Renaux's Battle Guide
-Version Date: 06/16/03
-Applies to code Patch v. 1.2; Data
Patch 1, 2; and un-patched
Table of Contents
- Battle Mechanics
- Recon Ships
- Attack Ships
- PD Ships
- Naming Ships
- Task Force Creation
- The Fine Points of Battle
- Defense of This Tactic
- Visual Detection
- Late Game Strategy
- Additional Resources
- Revision History
Well everybody has opinions on how to play
Master of Orion 3, and I’m no different.
So, I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring of guides as well. I have tried quite a few different tactics,
but one seems to be far more potent than the rest. I go with strictly specialized missile boats, and I will outline
in this guide what to do, and why it works so well. To begin here’s a list of pro’s and con’s as well as how to
defend against this tactic.
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>Pro’s/Con’s
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Pro’s:
<![endif]>Extremely difficult to defend against.
<![endif]>Very easy to control in battle.
<![endif]>Extremely low attrition rate.
<![endif]>Very quick battles (usually).
<![endif]>Relatively quick to design.
<![endif]>Good protection of troop ships
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Con’s:
<![endif]>Usually not the best planetary defensive tactic.
<![endif]>Must be controlled, vs. allowing a cede command.
<![endif]>Considerable waste of firepower.
preliminary view of the space battle mechanics that will apply to the following
information. Hit points are the amount
of damage an object can sustain before being destroyed. For missiles, the hit points are equal to
the amount of space they take up (not counting the +1 space usage from
racks). Shields and armor will increase
the amount of damage an object can take, refer to visage’s guide at the bottom
for more information. Missiles from
long-range/PD attack ships will fire, and hover around your task force if no
target is located. Once a target is
locked, they will attack. Long-range
attack class ships will fire at maximum range if you watch a battle. Placements of battle groups is a function of
the combined range of the longest firing weapon of each battle group. If no direct fire weapons are on any ships
or planets, the next variable that the game looks for are sensors, and will
place you according to you sensor range.
Multifire is the number of shots fired during each recharge period, auto
fire will increase the multifire bonus.
Autofire modification was fixed in the patch. Missiles have 95% accuracy.
Quote from visage: “The
rate of fire displayed in the ship design screen is not the actual rate of
fire, but the multiplicative modifier to the warhead's rate of fire, which are
all 45 seconds by default. The number of racks you have is the number of
missiles you fire in a volley; the number of missiles per rack is the total
number of volleys you can fire. The space a missile rack takes up is
proportional to 1 plus the number of missiles in it.” When defending your planet, selecting ‘intercept’ will allow you
to see the enemy battle group at whatever range they are placed at and still
allow for planetary defenses to be used in battle
as long as the invading party selects the “Assault Planet” option.
first kind of ship I build is Reconnaissance class of ship. The following is listed in order of
importance. I put my most advanced
sensors, best armor, and best shields.
These extra protective features as well as the faster drive are because
these can be very effective spotters ships.
I outfit this ship w/ system drives at full potential. If the planetary defenses are already
destroyed, and there are enemy task forces unseen, these reconnaissance ships
can move on the battle map relatively quickly, and root out any enemy forces. In addition, I suggest putting on at least
one fighter. The fighter can be
effective for scouting. Also, I suggest
putting on only a single instance of the furthest range direct fire weapon you
can, for initial task force placement.
Lastly, I will fill any left over space with either cloaking/ECM or
ECCM, depending on how disposable you want them to be. If you have many recon ships, and you’d
rather save them, use cloaking and ECM.
If you’d rather they were disposable, and possibly draw fire away from
your offensive task forces when they can, use ECCM.
The second is Long Range Attack classified
missile boats. I will put on my best PD
chasse w/ 2 volleys per rack. I choose
the long range attack class because it will fire at any enemy force automatically,
allowing you time to readjust the map, and send further orders. I use PD missile chassis because they can
overwhelm point defenses quite well.
Though PD missiles cost more per damage than rocket chassis, there
damage to space ratio is about equal, the benefits of having more missiles
outweighs this price quite bit, and is more feasible and cost effective than
building more ships. In addition, a
single PD missile can usually take care of a single fighter of the same tech
level. I use two racks because in
general it appears to be a good cost/benefit ratio for inefficiency (aka
blowing up a detachment w/ 5000 pts. Of damage). Also, in early to mid game, will set my system drive to “1,” in
order to load up extra missiles. I do
this because these ships are not designed for long battles, so after they fire
their two volleys, if the opposing forces are not completely obliterated, you
can retreat, saving your TF, and coming back for more after a few turns. In this way, even a lost battle will be a
victory counted towards your war.
Cloaking or ECM/ECCM is not suggested for these ships, due to the short
duration of battles. In late game, I
suggest designing a second version of this type of ship, but w/ full system
drive speed. These are good for making long-rang
task forces, w/ reconnaissance capabilities.
These task forces should replace recon task forces.
that PD direct fire weapons could handle PD missiles very effectively; this is
false. All weapons that have a
multi-fire bonus (auto fire mod, lightning field) will use their multiple shots
on a single target. If that target is
destroyed on the first hit, than the entire multi-fire bonus is wasted. So you can count on any direct fire weapon
to take out only one missile per salvo.
Currently the best PD weapon mount is the light mount. PD has a very low multi fire bonus, and
cost’s more than light mount. There are
other advantages, but the bottom line is that light mount is superior to PD to
a PD ship is not straightforward. Ever
since the release of Master of Orion 3, the community thought that PD missiles
and interceptors (the PD version of fighters) did not act as PD weapons should. Most thought that these only acted as
offensive weapons. But if a ship is
properly designed, any weapon will react as a PD weapon should in battle, and
only target incoming threats to the battle group. Also, the following design will give you the offensive capabilities
too. You have to manually give a TF an
order to attack an enemy TF, in order to force the PD ships to fire on non PD
targets. Long-range attack ships in
long range TF’s will react normally regardless of assigned PD ships.
For PD missiles, you design an IF
ship. This classification will make the
ship target only incoming threats to the battle group, and this is done
completely independent of the TF it happens to be assigned to. For IF PD ships, I suggest 1 volley of
nuclear missile. This ship should be
designed with a system engine speed of “1”.
They need not any sensors. Their
defensive and cloaking additions should be comparable to the attack ships you
For PD Fighters, you design a carrier
ship. I have not tested this design,
but the same concept probably applies to this type of ship, as it does to the
IF PD ship outlined in the previous paragraph.
For PD DF ships, you design a PD
ship. This is self explanatory. You should put on PD DF weapons according to
your specific strategy. Same applies to
the rest of the design of a DF PD ship.
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>Naming Ships
typically name my ships w/ the following structure. The first part is the type of ship (IF, PD, Car, LR, SR, etc.),
the second part is the level of weapons tech relative to my other ships (1.0,
1.1, 2.3, etc.), and the last part is the star drive speed denoted by ascending
letters (A, B, C, etc.) So an example
would be something like LR 1.5 D. I’ve
found this very useful in keeping track of aging ships, and grouping ships of
the same star drive speed together. This
nomenclature is great for keeping track of your designs, and the numbers stand
out better in the sitreps than just names.
For offense I exclusively us long range
attack task forces. I put one recon
ship in each of these, and fill the rest with long-range IF and PD IF
ships. In early game, I send a
compliment of recon task forces consisting of one recon ship each. The number of recon task forces depends on
the number of long range task forces, I go for a one to one ratio, and cap off
around 5. Because of the high
protection that comes from missile boats in the initial seconds of battle, you
can send in your troop ships right along side w/ your main fleet. Though in mid to late game, I suggest
havving the troops ships trail your main battle group. They may displace some of your attack task
forces in battle, due to the 10 task force limit in combat.
Early game I suggest avoiding sending out
single missile boats, they work much better in tandem or more. I would suggest that your missile boats be
spread thin into 5 task forces when you have enough ships, even if there is
only one per task force. This will help
ensure less waste in firepower when dealing w/ fighters/carriers. 5 task forces will suffice for most of
mid-game as well, then later you will easily be able to make more task
forces. Though in MP it can be rather overwhelming
to have so many task forces and keeping track of when they show up. So in mid-game consolidating your ships into
two or three task forces per battle group will not hurt you much.
I cannot emphasize enough on how important
the retreat button is to this tactic.
Plan on using it a lot. This
missile boat tactic is by definition a harass maneuver. That is to say that you can dish out a lot
of punishment while being totally outnumbered.
This tactic is most apparent in it’s ability when confronting superior
numbers, nothing is more satisfying that going up against an enemy battle group
that is twice as powerful as your, and taking out half of their group before
hitting the retreat button, knowing that in just a few turns you’ll be back to
finish the job.
The best way to defend against this tactic
is to use this, or a variation of this tactic.
The next effective defense would be strictly a PD fleet, though this
would suffer a greater attrition in the long rung, since the missile boat fleet
would retreat after unloading. A PD
fleet would be able to enter into and conquer some worlds of an empire that
utilizes a specialized missile boat approach, but the attrition would be high
enough that the missile boats would be able to retake the lost worlds as well
as begin conquering the invading empire, at a relatively quick pace. The best counter tactic would be to have
more task forces of fewer ships. This
will maximize the efficiency of your missiles, though you will increase your
attrition rate due to the fact that bigger task forces can proportionally
absorb more damage before ships start exploding.
Unfortunately ECM/ECCM/Cloaking effects
are not completely clear Da_Blade has done some extensive testing, and is
convinced that ECM counts as cloaking, and ECCM count as sensors. Visage has done some extensive testing as
well, and is convinced that the noise in his result completely obscures any
real evidence. At present, there is a
confirmed bug in the visual detection mechanics of the game. It doesn’t mater much either way with this
tactic. In my opinion, the only place
any cloaking should be used is on the scouts anyways, and they are expendable
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>Late Game Strategy
By mid/late game, you may also wish to
increase the number of volleys per rack.
I do not suggest ever going over 4 missiles per rack, or else you run
the risk of giving opposition enough time to move in close enough to use direct
fire weapons. Also, keep in mind that
there is currently a bug that only lets you shoot the number of volleys per
task force, of your fewest shot ship, if you use different chassis size
missiles.. An example would be, if you
had an armada filled with ships with 5 volleys worth of missiles of different
size chassis, but also include a ship that only has one volley of missile, your
task force will only be able to shoot one volley. If you keep all of your missiles the same size, you shouldn’t run
into this problem.
Visage has an
amazing amount of great information in his
posts on visual detection are in this thread
Armaments Guide is a good contrast to this guide. Check it out if you prefer something different.
created good guide on the economic and production aspects of war.
the “Ship Types” section with “Recon Ships”, “Attack Ships”, and “PD Ships”;
completely revised defensive strategy.
Removed a large section from the late game strategy.
1.6 Added a
late game strategy section.
Reordered the recon ship section, added hyperlinks to the top of the page
through the section titles, and fixed some internal links.
1.4 Added information on battle placement, added
more resource links, changed formatting, removed the battle placement section,
added the battle mechanics placement, and added a revision history section.