HW:C – Total Multiplayer Guide

By [7th]CultHero
CultHero@Zombieworld.com
Ver.1.00

Wow, what a monster. I have attempted to cover every major 
facet of Homeworld: Cataclysm, and I think I have largely 
succeeded, though I know I have missed stuff. If you can 
think of anything that isn't covered here in anyway and is 
a worthy strategy/tactic, feel free to E-mail me and I will 
add it and your name to the list of contributors below. 
Effective Somtaaw openings and strategies are particularly 
in need, and not of the "dive for MBF's d00d!" variety. I 
haven't been able to come up with a good Somtaaw opening 
other than getting mimics and acolytes ASAP.  I also do not 
desire newbie info, such as a tech tree, or something 
really mathematical, such as exact build times and research 
times. Special thanks to [7th]Athexx for editing and 
contributions.


Version History:
9/16/2000 Ver. 1.00 – Version 1.00 is completed.


Index
1.  Beast: Fighters
2.  Beast: Corvettes
3.  Beast: Frigates and Capital Ships
4.  Beast: Non-Combat and Resource
5.  Somtaaw:  Fighters
6.  Somtaaw: Corvettes
7.  Somtaaw: Frigates and Capital Ships
8.	  Somtaaw:  Non-Combat and Resource
9.	  Beast: Game Theory
10.	Somtaaw: Game Theory
11.	Beast: Strategies and Openings
12.	Somtaaw: Strategies and Openings
13.	Team Play: Strategy
14.	General: Strategy



 Beast: Fighters

1.	Recon: The recon has the longest scan range of any ship. 
Once upgraded, it is the only way for the Beast to see 
cloaked ion array frigates, and they can also see mimics 
and leeches. However, the easiest way to detect mimics 
and leeches is to use the tactical overlay, so it's up to 
you if you want to use recons in this way. The best way 
to use recons is to form a semi-circle in the area around 
your opponents command ship so you can keep tabs on 
anything he does. This is the most effective way to keep 
your opponent from launching any surprise attacks. Also, 
recons in number can be used to kamikaze enemy fighter 
craft in the early game if you don't have enough ships to 
counter a rush on your workers. Finally, keep in mind 
that the recons do so little damage with a kamikaze that 
it takes 2 to kill an interceptor or an acolyte.

Beast/Somtaaw Counters: Anything that can get in range of 
a recon to fire can destroy it easily. However, given the 
speed of the recon an alert player can always have it 
retreat to safety.

2.	Interceptor: The interceptor is the first fighter type 
the beast has available, and they can get it very 
quickly. Interceptors are destroyed quickly by anything 
above an acolyte, so it's best to use them as a kamikaze, 
against other fighters, or against workers. Interceptors 
are also the most effective way the beast has of dealing 
with MCV's and cruise missiles. One thing to keep in 
mind: when engaging acolytes with interceptors it is best 
to just kamikaze right away, since acolytes are more 
valuable (with their missiles and all) and generally have 
superior agility.

Beast/Somtaaw Counters: The interceptor is easily 
destroyed by anything above itself except for the ion 
array frigate. Don't worry too much about interceptors 
unless they are closing in on an unprotected resource 
patch.

3.	Attack Bombers: Attack bombers are a menace. They can do 
a lot of damage with a kamikaze, and can rip up anything 
they can connect with. Attack Bombers kill all beast 
ships above themselves quite well, including all of the 
corvettes. They are likewise effective against the 
Somtaaw. They also do a great deal of kamikaze damage – 5 
are at most all you will need against a worker. In 
addition to all of these advantages, the attack bomber 
can be researched quickly, allowing it to be deployed in 
the early game. Attack bombers are best supported by 
interceptors. The interceptors have to keep the attack 
bombers alive in order for them to reach their targets. 
Since your opponent is likely to kamikaze the attack 
bombers if he is outmatched, it is best to keep the 
interceptors fairly far ahead and to be ready to kamikaze 
into your enemies fighters yourself. Building attack 
bombers without interceptor support is only viable if 
your opponent is clearly sticking with corvette or larger 
class ships.

Beast Counters: The attack bomber is pretty helpless 
against fast moving targets, and this is all you need to 
keep in mind. Don't be afraid to kamikaze either if the 
attack bombers are well supported or time is an issue. 
Beast corvettes are useless against attack bombers; 
interceptors are your best bet.
Somtaaw Counters: Acolytes are very effective, ACV's are 
less effective, and mimics are fairly effective as well. 
Sentinels are also very effective, but they are very slow 
moving and come later in the game then the attack bombers 
do. Don't send anything larger unless you want to lose it 
or the bombers don't have good numbers.

4.	Cloaked Fighters: Cloaked fighters are expensive and 
weak. They're only advantage is their ability to 
surprise. They can not fire and recloak, so the cloaking 
only works for the journey to enemy units, and to escape. 
Cloaked fighters are poor shots, as they are rarely able 
to connect with other strike craft. This basically limits 
them to anti-worker roles. In addition, due to the nature 
of the way they make attack runs it is best to have them 
attack in an aggressive sphere. Generally, it is unwise 
to rely on a unit like this. You are better off going 
with a mixed force of interceptors and attack bombers.

Beast Counters: Interceptors really rip up cloaked 
fighters, as does anything with any kind of anti-
strikecraft capability.
Somtaaw Counters: Basically all Somtaaw attack ships are 
effective against the cloaked fighter. Just don't let 
yourself get surprised.


Beast: Corvettes

1.	Multigun Corvettes: The multigun corvette is, simply put, 
expensive for what you get. You are better off with 
attack bombers or heavy corvettes, as the multigun is not 
an effective weapon, especially since the heavy corvette 
is both tougher, costs less to build, and takes less time 
to research.

Beast Counters: Attack bombers are very, very effective 
against beast corvettes. Otherwise, use the heavy 
corvettes or frigates. 
Somtaaw Counters: ACV's, acolyte missiles, and mimics are 
all effective against the multigun. All frigates can swat 
aside the multigun as well.

2.	Missile Corvette: The missile corvette is a good all 
around unit. It's primary drawback, against strike craft 
at least, is that it does not fire very quickly, and that 
it tends to have several missiles flying through space 
when a strike craft is destroyed, leading to wasted time 
and firepower.

Beast Counters: Attack bombers really spank these guys, 
or kamikaze interceptors if attack bombers are not 
available. Heavy Corvettes of course will take these guys 
out, and they're also very vulnerable to cruise missiles 
due to the slow speed of their missiles. 
Somtaaw Counters: Mimics can be really effective against 
these guys, as well as acolyte missiles (in this case, 
about 3 acolytes per missile vette). Multibeam frigates 
are unusually weak against these, so even though the MBFs 
are good against fighters and corvettes in general, don't 
pit them against Missile Corvettes.

3.	Heavy Corvettes: The heavy corvette is an over-armored 
scourge on the battlefield. Able to take an enormous 
amount of punishment, the heavy vette is capable of 
burning down everything in its path and lending excellent 
fire support to a main fleet.

Beast Counters: The infection beam, other heavy 
corvettes, or attack bombers are your best bet here. 
Cruise missiles will do in a pinch too, provided you can 
use them without getting fired on.
Somtaaw Counters: There are several counters of varying 
effectiveness. The most effective I have seen is to 
micromanage MCV's so that each one targets a single 
corvette. This is a big savings, since MCV's cost much 
less than heavy vettes, but it requires that they are not 
fired on, given their tissue-paper armor. Another good 
method is acolyte missiles. Split your acolytes into 
groups of 5, and have each group launch their missiles on 
a different heavy corvette. The missiles have a very long 
life span, so they will eventually hit anything that 
moves slower then they do. After this, send the acolytes 
back to reload.

4.	Cruise Missiles: Cruise missiles can devastate an 
opponent. The most effective use of them is either in 
numbers to infect a main fleet (You must get rid of 
strike craft protection for this to work well) of 
frigates, slow/distracted corvettes (coming from behind 
will help this), and to infect an unguarded or semi-
guarded collection fleet. The ability to convert rather 
than destroy is a powerful one. In addition, cruise 
missiles do a decent amount of damage to targets that are 
immune to infection.

Beast Counters: The interceptor and similar strike craft 
are key here. If time is an issue or the missiles have a 
good defense, do not be afraid to kamikaze into the 
missiles. Otherwise, engaging with any ship that can be 
infected is just asking for trouble. Corvettes will also 
do pretty well, but because of their size and power they 
are infection targets themselves.
Somtaaw Counters: The acolyte is the best choice here, 
due to its speed and agility. Just like with beast, don't 
be afraid to kamikaze if it looks like you need to. 
Mimics and MCV's also work really well, provided they can 
get past whatever support the cruise missiles have. Don't 
even think about engaging with frigs, except with the 
hive's long range swarm ability. 

Another note on cruise missiles: Whenever dealing with 
cruise missiles be prepared to scuttle your own ships as 
you see them being infected. Better gone then in the 
hands of your opponent. The only time when you would not 
want to scuttle infected ships is if you know you can re-
claim it (as Beast) with your own infection 
beam/missiles.


Beast: Frigates and Capital Ships

1.	Defense Field Frigate: The defense field frigate has two 
main uses: Detonating and absorbing siege blasts, and 
protecting various craft from projectile and energy 
weapons. The defense field frigate is both expensive and 
weak, but the functions it serves are very important. 
Keeping several protecting your CS and several on your 
main fleet is the way to go, as it will be able to 
protect your ships from energy/projectile cannons in 
addition to detonating siege cannon blasts.

Beast Counters: The cruise missile is the quickest way to 
deal with a field frigate. All other counters against it 
involve simply focusing fire on it. The Ion Array and the 
missile corvette is well suited to this role since the 
field frigate has no effect on it.
Somtaaw Counters: MCV's work very well against field 
frigates. Acolyte missiles are very effective as well.

2.	Ion Array Frigate: The ion array frigate is well suited 
to its role as capship killer. It has a very slow turning 
rate, making it almost useless against strike craft, and 
this occasionally gives it trouble against other frigates 
as well. However, it is an excellent choice for 
concentrating damage.

Beast Counters: The cruise missile and infection beams 
work very well against ion array frigates. Most strike 
craft work very well against the frigates as well, since 
the ion array turns so slowly.
Somtaaw Counters: The MCV and the acolyte's missiles are 
the most effective counter against the ion array. Other 
strike craft work as well.

4.	Heavy Cruisers: The heavy cruiser is a monster. They are 
capable of cleaning the floor with any other 1 unit in 
the game. Able to infect as well as dish out and receive 
major damage, the heavy cruiser is the most powerful ship 
in the game that can be fielded. Only a coordinated 
effort from a mixed group of units can bring down a heavy 
cruiser.

Beast Counters: The best counter is other heavy cruisers. 
Cruise missiles won't infect it of course, but they also 
won't do much damage. Ion array frigates work as well, 
but you must be ready to reclaim your frigates with 
infection weapons of your own.
Somtaaw Counter: The best (and pretty much only) counter 
is a very well supported fleet of destroyers and 
dreadnoughts. MCV's and acolyte missiles are also very 
effective at softening up a heavy cruiser so the larger 
ships can make the kill.


Beast: Non-Combat and Resource

1.	The Command Ship: This isn't your father's command ship. 
The command ships in HW:C are both fast moving and 
capable of dealing out a good amount of damage. They are 
the core of the game, and losing it often spells the doom 
of a player. The Beast command ship has two advantages: 
The command ship has an infection beam, which is 
incredibly useful, and it can allocate emergency power to 
various systems, which will speed up that system at the 
price of command ship health. This function will cease 
working at or below half health. The three most effective 
choices for emergency power are Research, which will help 
you get the important techs earlier (especially important 
at the beginning), Building, to either rebuild ships 
after or during a battle rapidly or just for raising up 
your worker numbers quickly at the beginning (and 
interceptors once they are researched), and Infection 
Beam, which can really help dominate when you have 
constant encounters with nearby enemy ships.

Beast Counters: Firepower, and lots of it. Heavy cruisers 
and ion array frigates are your only real options, since 
anything else will not be able to do much damage and 
therefore will eventually get infected. Just be sure to 
bring along enough infection of your own to reclaim 
whatever you use.
Somtaaw Counters: Don't go near the beast MS except at 
the very beginning of the game and late-game when you 
have a good force. Destroyers and dreadnoughts are the 
only major ships that you should allow within shooting 
range of the beast CS. MCV's are an excellent choice for 
supporting such a fleet since they can soften up the 
beast CS and are immune to the infection beam. 

2.	Processor:  This isn't your father's resource controller 
either. The processor can serve as effective worker 
protection, having fairly good guns lining both of its 
sides. One thing to keep in mind is that if you order one 
to attack, they will go at it front side forward, which 
is a disadvantage since the guns are on the sides.

Beast Counters: It's best to just ignore the processor 
and go after the workers until you have some major 
firepower or a cruise missile around. Cruise missiles are 
the most effective way to get rid of a processor, since 
it only takes 1 and an unguarded processor doesn't have 
the firepower to stop a group of them from connecting 
with it.
Somtaaw Counters: The processor can take a good beating, 
so you may actually need to make more than 1 strike 
force, the first to wound it and the second to destroy 
it. Acolyte missiles and MCV's are effective, as usual. 
You should seriously consider ignoring the processor 
until the workers are taken care of considering how tough 
the processors can be.

3.	Workers: The workers are salvagers, repair craft, and 
collectors in HW:C. The last one is about the only 
function used however. They are too easily destroyed to 
serve as repair craft in combat, so they can only be used 
outside of it to any effect. The salvage function is 
rarely used, especially with beast (since they can just 
infect with the beam and missiles), as the workers can't 
salvage until a unit is at half health. Once you have 
captured and researched repair, another very useful 
ability to keep in mind is that if you have 10 spare 
workers handy they can repair the Beast CS faster than 
emergency power will drain it. This will allow you to 
keep your production at max non-stop, be able to infect 
every few seconds, or use any of the other abilities with 
impunity.

Beast/Somtaaw Counters: Just about anything can be 
effective against a worker, the hard part is getting past 
the defense.


Somtaaw: Fighters

1.	Recon: The recon has the longest scan range of any ships. 
Once upgraded, it is the only way besides the sentinel of 
seeing cloaked ion array frigates, and like the sentinel 
they can also see mimics and leeches. However, the 
easiest way to detect mimics and leeches is to use the 
tactical overlay, so it's up to you if you want to use 
recons in this way. The best way to use recons is to form 
a semi-circle in the area around your opponents command 
ship so you can keep tabs on anything he does. This is 
the best way to keep your opponent from launching any 
surprise attacks. Also, recons in number can be used to 
kamikaze enemy fighter craft in the early game if you 
don't have enough ships to counter a rush on your 
workers. Also, recons in number can be used to kamikaze 
enemy fighter craft in the early game if you don't have 
enough ships to counter a rush on your workers, just 
don't try to dog fight, they will get pasted. Finally, 
keep in mind that the recons do so little damage with a 
kamikaze that it takes 2 to kill an interceptor or an 
acolyte. 

Beast/Somtaaw Counters: Anything that can get in range of 
a recon to fire can destroy it easily. However, given the 
speed of the recon an alert player can always have it 
retreat to safety.

2.	Acolytes: Acolytes are a great unit. A menace to strike 
craft, workers, and frigates, the acolyte is a unit that 
a good Somtaaw player should never stop building. The 
missiles are one of the most versatile weapons there are, 
given their huge damage and long lifespan. If you are 
going to engage frigates and other capital ships with 
acolytes, it's best to hit and fade to go get another 
pair of missiles. All in all, acolytes are a major 
threat, since they are able to move quickly and can hit 
hard with their missiles.

Beast Counters: Infection beam, kamikazing interceptors, 
and corvettes are the most effective way of getting rid 
of acolytes. Acolytes are a major threat with their 
missiles and they have to be stopped as soon as possible.
Somtaaw Counters: Using ACV's and acolytes are the best 
counter. Sentinels also work very well, but they come 
much later in the research tree and they can't move fast 
enough to catch up to the acolytes. Failing that, the 
other frigs you have around after the first one goes up 
in flames are pretty effective, provided the acolytes 
don't run away. ? (Yes, yes, hive frigate swarmers can 
chase down the acolytes, I know. )

3.	Mimics: Mimics are the other highly effective unit that 
the Somtaaw get. The mimic ability is primary useful in 
causing the mimics to not appear on radar, since most 
alert players will know it's not theirs right away. Their 
only disadvantage is their tissue-paper armor, but 
considering their stealthy nature and huge damage 
potential it is a worthy trade-off. If you even think 
about using Mimics (and you ought to in almost every game 
you play), make research of the Quantum upgrade for them 
a high priority, since it greatly increases the damage 
they deal. The most effective way to use mimics is to use 
other ships to divert attention so that the optimum 
number of mimics can connect with a target. Mimics are 
also a great way of quickly taking out a crystal that 
happens to be near some enemy ships without them 
noticing.

Beast Counters: Be alert is the first thing you have to 
do, having strike craft around is the other. The key to 
mimics is to attack without being noticed. If they are 
noticed, they will have a hell of a time, which is what 
you want them to have.
Somtaaw Counters: Same as the beast counters, except that 
multibeams and hive frigs can be effective if there 
aren't too many and they are detected early.

4.	Leech: As I'm sure some of the leech fans have noticed, I 
haven't mentioned them that much. Simply put, I don't 
have great faith in the leech, as they are simply too 
easy to stop. Since they can be destroyed by force attack 
and detected by putting on the tactical overlay, getting 
them deployed effectively to begin with is a major 
hassle. No offense or anything, but since leeches can be 
stopped so easily and since they require time to be 
effective, I don't think of them as anything beyond toys 
or something to beat down unskilled players with.

Beast/Somtaaw Counters: Just keep on tactical overlay and 
force attack any leeches on your units. Research advanced 
sensors too if you feel the need.

5.	Sentinel: The sentinel is a powerful ship. Held back 
primarily by the slow movement speed and the slow build 
time, the sentinel is a match for any beast ship below a 
frigate. It is a testimony to the sentinels endurance and 
lack of speed that ion cannon weapons are a very 
effective way of dealing with the sentinel. An excellent 
choice to guard any kind of ship that does not require a 
great deal of speed. Sentinels are a poor offensive 
choice given their rate of movement, but they really 
shine on defense. The shield effect is secondary, since 
it will only stop undetermined attacks, and more 
importantly the sentinel cannot fire while the shield is 
up. Another thing to keep in mind is that sentinels do 
get advanced sensors, so they can detect disguised and 
invisible ships once upgraded. Just because they are 
slow, don't rule out building an offensive with them. 
Provided you have the resources, loading them in a 
carrier and then jumping to key locations can be 
devastating, especially with frigate support, since even 
infection missiles will generally die too fast to do 
anything to such a force. Just keep in mind that you 
shouldn't try this against ships with infection beams.

Beast Counters: Infection beams are the most efficient 
way of dealing with sentinels. Failing that, the quickest 
way to get rid of them is by kamikazing interceptors. The 
sentinels are the defenders of HW:C, and they are just as 
vulnerable to kamikaze by nimble strike craft. Groups of 
ion array frigates or a heavy cruiser can also be very 
effective. Don't use strike craft or corvettes against 
the sentinel except the interceptor kamikaze; they will 
get eaten alive.
Somtaaw Counter: ACV's EMP effect will be useful here. 
Just be ready to run when it wears out. Probably the best 
method is to engage the sentinels with the long-range 
drones of the hive frig. Multibeams will also be 
effective, but they need numbers or they will be 
overwhelmed quickly.


Somtaaw: Corvettes

1.	ACV: The ACV is very effective against all fighters and 
some corvettes, but it's usefulness drops off rapidly 
against anything bigger. ACV's aren't that effective 
against the beast corvettes, given their superior 
firepower and hitpoints. However, with EMP the ACV is 
very effective against smaller strike craft, being able 
to paralyze them for several seconds (several precious 
seconds, since strike craft count on agility to keep 
themselves alive) and can generally take them out even 
without the EMP. Keep in mind that EMP is most effective 
when supported by other ships, notably acolytes, since 
the ACV's themselves will take a few seconds to recover 
after issuing an EMP blast.

Beast Counters: Corvettes are your best bet against 
ACV's. Anything else is simply too slow or too 
ineffective. Since it is almost guaranteed that anything 
you attack with will be EMP'ed,  don't use anything that 
will be vulnerable in one place without being able to 
dodge.
Somtaaw Counters: Hive Frigates and multibeam frigates 
are the best counters against ACV's since they are 
virtually immune to the EMP effect and can really dish it 
out against strike craft.

2.	MCV: Same as mimic, only can mimic bigger ships, moves 
slower, and has more hitpoints.

Beast Counters: See Mimics
Somtaaw Counters: See Mimics


Somtaaw: Frigates and Capital Ships

1.	Ramming Frigate: Ramming frigates can be very nice, just 
remember that if you attack a beast ship larger than a 
frigate and you don't have vaccine researched, the 
ramming frig will be auto-infected. Otherwise, a ramming 
frig can turn around a battle by removing the big ships, 
like dreadnoughts (watch out for repulse though) and 
heavy cruisers from a conflict long enough to turn the 
tide.

Beast Counters: The usual means of infection work well, 
in the case of cruise missiles especially since the 
ramming frig has no long-range weapon. Otherwise, any 
strike craft or corvette can work wonders (Using them in 
an aggressive sphere will keep the ramming frig from 
ramming any of them).
Somtaaw Counters: The acolyte missiles and MCV's, always 
the weapon of choice against frigs, are effective here as 
well. Failing that, strike craft can make short work of a 
ramming frig.

2.	Multibeam Frigate: Multibeam frigates are effective 
against fast moving targets and little else. Their 
inability to focus fire is a disadvantage against any 
larger ships and besides their anti-strike craft 
abilities they really don't have anything going for them.

Beast Counters: Cruise missiles can be effective, if they 
are in big enough numbers that they don't get destroyed 
right away. Other than that, pounding on a multibeam with 
anything above an interceptor will do the trick.
Somtaaw Counters: Acolyte missiles and MCV's as always 
against frigs. Failing that, destroyers, 'noughts, and 
hive frigs are effective.

3.	Hive Frigate: Hive frigates are notable for their ability 
to deploy their swarmers over very long ranges. This 
requires good recon and that you don't let enemy ships 
get too close. Because of their high support cost it's 
not a very good idea to build a fleet solely of these 
guys, although they can definitely make a significant 
contribution to any fleet and have many tactical uses. 
With good recon, the hive frigates are among the best 
ways to deal with cruise missiles (although if you are 
not alert, the hive frigate is just as susceptible to the 
missiles as any other frigate. The hive frigate is still 
powerful against other frigates, since they can 
concentrate firepower with their main attack as well as 
swarming everything in the area. You must have good recon 
with the hive frigates, if you are going to put yourself 
at risk of losing them to infection you are better off 
not building them.

Beast Counters: Any kind of infection will work well, 
though cruise missiles are susceptible to the swarmers if 
they are detected from too far away. Otherwise, corvettes 
work fairly well and the bigger beast ships will work 
wonders, once they get close enough.
Somtaaw Counters: Acolyte missiles and MCV's (notice a 
pattern yet? Naw, me neither.) are very effective, once 
they get in range. Otherwise, hive frigates and the 
bigger capital ships can swat a hive frigate pretty well.

4.	Destroyer: The destroyer is a powerful ship. Not having 
any abilities of note, you will just have to be satisfied 
with a missile launcher, multiple guns, and a pair of ion 
cannons. The destroyer is noted for being able to dish it 
out, being able to take it, and being immune to 
infection.

Beast Counters: This is a toughie. Your best bet is heavy 
cruisers. The other option is basically mobbing it with 
ion array frigates until you light it up.
Somtaaw Counters: For Somtaaw, you should try something a 
little different and use acolyte missiles and MCV's.

5.	Dreadnought: The dreadnought is basically a destroyer, 
only more so. The dreadnought also has a repulse field 
weapon, which does no damage but helps keep those pesky 
enemy ships at arms length. The repulse field will 
deflect siege cannon blasts, which is the only defense 
the Somtaaw have against it (and can provide a fun lesson 
in geometry). Keep in mind that in dreadnought vs. heavy 
cruiser one on one, the heavy cruiser will come out on 
top with about half of it's hitpoints, provided it hits 
the dreadnought with it's infection beam twice. This is 
because the dreadnought, while it has two ion cannons, 
cannot focus its fire and hit a target with both of them. 
The end result of this is that they always get pasted 
going 1 on 1 against a heavy cruiser. Do not try to use 
the Dreadnought as the heaviest gun in your fleet, 
because even though that's true, it is much more 
effective used as the heaviest armored ship in you fleet, 
to try to distract firepower away from your more 
vulnerable ships (especially mimics).

Beast Counters: The heavy cruiser is about your only 
option. The other option, less satisfying, is to mob the 
dreadnought with ion array frigates and a support fleet 
(to protect from MCV's and other peskies). A large wing 
of attack bombers can also be effective if they are 
ignored and allowed to do damage.
Somtaaw Counters: Well, I know this will sound strange, 
but acolyte missiles and MCV's can be very effective 
against dreadnoughts. This is especially true when the 
dreadnought is engaged with other ships, in particular 
destroyers and other dreadnoughts, since they can take a 
great deal of punishment.


Somtaaw: Non-Combat and Resource

1.	The Command Ship: The Somtaaw command ship has the unique 
advantage/disadvantage of having to build numerous 
modules to conduct research. This allows you to conduct 5 
research items once all the pods are built, but this also 
tends to hurt just a little money wise, which really 
hurts at the beginning of the game. The special ability 
of the system manager is to assign repair priorities to 
the pods (Yippee!). The Somtaaw CS also has the siege 
cannon, which can win and lose games when used. It's a 
big enough topic that I'll go into that in strategies. 
Like the beast CS the Somtaaw mothership can dish out 
some serious damage to the smaller units. This also means 
that you are more heavily armored than the Beast Command 
Ship (since your modules can take damage) but 
simultaneously means that the modules can die and cripple 
you significantly. To use to your advantage, only use 
your command ship in a battle situation if you can run 
away from it without consequence, and if you do, always 
run away as soon as any of your modules go into the 
yellow.

Beast Counters: You can attack the CS with just about 
anything, just be mindful of the damage output of the 
Somtaaw CS, and be careful of sending your fleets into 
battle against it late game without field frigates for 
siege cannon protection. Also be sure to use all of your 
infection beams on the Somtaaw CS right at the beginning, 
since the Somtaaw CS has a ton of hitpoints, meaning the 
infection beam will do a ton of damage.
Somtaaw Counters: Like the Beast, you must be mindful of 
the siege cannon late game, but even more so since the 
only defense you have is the dreadnought's repulse 
weapon. Also like the beast, you can attack any time you 
like, just as long as you are mindful of the Somtaaw CS's 
weapons.

2.	Processor: This isn't your father's resource controller 
either. The processor can serve as effective worker 
protection, having fairly good guns lining both of its 
sides. One thing to keep in mind is that if you order one 
to attack, they will go at it front side forward, which 
is a disadvantage since the guns are on the sides. As a 
result, processors are most effective while being swarmed 
by fighters and are much less effective against frigates.

Beast Counters: It's best to just ignore the processor 
and go after the workers until you have some major 
firepower or a cruise missile around. Cruise missiles are 
the most effective way to get rid of a processor, since 
it only takes 1 and an unguarded processor doesn't have 
the firepower to stop a group of them from connecting 
with it.
Somtaaw Counters: The processor can take a good beating, 
so you may actually need to make more than 1 strike 
force, the first to wound it and the second to destroy 
it. Acolyte missiles and MCV's are effective, as usual. 
You should seriously consider ignoring the processor 
until the workers are taken care of considering how tough 
the processors can be.

3.	Worker: The workers are salvagers, repair craft, and 
collectors in HW:C. The last one is about the only 
function used however. They are too easily destroyed to 
serve as repair craft in combat, so they can only be used 
after battle to any effect. Since salvaging enemy ships 
requires that you take their health down to half first, 
the salvage function is mainly only useful to salvage 
crystals, provided you have Crystal Processing available 
as well. Crystals will give you a huge RU boost, almost 
as if you were playing a game with large injections, 
although make sure your enemy doesn't plan on attacking 
the crystal - its explosion is as large as a siege cannon 
blast. You can find the fate of your game being sealed in 
a neon purple circle. In the late game, the Somtaaw will 
never run short of resources because they can easily 
harvest crystals for money, while a beast player will 
typically be unable to spend the time to research the 
required technologies.

Beast/Somtaaw Counters: Just about anything can be 
effective against a worker, the hard part is getting past 
the defense.



Beast Game Theory:

Beast vs. Somtaaw
	The beast has a major advantage here, given the slow 
start of the Somtaaw and that they can only attack at the 
very beginning (which is virtually impossible since they 
start so slowly) and then they cannot approach your CS 
until the endgame. One of the major keys to playing Beast 
vs. Somtaaw is luring your opponent's ships within range of 
an infection beam. Failing that, you should focus on 
destroying whatever strike craft he has around. This will 
allow your cruise missiles to be used much more easily, 
since frigates and processors cannot easily stop them 
before they get in range of infection. You really need to 
go with what feels right. If you are afraid of your 
opponent getting a siege cannon, be sure to make quite a 
few field frigates, since a good Somtaaw player will 
destroy them before firing his siege cannon. If you have 
destroyed your opponent's resource fleet and are moving in 
for the kill, use ion array frigates backed up by strike 
craft for mimic protection. The two things you should be 
most afraid of are mimics and acolyte missiles. Keeping a 
lot of fighters and corvettes around are the best way to 
deal with them.

Beast vs. Beast
	This can be interesting. Except for a few initial 
strike craft attacks, you cannot approach you opponent's CS 
until you are ready to destroy it, and only then when you 
have enough infection of your own to reclaim whatever he 
takes with an infection beam or cruise missiles. Keeping a 
sharp eye for cruise missiles and destroying/infecting 
whatever resource fleet he has away from a ship with 
infection should be your primary goals. Avoid using 
frigates as much as possible, since FF's generally aren't 
worth the cost of research and money when there is no 
threat of a siege cannon, and ion arrays are very 
vulnerable to cruise missiles and infection beams. If you 
are going to use frigates, always keep them with strike 
craft so they can't be infected by cruise missiles (and 
because ion arrays are worthless against fast moving 
targets) and it's also a good idea to have a few cruise 
missiles follow them so you can reclaim them should they 
get infected. Heavy cruisers can also give you major 
problems, since they are both powerful, can infect, and are 
immune to infection. Counters for them are discussed under 
their description.

Important Beast Attributes:

1.	Infection: Infecting units with cruise missiles and 
infection beams are one of your primary goals as the 
Beast. Generally, you should try to lure enemy units 
within range of a ship that can infect, and when using 
cruise missiles give them an escort so you can get rid of 
whatever strike craft that might threaten them. Be sure 
to retire anything that you don't have an emergency need 
for, like a single ACV or acolyte from a wing you just 
infected. As for infecting Somtaaw frigs, it's best to 
retire them as soon as they are out of combat, unless you 
have no need of that unit type and would prefer to keep 
them on the front lines. To infect the most possible 
vessels with the cruise missiles you have, engage the 
targeted enemy ships with some offensive units first and 
as soon as the enemy starts returning fire, send the 
cruise missiles in. This is especially effective against 
ships that have a hard time turning or alternating 
targets. Also try to send in the cruise missiles from the 
side or from behind.

Beast Counters: Use strike craft to kill cruise missiles, 
and don't go near any ships that can infect unless you 
are ready to lose some of your fleet. Having more 
infection than your opponent does is also key, so you can 
reclaim whatever your opponent steals from you.
Somtaaw Counters: Don't go near the Beast CS or anything 
else that can infect, and use strike craft to kill cruise 
missiles. Don't engage the Beast CS directly with 
anything but dreadnoughts and destroyers, since you can't 
reclaim whatever you lose without going through the pain-
in-the-ass process of salvaging. MCV's work wonders 
against ships with infection since they can't be infected 
and do a ton of damage.

2.	Beast Workers: Beast workers have slower harvesting than 
their Somtaaw equivalents (it takes longer for a beast 
player to collect one load of RUs) but this is easily 
offset by the fact that the Beast has very little to 
build in the beginning of the game, even when they get 
their first offensive ships. Continuously build workers 
to take advantage of this and protect those workers well. 
Make sure that units coming out of your mothership have 
quick access to defend any of your harvesting operations 
and check often to make sure that there are no leeches on 
your processors or workers (if playing against Somtaaw) 
or cruise missiles/mimics heading towards them. If you 
maintain this superior amount of workers until the end 
game, you should have no problem keeping up with any 
opponent.

Beast Counters: Of course as a beast player you will also 
be able to take advantage of this fact, but taking 
advantage of it more than your opponent will be a key 
factor in the game, especially if you can whittle down 
his worker population without losing yours, thus 
nullifying his innate advantage while keeping yours.
Somtaaw Counters: It is integral to any Somtaaw versus 
Beast game to destroy the Beast's initial production 
advantage, because your faster harvesting won't make up 
for the fact that the Beast can have a lot more workers 
than you. This is discussed more in the Somtaaw: Game 
Theory section.(Information of Beast workers and Counters 
contributed by [7th]Athexx)

3.	Emergency Power Allocation is a tool that should 
definitely be used whenever your CS is above half health. 
You can double the speed of either your production, your 
research, your movement, your infection beam recharge 
rate, or double the firepower of your defensive weapons 
at the cost of damage to the command ship, which is well 
worth the price. Even when about to be under attack, it 
is more useful to have used your emergency power to build 
more defensive ships to kill any attacking fleet faster 
than to have more hit points on the CS but less ships to 
defend it with. The direst situation where you would need 
hit points is if facing an incoming Siege Cannon without 
any Field Frigates nearby, and still, Emergency Power to 
Thrust (one of the few uses of putting power to speed) 
comes through by doubling the speed at which you can move 
upward to evade the shockwave. Specific uses of Emergency 
Power can be found in either the unit section, under the 
Beast Mothership, or in individual Beast openings below.

Beast/Somtaaw Counters: Although this is an innate 
ability of the command ship, you can prevent your 
opponent from taking maximum advantage of his emergency 
power by providing a constant threat to his mothership 
and either forcing him to use Emergency Power in a way 
that you dictate or by not allowing him to use emergency 
power at all by reducing the hit points of the CS to 
below half its health. Unfortunately this can be quite a 
task, especially for Somtaaw players, since there is the 
constant threat of infection, so deliberately attacking 
the Mothership just to deprive your opponent of Emergency 
Power is out of the question. On the other hand, if you 
have recently been attacking the CS and took down a chunk 
of its health, constantly bombarding it with Mimics or 
Cruise Missiles is a great way to effectively cut his 
rebuilding speed in half by not allowing him to heal to 
the one-half health he will need for more Emergency 
Power. (Emergency power allocation and counters 
contributed by [7th]Athexx)


Somtaaw Game Theory

Somtaaw vs. Beast
	This is a tough one. You can't go near the Beast CS 
without running the very high risk of infection, which 
makes it difficult to end a game against a beast player 
early and it also makes it very dangerous to try and 
destroy ships in the area of the beast CS. Your best bet is 
to try to get to your opponent's resource fleet without 
getting in range of infection beams. Generally, building 
frigs against the Beast is a bad idea, especially as 
Somtaaw. All Somtaaw frigate types are easily infected and 
cannot be reclaimed except by salvaging. You are forced to 
either use them defensively or, more commonly, to not use 
them at all. The key to winning this game (like it is with 
the other race combinations) is keeping your production 
fleet safe while destroying your opponents. With this in 
mind, acolyte missiles and MCV's are your best bet against 
resource fleets, since they can strike fast and hard. 
Generally, you should try to get the MCV's in striking 
range in a sneaky way (Like moving a wing of acolytes 
within scanning range of a different part of his fleet, so 
you know he isn't paying attention to his workers). Keeping 
a lot of strike craft around is also important, since they 
are the most effective way of stopping cruise missiles. 
When you are ready to win, you need to be very ready. 
Engaging the Beast CS is a major undertaking, and is best 
done with destroyers, dreadnoughts, and MCV's.

Somtaaw vs. Somtaaw
	This can be an interesting game, with a great many 
different strategies. First of all, you can use all of the 
Somtaaw unit types with impunity since you don't have to 
worry about infection. Generally, your best bet is to try 
to get more acolytes and MCV's out than your opponent and 
then try to destroy his resource fleet. For this game, you 
need to keep a sharp eye out for leeches and mimics, and 
you need to have the strike craft around to deal with them. 
Siege cannons are something else you need to look out for, 
since the dreadnought's repulse weapon is the Somtaaw's 
only defense against it.

Important Somtaaw Attributes:

1.	Acolyte Missiles: The acolyte upgraded with missiles is a 
great weapon. They are effective against beast corvettes 
when the acolytes split into groups of 5 and each launch 
against a different target. Using small groups is also 
very effective against workers. Missiles are very 
effective at detonating crystals, which can also be fun 
(losing a melee? Launch your missiles at the nearest 
crystal and be a poor loser. :p ). Acolyte missiles are 
also extremely effective against frigates, as they are 
able to devastate frigs and can put a big dent in the 
bigger capital ships. Just be sure that the acolytes 
don't stick around and get into fights with anything that 
can't chase them. It's best to fire the missiles and to 
return to the CS for a reload.

Beast Counters: The beast don't have much of a choice 
here – all they can do is preemptively strike the 
acolytes with interceptors so they can't reach their 
targets. The other choice is to try to infect with and 
infection beam before they can launch their missiles. The 
acolyte missile is a real boon to the Somtaaw, being both 
powerful and rather difficult to stop.
Somtaaw Counters: The Somtaaw don't have a great deal of 
counters here either – either preemptively engage with 
your own acolytes, or use ACV's and their EMP. Any other 
reasonable choice is likely to go up in flames.

2.	Using the Siege Cannon: The siege cannon can win or lose 
the game, but it is a weapon that must be used carefully. 
One thing to remember is to never shoot it at a downward 
angle. It is likely to crash into the side of your CS on 
it's way, which is about the only way you can get a CS to 
kill itself. If you wish to shoot the siege cannon at an 
opponent who is below you, you must either change your 
altitude or cause your CS to angle downward so the siege 
cannon projectile fires forward instead of down. Another 
thing to keep in mind is to not fire the Siege cannon 
while field frigates are around, allied or otherwise. 
They will detonate the siege cannon blast as soon as it 
is released, destroying your CS. Once the threat of self-
destruction is removed, there are still a few things to 
keep in mind. One is that when targeting the blast, the 
percentage number by the cursor measures the power the 
siege cannon's blast will have when it goes off. Against 
Beast, you must remove their field frigates before you 
can fire safely. MCV's are the most efficient way of 
doing this, followed by acolyte missiles. Against 
Somtaaw, the dreadnought's repulse field is the only 
protection your opponent has. Getting rid of a 
dreadnought is a much more complicated proposition, one 
that is discussed under its counters. You may want to try 
to get your opponent to fire his repulse field and then 
fire the siege cannon right away. One final thing to 
remember about the siege cannon: it can destroy any ship 
in the game with a direct or near direct hit.

Beast Counters: Field frigates, and lots of them. You 
need to keep a ton of them around, and you need to keep 
them guarded so MCV's or whatever can't kill them. Keep 
field frigates on any likely target. The other 
alternative is to do a short-range hyperjump of your 
ships so that they aren't present when the siege blast 
goes off.
Somtaaw Counters: The dreadnought's repulse is the only 
counter to a launched siege blast. Using it well is not 
easy; you will just have to learn by experience. The 
other option is to do a short-range hyperjump so that 
your ships simply aren't there when the siege blast 
detonates.

3.	Double Pumping: Double pumping is simply the act of 
manufacturing ACV's and acolytes at the same time, or 
mimics and MCV's at the same time. This has the effect of 
doubling your production of those units. This is a big 
boon to the Somtaaw war machine, and a good Somtaaw 
player will use it to full effect. Using it with carriers 
to up your production is also a great boon.

Beast Counters: The beast must use many strike craft to 
counter the extra production, if that is what the Somtaaw 
player is focusing on. Corvettes will also do well 
against the Somtaaw fighters.
Somtaaw Counters: There really isn't any need for a 
counter, since a Somtaaw player can do it as well.


Beast: Strategies and Openings

Beast players have a variety of options available to them 
at the beginning of the game for this is where they truly 
shine. It is critical that they take advantage of their 
vital technologies (that is: infection beams, support 
systems, and either fighter or corvette technologies) and 
use it against their opponents immediately.

1.	Interceptor Rushing: This is done by first allocating 
emergency power to researching fighter drive. Do the 
usual scouting and collector building in the meantime. 
Make sure you know where your opponent is. Once that is 
finished, queue up at least 10 interceptors and switch 
emergency power to build. When the interceptors are 
finished, send them to the enemy resource collectors, 
going around the command ship if it can be done easily. 
Once there, engage the workers and ignore all other 
targets (aggressive sphere works well). If you get under 
heavy fire (processor + CS) don't be afraid to kamikaze 
into the workers, the interceptors do excellent kamikaze 
damage. Kamikaze the remaining interceptors into the 
nearest remaining worker. You should be able to get 1 
worker, and if you do well you will be able to kill 2.

Beast Counters: The best beast counter is to do it 
yourself. Failing that, using recon kamikaze to weaken 
the force or using emergency power allocation on 
defensive weapons can be effective.
Somtaaw Counters: This is a bit complicated, but you have 
several options. The first is to keep your command ship 
and processor really close to your workers. This will 
maximize the fire the interceptors have to endure. You 
will also probably have 1 or 2 acolytes available when 
the interceptors arrive – kamikaze them into the 
interceptors to reduce the damage they can inflict. 
Another method is to build recons and engage the 
interceptors with them – you won't be able to do much if 
any damage to them, but it will slow down the 
interceptors. Finally, you can dock your workers with 
your command ship and not relaunch them until the threat 
has passed, but this has obvious drawbacks.

2.	Command Ship Rushing: With the infection beam, the Beast 
command ship can basically have its way with your 
enemies. This is primarily a Beast vs. Somtaaw strategy, 
since having your opponent do it to you will not only put 
a damper on it, but if a beast player keeps his CS on his 
ships he can just reinfect whatever it is you try to 
claim. This strategy consists of exactly what it sounds 
like: rushing your opponent with your command ship. To do 
this requires only that you have infection researched 
before you arrive at your opponent's resource fleet. What 
you do is send out recons to determine where your 
opponent is, and then start moving your CS there as soon 
as you finish building a processor. You should then use 
the interceptor rushing strategy described above to throw 
your opponent off balance and to make him play 
defensively. What a smart player will do at this point is 
retreat his collection fleet rather than face having it 
infected. This comes close to basically conceding the 
game to the Beast player. If he doesn't run, infect as 
much of his ships as possible and destroy the rest. If he 
runs, make sure your collection fleet has adequate 
protection and give chase, assured in the knowledge that 
his collection abilities have been broken, perhaps 
terminally. Keeping your opponent off balance is the key 
to winning. Be certain to use the collection fleet 
protection techniques described elsewhere to keep him 
from turning the tide.

Beast Counters: If your opponent is doing this, you can 
either do it to him or stay on defense and reinfect 
whatever he tries to claim ( I don't recommend the 
latter, since he will eventually start scuttling whatever 
you try to take back).
Somtaaw Counters: The Somtaaw have a few interesting 
options. They can send their CS after the Beast CS, but 
this will leave their collection fleet largely 
unprotected. However, if you do this, they just might be 
able to take out the Beast CS, since it will be at half 
health after using emergency power allocation for 
research and building. The trick to that is keeping your 
CS trained on your enemies CS long enough to destroy it, 
a difficult task for a ship that turns and moves so 
slowly. You would be forced to mimic the Beast CS's 
movements almost exactly, and also to get into a position 
where as many guns as possible on your CS are firing. The 
other option is to rush your enemy's collection fleet 
yourself. If you order your collection fleet to run from 
your opponent's CS and then force his to do the same by 
rushing them with your CS, you might just succeed in 
starting a sort of poor man's cat and mouse (poor because 
both of you will be bankrupt).

3.	Corvette Power Builds: The Beast corvettes are effective 
weapons and can be researched just as quick as any 
fighter can, plus they carry the bonus of having one less 
tech to research for cruise missiles. To start, put 
emergency power into building and pump out a processor 
and as many workers as you can queue. Start researching 
support systems immediately since by the time you are 
even able to build offensive ships you will already be 
low on supply, and corvettes can eat up supply very 
quickly. Once the processor is out, you don't need to 
rush so fast to get more workers so divert emergency 
power to research and start researching corvette drive 
while building your first supply pod. The use of 
emergency power on building at the beginning will give 
you a very fast growing economy, and if you continue 
building workers throughout the game until it starts 
draining your maximum supply, you will ALWAYS have a 
superior economy to any opponent who does not start that 
way.  Unfortunately you may be vulnerable to an 
interceptor rush, so keep recons handy if you think your 
opponent might try that, until you can produce your first 
corvettes. Which corvette you research and build first is 
entirely up to you. The heavy corvette seems to be the 
corvette of choice but since many players feel it is 
"cheap" for being such an overpowered unit, your in game 
ethics may dictate that you choose another corvette. See 
the unit section for comparisons between the three 
offensive corvettes.  Once you start building one, you 
may want to research one other corvette as well, 
especially if your opponent is going heavy on fighters. 
At any rate, do not research more than two corvettes or 
you'll fall behind in technology. Go for infection beam 
next, and then cruise missiles (unless your opponent is 
STILL bent on fighters and only fighters, in which case 
you should consider that third corvette). Continuously 
pump out your offensive corvettes and cruise missiles, 
and use them wisely! Also, never let your opponent wreak 
havoc on your harvesting operations, because that will 
spell defeat for you quickly and effectively. What you do 
from that point will depend on your opponent's race and 
playing style, but you will have many possibilities open 
to you no matter what happens. 

Beast Counters: Either do it yourself, or go heavy on 
fighters, particularly attack bombers. Keep an equal or 
greater amount of cruise missiles at all times and play 
as you would any beast opponent, although concentrate on 
eliminating his workers and/or processors. If you infect 
anything with a cruise missile, scuttle it yourself if 
your opponent tries to reclaim it.
Somtaaw Counters: Mimics, mimics, and mimics. You're 
going to be building a LOT of these guys so get used to 
them for a while. Mimics/MCV's will cost effectively kill 
any of the beast corvettes, and you will also be using 
mimics to target workers, since killing your enemy's 
worker population will be integral in defeating this 
opponent. Of course, the hard part is getting the mimics 
to the corvettes and past the firepower of those 
corvettes, which will involve some heavy diversionary 
tactics through your game. Acolytes with missiles are 
great for this purpose of course, as well as catching and 
quickly killing incoming cruise missiles. (Corvette Power 
Build strategy and counters contributed by [7th]Athexx)


Somtaaw Strategy and Openings

This section remains painfully open – given the slow start 
of the Somtaaw they are forced to basically react to a 
Beast opponent until they have put together the appropriate 
research and funds. The Somtaaw can either go for frigates 
ASAP or go for fighters instead.

1.	Acolytes and Mimics: The acolyte and the mimic are two 
the most effective weapons the Somtaaw have. To do this, 
first build a hanger and a weapons module. When they are 
complete, queue up a engineering module. Research 
fighters drives and then either missiles or energy 
cannons. Energy cannons if you expect fighters and to be 
fighting defensively, or missiles if you expect corvettes 
and also expect an offensive opening. When you are 
finished researching fighter drive start on either 
linking systems or advanced fighter drive, and then start 
making acolytes and do not stop, ever. Research support 
systems as soon as the engineering module is finished and 
when that is finished researching start on holographic 
projectors. Around the time you start researching the 
projectors you should start on the quantum charge in the 
weapons module. When holographic projectors are finished 
begin producing mimics and do not stop. Use the mimics 
and acolytes in all the different ways described 
elsewhere.

Beast Counters: Since the Somtaaw have such a slow start, 
you have an opening to put together a force and be able 
to hurt the Somtaaw resource collection fleet, perhaps 
terminally. If you opponent is going heavy fighters like 
this, use large numbers of interceptors and corvettes. 
And watch out for the mimics, they are your biggest 
threat.
Somtaaw Counters: You really don't have anything to worry 
about from a Somtaaw opponent for quite a while. Go for 
this yourself or use frigates.

2.	Frigates: Queue up a weapons (or a adv. engineering 
module if you want hive frigs instead) module and a 
hanger. When they are finished, queue up and engineering 
module, and start researching advanced ion cannons (or 
microship construction if you built a adv. engineering 
module) and fighter drive, respectively. Queue up and 
engineering module and wait. You have the option of 
building acolytes soon after this point, which is 
probably a wise decision if your opponent is fighter 
happy. Research support systems as soon as the 
engineering module is complete and start building a frig 
as soon as the research is done. Proceed in the normal 
way after this. (Note: If you are planning on using a lot 
of fighters you may want to build an engineering module 
for the support systems before a weapons/adv. engineering 
module, as frigates use up a lot of support.)

Beast Counters: Ignore the frigates until you can infect 
them. If the frigates are hive, then try to stay clear 
and engage it's drones only if you have to, or if you are 
going after workers try to get there fast and kill one by 
kamikaze.
Somtaaw Counters: MCV's and acolyte missiles destroy 
frigates easily.


Team Play: Strategy
(Contributed by [7th]Athexx)

Since a large amount of the games on WON, especially armada 
games, compose of 2on2s, every player needs to know the 
basics of team play. Playing with an ally can be very 
different from playing solo since there are a number of 
different points to keep in mind, based on what race you 
and your ally choose, who you are going against, and the 
positions that everyone starts in.

1.	Beast and Beast: If both you and your ally are beast, you 
can take advantage of the numerous openings available to 
the beast at the start of the game and each pick one. For 
instance, have one of you interceptor rush and the other 
go power corvettes. This works out really well since the 
power corvette player can give away some of his extra 
resources to the interceptor player, and where the 
interceptor player provides mobility, speed, and 
protection from cruise missiles/mimics, the corvette 
player can provide heavy firepower and quicker access to 
the cruise missile. That's not to say one person with 
cruise missiles is enough… both of you ought to get the 
missiles ASAP, since with both of you producing, you can 
bombard the enemies at an insane rate.

Counters: Use LOTS of strike craft to take down the 
overflow of cruise missiles and pick one enemy to raid 
workers from. Concentrate all your effort on that enemy 
until he is really weak, then instead of finishing him 
off, start weakening the other opponent. Your goal 
against two beasts is for both you and your ally to 
survive until cap ships enter the fray, and to ensure 
that your opponents will not be able to produce cap ships 
as fast as you and your ally can. To accomplish this, use 
as many cruise missiles of your own or mimics, and of 
course, never approach your enemies' motherships, and 
NEVER build any frigates, or you are just asking to be 
infected, no matter how well defended from missiles you 
think it may be.

2.	Somtaaw and Somtaaw: Going up against any beast opponents 
means fighting an upscale battle in this game, but hey, 
what's wrong with a little challenge?  Diversify, defend, 
destroy… but only destroy if you can get away with it. 
Make sure both of you get acolytes and mimics, but split 
it so that one concentrates on one of them first… i.e. 
Quantum and Engineering starts for one of you, although 
building up on acolytes as well, and flat out acolytes 
for the other with Missiles and then Energy Weapons ASAP, 
although picking up on mimics soon too. After those, it's 
the rush to destroyers and dreadnoughts, although don't 
be afraid to experiment. Try to keep your motherships 
close together for maximum defense,  although not so 
close that a successful Siege Cannon will do damage to 
both of you. Since both of you are Somtaaw, you will 
REALLY need to work to evade and prevent any Somtaaw 
opponents from getting Siege Cannon before you can 
repulse it away with Dreadnoughts.

Counters: Corvettes and kamikaze fighters will do 
wonders, especially if one of you is beast and you need 
to get rid of all the fighters to get you or your ally's 
Cruise Missiles through. If one of you is Somtaaw then 
make your goal getting Siege Cannon out ASAP without 
losing economic ground while your ally and your acolytes 
do whatever they can meanwhile. Defend your resources 
well, because you can be almost sure they will target 
your workers.

3.	Somtaaw and Beast: This is the fun one, since you can use 
the strengths of the beast to help cover up the primary 
weaknesses of Somtaaw and the Somtaaw can really shine. 
First off, the beast player should always help out his 
ally in resources, especially in the early game, although 
not to the point that he will be lacking in resources 
himself. It is always a good idea to move close together, 
even with threat of Siege Cannon, because if the beast 
gets Field Frigates then staying close together means 
less Field Frigates to cover the area. Which is vital 
when playing against a Somtaaw opponent or two, the beast 
player must provide Siege Cannon protection for his ally. 
While the Somtaaw player can use his fighters, that is 
acolytes and mimics, the beast should concentrate on 
heavier ships such as Corvettes, and both should go for 
super caps after a while. If the Somtaaw player uses 
mimics effectively in battles then the Beast player is 
freed to use cruise missiles solely for infection, like 
they are meant for. The theme in this game is sharing to 
eliminate weaknesses and enhance each other's strengths. 
Important: If you are going to use a siege cannon, be 
sure your Beast ally sends his field frigates away first 
so they don't detonate your blasts!

Counters: Kill the Somtaaw player first. Don't bother 
feeling sorry that the Somtaaw player is always being 
picked on, but the fact is that the Beast player won't be 
as vulnerable until much later in the game, and you 
should always take every advantage you can get. When 
going after workers, go after the beast workers, but when 
making an offensive, target the Somtaaw. You have to try 
to divide the enemy so that they can't cooperate and 
share defenses – divide them and conquer. If you can 
successfully divide them, just use basic 1on1 strategies 
against each.


General: Strategy

1.	Guarding Your Workers/Processors: The most effective way 
I have found is to guard the processor with a recon (to 
see attacks coming, and once upgraded, to see cloaked and 
disguised units) and a wing of 10 interceptors/acolytes. 
The defense fighters will be able to destroy any 
mimics/MCV's or cruise missiles that come in, and they 
will be able to put a dent in any other attack force. 
Just be sure to replace any of your strike craft 
destroyed. The end result of this is that your workers 
will only be destroyed by a really determined assault, 
something difficult to do with a long-range attack. Be 
prepared to make your workers run away; it's better than 
having them destroyed.
 
Beast Counters: The earliest strike force that could 
reasonably destroy a defense group of 
interceptors/acolytes is a group of interceptors and 
attack bombers. You should be able to kamikaze the 
defense fighters fairly easily, but this will generally 
result in you losing all of your interceptors. The 
processor will be able to give your fighters much more 
trouble. The processor is pretty well armed and armored, 
so if that situation arrives you are probably best off 
ignoring the processor and taking as many workers as you 
can. Cruise missiles will also work well, but a good 
beast player will have the interceptors focus entirely on 
killing the missiles before they get in range and ignore 
the defense. If you want to use them, try to keep them 
behind the fighters until the defense has been destroyed. 
A single cruise missile is all it takes to convert a 
processor.
Somtaaw Counters: The best long-range strike force the 
Somtaaw can use against this is a mix of acolytes and 
mimics/MCV's. Use the acolytes to destroy the defense, 
and try to keep the mimics from being noticed. If the 
defense is corvettes, effective micromanagement of 
acolyte missiles works really well. 5 acolytes to a heavy 
corvette are a good example of this. Also, if there is a 
corvette presence try to use the mimics on them, just be 
sure not to approach from the front, where they will be 
easily noticed and destroyed. Once the defense is 
destroyed, send in the mimics and use the acolyte 
missiles to the best effect you can.

2.	Destroying Enemy Workers/Processors: Destroying workers 
and processors consists of first destroying whatever 
defense force is present. After that, you need to make 
the decision of whether or not you have the firepower to 
take on the processor or if you should ignore it and 
destroy the workers. See the counters listed in the 
guarding processors/workers for more suggestions.


3.	Detonating/Avoiding Crystals: Detonating a crystal has a 
very similar effect to a siege cannon blast. It will 
destroy all strike craft in the area, destroy any ships 
in the center of the blast, and it will damage everything 
above a fighter outside of the blast. Crystals can be 
detonated by: kamikaze, ships with energy cannons, all 
missile types, ion cannons, ramming frigates, and siege 
cannon blasts. Do not allow your ships to get near 
crystals if there is any chance the crystals will get 
attacked. The key to that is too keep recons all over 
your opponents so they can't surprise you. If you are 
going to operate near crystals, you might want to guard 
them (the crystals) and react violently to anything red 
that gets near them. On the offensive front, you should 
keep a sharp eye for any enemy ships that get near 
crystals. You might have a chance to kill a collection 
fleet, or to burn all the pods off of a Somtaaw CS.

Beast/Somtaaw Counters: Processing crystals is the most 
cost-efficient way to get rid of them. Failing that, you 
should seriously consider whether or not it would be 
worth the cost to destroy any crystals in an area you 
plan to move into.

4.	Tactics: For any sort of movement, use neutral tactics. 
The AI in Cataclysm seems to have been "improved" so that 
your units now have a mind of their own in the different 
tactical settings, and that is a Bad Thing, provided you 
want to have total control over your units. Aggressive 
tactics will engage any nearby enemy ships – the last 
thing you want your ships to do when retreating from 
battle – and Evasive tactics will make a ship either go 
out of its way to run away from an enemy ship or even 
attempt to return to the nearest dock-capable vessel! 
Since the shortest distance between two points never 
involves docking with your Command Ship every two 
minutes, keep your ships on neutral unless you don't have 
enough attention to spare to that unit or fleet. The 
tactical settings for attacks are quite unchanged from 
Homeworld except that capital ships can't be set to 
evasive tactics, not really a big loss there. As a recap 
to the usefulness of the various tactical settings,  
evasive is useful for fast strike craft that can dodge 
slow projectiles, aggressive is useful for practically 
anything else, and neutral is only useful for movement. 
This is not concrete however, the most effective tactics 
in any given situation will change depending on how you 
approach it and what you want to get out of it. It is 
also deeply correlated to what formation you are using 
(see next section). (Contributed by [7th]Athexx)

5.	Formations: The biggest change between Homeworld's 
formations and Cataclysm's is that you can no longer 
assign units to multiple hotkey groupings, making it 
harder to control microformations or any complex 
formation involving two or more formations grouped 
together. As a result, the "e" key is more useful than 
ever and so is selecting specific types of ships from the 
list on the top right of the screen.  Uses for the 
formations remain more or less the same though. X and 
Claw formations are good general one-fighter formations 
for making passes, wall is decent for slow turrets like 
heavy corvettes or sentinels, sphere is good for both 
defense and attacking targets with short ranges like 
ramming frigates, and no formation at all is useful 
whenever commanding a variety of forces or any frigates. 
(Contributed by [7th]Athexx)




Notes:

Strike Craft – Strike craft refers to all fighters, 
although in some cases it also applies to corvettes. 
Whether or not it applies to fighters only or includes 
corvettes varies depending on whom you ask.

CS – CS is an acronym for command ship.


Contributions: 
[7th]Athexx, for unit info, editing, testing, and major 
contributions to:
Missile Corvette counters
Cruise Missiles
Beast Command Ship
Hive Frigate
Somtaaw Workers
Beast Game Theory: Beast Workers
Beast Game Theory: Emergency Power Allocation
Team Play: Strategy
Tactics
Formations
[7th]RipperT, for editing


Unpublished work Copyright 2000 David Poe
Reprint only with permission