Hi, I introduce myself in these forums with this post. I have been playing the game for some days and I love it so far. I am really addicted as I hadn´t been with any strategy game in a while. The game looks beautiful and I enjoy the huge variety of ships, abilities, techs, planet improvements, etc. Well, I´m using the pause key a lot (mapped it to one of the buttons in my mouse actually) so I can enjoy the designs and absorb the info leisurely.
Glad you're enjoying it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using the pause key, just keep in mind its use is rather limited if you ever intend to play multiplayer.
I have won a couple of small map games and now I face serious problems after finding my first enemy argonev starbase. In the previous games I had no problem wiping out enemy fleets, using a decent amount of frigates and a couple of capital ships (normal difficulty). But when trying to take that tec planet their starbase absolutely destroyed my fleets, chewing, swallowing and spitting the bones of five capital ships I threw at it. The matter is that it has 14000 hull points and about 3000 shield points. The orkulus that I have in one of my planets doesn´t even reach 3000 hull points, I can´t remember it exactly.
As other people have mentioned, engaging fully upgraded starbases head on is generally not a good idea. If at all possible you want to engage them out of range with the mentioned bombers or antistructure cruisers. The Vasari starbase's second weapon upgrade technically is also good against starbases but I usually save this for only the most well defended gravity wells.
If I need to destroy this particular starbase ASAP and I believe I am relatively safe from an enemy fleet that might reinforce the planet, I will also attack it with my capitalships and/or titan. This is because they have high enough health so that you should be able to withdraw them before they are at serious risk of being destroyed. Having some overseers hanging out of range to quickly heal them once they withdraw is also useful.
But I won´t fully understand this until I try and experiment by myself. Luckily the AI in normal diff is forgiving enough to give me some time and build the necessary infrastracture to try this. At least I hope so...
That is a key tactic for the Vasari Rebels yes. Yet even if you are playing Loyalist, you can actually build starbases in enemy gravity wells as well. In fact that Vasari has a tech that reduces the construction time of starbases in enemy territory, so this offensive starbasing can be a great strategy for dealing with well fortified planets.
About bypassing the starbase, of course it´s possible, as long as it´s not stationed in the faction´s capital, right? This is not the case in my situation however, so it´s also fair good advice
There is one reason why you don't want to just bypass planets. If you jump away from a planet that has an enemy starbase in it, your ships will have all their antimatter drained and will lose a certain percentage of their HP. This means your fleet will be weakened and unable to use special abilities when they arrive at the destination, and are thus potential sitting ducks for an enemy fleet who wanted you to bypass the starbase. As such I would only bypass if you are certain the enemy can't compete with your fleet and only to reach a much more valueable target like the enemy homeworld.
another question, if you are so kind: How do you recommend to send the bombers? Cruiser carriers or capital ship carriers?
Early on for the Vasari the Skirantra carrier capitalship is a very good unit, as it can both heal your fleet and send out swarms of bombers. However, as mentioned you want to be careful not to build too many capitalships. Several game mechanics reward having fewer, higher level capitalships than many low level ones, and only high level capitalships are as efficient as frigates for basic combat stats (and caps are always more expensive). Above all you should be getting capitalships for their special abilities, if you just want more combat ships get frigates.
If you play advent, the martyrdom on the scout ships works extremely well against the starbases. Simply build 10-15 of them and activate the ability near the target, and watch as the most powerful enemy ships get reduced to smithereens,.
Don't listen to Ragnarok, he's a known troll. Martyrdom is rarely useful even against frigates, let alone a starbase.