Introduction to Long Distance Artillery Doctrine
Master General Franz Erhard Kranz
No one truly understands what it means to stand alone, unless one stands where you stand. That is in command. For it is on your orders that men will be sent to their deaths, be they allies or foes. Your decisions, whatever they may be, shall steer the currents of history and define the fate of nations.
Ask not for a lighter burden nor seek forgiveness for actions undertaken. Ask but for counsel and seek only knowledge. And as you walk alone through this dark and terrible storm we call war, never falter and never yield to its terrors.
Remember that there is always a chance for victory.
Chance to Hit
The chance any weapon has of hitting a target is shown in its target reticle.
Exposed targets are easier to hit. Targets enclosed or shielded by other rooms are much less likely to be hit due to the difficulty of penetration.
Consider the trajectory of the projectile. A room that is shielded diagonally by another thick-walled room may prove a difficult target for cannons firing at an angle but not necessarily for mortars raining their bombs from above.
Enemy rooms currently targeted by your weapons are highlighted in red.
Select one of the targeted enemy rooms to see the weapons aiming at it highlighted in green.
Once you destroy an enemy room, it can no longer serve as a shield protecting other rooms.
Fortress Structural Integrity
Targeted rooms are not the only thing getting damaged. Every successful hit also decreases the overall structural integrity of a fortress. Such damage may be small, but it is permanent and cannot be restored during battle.
The enemy may heal its soldiers and repair its damaged weaponry back to working condition but when the fortress hitpoints reach zero, the battle is over.
Some guns are more effective at causing structural damage than others. This is indicated by the screen shake after a successful hit. Energy weapons won’t damage the structural integrity at all, while steady mortar bombardment can gradually bring a fortress down, even if the enemy manages to keep all their equipment in working order.
When you destroy a target, whether it is a weapon or a utility room, the enemy fortress loses a significant portion of its structural integrity.
100 hitpoints down for each destroyed slot.
This damage is applied only the first time the target is destroyed. Repaired equipment may seem like new but you can always tell by the cracks in the walls that irreparable structural damage has been inflicted.
Ammunition Production and Consumption
Every fortress is supplied with a set Ammunition Production rate, which can be increased with Munition Depots and more soldiers working there. Weapons consume ammunition and the more advanced their payload or fire mode, the more ammunition they need.
When your weapons consume more ammunition than your fortress can produce, the overall speed of your reloads decreases. There are three levels of reload speed penalty, depending on the severity of ammunition shortage.
-1 to -10 ammunition shortage results in -25% reload speed
-11 to -20 ammunition shortage results in -50% reload speed
-21 and greater ammunition shortage results in -75% reload speed
The color of the reloading circles and the target reticles indicates the percentage of the penalty.
Weapons consume ammunition during reload. When the weapon is loaded and ready to fire, it no longer consumes any ammunition. If you need to reduce ammunition consumption, set some of your weapons on hold fire or completely turn off your least effective weapon.
Keeping Soldiers Alive
Soldiers are the lifeblood of your fortress. One soldier, bravely struggling to repair the cannon under fire, may save ten other rooms from destruction. A single soldier operating the Active Defense Control computer can triple the effectiveness of all defense turrets.
The health of your soldiers slowly regenerates when they are working or idling. In stressful conditions, such as when they are putting out fires, repelling invaders or repairing damage, their health won’t regenerate at all.
When you see repairmen losing too much health, let them switch places with soldiers working in rooms away from the enemy shelling. This rotation between safe and dangerous posts allows your wounded soldiers to regenerate, while keeping equipment maintained and operated.
Do not group too many soldiers in one place. Three soldiers in a room make an irresistible target for enemy anti-personnel weapons such as flashbangs and concussion grenades.
When a soldier does get stunned, you may expect something nasty coming at him shortly thereafter. Whether it’s going to be a neurotoxin shell or a shredder bomb, being around a stunned comrade is the most dangerous place to be. Issue an order to retreat immediately! The stunned soldier can’t move right away. But he will execute the order the moment he comes back to his senses. With luck, he may escape death just in time.
Active Pause and Speeding Up the Time
A myriad of disasters may happen in a split second. Pause the game, observe the situation and come up with the best course of action. Issue orders, as many as you like, then un-pause and watch your plans come into fruition. If anything goes wrong, pause the game again and keep the situation under control.
Use active pause to fire weapons in perfect sync. Set weapons on hold fire and when they’re ready, pause the game and issue any number of fire orders you can.
When the enemy is firing something big, like an Omega Cannon or an ICBM, pause the game, predict what places are most likely to get hit, and retreat soldiers to the most probable safe spots.
When you see that your victory is inevitable, or that the enemy is unable to penetrate your defenses effectively, you can safely double the speed of time:
- Touchscreen: Swipe right across the middle border
- PC: Press F key
Different Kinds of Victory
You’ll be awarded one of three types of victory depending on how you manage to defeat the opposing fortress.
A takeover is the most lucrative type of victory because it comes with a significant monetary reward. While other victories yield around 300-500 credits, takeovers grant 400-650 credits. To achieve a takeover type of victory, you need to:
- Kill all enemy soldiers
- Destroy all enemy guns
- Invade the enemy fortress
These conditions need to be met before the enemy fortress structural integrity reaches zero. If you are trying to perform a takeover, limit the level of destruction to the necessary targets.
An annihilation victory provides a bonus score and is awarded to commanders who dominate their foes with military might. To achieve the annihilation type of victory, either:
- Kill all enemy soldiers and destroy all enemy weapons and utilities
- Kill over 50% of enemy soldiers
- Destroy more than 50% of enemy rooms
- Blow up the enemy fortress
An attrition victory is awarded after tightly-balanced battles, when neither side has been able to gain a significant upper hand. Both sides may end the battle with functioning equipment and without casualties. However, the victory goes to the commander who was able to bring the enemy’s structural integrity down to zero fastest.
Leaving the Battle without Conceding
When you start the battle and immediately realize that your fortress is ill-equipped for the challenge, you may quit without conceding and thus without ending your Victory Streak. This is only possible before the first shots land; before one opponent metes out any damage to the other. Once the damage is inflicted, no matter how insignificant it may be, the battle has begun and has to be either won, lost or conceded.
Fortress Layouts and Perks
Whenever you acquire a new fortress, review the layouts available and choose one that best suits your tactics. Three most common types of fortress layouts are:
- Extra Weapon Slot & Ammunition
- Recommended for commanders relying on swift destruction of key enemy targets and subsequent domination.
- Extra Defense Tower Slot & Power
- Recommended for commanders who fight defensively, planning on gradually outlasting their opponent.
- Extra Cover & Manpower
- Recommended for more experienced commanders with well-balanced builds. Extra Cover means that the slot(s) designated with camo netting or a thick layer of concrete are more difficult to hit. This is useful for protecting especially aggravating weapons and utilities. One additional soldier means one more station can be operated or repaired at a time.
Perks are awarded randomly after battles, with roughly 15% base chance of dropping. They are divided into four rarity classes – with rare perks being more effective than common perks.
Perk effects stack together! If you get two perks of the same kind, you can equip them both for a combined effect.
Though you can’t directly purchase perks for your fortress, you can adapt your tactics and build your fortress to best utilize the perks you have been randomly granted.
To review all currently equipped perks during a battle, select the Name and Stats Tab of the fortress.
If your enemy utilizes multiple Defense Turrets or a Kinetic Shield, place your weapons on hold using the hold fire button. Once three or more weapons are ready to fire, pause and issue fire orders. Multiple incoming projectiles will overwhelm the defenses with the first few shots creating an opening for the remainder of the barrage.
When your enemy relies on Flak Towers, choose a different approach. Place your hard-hitting weapons on hold and let your rapid-firing cannon provoke the Flak. Once the Flak responds with a discharge, fire your heavy weapons.
Solaris and Sirius Scorcher Beams are great at driving enemy soldiers from their posts and creating temporary windows of opportunity. Defense towers are ineffective without an operator in the Active Defense Control room. The Kinetic Shield cannot restore itself with energy beams frying its core.
Deep-striking missiles are vulnerable to defense turrets. However, if you support them with beam weapons, there’s a great chance the missile will make it through the defense fire and hit the control room.
Another great way of neutralizing the enemy’s defense ability is to use the Orion or Hyperion EMP Blasters. Use them to fire at the Active Defense Control room, even if the chance of a hit is small. Besides the fact that the EMP spheres can’t be shot down, all that’s needed to disable an entire defense network and to create a guaranteed 30 seconds long opening is one lucky hit.
EMP Blasters and Power Shortage
Unless your fortress has a large surplus of power, one hit from the enemy EMP Blaster can put you into a serious disadvantage, especially at the beginning of the battle.
Rather than allowing the enemy EMP to disable your strongest weapon, power off the room you need the least. Although the EMP hit still negates a portion of your power reserve, it will be the room you’ve chosen that goes dark and not the target that the enemy originally wanted.
In case you’ve built a fortress without enough power to run all of its weapons and facilities at once, you can still enter the battle and transfer power between the rooms you need now and those you’ll be needing later. An example of such power juggling would be keeping the Medical Ray unplugged until you have soldiers in need of healing.
Medical Emergency and Shelters
Soldiers repairing a damaged Medical Ray facility will not benefit from its healing. If you need to urgently heal a dying soldier in a damaged facility, send two other soldiers to start the needed repairs. The third soldier in the room will then be able to start healing.
When you can’t use the Medical Ray, you may send your wounded soldiers into the Armory or another one of the few rooms designated as a Shelter. Soldiers in shelters won’t regenerate faster than anywhere else, but they are partially protected from damage and concussion. Soldiers in shelters suffer 20% to 30% less damage and only 2 of them can be stunned at a time.
The answer to any challenge lies in a combination of Perks, Weapons and Utilities that complement each other. Select the Name and Stats Tab of any weapon to show its detailed description.
Some of the well-proven tactical combinations include:
Low-precision weapons with Ballistic Radar – The bonus chance to hit provided by radar is applied even to the most enclosed rooms inside the enemy fortress. This allows weapons like mortars and EMP Blasters to triple their effectiveness against deep targets.
Rapid-firing and Superheavy weapons – Let the hard-hitting artillery blow holes in the enemy fortress. Then use the lighter cannons to disrupt enemy attempts to rebuild the ruins.
Energy weapons and missiles – Missiles consume lots of ammunition, while energy weapons require almost none. Beam weapons and EMP Blasters are great at creating openings in defenses that can be easily exploited by devastating missile attacks.
Stun and Neurotoxin – Stun enemy soldiers, then fill their room with neurotoxins. Not only is this a simple way to reduce the enemy workforce, but contaminated rooms cannot be repaired and become easy prey for even the smallest guns.
Fire and Neurotoxin – The longer a fire burns, the stronger it gets – eventually spreading to the neighboring rooms as well. Start a fire inside an enemy fortress, then use neurotoxin to make sure the enemy won’t be able to put it out.
Armory and Clandestine Operations – A soldier equipped with body armor and an assault machine-gun is able to match three enemy riflemen in combat. Add perks like Painkillers, Bloodlust and Heroic Sacrifice into the mix and you can take over an entire enemy fortress with just a single super-soldier.
“Knowledge is power. Knowledge and Artillery, of course.”
– Fuhrer Adler Grimm ∴