Part III

Race-Specific Strategies 

Once you've started to get a feel for the Federation ships in skirmish mode, you're ready to take your ship into the harshness of space, where there are seven other races waiting to tear holes through your shields and rip up your hull.  You've got to use all of your ingenuity to survive, and this is where the following strategies will come in.  I'm always open to suggestions, and PLEASE drop me a line on this thread if you have any discrepancies that you have found or if you have a new way to kill that Klingon B11K with your NEC. 



  You really won't fight a Gorn ship since your empires are technically allies, but if you do, you have a few advantages at your disposal.  Gorn ships are large flying staplers with turn modes even worse than yours and no respectable long-range striking capability past range 20.  You have the (gasp!) proximity photon!  Stay away from their plasmas and keep on launching your proximities at the poor little lizards.  Keep on pounding them, keep at a high speed, and when they're disabled, close with overloads and finish them off with an alpha strike.

  If you happen to get within range of their plasmas, run for your life.  They'll wreak havok on your ship when combined with their phaser array, rivaling your own.  Missiles are nearly useless against them as well, because of that aforementioned phaser battery--the Gorn eat missiles for breakfast.  Add the plasma-D factor and you have a drone-proof ship.

  Beware of the Gorn's ability to charge up a lot of points of ECM.  Respond by flipping those phasers offline and turning that ECCM switch to maximum.  Your proximities are deadly once more.  The fight will take a while, but it doesn't matter--you are eventually going to win.  And when you do, victory will be even sweeter.


  The Hydrans are also your allies, but once again, your two empires will eventually clash sometimes.  The Hydrans are nearly as tough as the Gorn, but with practice you'll be able to beat them as well.  First of all, beware of the hellbore, which is the only weapon the Hydrans have that can seriously hurt you-since if you are a SMART Federation captain, you use the-yes, of course-PROXIMITY PHOTON!!!  Donít get within fusion range (0-3 is the only distance that you can get dealt a respectable amount of damage)-an overloaded volley of six fusion cannons will be enough to knock down even a battleshipís shields.  

DronesÖwell hereís a different story.  Your missiles will be nearly useless because the Hydrans have one of the most potent missile defense systems, the phaser-G, and two shots, not even using up all of its potential shots, are enough to knock out one of them.  Hydrans have a lot of phaser-Gs.  Donít fight them with missiles.  

Basically, there are three types of Hydran ships:  those armed with hellbores and phasers (with relatively few fighters), those armed with fusions and phasers (literally swarming with fighters), and those armed with all three weapons systems (with a respectable amount of fighters).  

Against the hellbore ships, make sure your ECM is up pretty high.  Sure, the manual says that ECM doesnít affect hellbores as much as they do other weapon systems, but donít listen to the manual.  Every little bit of ECM counts.  You also need a few points of ECCM in case they decide to pump up their own electronic warfare panel and try to make your beautiful proxies miss.  The fighters wonít be a problem-just phaser them to death if they try to close the distance.  

Against the fusion ships, you have an easier time with the carrier itself but a real bitch of a time with the fighters.  Use your AMD to good effect-tractor a fighter group that has already been slammed by the anti-missile defense system, blast them with your phasers, and watch them wilt under the supercharged ionized particles that melt their unshielded hulls.  Or, you can just turn those AMD systems off and tractor the fighter into a mine.  Once the fighters are gone, you can just stretch out the range and begin shooting your proxies at the carrier.  Stay out of fusion range and they canít do anything.  

Against the ships armed with all three weapon systems, you need to do a bit of juggling.  If a fighter group closes and tries to attack you, blast them with your AMD and your phasers-or, if you are in a carrier as well, launch your own fighters and tell them to attack the other fighters.  That will knock quite a few of them out of action.  If they start launching hellbores at you, let them.  Jack up your ECM, donít let them weaken a shield, and wait until theyíve fired their big bombs.  Then, feel free to launch all of your proximity photons at them and extend the range back to 55+.  Fighting these ships is really hard-but you will win eventually and blow up those walking trashcans on three legs (sorry, Autolycus!  :) )



Fighting the ISC is a relatively easy affair for an experienced captain-if you know their weaknesses.  Their ships are heavily armed with phasers, mount relatively lighter plasma, and utilize the PPD as their main heavy weapon.  They also have horrendous turn rates equaling that of the Gorn if not worse, and have relatively no rear-firing weapons.  

ISC ships are built three ways:  phaser/plasma ships with hordes of phasers and weak torpedoes; PPD ships that rely on PPDs alone to deal heavy weapon damage; and ships armed with both plasma and PPD.  Reminiscent of the Hydrans, eh?

  To beat the first kind (with phaser and plasma), keep your speed up and chip away at their shields with proxies.  Your fightersí photons and missiles will also help-overwhelm them in an SCS whose hanger bays carry a whopping SIXTEEN fighters while launching missiles galore.  The ISC has relatively few ways to defend against a massive drone and fighter assault while your big ship is sitting 55,000 kilometers away tossing proximities through their front door.  If you decide to cross into overload range, turn off those phasers and launch those overloaded torpedoes at range 5.  Execute an HET and run before he can fire off those torpedoes.  Oh yes-fighters on Harass.  Always on Harass.  You donít want them becoming plasma-D food, do you?

  To beat the PPD ships, simply charge them at speed 20 or so with at least four points of ECM, using your proximities to blast their front shield at range 55.  Then, you close the distance and unload half a load of normal photons at range 30, followed up with a phaser volley at range 10 or so and then your other photons, overloaded, at range 5.  Follow this up with a drone assault and they should be reeling.

  To beat the plasma and PPD ships takes a lot of skill, and here is where the fighter comes into prominence.  Park them around their ship and tell them to harass the target, while you on the other hand come barreling in to the froggieís bridge using the same procedure you used against PPD ships.  If he even tries to launch plasma, you HET and hightail it out of there.  Pretty soon, you have a dead ISC ship and the Organians have lost yet another amphibian to toss into captainís bars.



  The Lyrans are your easiest enemy to beat.  Their primary heavy weapon, the ESG, canít do ANYTHING to you past range 4.  So, you park your ship at range 55 and launch-you guessed it-proximity photon torpedoes!!  From that point on, you will slowly but surely destroy bit by bit of their shields, and then cross into drone range, let them fire those ESGs, and charge them with full overloads before their ESG has a chance to respond.  Dead Lyran, gently battered with phaser, dipped in drone engine fuel and roasted on top of a flaming photon fire (in conjunction with another post on this BB).  


  The Klingons are the Federationís historic nemesis-and also, BTW, their hardest foes.  They are the exact opposite of the Federation, with astounding maneuverability, little or no hull strength, and (in earlier years) weaker rear shielding.  They are also armed with the fast-firing disruptor, which basically fires twice the rate of photons but for half the damage.

  Your typical Klingon (in single-player, at least) will actually try some maneuvers to get behind your ship and start blasting away.  This is not good for your ship-you have little or no rear-firing weapons to speak of (unless, of course, you are in an CFS+), and you canít just turn around-heíll just turn the same way you are.  The best way to kill this kind of Klingon is to execute an emergency decelerate.  The computer, being a computer, will overshoot you and then you have a chance to pound him with overloaded photons while smashing through his rear shield.  Once you start to cause internals, you have him-Klingons are relatively *fragile* on the inside, and even a phaser-3 will start hurting him.  

If you are faced with a smarter Klingon that stays at range and keeps on firing disruptors, jack up your speed and overrun him-that is, charge him with half your photons on overload and the other half on normal/proximity depending on range.  Unload your normal/proximities at range 10, fire your phasers at range 5 (stunning some AMD and defensive phasers if youíre lucky), dump your overloads into his down shield and follow it up with a drone assault.  Alternatively, you could tractor him and continue pounding him from there.

  Klingons love to use missiles to soak up your phasers, and any experienced Klingon captain will have at least one scatterpack shuttle ready and waiting to dump down six type-IV missiles into your ship.  6 times 24 is a lot of damage.  On the other hand, you really donít want to waste energy leaving all of your defensive tractors on-each tractor costs one point of energy regardless of whether it is being used or not.  Instead, as his scatterpack approaches, press the ďcĒ hot key.  That will activate the defensive tractors, and then you can shoot them down with AMD and phasers at your leisure.  Another method is to quickly target any shuttle that pops out of a Klingon shuttle bay and smash it with your phasers.  That will get both the shuttle and its complement of missiles.  In a pinch, you can use your fighters on ďdefend meĒ mode and tell them to shoot down the missiles as they come.  Yet another method, not nearly as effective, is to charge the missile-bearing shuttle (or any shuttle, in fact) and shoot it down with AMD.  That doesnít work that well, though.  Also, if youíre sure that the Klingon is fully and completely disabled (or canít fire upon you), transport a mine out the door and let it kill the missiles-scatterpacks always shoot their missiles in, well, packs.  

Another method to get the Klingon to close is to starcastle-move at speed 5-6 with max ECM and shield reinforcement while tossing proximities at them.  They canít do anything to you but you are slowly chipping away at their shields.  When the get bored of getting pounded, switch your proximities to normal mode once theyíre within range 8 or under (it costs no energy) and start firing upon them once more.  Keep an overload in reserve for when he decides to be impetuous and show a down shield to you.  If he wonít do that, lower his shield for him by unloading a full phaser volley.  



The Mirak fight with missiles, trying to overwhelm your defenses with their drones and begin to start pounding your ship.  You do not want to let them do that.  Repeat-you do not want to let them do that.  The problem with the Mirak is that once their missiles are gone, you are going to have one hell of a fun time smashing through their shields and laughing heartily as they struggle to find a phaser to bear on your ship.  The challenge here is to survive the initial missile waves.

  The ships that I always choose to fly in while running around Mirak territory are the ones armed with lots of AMD, lots of phasers, and lots of photons (flying missile ships is harder in Mirak hunting grounds, but it can be done-however, they are the ultimate defender against Mirak ships).  You really canít use missiles against the Mirak, since they have AMD and hordes of phaser-3s.   However, the NEC is also a very nice ship to fly in, since itís got 4 phaser-Gs and 5 supplemental AMD racks, PLUS five drone racks and a few offensive phasers as well.  See those eighteen missiles heading towards you?  Now you donít!  By the time youíve mastered the art of flipping on and off the ďcĒ button (as you need to do with the Klingons), your point-D system will be nearly invincible.  Anything that your phasers donít get your AMD will, and those missiles that manage to make it through are immediately caught by your tractors.

  To beat the Mirak, you need to rely on your ability to chuck multiple photons at them, all set on (you guessed it) proximity mode.  That way, you stay far away from their missiles (at range 55), which gives you 50% chance to hit and a LOT of time to respond when they inevitably start launching their drones.  Once you get the balance between offense and defense, fighting the Mirak turns into a ranged bombardment exercise.

  With missile ships, you have to be a bit more careful.  Let them fire their missiles at you while you stay at range, and use your phasers etc. to take them down all at once.  You also have mines, shuttles, and (if youíre lucky) fighters at your disposal, so make sure to use them as an additional source of missile defense.  As a last ditch effort, fire an offensive probe at a missile, which guarantees the destruction of that missile.  A WW better be up and ready in case they use the rapid-fire C-rack as well.  Once theyíve gotten their missiles used up, charge them and start pounding them with your own phasers and missiles with max ECM to make sure their puny disruptors donít hit.  An NEC/NAC/NCD/CAD/CADR is an excellent escort for a fleet of photon platforms, and you should win your battles almost every single time.




Fighting the Romulans is a real pain in the a$$, because of their superior maneuverability and, of course, that annoying cloaking device.  However, like fighting the Hydrans and Klingons, it CAN BE DONE.  The trick here, once again, is to use that photon torpedo on proximity mode.

  Against the Rihannsu, keep two rules of thumb in mind:

    1)  Speed is Life

    2)  Cloak + Normal/Overloaded Photon = Miss

  Letís explain.  First of all, if the Romulan manages to get off his plasmas and start blasting away at your ship, you are going to NEED a lot of speed to get the hell out of there before those type-R plasmas eat your rear shield.  In a cruiser vs. cruiser battle, the Romulan will typically have two plasma-Ss and two plasma-Fs at his disposal, and if you get hit by them, thatís a total of 100 points of damage!  So, you donít want to get hit by plasma at all.

  Cloak and ECM have nasty effects on photon torpedo hit rates, rendering your overloads nearly useless (who wants to close with an angry Romulan when heís got his plasma fully charged?).  Your normal photons wonít even have a chance of hitting as well if the Romulan cloaks and starts to starcastle.

  Instead, just use your proximity photon torpedoes.  Once again, it will take a REALLY, REALLY long time but itís possible.  The AI almost always puts a bunch of power into its cloak and doesnít use the Romulan to its full potential, so you should be relatively safe just chucking your photons at them and trying not to fall asleep.

  There are three types of Romulans-the Old-Series birds, with heavy plasma and relatively low power; the KR-Series ships, with light plasma, obscene power curve and a lot of phasers; and the New-Series ships, which basically are in the middle of the line with respect to plasma, phasers, and maneuverability.

  To beat the Old-Series Romulans, turn off half of your photon torpedoes and begin to close at high speeds (the computer will almost always launch its plasmas too early).  Sounds like suicide, but when he dumps his plasma, HET and draw it out by jinking and turning all over the place (thank God there is no Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the 23rd century).  Once thatís completed, charge him and start pounding on him with everything (phasers at point blank work particularly well) until his plasma is almost ready.  Repeat.

  To beat the KR-Series Romulans, try this.  Charge all of your photons to proximity and wait for the computer to uncloak (I think thereís a pattern.  While itís charging its weapons, it cloaks.  Then, it uncloaks, fires, and cloaks once more).  Toss them all at him and then settle back down (youíll know when he uncloaks when the ďno lockĒ disappears from the HUD) again, keeping speed high just in case he launches his torpedoes.  That will kill him easily.

  The New-Series Romulans are the hardest, but once again, rely upon the AIís predictability.  Keep your speed high and wait for him to uncloak.  Once he does, chuck everything you have at him and then start running towards him.  When he fires his plasma, be sure to outrun them and then, as he is cloaking, overrun him with a mine and a few phasers.  That will temporarily allow you to get a lock-on, allowing your superior numbers of phasers (and maybe a few drones??) to do their work.

  The Romulans are tough, thatís true, but they can be beaten.


Captain SíTasik

ISC Division



ISCS Rod and Berry, DNT