Try this if you're brave!

Command a squadron of spaceships
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 3:48 pm
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

Try this if you're brave!

Post by cavemaniac1 » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:59 am

OK, so we spen a lot of time moaning about how useless our wingmen are and how we'd like to have more direct control of them - target priority etc.

I think I've hit upon a way of maximising their contribution to completeing the mission objective, using the existing features/controls of CM4.

The only problem is that it's not appliccable to every mission and requires nerves of steel!! You'll see why in a moment, after I finish setting the stage...

I've been playing CM for over two years now, and very early on realised that in missions other than pure fighter on fighter dogfights, I couldn't count on my wingmen to complete the mission objective. Thus the task of destroying the mission objective(turrets, shuttles, transmitters, starbases etc) routinely falls to me.

With the advent of CM4, we suddenly had the opportunity to reform our squadron every mission, and thus were able to select ships whos' capabilities were appropriate to the mission - i.e. radar ships for 'seek' missions, fighters for defend/patrol missions and heavy 'bombers' for use against static targets like starbases and manufacturing facilities.

For 'seek' missions I'd take a radar ship out myself and try to located and destroy the target, leaving my wingmen to tie up the enemy fighters.

With 'defend' and 'patrol' missions, we'd all just pile in and have a massive dogfight.

But with attacks against a defended starbase or a cluster of factories I'd run into trouble - it's all very well forming the squadron out of heavy bombers (they have the firepower to take out heavily shielded targets), but I found they'd get distracted by the defending fighters and try to dogfight with them. This would usually be disasterous because they're usually slow and lumbering with a poor turn rate and equipped with missiles suited for use against static targets - not nimble fighters! So, the rest of my squadron is off getting shot up while I'm desperately trying to dodge the turrets deadly fire (can't spare the missiles to take them out) and destroy the primary objective by myself...

It's this last mission scenario I'm dealing with here.

For a 'destroy starbase' or 'factories' mission (past about mission 20 when they're getting tougher - you can do the early ones on your own!) I've come up with a plan that will bring the whole weight of your squadron to bear on the target.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Assemble your squadron out of heavy bombers - forget the fighters, you won't need 'em (it's worth mentioning here that if you're designing your own heavy bomber wingmen, give them GUIDED missiles as they're lousy shots with unguided!).

Put them on the OUTSIDE of your formation - you want them as far away from you as possible! - leaving gaps either side of you if you don't have enough money to fill all the slots.

Start the mission.

Set the squardron spacing to open or loose - you want those dunderheads as far away as possible!

Set the formation to 'line' - important because with a wedge or column your wingmen will be behind you, in the perfect position to blow you away!

Instruct your squadron to STAY IN FORMATION - you do NOT want them wandering off, trying to hotdog with any enemy fighters they happen across.

Accelerate to full speed, pausing every second turn to let the boys catch up and regain the line formation - if you just blast ahead full whack, they'll be spread out behind you in a wedge, putting them behind you. You will need to keep juggling your speed to maintain the line as you make turns, but keep your speed as close to maximum as possible.

Depending on the number and dispersal of asteroids, you may need to change course to avoid them or instruct your squadron to change to a tight formation, to stay close to you, away from any asteroids - you do NOT want any of your lumbering 'steering challenged' ships wandering into an asteroid field as they'll get scraped off your formation and bumble around aimlessly for ages. Once past any asteroids, adopt a loose formation again - you want your wingmen as far away from you as possible because:-

Presently, you'll come across an enemy fighter squadron. DO NOT ENGAGE THEM! Just blast right through the middle, making a minor course correction if you need to, to evade incomming missiles.

Your wingmen will start blazing away at the enemy fighters, but they WILL NOT BREAK OFF TO ENGAGE. Hopefully, you are not in their firing line. Your wingmen may take some hits on the way through, but this is acceptable as they have strong frontal armour.

Set course for where you judge the enemy target to be and start searching. The enemy squadron, taken by surprise by your FULL SPEED charge right through the middle of them, and your disinclination to engage, will soon be left behind and will loose contact with you.

As soon as you see the tell tale signs that you're approaching your target (civillian ships, turrets etc) instruct your squadron to adopt a TIGHT formation.

This is where you need nerves of steel! I find I'm really, really alert with my heart pounding (Sad git! I need to get out more!) and take a great deal of care over the next few turns.

With your entire squadron at your shoulder, in close formation, you are now bearing down on your target. If you've done it right, you are now bringing MASSIVE firepower to bear on your primary target - or at the very least, the turrets surrounding it.

This is probably a good time to instruct your squadron to 'Attack at Will'!!!!

Depending on your squadrons position, you could try hitting the brakes so your wingmen surge ahead - and they can't get you with 'friendly fire' if you're behind them!

I often find that a useful tactic (OK, it's actually a survival necessity!) is to ignore the target yourself (perhaps blasting off a snapshot on the way past) and simply get the hell out of the way of your wingmen who are now unloading everything they've got. Evading their missiles is now a priority!!

When attacking a turret ring, you can get amazing results by offering yourself up as 'bait' - simply blast through the middle of them, twisting and turning to evade their fire, while your wingmen mop them up from behind. The turrets have all turned to follow you, leaving their unprotected backs exposed.

The massed firepower of your squadron is capable of anihalating all the objects in the vicinity of the primary target in a surprisingly short time.

Hopefully, you will have destroyed the target before the enemy squadron catches up with you. You can then choose wether to slug it out with them, or hyperspace the heck out of there - but remember, your squadron isn't composed of nimble fighters now, it'll be bombers, and probably damaged bombers by now.

Give this a shot, but remember!! I's not for the faint of heart. You need skill and luck, but the results can be amazing!!

Good luck guys! :wink:
The one thing that we learn from history is that we don't learn from history...

User avatar
Old Man Johnson
Posts: 541
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:38 am
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Post by Old Man Johnson » Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:23 pm

That looks like a really good strategy. Now if I just weren't so lazy to carry it out... :?
My webcomic:

User avatar
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:34 pm
Location: Wellsboro, PA, USA

Post by Legacy » Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:46 pm

Old Man Johnson wrote:That looks like a really good strategy. Now if I just weren't so lazy to carry it out... :?
What he said.

Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:44 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by highlandsun » Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:50 pm

I always use a line formation too, for the same reason - don't want my wingmen behind me, shooting at me. And I always charge in as fast as possible. That's one of the standard rules of dogfighting - speed = life. A slow target is a dead target. If you've ever played other aerial combat type of games, (or I suppose, if you've ever flown in combat) you already know this is true.

For defensive games, if you're going to be pursued, you want to be flying in reverse, so that you're still running away but you have your weapons pointed at the pursuers. With projectile-based games this is always an advantage to the evader - their missiles have to travel farther to reach you, and your missiles hit them faster (because their speed is effectively missile speed + pursuer speed).

User avatar
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 3:40 am
Location: Columbus, OH

Power comes at a price

Post by Guanchao » Sat Sep 24, 2005 3:52 am

Frankly, if you have a good ship design, and maybe 4 command centers, good turn, lots of shields, you won't have that much of a problem; one month long game, mission 370, 1500+ kills, five of my best self designs, and a second best design

Best Design: SacredFire, Full Super shields, Yatari, Daycorn, Drachan, Plectron. Cost, 424
Second Design: DragonHeart, 4 Regular shields each side, rest super shields, Yatari, Geenee, Drachan, Plectron. Cost, 360

Frankly, They've helped keep me alive through most of the missions; I only lost one wingman during the past maybe 70 missions or so. And I agree with the strategy of going to the mission objective first; usually having your team in "Stay in Formation" helps to keep them alongside you for a while.

And frankly, DO NOT fly backward, all computer designed ships has more front shields, so if you go backward, the ships behind you kills you.

And, uh... do not charge in fast as possible during a bombing mission, I got killed by my wingmen in one turn.

Sigh... Nerves of Steel, right, skill here is more likely (Response to Try this is you're brave) and as for bombers, the best way is to speed up a turn with a fast ship, three with a slower one, and have your guys catch up, when you meet dogfighters, they'll take them on, just pick down all the weaker ships, chances are one of them is leader, and with all dogfighters gone, go and take your targets down, and it's better to be in loose over tight, and if you want to make the life of your friends easier and get yourself killed, here's a plan:

Using a ship with enough turn and shields, and Guided missiles (Tracers) circle a turret and fire tracers when you can at other targets, most likely allies will come and pick off the turret with it not realizing. It basically needs you to be wanting to get killed, almost, because if you slow down, you're dead for sure. I nearly got killed in the middle of a Light Turret ring once I stopped; thank you, heavy as heck shields!
I live, I fight, I survive, It's all good.

Post Reply