Late game - hard - strategies?


I can consistently beat the game on normal, but haven't had luck with hard since the first beta of extended edition.
I keep getting shredded by multiple enemies with death rays before I can even jump out. Is there a way to handle these?

The ONLY strategy that can get me past the first sector is mass rocket cannons. On my last run I got to sector 4 unknown with very powerful, almost fully upgraded fleet with rocket cannons, photon torps, and bolter drones for defense. What else has worked for others?


Shield boosters (point defense version) are your friend on world 4. When combined with repair and/or shield drones you're pretty much unstoppable.


Agreed with what Forty said regarding shield boosters and drones. I definitely noticed that the game difficulty increased after the last update, which was a good thing.

Know your races. Trolgars use projectile cannons and missiles, Celestials use energy weapons and lasers, Wanderers are heavy flak and missiles, and the Unknown use heavy energy of all kinds. In the later rounds against races using energy weapons, I usually jump in close to ships on the outskirts to make every shot count. Also, try to keep your reload time down on most weapons (less than 5). Maxing out the drones, especially the shield drones, and the shield boosters is a huge plus to your defenses. in the later rounds, point defense becomes pointless. You also have to role with the weapons your're given along the way. if I have Trolgars for the 3rd map, I'll use their projectiles. If I get Celestials, i'll stock up on some lasers and upgrade the reload times. I haven't tried since the latest release, but gone are the times where you could roll through on hard just using human weapons Sad


The hardest part is getting started since you have to get ramped up pretty fast. You cant hardly fight fully equipped ships let alone multiple with figher escort with 900 credits to start with. As such my priorites are thus:
1. Efficient weapons. Energy cannon plus a particle cannon with autofire if u have 6 tech. both 800 range. Add particle cannons as you can afford.
1b. 2 Fighter Bays. These guys are awesome for clearing the first few sectors of fighters and decent for quite some time afterwards. They provide "clog" to stop rockets and all sorts of projectiles.

2. Get a Defend Station quest by rejecting others. While many avoid them, I like to start with 1. The idea is that I know where another station is now, and when I get there I have cleared a few sectors, maybe dragged an enemy big ship with me, have another one there already and then the Defend one spawns. Assuming the station isn't total crap (WHY are there unarmed stations around anyways?), you can take out several ships pretty easily, letting the station repair you while you body-tank the station.
This tends to get you really FAST cash/tech and maybe a drop if lucky.

3. Try to be flexible. Dont have a set strategy in mind. Adapt based on what you pick up. Using human weapons for long is a loser.

Dealing with Wanderers - They usually have missiles/rockets. Having the Fighter Bays clogs up the works and you generally want to jump right on them at beat them up at medium to short range. You want to stock up on point defense bolters with autofire and 1 hull boost...usually ALL on one side for 1st map (unless valiant ship,etc with front firing guns), and face the enemy with that side always.
You usually do NOT want to outmissile them on the 1st map...HOLD ONTO their best rocket/missiles and once you can MASS them, go for it on the next map.

Celestials - On the first map, just outgun them and start stealing/buying good Ion Cannon Mark 2 to beat them. Fighter bays provide valuable clog to block their lasers/deathrays/megaplasma if they get any.
On 2nd or 3rd map, you need LOTS of fighters of some kind....either bolter fighters or lots of bombers to get in the way and eat their damage.
Dump your Point defense and go with almost ALL shield boosters, with tech invested into them. This stops their guns pretty well at medium range.
OR, you might have tons of missiles by then which is a good strategy...tho you still struggle vs closer foes with their deathrays.

Trolgars - Stay away from them if they have flak cannons! They usually have awesome projectile cannons which you can liberally steal from them and pair with a shield-shredder and kick butt.
They dont usualy have ANY shield-penetration so they are trivial at medium/long range since their shots bounce off your shields. EZPZ.

Shiellah (sic) - They tend to have random stuff.

Unknown - Similar to Celestials except WEAKER. Go figure. Use the CLOG strategy with maxed out shields.


joe, thanks for your tips. after reading what you wrote i was able to beat the game on hard. i wrote my own notes regarding how i did it in another thread, but I was very much helped by your recommendations.


ps: point defense lasers actually become pretty strong late in the game because they are strong enough to damage large enemy ships up close (I think i had several that were 500+ range). 12 point defense lasers + 3 death rays basically nuked any enemy that warped in at close range before they could get much of a shot off. but wouldn't recommend this early on.

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