Storm Warning Videos

Top of the morning!

The other day, I was reminded that I had forgotten to upload the videos of my Arbiter and Sea Wolves. I feel terrible and had wanted to get those up for you guys yesterday but had too many other things to do. I’ve got more stuff going on tonight but I did get the video of them hitting a 25 up so here it is. I’ll update this post with other videos from the event as I have time.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with the performance of this fleet but part of that was not having the time to properly outfit them. Here’s a few things that I noticed:

  • Engine Disruptor 1 didn’t seem to do a whole lot. I never really had a problem hunting down the Drones so I don’t think a higher level ED would have been much better. Next time, I’ll definitely go for Microwave Dampener instead.
  • One Firestorm per ship wasn’t quite enough. I under-estimated how much health the Drones would have so one or two more Firestorms per ship would have been better.
  • Thuds aren’t the greatest at this. Assault Cannons are quite a bit better due to their higher accuracy and faster reload. D35-S Siege Cannons are still the best, though.

I apologize for not putting this up sooner and I appreciate you guys calling me out on it :)

Until next time,

— Andrew

Storm Warning Tips

Top of the morning!

OK, I’ve finally been able to hit a few Typhoons and so far, most of my strategies have held up. Some key points to succeeding:

  1. Have high evade. Nearly all the weapons fired at you are accuracy-based. High evade works against all of them, including the torpedoes.
  2. Splash is amazing. I’m currently using Siege Cannons and just a couple shots will kill several Drones in a 31. I’m in the process of refitting some classic Thud Wolves with a Firestorm and Guidance Scrambler 3 (in lieu of Auto Loader) and I’ll see how well those do in 28s. They won’t be ready until midway through the event, though.
  3. While the Typhoon is your main target, you want to take out the guard ships and as many Drones as you can before engaging it, since that’s where the bulk of the damage is coming from. This is usually as simple as pathing through the ships on your way to the Typhoon.
  4. 28s should be your primary targets if you want the Dreadnought X. They’re fairly easy to kill with the right fleet and the points are manageable if you’re able to commit to playing for most of the weekend. Only go for 31s if you have a strong fleet with high evade. Even then, 28s are still more economical.
  5. If resources are a problem, hit some salvages to compensate.
  6. You want to spend as little time repairing as possible. If you aren’t coining repairs, you’ll have to hit lower level Typhoons so that you have around 30 minutes of total repair time, most of which can be sped up with the 5-minute instant repair.
  7. Use an Arbiter with Engine Disruptor if you find yourself unable to keep up with the Drones.
  8. Use an Arbiter with Microwave Dampener if you find yourself overwhelmed with damage.
  9. If you have a fragile fleet, try to avoid taking on everything at once. Kite around a bit until the guard fleet is far enough away from the Typhoon that you can sink them without the Typhoon firing on you. Be sure to take out Drones as you do to minimize the damage you take from them. Divide and conquer.
  10. Don’t be afraid to use Pinches whenever you can. A small Pinch is built in 40 minutes and could buy you the extra few seconds you need to stay alive.
  11. Pace yourself. Remember, we have five whole days this time so you only need ~1.5 million points a day on average if you just want the Dreadnought X, or ~3 million a day for everything.

These are just some the things I’ve noticed on the first day. In a few days, I’ll have some SWs with Thuds and Firestorms and I’ll see how those do. Remember, you’re not just trying to get prizes for this event, you’re learning what it takes to do well for the next event too. If you aren’t in contention for the Dreadnought X or even the Barracuda/Sea Scorpion, do what you can and figure out what kind of fleet you need for next time so you can start building it.

Tomorrow, I’ll post some videos of my Dreadnoughts in action against 28s and 31s. I’ll even see if I can find a 34 for them to try out. That way, you can see just how effective 54% evade really is.

Until next time,

— Andrew

Still No New Storm Warning Info

Top of the morning!

We’re just over three days away from the start of Storm Warning and we still have no new information. Am I surprised? Not really. Kixeye has almost never released detailed information about their raids more than a day or so in advance. Personally, I don’t understand that decision. I would think that more people would be willing to coin during the week leading up to the event than they would after the event has started. Either way, it’s hard to get excited about something you know nothing about and even harder to make sure your weekend is free (especially a long weekend).

Anyway, I decided to go with Engine Disruptor 1 as my Tactical Module of choice for this event. I’m a little worried that the level one version won’t be strong enough to make up for the loss of a Dreadnought so I may not even use it beyond the test runs. Regardless, I should easily have the level 3 version done before Storm Warning 2 starts at the end of September (assuming Kixeye maintains their pattern of events every month). Lower-level players might find it more useful, especially if you plan on using a mortar fleet.

As is the case with all events, a lot of the mid-level players are going to end up n0t being able to compete for the top prize. As unfortunate as that is, I encourage all such players to still play the event enough to figure out what strategy would work best. Remember, the next event is likely only 4-5 weeks away and they generally don’t change a whole lot. Use this as a chance to determine what you need and then start building it. By the time Storm Warning 2 rolls around, you’re going to be in a much better position and will probably have a good chance at getting the top prize.

And of course, I’ll be sharing my strategies and observations from the event as well to help you build those fleets.

Until next time,

— Andrew

Storm Warning Teaser Video

Top of the morning!

A teaser video has been released for the upcoming event, Storm Warning:

From the looks of things, we’re going to have to face at least a couple dozen gunboat-sized drones plus a regular fleet. I’m guessing the Dread fleet we saw in the video is one of the higher levels and would assume that lower levels would face smaller ships. Still, it poses a unique challenge in that you have a lot of small ships pecking at you while a regular fleet pummels you.

So how do I intend to fight these things? Well, any time you have a cluster of ships like this, splash damage is your friend. Weapons like rockets, mortars and the D35-S Siege Cannon will all likely tear through the little ships pretty quickly. I will probably be using my Siege Cannon Dreadnoughts here.

Cannons and missiles likely won’t do very well against the drones simply because of their numbers. If you’re facing 30 drones, you’re going to need to fire 30 times to get them all. I doubt you’ll get that kind of time. You might be able to to try kiting them but I expect the little buggers to be faster than anything we have.¬†Subs will probably be completely useless here.

As I predicted though, it looks like the Arbiter will be useful. The Engine Dampener will greatly slow down the drones, making them easier to hit with splash weapons while the Microwave Dampener will greatly reduce the damage they deal. It’s tough to say right now which would be best but you probably still have another day or so before you need to start researching one so maybe we’ll get more info by then.

One thing is for sure, with all those cannons and missiles coming at you, evade is going to be a very good thing to have (as it almost always is).

Source: http://forums.kixeye.com/showthread.php?t=255655

Until next time,

Andrew

Base Defense Tips: Making Your Base Unpreppable

Top of the morning!

In the final part of my series on base defense, I’m going to talk about what is probably the most important aspect of base defense: making your base unpreppable. If you haven’t done so, check out my other posts on base defense to learn how to stop the three main types of attacks that you’re likely to face : Siege Mortars, Siege Missiles and Blitz fleets.

The Prep Fleet

The goal of a prep fleet is to deal as much damage to your base as possible without hitting that 25% threshold. They will also attempt to destroy your guard fleet (guard fleet don’t count towards base health and thus don’t contribute to that 25%). They are generally faster ships, such as Sea Wolves or Sea Scorpions, and are often equipped with Assault Missiles with Solid Fuel Booster 3. You may encounter opponents who use their main base fleet for prepping as well, but that typically only applies for Siege Mortar or Siege Missile fleets. If your base is set up to handle those fleets, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

Most prep fleets won’t venture too far into your base. They’ll stick close to the entrance and try to snipe as many turrets as they can. If your guard fleets are exposed, they’ll try to snipe those as well. If your guards are baitable (have a large patrol range that allows them to leave the safety of your base), they will lure your guards out of your base to be picked off. When sniping towers, they will target the ones that will give their main fleet problems. Bombards, Howies and Cerbs that are too close to your entrance and unprotected by Flaks are all in danger. Flaks themselves will often be targeting by Bunker Busters but often, they’ll wait until the main attack to do that so you don’t have a chance to repair it in between.

By destroying your guards and a handful of your key turrets, Prep fleets make your base MUCH weaker, allowing their primary base fleet to come in and flatten you with relative ease.

The Defense

The first thing you need to know is that you will likely never destroy the prep fleet, nor should you try. Instead, your goal should be to make it so they can’t get at your guards or key turrets without dealing more than 25% damage to your base. One of the best ways to do this is place all of your research buildings at the front of your entrance, forcing your attacker to destroy them before they can get to your towers. The more research buildings that are destroyed, the fewer towers they can pick off before bubbling you.

You’ll also want your first towers to either not be an integral part of your defense (such as Sentinels) or be protected by Flaks and/or Bombards. I prefer having Sentinels as the first two towers since that forces them to take at least some damage and if you lose them, it doesn’t hurt you nearly as much. But it does bring you a lot closer to that 25% and that’s what you want. Just make sure that all of your turrets are covered by as many other turrets as possible. Having two or three off by themselves is just begging to be prepped.

You’ll also need to make sure that your guard fleet stays where it can be protected the most. This generally means a small patrol range that doesn’t let them wander away from your Bombards and Flaks. If you’re online during the attack, you may even want to pull them back into the middle of your base so they’re completely unreachable. If the prep fleet fails to kill the guards, your opponent may decide not to follow through with the main attack.

Know Your Weakness

Since the goal of a prep fleet is different than a main fleet, your weaknesses are also slightly different. A base is weak against prep fleets if your opponent can destroy four turrets and/or your guards without bubbling you. You want to lose no more than two towers and your land layout MUST be able to ensure that. A weak design makes your base preppable.

Putting It All Together

So I’ve talked about how to stop the most common fleets you’re going to face. Some employed similar strategies and some very different strategies. So how do you build a base that does it all? Well, that’s the million-facebook-credit question. The truth is, you really can’t make a base that can stop absolutely everything. But you can get pretty damn close and here’s how:

  1. Use a variety of turrets.
  2. Your Howies and Cerbs are your lifeblood. Make sure they’re unreachable from outside your channel and protected by your Bombards, Flaks, VMs and guard fleet. You’ll also want them positioned so they can fire for as long as possible.
  3. Keep your research buildings near the entrance to your base. This helps you bubble quicker.
  4. Have Anti-mortars on your guard fleet to help your Bombards.
  5. Have a 90-degree turn or two right next to your Howies/Bombards. This slows down your attacker, giving your towers more time to fire.
  6. Make it so your guards can’t be lured away from your base.
  7. Try to avoid grouping key turrets too close together so they can’t be pinched.
  8. Have at least two of each type of defensive tower in case one gets Bunker Bustered.

Here’s an example of a base that employs these tactics.

 

This is a strong base design that satisfies 7/8 of the criteria listed above. The only one it doesn’t meet is #7. The Howies and Cerbs can be Pinched, as can the VMs. However, this risk can be mitigated by using an Arbiter with Engine Disruptor in the corner behind the Howies to slow down enemies moving through the area. Just remember to move the Arbiter away from the corner as soon as you see the countdown start so it doesn’t get Pinched as well.

The lone ship up near the top is a sub. A Barracuda is ideal but a Predator should be fine if you don’t have those. Stalkers are probably too slow to use efficiently here. The idea is, as your enemy tries to come in, you’ve got a sub sniping them from behind. This is a great way to deal extra damage that can’t be reduced and it gives your attacker something to panic about. If you can make them unsure of what to go after, they’re more likely to make a mistake and a mistake in this base is deadly.

The other three guards are ideally Thud Goliaths with 3-4 Hailstorms but you can any SFB3 Assault Missile ships instead. You generally won’t have the technology for the base itself until level 30 or 31 and it’ll probably be even longer for the guard fleet. The good news since both Barracudas and Goliaths are Forsaken-based hulls, they will likely be available as research in the relatively near future. So for those that didn’t get them, don’t worry too much.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time,

— Andrew

Base Defense Tips: Defending Against Blitz Fleets

Top of the morning!

Welcome to part 3 of my four-part series on base defense. Today I talk about stopping my personal favourite attack fleet – the Blitz Fleet. If you haven’t already, check out my posts on stopping Siege Mortar and Siege Missile fleets. While this one employs slightly different strategies, it’s important to know how to defend against other types of fleets as well so you can put it all together to make a powerful base that can hold its own against anything.

The Blitz Fleet

Blitz fleets have one goal and one goal only: get to the back of your base as quickly as possible. They have high combat speed and a ton of armour and resistance, allowing them to tank through your defenses rather than destroying them. Many fleets also have high evade, making them difficult to hit.

Common hull choices are Dreadnoughts and Strike Cruisers as they have decent speed, strong built-in resistances and plenty of special slots. Siege Cannons are the most popular weapon for their combat speed boost and high damage output. Since Ultimate Shipyard seems to be down right now, here’s a picture of the Dreadnought Blitz fleet that I use:

The high evade makes them extremely difficult to hit with Howitzers and even Sentinels have a hard time. The shots that do land are reduced by a modest resistance. The Hailstorms were added to assist the fleet in Base Invaders as they weren’t quite fast enough to outrun the mortars from the guard fleets. I left them on for the additional explosive resistance.

The Defense

So how do you kill something that speeds through your defenses, dodging most of what you throw at it? Well, there are actually two things that my Dreads are afraid of: Cerberus Rockets and Arbiters.

Cerberus Rockets are the one base weapon that can’t be dodged by evade or shot down with Hailstorms and they hurt. Blitz fleets don’t want to stop to snipe so a Cerberus will almost always get to fire. They have high spread and deal splash damage so they can hit all your ships at once if they’re close enough together, which they typically are. Having two Cerberus’ towards the end of your channel where they can’t be sniped or prepped will make any blitzer think twice about going through with the attack and they will most likely not bother. If you have them on a corner, they’ll have even longer to fire and that’s even more likely to discourage would-be attackers.

The Arbiter is a relatively new way to stop blitzers. The Engine Disruptor module slows down enemy ships trapped within their radius. This is a nightmare for blitzers who rely on speed to avoid Victory Mortars and get through defenses quickly. If they’re stuck going through at 40% speed, they will get absolutely pummeled by VMs and any hope of speeding through even a single Cerberus disappears completely. Most of you aren’t going to have an Arbiter with Engine Disruptor 3 for about another month if you aren’t coining it (it takes about 25 days to research all three levels and that’s after you’ve spent 12 days building and upgrading the Tactical Lab to level 3). That’s fine because two Cerberus Rockets should be all you need to discourage blitzers.

Know Your Weakness

Cerberus Rockets are your greatest strength and therefore, the lack of them is your greatest weakness. If your Cerbs get prepped or Bunker Bustered, you’re hooped. Make sure they’re located far enough into your base that they can’t be hit without bubbling you. Make sure you have at least two, if not more, Cerbs in your base so your opponent has to coin rockets to get through them.

Other Tips

Blitz fleets typically don’t have a whole lot of range, especially if they don’t use Hardened Barrels with their Siege Cannons. Use this to your advantage by using long-range weapons with high accuracy, such as Assault Missiles with SFB3 and Laser 3, on your guard fleet. Goliaths with Thuds and HB3 are also good due to the accuracy bonus the Goliath gives to ballistic weapons.

Tomorrow I’ll wrap up the series with tips on how to make your base less preppable. I’ll then tie all the strategies together and show you a few base designs that employ as many of the tips as possible to make them extremely difficult to crack without coining multiple rockets.

Until next time,

— Andrew

No Event Announcement Yet But That’s OK. Keep Working on That Tactical Lab

Top of the morning!

OK, so earlier this week I told you guys to get started on the Arbiter and Tactical Lab because I had a feeling that the next event would be next weekend and that the Arbiter would come in handy. While I still stand by my belief that the Arbiter will be useful, we didn’t get an event announcement yesterday as I’d expect for an event due to start in a week. That leads me to believe that there will NOT, in fact, be an event on the weekend of Aug 23-27 as I previously predicted.

But you know what? That’s OK. The Tactical Lab takes a while to upgrade to level three and then we still have all that research to do so I’m fine with waiting another week (or more). If you took my advice, you should have two Arbiters built and ready to receive a Module. That’s awesome. Go back to building whatever fleets you were working on and keep chugging away at the Tactical Lab upgrades. You’re going to be in a better position than someone just starting it now, especially if you’re itching to try out the new Microwave Dampener module that just got added.

When the event is finally announced, I’ll update you guys with my initial thoughts about what might work good. For the moment, I’m assuming base fleets are what we’ll want so if you want to get a head start, that’s the best guess I have for you. If you don’t know what kind of resistance to add, I’d go with more Penetrating resistance coupled with high evade. Pretty hard to go wrong with that setup.

Until next time,

— Andrew

P.S. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the Siege Missile Defense Tips I promised. That’s coming later this evening.

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