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    FAQ/Strategy Guide by Conskill

    Version: 1.9 | Updated: 03/16/00 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    A Homeworld Play guide vr. 1.9 (3/16/00)
    
    Played in the 'C' key, fifth measure.
    
    Written, directed, edited, starring in, and catered by; Conskill 
    (conskill@mindspring.com).
    
    ----------------------------------
    
    Table of Contents:
    
    Introduction
    Updates
    What's New
    Corvettes, and Strike Crafts, and Frigates, oh my!
    General Rants
    Level specific rants.
    Contributor information
    Disclaimer
    
    ----------------------------------
    
    Introduction:
    
    Welcome to a completely genuine, artificial FAQ. Browsing through GameFAQs the 
    other day, I noticed a rather stunning lack of anything Homeworld oriented. 
    Given it is a rather complex, hot new game, I figured someone with far more free 
    time then I would have written something up by now.
    
    Apparently of all people, I have the less of a social life. That being the case, 
    this completely unprofessional and highly opinionated FAQ should suffice. I'll 
    probably be taking it down once someone that actually knows how to write one of 
    these things gets off their behinds and does it, so enjoy it while it lasts.
    
    Like most FAQs, I will fail to answer any questions, no matter how frequently 
    they've been asked. Instead I'll give strategies for each level, my personal 
    tactics, and a other myriad of stuff you probably don't really care about. Also 
    note that I am writing this as I go along. Do not expect completely enlightened 
    tactical advise from a Kushan sage on the mountain.
    
    ----------------------------------
    
    Updates: 
    
    1.0 - FAQ created
    1.1 - And on the .1 day, he rested.
    1.2 - Numerous spelling errors corrected.
    1.3 - Numerous grammar errors put in.
    1.4 - Added Tenhauser Gate and Galactic Core levels, fixed a few spelling and 
    level name errors (Hiigara, not Higarra, Hiigara...)
    1.5 - First batch of reader contributions added, as well as a What's New section 
    for stuff I can't put to bullet point.
    1.6 - More reader contributions added. Minor change to Salvage Corvette listing. 
    Major change to What's New (yes, this is a hint).
    1.7 - Updated Ships, Kharak System and Outskirts of Kharak System level.
    1.8 - Updated Ships, General Tactics, and Great Wastelands (part 2) level. New 
    large helping of reader contributions put in.
    1.9 - Added remaining levels.
    ----------------------------------
    
    What's New:
    
    This has been a fun quarter-of-a-year since I last wrote this. Finals, a few 
    riots around here, general family dysfunction. The usual.
    
    Now that my finals are over, I have time to finish this up. I will still accept 
    contributions, however I just now have been able to get into the mindspring mail 
    box (don't ask) in about two months. It'll be at least a few days before I build 
    up the mental fortitude to try and sort through it. If my head doesn't explode, 
    implode, or any other nasty word that ends in 'lode', I'll start making 
    additions to this as needed.
    
    ----------------------------------
    
    Ships (or; Used Starship Salesmen's Bluebook)
    
    The Taiidan aren't *that* bad.
    
    Despite what I've said earlier, I realized why the Taiidan Mothership was 
    horrific to the eye; whoever paints the Taiidan fleet should have a serious 
    discussion with the business end of a Ion Frigate. Given custom colors, the 
    Taiidan fleet types look pretty neat, all told. However, since I'm playing the 
    Kushan fleet at this time, I'll only list those. Submissions are accepted for 
    Taiidan craft and 'third party' (Guardian, Raider, ect) that can be captured.
    
    FuSchnick reminds: "The size of the "effect" area for field frigates, grav-well 
    generators, cloak generators, and proximity sensors can all be seen with the 
    tactical overlay (CAPS-LOCK)."
    
    For the hex-nerd in all of us, Warith gives: "Want to change your ship colours 
    directly?  Get a good hex editor like Hex Workshop (shareware) and load up your 
    save game file.  Offset 212 (0xD4) contains the 3-byte RGB code for your ship 
    colour (and exhaust trails)  You can even enter in 00 00 00 and your ships will 
    be dark grey, with NO exhaust trails!  Pretty good for stealthy multiplayer 
    games.  Offset 224 contains the stripe colour, once again in standard 3-byte RGB 
    format.  Note:  I've only tried this on Single Player saved games, but I would 
    bet money the structure for every type of save game is practically identical."
    
    
    
    Scout: Scouts are fairly decent fighters, stricken with two majors blows. First, 
    their special ability ("Afterburners") seem to have absolutely no effect. 
    Second, Interceptors cost only 20 more RU, and are ready 7 minutes into the 
    game. Scouts never have the time to shine before something better comes their 
    way.
    
    
    
    Interceptor: Something better. It's slower then the Scout, but not by much. In 
    raw speed's place is more firepower and the ability to survive being hit. Even 
    to this point, the Interceptor remains a backbone in my fighting forces.
    
    
    
    Defender: I tried to like this craft. Really. I'd group 'um, have them guard 
    various ships in various formations. This way, they looked kinda pretty when 
    doing nothing. I tried using it as a heavy pointblank interceptor. This way, 
    they looked kinda pretty when running out of fuel. These things have to stretch 
    their engines just to outrace a Destroyer, and that's a bit too slow for 
    practical application.
    
    
    
    Attack Bomber: Aside from it's depressing tendency to blow up, the attack bomber 
    is a fairly decent craft. While in later levels the sheer flack running around 
    makes using them for heavy assaults expensive, given sufficient cover they are 
    able to take down Destroyer and smaller capital ships by themselves. The slow 
    speed of building (compared to other fighters) makes replenishing them after the 
    battle a pain, though.
    
    
    
    Light Corvette: The Scout of the corvette family.
    
    
    
    Heavy Corvette: The Interceptor of the corvette family. More useful then the 
    Light version, but only until the attack bomber becomes available for purchase 
    at your local Mothership-Mart. On a related note, these are nice targets for 
    your attack bombers.
    
    FuSchnick gives a better (and bigger) opinion of the Heavy Corvette: "Good 
    against cap-ships because they have a decent punch (more than the piddly 
    fighters) while still being decently mobile (enough so to avoid most cap-ship 
    weapons).  Corvettes in general are better against cap-ships because, unlike 
    fighters, they can actually "hover" in one spot or in circles around their 
    target, whereas fighters make "passes" (I don't know why, being space ships and 
    all, they shouldn't HAVE to move forward all the time).  A big squad of 
    corvettes set to "evasive" tactics will actually circle around a cap ship that 
    they are attacking, like Indians around a circle of wagons.  The cap-ships have 
    a hella hard time hitting them back.  Heavy corvettes are only so-so against 
    fighters... they have a hard time hitting them, but they have a LOT more armor, 
    so they survive a long time against fighters.  Corvettes are also susceptible to 
    the grav-well generator's effects."
    
    
    
    Repair Corvette: Am I the only one who never used these? By the time I had the 
    pressing need to keep my strike craft in long battles, the Support Frigate had 
    already made it's way into my heart. Aside from it being replaced too early, it 
    would be useful if a strike craft had a dire need for a drink, though refueling 
    entire squadrons from one would be impractical.
    
    
    
    Salvage Corvette: Far, far to many people to credit offered me suggestions on 
    this one. Alright, I was wrong. In fact, almost stupidly wrong. Many people have 
    come forward to remind me of one insanely useful thing for the SCs; they can 
    capture most any enemy craft, no cost, adding it to your fleet. 
    
    Ripped from the readme file itself, here are the number of corvettes needed to 
    capture each thing that needs more then one: 
    
    Any Frigate = 2 SCs 
    Any Destroyer = 3 SCs 
    Heavy Cruiser = 5 SCs 
    Carrier = 5 SCs
    
    
    
    Multi-Gun Corvette: I have them available, but I have yet to play with these to 
    a serious degree.
    
    Koensayr offers the following; "The cool thing about multiguns is their guns can 
    actually hit enemy scouts and interceptors, whereas the slow-arse rate of turn 
    on your assault frigates means they are only really useful against opposing 
    corvettes and capitals."
    
    FuSchnick agreed and expands on the concept: "These are great against fighters, 
    because they can track multiple targets at once, and have good coverage. The 
    Multi-Guns do much better than heavy corvettes against fighters, but do slightly 
    worse against cap-ships, because they have slightly less total firepower."
    
    
    
    Minelayer Corvette: Ditto.
    
    Mark Harrison's opinion on the Minelayer: "Minelayers are deadly. Five 
    minelayers will generate a field (after 5 minutes) that'll anihilate at least 4 
    assault frigates."
    
    
    
    Assault Frigate: I actually like these better then Ion Cannons. Though that 
    isn't saying much. Whenever I needed extra punch, I brought one of these along. 
    The extra coverage (compared to it's bigger, energy based brother) means it has 
    a chance against a wandering scout looking for some fun.
    
    
    
    Ion Cannon Frigate: Better, in terms of firepower, then the Assault Frigate. 
    However it is extremely simple to destroy. There's no denying that they're fun, 
    though. It's like a nice toy; fun to use, but impractical.
    
    
    
    Support Frigate: Until the day you're blessed with a carrier, this is as close 
    to a mobile base that you'll get. Plop it down a small distance from where you 
    want your strike craft to go party, and have them refuel. It is not a craft to 
    take into battle, though, unless you're looking for a sacrificial lamb to throw 
    onto the fire.
    
    
    
    Drone Frigate: In the mid/later levels, if I want to use a Frigate, I use a 
    Drone Frigate. It's all around better then the other offense minded ones, except 
    for cost. Does anyone know what those drones do, by the way? The manual claims 
    that it gives 'superb protection against fighters', though my drone frigates 
    tend to burn just as easily as my Scouts.
    
    Mark Harrison informs: "The drone frigate basically has a buncha-defender guns 
    in sphere formation. they mince small fighters."
    
    
    
    Destroyer: The first cap ship I started taking seriously. Once you have two or 
    three of these, you can almost keep your fighter bombers at home. Twin lasers, 
    and more then enough conventual firepower besides. As long as you keep their 
    skies clear, they'll take care of other cap ships themselves.
    
    
    
    Missile Destroyer: Impressive, if a tad unwieldy. A full salvo attack will 
    utterly destroy most frigates, and even bug another destroyer. Keep these to the 
    sides instead of the rear, though, you can (and will) hit your own ships with 
    those missiles. This is also great to use against swarms of strike craft.
    
    FuSchnick adds: "These are ABSOLUTE death to strike craft.  Fighters and 
    corvettes absolutely cannot maintain any kind of assault if there is a missile 
    destroyer nearby.  They are fast enough to flee from it, and that is about their 
    only option.  The missile destroyer is not really powerful enough to assault 
    other cap-ships on its own (it isn't bad, but other ships are a lot better).  
    The missiles themselves do not do a great deal of damage, but the tracking 
    ability makes them much more likely to hit fighters than other cap ship weapons, 
    and the damage is high enough to down interceptors with just two or three hits.  
    The missile destroyer will track multiple targets, and fires 4 missiles at a 
    time roughly every 0.5 seconds or so, until it depletes its reserves, then it 
    spits them out at about half that rate. Grav-well generators do not affect the 
    missiles."
    
    
    
    Carrier: Mini-Mothership. These take a insane amount of time to build, but is 
    worth every second if you plan on taking actions away from your Mothership. 
    Serving as a Resource Controller, a huge Support Frigate, a manufacturing plant, 
    and a nice slab of armor. A Carrier under a few destroyer's escorts can head to 
    a pocket of resources, mine it dry, cannibalize it's collector, build it's own 
    assault fleet, and obliterate a target handily.
    
    
    
    Mothership: It's about as graceful as a orca (or, for Taiidan version, a 
    autistic speech giver), and just as fat. Extremely impressive armor, but it's 
    firepower comprises of a few pea shooters Fleet Command fires when she is bored. 
    Don't count on her defending herself, but she is able to absorb quite a few ion 
    blasts before exploding.
    
    Mark Harrison found he was unable to capture hyperspace inhibitors (which show 
    up as Motherships). I'm willing to bet this is a trait common with all 
    Motherships (sadly, the joy of having mobile, expendable Motherships must be 
    reserved for multiplayer only).
    
    
    
    Resource Collector: I can't say much sarcastically about such a vital thing. It 
    would be like trying to insult my foot. They're defenseless, but relatively 
    strong. They scoop up galactic litter, and as a bonus can serve as a re fueler.
    
    
    
    Resource Controller: A absolute must for the impatient among us. An even better 
    re fueler, and a place for resource collectors to drop off their ill-gotten 
    gains. For the fastest possible mineral recovery, try having a controller for 
    every collector, and having each controller guard a collector.
    
    
    
    Probe: The penultimate sacrificial lamb. Aside from going really, really fast, 
    it does absolutely nothing special. However, it is cheap, and the speed allows 
    it to quickly trigger those events that result in death of the thing 
    investigating.
    
    
    
    Grav Well Generator: Fun toy. With it you could almost totally forget ever 
    making strike craft again. When it's special is activated, all enemy strike 
    craft in range lose control, momentum (except for their inertia), and firing 
    control. Add a destroyer or Missile Destroyer for spice, and you'll be taking 
    out squadrons easily. Note that when the generator goes down, it stays down 
    permanently (retire it), and it effects your craft just as well.
    
    
    
    Proximity Sensor: If you want to probe something, use this instead. Being 
    actually reusable helps. Slower then the probe (but tying Scouts as second 
    fastest craft), but it can also detect cloaked ships.
    
    
    
    Research Ship: Not as totally vital as it seems. Most research projects get 
    learned through the course of a level even if you have just one of these. Still, 
    it allows you to speed up the process, and adding more makes it a viable slab of 
    armor.
    
    
    
    Heavy Cruiser: Simply huge. They take a insane amount of time to build, a huge 
    amount of RUs to build, and you come out with the largest fighting machine 
    available to you. There's no doubting the sheer firepower on the thing, however 
    the cost is sometimes a bit too much. If you want them, you might be better of 
    trying to capture yourself one (or two, or four...).
    
    Jon Lauridsen gives a warning about trying to capture Heavy Cruisers: "Enemy 
    Heavy Cruisers apparently has a built-in fear for Salvage units, because as soon 
    as they spot them they drop anything they're doing and begin fireing it's rather 
    deadly and precise beam-wepons. It can in a matter of seconds turn your mighty 
    salvage-fleet into something quite pulpy and redish. And this piece of advice 
    should also go with the notion that a Heavy Cruiser doesn't really turn THAT 
    slowly. Even if attacked from the side it might still be able to turn towards 
    the Salvages."
    
    
    
    Multi-Beam Frigate: It's not Kushan, but you might start adopting them into the 
    family once you see them. They combine the power of four ion-beams into one 
    (relatively) small ship. The set back is that they are relatively inaccurate, 
    'raking' the lasers instead of the pinpoint action of the Ion Frigates.
    
    Webrunner found a good use for the inherent weakness of the frigate: "Multibeam 
    Frigates even work against *fighters*... they essentially end up 'combing' the 
    area and raking up some dead things."
    
    
    
    Field Frigates: It's a Taiidan ship, so I haven't touched it. However, yet again 
    proving that he should be writing a play guide about this game instead of me, 
    FuSchnick gives the following.
    
    "A field frigate has a protective sphere around it, in which about 80% of small 
    arms fire gets stopped.  Small-arms mainly includes fighter and corvette 
    projectiles.  It does not stop missiles, ion beams, or mines.  The field frigate 
    itself has no weapons, it is only a support ship.  The biggest problem with it 
    is that it is really hard to get it into a formation where it actually keeps a 
    few other ships within its sphere.  If the field frigate is in any kind of 
    formation with other cap-ships, it will barely keep two other ships at most 
    within the protective area (you can see the size of the area with the tactical 
    overlay, hit CAPS-LOCK, it ain't big!).  A field frigate may increase the 
    lifespan of one or two destroyers vs enemy strike craft, but won't help much in 
    a cap vs cap battle."
    ----------------------------------
    
    General Tactics (or; Mutually Assured Destruction for Dummies)
    
    Before going on, realize these tactics are extremely blunt. I'm not the person 
    to ask for when you want a graceful, tactical domination. I follow the Zapp 
    Branagin method of combat: When confronted with a hoard of rampaging killbots, 
    send wave after wave of men until they reach their kill limit.
    
    That said, for the first half of the game my attack force was pretty much 
    consisted of twenty interceptors and twenty bombers, with needed support. Though 
    it seems relatively base, having your interceptors intercept and your attack 
    bombers attack really does work. Heavy Corvettes are suitable replacements for 
    bombers in the early levels.
    
    Since the Mothership tends to attract enemy capital ships like a hick to a 
    broken down car, I keep most of my heavy hitters with her until such time as I 
    need them. I've found that the times the Mothership has been swarmed with 
    fighters, my interceptors were close enough in hand to act as a mob up squad.
    
    Once you get the destroyer, you can start actually orchestrating cap ship 
    battles that don't end in costly replacements. Even better is your Gravity Well 
    generator. So long as you keep a carrier close by to buy you replacements, 
    you'll never have to worry about a squadron of annoying flies bugging your 
    beautiful things anymore.
    
    Most of the time in Homeworld, a offensive shield is your best defense. If your 
    opponent is busy trying to stave away your thrust, they won't have time to do 
    one of their own. However, certain scripted events cause this to go flat (level 
    4 comes to mind in sharp, bitter detail).
    
    Remember that you can repair cap ships with a support frigate. Even in combat. 
    Also remember that most ships will gun after the biggest ship present in the 
    melee. This makes bringing along your carrier, with three green-beam spouting 
    support frigates in tow, a interesting bait.
    
    The most important tactic I can give you, though, is to keep your liquid 
    resources high. Each situation is different, and will require different ships 
    and means. This isn't to even mention the embarrassment of not being able to pay 
    for a Bentusi tech advance. Some levels you'll desperately need that fourth 
    destroyer, other times having anything larger then a corvette in the air is 
    anathema. Be prepared to change tactics, and keep your 'core fleet' (the group 
    you always have with you) light and diverse.
    
    There are also two exploitable bugs in the game that you can use if you feel 
    particularly sneaky. Both of these happened in my version (1.0), and are not 
    guaranteed to work, as I can not be sure what celestral alingment causes them to 
    always work;
    
    A- The AI tailors your opponent to your level. "Return to Kharak" is the best 
    way to test this. Jump in with a small fleet, and you'll only face two frigates. 
    Jump in with a armada, and you'll face four. Note that I believe this only goes 
    by your fleet size, not your RUs.
    
    B- Mines seem to be lost in save games. If your stuck trying to go through an 
    inpenterable mine field, save and reload. The minelayer corvette (if it's still 
    there) should be sitting in a void.
    
    Warith has a large group of opinions about the use of strike craft. In order to 
    preserve sanity, I present the entire below, no trimming down:
    
    The best formation for strike craft in general melee dogfighting is the X-
    formation, this allows both for concentrated firepower and maneuverability.  I 
    also usually go for evasive tactics in a dogfight, as your fighters will split 
    into two-man teams, which allows them to deftly weave and dodge through capital 
    ship fire like nobody's business.
    
    The best strike craft assault formation (for taking out a single target) is the 
    Claw, with Aggressive tactics.  This makes a deadly cone-shaped kill zone in 
    front of your group, which focuses on your target.  Don't use more than about 30 
    fighters in this form though or it becomes too enlongated to be effective.
    
    My favourite strike force is a carrier with a sphere of proximity sensors, with 
    the carrier set to guard my wall formation of capital ships.  I like to keep a 
    half dozen repair corvettes docked inside my carrier.  Any of your capital ships 
    get in the yellow, pull them back to your carrier, release the RCs and let em 
    loose.  As soon as I get missile destroyers, I completely dispense with fighters 
    except for special high-speed hit and fade attacks.
    ----------------------------------
    Level specific tactics (or; From Here to Hiigara)
    
    My rants, thoughts, and advise pertaining to each level. Spoiler alert, kiddies. 
    For my own ease of writing, I will fail to do any alerts and such if it helps 
    get a point across. Don't read beyond what you think you need.
    
    
    
    Kharak System:
    Nice enough introduction sequence, though the starting fleet is ghastly small. 
    Do everything Fleet Intel tells you, and you'll do peachy. One word of advise, 
    however; don't use 'Aggressive' when testing tactics. For some reason the scout 
    pilots have a tendency to slam into the drones when they're blood lusting. 
    (Note- Replaying through this level a few times, using 'Aggressive' on all of 
    them, I didn't suffer any Scout losses these times. Anyone want to take a swing 
    at why it happened?)
    
    
    
    Outskirts of Kharak System:
    This is a fun level. If you do it correctly, you can more then triple your 
    current fleet and suffer the loss of only 2 craft, given probability is on your 
    side.
    
    Get your harvester harvesting, and scrap your scouts. Do not send a probe to the 
    Khar-Selim. Eventually, your harvesters will trigger the event, and by that time 
    you'll have built up a fleet to your desires.
    
    Given my pro-fighter outlook on life, I quickly constructed my wing of twenty 
    interceptors. Grab a second harvester, and a few more salvage corvettes while 
    you're at it, and wait.
    
    Fleet Intel is not kidding when he says that the raiders are inferior to your 
    craft. Given that, their small numbers, and the fact that most of the mission 
    they're focusing on craft other then your strike craft, you should be able to 
    mop the floor with very few casualties.
    
    Despite what Fleet Intel says, the cap ship here is a Mothership, not a Carrier, 
    thus can not be captured (though it says 'insufficient craft' when attempted, 
    makes one wonder...). Nor should you try to blow it up, it's simply way to big 
    at this point. Be content with destroying the ones arrogantly try to blast your 
    salvage corvettes.
    
    Warith advises a more economical way to start the level: "Build a bunch of 
    interceptors to complement your scouts.  I never retire anything unless 
    desperate for cash because the money you get from retiring your scouts won't 
    give you enough money to build enough interceptors to replace the collective 
    firepower of the scouts."
    
    
    
    Return to Kharak:
    Double-fun. Actually, I think the entire moment would have been better if Fleet 
    Intel yelled out the obvious in his rather aggressive voice instead of Fleet 
    Command's annoyingly apathic voice. Any who, you have a few hundred thousand 
    Kushan frozen-treats to save.
    
    Immediately scramble your fighters to engage the Taiidan. Chances are you won't 
    save all 600,000, though I'm fairly sure a good player should be able to score 
    500,000 living and freezer-burned Kushans (just noticed...kushan...cushion?). 
    Get cranking on another salvage corvette and a few light corvettes if you've 
    been procrastinating. Chances are your fighters themselves will not be able to 
    down the attackers.
    
    Just like last level, when your salvagers make the grab, keep up enough pressure 
    to let them get home. This time it might be harder, since his friends are so 
    close in hand.
    
    Sclover shows that you can save all the frost bitten Kushans: "I managed to save 
    every one of the cryo trays (6) by sending my force immediately out to the trays 
    as soon as they started launching (while the briefing was running), and 
    immediately attacking the middle of the three frigates (that was the one that 
    would always pull off to engage us).  I had also moved my two SCs out near the 
    trays, but just far enough that they wouldn't get fired upon.  My force of 
    scouts and corvettes destroyed the first frigate pretty quickly, and while they 
    were fighting the next one, my two SCs came in and grabbed the last frigate.  
    The SCs had him about halfway back to the mothership before my force destroyed 
    the last one.  The tray that they had been firing on was smoking after all was 
    said and done, but I still got it."
    
    
    
    Great Wastelands: 
    Kushans, meet the Bentusi, the most highly advanced cowards in the galaxy. Take 
    Intelligence's advise; create a controller, and ship it off to the center of the 
    minable resources. Have fun. Bring some back up, just in case...
    
    Whoops. Once the attack comes (from on top of you, not to the 'north', for those 
    still getting used to the sensors), keep your interceptors intercepting. But 
    start cranking out one or two heavy hitters. You know, just in case...
    
    Whoops. The Mothership won't go down easily, but unless you have something to 
    take down those ion cannons, it will go down eventually. Once you've taken a 
    chunk out of the ion frigates, go for their carrier. Am I the only one that saw 
    that, despite this mission being there to 'gather a fleet', I ended up losing 
    more craft then I made?
    
    Many people (Koensayr, Zack Parfile, ZooL) recommended the following alternate 
    way to finish up the level: Use your salvage corvettes to capture as many of the 
    attacking frigates, then use those to destroy the carrier. Not only killing two 
    birds in one stone, but also collecting more hardware for the fleet. 
    
    Warith found a interesting loophole in this mission's script: "The raider attack 
    won't come until you trade with the Bentusi.  Use this to your advantage by 
    delaying the trade until they're about to leave.  This will allow you more time 
    to mine and build up your fleet."
    
    
    
    Great Wastelands (prt2?):
    This level, when done correctly, is pretty much nothing more then a series of 
    ever-increasing brawls. When done incorrectly, you end up bull-baiting an entire 
    Taiidan fleet into attacking the Mothership in unison. Tread carefully in the 
    resource branches.
    
    Do as Fleet Intel says and launch the probe. Send harvesters out if you wish, 
    but make sure you have some strike craft going along as escorts if you do. If 
    you can stand the boredom level, it's safer to simply wait until mission end to 
    harvest here.
    
    If you nuke the Taiidan harvesters as soon as you can, you'll have virtually the 
    entire level's resources to yourself. This be the great west, greenhorn, we're 
    talking nearly 10k RUs that is all yours. Chances are even if your entire fleet 
    is destroyed, you could replace it with much change to spare.
    
    Chances are nuking the harvesters has resulted in one or two wings of Taiidan 
    frigates to notice you. Unless you want to face off against the entire Taiidan 
    fleet right now, your best bet is to flee back to the Mothership. The frigates 
    will (slowly) follow you. Destroy them at your convince once you're sure the 
    battle won't spill over to the Cruisers.
    
    Once almost every Taiidan has became a attractive debris ring, the Cruiser with 
    Destroyer escort will attack you directly. You should pretty much know what to 
    do from here.  
    
    Sablotnik recommends going the next step further and stealing the entire basket: 
    "If you have taken away the enemyīs collectors, start stripping him from 
    fighters. If you work carefully, it can be done step by step, attack by attack. 
    He will end up with no fighters and no resources to build new ones. Then start 
    taking away the frigates. You have heard all this before, yes. But why use these 
    frigates to destroy the carrier? Try to keep the carrier busy with evasive 
    fighters and meanwhile salvage him. It takes five salvage corvettes to move the 
    carrier,so better have six ones at hand if one getīs lost."
    
    Warith recommends: "Immediately send a fighter wing out at about 2 o'clock from 
    your mothership so you're within striking distance of that mineral vein, so as 
    soon as you're told they have a resource collector, you can smoke it, which 
    means more resources for you at the end of the level. What I generally did on 
    this level was patrolled with my fighter wing, engaging small targets, and 
    drawing larger targets back to the mothership to get smoked by the small fleet 
    of Ion Frigates I am building up.  Eventually though, they stop coming to you, 
    so when this happens gather your whole fleet and whallop any targets left." 
    (Note that as I wrote above, I've always had every target come at me once a 
    certain number of Taiidan had been nuked. As Warith's tale shows, your milage 
    may vary)
    
    
    
    Diamond Shoals:
    My tip for this level. Can every cap ship you have on you before hyper spacing 
    to this level. You'll thank me for it.
    
    Beyond that, I don't really have much advise. Thanks to the 3D space, it's hard 
    to tell just what asteroid is going to pass through where. Interceptors are a 
    gold mine here, defenders will get crushed just as easily as your cap ships 
    would. Don't let any ship 'assume holding pattern' here, unless you want to 
    build more of them.
    
    Zack Parfile suggests a similar, but completely opposite tactic: "Keep your 
    caps, anything behind the MS is safe, or if you've been collecting Ion Arrays 
    just drop them below and in front of the MS to take out asteroids. Concentrate 
    their fire and they knock the asteroids out quickly. Fly your frigs straight up 
    or straight down and they'll be safe above the asteroid corridor. I kept all my 
    fighters docked until I was clear, didn't lose anything."
    
    Sclover expands and collaborates on that tactic: "If I remember right, I had 
    something like 1 destroyer (5 finger discount from Great Wastelands), 4 assault 
    frigates, 9 ion frigates, and 1 support frigate all grouped in wall formation, 
    and then some fighters and heavy and light corvettes.  I grouped all those guys 
    together and had them all basically hit one asteroid at a time, which they would 
    rapidly blow to space dust for my resource collectors to gobble up. The only 
    thing I lost on that mission was the support frigate that I stole from Great 
    Wastelands, which I should have just parked behind the mothership.  I honestly 
    don't think even one rock hit the mothership the whole time.  Other people I 
    know just squeeked by with their mothership smoking...  I think that destroyer 
    really helped, but the ion frigates were really putting out some juice."
    
    Sablotnik goes into detail about harvesting in this level: "If you have 
    firepower to spare, try to destroy every asteroid you can (if you salvaged them 
    before, destroyers are mighty welcome in this mission, due to their greater 
    firepower and higher speed, compared to the frigates) and let the resource 
    collector get it. Second: if you do so, remember: the asteroid field is moving 
    away from you and soon after you are clear of the asteroids, you will get out of 
    range, which means your destroyers wonīt go for too distant targets and your 
    collector refuses to collect them. So, to get more resources in this mission, a 
    second collector may be helpfull, if you manage to destroy more asteroids than 
    only those which are in your way - during the passage through the field as well 
    as afterwards (start at least as soon as you have received clearance and try as 
    long as your collector goes for the goodies)."
    
    
    
    The Gardens of Kadesh:
    I find this level fun. Get your interceptors and bombers ready, forget about 
    building any of your new toys (destroyers) yet. Start collecting resources, look 
    completely innocent, and wait.
    
    Now, while you're pondering why the Super Zealot Flower Hippies didn't blow the 
    Ambassador straight to the Great Nebula's Hell-equivalent, get cranking. Capital 
    ships are almost useless here, due to the large fighter concentration. Stop 
    harvesting for a bit, and bring the collectors back to base, and most of all 
    keep your fighters moving.
    
    Due to the scripted events, I'm not sure if you can succeed early by causing the 
    zealot's mothership to go bye-bye, or if you have to meet the Inhibitor. If it's 
    a requirement, it's also the most dangerous point in the level. Expect a fair 
    number of your strike craft to get nuked while you're getting them out again. 
    Target their mothership for termination afterward.
    
    Once everything is clear, send out your collectors to finish your glorious 
    defiling of the nebula, and rebuild your fleet. Next step is a harsh one.
    
    Warith reveals that you can't bypass the script here: "The first time I played 
    this I made the mistake of nuking the hippy mothership before the 8 minute 
    hyper-drive countdown was up. The mothership retreated, then a minute later a 
    fresh one popped into existence and I had to kill it all over again."
    
    
    
    The Cathedral of Kadesh:
    The most defensive oriented level I've yet played. You jump into the heart of 
    the nebula, and are about to get attacked three different ways before your 
    fighters have even totally lined up.
    
    For this critical moment, keeping your head clear is the major thing. Keep your 
    bombers bombing big targets, your interceptors intercepting. So long as you keep 
    everything busy, you should win the war o' attrition.
    
    Striking back at the three Hippy Motherships can be hard, since it's rare to 
    find a time when your Mothership isn't being attacked. However, generally the 
    tides of battle will shift your squadrons towards one. When it's in sight, nuke 
    it.
    
    You could try using destroyers to help destroy the Motherships, however it is 
    not advised. The cannons on the Hippy Ships are designed to bust capital ships, 
    and can barely scratch a fighter. So long as you have time, a force of twenty 
    interceptors and twenty bombers can down a Mothership, by themselves, with only 
    one bomber lost.
    
    Once you managed to down two of the Motherships, you get a breather. Send a 
    force /w support frigate to clear out the large concentration of resources, then 
    have your collectors go wild. This is one of the richest places you've seen.
    
    Before you can say "Luke, I am your father!", Fleet Intel's theory about the 
    Kadesh is confirmed. Don't let that stop you from killing them to a man, 
    however. You're the space hero guys, remember?
    
    Webrunner proposes a much easier, profitable, and sneakier way to deal with the 
    Motherships: "Capture the Multibeam Frigates. That's all there is too it.  Don't 
    destroy them capture them. It takes two volleys from six of them to kill a 
    Protector mothership.. by the end of the level I had *ten*."
    
    Zack Parfile adds also: "Destroy or salvage the fuel pods to leave the little 
    swarms of fighters high and dry, they seem to need to refuel after every other 
    attack run. The Fuel Pods are worth RU's to retire, useless to keep."
    
    
    
    Sea of Lost Souls:
    If someone didn't comment on my glaring lack of brains on salvage corvettes, 
    they gave some advise on this level. Since most of them are much better then 
    what I offered, I'll let them have the show.
    
    Zack Parfile recommends: "Don't bother giving a cap ship to the Ghost, just 
    swarm it with fighters and bombers. MGC's on evasive can be brought in to circle 
    it once the other ships are distracted trying to nail the fighters. Defenders 
    can be useful here as well since they seem to have better range than the 
    fighters. I had a small group just sitting there peppering the Ghost with fire 
    and they were completely ignored by the enemy ships."
    
    Zareh Aratoon gave this story and strategy: "I had 1 Destroyer, 7 ION Cannon 
    Frigates, 7 Attack Bombers and 10 Interceptors at the beginning of the scenario. 
    The first thing I did was to send in a probe, as I was following the probe I 
    noticed among the ships a Missile Destroyer. I grouped my Destroyer with the ION 
    Cannon Frigates, and moved towards the ghost ship. My first target was the 
    Missile Destroyer, because the Missile Destroyer would render my Attack bombers 
    and Interceptors useless.
    
    I quickly destroyed the Missile Destroyer with my attack group, but suddenly I 
    lost control of my Destroyer and 2 ION Cannon Frigates! I realized what was 
    going on and quickly retreated with my remaining 5 ION Cannon Frigates back to 
    the Mother Ship using evasive tactics.
    
    Since I had eliminated the Missile Destroyer, I could easily use my Strike Craft 
    now. I quickly built up my Attack Bombers until I had 30. I began to move 
    towards the Ghost Ship, I noticed that all of the possessed ships were right 
    below the Ghost Ship, so I decided to attack it from above with my 30 Attack 
    Bombers, by the time the slow moving capital ships got moving it was too late. 
    The fight took 15 seconds, I lost 2 Attack Bombers."
    
    Willis Yonker offers yet another strategy for this level: "I had a bunch (you 
    could do it with 1 if you have the patience) ion frigate.  Keep it just out of 
    range of the ghost ship (this will take trial and error) and target the 
    derelicts.  You can take them all out without loosing a ship.  Then send in a 
    group of fighters to take out the Ghost ship.  I did it with a few scouts and a 
    couple of hours at the movies. Zero loss but zero gains also."
    
    
    
    Super Nova Station:
    Is it just me, or is it nearly impossible to keep to the 'safe paths', 
    especially near the station itself? Since the long-range sensor screen is 
    overlaid on your normal screen, the obnoxiously bright supernova is still there, 
    making it hard to see where the dust clouds stop and end.
    
    (Zack Parfile assured me it was just me, "It's just you. While I did have to 
    keep moving the sensors view around and zooming in and out to keep track of the 
    dust paths I was able to do it.")
    
    This level is almost entirely about patients and trying out new toys and 
    tactics. As much as it pains me to admit, the sending wave after wave of men 
    tactic is no longer viable. It's time to embrace new technology. Build yourself 
    a carrier, a handful of proximity sensors, a few gravity wells, and a decent 
    force of Destroyer/missile destroyers.
    
    The lovely thing about the carrier is that it can stand up to the radiation 
    areas very easily. Have it blaze a trail to one of the two heavy resource 
    concentrations, build and then cannibalize a collector after everything is 
    gathered. If you do this to both areas, you should have more then enough 
    resources to finish up.
    
    Notice all the red dots on the map? You want to get rid of some of them. 
    Specifically, the one closest to you, and the two closest to the objective area 
    (and, eventually, the three in the objective area too, but let's not be picky). 
    The others are mine layers, which can be taken out at your convenience.
    
    The first dot is a squadron of fighters. Bad, bad Taiidan! You have two ways of 
    dealing with them; clean and efficient, or sadistic and fun.
    
    Clean: Bring in a gravity well and one missile destroyer. Disable the entire 
    squadron, have fun.
    
    Sadistic: Same as before, but forget the destroyer. Instead, use the gravity 
    well generator to lure them out into the radiation, and keep them there while 
    they blow up.
    
    The best way I found of getting around the map is to use way-points, made by 
    your proximity sensors. You can scout out your safe areas, then run your fleet 
    from one sensor to the next safely. 
    
    The second dot that I hit was a group of five assault frigates. Grouped together 
    like this, they can be nasty. Keep a few support frigates on hand to repair 
    whatever gets dented. Where they sat is a excellent place to muster the fleet 
    for your next attack.
    
    The third dot is the nastiest, aside from the station itself, a Heavy Cruiser 
    (something you don't have) with two destroyer escorts. I was able to destroy 
    them without losing a single destroyer, however. The key is to keep a wall 
    formation, concentrate your fire, and love support frigates.
    
    When assaulting the research station, watch out for the carrier. You do need to 
    nuke it, and relatively quick. Other then that, it's cleanup.
    
    Zack Parfile gives a much more simple and profitable solution: "I went towards 
    the station with a carrier, 3 destroyers and the missile cruiser from Sea of 
    Lost Souls. Smashed everything until I bumped into the HC and 2 destroyers, then 
    I switched to evasive and kept most of my ships from firing while my cruiser 
    spat out the dozen or so SC's it was carrying. In the end I blew up one of the 
    destroyers and had captured the other along with the HC. The SC's had to run 
    them all the way hell back to the MS which took a while, but they stayed in the 
    dust path. I cranked out a couple of replacement SC's for the carrier, shot a 
    probe towards the station then captured the escaping carrier when it came at me. 
    Wiping out the station after that was cake. Missile cruiser to wipe out the 
    defenders and the destroyers made short work of the station."
    
    Warith's method: "If you take the left route from your mothership, you can 
    completely avoid the minefields.  I have finished this level without ever seeing 
    a single mine.  If you are going to plow through the minefields, I suggest 
    taking along a few drone frigates with drone clouds deployed.. if you travel in 
    a wall formation, the drones project just enough ahead of your fleet to attract 
    the mines, sparing your expensive capital ships."
    
    Mesh's method: "Instead of going the direct way you should go around and attack 
    from behind the station. That way you can easily deal with the fleeing Carrier 
    and then the station. Remember not to launch your SC's but have a Grav Well 
    disable the enemy's SC's, you might need more than one Grav Well, and then use 
    your Destroyers and Assult Frigats to take out his cap ships. You should have at 
    least one Support Frigat for each Destroyer. Set the Support Frigat to guard a 
    Destroyer and it will auto-heal it when it takes damage, nifty feature. Don't 
    send in your Carrier, but have it stay a away from the battle, keep any extra 
    Grav Well's at you Carrier and send them in as needed. Forget about using SC's 
    here, their low armor ensures that they get toasted before doing any good, for 
    some reason they won't always stay in the dust patch."
    
    Warith also provides a more economically sound solution then the one I put up: 
    "Mining on this board is a totally different operation than other boards.  The 
    approach I used was have a carrier guard two resource collectors as they headed 
    towards an asteroid cluster.  Whenever the RCs hit yellow, I had them dock with 
    the carrier to repair before continuing.  This is longer and more tedious than 
    building and retiring them on site, but saves money overall."
    
    
    
    Tenhauser Gate:
    More a show then a level, it's fairly easy to get through this without loss of a 
    single ship, barring strike craft. On the flip side, this place is almost barren 
    resource wise.
    
    After watching the Bentusi get used as a punching bag, scramble your forces. 
    Like the last level, you have the benefit of initiative here. And since they're 
    concentrating on the Bentusi, they probably won't even start trying to zap you 
    until after you're well into the fray. My only serious recommendation here is a 
    reminder to keep your missile destroyers above or below the Bentusi ship. As 
    always, missiles strike any craft it hits, and since most ships are on the other 
    side of the Bentusi vessel, combined with the fact the Bentusi make a fairly 
    large, fat target...
    
    After you save them, you're treated to yet another long sequence, filling in a 
    lot of plot. A tad sudden for my tastes, but it works. Your collectors should be 
    done by now (only enough resources here for a little over 2 trips), so 
    hyperspace out to greener pastures. 
    
    Mark Harrison recommends grabbing another ship for the fleet here: "Open fire 
    with the two cap-ship groups, targetting the destroyers/anything that comes 
    near. Ignore the cruiser, it'll carry on firing on the Bentusi. Fly a carrier 
    en-passant to the cruiser, and as it passes, scramble the salvage crvs - capture 
    cruiser."
    
    
    
    Galactic Core:
    Or maybe not so greener pastures.
    
    Like the last level, it's a fairly small area and a constant battle from the 
    get-go. If you don't have any, get a few proximity sensors on the construction 
    line, and have your cap ships target the grav well generators for destruction. 
    Now you have a situation much like the Cathedral level, only a bit more nastier. 
    After a little bit, you'll get the event trigger for the defector. To be honest, 
    I'm not sure if you actually need to save him or not. Almost my entire fleet was 
    off doing various things at the time I got this, with only a few frigates to 
    spare. Yet he still survived despite my almost total nonintervention. 
    
    This level's main difficultly seems to be the surprise element, one after 
    another. Like most of the game, as long as you keep on the ball you shouldn't 
    have any problems. The one other surprise that pulled me for a loop is the 
    introduction of cloaked vessels. You'll need your proximity sensors to detect 
    them. On a happy note, they know that too, and will do nothing else but attack 
    proximity sensors if some are around. Having a small hoard of them circling the 
    Mothership is a nice way to keep a cloaked frigate busy until you can whomp it.
    
    Warith gives his general tactics for this level: "This level can get confusing 
    and hectic.. make sure all your Ctrl-groups are organized.  You get rushed from 
    two different angles with grav-well and cloaked ships, plus the idiot defecting 
    captain you have to save all of a sudden.  I just used a fighter wing on evasive 
    to harass the pursuing ships for a minute giving the defector a little bit of a 
    gap... then it was a simple matter of slicing and dicing the pursuers when they 
    got within range of my main battle group which was busy mopping the floor with a 
    huge battle centred around the mothership.  This is definitely a close to home 
    level."
    
    
    
    The Karos Graveyard:
    This level is purposely designed to whack you upside the head in many, joy 
    filled ways.
    
    First off, check out the background. Yesh, what ship is *that* large? The 
    insanely large hull fragment can (and, in my case, did) screw with your size 
    perspective.
    
    Getting to the Junkyard Office is a fun task. The auto-guns in the junkyard will 
    annihilate any strike craft you send, the proximity sensors will detect any 
    cloaked fighters you send (see the first part of the sentence for result), and 
    the Junkyard Dog will annihilate any capital ship you send.
    
    The Junkyard Dog, as far as I can tell, is invincible. After watching my entire 
    capital ship fleet whomp on it before and after it captured one of my ships, 
    it's engines didn't even begin to bubble. It does have a key limitation, 
    however; it relies on proximity sensors as well to see cloaked craft.
    
    A destroyer with a cloak generator defending it should be all you need. The 
    absolute best way to deal with this level is to take your destroyer, generator, 
    and a single cloaked fighter outside the junkyard and around it. Using the 
    Mothership as 'down' and the Office as 'up', if you go along the edge of the 
    junkyard and don't enter until you are to the left of the Junkyard Office, you 
    will only have to deal with the proximity sensors around the Office.
    
    If this is to boring for you, build two more generators and blaze straight down 
    the middle. Three generators, working one at a time, can give you an almost 
    unending cloak.
    
    Your goal with the destroyer is to knock out every proximity sensor that you 
    see. You *will* take damage when you destroy them (from getting in their sensor 
    range, and then until you re-cloak), but it is a tiny amount compared to what a 
    strike craft would get.
    
    The hardest part is at the Office itself. Two sensor posts overlap each other on 
    top and below the Office. Chances are you will lose your generator (or, one of 
    your generators) in annihilating these two. Once they are gone, pull the 
    destroyer out of the junkyard as quick as you can.
    
    It's now a simple matter of retracing the destroyer's steps with a fighter. Once 
    the fighter has docked, the level is over.
    
    
    
    Bridge of Sighs:
    I'm looking for alternate means to win this level. The way I detail below is 
    long, painful, but almost free.
    
    You are totally on the offensive on this level, unless you send to many ships 
    over, and cause them to call in reinforcements. If this happens, you have a long 
    fight ahead of you, with two of the hyperspace portals being on the wrong ends 
    of the sphere.
    
    The sphere itself is a huge defensive net of ion frigates. These frigates can 
    (and do) move to help each other. Chances are you do not wish to attack openly.
    
    Cloak, anyone?
    
    The true, some would say awe inspiring, power of the cloaked fighter is shown 
    here. The main thing that they forgot was any sort of way to detected cloaked 
    fighters.
    
    Two squadrons of twenty cloaked fighters each should cover it. Set a support 
    frigate as close to the sphere as possible without attracting attention for 
    refueling, then fly towards the target.
    
    Take a moment to appreciate the sheer size of the array. The Mothership could 
    fit into this with room to spare. You should be able to take out at least one, 
    most times two, inhibitor pylons every attack run. Once you get dangerously low 
    on fuel, bring the squadrons around and refuel at the support frigate. Rinse, 
    repeat, until you have your hole into the Hiigara system.
    
    
    
    Chapel Perilous:
    Short, brutal level. Diamond Shoals with that Taiidan twist.
    
    My main complaint here is that the Hyperspace Inhibitor thing is getting old. If 
    I was Fleet Command, I'd be getting a bit annoyed at having to disrupt my 
    waveform every few feet.
    
    You will lose a lot of strike craft on this level. There is simply no time to 
    attack the asteroid's escorts. Simply bring all craft to attack it, and hope 
    that the escorts don't destroy anything vital. Unless you have a deep desire to 
    whomp, hyperspace out as soon as you are able.
    
    
    
    Hiigara:
    Alright, can someone tell me what happened to Fleet Command? That cut scene was 
    simply bizzare.
    
    Take a moment (a brief moment) to appreciate the map. Realize how large of a 
    distance it is between you and the Taiidan Mothership. You are most definitely 
    on the defensive right now, simply because you can't mount a coherent attack at 
    this distance while defending.
    
    Your survivability will be based on the amount of support frigates you have. You 
    will be overwhelmed. There is simply no way you will be able to fend off the 
    attacking fleets before they destroy the Mothership. Thus your need for quick, 
    efficient repairs of the Mothership en masse and in combat to compensate.
    
    If you are able to survive the first fleet, you have the ability to win the 
    level. Resist the urge to try and intercept the fleets before they get to the 
    Mothership, you need your defenses at home for when another fleet comes from 
    another angle. Your main advantage is that everyone is going to be aiming 
    directly for your Mothership, except for accidental fire, even an obscene number 
    of support craft won't even be scratched.
    
    The defense phase of the level ends with the music change.  Mop up any remaining 
    Taiidan craft attacking you, then join the march against the Taiidan Mothership. 
    Let the ships you can't control go first, and soak fire.
    
    How you finish the job is your choice. You can either whomp the defensive craft 
    while they are busy (be sure to attack their support frigates first) , or you 
    can join in and annihilate the Mothership before they can react. Either way, 
    Hiigara is yours.
    ----------------------------------
    
    Contributing:
    
    Have something to flame me about? Disagree with me? Have some pathological 
    desire to add to this disgrace of a FAQ? You can mail me at 
    conskill@mindspring.com with your suggestions, ego strokes, and other assorted 
    things. I will credit it to whatever name the mail is signed under, unless 
    specifically asked otherwise. I will *not* give out email addresses, again 
    unless asked to.
    
    I keep all rights to decide what goes in and not, though chances are if it's 
    coherent enough for text, it's good enough. Also note that I am trying to keep 
    the vulgarity of this thing down to at least the level of 'Hell' and 'ass'. If 
    you feel I have misquoted your email, or otherwise have a complaint with how I 
    handled your suggestion, feel free to email me and it will be fixed ASAP.
    
    A quick and dirty list of all contributors to this FAQ/play guide, and my 
    heartfelt thanks to each:
    
    Koensayr
    Webrunner
    Zack Parfile
    ZooL
    Zareh Aratoon
    Willis Yonker
    FuSchnick
    Sablotnik
    Mark Harrison
    Sclover
    Jon Lauridsen
    Warith
    Mesh
    ----------------------------------
    
    Disclaimer:
    
    This FAQ is a disgrace to FAQ-kind. It's intended that way. If anything has 
    insulted you, your minority (autistic speech givers, unite!), or your sense of 
    taste, my humble apologies. It proves you still have a normal sense of humor.
    
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