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Ship and Armada Design Strategies
by chupa

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 conclusions.

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 while.

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 as well.

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 ship.

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 starship.

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 up missiles.

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 etc 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 Multiplaying!



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