Starsector: Best space combat seven years in the making

I don’t sell battleship blueprints (like the Odyssey). Those things are rare and hard to find. In general, I only sell any blueprints that I have duplicates of (it will tell you if you’ve already learned it).

If you need cash I would sell the corrupted nanoforge. You’ll find plenty of those and what you really want is the pristine nanoforge to put in your heavy industry colony once you get one (you’ll get one from a main story mission, eventually). You can also safely sell the planet survey reports you get.

I right click on blueprints to learn them, do you have to actually hang on to them too in order to build them later on your colony?

Because I’ve really screwed up on that because I sell them if the game tells me I already know them.

Once you’ve learned them you know them forever. No need to worry.

Current state of my colony ambitions:

1000 former Luddic Path cultists: “Are we there yet?”

Commander Hector Summerstar: “No, we’ll be out of the core systems after we chase down this one last pirate fleet”

-time passes-

1000 former Luddic Path cultists: “Isn’t the world we were going to colonize in the other direction?”

Commander Hector Summerstar: “Yes, but there’s a system bounty just a few light years away”

-time passes-

1000 former Luddic Path cultists: “Are we there yet?”

Commander Hector Summerstar: “No, but we’ll be out of the core systems after we chase down this one last pirate fleet”

I look forward to hearing the next installment of their journey.

You know, I didn’t plan it this way. I just have a strong anti-pirate streak and when the opportunity presents itself to chase down a raider, or swoop in to save the day during a pirate raid, I can’t resist. However in retrospect constantly charging into battle against he lawless elements in the sector can’t be hurting my image to the would be settlers that I’ve been dragging along. They are fresh from the devastation of the cult world I saved them from. Watching my warships peel off to confront the pirates that seem to constantly threaten the civilian elements of the fleet can only inspire pride and awe. My people know all too well what dangers exist in this galaxy, and who constantly rescues them from those dangers. By the time we make planetfall I know they are with me.

With much in the way of salvaged supplies in tow we finally made it to the Lilith system. Seems fitting for starting a new branch of humanity’s family tree away from the infighting of the core systems.

We came upon the system many month ago while scouting the periphery of post-domain civilization. A gas giant orbiting a red star with three major moons. The furthest moon is a small Terran world with adequate farmland, abundant organics, and widespread ruins, signaling that we aren’t the first humans to find this system appealing. Its gravity is low, and while an obstacle to growth it is an advantage to accessibility from space. This world is called Kobold, and it will be the foundation of our new civilization.

The former cultists, now on a new path, are landed along with loyal elements of our crew to start the new colony. Building of a spaceport to keep the colony supplied is the first priority, sowing the usable farmland is next and then efforts are directed at establishing patrols within the system to protect the trade our nascent settlement will require to survive.

The closest moon of the gas giant Gren is an eccentric Terran world named Elgard. Unlike Kobold its gravity is normal, however it gets poor light from being so long in the shadow of the giant it orbits. It has poor farmland, but moderate deposits of ore and organics. It also contains evidence for former inhabitation in its widespread ruins. Once the colony at Kobold seems secure we establish a comm link in the system and scan the com-net for a world ripe with settlers we can recruit to inhabit Elgard.

Eventide in hegemony space must now seeing the effects of a baby boom. This populous and stable hegemony planet has an abundance of colonists willing to emigrate for little incentive. A quick trip back to the core worlds and a new batch of eager pioneers are on their way to Lilith.

Of course there are pirate battles on the way. I am going out of my way to find them at times, but I have to say these guys must be somehow well funded. The pirate armadas I sometimes shadow with my superior burn, waiting for some military force to engage them so I can come in and join the battle, are often huge. And they are everywhere. It makes me worry for what my emerging empire might face.

The backbone of the Summerstar fleet is a recently acquired Apogee. I’m trying to work out a good loadout for it to be the anvil of my fleet. I’ve got a plasma cannon + tactical lasers up front for now, and hardened shields to increase its tankability. My flagship is a Sunder with an autopulse laser and graviton beams. I use it to speed in deliver the coup de grace when opportunities arise. I have a couple of Hammerheads to escort me so I can back up and behind them if necessary, or order them to give a final punch. A recent acquisition I’ve grown fond of is a monitor frigate that does little damage but can take punishment. I set it to search and destroy so it distracts and pulls off part of the enemy fleet. I also have an omen which I use as an anti-fighter and missile escort. Since fighter support has become necessary as the fleet grows I’ve been acquiring Drovers. I have three now with slightly different setups of fighter or strike craft.

After patrolling for some time to make sure the two now inhabited moons of Gren are safe, the Summerstar fleet returns to the core worlds to fulfill a lucrative transport contract offered by a passing trader. The fact that such opportunities can now be found in planet-side bars in our small settlement seem encouraging.

I am not even halfway to my destination when notice arrives that a pirate fleet has been detected heading for my colonies. Thirty four days until the first test of or survival. There should be enough time to complete our contract and return home, perhaps also to shop for some ships to add to our fleet along the way.

Thanks for taking trouble to write up some more on your campaign! Good read.

I’m back for something more boring, yet another question.

Got a base Luddic base I’ve tried attacking that is the hardest I’ve run into (that upgrade to battle-station does indeed make a difference!), I couldn’t take it out, had to retreat in fact. I did a lot of damage to it, if I repair up my fleet and head in again is the damage from the last assault still there or do they do something cheesy and repair it all immediately?

Anyone taking more than one stab at a base?

If you are able to destroy at least some sections, you can order some of your damaged or low CR fleet units to retreat and new ships back in to join in the fray via the reinforcement button.

My late fleet consist of 2 Paragon, 4 Eagles, 4 Apogees and 1 Heron, 5 Tempest

It’s not possible to deploy everything, but I rotate them into battles.

I’ve been looking for paragons, haven’t found any, in fact I’m having a hard time finding much of anything. I wonder if I fire up heavy industry at my colony will I just immediately invite all the factions to come with the heavy stuff and take me out?

Got the money to spend, just nothing I can find to spend it on!

I got it destroyed btw, I took out the supporting fleet first, repaired, then took on the battle station by itself, still took some work.

I very much enjoyed destroying that Luddic Path base, I make a point of destroying their bases and pirate bases wherever I run across them. Even if there’s no bounty on them.

Paragons are produced by the Tri-Tachyon faction. If you take a commission with them, you can purchase them from their military worlds once your reputation is high enough. They won’t be constantly in stock, but chances are if you check the Tri-Tach military worlds once every couple months you’ll find them fast.

Alternatively you can just turn off your transponder and go to one of their systems and engage one of their defensive fleets and hope for some good salvage RNG.

The third option is to keep an eye on current events and when the Tri-Tachs are participating in an invasion as either the defenders or attackers, you can go to the relevant system and they’ll often lose high end ships you can salvage. This tip is just sort of helpful in general for the early game, but can be applied specifically if you are looking for certain harder to obtain ships.

Are commissions mutually exclusive? If I’m currently signed up with hegemony would I have to resign that one to sign up with Tri?

They are mutually exclusive and you need to resign the Hegemony commission first, yes.

Development is in full swing on Kobold and Elgard. Once an industry is up and running on each world, farming for Kobold and mining for Elgard, attention turns to defenses. Patrol headquarters, ground defenses, and eventually high tech orbital stations are built around each moon. A waystation is built on Kobold as it will be the center of operations. Later one is built on Elgard so it can also benefit from the increased market access. Once credits have been allocated toward these building endeavors much of what remains from the almost 2.5 million credit nest egg, raised through bounty hunting, salvage and surveying in the pre-colonization days, goes into growth incentives.

A few trips are made back to the core worlds to bolster cash reserves and find opportunities to shore up standing with other factions. Chasing down system bounties again provides lots of both. There is even a pleasant surprise when stopping into a core world bar looking for contracts. There is someone willing to pay 100k to make a freight haul out to Lilith. Needless to say that contract was taken. It’s a good sign the colonies are doing well.

During this time, prior to any orbital stations being built, warning of a pirate raid forced an unplanned rush back home. When the fleet arrived scanners showed a huge slow moving pirate armada. With multiple capital ships it was larger than the main fleet could take on, and far larger than the few scrapped together frigates that made up the colonies’ patrols. Fortunately the armada spends a lot of time trying to chase down those patrols. An earlier decision to break down a domain era sensor buoy that was in the system and replace it with a makeshift nav buoy proves to have been the right one as the Summerstar fleet relies on superior burn to play cat and mouse with the armada. The pirate armada is unable to land a raid on any of the colonies and eventually leaves the system. Whew!

Between the orbits of Kobold and Elgard lies the third moon of Gren. A cryovolcanic moon whose freezing temperatures and extreme tectonic activity make it hostile to human life (hazard 200%), but a moon that contains a valuable abundance of both rare ores and volatile elements, as well as moderate ore deposits. The heavy industry planned for Kobold will benefit greatly from this source of raw materials. Despite its harsh conditions the last major moon of Gren is colonized. In tribute to an old legend of another icy, inhospitable land this colony is named “Greenland”. Given the name of its giant mother the name locally morphs to be pronounced as “grenlind”.

While large infusions of cash are necessary to incentive people to settle and stay on Greenland, especially during its first days, once the spaceport is built and the mines this colony too is profitable. Incentives are still required to grow the population, but at least the colony won’t wither away if the incentives dry up.

Months pass. The Summerstar fleet roams in search of money and reputation as the colonies grow. With spaceports, waystations, and orbital stations to increase access to core world markets big money from exports starts flowing in. Much is invested into growth. Some is spent to bolster the main fleet as high tech blueprints found earlier are put to use. A second Apogee cruiser and couple of Medusa destroyers are added to the fleet. The first medusa was built to replace a hammerhead that had been disabled in battle and still bore the scars in its compromised armor. While the fleet is still experimenting to find an loadout that the average captain can use effectively, the ship is turning out to be a favorite and a second was quickly commissioned.

The earth-like moons Kobold and Elgard now are home to hundreds of thousands of people. Though Kobold began as a farming colony it now boats an orbital works. Its spaceport has been upgraded to a megaport and it is now a thriving center of commerce. Light industry on Elgard now provides the necessities and luxuries of life to the colonies. Its patrol headquarters eventually expands to become a military base. Greenland has grown as well. Tens of thousands now inhabit its domes and work in the mines and refineries.

As the colonies grow, so does Hector Summerstar’s experience and ability to administer them. In addition to Gren the gas giant there is one more planet orbiting Lilith. A large barren ringed world that has extensive domain era ruins. It has no atmosphere, and it’s unbearably hot, but a tech mining operation may be lucrative and perhaps provide some of the rarer weapons and blueprints that have so far remained elusive. Plans are laid for when the time seems right to further expand.

Man you guys got me playing this again, and what a cool game. I just died after about 25 hours in. Grabbed a colony with ridiculous stats. Little did I know you need a lot of money and a big fleet first. So I revive, and I still have my colony. Maybe this isn’t so bad I think, I put a tanker and freighter in storage, maybe I can do some tavern deals and come back. I grab the ships, come out, and immediately die to more pirates.

There’s no deadwood in this design. If it’s not interesting or fun, it’s not in the game.

Such a shame about the small text. It’s the only thing that is really ‘wrong’ with the game. Well, that, and the UI which is a frankenstein monster of various arms and legs stuck to a torso. But even that’s polish. The text is the biggee.

Hey, if I don’t fly my ship myself, do I still get the ‘piloted ship’ bonuses? Thanks.

Yeah, so far I just can’t stop playing it, I know I’ll wear it out, but I’ll wear it out having fun and then get to look forward to more content in probably like 2 years, haha.

Pretty sure you do get your bonuses on your ship, I pretty much never pilot it myself unless the AI starts doing something really dumb with it and tries to get it destroyed. Which as it just so happens took place last night against a base that had fleet support. Very nearly lost 2 battleships. What I wonder is, if your ship does get destroyed do you die with it? Do my pilots come to think of it that I’ve recruited and slotted in ships die if their ship gets destroyed?

Same. It’s been weeks and I keep expecting to tire of it, but that hasn’t happened. I’m kind of obsessed with building up my fleet and my wallet before tackling colony development. Lately I’m mostly flying around collecting bounties for destroying pirate bases. Sometimes I get in over my head and run the hell out of the system using my nifty new transverse power. Fun times.

For those that don’t pilot much in battles, as you get a bigger fleet I would recommend trying again with just a destroyer or frigate. That way if you are ineffective not much is lost, but if you can swoop in and deliver finishing blows here and there you can make a big difference. Also try to find battles where you are helping out allies to mitigate the risk of screwing up while piloting. Even though I have a few cruisers now, I still just pilot my autopulse laser equipped Sunder to deliver bursts of damage where needed.

The most important tip I can give for piloting in battles is pause often and get your bearings. It doesn’t need to be played like an action game. Especially when using the mouse steering mode I pause a lot to re-position the pointer so as to get the lead I want.

Yeah, have to give that a try just for entertainment purposes. I’ve got a couple smaller but deadly ships I could mess with in a battle.

I spend most of my time switching back over to the tactical view to make sure what’s happening everywhere is still OK and no one is getting ganged up on (and if they are I order support over there, so I suppose I could be that support).

The tactical view though is so handy to get the whole battle picture and easily check I’ve not burned thru too much CR on particular ships that tabbing back and forth to that is how I spend most of my time in battles. Watch the pretty effects for the fun, manage the battle from the tactical screen to control things.

My colonies are now cranking out the dough. With four colonies in one system the overlapping defenses of one military base and three patrol HQs are now repulsing smaller pirate raids without me having to race back home every time.

Very nice! Four colonies in one sector is a sweet set up. I just turned on AI running two of my colonies in my 1st two colonies just to see what would happen.

As expected the luddic activity kicked in, nothing much yet to worry about. The interesting part is hegemony are sending an AI inspect in 2 months, at which point they’re going to die running into heavy batteries and a battle-station (that in 180 days will be a star fortress which cost me a cool million just for that upgrade alone).

I’ll be amused to see two things in the near future:

  1. how much of a ding I take on my relations with hegemony as a result of them getting themselves blown into small pieces by my defenses, it cracks me up the idea I have a commission with these guys and they’re attacking me
  2. whether anything can ever penetrate a star fortress for a colony that’s already sporting 5600 defense rating