• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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I got this game recently, and after looking at the various ships and watching some replays, I have a good idea of the kind of fleet I want to play with. I plan to sell some trading cards on the Steam Market in order to get the extra ship packs, but while I wait for the cooldown after putting funds in steam wallet to wear off, I figured I would ask for some pointers here.

The crux of the set is a pair of Stingrays, with shields and a pair of beamguns on each. These are meant to bum-rush enemy ships, with their speed allowing them to get inside most weapon's targeting range in short order while the shields and good armor on the prow help them shrug off what damage they do take on the way in. The Stingrays nestle in close to the enemy and get to work with their beamguns, while at the same time serving as spotters for an Overlord who hangs back and provides additional shelling. Rocket Batteries on the Overlord can quickly take out enemy weapons, allowing the Stingrays to get in with even fewer scratches and keeping them safer from enemies who try to make a move on their exposed backsides.

Here are some setups I have been contemplating. A guide I read said that the base cost of Stingrays was 500 and Overlords were 940, if that's not true my cost estimates will be a bit off. They all go over 6000 points (which means they are large fleets), but leave 1500+ points that could be used to make a fourth ship. What that fourth ship should be, I have no clue. The top one has the Overlord as a railgun-focused sniper, that picks off enemies from afar while providing rocket support. The other two put Railguns on the Stingrays, and shift the Overlord towards either Pegasi or Artillery respectively.

If you could help me determine the best setup of the three, and give some advice for changes beyond that, it would be much appreciated. Remember that the core idea is that the Stingrays are meant to charge in and get way too close to the enemy for them to reasonably fight back, while they attack with beam weapons and serve as spotters for the long-range focused Overlord who in turn picks off ships that would otherwise flank the Stingrays and destroy them.
 

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More than happy to give you some pointers. First off the stingray is a pretty good boat, with scout bridge. I would skip the beam gun all together for 2 reasons, the first is the fact that the point cost is far too much for the damage output and secondly they just don't work well at all unless you have 12 of them. If you want to run a rocket boat, consider the lowly destroyer. This boat is utterly useless as the armor is terrible making it a poor choice for front lines, however it does have 6 2x2 slots in which you can put rockets on. The point cost is on point so this is the obvious choice for a rocket boat. The overlord is not very durable so this does not make it suitable for the front lines also, it is best served for artillery or for a pegasus build. Be aware that anything put on the front 3x3 will be damaged if you look at it. One more thing about the stingray is that it does have a forward facing 3x3 making it a good choice for a rail gun or a pegasus or even a mobile arty platform. So it looks like you have a reasonable grasp of things so far, but remember you need a scout with bridge to see the furthest through the fog of war. And remember to armor everything.
 

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Toss a vision probe or two onto some of your forward ships as well. An enemy with smoke grenades will ruin your day quickly. Vision probes can see through smoke (and any other obstructions) but up to a certain range. If your Ovie is hanging in the back, his vision probes wont do much good.

Shields, imho, are very situational. You absorb 1-2 volleys and by the time it recharges, you've taken enough damage to either disable the shield, or destroy that ship. Plus they are wicked expensive.
 

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Alright, revised the fleet.

The idea with the Shields on the Stingrays in particular was that by the time the Shields have absorbed 1-2 volleys, the Stingrays are so close to their target that there's not much the target can do. However, in this version, I will do away with all shields. Will Smoke Grenades be enough to keep the Stingrays safe while they close in?

The vision probes on the Overlord were there to help keep it from being ambushed, but given how much I'm relying on positioning, a Radar system would probably serve my needs better.

finally, the Beamguns. The idea was that the Stingrays would do most of their fighting too close for any other weapons to actually work, but given how little payoff Beamguns give for the risk of exposing the Stingrays' unarmored backsides to any flanking enemy, the cost/benefit analysis of that tactic is grim if the enemy has more than one ship. So new plan: replace Beamguns with Kausers, and then instead of fighting ships up close, they get too close to one ship for that ship to hurt them and then turn their attention on the other ships that still can.

Dropping so much cost allows me to make the fleet a Medium Fleet too! I even have enough left over to field a single Shortfin with vision probes (assuming the base cost of Shortfins is 360 as I've heard).
 

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Generally, it is a choice between radar or cloak with vision being a mandatory defensive part. Vision only lasts a handful of turns and it will also defeat smoke, as mentioned, and cloak. Radar performs a different role so make sure you have atleast 1 boat equipt with vision in addition to radar or cloak. Some of the strategy you mention seems to be geared towards slower moving conflicts, but I can tell you that is not the way the game is played. Once the enemy fleet gets spotted thing really move rather quickly leaving initial strats in the bin. It becomes a position war in your face brawl, really not much stick and move going on considering the maps, except a few, are rather small and there is nowhere to really run to as most boats, even the Atlas, have enough speed to catch most other boats with exception of the Buzzer or Shortfin with lit bow, but who does that.
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