Saturday, February 28, 2015

All Metro 2033 Redux Diary Entries

If you are tired of looking for the Diary pages just to get a Steam achievement, and just want to read them, we have screenshots of all the Metro 2033 Redux diary pages here. Below is also a handy Youtube showing all the diary locations in the game.

#1 - Tower - 0:05

#2 - Hunter - 0:35

#3 - Exhibition - 0:59
#4 - Exhibition - 1:27

#5 - Riga - 2:01
#6 - Riga - 2:28
#7 - Riga - 2:48

#8 - Lost Tunnel - 3:25
#9 - Lost Tunnel - 3:59

#10 - Market - 4:30
#11 - Market - 4:48

#12 - Dead City - 5:24
#13 - Dead City - 6:03
#14 - Dead City - 6:44

#15 - Dry - 7:19
#16 - Dry - 7:48
#17 - Ghosts - 8:30
#18 - Ghosts - 8:58
#19 - Ghosts - 9:29

#20 - Cursed - 9:56

#21 - Armory - 10:34
#22 - Armory - 11:06

#23 - Front Line - 11:41

#24 - Trolley Combat - 12:21

#25 - Depot - 12:50

#26 - Defense - 13:31
#27 - Defense - 13:54
#28 - Defense - 14:51
#29 - Defense - 15:22

#30 - Outpost - 15:59
#31 - Outpost - 16:36

#32 - Black Station - 17:30
#33 - Black Station - 18:14
#34 - Polis - 19:05
#35 - Polis - 19:46

#36 - Alley - 20:05
#37 - Alley - 20:31

#38 - Depository - 20:56

#39 - Archives - 21:17

#40 - Church - 21:45
#41 - Church - 22:13

#42 - Dark Star - 22:43

#43 - Cave - 23:05
#44 - Cave - 23:37
#45 - Cave - 24:20

#46 - D6 - 24:50
#47 - D6 - 25:12
#48 - D6 - 25:43
#49 - D6 - 26:20

#50 - Tower - 27:19
#51 - Tower - 27:52

Company of Heroes - Mission Walkthroughs Index and General Tips

Company of Heroes version 2.700.242 - Mission Walkthrough Index and General Tips

See below for our "Playthrough Paradigm" -- how we play and why. Also note that we are using the Historical Skin Mod.

Click to go to the Company of Heroes Wikia, choose the unit on the table of contents, and look for Veterancy.
Playthrough Paradigm

I played Company of Heroes two years ago on Expert and gave up because various things irritated me and I insisted on playing it "my way". Since then I've given up on needing to play every game at the highest level of difficulty and have returned to the game, hopefully refreshed.
I'm sure you can find lots of video walkthroughs where people just rush enemy positions knowing they can replenish their units. I don't like to play that way, but my conservative tactics should still be of benefit no matter what difficulty level you play at.
Also, because of my gameplay style, I do not make videos as each mission, combined with the repeated pausing and tactical thinking and reloading whenever units do unexpectedly stupid things (like automatically drifting closer into combat and getting killed) makes for long gameplay sessions.
  • Tried NOT TO HAVE ANY LOSSES AT ALL -- no full unit losses and no squad member losses if possible.
    • We could have kept pumping units out and spending them like water, but a real war doesn't work like that.
    • Sure, it's just a game, but I just don't like playing so callously -- breaks immersion.
    • We ended up with a lot of level 3 Veterancy units, although we didn't actually re-use them because they cost a lot of resources to call into a mission.
    • Starting with mission 4, partial unit losses (i.e., squad member losses, but not the loss of an entire unit) become almost impossible to avoid due to the number of enemy units and action in several parts of the map. We nevertheless aimed to not lose any models during gameplay, and retreated injured squads to the Triage Centre (which is available starting with Mission 5 - Montebourg) before a squad was entirely lost.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, I played at EXPERT Difficulty.
    • Some screens will be from Normal difficulty playthrough but the tactics carry over to Expert Difficulty.
    • Expert Difficulty, however, is not recommended as many situations are simply ridiculous.
      • Like grenades not killing infantry even if they are at ground zero and with no intervening cover. You can see this in action during Mission 2 when you are recommended to use Grenades but the enemy just crawls away.
      • Or enemy units that occasionally take forever to kill.
        • Example: AT gun shot at from the rear with no cover took forever to kill.
        • Example: 20 Riflemen taking forever to kill one unit that supposedly has heavy cover despite being fired upon from three different directions:
      • Or crazy mortar unit placements. Such as in the picture below. Two of the three members of the team are in the lower left corner where they were setting up, but somehow the third unit walked up to the northeast corner.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 15 - Last Exit For The Lost (ending)

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 15 - Last Exit For The Lost
  • You can hold ground indefinitely at a clump of Stations but it is pointless. Do so only to grab Discoveries, at least one of which gives you +3 Replicants for a maximum of 15 (depending on how quickly you lose Stations that give Replicants).
  • You are given a brief reprieve at the start to basically set your fleet because if you lose too much along the way you will be in trouble. On Explorer Scientist, I went for four Rovers, one Trojan, and dropped my Small squadrons. With four Rovers, you will constantly Repair every step of the way.
  • Consider also having at least one Corsair. If you are pressed for time, you can rush it to a Discovery faster than any other ship because it has two Dash powers instead of just one. Also, their Boarding power will immediately neutralize a Station or ship if you need it, and ultimately take over a Station or leave a ship permanently disabled.
  • Consider not dumping the Violator because it is actually your anti-Small ship unit and is strong against Bases.
  • Get at least 1 Trojan, if not 2, so you can rush the wormholes. They typically have 1-2 Interdiction Stations so the Trojans can not only give force fields but if only 1-2 units are disabled, you can revive them with the Trojan's ability and keep going.
  • Once through a gate, clump your units and head for the Discovery. While it is being scanned, your Rovers can repair your fleet. There is one Discovery in each of Sectors 2 to 5.
  • Since you are being pursued relentlessly, every now and then make sure your Rover Mk.2's poop one of their bombs -- the one time in the entire campaign that this power will reliably hit anything.
  • Otherwise a fairly easy mission especially if you allow yourself the use of Officers, which we did not.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 14 - Search and Destroy

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 14 - Search and Destroy

A very easy mission although possibly by design oversight. If you secure all Stations before completing main objectives, you should be fine.

Part 1 - Unlock Gate from Sector 1 to Sector 2
  • All Discoveries in Sectors 1 and 2 can be acquired without fighting enemy forces. The last Discovery is in Sector 3.
  • Two Yellow Violators will enter Sector 1 and start warping in reinforcements. Grab one there and maybe pull a Wasp to board the other as a spare. Warp one Violator to Sector 2 and start gating in reinforcements.
    • Possibly because neither Violator was destroyed in our playthrough (one under our control, one abandoned), there were no further attacks on Sector 1 while we cleared Sectors 2 and later Sector 3.
    • After this initial attack force is clear you can recycle pretty much all your ships in this Sector except for your mission-critical flagships (Ulysses I and Olympus). This lets you maximize your units securing Sector 2.
    • Sending a Violator over to Sector 2 is very helpful for the additional reason that their weapons are strong against Bases and have enough range to engage a Station one at a time if positioned properly. You can therefore destroy Detector stations and sneak in Wasps to steal the rest of the positions.
  • An alternate start in Sector 2 is to use Wasps to capture Stations and trilobites.
    • Wasps can Board in this Mission. Therefore there is a very real possibility of taking over the whole of Sector 2 before unlocking the gate.
      • Note that since Wasps can Cloak, if the Boarding action takes too long, Wasps will also Cloak during the Boarding action and stay cloaked after.
    • Look for a clump of Stations with no defenders and take them over with your Wasps.
      • If there is a Detector Station and you cannot approach Cloaked, use Wasp EMP to disable Turrets or Artillery or Interdiction before boarding.
      • Hang your Medusas back cloaked to counter any reinforcements from the Support Hangar in this Sector.
      • Remember that since a Boarding action also disables the ship or station being boarded, so you only have to rush them and start the Boarding action.
        • Often the Boarding action will not initiate but the target will still be neutralized. Not sure if it is just a GUI problem with the red lines and Boarding countdown not showing.
        • If you have enough Wasps you can sneak up on and neutralize a clump of Stations very quickly although the Boarding actions will take a while to complete.
    • Once you have secured a Station, reinforcements will continue to stream in to retake them. Let them come instead of destroying the Support Hangar because this is your chance to steal Trilobites. Get at least 4 (and drop all your Rovers) and also maybe keep a few inactive to be boarded later if you lose some.
    • Using the forces you amass, secure all Stations before unlocking the gate between Sector 1 and Sector 2.
  • The optional objective to board inactive ships should definitely all be done before unlocking the gate because each ship boarded adds to your Replicant total.
    • Two are cloaked but you can target them because of the mission-objective marker. After you have boarded at least 1 of these mission-marked ships, all markers disappear and you might not be able to find them again. Therefore use two Wasps to simultaneously board both.
  • When you unlock the gate, a bunch of Scythe units will come from Sector 3. Use Wasps to grab their XL ships. You may want to take one Hydra (which is good against all unit sizes and can transform into a self-healing Remora) and a Zaratan (which has very long range on its attack and therefore good for sniping enemy Stations). Dump your Medusas to do this.
    • Do NOT dump your Wasps! They are 1 Replicant each only and combined with their Cloaking ability are superbly useful.
Part 2 - Destroy Enemy Hangars
  • Leave one Support Hangar for last since they are the least dangerous and you do not want to rush to the end of this Mission -- again, our doctrine is to secure as much of a Sector as possible before advancing the story.
  • Capital Hangar guarded by Hydra and one Triton (that has a medium-range area EMP blast):
    • The conservative way is to try to lure these extra guards away or snipe at them until the extra guards are gone. Steal a Zaratan for this, dumping your Dreadnought(s) if you have to.
    • The faster and more exciting alternative is to rush if you have enough Wasps.
      • Start by sneaking Wasps into the area (their EMP range is very short). You basically need enough Wasps to disable everything that can kill them too quickly.
      • Being your approach with the rest of the fleet. Before the Triton can EMP your fleet, use your Wasps to EMP the Triton as well as other key units or Stations. To disable the rest, begin Boarding actions on them with your Wasps. With 4 Wasps you can basically neutralize, at least briefly, 8 targets.
      • Rush your fleet in and support your Wasps with Force Fields from Trojans or some ability from the Ulysses I as well as repair by Trilobites. By the time the EMP on the buildings wear off you should be in position to area EMP again with a Trojan or your own Triton.
      • If you have a Dreadnought, you should be able to wipe out the Capital Hangar quickly with its main gun although that power is notoriously unreliable. If you can do without, swap your Dreadnoughts for Hydra or Tritons.
  • Once the Sector is secure, destroy the last Support Hangar. Since the Sector is clear, you should have plenty of time to finish the final time-limited mission objective without interference. After that, the mission is basically won.
In this video you can see the reinforcements that enter Sector 2 once you have opened the gate from Sector 1 to Sector 2. A lot easier to handle if you already controlled the Stations around the gate.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 13 - The Figurehead

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 13 - The Figurehead

Sector 1
  • No point holding any Stations because of continual reinforcements of Dreadnoughts, Centurions, Violators, and Corsairs.
    • The Scythe units can handle the Dreadnought reinforcements but not before they destroy some stations or do serious damage.
    • You don't have to hold any Stations here but at least briefly grab the one Station that provides Replicants briefly because you retain your ships even if you lose the station and your Replicant Total becomes less than your Replicant Used count.
    • Near the dead wormhole where Violators and Corsairs appear is a trio of Stations. On the Station nearest to the wormhole, build an Artillery Station. Support it with two Repair Stations and it should hold out indefinitely because the Scythe won't let the Dreadnought close enough.
  • Be sure to jump the Violator BEHIND the locked Warp Gate in Sector 2 so you can safely destroy it without drawing attention.
Sector 2
  • You can clear out Sector 2, so might as well take all Stations.
  • Handle the hangars first since your Scythe allies are endless and will keep the PRC Trojan side too busy to come over.
  • Your Violator shouldn't need help with this gate, but if it does, change to warp gate mode and call in two Trojans is a good option. Make sure to hang one Trojan back in order to release the other from EMP stun.
  • Taking out the hangars also seems to stop the flow of enemies into Sector 1 (?) except Violators (in part because you need a source of them if you lose them trying to open the locked gates). After clearing Sector 2 you can go back to secure all Stations in Sector 1.
  • There are explosive barrels you can take. You could do a suicide run on the gate in Sector 3 using Rovers warped in but we were striving for no unit losses so we didn't do that.
Sector 3
  • Part 1 - Open Warp Gate
    • Opening this gate is complicated by the Artillery Stations, and cloaked units coming in to EMP your Violator.
    • Artillery Stations:
      • You can position your Violator outside the fog of war and behind the Gate, and usually avoid Artillery fire.
      • If you can't avoid artillery fire, move to one side and handle one Artillery Station at a time.
      • The warp gate is a big enough target that your Violator can automatically shoot at it even if it is in a fog of war. Therefore, at most you only need to take out one Artillery Station.
    • Cloaked Ships:
      • Cloaked enemies can be visually detected by their engine trails. If you see them coming, warp your Violator out. They will leave and patrol elsewhere.
      • If you lose your Violator, just go back to Sector 1 and Board another with a Corsair or your Ulysses I if on Offensive Setup.
    • Theoretically jump your first Violator into the explosive barrels in Sector 3 should cause a chain reaction to destroy all the Stations there, but it doesn't (?).
      • You can safely warp to that region first to destroy the hangars: Warp outside the ring and approach one Station at a time. That should limit the number of Scouts that come to EMP your Violator at the Warp Gate. Enemy ships don't seem to harrass the Violator there.
  • Part 2 - Destroy Generator
    • Gate over into corner a safe distance from the fog of war around the Generator -- try the corner near the last Discovery in this Sector.
    • Warp in a Javelin to Hyperspace scan into the fog of war for the Generator. Use the Javelin to destroy it and other key Stations from a distance -- once the target is spotted and being attacked, you can move your cloaked unit and attacks will continue into the fog of war.
      • Doing it this way puts you far enough that you shouldn't draw attention from cloaked squadrons that would otherwise EMP your ships.
    • After the Generator is destroyed, slowly move your main fleet in with Trojans hanging back to undo EMP effects on key units that are strong against Small ship squadrons.
      • There are no Hangars so once all cloaked Squadrons are gone, there should be no more.
      • Keep to the clump of Stations around the Generator to draw Small ships. Once their attention is in that direction, you can bring a unit over to get the last Discovery (e.g., the same Javelin you used to destroy the Generator).
    • Since the Olympus is marked by a mission-target marker even in the fog of war, it should be easy to find and EMP with a Trojan area-effect blast.
In the following video you can see what happens when you try to move a ship into a force field.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 12 - Wake

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 12 - Wake
  • The only Mission where we allowed unit losses, in the form of expendable Small squadron ships.
  • Obviously you should carefully keep your Rovers out of combat because your Patriot cannot manufacture any. Same with the Trojan once you receive it later in the mission. Once you get the Chimera (which can Board ships), reconfigure your fleet to dump all your squadron ships except 1 squadron of Bloodhounds. Also try to grab more Trilobites, especially if you have lost any of your initial two Rovers.
  • In the early game, having about 2-4 squadrons of Scouts is nice against the Stations because even if you are detected, you can quickly EMP any Turrets and Interdictor Stations then swarm in with the rest of your squadrons.
    • Once Turrets, Artillery, and defensive units are destroyed at a Station, any unit will do to clear out the rest and start capturing Stations.
    • Later, change your Scouts for Wasps, but by then you will probably have almost finished the mission and have no need of cloaked units for scouting.
Ulysses I Defense
  • For the final defense mission, the Station nearest to the Dead Wormhole can have a Detector but its range is too short. However an Artillery station there will have enough range to shoot at enemy Scythe moving toward the Ulysses I, however.
  • Park your forces near the Dead Wormhole and put a Bloodhound in front to immediately detect them. You will know they are coming because of the two Trilobites in each wave, but the Medusas and Wasps will run any blockade cloaked until they reach the Ulysses I.
    • A Triton (Kraken alternate form) or Trojan works great here as you can EMP each attack wave with one blast then quickly take them all out before the next wave.
    • Your Replicant Count is low in this mission so just 1 Kraken is probably good enough. As a Kraken you have the long range needed to safely take out any Station. As a Triton, you have one extra EMP blast if you need it during the Ulysses I defense.
  • It is important to collect Trilobites, especially if you have lost your Rovers, because the defense of the Ulysses I is conducted quite far from any Stations on which you can plant a Repair Station.
In the video below, you can watch enemy units decloaking just to attack the Ulysses I.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 11 - Big Exit

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 11 - Big Exit

Part 1 - Defend Buildings
  • During this phase, send 1 Rover to collect Discoveries and capture special Stations that give bonuses (only) as you will lose a lot of your Stations.
  • Flank the dead wormhole from which the enemy units arrive because they can turn suddenly and head toward Sector 2 and you don't want to have to chase them.
  • Have a mix of damage units, especially against Small ships. No point stealing ships here as you don't have a lot of choice or time, although an Offensive Setup Ulysses could try to grab a couple of Trilobites now and again.
  • If you managed to keep enemies contained in Sector 1, a few will still pop up in another Sector. You could either race to them or just warp your Violator over to start engaging them right away. Your Violator in gate mode cannot call XL-sized ships so a Trojan is probably the best first unit to get as it has force field to protect friendlies and EMP pulse for immediate crowd control.
  • You cannot lose even one structure or one evacuation ship or the mission will fail.
Part 2 - Protect Convoy
  • They don't tell you earlier but you will afterwards need to protect a structure in Sector 2 (why don't they tell you earlier?). Block the exit gate to Sector 3. As long as enemies don't go through you can stay in Sector 2. Otherwise, after all ships are through the Long Range Wormhole in Sector 3, rush to protect the Generator.
  • If you need more resource generation, you can warp your Violator back to a previous Sector where the enemies have stopped streaming in (e.g., Sector 1) and re-take Stations with resource bonuses.
Part 3 - Protect Force Field Generator
  • If you are coming back from Sector 3, some ships CAN get stuck behind the force field when it goes up. Might be a fluke, but if you really need them you can pull them out with your Violator.
  • There are a pair of Stations not far from the main grid of 5 Stations in front of the Force Field Generator. They do not typically come under fire so a Turret there, supported by a Repair Station, can trim some Small units coming from that flank.
In the video below, you can see the annoying mess that can happen when you don't rapidly build your fleet early to have enough ships to keep the enemy contained.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 10 - Heartland

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 10 - Heartland
  • Since enemies behind do not pursue through Warp Gates and you are on a time limit, there's no point securing all Stations before leaving a Sector.
    • When Stations are secured in battle, build Repair so that as soon as possible during and after battle, you can get a fully repaired fleet moving again.
    • Harmless enemy Stations like Repair Stations can be left alone to further save time.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 9 - Dead But Not Dreaming

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 9 - Dead But Not Dreaming
  • All Discoveries can be collected without engaging the enemy, so park at the starting location, collect Discoveries (some of which can  increase resources and/or resource production rate) and build your fleet. Start with a couple of Javelins to start taking down enemy Hangar Stations.
  • Swap Javelins for Manticores when you get the chance as they can one-shot bases from a fair distance although not quite as far as Javelins and they can come under Turret or Artillery fire. There is a charge-up time of about 1 second, and it fires three shots, each of which has a chance of missing. Two hits will almost-destroy a Station on Explorer Scientist difficulty.
  • There is a Dead Wormhole behind the Baleathan that spawns units continually, including 2 Manticores that can severely damage your capital ships. Park your ships there with a Trojan and Repair Stations while you send your Manticores (supported by Rovers) to destroy the Defense Grids in a series of hit-and-run attacks. Or you can steadily sacrifice Ronins to slowly bombard them.
  • If you need your full fleet to defend against the reinforcements, you can build Artillery turrets around the Baleathan and the nearest ones should fire on the armor points.
    • The Baleathan's turrets can be attacked prior to destroying the Defense Grids. The Grids only allow you to destroy all of them in one go. If you want to build on the Stations around the Baleathan, then destroy the turrets first before completing the mission objective to destroy the Defense Grids.
    • The rear of the Baleathan is outside of its fire arcs so you can capture all Stations there and park your fleet on them to handle the periodic reinforcements from the dead wormhole there.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 8 - Revolution

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 8 - Revolution
  • There's no point trying to capture any Sector because the endless streams of strong enemies will ultimately overrun your key positions anyway even if you grab all or almost all Stations in a Sector. Since you are just passing through, there are few areas where you need to hold ground. Hang back your ships until you need to move them. Scout ahead with cloaked units if necessary.
    • There are a couple of Hydras parked in Sector 1. You could rush in and grab one (especially with an Offensive Setup Ulysses I) and then keep retreating until pursuit stops. They are interesting good-against-all-units ships that you won't otherwise have a chance to try until Mission 14 when you again have the opportunity to Board them.
  • Despite what HECTOR says, there is NO direct-to-exit route via Sector 1-3-5.
    • The briefing makes it sound like you can rush through enemy-rich Sector 3 to get to Sector 5 without unlocking gates, but you still need to unlock the gate in Sector 5 first anyway, and that involves having to go through Sector 4.
    • The first route he suggests involves sending your XL ships through a gate with massed defenses in front of it, so it is really not much worse than the Sector 1-3-5 route.
    • Besides, there are NO Discoveries to be found in Sector 3.
  • ALL Discoveries can be picked up without triggering Scythe aggression if you skirt around their holdings and wait for patrols to pass and hold their position.
  • Wormhole Blockades in Sector 5 can be safely attacked from the rear without having to contend with the Stations in front.
  • Shortly after you enter Sector 5 there will be a Side Mission to protect Renner's ship. You can do this in various ways:
    • Collect Trilobites ahead of time. They are probably the best unit for the short-notice mission in Sector 5 as they are overall better than Rover Mk2 and good against Small squadrons. You can collect Trilobytes in Sector 4 where they go in and out of Wormholes in pairs. Two at a time appear from the Sector 2/4 Wormhole and head to the nearest Sector 4/5 Wormhole.
    • Low Mass Wormholes can transport L ships, just not XL ships, so you can bring a Patriot or Corsairs to Sector 5. You should enter the wormhole nearest to the Sector 2/4 Wormhole since that is the one one Renner goes to regardless of which Wormhole you use to enter Sector 5.
    • Renner's ship exits near one of the gates you need to unlock for your XL ships. Unlock it and send your XL ships to Sector 5, right on top of the enemy and in position to protect Renner's ship. Might take too long on anything other than Explorer Scientist difficulty, however.
  • Failing to protect Renner's ship does not lose you Renner but long-term consequences are uncertain as I did not play the game through with having failed this side mission.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 7 - Psychonaut

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 7 - Psychonaut

Part 1 - Rescue Katarina
  • This is the only time-sensitive part of the mission (although on Explorer Scientist difficulty, compared to the enemy forces you have to overcome you have quite a bit of time).
  • The Olympus will appear in Sector 3 and you will be told of a Scythe Temple in Sector 3 that you can scan but "not take too long" about it, however there is really no time limit on that. You can probably just park the Olympus there and worry about moving it about later.
  • We tried to do the rescue without Commissioner Renner's building-disabling ability because unless you have foresight into the Mission you can't know to choose him.
    • This is one of the issues with this game: An in-game hint tells you to choose officers best suited for a Mission, but you don't know what the Mission will entail until you are in it.
  • You cannot hit the Katarina with an EMP pulse ("target unacceptable") to stop her.
    • If you really want to rush, advance with Scouts and have them disable annoying stations like Interdiction and Artillery before moving in with the rest of your fleet. Stations are really only annoying when they are in the fog of war because larger ships can typically shoot at Stations from well outside a Station's attack range.
  • In Sector 2, the Katarina will park there for a while before entering the Wormhole. If you bring a Corsair close to it (you don't even have to Board it), the rescue cutscene will play.
    • While the cutscene plays battle will continue so you may lose units. You can try using [ESC] to skip the cutscene.
    • Despite what Colonel Edwards says, you do not need "a couple" of Corsairs, just one.
    • The cutscene will show what is supposedly your Corsair moved to the Katarina, but whatever it was doing (e.g., Boarding a Station) will not be changed.
Part 2 - Scan Wormhole
  • The wormhole you have to scan to finish the mission randomly appears in a random sector.
  • After rescuing the Katarina, time limits are lifted so abandon all Stations. Instead of constantly trying to hold ground in multiple Sectors, clear one Sector at a time. Just remember not to scan the randomly appearing wormhole until you have finished scanning all Discoveries and completed all optional objectives.
  • There is a Wreck that you can pick up as an optional objective. It is not clear if there is a time limit to this because an enemy Scythe Trilobite CAN pick it up and wander off with it. I didn't check if it had a specific destination that would cause the objective to fail.
In the video below you can see how a disorganized playthrough can take you less than 30 minutes. If you play thoroughly, clear out all Sectors, and get all Discoveries, this Mission can take a lot longer.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 6 - The Watchmen

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 6 - The Watchmen
  • Long and boring mission that is a gentle introduction to the Scythe. Clear the map FIRST, then scan the structure, then just camp out and wait 15 minutes. One optional objective which you should do.
  • Have a good look at the Scythe units.
    • You definitely want to swap your Rovers for Trilobytes, which have strong offense.
    • The Medusa is basically (Invader + Scout) with the bonus of being in a single large ship that is sturdier than the squadrons of small vessels. Just one is plenty because Trilobytes are decent against Small ship squadrons.
  • While you are clearing the map, you may notice that even after you have destroyed all Scythe Stations, new enemies arrive every few minutes from parts unknown and attack the structure you are supposed to scan.
    • This causes NO damage to the structure.
    • These are the same tiny enemy sorties that appear after you have scanned the structure. The mission is basically much more hectic if you haven't cleared the map because you have to constantly keep an eye on the structure and it is vulnerable to suddenly being missile-bombarbed by Medusas.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 5 - The Crystal Ocean

Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

Mission 5 - The Crystal Ocean

This is actually a very easy mission if you notice that the Convoy does STOP and why.

Part 1 - Protect Linh's Ship
  • This part is pretty straightforward, but do not blow your resources too early as you need them to secure the special resource Stations in Sector 4 early, and to build on Stations in Sector 1 very early to help protect your Convoy. Also, you may want to either bolster your initial Convoy guard in Sector 1 or create a Corsair early.
  • After Linh's Javelin changes from green (ally) to blue (yours), you can safely recycle it. Same with the Professor's in Sector 3.
Part 2a - Stop the Convoy
  • Ignore the mission objective to clear the way. The Convoy will not proceed further in Sector 1 until the three Pirate stations on the path marked by V-shaped structures are destroyed. However, two of the Stations are defensive so they are harmless once the Artillery Station is destroyed.
    • Quickly destroy the nearby Warp Gate then rush ahead and destroy the Artillery Station.
      • You can secure the Station but do not build Artillery or Turrets as those will fire at the other two Stations.
    • Fall back to avoid targeting the other two Stations but keep close to the Convoy.
    • Build Artillery (and maybe 1 Repair Station) at the trio of Stations nearer to the Wormhole from which the Convoy entered Sector 1. Those plus some ship support should help you indefinitely hold out against Pirates from the remaining two Warp Gates.
      • It is probably too risky to try to destroy those Gates as Pirates steadily emerge from Sector 2.
      • You actually do NOT want to destroy them yet because they are a great source of Cutlasses which you should definitely consider stealing to replace your Lancers, Invaders, and Rovers.
  • If you are having trouble with Pirates from Sector 2 (which can include XL Manowars) consider building a Scout for EMP pulses.
  • Only Javelins have enough weapon range to safely detonate explosives in Sector 1 (using the Attack command to manually target the barrels). However, even three stacked together will only seriously hurt a station and they can wipe your own small units. Overall it is probably not worth it to use. The Pirates don't seem to use them either. Another way to use them is a suicide move by a Rover dragging them into range or a cheap unit sent in to detonate them.
Part 2b - Reinforce the Convoy and Clear Sector 1
  • While you are digging in to protect your stalled Convoy, move all ships from Sector 4 to Sector 3. The defense of the gate at Sector 4 isn't till after the Convoy mission.
    • You can get to Sector 1 via Sector 3 with no fighting, so you can recycle all Sector 4 ships (except for 1-2 Rovers) if you need Replicants for your Patriot in Sector 1 to build more ships. Between the Ulysses II, the Olympus, and the Katarina, you should be able to weather anything -- just keep the Rovers safe.
    • Leave Linh's Javelin to collect Discoveries in Sector 4, then later in Sector 3. You may be tight on resources, but if you are not, swap her Javelin out for a Rover who can also secure Stations.
    • Hopefully you have a Corsair soon or during the time you are destroying the pirate Warp Gate near the entrance since you only have 15 minutes to save the Professor. Skirt around the Pirate position in the fog of  war and head to Sector 1 to help your Convoy.
  • Once your Sector 4 units are in Sector 1, secure all nearby Stations (again, avoid the mission-marked ones) and build Artillery to help intercept Pirates from Sector 2. Leave a holding force there to destroy or severely damage any ships from Sector 2.
    • Against the Manowars that like to charge straight down, use Scouts or Corsairs to slow them while your Artillery stations continue to pound on them. When Corsairs Board ships, those ships are typically safe from friendly fire but Stations will continue to fire on them if they can.
    • If you are having trouble protecting the Convoy, send some ships down, skirting the mission-critical enemy bases. A Corsair or even the Ulysses II are both good choices.
    • Once you can block Sector 2, it is time to clear Sector 1.
      • Destroy the upper Warp Gate, but don't be in a huge hurry to destroy the lower one because it quite regularly sends out Cutlasses you can steal with Corsairs. You may want to leave it open until you have finalized your fleet composition: I recommend 2-4 Corsairs, and the rest Cutlasses.
    • After destroying the Warp Gates, leave your Convoy stalled and proceed to Sector 2.
    Part 3 - Clear Sectors 2 and 3, Reinforce Sector 4
    • Sector 2 is actively sending out sorties, so clear that first. It is optional but highly recommended.
      • The ships they send out will all try to run your blockade and head for your Convoy, so proceed carefully and maybe leave a couple of ships in Sector 4 to guard the Wormhole exit there.
      • Nothing special in Sector 2 - Clear all pirates, build on all stations, collect all Discoveries.
    • Once Sector 2 is clear, Sector 1 is also safe. Clear Sector 3 and build on all stations in Sectors 2, 3, and 4 to prepare for the final Convoy escort.
      • The Convoy will travel through Sector 3, so you might think we would want to leave some mission-marked Pirate bases alone in Sector 3 so that the Convoy will stall again. However, this won't help at all for reasons we will mention later.
    Part 4 - Escort the Convoy to the Hephaestus Gate
    • When you are ready to get the Convoy moving again, destroy the final Pirate Stations in Sector 1.
    • You may want to separate your fleet into three teams: Two demolition and one support.
      • The demolition teams are to destroy Warp Gates.
        • A quartet of Corsairs can actually take down a Warp Gate very quickly. Stealing Manowars to bolster your anti-building damage output shouldn't really be necessary.
        • Throw in 1-2 Repair units with each team to heal them and help against Small unit squadrons.
        • Position your demolition teams spread apart so that you will hopefully have one team closer to a Warp Gate when it appears. The other team can move in to mop up blockade runners and then help with destroying the Gate.
      • One team of your remaining Repair units.
        • From this team, assign a couple to each of the demolition teams.
        • The rest can stay with the Convoy to repair them and each other, and to pick off any stragglers that make it past the demolition teams. Supported by 
    • When the Convoy ships enter Sector 3, nothing will change until your Convoy is in the sector and you have destroyed all Pirate Stations in Sector 3--At that time, two new Warp Gates will appear.
      • Since the route is clear, the Convoy will continue moving so quickly destroy both Gates and all enemy units that will try to run your blockade and head for your Convoy.
      • As damaged Convoy ships pass by Repair Stations, use the healing-over-time buff from Repair Stations on them.
    • As the Convoy inches along in Sector 4, Warp Gates will appear. Again, you can't stop the Convoy so just do your best to destroy the Gates.
    • After the Convoy is gone, the final defense phase starts. If your demolition teams can work quickly, this becomes a series of brief skirmishes as you will be able to stem the tide of Pirates before they really get overwhelming, by destroying gates and regrouping before the next Gate appears.
    You can see the mess that happens if you don't stop the Convoy in these videos, and also if you don't use Pause enough to multitask between the Sectors. I wouldn't try this mission in the no-Pause Hardcore mode, especially when your last camera view in a Sector isn't restored.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 4 - Been Caught Stealing

    Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

    Mission 4 - Been Caught Stealing
    • During the navigation with the stealth units, instead of fooling around with the controls to adjust the height of the waypoints in order to avoid Detector Stations, use the Discoveries (which are at different heights) as waypoints.
    • After disabling the Alarm and finding Yuri, bring your Scouts back and recycle them into Corsairs and one Rover.
      • If you do not disable the Alarm, you will have to destroy the controls for the bombs on Yuri's ship. Either way, the mission continues except you have failed one of the Optional Objectives.
      • You need 1 Rover to carry stuff later. For healing, steal Cutlasses as you go along.
      • If you like the EMP pulse of the Scouts, steal a Carnage for it. No point Cloaking or scouting anymore on this map.
    • As soon as you finish scanning the Warden's Office, enemy ships start spawning in Sector 1 and move toward you.
      • If you have built a lot of Artillery, very few will survive the gauntlet and you can wipe the stragglers in Sector 3 -- and this is if you don't bother using the Artillery Station special ability to help wipe them out.
      • At Sector 3, you can also build a trio of Repair Stations to support your flagships in addition to Cutlasses in the back row and Corsairs to immediately neutralize the strongest ships.
      • Remember that you can stop Boarding any time and continue attacking a ship. Also, Turrets and Artillery Stations continue to fire at ships being boarded.
    • After picking up Yuri, Pirate ships and Warp Gates also open in Sectors 2 and 3 to flank you from front and rear. Hold against one flank (at a clump of Artillery Stations, for example) and clear the Warp Gates in the big chamber with the Warden's Office in the middle.
      • Nothing too serious unless you didn't prep all the captured Stations to protect your rear as you advanced along.
      • You don't actually have to defeat these reinforcements, just finish the mission objectives. But this makes the final cutscene a bit odd since how are you supposed to raid the morgue if there are Pirate ships distracting you?
      • You can see the annoying mess the reinforcements can make in these videos:

    Game Review - Ancient Space

    Game Review: Ancient Space
    Score: +6/-7

    Summary: Ancient Space is a bit short at just 15 missions and boring skirmishes. The story is not bad, with interesting plot twists that are not afraid to kill off main characters. The has a lot of the more advanced/clever RTS features, and the design has a lot of potential for future development in an "Ancient Space II" sequel. If you like Company of Heroes or Star Wars: Empire at War, you'll like Ancient Space.
    Gameplay is basically crafted scenarios and there is modest carry-over from one Mission to the next in upgrade components, officers, and the number of uses of officer powers per Mission. Although some have criticized this, I think this is a conservative choice to try to get a handle on Mission difficulty and gameplay experience. The first Battle for Middle Earth had the problem where you carried over all your experienced units and ended up with a powerful force at the start of every Mission and mowed everything down without losing whole squads, even at highest difficulty. Not surprisingly they dropped this in the sequel. Too much carry-over adds up and can wreck scenario creation. Or they could anticipate it but end up ruining the game for players who want to play faster rather than painstakingly collect every advantage for the future.
    Despite the drawbacks, I did really enjoy the game, which had both exciting and relaxing moments. For optimal gameplay experience I recommend playing on the lowest difficulty (Explorer Scientist) but use no Officer powers.
    + Broad selection of units as well as mobile unit production give you different ways to approach the Missions. Not all of them are optimal but at least you have the choice, and the choices are supported by the upgrades you can choose for your flagship. Upgrades to the non-flagship units could be made to have more of an effect, however. As it is, they really don't matter.
    ++ Allowing you to steal enemy units makes for even broader tactical choices and overall interestingness. Often people like to try playing the enemy and this is a nice way to do it instead of making a completely new faction. A lot of untapped potential here.
    +- Generally a good range of play in each mission, ranging from rush to combat to "hidden object game" (looking for the anomalies to scan for "Discoveries") to just building and structuring your fleet before moving on. But some missions are too hard if you don't take the time to clear the map or use an exploit/oversight -- and this is on the lowest difficulty. The very first mission can be near-impossible on highest difficulty whereas later missions, with more time and flexibility, are not impossible. Nevertheless players will have already been turned off trying it.
    +- Nice ship models, but often they fire when not in proper alignment, which is odd. If the guns were on a turret that might make sense but often this is not the case.
    - 3-D fleet movement is generally planar but hard to properly estimate without a lot of camera panning. The option to select your position on the Z (up/down) axis is extremely clumsy. I would have preferred to instead see a game-pausing toggle of a 3-D grid of points to select a position for your ships. Zooming could increase the density of these points.
    - Officer powers are interesting but often make no sense. For example, the crewman "Two" is an expert hand-to-hand combatant apparently but you can invoke her to damage all enemy ships in the area? Why? Something more sensible might be to link her selection or in-game acquisition as a crew member to an enhancement of all ship-capturing Boarding actions.
    -- Units often end up clumped together in a spaghetti or just fly so closely that trying to click on the right one is hard. And when you have 5 of the same type, clicking one at a time to find the one you are looking at / wanting to target is annoying; you don't even get this option when it's the enemy units that are clumped together. This has several drawbacks, including trying to select the proper unit, units struggling to path-find their way, units getting stuck, and units not knowing their line of fire is blocked and they keep firing anyway without changing position to get a proper firing angle. I don't see the point of a no-pause Hardcore Mode when selecting a ship from this morass can take a half minute.
    + The highlighted icon for each unit is not just necessary since the units tend to blend into the environment based on their not-very-vibrant colouring, but a nice way to quickly locate and select your unit. It is also a great way to allow units to be more to scale, such as fighter squadrons being tiny but selectable based on their icon. This was something that Star Wars: Empire at War didn't do and they compromised with ridiculous ship scaling.
    - Horrible anti-climactic ending cutscene obviously setting up a sequel. The final mission is not bad, however.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 3 - Take the Power

    Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

    Mission 3 - Take the Power
    • After the rescue, recycle your smallest ships and get Corsairs. Throughout this mission, keep stealing Cutlasses because they are sturdier than Rovers and have strong offense against small ships. Overall they are better, so get a bunch. Mass them so they can heal each other and provide support against small ships. En masse they are also reasonably good against larger ships especially as they have staying power from healing.
    • A few Corsairs are very good from the very start as their boarding power immediately neutralizes an enemy ship or station, letting you deal with them later or just leave disabled if you don't have enough Replicants to take them over. About 4 Corsairs will be plenty. Captured vessels and station structures taken over can be recycled for more resources if you don't want them.
    • Some Warehouses have small units. Recycle them to make room for more Cutlasses.
    • Build Artillery at all captured stations to secure your rear. Whenever your Rover is not doing anything have them drop a mine at a Wormhole.
    You can see in the following videos what happens when you do not support your fleet with enough Repair units in an extended battle. Firepower units are secondary to outlasting the enemy when they can endlessly spawn ships to kill you with attrition.
    Also, collecting Discoveries is important because some of them increase your Replicant count, hence your fleet size.

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Mission 2 - The Downward Spiral

    Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

    Mission 2 - The Downward Spiral
    • Quickly build an additional Rover to scan Discoveries and that way quickly amass resources to build Stations. You want to secure resource Stations fast as well as to establish forward bases of operation quickly and box in the pirates.
    • On Explorer Scientist difficulty, the capital ships supported by Rovers to heal should be able to hold the line, so push forward on both fronts to prevent pirates from building their stations too close to you (which would force you to fight through).
      • By establishing forward lines (and a couple of turrets near the wormhole to Sector 2) you can then at your leisure develop the stations behind you while your capital ships and Stations repel Pirate sorties.
      • Initially use Artillery to help fight and Rovers to repair. Later as resources increase, build other ships.
      • You should be able to hold ground and get some Artillery Stations built at the Stations to the left and right of the Pirate Base even before the first cargo ship departs.
    • On Admiral of the Fleet difficulty, you might struggle to survive even the first wave with both ships if you push forward too far.
      • Send sacrificial units into Sector 2 until the Support Hangars are destroyed.
      • If you secure Stations near the Pirate Base, they might head straight down the map to capture the ones at your starting location.
    • There are two Discoveries in Sector 2 (from which Pirate sorties appear) but you cannot enter with L or XL ships. A minimal complement should be 2 Rovers plus 1-2 Lancers.
      • You need two Rovers because they cannot repair themselves, but two Rovers can obviously repair each other.
      • Rovers have enough range to assault the hangar nearest to the wormhole without drawing fire from the Turrets.
      • Build Artillery on captured stations to destroy the other Turrets while you scan Discoveries. 
        • Once you start building on a captured Station, the Turrets will fire on it so keep repairing it till it is done.
    • There are a lot of Cutlasses in this mission, so Invaders might seem a good choice. But Cutlasses are strong against small ships, so Rovers are actually the better choice than Invaders: Let your XL capitals take point and support them with Rovers.
      • Invaders can make sorties, but unless you want to waste them like water, use larger swarms and retreat before they can be destroyed.
      • If you are using the Ulysses II offensive setup, steal Cutlasses to replace your Rovers and Lancers.
    • The pirate station cannot be targeted (it has nothing to click on) and pirate ships just basically appear out of nowhere. It's Stations can be destroyed and secured but that is unnecessary because unless you deliberately fly close, none of them can reach you and only Artillery at the ends have a chance of hitting any pirates.
      • If you can take them over, the final pirate push could be pulled into that killzone if your capital ships are there because the pirates are scripted to attack the Ulysses II. On Normal this isn't necessary if you are camped at Stations with Artillery and/or Repair to hold out against the enemy attack.
    Here is a Youtube showing what happens when you don't box in the pirates early. And also if you play somewhat haphazardly without too much attention to strategy or fleet composition -- you can still win with capital ship abilities and officer abilities. If that sort of hectic-excitement-stress works for you, then definitely go with the lowest difficulty setting, which is quite forgiving. If you over-strategize there can be long stretches of boring logistics or waiting, as we'll see in missions 4-6.

    Sunday, February 1, 2015

    Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs - Tutorial and Mission 1 - Down in a Hole

    Click here for the full index of Ancient Space mission walkthroughs as well as an overview of our playthrough paradigm.

    Mission 0 - Tutorial
    • If you go to Sector 3 first you will acquire a Patriot and can build Lancers and Invaders for Sector 4.
    • Or you can go directly to Sector 4 and handle things with just Lancers and a Rover. A Wormhole sends in endless Lancers at the final area to be cleared.
    Mission 1 - Down in a Hole

    Part 1 - Cargo Ships
    • Instead of guarding the cargo ships, focusing on destroying the Warp Gate seems like a good idea except it goes down too slowly even on Normal Difficulty.
    • If you camp near the gate as suggested by the in-game tips, it appears that Pirates gate in more frequently as you are destroying them more quickly.
    • Once the Cargo Ships are near the bulk of the force, allies will assist because they are near enough.
    Part 2 - Comm Tower
    • It appears that if you build any four Turrets anywhere (not just near the Comm Tower) the mission will still advance.
    • If you immediately build a Turret at the station nearest to the pirate Warp Gate that opens (right side of Comm Tower), and concentrate fire on it, you can destroy the gate before any Pirates warp in. You will have to do that later anyway. In the Youtube below you can see how annoying it is if you do not take care of it as soon as possible.

    Ancient Space - Mission Walkthroughs Index and General Tips

    Ancient Space game - Walkthrough Index and General Tips
    • We played the Explorer Scientist "story-driven" difficulty level. (The higher difficulties are Marine Officer and Admiral of the Fleet, where even Mission 1 is challenging).
    • We strived for no unit losses.
    • We tried not to use Officer powers.
    • Our doctrine is to fully secure a Sector (all Stations, wipe out all enemies, collect all Discoveries, do all optional missions) whenever possible before advancing the plot by completing story-essential mission objectives.

    General Notes
    Ancient Space is one of those games where you will want to consider carefully whether to be led by the nose and prioritize mission objectives.
    • The missions appear designed for the lowest level of difficulty ("story-focused experience") to be stressful in an exciting way IF you do what they tell you to do and don't take a broader view. If you are not intent on playing a high difficulty level or thoroughly getting every one of the Discoveries that can be collected, you can try it this way.
    • On the other hand, if you stay alert for possibilities the possibilities in a mission are broader and the overall experience could be boringly easy -- which nevertheless makes for a certain satisfaction at being "tactically genius".
      • Also, if you want every scrap of story, then you will want to collect every Discovery because about a third of them give hints of backstory and can deepen and enrich your story experience.
    • If you want to pull your hair out trying to keep all your units alive, then try middle difficulty.
    • If you like failing over and over again even during early "tutorial" missions, then go for hardest difficulty.
    Although we are told to direct the proper units to counter enemy units, this is inferior advice. The enemy always has an interesting ship you will want, and you have two Boarding options to steal them.

    The Ulysses offensive setup/configuration has a Boarding ability that is short range but instant and which lets us basically steal enemy ships. This has many possibilities:
    • Bases cannot be stolen but just about everything else can, including Small squadrons of ships.
    • It is basically an instant death ray with a long cooldown. If your population cap (Replicant Count) is not sufficient, the unit is disabled and grayed out but can still be manually targeted for repair or boarded later with a Corsair.
    • You can steal something and recycle it for resources.
    • The key use, however, is to build-for-free ships that are better than yours.
    The offensive configuration is recommended for most missions on Normal Difficulty for the simple fact that you can start off early by stealing enemy ships to bolster your fleet without spending resources on building ships or researching technology.

    Starting with Mission 3 you will be able to build Corsairs. 2-4 are recommended in every fleet as they have a similar "death ray" Boarding power although they will need to be supported with Repair while the boarding process continues (which can take a long while against an XL-sized Manowar). You can abort at any time by moving away. Squadron-type ships cannot be boarded but Bases can.

    Since we can steal enemy ships (and recycle our own to make room for them in the fleet) we recommend that you aggressively replace your small squadron ships with Medium or Large ships that can fulfill the same function. For example, Lancers are good against Small units but I would rather drop a Lancer and a Rover for a single pirate Cutlass which is good against Small units and also has Rover functions of Repair and capturing bases. I would also drop Invaders for Cutlasses since Invaders are fragile and have a cooldown on their Missile Barrage whereas a few Cutlasses, having all their health on a single ship and being able to Repair each other, can survive much longer.

    If you Board an enemy ship that can Cloak, they may do so automatically during the Boarding process because after an idle period, Stealth ships automatically cloak. In such a case, if you then have to abandon the ship because you do not have enough Replicants to take it over, it will remain cloaked and you cannot interact with it anymore until you decloak it, such as with a Bloodhound squadron.

    You will be introduced to more and more types of Stations through the early missions. In the general case however, build only Artillery, especially if you can support them with Repair ships. Artillery is not powerful against Small ship squadrons, but the splash from their shots adds up to decent damage anyway and Small ship squadrons lose effectiveness as you destroy individual craft, so even a little damage adds up whereas damage against larger vessels do no not hamper them until they are destroyed. Artillery also have a special ability to inflict area damage good against all targets, whereas Turrets can slow a target. Consider Repair Stations only if you need them to help hold a position or if they can repair a nearby Station.
    Protective and Repair Stations can't fight back so they are sitting ducks if they approach from a direction your Artillery Stations can't reach. In general, they are not so commonly useful especially since Stations are more or less expendable assets that can be rebuilt later. The main exceptions to this approach:
    • If you know from which direction the opposition will come and the Station under fire first can be supported by one or more Repair Stations. This gives you the opportunity to hold the area without requiring any Repair ships. Obviously the opposition must be light enough that they cannot ultimately win with attrition.
    • If multiple Stations are close by, you could have two or even three Repair Stations supporting the rest as well as each other -- again, helping you keep the area secured without any ships from your fleet.
    Enemy Stations, especially those supported by Protection and Repair, are extremely annoying to take down directly except with Corsairs or other ships that can Board. A Boarding action ignores special statuses on the target AND neutralizes the target while it is being boared. Therefore, have a squadron of 2-4 Corsairs to swarm a position and neutralize their Artillery, Turrets, and dangerous ships. Once attack Stations like Turrets and Artillery are destroyed or taken over, enemy defensive Stations become essentially harmless.
    If a Corsair captures a Station with something on it you don't like, remember you can instantly recycle it. Corsairs can capture (and immediately neutralize by starting a Boarding action) Hangar Stations, but they are destroyed upon successful capture and the Station is occupied but empty and ready to build.

    If you have the luxury of time, then Javelins (possibly with scouting action by cloaked Scouts) can take down a Station by attrition from afar. It is very slow, however -- about 3 health every two volleys of two shots (when stationary).