Tactics / Custom ships

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Tactics / Custom ships

Post by Prometheus » Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:09 pm

I don't seem to change my tactics depending on different missions, I usually search for enemy with and open formation (to get those backstabbing wingmen away from me, and to spread the team's radar as far as possible) once all hell breaks loose I'm an aggressive pilot, with the occasional hit and run tendencies,

My fighting style mainly comes from my custom ships; durable (fairly average shields combined with repair bots and multiple command centers) around 30 acceleration & 70 turning, a little stealth w. a fair amount of radar. They're usually a little pricey but are great multirole fighters.

My missile loadout is mainly plectrons with some of the yellow, blue & orange missiles for when I need them, I like to lead the target and launch plectrons into their path, theres something pretty satisfying about flying through the explosion of a ship you just nailed with 4 plecs.

Since my ships aren't the best turners or thrusters they can take a bit of punishment, but because of the multiple command centers and repair bots they are incredibly durable, sometimes some smart flying, or a small retreat can get you back in the game fairly fast.

What about you guys?

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Post by vic user » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:30 pm

Lots of food for thought in that post, for me!

I am still on a massive learning curve, and have not made it past 13 missions, yet.

I am just starting to clue in on how important repairbots are.

I find I can get away with not using them for the first few missions, but after that, I am asking for trouble.

Also, learning how to use asteroids for protection, and going backwards, basically learning dog fighting tricks.

I usually go into missions, with a loose 'stay in formation' tactic, then adjust to 'search for enemy', to get the wingmen away for a bit, but will reign them in, using 'stay in formation, again, after an enemy is detected, and then let everyone go nuts.

For the early missions, I like to use ships I normally would not use, so I can get a feel for the various ship types, and what they bring to the table.


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Post by TheKangaroo » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:47 pm

Keep in mind repair bots can't restore shields, so having more than one command module is handy. I had several ship designs with no shields at all which still proved very well surviving due to repair bots (even though not getting hit in the first place still is the best defence).

I usually skip stealth and take additional radar instead. I don't mind when they see me as long as I always have a bearing on them. But that's obviously down to taste, too.

I personally enjoy lots of turning myself, too, even though I'll always try to get in the 40 or 50 region of thrust nonetheless, rather sacrificing some shield or missile launcher or so. One can easily wind up in the price range of 100-150 with that, which is where most of my designs end somehow.

Concerning missiles I usually consider what sort of ship it's supposed to be. Ships designed as space superiority fighters usually end up with great turning and thrust, very little shield, normally two launch tubes and a loadout of Daycorns and either Geenees or Plectrons for whenever I meet something requiring some muscle.
Ships designed primarily as bombers usually have a loadout rich on Plectrons with only a few Geenees or one batch of Daycorns for self defence. Four launch tubes to make those shots I get count, pretty crummy turning as I don't intend them to dogfight but go straight for installations or convoys.

A word on tactics: flying backwards? That has the obvious disadvantage of having to stop somewhere along the line, so I don't suggest it. If you exercise it a bit you can fly right through most asteroid fields without ever slowing down, which in my opinion works a lot better than crashing into something and then turning around.

Wingmen... yea, pretty much the same. Get them away from me a little in the beginning, but I usually just stick to loose line formation leaving them to Attack At Will. It's all chaos after the first pass anyway, being able to manoeuvre there is the critical point.

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Post by vic user » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:28 pm

I have been following some of your advice, and started losing the stealth and adding extra repairbots and command centres, etc..

One thing I am really starting to like, is a ship with high turning over speed.

Yep, I end up with no velocity often, as I tend to bump into things, including enemy ships!


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Post by the space predator » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:05 am

There is two characteristic that I want on all my ship:

-Good turning capacity, at least 70 (but in some case 65-70 is ok)

-A lot of misssile.
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Post by McLauren » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:25 am

I have dicovered that for me, ships with very high stealth, modest turn rate, lighter shields, and high thrust work for me. Also, im my custom fleet of stealth ships, I have at least 5 forward radar. The bigger ones have 6. I prefer this configuration because most ships have a serious problem detecting my ships at the start. And since in the beginning we usually encounter our foes head on, I find them way before they find me. Then I can announce my presence with a hail of plectrons. the thrust allows me to pull some unconventional manuevers and allows me to quickly get out of enemy radar range and outrun daycorns. My wingmen usually have a higher survival rate in these ships as well. But as mentioned above, multiple command centers and repair bots make a big difference. Its definately a different playing style, though.

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Post by the space predator » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:18 pm

My style: kamikaz!
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Its all about the stealth

Post by shrike » Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:56 am

Stealth is ridiculously powerful in this game. All of my custom ships make judicious use of it for that reason. I also have some custom stealth ships that the computer uses, and they are nearly unstoppable against everyone but me.

Like Mclauren, I have noted that wing mates who are flying stealth-heavy ships seem to have a much higher survival rate.

I make my bombers more stealth heavy than my fighters too. If you are careful and patient, it is almost impossible for the computer to find a ship with 3-4 stealth units per side. If there is an attack mission you are desperate to complete, stealth bombers are your best friend.


The two ships shown above had consistently gotten my past mission 20, though their effectiveness beyond that point drops compared to my higher cost ships.

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Post by Bardash Blackridge » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:01 pm

I have used stealth liberally is some of my designs. My first design, the Vashnin has about 11 stealth modules and was responsible for getting my first 200+ mission commander. On attack missions, I usually set my wingmates to circle and then, when I find the enemy, I have them avoid contact. This way I can usually slip behind the enemy fleet unnoticed and pick them off one bye one. On defense missions, I allow my wingmates to attack and I try to pick off the enemy squadron leader as quickly as possible in the ensuing chaos.

When I have a non-stealth ship, I find having high thrust and high turning are incredibly important. High thrust is great for evading Oriks and high turning for the other missiles. Repair bots are incredibly useful, also.

It may go without saying, but the most important thing to do in the Critical Mass universe is to keep moving. Even if that means giving up an easy kill, it is better to still be alive.
We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. ---H. P. Lovecraft

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Post by umeboshi110 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:06 pm

true that, especially when you get very outnumbered in the more difficult missions. you'll have to run around smashing as many enemies as you can without wasting time chasing crippled enemies.
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Post by the space predator » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:45 pm

The only moment for kill crippled ennemy, is at the end of the battle, when there is only 3-4 ennemy ship that are still remaining
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Post by gavindegraw1 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:31 am

why you said that, did you ever fight in war ?
Last edited by gavindegraw1 on Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by the space predator » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:42 pm

yes I did, and this is why I know that it's generaly better to kill ennemy before they kill you, and so let the crippled ennemy ship that can't do you no harm...
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Post by Son Johan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:52 am

I've been using the survivabubble & dragons that are on this forum a lot.

But on raiding missions, like attack turrets or factories, I tend to go for my own bombers: Full plectron, massive thrust & modest turn.

It's been 2 years or so since I've played CM. I need to redownload the whole pack of games I think (new PC).
Or search where I left my installer + password...
*sigh* Humans...

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Post by glenndench » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:56 am

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