Grey Dragon Feb 27, 2013 @ 12:36pm
Gratuitous Failure
I've never been especially good at strategy games, so I was relieved when I tried GSB and found that it was at least manageable. Well, that's what I thought at first.

When I purchased the "Galactic Conquest mode" DLC, I welcomed the new challenges, and looked forward to playing the game on a larger scale. I started at the lowest difficulty level and began buidling up a substantial fleet. I then invaded a nearby system and took it easily, still leaving a substantial force to hold the home system. The next system was more tricky, and claiming it cost me dearly. I decided to slow down and build up my forces before advancing.

This is where it went horribly wrong. I built what I thought was a huge fleet of cruisers and frigates and sent them to the next system, only to find myself facing a solid wall of enemy ships, bigger than anything I had seen before. I decided to retreat, but the enemy fleet followed my forces back to base, where they instantly reduced my entire fighting force to slag. Though I still had the defence fleet at my home planet, I would need a fleet more than three times the size to re-take the lost system and I would cerainly lose more than half of it in the process. Since it had taken me a very long time to build my assault force in the first place, due to heavy crew and money shortages, I decided to abandon the campaign at this point.

Is it really meant to be this insanely hard? I was playing at the game's lowest difficulty setting and almost every effort I made to advance was ruthlessly punished.
Showing 1-15 of 19 comments
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RetroBlast Feb 27, 2013 @ 2:05pm 
I've tried to play the conquest mode a couple of times, and ran into the same thing as you. You're building up slowly, having a few victories, and then you run into a wave of enemies so big there's no hope of survival, and no chance to rebuild before they slaughter you.

I eventually gave up.
ryry117 Feb 27, 2013 @ 2:25pm 
yeah conquest mode was a bit...ok, a lot overpowering. Best to stick with battles and challenges.
Grey Dragon Feb 27, 2013 @ 2:32pm 
Apparently, all the fleets encountered in Conquest mode are player-designed arrangements downloaded from the internet. Given the huge potential differences in skill level among players, it's hard to see how this system could have been balanced in any meaningful way.

Restricting the budget of randomly selected fleets doesn't help if you encounter the perfect combination of ships for countering your own. Given the huge variety of possible arrangements under all but the most horrendous restrictions, it's only a matter of time before you meet an enemy fleet that always hits you where it hurts most.
Bubblegum Feb 27, 2013 @ 3:29pm 
You need to rush the first few systems. Build just enough to take them then with that extra resources build up enough to take enough plannets to get a second buiding plannet.

The start is kind of tricky on the higher levels.
One thing I can say is Fighters do awesome amounts of damage if you have high numbers of fighters. So much so that it takes the fun out of the game. I had a fleet of fighters practicaly win the game for me.
Koresawa Feb 27, 2013 @ 7:37pm 
i am playing the hardest difficulty in conquest mode with 51 planests and now holding 20 planets. you want to really design specific rolled ships so it can handle most of the situation without losing them. i've lost 0 crusiers so far.
Koresawa Feb 27, 2013 @ 7:45pm 
btw, fighters are not recomended in harder mode since it dies nomatter how you use it and takes alot of cash to refill them. I only use few of them to escort. just design a squad of 1 crusier and 2~3 frigates that can handle any kind of enemy ; close combat heavy armored, missile spamming, high shiled etc, and constantly add them to build larger fleet.
Grey Dragon Feb 28, 2013 @ 5:14am 
I have never been able to design a frigate that could not be shredded by enemy fire in two seconds, except for a few designs that could not penetrate the enemy's defenses. This forces me to rely on cruisers and fighters. My fighters can rip most enemies apart, while the cruisers can penetrate any defenses the fighters can't. I have also found that my cruisers can take on superior numbers of enemy cruisers and frigates and still triumph.

My greatest weakness is enemy frigates, which are sometimes vastly superior to any design I can come up with. I have never been able to design anything that can counter these frigates, especially as I cannot seem to come up with an effective frigate design of my own.
Last edited by Grey Dragon; Feb 28, 2013 @ 5:14am
cliffski  [developer] Feb 28, 2013 @ 1:35pm 
I recommend playing quite a few normal battles before attempting the campaign. Play enough that you can unlock pretty much everything, then have a go at some of the online challenges posted by other players. Once you can beat some of them, THEN have a go at the campaign. It is hard, but it should be manageable, but you go into it with one hand tied behind your back if you haven't unlocked a lot of modules and got the hang of the orders/weapons etc first.
Grey Dragon Feb 28, 2013 @ 3:38pm 
Originally posted by cliffski:
I recommend playing quite a few normal battles before attempting the campaign. Play enough that you can unlock pretty much everything, then have a go at some of the online challenges posted by other players. Once you can beat some of them, THEN have a go at the campaign. It is hard, but it should be manageable, but you go into it with one hand tied behind your back if you haven't unlocked a lot of modules and got the hang of the orders/weapons etc first.

Actually, I thought about this and made sure to unlock everything before starting Conquest mode, then rebuilt my ships using the new equipment before trying it out. It didn't help.

Due to an intermittent internet connection today, I was unable to try out Challenge mode, but my connection did last long enough for me to notice something odd about the challenges. Beside each of them are ratings for difficulty and entertainment value. However, a very large number of challenges have no ratings.

If Conquest mode decides which fleets to use by comparing ratings with the difficulty setting, then all of these unrated fleets could appear at the lowest setting. Since these are most likely fleets no-one has tried to fight yet, the resulting fleets would vary wildly in difficulty, meaning that the "easy" difficulty might actually be a lot harder than the normal difficulty.
Overread Mar 1, 2013 @ 3:04am 
I think that idea behind the challenges is a good concept but that it does somewhat start to get a big broken when it tries to operate on a campaign map style affair. Considering the intelligence of the AI during battles I hope that we might one day see the AI building its own fleets - therefore allowing an offline campaign mode that allows the player to play on a more even footing against an AI similarly limited in construction and expansion as the player*

Of course I wouldn't expect this until we see GSB2

*note I fully accept that most if not all AI get some "cheat" help to make them more capable against a human opponent so it won't be 100% even footing, but good enough to provide a level of challenge.
Poor Dick Mar 1, 2013 @ 2:52pm 
Originally posted by Grey Dragon:
I have never been able to design a frigate that could not be shredded by enemy fire in two seconds, except for a few designs that could not penetrate the enemy's defenses. This forces me to rely on cruisers and fighters. My fighters can rip most enemies apart, while the cruisers can penetrate any defenses the fighters can't. I have also found that my cruisers can take on superior numbers of enemy cruisers and frigates and still triumph.

My greatest weakness is enemy frigates, which are sometimes vastly superior to any design I can come up with. I have never been able to design anything that can counter these frigates, especially as I cannot seem to come up with an effective frigate design of my own.

I've never been able to build a frigate worth... anything. Any frigates I've built just get shredded. However, I've been able to do really, really (ridiculously) well in all the just using well built, heavy Cruizers (and just Cruizers). (I seem to come out equal with the enemy with losses when it comes to my fighter designs.)
Grey Dragon Mar 2, 2013 @ 7:37am 
Originally posted by Poor ♥♥♥♥:
I've never been able to build a frigate worth... anything. Any frigates I've built just get shredded. However, I've been able to do really, really (ridiculously) well in all the just using well built, heavy Cruizers (and just Cruizers). (I seem to come out equal with the enemy with losses when it comes to my fighter designs.)

Oddly enough, my cheapest fighter designs seem to do the best. With a reactor, powerful engines, a laser and no armour, my fighters can be produced in large numbers at minimal cost and overwhelm almost every other fighter design I have encountered. They then swarm the larger ships, ripping most frigates apart and occupying the guns of enemy cruisers. Once my own cruisers enter the fray and bring down enemy shields and armour, my fighters make short work of even the toughest cruiser designs.
NÖÖB Mar 2, 2013 @ 12:26pm 
I have sucsessfull frigat designs but none of them are front line type ships. I put disrupters and emp's on them and they assist the cruisers on hard targets.Also they can counter fighters with the right weapons.I use them like an excessory ship, to be built last or when u have the money.
Steven G. Mar 3, 2013 @ 3:21pm 
Seriously campaign mode is too hard... at easy level !
If we want to play hard we can take the hard difficulty, but why easy is impossible ?
I prefer a not adaptative difficulty or less challenge than this frustrating thing !
It seems the game is cheating, when you take a race or make a strategy (ex : all missile) it lost 1 battle and then 4 turns later it comes with a armada exactly the opposite of yours... and win easily.
Last edited by Steven G.; Mar 3, 2013 @ 3:25pm
sarge2.0 Mar 3, 2013 @ 11:24pm 
Frigates you can use in a couple of ways: first is like a light cruiser, slightly faster and adding a bit of firepower to your main line. This type should be just behind the line with long range or support weapons, examples include emp missiles plasma guns and point defence guns. keeping these on frigates frees more space on cruisers for heavy guns and defences. the second way I use is as a fast raider, lots of weapons, a shield and as many engines as you can. This gives you a relatively fast ship that can skirt the enemy line and attack the edges. The first is useful almost everywhere though it needs careful set up before the battle and liberal use of the escort command. the second is impossible to pull off unless you take direct control, and even then it requires a fair bit of micro managing. Both designs can be vulnerable to fighters, especially the second so make sure you are either fighting where fighters can't go, or take a tonne of fighters of your own.
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