Help: Starship Combat
Starship combat in Star Conquest is not based on in-game figures and points. Though more points will give access to better toys, combat eventually boils down to pure player skill. A good pilot in a weak ship will still have an advantage over a bad pilot in a powerful ship.
For a crewed ship to succeed with combat, all three roles must work together to achieve their goals. The pilot must navigate the ship to avoid being locked on by the enemy, while also targeting and staying close enough to the enemy, allowing the gunners to fire on the targets. The gunners must constantly check ammo status and combat grid charge, as well as making sure that each shot counts. The engineer must make sure that the hull remains intact and that there are weapons for gunners to fire, as well as sensors to allow the pilot to maneouver successfully.
Space combat can be split into three sections: NAVIGATION, WEAPONS and ENGINEERING.
This is perhaps the single most important job during combat. While the gunners will be firing at the enemy and the engineer will be checking the ship damage, the pilot navigating during combat will be moving constantly, trying to manage two partially conflicting jobs.
1) Get close to the enemy.
Weapons can only fire a short distance before becoming uselessly imprecise. To give your gunners a chance to hit, you need to fly your ship close to an enemy so that they are in the next unit of space on the starmap.
2) Stay away from enemy weapons.
Getting close to the enemy means that, while your gunners can lock on to and fire on THEM, they can also do the same to YOU. Thus the pilot of the ship must constantly keep it in motion to avoid locks by the targets.
MANUAL movement control is your only hope in achieving either of these. Using the number keypad of a standard keyboard as a compass, 8 is north, 6 is east, with + being up and - being down. M followed by an option will move you one unit square in that direction; or, more commonly, you can type the direction as a standalone command.
For example, to move one unit north, use this command:
To move one unit southwest and down, use this command:
Keep in mind that space is 3-dimensional. You don't need to stay on the same plane while fighting. You can always go up or down.
As pilot, you can also TRACK a target, giving updates on its location to the gunners in your ship's weapons room, as long as the enemy target is within range.
Chainguns, lasers, torpedos and minicannons. Regardless of the type of weapon, it is the gunners who get the job done and actually destroy the target.
A gunner must concentrate on aiming the weapons controlled by their weapons room on a target enemy and making sure to hit them, rather than firing on empty space.
You have the option of COORDINATE or VECTOR locking modes. Coordinate mode requires you to aim the weapons manually at a set of coordinates containing an enemy ship. Vector mode allows you to aim in a vector direction. It is up to you which you prefer.
Coordinate mode aiming looks like this:
AIM 8 5 16
To aim at the sector coordinates 8, 5, 16. To be a viable lock, this must be a unit of space adjacent to your starship's location.
Vector mode aiming looks like this:
To aim at the vector WEST UP. This will lock on the unit of space adjacent to your starship's location that is west and up, at the time of locking.
If the pilot is tracking a target, this will aid you in selecting the unit to aim for.
Chainguns and lasers are both fired using the LIGHT command. Torpedos and the minicannon are fired using the HEAVY command.
When firing chainguns or torpedos, you will need to make sure that they are fully armed. If they run out of ammunition, you will need to use the RELOAD command - but this will only work if you have spare ammo in the storage room.
Lasers and minicannons do not use solid ammunition, but instead take energy directly from the starship's combat grid. The combat grid can only sustain a certain number of shots before becoming drained and needing to recharge, but this is entirely dependent on the grid your ship possesses.
Some weapons rooms, if the starship is large enough or well armed enough, may have multiple torpedo launchers or minicannon turrets. If this is the case, you will also be able to select how many of the total you wish to fire each time you do so.
All four weapon types will ask for confirmation of firing, which gives you a chance to abort if the target has moved from the aimed location.
The simplest and also possibly the most important position during combat.
In the engineering room of a starship, you can use the DAMAGE command to see what parts of a ship have been damaged, and use the REPAIR command to repair a specified part. For example:
In the case of turrets and launchers, the command will need to be this - For turret 2:
What turret do you want to repair?
It is usually most important to keep the hull safe. The more failsafes you can keep from being used to protect the hull, the better. Sensors are possibly second most important, with turrets and launchers third. The FTL drive is still important, but in a combat situation the wormhole drive is only useful if you plan to escape.
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