Passive Agressive Replay
In this one, I don't attack early, but while Krath is stocking up a fleet, so am I. I chose to get a string of planets together first, and THEN to attack with a large force of frigates. Krath was Sova Spamming, so I got flak for his fighters, and lrms for his caps. I had an Akkan so he couldn't run the capitals, although I could have and should have microed better. In Krath's defense, he had one of the worst starts I've seen in a while. Not worst of all time, but definitely bottom 10%.
Direct Agressive Replay
This is an older one. I had no choice but to be this role. 1 Phase lane start. Guy beside me going Illums. I had to hit him early and hard, so I did.
Maps Most Common On:
2v2, 3v3, 4v4, 5v5 (very common)
Rule #1: Determine if you're actually an aggessor!
It should be pretty obvious if you're in this spot.
It's also worth mentioning this is probably the most common role in Sins. If you see an ally on one side of you, and empty space on the other, it's almost a guarantee you're in this role. Send out 3 ( i use 4 on auto explore ) scouts early to find out if you actually are in this spot or not.
Rule #2: Scout like crazy ( I send out four in this spot and manually tell each one where to go until I have enough info )
If you're in this role, you need information. You need to know what type of planets are in between you and your ally so you know if you need to get 2 civic labs or not (for lava/ice planets). You need to know what kind of pirate resistance you're going to face. This will help you give a better idea of where your enemy is more likely to colonize and where you should be going. Last, you need to scout to figure out what your enemy is doing. You need to know what kind of fleet he's buying, regardless of whether he's an aggressor, or a defender. Get information on your enemy!
Rule #3: Keep your investments in civic techs to a relative minimum
If you feel you can get by without the lava/ice techs, by all means, but I almost never do, but outside of the lava/ice techs, the only other civic investments I make on the fighting front are the tier 1 bonuses (hence why I love TEC). You're in a position where if you go eco, you're going to die to an opponent who builds a fleet. You need to be building a fleet, not an eco, to take down your opponent quick and effectively.
Rule #4: Build your fleet to counter your opponent
This is something I do. People have always accused me of spamming. The only time I think they're remotely close is when refering to my early game strategy which is to get about 5 light frigs and 10 scouts as my starting fleet (a fleet people hate when it gets bigger, which I rarely do). I don't spam. I counter. If that counter happens to be a hundred scouts for his 30 illums, so be it. I have no problem with a 1 dimensional fleet if it counters a different 1 dimensional fleet.
What I'm getting at is take a look at what your opponent is making. Build the counter. That's how you win as the aggressor. You need to have a fleet that will completely crush his. It can be the same size or even potentially smaller, but it's designed to counter which is its strength.
Rule #5: Ask for feed as appropriate
This is probably the fuzziest rule, because you have no way to directly tell how much you need. What am I talking about? It's hard to judge if your opponent has been fed or not. If he has, the general rule of thumb to tell is if his fleet is bigger than yours and you've been investing in yours the whole time, but are still smaller.
As an aggressor, you should be getting some feed (the feeders should be distributing evenly), but honestly , in this spot it's not crucial. It'll definitely help, but I feel feed should go where it will be the most effective early, which is to a defender who needs to hole up. Aggressors need feed in the mid stages of the game. This is true. Just don't whine about it if the feeder's not giving you any, because in truth you should be able to get by without it....provided of course your opponent is too.
Rule #5 1/2: Scream Bloody Murder IF.....
Ok....don't actually end up annoying your allies, but definitely bring up your troules if:
-If you honestly believe that your opponent is being fed, and another teammate (a veteran, not a newb) agrees, then you should be screaming bloody murder for feed.
-If a second person shows up and it becomes a 2v1 (not all that uncommon)
Rule #6: Design your strategy around your first cap
Finally, caps besides the colonizers are viable first pick options for rushes. I see plenty of people using marza, sovas, skirantras, halcyons, and even Dreadnaughts as starting picks. My personal opinion is that best early game picks are the Akkan and Mothership respectively. I play TEC a lot now because of the colonize ability on the Akkan. Even in the aggressor spot. Ion bolt is a very good aggressive ability. Kinda like an ace up your sleeve to counter most channelling abilities.
Still, your fleet will be more effective if you have a fleet designed to exploit your caps strength. Bring assailants with phase missiles to couple with the nanite disassembler on the egg. Bring Illums with a halcyon to take advantage of an increase firing rate. Bring Flak with your akkan to take advantage of the higher hit percentage against strikecraft. You get my gist.
Rule #7: If you get pushed back, DON'T PANIC
Don't be surprised if you get pushed back. An ally of the enemy may come to help, or perhaps the opponent will be fed to turn you around and have you on your heels. In this case I recommend 2 things.
1. Repair Bays
2. Frigate Factories.
4. Starbase if you have resources in way too much excess as granted by your feeder. Your starbase isn't gonna last against 2 fleets that kill it while it builds and levels up.
Get both of these somewhere convenient (probably a lava planet or a homeworld, these have 10+ tactical slots and 8+ logistical slots by default). Then tell your feeder (you should have one if your opponent was fed, that is provided the map isn't cruel and someone on your team is NOT a feeder, in which case, you're in pretty big trouble). He can give you money and turn it directly into ships for you. It's hard to convert to starbases and defenses because if his fleet is big, then that means you won't have time to build sufficient defenses, and thus your best option is to tilt the scales with a countering fleet.
Rule #8: The earlier you can get a second cap, the better.
To be clear here, I'm getting at seiging. Once you take a grav well, you have to take the planet before you can move on full force. You can send the fleet ahead, sure, but it's more effective if your caps are still with it. This is why you need a second cap early. You need to be able to seige effectively. Personally, I like to wait to save for one right up until I feel I finally have my enemy on the run, however you can get it whenever. The point here is that getting by with 1 cap (unless it's a marza or desolator) is going to give your opponent time to recover while you seige his planets, which is something you can help nullify with a second cap that's out early.
Rule #9: Experience is your friend
Unfortunately, the best way to learn this role is to just play the game. I can only guide you so much. There are so many little tricks, details, and quirks to the game that I just can't touch on all of them here in this post. I've probably got about 10 or so posts dedicated to nothing but information about this game, but that still doesn't cover everything that goes on up there in my noggin.
Rule #10: Take Advice from experienced guys when they give it to you
Listen to a vet WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THE HELL HE'S DOING. Not all vets are all that good. They just enjoy the game and play for fun, but there's a lot of guys out there now who just plain kick ass. Ever seen the tier 1,2,3 list stuff in the multiplayer part of the forums? Guess what! Those lists mean nothing!, but the odds are if the guy is spoken of in high regard there, you should listen to him in game too.
Rule #11: Be relentless
I think this is the part of this role that you won't understand until your in the situaiton. Keep the pressure on your opponent. Try to anticipate his next move. Hit him where it will hurt most. Send ships ahead to kill his constructors that will be building defenses when you've forced him to retreat so he has to go back one planet even further. Buy health for planets that you think your opponent is going to seige so you slow him down.
Do every possible thing in your power to be a complete pain in the ass for your opponent, and when the time is right, stomp on his throat. Little graphic, but seriously, there is no letting up. You let up. He goes from retreating to defensive, and your job gets a helluva lot harder.
1 rule of war that I know is always true is this: it is harder to be on the offensive than the defensive. It takes more than what your opponent has to beat a defensive natured player. You must overwhelm him. You must crush him. If he can rebuild, you are screwed.
Crazy Feeding Replay
You don't have to be #1 in credits to be blowing your competition out of water.
Maps Most Common On:
3v3 (rare), 4v4 (common), 5v5 (very common)
Ah the economizer. I love this spot. This is the only time you're allowed to play sims in space. Dunno what that is? Being yelled at by a vet because he says that's what you're doing? Well, playing sins in space is where you build and build and build, but don't do any fighting. More specifically, in this spot, you are going to get completely too much money.
This position isn't hard, but if you screw up, your allies are pretty much doomed. They need your money, because unless they have an economizer of their own, you have either 2v3, 3v4,4v5. You have to tilt the scales with your money.
Rule #1: Determine if you're actually an economizer!
This is actually something you MUST check first. Every once in a while the random map generator is decieving and you actually have an enemy beside you OR the space is so large but there is no enemy between you and your ally. It's dangerous to go STRAIGHT colonizer. I've been screwed on maps where I thought certainly I was the economizer. Scout the map before you go eco (short for economizer). Assume that you are playing aggressively until the map shows you that you're the eco player.
Rule #2: Gobble up planets like a fat man at a buffet
First and foremost get as MANY planets as possible. I know some people say get tradeports and culture hubs straight off the bat, but you know what? This normally isn't true. In my opinion it is more to your benifit to get 4-5 planets before you really start investing in eco structures (tradeports, refineries, culture hubs, etc.). Planets will pay themselves off quicker than eco buildings in the early stages. They just do. NEVER STOP EXPANDING. You should only stop once the map has been completely divied up and you now actually have to attack someone to take more planets.
Rule #3: Pick the Colonizer Cap
A must, especially with the recent buffs to the Akkan. You expand quicker with the colonizer. It's a proven fact. PICK IT!
Rule #4: Exploit the race's Economic strengths
This is probably the most vague of the rules here for the eco player. Each race has certain things they are good at. For TEC, this is tradeports. For Advent, this is culture hubs. For Vasari, this is neutrals and their scouts. What I just listed is what you should aim for FIRST as your race.
If the map feels generous and gives you a ton of neutrals and your TEC/Advent, don't shy away from them. My point here is more that you should pump your effort into what your race is actually good at achieving economically.
Rule #5: Build the Trade Line the Right Way Damn't
There is a proven way to exploit your income from your tradeports. Just because you have free spots in your grav well does NOT mean that's where your tradeports should go. As a matter of fact, it's rare that I ever build more than one tradeport at a planet in the first 45 minutes. Why?
Because. Put your effort into buildng the longest line first, and then exploiting that line second. Tradeports pay themselves off faster if you get a longer line first.
What I like to do is get a look at the map. Take a look at where your longest tradeline potential lies. Put tradeports only on those planets. Put your labs and frig factories (if practical, it won't always be) on planets not on this line. People wonder how I manage to go eco on the fighting front. This is how. I don't overinvest, but rather follow what I think is the ideal investment to payoff ratio.
Rule #6: Refineries are your friend
Everyone thinks these things suck. Why? Because it's a bigger investment? I'm going to stress this point. If your refinery can get resources from 7 mines or more, it will pay itself off quicker than a tradeport. Although they are slow to generate income, three refineries in the right place will bring you +4 resource income.
Yes they're expensive, but you should only build these at certain places. Put them at planets with a lot of phase lanes. The more the better. Ideally, there should be 1, maybe 2 places on the map where you should do this. Sorry Advent. No love for you on this rule. Remember. 3 Refineries per extractor on planets, 4 refineries per extractor on neutrals ( for the sake of sanity, just treat them like they have 3, it's rare that you'll ever have a good reason to build a fourth refinery when only some of the extractors will give you income).
Rule #7: Feed your Allies
You must learn discrection when it comes to giving money to allies. Do NOT overinvest in an ally in the defender position. Give him enough to hole up and be a pest, and obviously listen to him if he needs help, but if he follows the rules I set out, he shouldn't be needing your money.
You should be giving your money to your allied aggressors. The more skilled he is, the more you should give him. While you should feed all allies who are aggressors, if you know one of your allies is newer, give him money, but also advice and try to get your fleet (which should be small) to help him. Those two factors combined should tip the scales in that situation.
Rule #8: Never Tech past the first tier of Taxation
Your income needs to stay high. Your allies need the cash. The fact is if your an eco player, that means your allies have one more enemy they have to fight off, so somewhere someone is facing a 2v1.
If you are the eco player and have to get a fleet, that means your team is probably doomed. It should never come to that. When you lose the eco player, you lose the force of the power from that money. Just avoid getting a big fleet if possible.
Rule #9: Never Stop Growing
If you do it right, you should be able to get an eco of somewhere around 50-150 creds/sec, 5-15 metal/sec, and 5-10 crystal/sec. You shouldn't be investing in the military tree, but this role is the one time in multiplayer play where you really are going to invest in the eco tree.
Rule #10: Once you can expand no more, use your fleet to help your allies. While small, it's still useful.
When you finish expanding, you should start attacking an opponent. Coordinate with your allies. Better yet, see if you can clean out the re-established defender from the other team if they had one. He will hate your guts for coming along and destroying what was a clever escape.
Rule #11: Use a fleet of light frigs/scouts. Avoid ships you have to tech first
You can take this rule for what you will. I like to avoid all investment in military when I'm the feeder. I use light frigs and scouts as my fleet. Scouts for pirate lrfs and seige frigs. Light frigs for everything else. It's a pretty effective fleet to expand with.
Rule #12: Starbase Support
This is very effective at later points in the game. I don't advise going straight starbase support, because I think $$$ is more effective early, but say after 45 min or so, if your ally needs help, you can give him a $$ and a starbase at a key location. This can help tip the scales, especially if you're Vasari.
This isn't my replay, so my thanks go to Wacky Iraqi. He used this guide and implemented this strategy to perfection.....in the first 15 minutes. He kinda just flounders after that, but overall, what he did early is what you should be doing if you're the feeder. Thanks again Wacky.
Maps Most Common On:
2v2 (very rare), 3v3 (rare), 4v4 (sometimes), 5v5 (common)
We've all been there. You've got two players that are coming to attack you early. Your allies can't make it because they're waaay too far away. What do you do? I see too many players that fold and lose, when in reality, you could be doing something dynamic for your team. You could preoccupy and stall that 2v1 so long that your allies have a favorable situation somewhere else on the map. So how do you do it? Well, I've come up with a series of rules.
Rule #1: Determine if you're actually facing a 2v1
The map can be decieving. Sometimes you'll know from the start just by seeing where everyone is placed and where the "voids" on the map are, but sometimes you just won't. Here's what determines that you're in a definite 2v1
a. Each of your enemies has this set-up: You're on his one side, and on his other he has another ally. (So you have two enemies on each side of you). You're definitely facing a 2v1.
b. You have an enemy on each side, but only one or neither has an ally on the other side of him. In this set-up, you may or may not be in 2v1 situation. 1 may rush you. 2 may rush you, or maybe even NEITHER will rush you. The point is in this situation it's only possible you're facing a 2v1, and if you do, an ally should be able to help you by attacking ONE of the people who's after you, so you aren't really as screwed as you think you are, but your play should still be defensive.
Rule #2: Scout
Seriously. Scout. Keep scouts in both enemy grav wells. Send them back and forth on a list of 50 movements just going through enemy grav wells. You need to know when one or both of them are coming. Also, you can figure out if the guys are actually skilled enough to figure out that both should be rushing you. I have poured money into defenses only to find that one or both of my "opponents" are newbs and I was holing up for nothing. This is rare, but it does happen.
Information in this game is power. Get it!
Rule #3: Pick the Colonizer Cap
You must. What's going to happen is you're going to eventually hit a point where both enemies are attacking you and hitting you hard. When that happens, all of your planets except for you homeworld are basically gone. If you're lucky and have a planet behind your homeworld that only you can get to (only one phase lane to it and it's linked to your homeworld), yay, but otherwise, ur other planets are hosed.
Personally, I say flee at the point. Take your cap and whatever support it has and go colonize planets closer to the center of the map. You must stay alive, and only a colonizer cap will reliably make it through pirate infested systems. You are no good to your allies if you don't have anything that can colonize.
Rule #4: Get Military Labs, No Civ Labs
If you're in this situation, You need a starbase. This is the big point of entrenchment. Get however many mil labs you need and get that starbase up. This is critical early if you're TEC or Advent.
Rule #5: Buy Health 1&2 Upgrades for your starbase
You don't really know when your enemy will hit your homeworld, but you know it's coming, so definitely get these when you get the starbase. It may not survive if your enemy hits you quickly. Get everything else as needed. Use your discretion, but you must have these two upgrades if the starbase is even going to last to get those upgrades.
Rule #6: Build Everything around your mines ( extractors )
Your mines SHOULD be relatively close together. Put your starbase as close to the "middle" of the extractors as possible. Put everything there. Your starbase. The labs. Defensive structures. EVERYTHING. You'll lose whatever buildings aren't protected by the starbase and your other defensive structures. Scrap your frig factory and put it among the extractors. Scrap the cap factory for minerals. Everything needs to be around your extractors.
Rule #7: Get defensive Structures ASAP
Once you buy the starbase, get ~3-ish repair bays, 2-3 hangar bays (2 if advent, 3 if other), and say 4-5 turrets. You need to get a basic defense ring up and running early. It doesn't have to be full bore, as you'll notice what I've recommended is only around 20 tactical slots, and you have 35 that you can max out at. My advent layout is as follows:
- 6 repair bays all overlapping
- 2 hangar bays w/ the shield upgrade
- 11 turrets
- 5 repair bays all overlapping
- 3 hangar bays w/ the shield upgrade (for when they go bomber spam early)
- 7 turrets
The point is you have to build some early if you are going to be successful at build more later. It's the same as the starbase logic. You know an attack is coming, just not when, so you have to prepare for the attack BEFORE it gets there. Do you go over the top? Nah. Use your descretion. In truth, I would probably build the starbase and two repair bays and wait to see what the enemy does. There's no sense in wasted effort, but it's key that you don't get caught with no defensive structures.
This is also probably the only time you're really going to tap into the abilities on the defensive tree. Use the abilities. Some of them are quite lethal.
Rule #8: Keep Flak/Carriers around the Starbase
You need these ships. Once you're holed up, you're two biggest threats from the enemies will be strikecraft and assault cruisers. The only ships you should really have is carriers (for more fighters), flak, and POSSIBLY a capital ship. A cap ship in the gravity well with your starbase will just EAT up experience points.
The point is, you need an answer to massed bombers/assault Cruisers. The enemy will try to scare you out of your hole, but you have your own little tactical force to stop the two weapons that could actually harm you.
Rule #9: Bind the planet to the Starbase
There's an upgrade in the defense tree that allows you to make it so a planet with a starbase in the gravity well cannot be lost to seiging. It has a different name for each race, but it does the same thing. Your planet cannot be lost without first killing the starbase. Buy this if you see your enemy has a high leveled marza or starts seiging with non-seige cap. You shouldn't buy this immediately after you construct the starbase, but this upgrade is key if you are to survive.
Rule #10: Expand In the center as needed
Once you make it to the center, start colonizing and get established. If your homeworld is intact and you can get say 3-4 planets in the center of the map, you have just done something so powerful for you and your allies. You are alive, healthy, strong, AND you've been occupying the time/resources of 2 people.
Rule #11: Be Wary of Culture Killing
It's entirely possible someone will wise up and just try to culture kill you. Don't let them. This is why you fled to the center of the map. You need to find an asteroid/desert/terran where you can builid logistics labs and get a culture center on your homeworld. The odds are your opponent will turn to this when he's frustrated by your defenses, so be prepared for it.
DON'T, I repeat, DON'T get the culture upgrade for the Advent starbase. That's a mistake. You need all the slots for that starbase that you can spare.
Rule #12: Thwart
Don't be lazy. If you manage to repel the enemy, take the fight to him. If he's going to run, chase him. Make him remember that you're still there. You as a defender must keep at least 1, preferably 2 enemies attention. You want them spending money to counter you rather than helping their teammates.