Official Release: The "Rock-Paper-Scissors" Theory of Ares

I've been doing much study into the nature of Ares ships, and I've found something quite stunning, which I perfer to call the "Rock-Paper-Scissors" Theory.

Here's the deal. Each and every ship class is organized into these three catagories- Squadron, Destroyer, and Capitol. Here's how these "catagories" relate.

Squadron- This catagory contains the Fighter and Cruiser classes. These ships are relatively weak alone, but their low cost and fast construction makes up for it. This catagory is very strong against the members of the Destroyer catagory, and weak against Capitol ships.

Destroyer- These ships are those of the Heavy Destroyer and Gunship class. The Destroyer ships are strong against Capitols, but are often troubled by the chaos sturred around by the Squadron ships. The Gunship class earns this catagory by its relatively slow speed and manueverability, yet it has both the weapons and armor to confront a Carrier. The HVD class earns this because of its intense weaponry, yet its weak armor makes it quite vulnerable to smaller ships that can still outmanuever and surround it.

Capitol- Capitol ships are Carriers and Battleships (single player). These ship classes work effectively on clearing out large numbers of Squadron vessels, yet are quite susceptable to the overwhelming, direct firepower of the Destroyer class. The Carrier usually mounts a turreted weapon with decent damage, which works quite effeciently to destroy smaller, more manueverable ships. The Carrier usually has a concussive, long range weapon which can scatter Squadron vessels or impact them for good damage. Lastly, the Carrier has 10 fighters in which to help "fight fire with fire". The Bazidanese Battleship has effective homing pulses which not only are difficult to dodge, but also are capable of finishing off a Squadron vessel in a snap. The Obish Battleship mimics a Carrier without fighters and a lot more manueverability and speed.

The trick is, putting this theory into practice. Try to analyze what your opponent is building, and build an appropriate counter-vessel. For instance- If you see your opponent is only building Gunships, try building a lot of Cruisers. If your opponent insists on Carriers, try throwing Gunships at him. Of course, a lot of strategies don't consist of such naive and vulnerable ship combos. So, analyze your opponent carefully, and build all the counters called for.

You may ask, "Have you tested this theory?" Yes I have. For example, I was playing Auds versus Auds with someone. He only built cruisers, which I countered with a Carrier and my own Cruisers. I devastated him, and my Carrier was still healthy after the battle. I also used Gunships against a Carrier fancier in an Ish/Ish battle, which lead to my victory. However, I still wish to test this some more.

Happy Hunting.

-Vegeta <>

And for a while I thought I was the only one that noticed! (although 10 to 1 says that SOD says that too). I played a can. vs aud. game against a guy who likes the really heavy ships (HVDs, gunships, carriers), and he built maybe four cruisers through the entirety of the game. His attacks were devestated by a hoarde of cruisers, and his home fleet was brought to it's ankles by a carrier, three gunships, and a hell of a lot of cruisers.

Mayhap you should write something about this on the axis page?

"They're everywhere!"- hapless victim #203948

Consider it done, after I go fail my English exam. (Read: Around 11:30 AM EST)

(This message has been edited by Pax (edited 01-21-2000).)

Aud carrier? Only your insane tactical genius made up for that. Don't let your godlike skill level cloud your judgement, Vegeta.
If I was in peak condition, I would show you the error of your ways on that one.
Besides, Ish carriers only is udefeatable, unless you do something really stupid, like falling for a monty python (that's the only reason you won the second time we played Ish vs Ish).

Commander-in-Chief of the Nijayias Interstellar Navy.

Carriers and Fighters are basically one. You can't have one without the other (but I wish you could; damn those Fighters). Furthermore, Fighters aren't good for anything except target practice. It's like ten free kills!

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room!"
-Dr. Strangelove
Will Oram

Fleet Admiral Darkk wrote:
**Aud carrier? Only your insane tactical genius made up for that. Don't let your godlike skill level cloud your judgement, Vegeta.
If I was in peak condition, I would show you the error of your ways on that one.
Besides, Ish carriers only is udefeatable, unless you do something really stupid, like falling for a monty python (that's the only reason you won the second time we played Ish vs Ish).

Actually, one reason why my Aud Carrier won is because the guy only built cruisers. Aud Carriers are extremely weak against those HVD-plus-armor Gunships that the Auds have. I also can't really credit my victory there to the Carrier alone. The Auds are quite a screwed up race, as their gunships can seriously screw over a bunch of their Cruisers (a stark contrast of the way the Ishimans fight) as I'm sure you noticed in that one fight between your friend and me. There was only one fight that my Rock-Paper-Scissors strategy did not win the major fight, and thats because my fleet was extremely seperated, and of course, it was Auds.

Your strategy works relatively well because you start with an HVD and your piloting skills are comendable. The HVD resembles a major unbalance to multiplayer, as it is a starting ship and costs nothing to build. This means that you'll just have to go with a head to head battle instead of setting counter ships to eliminate that HVD. But you're right, my first goal is to eliminate my opponent's HVD, leaving the rest of the battle to my often superior ship combination. I do, of course, try to squeeze the most out of my HVD (I've been in training lately, and I have worked on my piloting skills exclusively, like fighting the Auds alone in my HVD) and of course, I always aim at those big Capitol ships, the Carriers. However, 2 gunships are an overwhelming match for a Carrier, and thats another reason I won. Consider the fact that a gunship can do about 380 damage per second; while the Core Pulse Turret does about 200, and thats if both pulses hit their target. Keep in mind, that two gunships would do 760 damage per second, and their combined armor would be 6000 points, which is superior to the 400 damage per second if both Carrier pulses and missile hit, and the Carrier only has 5000 armor. Keep in mind 2 gunships are the same price as a Carrier, and as you notice above, 2 Gunships can easily take a Carrier. However, 2 gunships would have trouble against 4 cruisers, because of their slow turn rate. This obviously means that the Gunship class was designed for the removal of a large, clumsy Capitol ship.

-Vegeta <>

You may have remembered that this topic was innappropriatly placed in the Officer's Club forum. Well, as a test of my executive power, I mended this situation and placed this post in its proper location. 😉 Anyways, carry along with any comments that you would like.

-Vegeta <>

Oh, but there is one thing for the Ish carriers only strat. If you can eliminate 2+ enemy gunships with your HVD, you have it made. The HVD can decrease the opponents firepower faster. And the Ish fighters are ok. If your gunships go after those, you are dead. This tactic was used on me by a player who was in every other way helpless. I used the all gunships strat on him, and it didn't work. If I hadn't fallen for that mp manuver, I would have mopped the grid with your gunships.

Commander-in-Chief of the Nijayias Interstellar Navy.

(This message has been edited by Fleet Admiral Darkk (edited 02-01-2000).)

Alas, thats why I hunt yer HVD and the main reason behind my pilot self-training. 😉 Human piloting is perhaps the hardest factor to calculate in my theory, and I should even say its uncalculable. Thats why my first priority is to eliminate the highest-powered ship in the fleet, and especially the human-piloted ship. Otherwise, I think Rock-Paper-Scissors holds true to all of the AI ships.

Fighters have two main purposes on Carriers. One- To provide a small, overlooked physical obstruction to enemy ships and/or fire. Two- to distract the AI ships and draw fire from any threat to the Carrier. Other than that, their uses are few and far between. That's why I try to hang on to my HVD because I don't get distracted too much by fighters, and Fullerene Pulse can wear down a Carrier quickly.

-Vegeta <>

Sorry to interrupt this delightful disagreement between Drakk and Vegeta, but I feel I have something to add.

Vegeta's theory is, in my opinion, basically sound.
Gunships blitz Carriers.
Carriers take out Cruisers.
Cruisers confuse & eliminate Gunships.

However, I disagree with Vegeta placing the HVD in with the Gunship. The HVD is the Joker in the decker. While and HVD will chew Carriers up for breakfast, it will also snack on Cruisers for tea, Depending on the skill of its pilot.

Then again, there are a few variations to this rule dictated by race. I've yet to see a Gaitori Carrier handle a swarm of Salrillian or Aud fighters or Cruisers. But then, who can really face Aud with the Gaitori and win?

Sundered Angel ,
The One and Only

Human and Gaitori carriers go in no catagory.
Gaitori gunships go in the Squadron catagory.

I will not salute to a Ares Admiral.

The Warps.

yes the one's on Mtrek.

Your strat is bogas for Ishiman, Salrilian, Human, and maybe Cantharan.
Salrilian Carriers are worse jokers than HVDs - can munch most anything.
Salrilian HVDs are fleet vessles.
Ishiman carriers are totaly unbalenced.
One half-dead low-ammo carrier beat a gunship and almost got another one.
Pobably could have got them both if it had pulses left.
You are the only person I have seen to make your strat work against them (once, after failing once), and I maintain it was a fluke.
Cantharan ships suck, but I think their carriers are better than their cruisers. Although my tests have been inconclusive, their carriers win over Human gunships while Cantharan gunships are resoundingly defeated (even though it was a worse player as human).
Humans. Gunships only. End of story. Cicion GIVE IT UP!

There are, no doubt, exceptions to every rule. I can't really say that this rule holds true to all species, and it really doesn't hold up in cross-species matches. For the most part, here's what I have to say:

In Rock-Paper-Scissors, each catagory has varying degrees (except Capitol). For instance, a Fighter is one degree below a Cruiser, yet they both share the same characteristics of the Squadron catagory. Think more of it like this: the lower degree of the Squadron catagory (fighters) will have a seriously hard time against the higher degree of the Destroyer catagory (HVDs). Therefore, the appropriate counter to a high-degree ship is a high-degree ship of the appropriate catagory.

This is a good explaination for why a Carrier can fend off Gunships. I personally hold the Carrier as a high-degree capitol ship, and therefore the most appropriate counter to them is HVDs. However, the reason for the imbalance in the Ishiman Carrier is that the Ishiman HVD costs more than the Carrier. That's one major factor in the inbalance of the Ishiman Carrier.

However, all is not lost. I hope to mend the problems of fleet inbalance in my upcoming plugin, Aftermath. I personally want to make Aftermath compatible with the original Ares in every way, and that is one reason why I'm deciding to go with new ships instead of fixing the old ones. Another reason I wish to add ships is to increase the spectrum of each catagory in Rock-Paper-Scissors, so that there is an appropriate counter for any ship in the game. I hope to expand each catagory to atleast 3 degrees; Low, Medium, and High degrees.

I hope this opened some questions in your minds. I hope I'll be able to answer them.

Alter Ego: Erich Blossey
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