The galaxy runs on resources. The more you have, the more you can do. The less your enemies have, the greater your advantage over them. It should come as no surprise that capturing enemy resources represents an unbroken tradition which stretches back to the dawn of recorded history for every successful species. The technological environment of the modern battlefield introduces a number of complications and advantages in this regard - in addition to securing physical resources, faction governments reward successful attacks with bounties, and perhaps the most important thing you can capture (information, in the form of blueprints) is easy to make off with - but at the end of the day, killing your enemies and taking their stuff remains much as it has been for thousands of years.
When a player attacks a base, he can capture and carry off physical resources - alloy, synthetics, and energy - in quantities limited primarily by the cargo capacity of his ships. Players looting bases can capture up to 500% of their normal cargo capacity in resources, which are lost by the defending player, and must be carried home by the attacker. The portion of a base’s reserves which are captured is also limited by the buildings the attacker destroys however, with a base giving up 10% of its reserves when the Command Center is destroyed, and 5% of its reserves for each Resource Depot the attacker takes out. Usually however - unless the base’s resource reserves are very low, or the attacker was able to capture the base with a fleet containing Transports - the attacker’s cargo will prove to be the limiting factor.
In addition to these resources, players’ factions award them a bounty of Credits for each building they destroy in an enemy base - just as they do for each enemy ship destroyed - and players have a chance to recover blueprint fragments for exotic technology from their enemy’s labs (neither of which takes anything away from the defender). The attacker’s chance of acquiring a blueprint fragment increases with each research building his fleet destroys.
With their large, stable platforms and massive power supplies, bases are capable of mounting defenses far beyond what any known ship could possibly support. Four structures form the backbone of a base’s defensive systems: the Reactor Station, Barrier Generators, Defense Platforms, and Pylons. Each of these forms a cornerstone in the system of base defenses.
The Reactor Station is the beating heart of your base’s defenses. Tapping into your base’s central power core, it delivers the power that runs your turrets and pylons, and generates the huge spikes of supplemental power required to operate barriers. A more advanced Reactor Station allows for the construction of more base defenses, and perhaps just as important, if a player’s Reactor Station is destroyed in battle, his Barrier Generators will fail immediately, leaving his structures unshielded until it is repaired.
Barrier Generators & ModulesEdit
Barriers are similar in all respects to the shields employed by starships, mitigating damage from incoming attacks according to damage type. Unlike ship shields however, Barrier Generators extend their protection to every structure within their range (determined by the level of the structure), providing each of them with shielding (determined by the equipped barrier module). By overlapping the protection provided by multiple barriers, base structures can also achieve appreciably greater total protection than is typically possible for ships.
Just as a Defense Platform requires a weapon in it’s turret, a Barrier Generator requires a Barrier Module be fitted in order to provide protection. Furthermore however, due to the extraordinary amount of power required to operate a barrier, they are dependent on an operating Reactor Station. If a base’s Reactor Station is destroyed, it’s Barrier Generators will immediately fail, and remain offline until the structure is fully repaired.
Defense Platforms & WeaponsEdit
The infrastructure of a starbase allows it to equip weapons which are far more powerful than those employed by ships, capable of inflicting many times the damage at far greater ranges. The downside of this of course is that they are effectively stationary, unable to position to receive an attack from an unexpected direction, or maneuver into range of the enemy. Like Barrier Generators, a player must equip his Defense Platforms in order for them to be effective - upgrading the platform itself increases durability and power capabilities, but a weapon is required for it to do its job - but there are a range of armaments to choose from, each with its own benefits and limitations.
Pylons & Force FieldsEdit
taken from the article Pylons
The final key component of a base’s defenses is it’s system of Pylons, and the force fields generated between them. Every starbase hangs suspended between two Harrington fields - invisible planes of gravitational force which keep it anchored in space and render it effectively unassailable from above and below. Pylons generate force fields which block the relatively narrow gap between these planes, while carefully not disrupting the balance between them. The result is in many respects similar to the systems of walls employed in primitive fortifications, protecting the structures within its confines from weapons fire and encroaching enemies.
Force fields are created by arranging Pylons in the open space around a base’s perimeter. When two Pylons are placed at perpendicular angles to one another, a field will form automatically between them if at least one is within the maximum range of the other (a Pylon’s maximum range increases as it is upgraded, along with its health). Enemy attacks cannot pass through force fields and pylons, while defensive weapons can fire freely outwards from them, affording strong protection to a well designed base.
An attacking fleet can direct its weapons against the force field itself, in which case its damage is distributed between the connected Pylons, eventually overloading them; or against an individual Pylon, seeking to break through a perceived weak point in a base’s defenses. Base designers commonly build redundancy into their pylon layouts however - even if an intermediate pylon is destroyed, the force field between will persist as long as the remaining pylons are in range.
It is difficult to compose a fleet which is ideal against both base defenses and other fleets. Because of this, one of the most time-tested forms of defense remains one of the most effective: the defending fleet. By positioning one or more fleets outside his own defenses, a wise commander can deter all but the most committed attackers (albeit at not inconsiderable risk to the defending fleet itself).
In order to assault a starbase, an attacker must first defeat each of its defending fleets. Once defeated of course those fleets return to the Dock for repairs, leaving a base vulnerable to more specialized attackers, but this kind of multi-stage attack requires significant coordination, and as such, a defending fleet will help stave off more casual attacks.
To defend his base, a player needs only launch a fleet, and - in the Sector view - choose the Defend option from his base’s context menu. A player may also defend his allies’ bases with his own fleets in a similar fashion.
The resources and technology at the disposal of a modern starbase makes repairing it fast and easy. Their relatively open design is far more easily serviced than the dense and complex structure of a warship, and this combined with the nano-recycler technology allows even the most advanced of base structures to be repaired in minutes. Indeed, the primary threat posed by an attacking fleet is the pillaging of resources, followed only distantly by the productivity and time lost to actually recovering from the attack.
Base repairs must be initiated by the base’s commander, but every base structure can be repaired in under ten minutes at no cost in resources, and any number of buildings can be repaired at the same time. Building functions - research, ship construction, upgrades, fleet repairs, and so forth - are suspended while a building is damaged however, so starbase governors are well advised to begin their repairs promptly after an attack.
Constructing an effective base is by no means a perfected art. Numerous schools of thought exist, some more proven than others, but suffice it to say that there are countless possible base configurations which may be employed to protect one’s self from attack. Regardless of a base designer’s strategy however, the basics of design remain consistent: platform space allows the designer to expand, while the number of Pylons his base can support constrains his growth.
The arrangement of a starbase’s anchoring fields naturally limits construction of platforms and pylon configurations to the area underneath its umbrella, meaning that nothing can be built beyond a certain distance from the base’s central platform. It also limits the angles at which an attacker can approach however, insuring they will always arrive outside that perimeter (though within the plane of the base, they can approach from any angle they choose).
Once an enemy has breached a base’s outer defenses however, his fleets have extensive freedom to move about, and strike at whatever targets are exposed to them. The base platform itself is no obstacle to invading ships - and isn’t worth the trouble of attacking, compared the the vital structures on it’s primary surface - so a wise designer positions his his defenses to provide maximum redundancy and coverage.
At the most basic level, a player’s Base Rating measures the defensive power of his base in much the same way as a fleet’s Fleet Rating measures it’s technological advancement. Its base value is derived from the number and levels of a base’s defensive structures. Configuration is of vital importance to an effective defense however, and as such, this base value is only the seed from which base rating will grow or wither.
A player’s Base Rating changes as his base weathers battles however, reflecting the success or failure of his layout against various fleets. Battles which posed no challenge - to either side - are not considered when calculating Base Rating, but fighting against the odds is rewarded. A base layout that gets repeatedly trounced by less powerful fleets will see its rating decline, while a base that turns back more powerful fleets will increase in rating. The more a base’s record varies from it’s base value, the more it’s factored in to overall rating.
Specific factors play a role in being declared the victor in base combat. In the most basic terms, if you take something from the enemy base and escape alive with it, you are considered to have won the battle. The rules are as follows:
Victory for Attacking FleetEdit
- Attacking fleet destroys a Resource Depot, one of the four Labs, or the Command Center and escapes battle with at least 1% health (either through Retreat or expiration of the battle timer)
- Attacking fleet completely destroys the Starbase
Victory for Defending StarbaseEdit
- Attacking fleet takes damage and Retreats before destroying a Resource Depot, one of the four Labs, or the Command Center
- Starbase completely destroys the attacking fleet
- Attacking fleet takes damage, does not destroy a Resource Depot, one of the four Labs, or the Command Center and is still in battle upon expiration of the battle timer
- Attacking fleet does not destroy a Resource Depot, one of the four Labs, or the Command Center and retreats without taking damage