Author Topic: Parasite fleet build-up tactic  (Read 2488 times)

Offline Admiral

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Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« on: August 09, 2009, 10:48:48 PM »
My current favorite defense tactic:

1) Get a planet with several III and/or IV neighbors (with their warp gates still intact)

2) Heavily load the wormholes with anti-cloaking and tractor beams

3) Plant a bunch of parasites there (not terribly many are needed)

4) Load up on defensive attack turrets

5) Put a few FRD Eng II's off to the far corner

6) Wait to get a big fleet of ships built up for you by failed attacks by the AI

I got a nice little fleet of teleport raiders this way...

Cheers!

Offline Haagenti

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 03:14:23 AM »
Parasites are IMO the best support units (since the nerfing of Etherjets and Teleporters). Especially since I found out that II parasites are much better than I parasites, since they don't die as fast (I Parasites are very weak).

II Parasites can be used to intercept and convert small groups of enemy ships, jump in to a wormhole with a fleet and convert a bunch of turrets etc. etc. Best of all, they can be used to increase your fleet above its normal numbers. Having a LOT of IV cruisers is an extreme benefit.

And if you ever get your hands on EtherJets, you can start grabbing IV cruisers and bring them to a stack of parasites. That really helps.
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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 11:15:00 AM »
I had a whole fleet of Etherjets of various Marks last night. I had no idea how to use them and couldn't be bothered to figure them out. Hence, I would select them and delete them for the 10% of resources.

Care to give a tutorial on how Etherjets work and how they are used, please?

Thanks!

Offline Revenantus

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 11:18:42 AM »
EtherJets have a tractor beam that will grab the first enemy ship that comes into range. The EtherJet can then drag this enemy ship around, even through wormholes.

Etherjets can be used to capture AI ships and drag them back to a 'killing zone'. This is the same tactic used by the AI when it drags your own ships towards its SF Command Posts.

Offline Admiral

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2009, 11:34:48 AM »
I understand that's what they do, yes. I have seen them do (er, try) it, and my parasites kill them and so I get a big fleet of 10% resource generators. :)

But, how do I tell the EtherJet what to tractor, and then where to take it? Can I queue up orders like "tractor this dude and then bring him over here"?

Thanks!

Offline Revenantus

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2009, 11:41:30 AM »
Unfortunately you don't tell them to grab a specific target, they'll just take a hold of the first enemy to come into range.

When the Etherjet is holding on to an enemy, you can give the EtherJet move orders as normal, and it will bring the captured ship along with it at full speed.

You can queue up orders like, 'tractor this dude the bring him over here', by ordering the Etherjet to fly close to the ship you wish to capture, and then ordering it to return to your killing zone. They will just pick up whatever they manage to fly past on the way.

I actually don't think there's even a way of ordering an EtherJet to drop an enemy, but I may be wrong about this.

Note that the EtherJet will release its prey if the enemy ship cloaks.

Offline Admiral

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2009, 11:49:07 AM »
Maybe EtherJets need a toggle to drop an enemy or to disable their tractoring. Alternatively, have them drop on END...?

I will have to try these next time. I will queue up move orders - move in and move back. No attacks.

It might be useful to have a SHIFT-CONTROL-RIGHT CLICK combo that will say "always do a move even if I'm clicking on something that would ordinarily be non-move". That way you can force movement on top of enemies instead of causing an attack. I'd use it a lot, since my ordinary way of using my parasite fleet is to send them through a big group of enemies, followed by the main fleet behind them. That tactic works brilliantly once you have parasited a bunch of mobile shield units. :)

Offline Revenantus

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2009, 11:57:02 AM »
Caveat: I forgot that EtherJets no longer grab enemies whilst the EtherJets themselves are cloaked, so you will have to order an attack to cause them to decloak if there are no tachyon emitters around.

Offline Admiral

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2009, 11:58:54 AM »
Ah, so EtherJets require micromanagement until X implements the "multiple types of order in one queue" refactoring.

Offline Revenantus

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 12:13:43 PM »
I recommend you read this post by Haagenti - http://arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,23.msg2590.html#msg2590

It's about a tactic he was using against the level 10 AI, involving both Parasites and EtherJet tractors, I think it's something that'd appeal to you greatly.

As for combining the attack and move queues, this wouldn't be an ideal solution as the EtherJets would remain until they had killed the target you ordered an attack on, rather than decloaking and instantly returning to base with their other captured enemies.

Although, the ability to toggle their cloaking on and off manually would solve this issue. This would also actually be useful for preserving many ships in systems with Counter Spy turrets.

EDIT: I'll give you the opportunity to post a suggestion before I do, Admiral. :)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 12:17:14 PM by Revenantus »

Offline Admiral

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2009, 12:29:25 PM »
I had read with great interest the Haag's level 10 excursion. He seemed to get bored with the tactic, though - and eventually it would have run out of steam thanks to the energy reactor's declining return mechanic. (OK, pun intended.)

Go ahead and add suggestions away. I've officially promoted you to X's Little Helper!!!

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 12:35:15 PM »
Oops, looks like some else beat me to it. Damn, I'm always a step behind!!!  :-\

Offline x4000

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2009, 12:01:26 AM »
Ah, so EtherJets require micromanagement until X implements the "multiple types of order in one queue" refactoring.

This is probably not going to happen, just because it will break... everything. :)  Also, tractoring is completely automated and not a queue-based thing, anyway, at this stage.  EtherJets are meant to be used in big clumps, where you tractor basically everything around and drag it off away from it's defenders, these are really not a precision thing at all.  Think of it like static electricity sparks jumping between surfaces, but once a spark has jumped to one surface others will not duplicate the jump.
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Offline Haagenti

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Re: Parasite fleet build-up tactic
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2009, 03:15:33 AM »
I had read with great interest the Haag's level 10 excursion. He seemed to get bored with the tactic, though - and eventually it would have run out of steam thanks to the energy reactor's declining return mechanic. (OK, pun intended.)

Yup...I got bored. I could have continued if the enemy did not have Electric Shuttles, as these are quite efficient counters. So I tractored 100 ships, moved them off somewhere, sort out the electric shuttles from the rest (the boring part), drag of all the rest in groups of 25 or so to parasites, repeat. Wait until you have about 100 electric shuttles, drag them to a safe distance of a group of cruisers, kill them from long range.  It takes quite a while to kill 2000 ships this way, and then you could move in with the fleet and kill 1000 cloaked ships and 1000 turrets or so. And this was before the mega-raid system, and at AI-10 the planets fill up so fast that they generate a raid/hour/adjacent planet or so and there is no way to defend against that kind of firepower.

My favorite way to use Etherjets now is:
a) you want to steal cruisers. Cruisers are durable and fire at long range so they kill everything before it fires back. You can never have too many cruisers. I Cruisers are not so good, but II, III and especially IV cruisers rule. You want to have more III and IV cruisers than your build limit, preferably much more. Then you need to preserve these, as they can
b) setup a trap somewhere, far away from your cruisers (they will kill everything that comes into range). The trap is ideally behind a wormhole, as this will cause no interference of other enemy units. The trap will contain some II/III engineers for healing, as many parasites as you can spare, a few tractor turrets to prevent runaways and all of your I fighters (these do a lot of damage against cruisers and are generally quite worthless), plus one or two factories producing more parasites and I fighters.
c) move up a bunch (30 or so) Etherjets in stealth mode very close to a clump (20 or so) of enemy cruisers, in such a way that the cruisers are between your Etherjets and the trap.
d) select all your Etherjets and target the closest cruiser. Now they will decloak.
e) a split second later, move all your Etherjets to the trap (if you have a wormhole trap, just hit TAB and click on the planet with the trap)

Step e) causes your Jets to fly "through" the enemy cruisers, and thereby tractor most/all of them, and then move to the trap. After step e, this should be in fire-and-forget mode, allowing you to select a new bunch of Etherjets.

You want to end up with a lot more III and especially IV cruisers then your build limit, as this is the only way to increase the size of your fleet in a meaningful way. And then you will want to preserve these, since you can only rebuild up to your build limit. So, you want to take all other troops to take the bulk of enemy fire: III/IVs do never go first through wormholes, they tend to stay at the back of the pack during big engagements etc.

Other targets for this tactic are IV fighters and certain specials that you like to have (high level space tanks, tachyon fighters, MLRSs and munitions boosters).

Lower level fighters are not worth it, and bombers are relatively resistant against this tactic, as the parasite attacks have trouble with penetrating bomber shields.
Nerfer of EtherJets, Lightning Turrets, Parasites, Raiders, Low Automatic Progress and Deep Raids (to name the most important)

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!