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Shiver
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Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« on: October 12, 2008, 10:56:27 pm »

This guide is a work in progress. Nothing you see in here is final. For the time being, the PVP guide will exist as a forum thread. The finished product will be uploaded elsewhere in another format. I am currently seeking input on this project.



Star Control II Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide

By Shiver



Preface

Being the obsessed Star Control fan that I am, I decided to write this based upon a lack of useful information on the subject. For those of us who love Star Control but have already beaten the game and crushed the computer in Super Melee a thousand different ways, player-versus-player combat is the only way to go. Online melee became a reality on December 19th, 2006, when it was first implemented into The Ur-Quan Masters version 0.6.0. If you have no experience with net melee but want some pointers before you try it out, here is a good place to start. This guide is also intended as a fix for anyone who is sick of being steamrolled by every player they go up against. Familiarity with the game is expected.



Table of Contents

Fundamentals

Rules of Play

Androsynth Guardian

Arilou Skiff

Chenjesu Broodhome

Chmmr Avatar

Druuge Mauler

Earthling Cruiser

Ilwrath Avenger

Kohr-Ah Marauder

Melnorme Trader

Mmrnmhrm Transformer

Mycon Podship

Orz Nemesis

Pkunk Fury

• Shofixti Scout

• Slylandro Probe

• Spathi Eluder

• Supox Blade

• Syreen Penetrator

• Thraddash Torch

• Umgah Drone

• Ur-Quan Dreadnought

• Utwig Jugger

• VUX Intruder

• Yehat Terminator

• Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger




Credits

I could not have made this guide into what it is by myself. My play-test opponents Elvish Pillager and Gekko were a tremendous help. Many small corrections and adjustments were made thanks to the feedback I received from the collective Star Control fan community while drafting this. The list of minor contributors is as follows:

• Alephresh
• Amiga Nut
• AngusThermopyle
• countchocula86
• Death999
• Lukipela
• Meep-Eep

« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 12:38:16 am by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 11:02:10 pm »

Fundamentals

Below is a compilation of useful information and tactics that apply during a wide range of different ship-to-ship confrontations.



Natural Intelligence vs. Artificial Intelligence



Star Control's combat AI is fundamentally different from any player you will go up against. The AI's main strength is that its reaction time exceeds human capabilities. This is especially obvious when it is turned up to the "awesome cyborg" setting and given control of a ship that rewards this, such as Pkunk. The many weaknesses of the AI vastly outweigh this strength, however. The AI does not distinguish between different enemy ship types so it doesn't try to exploit its opponent's weaknesses. With only a few rare exceptions, it will use one ship the exact same way in every given situation. This often leads to idiotic behavior such as aggressively chasing after Spathi. The AI will also select which ship it sends into battle at random rather than choosing the most effective counter to what their adversary has in the arena.

The AI is a good for training up to a certain point, but live opponents offer more variety, challenge and fun. No player will be able to match the computer's ridiculous reflexes when controlling Slylandro, but with practice they can get very close. Despite human limitations, an experienced player can become more dangerous even with those fast, dodgy ships simply by controlling them more intelligently. Reflexes are important in melee, but good tactics count for more.




Initial Selection



When a melee match begins, both players must pick their first ship without knowledge of what the other player is using. The best approach is to use something cheap and crappy that you don't care about losing. If your opponent starts out with Chmmr and you only use Zoq-Fot-Pik, this is actually a good thing. That Chmmr has been wasted. You've only paid out 6 points and now your opponent has one of their best ships set up for you to counter. Gaining initiative is well worth the sacrifice of one weak ship. Zoq-Fot-Pik and Shofixti are the most commonly deployed starters for this reason. Middle-of-the-pack starters such as Syreen, VUX and Supox are also frequently chosen during the first bout, as they are just powerful enough to lay waste to the weakest ships without leaving you at a disadvantage afterwards. To be more in depth about the first draw, there is a rock-paper-scissors dynamic with starting picks. It usually works like this:

• Low value ships > High value ships
• Medium value ships > Low value ships
• High value ships > Medium value ships

Mis-drawing a high value ship on the first bout will have a significant detrimental effect on your chances of winning, while losing a medium value ship matters a bit less and losing a low value ship is comparatively minor. To skew things even more in favor of the lightweights, the VUX Intruder's ambush ability is surprisingly deadly during the first bout, allowing it to eliminate rivals which it normally can't and inflict significant damage on the highest value ships.




Countering



Although the most expensive spacecraft are generally the most powerful, they each have a weakness to at least one ship which costs less. It's good to get in the habit of holding back certain ships until the other player deploys ideal prey. For instance, Orz has this interesting habit of leaving a long trail of death and destruction in its wake. At least that's what usually happens unless Androsynth shows up in the arena and slices right through it without even trying very hard. Androsynth costs a bit more than half the price of Orz, so if the other player has Orz in their fleet then you need to hold your Androsynth in reserve. Try to hit every ship the other player uses with the most effective counter available.



Mirroring



This is another solution to difficult enemy craft. If someone has a ship out that you have no counters to use against, match them with the exact same ship yourself. If the other player's ship is already damaged, then the odds of winning are in your favor. Conversely, mirroring a ship with full crew is not a wise course of action.



The Arena



This diagram is an approximate representation of the entire melee arena. The arena is the size of four in-game screens zoomed all the way back. Within the arena's confines there are always five asteroids and one planet. If an asteroid is destroyed, it will respawn off camera. Why is this information useful? Because one player will begin searching for the planet immediately during a significant portion of ship-to-ship match-ups. You will find yourself doing this eventually if you have not gotten into the habit already. Even when the planet is not an objective for either player you should constantly be on the lookout for the planet to minimize the chance of crashing into it.



Blind Spots



A ship can only face 16 different directions. If you approach an enemy ship while hiding between their firing lines, they will be unable to hit you. Although this is usually not a major factor, blind spots exist on every ship in the game. If you find that your opponent is approaching along one of your blind spots, it's generally a good idea to reposition yourself so that you have some possibility of landing a hit on the other player. Weapons that fire in a wide spread or automatically home in on their target almost totally negate the presence of blind spots.



Braking



The above header is a bit misleading here; there are no actual brakes in Star Control. If you want to bring your ship to a stop, turn your ship exactly 180 degrees from the direction you're moving in and apply just enough thrust to negate your inertia. Due to differences in acceleration, top speed and ship mass, you'll find that the various warships each require a different amount of thrust to bring themselves to a stop.



Flanking



Flanking is a tactic in which an attacker maneuvers around their opponent's front and strikes them from the side or back where they cannot retaliate effectively. When piloting a fast and agile craft such as the Arilou Skiff, this is the only way to fight. In some situations, a flanking ship can use an enemy's blind spot to help close the distance without being shot at.



Pillboxing



Pillboxing is often the best answer to a flanking adversary. It is best employed by vehicles with fast turning speed and weapon systems that fire continuously, though it can in some situations be performed quite effectively by ships that do not fit this description. To pillbox, simply bring your ship to a halt and then rotate in place so as to lead your opponent with your guns. A stationary craft is difficult to flank, for if it is not traveling in any direction then there is no obvious opening to rush in from. Pillboxing is best performed far away from the planet.



Asteroids



Asteroids are a minor factor, but never to the point where you can totally disregard their presence. Crashing into an asteroid inflicts no damage and will bounce your ship away from it. Asteroids exist in Star Control melee to add a random element to combat. It is unusual for a player to win or lose a bout because of an asteroid, but it has been known to happen. Situations where one can actively capitalize on an asteroid are rare. Here is one trick you can use...



Covered Charge



If you happen to notice an asteroid directly approaching the enemy ship and you're close enough to it, you can hide behind the obstacle and advance under its shadow. An asteroid can only absorb one shot, but sometimes one deflected shot is decisive. This is a tricky and highly situational technique that you won't get to perform very often.



The Planet



Behold the planet. The overlay you see around it shows the area upon which a planet exerts its gravitational pull. The approximate distance that this area extends across is three times the planet's diameter starting from the planet's outer edge. When your ship's center of mass crosses into this boundary, the effects of gravity begin to slowly drag your ship inward. A direct collision with the planet will kill either one fourth of your current crew, or a single crew member if your vessel has very few staff aboard.



Gravity Whip



The above figure demonstrates the ever popular Leyland Gravity Whip, a handy trick that will significantly boost the speed of most spacecraft. To perform this maneuver, accelerate straight through the planet's gravitational field. Once you've left the planet's immediate vicinity you should stop accelerating. Using thrust beyond the planet's area of effect will rapidly bring your vessel back down to its default speed. Due to this limitation a gravity whip can only be used to travel in a straight line. This maneuver has a wide range of applications. The most obvious use of the gravity whip is to send spaceborne artillery such as the Earthling or Mycon careening so that they become much more difficult to engage up close.



Orbiting



Orbiting is a defensive technique with some similarities to pillboxing that allows the player using it to escape by gravity whip at any time. As you can see from the diagram, orbiting involves placing your vessel in the planet's gravitational field in such a way that you automatically revolve around it. Many players seem to have trouble with this, but it's actually fairly easy to do. Remember how to brake? Simply repeat that procedure in close proximity to the planet. As you grind to a halt, your ship will begin to circle the planet on its own. You can adjust your orbit by accelerating very slightly in a given direction, and may need to do so to avoid colliding with the planet itself.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 05:27:30 am by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 11:19:24 pm »

Rules of Play

There are very few house rules used within the net melee community, but a few have been deemed essential. Before getting up in arms about being told what you can and cannot do with your game, please keep in mind that plenty of underhanded tactics are permitted and sometimes even encouraged in this guide. You don't have to listen to any of this of course, but net melee tends to fall apart as a form of entertainment when both participants play the game as cut-throat as they possibly can.



Casual Play

Rule: Be lenient when playing against newbies and casual players.

Explanation: It is often better to forgo some or all of the rules following this one when dealing with a non-competitive opponent. The last thing a newbie needs to hear before connecting for a game is a recitation of what they aren't allowed to do. At the same time, you will find that abusive tactics are quite appealing to some of the inexperienced players you will run into. Whether you allow an inexperienced player to get away with fighting dirty or not (and to what degree) is up to your discretion.



Pre-Assembled Fleets

Rule: Have your fleet set up before you connect to your opponent. Do not alter your ship setup once connected.

Explanation: The various warships counter each other. This holds true for entire fleets to some extent, particularly if the point cap is low. It is common for this rule to be disregarded even by veterans, but never during a tournament.



Pausing

Rule: If you need to pause the game for any reason, give your opponent fair warning before you unpause. A similar warning should be given any time you delay your ship selection between bouts.

Explanation: It's common courtesy.



Stalemates

Rule: In the spirit of competition, both players should employ whatever tactics they consider most effective. This may result in a stalemate at some point. If so, the faster of the two ships becomes a designated attacker. The attacker does not necessarily have to make a bee-line directly for the defender, but they are required to take the initiative.

Explanation: Stalemates are bound to happen. We found this rule to be a relatively painless solution. The decision to use speed as a stalemate-breaker did not significantly reduce the effectiveness of Star Control's fastest ships. As it turned out, the most mobile combatants were best suited to withstand such a penalty.



Thraddash

Rule: The Thraddash Torch is banned from serious online play.

Explanation: Thraddash is utterly broken in competitive net melee, both from a balance standpoint and a gameplay standpoint. The Thraddash primary weapon reaches across a very long distance, the afterburner makes it impossible to catch up to and the ship itself boasts a stunningly low cost of 10 points. Combine these traits together and you have the most abusive ship in the game. All of these balance problems might be tolerable were it not for one other thing: combat involving a Thraddash pilot that's playing to win is almost guaranteed to be long and tedious. No amount of skill or precision will prevent a player from taking a painfully long amount of time to wear most victims down with the peashooter. Thraddash will bore you to tears when it is used up to its maximum soul-crushing potential.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 11:07:43 pm by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 11:27:11 pm »

The Androsynth Guardian



Androsynth is versatile and deadly enough to put up a decent fight against almost every ship in the game. Its comet form offers both incredible speed and high damage output. It also helps that Androsynth has a high enough crew complement to survive a decent beating. This ship is in fact quite overpowered when considering its low point value of 15. Androsynth is not the most powerful ship in the game, but anything that can outperform it costs quite a bit more. You should always have one of these in your fleet for the purpose of getting the most bang for your buck. You really cannot go wrong with Androsynth.



Primary Function: Acid Bubbles



These adorable little hazards move slowly and erratically in the general direction of the enemy, inflicting two damage each upon contact. They are harmless to the Androsynth that has deployed them. Acid bubbles are insignificant by themselves, but quite lethal as a large cloud.



The Bubble Bath

While acid bubbles aren't used as frequently as the ship's comet form, there are a few enemies which warrant a technique known as the bubble bath. To perform a bubble bath, spam the bubble weapon whenever your opponent draws near and maneuver around to keep the bubbles between them and yourself. You would be surprised how many different ships are unable to break past this defense. Unfortunately, bubble bathing is also considered foul play in many situations because of its tendency to create long, boring stalemates. With that in mind, the bubble bath is best used against speedy opponents that can easily thwart the Androsynth's comet form. These ships are: Arilou, Pkunk, Slylandro, Thraddash and Umgah.



The Bubble Trap

The acid bubble weapon can be used to force an opposing craft to abandon a particular position. If the other player is soaring around on a gravity whip and you want to make them to break off the maneuver, move into their path and drop a large heap of bubbles. This same trick is also a good way to force an opponent to cease pillboxing or orbiting for a time, as they will have to move away to avoid damage. The likelihood of your opponent sustaining damage from this technique is low if they know what they're doing. This is a utility move, not something you win battles with by itself.



Secondary Function: Comet Form



Androsynth can compact into a tight little ball and launch itself like a battering ram at enemy craft. As questionable as that sounds, it's amazingly effective against a wide range of different enemy craft. A single bump against an enemy ship counts for three damage, but the comet will often crash against its victim's hull multiple times before bouncing off in another direction. Occasionally the Androsynth can even wedge itself into its opponent, destroying them almost instantly. Comet charges are best started when you have a full battery and finished far away from the opponent's position where the other player cannot retaliate while you recharge. The comet form can also be used when your battery is low to make a quick leap away from imminent danger. The turning rate of the comet is rather poor, so whenever you fly past or bounce off a target you should not attempt to turn around for another attack run until you've bypassed them by a reasonable distance. Attempting to turn back around in close proximity to your opponent is a great way to get yourself shot up.



Ideal Purpose

Androsynth is the perfect Orz counter. If your opponent has an Orz in their fleet, hold your Androsynth in reserve until given the opportunity to counter and destroy it.

Androsynth vs. Orz: Your comet form is the perfect weapon for dispatching an otherwise dangerous vessel. Orz marines are killed instantly upon contact with your comet form and the ship itself is not nearly fast enough to evade you. Chase them down and ram into them a few times for an easy win.

When faced with an opponent that has no Orz, think of your Androsynth as a spare that can be used to take out almost anything which you have no specific counter to use against. Here is a list of ships that make good alternate targets for your Androsynth:

• Arilou
• Druuge
• Earthling
• Melnorme
• Spathi
• Supox
• Umgah
• Ur-Quan
• VUX
• Zoq-Fot-Pik




Counters

There is no cost-effective way to beat Androsynth in a straight-up fight. Every ship that is good against it is more expensive. A heavily damaged Androsynth can be taken down by a defensive Ilwrath or Shofixti, but neither of these will do the job under normal circumstances. With that in mind, here are your best options:

Slylandro vs. Androsynth: Chase Androsynth around their own bubble cloud and tear them up with your lightning weapon whenever you get within range. It may be difficult to find an opening, but Slylandro is fast enough that it can eventually catch Androsynth unprotected and wear them down. The Androsynth may attempt to comet charge you, but that should be trivial to avoid with your superior speed. You will need to be both aggressive and patient to come out on top.

Yehat vs. Androsynth: Bubbles are a joke against your shield and the comet form is not much better. Chase after the Androsynth and pepper them with your pulse cannons when given the opportunity. As is typical with Yehat, prioritize your shield over your weapon.

Kohr-Ah vs. Androsynth: Drop a few spinning blades nearby and try to time your flamewave ability for the moment the Androsynth's comet form is about to crash into you. Expect them to try and pull a fake-out or two to get you to waste your battery -- it's their only way around the devastating flamewave. If Androsynth does not go on the offensive, they are shooting themselves in the foot; Kohr-Ah excels at long range warfare. Before you send your Kohr-Ah out for this, you should consider your less expensive alternatives.

Chmmr vs. Androsynth: Chmmr can beat Androsynth consistently if you pilot it correctly. This involves flying directly away from the Androsynth at all times, and then turning back around to shred them with your laser once they comet charge you. If you're defensive enough, the Androsynth should never have an opportunity to inflict serious damage let alone wedge itself between the bow and wing of your ship. This counter works, but I don't recommend using it. There are better targets for Chmmr.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 09:21:00 pm by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 11:53:37 pm »

The Arilou Skiff



Being the first of several ships designed for flanking, Arilou is built around the premise of being able to pick apart its enemies without taking any damage in return. With only six crew members, this craft does not allow its pilot any room for error. One neat aspect of this vessel is that it does not need to apply thrust to get up to maximum velocity; its base acceleration is its top speed. Unfortunately, this top speed is not high enough to flank most other spacecraft the conventional way, so Arilou pilots must sometimes rely upon a frustratingly random teleportation ability to get into attack position. Arilou falls short of its point value in terms of cost-effectiveness.



Primary Function: Auto-Aiming Laser



This short range laser is always aimed at your opponent. The weapon stutters while firing, causing a point of damage every other frame. To look at it another way, that's half the rate of sustained firepower which you can expect from a VUX laser or a quarter of sustained firepower from a Chmmr laser. This comparison is hardly flattering for the Arilou, but the weapon's precision and ease of use mitigate this lack of impact somewhat. Be sure you do not exhaust your battery entirely when you unload on an opponent. Keep a small reserve of energy in case an emergency teleport becomes necessary.



Secondary Function: Teleport



For only three points of energy, Arilou may instantly teleport to a random location within the arena. This ability is most frequently used as an escape mechanism. See a projectile flying your way? Teleport out of there before it connects. Teleportation has a catch to it: There is a minuscule chance of the Arilou spawning inside an asteroid or planet, destroying it instantly. The more you use Arilou, the more you will learn to hate this flaw in the ship's design.



Chain Teleportation

It is not immediately obvious, but teleportation also has offensive potential. To teleport offensively, use the secondary function repeatedly until your ship appears close to your opponent at an angle they are not able to stop you from flanking them. Between each teleport you should wait for your battery to recharge so that you are at your maximum capacity when the moment to strike finally presents itself. This tactic dramatically increases your chance of a fatal teleport, but is nevertheless worth it against many different ships which Arilou would otherwise not be able to beat.



Bonus Feature: Inertial Nullifier



Arilou is the only ship in the game which does not continue to coast in a direction after it turns off its thrusters, allowing it to come to a full stop in an instant. This gives you better handling of the ship, but isn't really decisive by itself. Arilou is also not affected by the planet's gravity, nor the Chmmr's tractor beam.



Ideal Purpose

Here are your most viable targets:

• Druuge
• Earthling
• Mycon
• Umgah
• VUX
• Zoq-Fot-Pik

Some other popular ships to send Arilou against seem to be Melnorme and Supox. These are normally easy prey for Arilou, but unfortunately both ships each have their own obscure anti-Arilou technique which can give them an edge. Attack either ship with Arilou if you want, but understand the risk involved. With that out of the way, here is a run-down of the three best targets:

Arilou vs. Mycon: The technique for this particular match-up is as simple as watching out for plasmoids while moving in for the kill. You shouldn't even need to teleport. This is the most basic flanking exercise in the game.

Arilou vs. Druuge: Chain teleport until you end up where you need to be, then fly in and blast away. It may take a couple attack runs depending on how much crew the Druuge has. Never stay in the Druuge's line of fire for more than a fraction of a second.

Arilou vs. VUX: This fight depends entirely on how well you can move up one of the other player's blind spots and flank them. Your ship's outline is small and the VUX's weapon is a thin line, so these blind spots are easy to take advantage of. Avoid limpets to the best of your ability as you fight, but do not obsess over avoiding every single one of them. The Arilou is affected by limpets less than most other vessels. Arilou is unique in that it can negate the VUX's first strike ability. If you're playing Arilou as a starter, teleport just as the match begins to get clear of a potential VUX ambush.




Counters

Ilwrath and Shofixti are ideal for destroying Arilou. You may or may not have the luxury of using a cheap counter against it. You can also use one of the tougher ships such as Androsynth, Slylandro or Mmrnmhrm if none of the proper counters are available to you, although none of these are ideal as you should have bigger fish to fry with them.

Ilwrath vs. Arilou: Keep your cloaking device on. The Arilou's auto-aiming laser will not track you while you're cloaked, forcing them to face directly into you at short range to attack. Victory is not as simple as returning fire; Your effective range is shorter than theirs, and when you uncloak to attack the Arilou's laser can track you again. You will need to catch the Arilou by surprise while they fumble about trying to hit your cloaked form. I recommend playing this one cautiously.

Shofixti vs. Arilou: This is not the most reliable Arilou killer, but it's certainly the cheapest. The Arilou's effective weapon range is too short to hurt Shofixti without walking into the glory device's kill radius. Unfortunately, this leads to a long and frustrating series of feints from the Arilou in order to trick you into triggering the bomb at a bad time. Use your pipgun to put pressure on Arilou, but don't expect the other player to let you kill them with that.

Spathi vs. Arilou: Spathi performs well against Arilou, although it is not cost-effective and the match will be very tedious. Take advantage of the Spathi's higher top speed and longer weapon range. You should play defensively and keep plugging away with both weapons. I recommend taking potshots with the Spathi's front gun from a safe distance. The little bullets travel much faster than your rear armament, making them more likely to inflict damage before the Arilou can react. If the Arilou manages to get within attack range, you should retreat while dropping torpedoes. A small amount of damage or a bad teleport is all it takes to win the match.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 09:14:28 pm by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2008, 11:58:34 pm »

The Chenjesu Broodhome



To say that Chenjesu is lacking in mobility would be an understatement. Due to its mediocre acceleration, abysmal turning rate and high ship mass, this ship lurches about during combat like an obese sea turtle. This ship will crash into the planet more frequently than anything else in the game, and due to Chenjesu's large crew capacity, even one crash will sting like a swift kick to the crotch. An expert player can minimize these collisions, but they are still going to occur. Chenjesu is quite powerful despite this. Its choice of armament is strong and versatile enough that this ship can put up a fight at all distances against just about everything in the game. It's a solid combatant, but not nearly worth the cost of 28 points.



Primary Function: Photon Shard



Photon shards can be launched all the way across the screen and continue traveling beyond the camera's boundaries and come back again on a wrap-around. While that is a neat demonstration of the weapon's infinite range, it's also a phenomenally stupid way to fight. Many players like to try and hit their opponent with a crazy wrap-around shot and I have no idea why anyone would think that's a good idea. Wrap-around shots are not reliable in the least bit and waste far too much time, so don't try and make them.

With that tangent out of the way, let's go over the specifics of this weapon. To fire a photon shard, hold down the primary attack button. The photon shard inflicts six damage on a direct collision with the enemy. If you release the primary attack button before the shard strikes an object, it will explode into eight little pieces of shrapnel that travel in different directions and inflict two damage each. You do not need to line up your shots perfectly to damage an enemy craft thanks to shrapnel. These smaller fragments are not very precise, but they do help.




Shrapnel Spamming



Rapidly tapping the primary attack button will unleash a flurry of ordinance nearby that can be devastating at short range. This technique is a good way to handle small enemy craft attempting to flank you, for it will cover your ship from almost every angle with weapons fire. Shrapnel spamming does leave two diagonal openings behind the Chenjesu itself that are not covered, so try to keep hostiles off your back as much as possible.



Secondary Function: De-Energizing Offensive Guided Interceptor



Using their entire battery, the Chenjesu can construct and deploy DOGIs during combat. DOGIs seek out the opposing craft and attempt to bump into them. A DOGI collision inflicts no damage, but rather drains ten points of battery power and knocks the other ship off course. Chenjesu can only maintain four DOGIs during combat at a time, though even one DOGI can potentially disable an opponent by keeping their battery empty. DOGIs have varying amounts of usefulness depending upon what the Chenjesu is up against. Even when you're in a match where DOGIs do not appear to be decisive, it's good to make one if you've got the energy to spare and the opposing ship is not an imminent threat. DOGIs are vulnerable to your own weapons so try not to shoot them down.



Ideal Purpose

While Chenjesu is too expensive to be used as a proper counter, it is also moderately effective against the entire line-up of ships within the game. You can use Chenjesu against almost anything and get some mileage out of it. The DOGIs make it particularly devastating against Utwig and Druuge, so those are often the best prey.

If you're being smacked around by a Syreen bloated full of extra crew, Chenjesu is a good candidate to put a stop to the rampage. Against Syreen you should pillbox to minimize their ability to steal your crew.

Chenjesu is also a good choice against a Chmmr that has been beaten down to half its crew compliment or less. You should be able to wipe them out before they can unload their battery on you. Shrapnel is mostly useless against Chmmr, so try to land every shot.




Counters

You have a lot of options available. Orz is the easiest way to beat Chenjesu. Slylandro is another good choice if you're skilled with flanking ships. There are many ships that cost less than Chenjesu, but can fight at even odds with it when played well. Androsynth, Mmrnmhrm, Melnorme, Mycon and Yehat can all see success here. The more expensive Chmmr and Kohr-Ah will defeat Chenjesu more often than not. While not a serious counter, Earthling is a good way to finish off a Chenjesu that has lost at least half its crew.

Orz vs. Chenjesu: Stay as far away as possible. It should not be too difficult to avoid incoming photon shards, but you do need to keep an eye on those. DOGIs are not a problem for you. Go ahead and pinball yourself between them for all I care. Marine spam can pretty much win this for you automatically, though your odds are better if you surround the Chenjesu.

Slylandro vs. Chenjesu: As with most matches that favor Slylandro, the right tactics can only take you so far. This match is almost entirely based on your reflexes. You want to hit Chenjesu from the sides and back while dodging photon shards and shrapnel. Stay clear of the Chenjesu's front unless they perform a gravity whip, in which case it's quite possible to move in front of them for a brief period and escape unharmed. Do not get too close to the Chenjesu during a flanking run, shrapnel can still get you while you're on their sides or back.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 12:19:20 am by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 12:13:07 am »

The Chmmr Avatar



Here we have the first of three 30 point heavyweights, and it's a doozy. The Chmmr is not very fast, but it has astronomical firepower and a solid defensive screen. Even casual use of this ship should make it clear to anyone that the Chmmr is an absolute murder machine. A melee newbie will likely think the ship is unbeatable -- not true. There is one definite hard counter, one soft counter and several weaker ships that can inflict respectable damage upon Chmmr. So is the ship still worth all the points? Very much so, especially if you learn how to win some of the trickier matches. At the same time, I wouldn't really call Chmmr a "must have" simply because multiple smaller craft can give you more flexibility.



Primary Function: Terawatt Laser



This weapon's rate of damage is ridiculous so long as you keep the beam on your target for more than an instant. An Androsynth comet lodged into a ship does more damage per frame, but for general purposes the Chmmr's terawatt laser is considered the most powerful weapon in Star Control. Watch those blind spots, however, for it's very easy to charge right into an opponent and then be unable to point your beam directly at them.



Secondary Function: Tractor Beam



The tractor exerts a gravitational pull on the other ship, dragging it towards the Chmmr. Each ship in Star Control has their own ship mass, turning rate, acceleration and top speed so the effectiveness of the tractor beam will vary depending on what you're fighting against. Both the Terrawatt Laser and the Tractor Beam eat up considerable amounts of power. Use these abilities with restraint. At the very least, make a habit of never activating both at the same time. The tractor beam can screw up your opponent's gravity whip, pull them out of orbit or drag them smack into the planet itself. The planet is particularly beneficial to Chmmr and an obstacle to anything fighting against it because of this. Take advantage of the planet whenever possible.



Bonus Feature: Protective Satellite Array



These nifty little things intercept incoming projectiles and provide fire support at close range. A satellite has ten hitpoints and is not affected by your own laser. If the entire satellite ring is destroyed, Chmmr becomes vulnerable to many different ships it would otherwise be able to shrug off effortlessly.



Chmmr in Orbit

A few match-ups require Chmmr to rely heavily on the planet to win. Orz is above all the most significant threat which can be beaten by proper orbiting technique. Supox and Spathi can be problematic as well if you are missing satellites. Try to focus on the planet as carefully as your opponent. The planet hits harder than any vessel you would need to fight in orbit against, so avoiding planetary collision should be your highest priority. Chmmr is not the most manueverable ship so this may seem difficult at first. Be willing to turn your ship's front away from your opponent to stop yourself from ramming the planet. Once you've achieved orbit, wait for the other player to move against you. Activate your tractor beam and accelerate towards the opposing craft when they close in to attack you. You will likely fail to catch them on your first attempt. Return to the planet and keep trying.



Ideal Purpose

You can use Chmmr against almost anything and come out on top. My personal recommendation is to send your Chmmr to get rid of Mmrnmhrm or Slylandro. Both ships can be ridiculously hard to stop in the hands of a skilled player, but Chmmr steamrolls right over them.

Chmmr vs. Slylandro: Pillbox and shred Slylandro with your beam. This is a mindlessly easy fight, but not to the point where you can count on your satellites to do the work for you.

Chmmr vs. Mmrnmhrm: Don't use the tractor beam. Doing so will send the X-Form careening around the arena and make it possible for the other player to inflict more damage on you before you take them out. Instead you should meander towards Mmrnmhrm the conventional way and attack. Chmmr's beam has a slightly longer range, but the ship is not maneuverable enough to hit Mmrnmhrm without them hitting you back.




Counters

My personal favorite way to beat Chmmr is with Druuge, though that's not the only way to do it. Utwig works too. Shofixti can destroy Chmmr satellites by suicide bombing in close proximity to the Chmmr itself. Removing two satellites is simple enough, but some players risk moving in even closer to clear out all three. A Chmmr that has sustained significant damage can be finished off by Chenjesu and sometimes even VUX.

Utwig vs. Chmmr: The Chmmr's satellite ring works against itself by firing constantly and indiscriminately on Utwig whenever it moves within range. This gives the Utwig endless battery refills, which in turn leads to almost total invulnerability against Chmmr as long as you lean heavily on your absorption field. The Utwig guns have a longer reach than the Chmmr laser, so you should be able to sneak in some hits here and there. This is the most reliable Chmmr counter. I personally opt to reserve Utwig for Kohr-Ah instead, but deploying Utwig against Chmmr is not a bad decision.

Druuge vs. Chmmr: A complicated match for both sides. See the Druuge section for a detailed explanation of how to play this right.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 12:17:19 am by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 12:22:24 am »

The Druuge Mauler



The Druuge's top speed is low, maneuverability below average and rate of energy recovery quite embarrassing. These faults make the Druuge difficult to use at first, but the ship's insane primary weapon makes up for all of them. This is the classic sharpshooter's vessel, so you will need to be able to aim well over long distances to get the most out of it. Once you master this ship you will find yourself including it in every fleet you use automatically. If you aren't at that point, the Druuge is still an easy win against many of the more frustrating vessels to play against.



Primary Function: Mass Driver



The Druuge cannon has obscenely long range, high velocity and respectable damage. Cannon shells also have a significant knockback effect to them, which helps maintain a good distance between Druuge and adversary. Even better than knockback is the cannon's recoil, which throws the Druuge backwards whenever it shoots. The two of these effects together allow the Druuge to succeed where other space-borne artillery fails; it can hold attackers back at a comfortable distance and destroy them. The one downside to this weapon is that it suffers from enormous blindspots.

Whenever you are flying around above your default top speed, the accelerate button functions as a brake. Druuge can very easily throw itself out of control with its cannon, so you will need to slow yourself down often. "Thrust = Brakes" may be the one of the dumbest things you've ever heard, but it's essential to remember this if you want to play Druuge in any useful capacity.




Secondary Function: Furnace



When running low on battery power, the Druuge can throw its own staff into a furnace which turns them into usable energy instantly. If you're fighting anything particularly difficult, you will have to make liberal use of this function so as to not be caught without ammunition. Don't be shy with the furnace unless you're up against something trivial for Druuge to beat, such as Syreen.



The Blitzkrieg

While Druuge outclasses the other long range warships for various reasons, it tends to fall flat against those same ships. For this particular section, I am referring to Earthling, Mycon and Orz. If one of these comes after your Druuge, your best bet is to turn your ship away from the opposing craft and launch yourself right past them by firing off your cannon many times. You want to pass within a relatively short distance of the other ship, but do not set yourself on a direct collision course. As you go screaming past, you might be able to tag the other ship with a lucky shot. Continue to adjust your course and press the attack if you want to keep your Druuge alive. This aggressive style is useful against only the aforementioned handful of ships. Do not blitzkrieg against anything else, it will only make the game more difficult.



Ideal Purpose

Druuge is most often used as a Chmmr counter. It is not the most reliable at this task, but for most purposes Druuge is the first thing worth throwing into the lion's jaws. Because this is one of the most critical matches in PVP, I will attempt to cover it in depth in the section below. The great thing about Druuge is that even if your opponent brings no Chmmr along at all, you aren't at a disadvantage. Druuge is powerful in general and relatively cheap for what it does. Here are some other victims ripe for the killing, many of which are relatively simple to put down:

• Ilwrath
• Melnorme
• Shofixti
• Spathi
• Supox
• Syreen
• Thraddash
• Ur-Quan
• Utwig
• VUX
• Zoq-Fot-Pik




Druuge vs. Chmmr in detail

Above all, recoil and knockback from your primary weapon are your friends. The Chmmr itself is not fast, but that awful tractor beam artificially increases its speed by a lot. Druuge destroys Chmmr every time going by the simplest metric. When a Chmmr flies straight into a Druuge with its tractor beam on, the Druuge can repel and destroy the Chmmr without sustaining direct damage by spamming its mass driver while recharging frequently with the furnace. This example does not take into account asteroids, the planet, blind spots, screen crossing or point blank arrival into the arena, all of which work in the Chmmr's favor. You are most definitely on defense when playing this match-up as Druuge. It's possible to eventually sneak in a hit on a Chmmr that doesn't want to commit to attacking, but for the most part you should focus on reacting to what the other player does and working in shots when the opportunity presents itself. Now that it has been established that Druuge against Chmmr is all about counterattacking, here are the four most threatening Chmmr tactics:

1) The Chmmr may try to run up one of your blind spots. The tractor beam is stronger than your recoil, but weaker than recoil and knockback combined. You will be incinerated quickly if you try to save yourself by firing towards the Chmmr when you are unable to hit it.

2) The Chmmr may cross the screen in a hurry, then bear down you as fast as possible while you aren't facing towards them with your cannon.

3) The Chmmr may perform a gravity whip in your direction. This speed boost combined with the tractor beam will bring Chmmr from the opposite end of the screen to point blank range faster than you should be comfortable with.

4) The Chmmr may attempt to drag you into the planet with its tractor beam.

The solution to the first three approaches is exactly the same. Fire your primary weapon many times while facing roughly 90 degrees to the left or right away from the Chmmr. Shooting sideways like this is a great escape mechanism. After you do this, judge the situation as best as you can and decide whether you should apply brakes, continue soaring, or launch yourself in a different direction. The fourth listed Chmmr tactic is not as immediately dangerous as the other three and is usually performed to throw you off while Chmmr searches for an opening in your defense. If you can manage to avoid the planet without firing a shot, that's great, but it's better that you do waste some battery power shooting yourself away rather than crash into it.




Counters

As I mentioned previously, Druuge is most often deployed against Chmmr. If your Chmmr game is good enough, you may not need to counter Druuge at all. There isn't a sure-fire way to win as Chmmr against Druuge, you will simply have to practice against other players until you get a feel for it. If Druuge does win against your Chmmr, the Druuge has already accomplished its mission. You could kill it with a Zoq-Fot-Pik afterwards and it would not matter much. Regardless of whether the Druuge you're attacking was used against Chmmr or not, the best candidates for taking it down are Earthling, Androsynth and Arilou. For more specifics, keep reading...

Earthling vs. Druuge: Keep your narrow end facing the Druuge any time your Earthling is in their sights. If you give them even one good opportunity to fire on your broad side, that is usually enough to skew the match in the Druuge's favor. The best time to sling your nukes is when the Druuge is moving towards you, though you should be firing at all times rather than waiting for just the right moment.

Androsynth vs. Druuge: Your comet form has a very small outline, making you difficult to hit. Charge at the Druuge to force them to launch themselves backwards with recoil, then come around from the opposite direction and nail them. You don't absolutely need to force Druuge to throw themselves out of control to win the fight, but it helps.

Arilou vs. Druuge: Chain teleport until you end up where you need to be, then fly in and blast away. It may take a couple attack runs depending on how much crew the Druuge has. Never stay in the Druuge's line of fire for more than a fraction of a second.

More expensive ships that have an easy time with Druuge: Mycon, Orz, Chenjesu, Kohr-Ah. Try one of these if a cheap counter is not available.
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 12:23:24 am »

The Earthling Cruiser



Some of the crappiest ships in Star Control have managed to prove themselves useful in player-versus-player. Earthling is the poster child of this phenomenon. The ship sucks, I think it would be fair to say that it sucks out loud, but due to its low point value and long ranged homing attack it is the perfect candidate to finish off almost anything that is left standing in the arena with a low crew count. Earthling is not one of those ships which you absolutely must attach to your fleet every single game, but you will rarely be disappointed when you do.



Primary Function: Nuclear Missile



Nukes are one of the simplest weapons in the game to use properly. All you need to do is remember to point towards the general direction of the enemy craft when you fire. A missile will rapidly home in on the other player's ship over a long distance, inflicting four damage when it reaches its destination. Missiles are low on maneuverability so they will sometimes miss their mark. Some of the more agile spacecraft will often be able to weave around them as well. It is also remotely possible for a missile to whirl back around and hit you while chasing the opposition, so you may have to use your point defense to protect yourself from one of these. This is a great weapon regardless of its limitations.

Earthling is designed to attack over long distances using this weapon. The Earthling itself has below average top speed and acceleration, but in most situations it will need to use what propulsion it has to run away from the enemy. The longer you can stall with this ship, the more damage you will inflict with your homing missiles. A gravity whip maneuver can help keep you alive longer if you manage to reach the planet.




The Cornered Squirrel

If you find yourself under attack by a fast flanking ship, you're probably going to lose regardless but here's a little trick which can sometimes sneak in some damage: Reserve enough energy to fire at least one missile, then launch one right into the aggressor's front as they pull in to start firing on you. This is useful because most of the faster ships can easily dodge missiles if they have time to react to them. This tactic can fall flat sometimes; for instance, the Slylandro's lightning weapon will frequently destroy missiles that approach head-on.



Secondary Function: Point-Defense Laser



The point-defense laser is not a weapon, it's a tool. The main purpose of this tool is to break apart asteroids. It does this marvelously. Due to the Earthling's weak propulsion, an asteroid bump will either bounce you off into a bad direction or bring your ship to a near halt for an uncomfortable amount of time. This tool can also take out Ur-Quan fighters, VUX limpets and various other enemy projectiles. The laser will fire on everything in its range simultaneously, allowing you to wipe out a pair of Ur-Quan fighters at once among other things. The Cornered Squirrel tactic is better in most short range combat situations for actual damage, but the laser can still prove useful. Leave your point-defense laser off whenever you activate your missile launcher. It does not play well with outgoing missiles.



Ideal Purpose

Although Earthling is both cheap and crappy, it is not a good starter. Under no circumstances should you ever play Earthling as your first ship of any match. Even VUX, normally easy prey for Earthling, will ravage you due to its point-blank arrival. As stated earlier, Earthling is the ideal choice to deliver a finishing volley to pretty much anything, and is also a natural counter to VUX and Druuge. Whether you hold your Earthling in reserve to deal with one of those in particular or throw it into the arena at the first wounded enemy you see is your decision. Both approaches have their merits.

Earthling vs. VUX: Run around lobbing nukes and watch them die. It really is that easy. VUX is too slow and clumsy to seriously threaten Earthling. The point-defense laser can stop limpets, but you probably won't need to worry about that.

Earthling vs. Druuge: Keep your narrow end facing the Druuge any time your cruiser is in their sights. If you give them even one good opportunity to fire on your broad side, that is usually enough to skew the match in the Druuge's favor. The best time to sling your nukes is when the Druuge is moving towards you, though you should be firing at all times rather than waiting for just the right moment.

If that weren't enough, Earthling can also inflict a respectable amount of punishment upon Ur-Quan, Chenjesu or Kohr-Ah by running around and firing off nukes. Don't expect to win, but if you can't find anything better to do with your Earthling then attacking one of these is a good way to go.




Counters

There is only one true counter to Earthling and that's Ilwrath. It is possible to win with Zoq-Fot-Pik as well, but that is not terribly reliable.

Ilwrath vs. Earthling: This can get a little bit tricky, but if you play it right there's no reason you should lose. Your first priority is to find the planet, so start looking. Turn your cloaking device on so that missiles do not follow you. The cloak does not need to be active all the time, just enough to prevent you from being hit. Try to gravity whip onto the Earthling, then use thrust to return to your default speed once you're close to them. Your top speed is a single integer higher than Earthling's; even if you fail to whip straight into your opponent, chasing the Earthling starting from a short distance away will eventually win you the match. Your flamethrower can shield your front from missiles to a limited degree, which is sometimes useful during an extended chase.

Zoq-Fot-Pik vs. Earthling: This counter is difficult to execute, but completely turns the table on the other player if you manage to pull it off. The Zoq-Fot-Pik is just barely quick enough to dodge missiles and close in on Earthling. You will need to hit them with your tongue attack once, then finish with either the scattergun or a second tongue hit. As you approach the Earthling, missiles can be shot down with the scattergun. Only do this if the Earthling fires straight into you at a medium distance, otherwise you're better off dodging. Zoq-Fot-Pik has a rather high amount of mass, so when it collides with Earthling during a tongue attack it will often send that ship careening off in the opposite direction. If this happens, or if the Earthling performs a gravity whip, stop chasing straight after them and instead prepare to intercept as they wrap around the screen.

Aside from the above two ships, all you can do is chuck something fancy at the stupid Earthling. This is bad in the long term, but you may not have a choice. Use whatever decent ship you can spare in this situation.
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 12:24:01 am »

The Ilwrath Avenger



This craft has a lot working in its favor: low cost, significant damage-dealing capability, rapid acceleration, quick turning and high durability. And yet the Ilwrath's restrictive top speed and short weapon range negate these strong points almost completely. The damn thing has a very hard time getting within firing range of most adversaries. So Ilwrath is rather useless for most purposes, but its lethality against a small selection of ships make it nonetheless worthwhile to bring along. Whether Ilwrath pulls its weight or not depends upon what ships your opponent decides to use.



Primary Function: Hellfire Spout



When activated, this flamethrower spits out a fire puff once per frame which each inflict a point of damage. Confused? Another way of looking at the flamethrower is that it hits for the same amount as the VUX laser. The spout expands into a cone shape, so it can sometimes be useful for blocking incoming projectiles. The ship itself is very wide, so do not rely on this heavily. The Ilwrath's battery cannot sustain a full rate of fire for very long, but recovers quickly enough that holding down the primary button is all you really need to do once you reach point blank range of your opponent.



Secondary Function: Cloaking Device



In its current form, the Ilwrath cloaking device is best used to keep homing weapons of all types off your back. Nothing can track you while you're cloaked. That's really all this thing is good for. The game's camera still gives your general location away to the other player. Another drawback is that you cannot see yourself any better than your opponent can while cloaked, which makes it difficult to tell which direction you're facing as you turn. For best results, turn the cloak on just long enough to divert inbound homing weapons and not a moment longer. To those of you who insist upon remaining cloaked perpetually: Quit it. You are not a shark, the "Jaws" theme does not play in the background for you.



Auto-Turn

If you use your Hellfire Spout while cloaked, you will automatically deactivate your cloak and point towards your opponent regardless of where you were facing previously. This is useful when fighting against opponents of the fast flanking variety.



Ilwrath in Orbit

You should already be familiar with orbiting if you've read the Fundamentals section, but it is worth pointing out how much Ilwrath in particular benefits from the tactic. As mentioned previously, Ilwrath's downfall is its low top speed. If Ilwrath fights from orbit, its top speed is artificially increased and Ilwrath will behave like one of the faster ships. This is key to defeating Zoq-Fot-Pik and Shofixti while also providing you with a fighting chance against many of the stronger ships in the game.



Ideal Purpose

I cannot recommend this ship as a starter. Anything more powerful than the bare minimum will rip you apart. Ilwrath is proficient at destroying Earthling and Arilou. When faced with a fleet that contains neither, the best thing to do is throw your Ilwrath against Androsynth, which appears in almost every fleet. To be more specific...

Ilwrath vs. Earthling: This can get a little bit tricky, but if you play it right there's no reason you should lose. Your first priority is to find the planet, so start looking. Turn your cloaking device on so that missiles do not follow you. The cloak does not need to be active all the time, just enough to prevent you from being hit. Try to gravity whip onto the Earthling, then use thrust to return to your default speed once you're close to them. Your top speed is a single integer higher than Earthling's; even if you fail to whip straight into your opponent, chasing the Earthling starting from a short distance away will eventually win you the match. Your flamethrower can shield your front from missiles to a limited degree, which is sometimes useful during an extended chase.

Ilwrath vs. Arilou: Keep your cloaking device on. The Arilou's auto-aiming laser will not track you while you're cloaked, forcing them to face directly into you at short range to attack. Victory is not as simple as returning fire; Your effective range is shorter than theirs, and when you uncloak to attack the Arilou's laser can track you again. You will need to catch the Arilou by surprise while they fumble about trying to hit your cloaked form. I recommend playing this one cautiously.

Ilwrath vs. Androsynth: Move away from the Androsynth at all times. Force them to chase you across the screen in their comet form. As they charge into you, cloak and then activate your weapon to auto-turn into them and blast away. Auto-turn is not perfect, so expect to do a lot of frantic manual rotating to try and catch the Androsynth as it attacks you. The odds of winning here are not that great. Hopefully your opponent's ship is damaged significantly going into this fight to make things easier on you.




Counters

Although Ilwrath will lose a head-to-head fight against almost every ship in the game, Umgah is the only proper Ilwrath counter. I will cover two more expensive pseudo-counters in addition to that. You may have to go after Ilwrath with a ship that is grossly overqualified for the job.

Umgah vs. Ilwrath: Hopefully the Ilwrath is damaged somewhat going into this fight, but your odds of winning are reasonable even if that is not the case. Umgah and Ilwrath have the same rate of weapon damage and range, so how is Umgah supposed to win? The Antimatter Cone is better than the Hellfire Spout in two ways: it reaches its maximum range instantly upon activation and it has a limited ability to nullify flame puffs. To capitalize on this, nip the Ilwrath's front with your cone when it moves within range and then zip backwards a short distance. If you do this right, the Ilwrath will take damage and you will not. The Ilwrath pilot can make things tricky for you, but good timing with the reverse zip maneuver is enough to beat them.

VUX vs. Ilwrath: VUX beats Ilwrath quite handily with limpet spam. It will take a while to coat Ilwrath down in enough limpets, so be patient. Once the Ilwrath is coated, coast in and finish them with your laser. Ilwrath can Auto-Turn just as quickly while covered in limpets, so don't get too close. There are better things you can do with VUX, but I wouldn't dismiss this counter completely. It's also possible for the Ilwrath to try and ambush you right at the start when you warp in nearby. When that happens you should forget about using limpets and just hose the crap out of Ilwrath with your laser. You will take some damage but still win.

Syreen vs. Ilwrath: Chase down Ilwrath as quickly as possible so as to intercept them away from the planet. If you can do this, you should be able to kidnap a significant number of their crew members. This does not occur when the Ilwrath manages to get into the planet's orbit before you can get to them. Syreen will typically still beat the Ilwrath in this situation due to its high acceleration but it will not come out of the fight any stronger; the planet's gravity will drag stray crew members to their death. Your Siren's Call is still your best weapon, even in orbit. Finish them with the stupidshooter once the Ilwrath is down to its last crewman.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 09:27:36 pm by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2008, 12:28:07 am »

The Kohr-Ah Marauder



The second 30-point heavyweight is as terrifying as the first. While Kohr-Ah does possess serious firepower, it can't pile on the damage quite as rapidly as Chmmr. Due to its highly versatile weapon loadout it doesn't really need to. Instead, it can lob projectiles from the other side of the arena or lay down a field of traps to make itself unassailable. Although the Kohr-Ah's personality as well as the ship's name suggest a confrontational style of fighting, this vehicle performs better in most situations when piloted in a defensive, methodical manner. Think of it as more of a black widow than a rampaging deathmobile. Like most other ships, this one can be beaten consistently by another less expensive once. Most players are not skilled enough to put the proper Kohr-Ah counter technique into practice, so this ship is the most powerful among less experienced players. Kohr-Ah loses some of that sparkle when used against an opponent that can counter it consistently, but even then it remains a dangerous combatant.



Primary Function: Spinning Blade



These cruel, pointy things are controlled the same way as the Chenjesu photon shard; hold down the primary fire button for as long as you want your projectile to travel forward, then let go to drop it. When you release a disc, it will continue to spin in place rather than exploding. A stationary disc will slowly glide toward any opposing spacecraft if they move relatively close to it. These do not harm the controlling ship if it travels through them. A single Kohr-Ah is limited to having seven discs in the arena at once, which is quite a bit of litter. Spinning blades inflict only four damage, yet I would argue that they are the best armament in Star Control 2 out of sheer versatility. Most other ships can be torn apart by long distance harassment over an extended period of time. Discs are also decent for slugging it out at short range when launched in rapid succession. Additionally, they offer a good amount of protection from flanking enemies when they are formed into a protective ring around the Kohr-Ah.



Secondary Function: Fiery Ring of Inevitable and Eternal Destruction



The Kohr-Ah's secondary will unleash a cloud of superheated gas in every direction. This attack is too much of an energy hog for general use, but it can be quite powerful in certain situations. One characteristic unique to FRIED is that it inflicts 50 points of damage per frame against projectiles and objects. The only weapon capable of passing through a flamewave is the Melnorme confusion ray, and this has been known to fail against double flamewaves. FRIED may or may not serve as a good defensive measure depending on what you're up against. Spacecraft sustain three damage from each cloud they run into.



The Double Flamewave Swoop

The exact amount of damage a flamewave will deal to other ships is unpredictable. One certainty you can count on is that the impact is always higher when you fly past your victim rather than straight into them. Doing so will will force your enemy through many more fire clouds. A double flamewave will drain your battery from full to empty, but the potential for a decisive kill is sometimes worth the risk.



Ideal Purpose

Kohr-Ah will beat almost everything, so attack whatever you want. I personally prefer to send it out against Androsynth, Melnorme or Chenjesu. You don't need to be very tactical to beat any of these when playing against an amateur player. If the other player is particularly talented then the fight will become more involved. Here is how you win each match-up in some amount of detail:

Kohr-Ah vs. Androsynth: Drop a few spinning blades nearby and try to time your flamewave ability for the moment the Androsynth's comet form is about to crash into you. Expect them to try and pull a fake-out or two to get you to waste your battery -- it's their only way around the devastating flamewave. If Androsynth does not go on the offensive, they are shooting themselves in the foot; Kohr-Ah excels at long range warfare.

Kohr-Ah vs. Melnorme: While the Melnorme does not have a red pulse at the ready you should be launching discs at them constantly. Once that thing is up, start running away. Discs can still hit Melnorme from the sides or back so try to stall for time and slowly wear them down from a distance. It's possible to drop Melnorme from full crew to zero with a perfectly executed double flamewave swoop, and I recommend doing this when Melnorme closes the distance with a gravity whip. Melnorme is not very maneuverable, so once they hurl themselves towards you it is very hard for them to adjust their course. Think of the double flamewave as a last resort. This will prevent you from attempting it at the wrong time.

Kohr-Ah vs. Chenjesu: This is an interesting fight. The Chenjesu has one advantage over Kohr-Ah and many disadvantages. The one advantage is that their photon shard can beat your disc. The photon shard does more damage and will deflect any disc it crashes into. A direct boxing match between Chenjesu and Kohr-Ah will leave Kohr-Ah very dead, so don't enter one. Short distances aren't necessarily a bad thing, though. If either ship dives into the other by gravity whip, Kohr-Ah's dreaded double flamewave will nullify everything the Chenjesu can throw while dealing ridiculous damage at the same time. Kohr-Ah is also better in a artillery war due to its more flexible primary weapon and better maneuverability. Stay at a distance and try to keep the pressure on the other player with constant disc harassment for most of the fight and you should win. If the Chenjesu uses DOGIs, remove them with a flamewave.



Counters

The best response to Kohr-Ah is the same ship that most easily kicks Chmmr off its pedestal as well: Utwig. There are many other half-baked counters that have seen sporadic success, but these will flop most of the time, especially against a Kohr-Ah pilot that knows what they're doing. Consider mirroring Kohr-Ah if you don't want to play Utwig against it.

Utwig vs. Kohr-Ah: This one's too important to cover in a brief paragraph. See the Utwig section for a detailed explanation of how to play this right.

VUX and Earthing vs. Kohr-Ah: Earthling can potentially beat Kohr-Ah in a long distance artillery exchange with its spiffy homing weapon. When these two ships engage normally, Kohr-Ah can use its slightly better propulsion to close in on Earthling and steamroll them. However, when a Kohr-Ah has even one limpet stuck to its hull, it will be unable to chase down Earthling effectively. This counter relies on a VUX sacrificing itself to tag Kohr-Ah with as many limpets as possible. If the VUX succeeds, Earthling can go head to head with the Kohr-Ah and win. Kohr-Ah is quite capable of staying clear of the clumsy VUX completely, so it's a gambit really.

Chmmr vs. Kohr-Ah: This is the lazy, stupid way of getting rid of Kohr-Ah. You will lose all satellites and probably be reduced to low crew in the process. Kohr-Ah has significant mass so the tractor beam will not drag it very quickly. You will still need to use the tractor beam, but will have to struggle a bit to get within striking distance. While you struggle, be sure you do not let the Kohr-Ah swoop right past you with a flamewave. If Kohr-Ah accelerates towards you while their battery is topped off, that's a dead giveaway. You should either bump your ship's front straight into theirs or move out of the way completely. The fight is pretty much won once you reach striking distance and manage stay in it for a few seconds. For reference, the cyborg is very efficient at using the tractor beam as Chmmr against Kohr-Ah.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 12:30:24 am by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2008, 12:31:56 am »

The Melnorme Trader



Melnorme is one of the most skill intensive ships within Star Control. Like Druuge, it is made for sharpshooters. Melnorme can potentially inflict massive damage over long distances, but is impaired by mediocre turning, slow energy recovery and a wind-up delay on its weapon. The ship's thrusters are quite strong, allowing it to maintain distance between itself and most hostile spacecraft despite its clumsiness. There are several counters to this one, but it's worth mentioning that Melnorme can potentially beat anything in the game. On the other hand, Melnorme has a habit of dying in all sorts of stupid ways too. Despite a tendency for mixed performances, the final verdict on Melnorme is that it is one of the most cost-effective ships in the game. It's quite versatile, so even if you're not a sharpshooter you should be able to do something useful with it.



Primary Function: Variable Power Blaster



Hold down the primary weapon button to charge up the variable power blaster. As you do this, a ball of energy will collect in front your ship. The longer you allow it to charge, the more powerful it becomes. A green pulse does two damage. Blue does four. Purple does eight. Red does sixteen, and that's where it caps. Always try to get a red pulse ready before going on the offensive. It can sometimes be a good idea to spam green pulses, whether it's to quickly finish off an enemy that has been crippled by a red pulse or to act as flak against one of those difficult-to-hit flanking ships. This weapon has long range and high velocity. Most enemies are best dealt with from a comfortable distance away, but that is not always the case.

As Melnorme you should always be vigilant of your worst enemy. I'm talking about asteroids. Asteroids are the bane of a Melnorme's existence. If an asteroid crashes into a charging pulse, both the pulse and the asteroid will cancel each other out and usually leave you in a precarious position afterward. Melnorme will lose more battles due to a rogue space rock than any other ship in Star Control. It's just one of those things you have to work around. Kohr-Ah FRIED clouds, Orz Marines and Chenjesu DOGIs will also cancel out a red pulse.




The Barrier

A red pulse will overpower most other objects and projectiles it runs into while hurling through space, destroying them and continuing its course. This will also occur while Melnorme is holding a red pulse in front of itself. Using the red pulse as protection, Melnorme can perform a frontal assault. This will often work out very well. In addition to the threat of asteroids, another problem with using the red pulse as a barrier is that the Melnorme vessel is slightly wider than the red pulse itself, so it is possible to sustain damage even from the front. Expect to get significant use out of this tactic in spite of its flaws, especially against Earthling, Mycon and Druuge.



Secondary Function: Confusion Ray



When a confusion pulse hits the other player's ship, that ship will lose the use of its secondary function and begin to spin either left or right for a duration of approximately 17 seconds. Confusion pulses can be fired while carrying a blaster pulse and they will pass straight through asteroids, planets and most projectiles. Successful confusion of an enemy craft can get you quite far, but it doesn't always precede a killing blow nor would I recommend using this weapon against everything. The confusion ray would be the perfect support weapon were it not for a few flaws. The most obvious problem with the confusion ray is that it is quite the energy hog. Additionally, confusion pulses travel at a noticeably lower velocity than blaster pulses, making them more difficult to score hits with over significant distances. This weapon is essential to defeating Utwig and Yehat, the two ships protected by powerful shields.



Ideal Purpose

Melnorme fits the role of "spare tire" perfectly. It is good against so many different ships that I can't recommend throwing it at the first potential target. Not if you have something else that can do the job, especially if that something else is cheap. For example, Ilwrath is lethal towards very few ships while Melnorme works great almost everywhere. If you pass up a good chance to use Ilwrath, you may not find anything useful for it to do for the rest of the match. Here is the long list of potential victims:

• Earthling
• Ilwrath
• Mycon
• Shofixti
• Spathi
• Supox
• Syreen
• Thraddash
• Umgah
• Ur-Quan
• Utwig
• VUX
• Yehat
• Zoq-Fot-Pik




Counters

So other than asteroids, what is Melnorme vulnerable to? Slylandro, Androsynth, Chmmr, Kohr-Ah and Druuge. Melnorme is a tough ship, so let's go over every option:

Slylandro vs. Melnorme: One red pulse will kill you. If the Melnorme does not have one up yet, rush in before they finish charging. If they are carrying a red pulse, juke back and forth around the limits of the Melnorme's weapon range or between their blindspots to try and goad them into wasting their shot. Asteroids will show up periodically while your opponent steers to get a clear shot of you. Given enough time, one will either crash into the red pulse or force Melnorme to face a direction that allows you to approach and strike. The best way to flank Melnorme once you're in close proximity is to fly in an arc around them, then reverse and travel back the other way before you appear in front of them.

Androsynth vs. Melnorme: Your comet form is so small that the Melnorme player will give themself an aneurysm trying to hit you. Approach them from the front and weave around to avoid incoming fire. As you get close, veer away from the target and then realign yourself with them so as to hit them in the back or side. When your battery runs low while in comet form, move as far away as possible to find a safe place to recover energy. Repeat these attack runs until the fight is over.

Chmmr vs. Melnorme: This is one of those rare matches that rewards single-minded aggression. Accelerate into Melnorme as soon as you enter the arena and pull hard with the tractor beam. This alone will win it for you most of the time. The faster you close in, the harder it becomes for them to tag you with a confusion pulse before it's too late. Melnorme has much better odds of winning when you're skittish. Occasionally Melnorme will get lucky and hit you with a confusion pulse from far enough away that you don't slam right into them afterward. When this happens they are very likely going to nail you with a red pulse, then begin charging up for another combo with both of their weapons. If your ship gets confused, do your best to guide it away from the Melnorme. Go back on the offensive once the confusion effect has worn off.

Kohr-Ah vs. Melnorme: While the Melnorme does not have a red pulse at the ready you should be launching discs at them constantly. Once that thing is up, start running away. Discs can still hit Melnorme from the sides or back so try to stall for time and slowly wear them down from a distance. It's possible to drop Melnorme from full crew to zero with a perfectly executed double flamewave swoop, and I recommend doing this when Melnorme closes the distance with a gravity whip. Melnorme is not very maneuverable, so once they hurl themselves towards you it is very hard for them to adjust their course. Think of the double flamewave as a last resort. This will prevent you from attempting it at the wrong time.

Druuge vs. Melnorme: Your maximum range is longer than theirs. Shell them from far away. The Melnorme will attempt to close in on you with a red pulse as protection, but there's nothing they can do to overcome the recoil of your cannon. Most of your shots will be blocked by that red pulse, but occasionally you'll see one will graze their side. Constantly adjust the direction you fire from to raise your chance of scoring a hit. Take this fight as slowly as possible to give your battery more time to recharge.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 08:52:26 pm by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2008, 12:32:57 am »

The Mmrnmhrm Transformer



I present to you the most well-rounded combatant in Star Control. Mmrnmhrm is comprised of two different forms which it can alternate between. These two forms--a high speed missileboat and a point-blank brawler--fill in each other's gaps nicely. Being every bit as lethal as Androsynth, Mmrnmhrm has managed to find its way close to the top of the pile despite its 19 point cost. Mmrnmhrm will seem unwieldy to control to an inexperienced player, but it actually requires less player skill than most other ships to be useful.



The X-Wing



This is the form you will first see when Mmrnmhrm enters the arena. The X-Wing turns very fast yet has pitiful top speed. It wields a set of criss-crossing lasers that each inflict damage at the same rate as the VUX laser, or the same rate as the Chmmr laser when combined. This is a powerful yet somewhat limited short range weapon. Mmrnmhrm has a small battery that empties itself quickly when firing its twin lasers so it is best to strike most other ships in short intervals before breaking off. How does one accomplish this? See the section below. The X-Wing is also very good at tearing apart flanking ships while pillboxing.



Jousting

Want to close the gap with an opponent and rake them with your twin lasers? Approach as a Y-Wing, switch to X-Wing and fire as you glide past your opponent. You might need to nudge your direction of travel slightly once you switch to X-Wing, but be careful not to slow yourself down too much. Too much directional adjustment as an X-Wing will prevent you from catching the target or possibly leave you in an extended shootout at short range.



The Y-Wing



The Y-Wing is what you do most of the dirty work with. It has high speed and a slow turning rate. The weapon you get with it is a spammable twin missile launcher. Individual missiles inflict a single point of damage and don't track very well. Nevertheless, the long range of this weapon allows you to wear down many different enemies without them being able to hit back. Your direction of travel can have a large impact on the distance your missiles will reach before expiring. Traveling towards an opponent at maximum Y-Wing speed cuts the effectiveness of this weapon down dramatically. Don't do this. Facing towards your opponent while moving away from them will allow you to get the most out of your missile launcher, although that position can be difficult to set up and usually won't last very long before the other player escapes. Firing missiles from a relative halt is effective as well. Even when Mmrnmhrm is acting as a dedicated missile boat it may still need to switch into X-Wing form for the occasional sharp turn or brake.



Ideal Purpose

There is not any one particular ship which Mmrnmhrm is best held in reserve for, relegating it to the role of "spare tire". A noticeable portion of the Star Control ship line-up is neither good nor bad against Mmrnmhrm. As long as you don't play Mmrnmhrm against Chmmr, you should be able to get some use out of the thing. If I had to pick a single favorite target for Mmrnmhrm, I would personally go with Ur-Quan.

Mmrnmhrm vs. Ur-Quan: Your maximum range exceeds theirs by a lot and Ur-Quan is not nearly fast enough to catch you. Slowly wear Ur-Quan down from far away with your Y-Wing missiles. Ur-Quan fighters are frustrating to shoot down with the X-Wing twin lasers, don't even try. Avoiding them is good enough. Take this fight slowly and carefully. You might manage to win without even sustaining a single crew loss.




Counters

Mmrnmhrm is one of those rare spacecraft that doesn't lose to anything cheaper than itself very frequently, making more expensive craft worth sending against it. Chmmr and Orz can both do a great job of putting Mmrnmhrm back in its place.

Chmmr vs. Mmrnmhrm: Don't use the tractor beam. Doing so will send the X-Wing careening around the arena and make it possible for the other player to inflict more damage on you before you take them out. Instead you should meander towards Mmrnmhrm the conventional way and attack. Chmmr's beam has a slightly longer range, but the ship is not maneuverable enough to hit Mmrnmhrm without them hitting you back.

Orz vs. Mmrnmhrm: Deploy marines from many different directions and try to stall for time. Attacking Mmrnmhrm head-on with the howitzer is usually a bad idea given Orz's low crew count. Your ship is just barely agile enough to avoid Mmrnmhrm's Y-Wing and that is what you should focus your attention on. Mmrnmhrm's horribly gimped turning rate will lead to it being boarded sooner or later.

Not satisfied with those two? I will leave you some tips for a few of the better "grey area" match-ups which can be worth attempting if you're feeling dangerous...

Mycon vs. Mmrnmhrm: This is a solid Mmrnmhrm killer against less experienced pilots. The better the player, the bleaker the outlook is for you. Start searching for the planet frantically when the match begins. The Mmrnmhrm's Y-Wing form can pick you apart if you are not moving at gravity whip speed. Recover all of your lost crew once you've found the planet and begun zooming around. If you lose your speed boost from bumping an asteroid, you will need get it back as quickly as possible. Drop plasmoids at opportune moments but don't stress yourself out trying to knock the Mmhrnmhrm out in a hurry. Remember that long, drawn out slogs favor you.

Syreen vs. Mmrnmhrm: Steer clear of Y-Wing missiles and search for the planet. Once you find it, gravity whip onto the Mmrnmhrm's position. You will probably miss them and be forced to repeat this many times. Use your Siren's Song once you get close enough. The Mmrnmhrm may fly right by you as you do this, leaving you free to steal a few crew. Oftentimes the other player will anticipate what you're trying to do and switch into X-Wing. Try not to run straight into the X-Wing's twin lasers while you spam your Siren's Song. If the Mmrnmhrm player switches into X-Wing and positions their ship to protect floating crew then you should back away from them a bit and then take potshots at the X-Wing with your stupidshooter. Mmrnmhrm will be forced to switch back into Y-Wing to escape you, allowing you to steal their crew as they flee.

Supox vs. Mmrnmhrm: This fight strongly resembles Syreen vs. Mmrnmhrm. You will need to perform repeated gravity whips onto the Mmrnmhrm's position to attack in a similar fashion. The difference with this match-up is that Supox will inflict damage much less rapidly than Syreen, yet be virtually immune to the X-Wing's twin lasers thanks to its vectored thrust if you play correctly. Accelerate in reverse at just the right moment to prevent your ship from ever drawing close enough that twin lasers can hit you. Get as many shots in as you can after you close in on the Mmrnmhrm's position, then return to the planet to set yourself up for another run. Y-Wing missiles are the real threat here.

Druuge vs. Mmrnmhrm: This is a hard match-up to give advice for because it's so free form. The key here is that the Mmrnmhrm Y-Wing can't turn very quickly. It will follow a rather predictable flight path which allows for easy hits. "Easy" being a relative term, unfortunately. You need to be very good at connecting those long shots with Druuge to win this fight. You will be picked apart by a flurry of missiles if your aim isn't up to snuff.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 01:19:19 am by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2008, 01:03:13 am »

The Mycon Podship



Mycon is a reasonably effective fighter over both short and long range. It tends to perform at its best during extended battles of attrition due to its self-healing ability. Mycon is held back by two flaws: clumsiness and expensiveness. The slow turning rate and unwieldy weapon system are big hurdles to overcome. The weapon in question hits very hard, but that is cold comfort when so many other ships can avoid or counteract it with ease. Fast flanking ships in particular will tear Mycon apart, that's all there is to it. Mycon's point value of 21 is too high for what it does. This is unfortunately one of the worst fleet additions a player can make for these reasons. The ship simply cannot pull its own weight.



Primary Function: Homing Plasmoid



The homing plasmoid is a strange and clumsy weapon. As the name implies, these projectiles will track their target. Plasmoids travel slowly enough that it is not all that difficult for most ships to avoid regardless of homing capability. A plasmoid will deteriorate over a period of six seconds. The projectile will inflict somewhere between one and ten damage depending on what condition it's in when it strikes a target. Damage is highest when the projectile is new. Although Mycon can potentially ram an opponent head-on and inflict 20 points of sudden damage, this is rarely a realistic goal given Mycon's low speed. You should rely on your long reach rather than your maximum damage potential. Keep the fight at a distance for best results.



Regarding Speed Boosts

Your ship's direction of travel has a noticable effect on the speed of any plasmoids you may launch. A plasmoid that is launched while facing away from your direction of travel will move faster than normal. This effect is more pronounced if you are careening through space after a gravity whip maneuver. Just don't shoot in the same direction you're traveling towards or you'll blast yourself for maximum damage. The gravity whip is essential when controlling Mycon whether you need to stall for time to regenerate or lob a plasmoid at an unusually high speed.



Secondary Function: Regenerate



You can regenerate four of your crew members whenever your battery tops off. Regeneration will bring your battery down from full to empty. The Mycon battery is quite large and recovers at a modest pace so it is sometimes better to avoid using this if your opponent is an immediate threat. This ability lends itself best to a reserved fighting style. Whenever you sustain damage you should try to delay any further direct combat for the purpose of regenerating all crew.



Ideal Purpose

Don't expect to get your money's worth out of this ship. If you're feeling dangerous, it's possible to defeat Mmrnmhrm or Chenjesu. The outcome of either of these match-ups is uncertain for you if the other player is particularly skilled. Here are some pointers for these two:

Mycon vs. Mmrnmhrm: This is a solid Mmrnmhrm killer against less experienced pilots. The better the player, the bleaker the outlook is for you. Start searching for the planet frantically when the match begins. The Mmrnmhrm's Y-Wing form can pick you apart if you are not moving at gravity whip speed. Recover all of your lost crew once you've found the planet and begun zooming around. If you lose your speed boost from bumping an asteroid, you will need get it back as quickly as possible. Drop plasmoids at opportune moments but don't stress yourself out trying to knock the Mmhrnmhrm out in a hurry. Remember that long, drawn out slogs favor you.

Mycon vs. Chenjesu: Do not go anywhere near the Chenjesu except perhaps to make a bombing run on them by gravity whip. DOGIs are a problem, but they are not entirely bad for you. If you let one of them bump into you several times it will push you in the opposite direction at a speed Mycon cannot achieve through normal acceleration. This can be used to evade the Chenjesu. Use DOGI bounces or a gravity whip to get yourself moving above your default top speed. Drop plasmoids when good opportunities present themselves, but focus on recovery when damaged. DOGIs will move aside if you are pointing towards them. You will need to adjust your facing to ward these off periodically. This match-up is tricky for both sides.

And here is the list of ships which Mycon can beat when played well:

• Druuge
• Earthling
• Ilwrath
• Shofixti
• Syreen
• Thraddash
• Umgah
• VUX




Counters

Arilou, Slylandro, Pkunk and Supox are all good candidates for attacking Mycon. If your game is good enough it's possible to beat a skillfully piloted Mycon with Zoq-Fot-Pik, although that is more than a little bit challenging to pull off.

Arilou vs. Mycon: The technique for this particular match-up is as simple as watching out for plasmoids while moving in for the kill. You shouldn't even need to teleport. This is the most basic flanking exercise in the game.

Slylandro vs. Mycon: You're fast and they're clumsy. Flank them. The only real difficulty is with keeping your blindingly fast self under control.

Pkunk vs. Mycon: Mycon is nearly as simple to beat with Pkunk as it is with Slylandro and Arilou. Your minigun will be a tad frustrating to aim properly while flanking, but you should have no trouble evading plasmoids. Try to guide a plasmoid back around towards the Mycon itself if you want to sneak in a bit of risk-free damage.

Supox vs. Mycon: The approach towards Mycon is going to be a bit of a struggle, but you shouldn't find it overwhelmingly difficult to dodge a few plasmoids and get within range. Your glob gun has enough reach to allow you to fire on the Mycon from a comfortable distance. If the Mycon performs a gravity whip, you will need to cut them off from the opposite direction and bump into them to slow them down.

Zoq-Fot-Pik vs. Mycon: So you just had to do it the hard way, huh? This pairing is heavily based upon skill and a lot harder than it sounds if you've never tried it against a decent player. In essence, you need to struggle your way towards the Mycon and stab it with your tongue weapon, then finish it off with a few scattergun shots or a second tongue lash. Pay close attention to the Mycon's battery. If the Mycon player ever drains their energy level to zero and you see a clear path towards them, that's your cue to stop carefully maneuvering around and charge straight in. One thing you can do is destroy plasmoids with with your tongue weapon, though the timing required for that is a bit ridiculous -- the tongue is only functional as a damage-dealer for the shortest possible instant.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 02:49:49 am by Shiver » Logged
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Re: Player-Versus-Player Tactics Guide v0.3
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2008, 04:47:08 am »

The Orz Nemesis



Orz has always been a favorite among fans of Star Control. This popularity is diminished within the context of net melee. Is the ship weak at high level play? Not exactly. Orz is quite beastly in most circumstances. The problem is two-fold: that which constitutes ideal prey for Orz can be beaten by less expensive spacecraft and the Orz itself will lose to Androsynth--the most widely used ship in net melee--virtually every single time. This makes Orz a mediocre fleet addition for its price.



Primary Function: Howitzer



The howitzer is not impressive at first glance. It suffers from a high energy requirement and slow recovery, giving it an unimpressive rate of sustained fire. The individual shells this thing shoots out hit for only three damage each. Nevertheless, the howitzer is actually quite decent due to its respectable range and velocity. Orz's speed and agility allow it to strike some ships from beyond their maximum range without any real danger of being caught. Another use for the howitzer is to sneak in a few hits while your opponent is too busy struggling to stave off space marines to focus on you. Orz carries a smaller than average crew compliment, but is well suited towards avoiding damage entirely.



Secondary Function: Rotate Howitzer



The howitzer will change its facing angle when you hold down the secondary button at the same time as either turning button. The only angles you should use are directly forward, directly backward, and off to the side lined up with one of the rearward fins. The forward angle is ideal for when you need to chase down and attack an enemy that clearly doesn't want you to get in close. The fin angle is good because it gives your ship the smallest possible profile while firing at something. The rear angle gives you a nice, straight shot and is best used while maintaining maximum range against an opponent that is unable to return fire on you.



Tertiary Function: Space Marine



The Orz special ability is both devastating and entertaining to watch. To use it, press the primary and secondary buttons at the same time. A space marine will leap out of the ship and chase after your opponent using some kind of rocket-propelled combat armor. These marines are your crew, so deploying them into space will lower your crew count until they return. You may deploy up to eight space marines at the same time. A space marine has three hitpoints and travels at roughly the same speed as the Orz vessel. Should a marine reach the enemy ship, they will blast their way inside and begin to hunt down every crew member on board. A single intruder will score an average of nine kills (including a freebie upon boarding successfully) before kicking the bucket. To go into greater detail, here is what happens every half second while a marine is aboard a hostile spacecraft:

• 50.00% of an enemy crew member dying
• 43.75% chance of nothing
• 06.25% chance of the marine dying

Marines are typically best deployed in such a way that they approach your opponent from many different directions. The effectiveness of space marines varies quite a bit between different enemies. Aggressive boarding operations are sometimes the best way to go. Earthling, for instance, is best dealt with by running to the edge of the screen, rushing a squad of eight marines out and letting those do all the work for you. In other situations marines may become a liability. Thraddash is the most obvious example of an enemy that will shrug off marines with little effort yet cannot stand up to direct ordinance from your howitzer.




Ideal Purpose

Orz is well suited for taking out Chenjesu, Ur-Quan and to a lesser extent, Mmrnmhrm. Some players prefer to send Orz against Chmmr or Kohr-Ah, but that will not end well if your opponent knows what they are doing.

Orz vs. Chenjesu: Stay as far away as possible. It should not be too difficult to avoid incoming photon shards, but you do need to keep an eye on those. DOGIs are not a problem for you. Go ahead and pinball yourself between them for all I care. Marine spam can pretty much win this for you automatically, though your odds are better if you surround the Chenjesu.

Orz vs. Ur-Quan: Ur-Quan is like Chenjesu only easier. There is no reason for you to get hit unless the game warps you in directly in front of Ur-Quan with no distance between you and them. Marine spam is an almost guaranteed win. Try to surround with your marines rather than dropping a squad of eight all at once. Fighters should not be difficult to avoid if you pay attention.

Orz vs. Mmrnmhrm: Deploy marines from many different directions and try to stall for time. Attacking Mmrnmhrm head-on with the howitzer is usually a bad idea given Orz's low crew count. Your ship is just barely agile enough to avoid Mmrnmhrm's Y-Wing and that is what you should focus your attention on. Mmrnmhrm's horribly gimped turning rate will lead to it being boarded sooner or later.

And of course, here's the full list of ships Orz can demolish consistently, assuming it begins the fight at full crew capacity:

• Chenjesu
• Druuge
• Earthling
• Ilwrath
• Mmrnmhrm
• Mycon
• Shofixti
• Spathi
• Supox
• Syreen
• Thraddash
• Umgah
• Ur-Quan
• Utwig
• VUX
• Yehat
• Zoq-Fot-Pik




Counters

Androsynth is the silver bullet you're looking for. Slylandro and Pkunk have a decent chance of defeating Orz, so those are worth falling back upon if for some crazy reason you don't have Androsynth ready. Supox and Earthling make good finishers against an Orz that is in critical condition.

Androsynth vs. Orz: Your comet form is the perfect weapon for dispatching an otherwise dangerous vessel. Orz marines are killed instantly upon contact with your comet form and the ship itself is not nearly fast enough to evade you. Chase them down and ram into them a few times for an easy win.

Pkunk vs. Orz: The howitzer is most dangerous at medium distance and becomes less of a problem once you reach point blank. Orz marines are a threat at short range, so try not to physically bump into the Orz vessel when you unload your guns on it. You've got to close the gap and attack Orz more than once if it begins this fight at full crew. The Orz howitzer has rather large blindspots. Try your best to run up one if you can visualize where it is. If the Orz gets too cavalier with its marines then you should fly far away from the Orz itself and rip the little bastards apart one at a time with your minigun. A single reincarnation should be more than enough to guarantee victory if you don't get it right the first time.

Slylandro vs. Orz: Slylandro plays similarly to Pkunk against Orz. There are advantages and disadvantages between the two, but the only one you really need to worry about is how Slylandro should handle the obstacle of marines. Your lightning weapon is almost totally unable to connect with them so you won't be able to fall back and clear them out. The howitzer is most dangerous at medium range while surprise marine drops are the greater problem up close. With all of that in mind, dodge and weave your way towards the Orz and attack. You will need to break off and recharge your battery once if the Orz starts this fight at full crew capacity.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 12:52:12 am by Shiver » Logged
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