I wrote this guide for the old client, but some of the things in here still apply. I've updated it for accuracy.
This is not a specific guide by any means... it will hopefully teach not-so-new players a couple tricks they didn't know about before.
- Talk to your enemies, see if you can steer the conversation to where they live, if you can get them reveal that you can attack them while they sleep
- Send spam messages to all players in an enemy alliance you want to attack. No one can resist opening a message. This will give you a gauge as to who is active, and how active are they. You can use this probing to determine if your assumptions to his sleeping habits were correct. Though to counter this, sometimes people go into 'radio silence' to avoid people knowing if they are online or not. If you don't know what I am talking about, in the "Sent Items" tab in the message menu a message you sent will cease being orange only when the person has read your message.UPDATE: You can now mark messages as unread if you like, reading them and marking them so they can't see that you've read it, maintaining radio silence but still able to read anything sent to you. Keep that in mind
- MSN is your best friend, or skype. You'll want to talk to as many people as you can. You'll make your allies and if you talk to your enemies then this can be another way you can tell if they are online or not. Cell#'s is also a very important communication tool.
- The best way to use spies now isn't really an advanced tactics by any means, it's simply to send your spies to where you think the enemy squads will move and locking them down until you can muster forces to slaughter them. Lockdown is the most powerful tool in your spies arsenal, use it well.
- Trickery! This is another tactic I love, though it only works early game before people have shields. I used to do this all the time before shields were implemented but now that they are it doesn't work so well. If you manage to get into the middle of the enemy hive of colonies and are 3 ticks from a lot of targets you can do this. At the start of the tick attack something that is neither something you want but something that the enemy will still want to defend. They will see your attack and move to defend it. Once they do you withdraw all your forces at the end of the tick and attack something else (It can't be something that the enemy had a lot of units on, because then they can just turn around and be safe). It will take a turn to turn around once they realize you're attacking something else, and then 3 ticks to get there to defend... 4 ticks and you are already 2 ticks away! UPDATE: This still works! The only difference is instead of being 4 ticks away they will be 3 ticks away (Since defenses are now a minimum of 2 instead of 3), but you're still ahead of them! Since shields are different now you don't have to worry as much about fuzzy ETA's on the shields, they will go off automatically if at all, and you can know about when they'll turn off.
- I already posted this in the nuke guide but it's my trick so I'll post it here again:
When firing a nuke at 12-24 ticks there is a trick. If you have sufficient oil reserves it might be most wise to fire a 24 tick nuke instead of a 12 tick one. Keep in mind 24 tick nukes only take 12 ticks to fly anywhere within range.UPDATE: This is the same, except the minimum is still mistakenly still 6 ticks for nukes when it should only be 6 on single tick servers.
Let me try to illustrate this poorly.
|: Missile Position
/\: Radar Range
As you can see, since the farther nuke has more distance to cover in the same amount of time, the missile takes larger jumps. This means, when firing into enemy territory, you give them less time to react if you fire from farther away.
- Don't keep a 12 tick shield charged all the time. Likely you will never need such a long shield and if you're being attacked you only need 3 or 6 ticks to muster enough force to defend. If you give too much time the enemy has more time build spy infiltration, muster ions and maybe even nukes to assist in the battle along with more squads. It's never wise to give your enemy so much time to prepare when you don't need to.
- Don't lie to people. I know espionage can be fun, but if you lie to peoples faces then they won't trust you anymore. If people can't trust you then you will have a tough time getting into decent alliances. This might be obvious to many, but to some it may come as a shock.
- This one isn't really mine and it is obvious, but for some it again might not be known... GATES. They are freaking amazing. When I expand I always have radar overage and the very next thing I get is gates, they are operable in 6 ticks and are invaluable for:
Quick mustering of forces to defend
Quick mustering of forces to attack
Picking up conquers that come out of protection or get free via other means
Protect vital outposts across your empire
Hiding forces when you don't want the enemy to notice you moving large forces over large distances
- Always keep a long scan over your colonies when you think treachery might be afoot or if the enemy is getting close. It is expensive but the cost of not seeing what is going on if you get mass jammed is much much worse.
- The pod system works! What is the pod system? Well it is the act of splitting an alliance into groups of 6, 4, or even 3 players at the start of the round to expand and pick up lots of conquers and avoid economic stalemates with your alliance early on in the game when there is no real threat. Downsides? If you don't evenly balance the strong players with the weak ones then a pod can fail and you can screw over a large portion of your alliance so be careful. I've done it many times, and it works great.
- When you have a nuke farm and want to hit a particular colony with a ton of nukes it is not wise to simply launch everything you have. Launch them one at a time until he relocates, then fire them all now that he cannot avoid them.
- If you have a colony nearby that you've conquered and he has a crystal that you want there is really only one thing to do. Send 3-4 squads at a neutral outpost of yours and force relocate him there when you are one tick away. This will do several things.UPDATE: You can only force relocate to settlements, so keep a few extra laying around in case you need to force relocate someone for this purpose.
This will make it so that someone else doesn't get the crystal first
He can only have a max of 10 units defending
You burn his oil
You save time since you moved to your outpost instead of doing an attack on his colony
You save oil since you moved to your outpost instead of doing an attack on his colony
-Delay Function is very useful. If you're quite active on the front lines but still don't quite know how to dodge nukes effectively while you sleep. This is how you do it. Delay. Don't just move to an outpost and then go to sleep, this gives them a chance to trap you, or fire another nuke. You should use delay so your forces don't leave your outpost until 2 ticks before the nuke hits. The squads are visible to your allies but no one outside your alliance. This will look to the enemy like you just barely bailed in time and you never sleep! I've been accused many times of account sharing for this, it is quite amusing. Using the delay function is the only true way to appear active without actually having to be.UPDATE: Delaying your squads no longer protect you from being damaged from spy attacks, but you are immune to lockdown while doing this. If you delay whenever you land on an outpost 2-3 ticks, and you get locked down, in 2-3 ticks you'll still leave when you're supposed to.
Will try to keep this updated when I have time to add more tactics.