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HWC 8 Multiplayer Tactics

If someone reading this document played Starcraft, he/she would know that Zergs and Terrans were able to do rush attacks with their Zerglings and Marines. This tactic was one of the first someone masters, and in little maps was almost letal. If this someone passed from Starcraft to Homeworld/HW Cataclysm, he would have noticed that using the first fighters in groups is not a good choice: first because the MotherShip or the Transport you have to destroy is heavily armored and has big guns that could destroy fighters in second, and then because the other player will surely have fighters to support these guns. Like Homeworld, Catclysm features two "races", but they have almost identical abilities and technology trees. In fact, I always played with a Somtaaw fleet, and did only one or two matches with Beast fleets: Somtaaw have stronger base fighters (the Acolytes), that will turn dead if the player develops Missile Tech, plus the Hiigaran Kiith fleet has the full range of ships (Fighters, Corvettes, Frigates, Carriers, Destroyers, Dreadnoughts), while the Beast has a large number of Corvette-type crafts with few Capital Ships, and the most effective of them, the Heavy Cruiser, requires a lot of RUs, SUs and time to be completed (I'm speaking about a "normal" fleet, with no captured technology). And the Somtaaw's voices are cooler than the Beast's.

+ Let's start to see Somtaaw Tactics:

Acolytes will be present every where, in defense and offensive role. Their mobility and firepower, combined with the capability of forming a Corvette class ship in few seconds will prove very useful, especially if you master how to use special actions. For Acolytes, use missiles against Frigates and larger vessels, as they will miss smaller ships. ACV's EM Pulse is useful against Strike Crafts, to halt them down and destroy them nearly effortlessy. The Somtaaw features a good number of Frigates, most of them with specialized in anti-fighter duties: the Multi-Beam and Hive Frigate will be useful to track and destroy enemy fighters. The Dervish is also a powerful lineholder, even if the larger covered area means that its Ion Cannons are less powerful than the single Cannon mounted on a Ion Frigate. The best way to use the Dervish is to manually maneuver them to fire in the enemy's flanks or rear sides, where its protection (both armor and weapons) will be lower, keeping an aggressive tactic, as the Frigates will continue to fire while moving. The Hive frigate is useful against Strike Crafts only, as its Swarmers are too little to seriously arm other Capital Ships; the Hive standard armament is a bit weak and forward fixed, so it will have to manuever to tracking fats enemies; combined with the relatively thin armor, this Frigate won't live long against Destroyers or Ion Frigates. The last Firgate, the Minion Ramming Frigate can deal serious damage o large vessels, especially if two or more Frigates rams in the same time and from the same direction a vessel: not only the vessel will be moved by the Frigate's afterburner, it will be damaged by the laser hidden in its nose. This action is useful when large enemy groups counting Capital Ships among them attacks fighter forces: use your Minions to move some ships, and use an evasive tactic and immediately call reinforcements for your fighters: though well armored and relatively manueverable, the Frigates will perish under the long range fire of Ion Cannons. If the match drags for some time, someone will be able to produce Carriers first and then Destroyers. So far I've never seen someone building Dreadnoughts, nor I've ever done, I always won (or beaten Pfft) before. Carriers will be the first Super Capital Ships in order to build, as you'll need their additional SUs to expand your fleet. Just build one, and then concentrate on producing other Frigates (you will be able to produce 2/3 Multi-Beam Frigates in one minute), and if you have enough resources, begin to build a Destroyer or two. Then you would need the second and last Carrier for you first Dreadnought. Nothing much to say about the Super Ships in multiplayer: if you can, hyperspace them near the enemy MotherShip while you Strike Crafts arrives or already engages enemies. Always concentrate their fire on the enemy MotherShip. If you hyperspaced them, your opponet will try to hyper his Command Ship to safety while the rest of the fleet engages your behemoths. What about your MotherShip? Defend it and use it in attack or defense only when the situation is desperate; rember you can move it across the map. Do this often, as this will confuse your opponent, and use a Seeker to track your enemy. Seekers should be used in this way: one circling (use circular waypoints) your MotherShip, one tracking your enemy, a third will accompain your Strike Team and a fourth will guard the area between you and your opponent. How to use the Siege Cannon: first, be sure that you ships aren't along the projectile's trajectory, then try to be closest as possible to the target: as the range increases, the accurancy lowers. Do not use it for destroying very near objectives, as the Cannon needs some seconds to charge and the projectile will need other time to reach the impact point; last, but not least, the Siege Cannon is armed with explosive rounds, so the explosion might damage your ships. You just need to be lucky with this one, really. However, if the Cannon hits, it will destroy and/or severly damage Destroyer class vessels. Fighters and Corvettes? Mhmm...Propably they won't survive...

+ Beast tactics:

The first thing to do is to build Interceptors and Corvettes (the Multi gun will be the best, though the Missile will do fine), then research the Infection Beam: as this research is long, use the Beast's special ability to use CommadShip's health to research faster. Build a strong defensive wing (10 Multi Gun Corvettes with some Interceptors), and if the ohter player(s) does not attack, begin to research and build Frigates and Cruise Missiles. If that player attacks, try to infect as many ships as possible (I conseil Acolytes/ACVs and Multi-Beam Frigates; maybe upgraded with Energy Cannons and Armor Level 2) and repel the attack. hen begin to build a strike team: 6/8 Ion Array/Multi-Beam Frigates, one Carrier/Heavy Cruiser and Corvette escort. Go to your opponet and use your Super Capital Ship to infect other (probably even more advanced) ships, decomission them and inflict as much damage as possible, and retreat when your wing reaches 50% losses within Capital Ships. Hyperspace if the situation is desperate. Cruise Missiles should be used against small Strike Teams were Multi Beam Frigates are escorted by few fighter: use ten/fifteen Missiles, and assault one Frigate with three Missiles each. This should bring you new ships and technology. This tactic works best when escort or the Frigates are harrassed by fighters. If you don't capture any enemy ship, your assaults will be based on Ion Array Frigates: cloack them and be sure that no Advanced Sensors are in the area, reach the enemy MotherShip and attack it by surprise. The counterattack will be hard to repel, but the support of Attack bombers would be enough. Attack Bombers acn be effective if used in large groups (15+), though do not pretend to destroy Super Capital and Mother Ships with these fighters alone. If you are going to build Carriers and Heavy Cruisers, remember to use the "build faster" capability. Theorically, two Cruisers and 4/6 Ion Frigates with fighter and Corvette escort will be enough to destroy the enemy's MotherShip. Theorically.

+ General Tactics:

Move the MotherShip, especially when you repulsed an attack, after an hyperspace jump and after firing the Siege Cannon. Do not send all of your crafts against your enemy. You attack could be stopped and you won't have any ship defending your "base". If your enemy build Carriers, you have to destroy them too: the computer will declare victory after one player won't be able to build ships. It is possible to track an enemy MotherShip from a Siege Cannon projectile, just minimize your map's zoom, and move the camera to the zenith. Observer the moving yellow dot and trace an imaginary line from the impact point to the point where the projectile started. Send a Seeker or a Mimic and see where your enemy really is.

Protect your Workers.

Do not play aganst only one player: getting used to his/her tactics will make uttelry easy to defeat him/her, but not all palyers use same tactics. Fine-tune your computer: disable any useless icon-try program, and put your Message Program (ICQ, Odigo, AOL, Clique Me..) into Invisible mode. Check the matches' ping rates to avoid slow fights and avoid to slow them down. If you play on a low-end PC (I play on a P200MMX), disable all effects, reduce the model complexity, the audio channels and whatever can takes important clocks of you CPU: the net is slow by itself, and slowing down the game more could spell the difference between victory (ie: the PC does not accept or "ear" a click from your mouse becuase it's calculating the light sourcing on 1.544.186 polygons).

Buy the fastest computer and modem (ISDN, ADSL, Satellite uplinks...whatever. I use a 33.6 Modem and the game is really slow) you can.

Last minute note: all Soomtaw Strike Crafts (but not the Workers) need to dock with the Kuun-Lan or a Carrier to be updated. Beast ships can update their systems without docking, even if they are Strike Crafts (though they need to stop and remain inactive for some time). Also, the best tactic to destroy the Somtaaw mothership is to hyperspace right behind it, as your capital ship can be able to target the main engine; attacking from sides will usually destroy hangar moduels first, increasing killing time. Beast mothership can be attacked by all sides, as there are no modules absorbing damage.

¢ ® ì § (criz_hughes@hotmail.com) wants to add this:
1. When playing as Somataww, use a dreadnaughts repulser to defend against seige cannon attacks, (as the projectile nears you, activate the repulser and it will bounce back to the source- marginally disconcerting if he/she has fired from reasonably close range!!)

2. When playing as beast, put a defence feild frigate next to the seige cannon of your opponent, this will cause the energy ball from the seige cannon to explode as soon as it leaves the barrel. (a cheeky and devastating way to cripple an opponent)

3. If timed correctly, seige cannon firing can take place while the blue hyperspace box is covering the mother ship from the front backwards.

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