Planet Taking Hints

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Planet Taking Hints:

Hints for prospective planet takers:

  • Ask for escort before you need it. LOTS before you need it.
  • Distressing is not a genie's lamp; I have to get to you.Ask early.
  • When you call 'clear the planet', I am going to clear it *now*.
  • Don't call for a clear when you're not ready to go in.
  • You're not going to get a perfect opportunity unless the enemy's asleep, so stop waiting for it.
  • Don't be afraid to call an abort.
  • Consider the virtues of taking something else while they're piling on your original target, instead of dying.
  • I died for you; now you get to die for me. Scum on your own time. [Chris Siebenmann]

Crack Pot's team demonstrated something to me in our CMU-league tourney game last Saturday, something that is perhaps obvious but which didn't crystallize as a strategic concept for me until after the game. The idea is this: one of the two easiest times to kill a planet-taker is when he's beaming up armies. The other is of course when he's beaming them down. In both cases he's vulnerable because he's not moving, and because you know something about his location.

In all the time I've been playing, defense has focused mainly on the beam-down phase -- we try to hustle over to get within shooting range of the planet we think he's going to try to take. But Crack Pot's team, MUCUS PIG in particular, was very successful at attacking us at the beam-up point. This strategy has some advantages over the more usual strategy of attacking at the beam-down point:

  • You know which planet or planets he might beam up from: those with armies. If Eri pops to 7, you (the Fed) can just go there, without even having to know who on their team might want to pick up armies. (If nobody does, you might get to bomb, unless there's somebody waiting there to kill bombers.)
  • If he retreats from your attack, you get to eliminate the armies by bombing. A planet-taker with armies just needs to stay alive; a planet-taker without armies has to think about protecting the armies on the planet as well.
  • Anybody on his team that comes to help is typically moving "backwards", i.e. away from the front. E.g. if a Romulan needs escort just to pick up armies from Eri, that means there are two Romulan ships that aren't helping in terms of space control. On the other hand a Romulan escort to clear Organia is doing the natural space control thing, namely fly south and blow people up.
  • There's a reasonable chance that someone going to pick up armies has just returned from battle (where he scummed his kills) and won't have much fuel.

The disadvantage is that it's tough for the Feds to get ships all the way up to some place like Eri, without running out of fuel or getting crippled, while the Roms can get help there relatively quickly.
I've left out two other ways to prevent the enemy from taking planets: scout bombing and mid-air ogging (i.e. ogging the carrier when he's en route). Scout bombing is great, but against a really good team, most of the armies that pop get protected. Good players look at the galactic map to see where the armies are, both theirs and the enemies, because in a high-level game this determines 90% of the game strategy. There will always be someone going to bomb any planet of yours that pops, so it makes sense to go there to scum a kill off the bomber (and with luck, save the armies in the process). Just look at the armies, and you can predict which way most good players will fly. So to eliminate their armies you typically need to send some firepower to the planet, because your little cloaked scout is going to get blown away. And if you can og a good carrier midway between Rom and Organia, when his team is escorting him, you're better than I. That's got to be the hardest way of all to eliminate their armies. (Not that I won't give it the old college try).
I think the galaxy will be a more dangerous place for ships that want to pick up armies. [Herbert Enderton]

> Anyway, what other stategies are used to get the last planet?
First off try and get the defenders away from the home planet. If your team has 2 carriers, and a lot of defenders go to ogg one of them, let that carrier run, and do not kill the enemies. Your team should concentrate on helping the other carrier drop. With 19 planets, your team does not have to drop a decent percentage.
A base can be helpful for you team, so you can refuel, and have a protected place. However, if the other team oggs your base while your team is trying to take, concentrate on helping the taker - the purpose is not to save the base, but rather take the last planet.
If they are ogging a lot, faster ships (such as a scout) are good. They can get around the oggers leaving the oggers away from the homeworld, so the carrier can take. Remember, try not to kill oggers that are behind the taker and probably won't be able to effect the take.
If they are not ogging much, a lot of hull can help the taker. An AS, while rather obvious, takes a lot of damage to kill, which can make the difference between getting down an army, or not.
People helping the taker should concentrate on getting the better enemy phaser lockers out of action. If the other team's good defenders are out of fuel, keep them that way. Also, defenders orbiting the homeworld can fire a lot more - these are good targets. Sometimes it is important to kill the enemies with plasma. Other times these players run from real take attempts - so scare them away, and then deal with other enemies.Teamates that cloak, to fake taking, and det a lot are helpful too. Still the most helpful are ones that just keep enemies far away from the homeworld. Unfortunately, most pickup games have players that do the exact opposite and kill the enemies that are far away from the home planet, while their team is trying to take the home planet -- these players can be the other team's MVP's. [Erik Lauer]

> Anyway, another game, I was called a twink for killing people far away from the last planet.
>Well, I was told to let them be out far so we coulod take the planet, which seemed reasonable.
Actually a good skill to use in this case is "maiming" your opponents. You don't want to kill people because that brings them in right where you start out. On the other hand, you don't want them following you in and blasting your take from the back side. Just get the enemy to warp 3-4 and you should do fine.
> Anyway, what other stategies are used to get the last planet?
Try not to leave the home planet for the LPS. It's the hardest to take. (except for core agri's... I dont really consider a core agri an LPS anyway, since it won't be for long)
Choose the LPS area when the enemy is down to 6 planets.
Choose the LPS planet when the enemy is at 3 or 4 planets.
Make sure your choices are at least reasonable. (i.e. ORG really isn't a good choice for a FED LPS since no clue would defend it.) [Douglas V. Bellew]