Missile Weapons (SEIV)

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Missile Weapons is the branch of the Tech Tree for making Capital Ship Missile launchers.

Missiles have an advantage over other weapons in range, but they are vulnerable to point defenses, cannot be used against smaller targets like satellites, and use up supplies more than most other weapons.

Missile launchers

Missiles launcher construction does not require organics, but does require minerals and radioactives. All missile launchers weigh 50 kilotons. Reload time is always three rounds of combat, including the round on which the missile was fired. Standard missiles do the same amount of damage regardless of distance, but plasma missiles have damage which decreases with distance.

Name Mineral cost Radioactives cost Range Damage Missile speed Supplies used (per shot) Tech level required
Capital Ship Missile I 400 80 8 60 5 10 1
Capital Ship Missile II 550 10 10 75 5 20 2
Capital Ship Missile III 600 140 12 90 5 20 3
Plasma Missile I 200 40 6 45-70 6 10 3
Capital Ship Missile IV 700 170 14 105 5 20 4
Plasma Missile II 400 80 10 45-90 6 10 4
Capital Ship Missile V 800 200 16 120 6 20 5
Plasma Missile III 600 120 14 45-110 6 10 5
Plasma Missile IV 800 160 18 30-130 7 10 6
Plasma Missile V 1000 200 19 40-150 8 10 7

Tactics

When tactical combat is available, missiles are best used as follows:

  • Shoot 'n' scoot: Shoot and retreat, circling around the map. In the early game, a ship with a speed advantage and the range advantage of a missile launcher can easily move away from a shorter-ranged opponent and fire missiles at a distance with impunity, circling around the map as needed to fire continuously without getting attacked in return. This tactic becomes less effective as point defense and larger fleets become commonplace.
  • Missile screen: Use missiles to provide cover for fighters. In the later game, a fleet of missile ships and carriers can be joined into an exceedingly effective force. The missile ships shoot first and get their missiles to saturate enemy point defenses. This will allow fighters to move in behind the cover of the missile barrage and do exceedingly large amounts of damage without being annihilated by point defense at a distance.

Counter tactics

  • Missile dancing: Dance out of the way of enemy missiles. This depends on having a high movement speed and long weapon range. The essence of the trick is to move up to the enemy ship until you're at a distance equal to their missile range + their movement speed + 1. Let them move in for that last stretch, leaving them just outside their firing range on your turn. You then move in to attack range, shoot, and then move back if you can. Missiles will be deployed on the enemy's round but will not move just yet. After your turn, the missiles will begin to move. If your tactical speed is at least as fast as the missiles, then you are effectively invulnerable. If your speed is a little bit slower but there was bit of distance between you and the enemy ship when they fired, then you'll likely be able to move out of the maximum range of the missiles before they reach you.
  • Swarms: Use fighters, drones, and satellites. Missile ships can't target any of these, making their primary (perhaps only) weapon useless.
  • Bypass planet defenses: If a planet is protecting itself with weapon platforms which launch missiles, its defenses can be bypassed by attacking towards the end of the round. To do this, attacking ships need to be clustered around the planet, just beyond the reach of the missiles. On turn 26 of combat, a lone ship can move into the planet's missile range (the planet's missiles are 1/3rd done reloading). On turn 27, this ship can move back to a safe distance while the remainder of the ships move in towards the planet (planet's missiles are 2/3rds done reloading). The ships can continue to move in and attack on turn 28 when the missiles are on their final round of reloading. On turn 29, the planet's missiles will fire but, as usual, will not actually move until the following round, and the attackers can continue. On round 30, the missiles would be able to move except that the combat ends, leaving the attackers unscathed. This makes it easy for attacking bombers to wipe out the planet's defenses without suffering any losses.

Counter-counter tactics

  • Missile tanking: Your enemy has a speed advantage and is using missile dancing to slowly destroy you with impunity, so you have no choice but to close the gap. When they move in to shoot at you, you move in even closer and fire missiles at them from point blank range. As long as your missiles are still faster than they are, they will be unable to retreat out of missile range.

See also