How to Board Xenon capital ships, TC 2.6 Vanilla (Updated)

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Gruber1232002
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How to Board Xenon capital ships, TC 2.6 Vanilla (Updated)

Post by Gruber1232002 » Tue, 11. May 10, 01:20

Sorry for the wordy post but one of my long term goals has finally been met, after months of bitter frustration, disappointment and unbridled piracy:

The assembly of a xenon fleet.

The fleet currently stands at;

1 x J +3 EDIT
2 x K +5 EDIT
3 x Q +3 EDIT
1 x P
1 x Lx
32 x L
27 x M
2 x N
0 x PX +2 EDIT

I'm actively looking for a PX (EDIT-Got one in SPG) and I'd like to gather more Lx's but they don't seem to bail as often.

Background:

I sort of over prepared. I have over 200 maxed marines and about 150 waiting for boarding experience. There are around 75 more in training at various eqd's. In light of what I know now, I have wasted many hours of my time and hundreds of millions of credits.

The J, K's, P and 2 of the Q's were all gathered in about two hours.
In order from hardest to easiest to board successfully (no casualties) they are ranked as follows:Average reloads will change with more data

J - Frikkin hard,...................... ~11 reloads, Xenon 596, Acquisition Repository (2), Xenon 472
Q - Hard,................................ ~8.8 reloads, Ocean of fantasy (3), Black hole sun (1), Men. Front. (1), Bluish Snout (1)
K - Not too bad,..................... ~6 reloads, Xenon 596, Thyn's Abyss, Xenon 347, Acquisition Repository (4)
PX - Could be worse.............. ~3.5 reloads, Scale plate Green (2)
P - Really? Luck?,................... ~1 reloads Nyana's Hideout

Wild vs Spawned:

All acquisitions were wild except one of the K's which came from a XI mission. Based on how easily it fell I am forced to correct my earlier assumption (if anyone has read one of my previous posts), and recognize that there is no difference between Wild and Spawned Xenon ships for the purpose of capping. I will say however, that the wild versions had weapons left on board whereas the Spawned K did not. Perhaps coincidence. (EDIT - Starting to look less like coincidence)

Tools:

Sirokos - Not an option IMO, go do your OTAS missions. If you really can't be bothered you will need 2 M7M's. Put 20 maxed marines in one and put 1 in the other. Order both to board the target. Here's how

Tiger - Optional, other M7's could work too. Ability to turn off turrets and fire main guns is critical though. The only good Xenon is a capped xenon, not a dead one. You will need to project an awful lot of controlled forward damage in a hurry to do things fast, and speed is always useful. Which is why I use my Tiger instead of my shrike, (love my shrike though).

21 maxed marines - Not 20, not 5*, I mean MAXED, as in 100 in everything including fight skill and I mean 21 of them. You will need the 5% boost from the extra marine.

Tactics: Failures first,

I found it infuriating when people made boarding posts remarking on how easy it was when I just couldn't get it right. Part of it was that I was on TC 2.5 when the posters were talking about TC 2.1, part of it was that I didn't know what the hell I was doing, and the rest was not using the right tools. Once I spacewalk capped my HCP using a pirate Centaur I thought I'd reached the pinnacle of prowess. Next stop Xenon.

Boy was I stupid.

I failed miserably on my first P attempt (spacewalk method months ago), after frying the crap out of it my four maxed marines + 1 5* marine got slaughtered time and again. I gave up in disgust after about 30 reloads.

So I started the most ambitious and expensive training program in the universe. I put 2 TP's at every barracks and outpost, bought all the crappy marines and sold them by the TP full at the nearest shipyard to make way for halfway decent marines. Fight skill 30+ got bought and trained. Fully trained marines were shipped to my 'scratch and dent' Minotaur in Aladna Hill. Pretty soon ships started disappearing across the universe. Once the first batch of marines was maxed I got ahead of myself again. I tried for a K using the Minotaur and my HCP as a Ion-d ship roaster/shield suppressor. Once again I had a very time consuming learning experience that ended with me giving up in disgust.

So I got a Sirokos and started boarding ships like crazy to get as many maxed marines as I could, thinking that each Xenon Capital ship would require waves of marines. Once I had 50 maxed marines I staked out a Q. I attacked it with my Cerberus using 6 Ion-d's and I gotta say I roasted the tar out of that sucker until it had no guns to speak of. Took its hull down to 60% using Ion-d's only. I brought in the Sirokos, switched ships launched fighter drones and moved in for the cap. The first wave connected, marines on board, and the fighter drones have chewed the hull down to 45%. So a fire a pod, then shut down a fighter drone. Check status, 21 marines on board, now shields are climbing... fast, reactivate fighter drone to attack shield of... marine death sound, fire pod, check 17 left on board, now 21, 2 in space, etc etc and it's mine. Yay :shock: 9 very expensive casualties. Reloads showed that it could have been much worse.

Lessons learned:

Don't use fighter drones. They are a pain in the ass.
Ion-d's are only good for removing CLS to kill enemy marines to protect your rookies at first. Haven't used an Ion-d in over a month.
High level marines make ship defenses obsolete, I don't even bother scanning the ships that I board since I keep my training ops at 55 average fight skill with 21 marines. Haven't had to reload a botched boarding op for non-xenon for ages. As a result I have quite a collection of Hull Polarizers, Sentry Lasers and Firewall thingies. Don't really have a use for them but they're kinda like trophies.
Victim orientation can be important. Shoot them in the face for best results :) .

EDIT- New lesson, Don't get greedy, kill everything except your target otherwise you may spend hours maneuvering to have your new ship and marines blasted by it's former buddies. It's not worth the time. Xenon are like rats, you can find them all over the place.

Tactics: Now successes

I've taken to using my Hyperion to de-shield the victim. Mostly because it's agile, fast and very well shielded. Typhoons and CIG's make short work of most capital shields. The Sirokos takes care of the boarding part by itself.

I have to admit though, that for the heavies, like Terran capital ships I just use my Minotaur with 20 maxed marines. A barrage deals with the shields nicely, the target conveniently turns to face you and bam, it's yours from 20 km away. Cake. Safe, but boring.

So finally on to the Xenon. Having tried and failed on a couple of occasions, but succeeded once, I decided to try again since I had no idea what else to do with 200 maxed marines and I was starting to run out of storage space. It was a P that faced my wrath, memories of my shameful defeat driving me on.

It was pathetic really. I've been dueling Q's for so long that the P is like an M3. I shredded its shields with PBE's in about 5 seconds flat, at which point the Sirokos launched 6 maxed marines. I spent the next couple of moments trying hard not to blast the P to hell while keeping its shields down. Marines connect, save,

Deck 1, Save, deck 2, save, man down. She's ours.
:o

That's it? Load save, she's ours no losses. Really? Just like that? Maybe I should try for something bigger.

XI mission in Thyn's Abyss, jump in Tiger and Sirokos, accept mission. 2 K's hop in with some fighters. My Tiger's flak makes quick work of the fighters. 1 K goes down in a hail of IBL. Save. Take out the other K, mission complete. OK, reload. Slowly and carefully remove sheilds, dodging gauss fire while flying backwards, and then a funny thing happens. When the K gets about 2 km away it stops shooting and starts trying to figure out which way to turn. Order Sirokos to board, save, strip shields to 2%. Pods away. All connect, save. Deck 1, cleared, 1 casualty, deck 2 cleared 4 casualties, reload. Deck 1 cleared, no casualties, save, deck 2 cleared 1 casualty, reload. Deck 2 cleared, no casualties save, etc. 2 more reloads and I have a K and no casualties.

Very anticlimactic. Ok, maybe it's time for a bank robbery. I scope out Ocean of fantasy, 1 marauding Q. Jump in the fleet. De-shield with Hyperion, board with Sirokos. Significantly more reloads needed for a clean cap, but not nearly as painful as the first time. Much easier when I'm not distracted by fighter drones (also thank you turbo booster, you're awesome). Just as I'm getting my marines loaded back into the Sirokos, another Q pops in with a fighter escort. Hell why not. I steal it too. On to Xenon sectors. 597 was almost unpopulated. I had to fly around for half an hour before I found an M. Lame. On to 596.

Hellooo! A k at the gate just for me, why thank you RNG gods, I'm looking for a J but this'll do for now since I need more data. After a bit of maneuvering I jumped in the Tiger and the Sirokos. 5 minutes later I had me another shiny K. Again it only took a few reloads to get a clean cap. Odd. Oh well, I need more data. I jumped in my supply TM for jumpdrives, my Cerberus for fighter cover (awesome flak platform), and a TS for jump energy and missile removal (from the fighter swarms, of which there were quite a few) as I slowly moved my small fleet into the sector I found the station and 3 black specs in the distance. VE goggles showed me two more Q's and a something. 4 Q's are better than 3 and I have 3 spare jumpdrives so why not. I order everyone to follow the Cerberus and order it to defend position. I ordered the Sirokos to follow me (in the Tiger) and head to the party.

I'm considering which one to kill and which one to keep when the other blob becomes more visible, it's huge, and it's symmetrical could it be... no it's probably another... no wait it is!, my J is sitting right there. Well things didn't go as smoothly as before. The J was armed to the teeth with flak, which didn't bother my shields much, but obscured my sight, and shot down a boarding pod. On the second try all the pods connected but I put a 2% dent in the hull, :oops: (rookie mistake). And then the fun began, the 2 Q's had noticed me by this point and decided to avenge their stolen comrades, or kill my 'like-new' J. This made watching the boarding progress more difficult. I ended up Turbo boosting straight down (relatively speaking) to draw the Q's away from my prize, but that doesn't change the fact that my marines were dropping like flies in the J. I'm guessing bad luck was to blame but it took ages to get everyone through decks 1 and 2. 12 of the 15 reloads were for decks 1 and 2. After that it got considerably easier. I think it had 5 decks but then so does a K IIRC. It was harder to nab than a Q, but again maybe it's all RNG and coincidence. I'll gather more data. Anyway, I iced the Q's, even though I should have 'acquired more data' from one of them, and jumped my fleet out.

Arming my new toys emptied my store Mammoths of PPC's and flak. Looks like I need to fire up the old PPC forge again. While that's running I'm going hunting for a PX. I remember seeing them around in my early game, but I haven't seen one for ages. Mind you I've never seen a Khaak destroyer or carrier outside of UFJD sectors either, even though my fight rank is the one above Crusader, Battlemaster? I don't remember.

So if anyone sees a PX let me know :) , and have fun assembling your own unholy fleet.

Next up, add to my single fighter Khaak fleet.... maybe I could gather enough for my very own cluster some day..... :lol:



Update: Added a PX and another J and K to the fleet.

The PX took ~6 reloads for a clean cap.
The K took ~4 reloads. Most of them at deck 1. Once you get past deck 1 with no losses it goes much smoother.
The J took ~14-15 reloads, it's becoming a trend...
Last edited by Gruber1232002 on Tue, 8. Jun 10, 20:28, edited 6 times in total.
AP 3.1 Vanilla + Bonus Pack. For now....

XENON
Boarding the Xenon TC 2.7

Exotic Boarding Maneuvers TC 2.7
2 TP's
2 M7M's

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Deadbeat_Spinn
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Post by Deadbeat_Spinn » Tue, 11. May 10, 01:31

:thumb_up::):thumb_up:

This is a nice collection of information on the trial and errors of capturing Xenon vessels. Think I'll bookmark this for future use.

Only thing I hate during boarding are those damn Sentry Lasers, more often than not I'd lose half of my fully trained troops to those bastards (meaning nearly all of the time). Granted all but one of my boarded ships were M6's. Never had trouble with the Hull Polarization (thanks to Boarding Pods) and the Advanced Firewall. And I gave up spacewalking long ago, got tired of having my troops getting fried by PBG's en route to the target.


It'd be sweet if the player could own/put together a Kha'ak Cluster. Still want Kha'ak capitals to be boardable too. :pirat::khaak:
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StarTroll
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Post by StarTroll » Tue, 11. May 10, 01:44

Great job there, and here I was really starting to wonder how to cap those alphabet letters. A really well detailed walkthrough to start a xenon capping frenzy :)
By the way don't you mean Gannet instead on Shrike ?

Pesonnally I have never been bothered by any of those 3 anti capping devices, on commonwealth ships since I still haven't tried capping terrans, Paranids tend to throw a lot of Hyperions and Deimos to me and keep me occupied.
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Gruber1232002
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Post by Gruber1232002 » Tue, 11. May 10, 01:49

Deadbeat_Spinn wrote::thumb_up::):thumb_up:

Only thing I hate during boarding are those damn Sentry Lasers, more often than not I'd lose half of my fully trained troops to those bastards (meaning nearly all of the time). Granted all but one of my boarded ships were M6's.
Yeah the numbers go funny for M6's. According to Cycrow, Xenon ships have an 80% defense rating that decreases per deck cleared. In terms of real numbers that means a Xenon M6 has 400 fight points on deck 1. If you hit it with 6 maxed marines you get 600 points vs it's 400. You have 50% better odds with the RNG. With the larger capital ships they start out with 1600 fight points. If you hit them with 2000 fight points you only have 25% better odds with the RNG whereas, 2100 fight points gets you 31.25% better odds. I think this manifests itself with easier M6 caps than M1/2/7's, but I need to board some more xenon M6's to see.

Where non-xenon M6's are concerned, those damn sentry lasers add 200 points. The ship has a base defense as well, meaning that if there are marines on board you could conceivably have less fight points than the ship you are boarding even if you use 6 maxed marines. Having more fight points doesn't seem to guarantee no casualties, UNLESS you have bunches more.

I would seriously have to think about trying to board an M6 with sentry lasers unless it had no onboard marines, and even then I'd be tempted to wipe the dust off my Ion-d's... :)
AP 3.1 Vanilla + Bonus Pack. For now....

XENON
Boarding the Xenon TC 2.7

Exotic Boarding Maneuvers TC 2.7
2 TP's
2 M7M's

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Post by Gruber1232002 » Tue, 11. May 10, 02:01

StarTroll wrote: By the way don't you mean Gannet instead on Shrike ?
:? I've only used my Gannet once. And that was Aran hunting because it has a rear turret so I wouldn't have to spam missiles to stay safe. Once I got my Cobra the Gannet went obsolete. :)

I keep learning the hard way not to mix flails and boarding pods. I would never recommend boarding from one M7M while shield suppressing from another.

For the purposes of Xenon capping I decided not to use the Shrike because it runs out of energy too fast and you can't trust the Turrets not to smash the target :cry: and kill your boarding party :evil: . On the other hand you never know when another K/J/Q is going to drop in and need to get evaporated :lol:
AP 3.1 Vanilla + Bonus Pack. For now....

XENON
Boarding the Xenon TC 2.7

Exotic Boarding Maneuvers TC 2.7
2 TP's
2 M7M's

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Post by StarTroll » Tue, 11. May 10, 02:02

The fu thing is that last time I capped a Hyperion vanguard, two of its 4 marines were ejected as soon as the boarding pod connceted. First time I saw taht, and last for now.
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Post by sleepy_head » Tue, 11. May 10, 10:19

Whats a HCP?

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Post by Catra » Tue, 11. May 10, 11:01

sleepy_head wrote:Whats a HCP?
this

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StarTroll
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Post by StarTroll » Tue, 11. May 10, 14:16

Ah okay, I thought that since you were mainly talking about M7M you might have mistaken the name between the teladi M7 and M7M.
Personnally I see no problem with capping in y krakken, with about 400 flails and 200 hammer torps, I can get rid of a lot of ships very quickly.

Furthermore now that the booster is avaiable, thanks to the bonus pack, you can keep the distance with other ships more easily.
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Post by Lord Dakier » Tue, 11. May 10, 14:38

Sounds to me like you need them ships RE'd.
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Post by Gruber1232002 » Tue, 11. May 10, 16:41

Lord_Dakier wrote:Sounds to me like you need them ships RE'd.
Wanna lend me 30,000 Microchips? :)
AP 3.1 Vanilla + Bonus Pack. For now....

XENON
Boarding the Xenon TC 2.7

Exotic Boarding Maneuvers TC 2.7
2 TP's
2 M7M's

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Post by sleepy_head » Tue, 11. May 10, 16:43

How does capturing J's and Q's compared to the difficulty of capturing Tyr's?

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Post by lordmuck » Tue, 11. May 10, 16:50

Very nice to read


Thank you for the time and the good tips, I shall try out a few things later on

Good luck with the khaak :)

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Post by Starlight_Corporation » Tue, 11. May 10, 18:10

Nice read and good info. As I enjoy the designs of the Xenon, I've been training lots of marines for quite some time now (about 150). Plan to aim for a K first, wich according to your guide might be a nice choice for a first xenon capital boarding.

On the PX, I see the ones in my game usually in the line Scale Plate Green - Black Hole Sun. Haven't seen them much outside there (might be coincidence)
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Post by Gruber1232002 » Tue, 11. May 10, 18:25

sleepy_head wrote:How does capturing J's and Q's compared to the difficulty of capturing Tyr's?
My guess is that it's harder to cap the xenon in terms of keeping your guys alive, only because the xenon capital ships come with 16 built in maxed marines. However firewall and hull polarizing software could make a difference. I've heard (but never checked up on) that some terran/ATF ships become literally impossible to cap without removing the firewall software. Again though, I've never run into that problem personally so I can't substantiate it.

That said, I've never bothered looking for a Tyr to cap so perhaps it's insanely hard by default. I don't know. Quite a while ago I stole a Tokyo and a Yokohama for fun and it seemed a lot like commonwealth boarding. The only slight snag was that 4-8 of my marines would claim to be unable to get through the hull of the Tokyo. My guess is that it had hull polarizing software, but after a reload they all got in. Didn't lose any marines on the first pass, even though it was a training op, (fully trained, but average fight skill ~55). ATM I can't be bothered to go for more terran ships because I have a grand total of 2 PSP's and 3 Starburst whatchacallits. I'd rather have fully armed toys to play with :) .

Generally, I've found that even enemy marines don't stand a chance, mostly because the computer puts in a mixed bag of ~10 crap marines and 1-2 decent ones. That just wont fly against 20-21 decent marines. As a result I haven't scanned a ship before boarding in a long time. That may change when I start my terran collection.

lordmuck wrote:Thank you for the time and the good tips, I shall try out a few things later on

Good luck with the khaak :)
No problem, and good luck to you as well :)
AP 3.1 Vanilla + Bonus Pack. For now....

XENON
Boarding the Xenon TC 2.7

Exotic Boarding Maneuvers TC 2.7
2 TP's
2 M7M's

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