Sins of a Solar Empire (PC) Achievements and Capital Ships Guide Version 1.0 (30 August 2011) By Firzen, Torch Bearer Version History v0.6 30 June 2011 Finally finished half the FAQ. Achievements done, but Capital Ships section is missing, since I'm in a hurry to do other things. Forgive me. v1.0 30 August 2011 Rushed the other half of the FAQ, as well as adding content 2.4. No future updates planned, but due to the rushing work, there may be a lot of typos and unclear information. I'll be glad if anyone can note me some of them ------------------ Contents ------------------ 1. Introduction 2. Achievements 2.1 The List 2.2 The Tricks 2.3 The Plot 2.4 The Dirtiest Trick *TRUE GAMERS DO NOT READ* 3. Capital Ships 3.1 Combat 3.2 Carrier 3.3 Colonizer 3.4 Support 3.5 Bomber 4. Credits Remember, the "Find" Ctrl + F is always (or it should be) there to help you ------------------ 1. Introduction ------------------ Whew, I don't know how this FAQ finished so far beyond schedule. Maybe again because of the school stuff. Or maybe because 2 years ago my Sins of a Solar Empire (SoaSE) crashed, thus eliminating my game saves and all the work inside, which truly broke my heart. However, weeks ago when I'm done with the high school and start cleaning the trashes inside my computer, I found my old documents that I intend to use as a basis on creating a SoaSE FAQ. Oh... the nostalagic feeling. I continued to where I stopped previously, and finished the first part before the holiday ends. Well, if there's any FAQ about Achievements already I'll quit from this job, but there's none. I also intend to make a full Unit Guide here, due to the ammount of misunderstanding in the internet. But I found the official SoaSE forum already do the job really well (the strategy section, that is). There's even a very neat Unit Chart which I don't imagine existed. I greatly recommend reading it, along with the important parts of the strategy forum, here: http://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/forum/404 However, I do have the data about max leveled caps, which is nowhere to be found. Probably it is outdated now, but still it is better than nothing. Oh, and since I prematurely stopped playing this game, all the data here are based on my experience of the first version of the game, except the Capital Ship part. I also only played against AI, none of my friends are fan of RTS. Recent patches may have changed the facts written here, which unfortunately I can't keep up. I am sorry for that. This FAQ is copyright 2011 FirzenTheTorchB. You may use this FAQ for non-commercial use, as long as credit is given to the right place. No plagiarism. Inform me via e-mail if you want to post this in your website so I can give you permission to do so. I'm not restrictive in giving permission. ------------------ 2. Achievements ------------------ The main reason I created this guide. Since the first SoaSE lacks single player campaign, Stardock added the Achievements, which pretty much the reason to play the Single Player standard battles, other than practicing (for me). Written here are the full list of achievements, the semi-cheating tricks to help achieving them and finally a way to clear them within 6 games. The plan, however, will be tedious and not at all honorable. Only useful if you're a person who will do everything to achieve something. Hey, we're fighting against a non-sentient being anyway. Note: sometimes I'll use abbreviations to lessen the writting. Caps for capital ships, frigs for frigates (cruisers included), crafts for strike crafts, ships for both caps and frigs. ------------- 2.1 The List ------------- The 63 achievements provided by SoaSE, greatly carying in difficulty. These achievements must be accomplished in a single game before the game ends in your victory (if you lost, the game still saves any already achieved ones, but you can just reload a game save) unless there is the word "Win". So if you destroy 900 frigates in a game and another 100 in your second game, it won't net you any achievement. They are, however, cumulative for each player. So destroying 700 frigates from one player and 300 from another will. Several achievements are monitorable by exiting the game (save first if you need) and viewing the relevant graphs provided, but it may or may not be misleading. The achievement's information are written in this manner: # of the achievement. Official name: In-game description Difficulty: 5 stars being insanely difficult and 1 stars means extremely easy (or perhaps automatically obtained). 1 reason included Infos: My comment about this achievement as well some minor stuff such as informal requirements and results for each individual achievement (not combined like what we do later on) 1. Ensign: Win the game as a TEC player Difficulty: * unless you never want to play as TEC Infos: I'm sure you can set a scenario to assure victory as TEC 2. Acolyte: Win the game as an Advent player Difficulty: Same as Ensign Infos: Same as Ensign 3. Initiate: Win the game as Vasari player Difficulty: Ditto Infos: Ditto 4. Master of any Domain: Win the game as a random player Difficulty: Same as Ensign Infos: If for example you pick random, got chosen as Advent, then win the first as Advent and random player, you get both Acolyte and this achievement, so it might be a good thing to start with random 5. Plug Puller: Win the game by yourself against at least 1 hard AI player Difficulty: *** human are smarter than the computers Infos: You may want some warm up before trying to challange this 6. Toaster Roaster: Win the game by yourself against at least 2 hard AI players Difficulty: **** don't get crushed between Infos: Unfortunately, I don't know whether the 2 AIs have to be allied or not, but if not you can try to have them fight each other first, just don't ally yourself to any 7. Comp Stomper: Win the game by yourself against at least 3 hard AI players Difficulty: ***** it's really difficult now Infos: Remember, defeating the higher number of AI will also grant you the lower hard AI achievement, if you haven't done it yet 8. Actually HAL, I can do that: Win the game by yourself against at least 4 hard AI players Difficulty: ***** you need more than skill for this Infos: Last time I (nearly) obtained this only by doing the Market glitch. Too bad I accidentally deleted my game save 9. Fear of Icebergs: Win the game without building any capital ships Difficulty: **** I usually rely on caps than frigates but... Infos: This also means you can't enjoy the flagship bonus (free first capital). Be aware you can only bomb planets using the siege frigates, colonize with the colony frigates and bring crafts to battle with the carrier cruisers. A map full of magnetic clouds isn't a good idea for this. 10. No Exhaust Port Found: Win the game without building any strike craft Difficulty: ** not incredibly serious Infos: This includes the free crafts from the caps. You can only use the defense platforms as attacker tactical structure, but should be no problem 11. Best Defense is a Good Offense: Win the game without buliding any Tactical Structures Difficulty: ** I rarely use defensive structures Infos: Besides, you can replace your defense platforms with those cheap frigates. Just don't play on big maps. Obviously you can't built any repair platforms, special tactical (like Phase Stabilisers), and the superweapon 12. Go Big or Go Home: Win the game without building any Frigates or Cruisers. You will probably need Capital Ships for this! Difficulty: *** feels better than Fear of Icebergs for me Infos: You're limited to 16 ships for exploration and battle. Again don't pick large maps, and consider using tacticals for defensive to ease your work 13. TEC Military Researcher: Research every subject in the Military Tree while researching no subjects in the Civilian Tree Difficulty: **** those research are really expensive Infos: While then you can't upgrade your profit via researching. No cultural defense, no trade ports nor refinery, no volcanic nor ice planets. You'll be struggling with low ammount of resource to defend yourself and researchs 14. Advent Hostility Researcher: Research every subject in the Hostility Tree while researching no subjects in the Harmony Tree Difficulty: Same with above Infos: Same with above 15. Vasari Warfare Researcher: Research every subject in the Warfare Tree while researching no subjects in the Empire Tree Difficulty: Ditto Infos: Ditto 16. TEC Civilian Researcher: Research every subject in the Civilian Tree while researching no subjects in the Military Tree Difficulty: *** easier than the Combat researcher, for me Infos: Indeed you can only bomb planets and bring crafts with those caps, have low quality troops, and don't have those fancy tactical structures. However, when you're halfway done (make sure you start with the profitable research like mining, population and cultural upgrade), you'll be left with abundant resources (the research speed can't keep up) to replace them. 17. Advent Harmony Researcher: Research every subject in the Harmony Tree while researching no subjects in the Hostility Tree Difficulty: Same with above Infos: Same with above 18. Vasari Empire Researcher: Research every subject in the Empire Tree while researching no subjects in the Warfare Tree Difficulty: Ditto Infos: Ditto 19. Archaeologist: Find and own every artifact at the same time Difficulty: ***** this is mostly luck Infos: The more planet there are, the higher the chance you get this. Remember artfacts (and planet bonuses) are defined when the game is started, not when the exploration is done. By the way, you may want to use Galaxy Forge 20. TEC Fleet Diversification: Have at least one of every TEC Capital Ship built at the same time Difficulty: * I always do this in EVERY game, execpt when doing achievement 9 Infos: Just gather enough resources to get 5 caps 21. Advent Fleet Diversification: Have at least one of every Advent Capital Ship built at the same time Difficulty: Same as above Infos: Same as above 22. Vasari Fleet Diversification: Have at least one of every Vasari Capital Ship built at the same time Difficulty: Ditto Infos: Ditto 23. Capital Ship Captain: Get a Capital Ship to maximum experience level Difficulty: *** a waiting task for me Infos: The easiest (and probably the longest) way I found is to siege a Pirate Base with one of your caps sitting there. Everytime the pirates launch a raid they'll get a free raid fleet in their base (if that's their only base, maps with 1+ pirate base will have the raiders spawned in the base closest to the target), destroy them for exp. They won't fight back during their travel (except their anti-crafts). Remember that caps instantly gain exp according to the ship destroyed just by sitting in the same garavity well (they don't have to personally destroy them) and the exp is evenly distributed among caps if there are +1. That's why you should just use one cap ship for the siege 24. Squadron Leader: Own at least 100 Squadrons once Difficulty: ** another wait and waste achievement Infos: I recommend having the carrier cruiser as your main ship in your fleet, with caps as the escort, as well as hangars for defenses, but you don't have to restrict yourself in building squads. When I'm trying to achieve this I accumulated 120+ squads and they don't grant me this achievement. Then I remove some of my bombers to fighters (since most of them are bombers) and it fix the problem 25. Capital Ship Armada: Own the maximum number of Capital Ships possible. Your fleet research must also be at max level Difficulty: *** for me it's waiting, but maybe not for you Infos: It's better to siege your opponents before attempting this. Total you have to buy 16 caps, that is 48000 credits, 6400 metal, 4000 crystal, not taking account of the insane research cost yet 26. Ship Swarm: Own the maximum number of ships your fleet points can support. Your fleet research must also be at max level Difficulty: *** perhaps the achievement that I have to wait the longest Infos: I recommend spam building caps, and siege ships as they spend the most supply for each resource you spend 27. Outstanding Resume: Complete at least 30 missions Difficulty: **** not only waiting this time, but also speed and luck of course Infos: The more players you play with, the easier it will be since those AIs will spam you with mission. Wait a minute, not really, they might give you mission to destroy others, or ask for resources at the same time, which will cripple your economy, but whatever takes to do it, no? 28. Star Explorer: Travel to another star system Difficulty: * you will have to do this someday Infos: Use a map with more than 1 star system. Simple 29. Escape from Max: Travel through a wormhole to discover where it leads to Difficulty: * almost like Star Explorer Infos: Pick appropriate map, research, do right there 30. Money Lender: Give 25000 Credits to another players Difficulty: ** get the gold then give it Infos: Just don't give it to your enemies, unless they're crippled already. Remember that in a 1v1 game giving resources won't raise the relationship 31. Metal Lender: Give 20000 Metal to another players Difficulty: Same with above Infos: Same with above 32. Crystal Lender: Give 20000 Crystal to another players Difficulty: Ditto Infos: Ditto 33. Road to Peace: Form a Cease Fire with another player Difficulty: ** finish some mission to improve relationship Infos: Then your enemy will agree if you offer this. Even if you don't they'll offer it. Remember to pick a map with 2+ players and unlocked teams, or they will never give a mission, nor they'll ever be happy to you. However, I've just recalled that starting a game allied with another faction, whether locked or not, will give you 100% relationship with that faction, along with a fully signed pacts, granting you this and the 4 next achievements 34. Pacifist: Form a Peace Treaty with another player Difficulty: *** more mission to do Infos: You have to form cease fire first before offering this 35. Mutual Trader: Form a Trade Alliance with another player Difficulty: *** you must be allied first (peace treaty) Infos: If just your allies are clever enough to build a trade port for the advantage. They will, but after a looong wait 36. Planet Visionary: Form a Planet Vision alliance with another player Difficulty: **** need 100% relationship level for this Infos: Ultimately you have done all the relation achievement if you get this 37. Ship Visionary: Form a Ship Vision alliance with another player Difficulty: **** about +80% relationship required Infos: Be quick to do their favor and to defend yourself on the way 38. Family Planning: Your empire must support at least 6000 population at once Difficulty: ** it's really doable Infos: In a map with lots of planets. A fully upgraded Terran can support up to 300 pops. Means you'll need colonies equal in quality with 20 Terrans. Have your defences ready too 39. Tax Collector: Collect 200000 Credits from taxes Difficulty: *** waitting is the only problem Infos: Make sure to research higher population an develop your planets to support more population. It's recomended to siege your enemies in a planet and prevent them from attacking. Later you can use the credit for other achievement as well 40. Export Maven: Collect 20000 Credits from trade ships Difficulty: *** almost same with Tax Collector Infos: However you need to make a few research first then build a trade network. The more the better, especially if you have a trade alliance 41. Metal Miner: Collect 35000 Metal from resource extractors Difficulty: *** almost same with 2 above Infos: Focus on the (metal) mining researches and volcanic planets. You can also use the uncolonizables neutral extractors for this 42. Crystal Miner: Collect 35000 Crystal from resource extractors Difficulty: Same with Metal Miner Infos: But focus on the crystal researches and ice planets instead 43. Refining Magnate: Collect 20000 Metal or Crystal from refinery ships Difficulty: *** almost same with Export Maven Infos: Place your refinery carefully as each planet has a refinery quota. One side note: It seems that Advent are unable get this achievement 44. Pop Idol: Spread your culture to 75% of the galaxy Difficulty: ***** how big is the galaxy? Infos: I mean, I never seccessfully obtained this. Even when I blow my enemy home planet by culturing them, my culture had never reach 65%. I heard that a recent patch has fixed this, but since I played only the first version of SoaSE, well... 45. Expert Bombardier: Do 15750 damage to planets Difficulty: *** the easiest in the destroy-type achievements, I guess Infos: You don't have to colonize the planet afterwards, just bomb them to deal damage. I recommend taking out a pirate base or two as they have 6900 hp 46. Frigate Killer: Destroy 1000 enemy frigates Difficulty: **** now 1000 is a lot isn't it? Infos: If you set 9 AI to the game, you have to take out 111 frigates each. I found out that defender AIs will spend a lot of their money making combat frigates to protect themselves, while aggressor AIs build tons on siege frigates to kick you. Unfortunately, none of my tricks provide a simple strategy for this one, so we have to do it the hard way. Oh, and don't forget, the harder the difficulty, the more ships that AI build. And the word frigates also refers to cruisers (both are constructed in the same factory) 47. Capital Ship Assassin: Destroy 30 enemy capital ships Difficulty: *** seems easier for me, just 9 AIs x 3 caps Infos: The AI seems to maintain at least 1 cap at their fleet. Sorry, that's all I can tell you 48. Wrecking Crew: Destroy 200 enemy planet structures Difficulty: **** depends on the quality of the planets as well Infos: 9 AI x 22 structures. At least the structures can't run away. Note that defender AIs build many tactical structures at their home 49. Pilot's Bane: Destroy 2500 enemy fighter craft Difficulty: ***** now this one is rather insane Infos: 9 x 278 crafts (fighter and bombers are fine). This is probably the most difficult 'destruction' achievement for some reasons. First, there are so few way to destroy crafts. Either using fighter crafts, AA frigates (which are too slow to chase them), or use a Kol's Flak Burst (I'm not sure whether Dunov's Magnetize could do the job or not). Second, and most importantly, it's rare for AIs to deploy squads into battle, although defender AIs do, but for defensive purposes. Third, only Advent can pump a serious amount of crafts to be farmed (7 or 9 per squad), and you know how boring it will be to battle 9 Advents. There is an untested experimental trick. Wait until your AI opponent build a Hangar in their planet then take / siege it without destroying the hangar (colonizing will NOT cause the hostile structures to be destroyed automatically). Place AA frigates there to target any crafts that appears 50. Pirate Exterminator: Destroy 1000 pirate ships Difficulty: **** instead of picking standard frigates, it's pirates Infos: Can't be said easier nor harder, as it depends on the map and the AIs. A map with many pirate base is a good place for this of course, although not THAT significant, since each contains max of 100 ships, as far as I know. The best way for this in my opinion is sieging them, of course. Too bad it only nets you 50 or less ships per pirate raid. Still be careful when you decide to lure them into raiding your own planet, as it is random 51. Anti-Globalization: Destroy 100 trade ships Difficulty: ***** this won't be that difficult if those AIs aren't that shy Infos: During my whole time playing (about 15 games), only one AI opponent successfully build itself a trade port. This will make it difficult to find the appropriate targets. But once they do, like mine that moment, I suggest sieging them to milk the required amount of ships before destroying the port itself. You can colonize the planet with ease as the port will not be destroyed, as long as you don't put a tactical structure within range, and don't put too much ships there. I simply place 2 basic combat frigates to target the trade ship that were spawned and they mob every single trade ship without scratching the port itself. Oh, an important thing is to clear out other trade ports belonging to the owner to prevent the spawned traders from wandering around (if they're the only traders, they'll simply sit still after being spawned). And be careful if you use an Advent Port, as they might have research the Retribution 52. Dead Canaries: Destroy 50 refinery ships Difficulty: ***** harder to catch and more uncommon, but only half required Infos: Now this is the only thing that I'd never seen owned by the AIs. But even if they finally do, destroying them will be a difficult task, except for a craft-based fleet. The problem is that they'll move around planet to planet by default, only to surrounding planets fortunately 53. Union Buster: Destroy 50 construction ships Difficulty: *** this one depends on your strategy Infos: If you wish to have your opponents to get those 50 ships either via colonizing or planet developments, you're on a though fight, except if you're against opponent(s) with easy difficulty, which they will do extremely slowly. An alternate strategy is to siege your enemy planets. Since the constructors are free and regularly regenerated, your ships will blow them once in a while, turning this to a waiting task and economy management (since the less planet you colonize the faster the job get done and the less resorces you have). The automatic destruction of these ships during planet takeover is not added to the tally 54. Pirate Baron: Colonize a Pirate Base Difficulty: ** gather a big army then just kick them off board Infos: Remember two things. First, the pirate strength increase both their raid power as well as their base defense. Second, their base defense squad is seperated from their raid pack (they simply get that pack for free, not using part of their defending squad) so don't think attacking when they're raiding will provide you easier battle 55. Space Ponies: Um... What? Difficulty: ***** almost like archeologist, except you need 1 planet bonus Infos: Remember, you have to get 1 specific bonus, while there are approximately 20+ out there 56. Colonizer: Have 30 planets colonized at the same time Difficulty: ** pretty much like the Family Planning, but easier Infos: Just pick a map with 30+ colonizables then march on 57. Metal Speculator: Buy 10000 Metal from the Black Market Difficulty: *** more waiting, but this achievement is assured Infos: Either gain a lot of money or wait for some minute after each purchase to lower the price. That means it is better to start buying from the beginning of the game. In my every normal game, though, I always run out of credits before metal or crystal 58. Metal Merchant: Sell 10000 Metal directly to the Black Market Difficulty: *** not too difficult Infos: Just gather enough metal. You can achieve this after Metal Miner 59. Crystal Speculator: Buy 10000 Crystal from the Black Market Difficulty: Same with Metal Speculator Infos: Same with Metal Speculator 60. Crystal Merchant: Sell 10000 Crystal directly to the Black Market Difficulty: Same with Metal Merchant Infos: Same with Metal Merchant 61. Resource Opportunist: Gain 15000 Credits from other players buying up your resourcs Difficulty: **** I found SoaSE's AI rarely deals with Black Market Infos: So the best way to achieve this is to siege your opponents (the more the merrier) in a single planet and clean it with frigates (you may put caps along but watch it) then leave the planet healthy. Place your metal and crystal in the Black Market. Without materials but credits from taxes, your opponent will surely buy some. Don't have you frigates lingering inside as this discourages development, and trades that way. Rinse and repeat 62. He's no good to me dead: Spend 66000 credits increasing the bounty on other players Difficulty: *** just get the gold Infos: This one is cumulative too, even if the bounty is depleted from time to time. Be generous to those pirates. I don't think Advent's Retribution adds up to this 63. World Builder: Create your own custom galaxy and preview the results Difficulty: * no gameplay difficulties Infos: If you want this done in a quick manner, simply click the New button then directly Preview. Bam (or you may costumize it a bit for a while) ------------- 2.2 The Tricks ------------- Here are 2 dirty tricks that I found useful to achieve the list above. It's kind of cheating so don't do this against human player Sieging: To reach non-"win" achievements, you have to ensure that the game has not end yet. There must be at least one of your enemies standing. However, setting your enemy free might ruin your day. Now this trick is meant to restrict your enemy from doing anything other than sitting in its only planet. Simply take over all planet it has until the final assault to the last planet (possibly home planet). Wreck everything inside but don't bomb the planet to oblivion, let it be. Your (AI) opponent won't do much other than trying to rebuild it's home, while you can start mass research, kick pirates, develop planets, look forartifacts, collect resources, watch football, whatever. Make sure that you pay them a visit periodically, as they might launch a coup d' etat. Alternatively you can leave some frigates to destroy the construction ships that spawns automatically, or milk any other stuff. Market Glitch: Often I use this glitch whenever I need to gain money quickly. For this the goods' price in the Black market MUST BE AT THE LOWEST PRICE, or at least one of them. Also, you must have at least 3 x 500 = 1500 credits. Now go to the Black Market screen. Pick which good you prefer, or the one with the minimum price, if not both. Pause the game if you need. Hold down shift to buy at multiples of 500, then buy it. You'll lost your 1500 credit and gain that 500 resource . However, the selling price of that particular resource will go higher than 3 credit each (this complicated effect won't appear if the game is paused). Still holding shift, sell the resource you have bought, so you lost the newly bought 500 goods, but gain more than 1500 credits. This selling process will drop the cost of the good to minimum again, ready for another transaction. Repeat to get as much credit as you need. Don't think about buying in multiples of 100, or more than 1-time-500, as it will just lower your credit instead. ------------- 2.3 The Plot ------------- This is it. The fastest way to complete all 62 acheivements, excluding the 63rd (in terms of plays, not of time consumed, efficiency or fun involved). Among the list above, I use 6 achievements that decided the route: achievement 13rd to 18th, the "Research tree" achievements. All other achievements can go along with them. The result is 6 plays, twice with each faction. I divided those 6 plays into 2 rounds, first round achieving "Economy research tree" and the second "Combat research tree". Other 56 achievements are packed inside, with heavy tendency towards the first round, simply beacuse I feel the economy round is much easier due to the huge ammount of resources gained compared to the second round. 2 notes before we go: 1. As I've said before, this plan only tries to lessen the ammount of plays needed in achieveing all above, not how much fun or how easy. Some will have you sit and wait while piling up credits, others will put you fighting against hard AIs in a disadvantage. Cheap tricks and dirty manipulation involved. If you wish to lessen up the tense and frustation, or want to play fair, use your own way of achieveing these. It's your game, not mine. 2. I myself haven't tested these fully. While there are some combination that I've tried, most of them is untested. Well, I made this AFTER I played SoaSE, using my experience, so 80% is theory, but I made them as logical as possible. 1st round: 1-4, 16-18, 20-22, 28-29 1st combo: 11, 19, 38-43, 55-56, 62 2nd combo: 12, 27, 30-37, 44, 61 3rd combo: 5-8, 24-26, 45, 57-60 If this is indeed your first time playing, then the "First victory" (1-4) will be achieved here. You can have the first play using random faction to ensure achieving 2 achievements in a single game. If th game doesn't give you the desired faction, simply restart the game. This first round is the "Economic tree" (16-18) and thus, will have more achievements onits burden. Included here is the "Caps diversification" (20-22), again if this is your 1st round. Also there are "Exploring" achievements (28-29) which are achievable in any game want here, just set up a stage with +1 star systems and/or a pair of wormholes. Both must be achieved here, though, since star and wormhole traveling are not possible during 2nd round. Also due to the expected length of the plays here, it is highly probable to obtain other achievements, such as the "Destroy" ones. In the 1st combo of the round, set up a LARGE map filled only with 2 players, you and one AI (difficulty and traits depends on your skills and confidence, but if possible don't pick hard aggressor). Calculate the ammount of colonizeable planets so you can achieve the "Fammily Planning" (38), and most probably "Colonizer" (56) as well. High ammount of planets increase the chance of acquiring all artifacts and the space ponies, obtaining "Archeologist" (9) and "Space Ponies" (55). If you want a 100% chance of acquiring those 2, there is a map creator called Gallaxy Forge which unlike the built in world builder, allows you to set each planet's specific artifacts and bonuses. I never tried it, though. Back to business, simply march out colonizing planets and planets to gain as much resources and population. If you finally meet your enemy, push them back to their home planet and siege them. Now finish the researches. Oh, I almost forgot. Start with the colonizing and resource researches. Once you're done with the researches, wait until you succeeded in obtaining "Collect" (38-43) achievements. Spend your collected credits for: 1. Explore all planets to obtain the artifacts and bonuses (we're specifically looking for ponies) and upgrade the population. 2. Place as much bounty as you need to achieve "He's no good to me dead" (62). You may need to engage those pirates if they start to bomb you enemy. If your enemy is easy you can also achieve "Best Defense is a Good Offense" (11) since you can replace turrets with basic frigates anyway. Those are the mandatory ones. TEC is the fastest one in gaining resources so they're recommended here. Due to the huge ammount of time and resource involved, you can try to achieve any other things you want here. Examples are replacing (11) with "Ship Swarm" along with its combos and "Go Big or Go Home" (after you finish the civil research, special methods given in the 3rd combo), several "Destroy" achievements (not very applicable if your enemy is Easy, but destroying pirates is not much of a problem), maxing your cap level, selling resources to your opponent and spreading your culture. I've placed them somewhere else here, though. For the 2nd combo, set up another large map, but it doesn't have to be full of colonizeable plantes. Fill with 10 players, you and 9 other AI players. Have yourself allied with one of them, but don't lock the teams. If possible, don't set any of them to become aggressors. Economist and Researcher are prefered since they're not too active in combat, or Defender to prevent them from dying too quickly. As soon as you start, "Treaty" (33-37) achievements will be fulfilled for you instantly. Now play as you would in the 1st combo, but if you meet someone don't wreck them too quickly. Focus on researching, clear their missions and leave some resources to be sold on black market. Try to finish 30 missions quickly to achieve "Outstanding Resume" (27). For your ally, once you established a stable economy, start giving them resources to accomplish the "Lending" (30-32) achievements. Siege any other faction and try to "protect" them from other faction's bombers (except your ally). The point is to have them buy resources from black market, where you have placed your metal and crystal (you did as I said, didn't you?). Hopefully you succeeded in achivieng "Resource Opportunist" (61) before too many factions are destroyed. Once you're close in finishing you researches (or once your cultural researches are high-leveled enough), begin building broadcasters to reach "Pop Idol" (44) before the last enemy faction is destroyed. If indeed you ally AI is trashing every single sieged faction bevore you finish doing your stuff, just go to war to prevent the game from ending prematurely. If possible, try to achieve "Go Big or Go Home" (12) acheviement by relying on turrets (and possibly your ally) for deffense and culture for offense. Advent is recommended since they're fastest in delivering culture and finish missions easier with Induced leniency. For our last combo, and probably the hardest (but maybe not the longest) one, set a map, either average or "normally" large and fill with you against 4 hard AI players. I'm serious. Again don't set aggressors trait, preferably defender or economist. You may want to lock the teams this time to prevent them from allying with you. Then, expand quickly, take the economy supporting researches (don't worry, it will help later) and the rest of the resources go into building you fleet. Use the market glitch to gain advantage quickly, and this will also net you the "Black market" (57-60) achievements. If you want to play fair, then you have to use the hard way of achieving them in the previous combos (not here, it will put you in a disadvantage). Push your opponent if you see them, but don't take unnecessary losses, you have the economy researches to look after. You'll be switching planets a lot with your enemies so "Expert Bombardier" (45) is almost guaranteed. If not, let loose of your enemies a bit then bomb them. Additionally, if you haven't do so in the 1st combo, then once you cleared the Research achievement, build some combat labs and research the carrier along with maxing your fleet supply. The point is to build 100 carrier, 16 caps and combat frigs (or siege frigs, up to you) to fill in the "Big Fleet" (24-26) achievements. Meanwhile, you can try to destroy properties and gain their respective achievements. Economist and and Researcher AI may build a trade port or refinery to be milked (this is very rare so make good use of it), defenders tend to build a lot of structures, and 30 caps from your enemy isn't very impossible to encounter. When you're done with all those task, you can overwhelm your enemy with the big fleet you have and finally won the "Hard AIs" (5-8) achievements. Since TEC and Advent are already working previously, all that is left is Vasari, and they aren't bad at all, especially with their above-standard combat frigates, along with the Returning armada making fleet-filling a tad easier. 2nd Round: 13-15, 46-54 1st: 9 2nd: 23 3rd: 10 The 2nd round is the "Military tree" (13-15), and it will leave you playing with minimum ammount of resources to go around. As this is a "mop up" round, you have to finish any remaining achievements if you miss it before, namely leftover of "Destroy" (46-53) and "Pirate Baron" (54) achievements. You can set a lot of (easy) AI players and destroy the needed ammount of stuff. Now those three aren't really combos, but more like a separator. All that is left is "Fear of Icebergs" (9), "Capital Ship Captain" (23), and "No Exhaust Port Found" (10), again if you haven't got it previously (especially number 23). I prefer having Vasari working without caps (their frigates pack quite a punch), TEC without crafts and Advent leveling their caps (Advent relies on their crafts the most). Remember you have few resource to expand and do the combat researches, so don't pick a map with wormholes, too many star systems, or a lot of volcanic/ice planets. Pick a good ammount of enemies to destroy the required ammount of things if you have to, not exaggeratedly high as it will put you into trouble. ------------- 2.4 The Dirtiest Trick *WARNING, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED* ------------- Not satisfied yet? Takes too long and unenjoyable? Want to show you friend you cleared all the achievements in one day? Then you can actually achieve the achievements without even playing the game. All you need is Notepad, I guess. SoaSE stores your achievement status in a Notepad-openable file, although it isn't a txt. For Windows XP it is stored in: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\ Application Data\Ironclad Games\Sins of a Solar Empire For Windows 7 and Vista it should be around there. Just use the search with the username being the keyword. It also stores the save and replay files if you care for a backup. Now for the trick. Inside is a file named "achievements". Open with notepad, and you'll found that each achievements are simply identified by either "TRUE" or "FALSE". Now you should know what to do. Be careful with the formatting. It best to be case-sensitive and space-sensitive when handling such files. ------------------ 3. Capital Ships ------------------ A Stardock attempt to make Space-type, modern-RTS heroes, the big guns here are called Capital Ships as you have known. Like any other heroes, they have special abilities, levels, and a relatively large ammount of health and powerful weapons. Unlike many heroes, their are "multi-armed", and some of their abilities are slightly complicated, thanks to the minimum info given by the game and the standard zoomed-out condition we always use, so we can't really witness some of the abilities ourselves. This lead to a misunderstood concept of several caps' abilities. In the forums the actual use of abilities are discussed over and over, but in the FAQ list it seems to be less of interest. Here I'm trying to clarify what would an ability do based on the forums and my experience. Since a simple ability list won't be enough, I added the comparation status list here, which is also common, except the Level 10 stats. Enjoy! Legend: Faction: Caps' name Hull |Initial |Upgraded|Final Armor |Status |Status |Status Shield|(without|(all |(Lv 10 AntiM |upgrades|upgrades|with all Weapon|Lv 1) |Lv 1) |upgrades) Weapon Position Bomb | | | Squads| | Abilities' explanation (ultimate included with statistics / may be mechanics) Notes:-Why only ultimates? Because all ultimates have only 1 level. However, I'll not write the AM cost and cooldown, since they're all big, just put that in mind (100-150 for AM, 60-240 for cooldown) -Researches does not add the ammount of squadrons deployable -Stats are as shown in the game, while weapon location is taken from the manual, which in turn "translated" in the "Sins Reference Sheet v1.12" from the official forum. Address written in Introduction. I found that some, however, are not the same one another. I decided to trust the manual to open up more possiblity. Trust whichever you like. -A.C.=Autocannon, Mssl=Missiles/Phase Missiles, Lasr=Laser, Plsm=Plasma. Beam also refer to Vasari's Pulse Beam -Vasari's bombing damage is not upgraded, and they stay the same for the first 2 fields (what is upgraded is their range, not shown here). Meanwhile, each other faction's bombs are upgraded by 30% each -Shield mitigation always start at 15% and raise the same way for all caps. Only Advent has the research to raise shield mitigation. Bomb direction was also always forward. These two are not listed -Unfortunately, bombing damage is only displayed in the factory. Once you deploy a capital ship their bombing damamge is not shown. Therefore, the maximum potential for bombing damage is not yet known -The range for each weapons on each caps may differ (the most common is 5000). It doesn't matter much, but if you want you can check them from (again) "Sins Reference Sheet 1.12". -It is possible for a cap to have their main weapon not placed in the front. The cap will then have to turn to place their port/starboard while engaging. As far as my memory can take me, the caps that do so are Sova Carrier, Akkan Battlecruiser, Dunov Battlecruiser, Progenitor Mothership and Halcyon Carrier. The multiple weapon also allows them to attack multiple targets and/or while moving, if condition favors. A multipositioned weapon may have different damage percentage for each side / angle of attack, and I guess it is. If not, then Akkan will not fight with its sides. -After acquiring this data, I'm surprised myself how do Vasari caps have such low final DPS. Perhaps some kind of bug, or some balancing due to Vasari's overwhelming abilities. -While most of the abilities explaination are based on my experience during the first version and the forum, the ultimates are almost 100% based on the forum. I do have use each ultimates 2-3 times, but not in an effective nor suitable manner, thus no experience gained. -Most abilities that target ships may also able to target structures, which is something that I don't remember to write. The point is as long as the target doesn't need AM pool, shield or movement to be valid. "Damage dealing" abilities mostly fulfill this condition. ------------- 3.1 Combat ------------- Pretty much the tank in any caps team, the Combat type caps can absorb a good ammount of damage before going down while also able to dish it back to the enemy (not accounting some cheesy abilities). They rely on abilities but lacks AM for extra work, and can really use the help of nearby support frigs or caps. It has been discussed that Combatants are actually "Frigate-Killer", with high survivability and weapon spread over at all side, rather than "Caps-Killer", since it requires large frontal DPS, which is what Siege Caps have. Characteristics: -Highest survivability with 2nd biggest hull, highest shield and thickest armor (not accounting abilities), along with highest / 2nd highest starting weapon DPS and 2nd best bombing (basic) damage in the team -Least / 2nd least antimatter pool and low squad capacity (as low as 0 and up to 2 maximum) -Quite self-oriented abilities, few concern the others safety TEC: Kol Battleship Hull | 3000 |3894|5304 Armor | 5 | 11| 15 Shield| 1250 |1500|2958 AntiM | 225 | 270| 486 Weapon|Beam-9 | 9| 41 Front |A.C.-34| 44| 203 All sides (?!) |Lasr-8 | 10| 45 Front Bomb | 43 | 56| Squads| 0 | 2 Kol has the toughest armor among all space objects thanks to the Repelon Premium Armor from the Foundries. It also has an all-side autocannon (you'll understand if you take a look in the manual), and uniquely, an outer-faction weapon (Beam), which is non-upgradeable via researches. Despite the low AM, all of Kol's abilities are actives, along with short cooldown but high AM cost. It doesn't possess an anti-AM abilities making it easiest to cripple using AM-dependant ships, compared to other Combat caps. Gauss Rail Gun Essentially an extra onboard weapon for Kol, even the guide says so. Pay quite a significant ammount of AM to deal quite a significant ammount of instant burst damage to one target. Pretty much the only "simple" attack ability in the game. Short cooldown will make Kol drink AM really fast with this autocasted. Flak Burst TEC's "AOE anti-craft" measure is placed in their battleship, and it is a good thing. Pay another large AM to blast nearby crafts for a nice damage, it can rip Advent's fighters in one go properly timed. Short cooldown too. Adaptive Forcefield To ensure Kol's safety in the frontlines, this ability will reduce any incoming damage towards Kol. Not sure about the formula or mechanics, but just consider this as a defense booster. Additionally, it could reduce Vasari's missile chance of bypassing (shield mitigation). Maxed, this could really boost Kol's survival against Vasari troops. Finest Hour For 1 minute, Kol and any allied ship surrounding it recives 3 AM + 15 hull repaired / second and 20% ability cooldown reduction (but according to my memory it's weapon cooldown). Additionally, their weapon (or maybe specifically their autocannon) will do 60 splash damage within 1000 radius. The problem is that the radius is extremely small, most of the time Kol will be affected. But bear in mind the total AM regained (180) is greater than the cost. Advent: Radiance Battleship Hull | 2200 |2860|3912 Armor | 4 | 8| 12 Shield| 1750 |2275|4381 AntiM | 240 | 312| 546 Weapon|Beam-15| 20| 89 Front |Plsm-10| 13| 69 Front |Lasr-26| 34| 158 Sides Bomb | 43 | 56| Squads| 0 | 2 While Kol lacks anti-AM ability, the Radiance lacks anti-craft measures. Kol have the thickest armor, while Radiance has the thickest shield in SoaSE (I don't remember whether Iconus beats this thing or not). Detonate Antimatter Advent's "Remove AM" ability is placed in their battleship, which also acts as a damager and "silencer" for a few seconds, although the AM is removed immediately. Very nice, but the target must have AM pool to be valid, which make it useless against non-support ships and pirates. Animosity Force nearby units to attack Radiance, fulfilling its role as a tanker. This ability, unfortunately, have maximum limit and will only force them to do so once, despite the duration. It works against the AI, at least. Fixed in future patches where enemy units are checked between intervals and then forced. Energy Absorptive Armor To augment Radiance's tanking purpose, it has a passive to boost its armor. Plus, a percentage of energy-based damage are converted into AM. All Advent's weapons are energy. Vasari's pulse and wave weapons are also energy. TEC only has the laser weapon to be considered as energy weapon (Kol has the beam cannon but...). Thus, it is actually effective to fight Advent themselves. Cleansing Briliance Radiance charges a cannon for 2 seconds, then fire a white big beam at the enemy ship for 8 seconds. The shown damage (250) is dealt every second, which means 2000 damage to your target, and any unfortunate enemy ship caught in between. Thus, it's best to fire to a target in the back ranks if possible. Vasari: Kortul Devastator Hull | 2650 |3444|4790 Armor | 5 | 10| 13 Shield| 1425 |1710|3492 AntiM | 225 | 292| 526 Weapon|Wave-12| 16| 72 Front |Beam-30| 35| 162 Front & Sides |Mssl-6 | 7| 32 Front Bomb | 45 | 45| Squads| 1 | 2 Both anti-craft and anti-AM are available (too bad the anti-craft ability do no damage), but nothing is without flaw. Kortul has no burst damage ability. Power Surge Increase Kortul's shield regeneration and DPS for more or less half a minute, which is great. Better used a few seconds after battle to ensure maximum usage of the extra shield regeneration. Jam Weapons Like TEC, Vasari's "AOE anti-craft" measure is placed in its battleship. Unlike other factions, it doesn't damage them, but stop them from attacking you. More effective on Vasari's own craft which is harder to crack with Flak Burst. Disruptive Strikes Like Advent, Vasari's combat cap has the "Remove AM" ability. Unlike other factions, again, it is a passive ability. Kortul's energy weapons have a chance to remove the victim's AM. Not bad, but it seems it can't silence the target, though it still interupts channeling abilities, which seems to be the more emphasized feature as the name implies. Volatile Nanites Causes the target and any enemy ships and structures around it to receive extra 30% damage for 1 minute. If any are destroyed within the duration, it will do 150 splash damage within 1000 radius. Best used against bunch of weak targets to maximize the splash-on-death effect. ------------- 3.2 Carrier ------------- As their own name suggest, these caps rely on crafts to do their dirty work, which results in a tactic known as kiting (if I'm not mistaken), where the crafts slowly wrecks the enemies while the carrier simply fly around. They got some abilities to back them up, mostly support abilities, and while on their own they pretty suck, so never send them to plasma storms. Characteristics: -Highest squad capacity (minimum 2, up to 7 max) and 2nd highest antimatter pool in the team -Weakest standard weapon DPS and bombs (sometimes even if you take into account their abilities), and low survivability with average-thin armor, shield and 2nd lowest hull -At least 2 craft-oriented abilities, whichever the target is, and one of them is passive. -There's the word "Carrier" in their name :) TEC: Sova Carrier Hull | 2850 |3704|5109 Armor | 4 | 10| 13 Shield| 1075 |1290|2424 AntiM | 270 | 324| 648 Weapon|Lasr-3 | 4| 18 Front |Lasr-30| 36| 184 Sides Bomb | 37 | 47| Squads| 2 | 7 Sova is a rather odd of a support-carrier. Instead of directly affects a battle, it focuses more on the economic and development side. In battle, it doesn't need allies for its full potential, but rather factories. Missile Batteries Deploy a Missile Battery, which acts like a Gauss Platform or any other stationary turrets. It fires missiles and has incredible range, further than the LRM frigates as I could recall, but it may have been toned down. Embargo TEC's "Planet Hack" ability is placed in its carrier, to emphasize its non- bombing, planet-utility cap. Steal the income of the planet and prevent cargo ships (trade and refinery) from jumping out. Also slows down building slightly. Use on productive planets with busy cargos for maximum stealing and harrass. Heavy Fighters To empower the carrier's crafts, Sova has the "Heavy Fighters" (or perhaps Heavy Strikecrafts in recent patches) to upgrade Sova's crafts in their weapon and armor department. Better when having more crafts, pick this a little later. Rapid Manufacturing Increase build rate and factories output in the current Sova gravity well by 300% for 90 seconds, creating large ammount of buildings / reinforcements quickly. Also allow Sova to build its strikecrafts instantly. Better used when rebuilding an attacked planet after a craft-wasting battle or during it. When used outside your own territory it grants only the instant craft replacement, which doesn't worth it unless Sova ran out of crafts. Advent: Halcyon Carrier Hull | 2075 |2697|3691 Armor | 3 | 7| 10 Shield| 1600 |2080|4127 AntiM | 270 | 351| 702 Weapon|Beam-20| 26| 133 Sides |Lasr-14| 18| 93 Sides Bomb | 37 | 47| Squads| 2 | 6 Halcyon only has 1 active ability (excluding ultimate, of course), so it's semi-mandatory to take it then choose one of its passives. Telekinetic Push Advent's "AOE anti-craft" measure is placed in its carrier, to emphasize its craft specialization as well as its only active ability. Feels like a mix between Flak Burst and Jam Weapons. It damages the crafts lightly (probably not enough to blow a TEC craft), as well pushing them far away and reduce their speed, pretty much placing them away from the combat. Very nice, and this one isn't as bugged as Jam Weapons. Adept Drone Anima To empower the carrier's crafts, Halcyon has the "Adept Drone Anima". In the old patches (based on my experience), it adds to Halcyon existing squads extra crafts equals to this ability level. In newer patches, though, it simply gives Halcyon extra squads, making it a viable early ability. Amplify Energy Aura The second passive of Halcyon empowers all allies energy weapons within range. Since all Advent's weapons are energy, this empowers all of their units. Also nice, but even better the bigger your army is. Anima Tempest Instantly deploy extra 30 crafts for 75 seconds. They're divided evenly among you existing squads, so fighter:bomber ratio will stay the same. If no squad available, 30 bombers coming right up. In a single version of the game it deploy 60 instead and grants extra 25% evasion, but it is removed now. Very nice in increasing damage output significantly, use as the battle begin. Vasari: Skirantra Carrier Hull | 2475 |3152|4322 Armor | 4 | 9| 11 Shield| 1275 |1530|3150 AntiM | 250 | 325| 617 Weapon|Wave-9 | 12| 50 Sides |Mssl-12| 14| 61 Front Bomb | 35 | 35| Squads| 2 | 6 Least DPS between all caps, but in no way a pathethic cap. In newer patches I've read how this cap become soo unbalanced, but not in the 1st patch. Repair Cloud The "Healing" ability of Vasari is placed on its carrier as a testament of its craft specialization. Basically restore the hull of all allied units within range, INCLUDING CRAFTS. Pretty much the only way to heal crafts, especially good to Vasari's since they're beefy. Scramble Bombers Deploy an extra bomber squad for about a minute. A little overlooked in the first version, due to the manacost and duration. Once empowered to imba level, also for the same reason, allowing Skirantra to cheaply deploy an average of 3 bombers at a time. Currently toned down once more for balancing purposes. Microphasing Aura Vasari's Carrier Craft Passive is not oriented only to the Carrier's crafts. It allows owned crafts within range to be momentarily "phased out" to avoid attacks then "phased in" in a favorable attacking position. Maybe works like Warcraft III Faerie Dragon's Phase Shift I assume, but since I never zoomed in and watch those crafts the entire battle, I never witnessed it myself. Replicate Forces Makes 3 clones of owned frigs of your choice, which last 150 seconds. If I'm not mistaken they will have the same health but 50% AM of the chosen target. You can copy heavy cruisers to boost combat firepower, or support cruisers for their abilities (Stilakus Subverter comes into mind). Volkuras' Bombardement Platform is also a valid target for this. ------------- 3.3 Colonizer ------------- Almost always chosen as a flagship for me, they're the only alternative to colonize planets if you dislike colony frigates, like me, and they even bring some nifty bonuses with their colonies. They also have good supportive or direct offensive abilities to make them useful in combat itself. Characteristics: -Has a specialized "Colonize" as the first ability -Always biggest hull, but also weakest shield and thinnest starting armor (3, increase rapidly), 2nd weakest bomb (not necessarily lowest bombing potential) in the team with medium ammount of crafts (1 to 3, growth vary as always) TEC: Akkan Battlecruiser Hull | 3150 |4094|5323 Armor | 3 | 9| 13 Shield| 1000 |1200|2280 AntiM | 260 | 312| 690 Weapon|Lasr-14| 17| 86 Front |A.C.-11| 14| 74 Left & Front |Lasr-25| 30| 152 Sides Bomb | 40 | 52| Squads| 1 | 3 Biggest hull, slightly above Kol, with a slightly complicated arsenal and 2 odd abilities. Lowest shield among caps, too. Colonize The TEC bonus for using their cap's Colonize is extra extractors (kicks in after 30 seconds, and so does other Colonize bonuses). Most people account this as the least beneficial, so in later pathces (forgot wether it get removed later on) the extractor bonus is increased, along with higher extraction rate for a few minutes. Even without the upgrade I guess it's good enough already. Ion Bolt TEC's "Stunning" move is placed on its colonizer for whatever reason it is. The simplest among all stuns, it prevents the target from doing anything for a set ammount of time (a few seconds). This is the only stun that allows you to beat your victim without any obstacle. However, Due to the limited duration, I pretty much use this only to interrupt jumps and annoying abilities. Targeting Uplink A passive that increases attack range and accuracy of allied units within range. The attack range bonus is enjoyed best by long-range frigates, unfortunately Akkan doesn't stay too far in the back during battles. The accuracy boost is the odd one, since all units here have 100% hit rate (or it seems so). Well, only crafts have the some "evasion" taken into account, so maybe fighters and anti-crafts can take some advantage. Also in the asteroid belts (or whatever the name is) you can reduce the accuracy penalty with this. Counter Rapture's Vertigo as well. It has been discussed to that units that attacks while moving or attack moving targets has a reduced hit rate. Armistice Cause all units within a huge radius around Akkan to stop fighting for 1 minute. That is, weapon and abilities are disabled, including channeling ones. I guess they become invulnerable too, but I'm not sure except for Akkan which certainly does. Leaving the area is confirmed to remove the effect, and coming inside within the minute will grants the buff. Again useful if you decided to retreat with a lot of disablers in your tail, or to chase a pack of disablers, or even just to buy some time for reinforcements. Advent: Progenitor Mothership Hull | 2350 |3055|3873 Armor | 3 | 7| 10 Shield| 1450 |1884|3932 AntiM | 265 | 344| 754 Weapon|Plsm-30| 39| 230 Sides |Lasr-18| 23| 119 Sides & Front Bomb | 40 | 52| Squads| 1 | 3 Half offense half defense. Boast another odd ability as well. Colonize The Advent bonus for using their cap's Colonize is reduced Planet Development cost for a BIG ammount (up to 60%) for a few minutes. Extremely important to develop your newly colonized planet as much as you can before the time expires (but not in a hurry since again there is the 30 second delay). Malice Causes the target and enemies around it to share damage one another. I forgot how exactly this works in the first version. Now it locks to a set ammount of enemy units (if there are less units than allowed then so be it), "store" the shared damage for each locked targets, then deals it when the duration is over. Quite a nice ability to augment your damage, too bad it disperses the damage. Also suggested to be a combo with Cleansing Radiance. Shield Regeneration The "Healing" ability of Advent is placed on its colonizer for support purposes. Restores the shield of all allied units within range when activated with each second for a certain duration. I don't know whether getting in or out during the process will make any effect or not. For its AM cost, the restoration is very high, especially if you have 4+ wrecked units affected. Ressurection This is the odd ability I'm refering to, simply because I don't even taste a single bit of this ability. Well, I have, but I didn't see the effect. Basically you use this, when one cap with higher level of yours is destroyed, on another owned cap with lower level of yours. The lower cap will have its level boosted to the destroyed one. The cap may differ in type, and the level range is infinite (9 if you want to limit it). What I don't know is whether it has time limiter or whether the 2 caps must be in the same gravity well. I tested it by scuttling one of my caps, then use this on a factory-fresh cap sitting exactly beside the wreckage as soon as the explosion finishes. Nothing happens other than animation. Maybe it must be combat-destroyed to be valid. Vasari: Jarrasul Evacuator Hull | 2800 |3639|4751 Armor | 3 | 8| 11 Shield| 1150 |1380|2838 AntiM | 250 | 325| 734 Weapon|Wave-13| 17| 86 Front |Beam-19| 22| 114 Sides |Wave-5 | 6| 33 Front Bomb | 40 | 40| Squads| 1 | 3 A.k.a Space Egg. Much more offensive than the other colonizers, with 1 imba ability making it very well known cap. Colonize The Vasari bonus for using their cap's Colonize is reduced structure build time for a mediocore ammount (only 20%) for quite a few minutes (up to 12 minutes). Not very significant (that's what people say) unless in late game where you got a lot of resource and spending it quickly and effectively becomes a problem. Newest patch grants bonus constructor instead for 6-10 minutes. Still same. Gravity Warhead Places a "gravity" to a target enemy, causing it and all units around it to lose some speed, as well as losing the ability to Phase Jump. Very good to finish of a retreating fleet (not a retreating ship). May also used to prevent the enemy from catching up to you when retreating, but look out as this may put the "Egg" into trouble as neither attacks nor abilities are disabled. Nano-Disassembler This is ultimately the reason why Jarrasul is known as an IMBA cap. Place a buff that reduce the armor of an enemy target for a set ammount of time and DIRECTLY deals damage to its hull within each passing second until the duration is up. Confirmed that the damage is "pure" (neither reduced by armor nor shield mitigation), resulting in a huge ammount of damage at high levels. Drain Planet TEC may have bombing abilities in Marza, Advent may have bombing ultimate in Revelation, but Vasari have both bombing abilities in Volkuras and bombing ultimate in Jarassul! This is another reason why Jarassul was considered overpowered. Jarassul sits in front of target enemy planet for 5 seconds, then drain it for 30 seconds. 45 damage and 2 population killed within each second, along with 15 resource drain. Total: 1350 damage, 60 pop killed and 450 metal and crystal. The drain doesn't depend on how productive the planet is. Personally I prefer Provoke Hysteria, but indeed this is usable anywhere with full potential, unlike the Advent counterpart which requires "fat" planet. ------------- 3.4 Support ------------- Quite the opposite of Combat caps, the Support caps rely more on abilities, with that big antimatter, and is almost always a bad idea to send them alone, as this will restrict them from using their full potential. While all caps hate magnetic clouds, they hate them most. Characteristics: -Guaranteed biggest antimatter pool, medium craft capacity (1 to 3 again), and 2nd / 3rd best bombs in the team -2nd lowest weapon DPS and low survivability (lowest / 2nd lowest hull and average armor, shield vary) in the team TEC: Dunov Battlecruiser Hull | 2800 |3639|5161 Armor | 4 | 10| 13 Shield| 1125 |1350|2538 AntiM | 280 | 336| 822 Weapon|A.C.-6 | 8| 36 Front |Lasr-34| 41| 189 Sides |Mssl-6 | 8| 36 Front Bomb | 43 | 56| Squads| 1 | 3 Dunov abilities are all actives, each useful in its own combat situation, but in a large scale battle no doubt all will be used well. Shield Restore The "Healing" ability of TEC is placed in its support cap for its basic non- ultimate, help-allies ability. Pays quite a large ammount of AM to immediately restore a good ammount of shield to the allied target. Since it's the only non-area healing ability for caps, most people say it's highly inefficient, and I do agree. However, it may also be the only burst heal available in the game, so it may save your ship (not ships) during some rush assaults. EMP Charge Oddly enough it is TEC's support cap that has the "Remove AM" ability, maybe to counter opponents support. Damage and remove some AM from the target and all enemies around it. In the first version Dunov has to face the enemy to launch the attack, halting its attack. Recent version allows Dunov to launch it from sides. Pretty much the only way to prevent bunch of Stilakuses from jumping to your face by removing their AM in one go, or any "bunch target" situation. Magnetize A combination of "Anti-craft" and "Silence" measure. Cause the target to be unable to use abilites. Meanwhile, nearby crafts are pulled to the target, resulting some damage, but I'm not sure whether the damage is applied only to the crafts, or the target as well. The ammount of "pullable" crafts is also fixed between the levels, yet again I don't know whether this pull your craft too or not. Suggested as a way to counter the later imba Scramble Bombers of Skirantra. Once it deploys its crafts, magnetize it to disable the crafts. While it waits to be able to deploy more, wreck it. Nifty enough huh? Flux Field The answer to all those inefficiently costed abilities of TEC. It will cause all friendly unit in a small area around Dunov (and I guess Dunov itself as well) to cast non-ultimate abilities for 25% of the AM cost for 1 minute. (It says by 300%, that means 400% total = 1/4 AM needed). Leaving or entering the area is confirmed to update the effect. Best used along with caps or support cruisers who have expensive, short cooldown abilities. Advent: Rapture Battlecruiser Hull | 2100 |2730|3665 Armor | 4 | 8| 10 Shield| 1625 |2112|4101 AntiM | 280 | 364| 890 Weapon|Lasr-11| 14| 66 Front & Rear |Beam-9 | 12| 54 Front |Plsm-20| 27| 141 Sides Bomb | 43 | 56| Squads| 1 | 3 Not much to say about Rapture. 1 "offense", 1 deffense, 1 passive, 1 ultimate. Vertigo Slows down target's attack speed, softening its DPS. Also reduces it's hit rate further crippling it's DPS. Can be devastating if used inside the asteroid belt. Use on most powerful enemy in the field, preferably combat caps. Vengeance Meant to be combo-ed with Radiance's Animosity. Place a buff (2 transparent "spiritual" eyes) on an allied unit which makes its attackers to receive a percentage of the damage dealt to the unit. Note that the buffed unit still receive 100% damage (no reflection). In the highest level the attacker will receive more damage than it deals to the buffed one. Make sure your target actually survives long enough to make full use of the duration. Not sure what will happen if there is damage sharing done by Iconus Guardian's shield. Concentration Aura A passive to boost allied crafts attack damage within range. In the forum is explained that this doesn't place modifiers directly on the crafts. Instead, it checks any carrier around the Rapture. Then, squads owned by the carriers will receive the said bonus. Therefore, if you field Drone Hosts, either they have to go forward with Rapture, or have Rapture stay in the back, which is recommended if you want safety for Rapture. Domination Pemanently gain control of target enemy frigs. Simple and fun. It is also given the shortest cooldown of all ultimates. The dominated frigs will come along in whatever condition it curently is. Also remember that dominated frigs will still eat your fleet supply, although the ability won't check it upon usage. Therefore, never invite pirates, who actually cost more supply than they worth. Vasari: Antorak Marauder Hull | 2350 |3055|4810 Armor | 4 | 9| 11 Shield| 1225 |1470|2820 AntiM | 280 | 364| 890 Weapon|Beam-12| 14| 66 Front |Mssl-10| 12| 55 Front |Wave-12| 16| 72 Sides Bomb | 40 | 40| Squads| 1 | 3 Among all other support caps, Antorak is certainly the least relevant. Only 1 out of 4 abilities are combat-worth, all others are pretty much "indirect". No wonder the game recognizes it as a "Scout" instead. Phase Out Hull Vasari's "Stunning" move is palced in its support cap, as well as the only in-fight ability available for it. Cause the target to be unable to do anything as it should. However, it also causes the target to become invulnerable. The clue is that you can use this on allies and enemies alike, even Antorak itself. With such short cooldown, compared to the duration, you can shutdown many units at one time, removing them from combat. Also usable to prevent your ally from being over-focused, and if you're evil enough, prevent your ally's cap escape from destruction for whatever reason it is. Never have the autocast turned on this. Recent version heals allies and damages enemies when the duration is up. Distort Gravity Causes all units around Antorak to fly faster and jump earlier, along with immunity against jump inhibitors. I don't know whether getting in or out during the process will make any effect or not. Nice ability, whether to be used for chasing, escaping (for a good reason) or even just travelling around. Subversion Vasari's "Planet Hack" ability is placed in its support, being a "scout" cap as it is. Cause a drop in building and development speed of the planet, as well as allowing remote vision to it for a few minutes. In the first version the drop is quite insignificant, but in newer patches it has been souped up a lot. Stabilize Phase Space One of the most beautiful ultimate I see, it utilizes Antorak's shape to work. Antorak becomes a Phase Stabilizer for 75 seconds, allowing owned units to travel to or away from its location with another Phase Stabilizer. How useful it is depends on how prepared you are. The recent version makes this this ultimate no longer channeling, so Antorak may do stuff in the duration (don't ask me what happens if Antorak decided to jump away, though), but it's still interruptible. Useful to bring in reinforcements or back for defence. ------------- 3.5 Bomber ------------- A.k.a Planet killers. Strongest in bombing planets (unfortunately only one of them has an anti-planet ultimate), but also crushing in combat, winning early 1v1 direct battles, or equipped with supportive abilities to back up allies. Characteristics: -Strongest standard bombs, good survivability with average hull and 2nd best shield (Revelation is the odd one out here having the lowest hull and 2nd worst shield) -Least / 2nd least antimatter pool and very low squad capacity (as low as 0 and up to 2 max, thanks again to Revelation) -At least 1 anti-planet oriented abilities TEC: Marza Dreadnaught Hull | 2875 |3737|5141 Armor | 4 | 10| 13 Shield| 1150 |1380|2784 AntiM | 235 | 282| 552 Weapon|Mssl-28| 37| 170 Front |Lasr-14| 17| 77 Front & Left |A.C.-12| 16| 72 Front & Right Bomb | 57 | 73| Squads| 0 | 1 A super-offense class cap, Marza sure is devastating in combat, if not more than in bombing. With the highest frontal DPS (unless Progenitor's Laser weapon is not percentaged), it can decimate enemies quickly, but has no ability to ensure its own survival so guard this behemoth well. Radiation Bomb First reason why Marza is very devastating: it has one of the best starting ability, or at least that's what the forum says, but I have to admit it too. Damages an enemy target, and then the target along with enemy units around it receives extra damage over time. It is reported that the damage dealt are all "pure". When tested against other caps with a single ability, Marza with the first level of this can romp any other combination. High frontal damage also a factor for this fact. Raze Planet For planetary bombing purposes, Marza has an ability to boost its performance. Shoot a target planet with its "large siege gun", instantly dealing damage and kill a certain ammount of population. The game only shows that the higher the level, the less AM is needed and the longer the cooldown is. What the game doesn't tell you is the ammount of shots executed, which is twice the ability level, so there is no reason not to level it up if you're going bombing. Incendiary Shells Another DPS booster for Marza. Causes its missiles (and maybe its autocannon too, I'm not sure) which is its main gun, to deal extra damage over time upon impact. It seems the bonus damage is also "pure". In old versions hitting the target another time will only cause the damage timer to reset, but in the newest one the damage can stack up to 3 times, making it more devastating. Missile Barrage One of the most feared ultimate so far, if not the most feared. Again the game only shows 150 damage (or 120 in newer version). What it actually does is dealing that damage for each 1.5 seconds (1.2 second in newer version) to all valid targets in the large radius. That means a target that doesn't run away within the full 30 seconds (either it doesn't notice it, is a building or AI-controlled) receive 150 x 20 (120 x 25) = 3000 damage, each! Fortunately Marza have to sit still while doing this, and it stands as a "DISABLE ME OR DIE" sign. Also it has the longest (4 minutes) cooldown of all ultimates. Advent: Revelation Battlecruiser Hull | 2075 |2697|3691 Armor | 4 | 8| 10 Shield| 1500 |1949|3997 AntiM | 235 | 305| 598 Weapon|Plsm-29| 38| 221 Front |Lasr-18| 23| 119 Sides Bomb | 50 | 65| Squads| 1 | 2 Oddly enough this cap is much weaker in survival compared to the other factions bombers, probably because its sub-role is support instead of offense. Reverie For the first surprise, Advent's bomber has the "Stunning" move. Halts all activites as usual, but the duration is longer than the Ion Bolt. There is a catch, however, if the target is damaged too much, it will "wake up". If your fleet is small then no problem with that, but later on this ability will prove more useful for shutdown works, just like Vasari's. Guidance Reduces ability cooldown for the targeted ally, as if Reveletion work out so others cooldown expire faster. Pick supports with long cooldown abilities or caps. Newest version makes this an AoE ability to affect several units at once. Clairvoyance Advent's "Planet Hack" ability is well-placed in its bomber. It is the only ability that has global, or universal, range. Simply pick a discovered planet to peek on for a few minutes. Higher level reduces cooldown and increase duration, allowing multispying. Great to pick up ripe targets. Provoke Hysteria At least it has a bombing ultimate with funny graphical and sound effects. 5 seconds charging and then 40 seconds whacking the planet for 1% damage and 0.75% population kill rate per second (percentage ajusted for the maximum health and population cap). Great against, say, home planets, but against asteroids the working duration and 3 minutes cooldown doesn't really worth it. Vasari: Volkuras Desolator Hull | 2525 |3282|4745 Armor | 4 | 9| 11 Shield| 1350 |1620|3186 AntiM | 235 | 305| 598 Weapon|Mssl-24| 29| 132 Front |Beam-10| 12| 55 Front |Wave-7 | 9| 42 Sides Bomb | 53 | 53| Squads| 0 | 1 Very high 1on1 potential in high levels, but not suitable when pitted against bunch of targets. 2 abilities are bombing focused which make Volkuras really a "Desolator", but unfortunately quite difficult to use in large combat. Outshined by Jarrasul in bombing because of the Egg's ultimate. Phase Missile Swarm Release missiles to damage enemies around Volkuras. Unfortunately, max targets are set already. It does increase along with damage as the level increase, but even at level 3, only 12 targets are allowed. And the missile can't "phase" in if you have researched it. Doesn't sound like phase missiles to me. Still good for small scale battle, and a good combo for Kortul's Volatile Nanites. Also suggested as a good building wrecker as they don't have shield mitigation. Deploy Siege Platform Volkuras has two abilities for bombing purposes, which may make Volkuras better at regular, non-rush bombing activities (because the second one is not an ultimate, but a passive). The active first, it will deploy a platform which bombs planet. Unlike Sova whose platform is deployed in a single click, you must target the desired planet to bomb so that Volkuras can place the platform within range (even if there's always only 1 planet in the well, maybe you can have Volkuras target faraway planets and let it jump around first). It can help for multi-tasking or just faster bombing. In later version Volkuras can have some deployed at once thanks to shortened cooldown. Assault Specialization Further increasing its "desolating" potential, this passive reduces the bombing cooldown of Voluras, thus increasing bombing DPS. Additionaly, its missiles will do more dammage against buildings, which is always accepted. Disintegration Slightly overrated here while underrated in the forum, I guess. Another 2 second charge then 8 seconds draining hull, shield and AM from target enemy ship. For each second, 150 hull, 150 shield and 20 AM lost, and Volkuras gains 120 hull, 120 shield and 15 AM. Total 2400 damage, 1920 repair, -160 and +120 AM. The problem is to have the target to survive the 8 seconds draining and have Volkuras to already lost some health for the full effect, withous disablers in the way. Also the damage while bypass shield mitigation will be reduced by armor. It is said that it will deal around 900 damage to hull and about the same to shield. ------------------ 4. Credits ------------------ Any sites willing to host this, currently GameFAQs, Neoseeker and SuperCheats My parents, for allowing me to use their computer for gaming (heheh) You, the readers. I really appreciate the time you spend reading this FAQ. Among all things in this world, time is one of the most valueable. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I will only update this FAQ, and perhaps future FAQs, in GameFAQs, Neoseeker and SuperCheats, as mentioned above. Found grammatical mistakes? Tested and found errors in the strategy above? Tips? Comments? Jokes? Dirty words? Death threats? Feel free to email to: email@example.com (Give "SoaSE FAQ" subject to prevent accidents) Thank you once again and happy playing!