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Ship Combat

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This explains the functions of the Combat Overview window F8.

While you can assign combat settings for each ship in the Individual Unit window F6, it's much easier to control the settings for an entire fleet via this screen. You have to assign fire controls to beam weapons and missile launchers, missiles to launchers, and finally targets to fire controls. It's a good idea to do this before getting into a fight, because sometimes the first thing telling you that you're in trouble is a dozen incoming missiles and you want to have your automatic defenses ready for that.

Combat Assignment screen

See Combat Overview for an introduction to the basics of ship combat.

See the pages on Armour and Shields, Internal Damage and Missiles.

See the Anti-Missile Tutorial for an introduction to defending against missiles.

Note that Shipyards show up as a separate contact type for active sensors and can be targeted and fired upon.

Assigning weapons and targets

1. Select a ship. The box on the lower right now displays combat assignments for that ship:

Armstrong Cybernetics MFC Flyswatter 23-R20 #1:   No Target Assignment
Pope Cybernetics MFC Mini89 FC8-R1 #1:   No Target Assignment
Armstrong Cybernetics MFC 167-R90 #1:   No Target Assignment

2. Select a fire control (FC). If you have one or more ECCM systems, you can assign one to that FC to offset enemy jamming.

Armstrong Cybernetics MFC 167-R90 #1:   No Target Assignment
ECCM-1 #1

3. Select the weapons you want the FC to control. Assign All assigns all weapons of that type to the selected FC. '(Ready To Fire)' just means the launcher isn't busy reloading. But there is no missile in the tube yet.

Armstrong Cybernetics MFC 167-R90 #1:   No Target Assignment
ECCM-1 #1
Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #1 (Ready To Fire)
Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #2 (Ready To Fire)
Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #3 (Ready To Fire)

4. For missile launchers, assign a missile type from your magazines to each launcher. Assign All assigns the missile type to all launchers of the selected launcher type. You can mix different missile types. The launcher will reload the same type from your magazines as long as you have reloads.

Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #1 - Defender Mk4 Iron Glove 73 (Ready To Fire)
Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #2 - Defender Mk4 Iron Glove 73 (Ready To Fire)
Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #3 - Defender Mk4 Iron Glove 73 (Ready To Fire)

5. Repeat for all the ship's weapons. NOte that in the example the Flyswatter FC does not have any weapons assigned to it - it has a different resolution than the main FC and is meant to fight FACs and fighters.

Armstrong Cybernetics MFC Flyswatter 23-R20 #1:   No Target Assignment
Pope Cybernetics MFC Mini89 FC8-R1 #1:   No Target Assignment
Fowler-Page S1 Mk2 Missile Launcher #1 - Dagger Mk4 AMM (Ready To Fire)
Fowler-Page S1 Mk2 Missile Launcher #2 - Dagger Mk4 AMM (Ready To Fire)
Fowler-Page S1 Mk2 Missile Launcher #3 - Dagger Mk4 AMM (Ready To Fire)
Armstrong Cybernetics MFC 167-R90 #1:   No Target Assignment
ECCM-1 #1
Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #1 - Defender Mk4 Iron Glove 73 (Ready To Fire)
Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #2 - Defender Mk4 Iron Glove 73 (Ready To Fire)
Winter Incorporated S14 Mk3 Missile Launcher #3 - Defender Mk4 Iron Glove 73 (Ready To Fire)

6. Set the Point Defence Mode for all FCs controlling defensive weapons. Max PD range recommends a suitable range for the selected FC. Now this FC will automatically open fire and launch the selected number of AMMs (anti-missile missiles) at each incoming missile, as long as there are loaded launchers available. Note: you can have multiple FCs controlling your defensive weapons. This can be an advantage because each FC can fire at only one target at a time, and each incoming salvo is a separate target.

Pope Cybernetics MFC Mini89 FC8-R1 #1 (2v1 PD Mode 882):   No Target Assignment

7. For beam weapons, the Point Defence Mode allows the FC to automatically fire either at maximum range or in the last possible moment for maximum hit chance (see Point Defense).

Mclean Sensor Systems Fire Control S04 96-16000 #1 (Area PD Mode 19):   No Target Assignment
ECCM-1 #1
Twin Bond-Finch 12cm C5 Far Ultraviolet Laser Turret #1 (Ready To Fire)
Twin Bond-Finch 12cm C5 Far Ultraviolet Laser Turret #2 (Ready To Fire)

8. Use the Copy Assign buttons to copy all these assignments to all ships of this type, either just the ones in this system or all of them, anywhere. Copy Target does the same with target assignments.

9. The Contacts box shows all enemy contacts that your Active Sensors and the selected FC can see and how far away they are (waypoints in the system are valid targets and show up here as well, regardless of distance). If the enemy ship has ECM, reducing your FC range, you might not be able to fire at it yet, but you'll only find that out when you try to shoot. Assign a target to the selected FC:

Armstrong Cybernetics MFC 167-R90 #1:   Targeting Lancelot 005 - Holding Fire

10. Click Synch Fire if you want all ships to hold fire until all ships in the task group are ready to fire (due to different levels of crew training). That ensures that all missiles fired at the same target will be fired and thus arrive at the target simultaneously.

11. Finally, click one of the two Open Fire buttons, to open fire with either just the selected FC or the entire fleet (task group the ship is in). 'Open Fire' for the entire fleet makes sense only if you have already set up targets for each ship.

Armstrong Cybernetics MFC 167-R90 #1:   Targeting Lancelot 005 - Weapons Firing

12. The ship will now open fire as soon as the crew is ready and continue to fire until you order it to cease fire. A combat message will tell you if a launcher runs out of ammo.

Raise/Lower Shields

By default, your shields are off. The Raise button switches them on, causing them to slowly recharge up to maximum strength. This costs fuel, so don't forget to switch them off after a fight. Shield status can be seen in the Task Group window.

Active Sensors On/Off

Turns all Active Sensors on the selected ship on or off. You cannot switch on only specific sensors. Note: A button in the Task Group window switches all Active Sensors in the Task Group on or off. An '(A)' after a ship's name in the Task Group denotes a ship with active Active Sensors.

Auto Fire

Auto Fire lets the computer do all the assigning and shooting for you. This might simplify large battles, but rumour has it that the Auto Fire function has a tendency to screw things up royally.

Copy Assignments

Copy's Assignments of weapons and fire control to other ships , task groups or the whole empire for this type of ship.

Copy Targets

Copy's Targets of Fire Control to other ships, fleets or the empire.

Contributors

Downtetade, Erik luken, Journier, Mantistoboggan, Mor, Netseboro, Zook