Part 8: Turn 40Turn 40
The Greatfather teaches that we must be ever watchful; unbelievers and doubters litter the world, ever ready to claim that your video game design is not up to scratch. They must be eliminated. We are reminded of this lesson when a survey fleet returning to Thundara to travel to a star beyond encounters a rebuilt Customer colony and a survey fleet of their own - the first time our vessels have encountered each other in space.
The combat screen allows you to identify the makeup of fleets you're opposing - assuming you know what to expect from enemy design names. Here, we have five human ships, two of which are likely to be Armor-class.
Hunting down these interlopers into space that is rightfully Zuul, like all space, requires cunning. Our sensors pick up a straggled approach of combat vessels as we cross the asteroid belt.
Hunting enemy ships in sensor view is rather like a submarine battle; you don't know where they are within the segment of space that's their colour. Luckily the AI is terrible at tactical combat and doesn't group its fleet together to use all its firepower at once. It tends to send in its combat ships first, wait until they're killed, then send in its command and non-combat vessels. Given that every ship has guns, this is losing strategy in most small-scale battles like this one.
Our ships are ordered to close within beam range, in order to bring all our weapons to bear. The human vessel turns to its side, which our inquisitors inform us is a tactic based on primitive sailing vessels using explosives to propel metal lumps at other combatants. In space, it simply presents a bigger target.
Close to attack tells your ships to close within range of the weapon selected as setting the engagement range. Typically if you've gone for this option you want all your ships within brawling distance, so you'll pick a small mount weapon like the green beamers I've selected in this battle.
While the males direct weapons fire, two contingents of females from the command vessel sneak on board through the engine section.
Unaccountably, they fail. Mad with rage, the hatred of the entire fleet is directed at the pitiful ship.
If you look in the top right you'll see the main gun battery flying off into space. You can selectively pick off individual turrets from a ship to disarm it, which is very handy in some encounters.
Our vengeance is spelled out in great big fiery balls.
Witnessing the death of its wingman, the other human vessel attempts to flee. It does not end well.
We speed towards the planet, and encounter the remaining three ships of the human fleet attempting to defend colony. We bring our wrath into their faces.
Their command vessel is taken out, but we are forced to withdraw for resupply before we can finish off their remaining fleet. Another mission will be sent to Thundara to finish the task.
I'm not going to show every combat, just the ones that show you new stuff or are particularly important. This is a shame, because as you can see, tactical combat looks absolutely beautiful and is really good fun. However, because it looks so good I can't resist taking tons of screenshots.