is tossed around, so it has some potential to disrupt a very, very well shielded fighter charge. Mostly, though, theyíre used to beat the snot out of M6ís and M7ís. They have a very high energy drain, so making every shot count is crucial. Their range is pretty spectacular, but it seems more effective to wait until a moving target is within 2km.

Countermeasures: the CIG bolt is fairly sluggish, so dodge it if youíre small enough and you should be fine. A full-on volley will drag down your shields quite alarmingly, so try to get a corvette distracted on your smaller, faster ships, or simply keep behind its front battery. Same applies for M7ís. M2ís can track you with them, so again, either use something very large that can outrange them and/or take the heat, or use small, fast, punchy M3ís.


-Ion Shard Railgun-

In the field: a yellowish-green spike.

In a nutshell: a medium-high-yield gun with good fire rate, good damage, medium-high energy. Moderate expense. Drains weapon energy.

Found: Split space, as well as some Military outposts.

Mounted on: M6 turrets and main batteries. Sometimes on M7ís.

Uses: the ISR generally finds itself in the same role as the Concussion Impulse Generator as an M6 weapon. It is a bit more capable than the CIG in terms of hitting smaller targets but is still more at home in an anti-M6/M7 role. It does not toss small ships around like the CIG can, but does have its own added bonus- a hit will drain a targetís weapon energy by a small amount. Itís not very noticeable, but in prolonged engagements against a large target it can be quite helpful.

Countermeasures: mostly the same as the HEPT or the CIG. If youíre hit by them youíll lose weapon energy, which means they are actually surprisingly annoying in corvette turrets when used against larger fighters. The damage generally is more problematic than the weapon energy drain, however, unless your ship is big enough.


-Ion Pulse Generator-

In the field: a bluish-turquoise ball with a twisting trail. Explodes loudly.

In a nutshell: a medium-high-yield gun with moderate-low fire rate, good damage, medium-high energy. Moderate-high expense. Drains engine power for a short time.

Found: Boron space, rarely.

Mounted on: M6 turrets and main batteries. Sometimes on M7ís.

Uses: the IPG, like the CIG and its Split counterpart the ISR, is generally fielded as an anti-capital or anti-corvette gun. It does have a range advantage over its sister guns, though its fire rate is somewhat on the low side. Like most Boron weaponry itís outstanding against shields but becomes less useful when you get down to the hull. Again, it does not knock ships around like the CIG, but it does drain a targetís maximum speed by about 20% on hit. Itís not terribly much, and not terribly useful against the sort of targets youíll be fielding it against- for the most part, the ISR performs the IPGís duties better. The IPGís bullet animation is really awesome, though!

Countermeasures: mostly the same as the ISR. If youíre hit by one youíll lose speed, but itís not for very long and the damage is generally more problematic than the speed loss.


-Plasma Burst Generator-


Taken by FreudianSlip172

In the field: omg wtf barbecue.

In a nutshell: a flamethrower. Short range, amazing damage in a small cone, pretty efficient, pretty cheap for what it does.

Found: in pirate space.

Mounted on: Pirate and a few race military M3ís. Sometimes (rarely) in the primary battery or turrets of M6ís.

Uses: The PBG is very, very fun. Its range is a bit midgety so you might get into trouble when dealing with PAC-slinging small ships, but if you can break range to less than 1km, PBGís will chew anything and everything. The damage cone is rather focused unlike the PSG so youíll still be engaging just one enemy with it, but it really takes skill to miss. Itís effective on anything smaller than an M2, and has increasing effectiveness at closer range, so if youíre generally a brawler rather than a sniper, this is your baby. I wouldnít advise mounting it on AI-controlled ships, though, in the interest of controlling friendly fire.

Countermeasures: Forget what I said about the mass driver- THIS is the leading cause of chronic swearing among X-players, again because you never expect it. A lot more ships mount the PBG than you assume, and M6 shields wonít protect you from them nearly as well as youíd like. The best strategy is to stay the bleep away from them, and use their stunted range to your advantage. Prioritize them and engage them with HEPTís and PACís. Do NOT simply jump into a big knot of pirate ships the way you used to in X3R, or youíll find yourself in the midst of a gang of flamethrower-wielding maniacs from which there is no escape, no matter what kind of shielding you have. If youíre fielding AI controlled ships against PBG-wielding enemies (for whatever reason,) speed is your friend: they must execute their attack and get out of range again as fast as they can.


-Pulsed Beam Emitter-


Taken by FreudianSlip172

In the field: a very bright, incredibly fast yellow lance.

In a nutshell: incredibly fast-firing, almost luminal-speed gun, short range, terrific shield damage, lower hull damage. A bit energy hungry, a bit expensive.

Found: Split space mostly, and on a few select military outposts.

Mounted on: every bleeping Xenon fighter you find, a handful of pirate ships and race military fighters.

Uses: The PBE is the premier weapon for fighter capping, since is strips shields quite quickly but does very controlled damage to the hull, meaning that when Otmanckatsmoog finally tells you that he doesnít feel as if luck he is, you can stop firing at THAT INSTANT and leave him with maximum possible hull intact. Outside of this, the PBE plays the same role for M3ís that the PRG plays for M4ís, that of a small-ship swatter. Itís also a great tool for wings of M3ís as suppressing fire, as AI ships caught under fire from PBEís will begin to flop around like a catfish choking on a boot. Itís dangerous to rely on them, though, because it takes time for them to finish a ship off, giving their prey a healthy opportunity to land a volley of HEPTís or PACís. They are somewhat effective against M6ís but youíll find that they suck energy very quickly, so theyíre best employed against smaller targets. Their range is also very short, meaning turreted ships have a good chance of foiling your PBE charge.

Countermeasures: The PBE never misses (literally), so you must rely on its short range. Prioritize it if you can and remove it with PACís and HEPTís. Donít attempt to foil it with an interceptor or M3 charge, as (like stated before) once they break PBE range, theyíll just flop around uselessly. The most alarming danger from the PBE is the fact that every single Xenon fighter bigger than the N carries a full load of them, so theyíre now even more ruthless than the Khaíak. Against Xenon armed with PBEís, try to separate them and engage them individually if you can, or employ a very well-shielded vessel with flak cannons. Do not attempt an interceptor charge against a wing of Xenon- it will end badly for you. Large groups of Xenon can still swamp even your mightily-shielded M7, so hold them at armís reach with flakís and well-aimed CIGís, and have your fingers ready for the Shift-J command.


-Ion Disruptor-

In the field: a blue, electric zig-zag, instant hit.

In a nutshell: a luminal speed weapon with somewhat short range and low energy efficiency, ďstickyĒ fire, great shield damage, no hull damage, high component damage. Moderate-high expense.

Found: Boron space, and some military outposts.

Mounted on: Boron vessels and some pirate ships.

Uses: The Ion Disruptor is a specialty weapon that you generally shouldnít mount on your own ships, as its lightning-bolt can spontaneously ďchainĒ over to any other nearby ship- this might be your ship, one of your other wingies, or a passing tradesman. This makes people angry. However, itís spectacular mounted in your own batteries. Itís quite unique in that it does exactly zero hull damage, but will tear apart a shipís extensions and systems- and weapons. Because of this itís the premier choice for boarding actions. Using an M6 or M7 (smaller ships donít have the energy bank for it), strip a vessel of its weapons first. Once itís absolutely, completely disarmed, it will usually brake to zero and be dead in the water, i.e. ready for your marines to jump in and raid it. Very handy to have a few of these on hand.

Countermeasures: Prioritize this weapon, but not as high as other
weapons Iíve told you to prioritize, mostly because you can be comfortable in the fact that it canít damage your hull. It might make you swear a bit, though, when it strips your jumpdrive, or concussion impulse generator, or transporter device, or fight command software. So donít sweat it too much, it probably wonít kill you, but do take it out to avoid some general frustration. Try engaging it at length with HEPTís or PACís, but donít rely on this, it has better range than other short-ranged weapons.


_________________
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Last edited by Tenlar Scarflame on Sat, 20. Feb 10, 23:28; edited 3 times in total
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modified
PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 09:21    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

CAPITAL GRADE WEAPONS.

These weapons are large and generally unwieldable on ships smaller than frigates. They're all expensive but they all make very large explosions. Most are employed against other large ships, though two are specialized against smaller targets.


-Incendiary Bomb Launcher-

In the field: A large, bright, fiery-orange ball.

In a nutshell: The smallest of the Big Guns, high damage, long range, high energy cost, high expense. Can be charged up by the player.

Found: practically nowhere. If anywhere, in Yaki space. Good luck with that.

Mounted on: Some M7ís, a lot of M2ís.

Uses: This gun is the M7ís answer to M2ís. As compared to the PPC or other big guns itís lackluster, but the fact that it can be mounted in the M7 makes it unique and very useful. Donít expect it to hit anything smaller than an M7. Even M6ís can dodge this one pretty easily. If youíre personally flying a ship mounting IBLís, you can charge them up by holding the trigger- theyíre actually quite nasty this way, though they output less damage per second. The tactic is best, therefore, against more lightly shielded targets like frigates and slow corvettes, where you want to cripple them with your opening volley - against larger targets it's best to just let them fire uncharged.

Countermeasures: Dodge it if you can. M2's should make liberal use of the strafe keys unless they're being AI driven, and stay at range. If you canít dodge them (as in, youíre flying an M2 at close range), try to outrange it. This can be done by flying away from the target at an angle so your side batteries carrying PPCís can still draw a bead, and you stay out of range for much longer. The other capital grade guns are generally a bit more punchy than the IBL, so theyíre generally only a worry if youíre in a smaller ship. If youíre using a fighter wing, equip punch weapons (like HEPTís or EBCís) and let them swarm (though scan for flak artillery first.)


-Photon Pulse Cannon-

In the field: A very big, incredibly bright blue ball.

In a nutshell: A Big Gun. Long range, high damage, high energy, high expense. Can be charged up by the player.

Found: most places, in small numbers.

Mounted on: Destroyers, usually in side and front batteries.

Uses: Beating the snot out of frigates and other destroyers. Thatís basically it. If you have them on your own ship, you can charge them up before firing so they do more damage/use more energy. An interesting way to use them, just make sure your volley hits. The Boron Thresher M7 is unique in its ability to mount PPCs in its spinal battery, meaning it can hurt a lot more than other IBL-mounting frigates.

Countermeasures: Dodge it if you can. If you canít (flying an M2) then you wonít be able to outrange it, so try to bring more of your own batteries to bear than the enemy can by positioning yourself above and behind the enemy. That usually does the trick. If not, directly behind is the best place to be.


-Gauss Cannon-

In the field: A medium-sized green ball.

In a nutshell: an ammunition based Big Gun. Mid-long range, high damage, no energy, high expense. Canít be charged up.

Found: Teladi space.

Mounted on: Destroyers, usually Teladi.

Uses: Gauss cannons are somewhat specialty. Their range is stunted compared to the PPC but they have the advantage of using no energy, relying instead on ammunition. This presents an interesting opportunity, specifically for the Phoenix. Use the Phoenixís surprisingly small front profile and dodge around incoming PPC or IBL fire as best you can using your strafe drive until your GCís can draw a bead. Keep your main engines cool but keep strafing and allow the GCís to keep slugging away. Youíll take hits but your monster Phoenix shields can take it for far longer. The eventual effect- the enemy will run out of weapon energy someday. You wonít, because GCís donít use energy. Tab in and bring your side battery to bear and finish the job. The Shrike is also able to mount Gauss Cannons, allowing it some considerable anti-capital punch, especially since their firing arcs cross slightly at the front, allowing whateverís being slapped around by your spinal battery to also get slapped by four Gauss Cannons.

Countermeasures: Since the enemy is never smart enough to use the aforementioned tactic, just outrange it with the PPC. Not bad. Also, the vanilla AI generally doesnít carry enough GC ammunition for a prolonged engagement, which is helpful but disappointing.


-Ion Cannon-

In the field: another bright blue ball.

In a nutshell: a Big Gun. Long range, Incredible shield damage, relatively low hull damage. Can be charged like the PPC.

Found: Boron space.

Mounted on: Destroyers, more often Boron.

Uses: This is a good weapon to be mixed in with a battery of PPCs. Itís less spectacular on its own since its hull damage output is pretty wimpy, but paired with the PPC it can strip shields incredibly quickly. Load a frontal battery with ICís and your side batteries with PPCís- the ICís will begin the fight, then when your targetís shields drop, swing your boat around and let the PPCís finish it.

Countermeasures: same as the PPC.


-Phased Shockwave Generator-

In the field: A rapidly expanding, cone-shaped blue shockwave.

In a nutshell: A wide cone-fire weapon, great shield damage, decent hull damage, moderate energy efficiency, quite expensive. Short-mid range.

Found: Paranid space mostly.

Mounted on: not much actually. Itís rather exclusive to Paranid capitals.

Uses: The PSG is a unique weapon that has similar uses to the PBG, but with a somewhat longer range and the capacity to engage multiple targets at once. This means that it is spectacular at chewing up a just-broken Khaíak cluster or a fighter charge, and retains most of its effectiveness all the way up to its maximum range. It seems to be less energy efficient than the PBG for the damage done, but in the few rare cases where the PBG might miss its target, the PSG simply will not, ever. Itís also pretty good against capital ships, especially when mounted in masses or on your own capital ships. Itís also the universeís most amazing missile screen. Donít use it on AI-controlled vessels, though, unless youíre very sure you wonít be nearby when it goes off. It is legendary for its indiscriminate fire and will cause more friendly fire incidents and angry tradesmen than you can shake an IRE at.

Countermeasures: Similar to the PBG, but this time it will be mounted behind at least 6gj of shielding. Range is the best possible advantage in this situation- keep your fighters in their hangars, donít bother with missiles, and slug away with PPCís. The damage is pretty gradual but itís completely unavoidable.


-Flak Artillery Array-

In the field: some fiery explosions accompanied by a lot of noise.

In a nutshell: an anti-fighter weapon for Big Ships. Medium range, small damage for a big gun but practically instant-hit. Fairly cheap for a big-ship weapon.

Found: mostly everywhere.

Mounted on: Frigates and destroyers, more often in top, bottom, and rear batteries.

Uses: Pretty much what youíd expect. It can have frustratingly short range, meaning that HEPT-carrying fighters or M6ís with CIGís can worry you, but once you do break range they can rip even M6ís a new one. Donít rely solely on them in engagements against many fighters, though- theyíll do their part, but you should have a complement of suitable interceptors on hand, or otherwise enough jump fuel. On M2ís their uses are significantly fewer, since the large size of the M2 will make their stunted range all the more irritating. They will certainly still do their part, but CIGís can sometimes be more helpful. They are also frustratingly energy hungry (Gauss Cannons come into play here) and way too loud.

Countermeasures: If youíre in an M7 or bigger, donít fret them, and in fact treat them as a blind spot. If youíre in a fighter or M6, your best bet is to outrange them with things like HEPTís and CIGís. Do NOT break range or youíll be toasted pretty quickly. Spoofing them with a missile barrage can work for a little while, but donít rely on that to save your butt. Heavy or Advanced fighter charges can work pretty well, as long as they do their job quickly and their opening barrage correctly, and you have the time to babysit them.


-Cluster Flak Array-

In the field: Sweeping bursts and clusters of fire, accompanied by loud explosions.

In a nutshell: an anti-fighter weapon with a large area-of-effect burst. More expensive than the FAA, shorter range

Found: mostly everywhere, though somewhat rarer than the FAA.

Mounted on: Frigates and destroyers, similarly to the FAA.

Uses: This weapon has a lot of potential for striking down a large group of fighters simultaneously- it is unfortunately and regrettably poor at this task. If you want to try to make it work, it has a sweet spot located at approximately its maximum range- if you can get it to shoot just before your target (and his buddies) get there, it wonít hit the target on the nose and will instead explode into a very nice-looking fiery cloudburst, consuming everything within range! I have personally gotten this to work, though few enough times that I can count on one hand. In general, the Flak Artillery Array is more reliable.

Countermeasures: Treat it the same way youíd treat a Flak Artillery Array. The AI canít use it correctly, (quite unfortunate, the weapon has a lot of potential) so you can safely undock your fighters and unlock your son and daughter.


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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 09:27    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

TERRAN AND KHA'AK WEAPONS, AND THE LASERTOWER WEAPON.

These weapons are placed in a list by themselves because they are usually (for obvious reasons) deployed together. Terran weapons are mountable exclusively on Terran ships, and Kha'ak weapons are mountable exclusively on Kha'ak ships. The Lasertower Weapon is only mounted on the Lasertower (fancy that!)


-Electro Magnetic Plasma Cannon-

In the field: A small, white-blue ball.

In a nutshell: A versatile, stock weapon with good range, good speed, good stopping power. Slightly energy inefficient and rather expensive.

Found: in Terran space, not nearly often enough.

Mounted on: Terran and Aldrin fighters.

Uses: Thereís no direct analog of the EMPC in the Commonwealth arsenal. The best description of it is a hybrid or in-between of the PAC and the HEPT. As such, it can be employed against interceptors and scouts as well as larger ships- itís effective up to the M6, and in masses can worry an M7 pretty effectively. However, it excels in neither role, since it doesnít have the bullet speed or rapidity to match the PAC or the stopping power to match the HEPT. Itís also a bit expensive. As such, Terran fighters are quite flexible but can be defeated with specialized selections from the Commonwealth fleet. The greatest asset of the EMPC and the ships that can mount it is speed: the Sabre is faster than some M5ís, and the nimble and lightning-fast Rapier can also mount them, meaning a wing of M5ís can actually chew up even an M7. Pretty scary if done right.

Countermeasures: Largely the same as the PAC or HEPT. Just try to dodge it. Since itís so flexible but not excellent in any role, employing specialized anti-fighter weapons will generally win the day. Watch out though, Terran fighters are screaming-fast and ridiculously well shielded.


-Matter / Anti-Matter Launcher-

In the field: A large, yellow-white point light, which rotates, explodes loudly.

In a nutshell: An ammunition-based analog of the CIG.

Found: in Terran space, not nearly often enough.

Mounted on: Terran and Aldrin corvettes in the front battery, or frigates in the side batteries.

Uses: Pretty much the same idea as the CIG. However, it has the benefit of ammunition, and it takes a long time to use up a single crate of M/AM ammo, so it can keep on slugging long after the CIG runs dry and needs to recharge. The Aldrin-manufactured Spitfyre can mount Aldrin Experimental Matter / Anti-Matter Launchers in a spinal battery, which is basically like if you took a Discoverer, gave it Nova-grade shielding, and then loaded it with CIGs that donít consume energy. Seriously, thatís pretty cool.

Countermeasures: Same as the CIG.


-Starburst Shockwave Cannon-

In the field: A ring-shaped blast accompanied by a lot of noise.

In a nutshell: An essential analog of the Flak Artillery Array.

Found: in Terran space, not nearly often enough.

Mounted on: Terran and Aldrin frigates in top, bottom, rear batteries, destroyers in a similar arrangement.

Uses: Re- FAA. Note that the SSC is a bit punchier, so it can have some effectiveness against M7ís. Also, the Aldrin-manufactured Springblossom can mount them in some places, if Iím not mistaken. Thatís like if youÖ well, you get it.

Countermeasures: Re- FAA.


-Point Singularity Projector-

In the field: A very big, completely white ball of light with lances emitting from it, rotates slightly, explodes blue.

In a nutshell: An essential analog of the PPC- less damage but quite nasty in the playerís hands.

Found: in Terran space, if youíre really lucky and the planets are aligned.

Mounted on: Terran destroyers in front and side batteries.

Uses: Re- PPC. The PSP is somewhat low on the damage side per shot, but it does have some distinct advantages. Its charged barrage is massively brutal, for one thing (thatís a technical term) and seems to be more effective than the PPCís analog. A charged broadside of eight PSP's (that would be the Tokyo's broadside, I believe) can destroy a Xenon Q in the opening volley, which is obviously very useful. The Terran Tyr destroyer also has the distinct advantage of being able to mount twelve of these in its port and starboard batteries (possibly more, Iíve never piloted or fought against one). It is less the weapon itself and more the ship that mounts the weapon that excels in both cases.

Countermeasures: Re- PPC.


----------


-Alpha Kyon Emitter-

In the field: a thin, dim purple beam.

In a nutshell: a thin little beam weapon, low stopping power. Employed by large numbers of Khaíak scouts.

Found: on the Kha'ak Scout, Interceptor, and some batteries on the Corvette.

Mounted on: Khaíak scouts and interceptors, and the Corvette.

Uses: I have recently been informed that it IS possible to capture Kha'ak vessels of the M3, M4, and M5 class. While I have not personally reproduced this, I can generally tell you that it's best used the same way you'd use the repair laser- finger depressed fully. While this drains the weapon more quickly than the way the Kha'ak normally use it (in short pulses,) the beam will stay pointed in the same direction for the duration of the beam and thus should be considerably more accurate. It's pretty light-point, though, so don't expect to tangle with things much bigger than an interceptor.

Countermeasures: the AKE isnít much of a problem if youíre dealing with a single scout- itís when youíre getting swamped by fifty of the little buggers that you start to panic, in a very girly sort of way. The Scout is fast so it makes up for the AKEís stunted range, so your best bet is to have pretty manly shields and good, fast-firing turrets to nail them all.


-Beta Kyon Emitter-

In the field: a brighter, bluish beam that hurts a bit.

In a nutshell: a higher-caliber beam weapon, good stopping power.

Found: on the Kha'ak Fighter and Kha'ak Corvette.

Mounted on: Khaíak fighters, corvettes.

Uses: The Kha'ak Fighter, fully loaded, can be a pretty scary ship in the hands of the player. The tactics used for the BKE are very much the same as the AKE, with the distinct advantage of having much higher range and pretty nasty damage- enough to begin worrying M6's and pretty effectively vaporize anything smaller. The beams do have a habit of crossing each other and being less accurate than you'd like, so you will have to break to a closer range to get maximum accuracy out of them.

Countermeasures: the BKE has very long reach, so the Khaíak fighter will be tearing up your fighter long before your HEPTís break range. Prioritize the fighter if youíre in anything bigger than a fighter yourself- if youíre in a fighter, do your best to nail ALL of the scouts first, then get behind the Fighter and finish it. If thereís more than ten scouts, you might want to reconsider unless you plan on missile spoofing or using PBGís.


-Gamma Kyon Emitter-

In the field: a bright orange beam.

In a nutshell: a capital-grade beam weapon, long range and great stopping power.

Found: nowhere.

Mounted on: Khaíak capital ships in big clusters.

Uses: these, I'm pretty sure, are unacquirable in the vanilla game. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Countermeasures: Fortunately for you, the GKE has considerably less effectiveness when turret-mounted, so at its maximum range youíre still relatively safe if youíre a small target. However, do not rely on this, and remember that the Khaíak capitals wonít start firing until youíre a little bit inside their maximum range, so youíll find yourself trying to scramble away while heís still zipping away at your shields. Fortunately, Commonwealth capital-grade guns and the PSP can generally out-damage the GKE, especially at range. If you plan on attempting a fighter charge against a Khaíak capital, resign yourself to the fact that youíll lose ships, and missile spoof the target first. It wonít take long for all those Kyons to nail your missiles (insta-hit does well as missile defense) but youíll at least have some breathing room to pump him full of HEPTís or CIGís.


----------


-Plasma Beam Cannon-

In the field: a thick, pulsating, bluish-white beam.

In a nutshell: a beam weapon with punch and quite a good reach, effective against large fighters and corvettes. The lasertower costs a bit more than a single High Energy Plasma Thrower.

Found: nowhere.

Mounted on: The lasertower.

Uses: the lasertower is a surprisingly versatile invention. They provide stationary firepower for not a lot of money, they are very nicely shielded, and they can be deployed in large numbers (though they take up a lot of cargo space.) And, of course, they are beam weapons, so against large enough targets, they literally don't miss. That said, they are best employed en masse to defend a position. They are a bit disappointing out-of-sector but can be very effective in-sector for holding down a gate or laying a (legal, as in not using SQUASH mines) trap.

Countermeasures: like Kha'ak, lasertower beams are quite accurate, and since lasertowers don't twist and turn as much as Kha'ak do, once they have a bead on you, they keep it pretty stubbornly. That said, lasertowers have somewhat of a hard time hitting fast targets, and a single lasertower is not a threat to a well-shielded target. They do outrange you unless you're using capital guns, so the best for smaller ships is to fly at full speed directly towards and above them, shooting past as quickly as possible to drop behind them and load them with HEPT's. They're strongly shielded but they take a long time to turn around. Missiles don't do much good- the lasertower is too well shielded and at range will just shoot the missile down anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 09:28    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Questions, comments, suggestions, flamethrowing are all welcome. Smile Referencing this in the guides and stickies list would also be quite an honor...


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ScorpiusX





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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 11:16    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Thanks Tenlar I've been looking for something like this since I got TC.


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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 11:24    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Might want to add a note about Aldrin weapons (which iirc are the same as regular Terran but just a bit weaker).

Also, there are the experimental weapons (PALCs, etc), although they're so rare it's probably not worth adding them Razz.

What's a frigate? An M7?

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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 11:26    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Interesting but i found quite a number of errors (unless you are using some kind of weapon mod).

EMPC are extremely energy efficient (more than HEPT), even without taking into account the weapon generator of the ships that use them.

PRG has more range (2.32 vs 1.92) and damage than PAC per s (hull : 768 vs 748 ; shield : 7.2 vs 6.0). You seem to confuse PRG and PBG (not quite the same range).

The ion disruptor does a bit of hull damage in TC.

Where is the Ion pulse generator ? You might confuse it with ISR as well. IPG affects engine, ISR affects weapons. No vanilla M3 can equip either of these.

CFA has a shorter range than FAA (1.98 vs 2.11)

PSP do half damage of PPC vs shields per s (25 K vs 46K). Yes they can charge, but so does PPC and you can not pilot the ship while charging. While a volley of PSP will kill most M6 (if they hit), they are weaker than even IBL if the target is well shielded (all vanilla M1/M2+some M7).

That is a minor matter, but PBE are "low caliber" class IMO - very low range and low hull damage.


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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 12:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

There may be 'amendments' following others observations but thanks for taking the time to put this together Tenlar. Smile


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[Snipe] Bando





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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 14:58    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The Happy Trucker wrote:
There may be 'amendments' following others observations but thanks for taking the time to put this together Tenlar. Smile


Seconded.


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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 15:16    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

You mention ISRs are mounted on some M3s but I can't see any that mount it. To me ISRs and IPGs are in the same catagory are CIGs.

If FAAs are capital weapons then PSGs definitely are - they can't be found mounted on anything smaller than an M7.


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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 15:24    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I thought the tips and tactics bit was very good, but should go a bit further in the 'cheap' direction.

Drones and lasertowers are very effective and much cheaper than M4/5 wings.
For example, 40 lasertowers will wipe the floor with a Kha'ak sector and most can be collected again afterwards.


Also

Quote:

-Matter / Anti-Matter Launcher-Mounted on:
.............
Terran and Aldrin corvettes in the front battery, or frigates in the side batteries.


...or Aldrin fighters in the main guns


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PostPosted: Sat, 10. Jan 09, 18:03    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Wooh! Thanks for the comments/suggestions everyone.

let's see...

Carlo the Curious wrote:
Might want to add a note about Aldrin weapons (which iirc are the same as regular Terran but just a bit weaker).

Also, there are the experimental weapons (PALCs, etc), although they're so rare it's probably not worth adding them.

What's a frigate? An M7?


Gotcha, I figured they'd fall basically into the same category as their respective Terran analogs, though I did completely forget about them. I'll patch them in...

PALC? Haven't encountered that one. Anyone care to submit their review? You get bonus points if you use my format. Razz

And yes, I use Frigate and M7 interchangeably.

Geek wrote:

Interesting but i found quite a number of errors (unless you are using some kind of weapon mod).

EMPC are extremely energy efficient (more than HEPT), even without taking into account the weapon generator of the ships that use them.

PRG has more range (2.32 vs 1.92) and damage than PAC per s (hull : 768 vs 748 ; shield : 7.2 vs 6.0). You seem to confuse PRG and PBG (not quite the same range).

The ion disruptor does a bit of hull damage in TC.

Where is the Ion pulse generator ? You might confuse it with ISR as well. IPG affects engine, ISR affects weapons. No vanilla M3 can equip either of these.

CFA has a shorter range than FAA (1.98 vs 2.11)

PSP do half damage of PPC vs shields per s (25 K vs 46K). Yes they can charge, but so does PPC and you can not pilot the ship while charging. While a volley of PSP will kill most M6 (if they hit), they are weaker than even IBL if the target is well shielded (all vanilla M1/M2+some M7).

That is a minor matter, but PBE are "low caliber" class IMO - very low range and low hull damage.


Good observations. I didn't have much of a system set up for my observations so you're probably a lot more spot on. I could have sworn the CFA had a pretty long reach though... O.o
And the ID does hull damage? Wow, those sneaky fish faces... Razz

NeverSnake wrote:
You mention ISRs are mounted on some M3s but I can't see any that mount it. To me ISRs and IPGs are in the same catagory are CIGs.

If FAAs are capital weapons then PSGs definitely are - they can't be found mounted on anything smaller than an M7.


Hmmm, you may be right. I'll check up on the ISR's.

And color me blue but I completely forgot about the IPG- not sure I've even had experiences with them. Care to submit your own review? Smile

Fair assessment concerning PSG's, I'll upgrade them to capital. Can't they be mounted on the Nemesis though?

TBV wrote:
I thought the tips and tactics bit was very good, but should go a bit further in the 'cheap' direction.

Drones and lasertowers are very effective and much cheaper than M4/5 wings.
For example, 40 lasertowers will wipe the floor with a Kha'ak sector and most can be collected again afterwards.


Also


I was indeed planning on expanding on tactics in another thread later on, this one's largely about lasers, their deployment, and defending against them. Which reminds me, I completely forgot the Lasertower Weapon... which reminds me, it's called something different these days Thinking

Thanks again all. I'll get editing as soon as I've cooled off for a bit (ate too much dinner Razz)


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