Ship and Armada Design
Moo3 ship design can largely be a factor of what point in
the game you are... but that being said I have come to several
Mid level technologies hold up fairly well, while low tech
ships becomely nearly useless (unless missile ships of course,
in which case they are only marginally useless) after a short
TIP 1 - Disband your obsolete ships -- and fragments from
previous battles -- and form Armadas of obsolete ships for
defense or cannon fodder when going against a guardian or
the like. An armada of obsolete Nuclear engine ships can still
squeak out a little marginal use -- more so than a few scattered
flotillas or solos. A good way to do this is to decide to
go on a disbanding spree, and take one turn cycling through
all your fleets and disbanding the obsolete task forces in
one fell swoop. Helps keep things tidy for shorter turn lengths
TIP 2 -- when in the ship design screen, there are a couple
of things that will make your life a lot easier, especially
if you like to get every last damage point potential and last
space used up... without wasting a ton of time to design a
First of all, decide before you start building what kind
of ship the design will be. It sounds obvious, but after playing
multiplay with a bunch of people I've found people design
a new ship when they get a new gun they like or whatever...
not a conscious decision to build certain type of ship. So
that being said, decide if you want a ship that features a
certain weapon, a ship that is cheap, or hard to kill, etc.
Will it be offense or defense, or general use?
IF it is purely for defense, then consider building an orbital.
Orbitals can fit a ton of guns and missiles and fighters,
as well as sensors etc-- way more than a comparably costing
Now, I usually only build orbitals on border systems, or
to replace a defensive fleet of starships that I want to send
into battle somewhere-- but I play a more offensive style.
I have played against people who can defend extremely well,
much better than the AI (which I guess goes without saying)
-- but after losing a three armada force to an opponent with
2 fighter orbitals, 2 missile orbitals, and one HUGE point
defense orbital... I saw the light on orbitals.
For offensive ships it depends on whether you are playing
a multiplayer game or against all AIs. If m player, generally
it is considered good ettiquette to not just build hordes
of missile frigates unless you are getting whooped. Sometimes
people even want to agree to limit missiles-- personally I
think a limit of two missile racks of any chassis type (usually
broken down into one PD and one offensive, heaviest missile
chassis available) is reasonable.
When playing against the AI, a good 'cheap' strat is to build
a frigate, load a rack of 2 of your heaviest missile type
and one PD missile rack, then whatever sort of light mount
or point defense weapon you have room left for. armor is not
that important (although always use light instead of very
light) on this cheap missile frigate. If you have managed
to get Hellfire cannon, a light mount HF cannon seems to be
the most useful, small (space requirement around 9 or 10)
beam weapon left as the 'squeeze it in' weapon after loading
If you deploy a sufficient force of these cheap ships, preferably
with a recon ship or two here and there, you can kill most
things with one or two volleys of missiles (usually one) and
have your beam weapon for backup or to combat fighters, etc.
Once you get to the level of dreadnought or titan (if you
do) then you need to re- shift your focus-- at that point
you should consider battlecruiser as the smallest sized ship
to build. The space to cost ratio is too good not to. Even
recon ships should become this large once your tech is that
high-- the better to load with cloaks, specials, and jamming.
Also, don't categorize your missile frigates as I.F. ships,
even if they are-- make them long range or short range attack
vessels. Makes their behavior less annoying if you watch any
battles, and helps fit into different roles to flesh out armadas.
Last note on AI battling-- as mentioned before imagine its
purpose. Build the ship large enough to contain whatever guns,
specials, etc you envision-- its not that much more expensive
to bump a ship size up a notch.
When fighting against humans, it pays to be more thoughtful.
One good general technique is to go to your design screen,
then build one or two variations on each of your 'modern'
technologies and add them as weapons to your ship... ignore
space requirements for now. Once they are all layed out in
a line, you can add, remove, and generally tweak which combos
of which weapons will fit which hull design.
For example, I go to ship design in a mid level game... lay
out a couple of my best interceptor fighters, a couple of
my best space control fighters, a couple best PD missiles,
a couple best heavy missiles, a light mount hellfire with
mini 1 and mini 2, a standard mount enveloping Plasma cannon,
two autofire phaser beams, one PD and one spinal mount, etc
The point of this is to put the best versions (miniaturization,
autofire, etc) of whatever weapons you currently have, and
have them lined up side by side with each other so you can
see range, damage and space taken up all at a glance.
>From there, just adjust the plusses and minusses , add
and remove. On an expensive ship don't be afraid to use decent
armor-- and double check cause the design mode sometimes leaves
you with class one shields and very light armor unless you
look at it.
Again-- think purpose. Now if you want a ship that is going
to LOOK very cool when it fights, to dazzle your opponents,
then I suggest one of everything, of various sizes. But realistically,
remember that each ship should fill a role. Plan on deploying
only armadas when possible (I know often that can't be the
case when you are defending, but resist the temptation to
deploy that very first battlecruiser as a solo just to have
it out there).
I personally have good luck with the following: 2 Large carriers,
2-4 large LR beam ships, 2-6 PD ships small(generally 3-4
hull sizes smaller than large ships in fleet), 4-6 SR attack
ships medium sized w/ lotsa beams, 2 recon ships, and 2-4
general purpose ships with missiles, beams, and most importantly
heavy armor and large shields.
MAKE SURE you put some ships in the escort ring of the armada--
knowing they are cannon fodder. Dont be afraid to classify
ships as SR just for this purpose even if they are missile
ships, LR attack or even carriers.
That covers the basics, for someone who has already played
weeks of Moo3 this will probably come as no surprise but maybe
you will find one or two things to speed up your turns when