Orbital Bombardment

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Whether you are looking to make a lucky strike on a rogue engineer or trying to soften up a force too strong to meet head on, bombardment should be your attack of choice. Bombarding is simple: park at least one ship directly over a planet with bombs, go down to the surface of the planet, pick your target, and initiate bombardment!

One of the first things you will notice when exploring the bombardment window is the different fire support types (top right): Blanket Fire, Normal Fire, Precision Fire and Cease Fire. You can mouse over each option to see a brief description. Before discussing the details and uses for each of these, there are several concepts you need to have a grasp on with this tool.

First and most important is to know that bombardment only affects players which you are at war with. Therefore, if a covert strike is what you are attempting, bombardment is probably not the best option. That is unless the targeted player is at war with many players, otherwise there is a short list of people that could be responsible. Agents would be advisable for covert strikes.

Another thing to note if you have not used bombardment before, this attack technique is more “area of effect” than it is “targeted destruction”. The weapons fire will land within the targeted zone, at random, possibly affecting multiple buildings/units at the same time. This increases the chance that the falling weapons fire will strike something - the bigger the AoE, the better that chance!

However, as with every tactical decision, there are subtleties.Weapons must be placed under the bomb type in order to bombard. This means they will not fire at normal targets. So, while you may have a ship capable of cleaning the planet below, without the proper diversity or support, this ship could be easy prey to any other armed vessel.

Cease Fire simply does what it states. Press the button and firing stops.

Now you know what you can do with bombardment, but what can you do when an opponent uses bombardment against you? The simplest method of protection against bombardment is a planetary blockade above your planets with important assets. For starters, this prevents ships from being able to take up a bombardment position. Unfortunately, if the player doing the bombardment was not an enemy but hit your base, war is automatically declared and your blockade units will attack. This forces your now enemy to choose between a space fight or, if possible, a direct planet attack. A second, less obvious form of protection, is planetary defense guns. Alternatively, if you catch an enemy in the process of bombarding your assets, you can always send a welcoming party up to “greet” their ships. This could lead to a direct conflict or scare off the attackers completely as they may have been bombarding you because they feared to face you head on. The final method of protection is the iron curtain. If your offline invulnerability is engaged for that planet, bombardment will not affect anything there.

Bombarding is all fun and games until someone looses a base… Then it’s a blast! Bombardment also works on ships when in the planet environment. A player can lead a opposing fleet or trick them to follow where they are setup and ready to perform a precision bombardment. Entire fleets of corvettes can be wiped out by a carefully placed bombardment.

Blanket Fire Blanket Fire covers an entire portion of the map. When on a tiny planet, this might as well be the entire planet. The weapons on bombarding ships fire at their normal rate with this option, but the damage is so spread out that it may not appear to be the same. This option has several purposes: to slowly damage an entire base at once, to panic or provoke the leaders) of the colony/colonies below, and to wreak havoc on infrastructure by destroying engineers and cargo trucks over a large area at random. In general, because of the extremely diluted nature of the weapons fire, it is not the most recommended option for destroying a planet based colony or fleet. It would only be time effective if many ships were used, each dealing large amounts of damage.

Normal Fire Normal Fire concentrates the fire to a smaller area, but reduces the fire rate of the ships in orbit to 60% of their maximum amount. Therefore, if a unit normally fired once every 10 seconds, it would now fire once every 16.7 seconds. With a limited amount of ships and/or firepower, this method is much more capable of destroying buildings in a medium size area. It is also effective in hurting the infrastructure of one area of a map without disturbing another. If there are “friendlies” on the ground, that you would like to keep that way, this is probably a decent option.

Precision Fire Precision Fire reduces the affected area, while considerably reducing the fire rate to forty percent of maximum. Or, if the same ten second rate of fire is used, it would now only fire once every twenty-five seconds. This offers a near pinpoint tool which can be used to take out strategic areas of interest without affecting the surroundings.

If you have found the enemy command center, and just want to hit it to force negotiations, or if it is a small fleet you would rather not go down to the surface to fight, order down a precision fire. Remember, what falls to the planet is the same the ship normally uses, meaning if the weapon has enough AoE damage, it could possibly spread outside of the targeted zone. When done correctly and in conjunction with decent scouting, this option can be used to cripple your enemy while seeing little to no retaliation.

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