An alternative strategy (that ends up being easy!)


The hallmark of an excellent game is that you can play it from start to finish several times, and find enjoyment, and new ways to win, each time. The game shouldn't be so easy that you beat it quickly, but not so hard that you discard it in frustration. As with Bug Byte's other games, Sector Siege is no exception.

For background, I've been playing Bug Byte games since they first came out, so I only play on Legend, although this strategy will work at any level.

The fundamental idea is to allow the AI to build ships for you, strategically capturing the highest value ships. I don't have a fancy name, but the mantra is "marines are better than you think, no really."

Winning with this strategy requires a few things:
  1. A mindest shift - you are no longer going to build warships. Rather, you are going to build marine ferries.
  2. Unlocking the Marine Clone ship
  3. Patience
A "nice to have" is unlocking the Nuke track, primarily for the Engine Manipulator and Turret Manipulator, which are two of the most powerful tools available in this game. 

The Rampart and Bastion states are also nice to have, because they can take a lot of fire before dying, which is very helpful in the early game.

Crew Selection
Marines are key to this strategy, although you'll only actually need about 5 ships to pull it off. After you get a sizeable Marine complement, next focus on Science. It's counter-intuitive, but you won't end up needing pilots.

Early Game
Early game, your goal is just to survive and build your fleet. You are playing a protracted rear guard action. You leave this stage of the game once you purchase the "Marine Clone".

Keep your ships alive, avoiding conflict with enemies you cannot easily defeat. This is where the Turret and Engine Manipulators are clutch - they allow you to escape conflicts you cannot win.

Your objective should be to keep your ships alive, and save enough money to build the "Marine Clone".

Fleet Composition
Focus on building carrier ships with at least two turret slots, and at least one hangar bay. The "Afterthought" and "Invader" both work well, with my slight preference being the "invader" due to it's lower speed and higher marine complement. You'll want four of these. We'll think of these as our "Marine Ferries".

4 x Laser PD (make sure to upgrade these first, prioritized above everything else)
1 x Rocket
1 x Turret Manipulator or Engine Manipulator

At the end, you should have 2 ships with an Engine Manipulator and 2 ships with a Turret Manipulator. All four should have a rocket launcher, because you can't completely avoid conflict at this stage of the game. 

Focus on Marine Tactics 1, then immediately go for Marine Tactics 2. It thoroughly sucks to have a random event drop an enemy marine boarding party which proceeds to steal your soon-to-be marine transports. If this happens, you can build a boarding shuttle on your battlestation, taking advantage of the fact that:
  1. The AI will eventually make a bee line there
  2. It has a lot of marines to expend, more than any other ship I've come across. 
Begin by building stations that have hangars. As a rule, do not build fighters on your ships. Rather, build them on your station and battle station. Make sure to set your fighters to aggressive. Doing so will allow them to engage enemy units as soon as they wander into your detection range. 

Once again, focus on lasers for PD, exclusively. For the money, I've found it to be superior to every other PD weapon. 

For turrets, make sure that each station has at least one Turret Manipulator and one Engine Manipulator. 

Mid Game
As soon as you get the "Marine Clone" you can start to shift to a more offensive footing. Put a marine boarding craft on each of your four ships, and keep them in close proximity to the Marine Clone. 

The AI will come to you. Remember this. Internalize it. Build your stations and position your ships to encourage the enemy to come right to you. 

When inevitably the AI sends an attack wave, pick your targets wisely and prioritize enemy carrier units. When you find a good target, enable cease fire mode, and let the combined fire from your warships and stations destroy everything other than the ship you want. Once your target is all that's left, your units will continue to bombard it with Engine and Turret Manipulators, keeping it stationary and toothless, opening the door for your marines. Send all of your available marines to capture it. Initially, you'll likely need 2 or even 3 marine shuttles to capture most big ships. Later on, you can get by with 2 per target. 

Once you capture the enemy carrier, move it away from the front line, and do not forget to set their fighters on aggressive. Once it is repaired (even with cease fire it will take some damage), move it back up to the front line. It is now expendable in a way that your Marine Ferries and Marine Clone are not.


If you do this strategy well, you will not be able to tech to Hull Repair Drones before you max out your hangars, so plan on doing field repairs. Don't worry, you will also quickly hit your ship limit, so you'll have lots of extra cash.

You must not lose the Marine Clone for any reason. You should focus on keeping your Marine Ferries alive as your second-highest priority.

If you lose either of these, you may have to scuttle captured ships, and maybe sell hangars, so that you can get back down below your unit cap and hangar cap, which will degrade from your overall fleet effectiveness. 

Fleet Composition
At this point you should at least have:
4 marine ferries - carrier-type ships with a marine boarding craft, a turret/engine manipulator, and 4 x PD laser
1 marine clone with a turret & engine manipulator, and 4 x PD laser

Note - enabling the squad buttons really helps with this strategy. I group all captured ships into group 1, my marine ferries into group 2, and my marine clone into group 3. 

You must have Marine Tactics 1 & 2, plus Engine and Turret Manipulators. Add some level 1 Range, Hull, Shield, and Refinery Mechanics. Then max out Marine Tactics. 

Once you have maxed out the number of available hangars, start building "gun-only" stations at key points around the map. Try to hit your unit cap.

Late Game
Once you have Marine Tactics 3, you're pretty much set. When it comes to marines, quality almost always trumps quantity. You can have half as many marines, but with better tech, win easily against almost any enemy unit save for their battlestation.

Tighten the noose. Make sure you keep your Marine Ferries and Marine Clone behind a wall of stations and captured enemy units. 

The enemy sends units in, you pick the one(s) you want, and enable cease fire. Destroy their escorts, capture the ones you want. With Marine Tactics 4, you can pretty easily capture two ships at once. 

You should control 2/3s of the map at this point.

Once you're done having fun, send your captured units in first toward the enemy mother ship. Follow at a safe distance with your Marine Ferries and Marine Clone, capturing enemy stations and ships as desired. My advice is to go one capture point at a time, doing field repairs and capturing enemy stations if possible. 

Fleet Composition
At this point you should at least have:
A sizable complement of enemy carrier units, with their fighters set to aggressive
A sizable complement of enemy warships, with all of their PD weapons swapped out for lasers, and some of their weapons replaced with a Turret/Engine Manipulator
4 marine ferries - carrier-type ships with a marine boarding craft, a turret/engine manipulator, and 4 x PD laser
1 marine clone with a turret & engine manipulator, and 4 x PD laser

You must have marine tactics 4 at a minimum, plus everything else mentioned above. 

You'll pretty quickly hit the unit cap on ships, fighters, and stations, so building new stations won't be an option. Going forward, every station you get will be one you capture. 

This strategy takes patience. You may lose a few games in the early game while you're preparing your Marine Ferries and researching the techs you need. 

Watch out for enemy nukes. This strategy applies more broadly, but when playing Trolgars, take care to space your fleet out. Getting hit with a quick salvo of 3 or 4 nukes, which is not uncommon on Legend, will annihilate your Marine Ferries.

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