Originally Posted by wedge2211
Now that's funny! You use exactly the opposite strategy I use. I guess there's more than one way to skin a cat, as they say!
It also takes a lack of conscience - easy when playing the side of the Empire.
Commander of disabled ship: "Sir, if you leave us here, they'll destroy us."
Fleet Commander: "OK. Thank you for serving the Empire. Have a nice day!
Also, I tried out my Broadside Cruiser strategy, but alas, the ion cannon can reach all corners of the map around the planet. So poo on that strategy. Bring firepower instead.
What may be the best strategy is to just tough it out. Yeah, the recycle time of the thing seems very short, but the stupid enemy AI generally keeps hitting the same ship over and over.
My standard tech 3 compliment with the Empire is four Victorys and four Tartans, and since the effects of an ion blast last several minutes in the game, if the enemy AI was smart it'd hit a different Victory each time and leave me with 4 Tartans to try to destroy their capital ships and space station (not happening).
But instead, since they tend to hit the same ship over and over - with occasional exceptions - I end up left with at least half of my frigates and all my corvettes operational. It takes me longer to kill all the enemy's non-garrisoned ships and then his space station, but it really just comes down to a matter of patience. And accepting that I'm just going to have more losses when there's an ion cannon present.
If the enemy AI were to hit all my big ships with the ion cannon in the first few minutes of the battle, then I'd have been screwed. All I could think of is to use plan A and run my Tartans around to the other side of my immobilized Victorys (away from the enemy ships) and try to get the enemy to destroy them.
Which makes me think of this: Why doesn't the Empire have any sort of special forces that can go down to the planet and destroy the ion cannon? They use bounty hunters to kill enemy heroes. If they hire assassins, why not hire sabateurs as well? After all, the Rebellion has it's Infiltrators. You'd think an empire that has conquered most of the galaxy would have some sort of special forces unit, right?
@AFH: What difficulty are you playing on? I've only faced ion cannons on "medium" so far. I wonder if the game jacks up the AI on "hard" and really tries to ion all your biggest ships, instead of the same one 10 times.