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Old 01-19-2006, 01:01 AM   #1
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Space Combat

Seeing as how space combat is my main reason for Empire at War, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the demo.

Bear in mind, I am a huge Homeworld series fan and enjoy Star Trek Armada II. After playing the demo, I can say that Petroglyph did an excellent job. I sent X-Wings after bombers, Bombers after the Star Destroyers, Corvettes after fighters, and so on. I wish I could group different ships and set custom formations. Other than that, it's good stuff, and I can't wait to get my hands on the full version.

Now some people may say the graphics weren't as great as "game x," but they seemed fine to me and the sounds were great as well.

Overall, I give the demo a 4/5. It doesn't get a 5 because I wanted to crush some rebel scum!
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:42 AM   #2
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I mentioned this in another thread and while I love the Space combat, it's a little unbalanced. There's no effective way to combat zerging with X-wings and A-wings. While this is probably due to the limited techs and ships we have access too, it's still a bit disapointing to be able to take down an expensive Star station, an Acclimator, a Victory and the escort fighters with the dozens of squads you can buy for the cost of one cruiser.
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Old 01-19-2006, 06:05 AM   #3
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X-wing and Y-wing will just about wipe up the floor. Needs some re-balance.

Some of the plante bonus seem a bit extreme. 25% boost to X-wing, maybe 10%.

It is just too easy to take out the sub systems of the ISD with a few Y-wings, use the X-wing to cover the TIE. Boom: all over quick.

The camera controls are foddy to use. I hope the can improve the ground comera a bit better. Over all, not bad, just needs some balance and polish.
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:25 AM   #4
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Some other things I'm notcing are:
  • Maps seem a bit small
  • Does every planet have astroid fields?
  • Balance. I could just build a lot of X-Wings and Y-Wings and still win.
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Old 01-19-2006, 11:29 AM   #5
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Err, actually these corvettes, or the imperial anti fighter ship (tartan?) absolutely slaughter x wings, y wings, tie fighters, tie bombers.
It's just that the Ai doesnt have any of these in the demo space battle.
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Old 01-19-2006, 05:33 PM   #6
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I just hope that we can have more ship so we can have a bigger fleet and which would make space battle much better fight
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Old 01-20-2006, 02:14 PM   #7
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I'm noticing that whenever my ships attack something else, they attack a hardpoint by default. Is there a reason why ships can't just target the hull, and take away hitpoints? I think ship subsystems should be secondary targets, and if you manage to take one out, all the better for you.
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Old 01-20-2006, 02:35 PM   #8
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i think the whole hull takes damage when you attack a hardpoint.. i managed to destroy the space station by killing all of its hardpoints..


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Old 01-20-2006, 02:46 PM   #9
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it is just too easy to take out the sub systems of the ISD
Are you sure you don't mean the VSD? because as far as I know there is no ISD in the demo and I assume an ISD would be substantially tougher than a VSD.
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Old 01-20-2006, 02:46 PM   #10
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That's what I'm saying. I think you should have to work a little harder to target and destroy subsystems.
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:06 PM   #11
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i dont know if any of you guys tried this, but i took han solo in the millenium falcon against the entire imperial fleet on hard difficulty. i destroyed everything and got the space station VERY close to death before han was killed...does that seem odd at all? i think that needs to be balanced out, one hero decimating the imperials. also the acclamator seemed very underpowered, so did the isd. a nebulon b frigate shouldnt be able to take out a vsd or an acclamator, so i was surprised when 3 of them, 2 correlian corvettes and 3 fighter squads destroyed the whole base. OTHERWISE it was pretty cool but yeah i wanted to annihilate some rebels
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:09 AM   #12
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Also for the Level 1 Spacestation, it does not seem that possible to hit the hanger or supply dock, thus the mission does not seem to end when I play it anyways. I think this is a bug in volving the hard points. This is the same with the Imperial Landing Craft & Lambda Shuttles. I am not sure if this is a error with the mod or with the demo itself... I suspect it is the demo and sorry for swaying off subject a bit.



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Old 01-21-2006, 02:02 AM   #13
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Yeah, considering the demo contains some game-stopping bugs that are preventing a large number of us from completing the space station part of the Asteroids mission in the first SP conquest campaign, we really can't see the whole demo to get a fair view of the game! Doh!


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Old 01-21-2006, 03:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilshire
so i was surprised when 3 of them, 2 correlian corvettes and 3 fighter squads destroyed the whole base. OTHERWISE it was pretty cool but yeah i wanted to annihilate some rebels

You were surprised when a fleet of diverse ships overpowered another one composed of basically only two types of ships (medium sized capital and fighters)?

The Rebels have access to fighter killers, medium-size capital ships and fighter/bombers.
The Imperials have no anti-fighter capabilities, their weak Tie Fighters and Bombers and only two medium-size capital ships.


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Old 01-21-2006, 11:09 AM   #15
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As the op stated, formations would be awesome to be implemented in the game. It would definitely help with the clumsy movements that the ships do when going from point to point.
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Old 01-21-2006, 02:12 PM   #16
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Yeah, something along the lines of choosing to have the bombers up front or the fighters up front would be cool.. although it may or may not be in there already (keep in mind that this is a demo, and the extra tutorials in the full version HAS to be for SOMETHING)


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Old 01-23-2006, 12:08 AM   #17
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Thinking about Homeworld some made me realize something else. In HW2, players were given information on which ships were strong against which other ships, and then if you grouped many diverse units into a "strike group" and ordered them to attack an enemy group (HW and HW2 are the only strategy games I've ever played that let you box-select attack targets, that's a wonderful feature), then the member ships in the strike group would automatically go after the enemy ships they were particularly well-suited to attack. Bombers and destroyers would go for capital ships, corvettes would attack enemy fighters, and fighters would try to kill off enemy bombers. Empire at War gives players detailed information on which units are strong or weak against which other units...if I box-select a bunch of diverse spaceships and have them attack-move to a point near enemy forces, will my ships split off on their own against those enemies they are strong against, or do I have to micromanage them?


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Old 01-23-2006, 09:36 AM   #18
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I think you may have to micromanage.. I remember seeing my X-Wings and Millenium Falcon totally ignore the swarms of TIE Fighters bearing down on them to open up on the Star Destroyers. Then again, that WAS the demo.. then AGAIN, EaW strives to do many things at once, so it can't really do any one thing (e.g. Space Battles) to the same standard as specialized games such as Homeworld..


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Old 01-23-2006, 03:01 PM   #19
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I really wish they had the Imperial Lancer Frigate in the game. What a sweet moment of anti-fighter goodness that could add. Poor ship never gets a chance!

Ya know, if I was a designer on this game I would've implmented every damn ship in the entire SW universe, from all timelines, canon or not! Except some of the extremely powerful ridiculous super ships maybe. I hope modders add every ship out there.

And if necessary I hope we can rebalance the game. I agree that fighters are just ridiculously powerful in the demo. Like has been said, you could build just fighters and take down that whole Imperial fleet in that asteroid field. TIEs suck, but they shouldn't be THAT bad. Heh, I did lots of damage on Hard difficulty in just the plain TIE Fighter in the old X-Wing games. It's all about not going head on.

If TIE Defender's in it had better wipe the floor a little.

The casual neglect for previous Star Wars games doings is perhaps the most disappointing thing about EaW. Shields that can't stop projectiles, absolutely pathetic Imperial fighters, lacking tons of ships, goofy special weapons, etc. It's plainly obvious they want this game to be like the films, and to be as simple as possible to cater to a large and apparently only semi-intelligent audience.

'Scuse me while I load up the old Totally Games' fighter sims again. They took Star Wars seriously!
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:35 AM   #20
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Are you sure the Lancer Frigate isn't in there? I know it's not in the stock demo, but I could've sworn I saw that the Rebel Starfighters were vulnerable to a capital ship that looked suspiciously like a Lancer..


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Old 01-24-2006, 04:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaaye
to cater to a large and apparently only semi-intelligent audience.

And that's not true?

You have to realise something. The RTS and the Sim genres have become marginal over the years. The golden age of the RTS is long gone, leaving behind the scattered bunch of resistant gamer who still love and cherish this type of game.

If anybody expects to hit a large market, they have to try and cater to that exact "semi-intelligent" audience. Semi-intelligent here isn't even the right word.
It should, in my opinion, be replaced with the common non-RTS fan, which isn't composed of semi-intelligent beings.

This isn't Civ4. It's not going to cater to management freaks or tactical gods. The age when people easily afford a new title that caters to a small niche market is long gone and some people still refuse to acknowledge the new reality.

Also, you mention them not including ships from previous games. You and I know of these ships, but considering the responses I've observed on this forum about the rather common VSD, not many actually know of them. So new old, to the majority, it doesn't matter.


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Old 01-24-2006, 05:33 PM   #22
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Yeah, all tis true. The gaming world is so much different now compared to last decade. Pretty graphics really have changed things a lot, and mostly for the worse for sure (IMO).

Your reference to the common RTS fan is totally spot on. I have friends who basically will only play games that use the AOE formula (which I don't care for). My favorite RTS is Total Annihilation, a game that is absolutely ahead of all in complexity and diversity, and most people can't handle it at all. Most won't play it cuz it's not pretty enough anymore, of course, even though it's older than StarCraft and far more advanced technically. Rebellion was also horribly complicated and we saw the same thing: people usually hated it and gave up. I count Rebellion among my favorites simply because of its complexity and depth. It took me days to even grasp how to play it! And it is just LOADED with EU material which just makes me goofy with glee.

What I wouldn't give to see a DX9 X-Wing game........Seriously done with a decent budget, of course. Honestly though I don't know if it would sell well anymore. TIE Fighter is legendary, but it has been so long. LucasArts I think has missed the peak of it being able to sell on history alone; too many gamers are too young to have played it and honestly I can only count a few I know that would even look at it. Oh Wing Commander, Freespace, and X-Wing....what the hell happened to my fav genre!!!

EAW does honestly look like a good effort though. It definitely has roots in Rebellion, which is awesome. Perhaps it will be lacking somewhat initially but I am certain that the modders out there will load it up. Just look at what XWAUpgrade has done to XWA!
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:11 AM   #23
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lessons from TA

In my opinion, the simplified interface doesn't make the actual game any less strategically complex; it just elimenates the most tedious bits. Interesting that you bring up Total Annihilation, swaaye. It had just about the simplest interface in existence (you could do absolutely everything quickly with the mouse and shift key), but it could be milked for all it was worth.

There are four things that made Total Annihilation the single best all-around RTS game I've ever played. (Yeah, StarCraft and WarCraft III are close--get the Cavedog engine coding team together with Blizzard's graphics artists and story writers, and that would be totally unbeatable.)

First: Units could move and shoot at the same time. It sounds trivial and frilly, but it added a ton of strategic depth to the game. Tanks jockeyed for position and dodged enemy fire while blasting at each other, naval battles had a great sense of weight as ships ponderously maneuvered to bring their big guns to bear, and fighters actually had dogfights. Contrast this to every Blizzard game in existence. I can see archers or riflemen having to stop to fire, but tanks? Ships? Airplanes??! I'm really glad, then, to have seen my stormtrooper squads open fire while they're still moving after being given an attack-move command; to see starfighters dogfight; and to see Star Destroyers and other capital ships blast away with their turrets as they maneuver. However, this isn't really taken to its fullest: I'd love to see my corvettes actually use their famed "blockade runner" engines to move to the weak area behind a Star Destroyer insted of me having to tell them each to do that individually. I'd especially like to see my T2-B's moving around more as they shoot, and speeder bikes using their speed to zip around the battlefield.

Second: Enemy response options. In TA, you could determine exactly when units would open fire on enemies and exactly how far they would pursue opposing units in retreat. This gave me an ability to give orders to a group and then forget about them, knowing that they'd do exactly what I wanted them to do. Empire at War includes a rudimentary system for that with the "move" and "attack-move" commands, but it's a bit cumbersome and unpredictable. I told my space fleet to attack-move towards the Vergesso space station and they drove straight for the waypoint I set (firing along the way), where they simply stopped and waited for new orders without making any effort to pursue enemies. On the other hand, I told a boatload of Rebel infantry to attack-move to the center of the Tatooine base, but they spotted a Tusken off to the west and all ran that way.

Third: You could queue up every command that could be issued. You could tell your Commander to blast a scout, move over there, move there, build two solar panels and a turret, attack-move there, reclaim a giant rock, build a radar tower, move over thataways, set fire control options to pursue any enemies in range, and then start patrolling between four user-defined points. StarCraft allowed you to queue up only a limited number of movement or attack commands. Empire at War allows you to queue up movement orders--but only movement orders, and through a special "waypoint" button--why not just use the shift key and allow any command to be waypointed?

Fourth: No limits whatsoever. Hey, factory: build forty-seven tanks and twenty artillery pieces. Hey, scout plane: move over all areas of the map and then come back here. Hey, assault force: attack each and every one of these turrets in turn, then go berzerk killing everthing that moves. There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't be able to put more than five units in a build queue.

That kind of rambled...but I had to get it off my chest.

In the end, what all that meant was that after I'd built up my forces, I could pause the game, come up with a general strategy, and issue all my combat units a series of orders to follow that strategy. Then I could unpause and watch as the strategy played itself out, responding to make tactical changes as necessary: just like a real battlefield commander would, instead of giving each and every unit a move or attack order every few seconds, I got to focus on the strategy. Homeworld 2 allowed this, as well...I could have my strike group attack a bunch of units knowing that each of my units would play to its own strengths, while assigning priority targets to my specialized units, like having bombers take out critical enemy capital ships. So I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't do the same in Empire at War, especially with the presence of the cinematic camera: I tried giving my spacefleet a series of waypoints and an attack-move command, then just watching from the cinematic perspective. However, I found that I kept having to pop out of cinematic mode to give my ships a new individual attack-move or attack command when they didn't end up doing about what I expected them to do.



Last edited by wedge2211; 01-25-2006 at 12:03 PM. Reason: gave my rambling thoughts an actual, on-topic conclusion
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:25 AM   #24
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I have not played TA but i am waiting for supreme commander, which promises to be a great game, and i think i have read it is from the same designers. It really seems to be a bit of a warfare sim as opposed to a conventional rts which i absolutely like
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:36 PM   #25
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Hello,

Swaaye, your saying they should add every EU and star wars movie ship may be a little exagerating from your part, But would be really nice to add Dreadnaughts and lancer frigates as you guys already comment...As far as I know, EaW has a lot of EU content, unfortunately not as many as rebellion or tie fighter, that had pleny of stuff we rearely saw on SW games, But, changing a little, I think SWGB had lots of EU stuff also, like rendar, Vilmarkh, Weebaca, that wookie bounty hunter from SoTE, At-AA and some walkers that looked like the ones from SW marvel comics.
A positive point in EaW is that the game brings elements from the old trilogy and from the new one, even some heroes we see only in episode III are on EaW, the game may lack EU stuff, but at least has some of it, not to mention the pre-tie crawlers and kyle katarn.

BTW, I agree that the administrating part of the game is kinda simple and weak, and action has a bigger place in the game, but I also think that the game has more administrative part that lots of new RTS that are coming to the market.

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Old 01-25-2006, 02:33 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeiamyourdad
Also, you mention them not including ships from previous games. You and I know of these ships, but considering the responses I've observed on this forum about the rather common VSD, not many actually know of them. So new old, to the majority, it doesn't matter.
I must agree the devs didn't do their research into the SW universe very well. Let's just take a look at the good old ships and other units.

Lancer frigate, replaced by tartar cruiser
VSD, as you said, not really known by the majority, but at least it's in
TIE scout, well TIE advanced would have been better, I think the TIE defender may be a bit too much.
Marauder Corvette, is in but has been put in a completely different role.
AT-PT, replaced by TIE Mauler
[grabs Force Commander manual]
Yutrane-Tackata Heavy Tank T3-B (the tracked rebel tank), replaced by something else
Yutrane-Tackata Hovertank T1-B, also replaced by something else

I also feel there are gaps between units, there should be something a bit in between the VSD and the Acclamator, like a Dreadnought or MC40, the Dreadnought should not have any fighters/bombers but should have a bit more irepower to make up for this. Currently I feel the Imperials lack a ship that is strong by itself. Even the mighty ISD has to rely on fighters and bombers to take out an MC80.

IMO there should be more space units, as well as some firepower ships for the Empire and some carriers for the Rebels.
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:38 PM   #27
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Yeah I wish the Rebellion guys had been involved with this. That game just had so much amazing content. Of course, it wasn't executed the best, but even its rudimentary space battles were very fun IMO. And quite strategic.

Hartmrolf, yes TA is quite a different kind of game. There is nothing really like it honestly. It's not a typical RTS in most ways, especially in its infinite resources and incredible queuing interface. It's about who knows what to build and how to use it, and who understands that winning is based around a good offense, not defense. I used to be able to take on 3 people and utterly destroy them back in the day. I've always found TA to be the most stressful game I've ever played, honestly. It's strange....you really engage your brain at full blast with it. It's a very tactical game and I absolutely love it. I can only hope Supreme Commander can reach what TA is. If only Infogrames/Atari would release the source code for TA; we'd see some sweet enhancements I'm sure. TA Spring though is fairly amazing, and made from scratch (very rough yet tho).

Wedge, I agree with you 100% on all of your points. I think the feel of the game, the hotkeys, and the building methodology is extremely similar to C&C. Upgrades make it StarCraft-like. You can't blame them for emulating the most popular game of this genre though. And it works for the most part. IMO Rebellion was more on track though for fleet engagements. Star Destroyers aren't tanks. They generally just float and unload in books, movies, etc. In this they are bobbing and weaving, heh. Not in Rebellion.

Personally I also think that the size of the fighters, being scaled for visibility or something, is just dumb. It totally ruins the scale of the engagment and feel of the game. The immense size of these ships is utterly lost in this game.
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:58 PM   #28
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i dont think bombers are too over opwered, thier discription says there stringths are against isd. so if your fighting some one who loves y-wings, dont be an idiot and build more isds, build more scouts and tartans
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:03 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowsfm
i dont think bombers are too over opwered, thier discription says there stringths are against isd. so if your fighting some one who loves y-wings, dont be an idiot and build more isds, build more scouts and tartans
Then what do you use to take out their capital ships? You need bombers, and they only come from the star destroyers and the clone wars cruisers from episode II.
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:26 PM   #30
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With 2 isds and 4 vsds you have enough fighters and bombers and can still enhance the fleet with tartans or those missile Ships or maybe an interdictor if you want.
Tie scouts i foun relatively useless, except if you attack a system with one tie scout to find out what Ships the Enemy exactly has there because probots aren't very precise.
Basically i normally just wait for the Enemy till he sends those corvettes which are utterly destroyed by my sds, now that the corvettes are gone my ties (bombers and fighters can be sent in, tartans are sent to the general area and give coverfire against fighters, not shortly after the star destroyers come in and normally the Enemy is almost finished then.
If not, just call in some reinforcment star destroyers. And if you're certain that you'll win you can put Tarkin in the Fleet who makes it much more effective.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:18 PM   #31
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2 Victorys destoys 1 ISD and 1 that Huge Von Calamari Capital ship, with the admiral on it ) At first with all your forces destro all the smaller ships, right about that time Mon Calamari appears, then quicly destroy his engines, if you did that realy fast, leave him and blow up shel generators on ISD, and then battle become just a tukey hunting) that's my favorite Tactics, when I'm dealing with 2 or 3 capital ships


there's allways something more...
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