Homeworld FAQ/Walkthrough Table of Contents I - Introduction Legal Info Version History II - The Fleet 001.0 - Fighter Class 002.0 - Corvette Class 003.0 - Resource Class 004.0 - Frigate Class 005.0 - Super-Capital Ship Class 006.0 - Non-Combat Class 007.0 - Mothership Class III - General Strategies 001.0 - Offense 002.0 - Defense 003.0 - Resource Collecting IV - Multiplayer Strategies 001.0 - Starting Out 002.0 - Developing Your Fleet 003.0 - Finishing On Top 004.0 - Adapting V - Single Player Walkthrough 001.0 - Kharak System 002.0 - Outskirts of Kharak System 003.0 - Return to Kharak 004.0 - Great Wastelands Part 1 005.0 - Great Wastelands Part 2 006.0 - Diamond Shoals 007.0 - The Gardens of Kadesh 008.0 - The Cathedral of Kadesh 009.0 - Deep Space - Sea of Lost Souls 010.0 - Super Nova Research Station 011.0 - Tenhauser Gate 012.0 - Galactic Core 013.0 - The Karos Graveyard - The Shining Hinterlands 014.0 - Bridge of Sighs 015.0 - Chapel Perilous 016.0 - Hiigara Welcome to my Homeworld FAQ. Any questions, comments, corrections, or contributions are welcome, my email is tarrun75(at)gmail(dot)com. Please make sure to add something related to Homeworld in the subject line so I don't have to figure out what game you're talking about. Also, questions regarding something that's already covered in the guide will not be answered. Credit will be given to anything sent to me that I add or major corrections. For corrections, please email me only if it's something really important, something that will clearly confuse anyone reading. Legal information: This document is copyrighted Tarrun 2006. This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstance except for personal or private use. It may not be placed on any web site, magazine or otherwise distributed publicly without advanced written permission. This guide may not be used for profit, and may only be used on the following websites: - http://dlh.net - http://www.gamefaqs.com - http://www.mogelgott.de Use of this work on any other web site or as a part of any public display is a violation of copyright and is strictly prohibited. Version History: First Submission: Version 1.0 II - The Fleet 001.0 - Fighter Class 001.1 - Defender Cost: 65 RUs Firepower: 10 Maneuverability: High Max Velocity: 385 m/s Coverage: 11% Armor: 325 Mass: 10 tons Strengths: Heavy armor means that Defenders are best used as a wall to protect other ships. Weaknesses: Defenders don't really excel in anything, and it has a very low firepower, so don't plan on destroying anything without a lot of these things. 001.2 - Scout Cost: 35 RUs Firepower: 12 Maneuverability: Very High Max Velocity: 1000 m/s Coverage: 12% Armor: 110 Mass: 8 tons Strengths: Scouts are quick to build and are good for annoying capital ships while your Salvage Corvettes slip in and steal the grand prize. And because of how inexpensive they are, they're great to kamikaze into your enemy. Weaknesses: Weak, both in firepower and armor. They might be able to survive because of their speed, but don't expect them to destroy anything by themselves. 001.3 - Interceptor Cost: 55 RUs Firepower: 26 Maneuverability: Very High Max Velocity: 875 m/s Coverage: 12% Armor: 160 Mass: 10 tons Strengths: Better than a Scout in almost every way without increasing the cost very much. If you actually expect to get anything out of a wing of fighters, Interceptors are a great way to go. Just make sure to have them in groups of 25 or higher. Weaknesses: In terms of the fighter class, none. Its only drawbacks are weak armor and firepower, but that's why it's a fighter. Interceptors do become fairly obsolete against more powerful opponents, though. 001.4 - Cloaked Fighter (Kushan only) Cost: 85 RUs Firepower: 25 Maneuverability: High Max Velocity: 775 m/s Coverage: 4% Armor: 150 Mass: 10 tons Strengths: Like the name implies, it's a cloaked fighter. You can attack enemies without being seen. Weaknesses: More expensive than the other fighters without getting very much in return. It also takes a while to build, and it doesn't score very high in the firepower department. 001.5 - Attack Bomber Cost: 85 RUs Firepower: 42 Maneuverability: Very High Max Velocity: 750 m/s Coverage: 12% Armor: 100 Mass: 10 tons Strengths: The most powerful fighter out there, Attack Bombers are good for taking on capital ships and Resource Collectors. They're particularly deadly when you have a group of corvettes protecting it. Weaknesses: Without that escort, your Bombers won't stand a chance against the enemy's Strike Craft or Missile Destroyers. Defense Fighter (Taiidan only) Cost: 85 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: High Max Velocity: 875 m/s Coverage: 80% Armor: 300 Mass: 75 tons Strengths: It shoots down incoming attacks. Weaknesses: It doesn't actually attack anything. More often than not it's a better idea to have an escort that can fight back guarding your valuable ships. 002.0 - Corvette Class 002.1 - Light Corvette Cost: 135 RUs Firepower: 9 Maneuverability: Medium Max Velocity: 575 m/s Coverage: 16% Armor: 900 Mass: 150 tons Strengths: Higher armor means that Light Corvettes will last longer than the fighters. They're also pretty cheap. Weaknesses: Fairly slow and poor firepower. Instead of these, spend the same amount of resources on Interceptors. 002.2 - Heavy Corvette Cost: 250 RUs Firepower: 23 Maneuverability: Medium Max Velocity: 520 m/s Coverage: 33% Armor: 1700 Mass: 150 tons Strengths: Well protected and fairly powerful, Heavy Corvettes are great for wiping out Strike Craft. Have five or six of these things guard your Resource Collectors against Strike Craft and forget about them (until you can build Multi-Gun Corvettes, that is). Weaknesses: They're more expensive than most Strike Craft and are still pretty slow. 002.3 - Repair Corvette Cost: 150 RUs Firepower: 5 Maneuverability: Low Max Velocity: 500 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 1200 Mass: 150 tons Strengths: It repairs your ships. It's also pretty useful to kamikaze. Weaknesses: Very weak. Support Frigates are usually a better choice. 002.4 - Salvage Corvette Cost: 220 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Low Max Velocity: 425 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 1500 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: They steal enemy ships. Not only does this eliminate one ship that you'd have to destroy anyway, but now you can use it against your enemy. Salvage Corvettes are the key to winning any game in Homeworld; in the single player game, you gain ships that you normally wouldn't be able to until later at a bargain. Do the math: four Salvage Corvettes steal an enemy's Missile Destroyer (it takes three, but we'll assume one is destroyed). That means you score a 1500 RU ship for 880 RUs. And remember, Salvage Corvettes can be reused, so that's the low estimate. Weaknesses: They're fairly slow, which makes them an easy target to knock out if they come at a ship head-on. And any intelligent player will attack your group of Salvage Corvettes before you get the chance to steal anything. 002.5 - Minelayer Corvette Cost: 295 RUs Firepower: 183 Maneuverability: High Max Velocity: 425 m/s Coverage: 100% Armor: 1800 Mass: 150 tons Strengths: The mines are small, which makes picking them out if you aren't really looking a chore. The mines are also pack a punch, and even a capital ship will go down if it gets caught in a field. Weaknesses: Space contains a lot of wide, open space, so there's a good chance no one will ever stumble upon your group of mines unless they're placed in a heavily trafficked area (directly in front of the other Mothership or in patches of resources). 002.6 - Multi-Gun Corvette Cost: 225 RUs Firepower: 19 Maneuverability: High Max Velocity: 695 m/s Coverage: 74% Armor: 1400 Mass: 150 tons Strengths: Multiple guns with high armor and coverage. Multi-Gun Corvettes will annihilate any Strike Craft. Good for escorts. Weaknesses: Technology-wise, don't expect to see these for a while. And Multigun Corvettes won't make a dent against frigates or capital ships. 003.0 - Resource Class 003.1 - Resource Collector Cost: 650 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Low Max Velocity: 325 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 10800 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: It collects resources for you, isn't that enough? It's also the largest ship that you can kamikaze. Weaknesses: It can't protect itself and it doesn't automatically repair. Collectors also attract enemies looking to interrupt your flow of resources, so make sure to send an escort with them or risk having to replace it. 003.2 - Resource Controller Cost: 680 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 300 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 13600 Mass: 600 tons Strengths: If you order a Controller to guard your Collectors, it'll follow them around, drastically decreasing the time it takes for a Collector to drop off its resources and begin harvesting again. They can also repair and refuel fighters and corvettes, which means they won't have to leave the Collectors that they're protecting to refuel. Weaknesses: Like the Collector, without any weapons, the Controller won't be able to defend against the enemies that will surely come after it. 004.0 - Frigate Class 004.1 - Assault Frigate Cost: 575 RUs Firepower: 82 Maneuverability: Low Max Velocity: 325 m/s Coverage: 33% Armor: 16000 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: The Frigate's turrets allow it to fire in multiple directions, unlike the Ion Cannon Frigate. It's one of the few non-Strike Craft ships that can take on Strike Craft. Weaknesses: It doesn't really serve any distinct purpose. If there's a specific job you need done, there's always a better ship to use than the Assault Frigate. 004.2 - Support Frigate Cost: 425 RUs Firepower: 28 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 450 m/s Coverage: 1% Armor: 12000 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: Repairs and refuels Strike Craft, and can repair capital ships at 200 points per second. Great for using as a secondary base that's closer to your target. Weaknesses: None, really. Its firepower and coverage are laughable, but you aren't building a Support Frigate with the intentions of using it to fight. 004.3 - Drone Frigate (Kushan only) Cost: 800 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 325 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 16000 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: Good for protecting other ships. Weaknesses: The drones don't provide a lot of firepower; it's useless against anything stronger than a corvette. 004.4 - Defense Field Frigate Cost: 800 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 325 m/s Coverage: 100% Armor: 17600 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: Same as the Drone Frigate. It has different abilities, but it gets the same job done: protecting larger ships that are vulnerable to Strike Craft. Weaknesses: Same as the Drone Frigate. Missiles, ions, and mines aren't affected by it. 004.5 - Ion Cannon Frigate Cost: 650 RUs Firepower: 138 Maneuverability: Low Max Velocity: 300 m/s Coverage: 3% Armor: 15000 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: With its highly concentrated ion beam, you'll be able to begin considering taking on super capital ships and Motherships. Weaknesses: Low maneuverability and coverage; because of the single ion beam, the Ion Cannon Frigate has to completely shift its position before aiming and shooting. You'll be fine against the slow-moving capital ships, but they don't stand a chance against Strike Craft. 005.0 - Super-Capital Ship Class 005.1 - Destroyer Cost: 1350 RUs Firepower: 347 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 315 m/s Coverage: 41% Armor: 44000 Mass: 1800 tons Strengths: The addition of turrets along with ion cannons means that, unlike the Ion Cannon Frigate, Destroyers can fend off Strike Craft, just not very well. Regardless, Destroyers are the backbone of your Battle Group, and will wreck havoc against almost any ship it encounters. Probably the most satisfying ship to steal with a group of Salvage Corvettes. Weaknesses: Expensive, and they take a while to build. 005.2 - Missile Destroyer Cost: 1500 RUs Firepower: 450 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 295 m/s Coverage: 100% Armor: 42000 Mass: 1000 tons Strengths: It fires powerful homing missiles that will utterly decimate Strike Craft. Always have at least two of these with your Battle Group and you'll never have to worry about being picked apart by formations of fighters ever again. Weaknesses: Its missiles aren't as effective against other capital ships. In a one-on-one battle, the other ships will usually win. And after the initial volley of missiles, Missile Destroyers can only fire one or two missiles at a time without recharging. 005.3 - Heavy Cruiser Cost: 3700 RUs Firepower: 921 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 250 m/s Coverage: 100% Armor: 90000 Mass: 10000 tons Strengths: Incredibly high firepower and armor, the Heavy Cruiser will obliterate any capital ship it targets. It has turrets all around it as well, which makes salvaging one a real chore. Weaknesses: Very slow, very expensive, and it takes forever to build one. Anyone with half a brain will send their entire Battle Group after the Heavy Cruiser first, so without an escort of other capital ships it's a sitting duck. Unless you know how to use it, don't waste the resources building a Heavy Cruiser - you can get three Destroyers for almost the same price. 005.4 - Carrier Cost: 2000 RUs Firepower: 109 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 300 m/s Coverage: 100% Armor: 72000 Mass: 10000 tons Strengths: It's a miniature version of your Mothership that can build Strike Craft and Frigates. A great strategy in multiplayer is to build one of these with a heavy escort and send it to hide in a dust cloud, leaving your Mothership defenseless. When the other player destroys it, hyperspace your Carrier to their own Mothership and take them out. Weaknesses: Without the ability to build capital ships, using one as a last resort to survive won't get you very far. It also won't be able to defend itself. 006.0 - Non-Combat Class 006.1 - Probe Cost: 30 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Very High Max Velocity: 4000 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 800 Mass: 25 tons Strengths: Four times as fast as a Scout, and it's cheap. It's a good tool to use when you want to get an idea of what your fleet is getting into. But be ready to survey the area, because people hate being spied on and will immediately go after a probe if they find it. Weaknesses: Its engine can only be used once, so make sure you're on target when you send it off. 006.2 - Proximity Sensor Cost: 50 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Very High Max Velocity: 1000 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 800 Mass: 25 tons Strengths: Let's you know when cloaked enemies are in the area. They're also fast, cheap, and quick to build. Keep them around your Mothership and main Battle Groups to avoid be caught by surprise. Weaknesses: They have almost no defenses, so you'll have to build a few of them if you plan on attacking groups of cloaked ships, particularly fighters. 006.3 - Sensors Array Cost: 800 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 280 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 4500 Mass: 300 tons Strengths: It let's you see every ship on the map, and Heavy Cruisers, Carriers, and Motherships actually appear on the sensors manager. Everything else is still a red dot, but now there's a red dot for every ship instead of one dot representing an entire group. It's good to have one to get an idea of what's going on. Weaknesses: It takes a lot of researching to get one, it's slow, and it doesn't have any defenses. 006.4 - Research Ship Cost: 700 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Low Max Velocity: 280 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 7500 Mass: 300 tons Strengths: Probably the most important ship in your fleet, next to the Mothership. Without one, you can't research new technology and build newer, better ships. Weaknesses: Defenseless. 006.5 - Gravity Well Generator Cost: 800 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 325 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 8000 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: Immobilizes Strike Craft and prevents anyone from hyperspacing into your area. Weaknesses: Strike Craft can still attack it even if they can't move. And since capital ships aren't affected by it, you know the first thing they'll do is target your Gravity Well Generator to rescue their Strike Craft. 006.6 - Cloak Generator Cost: 500 RUs Firepower: 0 Maneuverability: Very Low Max Velocity: 325 m/s Coverage: 0% Armor: 6000 Mass: 400 tons Strengths: Can cloak small groups of ships for a limited amount of time. If you combine a few Cloak Generators working at different times (while one is cloaking, the others are recharging), you can keep ships cloaked indefinitely. Weaknesses: Slow, and far down the technology tree. The only time I've ever used Cloak Generators was in the Bridge of Sighs level. 007.0 - Mothership Class 007.1 - Mothership Cost: N/A Firepower: 7500 Maneuverability: N/A Max Velocity: 50 m/s Coverage: 60% Armor: 160000 Mass: 5000000 tons Strengths: It stores your ships, builds new ones, and can take a beating. Without it, you can't play the game. Weaknesses: Motherships can't defend themselves, and they can only move by making hyperspace jumps. III - General Strategies 001.0 - Offense 001.1 - Strike Craft - Strength in numbers This one's a no-brainer. With a few exceptions, Strike Craft are similar enough that in an even match, you're bound to lose as many fighters as the enemy will. Besides sending a Scout to spy on someone, always keep multiple wings on hand. - Different Strike Craft are better in different situations Again, this should be obvious. As a blanket statement, it's always good to have about twenty Interceptors, twenty Defenders, and fifteen Scouts as your Strike Craft's foundation. An extra group of fifteen Heavy Corvettes can knock out any escorts the enemy capital ships, and later on a group of twenty Multi-Gun Corvettes will plow through any formation of fighters like it's nothing. On the other hand, Attack Bombers are pretty much the only Strike worth using against capital ships, along with Heavy Corvettes. - Sphere formation is the best way to attack lone capital ships. Strike Craft suffer from a lack of firepower, so you'll want your attacks to be highly concentrated. In Sphere, all of your shots become a constant stream of fire, quickly knocking down the ship's armor. This only works if the capital ship is left unguarded, though, because having your ships that close together makes them easy to target and destroy by other Strike Craft. - Claw formation is the best formation to use against opposing Strike Craft When fighting groups of Strike Craft or Missile Destroyers, Sphere formation is suicide. With Claw, your ships remain mobile while only sacrificing a small part of that constant stream of fire. - Attack enemy Resource Collectors If they can't harvest resources, then they can't build more ships, right? Early on, if you see a Collector far enough from the main Battle Group, send your Strike Craft to pick away at them while your own Battle Group deals with the enemy's. Besides, Collectors are quick enough and take irregular paths that they'll be able to escape from your slower Battle Group. Obviously, Attack Bombers will work the best, but make sure to have a group of Multi-Gun Corvettes with them to take care of the Collector's own escort. Of course, if you're looking to do this early on, Heavy Corvettes and Interceptors will get the job done as well. Likewise, this strategy can also be applied to Research Ships in multiplayer games. - Use Salvage Corvettes to capture enemy ships I don't think I can say this enough: Salvage Corvettes are the key to being successful in Homeworld. It's the easiest and most cost-efficient way to build your fleet, and at the same time it takes a ship from your enemy to use against you. One of the better ways to capture ships is by having a small group of Ion Cannon Frigates coax a Destroyer or two to chase after it. While your Frigates return to the Mothership, send in your group of Salvage Corvettes at an angle to capture as many ships as you want. By the time they realize what's going on, it'll be too late to shift around and attack. Another great strategy to use involves Cloak Generators. By keeping a small group of Salvage Corvettes, along with an escort of Multi-Gun Corvettes or Interceptors, invisible until the last moment, you can sneak out with a nice prize without even being noticed. Here's a list of how many Salvage Corvettes you need to capture a particular ship: Strike Craft - 1 Salvage Corvette Frigates - 2 Salvage Corvettes Destroyers - 3 Salvage Corvettes Heavy Cruisers - 5 Salvage Corvettes Carriers - 5 Salvage Corvettes Keep in mind that Strike Craft can only be salvaged if they're immobile, either from a Gravity Well Generator or a lack of fuel. It's also a good idea to send one extra Salvage Corvette than needed, just in case one is destroyed. This way, you can still capture it, instead of leaving it swinging in circles until another ship comes by and targets the other Corvettes. And if you don't need it, simply send it to steal something else or follow after the others back to the Mothership. - Missile Destroyers spell disaster for Strike Craft For the most part, capital ships aren't able to seriously defend against Strike Craft, but Missile Destroyers almost make using them obsolete. The best strategy to use is to distract it with a small group of Scouts flying in evasive tactics at first to draw the initial volley of missiles. Afterwards, send your Attack Bombers in on evasive and simply continue pounding it. On the other hand, not having a Missile Destroyer in your own fleet is an entirely new level of foolishness. - When all else fails, kamikaze Sure, it's a cheap shot, but it's actually pretty effective, particularly late in the game when your enemy has multiple Missile Destroyers protecting its fleet. It's always worth keeping Attack Bombers and Heavy Corvettes, but your weaker ships like Interceptors and Scouts will do more damage this way than trying to survive and attack. This also applies to Resource Collectors, which are the biggest ship you can kamikaze. Once you reach the point where you've built your fleet, consider sending them headlong into your enemy's Mothership. 001.2 - Capital Ships and your Battle Group - Keep your Battle Group in Wall formation Wall formation isn't just the best, but probably the only formation worth using with your big, lumbering capital ships. It prevents your ships from getting tangled together, and it allows you to align them and attack a single target. - Have at least two Missile Destroyers in your Battle Group It was mentioned before, but it's worth repeating. With a pair of Missile Destroyers around, Strike Craft have almost no chance of making a dent in your powerful capital ships' armor before being shot down. - Concentrate your attacks on one ship at a time Sure, it's easier to simply drag a box around the enemy fleet and let your Battle Group take care of them, but unless you have an incredibly stronger fleet you won't be as successful. Think of it this way, you each have five ships that do the same amount of damage, and you order you ships to attack one at a time while they attack all five at once. Yeah, more of your ships are taking damage, but you're destroying theirs five times faster. And as each ship goes down, you decrease their overall firepower while yours remains the same. By the end of the battle, you'll have a few damaged ships, but their ships are now space junk. - Always make sure to have enough firepower - and then some Never go into a battle without at least having an idea of what you're up against. Before deciding to attack, send a probe out to see how many ships are waiting for you. You should have enough firepower to wipe out an enemy's Battle Group, with a large escort of Multi-Gun Corvettes and Attack Bombers to keep smaller capital ships and Strike Craft at bay. In multiplayer games, you also have to worry about Salvage Corvettes stealing your ships and being able to do enough damage to drain 160,000 points from the opposition's Mothership. 002.0 - Defense 002.1 - Escorts - Strike Craft are the best ships for escorts This is important for several reasons. For one, if you have capital ships guard other capital ships, it means you're dividing your fleet. And as I mentioned above, you really don't want to unnecessarily divide your fleet. Second, Strike are quick enough to move from one place to another in case they get separated from what they're protecting. And just to top it off, Strike Craft are quick and cheap to build, so you don't have to worry about losing and replacing them. - Sphere formation is the only formation to use with an escort The idea behind surrounding a ship in a large sphere is that any incoming fire will hit the escort, not the ship that they're protecting. Of course, Sphere isn't the best offensive formation, so you'll want to make sure you have enough firepower to at least hold off anything that's going to attack you. If you need that extra punch, stick with Claw. - They're called "Defenders" for a reason Early on when your fleet consists mainly of Strike Craft, you'll want to protect any capital ships you already have. While some of the more expensive ships like the Heavy Corvette are great to use, the Defender - as the name implies - is designed to defend stuff. For its price, the Defender has good coverage and armor. - Mutli-Gun Corvettes are the best anti-Strike Craft ship Once you finish researching the technology, Multi-Gun Corvettes are the best ships to use for escorts. A strong Battle Group to attack enemy capital ships with an escort of Multi-Gun Corvettes to deal with other Strike is almost unstoppable. 002.2 - Defending the Mothership - Have a diverse fleet defending your Mothership Don't try to guess what the enemy will throw at you. With a strong fleet of quite a few different types of ships, you'll be prepared for anything. For example, you can have as many Destroyers and Ion Cannon Frigates as you want, but without a Missile Destroyer or Strike Craft to defend against enemy Strike, you're in trouble. That being said, don't build ships for the sake of wasting resources. To effectively defend the Mothership, you should have a strong group of frigates and maybe a spare Destroyer or two as your main defensive Battle Group with a large wing of Multi-Gun Corvettes, Attack Bombers, and Heavy Corvettes. You may want to include a few Gravity Well Generators to immobilize Strike Craft and Proximity Sensors to reveal any cloaked ships. If you have the spare resources, consider building an extra Missile Destroyer to keep at home. - Make sure your Battle Group is prepared for an attack This means setting them up in a formation and positioning them correctly. Frequently check the sensors manager for any red dots moving towards your position, and have your Battle Group facing in that direction. There's nothing worse than watching the enemy blast away at your Destroyers while your capital ships slowly spin around to counter-attack. 003.0 - Resource Collecting 003.1 - Using and defending Resource Collectors - Your Collectors should always be harvesting This is common sense. If you don't use them, your Collectors end up being a waste of resources. For best results, send them to the largest pack of resources first and then order them to harvest. That way, you'll be getting more resources in a shorter amount of time. - Send Resource Controllers to guard your Collectors Perhaps the most annoying part of collecting resources is when you need RUs immediately and have to wait for your Collector on the other side of the map to reach a Controller or the Mothership. Ordering your Controller to guard the Collectors ensures that the Controller will be as close as possible to your harvesters at all times. Ideally, you'd want the Controller/Collector ratio to be 1:1, but this is probably unrealistic. Still, two or three Collectors to a Controller is fine. - Never send out an unprotected Collector Unless you have the entire map to yourself (after one of the single-player levels, for example), an unprotected Resource Collector is a dead Resource Collector. An escort of Heavy Corvettes, Attack Bombers, and Multi-Gun Corvettes will keep them safe. Likewise, make sure your Controllers are protected even more, since they'll be the main targets for your opponent. Another positive is that Controllers can refuel Strike Craft, and you can send the extra ships out to one of your Collectors if it's attacked. Later in the game when you have the extra resources, send out a small group of Ion Cannon Frigates near the main resource areas in case your Collectors come across anything bigger than an Assault Frigate. 003.2 - Attacking enemy Resource Collectors - Attack enemy resource teams early and continuously In multiplayer games, the first thing you should do is create a wing of Interceptors to go out and hunt the enemy Collectors. As the game progresses, add Attack Bombers and Multi-Gun Corvettes to deal with the Collectors and Strike Craft escorts, respectively. - Don't attack Collectors unless you can win The one time you shouldn't be aggressive against enemy Resource Collectors is when they stay close to their Motherships. In this case, it's better to leave them alone rather than risk losing your ships. In multiplayer games, more often than not you'll find that you and the other player set unspoken boundaries where it's safe to harvest without having to worry about being attacked. Of course, if they cross into your territory, feel free to let them know. - Destroy the Controllers first, and then the Collectors Just like you want to attack the ship with the most firepower in a major battle, it's a good idea your ships on the most important part of the resource team - the Controller. Once it's destroyed, the Collectors will have to retreat all the way back to the Mothership, giving you enough time to chase them down and destroy (or salvage) them. IV - Multiplayer Strategies 001.0 - Starting Out Your first goal is to build a few Resource Collectors and Research Ships: three or four of each is good. You'll want to build the Collectors first, though, since technology is useless without the resources to put them to use. As each ship is built, immediately begin using it. The multiplayer games start out as a race to see who can harvest and research the fastest and most effectively, so an idle Collector or Research Ship is a waste. Early on, one question that you'll probably be asking is, "What should I be researching?" You have so much technology available to you and you'll eventually want all of it, but where to start? While it may seem logical to start with fighters and work your way up to capital ships, it's actually better to research Capital Ship Drive first. For one, you'll be able to build a Resource Controller, which means you'll be getting resources more frequently. After you have Capital Ship Drive, begin researching Capital Ship Chassis and Ion Cannons, it'll allow you to build Ion Cannon Frigates and it's a step towards Destroyers. Also consider building a few Assault Frigates in the meantime. But you do still need Strike. Decide at the beginning which Strike class you'll be using more and use them exclusively, at least in the beginning. On one hand, Defenders are good for protecting your frigates early on, but Multi-Gun Corvettes wipe out any Strike Craft foolish enough to attack you. Whichever you decide doesn't really matter, but the fact that you only advance one class at the moment gives you an advantage over someone who tries to get both at the same time. But besides building ships, is there anything in terms of offense you should be doing? Well, nothing much, but there's always ways to harass the other player regardless of how far along you are. In the very beginning, send out a group of Scouts to attack the enemy's Research Ships. Remember that they're trying to research as quickly as possible, and if you manage to destroy their Research Ship before they can add a second one to it (which double its armor) they'll just have to spend that much more time building a replacement. If it's burning up and about to explode, you can always kamikaze into it to finish it off. But if a suicide mission isn't your thing, there's always the option to go after Resource Collectors. At this point, it's unlikely that they're very well protected, which is the perfect opportunity to attack. Max out your Scouts and hunt them down. Like destroying a Research Ship, it hurts to replace it. 002.0 - Developing Your Fleet Alright, so you have a large harvesting operation going on and enough new technology to play with - it's time to get serious about building a fleet. The first step towards this is to build a group of Ion Cannon Frigates. They're the best ship you have at the moment, and they'll more or less hold their ground for the rest of the game. From here, it depends on how your opponent is playing. If you find that they're attacking you and your Resource Collectors, focus on researching and building more advanced Strike Craft, either Attack Bombers and Interceptors or Heavy Corvettes and Multi-Gun Corvettes. If you've been relatively left alone, it probably means they're planning an attack, so you'll want the extra firepower to survive it. Super-Capital Ship Drive is the important one, since it'll allow you to build Destroyers. Don't jump at Heavy Guns just yet, it takes forever to research and there are better technologies to have right now - Guided Missiles, for example. A Missile Destroyer would be a significant addition to your fleet, but I'm getting ahead of myself. After Super Capital Ship Drive, return to researching Strike Craft technology. If you using fighters, you want to go at least as far Plasma Bomb Launcher tech for Attack Bombers. For corvettes, Fast-Tracking Turrets, and the Multi-Gun Corvettes that result, are a must. You'll want to make sure you have enough protection around you Collectors and Controllers so that you won't have to worry about them while you build up your fleet. A group of Heavy Corvettes and Multi-Gun Corvettes or Defenders and Interceptors for each ship is enough, although you may want to consider adding a few Assault or Ion Cannon Frigates later on. Attacking enemy Resource Collectors becomes extremely important at this point, because the resources that are gained now are probably going to be used to build the capital ships that will be attacking your Mothership. A group of Ion Cannon Frigates, along with Multi-Gun Corvettes or Defenders will be powerful enough to quickly wipe it out, along with its escort. But the most important part of this stage of the game is building your Battle Group. The Ion Cannon Frigates you hopefully have are a good start, but you'll need more - a dozen if possible. Besides that, three or four Destroyers and a pair of Missile Destroyers will serve as the extra firepower you'll need to take out the Mothership and its capital ship escort. Note: Heavy Cruisers are nice to have, but more than likely you won't have time to build one. They take forever to build, and it's probably not worth sitting around while it's being built. 003.0 - Finishing On Top Before heading out to your opponent's Mothership, take the time to build a Probe and send it out to spy on the other player. There's a good chance it'll be spotted pretty quickly, but you'll still have enough time to get a glance at where they stand. Obviously, if you don't think you have enough firepower to eliminate their own fleet and then the Mothership, start building more Ion Cannon Frigates and Destroyers immediately. Conversely, make sure you aren't being probed either; they're relatively easy to spot if you're looking for them, and the less your opponent knows about you the better off you are. That being said, when you think you're ready, send you Battle Group out to attack, but make sure to leave a group of capital ships back at the Mothership in case she's attacked. After all, by this point in the game, it'll be the most vulnerable with the majority of your Battle Group out, and the last thing you need is to get to the Mothership just to have the other player's Battle Group hyperspace in and find your Mothership defenseless. A good defense for the Mothership is a large wing of Ion Cannon Frigates with plenty of Attack Bombers. Besides that, any Strike Craft that are good against other Strike (Multi-Gun Corvettes, Heavy Corvettes, Defenders) should hang around as well to deal with enemy Strike. Also, consider building a Heavy Cruiser for an added boost of firepower. It's a tough choice whether to leave it at home or send it out with the rest of your Battle Group, and both have their pros and cons. Keep in mind that your Battle Group, even with Missile Destroyers, still need Strike Craft to protect it. Build a large wing of fighters or corvettes to tag along and attack those pesky Attack Bombers that are thrown your way. As for actual capital ship combat, do only as much fighting as you need to. Concentrate your attacks on the more powerful ships (Heavy Cruisers and Destroyers) first. Getting the big guns out of the way early makes it easier to plow through the rest of their fleet and reach the Mothership relatively intact. And once you do reach the Mothership, hit it with everything you have. Even if there are a few straggling Ion Cannon Frigates, you should have more than enough firepower to destroy their Mothership before the remaining fleet can wipe out your Battle Group. Of course, if you're playing with multiple players you obviously can't do this, but hopefully that's a given. 004.0 - Adapting 004.1 - Specific Game Options 004.11 - Carrier-Only or Low Resource Games In both situations, the games move much quicker that the standard one. Because of this, you may have to rely solely on fighters or frigates. While your opponent is busy researching Heavy Guns for that Heavy Cruiser, you'll have a strong fleet of Assault Frigates and Ion Cannon Frigates that can take out their Mothership. The key here is to only build ships that are quick and cheap, the limited resources make the more advanced ships a waste of RUs. As for Carrier-Only games, you might even want to forget about capital ships all together. If you've played the single player missions then you know how well Strike Craft can be against a Carrier. Again, the key here is speed. If you can throw together a powerful fleet of Strike Craft while the other player is wasting time building Ion Cannon Frigates, nine times out of ten you'll come out on top. 004.12 - High Resource Games On the other hand, those long, high resource games are just about the opposite to the previous style of gameplay. With enough extra resources, by all means invest in that Heavy Cruiser and extra Destroyer. Another interesting note is that the extra time you have gives you the option to bring Salvage Corvettes into play. It's a little more difficult to pull off than it is against the game's AI, but the rewards are that much more beneficial. Cloak Generators are also used more often, since you now have the time to research for them. In fact, combining Cloak Generators with Salvage Corvettes can be a great way to increase your fleet or gain an extra Resource Collector. Of course, your opponent might be thinking the same thing, so make sure to have a handful of Proximity Sensors on hand. 004.2 - Multiple Opponents Multiple players are unique for the obvious reasons. You now face the possibility of fighting on multiple fronts, as well as having to quickly regroup after eliminating a player. For the most, the first two parts are the same, since you'll need to get to the point where you're powerful enough to fend off and hunt down enemy Battle Groups. However, beyond that point things get tricky. The most important rule to keep in mind is that you can't get into all-out wars with a single player. Anyone with a brain will stand on the sidelines while you and your target duke it out, and then attack you both with a full fleet when you're at your most vulnerable. So how do you prevent this from happening? The best answer is alliances. If you can team up with another player, you not only gain their firepower for the time being, but that also eliminates them as a threat. Sure, you'll have to fight later, but worry about that when it comes up. With or without an alliance, always go for the weakest players first. It might seem a bit dirty, but it means one less enemy that'll eventually attack you. If you see some action on your sensors manager, send a Probe out to see what's going on and who's winning. Players who have been weakened by recent battles are perfect targets, as are the ones who have lost their Resource Collectors. Conversely, it might be better to team up with the weakest players and go after the strongest player first. If you notice one player is particularly powerful, it probably means that the other players have noticed it as well, in which case forming an alliance to get rid of the greater threat is the only way to stay alive long enough to make it to the end of the game. After all, even an incredibly strong fleet will have trouble fighting up to three different opponents at the same time. V - Single Player Walkthrough 001.0 - Kharak System Primary Objectives: - Harvest asteroids - Construct a Research Ship - Destroy the target drones using a formation - Destroy the target drones using tactics - Capture a drone using a Salvage Corvette Secondary Objectives: - Research Fighter Chassis New Technology: - Fighter Chassis - Corvette Drive Overview: It's taken many years and a lot of work, but the Mothership is finally ready. Before making your first hyperspace jump, though, a few trials need to be completed. Fleet Construction: You begin with a small group of Scouts and a Resource Collector, but you'll need to build a Research Ship and a Salvage Corvette. This is basically an introduction level for anyone who skipped over the training session, so don't expect much out of this level. You can knock out the first two objectives almost immediately. Begin constructing a research ship with the RUs you have already and send your Resource Collector out to harvest the area. When the Research Ship is completed, don't forget to research Fighter Chassis technology and Corvette Drive after that. When Fleet Intelligence prompts you, assign your Scouts to a group and set them up in a formation - any formation - and attack the drones. When they've been destroyed, head over to the second group of drones and attack them in either aggressive or evasive tactics. When they're finished, send the group back to the Mothership for refueling and repairs. Afterwards, Fleet Intelligence announces, "The next trial will test the performance of the Salvage Corvette. Build one and capture the Target Drone here." Do exactly that. Your Research Ship should have already researched Corvette Drive technology, so you'll be able to build a Salvage Corvette right away. Capture the drone and bring it back to your Mothership. Well, that was exciting. Before making the hyperspace jump, let your Collector finish harvesting the area and build a group of six Interceptors. 002.0 - Outskirts of Kharak System Primary Objectives: - Send a probe to the Khar-Selim - Defend the Mothership - Salvage the Khar-Selim - Defend the salvage team - Destroy the attacking fleet Secondary Objectives: - Investigate the power source New Technology: - Corvette Chassis - Heavy Corvette Upgrade Overview: You're first hyperspace jump is successful. Well, almost. You've mis-jumped, but at least you're still in one piece. After failing to make contact with the Khar-Selim, Fleet Intelligence pinpoints the support ship's beacon and orders you to send a Probe to investigate. Fleet Construction: Add about six or seven Interceptors and four Heavy Corvettes to your Scouts. The enemy isn't very strong, so that should be more than enough firepower. Don't go near the Khar-Selim just yet. Instead, have your Collector harvest the area and begin researching Corvette Chassis technology. When that finishes, research the Heavy Corvette Upgrade, which will allow you to build Heavy Corvettes. In fact, it would be a good idea to build four of them as soon as you can, if you run out of resources your Collector should be dropping off another batch any time. Divide your Strike Craft into three groups: one of your Scouts, one of Interceptors, and another of Heavy Corvettes, and send a probe to the Khar- Selim. The ship has been destroyed, and the enemies that did the deed appear and head towards your Mothership. Order your Scouts to attack the two Fighters that are ahead of the group, and have your Interceptors and Heavy Corvettes take on the main pack of six Fighters and three Corvettes before they reach the Mothership. Your Strike Craft should pass this test with flying colors, so have them regroup as Fleet Intelligence tells you to retrieve the Khar-Selim's data recorder. Send a Salvage Corvette out to do so, but make sure to have your group of Heavy Corvettes guarding it (preferably in a sphere formation). As the salvage team is returning, more Fighters appear, but they don't stand a chance against the escort of Heavy Corvettes. After the Salvage Corvette is safely aboard your Mothership, focus your Interceptors and Corvettes on the three waves of Fighters thrown at you. Again, thanks to the group of Corvettes, this shouldn't be a problem. After watching the final recording of the Khar-Selim, another wing of Fighters and Corvettes will stage a final strike against you. With your Heavy Corvettes initially focused on their Corvettes and the Interceptors battling the Fighters, this should be a one- sided match. With only a few enemy units left, Fleet Intelligence locates the source of the fighters - a Carrier. It's tempting to properly punish them for what they did to the Khar-Selim, but resist the urge to follow after it. Clean up any remaining crafts that haven't docked with the Carrier, and then return to your Mothership for repairs. Like before, don't immediately hyperspace away. Finish harvesting around the Khar-Selim and build as many Salvage Corvettes as you can for the next mission. A total of eight would be ideal, but you may only have the RUs for an additional six to go along with the one you already have. As long as most of your Strike Craft is still intact, don't worry about building anything else. Before making the hyperspace jump, group your Salvage Corvettes into groups of two. 003.0 - Return to Kharak Primary Objectives: - Defend the Cryo trays - Capture an enemy ship using two Salvage Corvettes - Salvage the Cryo trays New Technology: - Capital Ship Drive - Capital Ship Chassis Overview: There's a surprise waiting for you when you return to Kharak. The entire planet is engulfed in flames, and the Scaffold has been destroyed. And it just so happens that there's an attack squad arriving to wipe out the Cryo trays that contain the last of your population. Fleet Construction: Your Strike Craft should still be intact from the previous mission, so don't worry about adding anything. However, build as many Salvage Corvettes as you can before hyperspacing from Level 2. Eight would be ideal, but seven will still work. You have almost no time to prepare for this, as the group of Assault Frigates will be in range of the first Cryo trays within a few seconds. Send your entire Strike Craft out to intercept them, but keep them on evasive tactics and don't focus them on a single one. With the Frigates distracted, send your Salvage Corvettes in to capture all four of them. Now here's where it becomes tricky, because the Assault Frigates will attempt to pick off the Salvage Corvettes latching onto the other Frigates. If you have eight, this shouldn't be a problem as long as you keep them out of the Frigates' lines of fire for as long as possible. If you have less than that, you'll have to adapt to how they spread out. They seem to fall into a pattern of three staying together with one drifting over to the far right, which works out perfectly. With seven (or any odd number, really) Salvage Corvettes, order your Interceptors to harass the three Frigates that are together as cover for the six Salvage Corvettes. Send the Scouts and Heavy Corvettes to distract the fourth Assault Frigate until the seventh Salvage Corvette can latch on. He won't be able to drag it in, but the Frigate will be stuck swinging around in circles while its partners are hauled into the Mothership. After the first Frigate is captured, send a second Corvette to bring the final Frigate in. With an even six Salvage Corvettes, follow the same pattern, except after the three Assault Frigates are captured, focus all of your energy on the final Frigate. This is actually a little more difficult to do than capturing all four of them, because the other Frigate has a tendency to attack your salvage teams. Just make sure to keep your Heavy Corvettes on it from the beginning to ensure its destruction as quick as possible. Either way, when the threat is eliminated, order your Salvage Corvettes to bring in the Cryo trays. Don't worry if one or two of them were destroyed, the only reward for protecting all of them is personal satisfaction. And don't forget to begin researching Capital Ship Chassis technology; you automatically gain Capital Ship Drive for capturing the enemy Assault Frigate. As always, harvest every last dust ball in the area before hyperspacing. You should add enough Interceptors and Heavy Corvettes to have fifteen of the former and eight of the latter, as well as at least two Assault Frigates. Spend the rest of your RUs on Salvage Corvettes. You need a total of sixteen for the next level, but you'll have time to build more early on. If you aren't interested in capturing enemy ships, either save those resources for later or build a Resource Controller. 004.0 - Great Wastelands Part 1 Primary Objectives: - Begin collecting resources - Protect the fleet from Turanic Raiders - Destroy the retreating Turanic Raider Carrier Secondary Objectives: - Build and deploy a Resource Controller New Technology: - Ion Cannons Overview: The previous two missions have made your trip home much more complicated. Interrogation of the captured captain has revealed that a powerful empire ordered the destruction of Kharak because you broke a four- thousand year old treaty preventing you from developing hyperspace technology. So instead of simply returning to Hiigara, you're going to have to fight your way through. But first thing's first: Revenge against the fleet that destroyed Kharak and the Khar-Selim. Fleet Construction: You'll want to build a Resource Controller early on in this level, as well as fifteen Interceptors and eight Heavy Corvettes. If you have at least two Assault Frigates from the previous mission, you'll be set. Like before, invest the rest of your resources into Salvage Corvettes; by the middle of the level you'll want sixteen. Follow Fleet Intelligence's advice and begin harvesting the resources. If you have a Controller already, order it to guard the Collector. This way, it'll follow the Collector around, making it easier and quicker for resources to be dropped off. If not, don't worry about it. But after one batch of resources, begin building one. Around this time, Fleet Intelligence reports that another Mothership is closing in, one with power readings that are off the chart. But luckily, it's just the Bentusi, and they're more interested in trading than fighting. They offer you Ion Cannon technology for 300-500 RUs, but don't accept it just yet. In the time that it took for the cinematic to play out, your Collector should be full and your Controller - if you began building it this level - should be just about completed. If you want to capture a lot of ships, hold off accepting the Bentusi's offer for now. If not, accept right away and build three or four Ion Cannon Frigates to make up for the ones you would've captured. Otherwise, wait until the Bentusi are prepared to leave before accepting; it'll give you Collector enough time to gather more resources. Either way, as they leave, they warn you that Turanic Raiders are about to ambush you; or more specifically, your Resource Collector and Controller. Send your Strike Craft and Frigates out to protect your resource team and begin building as many Salvage Corvettes as possible until you reach the magic number of sixteen. I know it's frustrating to continue pouring resources into Salvage Corvettes, but this is the last time you'll have to for a while, and it'll really pay off in the long run. With your team of Salvage Corvettes, position them around your Mothership in this fashion: one group of two on each side about seven and a half kilometers away and four groups of two behind it twelve kilometers away. The remaining four should be sent out to where your Strike Craft is, except well off to one side to keep them out of the action. By now, a dozen Turanic Fighters should be tangling with your Strike Craft, but with a more powerful fleet than before you should finish them off easily. A second wave of Fighters and Corvettes will appear afterwards, but they too will fall to your fleet. But the Turanic Raiders wise up, and decide to send a group of five Missile Corvettes into the battle. These things will obliterate your Interceptors if you let them, but Heavy Corvettes are able to withstand their attacks long enough to destroy them. After the majority of the units are destroyed, another wing of Missile Corvettes appear, along with the host Carrier and a pair of Ion Array Frigates. Send your Heavy Corvettes to wipe out the new group of Missile Corvettes; and after your Interceptors finish off the last of the Turanic Strike Craft, send them to annoy the Carrier and Ion Array Frigates. At the same time, order your Frigates to go after the Carrier and the four Salvage Corvettes to steal the two Ion Array Frigates. If you don't eliminate the Carrier's escort, they'll attack your Frigates, making it impossible to destroy the Carrier in time. That's right, there's a time limit here; if you let the Carrier escape, the game is over. To prevent that from happening, switch all of your ships' tactics to aggressive and hit the Carrier as hard as you can. A few minutes after the Carrier appears, six Ion Array Frigates hyperspace directly around your Mothership. But if you positioned your Salvage Corvettes beforehand, they'll appear directly above your salvage team. Quickly capture all six of them (remember, you can select ships and move the camera while the game is paused) and return to the battle with the Carrier. There really isn't much more you can do at this point. If you gain control of an Ion Array Frigate before the Carrier is destroyed, send it out to aid your fleet. As long as you attacked it early, though, they should be able to handle it by themselves. With the Carrier destroyed, send your fleet back to the Mothership and wait for the salvage team to "officially" capture all of the Ion Array Frigates. Your resource team is probably done harvesting by now, so use the extra resources to build up your Strike Craft. If you didn't capture at least four or five Ion Array Frigates, consider building enough Ion Cannon Frigates to have a total of eight Frigates, regardless of whether they're of the Ion, Ion Array, or Assault variation. Besides that, though, have at least twelve Heavy Corvettes and twenty Interceptors. If you captured all of the Ion Array Frigates, then you have more than enough Salvage Corvettes already. If not, you'll want at least ten going into the next level. 005.0 - Great Wastelands Part 2 Primary Objectives: - Investigate the asteroid belt - Eradicate all enemy ships Secondary Objectives: - Destroy enemy Resource Collectors - Research Defender Subsystems New Technology: - Plasma Bomb Launcher - Defender Subsystems Overview: The Turanic Raiders have been wiped out, but the fleet that destroyed Kharak is still around. But now you've tracked them down, and it's time to make them suffer. Fleet Construction: With the spare resources from the previous level and the ones on your side of this map, add enough Heavy Corvettes for a group of twelve, fifteen Interceptors, and at least eight Salvage Corvettes. You should also have about ten ships in your Battle Group as well, which you'd have if you've been capturing enemy ships. Otherwise, build a few Ion Cannon Frigates. First of all, ignore Fleet Intelligence's advice of sending a Probe to investigate the dust clouds. Instead, send a Probe forty-nine kilometers away from your Mothership in between the V-shaped dust cloud. This will act as your marker for triggering the Taiidan attack. Before getting into that, however, send out your resource team to harvest the area on your side of the Probe. When they get too close, send them over to the other side of the "V" and let them work from there. While you're waiting for them to finish, begin researching Plasma Bomb Launcher technology. With the extra RUs, finish building up your fleet if you haven't already. The six to eight Ion Array Frigates and three Assault Frigates you've captured already will serve as enough firepower in your Battle Group, and a Strike Craft composed of a dozen Heavy Corvettes and twenty Interceptors will get the job done. When you're ready, send your Strike Craft and Battle Group out to the forty- nine kilometer mark. Position your Salvage Corvettes about twenty kilometers behind your fleet and slightly off to the right. Have one Interceptor cross the line to trigger the battle, but wait for them there. The Taiidan fleet is formidable, and consists of two wings of ten Interceptors, two groups of four Assault Frigates, three Ion Cannon Frigates, and two Destroyers. On top of that, two Resource Collectors begin harvesting the right end of the "V". Because the Destroyers hang back initially, you might be thinking of capturing an Assault Frigate or two. Don't bother, keep your eyes on the big prize. The Taiidan Interceptors attack first, with the Assault Frigates lumbering behind. Your Strike Craft can deal with the weak Interceptors, and your Battle Group outnumbers the Frigates three-to-one; for the highest possible efficiency, have them attack a single Frigate at a time. When two of the three have been reduced to space junk, the other group makes its appearance. Repeat the same strategy until they're gone as well. Around the time the fifth Assault Frigate is destroyed, have four of your Salvage Corvettes sneak over to the Resource Collectors (they're the yellow blip on the sensors manager) and snag them. If you attempt this too early, the Frigates will try to protect their harvesters, and you'll probably lose a Corvette or two. The next wing of fighters is a new type of ship: the Defender. While you're scuffling with them, Fleet Intelligence reports that they can copy this technology, so begin researching Defender Subsystems. After the Defenders are gone, begin retreating back to your Mothership while your Battle Group attacks the Ion Cannon Frigates below you. When the Destroyers come into view, divide your Strike Craft into two groups, with the Heavy Corvettes focusing on any remaining fighters and the Interceptors harassing the Destroyers. At this point, order your remaining Salvage Corvettes to capture the Destroyers; they should be coming in from the side, so the Destroyers won't have time to turn around and defend themselves. Make sure to do this before the Carrier catches up or it'll knock your Salvage Corvettes off. If you have any spare Salvage Corvettes, consider stealing the Support Frigate as well; it doesn't have any weapons, so it's a joke to snatch and comes in handy a few missions down the road. That leaves the Carrier, which is following the helpless Destroyers to the Mothership. This one doesn't try to escape and its weapons are limited, so you shouldn't have a problem taking it out. When it goes down and all of you new toys are under your control, Fleet Intelligence reports victory and prepares to hyperspace. As always, let your new and improved collection team suck the area dry of resources and begin building your fleet for the next level. You won't need any new ships for your Battle Group, but you will need a large Strike Craft. If the majority of your Interceptors are still intact (at least fifteen), build a dozen new Attack Bombers and the same number of Defenders - you should have a total of forty fighters and corvettes ready for the next level. Once your harvesters have finished, have everyone regroup back at the Mothership. Assign your entire Strike Craft to a single group, and everything else to a second one. This will make things a lot easier to manage, believe me. 006.0 - Diamond Shoals Primary Objectives: - Protect the Mothership New Technology: - Super-Capital Ship Drive - Drone Technology Overview: Fleet Intelligence has decrypted a message from the Assault Frigate you captured at Kharak that describe powerful Taiidan outposts that are capable of destroying your still relatively weak fleet. To avoid running into these, you have to take the road less traveled through an asteroid field and a nebula. Fleet Construction: Before hyperspacing from the Great Wastelands, you should have added a group of twelve Defenders and twelve Attack Bombers to your fleet of Interceptors. If you didn't, it might be too late now. Heavy Corvettes will manage fine, but expect to lose a few. Immediately when the level begins, order your capital ships, frigates, and miscellaneous ships (Research Ship, Salvage Corvettes, et cetera) about fifty kilometers to the right of your Mothership. This will keep them out of harm's way while your Strike Craft destroys the asteroids coming at the Mothership. Despite being heavily armored, it can only take so many hunks of rock bombarding it before going up in flames. However, your Resource Collectors will manage through the asteroid field just fine, so don't pass up the chance to gain a few thousand more RUs. With your one large group of fighters and corvettes in Wall formation, begin attacking any asteroid that's on target to colloid with the Mothership. You'll notice that most of them fly right by, and if you position the camera directly behind or in front of it, you'll be able to see which ones are threats. In the midst of all of this, Fleet Intelligence reports that Super-Capital Ship Drive technology is available for research, so do so right away. The one problem you may face is when your Strike Crafts begin to run out of fuel. Obviously, you can't have your entire fleet dock all at once and leave the Mothership unprotected, so take ten to fifteen ships at a time and order them to dock. About halfway through the asteroid field is a break in the action, which is the perfect time to refuel the majority of your fleet. Don't worry if they aren't in dire need of it, the extra juice will hold them over for the rest of the level. Once you make it out in one piece, the Bentusi arrive and offer you Drone Technology. Accept it, of course. When Fleet Command asks the traders about the nebula, the Bentusi respond with "No one returns." Want to find out why? 007.0 - The Gardens of Kadesh Primary Objectives: - Harvest the nebula - Defend the fleet Secondary Objectives: - Protect your resourcers New Technology: - Fast-Tracking Turrets Overview: After coming out of hyperspace, Fleet Intelligence reports that the nebula is extremely rich in resources. But your attempts to harvest them gain the attention of the Kadeshi, the protectors of the Garden. And they aren't very happy about you defiling this sacred place... Fleet Construction: The next two levels, like the one before it, are all about Strike Craft. As long as you have a few Ion Cannon or Array Frigates, forget about building any more, unless you want to build a Support Frigate. You'll want enough Heavy Corvettes that you can divide them up between your Resource Collectors and Controller in groups of six, as well as forty Defenders and fifteen to twenty Interceptors. Retire all of your Attack Bombers, as they'll only serve as target practice for the Kadeshi Swarmers. Before taking up Fleet Intelligence's advice on harvesting, assign your Heavy Corvettes to guard your Resource Collectors and Controller in sphere formation - six to each ship will work. As they begin collecting resources, put your Battle Group and Strike Craft in formations, it's a good idea to keep your Defenders and Interceptors in two individual groups. After about a half a minute of harvesting, an unidentified Mothership appears. They tell you that you've violated the Garden, and that the only punishment is death. The Kadeshi fleet is composed of three (for now) ships: Swarmers, Fuel Pods, and the needle-shaped Mothership. The Swarmers are the main threat, as they're extremely fast and attack in massive groups. However, because of their size they also have a limited amount of fuel, enough for about four passes; afterwards they have to return to a Fuel Pod. This makes the strategy pretty simple: destroy the Fuel Pods. While your Strike Craft are occupying the Swarmers, send your Battle Group over to a group of Fuel Pods and blast them. Without a source of fuel, the Swarmers become immobile, making them easy prey for your Strike Craft. Just be sure to keep your precious capital ships away from the Kadeshi Mothership; not only is it equipped with a pair of ion cannons, but it also has a tendency to ram any ship that gets in its way. It takes your Mothership ten minutes to recharge the hyperdrive module, so that's the amount of time you'll be spending fighting off these monsters. The Swarmers usually make a few general passes before targeting a single ship, whether its one of your frigates or a Resource Collector. Because of this, you'll want to keep an eye on where your resource team is at all times; if you see a wing of Swarmers headed their way, immediately send your Strike Craft after them. If you have a Support Frigate, have it repair the unlucky ship after, or even while, it's attacked. As long as you take out as many of them as possible before they reach their target, they should run out of fuel before they manage to destroy anything. Likewise, you don't want to run out of gas either. Most of your Strike Craft will survive, but after seven or eight minutes of flying some of your smaller ships like the Interceptors will be calling for a chance to dock. I find that when Fleet Command announces that there's only one minute of charging remaining, there's a slightly longer lull between the groups of Swarmers. It may not be the best time, but it's probably the only one you'll get to refuel. Since there really aren't any breaks in the action, though, you might get caught up and forget about saving your progress. Don't. If you happen to miss a step and end up losing a ship or two, you're stuck with either restarting the level or going on without it. Otherwise, you can simply replay from a few minutes ago and prepare yourself better. Two minutes into the battle, Fleet Intelligence reports that it can develop a ship to specifically combat these things, so start researching Fast-Tracking Turrets as soon as you get a break. If you begin researching immediately, you'll finish around the eight-minute mark, which gives you two minutes to build as many Multi-Gun Corvettes as you can and deploy them. In reality, you might not get the chance to use them this mission, but they come in handy in the next one as well. When the hyperspace module is charged, Fleet Intelligence advises you to make the jump. It sounds like a good idea, but don't. Unbeknownst to you, the Kadeshi Mothership also acts as a hyperspace inhibitor, which will keep you in the nebula while it's still in the area. The only thing that results from trying to hyperspace is that your Mothership and capital ships are left unguarded while your Strike Craft re-launch. Instead, continue fighting the Swarmers, but make your way over to the Mothership when it floats by. Hit it with your Battle Group and spare Strike Craft, and it'll eventually leave. Now, was that really so bad? As Fleet Intelligence reported in the beginning, the nebula is loaded with resources, and you'd be a fool not to harvest them. It might take a while, but this level and the following one are the last two missions that are so rich in resources. In fact, if you play your cards right, these resources might very well last you for the rest of the game. Before hyperspacing, make sure to rebuild any ships you've lost. You can retire all but ten of your Heavy Corvettes and replace them with Multi-Gun Corvettes. All in all, you should have twenty Interceptors, forty to forty- five Defenders, and twenty to twenty-five Multi-Gun Corvettes, along with your Battle Group of ten Ion Cannon Frigates or the equivalent. You should also have sixteen to eighteen Salvage Corvettes. When you attempt to hyperspace, you'll get the message you were supposed to have gotten when the Kadeshi Mothership was still in the area. It only takes a few seconds for the game to catch up and realize that the hyperspace inhibitor is gone, and you can re-dock and hyperspace away. 008.0 - The Cathedral of Kadesh Primary Objectives: - Destroy the attackers - Destroy the hyperspace inhibitors Overview: It's a trap! Three Kadeshi Motherships surround the Mothership and send Swarmers at you from all directions, as well as the powerful new Multi- Beam Frigates. Even one hyperspace inhibitor will keep you from leaving the nebula, so all of them have to be destroyed. Fleet Construction: The Kadeshi attack you almost immediately after coming out of hyperspace, so if you didn't build anything before leaving the Garden you won't have the time to now. As mentioned above, you should have twenty Interceptors, forty to forty-five Defenders, twenty to twenty-five Multi-Gun Corvettes, sixteen to eighteen Salvage Corvettes, and ten ships in your Battle Group. The Kadeshi ambassador appears almost immediately and gives you one final chance to join them before attacking. You can still give commands while this dialogue is going on, though, so set up a strong defense before it ends. Move your Resource Controller and Salvage Corvettes closer to your Mothership and send your Multi-Gun Corvettes in their place. Then move your Defenders behind your Battle Group, and leave the Interceptors to guard the front. When they finally launch, have your remaining Heavy Corvettes to guard your resource team, but don't send them out to harvest. If you forget about them and they reach the other end of the map, they'll encounter a substantial group of Multi-Beam Frigates that the Heavy Corvettes won't be able to fend off. And besides, you should have more than enough RUs on hand to get you through this level. After defending your fleet from the initial attack, this level is pretty much the same as the one before it. Swarmers and their Fuel Pods will attack from every direction, but never at the same time. However, there are bound to be multiple Fuel Pods that you missed on a given run hanging around, which the Swarmers will eventually find if their main Pod is destroyed. Since it's difficult to move your entire Battle Group across the screen, send Salvage Corvettes with a small escort to capture a few Fuel Pods. You can't use them, but you score 300 RUs for each one you retire. However, you'll want to keep most of your salvage team free, because shortly after the first few waves are destroyed, small groups of Multi-Beam Frigates attempt to sneak in and catch you off guard, which is actually surprisingly easy. At first glance, they look a lot like Fuel Pods, but their four ion cannons pack an extremely powerful punch. Luckily, they're also pretty easy to steal, and you'll definitely want them in your fleet. The first group of three appears directly in front of the Mothership, so send three groups of two to capture them. About a minute after the first group of Multi-Beam Frigates come into view, a wing of Swarmers attack you from the left. But they're only meant to be a distraction, because at the same time a pair of Multi-Beam Frigates drop down from the right. Don't be fooled, send four Salvage Corvettes to haul them in. With your salvage team holding down the fort, most of your attention will probably be on the group of Swarmers that your Strike Craft have been dealing with. But once again, another group of three Multi-Beam Frigates appear from the front. Capture them, and send any group of Strike Craft back to the Mothership. Occasionally a small wing of Swarmers will attack your Salvage Corvettes, Research Ship, and Collectors while you're occupied, but even a small wing will be able to hold them off until help arrives. In the mean time, hit the Kadeshi Mothership nearest you, and hit it hard. Send any of the Multi-Beam Frigates you've already captured to blast it away as well, it shouldn't take too much work to destroy it. Clean up any remaining Swarmers and return to your Mothership, another Kadeshi Mothership is taking up the fight and the final two Multi-Beam Frigates are coming in from the left - almost directly above your arriving Battle Group. Capture the Frigates and head over to the other Mothership. Repeat the same strategy until it's destroyed as well. When the second Needle Mothership goes down, the third and final one retreats to the far end of the map, near an unusual friendly beacon. Don't follow it just yet, it isn't going anywhere and no one else will attack you. Refuel and repair your ships and organize yourself, and don't forget to add your new Multi-Beam Frigates to your Battle Group. When you're ready, send your Battle Group, along with an escort of Multi-Gun Corvettes, Defenders, and at least fourteen Salvage Corvettes to the green beacon. About three-quarters of the way there you'll encounter two groups of Advanced Swarmers, followed by seven Multi-Beam Frigates. Pause your Battle Group's advance while your Strike Craft deal with the Swarmers and your salvage team captures the Frigates. After the coast is clear again, continue on to third Mothership, where Fleet Intelligence makes a remarkable discovery: it's one of the Khar-Toba's sister ships. So it's true that the Kushan are related to these people. It's a shame you have to annihilate them. With the last of the Swarmers and Frigates out of the way, the final Kadeshi Mothership doesn't have anything left to throw at you. Focus all of your ships on it, and it too will be destroyed. Send your ships back to your Mothership and begin harvesting. While that's going on, figure out how much damage was done - if any - to your fleet; the addition of over a dozen Multi-Beam Frigates should make up for any Ion Cannon Frigates you may have lost. You won't need too many new ships for the next mission except for Strike Craft, which you should have more than enough of from the nebula missions. Twenty Defenders, twenty Interceptors, and twenty Attack Bombers is more than enough firepower; but consider adding a small group of fifteen or so Scouts to be used as bait, you should be able to afford the 525 RUs. So much for, "No one returns." 009.0 - Deep Space - Sea of Lost Souls Primary Objectives: - Investigate the anomaly - Destroy the unknown vessel - Salvage the unknown vessel New Technology: - Guided Missile - Gravity Generator - Super-Heavy Chassis Overview: An unknown ship is detected, and Fleet Intelligence would like to know what it is and what it's doing. Fleet Construction: It's all about Strike Craft here. As long as you still have most of them from the nebula missions (at least fifty, not counting Heavy Corvettes) you'll be fine. Build about fifteen Scouts to use as a distraction, though. First of all, send your resource team out to harvest. Resources aren't as plentiful and are much more spread out, but they're there. At the same time, send your Scouts (who should be set to evasive tactics) to the beacon, with the rest of your Strike Craft following well behind. When you get within range of the unknown vessel, you'll see a strange, black ship (labeled the "Ghost Ship") surrounded by an escort of two Taiidan Assault Frigates, a Turanic Ion Array Frigate, a pair of Kadeshi Multi-Beam Frigates, and a new ship - a Taiidan Missile Destroyer. Its homing missiles will wreck havoc against your Strike Craft, but don't bother sending any of your Capital Ships near the Ghost Ship. If any capital ships come within ten kilometers of the Ghost Ship, it takes control of it and uses it against you. Now, you can send your Battle Group just out of range and lure its escort away and then destroy it, but you'll miss out on multiple rewards. Not only do you gain control of any ships that survive when the Ghost Ship is disabled, but if the Missile Destroyer is included, you automatically gain Guided Missile technology, which comes in handy in the next mission. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until Level 12 before you get it. Anyway, send your Scouts to harass the Missile Destroyer when they come into range. As they make their first pass, the Destroyer pulls away to follow after them, leaving the rest of your Strike Craft to hammer the Ghost Ship. The rest of the escort won't cause you too much trouble, but your attacks don't seem to be affecting the Ghost Ship's armor. However, they are causing the control field around it to fluctuate, so keep at it. Eventually, Fleet Intelligence reports that the vessel has been neutralized. Send your Strike Craft and new capital ships back to the Mothership, and send a Salvage Corvette to explore the Ghost Ship. When it returns, you find out that the ship is over a million years old, but its purpose it still unknown. As a bonus, the ship's control field was used to develop Gravity Generator technology, which you should begin researching immediately. And if that wasn't enough, the Bentusi arrive and ask for the data you collected from the Ghost Ship. In exchange they'll trade you Super-Heavy Chassis technology - what a bargain! Before hyperspacing, build a second Missile Destroyer and have at least three regular Destroyers. You should also have fifteen or more frigates of any type, but that shouldn't be a problem. 010.0 - Super Nova Research Station Primary Objectives: - Destroy all enemy forces - Destroy the enemy Carrier - Destroy the research outpost New Technology: - Minelaying Tech - Proximity Sensor Overview: As your fleet pushes forward to the Inner Rim of the galaxy, Taiidan resistance is expected to become much heavier. But there are weak points in their defenses that you must exploit. As Fleet Intelligence puts it, "It is time to hunt the enemy as they have hunted us." The first example of these weaknesses appears in the form of a Research Station near an active supernova. However, getting close enough to attack will be difficult due to the intense radiation being emitted. Fleet Construction: Forget about your Strike Craft, they won't be able to withstand the radiation, even in the protected dust clouds. Ideally, you'll want two Missile Destroyers, three normal Destroyers, and at least fifteen frigates. If you can't meet those requirements - particularly the Missile Destroyer - go back and replay the previous levels. The first thing to do is put your Battle Group into wall formation and separate them into groups. To make things easier to manage, have one group composed of just your Missile Destroyers, one with the rest of your Battle Group, and then the two of them combined. Now go to your Sensors Manager and look at it from a 3D view. See those dust clouds that run above and below the Research Station? If you send your fleet through those clouds instead of straight to the ping you'll be protected from the radiation. Of course, you can be sure that the Taiidan know this as well, so expect to be some resistance along the way. The path that runs above the Research Station is more heavily protected, but it's more straightforward, whereas the lower path requires you to jump between dust veins but isn't as well-guarded. As long as you have a Missile Destroyer, though, you'll be able to get through the high route without too much trouble. But why are the Missile Destroyers so important, you ask? Well, as your preparing to leave, Fleet Intelligence reports that the Taiidan have set up minefields. The mines are too small to be targeted by your capital ships, but will still do some serious damage to your fleet. However, the Missile Destroyer's homing missiles will be able to clear a path for you. Before leaving, begin researching Proximity Sensor technology and Minelaying Tech when the other finishes. Send your Battle Group up to the first red dot, but aim about three or four kilometers higher than the dot to keep the lower half of your Battle Group from being fried. Likewise, if you see one of your ships taking damage, adjust the direction of your Battle Group accordingly (a frigate on the right is out of the dust cloud, so move your group more to the left, for example). The first red dot turns out to be two wings of Strike Craft: fifteen Interceptors and eight Heavy Corvettes to be more descriptive. Pause your Battle Group's ascent and order your Missile Destroyer to attack them; the fighters and corvettes should be wiped out pretty quickly to the Destroyers' devastating homing missiles. When they've been eliminated, regroup and continue to the next red dot. But as you go, begin "sweeping" for mines. You can't target them normally, you need to use the Force Attack (Ctrl + Shift) when dragging a box to attack the mines; but be warned, you can attack your own ships this way as well. Once you find a minefield, stop your Battle Group and send the Missile Destroyers out to clear the area. Continue forward and destroy the other two walls of mines along with the Minelayer Corvette as well, and then have your Battle Group catch up. Eventually you'll stumble upon another Minelayer Corvette surrounded by a sphere of mines, but even with that many mines, your Missile Destroyers should make short work of them. The next red dot is more of the same: three walls of mines and a third Minelayer Corvette. When the last of the mines are cleared, regroup and save your game. The final red dot is a group of two Destroyers and your first Heavy Cruiser, so be prepared before heading into battle. Normally you'd want to target the Heavy Cruiser first, but it seems that the pair of Destroyers move forward to attack you while the Cruiser hangs back. Because of this, attack one of the Destroyers first, but keep an eye on the Heavy Cruiser; if it gets too close, focus all of your attention and firepower on it. Remember, the Cruiser has almost three times as much firepower as a Destroyer, so it poses a much greater threat. It's almost impossible to keep all of your ships intact here; whichever capital ship the Heavy Cruiser targets will most likely be destroyed, so try sending your Frigates out first as bait instead of the more-valuable Destroyers. When the Cruiser and its Destroyer escort are gone, continue heading straight through the dust veins. You'll begin to see flickers of the Research Station, but don't jump out at it just yet; the area between the dust veins and the Research Station are unprotected, and the last thing you need is a damaged fleet before attacking the Station's garrison, which includes a pair of Assault Frigates, four Ion Cannon Frigates, a Carrier that releases Multi-Gun Corvettes, and forty-five Defenders. When you're perpendicular with the Research Station, make the cut to the side and target an enemy to attack. Your Missile Destroyers should obviously target the Defenders and Multi-Gun Corvettes, and the rest of the Battle Group can focus on the other capital ships. You'll probably want to target the Assault Frigates on your left first just to avoid being surrounded. But wait, there's a problem with the enemy Carrier. Like the Great Wastelands level, the Carrier begins retreating, and you can't let it escape. But unlike your last encounter with an escaping Carrier, you have a little more firepower this time around. As it begins to fly away, it'll pass right next to your Battle Group, so hit it with everything you have. You should be able to destroy it before taking too much damage from the remaining Ion Cannon Frigates. When the Carrier and Ion Cannon Frigates are space junk, turn around to where the Assault Frigates were; five more appear, but they won't stand up to your Battle Group. Finish off any remaining Defenders or Multi-Gun Corvettes, and then finally hit the Research Station. It doesn't have any weapons and there aren't any more surprises, so destroying it is simple enough. Before hyperspacing away, you'll notice that there are two small clusters of resources on either side of your Mothership. You can send your Collectors and Controller out to harvest them, but make sure you keep a Support Frigate to repair them once they reach the safety of the resources. You'll score about six thousand RUs between the two patches, so it's definitely worth the effort. The next level won't give you any time to prepare, so make sure you build your fleet before making the jump. If most of your Battle Group is intact, you should be alright. A strong wing of fighters is a must, though; about twenty Interceptors and ten Scouts will do the trick. You'll also want a minimum of fourteen Salvage Corvettes, but the more you have the more ships you'll be able to capture. 011.0 - Tenhauser Gate Primary Objectives: - Destroy the Taiidan fleet Overview: In a coded Taiidan transmission, you find that the Emperor isn't very pleased about his fleet's inability to prevent you from returning. He also knows that the Bentusi are helping you, and demands that they be silenced before contacting the Galactic Council. You can't let that happen. Fleet Construction: There's no time to build anything once the level begins, so whatever you have at the moment will have to do. As long as you have a competent Battle Group, some Interceptors and Attack Bombers, and plenty of Salvage Corvettes, you won't have to worry about a thing. The Taiidan attack squad consists of an Assault Frigate, four Ion Cannon Frigates, three Destroyers, and another Heavy Cruiser. This is a golden opportunity to increase the size of your fleet, and at the very least you'll want to salvage the Destroyers and Cruiser. It takes five Corvettes to steal the Cruiser, and three for each Destroyer; which means the minimum number of Corvettes you'll need is fourteen. Add another two Salvage Corvettes for each Ion Cannon or Assault Frigate you'd like to have, and have a couple of spares just in case. When the mission begins, Fleet Command reports that the Bentusi are nearby and in distress. Immediately put your Battle Group in Wall and send them fifteen kilometers in front of the Mothership (there's no ping yet, but that's where the Bentusi are). A short cinematic will play in a few seconds that shows the defenseless traders being pummeled by the Taiidan forces. The first thing you need to do is distract the Taiidan from attacking the already damaged Bentusi. However, this proves to be pretty simple, as any attack against them will draw their attention away from their target. Send a small group of Interceptors to harass the Destroyers and Frigates, but send a separate group of Scouts to pick at the Heavy Cruiser. At the same time, divide your Salvage Corvettes into two groups and send them to either side of the Bentusi Mothership, but don't order them to capture anything. Your Battle Group should be in range by now, so order them to attack anything you don't want, and have your wing of Attack Bombers target the lone Assault Frigate. As the level progresses, the enemy ships will slowly separate into smaller groups, and that's your signal to send the Salvage Corvettes in. Move them as close as possible before issuing the order, though, because as soon as you target something, the rest of the ships will go after your salvage team. However, the idea is that because you actually issue the order at the last minute, there won't be any time to defend against them. With the Taiidan fleet destroyed and captured, send your fleet back to the Mothership and wait for your new playthings to fall under your control. When they do, the Bentusi thank you for helping them and reward you with a gift greater than any technology: the gift of knowledge. In the "First Time" the Taiidan empire exiled your ancestors from Hiigara, with the Guidestone being the only link that survived the journey. The Bentusi's final words are, "Reach your Homeworld. Establish your claim." Now you know the whole story, and why the Taiidan are so intent on exterminating you. Before making the hyperspace jump, make sure you have at least two Missile Destroyers and six or seven Proximity Sensors in your fleet. Also, enter the Launch Manager and select the "Remain Docked" option. You'll be glad you did. 012.0 - Galactic Core Primary Objectives: - Protect the fleet - Destroy the source of the gravity field - Protect the defector New Technology: - Cloaked Fighter Overview: Things are finally going your way; the Bentusi have told you the history of your people, and you're heading into the inner rim of the Hiigara system. But the Taiidan haven't given up just yet, and they have quite a few more traps ready for you. Fleet Construction: You'll be fighting a bunch of Taiidan capital ships in this level, but never more than three or four at a time. As long as most of your Battle Group is intact, you'll have more than enough firepower to defend the Mothership. You'll want about six Proximity Sensors to alert you of the cloaked ships that attack later on, too. And because of the Gravity Well Generators in the beginning you won't be able to launch your Strike Craft, so have a pair of Missile Destroyers on hand. After the Gravity Wells are destroyed, you can use a wing of Multi-Gun Corvettes to help clear away the enemy's Strike. When you drop out of hyperspace, you find yourself surrounded by three Gravity Well Generators with a pair of Support Frigates each. Divide your Battle Group into three groups and have them attack the Generators; your fleet should be strong enough to destroy them even with the Support Frigates healing them, but if not go after them first. Shortly after you attack the Generators, an Assault Frigate and a Missile Destroyer appear to wipe out any Strike Craft that are immobilized by the Gravity Wells. Since your Strike are safely docked in the Mothership, forget about the other Generators and take them out. When the Gravity Wells and the small attack group have been destroyed, regroup and begin launching your Strike Craft. The Support Frigates will retreat back to the other side of the map, and it might be tempting to destroy or capture them. Don't, the key to surviving this level is staying close to the Mothership; the Taiidan only attack in small groups, but if you go out and look for trouble there are plenty of minefields and capital ships ready for you. There's a fairly long lull between the initial attack and the next one, so you should have plenty of time to prepare your Strike Craft and Salvage Corvettes, you'll also want to assign your Proximity Sensors to your main Battle Group. Eventually, two formations of Interceptors and Scouts will appear, followed by an Assault Frigate. Capture the Frigate, and let your Missile Destroyers and Multi-Gun Corvettes take out the rest. The Interceptors and Scouts are succeeded by a wing of Attack Bombers and a half-dozen Heavy Corvettes. Around this time, your Proximity Sensors will begin alerting you of incoming enemy units, and three wire-frame Ion Cannon Frigates will appear. Destroy the Cloak Generator to make them fully visible, but don't attack them. Instead, put those idle Salvage Corvettes to use and steal them. Another weak attack follows the cloaked Ion Cannon Frigates in the form of Scouts and Interceptors. Destroy them, but try stealing the Support Frigates if you can. It may seem like a waste of time, but they come in handy during the final mission. Some Attack Bombers and Heavy Corvettes make one final attempt at an attack, but they're more of a diversion than anything. Below you, a Heavy Cruiser, six Ion Cannon Frigates, ten Heavy Corvettes, and about twenty Defenders are trying to catch you off-guard. Don't let them, let your Missile Destroyers finish cleaning up the Strike, and send your Multi-Gun Corvettes and Battle Group to fight the Heavy Cruiser's escorts. Have all of your Strike Craft go after the Defenders and other Strike, with your Battle Group focusing on the Frigates. At the same time, order your Salvage Corvettes to capture the Cruiser; by the time they get close, the Cruiser will already have picked one of your capital ships as a target, which makes stealing it much easier than it could be otherwise. With the Cruiser and its escort dead or captured, send your fleet back up to the Mothership and wait there for a moment. Take all of your Salvage Corvettes that aren't tied up, along with a small group of capital ships and Multi-Gun Corvettes, and send them about five kilometers to the northeast. Eventually, a cinematic will play that shows a Taiidan Destroyer hyperspacing in. The ship, known as the Kapella, is led by Captain Elson, a member of the Taiidan rebellions who support your cause. He's being followed by a pair of Ion Cannon Frigates and Assault Frigates, as well as two Support Frigates with docked Strike Craft. If you look at your Sensors Manager, Elson's Destroyer is speeding towards the Mothership from the northeast. Send your Strike and Battle Group to distract the ships attacking him, and use your Salvage Corvettes to capture them. Any spare Corvettes should be used to steal the Support Frigates. With the attackers destroyed, follow Elson back to the Mothership and finish salvaging any ships you still have. Small wings of Attack Bombers and Scouts may fly by occasionally, so keep your Missile Destroyers and Multi-Gun Corvettes on hand. If you wait around long enough, another three cloaked Ion Cannon Frigates may decide to attack as well. When Elson is aboard the Mothership, Fleet Intelligence tells you to hyperspace away. For once, doing so isn't a bad idea. There are plenty of resources being harvested by Taiidan Collectors, but the amount of work it'll take to fight for them isn't worth it. 013.0 - The Karos Graveyard - The Shining Hinterlands Primary Objectives: - Dock Strike Craft with the Communications Relay New Technology: - Heavy Guns - Cloak Generator Overview: While you've mainly been on your own throughout the game (with a little help from the Bentusi), the Kushan aren't the only people fighting the Taiidan Empire. The destruction of Kharak has incited a rebellion against the corrupt empire, and they're waiting for Elson's signal to move into the next phase. Hidden in the Karos ship graveyard is a relay station that Elson can use to make contact with them; and in exchange, he can guide you through the Taiidan's defenses surrounding Hiigara. Fleet Construction: For Method One, you'll need a strong Battle Group that can quickly destroy the Junkyard Dog, but after that a small group of Missile Destroyers can clear a path through the graveyard. For Method Two, a group of twenty Multi-Gun Corvettes and five to ten Interceptors will be more than enough. 013.1 - Method One - Destroying the Junkyard Dog The graveyard and relay station are relatively unguarded, in the sense that the only resistances you'll encounter are some Autoguns and a single ship: the Junkyard Dog, which can be described as basically the ultimate Salvage Corvette. The Junkyard Dog is small, fast, and can capture any ship by itself. However, it does have one weakness: it's vulnerable to Gravity Well Generators. So as soon as you drop out of hyperspace, set up your Battle Group and begin construction of a Gravity Well. Have it guard a ship in the middle of the group and send them about five to ten kilometers out in front. Now enter the Sensors Manager. You'll see a single red dot flying around the graveyard, that's the Dog. When it eventually comes to your end of the map, it goes after one of your capital ships. Don't let it get close enough, activate the Gravity Well Generator and order your entire Battle Group to attack it. The Dog's armor is tough, but without the ability to move it's as good as dead. Without having to worry about the Junkyard Dog, send your Missile Destroyers out to clear the graveyard of Autoguns. You might want to send a Support Frigate with them just in case they take some damage, but the Autoguns aren't terribly powerful. Use this time to check out the ships floating around the graveyard, you'll see some rejected ship designs for Heavy Cruisers and Support Frigates, among others. When the Destroyers reach the relay station, send a small group of Interceptors or Scouts (in case you missed an Autogun) in evasive tactics out to dock with it. After it does, Elson thanks you and transmits new hyperspace coordinates to your Mothership before hyperspacing away. 013.2 - Method Two - You Take The High Road... I actually prefer this strategy over the other one, simply because it doesn't take as long. You need about twenty-five Multi-Gun Corvettes and a handful of Interceptors. Send the two groups above or below the graveyard until they're over or under the relay station. Send the Multi-Gun Corvettes in first and have them target any Autoguns in the area. About fifteen seconds after the Corvettes reach the relay station, send your Interceptors in and have them enter the relay station. The Multi-Gun Corvettes will be able to knock out most of the graveyard's defenses, but remember to order your Interceptors to do something when one of them goes to dock - they just sit around otherwise. When one of your ships makes contact, immediately hyperspace away. After all, there's really nothing else to do here but sit around and take damage. 014.0 - Bridge of Sighs Primary Objectives: - Destroy the field generator Secondary Objectives: - Destroy the hyperspace gates New Technology: - Sensors Array Overview: Captain Elson gives you some useful information about what's waiting for you around Hiigara. Most importantly, there are a series of hyperspace inhibitors that will prevent the Mothership from hyperspacing into the Homeworld system. Elson has given you the coordinates of the most vulnerable inhibitor; if you can destroy it, you'll create an access point for a hyperspace jump. Fleet Construction: Like the Karos Graveyard level, there are two different strategies that you can use. For Method One, you'll need fourteen to sixteen Salvage Corvettes, twenty Multi-Gun Corvettes, five Scouts, and a small Battle Group that has at least two Missile Destroyers in it. For Method Two, you'll want six Cloak Generators, a pair of Heavy Cruisers, four or five Destroyers, twenty Multi-Gun Corvettes, and twenty Attack Bombers. Also, in both strategies, research Sensors Array technology. You may want to consider building one if you have the extra RUs. 014.1 - Method One - Thou Shalt Not Steal Being the least protected field generator surrounding Hiigara, the only resistance you'll come up against is a very small fleet of over a hundred Ion Cannon Frigates and even more Strike Craft surrounding the inhibitor in a gigantic sphere. The plan here is to bait small groups of Frigates out and capture them with a team of Salvage Corvettes. Why use this method? Well, for one, the size of your fleet will at least double. In fact, you can begin the next level with anywhere from twenty to one hundred and twenty Ion Cannon Frigates, six Destroyers, and three Missile Destroyers, all for the price of a group of Salvage Corvettes. Second, this is actually pretty easy to do. Luring the Frigates away from the main sphere in groups of seven or eight isn't as difficult as it might seem, and they're just as easy to capture. The drawback: It's extremely time consuming. Having to go back and forth with the slow-moving Salvage Corvettes and waiting for the Mothership to receive the enemy ships becomes tedious and boring quickly. Anyway, before stealing anything, you'll want to prepare your fleet. Take any Ion Cannon and Assault Frigates (Ion Array and Multi-Beam Frigates will also work if you don't have at least ten of the others combined) and any Missile Destroyers you have and set them up in Wall formation. Position them about halfway in between the Mothership and the edge of the Ion Cannon sphere. Next, take the rest of your Battle Group and have them sit just in front of the Mothership. Finally, take a group of fourteen or more Salvage Corvettes and send them to where your Frigates are, except about twenty kilometers off to the left or right. Now send a small group of Scouts, set to evasive tactics, into the Ion Cannon sphere. Don't go too far or you'll attract too many at once; but as soon as an enemy ship comes into view, immediately send them back to the Mothership. Anywhere from seven to twelve Ion Cannon Frigates will follow after them, so be prepared to destroy anything you can't capture. Send your Frigate/Missile Destroyer Battle Group to intercept them on their way to the Mothership, and then slip your Salvage Corvettes in from the side. It's a good idea to steal the Frigates that are closest together and near the back, since the remaining Frigates may try to knock off any Salvage Corvettes that are latched onto one of their comrades. If you steal a Frigate up front or leave one next to another being salvaged, it might have enough time to catch up or turn and attack. With your Salvage Corvettes tied up, target any remaining Ion Cannon Frigates with the Battle Group you have waiting. Occasionally, a wing of Strike Craft will tag along, which is why you have a few Missile Destroyers on hand. You should have the Frigates outnumbered, but if a few manage to slip by while you're dealing with another one, the rest of your Battle Group is waiting by the Mothership to defend her and your Salvage Corvettes. Now repeat about a dozen times. You can pick away at the sphere by sending your Scouts to different sides of the map, and you don't have to worry about eliminating the Frigates behind the field generator. Just remember to save after every successful capture, because there's nothing more annoying then having to replay something that's already unbelievably repetitive. When you get too close to the field generator, Fleet Intelligence reports that there are several (three) hyperspace gates in the area, and they should be destroyed to prevent reinforcements from aiding their defenses. At each hyperspace gate, you'll encounter a pair of Support Frigates with a swarm of Attack Bombers, Heavy Corvettes, and Interceptors, followed by two Destroyers and a Missile Destroyer. However, if you ignore the Strike Craft and focus solely on the hyperspace gate, you can destroy it before the three Destroyers appear (since they arrive after the Strike Craft are eliminated). On the other hand, these are the only Destroyer-class ship you'll come across this mission, and it'd be a waste not to capture them. Likewise, it's a good idea to steal the Support Frigates, since you'll max out your Frigates and won't be able to build any of your own for the final mission. If you want them, send your Frigate and Missile Destroyer Battle Group to a hyperspace gate, along with at least nine Salvage Corvettes (thirteen if you want the Support Frigates) and a strong wing of Strike Craft that includes a small group of Scouts. Keep your Salvage Corvettes well away from the gate, since the enemy Strike will target them. When the Support Frigates appear, have your Strike and Missile Destroyers attack them, but leave the Support Frigates alone. When they realize what's going on, they'll move about twenty kilometers away, but won't actually try to escape. With most of the first wave dead, the three Destroyers appear. Send your Scouts to harass the Missile Destroyer, and the rest of the Strike Craft to attack the entire group. The two Destroyers will more than likely target one of your capital ships, so order them to retreat and send your salvage team in at the same time. The Destroyers will be preoccupied with attacking your Battle Group that they won't have time to defend themselves, and the Missile Destroyer shouldn't be too much trouble either with your Strike Craft keeping them busy. When the threat is gone, send the rest of your Salvage Corvettes to capture the two remaining Support Frigates, and return to the Mothership for refueling and repairs. Afterwards, head over to another hyperspace gate. Eventually, the majority of the sphere will be eliminated. You'll want at least the front half gone, but getting rid of any more wouldn't be a bad idea. When you think you're ready, send everything you have at the field generator: both Battle Groups, a strong wing of Multi-Gun Corvettes, Attack Bombers, and Heavy Corvettes, and at least six Proximity Sensors. Order all of your ships to guard the slower group of Destroyers and Heavy Cruisers to make sure you'll all arrive there at the same time, and then evenly spread your Proximity Sensors around. As you inch closer to the generator, a proximity warning will go off and three cloaked Destroyers will attack. Order the majority of your fleet to attack the Destroyers, and set aside a small group to knock out the Cloak Generators. Soon after, another cloaked Destroyer will appear from above, so repeat the same strategy you used before. The generator's last major defense is a cloaked Heavy Cruiser, but the combined force of your Battle Group will be able to overpower it without a problem. From here, hit the generator, and hit it hard. There's a Carrier hanging around, but it doesn't attack too aggressively. Send your Multi-Gun Corvettes and Heavy Corvettes to wipe out any Strike Craft it decides to launch. A few Ion Cannon Frigates may also wander over, but there shouldn't be too many if you did a good job of clearing away the sphere. Allocate a small group of Ion Cannon Frigates (ten is more than enough) and your Attack Bombers to deal with these nuisances. The field generator itself has no defenses whatsoever, but you do have to worry about one of your ships being destroyed by one of the individual sections as it rotates. It's not a major problem, but definitely set your fleet to evasive tactics and keep an eye on where they are. Once all eight sections are destroyed, Fleet Intelligence reports that the hyperspace inhibitor field surrounding Hiigara has been shut down. There's really nothing left for you here, so hyperspace away (unless you plan on salvaging the Carrier and Resource Collectors). 014.2 - Method Two - Can't Hit What You Can't See This method is just as simple as the other one, but it also leaves you with a relatively small fleet (relative to what it could be using the strategy described above). But the positive here is that it won't take as long to complete. Instead of getting rid of the sphere of Frigates, you'll be bypassing it entirely. Using Cloak Generators, a small but extremely powerful fleet will sneak past all of the Ion Cannon Frigates and destroy the field generator before the Taiidan can close in and retaliate. To prepare for this, put your Heavy Cruisers and Destroyers into Wall formation. Order your Attack Bombers into Broad formation and have them guard the top of the Battle Group, while the Multi-Gun Corvettes do the same but with the bottom of it. Now put your Cloak Generators into five groups. Group 1 will be any three Generators, and Group 2 will be the other three. Now choose one Cloak Generator from each group and assign them to Group 3. Groups 4 and 5 will be identical to Group 3, but with the other Cloak Generators. It may sound confusing, but it's really not. The idea behind this is that you can quickly activate any Cloak Generator from each group, so while one is cloaking, the others can be recharging. And when the active one is about to run out, you can easily switch to another Generator. With Groups 1 and 2 on either side of the main Battle Group, you'll be able to keep your ships cloaked indefinitely. Before heading over to the field generator, run a few tests. Make sure all of your ships are cloaked, but while moving and standing still. If anything is visible and you aren't able to squeeze them into the Cloak Generator's field, get rid of them (this applies to Strike Craft, not your capital ships). When everything's working and you're sure the cloaking field will hold up, send your Battle Group to the field generator. When you get close to the sphere of Frigates, activate one pair of Cloak Generators (remember to do this before the ships will spot you). When the first pair's power is running low, switch to the next two and let the others recharge. Once you reach the field generator, order your Battle Group and Attack Bombers to destroy it. If the cloaked Destroyers and Heavy Cruiser figure out what's going on and lumber over to attack you, ignore them; you should be just about done destroying the last few sections of the generator anyway. Use your Multi-Gun Corvettes to attack any Strike Craft that get in your way. When the hyperspace inhibitor field is gone, immediately hyperspace away - there's no reason to stick around and you have quite a few angry Taiidan ships surrounding you. 014.3 - Method Three - The Best of Both Worlds This isn't really a separate strategy per se, but it's still worth mentioning. If you have a weak fleet but don't have the patience to knock out the entire sphere of Ion Cannon Frigates, steal as many as you want and then send your cloaked ships in to destroy the field generator. 015.0 - Chapel Perilous Primary Objectives: - Destroy the object Overview: The Taiidan are becoming desperate, they've strapped an engine to a very large asteroid and set it on a collision course with the Mothership. But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and this is a surprisingly effective strategy considering how bizarre it is. Fleet Construction: There's no time to build anything new, so you're going to have to deal with whatever you have on hand. Send your entire Battle Group and all of your Strike Craft out to intercept the asteroid; like with the field generator, use evasive tactics to avoid colliding into it and losing one of your ships. As you get closer and closer, the asteroids escorts will begin attacking you; first with a group of twenty Interceptors, followed by twenty Heavy Corvettes, thirty-six Defenders, and twenty Multi-Gun Corvettes. Order all of your Strike (minus the Attack Bombers) and Missile Destroyers to go after them. As for the meat of the asteroids escort, you're going to go up against two groups of sixteen Assault Frigates and four Destroyers. You might want to consider sending your Salvage Corvettes in to capture the Destroyers - or at the very least hold them at bay while you attack the asteroid. If you have a strong group of Ion Cannon Frigates (at least forty or more), order them to attack the asteroid, along with your Heavy Cruisers and Destroyers; any Ion Array or Multi-Beam Frigates you have should distract the asteroids escorts. If you have a weak alternate Battle Group, ignore the escorts and just attack the asteroid. When the asteroid is destroyed, finish off (or capture) any remaining Taiidan ships and harvest the area. At the same time, prepare your fleet for the final level by maxing out all of your capital ships. If you've been using Salvage Corvettes a lot, you probably won't even be able to build very many ships, which is a good thing. If your Battle Group is maxed out and you still have some spare RUs, build about twenty-five Multi-Gun Corvettes, twenty Attack Bombers, and fifteen Interceptors. If you need RUs, retire any non- combat ships you don't need: Research Ships, Proximity Sensors, and Sensors Arrays. Don't get rid of your Collectors and Controllers, though. Also - and this is important - build as many Support Frigates as you can. The final mission throws a very large fleet at your Mothership, and without at least one Support Frigate to repair her there's a slim chance you'll be able to get through in one piece. Four is a good number, but more is better. 016.0 - Hiigara Primary Objectives: - Eradicate enemy forces Overview: The asteroid, while not destroying you, served its purpose as a delay tactic. When you arrive at Hiigara, a very large Taiidan fleet is waiting for you, including the Emperor's flagship. This level is divided into five fairly large battles, and you're going to have to fight some of them simultaneously in different areas. If you really want your Homeworld back, you're going to have to earn it. Fleet Construction: Like the previous mission, there's almost no time to build anything before being attacked; any fleet building should've been done before hyperspacing. But feel free to build any new ships to replace the ones you lose throughout the course of the level. Quickly put all of your Capital Ships in front of your Mothership. You'll want to have two relatively-equal Battle Groups for later, but at the moment you're attacking one target. Move your Support Frigates behind the Mothership, but close enough that they won't have to shift around to heal her. Third, send your Missile Destroyers and any Strike Craft that do well against other Strike Craft (Multi-Gun Corvettes, Heavy Corvettes, Interceptors, et cetera) about twenty kilometers directly above the Mothership. Finally, send your Collectors out to harvest and have your Controller guard them; they'll be well away from the action, and they'll drop off plenty of valuable resources. After letting you wait around for a minute, the first wave of Taiidan appears from all directions. Above you, a Carrier launches a few waves of Strike Craft; none of which should really be too much trouble for your own Strike and Missile Destroyers. Below you is a small group of seven Ion Cannon Frigates that should be ignored for the most part, because the main threat is much more destructive: six Ion Cannon Frigates, two Destroyers, two Missile Destroyers, six Assault Frigates, and a Heavy Cruiser. Luckily, most of these ships only go after your Mothership, which should keep your losses at a minimum. Of course, this also means that the Mothership's hit points are going to dramatically drop unless you have Support Frigates repairing her and enough firepower to take out the wave of Taiidan ships. With your Strike Craft dealing with the Carrier's escorts and your Attack Bombers picking away at the Ion Cannon Frigates below you, focus all of your attention on the main Battle Group. Destroy the Heavy Cruiser first, followed by the Destroyers, Ion Cannon Frigates, Assault Frigates, and finally the Missile Destroyers. As soon as your Mothership takes damage, order your Support Frigates to begin repairing it. As long as you get Cruiser and Destroyers out of the way quickly, you should be able to get through without the Mothership going down in flames. If you survive, save and prepare for the next battle. Your Support Frigates should have enough time to repair your Mothership and any capital ships that took damage. Don't forget about your Strike Craft hanging around out of sight above you; the Carrier doesn't do anything afterwards, so don't bother attacking it. Now, divide your Battle Group into two parts. Order one to remain in front of your Mothership (which will henceforth be called Battle Group 2), and send the other one (Battle Group 1) twenty kilometers up and twenty kilometers behind the Mothership. Eventually, Fleet Intelligence reports that reinforcements are coming out of hyperspace behind and above you. Battle Group 1 should already be heading in that direction, but adjust their positions to intercept them. The second battle puts you against a fleet similar to the main Taiidan threat from the first battle: six Assault Frigates, six Ion Cannon Frigates, three Destroyers, and another Heavy Cruiser. Attack them the same way you did previously - concentrate fire on the bigger ships first. This is a little more difficult because you only have half of your Battle Group, but you should still be able to win if you get rid of the deadly Heavy Cruiser as soon as possible. With only a few enemy ships remaining, Fleet Intelligence announces that yet another wave of Taiidan capital ships are coming out of hyperspace. This time, they're below your Mothership and off to the right. Immediately after Battle Group 1 takes care of the last of the second battle, send them down to meet them. You have to do this quickly to prevent them from reaching the Mothership, so forget about putting your ships into formations - it'll only waste time. While your first Battle Group is en route to the third battle, the rest of your ships will be waiting by your Mothership. Don't send them down to help the others, a fourth group of ships are coming at your Mothership. Battle Group 1 will meet up with their target before the other Taiidan ships reach the Mothership, so pay more attention to them at the moment. This wave of Taiidan destruction is composed of a third Heavy Cruiser with an escort of ten Ion Cannon Frigates and ten Assault Frigates. Despite their numbers, the lack of any Destroyers makes this battle a bit easier than the others. After the Cruiser is out of the picture, begin hunting the Frigates, but begin switching back and forth between the two Battle Groups. The final attack against your Mothership is similar to the first one: six Assault Frigates, six Ion Cannon Frigates, two Missile Destroyers, a pair of Destroyers, and a Heavy Cruiser. Like before, take them out in order of firepower and have the Support Frigates repair the Mothership as it takes damage. This time around, though, the Taiidan ships attack both the Mothership and your Battle Group, which makes surviving a bit easier. But right in the middle of this frenzy, Fleet Intelligence reports of another fleet emerging from hyperspace. The usually calm voice is showing signs of fear as he announces, "We're being overwhelmed!" Thankfully, it's Captain Elson, and he's brought reinforcements for you - certainly a change from the norm. He gives you command of six Assault Frigates and a pair of Missile Destroyers, which you should throw into the battle to finish off the rest of the Taiidan. With both of your Battle Groups victorious, Elson and his Ion Cannon Frigates head across the map to attack the Emperor's Mothership. If Battle Group 2 is still intact for the most part, follow after him. Otherwise, wait for Battle Group 1 to make it back and then send your entire fleet after Elson. Remember, there aren't any more attacks against your Mothership, so don't worry about leaving it defenseless. Before attacking the Taiidan Mothership, Elson and his fleet stop at a lone Carrier, which launches twelve Multi-Gun Corvettes and twelve Attack Bombers. Your Battle Groups probably won't be able to catch up, but your Strike Craft can. Order them to fight the Carrier's escort while Elson destroys the Carrier itself. When your Battle Group finally arrives, have it attack the Carrier as well. Once the Carrier is space junk, follow Elson to the Taiidan Mothership. The Emperor is guarded by three Heavy Cruisers, each with a pair of Support Frigates. Elson ignores them, but you shouldn't; make sure to get rid of the Support Frigates first, and then destroy the Cruisers. When you reach the Mothership, you'll see the Emperor launching Strike Craft that immediately kamikaze into Elson and his Frigates, along with a pair of Missile Destroyers and a Gravity Well Generator. The Missile Destroyers really won't put up much of a fight, so focus exclusively on the Mothership. Elson's fleet has probably done most of the work for you, so you probably won't have to wait very long before the Emperor's flagship goes down. When it does, the Bentusi arrive with the Council and declare and end to the war between your species and the Taiidan. It's been a difficult journey, but you're finally home. Congratulations. Sit back, watch the credits, and enjoy the song "Homeworld" by Yes.
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