June 27, 2010

Master of Torpedos

I was wrong about torpedos in Master of Orion. Used properly they're really neat. I beat the Guardian one time with 17 large ships each of which carried 5 Antimatter Torpedos. It only took one shot.

One reason they're nice is that they're a great intimidation weapon. Enemy ships quite often boogie immediately if you fire torpedos, even if they have a chance of winning. Another reason is that they're a reall good planetary bombardment weapon.

I've been trying to play using different races. It really changes the game. The Silicoids are probably the biggest challenge. Their advantage is that they effectively start the game with "Controlled Toxic Colonization" and "Industrial Waste Elimination", so they never had to spend money to clean up pollution, and they can colonize any planet using a standard colonization base.

That makes them more productive than anyone except the Klackons in the early game, and of course it means they can grab any planet they see.

That's most important early in the game, of course. Their big disadvantage is that they reproduce half as fast as anyone else. Fertile and Gaia planets don't change that. You have to be very careful with your colonists. You can't afford to throw away 150 of them invading some enemy planet; they aren't that easy to replace.

To win with the Silicoids you have to colonize like mad early in the game, in order to create as many places as possible for colonists to breed. But if you succeed in doing that, especially if you grab some rich or ultra-rich hostile planets, you can kick ass.

The Sakkra, on the other hand, breed like rabbits. That is their racial difference. You can afford to toss lots and lots of them into tough invasion fights, because they're easy to come by.

I just now tried playing the Alkari. I can't get over the fact that their characters all look like Sam the Bald Eagle -- but the +3 defensive bonus in tactical fights is really very nice. I'm used to cringing when I attack an enemy planet armed with Hyper-X missiles, let alone anything even more advanced, but my Alkari fleet was hardly touched by them. It was amazing.

Anyway, now I try to include one bank of torpedos in my advanced ship designs, along with one bank of a streaming weapon (Graviton beam or Tachyon beam) for fighting swarms of smalls, and one or two banks of some good beam (Auto Blaster etc) for everything else. If you do it that way you don't need to include a bank of bombs; the torpedos serve that function.

UPDATE: Introducing the "Hellfire 6":

Type "Huge"
Mark V computer
Class VI shield
Class V ECM
Andrium armor (1500 hit points)

Weapon bank 1: 6 Hellfire Torpedos

Special 1: Battle Scanner
Special 2: Automated Repair
Special 3: Repulsor Beam

This has been a fun ship. They don't build very fast (they cost 4437 BC) but it only takes one to dominate an enemy system.

I had to get a clue from the "auto" combat on how to fight this ship. It's very straightforward: it never moves. The Hellfires have range to hit every square in the tactical map, so the right way to handle it is to sit there and shoot at everything that looks like an enemy until they're all gone.

My enemies are pitiful anyway; I think the best weapon any of them have is Hyper-X missiles, and none of them have a large enough fleet to even make one of these bruisers break into a sweat. Because they'd have to not only hit this ship hard, but to keep hitting it. The Auto-repair fixes 225 points of damage per turn.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 03:14 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 I'd love to see MOO, MOO II and MOM re-released with updated graphics and sound (and no other changes).

Even without updated shinies, I've wasted a good few hours recently on MOO II.  Nice to see that these games really do stand up after all this time.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 27, 2010 03:42 PM (PiXy!)

2 I bought MOM a while ago but I haven't even tried playing it yet. It's probably about time, though.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 27, 2010 06:04 PM (+rSRq)

3 Just consider when MOO was released, 1993. This is the heart of the 486 era, with the first Pentiums just being released, 33-66 MHz, maybe 4 MB of DRAM, VGA displays, etc... MOO should be ported to Android and iOS! (and Windows CE, I suppose...) Play MOO wherever you are.

Posted by: Kayle at June 27, 2010 11:11 PM (ZEid4)

4 It'd be a perfect game for my iPaq!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 27, 2010 11:13 PM (+rSRq)

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