Starsector: Best space combat seven years in the making

Unless you are adding some ships with mods, I think the Paragon is pretty clearly the best ship in the game, even considering it has a 60 point deployment cost. They are blisteringly fast for their size (3-4x as fast as the comparable Hegemony battleship, for example), 4 Large slots that can all be fired forward (firing arcs really can’t be underestimated in this game), the highest ordnance capacity in the game, a built in and free +100% range targeting computer, a 360 shield arc, good flux-shield efficiency, and excellent built in flux dissipation.

But I’m pretty firmly planted in the belief that there isn’t any point to running ships smaller than Battleship sized once you have access to/can afford them and their upkeep. The way that flux capacity works means that smaller ships are simply overwhelmed immediately by larger ships that concentrate fire.

Something like 2 Paragons/3 Astrals properly kitted should be able to defeat anything the vanilla game will throw at you.

Edited to add: You could field 10 low cost frigates instead of a Paragon, but good luck ever getting those 10 frigates into firing range of the Paragon without being volleyed down one at a time long before they enter their own relatively pitiful weapons range. Even if you could, you’d be replacing incidental losses constantly, which is just a chore you don’t need to create for yourself in this game.

Hey, not like I don’t like Paragons, I’m using one fairly often in battles. I’m just saying I get a lot of mileage out of 1 or 2 onslaughts (XIV)'s, plus a couple Eagles (XIV)'s or Auoras as wingmen and 1 or 2 astrals trailing behind.

Want to know what stays in a battle longer than any other ship? Yep, an Onslaught. I know from personal experience because I put an Onslaught and a Paragon in battles together all the time.

Edit: oh, and I should add the importance of how long a ship can stay in battle is important at least in my case because i’m such rubbish at battles, haha

Yo dude. How many deployment points is that?

The onslaughts are 40, the eagles 20, astrals I forget, but want to say probably around 35, have to look next time I go in on a base (been blowing up pirate bases around me for awhile now since they just pop back up).

So, typically I could send in one onslaught, one astral, and a couple eagles (or auora). Not many ships really. So if I’m facing a bunch of battleships with no dmods like you get when you take on renegades from factions, that’s a slog. I basically rotate out over the course of the battle since I’ve got 2-3 onslaughts, 2 asrtrals, like 3 eagles and a couple auroras in my fleet most of the time.

With pirate fleets or their bases, just sending one onslaught, the paragon, an astral and an eagle will take care of pretty much anything.

And I’m not even flying a ship pretty much ever, I spend most of my time in the tactical map just giving orders.

What I meant was that you should compare how the Paragon can synergise with the rest of the fleet as well. The superior range and shield of the Paragon can basically decimate almost anything. It’s shields can take a massive amount of punishment. You can pair it with an Eagle and Astra and see how it rips opposition apart. Changing the mount types of the Paragon to pure laser type can be devastating if you are not into piloting it yourself. I think the 20 points over Onslaught is more than justified by it’s extended range, throw in some flux and an Advanced Optics extension mod. It’s hard to beat.

Oh yeah, I mean on ship configuration I’m being a complete noob, I go with default configurations so far. I was saving customization for the next campaign. So you’re definitely right about optimization of kitting out the configuration, I’ve not done that.

And that’s actually part of the coolness of the game, not only can you go with different set of ships to accomplish the task at hand (and store the rest) you can also for battles use different sets. Along with of course the mods on them.

There’s a lot of depth to the ship and battle element of this one, a lot.

Reminds me of discussions in Total War, what’s the right way to configure a stack. Well, as it just so happens there’s really no right answer to that.

This game hits a total sweet spot for me, much more so than I would have ever anticipated. And reminds me strangely enough of Rimworld, which I rank in my top set of games I’ve ever played.

Edit: BTW, Astrals are 45, so 5 more than an onslaught to bring into a battle

Okay folks, help me get started on the campaign. Here’s where I’m at:

  • played some of the skirmishes
  • played the tutorial and salvaged / retrofitted the Wolf, Hammerhead, tanker, etc.
  • made it to the second sector and mothballed some of my ships at the abandoned station.

Now I’m trying to take delivery jobs and explore nearby systems, but I feel like something is off with my fleet composition.

  • Should I be taking both the Wolf and Hammerhead along as escorts?
  • What’s a good early fleet makeup to scare off or outrun pirates?
  • How should I go about acquiring more ships, either escorts or tankers? Is it worth trying to salvage and use ships with dmods?
  • Are the preset ship loadouts effective or should I be customizing them with scavenged components?


I’m not an expert on the others here, but these are my thoughts.

  • Should I be taking both the Wolf and Hammerhead along as escorts? Yes, particularly early on.
  • What’s a good early fleet makeup to scare off or outrun pirates? I focused on not having any ship that was slower than a burn speed of 8. Generally, regardless of the type of ship, that would be enough to escape with judicious use of emergency burns. Keep in mind, the slowest ship in your fleet determines the max speed of your entire fleet.
  • How should I go about acquiring more ships, either escorts or tankers? Is it worth trying to salvage and use ships with dmods? Generally, I have found trying to fix up salvages ships not worthwhile, particularly if they are damaged. You’re better off salvaging their components and saving up for non-damaged ships.
  • Are the preset ship loadouts effective or should I be customizing them with scavenged components? I was usually fine with pre-sets, but enjoy kitting them out myself, particularly when I started accumulating cash and some fine higher end weapons. So, you don’t need to customize them yourself, but it can be fun.

For a long period initially I ran a relatively fast and small fleet because my primary focus was exploration missions, and if I ran into anyone my first choice was always to run. There’s really no starting option fleet initially that can take on much you’re likely to run into.

I picked up storage and a couple salvage gantry ships along with tankers and stuck to that for quite awhile just slowly making more money. Pay attention to the choices you make for your captain, they cap at 50 so where you load in points eventually stops leaving areas you didn’t choose permanently unavailable.

I tended to not salvage ships, I broke’em up for supplies that extended my search area.

Your mileage may vary, but I took a commission when the opportunity arose to help defray monthly costs and keep me profitable. It has the downside of sometimes putting you at odds with the other factions because they periodically go to war, but it doesn’t last. The steady income is pretty handy. But it does limit who you can buy ships from down the road because to be on a commission with one necessarily means you’re not on great relations with the rest.

Avoidance is a combination of high burn and judicious use of sustained and emergengy burns. I’d keep a minimum fleet burn of 9. The navigation skill that gives +1 burn helps a lot here. Use ship systems like militarized subsystems and/or augmented drive field to increase burn of slower support ships.

Remember that kicking off a sustained burn involved a stop and pause, so if you need to get away from a fleet and they are already close and moving fast do not hesitate to emergency burn and get the hell out of there. If you are already in a sustained burn but you need to change direction fast, toggle sustained burn off and on.

In order to not get jumped, as soon as you see an unknown fleet pause and assess so if you decide you need to avoid. Even if you can’t positively identify the fleet yet, the types of ships in it usually gives away what it is.

If you are operating in a system with a nav bouy, hack it (or take it over) for a +2 or +3 boost to your burn. It can make a huge difference.

Keeping your sensor profile low also isn’t a bad idea but isn’t nearly as important as the ability to run away. The five ships with the largest profiles are what counts. Civilian ships have much larger sensor profiles. Militarized subsystems and/or insulated engine assemblies can mitigate this.

The only time salvaging a ship is worth it is if you have no other means to get that ship, or if your holds are full and temporarily need another freighter to hold the spoils of your activities. Removing a defect from a ship costs more than buying the ship new. So for the basic support ships that are available at most ports just buy what you need.

As a general tip I cannot recommend enough the strategy of hanging around systems with system bounties or ones under pirate attack and finding large ongoing battles to get involved in. You can make a ton of money and make big improvements in faction relations in very little time. It is also great piloting practice to fly around with just your flagship or a small detachment looking for opportunities to pick off ships. If things don’t go well, just go hide behind your allies.

I picked up some handy stuff just hanging around battles and salvaging the left overs, haha

With 2-3 salvage rigs you can make a decent living just cleaning up after battles.

I’ve now decivilized another pirate world in the core. Near the temporary colony I dropped down for tech mining in the Diktat system of Askonia was the pirate world Umbra. I raided it repeatedly to get initial supplies for my tech miners on Daphon, and to keep the pirate threat down.

I’ve raided the orbital works at Culann so many times now I fear it might also decivilize. The instability caused by my raids amounts to 22 now, and the text says only one point is erased every three months. Other factors give Culann +13, so it’s going to be zero stability for quite a while. I got blueprints for storm needlers and devastator cannons on my last raid, so I plan to let them recover. Heck, if the Persean League calls off the war I plan to quickly get them anything they are under supplied in (for a nice profit of course). I don’t know if the war is keeping the TT fleets busy in other places, but I’m a little surprised that after my initial raids large fleets didn’t show up to protect the world until my disruption of their defenses was over. I don’t know if this is a deficiency in the AI for the factions, or a positive example of how the game world happens around you.

When I applied for my commission the League was at war with the Hegemony. After my successful raids on Tri-Tachyon’s shipyards I had been planning on visiting them next, but peace broke out. Fortunately I was able to destroy a Hegemony expedition launched against my colonies before the peace. I’m not totally sure if the war status absorbed the reputation normal hit from taking out the expedition. When the peace resumed my former 100 reputation with the Hegemony became 85. The text read my reputation increased by 140 to end up there. I thought you ended up with 20 less than your former value so things turned out better than hoped. A few battles under system bounty will bring that right back to 100.

I’ve also learned that the main factions don’t like people settling core worlds in their backyard. The Diktat is preparing a saturation bombing expedition on Daphon. I mean you’d think they’d be thankful for me neutralizing the pirate threat in their system, but no. I figure this is a good time to wind up the colony since it was never meant to be permanent. I’ve got 58 days until they launch and 71 until they arrive so operations will continue a little while longer.

Here’s another question: will the objects / ships found in a system remain in place if I leave and come back? Asking for two reasons:
(1) just found a legion XIV battleship, but I need to return to a populated world to grab necessary supplies and crew
(2) wondering if I can eject fuel and supplies in empty systems to create caches and extend my exploration range.

It’s great that this game makes scavenging after AI battles a viable strategy.

I know that when I’ve left stuff floating about when leaving a sector that I’ve later returned to the stuff was still floating about when I came back, so my guess is it’ll still all be there.

There are scavenger fleets I run into regularly, in fact some look to of taken up permanent residence in some of the sectors where I have colonies because the defenses are so insane now anyone attacking them ends up dead leaving lots to scavenge. Anyway, my point is, I don’t know if a scavenger fleet who stumbles upon this stuff might potentially hoover it up.

Net: I’d mothball the ship and take it with you just to be sure. As for supplies, give it a try, suspect you’ll find what I have, it’s there when you come back.

Thanks all for the advice so far. One of my problems was that I was treating this too much like action game and not pausing and assessing the situation often enough.

I was trying to figure out an early game goal, and I think getting this battlecruiser operational is going to be it. Figure I’ll keep running salvage and cargo runs in the short term, until I can afford to crew and refit it. Also discovered there are hostiles in the system, so towing it out should be fun.

Things left over from battle do move and disappear over time. If you drop cargo pods and then select them you’ll see an option to put them in a stable orbit which will keep them intact for some months. It costs supplies to do so. Cargo pods you leave behind will also show on the map in case you forgot where you left them.

Things like derelict ships around planets that you get missions to scan stay in place. I know I’ve left domain era probes behind and they still were there much later when I returned to the system.

It’s it an XIV Onslaught?

Legion XIV Elite Class. It was in the second or third system I explored, with some active and dormant Remnants. I snuck it out of the system, ran out of fuel, and then drifted to a friendly system to resupply. Still not sure I have enough money and fuel to get it to the abandoned station for storage. After checking the cost to crew and refit it, I’m sure it’ll be awhile before I can put it to use, but like I said earlier, now I have a goal!

Nice find indeed. I love that ship.

I’ve probably asked this before, in fact I know I have, but not sure I ever nailed down an answer.

is there a limit to setting up new colonies?