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There was a lurker in your midst...

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:29 am
by Bardash Blackridge
Indeed there was until I decided to finally post something on this forum. Hopefully ya' all will be mildly entertained.

First things first. Critical Mass is a brilliant game. I don't know what it is about this game, but I love it. I think the versatility in designing custom ships to test out different tatics and strategies puts the game over the top. It is simple, yet elegant. Sean, you are a genius. I am wondering what the source of inspiration was for creating a game like this. Thank you for this great game.

Now that I have efficiently brown-nosed, I feel the need to share a few of my most memorable dogfights.

After the first several games that I played, (you know, the games during which you consistently get blown to pieces) I became a pilot of fair quality able to evade missles and anticipate location of enemy fighters when I prepared to fire a Plectron. Although I am a pacifist, there isn't a better feeling than firing two Plectrons and grabbing two instant kills, sending the entire enemy fleet into hyperdrive because one of them was the squadron leader.

In my early flying career, I would crash headfirst into an enemy ship and hope that, after the 'dust settled,' my ship would still be flying. I discovered quickly that this was about as good at shortening a pilot's lifespan in the CM universe as asking for a shotgun blast to the face. I cannot stress how important it is to keep moving even if your pilot will miss out on an easy kill.

I also learned to use the enemy's missles against him. Sure he might send a Daycorn or two at me, but by a slick manuever, he'll cripple his own wingmate or a turret as I slip by behind them. The one missle that I cannot yet outmanuever is the Orik, which boggles my mind due to its low turn rating.

In one dogfight, I was on the tail of an enemy Destroyer. I spent most of the mission slowly crippling the ship only firing missles that I felt had a good chance of hitting him. Finally, the ship was on the verge of destruction and the pilot ejected. A turn earlier, one of my wingmates decided to fire several Geenees at my backside. Angry at my wingmate's idiocy, I was tempted to stick with the Destroyer to get the kill after all of the effort I put into fighting the ship, but decided to turn away. I was easily able to evade the missles as they ran out of fuel. With my surprise and due to how I 'guided' the missles, the unfueled Geenees destroyed the escape pod. I wish I could say that I fully intended to cause this with my 'superior' flying skills, however it was pure chance. I got a good chuckle from this though, because for once, my backstabbing wingmates did something useful. Who cares if it was unintentional.

I secretly wonder if my wingmates would rather spend the day at home in bed instead of fighting in a battle from which they will most likely not return. I mean to say that if my wingmates know that my destruction is their ticket to hyperspace back to base, I would assume that they would secretly plot methods to get me blown up but make it look like an accident, too.

Captain Blackridge: What the heck are your firing at me for?

Wingmate #1: Well, sir, I didn't quite see you there in front of me.

Captain Blackridge: Your frickin' nose was up my tail! How could you not see me?

Wingmate #1: Well, sir, it is really dark in space.

Captain Blackridge: Do you not look at your radar?

Wingmate #1: Yes.

Captain Blackridge: And you saw my ship right in front of you, is this correct?

Wingmate #1: Yes, but I was not completely sure if the ship in front of me was you or the enemy.

Captain Blackridge: So you decided to fire four Plectrons anyway?

Wingmate #1: Yes.

Captain Blackridge: Argh!!!

Stealth also plays a big role in the way I play. Instead of coming into battle with guns blazing like I did in the early days of my gameplay, I found it much better to create ships practically invisible because many of the ships I fight against have no radar in the back. One moment the enemy could be flying along completely unaware of my presence behind him and the next moment vaporized on the spot after I fire four Geenees up his tail.

In another dogfight, I was able to get six kills upon superior enemy ships by using this method.

Finally, hopefully I will be able to share with this community what I think is my best ship to date. It is called 'Vashnin' and can be acquired quite early in the campaign, costing 168 credits. As of now in my spare time, I am planing to upgrade it to make it more powerful, but cheaper, also. This little ship helped me get my first 100+ mission commander.

Well, that is a bunch there to read and if you made it this far, then I commend you for your incredible patience.

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:12 am
by Old Man Johnson
Mmmm, yes, a fairly large and disproportionate percentage of deaths are caused by allied ships.

Stealth is pretty cool, but I always prefer to take the simpler route of just charging in and shooting things. My ships always lack stealth because sometimes it screws me up not knowing whether they see me or not and I'd rather just have it over with, lol.

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:35 pm
by Bardash Blackridge
There are several ways to know if a ship has spotted you. I have come to recognize different flight patterns. If I am behind a ship and it is weaving to and fro or executing tight turns, then there is a good chance that I have been spotted. However, if this ship is turning less sharply or not turning at all, I pretty much have a free kill on my hands. If I am in front of a ship and the threat noise sounds, then I know I have been spotted. I love passing in front of enemy ships and not getting fired upon because they never knew I was there. I have flown in some missions where I haven't heard the threat warning once. However, I still have to be careful because there have been several times when I accidently flown between an enemy and a friendly only to take a Plectron for the team.

However, that is the great thing about this game. It incorporates different play styles and tatics a player could use to get the job done, all of which are quite successful if executed properly with a small dose of luck as well.