This guide is an attempt to help newer players understand how to use/deal with star bases in entrenchment online games.
Why is this needed when entrenchment has been out for almost a year now? I believe this is mainly due to the way the AI plays in Single Player Games. You are presented with Star bases out on the edge of the gravity well with ZERO defenses nearby. Additionally the AI suicides itself on your star base so proper defenses are rarely needed beyond a few repair bays. I know from experience it can be frustrating setting up or taking down a proper star base defense.
Here are a couple of quotes in recent online games to back this up:
Why the hell are my bombers frozen? (Lol, I remember the first time that happened to me)
What the hell kinda star base is that? (From a recent game, they couldn’t take down my ally’s star base with three repair bays and a halcyon).
He’s scout rushing my starbase, LOL! (Hmm…, I’m not sure what this player was thinking!)
*This guide is not necessarily for skilled players but their critique, input or stories will be appreciated and added if people like this guide.
Unit Guide, Raging Amish
Roles in Multiplayer, Raging Amish
Solar Empire Wiki (Incomplete but useful)
Shield Mitigation Explanation
Don’t get caught with your pants down!
Early game you need to assess what your position is and what your opening strategy will be BEFORE you build your first capital ship and research labs. You have a little time while the game is loading so scroll out and assess the situation.
1. Are you in the suicide position?
2. Are you in the aggressor position?
3. Are you the aggressor next to a suicide position?
4. Are you in the eco position?
5. Is it unclear? You could actually be in the eco position but the spacing looks like there may be a suicide.
Ok… You’ve figured out where you are, now you need to formulate a strategy. First read Roles in Multiplayer. You need to understand the basics of the aggressor, econ and defensive positions.
Now you can decide on your first capital ship.
Are you in a defensive position?
Your first capital ship selection(s) will dictate your defensive strategy and may help your star base survive the initial push.
A colonizer capital ship says you want to migrate towards the center if you secure or fail to secure your home world (the safe choice!).
A carrier capital ship says you want to fight to save your home world. Carrier capital ships also offer distinct advantages in all races to support the initial deployment and development of your fledgling star base.
Now if you have been scouting properly you will know what your enemies starting capital ships are and if they are expanding your way or not. Remember, over colonizing in the defensive position costs CREDITS. If the enemy is REALLY close, say 1-2 jumps, colonizing is seriously NOT worth it unless you have an adjacent asteroid that is not in their expansion path (you won’t keep it long enough if it is). If you can use an asteroid to build your 3rd military lab (advent or tec), then great. Otherwise you need to look at upgrading your planet or scuttling your capital ship factory if you can’t colonize an asteroid.
If the enemy is 3-4 jumps away look for a couple of easy asteroids to maybe colonize, but get your star base up and running. If you are colonizing then you are spending credits upgrading planets instead of upgrading your defenses or adding fleet (not good!).
Early game, it may even work to send a colonizer frigate with a couple of scouts towards the middle of the map looking for an easy asteroid far enough away from the conflict.
Are you in an aggressive position?
Your first capital ship selection(s) will dictate your offensive strategy and may help you take down early star base defensive deployments. Also, consider a dual capital ship start as they are increasingly more common now with carrier buffs.
A capital carrier ship is almost the status quo ship for the aggressor start. It gives early air superiority and two can be built in <5 minutes of game time. Personally, I think a whole post could be written about dual capital ship start strengths/weaknesses.
A colonizer start is still solid for all three races in an aggressive position due to the Advent (shield restore), Vasari (Nanos) or Akkan (Ion Bolt). But I would still pair this with a carrier capital ship for the air support they can provide.
Are you in the eco position?
Your first capital ship should ALWAYS be the colonizer cap. You are letting your team down if you can’t grab planets fast enough to provide the feed they will be begging for.
Adding a second capital carrier a little later is not a bad idea either it you need to help a nearby ally with his push or defense of the push.
The ECO position can still provide star base support as well. So be prepared to help offensively or defensively even when feeding.
Defending your Starbase
So you chose your capital ship(s) and your about to get the butt spanking of your life, or are you?
Let’s get a couple things out of the way first. Star bases are NOT invulnerable. An unsupported fledgling star base will die quickly to just about any early fleet. Bombers are the worst enemy to ALL star bases. You need to use your defensive capabilities to survive but be smart and frugal about it early. Starbases do NOT replace fleet, your goal if you survive is to add fleet and keep the fight going!
- Protect your constructors (they will be their first target)!
- Plan where you want your structures and build them all in a tight cluster. Your star base will need to protect all of them.
- Build two overlapping repair bays.
- Deploy your starbase with your structures and repair bays.
- Your first star base upgrade(s) depends on your scouting.
Enemy has Carriers or Carrier Capitals – If you have time consider fighters first (if you don’t think you can get hangars up in time) then health
LRM’s or LF/Scout – Research Health first
- Build Hangar Defenses
- Protect your constructors (micro them away from a frigate fleet, or have fighters for a bomber attack). Your constructors will re-generate so don’t give up on building defensive structures even if this happens.
Eventually you will need to be prepared to bind your planet to your star base and build additional defense structures if the battle for your home world commences.
After you establish your footprint and make your basic upgrades you will need to decide whether to build more defensive structures or add carrier/flak support. Remember, it pays to be frugal with your credits and time even if you are being fed. You want to make your investments count. For example upgrades on a star base take time to complete. Instead of researching 4 upgrades at once you could parallel a star base upgrade, repair bay(s) and carrier cruiser at the same time. Also selling resources to stack upgrades can be avoided by monitoring the upgrade time and limiting your black market usage. You may have the crystal or metal you need without accessing the black market. Also consider the ROI on fleet versus structures. For example a carrier cruiser can defend, flee and thwart, while the hangar bay or turrent is static but may have abilities.
Know your defensive capabilities:
Each race has certain benefits that can come into play when on the defensive.
· Star base
o Weapon Upgrades (Tier 0) Good if they send in a fleet, but I wouldn’t purchase them early on otherwise.
o Health Upgrades (Tier 0) Will help you survive longer
o Strike craft Upgrades (Tier 0) Even more popular due to carrier cap rushes unless you have hangar defenses built prior to the attack. Remember they will be targeting your constructors first so you may not have time to get the initial hangar defenses up after your repair bays.
· Carrier Cruiser
o After your star base survives the initial attack you want lots of your own strike craft. Your first goal should be to build sufficient carriers withstand a bomber attack.
· Anti-strike craft frigates
o They may also deploy fighters first to try and weed down your own strike craft so the anti-strike craft are useful to take out their fighters. Make sure they are set to Hold position. (Hint: Any easy way to ensure new frigates built don’t auto-engage is to set your capital ship or another frigate on hold and as the rally point.)
· Phase Jump Inhibitors (PJI)
o You probably won’t need these if you are protecting your home world, but please build these if you are trying to protect a choke point world. What good is your star base if they can simply bypass it.
· Hangar Defense
o Shield Bestowal (Tier 3) Great tech that adds shields to nearby structures. This gives structures shield Mitigation which will reduce the damage received from attacks.
· Star base
o Enduring Devotion (Tier 3) You will need this to bind your star base to the planet.
o Meteoroid Control (Tier 6) To many research labs early on and won’t help against a bomber attack
o Shield Restoral – Can be used to support a deploying star base. Be ready to run though if the heat is getting to thick.
o Telekinetic Push – This is a advent’s star base best friend. This will keep bombers from pounding on your star base or defensive structures.
o Concentration Aura – Increases the damage output of strike craft up to 30%. Might be a nice cap to add after all the carriers are built.
· Missile Platform
o Disruptive Nanites (Tier 2) Great tech that disables the passive hull and shield restoration for 5 minutes. This will keep pesky capital ships from getting to close.
· Hangar Defense
o Phasic Trap (Tier 4, but if you can get it you’ll see why) Great tech that traps enemy strike craft in phase space. They are invulnerable but can’t attack. Only build the first research point of this tech (2nd appears to be broken) and either don’t build strike craft or dock them. Building strike craft takes AM which is also needed to perform Phasic Trap.
· Star base
o Enforced Loyalty (Tier 2) You will need this to bind your star base to the planet.
o Yes your star base moves, but do you really want it to? Remember allowing it to move away from your repair bays can backfire if you are trying to save your home world and occupy their fleet.
· Egg – not as good as the other colonizers for supporting a star base. Be ready to run it quick if you feel you need to.
o Nano’s - useful to keep capital ships from coming to close to your starbase and for attacking starbase. starbases are very vulnerable to the nano disassemblers ability. You should always get the first hull upgrade if your opponent has a level 5 (or higher) Jerrasul. (Darvin3)
o Gravity Warhead – useful to slow down that kiting capital ship to engage your star base or support ships against.
o Repair Cloud – mobile repair that can stack with repair bays to keep your star base alive
o Scramble Bombers – useful for bombing kiting enemy capital ships
o Jam Weapons – Can help keep strike craft from attacking for a time. I would rather have a Skirantra though.
o Power Surge – A Kortul with Power Surge can survive 1 on 1 with a low level starbase add minimal strikecraft support and the starbase will go down quite nicely.
· Hangar Defense
o Hangar Flak Turrents (Tier 2) Adds flak turrents to Hangars to assist with anti-strike craft support.
· Star base
o Auxiliary Government (Tier 4) You will need this to bind your star base to the planet
o Remote Construction (Tier 4) Grants the star base access to construction bays for frigates and cruisers. You may need this if you scuttle your frigate factory for the fourth Military Lab.
o Targeting Uplink – extends the attack range of all nearby units, star base and gauss cannons.
o Missile Batteries – Can help keep small fleets away from your immature star base.
o Missile Barrage – Parking a capital ship next to a star base attack is a really good way to level up.
Destroying their Starbase
So you invaded the enemy’s home world only to discover they are deploying a star base or already have one constructed.
Are you too late? No way!
First make a quick assessment of their defensive stance.
Is the star base currently deploying?
Is the star base naked (no defensive structures, repair bays, etc)?
Is the star base immature (health level 1)?
Is there any fleet nearby (you need to be scouting too)?
You want to be quick, but not foolish.
1) Kill his constructors with your strike craft
2) Bomb his planet
3) Destroy any repair bays with your bombers
4) Kill any constructors that regenerate
5) Once his regenerative abilities are gone kill his star base
6) Don’t forget to kill any unprotected structures too while killing his star base
Ok, maybe easier said than done.
What kills starbases?
Vasari Star base ****
TEC Ogrov Torpedo Cruisers (with fighter/flak support) ***
Kortul (lvl 3+ with fighter/bomber support, against lower level star bases) **
Heavy Cruisers (works well against lower level star bases) **
LRM (works ok against lower level or deploying star bases) **
LF (works ok against deploying star bases or low level star bases with low hull) *
Advent Adjudicators (sorta, very weak and meant to attack multiple targets) *
You may be tempted to send your fleet directly against a star base. Don’t do it unless it is deploying or for the final kill! Don’t be the AI and suicide your fleet against it. Your also only helping to level up his capital ship by needlessly sacrificing LF/LRF. This also goes for your bombers, if his fighters outnumber your bombers don’t provide him the experience. Work for the upper hand first.
IMO Carriers and some flak should be your first priority against a star base. However, if they are using their defensive capabilities this may be more difficult than planned!
Common Situations and possible solutions
Situation: Star base is protected by Repair Bays
Solution: Destroy them first with your bombers! Focus firing on a star base protected by repair bays is foolish. Take down the repair first and the star base will easily follow.
Situation: Heavy defensive fighter presence.
Solution: Dock your bombers and bring out fighters/flak first. Try to weed down his fighters before launching bombers. You will also need some fighters with your bombers to help take out his defensive fighters while they are engaging your bombers.
Situation: Vasari Star base
Solution: See if you can get him to move out of the safety of its defensive structures. Faint a retreat or send in a tasty looking treat to tempt it out. I’ve seen many players lose their star base falling for this.
Solution: Kite your carrier's/fleet. If he is chasing you don't let him mindlessly tear through your fleet.
Situation: Halcyon Telekinetic Push or Kortul Jam Weapons protecting star base
Solution: Deploy some Bombers and try to wear down the AM. Once it’s down focus on his capital ship It has less armor and hull if the star base is upgraded.
Solution: Deploy a Vasari star base and level up
Solution: Ogrov Torpedo Cruisers with flak support
Solution: Attack Halcyon or Kortul with a Kortul to drain AM with Disruptive Strikes
Situation: Skirantra or Progenitor is healing the star base
Solution: Kill the Skirantra or Progenitor with your bombers
Situation: Vasari Phasic Trap (Frustrating!)
Solution: Deploy a Vasari star base and level up
Solution: Ogrov Torpedo Cruisers with flak/fleet support. If he brings his star base out have your bombers on hold position next to ogrov’s.
Solution: use TEC Scouts destroy the hangar bays. Then release your bombers
Solution: Adjudicators with flak/fleet support. Possibly have your bombers on hold positioned next to adjudicators.
Situation: You couldn’t destroy their star base (maybe they had massive feed)
Solution: Culture spam him and put your own defensive star base with PJI next to his planet. Don’t let his fleet he managed to grow start moving through your worlds.
Starbase rushing is used by aggressive players to place a Star base either in another players home gravity well or an adjacent planet's gravity well to gain a tactical advantage. This rush is typically performed by Vasari using the Orkulus Star base but can also be performed with Advent or TEC Star bases.
The most common form of rushing. If your scouting reveals Vasari nearby you need to be prepared for Star base deployments. This rush is more affective compared to the other races due to the relatively low up front research costs. The Star base builder also doubles as a colonizer which gives a distinct advantage to Vasari with this approach. Couple with assault deployment and this can be a very dangerous thing for an unprotected world.
While not as effective as an Orkulus rush, the Transcencia starbase can be used to deploy in enemy gravity wells or near enemy planets. The Transcencia is the only Star base that can siege (Meteroid Control, less common) and spread culture (more common). Placing a front line Transcencia with culture upgrades is a fun use for this star base.
An Argonev Rush holds the promise of a front line depot capable of deploying your own units (Remote construction) in a friendly or enemy gravity well and providing docking booms for healing. Another possibility is deploying a Kamakazi star base with safety override protocol. (I rarerly play TEC so only really experience this as trade line extensions or suicide defense).
Star base Combos
A great combo is combining a starbase with a level 6 or higher Akkan. Armistice will give you enough time to buy additional upgrades. I've been able to support an allied Vasari starbase construction or hold off long enough for my own starbase to upgeade using this combo. (Darvin3)
Want to frustrate your enemies relying on bombers, use Halcyon's Telekinetic Push, Kol Flak Burst or Kortul Jam Weapons next to your starbase.
Vasari Overseer, Carrier, Ruiner Combo
Don't want to be bothered while you build your starbase? Surround it with mines while your Overseers keep it healed. (I frist witnessed ZOOMERS doing this)