Basic steps to win the game on hardest difficulty, and tips on how to proceed without getting stuck.
Space Battlecruiser is not only a game about tactics on single battles, but also, knowing where to get essencial techs needed to prevail. As such, there are some strategic routes to attack specific enemies with high probability to drop new weapons.
If you want to discover those routes on your own, stop reading after this section.First thing, you must know that your ship rarely, if ever, will be able to take head-on trading hits with most of the enemies.
Most enemies have about the same HP as your ship (the Battlecruiser), more armor and similar weapons.
That means that you must plan carefully angle of approach to enemy fleets, and never get too close to some of them!
Normal Cruisers, that carry Flak and can chew armor *fast*, and most ships with plasma, missiles or artillery should be dealt from a distance.
The Battlecruiser starting abilities are REPAIR and SHIELD.
REPAIR is self-explanatory: It will use SCRAP to heal the ship during battle. But *USE IT ONLY IF YOU MUST*! Scrap is valuable and you simply can’t be at full health all the time on the start; It’s better to finish the mission at half health than to burn scrap to repair.
Why? The ship is FULLY REPAIRED FREE after battle.
As such, RETREAT is pretty important in some cases; If you take a lot of damage and don’t have resources, RETREAT! And go full health on next mission.
Obviously, there are cases where repairing is a must: When about to kill a freighter, or when going all-or-nothing to get a new weapon drop.
SHIELD is probably the most valuable ability at all times, but it has a right way to be used.
When facing the enemy, don’t just activate shields immediately; Think: Is it really needed *now*?
Enemy artillery, particularly, can be somewhat easily dodged speeding up/slowing down or changing course, so it’s safe to turn on shield only if you are sure you’ll be hit by them, with some prediction.
Of course, with 0 armor, in the start even destroyers and fighters are an annoying threat.
Later on, shield is used mostly to prevent armor-killing attacks.
In the start, the BattleCruiser will have 0 armor, Autocannons, Dual Lasers and Artillery, and you’ll face mostly frigates and destroyers.
Those have little armor; Armor soaks straight damage. It means that most starting enemies (with about 20 armor) won’t take damage from Autocannon.
The basis of combat is: Destroy enemy armor (with heavy turrets, mostly) then attack with DPS weapons from close to finish enemy fast OR keep kiting;
Being a slow, tactical game, angle and distance of approach are *EVERYTHING*. Being pincer-attacked is a good way to lose all armor and half health, if not dying.
By the first fights with Cruisers, you’ll notice that enemies start soaking lots of artillery hits to put down enough armor to effectively damage them with lasers and Autocannons. New weapons are needed, but then, a few upgrades on the starting turrets are enough to somewhat slowly (skill based) chip away armor and kill them.
Starting Turret. It deals good damage against 0-armor enemies, and I think it is marginally better than FLAK against missiles.
About the same DPS as FLAK, but no armor-killing property and lower damage per shot.* Flak Cannon
Drops from: Cruiser
The Flak is able to mow armor of anything with less armor than Flak’s damage. And with great damage when maxed, is excelent, coupled with Laser, to go shield – head on against low-armor enemies. Will kill armor if less than its damage, and deal great damage.
* Charged Plasma
Drops from: Assault Cruiser
Charged Plasma throws clouds that shoot lightning at anything that comes close to it. That includes *ALL* enemy weapons but the final boss laser; It is possible to make “walls of plasma” that will stop the majority of attacks against the battlecruiser, at the cost of spending time in defense instead of offense. This makes the Charged Plasma an essential defensive weapon against later enemies that flood the screen with artilery and missiles, particularly on Insane.
The Charged Plasma’s DPS seem to be slightly lower against single ships than Flak, but it also seems to be able to chew armor a little bit. Won’t deal any damage to anything with armor over 20.
* Dual Lasers
The starting Dual Lasers *NEVER GET OBSOLETE* and are THE DPS weapon of choice to some situations. As such, you can go all out upgrading it. Of course, it works better against unarmored targets, but it will deal some damage to almost anything.
* Homing Missiles
Drops from: Gunship, Missile Cruiser
This weapon shoots four missiles on the sides, from time to time. They seek targets, with priority to enemy missiles, then enemy fighters/bombers, then anything else.
The Homing Missiles deal pretty bad damage, close to none, to anything bigger than Frigates, but in Normal and Insane, when there are situations like three missile cruisers and 20 bombers throwing missiles non-stop, you’ll be very thankful for this weapon.
Having it upgraded already makes it hard to bombers to accumulate to those high number, focusing on killing your targets instead of fighters and bombers around.
Your own Fighters ability can somewhat cover for this weapon.
Drops from: Gunship
I’ve used this weapon very little and un-upgraded. It kills power, and seems to not do any damage. I can imagine it can be an easy way to deal with enemies with plasma early (Assault Cruisers!, Dreadnoughs), but personally, I prefer to use my time dealing damage with my trusty Dual Lasers than sucking their power to make them stop. THEN… It seems to have an AOE effect and might be the fastest way to kill swarms of Assault Cruisers.
The starting heavy turret is hard to use; Learning to use it until getting rockets is essential.
When shot, four slow explosive shells go near the direction of the cursor. As such, it is needed to learn to “lead” the enemy, IE, pointing it where the enemy will be, not where the enemy is.
It will deal (little damage) to higher level bases and Dreadnoughs only when maxed, but it is hard to get the next weapon without investing a few upgrades here. Then it becomes totally obsolete.
* Guided Rocket
Drops from: Missile Cruiser (Only in Convoys?)
The Guided Rocket is an awesome weapon that will be used almost until the end of the game;
It will shot two Guided Rockets at a target put where the cursor are, and this target is moveable on clicks until you lock it clicking on a heavy ship.
The Guided Rocket is great to fire, forget and focus on dealing damage to something else or killing missiles with lasers/Flak/AC.
It isn’t very effective to most enemies that use Plasma Clouds, but there are ways to make it work: shot it from an angle so that it circles away from plasma clouds and shields, hitting the enemies from behind. Even then, it needs some patience.
Other than plasma clouds and shield enemies, Rockets can kill any enemy in the game.
It is the best way to deal with swarms of Destroyers, as it will OHKO a destroyer per shot IF you protect the rockets with your own plasma clouds.
* Energy Beam
Drops from: Convoy – Freighter
The Energy Beam has a slow startup, but its damage will rise the more it hits a particular enemy, and eat its armor, per *frame*.
The Energy Beam is really only usable after almost maxed AND with a few upgrades on reactor; Opposite to the other heavy turrets, the Energy Beam uses your ship power, so you have limited usage time. When you get it, it will suck all your power to only almost kill a cruiser (depending on cruiser level, too)… but later, it alone will kill a cruiser in 3-5 seconds!
This weapon is IMO the most efficient way kill enemies with Plasma Clouds, and will kill four cruisers before needing to recharge power (Ie RUN AWAY), but maxed and with Reactor upgrades, it is the fastest way to kill anything but Destroyers.
It demands your focus: You must keep the cursor on target. So, creating plasma walls to stop incoming attacks must be done before starting the Beam attack.
Stops damage. Is destroyed by missiles, artilery, close range blasts fromRepair
Essential. Makes the ship move faster and use less power when afterburning.
Essential when using Energy Beam.
Minepod, Torpedoes and Fighters have a cheap first level, so it is easy to get them to have a feeling on their usefulness.
Can be used only 3 times per battle but are pretty useful in some situations: Convoy runs, where the convoy trajectory is previsible; Near Asteroids; In the trajectory of Dreadnoughs;
Can be used few times per battle, but a Salvo of dumbfire rockets that will chew armor of anything if upgraded.
They are a *very good* option if you choose to keep using the laser for a bit more, instead of upgrading Homing Missiles.
On demand, they can help killing swarms of missiles, bombers and fighters.
Can be used and re-used as long as they’re not destroyed. IE, try not to attack enemies with fighter-killing weapons, unless needed.
With a few upgrades, they become pretty good capital ship killers, gaining tiny armor-killing torpedoes.
Will give a boost of 50% damage. Will suck power.
I think it would be useful with Flak, making it able to chew armor of up to ~70.
BUT I dislike the fact that it can’t be stopped until the ship has no more power.
The ability to quickly afterburn is IMO more important than a damage boost that is useful to a few weapons.
It lasts enough to fire two-three missile salvos only.
One shot only. It is great, IMO, opposite to what some people think.
I’ve killed a line of 4 ships in a convoy with it, and probably would kill more.
Can severely damage armor and kill turrets of freighters and dreadnoughts.
Will kill the shield of a Freighter or missile cruiser, but it is better to just wait a while for it to go down… Unless you’re in a hurry.
But yeah, won’t kill a medium-level starbase in one shot.
ENEMIES – To finish, WIP