Unofficial Strategy Guide and FAQ
also covers Gold Edition
by Kasey Chang
released June 20, 2003
This section is mainly about the FAQ itself and some legalese.
You can read the most often asked FAQs at the end of this
section, or skip right to  for the "stuff".
If you like the FAQ, send me $1.00. :-) See 0.3
0.1 A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
This is a FAQ, NOT a manual. You won't learn how to play the game
with this document, and I'm NOT about to add it to ease the life
of software pirates, no matter how old the game is.
Most of the tactical combat tips and discussions will also apply
to SFC2 and SFC2:Orion Pirates. I have a similar guide for SFC2.
Some of you may recognize my name as the editor for the XCOM and
XCOM2: TFTD FAQ's, among others.
If you don't care about all these verbiage (it's mainly for
people who want to redistribute the guide) you can jump right to
the end of this section and read some of the FAQs.
If you like the FAQ, send me $1.00. :-) See 0.3
0.2 TERMS OF DISTRIBUTION
This document is copyrighted by Kuo-Sheng "Kasey" Chang (c) 2003,
all rights reserved excepted as noted above in the disclaimer
This document is available FREE of charge subjected to the
1) This notice and author's name must accompany all copies of
this document: " Starfleet Command Unofficial Strategy Guide and
FAQ" is copyrighted (c) 2003 by Kasey K.S. Chang, all rights
reserved except as noted in the disclaimer."
2) This document must NOT be modified in any form or manner
without prior permission of the author with the following
exception: if you wish to convert this document to a different
file format or archive format, with no change to the content,
then no permission is needed.
2a) In case you can't read, that means TXT only. No banners, no
HTML borders, no cutting up into multiple pages to get you more
banner hits, and esp. no adding your site name to the site list.
3) No charge other than "reasonable" compensation should charged
for its distribution. (Free is preferred) Sale of this
information is expressly prohibited. If you see any one selling
this guide, drop me a line.
4) If you used material from this, PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE the source,
else it is plagiarism.
5) The author hereby grants all games-related web sites the right
to archive and link to this document to share among the game
fandom, provided that all above restrictions are followed.
Sidenote: The above conditions are known as a statutory contract.
If you meet them, then you are entitled to the rights I give you
in 5), i.e. archive and display this document on your website. If
you don't follow them, you did not meet the statutory contract
conditions, thus you have no right to display this document. If
you still do so, then you are infringing upon my copyright. This
section was added for any websites who don't seem to understand
0.3 VOLUNTARY COMPENSATION
Gamers who read this guide are under NO obligation to send me ANY
However, a VOLUNTARY contribution of one (1) US Dollar would be
If you choose to do so, please make your US$1.00 check or $1.00
worth of stamps to "Kuo-Sheng Chang", and send it to "2220 Turk
Blvd. #6, San Francisco, CA 94118 USA".
If you don't live in the US, please send me some local stamps. I
collect stamps too.
This USG should be available at Gamefaqs
(http://www.gamefaqs.com) and other major PC game websites (such
as gamesdomain.com, gamespot.com, etc.). I only release it to
Gamefaqs, so they would always have the latest. If you get it
from anywhere else, beware that it may NOT be the latest and
To webmasters who wish to archive this FAQ on their website,
please read the terms of distribution in section 0.2. It is quite
0.5 OTHER NOTES
There is no warranty for this unofficial strategy guide. After
all, it depends on YOU the player. All I can do is offer some
Some bits of information here are condensed, summarized and
adapted from the SFB Tactics Manual (original edition).
PLEASE let me know if there's a confusing or missing remark... If
you find a question about this game that is not covered in the
USG, e-mail it to me at the address specified later. I'll try to
answer it and include it in the next update.
The address below is spelled out phonetically so spammers can't
use spambots on it:
Yankee-Alpha-Hotel-Oscar-Oscar DOT Charlie-Oscar-Mike
To decipher this, simply read the first letter off each word
except for the numbers and the punctuation. This is "military
phonetics" or "aeronautical phonetics" in case you're wondering.
This document was produced on Microsoft Word 97, with some note
taking on a Handspring Visor with the Targus Stowaway foldable
keyboard. Some editing was done with Editpad
0.6 THE AUTHOR
I am just a game player who decided to write my own FAQs when the
ones I find don't cover what I want to see. Lots of people like
what I did, so I kept doing it.
Previously, I've written Unofficial Strategy Guides (USGs) for
XCOM, XCOM2:TFTD, Wing Commander, Wing Commander 2, Wing
Commander 3, Wing Commander 4, Privateer, Spycraft, 688(I)
Hunter/Killer. Mechwarrior 3, MW3 Expansion Pack, Mechwarrior 4,
Mechwarrior 4: Black Knight, Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed,
The Sting!, Terranova, Fallout Tactics, and a few more.
Most of them should be on http://www.gamefaqs.com, the biggest
FAQ site around.
To contact me, see 0.4 above.
0.7 DISCLAIMER/ COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
Starfleet Command, Starfleet Command Volume II: Empires at War,
Starfleet Command Volume II: Orion Pirates are trademarks of
Interplay and its strategy division, "14 Degrees East"
Starfleet Command was created by QuickSilver Software, published
by Interplay and 14 Degrees East.
Starfleet Command is partially based on Star Fleet Battles. Star
Fleet Battles is a registered trademark of Amarillo Design
Bureau. See http://www.starfleetgames.com for more details.
Starfleet Command and Star Fleet Battles are both based
on/inspired by Star Trek, which is a trademark by Paramount
Pictures. See http://gaming.startrek.com for all you want to know
about Star Trek computer and console games.
Some parts of this guide were taken from my SFC2:EAW guide. Most
of the tactics and such applies to both.
0.8 REVISION HISTORY
18-JUN-2003 Initial Release
0.9 THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can you send me SFC (or portions thereof)?
Q: Can you send me the manual (or portions thereof)?
A: That's a portion of the game.
Q: Can you tell me how to play the game?
A: Read the manual.
Q: What are the keyboard shortcuts?
A: Read the manual or look in the game options
Q: What's the latest version of SFC2?
A: V1.3 was the latest.
Q: What is the difference between SFC and SFC Gold?
A: SFC Gold adds 3 new Federation missions, 3 new Klingon
missions, 10 new Hydran missions 7 new Gorn missions, and 3 new
Romulan missions, plus various "patches".
Q: What is SFC: Neutral Zone?
A: It's a stripped-down introductory version of the game that
allows you to command a Federation cruiser (i.e. Enterprise)
against a Klingon D-7 cruiser only, and do battle against AI. It
essentially is a demo, albeit sold at a very low cost.
Q: Which race should I start first?
A: Probably the Feds. They are "average" in all areas and their
ships are a bit more survivable.
Q: How many difficulty levels are there?
A: The AI level can be set to 3 levels, captain, commodore, or
Q: What is the difference between the different eras?
A: They affect ship and weapon availability. Some ships and
weapons do not become available until later. If you start early,
you'll have to make do with the earlier versions of the ships,
which would be somewhat weaker and without those wartime refits.
Q: What is the maximum number of ships I can own?
A: You can own total of three ships.
Q: How do I beat those "elite" missions in single player
A: See section 15
Q: What do the medals screen really mean?
A: They show what special missions you've "won", in addition to
your rank (which depends on your prestige).
Q: What are some of the terms used in SFC/SFB mean?
A: See the "glossary" at 1.10
Q: I'm an SFB veteran. Why can't I make sense of SFC?
A: SFC is based on SFB, but it's NOT a direct computer
adaptation. It has its own quirks and tactics, though a lot of
the basic tactics such as Mizia, anchor, and so on still applies.
Q: But aspect ___________ of SFC does not fit rule ___________ of
A: Being "based on" does NOT mean it's a direct translation.
Q: Where's the rest of the ships?
A: Try SFC2:EAW.
Q: Where are the X-ships?
A: They are in the SFC2: Orions Pirates "standalone expansion".
Q: But those are TOS/TMP ships. Where's the TNG ships?
A: Try SFC3.
Q: Where are the cheat codes?
A: There aren't any. This is a STRATEGY game.
Q: How do I get better crew?
A: You "buy" them at the recruiting office.
Q: But I don't see any good ones available!
A: So take your "green" crew on a few missions, which will turn
them into veterans after 4-5 missions. On the other hand,
"Legendary" crew must be hired.
Q: Can I edit/create my own scenarios?
A: For SFC1, the mission API is published. However, there's no
simple "editor". You must use the API and write your own C++
program to create the missions.
Q: How do I play online?
A: In order to play the original SFC online at Gamespy Arcade,
you can download the files necessary to bring you to current
version with the proper fixes to play online at the web site
Q: Why I don't see some of the missions you listed in my SFC?
A: Two possibilities: 1) You have the regular, not the "Gold"
edition, and 2) You don't have the "SFCScripts" update. You can
download the latter from
1 Game Information: What is SFC?
SFC, or Starfleet Command, is a starship combat simulation set in
the Star Trek universe. It is an officially licensed Star Trek
1.1 BEFORE SFC, THERE WAS SFB
Star Fleet Battles was a board game that was inspired by Star
Trek. Amarillo Design Bureau (ADB) based Star Fleet Battles (SFB)
on the Franz Joseph "Star Fleet Technical Manual" (to Trekkers,
the TOS Tech Manual) where ships such as destroyers and
dreadnoughts were proposed as part of Federation Star Fleet. SFB
was VERY careful not to ever mention Star Trek or use ANY of the
Star Trek elements in its materials, as Paramount never licensed
The original SFB was published in a small "booklet" format sealed
in ziplock bags. It was first published in 1979 though it was
designed as far back as 1975. It only had the Feds, Klingons,
and Romulans. Some races were added later in expansion packs.
Then came the "Commander's Edition" in 1990. Commander's Edition
had Federation, Klingon, Tholians, Romulans, Orions, Gorns, and
Kzintis (from the animated Star Trek episode, "The Slaver
Weapon", which used the Kzintis from Larry Niven's stories). You
can find more about the Kzintis by reading the "Man-Kzin Wars"
collection in your local library or bookstore.
The final (often called "Doomsday") "Captain's edition" rules
was in 1994. All the rules are now revised properly and swore
never to be changed except for VERY good reasons. Other races
such as Lyrans and Hydrans were added, and later the ISC. There
are also a lot of minor races like Lyran Democratic Republic
(LDR), the WYN, and so on in later expansion modules.
Other expansion modules added carrier operations, PF operations,
very large ships (like battleships and battlecruisers, as well as
heavy dreadnoughts and light dreadnoughts), new terrain types
(radiation zone, heat zone, etc.), more monsters, more auxiliary
units, more conjectural units, more races, and much more.
In time, the SFB universe diverged significantly from the Star
Trek universe. In SFB, the empires continue to fight minor wars
on and off until the General War, where everybody started
fighting. The Organians are missing, off dealing with some other
threats. The General war lasted 18 years. Organians later came
back with the ISC and tried to let ISC enforce peace on
everybody, and initially the ISC were successful, until a new
invader came, the Andromedans.
To learn more about the General War and the SFB universe in
general, please read the "General War Timeline" on the SFB
(In case you wonder what about the Andromedans, here's a short
explanation, in SFB, the Andromedans launched an all-out invasion
of the galaxy right after the ISC Pacification War. They have an
advantage in that they were able to move VERY quickly from sector
to sector. They almost reduced some of the empires to only a few
systems. The galaxy united and in a series of battles, threw back
the Andromedans after discovering how the Andromedans were able
to fly so fast from sector to sector. The pre-surveyed Andromedan
satellite bases serve as special nav beacons. The galactic powers
hunted down the satellite bases, and eventually, launched an all-
out assault on the Andromedan base in the Lesser-Magellanic
Clouds (nebula), destroying it. The galaxy was forever changed,
as the Romulan Empire became a Republic. )
There was even a company or two that creates "unofficial
expansion" for SFB that adds new races in a different galaxy with
completely different combat rules. ADB themselves also published
several "alternate universe" products, including "Omega Sector"
(space beyond ISC) and "Stellar Shadows". They also published
some "minor races" (Lyran Democratic Republic, the WYN cluster,
the Jindarians, etc.) and the "simulator races" (what each
"empire" use as imaginary enemies in their training academies).
Each have at least one or two unique features, and most have a
full complement of ships, from PF's up to at least dreadnoughts.
SFB also has a strategic component called "Federation and
Empire", which is a board game that simulates the General War
complete with strategic movement, supplies, shipbuilding, fleet
battle, bases, and more. You can even generate battles to be
fought with SFB. It has its own set of expansion modules which
adds rules to deal with marine action, carrier battles, detailed
combat resolution with new special devices, more races, alternate
battles and campaigns, and so on.
SFB inspired a pen-and-paper role-playing game called "Prime
Directive", where you command "prime teams", basically special
agents that can handle ANYTHING for your empire. The game
features a "tiered" resolution system where it is possible to
completely BOTCH an operation. Otherwise it's a pretty standard
RPG in a sci-fi setting.
Later, Paramount granted ADB a conditional license that basically
says, "as long as you continue what you do now you are okay with
us." ADB has NO permission to use ANYTHING beyond what they do
now... To quote from ADB website, "We have Vulcans, but no one
Recently, a new edition of Prime Directive using the popular
GURPS RPG system (from Steve Jackson Games) was released. Also,
ADB split from their original publisher, Task Force Games.
1.2 THEN COMES INTERPLAY
When Interplay obtained the license to make computer games based
on the "original Star Trek" license, one of the ideas thrown
around was to computerize Star Fleet Battles, and make it into an
official Star Trek product. Alan Emrich (noted strategy game
designer, contributor to Sid Meier's Civilization) claim to be
the first to submit the idea to Interplay.
The result is "Starfleet Command" (SFC). It featured a full
"career" mode where the player creates a captain for one of the
major races, get a starship, go on missions, win prestige pts,
then spend the points on better crew, bigger ships, and so on.
You can also join one of several "elite" organizations within
each "empire". As a Fed, you can join "Starfleet Special Task
Force". As a Romulan, you can join the "Tal'Shiar" or the
"Tal'Priex", and so on. Membership in the elite organizations
allows you access to even more lucrative missions.
The Lyrans, Kzinti, and ISC never made it into SFC1 though. The
term 'Kzinti' was copyrighted (by Larry Niven's books) and
Interplay couldn't get a release without paying another license
fee. Tholians didn't make it in due to the complexity of their
"web" rules. Orion ships are in SFC, but you can't command one.
They are only there for you to fight against. They simply ran out
of room for ISC.
Keep in mind that SFC is a real-time game, while SFB is a turn-
based pen-and-paper board game. The differences are significant.
While SFC is based on SFB, it is NOT a direct translation.
1.3 SO WHAT IS SFC?
SFC has two parts: a campaign engine and a starship battle
simulator. In that way, it is similar to XCOM, with the
separation of GeoScape (world view of the globe) and BattleScape
(tactical isometric view) or even Fallout Tactics.
In the starship battle simulator, all of the systems on a
starship are at your command, from the sensors to the engine room
(power distribution), from the weapons to the transporters (to
beam out T-bombs or marines), from tractor beams to shuttles, and
more. The battle is on a 2D plane though the ships and other
units are fully 3D.
Surrounding the battle simulator is the campaign engine, which
works for single-player only. Some missions are "special"
missions and pre-scripted. Others are randomly generated. It is
not possible to forfeit a mission. You only get one mission at a
time, no choice at all.
As you win missions, you earn prestige points. You can then used
those points to buy supplies, repair and upgrade your ships,
purchase more ships, and so on, to be used on future missions on
the strategic level. You can spend some of those points to move
to other sectors, and/or get access to better crew. Depending on
how well you perform the missions, your empire can win or lose
control of a particular sector.
Each of the six races has its custom campaign with some randomly
generated missions and some pre-scripted missions.
In Multiplayer mode, SFC can be played in skirmish mode (fight a
single battle online) only. If you want a bigger game, you need
SFC2 or SFC2:OP
1.4 WHAT IS SFC'S STARSHIP COMBAT LIKE?
SFC combat is VERY different from other types of combat, like
land combat and naval combat. Land combat speed is quite slow
with long range weapons. Same with naval combat. Weapons are very
powerful and protection is nearly nil. If you're hit, you're
A typical weapon in SFC has effective range of 8 (80,000
kilometers), while a ship can travel 200,000 kms or more during
that weapon recharge period (speed 20). Shields protect all
ships. It will take several salvoes to defeat the shields on a
ship and actually damage the ship. Firing arcs and maneuvers are
very important. Think of it as aerial dogfights between
helicopters and you wouldn't be far off... Except these
helicopters have energy shields...
1.5 WHO MAKES SFC? HOW ABOUT EXPANSION PACKS? SEQUELS?
QuickSilver created SFC. It is published by Interplay's
"strategy" division, "14 Degrees East".
There are no expansion packs for SFC. A "Gold" edition was
released with some improvements and special scenarios.
Taldren made SFC2, and SFC2: Orion Pirates, as well as SFC3.
1.6 ORGANIZATION OF THIS GUIDE
This guide will organized in roughly THREE parts.
Part 1 is a discussion of the battle simulator in SFC, and the
various "general" tactics that would applies to several races,
not just a specific race or weapon. Things like plasma tactics,
fleet tactics, fighter tactics and so on would be here, as will
maneuvers, HET usage, and so on. That would be from 2 to 11.
Part 2 is a discussion of the campaign engine, how to play single-
player and multi-player campaign, and so on. The specific
mission walkthrus for the elite missions would also be here. That
includes sections from 12 to 16
Part 3 is a race specific discussion on the ships, tactics, and
so on, for each race, a list of their ships, which ships are
good, and so on. That includes sections from 17 to 30.
1.7 HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
This guide was not designed to be general reference, but it sort
of ended up that way.
You will eventually want to read over EVERY section in this
guide, as we discuss tactics, systems, ships, races, special
equipment, weapons, and so on. This guide covers EVERYTHING. Read
the sections that apply to you first. For example, if you are
playing the Feds, read the Fed tactics, Fed ships, read the
section on photons, drone defense, then read about the general
tactics, the discussion about your enemies. Eventually you'll
read the whole thing.
I don't cover stuff that's already in the manual. If you can't
figure out which buttons are which, you need the manual, not this
1.8 SOME SFC/SFB TERMINOLOGIES
Alpha strike -- fire EVERY weapon that is currently in arc at the
designated target. Also see "peak output". Put maximum amount of
firepower on the target. (NOTE: this does NOT always mean put the
enemy directly in front of you. Also see "firing arcs").
Anchor -- see "Gorn Anchor".
Battle pass -- move past the target off to its side, allowing
your rear/side weapons to shoot at the enemy's rear/side shields.
Also see "overrun". Usually used by Klingons due to their "wing"
phaser arcs, but can be used by any one with more side/rear
Battle run -- approach the target, shoot, then turn away to
expose rear/side weapons. Also see "overrun" and "battle pass".
Crunch Power -- see "peak output" below
Drones -- i.e. missiles, self-seeking weapons with anti-matter
warhead and small warp drives. They were called drones in SFB,
missiles in SFC. In SFC there are only 2 types: Type I, and Type
IV (which are twice as big as Type I). Each comes in 3 separate
speeds: slow (16), medium (24), and fast (32). In SFC, they are
color coded: slow is orange, medium is blue, fast is purple.
Drone control limit -- a ship can only control a certain number
of drones. If you launch more than that, the first ones were
"lost" due to the limit. Most ships can control 6 drones. The
special drone ships can control 12 ("double drone control"). Some
very large ships can have "triple drone control" (18 drones).
Drone reloads -- each ship that has drone launchers need to
determine how many reloads to carry. By default, they carry only
one set of reloads. For example, if your launcher carries 6, you
have 6 more in storage, and that's it. It is best to upgrade to 4
set of reloads ASAP. However, additional reloads beyond the "slow
speed" cost prestige points.
Erratic Maneuvers (EM) -- sudden random movements, makes your
ship harder to hit but move a bit slower and makes your weapons
less accurate as well.
EW / ECM / ECCM -- EW is electronic warfare, which is comprised
of ECM (electronic counter-measures, better known as "jamming")
and ECCM (electronic counter-countermeasures, known as anti-
Firing arcs -- where the weapon can shoot at. Most weapons have
limited firing arcs. Thus, it is up to you, the captain, to
position your ship properly so you can shoot the weapons at the
enemy properly (at his weakened or downed shield, preferably).
Gorn Anchor -- holding the enemy ship with a tractor beam and
shoot your seeking weapons at it. This prevents the enemy from
launching a wild weasel (sensor decoy), thus impossible for
seeking weapons, such as plasma and drones, to miss. Of course,
you need to get to point-blank to do it...
Hit-and-Run Raid (H&R) -- raid on specific enemy systems
conducted by your marines/boarding parties. If they succeed, the
system they attack is destroyed. You'll need to drop a facing
shield to do it though, and enemy must have a facing shield down
Hold Cost -- the amount of energy needed to "hold" the weapon,
ready to fire, AFTER the weapon has been charged.
Housekeeping costs -- usually refers to the minimum amount of
power to keep the ship running. Costs like the 2 pts to raise
shields to full level, charge transporters and tractors, and so
on are considered "housekpeeing" costs. Also see "power curve".
Internals -- short for "internal damage", amount of damage that
penetrated the shields. Example: "That salvo did 25 internals."
Klingon Saber Dance -- a tactic favored by Klingons. Basically,
it maneuvers staying just out of overload range to "wear down"
the opponent, who lacks the speed to get into overload range.
Statistically the disruptors have a better to-hit percentage than
other weapons at range 12-15. The superior maneuverability of the
Klingon ships and extended firing arcs facilitates that.
Missiles -- see "drones" above
Mizia Concept -- introduced by Walter Mizia, it is an SFB concept
that a multiple smaller volleys is preferred to a single large
volley of damage. Statistically in SFB, a single large volley
tends to kill power but leave weapons, while multiple smaller
volleys kill weapons but leave power. SFC has inherited same
damage allocation routine and thus the same analysis applies.
Thus, the "multiple small volleys of attack" is also known as
Overrun -- pass right OVER the enemy ship, thus giving you the
opportunity to do point-blank shots, rear weapon shots, mines,
H&R raids, and so on. Also see "battle pass" and "battle turn".
Peak output -- better known as "crunch power", the theoretical
maximum damage that can be done in one alpha strike from a ship
in a single salvo. A Federation ship, for example, would have
higher peak output due to photon torpedoes doing twice the damage
as the disruptors. Seeking weapon shooters have even higher peak
output. Usually used like "a Federation ship has higher crunch
power than a Klingon ship."
Point-defense -- the final defense that deals with point-blank
threats, such as drones, suicide shuttles, fighters, and so on.
Usually phasers, but could also be tractor beams and so on.
Power Curve -- a measure of how much power a ship has vs. how
much power it needs to arm all weapons at regular and/or overload
levels AND pay housekeeping costs. The "higher" the power curve,
the faster you can go while arming all weapons. Ships with fast-
firing low-damage weapons (such as disruptor) have a "flat"
curve, while plasma-torpedo ships have a pretty uneven power
Scatter-pack -- a shuttle packed full of missiles (just 6) so you
can get a lot of missiles in flight all at once instead of
relying on the launcher to pump them out one at a time. There is
a delay between scatter-pack launch and the scatter-pack "pop",
so you have to protect it or drop it out of enemy's weapons range
(or maybe sure enemy has no weapons left to shoot it). In SFC,
scatter packs use SLOW missiles.
Sensor Decoy -- see Wild Weasel
Shock -- when internal damage is received, one or more systems
may be 'shocked' into being temporarily disabled. A "shocked"
system will come back online after a period of time without being
repaired, but in the meanwhile you have to do without the system.
Those systems show yellow. You can force them back online by
repairing them but that uses up one of your spare parts.
Sicilian Knife Fight -- a low-speed short-range battle with a lot
of overloaded weapons and reinforced shields.
T-Bomb -- short for transporter bomb, a small mine you can place
via transporter in the path of the enemy. You need to drop a
shield to transport a mine. You can also "drop mine" out of the
rear hatch of the shuttle bay. That does not require dropping a
Tractor beam -- a force beam that can push or pull other objects
as needed. You can use it to 1) keep other objects away from you,
or 2) hold the other object there (so it can't get away).
Underrun -- overrun done by a cloaked unit. Also see "overrun".
Wild Weasel -- i.e. sensor decoy, a shuttle packed with
electronic gear that simulates your ship. It can deceive seeking
weapons such as drones and plasma torpedoes. However, it can be
"voided" if you go too fast, fired weapons, or so on. If you
launched a weasel and then voided it, the seeking weapons turn
back and come after you again. Weasel also generates 3 pts of
ECM, which can help you dodge things.
1.9 RANGE TERMS
Point-blank -- range zero or one, hit probability is 100%... You
Knife-fighting range -- range two or so, very slow maneuvering
Drone-defense range -- roughly range two or three, where your
ADD/AMD and point-defense phasers/tractors work best
Overload range -- range 8 or less, where overloads can be used
Medium range -- range 8 to roughly range 15-20, reduced
probability of hit
Long range -- starts from end of medium to about range 30, or the
maximum range of the weapon.
Extreme range -- starts from when sensor contact is possible
(about 100) to end of long range.
2 Power, and what it affects
Before we explain the tactics, weapons, etc., we need to explain
HOW the ships actually produce the energy and move around, and
where all the energy would go.
2.1 POWER SOURCES
A ship has several sources of power: the warp engines, the
impulse engines, the auxiliary power reactors, and the auxiliary
warp reactors. Some ships also have "batteries" which can store
energy for later use, giving you a short-burst of extra power.
You don't really need to know all this though. Just remember that
a ship needs a LOT of power to move at "full speed", which is
"31". In fact, few ships would have much power in surplus while
moving at speed 31.
A typical heavy cruiser has 34-40 pts of power, as a basis for
comparisons. The power is used in movement, EW, weapons, shields,
and other ship systems.
There is never enough, so consider how are you going to use it.
The term "power curve" is sometimes used to describe how much
difference in power consumption the ship has between charging
weapons and holding weapons. For example, a disruptor-armed ship,
which fires and recharges quickly, has a relatively "smooth"
power curve. Compare that to a photon-armed ship, which takes
twice as long to charge, takes twice as much power overall. So
the power curve would be lower during recharge phase and higher
during "hold" phase, and thus this is not smooth at all.
2.2 MOVEMENT COST
A ship has mass, and power must be applied to move it. The
"movement cost" is a ratio of how much power does a ship need to
move at a certain speed.
A typical heavy cruiser has movement cost of 1. To move at speed
30, a cruiser would need 30 pts of power. Smaller ships have
lower movement costs; larger ships have higher movement costs.
A ship can generate maximum speed of 31, even if it has more
power available. Special movements like HET and Erratic Maneuvers
(EM) use some movement energy. You can have full energy applied
to movement and still not get full speed if you are using either
an HET or EM. HET and EM are explained in 3.1.
Here's the movement cost list:
FF (frigate) -- 0.33
DD (destroyer) -- 0.5
CL (light cruiser) -- 0.66 or 0.75
CA (cruiser) -- 1
DN (dreadnought) -- 1.5
BB (battleship) -- 2.0
This chart does NOT fully agree with the "movement cost" shown in
the ship gallery. This is based on SFB.
As mentioned before, a typical cruiser has 34-40 pts of power. 31
of that are needed to move the ship at top speed, which leaves
very few left for the rest. If you need power to arm weapons,
tractors, shields, and so on, you need to take it away from
Gives a totally new meaning to "speed is life", doesn't it?
The term "battle speed" is sometimes used as a measure of how
fast the ship can travel while charging all weapons. For a ship
that needs a lot of power (like Feds with their photons, or Gorns
with their plasma), they will be forced to slow significantly
while charging weapons.
2.3 ELECTRONIC WARFARE (EW)
One of the places you can use power is electronic warfare, namely
ECM and ECCM. They are more efficient than reinforcing shields in
Maximum power you can use in EW is 6 pts of power. That is ECM
and ECCM together.
At medium to long ranges, ECM can be more efficient in reducing
damage than shield reinforcement.
EW is explained more in 4.2
There are basically three classes of weapons: phasers, direct-
fire heavy weapon, and seeking heavy weapon.
Phasers are simple enough to charge with energy... Each Ph-1
takes 1 pt, Ph-2 takes 1 pt, Ph-3 takes 0.5 pt, and Ph-G takes 1
Heavy weapons can be normal load or overload. Overload cost
double the power but produced a more powerful shot (usually 50%
more damage) with limited range (8 max). Some weapons can have
other special modes. Please see individual weapon explanations in
5 for full discussions.
Once loaded, the weapon needs to pay a "hold" energy charge per
weapon until fired. When you shoot, then the weapons are charged
Seeking heavy weapon need charging also, (except drones) with a
longer charging period in general. Once charged, seeking weapon
also pay a "hold" cost.
Shields need power to full strength. If you have excess power,
you can use that to reinforce one or more of the shields against
A downed shield cannot be reinforced.
Shield damage during battle is repaired automatically, but that
Shields only works at "minimum" level in a nebula, and cannot be
2.6 OTHER SHIP SYSTEMS
A ton of other systems can use power, such as tractor beams,
transporters, suicide shuttles, and so on. Those uses are usually
pretty small so just beware that they do use power when needed.
2.7 LEARN YOUR POWER CURVE
There are many demands for power, but the source is limited. The
proper management of your available power is the key to success
Learn your power curve, which refers to how fast can your ship
move after all the "housekeeping" is done (raise shields, and
such) and arm all weapons, and perhaps overload.
As an experiment, take a Fed CA. Go to Red Alert and try to set
maximum speed, regular photons. How fast CAN you go? Now change
to OVERLOAD. How fast can you go? How about AFTER the torpedo is
charged? Try the same with a Klingon D-7. See the difference?
A Fed CA has the photons, which cost more energy to charge. Fed
ship will be slower in general due to those charging periods.
Thus the Feds need to make their torpedoes count.
A Klingon D-7, with fast-firing disruptors, has a relatively
"flat" power curve that doesn't vary by much. Thus D-7 can
maintain a higher speed overall, and exploit that higher speed.
Each ship has a different power curve. Find it, and use it to
You can also alter the ship's powercurve but NOT arming all of
its weapons. There's no requirement that you must use all four
disruptors on the cruiser...
3 Ship Controls
This will serve as a quick review of all the systems in SFC2.
You should run through all the tutorial missions AND read through
the manual before you start reading this section. This is an
overview, not a full explanation.
A good captain uses ALL tools at his/her disposal. Those captains
that can use ALL of his/her tools most efficiently will defeat
the captains that do NOT use tools as efficiently or only use
some of the tools.
I'll go down the list of the commands given in the "officer
This is a quick overview of all the helm commands and what is it
3.1.1 Emergency Deceleration
Or in plain terms, "emergency brakes". It is usually shortened to
EmerDecel immediately slams your ship to speed 0. It will be at
least 8 seconds (at default speed 7) before you can move again.
EmerDecel also has the effect of increasing your forward shields
by a few points, depending on your speed before you come to be a
full stop. The higher your speed was, the most shield bonus you
EmerDecel have several tactical uses. In general it is to stop
approaching something. For example, if you suddenly realized
you're heading directly at a planet and you're moving too fast to
turn away, you can do EmerDecel, which would give you a chance to
If you combine EmerDecel with a tractor beam, you can slow down
an enemy ship so other ships (or missiles, or torpedoes) can
catch up to it. Slap the tractor beam on the enemy, then hit
emergency stop. The other ship will then "drag" you along, thus
slowing it down (how much depends on your size and his size).
EmerDecel, combined with a wild weasel (sensor decoy), becomes a
defensive maneuver against seeking weapons. As wild weasel cannot
be launched at speeds greater than 4, the quickest way to slow
down is with EmerDecel.
If you launch a wild weasel from your ship, your ship
automatically performs EmerDecel.
3.1.2 Erratic Maneuvers
Erratic maneuvers, usually shortened to EM, is basically small
random changes in course that makes you harder to hit.
EM reduces your overall speed, but generates several pts of ECM
in addition to what you can produce internally. However, it also
makes your weapons less accurate as well. You also cannot launch
seeking weapons while under EM. So you will need to stop EM
before you attack.
EM is basically a defensive maneuver. Smaller units or slower
units can use it to avoid taking hits at long-range, then unleash
weapons when the range is closer and they can be sure of doing
some damage before being destroyed.
Races that use plasma torpedoes can use EM to help them avoid
enemy counter-fire when they have fired off their torpedoes and
are in the process of recharging. Or you can turn on EM to
confuse the enemy, to make them think you're recharging when you
really are not.
3.1.3 High-Energy Turn
Better known as HET, this allows your ship to ignore the "turn
mode" for a split second and make a turn in any direction. Thus
it is sometimes called a "snap turn". It is also sometimes called
"warp turn" as it basically generates a small warp field, thus
reducing the mass and allows the ship to freely rotate. On the
helm panel, some preset angles have been created for you (left,
right, hard left, hard right, 180) or use the free-angle control.
The problem with HET is you are NOT guaranteed to always succeed.
. You can see your "HET success chance" as a percentage on the
helm panel. In general, the smaller the ship, the better your
chance of success.
If you failed to perform an HET, you'll suffer random damage and
you will temporarily lose control of your ship in the "HET
breakdown". The crew will pull themselves off the floor in a
while, but your ship is vulnerable in the meanwhile.
There is a delay of many seconds when you issue the command and
when the HET was actually performed. That was delay for the warp
field to "charge up". The period is roughly 1.5 seconds. This
makes timing the HET maneuver very difficult.
HET can be used both offensively and defensively. Offensively, it
can be used to bring the weapons on the other side of the ship to
bear. Defensively, it can be used to snap a new shield into place
to counter enemy fire.
See maneuvers section  for more discussions on HET maneuvers.
3.1.4 Intercept / Orbit Target
Intercept basically means you're pointing the ship directly at
the target, right down the centerline. It is sometimes referred
to as "follow target".
Orbit target means you're pointing slightly off to the left of
the target. When you get close to the target you'll go into a
clockwise orbit around the target. You can increase speed though
and the computer will do its best to orbit.
Giving any other helm order (like click on the map to indicate a
turn) will cancel any existing follow or orbit command.
While intercept is good to keep the enemy in your sights, it does
not do "lead" or "lag" pursuit (i.e. no aiming at where the enemy
would go or try to fall behind). It only does "pure" pursuit,
which inevitably turns into a "lag" pursuit. If you want to
intercept in least amount of time, aim the ship yourself at the
intercept point yourself.
Intercept can be useful to keep your front-shield to the enemy
(subject to how close the enemy ship comes).
Orbit is pretty useless unless you're dealing with an extremely
slow or immobile target like planet, base, and so on. You can
intercept the ship a lot better by plotting your own course using
the tactical map.
Both can work on a "non-target". Just target the ship you wish to
follow or orbit, select the command, then target another ship.
Your ship will still follow the first ship while you can target
the second ship for shots. If you want to follow other friendlies
into battle, target one of them for intercept, match their speed,
and you can start targeting enemy ships.
There are two things you can repair: engine power, and ship
systems. Each repair attempt uses one of your "spare parts". A
big ship can have quite a few spare parts (12 or more).
Shields are repaired automatically as time goes by.
Engine is repaired automatically as time goes by. However, you
can expedite the repairs by using up one of your "spare parts".
Engine power can and should be repaired if your ship's power
falls below the normal/undamaged levels. As for how much that is,
you should check your power graph (at the bottom of the screen)
when the scenario starts. If the number falls lower after damage,
engine repair should be done.
Individual ship systems can be repaired as well. Usually, that
means weapons systems, though shuttle, transporter, tractor, and
sensors can also be hit.
Tractors and transporters are generally not worth repairing in
battle as you usually have several of those so losing one is not
a big deal. If you have only one, then you may want to think
about repairing it, and then only if you plan to use it later. On
the other hand, tractors are used in drone defense, so this can
Drone launchers are probably not worth repairing, as the drones
are usually destroyed with the launcher. If you have reloads,
then repairs may be worth it. If you have virtually no reloads
left, spent your spare parts on something more productive.
Other heavy weapons should be repaired immediately, as they can
be put back to use immediately.
Phasers should be repaired ASAP as they have multiple uses.
Though if you have a lot of Ph-3's damaged you may want to hold
off on those and repair more important weapons first.
Remember to repair while outside the mission. You will need to
pay a few prestige points for the repairs.
Hull integrity cannot be repaired in battle. It can only be
repaired outside a battle.
Not too many commands here, except probe, deep scan, and self-
The probes have two modes: normal, and weapon.
The probes don't do much damage if you arm them as weapons. Only
use in desperate situations. By then, you may not have enough
power to arm them any way.
If you fire them normally at a ship or planet or whatever, you
can pick up details about them earlier. This can be useful as you
can tell how they are armed, what class they are, and such info
long before they actually come into sensor range. You can even
tell how have they armed their weapons. This gives you hints on
how to approach them.
Probes can be surprisingly useful against plasma users, as it
reveals their torpedo arming state. Shoot one at them right after
they launch torpedoes at you. If you see some tubes have been
discharged, you know those torpedoes are real. If you see full
tubes, those chasing you are pseudo-torps and you can turn off
the point-defense to save the phasers.
3.3.2 Deep Scan
Deep scan is needed to finish some missions. You may need to scan
enemy ships or planets, and/or other objects.
You can "charge" the deep scan ahead of time then when you get
into range the target will be scanned. The deep scan "charge"
stays charged until you turn it off so you can scan multiple
targets. However, deep scan uses a lot of power while it's turned
Deep scan must be performed at less than range 30, sometimes
within range 15. On the other hand, sometimes the range limit is
waived in certain scenarios.
Self-destruct is obvious. There's a count down before the ship
actually goes up, so it's best to anticipate the enemy's final
approach, and make sure you don't blow up before then. Slap a
tractor beam on the enemy can be good as well.
There are two modes in security: hit-and-run, or capture.
3.4.1 Hit and Run raids
Hit-and-run raids (usually abbreviated H&R) are basically marine
boarding parties with demolition charges. They will try to damage
the enemy ship system you target. It is a one-way trip for them.
When you get close enough to the enemy ship (range 15 or less)
you can see detailed display of the enemy ship's systems. Click
on the systems you want to hit and they will be attacked in
sequence subject to available transporters and boarding parties.
To remove an item from the attack queue, click on it.
The more marines enemy ship has, the less likely your H&R will
succeed. Raiding an enemy commando ship would be pretty dumb.
As a shield must be dropped to transport, you should immediately
start a turn to avoid the enemy pounding your down shield.
Remember that H&R raids are "automatic". You can't control when
will the shield be dropped. As soon as the enemy is in range, you
have available transporter and targets are in the queue, and you
have marines, your shield goes down and the raid is gone. If you
don't want to drop shields, don't use H&R!
H&R raid is quite powerful. The AI controlled ships don't use H&R
much (except at higher AI levels).
In general, it is better to target systems like phasers,
shuttles, tractors, etc. instead of heavy-weapons and such. Those
have more impact later in the scenario as most people tend to
Monsters cannot be boarded.
In capture mode, you basically beam over a bunch of marines in
hopes of taking over the enemy ship.
To best accomplish this, you need multiple ships, or a ship with
a LOT of transporters.
You beat down the enemy-facing shield, then beam over your
marines. Your other ships will also hit the enemy ship and beam
over their marines. You need two or three ships each with at
least 4 transporters to best capture enemy ships. You need to
beam over at least what the enemy ship has in "one pass" to be
able to hold the ship.
For example, let's say the enemy ship has 10 boarding parties
defending. You beam over 4 (that's all the transporters you
have). By the time your transporters cycle back, that 4 would be
down to 1, and they may or may not have caused even 1 casualty.
So now, you're left with 9 vs. 1. If you have like 20+ boarding
parties, you can eventually beam over enough, but you end up
wasting a lot of boarding parties if you beam them over piece-
meal. That's why you need multiple ships to do captures... A lot
transporters and marines to beam over.
Stop beaming over marines when you enjoy a 5-15% superiority
(say, 7 to 6 in your favor). Any boarding parties you use must be
replaced (which costs prestige pts), and there's no reason to
beam over more when you know you'll win. You'll just win faster,
and those extras you beamed over must be replaced. . Set your
ships to other modes and pick a different target.
Small units like shuttles and fighters, and so on cannot be
You don't need to send everybody. Just click on a SINGLE marine
icon to beam that guy over, or to send the max amount, click on
"all marines" button.
Some ships or platforms self-destruct when boarded/captured.
Monsters cannot be boarded.
The weapons panel is used to assign weapon groups, but you can
also assign weapon groups directly by using the ship system
display with hotkeys, so this panel is not that useful. This can
be good for quick adjustments of weapons groups though.
With 4 weapons groups to use, and a "choose all" ("red alert"
command), I suggest organizing your weapon groups this way:
1) Attack phaser group, 50-75% of your ph-1s or ph-2s, usually
front arcs. Used in attacks.
2) Defense phaser group, all your ph-3s or ph-Gs, maybe some of
your ph-1s with 360 arcs, mostly rear arcs. Used in point-
3) Heavy weapons group
4) Any auxiliary weapons (drones, ESG, etc.)
Assign the groups as YOU see fit. You can change group settings
here or use the hotkeys directly, so change them when you need
You can also use weapons panel to switch between regular and
"disable" (i.e. minimize enemy casualties). However, no one uses
non-violent combat any way, so you can safely ignore that.
This panel is virtually useless tactically except in special
Some special missions may allow you to control certain other
units by issuing commands here. You need to target the specific
ship and select the proper commands.
You may also be able to hail other ships from here in certain
If you need to remember certain units, consider using those
"assign units to group" hotkeys so you can access them quickly.
You can use this panel to hit EmerDecel, turn on/off point-
defense mode, turn on/off point-defense tractors, and get status
of sensor decoy (wild weasel) shuttles (and launch if you got
EmerDecel is discussed in the Helm section.
Point-defense allows the ship to automatically fire bearing
phaser(s) on approaching plasma torpedo or drones. In general,
you would want to leave point-defense on.
Defense tractors setting allows you to set the number of tractors
beams you got to point-defense (i.e. hold the drones from hitting
you.) Study the enemy ships and see how many drones you will see.
Set the number of tractors to defense accordingly. Each tractor
you set takes up one point of power.
Wild weasels are discussed in (4.5).
3.8 TACTICAL MAP
In general, it's best to set lowest zoom (widest view), and zoom
in when needed. You can see the heading of the individual ships
(in 45 degree increments). The contacts are also color-coded with
each race a unique color.
You can issue movement orders on the tactical map by left-click
on the tactical map.
3.9 FLEET CONTROL
See your manual for fleet control explanations, about the
"postures" (extremely aggressive, aggressive, and passive) and
the different orders (attack, capture, disable, go to, defend,
3.10 ENERGY MANAGEMENT
See your manual for explanations. Allocation priority cannot be
changed in SFC.
Look at this panel to make sure your energy is being used
properly. If you have "excess" energy, they should be used
somewhere (like more speed!)
See your manual for preferences panel explanations.
4 Ship Systems
These systems are a part of the ship that can be used in various
ways that does not directly affect combat, but are important in
Shields protect your ship from being actually hit (duh!). There
are six of them, covering the "hex" around the ship. The "front"
shield is #1, go clockwise. So rear shield is #4.
You can raise shields in multiple stages: down, minimal, and up.
You can reinforce any or all of the shields with any excess
energy you got. Each pt you use in reinforcement on a specific
shield will cancel one pt of damage applied to that shield.
(Exception: you cannot reinforce shields in a nebula)
For example, let's say you have a 35 pt front shield. You have 2
pts of reinforcement. Enemy fires phaser and scores 8 pts of
damage. Actual damage to your front shield is 6, as 2 were
covered by the reinforcement. Your front shield is now at 29.
However, you cannot read the EXACT strength of any particular
shield. You can read the "original" strength from the ship
descriptions. You can estimate the strength from the shield
colors, which are approximately as follows: 40+ = white, 30-39 =
green, 20-29=yellow, 10-19=red, 0-9=dim red
A facing shield will be automatically dropped for special
transporter activity such as T-Bomb, Hit-and-Run raids, beam-
in/out, and so on.
If you are in a nebula, your shields only operate at "minimal"
level (5 each).
4.2 SENSORS (ECM/ECCM)
You can jam enemy sensors by sending some power to ECM
(electronic countermeasures). You can counteract enemy jamming by
sending power to ECCM (electronic counter-countermeasures). This
together is known as EW (electronic warfare).
Maximum amount of power you can dedicate to EW is 6 pts total.
You can distribute this between ECM and ECCM as you see fit.
ECM creates a "defensive shift". The number is the "square" of
the power you put in. So if you put in 1 pt, defensive shift is
1. If you put in 4 pts, defensive shift is 2.
An active wild weasel (sensor decoy) produces ECM as well (until
it is destroyed).
ECCM creates "offensive shift" the same way.
Enemy can use ECCM to counter your ECM, just as you can use ECCM
to counter his ECM.
The "net" shift (defensive-offensive) is then used to calculate
reduced damage from weapon hits.
Some natural terrain like nebula and so on can produce natural
ECM or ECCM that affects everybody.
Transporters send things out or bring things in. Transporters
have short range (5.99) so you need to be very close.
Transporters can bring up certain items from planets and ships,
or even empty space. It can also send certain items to planets
and ships. In a lot of the special scenarios, this is the only
way you can solve the problem: get to the place, beam up things,
beam down things, and get away.
Transporter bombs are small mines that you can "beam" out into
space, hopefully right into the path of enemy ships. (You can
also drop such bombs out the rear hatch, but that's a different
use altogether). See your command reference on how to designate T-
bomb targets. Also see 5.10 for more information on mines in
In general, the AI ships under your control seem to be very good
at placing T-bombs. Usually they place it so the enemy ship runs
right over it with no chance to dodge, and they can do this
several bombs in a row.
Transporters can also be used to conduct hit-and-run raids. See
Transporters can also be used to capture enemy ships or bases or
planets. See 3.4.2.
Short for tractor beams, these are the force beam emitters that
can exert both push and pull forces.
Tractor beam has a very short range, at 2.49.
Tractor beam can be set to either pull or repel. (There is
actually a third mode "point-defense" but that's set in the
defense panel.) Tractor beams can be charged to six different
force levels. The higher the level, the longer it takes to
"charge", but the more likely it'll hold an enemy ship for a
longer period (until he charges his own tractor to repel, see
Tractor beams can keep annoying things from you (things like
drones) in point-defense mode, but that's in the defense panel,
not tractor panel.
Tractors can keep stuff close to you (like enemy ships) in "pull"
Tractors can also keep other ships from tractoring you when set
to "repel" mode. While in repel mode, the tractor will repel all
attempts to tractor up to the force strength it is set to. For
example, if you have your tractor set to repel at strength 3,
enemy tractors set to strength 2 will not be able to tractor you,
but enemy tractors set to strength 4 can.
One of the most satisfying ways to kill another ship is to
tractor it and force it into an asteroid or planet. However, DO
NOT do this to human-commanded ships while online. It is VERY
rude and is considered VERY BAD MANNERS. Same goes for tractoring
the human-commanded ship and pushing him off the map.
Tractor beam does NOT work on shuttles. (They used to, but turns
out it was too powerful, so it was dropped.)
You can only tractor ONE object at a time, even if you have
multiple tractor beam emitters onboard (for the exact number, see
your "defense" panel). The others are usually turned on for
defense against enemy missiles/drones.
Each tractor that is turned on for drone defense uses one pt of
energy. Thus, only arm enough to defend yourself.
Shuttle panel controls the shuttle bay. A ship can have several
shuttles in a shuttle bay: wild weasels (sensor decoy), scatter
pack, suicide shuttle, or the regular admin shuttle. The regular
admin shuttle will shoot its ph-3 like a fighter while trying to
follow you around.
You can launch fighters the same way. The difference is the
entire squadron (2-6 fighters) is launched together as if it's a
single ship. Each squadron also behaves like a single ship (they
fly together and shoot together).
Most ships have only a limited amount of shuttles. The specially
configured shuttles must be "preset" before the mission starts.
4.5.1 Wild Weasel (Sensor Decoy)
Wild weasel is a decoy that attracts seeking weapons such as
drones and plasma torpedoes. It is created from a shuttle (must
be one of yours) and it only distracts seeking weapons that are
A functioning weasel can be "voided" if you do any of the
* Exceeding a speed of 4.
* Activating fire control (firing weapons).
* Operating transporters.
* Launching a probe.
* The launching ship exceeds range of 35 from the WW.
You can only launch a weasel from speed or 4 or less. If you are
moving faster and try to launch a wild weasel, you will
automatically EmerDecel (to speed 0).
You cannot launch a weasel if you are being tractored. (This is
the foundation of the "anchor" tactic, see 8.5.1)
In general, it is NOT a good idea to use a weasel unless you have
NO hope of survival otherwise. Using a weasel slows you down and
the enemy can do all sorts of things to you before you can shoot
again. After all, you don't know if that enemy torpedo coming at
you is a real one or a pseudo, and if you launch a weasel, you'll
never know. He may still have that torpedo charged and ready to
In SFC, you need to pre-purchase the sensor decoy and have it
loaded into your shuttle bay (along with other special types like
admin, scatter pack, or suicide shuttle).
4.5.2 Scatter Pack
A scatter pack is basically a shuttle packed with multiple
missiles/drones on a delay-launch profile. Usually, that means
six missiles, often SLOW speed.
When launched, the shuttle points at the enemy and when the
sensor stabilizes, it dumps its payload into space. This
temporarily increases the launch rate of any drone-using ship at
the expense of a shuttle.
As a con, the scatter pack itself can be shot down if done early
enough. Then you've wasted all that time used to arm it, the
shuttle, AND the drones.
The scatter pack also saturates the control limit of a ship.
4.5.3 Suicide Shuttle
A very slow seeking weapon with a powerful punch, a suicide
shuttle is just that... a shuttle with autopilot and an
antimatter warhead onboard. It can only be used on VERY slow (or
nearly dead) enemies. It can be easily shot down by the puniest
In general, SS is not that useful. If you are out of other
weapons, SS may be considered as a last resort.
SS can be used as a follow-up attack, after the enemy has
expended their weapons (on you or other targets), or it can be
launched as a part of "everything and the kitchen sink" attack.
SS is often ignored or forgotten. Don't. It's firepower that can
and should be used.
4.5.4 Regular (admin)
A regular admin shuttle can be launched and be kept nearby for
defense. You can give it orders just like a fighter, except it is
very slow and has just a single ph-3. Still, every weapon counts.
Fighters in general refer to fighter-shuttles, a better-armed
shuttle with more and heavier weapons.
A fighter-shuttle squadron is launched like a single admin
shuttle, but it is actually multiple fighters. The squadron flies
together and shoots together. Each squadron has a single
"fighter" icon in the shuttle bay.
There are actually 4 classes of fighters: patrol, intercept,
heavy, and assault, but that just affects their damage capacity
(each) and their weapons load.
While these are the primary ways you do damage from a starship,
they are NOT the only way. (Don't forget the probe in weapon
mode, hit-and-run raid, and so on.)
In general, the weapons that can be overloaded cost 100% more
energy to load, cause 50% more damage, and have a max range of 8.
Knowing how a weapon affects your power curve can be very useful.
[Previously reported tip about FASTLOAD was a bug that has been
since fixed. In case you want to know... Weapons that can be
overloaded can be set to overload. When half-loaded, switch back
to normal load, and your weapon is ready to fire in half the
time. Does NOT always work. ]
Phaser, the directed energy weapon, is the most popular weapon.
Everybody use phasers, including some monsters.
There are five types of phasers: ph-1, ph-2, ph-3, ph-4, and ph-G
Ph-1 is the most energy-efficient direct-fire weapon. It causes
the MOST damage per pt of energy allocated. Effective range is
Ph-2 is considered the poor cousin of ph-1, as it has same energy
use, but less range and damage. Effective range is about 4.
Ph-3 is a defensive weapon only, with effective range of 1.
However, a pair of these (same power use as ph-1) do more damage
than ph-1 at point-blank range.
Ph-4's can only be mounted on a base, though some monsters may
have equivalent weapons. Effective range is 10-15, which is quite
far. They do a lot of damage up close. That's why base assault
takes a LOT of patience (unless you're fighting an Orion base,
which does NOT have ph-4's)
Only Hydrans and Federation use ph-Gs. Hydrans have it on every
ship while Feds have it on certain special escort ships. Ph-G
takes same energy as ph-1, but fires FOUR TIMES with beam
strength similar to ph-3. This means it delivers a lot more
Phasers cannot be overloaded.
You should split your phasers in 2 groups and do NOT fire all
phasers at alpha strike. Keeping some unfired phasers is a very
good idea to deal with any emergencies, like a scatter-pack you
didn't notice, and so on.
Scan his ship (use a probe if necessary) and calculate how many
phasers should you reserve for point-defense. If they don't use
seeking weapons (Lyrans, for example) there may still the suicide
Your ship will automatically perform point-defense (like mini-
Aegis) once enabled (by default) so just leave some phasers
(preferably 360 or rear arc) and the computer will shoot them for
Hellbore is a Hydran heavy weapon for long-range engagements.
Some monsters may use a similar weapon. Hellbore is a direct-fire
weapon that acts in an indirect way.
When a hellbore hits, it envelops all six shields of the target
and damages the weakest shield. If one of shields on the target
is down, the hellbore will cause "internals".
If hellbore's flight path intersects an ESG, it ALWAYS hits the
Hellbore can be overloaded.
5.3 FUSION BEAM
Fusion beam is the "other" Hydran heavy weapon. This one is
designed for close-range combat. It is a "normal" direct-fire
Fusion beam can be regular loaded, overloaded, or suicide
Overloaded fusion beam cause 50% more damage than regular and
cost twice the energy to load.
Suicide overloaded fusion beam cause 100% more damage than
regular, cost 3 times the energy to load, AND burns out the
firing weapon (it can be repaired, of course).
Fusion beam should ALWAYS be overloaded as it doesn't do that
much damage beyond overload range any way. Charge in, reinforce
forward shield, then blast the enemy to pieces.
Suicide overload should be used if you need to bring a QUICK end
to the battle. If you are at point-blank range, slow (i.e. plenty
of power), then by all means go for it.
Expanding Sphere Generator is a Lyran heavy weapon, which can be
used as ramming and drone defense.
Basically, it generates a "solid" forcefield around the
projecting ship at a variable radius. The smaller the radius, the
more powerful the field, but the less area it covers.
If the projecting ship can maneuver so the field hits another
ship, that ship's facing shields will be damaged. If you overlap
multiple fields, you can beat down the facing shield completely.
Then the rest of your weapons will find down shield to exploit.
The field is also murderous on fighters, shuttles, and drones
that come close to the ship.
However, the field has a very limited range. More maneuverable
units can avoid the field completely. The field also does not
affect energy-based weapons such as plasma torpedoes.
ESG cannot be overloaded.
ESG is very useful against cloaked ships, as ESG just "sweeps" a
section of space.
The problem is, of course, you have to get close. You can set
different radius of the field, but again, the larger the radius,
the weaker the field.
Disruptor is a very standard direct-fire heavy weapon used by
Klingons, Lyrans, and Mirak. Some monsters also use disruptor
Disruptor takes half the time of photons to load, takes half the
energy overall, causes half the damage. It has low "crunch
power", so you'll need to fire more shots at the same shield to
do the same amount of damage, making it a "finesse" weapon.
Disruptors generally have better weapon arcs than other weapons.
Look at your ship carefully and note your firing arcs, and
Most disruptor-using races have secondary weapons. Klingons and
Miraks have drones, while Lyrans have ESG. Use them.
Disruptors generally have good range unless you're in one of
those small disruptor-armed units with those weak disruptor-1's.
If you can shoot enemy at long range, do so. By the time you
close range you've already recharged.
As overload disruptors still don't do much damage, you must be
careful on when to employ it. Consider using oblique pass to
reach JUST inside range 8 to shoot, then get out of range again.
If he withholds his shots, you won't be damaged. If he fires any
way, he'll hit a non-critical rear-side shield.
Maneuver with disruptors means looking one turn ahead. You want
to be in position to deliver your NEXT attack when your weapons
can fire again. This is more difficult than you think, as the
longer-cycle-weapons give you more time to move away then move
back in. Look at his speed and plot accordingly. If you go too
fast, you'll cruise into overload range or out of arc. If you go
too slow, you gave up the initiative to the enemy ship and your
weapons will invariably be out of arc.
5.6 PHOTON TORPEDO
Photon torpedo is the probably best known heavy weapon of all.
It's a reddish blob that pulsates as it traverses the distance.
It takes twice the time to load than a disruptor, but causes
twice the damage.
Photon causes the SAME amount of damage at any range (if it
hits). This is unique among all weapons. This makes even a
Photon does some of the highest damage among direct-fire weapons
at point-blank range.
Photons have 3 modes: regular, overload, and proximity.
Photons can be overloaded, which limits its max range to 8, but
doubles the damage.
Photons can be used in proximity mode (often shortened to "prox
photon"), which allows more hits at long distances, but halves
Photon is vulnerable to ECM, esp. at long and medium ranges.
Missiles, also known as drones, are seeking weapons with small
warp drives and anti-matter warhead. Many races operate drones,
including Feds, Klingons, Mirak, and more.
There are two types of drones in SFC, Type I, and Type IV (which
is twice as large as a Type I and does twice the damage). You
cannot mix types on a ship. A ship must carry one or the other
(There are actually a full range of drones, from Type I to Type
VI, and later, all the way up to Type X.)
For example, let's say you have one drone launcher of capacity 6.
With one set in the magazine and four sets of reloads, that's 30
Type I drones. If you choose Type IV drones, you only get 15.
Each type of drone comes in 3 "speeds", slow (16), medium (24),
and fast (32). Slow drones are free. Medium cost some, fast cost
a bit more.
You can only have one speed of drones in your ship, no mixing and
matching allowed. When you have several launchers and a LOT of
missiles to upgrade, the cost of upgrading the speed can be
Drones cost no energy to launch, but are subject to reload
availability, launcher cycling time, and control limits.
Most ships have single drone control, meaning it can control 6
drones. Some ships can control 12 (double drone control). VERY
FEW can control 18 (triple drone control).
There are several types of drone launchers. Some reload faster,
some have larger capacity, and so on. You can see the manual for
You can temporarily increase the launch rate by using a scatter-
You can launch a drone at another drone. Target a seeking weapon
chasing you, then launch a single drone at it. You can use the
"target nearest seeking weapon" command to help you.
Drones don't always hit where you want them. It can also be
stopped by many different means
* phaser (in point-defense mode)
* tractor beam (in point-defense mode)
* anti-drone launchers (ADDs)
* Transporter bombs (beam them or drop them)
* Wild weasel (takes care of ALL seeking weapons targeting
* ECM (which can reduce the damage)
* ESG (absorbs all physical hits, including drones)
* Another drone (yes, you can launch a drone at another drone)
* Terrain features (planets, asteroids, dust field, etc.)
* Exploding ships (ship explosion can kill missiles too)
The tricks to use drones are mass, and timing.
Mass means create a swarm... Have so many drones launched they
saturate and overwhelm the target's defenses. However, having a
swarm means they are vulnerable to wild weasel (sensor decoy) and
Timing means get all the drones to arrive almost simultaneously
so the target have the minimum amount of time to defend itself.
The best compromise is to launch them one at a time with a small
gap in between so they are NOT all vulnerable to the same T-bomb.
Can't do anything about sensor decoys, but more on that later.
For more drone and counter-drone tactics, see 11.3 and 11.4.
There are no "dedicated" drone users in SFC except some "all
drone option mounts" Orion ships, and the special "drone
cruisers" of the drone using races, such as Feds and Klingons.
5.8 PLASMA TORPEDO
Plasma torpedoes are seeking weapons. It is basically a blob of
plasma enveloped in a force field inside a warp field. The
Romulans and Gorns are the plasma users. Feds operate some plasma-
equipped ships as well as special variants
The plasma torpedoes "dissipate" as it travels. They are very
powerful up-close, but become less powerful as they travel.
The plasma torpedo can also be further dissipated by phaser fire.
Plasma torpedo moves at speed 34, just a wee-bit faster than the
The plasma torpedo comes in several sizes, from small to large:
F, G, S, and R. (Other types exist, but those are in SFC2 and
The plasma torpedo takes a VERY long time to charge (3 times the
recharge period of a disruptor).
Plasma torpedo has three modes: regular, enveloping, shotgun.
Enveloping torpedo cost twice the energy, and produces a torpedo
that is twice as large, but this spreads itself evenly against
all six shields when it hits. When you "overload" a plasma
torpedo, it goes into enveloping mode.
Shotgun torpedo subdivides into multiple type-F torpedoes, each
of which must engage a different target randomly. Obviously, a
type-F cannot be fired as shotgun.
Each plasma torpedo launcher also has one pseudo-torpedoes, which
are torpedo decoys that looks JUST like a torpedo when fired, but
does no damage. This primarily used to confuse the enemy as to
your torpedo charging cycle. Is that torpedo you fired a real
torpedo, or a fake? Pseudos will be regenerated over time, but it
takes a LONG time.
The pseudo torp has tremendous deception value, and is a MAJOR
part of most plasma tactics.
You can "download" a plasma torpedo by charging a size that is
smaller than the launcher can hold. For example, if you have an S-
type launcher, you can charge G- or F- type torpedoes at a
reduced energy cost.
For more plasma and counter-plasma tactics, please see 11.1 and
Mines are stationary explosive weapons you plant either via the
rear hatch or via transporter.
There are two sizes of mines: a T-bomb, and a NSM (nuclear space
mine). T-bomb does 10 pts damage, while NSM does 25 pts.
In SFC2, only Romulans carry a NSM, and that's "built-in". You
can't buy extras, nor can any one else.
You can drop a shield and beam out a T-bomb, which will activate
if you beam it far out enough.
If you drop the mine out the rear hatch, it will activate when
you get at least 1 unit away.
Mines just "stay" there for 5 minutes after being laid and blows
up near anything that comes by (drones, shuttles, ships...)
Mines are also good to rid yourself a bunch of drones chasing
The AI uses mines pretty effectively, but you seem to need to
"take the lead". Sometimes they use it, at other times they
Drop mine just before overrun is a good start. Beam bombs into
enemy ship's path is also good idea but has greater risk.
T-bombs is a trade-off between risk (dropping one of your
shields) and profit (damage enemy AFTER all your weapons have
fired). If you can minimize the risk (i.e. you know dropping the
shield won't do you much damage as enemies have spent most of his
weapons) and maximize profit (i.e. do damage to the enemy) by all
means take it.
T-bombs are devastating against fighters. One nicely place t-bomb
will damage a whole group of fighters. On the other hand, most
fighters move a bit fast for T-bomb targeting.
You obviously need available transporters to use the T-bomb. If
you have a lot of H&R raids in the queue you may not have enough
transporters to use the t-bomb.
Best time to use the T-bomb is when you already HAVE a downed
shield, courtesy of the enemy. Do it right after the overload
T-bombs are the foundation of the "flash-bulb" anti-cloak tactic
(see 11.8.1). Best part, the receiver can't do anything about it.
Use mines and T-bombs to encourage the enemy to turn a certain
way that is more advantageous to you. The enemy's instinct to
avoid the T-bomb may cause them to reveal a down shield to your
Klingons LOVE T-bombs as they have plenty of transporters to use
5.10 NOTE ON OVERLOADS
Overload is the ability to push a weapon to do more damage than
it's designed to do. The price you pay for 50% more damage is
100% more energy use, and range limit of 8. Some weapons also
have point-blank "feedback" damage.
Why overload? When you need to do MORE damage than what you
normally do. You always want to do as much damage to the enemy as
possible, subject to tactical situations. If you are going to
fire close any way, there's no reason why you would not want to
Overload's primary drawback is the limited range. If you cannot
get into overload weapon range, then the energy you used for
overload would have been for nothing.
The large power requirement for overload will severely reduce
your speed. Phasers, as noted before, are far more efficient. If
you are short on power to start with, you may want to stick with
While you CAN overload SOME weapons and not others, it's a poor
compromise, as that just halves your firepower and cuts down on
your peak output.
6 Introduction to SFC tactics
Every action you do in SFC has a "price". It can be energy,
availability, and so on. The decision you need to make is how to
get the most benefit out of that price you pay.
The old adage "apply your strengths to his weaknesses" is the
heart of SFC tactics. Or as American Civil War General Nathaniel
Bedford Forest was reputed to have said, "Get there fastest with
the mostest." (Which is a misquote, by the way.)
To do that, you need to know energy management, maneuver, and
We will also discuss the difference between passive vs.
aggressive play styles, and how to counter each type in general
6.1 THE PRICE VS. THE PAYBACK
Everything you do in SFC has a price.
If you fire a weapon, you can't use it until the weapon has been
charged again. If you don't fire, you won't do any damage.
If you overload the weapons, you may not have the speed to get
into overload range. If you don't, you may not penetrate the
If you fire a drone or use a shuttle, it's taken out of your
inventory and thus is not available any more. If you don't use
them, you don't get their benefits.
Increasing speed decreases power available to other systems.
Decreasing speed gives up initiative to the enemy and makes you
less maneuverable and cannot dodge the enemy attacks. .
To succeed, you must make the MOST of the price you pay by
knowing what are the prices vs. the benefits, and use proper
timing and circumstances to get maximum effectiveness out of
The new players seem to fall into 2 camps... Either they are TOO
aggressive (they pay the price at the wrong time and thus get
little or no payback), or waited TOO LONG for that "perfect shot"
(waiting for that big payback) and was pecked to death in the
Or to use another metaphor... The "too aggressive" players are
like schoolkids fighting... they just get as close as they can
and keep flailing, without regards to circumstances. The "one
hit" type thinks like old Japanese samurais, where one sword
stroke determines the victor. They think that if they get off
that "perfect strike" they'll win the game. NOT!
The proper balance lies between those two extremes.
We'll discuss the two types of players later and how to take
advantage of their tendencies.
6.2 ENERGY MANAGEMENT
A starship never has enough energy to run everything it needs. If
you want speed, you have to give up energy from elsewhere, such
as shields, weapons, and so on. There is SOME reserve power
available (as "battery"), but amount is small and it runs out
Fortunately, in SFC AI handles energy management and there
usually isn't much need for changing any thing (nor can you,
really). You just need to remember your energy expenditure and
how they affect your energy allocation, and remember to change it
when you need to.
Basically, energy management is having enough energy WHEN you
need it so you don't have to wait to do something else.
Think about this a little: if you overload all heavy weapons, you
HAVE to sacrifice speed. However, will the lower speed allow you
to enter overloaded weapons range (8) at all? Can you afford to
arm AND "hold" all the heavy weapons while you chase the enemy
ship down? Do you have enough energy for tractor beams and
transporters? Are you moving fast enough so you can turn in time?
If not, do you have enough energy for an HET?
Knowing your power curve would help a lot here, as you need to
estimate your speed, the enemy speed, and plan your engagement
range and which weapons to arm and fire in what mode.
You have to make decisions on these and more during battle in
split seconds. Make the right ones and you'll likely succeed.
Make the wrong ones and you will likely fail.
Two things affect maneuver: your turn rate, and your weapon arcs.
Your ship's size, speed, and design affect your turn rate. A Gorn
ship is relatively slow to turn while a Klingon or Lyran ship of
the same size would turn faster. The larger the ship is, the
slower it turns, so a frigate would outturn a dreadnought any
day. Finally, the faster you go, the slower you turn (and bigger
your turn radius). Yet when you go very slow, you also turn very
slow. Each ship has a "corner speed", where it turns the fastest.
Find it, and exploit it.
Your weapon arcs are very important when fighting, as you want to
put most of your firepower on the enemy while avoiding his
firepower. Most ships have most of their firepower concentrated
on their forward centerline (i.e. when it is facing you
directly). If you are off to one side (the 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock
positions) of the enemy the firepower facing you is vastly
reduced, as most heavy weapons are FA arc only. (For explanation
of the various firing arc terms, please see your SFC manual or
the quick reference card).
For example, let's say you are flying a Klingon ship that have FH
firing arcs for your disruptors instead of the regular FA arcs.
FA is only the front 60/90 degrees, while FH is the entire
forward hemisphere (180 degrees). So instead of having to point
your nose more-or-less at the enemy, you can put the enemy on
your 3-9 line (off to a side) and still hit the enemy with your
heavy weapons. That makes your maneuvering much easier.
Therefore, your maneuvers will be very different from a
Federation ship that only has FA firing arcs for the photon
Maneuvering in battle basically means you are trying to point
most of your weapons at his weakest shield while keeping YOUR
weakest shield away from most of his weapons. This can get tricky
when there are multiple enemies involved, or seeking weapons, or
fighters and so on.
6.4 WEAPON ARCS
(Summarized and adapted from article by Felix Hack, originally
appeared in SFB Tactics Manual)
Maneuver and firing arcs are closely related. Maneuver is used to
get the weapons into range with the enemy in the arc. The arc
then dictates what maneuvers are needed and can be expected.
Most ships can be divided into two categories: forward-centerline
firepower, and FA arc firepower.
The ships with forward-centerline firepower must point the ship
directly at the enemy ship to bring maximum amount of firepower
to bear. For example, Gorn ships and Hydran ships with split
"left/right" arcs are forward-centerline ships as you need to fly
them center-line to enemy to get all heavy weapons to bear. I'll
abbreviate these as FC ships.
The FA firepower ships can deliver all the firepower roughly
through the entire FA arc. Most Fed, Klingon, and Romulan are FA
The FC ships need to face the enemy to get maximum firepower to
bear, so the best way to fight such ships is to go to the sides
or even to the rear. If you do that you instantly halved their
firepower. On the other hand, the FC ships can choose to fire
half of their weapons, then turn to fire the other half.
The FA ships can use the "oblique pass" (see 8.1.2), which gives
them more options to maneuver.
Plasma torpedo users often have pretty wide weapon arcs, and thus
should be exploited.
Remember that an HET can be used as a surprise to suddenly bypass
any maneuver and firing arc restrictions.
Timing is basically tactical sense on knowing WHEN to do
something, not too early and not too late.
For example, if you make a turn too late, you may not hit the
enemy's downed shield with your phasers, or worse, exposed your
own downed shield to his weapons.
If you activate an ESG too late that weapon may not activate soon
enough to block the enemy missiles.
If you shoot too late you did not catch the enemy at his down
shield. If you shoot too early you don't catch the down shield
In general, you want your weapons pointed at the enemy when the
weapon is ready to fire, with no idle moments. Of course, this is
not always possible. You may be waiting for a down shield to come
around so you can do more damage. Just beware of all these
This mainly comes from situation awareness and preparation. It
requires a bit of tactical finesse and experience, so keep
playing and keep learning.
6.6 PASSIVE VS. AGGRESIVE PLAY STYLE
To paint broad strokes, there are two types of play styles:
aggressive, and passive. Aggressive players come after you, while
passive players wait for you to go after them and will try to
keep their distance. A player can be both depending on their
The new players seem to fall into 2 camps... Either they are TOO
aggressive (they pay the price at the wrong time for little or no
payback), or waited TOO LONG for that "perfect shot" (waiting for
that big payback). The proper balance lies between those two
Most players are aggressive when they have their weapons charged
and "passive" when their weapons are charging.
Direct-weapon users tend to be aggressive, esp. those with close-
range weapons, like Hydrans (fusion beam) and Lyrans (ESG). They
have to as they need to get close to you.
Those with heavy weapons in FA arc need to be aggressive, as they
need to point the weapons at you to do damage. This is esp. true
for those forward-centerline firepower ships. There is no
"reverse" in SFC.
Ships with low crunch power tend to be passive, esp. fighting
high crunch power ships.
Drone-users tend to be passive, as they need time to build-up a
"swarm" of drones. Drones are 360 free-fire so they can be
launched as pursuers. Drone users prefer to be chased as they
hold the "positional advantage". They shoot drones "downstream"
while your seeking weapons have to travel "upstream". However,
some drone users, using plasma-style tactics, can be aggressive.
Plasma users can be both passive and aggressive. Gorn, with their
"anchor" tactic (see 8.5.1), can be aggressive in their charge,
but passive during their recharge cycle. It's same with Romulans.
To fight aggressive style players, you need to take out their
FRONT shields. This will force them to expose their down shields
in order to hit you.
To fight passive style players, you need to take out their REAR
shield. This will force them to turn their shield 3 or 5 (rear
side) shields toward you, thus allowing you to get closer.
6.7 "USE YOUR TRACTORS, DAMMIT!"
In SFB lore, this slogan was on a plague right above the door to
the starship combat simulator in the Federation Starfleet
What it REALLY means is you should use ALL your ship's systems. A
captain who is aware of ALL his ship's capabilities and can use
them at the right time has advantage over the captain who is not.
For example, how many people use the probe at all? Yet using it
can mean the difference between knowing what you are fighting
ahead of time vs. when you get close enough to do H&R raids.
Knowing that the enemy ship carries six drone launchers makes a
BIG difference. You don't want to be surprised when a swarm of
fast drones erupts in your face.
And how many people tried the probe in weapon mode?
Tractors can be used to hold the ship AWAY from point-blank
range. Many weapons do the most damage at range 0, and a tractor
will ensure they stay at range 2.5. Turn away and drop the
tractor and you can get away. Tractors are also excellent drone
defense, and foundation of the "anchor" maneuver.
Transporters can be used to beam up or down items, transport
marines for raids or captures, even beam out t-bombs to damage
Electronic Warfare is often IGNORED by most newbies.
Learn and use ALL of your ship's systems is one facet of a
6.8 "SPEED IS LIFE"
This is actually the motto of the Israeli Air Force, but borrowed
for the SFB.
In order to power non-movement systems, you need to divert power
from the movement systems.
But if you divert too much power from movement, you can't
Victory is a careful balancing act. Use your speed (or lack of)
for a purpose.
Again, knowing your power curve would be really useful here.
6.9 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
Situational awareness basically means being aware of everything
around you. Someone with good situational awareness doesn't need
to take attention off the primary task to double-check.
While situational awareness is not as crucial in starship combat
(i.e. SFC) as in more fast-paced games like space fighter combat
or aerial combat, it is still important. For example, it wouldn't
do for you to line up a perfect pass at the enemy's down shield
if your facing weapons haven't recharged yet, or trying to get
away from an enemy ship only to smack right into a planet.
The control panel indicators are there to help you. All the
indicators have a meaning, and it's up to you to learn them all.
The two ship displays have relative facing indicators, but that
only works on the ship being targeted. If you are fighting
multiple ships you may end up dodging one ship and exposing your
down shield to another. Or worse... fly right into a planet or
asteroid. But that's why there's a tactical map.
Having good situational awareness also helps in the other three
aspects of tactics: timing, maneuver, and energy management. You
would know when to time your burst of speed (based on your ship's
acceleration) to maneuver so your weapons are pointing at the
enemy's down shield with enough power to shoot.
6.10 MIZIA CONCEPT
Mizia Concept was very simple: instead of firing a single massive
volley of all weapons, beat down that shield, then fire several
Why is this better? Because multiple smaller hits damage more
weapons, whereas single overwhelming volley damages power and
What's better... There really is no "defense" against this attack
other than maneuver to bring another shield into play.
It is a bit difficult to execute, but quite useful.
Trivia: Mizia Concept was named after Walter Mizia, veteran SFB
player, who observed this trend in the damage allocation rules
and came up with a way to exploit them.
7 Combat Checklists and some more tips
7.1 BATTLE START CHECKLIST
Here's a list of items you should immediately perform upon
starting a mission
* Red Alert (which arms and selects all weapons)
* Check number of friendlies, note classes and numbers
* Set tactical zoom level to lowest/widest (so you can see
more of the space)
Clearly, there are exceptions to every rule. In some missions,
where speed is more critical, you may want to just go yellow
7.2 ENEMY DETECTED CHECKLIST
Here is a list of items you should immediately perform upon
detecting enemies on sensors
* Determine enemy numbers and type (use a probe if necessary)
* Determine which enemies your friendlies (if any) appear to
* Determine which enemy ship to engage first, or to disengage
* Determine whether to capture or destroy the target if
* Determine initial tactic: overrun, oblique pass, etc?
* Determine ECM and ECCM settings if needed
* Set point-defense mode for phasers and tractors beams if
* Determine shield reinforcement if needed (usually front
* Determine battle speed (slow, fast, etc?)
* Determine hit-and-run targets if needed
* Charge tractor beam(s) for anchor if needed
7.3 CAPTURE CHECKLIST
Here is a list of items you should check before attempting to
capture an enemy unit
* Check all available marines on YOUR ships (AI friendly ships
do NOT assist in captures. They often RUIN your captures by
blowing up that ship with your marines onboard)
* Count total number of transporters available on YOUR ships
* Check enemy marines on target in the "capture" panel.
* Calculate approximate marines usage.
Marine usage is dependent on the number of transporters you have
available and how fast can you send over reinforcements.
The rule of thumb is
Usage = 1.5 * (enemy_marines ) * (enemy_marines /
For example, if the enemy has 10 marines, you have only 5
transporters available, expect to use about 30 marines to capture
the enemy ship. (1.5 * 10 * 10 / 5) = 30
However, if the enemy has 10 marines, and you have 10
transporters available, then you can expect to use only 15
marines to capture the enemy ship. (1.5 * 10 * 1 = 15)
* If you have enough marines to do it, then continue.
Otherwise, destroy the enemy ship and don't bother.
* Confirm all your ships set to "very aggressive" and
* Make your pass, use just enough weapons to beat down a
shield, and beam on your marines. Fire weapons in single shots.
As the other ships see the down shield they should beam their
marines also. Then repeat sending in marines if necessary.
7.4 CALCULATING YOUR ODDS
You can read enemy ship classes at distance of over 100 kk. You
should be able to figure out how far are you outmatched, if you
are at all.
Here's a rule of thumb to use
Use 9 for BB, 7 for DN, 5 for BCH, 4 for CA, 3 for CL, 2 for DD,
1 for FF. Zero for all else.
If the any are carriers, add 1 per carrier.
If the enemy uses plasma torpedoes or drones, add 1. (To account
for crunch power)
Total up the "force number" for both sides and compare the
number. That should give you a quick idea on how the two forces
If the ratio is within 10% of 1 to 1, you should be able to win
if you don't make any mistakes, and not lose any ships. However,
it's a very even fight and there wouldn't be much 'profit' in it.
If the ratio favors the enemy a bit, see if you can even up the
odds a little by using tricks like scatter-pack and anchor to
quickly kill one ship. Otherwise, stay back and kill the smaller
ship(s) that gets close first. You can think about disengaging
If the ratio favors the enemy a lot, run away and pick something
If the ratio favors your side, blast them.
If the ratio REALLY favors your side, try going for captures to
enhance your prestige.
For example, say you have 2 BCH's against 1 enemy BB. The ratio
is 10 to 9 in your favor (roughly). You should win in the end,
but there's probably no "profit" in this battle. This will be a
tough fight. If you can find easier battles, do so.
7.5 LEARN THOSE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS!
Almost EVERY command in SFC has a keyboard shortcut. You should
learn them by heart, or at least copy the quick reference card.
They allow you to give orders much faster than going through the
If there isn't one, assign one.
7.6 PLAY AT A SLOWER GAME SPEED IF YOU WANT
If you play alone, you can go as low as game speed 1. However,
such a game would be really slow. Default speed of 7 is actually
quite fast. You may want to consider 4 or 5 first, then increase
speed when you understand the battle a bit more, then speed up or
slow down as needed.
7.7 A NOTE ON TERRAIN
There aren't that many terrains in SFC, just empty space,
asteroids, planets, dust field, pulsar, black hole, and nebula
(and some planets).
Asteroids are navigational hazards. If you have a heavy ship and
have plenty of tractor power, consider pushing enemy ships into
asteroids. And don't fly into your yourself. If you are
maneuvering in an asteroid field, set tactical map to closest
zoom and keep the viewpoint AHEAD.
Lyrans hate asteroids and dust fields as it wears down their
Dust fields forces you to slow down and apply reinforcement to
front shields, reducing available power.
Pulsar and black hole only rarely appear in a scenario, and never
in the regular ones.
Nebula makes everybody have equal shields, and seeking weapons
nearly useless. Still, if you fire them close enough some may
still survive long enough to hit. The reduced shield strengths
mean there will be a lot of internal damage scored. Smaller ships
may have the advantage here as they mount more weapons.
Minefield can be considered "artificial terrain", but that's a
separate topic altogether.
Nebulas have such a blanket effect it is worth a separate
Nebula has a LOT of natural ECM and reduced shields for
everybody. You still get nice sensor locks, so you have to
reconsider your approach. This is NOT Star Trek II: Wrath of
Ships with naturally high crunch power and direct-fire weapons,
like Feds, have the advantage here. They retain most of their
firepower. They merely have to move in closer to use it.
Overload is required as even Klingons can't hit any one in a
nebula from range 15.
With no shields, speed and maneuver became much more important.
Use the extra power available to even pump up the ECM and ECCM
some more, remember to switch allocation during the recharge
Transporter bombs cannot be used or deployed, even dropped.
Lyran in nebula is even worse off. ESG don't work in nebula so
you're without a lot of your firepower. On the other hand, if you
don't need to charge ESG you should have plenty of power
available to maintain speed.
Drones are NEARLY useless in a nebula. They don't survive very
long. On the other hand, if you launch them close they will still
do plenty of damage. On the other hand, tractor beam don't work
in nebula either.
Romulans lose the cloak, which can be a problem, but plasma, with
built-in +3 ECM and some pumped up ECM from the ship may be able
to retain a lock on if the target don't pump in additional ECM
(but if he doesn't he's playing dumb).
7.8 A QUOTE TO DWELL ON
"The only valid test is combat; the only valid result is victory"
-- Adm. Steven V. Cole, designer of Star Fleet Battles
In other words, no matter how fancy of a tactic we can explain to
you, it is up to you to put it into action. You can dream up
fancy tactics on paper, but until you test them in combat, you
would never know if they work or not.
Trivia: this quote was originally attributed to Ardak Kumerian, a
Klingon Admiral, who's S.V. Cole's alter ego in SFB.
8 Offensive Maneuvers
You need to know some of the common maneuvers that are
8.1 SIMPLE MANEUVERS
These maneuvers don't require any special devices or any specific
setup, and does not involve HETs.
Overrun is simple: point the nose at the enemy, shoot at point-
blank, and fly right over the other ship.
Overrun is best done by ships with maximum point-blank firepower,
esp. those with forward centerline firepower. Hydrans are good
To exploit the downed shield, overrun should be followed up by
several attacks, such as hit-and-run raids, drop mine, scatter-
pack, fighters, drones, or better... another ship.
You can combine overrun with anchor (see below) for a really
The overrun is very simple but it usually results in your front-
shield being blown, and that can be bad.
In a cloak-able ship, you can approach until enemy is range, fire
weapons, then cloak as you fly over him. This is called an "under-
The Hydrans specialize in the "fusion charge" with their fusion-
armed ships. Basically, they overload the fusion beams, then hold
the weapons, go maximum available speed, and charge right down
the middle with forward shields reinforced, erratic maneuvers,
max ECM. Enemy fire would be ineffective. Then at point blank,
stop the EM and deliver a devastating alpha strike at point-blank
The Feds can do the same with a photon salvo at point-blank
Plasma using races can do the same by firing plasma so close the
enemy has no chance to launch a weasel.
The "charge" doesn't work against people who know how to maneuver
and avoid the charge. Those who use "saber dance" maneuvers can
avoid the charge easily. The "charge" also usually causes severe
damage on the front shield, leaving you vulnerable to later
Higher speed and maneuverability can counter overrun. Then it
turns into a battle pass or pursuit.
8.1.2 Oblique pass
Oblique pass is nearly as simple as overrun. Instead of point
directly at the enemy, you point slightly off to one side, so
when you are in weapons range of each other, you hit the right-
front or left-front shields instead of front shield. Then you can
decide if you want to turn away, or turn in to attack.
Ships with FA firepower are best candidates to use oblique pass.
They can deliver the same firepower throughout their FA arc.
This is sometimes called a "battle pass", and it can be quickly
converted to overrun or battle run, or even pursuit.
The oblique pass can quickly turn into an overrun if both sides
turn into each other.
If one side turns in and the other side turns out, it becomes a
tail-chase situation. The chasee can launch drones, drop T-bombs,
etc. to attack, but cannot use primary weapons. The chaser has
primary weapons in arc but can't really use seeking weapons as
he's a positional disadvantage. If the Klingon turns in, this
maneuver is called "the Klingon Hook" as the superior
maneuverability of Klingon ships makes this easier.
If both sides turn out, it's time to disengage.
Oblique pass may not be good if your ship has firing arcs that
emphasize firepower to the sides. Oblique pass can halve your
firepower, though you can always maneuver after you fire half of
Beware of the HET following a battle pass or battle run.
8.1.3 Battle run
You approach the enemy pointing just off to one side of him.
After you fire at the range of your choice, you turn away to
expose your rear weapons at the same shields you had hit before.
If you have significant number of side or rear firing weapons
(like Klingon's wing phasers on the D-7's), you are good
candidate for battle run.
8.1.4 The Feint
A feint is basically a maneuver to get your opponent out of
balance. In SFC, it's a maneuver of deception to get your enemy
to commit to countering one of your moves when you really intend
For example, the HET reversal below [8.4.2] is a feint. He
countered your battle run with pursuit, so you suddenly turn it
into an overrun instead.
There are many ways to do "feints". For enemies who seem to have
an answer for everything, a feint can do wonders.
8.1.5 The Saber dance
The Klingons invented the "saber dance" maneuver. Basically, the
enemy ship stays at range 15, where the disruptors have a better
chance to hit than other weapons. The enemy ship then repeats the
maneuver, keeping the range open, while it wears down your
The Hydrans can use the saber dance with their Hellbores the same
way, with their "split" weapon arcs. Fire half of weapons at a
time, turn, fire the other half, repeat.
Saber dance requires patience and very good weapon arcs. One
mistake and the enemy may get close enough to do you real damage.
8.1.6 The Starcastle
This tactic can be effective against races that have low "peak
output" and prefer to nibble you at medium range, like Klingons.
This is a counter against the "saber dance" maneuver.
Basically, it means go at speed 4, maximum ECM, erratic maneuver
(EM), max shield reinforcements on facing shield, and wait for
the enemy. At maximum jamming and EM, it's doubtful attack at
range 15 will do any damage.
The enemy must close in to do any damage. You can then switch to
an overrun or oblique pass. This turns a maneuver battle into a
8.2 HIGH-ENERGY TURN, WHY AND WHEN
High-energy turn gives you a sudden change in direction (payoff)
in exchange for some disadvantages (power expenditure) and risk
(possibility of breakdown).
HET uses a significant amount of power (5 movement pts) so you
have to be sure you don't need it for anything else.
Ships that cannot make an HET safely ever (i.e. breakdown chance
of less than 100%) should probably NOT make one, ever. A
breakdown will almost kill that ship for sure.
There are basically three reasons to use an HET: sudden problem,
defensive turn, surprise attack
8.2.1 Sudden problem
An HET can be used to get away from a sudden problem to buy some
time to deal with it. Say, a scatter pack was launched in front
of you and you can't turn away in time and you're out of weapons,
or a plas-R coming at you. Turn away and you may get some time to
deal with them.
8.2.2 Defensive HET
A defensive HET is using an HET to bring a fresh shield into
play, so enemy won't be able to pound a weakened or down shield.
HET takes time to charge, so you have to plan this ahead of time.
If you suddenly decide you need one, it would have been too late.
8.2.3 Surprise attack
By using HET, you can bring weapons to bear that the enemy would
not expect. One such example is HET reversal [8.4.2].
8.3 EMERGENCY DECELERATION
EmerDecel is most often used to slow the ship down so you can
launch a wild weasel. This also reinforces the front shields
EmerDecel does NOT conserve power.
EmerDecel DOES slow you down, which may prevent you from
revealing one of your down shields to sides or rear.
EmerDecel can be used when the enemy is closing faster than
EmerDecel can save you from collisions, planets, asteroids, etc.
The price of EmerDecel is speed 0, which gives the enemy the
initiative. He can take the time to recharge weapons, even
disengage. He can go to your rear shields and pound it. He can
wait and do a Gorn anchor on you when the weasel expires. You
can't do anything about it.
Consider how WILL you get back to battle speed BEFORE you use
EmerDecel. How do you dodge drones or plasma torps now that
you've stopped? How long will it take for you to get back up to
speed? Can you survive till then?
8.4 ADVANCED MANEUVERS
The advanced maneuvers involve using HETs in combination of
8.4.1 The Flanking Snap Turn
This is a continuation of the oblique pass if both sides simply
keep going. Basically you pass down the side of the enemy so your
3 o'clock is at his 9 o'clock, or vice versa. THEN you use an HET
so you can bring your weapons to bear on his side/rear shields,
which are probably weaker than his front shields.
To counter the flanking snap turn, keep your distance in the
oblique pass. A T-bomb or two and a turn-away would help also.
Then you can use an HET reversal after you've damaged his front
8.4.2 The HET Reversal
At the oblique approach, you turn out, the enemy turns in, and
he's now chasing you, hoping to hit your weaker rear shields. You
then suddenly use an HET to bring your front-weapons to bear and
turn it into an overrun.
To counter this, you just have to be careful. If the enemy looks
like he's overloading, don't chase too close!
If you have plenty of point-blank firepower (like Hydrans)
fighting plasma or drone user who's likely to anchor (like Gorn
or even Romulan), consider the anti-anchor.
Maneuver so the enemy is about to catch you on the side, HET
ready to go, all weapons overloaded. When the enemy tractor you,
HET into him and blast him. He's probably expecting you to fight
his tractor and would have put a lot of power into it. You
instead put the energy into shield reinforcements.
Net result... Instead of losing, both ships are heavily damaged.
At least you salvage a draw. You MAY even win it if you have good
damage control and other sources of firepower (like fighters and
8.5 SPECIAL MANEUVERS
Special maneuvers use specific devices (such as tractors),
weapons, and so on to exploit a specific characteristic.
The "anchor" maneuver was "invented" by the Gorn, as it makes
their plasma torpedoes very effective and makes maneuvering
minimal. The concept is very simple: slap a tractor beam on the
enemy ship, THEN shoot the torpedoes.
Why do it this way? A ship being tractored cannot launch a decoy
shuttle (i.e. wild weasel), so they will have to shoot the
torpedoes or let them hit. At point-blank range, they can't
rotate a new shield into play quickly.
Any race using seeking weapons can use the anchor. A frigate can
kill a cruiser if the anchor was deployed properly. Scatter-pack
is very useful here as it suddenly pops 6 or more missiles at a
target that can't launch decoys.
An anchor can be enhanced by NOT firing all your weapons in a
single salvo. Instead, fire in several small salvoes to gain
maximum damage from the Mizia attack [see 6.10].
An anchor combined with HET can be devastating. You shoot, you
score, and you turn away in an instant without giving enemy much
chance to shoot back. This requires very good timing though.
Some ships should NEVER be anchored. Fusion-beam armed Hydrans
can be deadly (to you) to anchor. A smaller ship should NOT
attempt to tractor a larger ship unless it is going for the
deadweight maneuver, and even then
Anchor can be defeated by NEVER coming into tractor range. You
can keep the enemy away by using some mines to "encourage" him to
go somewhere else. You may even want to use an HET to turn away
Another way to defeat the anchor is to pre-charge the tractor
beam to REPEL. Choose the strength you want to repel, up to 6.
You can then repel all tractors charged up to that strength.
Hydrans have a similar maneuver discussed in their race specific
The "deadweight" maneuver is very similar to the anchor.
Basically, one ship serves as the "deadweight". The deadweight
ship arms minimal weapons, gets in there, tractors the enemy
ship, reinforces facing shield, and come to a FULL STOP. That
enemy is now limited in its mobility.
Even better... The deadweight ship absorbs the salvo from the
target. Now the target has no more weapons to defend itself, and
are vulnerable to weapons from other ships. It can't even dump a
weasel to protect itself due to the tractor still attached.
Obviously, this only works in a fleet battle, where you can
afford to sacrifice a ship.
8.5.3 Plasma String
Sometimes called a "plasma bid", this is used by the plasma using
races, mainly the Romulans.
Basically, you start randomly mixing the real and the pseudo
plasma torpedoes one at a time at a certain interval. The enemy
can't tell which one is real or not. Even if you shot 3
torpedoes when you have only 2 launchers, he still wouldn't know
which one is the fake. He will have to dump a weasel at some
point if he's slow enough.
It is called a "bid" because you keep raising the ante with more
torpedoes until he "blinks" and launches a weasel.
Then you wipe out the weasel, anchor him, and feed him the rest
of your torpedoes. He should run out of shuttles before you run
out of torpedoes.
Plasma string can be countered by speed and distance, like the
general anti-plasma tactics.
Remember, pseudo-torp is a limited commodity... There are only
one per launcher. Don't waste them.
8.5.4 Drone Swarm
The swarm can be a scary sight for races not armed with anti-
drone weapons. Usually, you'll see Orions using drones on you,
though any race with drones (Feds, Klingons) can do a swarm also
with the right ship(s).
Basically, you have a LOT of drones (more than 6) all targeting
one ship and travel in close proximity. You can help create a
swarm by using a scatter-pack if your internal launchers can't
create a swarm.
Remember that each ship has a drone control limit. If you exceed
it, the earliest drones you fired are lost. Most ships can
control 6 drones (single drone control), some ships can control
12 (double drone control) or 18 (triple drone control).
Follow the drones in at the same speed and you can create an even
bigger swarm by adding more drones.
Obviously, faster the drones, the more dangerous they are. Fast
drones can chase down fast ships, are less vulnerable to anti-
drone fire, and so on.
The swarm can be beaten with a nicely placed T-bomb. It is also
not that useful on ships equipped with ADDs, tractors, ESGs, and
other anti-drone weapons.
There are a lot of ways to do damage to the enemy
Phasers are the most energy-efficient weapons in the game. A ph-1
can do up to 10 pts of damage with 1 pt of energy. Heavy weapons
don't come close. However, ph-1 is the largest phaser a starship
Everybody uses phasers in one form or another. They are all
treated as "phasers" in terms of SFC even though their innards
may be somewhat different.
9.2 DIRECT-FIRE HEAVY WEAPONS
Direct-fire heavy weapons hit (or miss) the facing shield
immediately. In general those don't hit that often unless you're
Some heavy weapons like hellbores and enveloping plasma torpedo
can damage non-facing shields.
If you are very close, you can usually overload, but that will
reduce your speed significantly by making less power available.
Overloaded weapons also have limited range.
9.3 SEEKING HEAVY WEAPONS
Gorn, and Romulan, and Orion use seeking weapons.
Those in general pack a much larger punch than firect-fire
weapons, but you can't hit the facing shield. The weapons can
also be intercepted during flight.
There are also ways to reduce the impact of the weapons. Plasma
torpedoes can be reduced by phaser fire. Drones can be killed by
phasers or ADDs, kept away by tractors, or blasted by T-bombs.
Drone users also have to watch out for the drone control limit of
Drones don't cost any energy to launch, but you can exhaust your
reloads in a long battle. Drones also in general travel at a
Plasma torpedo never "run out" (unlike drones), but it takes a
LONG time to charge (3 times as long as disruptor) and takes
energy. They also dissipate over distance traveled.
Plasma users can use a pseudo-torpedo to scare the enemy. It
looks JUST like a regular torpedo, but causes no damage. You can
use the pseudo-torpedo to hide the fact that you're still
Enveloping plasma torpedo can be used to "sandpaper" the shields
and perhaps hit a down shield. This can wear down the enemy ship
for later attacks.
If there are multiple targets, a plasma torpedo can be used in
"shotgun" mode which shoots several smaller torpedoes against
Drone users can use scatter-pack to increase the number of
missiles in a salvo, at the cost of using a shuttle and the
possibility of having that shuttle shot down before it can "pop".
9.4 OTHER HEAVY WEAPONS
ESG can be used for ramming, which can be a very effective weapon
that can beat down enemy's facing shield(s).
ESG is also a good defensive weapon, as it kills fighters,
shuttles, and drones.
9.5 HIT-AND RUN RAIDS
Hit-and-run raids can kill specific ship systems on an enemy
ship, subject to transporter, boarding party, and energy
9.6 MINES AND T-BOMBS
Mines and T-bombs, when placed properly, can cause significant
damage to enemy ships, fighters, shuttles, etc.
One of the most satisfying ways to kill enemy ship is by pushing
the enemy ship into an asteroid or a planet. This can be hard to
arrange though, and is considered "bad manners" if done in a
Dynaverse battle against human opponent.
Terrain such as dust fields can cause damage to shields, and if
shields are down, cause damage to the ship directly. Therefore,
when fighting in a dust field, you may want to target the front-
shield of the enemy ship(s).
Shuttles and fighters have phasers, heavy weapons, and/or drones
which can be used to defend you, defend others ships, or to
attack other ships (from long range or close assault).
In SFC, only Hydrans have fighters.
Suicide shuttle is just another seeking weapon (albeit a very
How to prevent your ship from being damaged while dealing damage
to the enemy ships is very important. After all, this quote said
"You don't serve your country by dying for your country. You
serve your country by making the OTHER poor bastard die for HIS
--- General George S. Patton, US Army
10.1 "SPEED IS LIFE"
Speed, when your ship is heading in the proper direction, gives
you more time to deal with the incoming threats. You can run
until the plasma torp run out of juice. You can run until the
drones run out of juice. You can run to keep enemy out of
overload range so he can't hit you if his weapons are overloaded.
NONE of this can happen if you do NOT have speed!
Speed in the wrong direction can be converted to speed in the
right direction by turning (or even HET).
10.2 USE EW!
Electronic warfare, at long to medium range, is more efficient in
reducing damage than shield reinforcements. With max ECM and EM,
you should rarely if ever take damage at medium range. Just
beware you cannot fire seeking weapons while doing EM.
10.3 REINFORCE FACING SHIELD(S)
You can use any excess energy for shield reinforcements. This
would prevent "premature" wear on your shields when the enemy is
just firing some long-range shots.
Only shields that are still "up" can be reinforced. So if a
shield has been busted, there's no point in reinforcing it. That
energy goes back into "excess" pool in the energy allocation
10.4 TURN A NEW SHIELD AROUND
If the enemy beats down one of your shields, maneuver and present
a different shield. Use HET if you have to!
10.5 "USE YOUR TRACTORS! DAMMIT!"
Seeking weapons such as missiles, suicide shuttles, and so on,
can be kept away by tractor beams. You can set the number of
tractors to use for defense in your "defense" control panel.
10.6 LEAVE SOME PHASERS FOR POINT-DEFENSE!
Are your phasers armed and ready for your own ship's defense? If
you have point-defense set your phasers will automatically engage
nearby seeking weapons such as plasma torpedoes and drones. Of
course, that also means that you will not have those phasers to
shoot at enemies.
10.7 AVOID THE ENEMY'S WEAPON ARCS
If you know the enemy's weapon arcs you know which sides of the
enemy ship to avoid. Few enemy ships can fire into the hex
directly behind the ship.
10.8 WATCH THE ENEMY SHIP DISPLAY
That tells you a LOT about weapons under repair, being recharged,
and so on. Best time to attack is when the enemy cannot fire
back! You need to be close, or use a probe.
10.9 WATCH THE RANGE!
If the enemy is going fast, he is probably not overloading, so
close assault should not be a problem.
If the enemy is going slow, he may be overloading, so you should
stay out of overload range.
Of course, these two are not rules, but general observations. You
can "trick" the enemy into you're overloading when you're not by
moving slower than you can, and so on.
Stay away from plasma users as they need to be close to do
10.10 WATCH THE ENERGY USAGE!
Next to the speed gauge is a measure of how much power are you
consuming vs. producing. If you are NOT using all the power used,
you are wasting power that can be put to better use. You can view
a summary of your energy usage in the energy panel.
11 Tactics and Counter-Tactics
Here, we discuss some common questions on how to use plasma
weapons, and drones, and how to counter each.
11.1 PLASMA TACTICS
First, let us discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a plasma
torpedo. Remember, deception and confusion are primary tactics
for plasma torpedoes.
11.1.1 Plasma Strengths
Plasma torpedoes deliver a LOT of damage in a compact package.
Plasma torpedo has some of the highest crunch power available.
Plasma weapons are seeking. As long as the launcher is in arc you
can shoot and maneuver away.
Plasma torpedoes are fast (speed 34? 36?). [NOT 32 as previously
Plasma torpedoes are flexible: you can regular, download (if
larger than F), envelope, or shotgun/defensive.
Plasma torpedo can be fired (for a limited time) AFTER the weapon
has been destroyed
Enveloping plasma torp is essentially the ONLY overloaded weapon
without the 8-hex limit.
11.1.2 Plasma Weaknesses
Plasma takes a LONG time to charge (3 times the period needed by
Plasma takes a lot of energy to charge, thus affecting the power
Plasma, as a seeking weapon, give the target a choice on which
shield to expose.
Plasma dissipates as it travels, losing its punch.
Plasma can be further dissipated by phaser fire
Plasma can be distracted by a wild weasel (i.e. sensor decoy)
Plasma launchers are NOT 360 degrees. (though some Gorn launchers
have wider arcs)
11.1.3 Dealing with recharge period
To counter the long recharge period, do NOT fire ALL of the your
torpedoes at once. Fire them one at a time. (This is the
foundation of the "plasma string" tactic, see 8.5.3). By
staggering the reload cycle you also minimize the energy problem.
On the other hand, that also means you're spreading out your
firepower. By spreading your firepower, enemy can choose which
shield he would want to take the hit on. You risk the chance of
not hitting the same shield.
Downloading, by generating type-F plasmas in two turns in larger
tubes, also helps with the long recharge period, as the expense
of some crunch power.
Romulans can always cloak.
11.1.4 Dealing with dissipation
To solve the dissipation problem, you need to launch the torpedo
as close to the target as possible. Launch close also prevent the
enemy ship from turning a new shield. However, launching close
exposes you to his counter-fire. It also reveals your charging
cycle to his sensors.
The foundation of the "anchor" (see 8.5.1) is on getting as close
Torpedoes are great against stationary targets like bases, which
If the enemy ship will not expose a down shield, an enveloping
torpedo may be the answer. While that takes more energy, it can
go through down shields, as well as damage all the other shields
for later penetration.
11.1.5 Dealing with phasers
You can't really do much about enemy phasers reducing your
torpedoes except launch several torpedoes or offer them other
targets than your torpedo. Using pseudo-torps can make them waste
phasers as well. Phasers don't do that much to the torpedo any
way, I wouldn't worry too much about this. Launch closer would
11.1.6 Dealing with weasel
The "cure" for weasel is the anchor. If you tractor a target, the
enemy cannot launch weasel. Of course, the trick is getting close
enough to do it.
On the other hand, taking a weasel isn't that bad. Most ships
have very limited number of shuttles and it takes a long time to
charge a weasel. Once he's out, he's toast. You can always just
charge another torpedo.
The ship that launches a weasel also loses the initiative and
thus is quite vulnerable to anything you do. Just be prepared to
take advantage of it.
11.1.7 Be unpredictable
Plasma users need to be unpredictable. With so many options and
combinations, you need to confuse your enemy as to your actual
Your opponent will try to guess your reload cycle and attack
while your torpedoes are recharging. How do you minimize your
vulnerability during that time is critical to your survival, you
do that by being unpredictable.
To completely confuse enemy regarding your reload cycle, you can
download to a smaller torpedo, or use a pseudo torpedo. Download
charges a torpedo faster, thus taking only 2 turns or even 1 turn
for a torpedo. Pseudo disguises your shots.
11.1.8 When to use Enveloping
An opening salvo of enveloping torpedoes can surprise a lot of
opponents. As you run away, the enveloping torpedo "sandpaper"
all of your opponent's shields. Subsequent torpedoes would have
much better chance to break through. For those ships with weak
rear shields, this can even punch through, esp. if you have TWO
In fleet action, when there's more weapons going around, some can
go enveloping to confuse the enemy.
11.1.9 When to use shotgun
Shotgun, with the restriction on targeting, means it's mainly a
defensive weapon used when there are a LOT of targets, like
frigates, fighters, shuttles, and so on.
11.1.10 When to Underload
Personally, I underload after the first salvo is shot. I don't
like to run away (as I need the power to arm the weapons), so I
prefer to underload and get the weapons up faster.
11.1.11 Keeping the enemy away during recharge period
You are vulnerable during the recharge period. So keeping the
enemy away during the recharge period is the key.
One of the best ways to keep the enemy away is with a pseudo-
torp, and that's discussed in the next section.
Another possibility is a mini minefield from either T-bombs or
Nuclear Space Mine (if you're a Romulan). You hide behind the
mines while you reload. However, this can be very difficult to
arrange. For a more practical method, try leaving T-bomb or two
and hide behind them while you reload.
T-bombs are also excellent drone defense when you're fighting a
drone user. Your plasma torps are not vulnerable to t-bombs.
Another way to keep the enemy away is with the cloaking device,
if you're playing Romulans. Actually, it doesn't keep the enemy
away, it just make you harder to hit when the enemy does get
close. The problem then is getting AWAY from the enemy when
you're ready to decloak. When you decloak, you're at the MOST
If you have speed, you can just stay away from the enemy that
way. But if you have speed, you may not have enough to recharge.
11.1.12 Deploying Pseudo-Torps
In general, Pseudo-torp is used when you want to make the enemy
think it's a REAL torpedo when it is not. There are three
situations: you want to keep the enemy AWAY, you want the enemy
to waste phasers, or you want the enemy to pop a weasel.
If you want the enemy to stay away while you recharge, a pseudo
can do that. However, if the enemy is careful in timing your
recharge, or pays careful attention to his sensors (or use a
probe), he can guess pretty well if that torpedo is real or not.
A pseudo torpedo will cause the enemy to use up their phasers,
hopefully on the pseudo instead of the real torpedo. As most
people leave point-defense on auto, firing a pseudo first can
soak up the phasers.
You can force the enemy to pop a weasel if you have enough
torpedoes in the air, and he doesn't know which ones are real or
fake. As fighter pilots say, "honor the threat!" Your enemy must
treat each torpedo as a real one if he is not sure. That is the
foundation of the "plasma string" tactic (see 8.5.3).
11.2 COUNTER PLASMA TACTICS
A lot of new players (newbies) have problem fighting the plasma
races. The AI fires off all three plasmas... The newbie tried to
maneuver. The three plasmas hit the same shield, wrecking his
ship. Then the AI ship fires phasers... And the newbie blew up.
Well, this section is for the newbie. Welcome to plasma avoidance
Please read 11.1.1 and 11.1.2 first to review strengths and
weaknesses of the plasma torpedo.
11.2.1 Use your speed and distance
To counter plasma races, you need to keep your speed up and keep
your distance from the enemy ships. By keeping the range open,
you give time for the plasma to dissipate. If he waste his
plasma, he will have to get away from you to recharge. You can
then pound him during his recharge cycle.
Of course, that's assuming you're NOT dealing with a pseudo.
Changing speed can help here. Start slow, switch to fast when the
enemy is likely to launch, take the hit, turn back to slow to get
your weapons recharged and fired.
11.2.2 Use your sensors!
If you scan the enemy ship, you can see if his torpedoes are
recharging of not (if you are close enough). If you know when his
torpedoes are recharging, then the torpedo in flight must be a
pseudo. If you know when his torpedoes are charging, then you
know when to attack!
If you are NOT close enough, you can use a probe.
11.2.3 Use all your shields!
You can virtually choose which shield you want to let the seeking
weapon hit. While most people assume that would be the rear
shields, you COULD let the torpedo hit a front shield. If the
enemy ship fire torpedoes one at a time, you can take them on all
different shields, thus avoiding penetration of a single shield.
If he fires all of the plasma torpedoes, he just spat away most
of his firepower. After dealing with the torpedo, you can pound
him during his reload cycle. (Assuming no pseudos, of course)
There is also of course, the wild weasel. After those torpedoes
hit, you can accelerate away and hopefully still catch the guy
before he recharges.
11.2.4 Counter the pseudo
You may want to allow the dissipated torpedo to hit a shield of
your choice, so you can tell whether it is a pseudo or not.
In SFC you get an just 1 pseudo per launcher, thus by knowing a
pseudo you know any subsequent enemy torpedoes will be real...
Unless he has it from different launchers.
11.2.5 Counter the anchor
To counter the anchor, don't get close to a plasma ship, and
always charge repel tractors. Anchor prevents the 'weasel'
defense. Speed and distance again are the critical factors here.
I personally consider the weasel as a last resort, which is why I
am usually NOT afraid of the anchor.
11.2.6 Against cloaking plasma users
Cloak guys may actually be EASIER to kill than you think. In SFC,
the cloakers CAN be found. In fact, you can designate a cloaked
ship, you just can't lock-on to it. That simply means that 1) you
can only use direct-fire weapons to shoot at him and 2) you may
not do much damage to him unless you're point-blank.
Plasma takes energy to charge, and so does cloak. So a cloaker
need to be QUITE slow to do both. That means you have PLENTY of
time to fry a cloaker if you keep your speed up.
While I DID say it's dangerous to get close to a plasma ship,
keep in mind that a cloaker takes time to decloak. During that
time, he's NOT under the protection of cloak AND he's vulnerable
If you can catch him while he's reloading under cloak, even
better! You can make two to three different passes and he'll
still be recharging.
A point-blank alpha strike CAN still work. It may not do as much
damage, but it will still damage a shield. And he can't stay
"under" forever. Go for his weakest shield (usually to rear).
Catch the cloaker with a drone swarm or alpha strike right as he
decloak on his rear shield, and turn away to disengage. He'll
have to build up speed to catch you again, if he survives the
11.2.7 Worst-case scenario: the wild weasel
In general, I don't like weasels. You only have a certain number
of weasels. Using a weasel also gives up the initiative to the
However, if you are sure you can take whatever else he's got
left, then wild weasel can be a good choice. Launch a weasel and
let the torpedoes hit the weasel. Then accelerate away and catch
the plasma user in an alpha strike.
11.3 DRONE TACTICS
I prefer the term "drones" to "missiles". I started playing SFB
in the 1990's and I tend to use the SFB terms. Any way, let's see
what are the advantage and disadvantages of drones.
11.3.1 Drone advantages
Drones deliver a LOT of damage in a compact package. Type IV
drones cause a LOT of damage, esp. if you can get a salvo to hit
the same shield. A good salvo of type IV will gut a cruiser.
Drones are seeking weapons. They are "fire-and-forget".
Drones are 360-degree weapons: no firing arc restrictions
Drones cost NO energy to launch
Drones CAN be fast (though that cost a LOT of prestige pts)
11.3.2 Drone disadvantages
There are a TON of ways to kill drones (see 11.3.10).
Drones cost prestige pts if you want faster/fastest speed, and
need to be replaced after every battle
Drones, as all seeking weapons, give the target a choice on which
shield to expose.
Drones can be distracted by a wild weasel
Drones are subject to control channel limits
Once you're out of drones, you're out, period. (Though some
scenarios allows a reload)
11.3.3 Mass and Timing
Mass means create a swarm of drones, so the target's defenses are
completely overwhelmed. However, this is subject to control
limits and launch rate limits.
Mass also means the swarm is vulnerable to a single t-bomb, and
to a lesser extent, the wild weasel (sensor decoy).
Timing means you need to get all the drones to the target as
simultaneously as possible to help with "mass". You need to
minimize the time the target has to defend itself against the
drones, and try to time the arrival so as many of the drones will
hit the same shield.
You can help timing by flying at the SAME speed as your drones.
For mediums, that would be 24. Then any additional drones you
launch will "join" the swarm. This can be used to build up some
truly massive drone swarm. (Just beware of the T-bombs).
11.3.4 Picking the target
A slow ship can't outrun the drones, so should be an excellent
drone target. Slow, of course, depends on how fast YOUR drones
are. A slow ship also can't turn fast enough to present another
shield, thus even MORE vulnerable.
A ship that has just fired most of its phasers is a good target,
as it won't be able to defend itself against more drones unless
it has a LOT of tractors and AMD/ADD. You can tell that by your
scanners (or a probe).
A ship that is away from the rest of its fleet's defense zones is
also a good target.
A closer target is better than a far away target as it takes less
time for the drones to hit it.
A ship coming closer is better than a ship moving away. The
higher closing speed means he'll have less time to defend against
11.3.5 Drones as defense
If enemy chases you, firing back to them. Drone has 360 degree
fire and thus can cover your escape. His "tail chase" also
decreases his reaction time to defend against the drones fired
Drones is also a good way to defend yourself against ESG ram.
Throw out enough drones out there and you can take minimal damage
against ESG ram on your shields.
The Lyrans under AI control don't seem to defend themselves with
ESG if you're out to long range.
Pros: dramatically increases the launch rate from 1-2 to 6 drones
Cons: Uses a shuttle, pack itself is vulnerable before it "pops",
can overwhelm control limit
Scatter-pack can be useful if you are sure the enemy cannot kill
it before it pops. If you drop one before an overrun (say, range
15) it should pop right when you meet the enemy ship. This
requires good timing.
Make SURE you have control channels available or you'll be
wasting previously launched drones.
You can launch it close to the enemy if you are SURE enemy has no
weapons left to kill it.
To defend against scatter-packs, try to kill one before it
"pops". Else, it's standard drone defense.
11.3.7 Spread them out if you can
A swarm is a concentrated target. You should spread the drones
out so one t-bomb or one counter would not get all of them.
You need to set the launch racks to "one missile" instead of "all
missiles". Then you just need to launch multiple times with a
slight gap in between. Leaving the gap in between would give the
enemy a bit of a breathing room, but also makes your swarm
multiple smaller targets. You need to determine what IS the
optimum gap... So the salvo is still concentrated enough to be a
swarm, yet separate enough so one T-bomb won't get them all.
Obviously you can't control a scatter pack...
11.3.8 Do the anchor
A full salvo of 6 type-IV drones will severely maul a cruiser and
kill lighter ships. Thus, anchor with drones is just as deadly as
anchor with plasma torps.
Anchor makes even SLOW drones dangerous. As point-blank, defender
has NO TIME to shoot.
You can even anchor another ship to slow it down so slow drones
launched by other ships can catch up to it. This is sometimes
called the "deadweight" maneuver. (see above)
Combine an anchor with a scatter-pack can be completely
overwhelming. Imagine this scenario... You dropped a scatter-pack
before you enter weapons range. You snagged the enemy just as the
scatter-pack popped, before he can pop a weasel. You hit
EmerDecel. He shot down 1-2 and stopped another 3 via tractors.
THEN you feed him a salvo from your internal launchers AND your
alpha strike from your other weapons.
11.3.9 Counter-counter tactics
A swarm sure look scary, but there are a LOT of ways to stop
drones. To recap, here's the list:
* phaser (in point-defense mode)
* tractor beams (in point-defense mode)
* anti-drone launchers (ADDs) (in point-defense mode)
* Transporter bombs (beam them or drop them)
* Wild weasel (takes care of ALL seeking weapons targeting
* ECM (which can reduce the damage)
* ESG (absorbs all physical hits, including drones)
* Another drone (yes, you can launch a drone at another drone)
* Terrain features (planets, asteroids, dust field, etc.)
Let us discuss each of the counter and discuss how to counter
You can make the enemy use up the phaser so it is not available
shoot your drones. Basically, you need to offer the enemy ship
something else to shoot at, and usually, that would be yourself.
Shuttles are usually too valuable to be 'spent' like this, but
they are a possibility.
On the other hand, you can shoot the drones to let the enemy
spend the phasers on the drones instead of you. That's usually
what Klingons do.
11.3.11 Tractor Beam and ADD/AMD
You can't do much about tractor beams and AMDs, except with hit-
and-run raids. To do that, you need to expose yourself to counter-
fire. However, AMDs have a fixed number of "shots" and need to
reload. If you can make the AMDs expend themselves, the firing
ship will be vulnerable for a period of time while the AMD
Beware that drones being held in a tractor STILL counts against
your drone control limit.
A trick for the defender: If you are slightly faster than the
incoming drones, turn so the tractored drones are behind you,
then turn off the tractors to leave the drones behind. Now your
tractors can be used to intercept MORE incoming drones.
T-Bomb can kill a large group of drones at once. To beat that,
spread your drones out by firing at slight intervals instead of
one single swarm. So one T-bomb will kill only a few.
11.3.13 Wild Weasel
You can't do much about the wild weasel except to note that a WW
user surrenders the initiative and speed completely. The WW user
also used up one of the shuttles, which is always in short
Once you got the initiative, don't ever give it back.
You can always do the anchor, which negates the weasel.
ECM is not an efficient way to counter drones. You can slightly
reduce the damage from a drone, but minimally only.
If you are a Lyran (or sometimes Orion), ESG is a good drone
defense tool. Keep the radius to a minimum for maximum stopping
If you're fighting a Lyran, use shuttles and other things to pop
the ESG before the drones hit. This is sometimes called the "FOD
maneuver" (after "Foreign Object Damage", a military term used to
describe misc. trash sucked into jet engines).
You can counter the ESG defense by a "reverse ESG ram", which
means YOU take the hit instead of the drones. You charge in just
ahead of the drones so the drones would survive and hit the
11.3.16 Another drone
ONE drone can kill only ONE drone. So you have to target
individual drones individually. Slow the game down may help.
Note that AI don't do counter-drone launches.
11.3.17 Terrain Features
Enemy can fly behind objects so the drones can fly into them.
However, this requires a fairly crowded map. If you have a pretty
empty map, there's nothing to hide behind.
11.4 COUNTER-DRONE TACTICS
In general, if you run the drone user out of drones, you would
win as they lose most of their "punch".
11.4.1 DO NOT PANIC!
A typical cruiser can easily stop 6 or more drones. Tractors
alone can stop 3-4 drones. Phasers, ADDs, and so on can stop 2-4
more. Don't forget your shields can stop one or two easily
without taking too much damage.
11.4.2 Use ALL your anti-drone weapons
If you need a reminder, read 11.3.10 for the full list. Beware of
all the "counter-counters" they can use. So read that section and
see what THEY can do against your anti-drone weapons.
You should almost ALWAYS turn on point-defense tractors and point-
defense phasers unless you're flying against races that do NOT
use drones. Your point-defense phasers are tractors are your
PRIMARY anti-drone weapons, other than your ADD/AMD.
ESG is a great drone defense weapon if you got one. Remember to
raise them BEFORE the drones arrive. Set radius 0.
11.4.3 Remember COUNTER-DRONES
A drone CAN hit ANOTHER drone. So USE THEM! If you have low drone
launch rates fighting a fast-drone-firing enemy, one good use of
the drones is hit incoming drones.
11.4.4 Keep your speed up
Slow drones aren't that dangerous unless you get anchored, and
the enemy must get close to you to do that. If you keep you speed
up, you can keep your distance and give you time to deal with all
the drones "in the air".
You can run medium drones out if you just fly around the map
slightly faster than they are.
If you keep the speed up you have more time to deal with fast
11.4.5 Find help
All friendly ship will assist in drone defense. Play against the
AI and you'll see other ships fire at nearby drones using ADDs,
tractors, and so on as they see drone swarms aimed at one of
their own units. Your friendly units will do the same, if you are
11.5 FIGHTER TACTICS
Using your fighters optimally is a difficult subject, as fighters
don't exactly follow your commands.
11.5.1 Understanding and exploiting fighter AI
The fighter has four modes: attack, harass, defend, and defend me
(return doesn't count).
Attack means an all-out charge... Fire distance weapons when
close enough, then close up with phasers on strafing runs.
Harass means stay at mid-range if possible, constantly shooting
phasers and other weapons (if available).
Defend / defend me means stay close to the target / carrier and
attack nearby enemy units.
Attack is useful when you will be joining the attack, as the
enemy must divide weapons among you and your fighters. You all go
for overruns and gut the enemy in one huge alpha strike. Usually,
the fighters bring down a shield and you shoot through it. You
will lose many fighters, but you'll get results.
Harass is useful when you just want to keep the enemy occupied
while you reload. You'll lose less fighters, but they won't do as
In general, it's better to let the fighters go first and you try
to follow them to exploit the damage they do. You can set your
ship to follow the fighters. As you can't control the fighters,
only yourself, this gives you more chances to exploit any down
shields. If you do the damage, the fighters may not be smart
enough to shoot through the downed shield you caused.
AI ships with fighters tend to just "attack" instead of harass,
and thus the fighters are often lost. Replacing the fighters can
be a drain on your prestige points.
11.5.2 Launch immediately, or wait until after first pass?
Do you follow the fighters in, or do you go in first and the
fighters follow you?
Due to the lack of control over the fighters, it's probably
better to follow the fighters in and take advantage of any damage
they do. Which means you launch early.
I'd probably make an exception for Hydran hellbore-armed
fighters. For those, I'd make an initial pass to beat down an
enemy shield, THEN launch them to get some damage through that
down shield. On the other hand, if you take damage you may lose
the shuttle bay. It's a risk you need to evaluate.
11.5.3 Load them back!
One of the biggest mistakes fighter users commit is NOT recalling
their fighters when they should have. After fighter exhausted
their payload (heavy weapons, drones, whatever) they are left
with only phasers. Their firepower is halved or less and they are
more vulnerable to enemy fire as they must get close to do
Reload in SFC is quite fast so check if your fighters have fired
their payload and recall them, then launch them again!
Look at them fight. If they have expended their ordnance, then
recall them For their loadout, see the last section, 30
11.5.4 Convoy Raiding
Hydran ships are GREAT raiding convoys. The fighters can be
killing the ships while the mothership keeps the escort(s) busy.
Then you both run for it.
11.5.5 Note on Hydran fighters
As Hydran ships tend to be a mix of hellbore vs. fusion beam, you
should pick the fighters to complement your ship. If you are
fusion beam only, pick hellbore armed fighters. If you have
plenty of hellbores, pick some fusion beam-armed fighters. That
way, you can exploit weaknesses made by the other.
11.5.6 Heavy-Weapon Armed Fighters
Many heavy fighters are armed with heavy weapons (and can almost
be called bombers). They usually have very short range (typical
range is like 4). However, if they fire as a group the result can
still be quite devastating.
Hydrans should HOLD any Hellbore-armed fighters until AFTER the
initial pass, after the shield damage has been done and perhaps
down shields created. This will also give the ship a chance to
attempt to knock out any ADDs and phasers with H&R and weapons.
Hydran hellbore fighters should suffer minimal attrition as it is
the only fighter capable of doing significant damage at range 8
(the only fighter weapon to reach that far). It should ONLY used
in "harass" mode.
Hydran fusion-beam armed fighters are quite deadly if they can
get close to an enemy ship. Consider charging ahead, absorb the
enemy phasers, and your fighters follow up with fusion beam
11.6 ANTI-FIGHTER TACTICS
While fighters can be a threat, fighters are much easier to kill
than the ship they are based on (except when the carriers are
small, like frigate or destroyer-sized carriers).
Fighters CAN be killed by all sorts of weapons, from T-bombs to
drones, from phasers to ADDs.
Only Hydrans have fighters in SFC.
Fighters fly in a group, and each group acts as a single entity.
They launch together, and they shoot together. Most fighters have
about 10 pts of health, which is actually not a lot.
Fighters are fast, many can move as fast as ships.
Fighters are vulnerable to ALL weapons, but some do better than
others (have more health pts).
Fighters are NOT shielded, which makes them killable from ANY
Fighters do NOT explode when they die (too small).
A T-bomb in the middle of a fighter group can do wonders.
ESGs will go through fighters like a scythe through wheat.
Drones can kill fighters easily, but most fighters have phasers
to protect themselves. Still, if you can fire a few they may keep
the fighters busy.
For the defenders, fighters on convoy raids can be a nightmare,
as you have TWO targets you need to hit, both of them can kill
11.7 CLOAK TACTICS
If you have a cloaking device, how would you use it to your
First thing you do is consider how much power DO you have AFTER
the cloak is engaged. Is it enough to power the weapons? All of
them? Or just the largest one? How long would it take for you to
recharge all of them?
Second thing you do is to consider how will you evade to
One of the simplest way is approach the enemy launch torpedo(es)
just out of overload range, and start cloak. Enemy may be able to
shoot, but he'll do so against big penalties. And he'll fly right
over you as you "submerged" into the invisibility of the cloak,
screaming in frustration, while he figures out a way to deal with
those torpedoes you've fired.
Alternately, shoot off the pseudos instead. He'll fire and try to
catch you before you cloak, but he'll miss. Then you fade-in
again, and fire the REAL torpedo after he spent all his
For more variety, mix the two up occasionally.
11.7.2 Hit and Fade
Instead of an overrun, use fade-out on battle run or oblique
pass. This way you avoid getting into point-blank range, where
some of the heavy weapons can still do significant damage (like
photons and fusion beams).
11.7.3 Mine field
Use the NSM, and circle around it, keeping it between you and the
enemy. In fact, drop some T-bombs out the rear hatch as well.
Make an impromptu minefield to discourage the enemy from coming
11.8 ANTI-CLOAK TACTICS
There are several ways to defeat the cloak... The idea is to
convince the enemy commander that the cloak's disadvantages
outweighs the advantages it provides, so he won't use it. To do
that, you need to cause damage to the enemy WHILE it's under
11.8.1 Flash bulb
One way to find a cloaked ship is via the "flash bulb" effect.
Basically, you drop a mine near the cloaked ship, right on top of
it if possible. It probably won't go off, but that's all right.
THEN you somehow detonate the mine, using a drone, a shuttle, or
even yourself. That explosion will cause the cloak to temporarily
lose its effects, allow other ships to lock-on. At that moment,
do your alpha strike and launch your seeking weapons. Ka-boom!
11.8.2 Blind Overrun
Overrun the ship while its cloaked, and use the phasers at point-
blank range. The cloaked ship has minimal maneuverability, so you
can repeat the run against the same shield, perhaps even
penetrating that shield.
Just make sure you exit to the REAR of the cloaker so you can
escape its torpedoes should it shoots.
11.9 FLEET TACTICS
11.9.1 Concentrate fire!
Concentrate your fire on ONE target. This may be obvious, but not
a lot of people seem to follow it. They let their ships run wily-
nily and blame the AI when their ships got whacked.
Concentrate your firepower on ONE enemy ship at a time (this
usually means you need to use "medium" order intensity so they
all shoot at the same target). You also need to be aware of your
other ships' positions so you can hit the same shield. This may
be a good time to order a different formation.
11.9.2 Remember capture!
With multiple ships under your command, captures should be
attempted whenever feasible. It yields plenty of bonus prestige
(esp. larger ships).
Just make sure you HAVE enough marines, and you don't
accidentally blow up the ship first (or have someone else blow it
up from under you).
Some freighters and most Orion ships cannot be captured, but you
should still get some bonus pts.
Beware that when in "capture" mode, your ships will NOT use any
"heavy weapons". Therefore, it is best to DISABLE ALL enemy ships
first, THEN worry about capturing them. If you try to capture
during the middle of a heavy battle, the other enemy ships will
12 Historical Missions
13 Introduction to Single-Player Campaign
There are six different campaigns, one for each of the playable
races. Each has 5 to 13 elite missions, plus the random missions.
13.1 SIGNING ON
When you start a new campaign, you choose a race and enter your
name, also choose the era if you want. Then you are at that
race's capital. You get a new frigate and 50 prestige, enough for
the initial outfit. Remember, some empires are smaller than
others. So your "interior" can be just a few moves away from the
See [17.1] for a list of the abbreviations used for the ships.
13.2 LOOK AROUND AND MOVE AROUND THE MAP
You see your race's menu. Not all races have all choices, so if
you don't see the choice I talked about, just ignore it.
[Academy] is where you can practice controlling your ship, as
well as some of those "technical challenges. For more
information, see page 81 of your manual.
[Ranks & Medals] is where you can admire your rank insignias, as
well as any special medals or campaign ribbons you collected.
[Recruiting Office] is where you can view the crew of your ships,
and replace any department heads by trading with some prestige
points. You can also swap crew between ships.
[Vessel Library] is where you can view the different types of
ships in SFC.
[Shipyard] is where you buy or trade-in your ships, as well as do
any repairs. Depending on where you are, different ships may be
[Spacedock] is where you buy the optional accessories
("Commander's Options" in SFB), for things like shuttles,
fighters (if applicable), marine boarding parties, mines, and
[Galactic News/Map] shows status of the galaxy, and allow you to
transfer to a different sector (where you'll find more
To move into a new sector, click on [set course], then click on
the sector. You'll move into that sector in a moment.
[New Mission] starts you on a new mission. There is no "cancel".
Once you start, you start!
[Starbase Tour] repeats all this advice.
13.3 GET A NEW MISSION
Click on [New Mission] to start a new mission.
For notes on individual missions, please see 14
When you have finished the battle, you will exit back to the
"map" screen (if you survived).
You then get a choice to re-fight the battle, watch the replay,
or simply continue back to the campaign menu.
13.4 BUYING NEW SHIPS
When you have saved up enough points, it's time to buy a new
ship. Buy a new ship at the shipyard screen of a type you want,
then either keep or trade in your existing ship.
When you trade-in the ship, you trade-in the crew as well. If you
want to keep the crew, buy a small ship, transfer the crew to it,
buy your big ship, trader your crew to that, then sell the small
You can own only 3 ships, so keep that in mind as you pick and
choose. Choose those that fit your fighting style, not only those
that have high BPV (battle point value).
Remember you need to pay a LOT of prestige pts for a ship, so try
not to lose any. You get about 75% of the prestige pts back when
you trade in your ship (and nothing for the extra supplies you
bought). So consider that when you trade in.
TIP: Do NOT buy DN or larger ships. Somehow the game really
stacks the odds against you if you do so.
13.5 REFIT AFTER A BATTLE
Remember to repair damage (if any) [in Shipyard] and buy new
supplies [in Space dock] after each mission. You don't need the
maximum on each one, but having them can be useful in certain
Also update the crew if any.
Remember to replenish your missiles, mines, fighters, etc. after
14 Nine Tips for Your Campaign
14.1 START SMALL AND EASY
Do NOT overextend. You may be tempted to switch to a bigger ride
ASAP, which would be a DD. Think about it before you go, as large
ship means tougher enemies as well. See [13.7].
On the other hand, some of the frigates are deathtraps. For
example, the Klingon and Hydran frigates are very difficult to
survive in. They severely lack weapons and shields. In that case,
switching to a good DD may be good early on.
If you use drones, you also need medium speed drones when they
become available. Slow drones are just too slow.
14.2 STAY INTERIOR
Stay in the interior of your empire until you have 1-2 decent
large ships. The interior are usually only menaced by light enemy
raiding units or pirates. You shouldn't see heavier enemy units,
and having 2 CL's or CA's should be quite sufficient to defeat
Only venture out to the borders when you are ready in big ships.
14.3 STAY ALIVE
Stay alive by checking your enemies and determine quickly "do you
have ANY chance of destroying the enemy." If you are a frigate up
against a battlecruiser, it's time to run.
See 7.4 for a quick way to calculate your odds of success.
A ship, esp. when you get to cruiser or bigger ships, is a major
investment. A good CA costs around 700. At only about 150-300 pt
per mission, it takes a few missions to build up those pts, and
get a good crew. Therefore, it is ALWAYS better to run away and
live to fight another day.
Consider ending the mission when you are losing. Basically, it
means hit ESC, and select "End Mission". Then select "Play Again"
to retry the mission. Your ship(s) will survive. This is better
than playing it all the way through and take a huge loss when you
lose your ship(s). You can only win or lose a few hundred pts in
a mission, but losing a SHIP is SEVERAL mission's worth of
investment depending on how big the ship is and what kind of crew
Just remember that it takes a few seconds for the computer to
acknowledge the forfeit order. If a drone swarm is already on the
way, it may be too late.
14.4 STAY SUPPLIED
Remember to restock, esp. if you use missiles or fighters. It's
bad when you're required to fight a battle with no missiles or no
mines, or worse, no marines and no fighters.
It's better to keep racks full of slow drones (which are free)
than have less medium drones.
14.5 STAY POSITIVE
Positive in terms of prestige pts, that is. You need to always
keep a reserve of 200+ pts around, more if you use a lot of
If you fail a mission, you may need that reserve just to repair
and buy reloads. Some missions also have a penalty if you do
14.6 TRADE UP IN BIG STEPS
You lose some prestige when you trade up, so it's bad economic
sense to trade up in small steps, like FF to DD to CL to CA to
BC, and so on.
Remember to keep your crew, as when you trade-in a ship you lose
the crew. So transfer them to other ships first.
14.7 EARN THE EXTRA PTS
Every ship you capture is worth extra pts. If you have a clear
superiority and a lot of transporters (multiple ships in your
fleet), captures can yield extra pts.
Some scenario have items you can recover for extra pts.
Convoy escort missions yields bonus prestige if you save all the
freighters and esp. if you capture the enemy raiders.
Starbase defense missions yields bonus prestige, esp. if you
capture the enemy ship(s).
14.8 DO NOT GO ABOVE BCH
NEVER buy DN or BB class ships. Somehow when you start owning one
of those ships, the game starts generating overwhelming odds
against you. For example, I had a DN-CA-CL group, and I went on a
convoy raid. Care to guess what the reinforcements are? 2 DNs, 2
DNs, AND 2 BCHs. That is just ridiculous.
Get BCH and no heavier, unless you enjoy getting killed.
15 Generic Missions
Here are some hints and tips for the generic mission types.
15.1 GENERIC ENCOUNTER MISSIONS
Your fleet encounters an enemy fleet of similar ships...
Gen_AsteroidEncounter.scr -- in asteroid field, watch for dust
field damage if you fly too fast, reinforce front shields, and
don't crash into an asteroid!
Gen_DeepSpaceEncounter.scr -- no special terrain, just destroy
the other side or escape.
Gen_NebulaEncounter.scr -- in a nebula, minimum shields, no
mines, no shuttles, no drones (or for VERY limited distance), no
tractors, no transporters.
Gen_PirateEncounters.scr -- encounter pirates
Gen_BlackHoleEncounter.scr -- black hole in center of map, don't
get drawn in!
15.2 GENERIC FLEET ACTION
Your fleet joins some more friendly ships and go after fleet of
enemy ships. These are obvious I won't bother to explain them.
15.3 GENERIC BASE MISSIONS
Gen_BaseAssault.scr -- attack the enemy base, destroy it if you
Gen_BaseDefense.scr -- defense your base from enemy attack.
15.4 GENERIC CONVOY MISSIONS
Gen_ConvoyAssault.scr -- destroy the convoy
Gen_ConvoyEscort.scr -- escort the convoy
Gen_ConvoyEscortPirates.scr -- protect the convoy from pirates
NOTE: If you destroy one of the two attacking ships, you can tell
the other one to leave, and he may just do that!
Gen_ConvoyRaid.scr -- raid the convoy, capture/destroy quickly
15.5 GENERIC COURIER MISSIONS
Gen_Courier.scr -- you must take item ____ to ____
Gen_InterceptCourier.scr -- i.e. "Capture the spy", you must
prevent the courier from reaching the destination.
NOTE: That ship will be moving across your bow. Head straight for
the planet. You should be able to grab the ship as it passes by.
He's going speed 24, so you have to do better than that. Easiest
way is shove him into an asteroid (if there is one). Best way is
capture the ship and disengage.
15.6 GENERIC SURVEY MISSIONS
You need to survey this planet with a few complications
Gen_SurveyMissionEnemy.scr -- enemy ship gets in your way
Gen_SurveyMissionMonster.scr -- space monster gets in your way
Gen_SurveyMissionPirate.scr -- pirate gets in your way
15.7 OTHER GENERIC MISSIONS
Gen_Monster.scr -- generic monster scenario... destroy the
Gen_PirateAmbush.scr -- your ship is under attack by a superior
force of pirates!
Gen_PursuitAsteroids.scr -- you chase an enemy ship into the
asteroids... and found an enemy base. Can you destroy the base
AND the enemy ship?
Gen_CrippledEnemy.scr -- enemy ship is heavily damaged. Can you
destroy it before it is repaired and get away?
Gen_BringEmHome.scr -- ???
16 Unique Missions
These missions are unique (i.e. not generic). Anyone can run into
them though, and they are rather interesting.
Black holes are randomly popping up all over the map while you
engage the enemy!
Finish this one QUICKLY, keep your speed up and HET ready...
tractor the enemy ships and shove them into black hole is an
You are enforcing law... When two freighters started shooting at
each other... Who's right and who's wrong?
Talk to both of them, and deep scan both. One of them should have
heavier weapons. That's the "bully". Beat down his shield and
capture his ship. Download log from the ship you captured.
Alternative solution: tow the offender to the starbase.
Pirates have set one freighter to head into the sun while
attacking other freighters. What do you do?
Set maximum speed, yellow alert, and chase down the runaway
freighter, and tow it toward the others under attack. When the
freighter says it's fixed, lose the tractor and go after the
pirate. You should be able to destroy it before losing too many
Your ship's warp engines are acting funny so you shut down for
repairs. Then a pirate ship came by...
Start using your shuttles and fighters and so on to hold the
pirate off. Set T-bombs and use H&R raids, or even capture. Use
"repair engines" to expedite repairs until your engineer gets it
all working. Then capture/kill the pirate.
Enemy ships plan to cross the border and destroy you in a
surprise attack. You will surprise them first with an attack of
You will be fighting FIVE ships, probably CA, 2 CL or DD, and 2
FF. You are one CA alone. They don't even have their shields up,
but point defense will be active. You will need to cripple the CA
quickly. Use EVERY weapon you have, including the probe
launchers, suicide shuttles, marines, even the regular shuttles
(that's 1 ph-3 each!) T-bombs, EVERYTHING. Mizia the ships.
Consider pushing/pulling the ships together so when you blow one
up the others get damaged. If one comes active, kill that one
first! Cripple the heaviest ones first. You don't need to kill
each ship yet. Just cripple each and move on to the next.
17 Historical Missions
The historical missions are available under "skirmish" under each
race's menu. Klingons have the most, then the Feds, and finally,
the Romulans. Everybody else has the "common" set.
17.1 BLACK HOLE MANIA (COMMON)
As you fight your enemy, random black holes started to appear in
17.2 CLOAK OF NIGHT (ROMULAN)
Federation has blockaded one of our planets, and nothing is
getting through. The outpost will be forced to surrender if they
run out of supplies. You must run the blockade with your
destroyer squadron. At least one ship must beam down its supplies
(get within range 5 of the planet and beam down something), the
more the better.
You will be facing 2 CA's, 1 DD, and 1 FF. You only have 3 DD and
1 FF. Thus, you should NOT fight the Feds, since you WILL lose.
Instead, tell your other ships to stay put and CLOAK. Then run
the blockade ONE ship at a time, with YOU personally at the helm.
You should be able to get through by NOT arming weapons.
17.3 HOSTILE SKIRMISH (COMMON)
This is your generic "encounter" type battle.
17.4 INTRUDER ALERT! (COMMON)
A monster (space shell - large) was spotted in the system and
heading toward the planet. Figure out how to defeat it or at
least divert it from the planet.
Space shell is very maneuverable (similar to a Klingon ship) and
its disruptors can punch through a Fed's shields in ONE hit. It
is also invulnerable to your weapons (at least initially).
Fortunately, it only travels at speed 13. If you get close, it
will come after you.
You have to get close to it, and stay there. Your science officer
will advise you to make science probes. Go to the COMM panel to
make one, then shoot a probe at the target. Stay as close as
possible to the monster, but stay to its REAR so it can't shoot
at you. Reinforce facing shields and try to stay within range 10,
and deep scan. You'll get a lot of useless info on the monster,
and finally, you'll get a way to defeat it. However, the solution
is random each time. It could be that your weapons now work, or
use attack probe, or other solutions.
17.5 ASSAULT ON STATION K6 (KLINGON)
You in a War Eagle, along with a Commando Eagle and a Klingon D-
7, will attack the Deep Space Station K-6 (the tribbles station).
A Federation cruiser appears to be replenishing at the station
You can either capture or destroy the station. As the CE has only
1 transporter, it's pointless to ask it to capture the enemy
station or ship. Instead, just use it as a regular ship. The D-7
will go after the station, and draw most of the ph-4 fire. Follow
behind it and pour fire into the station's weakened shields, and
beam in capture team whenever possible, and tell the CE to do the
same. You should be able to capture or destroy the station
without losing the D-7.
Alternatively, you can go after the Fed CA, along with the CE.
The D-7 will put up a good fight, weakening the station before
being destroyed. Destroy or cripple the CA, then go after the
17.6 KOBAYASHI MARU (FEDERATION)
The infamous scenario... A freighter is disabled and drifted over
the neutral zone... As you (Fed CC) approach to attempt a rescue,
3 Klingon cruisers (D-7C's) attack, and you can't rescue the ship
as your tractor beam doesn't work. What will you do?
This is the no-win scenario... it's how you play it.
17.7 THE MIGHTY HOOD GOES DOWN (KLINGON)
Your D-7 and 2 D-6's have been ordered to destroy the USS Hood.
Do NOT allow it to escape.
The best way to approach this is take control of one of the D-
6's, and only go yellow alert. Set tractor beam and charge in,
and "anchor" the Hood, so the other two ships can catch up, and
blast the Hood.
17.8 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE (ROMULAN)
Attack the convoy with your War Eagle squadron. Intelligence
indicates the convoy should be lightly defended.
Well, when you show up, you find a DREADNOUGHT with the convoy.
Order the other two WE's to attack the frigate, which should
charge you. Shoot it and with this many R-torps at it should just
Download the R to S or G and continue toward the convoy, AVOID
the DN. Get in front of the freighter and use T-bombs to force it
to turn and slow. You want to slow it as much as possible.
Concentrate fire on one at a time to kill it fast. Stay AWAY from
the DN. Consider let one WE attack the DN to "distract" it. With
cloak, a DN will take a LONG time to kill a WE. You need to
destroy at least one freighter, preferably three. Beware, if you
take too long, reinforcements will arrive in the form of 1 DD and
2 FF, then you're completely doomed.
17.9 REPAIR RENDEZVOUS (COMMON)
You are a damaged cruiser that must meet a repair freighter (with
parts) and a hospital ship (to evac the wounded). Enemy ship will
Charge toward the repair freighter at max speed, EmerDecel when
you reach range 5 and turn toward the hospital ship. Comm the
freighter to get the parts. Tell it to disengage, as you head
toward the other ship. Start repairs on your damage parts. The
enemy ship should appear now. Same act with the hospital ship,
EmerDecel, then transfer... And tell it to leave. Turn around to
engage the enemy ship. Repaired, you should be able to defeat it.
17.10 ROMAYASHI MARU (ROMULAN)
This is the Romulan version of Kobayashi Maru... with a few
twists. You are in a BCH (yep, nice ship, with an R-torp no
less). Your objective is to prevent the freighter from falling
into enemy hands.
As you approach the freighter, 3 Fed CC+'s will intercept you.
They fire on the freighter first, so you have time to get away.
Do NOT use the tractor on the freighter as you need the tractors
for drone defense, and if the tractors "burn out" you can only
use phasers as point defense.
Then it's a matter of killing CC+ and/or escaping to the
17.11 STARBASE ASSAULT (COMMON)
Pick 3 ships (cruisers or heavier please) and take on an enemy
base along with its defenders.
It is best to draw the defenders out away from the base and take
care of them, THEN repair and THEN take care of the base. It's
not going anywhere.
17.12 SURPRISE REVERSED (COMMON)
Same as 16.12
17.13 BALANCE OF TERROR (ROMULAN)
You are ready to test the Neutral Zone... Take the War Eagle and
take out as many of the border posts (on asteroids) as you can.
Expect enemy interference. NCC-1701 Enterprise is in the area.
Charge torpedoes and cloak. The asteroid outposts come in 2
types: phaser, and drone. The drone type is more dangerous since
it can burst 4 drones and you only have 1 tractor beam (and
remember, no tractor when you fade in! ). Arm enveloping
torpedoes (asteroid has no shields, so the damage is doubled),
and shoot the outpost, get to range 10 as you can if it's the
phaser type. Just reinforce the facing shield.
When you destroy the second one, a freighter will show up. You
can get to it for item replacements (repair parts mainly).
When you destroy the third outpost, Enterprise will show up.
Defeating him will be difficult, but not impossible. In general,
arm torpedo and move slowly, reinforce rear shields, and hope the
Enterprise overtakes you. Then decloak behind him and feed him
the type-R. Cloak immediately and repeat until you toast him.
Defeating the drone-type asteroid base is tougher, as you must
start from further away. Your phasers don't recharge fast enough
to take on the second wave of drones somehow. Just keep shooting
torpedoes at it from range 20, cloak, recharge, decloak, and
repeat. Wipe out all the outposts, and you win really big!
NOTE: This took me a WHOLE HOUR, but I destroyed Enterprise AND
wiped out all the outposts.
17.14 THE DUEL (COMMON)
This is your normal duel scenario, ship vs. ship.
17.15 WRATH OF KHAN (FEDERATION)
Enterprise is engaging the Reliant in the Mutara Nebula.
Enterprise is damaged by a previous surprise attack. Do NOT let
Khan get away...
As Kirk, you can insult Khan to goad him into attacking. Get
behind the Reliant and blast him. Do NOT repair your 2 damaged
photons. You don't need them, really. Pump power into ECM as you
don't want those photons to hit. Switch to ECCM when your photons
are charged, switch back to ECM as you evade. Keep phaser active
as you must defend against the drone launcher (at least until
it's destroyed). Lead the Reliant to the border of the sector.
You should be able to disable it if you move carefully. Then
either destroy the Reliant or get out of the nebula...
18 Elite Missions
In general, the Elite missions should only be attempted when you
have at least a light cruiser or better. You don't have to accept
the initial invitation. You just have to spend prestige to join
Federation special missions deals with missing Organians, and a
surprise enemy returns... They are quite hard...
18.1.1 Errand of Curiosity
Find out what happened to the Organians... Check each and every
of the listening posts.
Just deep-scan every one of those outposts, ignore the phasers.
Then deep-scan the planet. If the Klingon ship attack you (which
it won't do until later), capture/destroy it, or just disengage.
18.1.2 Testing Grounds
Federation is testing a new device on this freighter, make sure
you protect it.
Destroy the first group of Orion raiders quickly. A friendly ship
(NCL?) will show up. Pull the freighter to where it needs to be
and let your friendly ship keep the Orions off. Drop off the ship
at where it needs to go, then watch your buddy carefully, as you
help him take care of the remaining Orions. He'll come after you
and try to tow the freighter away. CAPTURE that ship.
18.1.3 Bordering on Insanity
You are getting reports that Federation ships are attacking
everybody, driving up tensions all over the Neutral Zone. Find
out what is going on.
The "Fed" frigates are attacking the friendly ships (could be any
of the neighboring races). You have to save both of the
friendlies if you can, as well as scan the outpost before the
mission ends. In general, the Romulans can best take care of
themselves, as they can fire and cloak. Others have hard time
avoiding the "Fed" frigates, could be FFDs and FFGs. Charge
toward one, destroy the Fed frigates (or at least destroy one so
the friendly ship can kill the other), pass by the outpost on the
way to scan it, then save the other guy.
18.1.4 Dancing with Myself
You need to capture the mirror guy's ship, and deliver it to the
____... Could be any race, usually Gorn.
This one can be hard if you equip wrong... The enemy ship is a
mirror-image of your most recent ship, so you need to get rid of
the marines and shuttles from that ship. Buy a worthless frigate
if you must... Strip it of mines, shuttles, and marines.
You start near the Gorn ship. Ignore it. Head toward the Orion
base station, and destroy the two ships that fly around. Those
guys move really fast and are extremely annoying. Once the two
are gone, your nemesis will enter the system. Capture him, and
tow him to the accusing ship. Then hail the accusing ship...
18.1.5 A Nest of Spies
We located the Orion base that the Imperials use. Take the place
of an enemy ship, beam infiltration team onboard the "mirror"
base to steal data, beam them back out, and escape.
There will be two escorts to the base. Don't let both of them to
be destroyed or the meeting's off. You will need to destroy some
Orion ships... Let the Orions destroy one and weaken the other,
THEN destroy the Orion ship(s). Then head back to base, bash the
shield, beam in the team, and circle. Enemy ships will come after
you, so it's best to have a second ship escorting you. When the
infiltration team is ready, bust down the shield, beam them out,
and run for it. If you can, destroy the base and the remaining
escort for more pts.
Capture Decker's ship and destroy the Imperial fleet.
Enough said... Capture him and get rid of the rest. You may have
to take the lead. You'll get plenty of help from other races.
18.1.7 Any one know what Doomsday this is?
Mirror Decker has somehow found a wormhole that leads to a
Planetkiller graveyard. They seem to be trying to get one back
online. Scan each and every one of those corpses, and kill any
that came back to life. You may need to "borrow" one of the enemy
ships to do that...
Go from your left and scan each dead PK one at a time until you
find a live one (should be the last one). Capture the cruiser,
and force it into the PK to kill it. The frigates are easy enough
18.1.8 Rift Raft
This freighter has a device that'll send the Imperial fleet back
into the mirror universe... Can you protect it long enough for it
to do its job?
Keep one ship at the freighter while you go forward and bash. Or
you can slap a tractor on the freighter and PUSH it into position
even faster. Once the freighter does its job that should be it.
18.1.9 Armageddon Day
Somehow, the mirror Decker has amassed his fleet of Planetkillers
and he's coming after Earth. Our only chance is our experimental
nova bombs... Drop one in front of every planetkiller you run
into, AND take care of Decker's DN... And maybe Earth will
This is a VERY tough mission. Run out there and destroy Decker's
DN. Then forget your weapons... Go speed 31 yellow alert and feed
a bomb to each planet killer. Remember, your transporters have
range 5.99. Use it. The planetkillers are slow (speed 6), but the
bombs must be dropped with great precision or when it blows,
it'll take the ship with you, and you only have three ships max
(and limited number of bombs).
NOTE: you can get more nova mines from Earth. Beam the nova mines
out like T-bombs. Drop shields first to grab it.
18.1.10 Land of the Lost
The Organians are gone and you've been ordered to investigate
this system, which has a planet with energy signature very close
to Organians. Get in there, scan anything unusual, and beware of
When you get close enough to the phenomenon, "enemy" ships appear
out of nowhere and start attacking you. Deep scan the phenomenon,
the ship, AND the planet, and you can leave.
18.1.11 Fed_Special2.scr / ????
The Skorr venerates A'lar, and after his death, his soul is being
shipped to a planet where it will be permanently kept. If the
soul was lost, the Skorr may go crazy... So don't lose it...
As you may imagine, a Klingon ship attacks you quickly.
You have two approaches... Turn and fight the Klingon, or shove
the freighter out of the way. Or you can combine both...
18.1.12 Fed_Special3.scr / ???
That energy field you scanned was an escaped being from a black
hole. He kept there by the Organians for a reason. You will need
to put him back somehow. The Mandoss system onboard this
freighter will do it... What you need to do is get the freighter
into the energy field and activate the device, thus capturing
this escapee, then shove the freighter into the blackhole.
As you can imagine, this escapee is not happy at all, and he'll
"make" all sorts of ships to attack you. Shove the freighter into
the field, then shove the freighter into the blackhole, while you
keep the enemy ships away.
Romulans have two elite organizations: the Tal'Priex (Praetorian
Guard) or Tal'Shiar (Secret Service). Tal'Shiar usually has a
second agenda in everything...
18.2.1 Four Funerals and a Wedding
Oselia of House Coriann is getting married to General Aselius.
Tal'Preix: you will escort the freighter to the destination. It
must arrive safely.
Tal'Shiar: you will convince the freighter to go to a different
planet... As our other squadron do a bit of distraction...
18.2.2 Medicine Jar
Traveler's Disease is sweeping through the empire.
Tal'Preix: Ship experimental medicine to ____ planet, and don't
let a couple rebels stop you.
Tal'Shiar: Get the medicine to one of the ships that is...
friendlier to the Tal'Shiar.
18.2.3 Yellow Flag
A fleet of ships full of plague victims is heading toward
Romulus, hoping for treatment.
Tal'Preix: do NOT allow the ships to leave this sector OR to
reach Romulus. Disable the ships if necessary.
Tal'Shiar: convince the ships that Immelask has better treatment,
do NOT allow ships to reach Romulus
18.2.4 Howdy, neighbor!
Times are desperate, as we must learn more about the Traveller's
Disease. You have permission to raid one of our neighbor's border
station for any info you may find. You are assigned another
Tal'Preix: Also try to keep the other ship alive.
Tal'Shiar: See if you can get the other ship killed... Without
doing it yourself.
Keeping the other ship alive is nearly impossible. The enemy
ships won't attack you unless you attack first. So... Send the
other guy in (let him get ahead of you), then let him soak up the
phasers. THEN you charge in, drop the enemy shield, and beam in
the marines. Cloak if you need to. Capture the station, hold it
for X seconds, then RUN for it.
18.2.5 Scan and Scram
Rumors points to Orions as source of the plague. You will scan a
nearby Orion base. The "other" organization has asked to
accompany you on your trip.
Tal'Preix: Deep scan the base and leave.
Tal'Shiar: Deep scan the base, AND drop a black box on the base
as well. Don't ask what's in the box.
18.2.6 Orion Must be Destroyed
Your taskforce has been ordered to destroy the main Orion base in
the sector, as the evidence seems to be quite clear.
Tal'Preix: just do it
Tal'Shiar: do that, and scan Dominatus, a ship in your fleet. It
has funny readings...
Travelling at warp speed can slow traveler's disease. However,
people, upon hearing this, are fighting for every ship that can
travel at warp speed, and anarchy is the result. Our ship has
received vessels to restore order and rescue any victims.
You will see life pods all over the place. Beam the people
onboard as fast as you can, destroy the ships that attack other
18.2.8 Secret of Romulan Fury
Tal'shiar: You've been tasked with a special mission... Transport
a package to Vulcan.
Tal'Priex: You must prevent the Tal'Shiar from dropping
Traveller's Disease on Vulcan, our ancient homeworld.
You'll see a Federation starbase with various Federation ships.
They will shoot at both ships if in range.
As the Tal'Shiar, cloak and run past everybody, keep your
distance from the SB (those ph-4's can KILL you, even under
cloak!), and when you get close enough, drop decoy for ECM, max
ECM, and RUN for the planet!
As the Tal'Priex, the Tal'Shiar will probably cloak. Get close
and sit on its rear, and keep shooting phasers at its rear, while
you have enveloping torps armed. When he uncloaks, nail him with
your torpedoes, H&R raids on the torpedoes, follow up with
18.2.9 War of the Tals
Ah, the grand finale... This one is fun.
Tal'Priex: The Romulan Tal'Shiar leader said he created the
Traveller's Disease, and unless he's declared Praetor he'll drop
the improved version on Romulus. DESTROY HIM!
He'll show up in a Condor. Let other ships take the lead, and you
beat down weakened shields and beam in boarding parties to
capture. Once he's captured you win.
Tal'Shiar: Lead the Tal'Shiar fleet to victory and help vice
consul Tuvius become praetor, and you will be remembered as a
You get a Condor and a few lighter ships. Tal'Priex has many
different cruisers, including even some War Eagles. Stay out and
nail the enemy one at a time, and they should surrender when you
get close enough.
18.2.10 Rom_Special1.scr / If at First You don't Succeed...
The planet needs a shipment of hitherium. Escort this freighter
and defeat the Orions.
As you can expect, nothing is really as it seems...
18.2.11 Rom_Special2.scr / Going, going, gone...
The Orion pirates have captured a ship full of dilithium
crystals. Retake the freighter and get it out of the system.
18.2.12 Rom_Special3.scr / A Dish Best Served Cold (?)
18.3.1 Expedition to Organia
Investigate the energy phenomenon at Organia...
When you get there, deep scan the energy rift, then launch a
probe. You'll take damage. Talk to the Fed, and exchange data.
Then destroy that 'third' ship that shows up.
18.3.2 A Hole in Time and Space, Part 1
You must capture one of the two Lyran ships for part 2 of the
Should be pretty simple... Just capture one of the CL's that show
up, and destroy the other one.
18.3.3 A Hole in Time and Space, Part 2
Escort this suicide freighter in with the captured Lyran ship.
The freighter must crash into the base, and you must escape.
This mission is pretty f***ing impossible. Don't bother with
weapons... Just go yellow alert, and dump all energy into speed.
Drop mines to confuse enemies, but remember, your supply is very
limited. Try to "draw off" the enemies so they chase after you.
The freighter can survive a few ph-4 shots from the base, but it
won't survive if the enemy ships also chase it. Keep your speed
up and try to go for the wormhole as soon as the base blows up.
18.3.4 Paradise by Disruptor Light
A destroyer squadron had vanished. Few days ago, they reappeared
and raided one of our bases. You will follow them through the
wormhole and determine why they mutinied and deal with them.
You start in a system with a single planet. The rebel ships call
it "paradise" and they beam you a message. Destroy/capture all
rebel ships, then keep hitting the planet until the colony is
destroyed, and you can go home.
18.3.5 Cloak of Night
The Black Fleet needs you to go check our enemies testing anti-
cloak technology. Destroy their prototype, and any escorts. This
can be any of your neighboring races (I got Lyrans or Feds).
You get a small escort ship. Just as you approach the enemy, the
escort broadcast your position! Go back and capture it (don't
destroy it)! The freighter must be scanned first before
destroyed. Just destroy the escorts, then nail the freighter.
18.3.6 That Which Must Die
Go through the wormhole, and destroy the Tribbles...
This is NOT a fun mission... if you don't bring at least 2
cruisers (3 preferred), you'll have a tough time cracking the
After you go through, ships (Orion and Fed) start coming after
you, mainly DD's and CL's. You also need to locate and capture
the "zoology" ship (scan each one, as usual, maybe a freighter?).
Scan each and destroy them if not your special target. You head
around the planet, and you see the station... It's got ph-4's.
It's best to use a D-7L or D-7G and capture it, as you'll get
pounded into pieces if you fight it. When all has been captured
or destroyed, keep hitting the planet until your science officer
said "no life remains". Then you can go home.
18.3.7 The Devil You know
The "mirror" universe "Empire" has sent a representative to meet
with us. See what they have to offer.
When you show up, you see the Fed-CADR (ISS Apollo) in the
asteroid field. In the distance is a planet killer (PK). Go
through the asteroid field, stay outside once you're on the other
side. Two Fed ships will approach (the real Feds). Destroy them.
The ISS ship then insults you, and activates the PK. Capture that
ship, then use it to destroy the PK, and you can go home.
18.3.8 Vanishing Act, part 1
You must scan the different rifts and locate the missing
shipyards, and go through the rift if necessary.
Scan the fractures one at a time. You can't lock onto them until
you're within range 100, so just fly toward it. Two Orion CA's
will stalk you. Destroy them when they approach. Scan each rift
going counter-clockwise. That "last" one should be the right one.
Go through onto part 2.
18.3.9 Vanishing Act, part 2
You're arrived at this system... Where Klingons have already
destroyed this psionic race a long time ago... So, what's the
The few ships in the system are not really worth your trouble,
just swat them aside. Get close to the planet and scan it.
Science officer said you'll need to get closer. When you get to
range 15, you'll get a psychic message. Destroy ALL the defense
platforms. (Again, easiest way is to beam one marine onboard).
Save your ammo and destroy the drydocks with phasers only (it'll
take a while). Phaser all the dead bodies in space as well
(optional). Feel free to blast the planet a bit (you can't
destroy it), but the main thing is shipyards. Once all the
platforms and shipyards are gone, you can go home.
18.3.10 We are the dead
You must capture Dr. Kraa, who has done psionic research and has
escaped through one of the wormholes.
You'll see this planet and a bunch of weak cruisers (NCT's and
DWs and such), Klingon, Hydrans, and Fed, but there is this ONE
Gorn ship that's good. Blast everybody else (they don't fly that
fast), then capture the Gorn ship, and that's it. Scanning should
tell you which one has Kraa and which one does not.
The grand finale... The enemy that controls the psychic powers
has traveled to Praxis via wormhole and taken it over. You must
first drop a psychic disruptor on Praxis to halt the weapons
production, and second, destroy ALL the enemy ships in the
This is best done with a missile ship. I did it in a D6DB, after
losing both my D7D and my D7L right at the beginning.
This will be tough, as right at the beginning, the bases turn on
you! Just fly at maximum speed and get out of range. You may lose
one or two ships immediately.
Continue to Praxis, maximum speed, and drop the disruptor on the
moon, and then curve out of the way of the cruisers near the
moon. Kill the Hydran light cruisers that come after you. Those
Hydran fighters from those CL's are DEADLY (Stinger 3's). Kill
the fighters first, THEN swarm the ships with drones. The heavy
cruisers around the moon will come, but they don't defend against
drone swarms too well. Use scatter pack and drone swarm on them.
If you run out, do a close approach on Praxis (range 3 or so) and
you should get resupplied if you beam up items from it. Then
proceed to wipe out all enemy ships. When the last ship die, you
You are to reclaim the ship remains from recent battles, beware
of interference. If you see them, H&R it to "tag" with a tracking
device. Destroy those you can't tag.
You see the hulk of three ships in the distance, and three enemy
ships (frigates or destroyers). Scan the enemy ships, and your
science offer will say those seem like odd hybrids of Lyran and
other technologies. They mention something about Usurper.
Set H&R on any and/or all of them. They don't even need to
escape. Once H&R is done, you can destroy the ships. Then scan
the three hulks. On two of them the science officer will tell you
that it's not worth saving. The third one, tow it to the border.
18.3.13 That's not a mission, that's suicide!
You are to scan the three protostars for a beacon. This is the
"great burning zone", a huge radiation belt. No one has survived
(that we know of), but those hybrids definitely came from here.
Your special ship has no weapons... But it'll survive the
Scan all three protostars. You can fly really close to each one.
There are dust fields between the asteroids, and at least two
space shells come after you. Avoid the dust fields, and just fly
to each protostar and scan. See if you can get the space shell to
crash into an asteroid... Once all three are scanned, you get an
exit vector, so leave...
You get a C-9 and 2 other ships for this special mission... Get
into the WYN territory, and destroy their shipyards and escorts.
Get in there, and blast the few Orion LRs and such, then wipe out
the 2 drydocks. Once you done that, you can leave, or you can try
to take out the Hydran cruiser coming in as reinforcement.
Hydrans have three "elite" organizations: the Keepership
("preserves" monsters), Beast-Hunters (kills monsters), and
Sacred Beast (let no one desecrate the monsters).
Drive off the beast hunters and rescue the young space shells.
Head toward the nearest freighter. Drop off your fighters and
send them along with your wingmen, if any, to attack the NEXT
nearest freighter. Destroy or capture all of the freighters as
you don't want them to tow the space shells away. Then tow each
of them back to the asteroid field to finish.
18.4.2 Fait Accompli
You need to protect the containment field generators against
Just destroy all of the enemy ships that show up. There is no
need to physically repair the posts, but if would be nice if you
18.4.3 Eye of the Storm
The Klingon listening post is in an electrical storm. Capture it,
download its information, and leave! Expect reinforcements and
NOTE: you'll take random damage in the electrical storm.
Keep a good supply of spare parts ready, as there will be plenty
of damage. The single ship protecting the outpost cannot even
slow you down. Just capture the outpost as you fly by. Enemy
reinforcement will be strong, so just disengage after you got the
18.4.4 Final Voyage
An old Sunglider (monster) wants to kill himself by flying into
the sun. Fulfill his wish. Do NOT let him be killed by other
You'll see two factions of Hydrans... The Beast Worshippers, and
the Beast Hunters. The Beast Hunters want to kill the monster,
while the Beast Worshippers want to kill you (and any one who
threatens the monsters). You... Just kill both sides and let
whatever Hydran deities sort them out. Do it quickly as the sun-
glider cannot take too much damage.
Alternate approach: tractor the sun-glider and SHOVE it toward
the sun at top speed, and use fighters and T-bombs to keep the
enemies off your tail.
18.4.5 You are IT!
Transport bio-monitoring packages onto young astrominers
(monsters). There are always complications...
As expected, a bunch of beast hunters show up to spoil the party.
Destroy them and/or capture them, while you target each astro-
miner and beam the package onboard each one. The last one may
speak to you... Talk to it and get some bonus points.
18.4.6 Dragon's Breath Part 1
Hydran base in _____ has came under surprise attack, and no
forces will reach it in time. The only hope is to recruit one of
the Star-beasts and hope it will lead its fellows into joining
you in taking care of the problem. However, you must first FIND
the one that will speak...
18.4.7 Dragon's Breath Part 2
Continuation of the previous mission, where you will actually
beat back the attack.
18.4.8 Endangered Species
The Beast-cult have seized control of the base and the planet.
Take this transport, and retake the system. Do so without
bloodshed if possible.
Talk to the ships with NO weapons armed, and convince them to
listen, that the star-beasts joined you of their own free will.
They'll tell you to go to an asteroid and summon another star-
beast and talk to it, and thus, you must pass this "test". If you
18.4.9 Beast Unknown
A wormhole has opened into enemy system ______. We are raiding
one of their "observatories". Get as much information from the
station as possible.
You will encounter a star-beast there, trapped by mines. Sweep
the mines, and "rescue" the star-beast.
A group of space shells are gathering in a nebula, reasons
unknown. As expected, beast hunters are on the move... Protect
the space shells, destroy the beast hunters.
Destroy the enemy ships, and deep-scan the star. Your science
officer should say something about the space is "singing". Try
hailing the monsters... After that, deep scan the planet too and
you should win.
18.4.11 The Abyss Stares Back
It's time to return the beasts to their preserves. Knock the
beasts unconscious so they can be tractored back behind the
Nothing is ever THAT simple... Expect a black hole in the system,
among other things... It's time to make a choice...
The Gorns have three "elite" organizations... King's Fleet,
Defenders of the Egg, and Guardians Errant. Depending on which
faction you belong to, some of the missions can be quite
The early Gorn missions should probably be done in a DDL. It is
MUCH more powerful than FF, yet the randomly generated enemies
usually fall into the FF range. Later you can add CC's and other
18.5.1 Gor_1ASign.scr / A Sign of the Times
Deliver medicine to Igorash I. Should be simple, but almost never
Run to the planet at top speed, hail when in range, beam down
medicine when in range. An Orion ship should have followed you
in. Destroy/capture it.
Two or three more Gorn ships will enter the system. Hail all of
them. Do NOT attack the one that talks back. That's Commander
Golash. Destroy the other ship(s).Golash will attack the planet
and ignore you. Catch up to him and tractor him away from the
planet. He will challenge you personally to HTH (hand to hand)
combat on Igorash II. Slap a tractor on him and PULL him to the
other planet as he moves slowly (speed 8) and you don't want the
planet destroyed. If he challenges you again, accept again.
Once there, beam down the boarding party (in the transport
screen), and in a minute, you're done...
18.5.2 Picking the Bones.
We're going after that traitor's clan. Take the marine transport
and capture the weapon caches on the asteroids and the base (i.e.
capture the asteroid base and the base station).
NOTE: Make sure you have plenty of marines yourself for all the
Capture/destroy the fleeing Orion ship, and the approaching Gorn
The quickest way to take out the defense platforms is to knock
down one shield and beam a single boarding party onboard. As it's
undefended, it blows up when captured.
Capture the asteroids AND the base. You will probably need to
take manual command of each ship as you beam down more guys. You
will need plenty of marines on your ships, so protect that
commando ship you got! Use "disable" fire to kill enemy boarding
parties. You need to capture EVERYTHING for a good score.
18.5.3 Bright Colony, Full of Flame
Destroy the enemy colony.
This mission is simple... Destroy the enemy colony. Destroy the
escorting ships as well. The enemy governor may offer to trade
some information. Accept his offer, and blast him any way.
18.5.4 Green Eggs and Empire
Escort the VIP eggs to be blessed.
When the mission starts, your ship will suddenly take damage and
your escorts (2 BBs) will blow up (sabotage), and the freighter
accelerates to meet some pirates!
Repair tractors and transporters ASAP, chase down the freighter
(it's only going speed 12) and slap a tractor on the freighter,
then PULL it toward the planet, compensating for its thrust as
well. Go maximum speed. The Orion ships are pretty far away.
Recapture the freighter when you can, continue to tow it back to
the planet. When Orions are close, start dropping T-bombs. When
you get close to the planet (say, range 50), head back out and
defeat the Orion ships (watch out, one of them is a missile
ship). Once that's done, you can leave the map to finish the
18.5.5 Gor_5HatchingAScheme.scr / Hatching a Scheme
The Queen Mother is having an illicit meeting with an Orion
Depending on which Gorn faction you're with, the mission differs
quite a bit.
As King's Guard, you need to take Queen Mother into protective
custody, and destroy the Orions.
As Defender of the Egg, you do whatever Queen Mother says, which
is rescue her and escape the map.
As Guardians Errant, setup listening devices to keep track of
everybody. If the mission goes bust, destroy any Orion ships you
see (as many as you can) and don't destroy any Gorn ships or
allow any to be destroyed.
18.5.6 Wooden Starships, Iron Men
Again, the objectives depend on which faction you are with, but
essentially it's fight all comers.
King's Men: destroy shipyards and any one who resist
Defenders: destroy shipyard and King's Men
Guardians: defend shipyards
No further information at this time.
18.5.7 All the King's Starships
Scan Orion base for stolen eggs, then call your reinforcements to
destroy the base.
You can't recover the eggs via transporter as you're in a nebula,
so just deep scan the base, then run back to the fleet (you can't
talk to them, too much interference). Bring them in and destroy
everybody. Consider charging defensive (shotgun) torpedoes.
18.5.8 Muddy Waters
In order to locate the missing eggs, you must... "borrow" Harry
Mudd from a Federation penal colony.
You need to capture the base to turn off the shields, THEN you
can deep scan and locate Harry Mudd. Beam him up, and a
Federation ship will try to stop you. Capture/destroy/disengage.
18.5.9 The Egg and Why
Still trying to rescue those eggs.
Capture the freighter heading toward the planet. They'll give you
the password. Control your freighter and fly it in. Tell the
other ships to stay behind.
The Orions should ignore you as the freighter. Scan the planet
and you'll locate the eggs. Beam down the combat team and rescue
the eggs. Beam them back up, and run for your fleet. Tell your
fleet to "escort" you as well, and run for map's edge. However,
stop at the edge. You'll get two more messages: 1) some eggs are
missing, and 2) "Great Father" said the eggs are his. Now you can
run across the border.
18.5.10 The Gorn Navy vs. The Great Father
You are going to take on the Great Father... giant Space shell
Qezl. Guess there's something to those old myths after all.
Don't destroy the smaller space shells as you'll just get MORE of
them. Fly past them and scan the planet, and you'll see a
forcefield. Qezl is getting energy from somewhere else... Go scan
the moon and destroy the generators... Qezl should now be
beatable. Destroy him, go back to planet, beam down the team,
save the eggs, destroy remaining space shells, and go home.
Lyrans have three elite organizations: Red Claw, Iron Fang, and
18.6.1 A Cold Quiet Place
We have lost communication with planet . Go there and find out
what's going on.
When you get there, you see some Orion ships. Take them out, and
scan the planet. You'll see it's half out of phase. Then you can
Clan White Edge is not exchanging the technology it is obliged
to. We'll take it by force. Your "cousin" will join you as the
other prong of attack.
As you start your attack, your "cousin" betrays you and radios in
your location. He then joins the enemies in attacking you! Deal
with the traitor when you can (capture it is preferred). Scan
both the platform and the planet. Then leave.
18.6.3 Scum of the Universe
Enter the nebula, and make contact with the Informant. Others
(Orions / Klingons) may try something. Get the information and
get out. This is in a nebula. Oh, and take out that listening
post on the way out. (Depends on your clan affiliation)
Orions and Klingons will attack this freighter you're meeting.
Hail the freighter, destroy Klingons and Orions, and the
listening post (scan it first). The freighter must escape.
18.6.4 The Plot Thickens
The Orions seem to be colluding with one of the Clans. We will
gather that evidence. Go to system , scan this asteroid (which
has one of our sensor probes on it), download the data, and
As you expect, this was a trap. There was no data. However, you
can destroy the enemies and scan the station and the planet for
the data. You must escape.
Your cousin has challenged you for an ancient heirloom. Take one
of your ships, destroy as many of the 16 mine controllers (they
look like LPs) in the system. Who gets the most kills wins the
He shows up in a heavier ship than yours. Just approach each mine
controller and beam four boarding parties onboard each one. As
there's only 2 defenders, you will capture it, and thus can keep
the speed up. About half way through the course, and squadron of
1 DD and 2 FF will chase you. Fly around obstacles to spread them
out, and take care of them one at a time. Then capture or destroy
the LP's. Do NOT attack your cousin. When all are captured or
destroyed, just leave the map.
The planet has reemerged from that phased ... "phase". it has
refused ships from other clans, though supply ships are allowed
through. Get in there, scan *ALL* the listening posts to download
A FLEET of ships will chase you all over. First a CA comes in,
then some CL's and MP's. Just get within range 15 and activate
the deep scanner. You don't even need to fully charge it. Then
continue to the next one.
18.6.7 The Whole Kitten Kaboodle
Engineer Zarr is offering his services to the most "fitting"
Clan. Go there, represent our clan, and see what you can do to
win Zarr's services without shooting someone else.
When you get there, Zarr order you to fight each other... The
last man standing is the winner. Then Mountain Watcher Clan shows
up with a DN... Basically, kill everybody else without being
killed. Last man standing is the winner. Unite and smite the DN
first, let someone else take the lead. THEN kill the survivors.
This one is VERY tough, and NOT recommended without several CA's
Tractoring Zarr off the map is NOT a valid solution. While it is
possible, it does NOT give you the expected outcome.
18.6.8 Strike First, Strike Hard
The Mountain Watcher clan must be stopped. Its treachery has
affected all of us. The three clans have joined together to take
on the MW base. Destroy the base.
As you can expect, nothing is as it seems. The Mountain Watcher
Clan gets some SERIOUS reinforcements... and it becomes a
desperate fight to survive...
18.6.9 Broken Toys
The Mountain Watcher clan seems to be building a subspace phased
shield around the planet, which will make them nearly impervious
from attack. Fortunately, the freighters bringing parts for the
project is vulnerable. Destroy the freighters and the defense
platforms (depending on which clan you're with).
No further information at this time.
19 SFC ships
Each empire has multiple classes of ships, from freighters to
frigates, from destroyers to dreadnoughts. Keep in mind that a
lot of the ship names and abbreviations are derived from the
ship's class name, instead of the overall classification of the
19.1 SHIP CLASSIFICATION OVERVIEW
The civilian / auxiliary ship classifications are
* Small Freighters (all freighters are F)
* Large Freighters (all freighters are F)
The warship classifications, from smallest to largest, are
* Fighters / Attack-Shuttles [Not counted separately, but as
part of a CV carrier]
* Police Corvette (POL) [Counts as FF]
* Frigates (FF)
* War Destroyer (DW) [Counts as DD]
* Destroyer (DD)
* Light Cruiser (CL)
* War Cruiser (CW) [Counts as CA or CL]
* Heavy Cruiser (CA)
* Battlecruiser (BC/BCH) [Counts as CA]
* Dreadnought (DN)
* Battleship (BB) [Counts as DN]
* Carriers (CV) [see note below]
In general, police corvette have 1 heavy weapon, frigates have 2,
destroyers have 3-4, cruisers have 4, dreadnoughts have 6, and
battleships have 10 (8 fore, 2 aft)
Only Hydrans operate carriers in SFC, and Hydran carriers are not
pure carriers... Most ships carries a few fighters as a part of
its design, instead of a purpose-built fighter-carrier that most
other races use.
That is discussed in the next section, in 18.
19.3 WARTIME CONSTRUCTION
In wartime, the smaller ships are easier to build as their
stardocks are easier to build. The larger ship hulls are needed
for certain specialized variants. When the losses start to mount,
shipyards must somehow increase production of larger ships. Thus,
the "war destroyers" and "war cruisers" are born.
A "war destroyer" is basically a frigate expanded to have the
power and weapons of a destroyer. It has less overall volume than
a destroyer, but can be built in a frigate shipyard.
A "war cruiser", similarly, is a destroyer or light cruiser built-
up to full cruiser, but can be built in destroyer/light-cruiser
Each race has its own solutions to the wartime construction
problem. For example, the Federation did not have a "war
cruiser". Its "new light cruiser" (NCL) design, using some of
destroyer's parts, essentially served as that design. The
Federation also had a competition between the FFB (battle
frigate) and the DW (war destroyer) and the DW was ultimately
There are many other variants to each class. Some races chose to
build "leader" version of certain classes to act as 'squadron
leaders' when operating in a group. For example, a squadron of
Klingon F-5 frigates will be lead by a F-5L. For a list of
variants, see 17.5.
A battlecruiser is essentially a ship with the maximum amount of
firepower one can pack onto a cruiser hull, often approaching
DN's firepower, but can be built in a regular cruiser shipyard.
Eventually no more dreadnoughts were made. They have been
replaced by battlecruisers.
19.4 CARRIERS AND FIGHTERS
Carriers are special ships that carry smaller specialized vessels
into battle, usually fighters. Only Hydrans operate "carriers" in
SFC, and those are hybrid carriers, not true carriers.
Fighters are basically armed shuttles that carry drones and
perhaps some pre-charged heavy weapons. Each 'squadron' is
launched together and can be ordered to attack target or defend
All races operate multiple variants of ships. In general, the
most of a specific type that race builds, the more likely
different variants will be produced.
For example, a destroyer can be built as normal, drone, battle
(heavy), escort, commando, and more.
In general, the cruiser has the most variants.
Here are some common suffixes used to denote the variants
A Aegis, a variant of Escort
B Battle (extra heavy), EX: FFB = battle frigate, almost a
C Command, has flag bridge, slightly more weapons, EX: CC =
D Drone, lots of drone launchers, EX: NCD (new drone
cruiser, drone version of NCL)
E Escort, phaser heavy, few/no heavy weapons, EX: DDE =
G Commando (all except Federation), Guided/G-Rack refit
H Heavy, EX: DNH = heavy dreadnought
L Light or Leader
T Transport (very rare)
V Carrier, carries fighter-shuttles
The Feds chose to use a C PREFIX for their commando ships.
NOTE: Only Hydrans use fighters in SFC, and their designation is
an abbreviation of the ship class, and has nothing to do with the
common ship classes explained above.
19.6 POLICE CORVETTES (POL)
The police corvettes are the smallest standalone vessels operated
by a fleet. Sometimes, they are just called "police ships".
Klingons prefer the term "gunboats". They may lack heavy weapons
altogether, though some may have a single heavy weapon. They can
barely deter a light pirate vessel. Don't expect one to survive
in a real battle.
Think of them as SMALL frigates.
Some races built police flagships (leaders).
19.7 FRIGATES (FF)
In general, frigates are very weak, and tend to blow up quickly
in presence of cruisers or larger ships. Cruisers with high
crunch power can blow up a frigate in a single alpha strike.
Frigates are in perpetual need of power because their available
power is quite small and any further use of power requires a
large decrease in speed. To get an extra point of power, a
cruiser slow by 1 (movement cost of 1), while a frigate need to
slow by 3 (movement cost of 0.33).
A frigate usually has only a single heavy weapon. If there are
several sizes of the weapon, a frigate would have the smallest
one (with lowest effective range).
With little power available, ECM, overload, and so on require
very careful consideration. EM is more efficient than ECM in most
Fighting with frigates requires a LOT of maneuvers, as neither
side can deal a "killing" blow.
When you fly frigates, you want the ones with the LEAST energy
usage. The drone frigates are probably the best. With a scatter-
pack you have the potential to kill larger ships.
For those frigates with low crunch power, use your maneuvers and
keep your range open. You need to play like a Klingon to survive.
19.8 WAR DESTROYER (DW)
A war destroyer is a frigate built-up to destroyer capability. It
is basically a destroyer missing a few parts. It has 2 heavy
weapons and movement cost of 0.5 like a destroyer.
19.9 DESTROYER (DD)
Destroyer, being the next size up, has slightly less of the power
problem. However, it can still be quite acute. It loses 2 in
speed for every point of power (movement cost of 0.5).
In general, destroyers have two heavy weapons. There are some
exceptions (the Fed DD had four photons, just like the Fed CA,
but no power to arm them. The DDG fixed that).
Destroyers have enough power to start using EW and shield
A large or heavy destroyer is VERY close in size and capability
to a light cruiser. So much so, some navies chose not to build
Destroyers still relies on maneuver, but a bit less than
19.10 LIGHT CRUISER (CL)
In general, light cruisers have 3 or 4 heavy weapons like a CA,
but have less shields, phasers, and other equipment. Some CL's
have movement cost of 1 just like a CA.
Most CL's have only forward facing weapons. There are one or two
exceptions: the Fed Miranda-class cruiser has a rear-facing
photon torpedo. (This is to fit in with the USS Reliant in the
movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
Cruisers have power to spare for EW, but not that much in a CL.
19.11 WAR CRUISER (CW)
A war cruiser is a destroyer or light cruiser built-up to full
cruiser firepower. It would have 4 heavy weapons and movement
cost of 1, but slightly fewer weapons than a full cruiser. In
general it should "drive" just like a cruiser.
19.12 HEAVY CRUISER (CA)
A heavy cruiser usually has 4 heavy weapons, and movement cost of
1. There are some exceptions like the Klingon D-7T, which has 5
photon torpedoes (yes, photons).
A heavy cruiser is your average ship and can use all the tactics
discussed. Power can be a little tight in certain situations.
CA/CW should have some power left over to be able to move at
decent speed (24 or higher) and arm all weapons.
19.13 BATTLECRUISER (BCH)
A battlecruiser has 6 heavy weapons like the dreadnought, but
still has movement cost of 1. They eventually replaced the
dreadnought on the production line.
BCH is a bit tight on power as losing speed here doesn't yield as
much power as it would on a DN, while it has all those DN-class
weapons to charge. That's why the Feds build all the different
variations on the BCH trying to come up with a design that
doesn't suck up too much power.
Consider disabling one or two of the heavy weapons after the
initial pass so you get more power to maneuver. That way, the BCH
should fly just like a cruiser with a few extra weapons.
19.14 DREADNOUGHT (DN)
A dreadnought has 6 heavy weapons, and movement cost of 1.5.
A DN usually has globs of power to spare. By reducing speed by 1,
a DN can spare 1.5 pts of power. A DN should exploit this by
charging those energy-intensive systems like tractors, ECM, and
A DN's maneuverability is pretty bad, and it can't make an HET
safely, so you probably shouldn't. Instead, use your superior
firepower to pound smaller ships into scrap. You can probably
kill a frigate in a single pass. You have enough transporters to
capture small ships in one pass also.
There are also DNH (heavy dreadnought) and DNL (light
19.15 BATTLESHIP (BB)
A battleship has 10 heavy weapons (8 fore, 2 aft) and movement
cost of 2. Some may carry fighters for additional firepower.
Even bigger than the DN, a BB have a lot of power to spare, and
extremely heavy shields. Of course, it also turns like a pig.
Every point reduced in speed spares 2 pts of power, and that's a
lot. Requires a LOT of crunch power to get through one of those
shields. However, it CAN be killed given a bit of patience and
Don't even THINK about using an HET in a BB. Instead, use your
superior firepower to kill ONE enemy ship at a time, esp. those
that can get past your shields (and frigates/destroyers probably
Battleships are vulnerable to seeking weapons such as scatter-
packs and plasma torpedoes due to their high crunch power. Be
ready with those defenses.
Every race has freighters, and some has more models than others.
The freighters essentially fall into 3 sizes: small, medium, and
large. They also falls into several types: civilian, military, Q-
ships, and auxiliary naval.
The civilian freighters are very lightly armed. Most carry one Ph-
2, maybe some Ph-3's. Some may carry ADD for drone defense. The
refitted versions get an extra weapon or two, but are still very
The military "armed" freighters have slightly heavier shielding
than the civilian versions, with a few more weapons, but are
still very weak.
Q-Ships are basically freighters converted to warships. They look
just like a freighter, until you get a closer scan. They also get
slightly heavier shielding. However, they are still quite weak
and have lousy acceleration just like a freighter.
Historical note: The idea originated in World War I, when the
German U-boats ruled the seas. At that time, it was customary for
a warship to demand the surrender of a merchant vessel. An U-Boat
must surface to demand the surrender of the merchant. The British
introduced the Q-ship, which is a normal merchant with hidden
guns on the deck. When the U-Boat surfaces and is in range, the Q-
ship will engage the submarine. Q-ship has only ONE chance... It
either sinks the sub right there, or it will die from torpedoes.
After multiple losses to Q-ships, Germans simply sank the ships
without warning. This is known as "unrestricted submarine
In a scenario, most freighters will not exceed speed 10 or 15,
except Q-ships. However, this is not always true.
The Feds have a full range of freighters. The "merchant" ships
are civilian-owned. Starfleet owns others.
Only the Q ships carry photon torpedoes. Others rely on phasers
20.2 OTHER FREIGHTERS
Everybody else operate freighters like the Feds... Just less
special variants. The only difference would be in armament.
Hydrans would have Fusion- and phaser-armed freighters, Klingons
would have Drone-, disruptor, or phaser-armed freighters, and so
21 Federation Overview
In general, Federation ships have good all-around shields, good
long-range firepower due to their photon torpedoes, and more
"hull" than other races so their ships can take a bit more damage
than other races and keep on running.
However, Federation ships are just average in most areas, like
maneuverability, firepower, available power, and so on. Many of
the ships also lack rear phaser coverage. There were a lot of
refits like the "plus" refit and the "R" refit to address some of
In general, the Feds have the most variants of ANY "empire".
21.1 GENERAL FED TACTICS
Federation ships generally have average to lousy heavy weapons
arcs. In general, the photons are FA arc only, so you have to
face the enemy to shoot.
Feds have relatively few weapons in the rear arc. The "R" refit
helped a little, but not enough, and not all ships have that
Protect your front and rear shields, as you really need them.
The photon torpedo is both a blessing and a curse. The long-
recharge time is a big problem. To do a lot of damage you have to
get in close, with overloaded photons. To do that, you're going
to need power, but your power is spent overloading photon.
Photons suck up a lot of power so don't expect to move very fast.
If you need to move faster, deactivate 1 or more photons.
On the other hand, photons are very flexible. You can stay at
long range and pound the enemy with proximity photons. You can
stay at medium range and engage with regular photons, or point-
blank with overloaded photons. The choice is yours.
Photons are susceptible to ECM. You need ECCM to counter any
enemy ECM. Charge at least 1 ECCM to make sure you counter any
Feds usually have a secondary weapon like drones to keep the
enemy busy while the photon reloads. Or you can combine the
weapons for a true alpha strike.
Feds have average number of transporters and boarding parties.
Against AI this is not a major problem, but against humans this
Your ship's maneuverability is average, so you won't be able to
outturn any one. Use HETs only for emergencies (such as enemy on
In general, the Fed ship is designed to take the alpha strike of
enemy, and STILL reply with a devastating alpha strike.
As a Fed, you need to time the photons. Start slow and charge the
photons to regular or overload. When ready, speed up to 24+, get
in close to shoot, then open the range again to recharge.
If the enemy won't let you get close, use prox photons to pound
them and wear them down.
21.2 COMMENTS BY CLASS
21.3 BEST SHIPS
If you can afford a trade, get FFD+ early on, and later NCD+ or
CADR+. The drone ships provide a TON of firepower and can move at
MUCH higher speed than a typical Fed ship. It also gives you
scatter packs. The only problem is running out, so get LOTS of
21.4 FIGHTING OTHER RACES
The Feds borders just about EVERYBODY, so they have to be
prepared to fight everybody. Feds are usually allied with Mirak,
Gorn, and Hydrans. They fight with everybody else.
Klingons have low "peak output" and their ships aren't built
quite as strong as your ship. Your photons may take twice as long
to load, but does twice the damage as his disruptors, so if you
can blow down his shields, you'll cause more internal damage.
If Klingon launch a scatter-pack, consider using your photons in
proximity mode to kill it. If you get it, you would have taken
out most of his reloads. With the R-refit, you are less
vulnerable to scatter packs. Consider giving one back as your own
surprise (any ship that has drone racks can buy at least 1
If they choose to overrun, reinforce front-shields and BLAST them
point-blank, and thank them for their stupidity.
If they decide to do the "Klingon Saber Dance" (stay around range
15), arm regular torpedoes and see if he turns in or out. If he
turns out, shoot at his weaker rear shields with prox photons. If
he turns in, overrun him with a sudden speed increase.
Alternatively, you can also try the "Starcastle" as a defensive
Remember to counteract their ECM with your ECCM as your photons
are more affected by ECM.
Keep a few tractors to defend against their drones. Save the
phasers for the enemy SHIP.
Hunting cloaked Romulans is difficult, as is dodging plasma
Keep your speed up, 20 to 24 or higher, then load prox photons
and phasers and keep firing them 2 at a time to wear down his
shields, even when he's cloaked. Get closer when he's cloaked,
stay away when he's not. Reserve phasers for anti-torpedo
defense. Stay out of his torpedo firing arc so he can't shoot his
torpedo at you.
Scatter pack or drones can be useful if timed right, but wasted
Plasma torps don't do that much damage except the very large ones
and you keep your range and speed up. The danger is eating them
on a downed shield or eating a whole group of them at once. That
will leave you with no power to go anywhere, then you die.
The ESGs can be a problem as the ESG can be used for both ramming
(protect against overrun) and drone defense. Launch drones to
waste his ESG field so you can blast him with photons and
Otherwise, Lyrans are like Klingons without drones. They are
vulnerable to anchors as they don't carry ADDs. And your photons
have more crunch power than his disruptors. Just watch out for
those ESGs. ESGs should be primary target for H&R raids.
21.4.4 Other races
You should not be fighting Hydrans or Gorns as they are usually
your allies. However, here's are some quick tips.
Hydrans has heavier weapons closer-in due to their fusion beams.
Hellbores hit your downed shield no matter the facing. They also
like their fighters. Stay at range, kill the fighters, then
bombard the enemy ship with prox photons. With Ph-Gs Hydrans are
almost drone-proof even without weasels. So just fire them to tie
up his phasers.
Gorns are like Romulans that turn worse and don't cloak. However,
they have heavier torpedoes. Keep your speed up and go for its
rear shields. Stay away from those plasmas and you should eat
them for lunch. They don't fight drones that well either.
Orions can be equipped with anything, but in general are smaller
and weaker than equivalent Starfleet ships. They can't take much
damage after their shields are penetrated. If they cloak, treat
them like Romulans.
There's nothing special about killing monsters with Feds. Just
use all the weapons, use a scatter-pack if you have one.
In general, Klingon ships are faster, more manueverable, with
better weapon arcs, but less shielded (more shields up front than
rear), less hull (so can take less damage overall), and armed
with generally weapons with lower peak output.
The Klingons fight by maneuvers, exploit their superior weapon
arcs, and wear down the enemies. Klingons use their drones to tie
up enemy phasers rather than as a primary weapon.
Playing Klingons are generally quite difficult on the "timed"
missions, as you don't have time to wear down the enemy. You have
to exploit the scatter-pack to draw away enemy phasers and maybe
even get a few hits in.
Klingons needed a lot of refits as those disruptors don't quite
deliver the crunch power. In general, there are two, the B-refit
which added drone launchers, and K-refit, which improved phasers.
Klingon command ships (C variant) that received the K-refit are
re-designated as L variant. So a D-7C that received the K refit
is known as D-7L.
Klingons have a lot of transporters so capture and/or H&R are
good firepower supplements. Your marines CAN turn the tide of a
battle. Use them!
22.1 PRIMARY KLINGON TACTICS
Klingons invented the "saber dance" tactic. You need to maneuver
a bit and keep as far as possible.
You may be able to get some hits with a scatter-pack, but you
probably don't have enough launchers to provide a lot of reloads.
Most of your opponents have ADDs or phasers. Still, it may be
enough to surprise an opponent.
Klingons also like the oblique pass, due to the weird "wing"
22.2 COMMENTS BY CLASS
22.3 FIGHTING OTHER RACES
Here's some discussion on fighting special enemies.
The "flatheads" build solid ships, and prefer overruns.
You can wear them down by saber-dancing. Use ECM to make their
photons miss, and stay out of overload range. Then hit them
during their reload cycle.
Use your drones to tie up their phasers. A scatter-pack may gain
you some hits as well. However, you may be a bit short on scatter-
Exploit their lousy firing arcs with oblique passes. Your "wing"
phasers have excellent arcs, so use them.
The "snakes"... Can be a problem. Their ships are quite tough,
with a LOT of forward shielding. They also have fighters to
supplement their firepower.
Try to kill the fighters first. Their fighters can do you a lot
of harm by creating down-shields that the mothership can exploit
with hellbore. Their fighters should pull ahead of the ship. Save
your phasers the fighters at first. Use drones on the fighters
too to tie up their phasers. Stay away from the ship and kill the
fighters, THEN deal with the ship.
After the fighters on gone, do your normal saber-dance against
the Hydran ship. Stay out of fusion beam range. The snakes have
"two-turn" weapons. Charge in during his recharge cycle and use
H&R raids on his heavy weapons. His hellbore (if he has any)
don't do much damage at long range compared to your disruptors
and you fire twice as often.
22.3.3 Romulans and Lyrans
Romulans and Lyrans are traditionally friendlies (or "enemy of my
enemy") and thus you usually don't fight against them.
Romulans with cloak can be difficult to kill. Keep the speed
high. If the Romulan cloaks, move in to point-blank and do an
overrun from the side and exit to the rear. Have scatter-pack
ready to deploy the second he decloaks.
Lyrans need their ESG to do full damage. Thus saber-dancing can
wear them down. While his ESG can sweep your drones, his ESG has
a time limit. Go in during his "off" period and you can catch him
for a few hits.
Usually a Klingon ship will never encounter a Gorn ship as the
Gorn is on the OTHER side of the Federation (on the Romulan
Gorn ships are generally slow to turn but have good firing arcs
for their plasma torpedoes. Stay away, keep speed high, and wear
Orions can be armed with just about anything.
Klingons have slightly harder time dealing with monsters, as
their drone launch rate is generally quite low (except for the
drone variants like D-6D or D-7D), but no harder than the Feds.
Most monsters do not have shields (except SGs) so the lower
"crunch power" of the Klingons does not matter that much.
Gorns are intelligent saurians (dinosaurs) and are pretty slow
and clumsy, but very powerful. They design their ships the same
way... They don't turn well, but they have great torpedo coverage
arcs and those torpedoes will put a world of hurt on you. The
ships are also nicely shielded and can take a lot of damage.
They also have a lot of "marines" onboard (accounts for increased
combat prowess) and shuttles. However, they lack transporters
(too much bulk to beam?).
23.1 PRIMARY GORN TACTICS
Gorn invented the "anchor" tactic. They live and die by it.
The "split arc" of Gorn plasma launchers (half left and half
right) can also be used to do the "plasma string" and oblique
Gorns have a lot of shuttles, use them.
Consider conducting H&R raids on enemy tractors and phasers to
give yourself an advantage on phaser and torpedo exchange.
Charge suicide-shuttles and drop them at overruns. You have
23.2 DISCUSSION BY CLASS
23.3 FIGHTING YOUR ENEMIES
Here's some discussion on fighting special enemies.
The traditional enemy, you want to force the Rommie to give up
the initiative by cloaking, then you can do what you want with
him. In general you have a better ship as his bpv is partly in
the cloak. Use flash bulb and other anti-cloak tactics.
To be completed, wrong side of galaxy. Basically, keep your
distance and keep sending it torpedoes (even a few fake ones).
Try to draw a weasel to limit his mobility. Stay out of ESG range
and you'll be fine.
23.3.3 Federation, Hydrans
Gorns usually don't fight the Feds as they're allies (after that
little initial misunderstanding). Still, if you must fight one,
draw out his photons, then see if you can get him to give up the
initiative by using his wild weasels, THEN take him with
Hydrans are on the wrong front, and are nominal allies. Hydrans
would want to get close to you, so underload your torpedoes and
fly all around him, use your side arcs, killing his fighters,
then himself. Consider defensive (shotgun) launch.
Orions can be armed with just about anything.
Gorn don't have particular difficulties against monsters. Use
enveloping torpedoes except against astro-miners and sungliders.
Hydrans have several specialties... They love fighters (a lot of
their ships carry small squadrons). They have fusion beams (close-
range heavy weapon). They have hellbores (which damages your
weakest shield, even if non-facing). Hydrans also use gatling
phasers for point-defense. If you get close to them, they will
Hydran ships often carry a couple fighters as fire support. As
Hydrans don't use drones, their fighters rely on mini-Hellbore,
mini-Fusion, and phasers to do damage. As a result, Hydrans tend
to lose ALL fighters during a fight, and that can be a
significant drain on your prestige pts. Try to find the variants
that have little or NO fighters onboard, or try NOT to launch
them unless you really need them. Replacing 100-200 pts of
fighters per battle is NOT fun. This is even worse under AI
In SFB history, the Klingons and the Lyrans once conquered the
Hydran Kingdom. However, the invaders managed to miss a few
colonies, and it was from these few colonies, and through some
outside help (from the Feds and Mirak) did the Hydrans regained
their territory. They are mortal enemies with the Klingons and
Lyrans, and by extension, are friendly to the Feds and Mirak (and
The Hydrans only have a "plus refit", which improved shields and
added one or two more phasers. Hydran ships, however, tend to
have a LOT of ph-2's. Only later ships and heavier ships get ph-
1's. Some of that was addressed by the refit.
Hydrans are in general very short on transporters. Even their
heavy cruisers only have like 2 or 3 transporters, compare to 4
or more of other races. Capturing other ships can be difficult.
Also, the fighters can blow up the ships you intend to capture.
Don't think about capturing other ships unless you have 3 ships,
all loaded with marines, and at least 3 transporters each.
24.1 PRIMARY HYDRAN TACTICS
Hydran ships fall into two distinct camps: the "chargers" armed
with Fusion Beams, and the "shooters" armed with Hellbores. As a
result, they have very different tactics. Eventually Hydrans made
the "hybrid" ships that carries both, but that's another story.
The "chargers" basically use the overrun by charging in with
fusion beams on overload, and fire all weapons at point-blank. It
is not subtle, and it works. At the minimum, it creates a down-
shield, which can be exploited by the Hellbore-armed ships and
The Hellbore-armed "shooter" ships exploit the down-shields or
the lowest shields from a distance. Hellbore as a heavy weapon is
relatively weak, so you need something else to weaken or down a
shield so you can use Hellbore to do internals. The Hellbore
versions also have slightly more power.
Hellbore is great to exploit the Mizia concept. [See 6.10]
The hybrid ships can do both. Indeed, the "hybrid" ships should
use the charge tactic to beat down an enemy shield with fusion
beams and such, then use the hellbore to exploit the down shield.
If you got a "specialized" ship (i.e. all hellbore or all fusion
beam), pick fighters that will complement your weapons. If you
get a "hybrid" ship, get hellbore fighters.
An overloaded Hellbore is also a very strong overrun weapon. At
point-blank range a salvo of 4 hellbore (can't miss) do
significant amount of damage, esp. with a down shield. If you
only have one or two, don't bother with Hellbore overrun.
In a fleet battle, fusion-armed ships should collaborate with
The AI ships tend to send their fighters to "charge", thus losing
them. Give AI control of the fighter-less ships (or at least the
one with the least fighters) to lessen the "drain" of prestige.
One special maneuver is the "Hydran Anchor" performed with fusion
ships. Allocate full power to tractors, speed, and
reinforcements, none to weapons. Anchor the other guy, and
EmerDecel. Take his alpha strike on the reinforced shields. Set
speed zero, charge suicide overload. By the time the enemy
charges enough to break your tractor, your suicide overload
should be ready. Pound enemy ship into scrap.
24.2 COMMENTS BY CLASS
24.3 FIGHTING OTHER RACES
Here's some discussion on fighting special enemies.
24.3.1 Federation / Gorn
These are normally your allies, so you wouldn't be fighting them.
However, it's nice to know your enemy's weaknesses.
The Feds usually have lousy maneuverability and their crunch
power doesn't QUITE measure up to your fusion beams. After you
give him a good alpha strike pull back and use hellbore to
exploit the down shield, while stay away from his prox photons.
Gorn has lousy maneuverability and your phasers can make a dent
in those plasmas. Keep your speed up and reserve those ph-Gs for
point-defense. Fly like a Klingon, dance at long-range and
"plink" them to death. Think of them as clumsier Romulans.
Hydrans against Romulans can be a tough fight, as Hydrans usually
don't fight Rommies. (Wrong front.)
The fighters can be quite useful to surround cloaked ships so
they get a beating while trying to decloak. Then the Rommie gets
a rude choice... Shoot the torpedo at the fighters while you
swoop in, or shoot the torpedo at you and get plinked by the
Keep your speed up and watch for those torpedoes. You have enough
phaser power to reduce the impact, but you will take damage. When
the enemy is recharging, get in there and give them a licking at
point-blank range. Use your fighters to keep them busy while you
Lyrans with their ESG can be bad for the fighters. Set fighters
to harass and use Hellbores to bring down the ESG. Then close in
for the point-blank fusion beam fusillade. At close range your
fusion beams beat his disruptors. Consider launching the fighters
AFTER you made your first pass.
Orions can be armed with just about anything.
Hydrans typically have problem with the plasma-armed monsters
(who doesn't?). Other monsters are pretty easy to kill with
Lyrans are like Klingons, except they use ESGs (expanding sphere
generators), which basically puts out a forcefield that can be
used for drone defense, shuttle defense, and ramming. They use
disruptors as secondary weapons.
Lyrans are mortal enemies of the Mirak. Their ESG was designed to
counter the Mirak drones.
Lyran ships were notoriously short on power. Several of the
refits added power, then more power.
The ESG is a difficult weapon to use well. They are great in
overruns but they don't do damage until extremely close range,
and they have limited duration. If you dance at extended range
they are useless.
The Lyran AI seems to be vulnerable to long-range drone
bombardments. It doesn't seem to power up the ESG except when you
are nearby. So if you can launch a swarm at it from beyond range
15 often it will not power up the ESG and many drones will get
25.1 GENERAL LYRAN TACTICS
Lyrans love the overrun so they can put their ESG to work.
Lyran ships tend to have FA arc firepower so they can do the
oblique pass, but their ESG needs overrun.
Lyran ships tend to be wee bit short on power. Charge ESG when
you need them.
Consider leaving the ESG off and do multiple oblique battle
passes (like the Klingons), then suddenly reverse course with HET
and overrun the enemy with ESG popped.
25.2 COMMENTS BY CLASS
25.3 FIGHTING OTHER RACES
Here's some discussion on fighting special enemies.
25.3.1 Klingon, Romulan
These are normally your allies, so you wouldn't be fighting them.
However, it's nice to know your enemy's weaknesses.
If you need to kill Klingons, forget the disruptors. Power them
down and run down the Klingons with ESG ram. They would be
expecting a disruptor duel, don't give them one.
ESG is deadly to Romulans, as cloak doesn't protect them from ESG
Lyran fighting Hydran tend to use ESG as fighter defense, which
may not be a good idea. Fighters usually won't approach close
enough. If you set ESG to higher radius, it's less effective.
ESG also interacts with Hellbore, thus giving you an 'extra' set
You probably won't fight the Feds as they're on the other side,
but you need to be prepared.
Feds like overrun with photons, so your ESG makes a good match.
If he goes for maneuver, fly like a Klingon and pound him from a
distance. He can't reload photons AND stay away from you at the
The Gorns are on the wrong side of the map, so you probably won't
fight them. Any way, Gorns can't turn worth **** so just snipe
him with your disruptors from long range. When he tries to chase
you down or he launched his torpedoes and you can outrun them, go
for ESG attack. Just make SURE he has no torpedoes... You don't
want to get anchored!
Orions can be armed with just about anything.
Nothing too special with the Lyrans against monsters. Overrun
when you can.
Romulans are famous for their cloaking device and plasma
Romulan ships have three distinct generations: refitted relics,
Klingon conversions, and new designs. Each generation is quite
different in design philosophy and equipment. See the manual for
more details on each generation.
Some ships have enough power to recharge weapons AND move while
under cloak. Others don't. Watch your power curve and cloak cost
and determine which type of ship do you have.
26.1 OLD GEN ROMULAN SHIP TACTICS
The old gen Romulan ships have lousy hull, lousy turn mode, and
lousy power. However, they have good shields, some armor, and
very heavy weapons for their size. And of course, they have the
cloak, and the NSM.
Consider your battles as "samurai duels"... Like those Japanese
samurai epics, or the pistol duels, ONE shot will determine who
win or lose. This means you HAVE to look for THE shot. Spend your
pseudo in the most opportune moment. One mistake, and you're
Use the NSM in the underrun to force the enemy to turn a certain
direction to help you disengage.
Older Rom ships do NOT have the power to do the Gorn anchor, so
don't do it.
26.2 KLINGON TRANSFER SHIPS
The KR ships are decent ships... They traded shields and some
weapons for maneuverability and survivability. You can now go for
a bit more maneuver battles. Oblique pass and underrun are now
One possible tactic is the underrun feint. Do your battle turn,
fire pseudos and cloak. The enemy ship fires his weapons and turn
away. You then immediately decloak and feed him the REAL
26.3 THE NEW GEN ROM SHIPS
The Hawk series are built for the oblique pass, and lots of
maneuvers. Hawk series has good plasma arcs and wide phaser arcs.
Maintain high speed, do the oblique attack, and kill those
26.4 COMMENTS BY CLASS
26.5 FIGHTING OTHER RACES
Feds will tend to keep away from you as they know your power of
plasma. They will seek to draw your plasma, then come back for an
overrun. Confuse them with pseudos (NOT necessarily the first
shot) and downloading.
Battle with the Gorn tends to be long and drawn-out affairs. It's
been called "plasma ballet", except the Gorn can only waddle. Use
your superior turn mode to get away from his torpedoes while
setting up your own. Watch out for his firing arcs.
You probably won't fight the Hydrans as they're on the wrong
For Hydrans, deal with the fighters first, if any. Then consider
opening with an enveloping torpedo or two to sandpaper his
shields. Stay away from the fusion beam ships and pound the
Orions can be armed with anything.
26.5.5 Klingons and Lyrans
These are nominally your allies, so you probably won't fight
them. Still, it's nice to know a few tricks.
For Klingons, their low crunch power means they'll stay away.
Download torpedo to get into range. Reserve tractors for drone
For Lyrans, you'll just have to do your plasma ballet and stay
away from his ESGs. Do NOT cloak. Their ESG don't care if you're
cloaked or not, but plasma goes right through.
Romulans and monsters... enveloping torpedoes all the way, except
astro-miners (who are also equipped with plasma) and Sungliders
(who has shields). Keep your speed up, and keep shooting, as
there is no time limit on monster killing.
As you can't play AS the Orions (the OP expansion will be covered
by a separate guide) this section is mainly as a tactical
Orions show up just about EVERYWHERE and can act as mercenaries
to all of the major races. They can also use all sorts of
equipment. Most Orions use a mix of weapons.
Orion ships also have a lot of boarding parties compared to other
Orions don't operate heavy military ships. The largest military
ship they have is a BCH, and there is only one of them per
cartel, as the main cartel enforcer. Each local "branch" of the
cartel own a CA as the local enforcer.
Orion DN, and BB are in the master shiplist, and thus is listed
below for comparison. They are listed as "conjectural".
The smaller ships, such as CR, BR, LR, and DBR did the every-day
raiding and mercenary activities.
Trivia: the DoubleRaider was really two light raiders joined
together like a Siamese twin. Some smaller shipyards can't build
the larger hull, so they settle for this. It is tolerable but not
There are THREE variations to each class of ships, differing
slightly on armament.
Some Orion ships may have a cloaking device.
Orion freighter, the "Slaver" and "Viking", may make an
27.1 LIGHT UNITS
DW Outlaw-class War Destroyer
DWS War Destroyer Scout
PR Patrol-class light raider
LR Privateer-class light raider
LR+ Improved LR
LRS Scout LR
27.2 MEDIUM UNITS
DCR Hellraiser-class Double Raider Cruiser
DBR Plunderer-class Double Raider
CR Raider-class cruiser (light)
CR+ Raider-class cruiser (improved)
AR Attack Raider-class light cruiser
MR Medium Raider-class light cruiser
BR Battle Raider-class war cruiser
BRC Battle Raider-class, Commando
BRH Master Assassin-class new heavy cruiser
27.3 HEAVY UNITS
BC Heavy Marauder-class Battlecruiser
BCH Executioner-class Heavy Battlecruiser
CA Marauder-class heavy cruiser
CA+ Marauder-class heavy cruiser, plus refit
HR Heavy Raider-class cruiser
27.4 CONJECTURAL SUPER-HEAVY UNITS
DN Grandfather-class DN (conjectural)
BB Battleship (conjectural) [Great-grandfather-class?]
SLV Slaver-class freighter
VIK Viking-class freighter
You can't play as a monster. This is mainly here to show you how
the monsters are armed and how you can kill them.
There are 18 different monsters, divided into 6 types (AM, DM,
LC, MT, SG, SS) of 3 sizes (S,M,L) each.
Monsters rarely if ever exceed speed 15, though some can go speed
25 in certain cases. The larger they are, the slower than move.
Average speed is about 12. The small monsters have been seen
moving at speed 28 to 31.
Monsters are unshielded except Sungliders (SG's). They have armor
instead. That means you can hit them from ANY angle. Plasma users
should use enveloping torpedoes, as that causes FAR more damage.
On a shield you end up damaging shields, but on unshielded
targets they do all internal damage.
Monsters are vulnerable to mines in general. They usually have
pretty lousy turn rates.
Monsters are vulnerable to seeking weapons except the SG's. That
one has phasers that can kill drones. However, a big enough salvo
can kill any monster.
In general, monsters are quite easy to kill unless you are
careless. These are the easiest prestige points you can earn.
28.1 ASTRO MINERS
[Looks like an asteroid]
The AM's (Astro-miners) are armed with plasma torpedoes, and are
very dangerous. The bigger ones have heavier torpedoes, including
Type-R torpedoes, as well as an assortment of smaller torpedoes.
Stay at high-speed and stay away from it. Reserve phasers for
torpedo defense. Fight at long range so you have time to wear
down the torpedo. Do NOT close to overload range. Don't even come
with in range 10 of this monster.
Use all seeking weapons you got, scatter-pack is good. Shuttles
may be too slow.
28.2 DOOMSDAY MACHINES (SPECIAL)
Doomsday Machine only appears in special scenarios.
The DM's (Doomsday Machines) are armed with PPDs. Their splash
damage can strip your facing shields. It also has tractor beams,
so drones may not be of much use against this one.
28.3 LIVING CAGES
[Looks like a bunch of rods connected together like a
The LC's (Living Cage's) are armed with Hellbores. Their splash
damage goes after your weakest shields. The larger they are, the
more hellbores they have. Otherwise they are not too hard to
kill, esp. with seeking weapons.
LC's (along with MT's) can repair themselves slowly.
[Looks like a tripod inverted]
The MT's (M-Eater's) are armed with Fusion Beams, which is a
close range weapon, so stay away. The bigger the MT, the more
FB's it has. It can beat down your facing shield on one pass.
They usually don't move that fast, so you can dodge them.
MT can also repair itself slowly (like Living Cages).
[Looks like a spinning top where the top part is a spread of
The SG's (Sungliders) are armed with phasers (up to Ph-4's). It
also has shields instead of armor.
Stay at long-range and overwhelm one of its shields, then go in
and blast it into pieces. It can repair itself slowly.
[Looks like a bullet with a split tail]
The SS's (Spaceshells) are armed with disruptors, and not that
dangerous. They can move pretty fast so they may be able to
outrun slow drones. The bigger the monster, the more/heavier the
Bases and planets are the places where you get your supplies in
Dynaverse. Occasionally you'll bee to attack (or defend?) one so
it's best to know.
29.1 STARBASE (SB)
Starbase is the big mama, armed with ph-4's that can blow up
ships, as well as heavy weapons. Some have hangars for fighters,
and shields that are extremely heavy. So how do you kill one?
With a LOT of firepower.
Deal with the defender ships first, away from the base. Those ph-
4's can hit from very far away (range of 100) so stay away for
now. Then kill the fighters if any. Arm all scatter-packs you can
and perform oblique pass with ECM and EM. Then start launching
overwhelming salvoes of drones and seeking weapons. Then circle
the base, reinforce facing shields, and fire at its down shields.
If it hits your (or your ships) hard, turn 180 and let the other
shields take the heat for a while. If you shoot only at the down
shield it should not take long to kill the base.
29.2 BATTLESTATION (BATS)
Battlestation is somewhere between starbase and base station in
size, and is armed with both ph-4s and heavy weapons. They have
far less shields than starbase and can be destroy with a decent
amount of firepower.
29.3 BASE STATION (BS)
Base Stations are simple structures that is not that heavy armed,
but they have enough phaser-4s to make a big dent in your
shields. Against a fleet they won't last very long, but they can
damage a single ship easily.
29.4 MISC STATIONS
Other than the big three, there are also smaller stations like
science stations, listening stations, relay posts, stardocks, and
so on. Those are usually NOT manned or minimally manned so they
aren't that important.
Science Station (SBS), unarmed, some shields
Defense Platform (DEF), a couple phasers and 2 of the smaller
Listening Post (LP), unarmed, unshielded
Stardock (FRD) [Fleet Repair Dock], unarmed, shielded, lots of
30 Misc. Information
30.1 MULTIPLAYER NOTES
In order to play the original SFC online at Gamespy Arcade, you
can download the files necessary to bring you to current version
with the proper fixes to play online at
--- THE END --- (for now)
The Spoiler Centre