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FAQ/Strategy Guide by Rogue
Version: 1.1 | Updated: 05/16/03
Star Wars Rebellion: Strategy and Tactics This FAQ is not to be published in any media other than its free distribution on the Internet. It is not to be sold in any manner nor included in any product that is sold. No money is to be made in any way by or because of this FAQ. Nobody should ever have to pay to view this FAQ. Copyright (c) 2002 by Rogue (Philip Ryan Ott). Please note that anything I have written here that is related to the actual mathematics the game uses to compute probabilities of success for missions and other things I obtained at the official LucasArts website for Rebellion at http://www.lucasarts.com/products/rebellion/. Neither the game nor the booklet ever states them, and this is the only place I've found them. Everything else I have written here is directly from my own observations, so it's not "official information," so don't bitch at them if I screw something up. I suggest you give the website a look, as it is very helpful and can clarify a few things. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, you can reach me at FAQage@yahoo.com. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- v.1.0 "~FINAL" 10/12/02 First Public Release - What you see is what you get. There may be a few things I've forgotten about and may add later or there may be some new strategies I'll learn about and decide to add, this being a strategy FAQ and all. However the basic and main points of this FAQ are completed, and if I add anything it'll just be additional minor tactics. As such I'll give this version a tentative "~Final" label because while I don't think I have anything more to add, I may discover a few small things to add later. V. 1.1 "~FINAL" 5/16/03 - I knew that somewhere I had to have made a mistake on something, and thanks to J.R. I noticed a mistake in the Jedi Training Mission section. I think I read somewhere that you can only perform the mission once per Jedi Candidate but J.R. has pointed out that you can perform it as many times as you like. I've also done a little editing and rewritten the section "5.Conventional Military Strategies - g) Tactical Mode Strategies - i) Utilizing Starfighters" to account for the recent ass-kicking I received from the computer. Again, this should be the final version unless someone notices yet another of my mistakes. =) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- My FAQ Philosophy Pretty much I don't believe in listing unit stats or rewriting character bios because well, they're already in the game manual and in the in-game encyclopedia, so rewriting them is not only time consuming, but pointless. I'm here to show you some strategies you may have overlooked, some new ideas, and some things from my own experience, not to repeat readily available information. I will only go into detail about units or characters if the manual or encyclopedia are either too vague or don't cover a certain aspect very well. This FAQ is already large enough, and I don't want to clutter it up and make it even more incomprehensible. Enjoy. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents: 1. Basics a) Loyalty b) Uprisings c) Colonization d) Production Complexes 2. Characters, Special Forces, and Jedi a) Special Forces and Character Stats b) Officers c) Prisoners d) Traitors e) Jedi i) Discovering Minor Character With Force Ability ii) Stat Growth with Force Growth f) Major Characters and Their Events i) Luke Skywalker ii) Han Solo iii) Leia Organa iv) Emperor Palpatine v) Darth Vader 3. Strategic Covert Missions a) Detectors b) Decoys c) Mission Types i) Espionage ii) Sabotage iii) Diplomacy iv) Abduction v) Rescue vi) Assassination vii) Incite Uprising viii) Subdue Uprising ix) Research x) Recruitment xi) Recon xii) Death Star Sabotage xiii) Jedi Training d) Practical Applications of Covert Operations i) Liberating Planets ii) Mobile Agent Platform (MAP) iii) Counter-Insurgency 4. Tools of the Trade: Military Units a) Starships i) Weaponry ii) Repairing Ship Systems iii) Maneuverability iv) Bombardment v) Hyperdrive vi) Damage Control vii) Detection Ratings viii) Ship List b) Starfighters i) Classification ii) Proton Torpedoes iii) The Squadron Effect iv) Bombardment v) Maneuverability vi) Star Fighter List c) Troops i) Attack/Defense/Bombardment Defense Ratings ii) Detection Rating iii) Troop Regiment List 5. Conventional Military Strategies a) Raiding b) Planetary Bombardments c) Planetary Assaults d) Blockading e) Footholds f) Tracking g) Tactical Mode Strategies i) Utilizing Starfighters ii) Formations iii) Navigating iv) Maneuvers 6. The Big Picture: Overall Strategy a) Playing as Rebels b) Playing as Empire 7. Special Thanks ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Basic Concepts The game booklet has some wonderful tutorials laid out that can very easily teach you how to play the game. I highly recommend doing those before reading on, since a basic grasp of the controls of the game makes it easier to understand grander concepts. This section is about basic stuff that doesn't directly involve fighting or blowing up things that the booklet or the Rebellion website don't address very well. a) Loyalty: There is no way you can win the war without first winning over the hearts and minds of galaxy. If a planet you own has more loyalty to the other side, then it'll take garrison troops to stop the planet from going into an uprising or from leaving your cause. It would be far too expensive to have to keep garrisons on most of your planets, so it's good to hold their favor. The more a planet supports you the better, but it is never necessary to have their loyalty bar completely your color; 9/10s or 8/10 your color is perfectly fine. Below are events that affect the loyalty of systems. In the parentheses next to the event are how many planets the event affects and how it affects loyalty for the perpetrator of the event. For example if you conducted a successful Diplomacy mission the planet it affects would have more support for you, so it would be a "positive" effect. Also some of these events do not work all of the time, only usually, so for those events that are guaranteed I'll put a "100%" by it. - Successful Diplomacy missions (single system, positive, 100%) - Successful Incite Uprising missions (single system, positive, 100%) - Successful Subdue Uprising missions (single system, positive, 100%) - Invading a planet (single system, negative) - Bombarding and destroying non-military structures on a planet (whole sector, negative, 100%) - Destroying enemy ground troops through planetary bombardment without hitting non-military structures (whole sector, positive) - Destroying enemy capital ship (whole sector, positive) - Death Star destroying a planet (the whole galaxy, negative, 100% [may not affect Outer Rim planets]) And finally, when a system changes sides without being invaded it affects the whole sector. If the planet switches from one side to another or from neutral to one side the effect is positive for whomever it joined. If the planet switches from one side to neutral, the effect is negative for whoever it left. b) Uprisings: If the loyalty of one of your planets is not strongly in your favor you will need a garrison on it to keep it in line. The garrison requirement can range from 1 - 6 depending on how loyal the planet is to you. If you let the garrison requirement exceed the number of garrison troops on the planet, then the planet will go into an uprising. This is just bad news all around for you. First all production on the planet ceases. Secondly any personnel or troops you have on the planet are at risk. Personnel can be injured by simulated riots on the planet, and even troops on the surface will spontaneously be destroyed if you let the uprising fester long enough. This is extremely dangerous because the game will NOT inform you that the troop regiment was destroyed; they'll just simply disappear. While a planet going into an uprising does not affect other planet's loyalties, if you wait long enough and let all of your ground troops be destroyed your planet will switch alignment, which an be devastating to your sector-wide support. The best way to quell an uprising on one of your planets is a swift response. Gather as many Special Forces and characters as possible and send a single massive Subdue Uprising mission to the planet, and get as many garrison troops as you can spare onto the planet. The defenses menu for the planet may indicate that the planet has a garrison requirement from somewhere from 7-12, or some requirement above the normal high of 6. Even if you meet this, it will NOT end the uprising right then and there, but it's a start. Eventually with enough garrison troops and a subdue uprising mission the planet will change it's tune and come around to your side. But it's important that you respond swiftly to an uprising, as a minor annoyance can turn into a sector- wide crisis. c) Colonization: A great way to expand your resource base and create new production facilities is to move out into the Outer Rim Territories (the sectors on the outside of the galaxy whose planets look initially like stars on the galaxy map. You won't find out anything about these planets until you send a ship to check them out). Unfortunately this takes an agonizing long time before it bears any real fruit, so it's a good idea to start early. The systems in the Outer Rim will either be inhabited or uninhabited. Uninhabited systems have no loyalty bar, because technically there's no one there to have loyalty for either side. To bring an uninhabited planet under your control simply orbit a troop carrying ship around it and click and drag the regiment onto the planet. You cannot invade the planet, just move the regiment to take it. However technically the planet still doesn't have a population. If you remove the troop regiment the planet will go back to being uninhabited, and sector wide support for you will fall, because technically you "lost" a planet. To fully colonize the planet you have to place a building on the system. It doesn't matter what building it is, once the planet has at least one it gains a population and a loyalty bar. You can now remove all the troop regiments from the planet and it will remain under your control. It will start completely loyal to you, but remember that it can still be influenced by the enemy so don't assume it will remain loyal to you for all time. The inhabited systems on the Outer Rim tend to have very fewer energy and mineral resources while the uninhabited ones usually have many of each. Thus, it's a lot easier and cheaper to colonize an uninhabited planet than to take the time to send a diplomat all the way out there or to conquer the planet and keep a garrison there. Colonization starts out very slow. What I usually do is take a small troop transport at the start, fill it fully with troops, and send it on it's merry way to a nearby Outer Rim sector. I scout out the planets and the uninhabited ones that look worthwhile I drop a troop regiment on. Once the ship runs out of troops, I just send any I can spare out there. Colonization shouldn't have the highest priority, so it may take a while before you have a spare regiment. Plus is takes a while before the troops can arrive at the ship, and it also takes a while for any structures you build to reach out there, which is a big reason why it's a very slow process. The very first building you should send out there is a construction yard, because that way you can build your own buildings without it taking 40 days to arrive. Build more construction on the planet so it builds structures even faster, then whatever you think should come next. The goal is to make your colonized sectors self-sufficient, so they can build whatever they need to start making troops and ships for you. d) Production Complexes: The more of a certain production facility (construction yards, training facilities, and shipyards) you have on a planet the faster they produce. Now if you wanted to, you could have 2 of each type on every planet you own, that way you can work on several projects at once. However whatever you're building will build very slowly, especially if it's one of the more advanced units. This is why I recommend you build very large "production complexes". Basically this means that one or two planets in a sector are devoted to construction yards, and you build like 4 or 5 on each. This way you can quickly build any structure you might need in a very short time. Very useful if an enemy fleet is on its way to one of your systems that doesn't have enough shield generators. Likewise you devote a planet or two to training facilities, so troops and Special Forces are built very fast. Shipyards are a different matter. The more advanced ships late in the game tend to get very expensive and take a long while to build. A shipyard complex of 5 or 6 shipyards is very useful, but it would also be smart to have one or two "super- complexes" that have around 12 shipyards somewhere in the galaxy. These can produce Death Stars and Super Star Destroyers in a reasonable amount of time. I also recommend that you build construction yard complexes first, because logically that way you can build the other complexes much faster. The major problem with complexes is that they require many energy resources, for the complexes themselves and for defensive structures you'll need to defend these valuable producing machines. Most Core planets in the galaxy have most of their energy resources taken up by mines and refineries, and while you can do without a few of these here or there, the refineries and mines on those Core planets are what provide the backbone of your raw materials and maintenance. It takes a long, long time to build new ones, and it may be a while before you can build many of them in colonized Outer Rim sectors. So be careful you don't go overboard, especially with super-complexes, because if you don't have the maintenance or resources to build new things, then the complexes themselves are pretty useless. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 2) Characters, Special Forces, and Jedi Special Forces are those units training facilities can train that conduct covert missions, units such as Infiltrators or Espionage Droids. These units only do specific missions, and I shall list which unit does which below, so that it's easier to refer to when reading this FAQ. Special Forces are very low cost, require little maintenance, and train fairly quickly, so it's very economical to create lots of them, since even if you don't need them immediately you probably will soon because they tend to live very short lives; covert ops being as dangerous as it is. The one shortcoming about Special Forces is that their stats never improve. Even if a Bothan Spy completes a hundred missions successfully, it will never gain extra points in espionage. Also Special Forces are never taken prisoner, so if detected they may be destroyed and become unrecoverable. Characters are just what their name implies, they're characters you'd probably recognize from either the Star Wars films or books. They only do two things: act as officers or conduct covert missions, but we'll get to officers in a bit. All characters can do every mission that a Special Forces can (excepting only Recon Missions, those can ONLY be conducted by certain Special Forces), plus a few more. However, some characters are better than others in certain missions others depending on their stats, but we'll get to that in a bit as well. You start with the same group of characters plus two random others, and the only way to get more is to send your characters on recruitment missions. Look under Recruitment Missions below to see which characters can do this. One of the advantages of Characters is that they tend to be doubly as effective in certain areas as Special Forces are, for example characters that are good in espionage tend to have twice the espionage rating as that of espionage Special Forces. Certain characters can also use the Force and become jedi, making them even more capable than the average Special Forces or character. Another advantage is that when a mission they're on (and they are NOT acting as decoys) is successful, they gain a one point increase in the stats that the mission required, such as if a diplomacy mission is successful then the character's diplomacy rating is raised. In this way your characters become better and better at their jobs, unlike Special Forces. A third advantage is that if your characters are detected, there's a chance they will be captured instead of killed. This means that there's a chance you can recover them at a later date. This brings us to the biggest shortcoming of characters, and that is there're few of them. You can always build more Special Forces if some of them die, but if a character dies or is taken prisoner you can't build a replacement for him. One last note about Special Forces and characters is that they take up no room on ships. Troops require space on a ship, but Special Forces and characters don't. You literally can have a hundred Special Forces or characters on a ship that can't carry any troops. There's no limit. Alliance Special Forces Bothan Spies conduct: Espionage Infiltrators conduct: Abduction, Rescue Sabotage, Death Star Sabotage Guerillas conduct: Incite Uprising, Subdue Uprising Y-wing Longprobe conduct: Recon Imperial Special Forces Espionage Droids conduct: Espionage Commandos conduct: Sabotage, Incite Uprising, Subdue Uprising Noghri Death Commandos conduct: Abduction, Rescue, Assassination Imperial Probe Droid conduct: Recon a) Special Forces and Character Stats: All of your personnel have four types of stats that determine what they can do well. They are as follows: Diplomacy: The higher this stat is the more successful the person will be at Diplomacy Missions. That's it. Espionage: The higher this stat is the more likely the person will be undetected while on a mission, the person will be a better decoy, and the person will be better at missions that are dependent on this stat, such as Espionage. Combat: The higher this stat is the better the person will be at fighting off potential abductors and the better the person is on missions that depend on this stat, such as Abduction. Leadership: The higher this stat is the more effective an officer the person is and the more successful the person is on missions dependent on this stat, such as Incite/Subdue Uprising missions. b) Officers: Certain Characters can be different types of officers. You can find out which ones a character can be in their status menu. Basically, Officers enhance military units. Admirals enhance fleets, Generals enhance troops, and Commanders enhance fighters. Admirals and Commanders make their units faster and more responsive in Tactical Mode and Generals make their troops much stronger and more effective. Basically, except for Generals, I don't notice Officers boosting your units combat effectiveness that much. Their main strength lies in their ability to drastically increase the detection ratings of their units. This can greatly increase your defenses against enemy covert missions. So, it would be a good idea to post an officer on your more important planets to protect them. Even when you have an idle character and just don't have anything for him/her to do, you can always make them an officer for added defense in your territory, that way they're not being wasted. c) Prisoners: If a mission is detected by the enemy there is a chance that any characters on the mission will be captured. It's also possible that they will be killed, but it's far more likely that they will be taken prisoner. This basically means that they can't work for their side and can only be moved by their captors. You can also capture prisoners with Abduction Missions. Prisoners can be left alone on a ship or planet, but if you want to move them off of whatever they're on, such as from a ship onto a planet, you must select an Special Forces or character along with the prisoner and move them together; the Special Forces or character acts as a kind of a jailor, escorting the prisoner. Only one jailor is needed to escort any number of prisoners at one time. Prisoners will sometimes randomly escape on their own and return to a friendly planet, without needing a Rescue Mission. I don't know of any way to make this less likely, even the presence of a jailor or two doesn't seem to prevent it, so jailors only help you move prisoners, not to guard them. However the presence of military units with detection values, such as troops or ships, can recapture them before they even get off the planet. Another way they can escape without help of a Rescue mission is if the planet they're on is captured by their side or a ship they're on is destroyed in battle. There's also a chance they can get killed in either of these events, but I've rarely seen that happen. They may also stay captured and be moved to another planet, but that too is rare. Whenever a prisoner escapes, even if enemy forces immediately recapture him, his side learns about the planet or fleet he was imprisoned on, including things such as defenses, presence of military units, and who's in the area. This means that you should be careful where you hold your prisoners. Keep all of your prisoners in one place, then when one escapes the enemy will know where all their captured comrades are kept, and will send Rescue Missions. Keep them on a fleet moving to invade enemy territory, and the escaped prisoners can reveal your location. And especially take care when holding prisoners at your headquarters. If they escape, they'd reveal information about its defenses. This can be doubly devastating for the Rebels, because this would give away the secret location of your HQ. To try to prevent random prisoner escapes I used to constantly transfer all my prisoners from one planet in the Outer Rim on one side of the galaxy to another planet on the other side. The trip usually took over 100 days and my idea was that the more time the prisoners are in hyperspace, the less time they'll be on a planet and then they won't have any time to escape. Unfortunately it didn't work. How long a prisoner stays in one place does not at all affect when he or she will escape, nor does the fact that they're in hyperspace prevent them from escaping. The game will randomly assign a character a certain day when they will escape, and when that time comes they will escape, and if they're in hyperspace at that time then they will escape the day they arrive at their destination. The only advantage to my little trick was that the more time a prisoner spends in hyperspace, the less available they are for a Rescue Mission. However should the other player set up a blockade around the prisoner's destination they may free them, so be wary of moving them too much. One final note about capturing prisoners, when your people are on an enemy planet on a mission, take care if you are thinking about moving your fleet above the target. If there is an enemy fleet above the planet then when your fleet arrives a battle will initiate. If on that same day the covert mission is completed, almost without fail your team will be intercepted by the enemy fleet when they try to leave. Any characters you had on the mission will almost certainly be captured by the enemy fleet. This means that you may have to risk the character's life by destroying the ship he/she is on, or that the enemy fleet may retreat, taking your people away. While an enemy fleet over the target always poses a threat to covert teams trying to return home, a space battle above the target seems to be an even larger threat. I'm not sure if it's a bug and your teams will always be captured, but I've never seen an instance where this has not happened. d) Traitors: If things are going really bad for you and your side, your characters may turn traitor. I've rarely seen this happen, in fact even when I purposely screw things up for my side and turn over most of the galaxy to the enemy, none of my characters turn traitor. The only time I've ever had someone betray me was when I was playing around with my friend and I let him destroy two of my Death Stars. Only after that did someone actually turn traitor. Once a character is a traitor they do not join the other side. The only thing I've seen them do is purposely cause a mission they're on to be foiled. The only time I've seen this happen was when Bevel Lemelisk turned traitor after my second Death Star was destroyed, and he kept reporting that the research mission I'd sent him on was being foiled. Now research missions can't be foiled unless the enemy captures the planet it's on, and that wasn't happening, and it confused the hell outta me until I realized it was him purposely foiling it when Vader informed me that he'd discovered that Lemelisk was a traitor. The other side does not actively control the traitor; he or she works on their own to screw you up. To avoid this I would suggest you simply prevent major political catastrophes like losing a Death Star or your HQ. Again, traitors are very rare, and simply losing a planet or even an entire sector to the other side will not cause your characters to turn on you. I believe only major political events trigger it, and even then it's uncommon. e) Jedi: Any character that can use the Force I characterize here as a Jedi, no matter what their training is. Jedi tend to have much better stats in espionage and combat than non-jedi, hence they are much better spies and saboteurs, and they tend to avoid capture more often. Other than inflated stats jedi also get special abilities. They heal faster than non-jedi and when they're strong enough they can detect traitors among your personnel. They can also eventually detect enemy jedi on missions and can then foil the missions. Remember how Vader detected Luke when Luke was going to destroy the Death Star Shield at Endor? It's the same idea. Whenever you start a new game there are a total of four characters that can definitely use the Force. Other characters are randomly given this ability in each new game, but you won't know which characters can become jedi at the start of the game. It's random each game, so if for example Page can use the Force in one game, he won't necessarily be able to in the next. This random Force assignment also does not follow the movies or books as to who can and who cannot use the Force, and a good example of this is when in one game I played Chewie was Force sensitive, which was pretty funny. The four people who can definitely use the Force are Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, and the Emperor. Vader and the Emperor both start as Jedi Masters, while Luke starts as a Novice rank (more on ranks in a bit) and Leia can't even use the Force yet. This gives the Empire a huge covert bonus at the beginning of the game, but since Vader and the Emperor are needed for diplomacy and Recruitment early on, it isn't that big of an advantage. (Note: specific numbers and the jedi ranking system I provide were received from the LucasArts Official Rebellion Website at http://www.lucasarts.com/products/rebellion/) Jedi Ranking System Rank Force Points Required -------------- --------------------------- Novice 10 Trainee 20 Jedi Student 80 Jedi Knight 100 Jedi Master 120 There's no way to check a character's Force points in the game, but these are what were given on the Rebellion website to give an idea about how long each character has to go between each rank. They gain a point each time a mission they're on is successful (if they're not a decoy of course). Whenever a jedi gains a new rank, or when you discover they can use the Force, his/her stats get a boost and their ability to evade capture increases drastically. For example, once Luke becomes a Jedi Master he's almost impossible to catch. I've sent him into Coruscant with the whole Imperial Fleet in orbit, and still he escapes unscathed. He's been captured when I did this when he was a Jedi Student or a Jedi Knight, but much less often than normal non-jedi characters. i) Discovering Minor Character With Force Ability: Only two people in the game can detect which minor characters have hidden Force abilities, Luke and Darth Vader. Vader starts as a Jedi Master and can detect and train jedi candidates from the start of the game. Luke however cannot detect jedi candidates until he is at least a Jedi Student. Even though Luke cannot conduct a Jedi Training mission until he is a Jedi Knight, he can still detect them. According to LucasArts Luke and Vader are supposed to do this when they go on a mission with someone with latent Force ability, but in my experience this hasn't always been so. Sometimes they won't discover it when on a mission with the unknown jedi, and sometimes just being in the same system with the character can cause them to discover it. It seems kinda random, but it does happen. ii) Stat Growth with Force Growth: From my observations, it seems that for every 2 Force points a jedi gains they gain a one point stat increase in their occupational stats. What I mean by that is, whichever stats the jedi excels at, those stats will increase. For example, Luke is a fighter, so his espionage and his combat ratings will increase along with his force. Leia on the other hand is primarily a diplomat, so her diplomacy rating will go up along with her combat, but her espionage and leadership will not. Of course, these are just based on observations; I can't find any real facts about it, but it should give you a general idea on how your jedi get stronger faster than non-jedi do, since they get extra stat increases. Also note that the character must know that he or she is a jedi, their Force Points do not increase if they don't know they can use the Force yet, and thus they don't get the extra stat increases. f) Major Characters and Their Events: In the game there are six major characters: Luke, Leia, Han, Mon Mothma, Vader, and the Emperor. You always start every game with them, and none of them can be killed or retired. While Leia and Han do not have to be captured by the Empire for them to win the game, they are still major players in the game and have special importance and events. i) Luke Skywalker Dagobah: Luke can start growing in the Force from the start of the game, but will eventually go off to Dagobah to train with Yoda within days 100-1000, where he gets a huge Force boost. Usually with me he'll jump from a Novice rank straight to a Jedi Student rank. And even though he can technically go off to train within the first 1000 days, I've never seen him leave after day 400. He seems to usually go to train roughly around day 300. The training usually takes about 100 days. If he is on a mission at the time he's supposed to go train, he'll finish the mission first and then go off to see Yoda, so you can't "miss" the training by keeping him on long term missions. If Bounty Hunters should capture Han while Luke is training, Luke will leave Dagobah prematurely, like he does in the movies, and try to rescue Han. This would be horrible because then Luke would be way behind in his Force powers and you would be without a trained Jedi Knight for a long time, so try to keep Han safe when Luke is training. Encounter with Darth Vader: Whenever Luke and Darth Vader are in the same system, whether one is on a mission or one is on a ship in battle above the planet, they will have an encounter. It seems to be pretty random whether or not Luke is captured or injured, he tends to escape unhurt more often than not, but the higher his Force rating is it seems there's less of a chance he'll be caught or injured. Every time they meet and Luke escapes, he gets a whopping 25% bonus to his Force rating. The first time they meet Luke learns about his "heritage." According to the manual he supposed to be injured for a while after this to show how upset he is, but he never seems to be injured when I play. Note that if the Rebels capture Darth Vader before Luke has an Encounter with him then neither Luke nor Leia can discover their heritage unless Vader escapes. Encounter with Emperor: Again, if Luke goes anywhere near a planet that the Emperor is on he'll have an "encounter" with him. There's always a chance he'll be caught or injured, but I've only seen that happen when Luke has a rating lower than a Jedi Knight. He gets a 20% increase in Force ability every time the Emperor does not capture him, so if you find the Emperor on a planet that isn't heavily defended, a great way to train Luke very fast is to send him on missions on that planet. Make sure he has a decoy or two and maybe some other people on the mission with him, because there's still a chance of him being captured from military units. The reason I don't suggest this with Vader is because in my experience Vader tends to capture Luke much more often than the Emperor, and the payoff with escaping the Emperor is still very big. Final Battle: If Luke ever gets captured there are several outcomes. If his Force rating is below 60 then he is treated like any other prisoner. If his Force rating is above 60 however, then the stage is set for the Final Battle. Once the Emperor is available, meaning that he's not captured, on a mission, or in hyperspace, then Vader (once he too is available) will automatically leave wherever he is and will travel to Luke. If he is on a mission he will wait until the mission is over before going to Luke. Even if you move Luke he'll follow. You cannot control Vader during this time. When he gets there he will take Luke with him to the Emperor. If during this time the Emperor becomes "busy" again, Vader and/or Luke will stop moving on their own and be yours to control again. They will repeat it all over again as soon as Palpatine is ready again. Once Vader finally gets Luke to the Emperor the Final Battle is initiated. If Luke's Force rating is below 100 he will then be captured and injured. If it is above 100 however he will capture BOTH Vader and the Emperor and bring them back to the Alliance. That's 2/3 of the Alliance's objectives right there if you're playing the regular game and not HQ Only. The Final Battle only happens once. Evasion Bonus: Not really an "event" per se, but whenever Luke avoids capture, such as when his mission is foiled but he escapes capture anyway, he gets an evasion bonus which increases his Force Rating by one. This does not happen to any minor character with the Force however. ii) Han Solo Bounty Hunter Event: According to LucasArts, every 1-100 days there is a 30% chance of a Bounty Hunter Encounter with Han. Generally the chances that the Bounty Hunters will kidnap him are extremely low. Out of all the games I've played I've had dozens of these Events and only once did they capture him. If the Bounty Hunters fail in their attempt, then all that happens is that the Empire is informed of Han's location. If they are successful then Han is taken to Jabba's Palace (you can't ever go there even if you own Tatooine, it's like Dagobah; you just can't go there yourself and rescue him). Luke, Leia, and Chewie (if not captured) will then finish whatever mission they may be working on and then will immediately try to rescue Han. They individually attempt the rescue; so if say Leia fails then only Leia will get captured by Jabba, not Luke or Chewie. If any one of them is successful, then Han is released, anyone else captured by Jabba in the rescue attempt is released, and any other rescue attempts will be aborted. If all three fail and are captured they and Han are then all sent to Vader (I don't know what happens if Vader is a prisoner of the Rebels at the time; I've only seen this Event once and the rescue attempt was successful). Keep in mind that the one time I saw this happen, Han was on a system completely loyal to the Rebellion, the Rebel HQ was stationed there, and there were many ground troops and a large fleet orbiting it, so apparently the presence of military units or high Rebel loyalty cannot protect him. The only way I can think of where you can actively do something to keep Han safe is to keep him on missions. I've never seen an encounter occur when Han was on a mission and I don't think it can. Millennium Falcon Effect: Not really an event but definitely worthy of mention is the Millennium Falcon Effect, which means that when Han isn't on a starship and is traveling by himself and with characters ONLY, not Special Forces, he is presumed to be flying on his ship, the "fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy", the Millennium Falcon, which gives him and his companions a +50 hyperspace modifier. This essentially makes them travel twice as fast as they normally would. Thus, not only is Han very good on missions, but he can get the team to the target and back twice as fast as normal. iii) Leia Organa Her Heritage: Once Luke has an encounter with Vader and learns about his heritage, he can then tell Leia about their heritage. The way Luke tells her is exactly like how he discovers potential jedi candidates. It's supposed to happen when they're on a mission together, but just being near each other seems to work just as well and just as often. Leia can then immediately use the Force and she gets a stats boost. Evasion Bonus: Leia is the only other jedi other than Luke who gets a one- point increase to her Force rating whenever she avoids capture. Of course, this only happens once she knows she can use the Force. iv) Emperor Palpatine Seat of Power: As long as the Emperor is in the Coruscant system, whether on a ship or on a mission, he is assumed to be on his throne and as such all Imperial characters will get a large boost in their leadership stats. v) Darth Vader All of Darth Vader's events have been covered in other character's sections, since he does not have any just by himself. He gains no stat increases from an encounter with Luke nor from the Final Battle. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 3) Strategic Covert Missions "You call down the Thunder, and I'll reap the Whirlwind" -Ghost, SC There are two halves to warfare in Rebellion: The overt and the covert. Overt consists of ships, fighters, and troops, and covert consists of the secret missions conducted by Special Forces. Now by "halves" I don't mean just two different parts of warfare, I mean actual HALVES, meaning if utilized correctly covert operations should take up a full HALF of your resources, strategy, and attention. Of course, this doesn't mean you can win without using conventional overt means, but it does mean that a series of covert missions can be just as powerful a tool as several heavy bombardments on half a dozen planets. a) Detectors: There are three possible outcomes for any one mission. The mission can be successful and the objectives achieved, or it can be unsuccessful. There are two ways a mission can be unsuccessful and the game is specific with the words it uses for both types. When a mission has been "foiled" it means that enemy detectors discovered the mission's team and attacked their hideout, driving them off of the planet. This usually results in the death or capture of at least one Special Forces or character. If a mission has "failed" it means that the team was never detected, the mission was completed, but the team simply failed to achieve their objectives. Notice that when the mission has "failed" the game will still say that the mission was completed, whether it was a success or a failure, so make sure you read the whole message and not just the first five words. Pretty much, a "detector" that can foil a covert mission is any military unit with a detection rating, pretty much any ship, starfighter, or troop regiment. The higher the rating is, the more the chance of them detecting your mission (I don't know the math involved). Pretty much, around 3-6 enemy ground units at the target planet will require you to send decoys to cover your real mission, while you can usually get away without decoys with 1 or 2 ground units. An orbiting fleet around a planet provides another line of defense against covert missions targeting something on the surface, because the Special Forces have to get through the fleet to the surface, avoid the ground people, and then go BACK through the fleet, if it hasn't moved. Sometimes the trip back is what gets them. An example of this is when I once had three characters as prisoners on Coruscant. Two of them on their own escaped, but immediately were caught again. Why? Because they escaped from the ground troops, but the fleet around Coruscant caught them again. So I get two messages "so and so escaped at Coruscant" and "so and so was captured at Coruscant". Confused me for a while. Remember, three or four small ships aren't a major threat, it's the big ships loaded with troops and fighters that kill your people. Officers are probably the best defense against covert missions. They increase the detection ratings of your units substantially, making it MUCH harder for enemy covert missions to remain undetected. b) Decoys: Pretty much decoys work like this: the better the decoy's espionage rating, the better their chances of preventing enemy detectors from discovering the real mission. They're just decoys, they don't help the mission at all; they just provide interference against detectors. So instead of the enemy detectors discovering your personnel on the real mission, they may detect instead one of your decoys. This poses no harm to the decoy, it simply means that the real mission wasn't discovered and it still has a chance. Characters as decoys DO NOT get better stats if the mission succeeds, only characters on the real mission. If there are any military units at the target site, it's always a good idea to bring along a couple of decoys, but if there aren't any, or the target is a neutral or friendly planet then decoys aren't needed. Usually I myself use 1-3 decoys, depending on how many detectors there are at the target site. I rarely go above 3, except in extreme cases. Each additional decoy makes it more likely the mission will remain undetected, but there is a limit to the practicality of it. While you technically can have as many as a hundred decoys, most often you don't need more than a handful. It is true that there are a few targets that would require a vast number of decoys, such as a planet with 10 ground troops, 12 fighters, an orbiting fleet, and officers. However, this is a bit impractical, since it devotes a serious amount of your covert personnel to a single mission. With enough decoys you can theoretically pull off any mission against any target, no matter how well defended, but sometimes it's just too impractical. It may even be possible that the fifty decoys you assigned weren't enough, and then the mission gets foiled and a good number of all your personnel get captured or killed, which would be devastating to say the least. Plus remember that detectors aren't the only way to discover an enemy mission. Enemy Espionage conducted on the system you targeted can detect your mission. This would allow the enemy to send sabotage or abduction missions against your personnel on the real mission, effectively foiling it. Eventually you learn to judge how many decoys are need for different missions, but just remember that sometimes the target can simply be too well protected and your covert missions will just not work against it. c) Mission Types Here I will describe each mission Special Forces Personnel and Characters can perform, the possible outcomes and consequences, and any other relevant information. I will also list the number of people on the real mission I usually use for each mission type. These numbers aren't the only ones that will work for a specific mission, nor do I claim them to be the best, they're just the ones that seem to work the best for me, and I've tried dozens of combinations. Please note that the numbers I present to you represent numbers of Special Forces not characters. Since characters tend to have twice the stats that Special Forces do, I roughly count them as worth two Special Forces each. Also note that the limited knowledge I present in the ways of the math behind how likely a mission will succeed I got from the LucasArts official Rebellion website, and in case you missed the address above it is http://www.lucasarts.com/products/rebellion/. Under each mission type I will also describe the "probability of success" for that mission. Barring that the mission is foiled, whether or not the mission is successful or fails is determined by your Special Forces' and characters' stats, and by luck. I will describe which stats are relevant for each mission type. After the simple math of adding up your Special Forces relevant stats and subtracting or averaging other factors you should arrive at a single number. The higher that end number is the more probable the mission will be successful, simple as that. I never really calculate out anything while playing the game, it's just important to know which stats are important for which missions. Please remember that only the stats of your personnel on the real mission, not decoys, contribute to the mission's success. i) Espionage: Information is vital to any military operation. Knowing where your enemies units are and what their defenses consist of is simply invaluable. This will be one of your most used missions. Let's call anyone who can conduct an espionage mission a spy, just for simplicity's sake. Probability of success is determined by the total espionage rating of personnel. Pretty much, one spy can do the job. When it comes to spy missions, if the mission is successful, then you get all the info about the target planet, so more people on the job doesn't make it more efficient. It's just that the more espionage stats your personnel have, the more likely the mission is, however a single Bothan Spy or Espionage Droid will be sufficient most of the time. However if you desperately need to know now and don't want to risk one spy screwing it up, using two or three spies may work better. When you successfully spy on an enemy planet you learn everything there is to know about the target planet, and another enemy planet. The second planet you get information on is randomly determined, but it will never be an enemy planet on the Outer Rim. That's how you can sometimes know what's on Coruscant, without actually sending a spy mission there. The info you get tells you what buildings are on the planet, what personnel are there, what missions are being conducted on the planet, if there are any military units on the ground or in orbit, and the arrival date of anything en route in hyperspace to the planet (including enemy fleets!). Spying on your own planet or a neutral planet does two things: 1. Tells you if an enemy fleet is incoming and when it arrives (sometimes the fleet icon won't tell you when the fleet will arrive, but if you click on an individual ship, it'll tell you when that ship will arrive. This usually only happens when ships are joining the fleet when they arrive, and won't arrive on the same day), and 2. Any enemy missions on the planet. Usually detectors are your only means of foiling enemy missions, but if you spot an enemy mission on your planet or on a neutral one, then if you send your commandos to capture or kill all of the people assigned to the real mission, then that mission will fail (killing decoys doesn't matter, as long as the people on the real mission are all neutralized, then the enemy mission fails and all decoys go back home). Generally, you only need to send spy missions to neutral planets if you thing the enemy's diplomaticing it, and spy on your own planets if the planet is an important one that's reasonably near the enemy and you want to protect it. Sending spy missions to ALL of your planets or even to all of your important ones is time consuming, too expensive, it's hard to keep up with them all, and usually pointless. If a friendly system is sectors away from the enemy, random espionage checks aren't necessary since it's very unlikely they will send anything that way. You probably have more important things to do. ii) Sabotage: This is my most used mission, with spying as a close second, because you can spy once on a planet and then send multiple sabotage missions to different targets on the planet. You can target anything from a ship, to a fighter squad, to a building, to a Special Forces. One thing that took me an hour to figure it out when I first got the game is when you're selecting the target, click on the specific target. You can't just select a planet when you want to sabotage a structure on it, you have to open up either the planet's manufacturing window or defenses window and then click on the actual structure or troop regiment you want to target. I don't know, maybe that's painfully obvious but I didn't see it initially and maybe a few other people didn't either. The probability of success is determined by the average of your mission team's total combat and total espionage ratings. Generally, if you're going after a structure on an undefended world, only one Special Forces is needed, no decoys. A single saboteur by himself works just fine, because a single Commando or Infiltrator unit is fully capable of destroying any facility on his own, and if there's no units at all on the planet, then there's no way you're mission can be foiled. The only exception being that a jedi on the planet detects a jedi on your sabotage team, but that rarely happens. However if you're going after a military unit on the ground, like troops or a fighter squad, then two Special Forces on the real mission will get the job done more often than one. Three if your missions keep failing and it's annoying you. I think buildings are easier to sabotage somehow, so almost always only one Special Forces will work, but you should go with more if going after a military unit. iii) Diplomacy: Diplomacy missions are another mission type most often used. This mission is progressive, meaning the character keeps trying and trying at this mission until he/she cannot do it anymore or you abort the mission. Every time they're successful a system's loyalty will move a small amount in your favor. If they fail then they'll simply try again. Probability of success is determined by the character's diplomacy rating minus the system's loyalty to the enemy (I have no way to know how to figure out a number for the system's loyalty, just know that the more of the bar that is the enemy's color, the harder it will be for the mission to succeed). Pretty much in my experience anyone with a diplomacy rating of below 60 isn't much use for this mission. Characters like Han or Chewie with diplomacy ratings of 13 each really aren't effective at ALL at diplomacy missions. However it's the TOTAL diplomacy rating of the whole mission team that counts, so if you send like 6 characters with low diplomacy ratings together to a planet, they will be as effective as a single character with a high diplomacy rating. I wouldn't recommend this much, since people with low diplomacy ratings tend to have high espionage and combat ratings so they're much useful at other things, but it is possible when needed. Using more than one professional "diplomats" (characters with over a 60 in diplomacy) also increases the chance of their success, but remember they will be working on only one planet, and since one "diplomat" can convert a system on his own without problem, it's generally better to assign one "diplomat" to one planet so you're working on several planets at once. Of course if a planet is completely loyal to the enemy, having two "diplomats" work together on it may help it along much faster at first, since even one will have problems initially because it's so resistant. You also may want to wait a bit before taking a diplomat from a planet they just won over. Let them raise the loyalty a bit more, so that in case another planet in the sector joins the enemy, it won't be so quick to go neutral. Diplomaticing until the bar is completely full isn't necessary, unless the diplomat has nothing better to do; just about 8/10 of the loyalty bar should be sufficient for every planet. Also, decoys really aren't necessary for this mission since you can only conduct this mission on friendly or neutral planets, so the probability of enemy detectors being around is really rather nonexistent. iv) Abduction: Any time you see an enemy character that isn't protected by too many detectors, it's a good idea to go try to kidnap him. Probability of success is determined by your mission team's combat rating minus the combat rating of the target. But generally if the combined combat rating of all your personnel on the real mission is double the target's combat rating, then you're pretty assured of success, at the very least you may injure the target, making him much easier to abduct the next time. If you're going after a diplomat with a very low combat rating like Jan Dodonna then you probably won't need more than one Noghri unit on the real mission. If you go after someone like Han Solo with a combat rating of around 100 then you need a lot more people on the real mission. Now, if you're going after a jedi, you're going to need even more people, since they tend to be VERY good at combat, so you might not be able to pull this off if there's too many detectors around the target. If you're going after Darth Vader however, the Dark Lord of the Sith, the living symbol of the Empire, then you need to blockade the planet, eliminate all the ground troops, and call in every Special Forces in the tri-sector area. THEN it'll take about 3-4 tries to get him. What can I say? He's a bitch. v) Rescue: Generally, you want to eliminate as many detectors as you can, and send like 3-5 Special Forces's on the real mission to rescue a character. Combat rating is the only important stat here, and it takes quite a bit it to get them out, so just 2 people most likely won't be sufficient. Actually, three probably won't be either, but it's possible. The more combat rating you have, the better the chances of success, just don't make your team too big. vi) Assassination: Combat rating is again the important stat here; the more you have the better. Again, the rule of doubling your target's combat rating works well for me. You'll most likely kill or at least maim the target. If the target's injured already then it's a lot easier to kill him. Also you can't assassinate or even kill "main characters" meaning: Luke, Mon Mothma, Leia, Han, Darth Vader, or the Emperor. vii) Incite Uprising: This is another progressive mission, meaning that the team will keep working until the planet leaves the enemy or you abort the mission. Probability of success is determined by the total Leadership of your team minus the target's loyalty to the enemy. It basically works like this: An incite uprising mission, if allowed to continue, will gradually turn an enemy system's loyalty away from them and toward you. It's basically like a Diplomacy mission on a hostile system. A real advantage of this mission is that it's very likely your opponent won't notice a single one of his/her planets slowly drifting to your side, and the only sign of this would be if the system were to go neutral or to openly revolt. It's especially dangerous if there are no ground troops stationed at the target planet, because if there are then once the system's loyalty leans toward you enough that the garrison requirement for the planet equals the amount of troops on the ground, the enemy will get a message telling them that the planet is close to revolt. However, if there are no troops on the ground, the planet may simply turn neutral without any warning. The moral of the story? The only sure way to protect a planet from this mission is to have at least 6 ground troops stationed there, because a planet cannot go into an uprising with that many troops on the ground, even if it is totally loyal to the other side. Generally a team of 5 works well on a lightly defended planet, but if there are many detectors I'd recommend using 4 or 3. Having 6-7 Special Forces on the real mission gets the job done much quicker, but they're very likely to get caught if there are any detectors around. Having 1-2 people on the real mission may be somewhat effective on a planet whose loyalty is already divided, but if it's very loyal to the enemy, chances are they won't accomplish squat. Like in a diplomacy mission, your Incite Uprising team will periodically have a chance to shift the system's loyalty to your side. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. If they don't then they send you a message saying that they're not being successful. However, when they do succeed they won't send you a message. The best sign that they are being effective is that you don't get a message saying that they were unsuccessful for long periods of time. Another less reliable sign is that you may get frequent messages about informants helping you on the planet when the team is doing well. This seems to happen when the system's loyalty moves slightly in your favor. The only time they will send you a mission "successful" message is when the planet switches sides or is enflamed in an uprising. viii) Subdue Uprising: Again the leadership of your team minus the target's loyalty to the enemy determines your probability of success. This mission also works just like a diplomacy mission, slowly moving the target's loyalty over to your side. Uprisings are very serious matters, since all production on the planet is stopped and garrison troops are slowly but surely destroyed, so send as many characters and Special Forces as possible, all in one major subdue mission, to get it over quickly. Decoys here really aren't necessary, because you own the planet, so enemy detectors aren't a problem. Also, you may want to conduct on espionage mission on your planet in an uprising to check for any enemy Incite Uprising missions that may work against your Subdue mission. ix) Research: There are three types of Research mission: Ship Design, Troop Training, and Facility Research, but they're all inherently the same so I put them under the same section. If a character can research a certain field (it tell you in their status menu) then get them researching ASAP. It speeds up R&D real fast, and there are always other characters to do spy work or be officers (I always want to make Ackbar or Thrawn my main fleet's admiral, but they can research ship design, so it's much better to make them research). There seems to be no real difference between sending multiple people on a research mission than sending them on individual ones, at least not that I can see. I usually send them on individual missions however, because that way I can spread them out across the galaxy, so if I lose one planet with a research mission on it, I'll still have other missions working, instead of losing ALL my research in that field. Ship design missions can only be conducted on planets with shipyards, troop training missions on planets with training facilities, and facility research missions on a planet with construction yards. If a researcher sends you a message saying "valuable" results have been produced, you just researched something in that field. If he says "no new progress" just keep him running. It's a progressive mission and he'll make progress eventually; just let him research until you've researched everything in that field. Now, there's only three ways for this type of mission to fail: 1. You're an idiot like me and scrapped the relevant facilities on the planet the team is researching on (at least once a game I will scrap the sole shipyard on the planet that Wedge or Ackbar is researching ship design on because I don't need it anymore and I forgot they were researching there. Remember, the relevant facility has to be there, or they can't research). 2. One of the people assigned to the mission is a traitor (see more about that under the Traitor section) and keeps failing the mission on purpose. It's a very good sign that someone has turned traitor, because it's impossible to fail the mission other than these two ways. 3. The planet is invaded or switches sides. This mission can only be conducted on a planet you own, so decoys are not necessary. In fact, the only people who can become decoys for a Research mission are those who can do research, so it's infinitely dumb to waste their talents as decoys. I believe that your research rate in an area is also determined by the number of production facilities in that area you have. I'm pretty sure that the more you have, the faster you research. At the very least, I do know that if you have none of a certain production facility then you will not research in its area at all. Each additional facility you have however seems to contributes VERY little to your research rate, so it's pointless to have facilities that aren't building, just so they can research. Facilities contribute a near insignificant amount; it's your research missions that do the bulk of the work. x) Recruitment: A very important mission, you should always have at least one person recruiting new characters until you can't recruit anymore. The probability of success is determined by the leadership of the character minus the planet's loyalty to the enemy's side. It doesn't matter what planet you recruit on, any planet works fine, in fact you could recruit on the same planet to get every character. Plus there are only a handful of people who can recruit ("main characters only"), so you can't be picky about leadership stats. Just recruit on a planet that's mostly loyal to you, and the Recruitment missions should work most of the time. xi) Recon: Imperial Probe Droids and Y-wing Long Probes are the only things that can conduct this mission. The main purpose for this mission is to do recon on outer rim territories, searching for hidden rebel bases, and otherwise looking for planets to colonize. However, another use for this mission is for a quick recon on enemy systems. If there are any enemy detectors at the target, chances are almost certain that the mission will be foiled, however you will then gain information about enemy ships in orbit around the target, or if there are no ships then about enemy ground troops. This can be invaluable when either hunting down enemy ships or when quickly checking that the target is clear of ships so you can move a fleet in. There are no stats relevant to this mission. It's always successful as long as there are no enemy units at the target, and if there are it's almost always foiled. xii) Death Star Sabotage: This mission is exactly the same as a regular sabotage mission, just the target is a Death Star. The only conceivable difference is that Death Stars tend to be (or at least they should be) pretty loaded with fighters and troops and escorted by numerous ships. Basically this means that any DS Sabotage mission you launch is very likely to be foiled, due to the high amount of detectors around. However, if the Empire becomes gets careless, then this is a real low-cost high-payoff way to really hurt them. xiii) Jedi Training: Quite possibly the longest mission in the game, it takes around 90 days to complete. Once Vader or Luke (Luke MUST be a jedi knight or a jedi master before he can do this mission) discover a jedi candidate, the candidate then can use the Force and gets a huge stat boost. However, the candidate must start as a jedi at one of the lowest rankings. The value of this mission is that it boosts their Force rating by a good amount. Not quite the amount Luke gets when he trains with Yoda, but this mission does give them quite a boost nevertheless. I recall dimly that somewhere I heard that the loyalty of the planet the training is on makes it that much more successful, but the Rebellion official website does not list this, so I'm not sure. I have never seen this mission fail randomly, but I have heard from other people that it can. However, I have tried this mission dozens of times and even when I conduct it on planets I own that are completely loyal to the enemy it has never failed for me. My best guess is that an enemy abduction/assassination attempt on one of the characters on the mission interrupted the mission. While the enemy's attempt failed, it may not have been foiled and as such the person would not have been informed of an enemy mission being detected. However I could be wrong and this mission could fail randomly, however if it does then it is very rare. The only other way for it to fail or be foiled is if the enemy should invade the planet or if the planet should otherwise leave your side, by going neutral for instance. The only drawback of this mission is that it puts one of your jedi knights/masters and a jedi candidate out of commission for a very long time. While a trained candidate is better than an untrained one, sometimes using the untrained one on missions now is more useful in the long run; after all they still are more effective than characters without the Force and will still grow as jedi with more successful missions. It's your call. As far as I know you can conduct this mission as many times as you want on any candidate. d) Practical Applications of Covert Operations Here are a few techniques of using a number of covert missions to help further your war effort. i) Liberating Planets: This is an incredibly powerful tool if implemented correctly. By using only covert operations without any conventional planetary bombardments or invasions you can literally bring an entire sector to your control. And I'm not joking or exaggerating, I've seen it, I've done it, and it's been done to me. An Incite Uprising mission isn't the only way to cause an uprising on an enemy system. Many times you may find an enemy system that requires a garrison due to low loyalty (the Empire tends to start with a lot of these), yet you lack enough capital ships to bombard away the garrison and free the planet (this happens a lot to the Alliance). An alternative way is to send sabotage missions to destroy the garrison troops until the planet goes into uprising, sending espionage missions frequently to check if the enemy has moved any more troops to defend the planet. Keep doing this until there are no troops left and the planet is free to choose its own alignment. Whenever a planet shifts allegiance without the help of a planetary invasion it affects the loyalty of every other planet in the sector. If a planet is allowed to leave the Empire on it's own whim, then every other planet in the sector will lose loyalty for the Empire. This can create a domino effect. Let's say that one planet leaves the Empire, it can cause another system with divided loyalty in that sector to also leave the Empire, which can cause a neutral planet to decide to join the Alliance, which causes an Imperial planet to require garrison troops, and so on. Sometimes even if the planet you liberated doesn't join your side and only goes neutral, it's impact on other planets' loyalties may cause them to shift allegiances, which impacts the original planet and causes it to join you. While this domino effect may not bring half a sector to your side after liberating only one planet, it's consequences in the sector are profound. If it doesn't bring another planet to your side, it'll at least make it that much easier to bring another planet under your banner with a few more Sabotage missions. Augmenting your efforts with Incite Uprising missions can help speed along the process. ii) Mobile Agent Platform (MAP): Is there a sector in which you own no planets but the enemy does? Do you lack the ships and troops to bring your influence to the sector? Is the sector too far away to practically send precise covert missions to? Well worry no more. An incredibly invaluable tool to extend your influence to sectors that are mostly enemy or neutral is the Mobile Agent Platform, a cute little name I made up. More often that not you won't have enough ships to cover every sector in the galaxy at once, and sending covert missions to another sector takes a very long time and is usually less than fruitful. A MAP is essentially an obsolete or unused capital ship that carries a bunch of Special Forces. Special Forces can be based on either a planet or a ship, and they will return to whichever they started from after a mission is over. So send a single ship loaded with Special Forces to a wayward sector. This way the time the team takes to get from the ship to the target will be MUCH shorter than if you'd sent the team from another sector. They'll return to the ship they started from without having to travel 30 or more days back to one of your planets. Load your MAP with a lot of Special Forces with a good variety. Bring people to spy on planets, people to sabotage targets, and even people to diplomatize neutral planets, if you can spare them. Having a lot of saboteurs with no spies can be just as good as having no saboteurs at all, since you won't have information about the whereabouts of targets. I like to bring every type of Special Forces with me on MAPs, as well as any characters I have to spare. A Neutral planet is a MAP's best friend. By orbiting your MAP around a neutral planet the enemy cannot know that you're there without sending an espionage mission or having a blockade around the planet, and generally they don't want to waste ships or missions on harmless neutral planets. So you're practically invisible while you send mission after mission against enemy targets. Usually I like to send a nearly worthless ship like a Bulk Cruiser or a cheap ship like a Carrack Cruiser as my MAP. Generally though a ship with laser cannons and thus an edge against enemy fighters is ideal, because those neutral planets may not stay neutral for long and you may need to move your MAP to an enemy system for a little while. You can always move your MAP away before enemy ships arrive to drive you off, but if there are a sufficient amount of fighters around the planet when you arrive, you may have to fight them off and a ship with laser cannons has a better chance at that. There are of course drawbacks to this idea. First and foremost is the fact that you are operating in enemy territory without a good amount of conventional support. Should the enemy figure out what you're doing, they may start searching with heavy cruisers of their own. Should you run into to one of these you will probably have to turn and run. And remember, whenever you retreat you will retreat back to the nearest friendly system, which in some cases this may be in another sector, and it may take you a good long time before your MAP can return; a good long time the enemy has to build up without your interference. A good way to avoid this is to frequently move your MAP from one neutral planet to another, since a moving target gets found less often than a stationary one. However, even here you must be careful. A covert team will always return to their starting point, unless that starting point happens to be a ship that is in hyperspace when the team is ready to return. Be careful by sending off teams and then moving your MAP, because if it's not back in real space by the time they're ready to come home, they will go to the nearest friendly ship or system, which may be in another sector. To avoid being found, there are two things you can do other than by moving constantly. One is to send espionage missions to the planet you're orbiting. This will tell you if there are any enemy ships incoming, which will then be your cue to run. Another way to avoid coming face to face with an enemy heavy cruiser is to send recon missions to where you're planning to move. Sometimes you may have to move to an enemy system for a moment, and to make sure there aren't any enemy ships orbiting the planet to chase you away a single recon mission is very helpful. Chances are the mission will be foiled by enemy forces, but it will still tell you if and what ships are orbiting the planet. Like I said, it's good to bring every type of Special Forces you can. While espionage missions can be just as effective or more so, they can take a good while and a recon mission is much faster for when speed is essential. Another major drawback is reinforcements. Operating in a sector dozens of days away means that sending replacement Special Forces to your MAP may take a long while. There is little you can do about this fact, only frequently send more Special Forces to your MAP as soon as they are available. Even if you don't need more Special Forces on the MAP, send them anyways because mortality rates in the covert world are rather high and chances are you will need reinforcements eventually. As I mentioned before having a ship with anti-starfighter weaponry is better than one without. Sometimes all ten planets in the sector may belong to the enemy, so you would have to orbit around enemy planets. It's pretty embarrassing to have to end the entire campaign in that sector simply because a few squads of fighters drove you off, so being able to fight off fighters can be extremely helpful. As for defending against MAPs, the best clue to an enemy MAP operating in your sector is if you detect numerous enemy missions in a short amount of time in a sector you mostly control or especially if the enemy has no planets in the sector. If you're sure an enemy MAP is working against you, try searching any neutral planets with capital ships. Recon missions to every neutral planet in the sector at the same time could be a much faster and cheaper option. If necessary you may want to regularly send these recon missions to make sure any new enemy MAP's don't arrive, but being obsessive about this can take up a good deal of your attention. Having a good number of fighters can help by not only preventing an enemy MAP from orbiting one of your planets, but also it can provide extra detectors against enemy covert missions. This MAP tactic has proven extremely useful to me. By having a MAP conduct the tactic of liberating planets mentioned above I have taken entire sectors without needing to use a single ground troop in the sector. One of the first things I do when starting a game is to prepare a MAP. While the chances of losing the MAP or having to send them fleeing home in hyperspace for a good forty days are pretty good, you can get much for spending very little in the way of resources. The fact that a MAP can't defend itself is simply the tradeoff for the stealth and capabilities it offers. iii) Counter-Insurgency: Whenever you conquer all or most of a sector, especially Outer Rim sectors, it's always a good idea to build several Special Forces of every type and station them on one or two well-defended systems. Should you move the bulk of your fleets to other sectors then this way you have a way to strike back at the enemy should he invade the sector. Since it's likely that the sector will be loyal mostly to you then the enemy will require garrisons on any planet they capture. In that case your Special Forces can then send Sabotage and Incite Uprising missions to those captured planets and possibly bring them back to your side, or at least create uprisings on those planets. Going along with this it's a good idea to keep training facilities on a few planets so that you can train more Special Forces should the need arise. It's a hell of a lot faster and cheaper to defend your sectors this way than to have large numbers of troops on every planet. While the troops along with defensive facilities are the most solid defense, with a counter-insurgency force you have at least a modest defense before you can build all that. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. Tools of the Trade: Military Units This is after all a war game, and thus you're going to have to take at least a shot or two sometime in the game. The second half of battle in Rebellion consists of the actual ships and troops duking it out on the battlefield. a) Starships For clarity purposes in this FAQ, I shall refer to those capital ships that are designed to attack mainly other capital ships as "cruisers," and those capital ships that are designed to attack primarily starfighters as "anti- starfighter platforms," or ASP's. Here I'll give a brief rundown over several important concepts. Things like Tractor Beams that aren't really important and don't have much else to them than is already explained in the game have been omitted for brevity. i) Weaponry: There are three types of canons in the game (actually four if you consider the lasers on the fighters but they're probably just laser canons just really weak, the game never specifies, but let's just say there're three). Turbolasers, laser canons, and ion canons, and each ship has a different arc of range for each weapon that it has: forward, aft, port, starboard. Generally a ship that's confronting another ship will turn its strongest arc to the enemy ship for maximum damage, but the other arcs are there for when the ship's surrounded or to track a moving enemy. Turbolasers: The heavy guns of a capital ship. Never really see them in X- wing games, but they're the weapons in the books and movies that take down other starships, destroy fighters in a shingle shot, and turn planets to slag. These are the most effective weapon against other starships, yet are pretty crappy against fighters. Pretty much, I don't really consider a ship as a "cruiser" unless they have primarily these babies. Their main use is against other starships, though they can fire at starfighters, but are less effective than laser cannons. Ships wielding only turbolasers won't fire at fighters automatically; you have to order them to do that. Laser canons: As you would've guessed, the anti-fighter guns. The guns on a corvette are the best example of these, made for tearing up fighter squads, yet really weak versus other starships. Ships with only these can still attack other starships, but you have to use several ships to be effective, and only minimally at that. They will not attack other starships automatically; you have to order them to do that. Ion Cannons: No ship has ion canons as powerful as the ground based ones in Empire Strikes Back, but they can still be pretty powerful. Any ship system can get damaged when lasers hit the hull, but the ion cannon's specific purpose is to disable those systems faster than lasers. They won't damage a ship's hull, but they will damage shields. They don't disable every system upon impact, but eventually will if kept firing. These never fire on fighters. ii) Repairing Ship Systems: Every ship has a certain amount of points in its systems and some ship types have more in certain systems than others. When a ship's shields are down, the hull suffers damage, and so do systems with every shot, and here ion canons prove devastating. The system icons of a ship in Tactical mode show you how damaged that system is. Sometimes though, this can be misleading. Like, on a corvette, the maximum points in the shield generators is 12. When the power goes down to 9:12 the system icon in battle will show the generators as slightly damaged, but it will not show the different icon when the power is at 10:12 or 11:12. This can be very confusing, because in the Tactical mode all your systems may seem nominal, but when in Strategic mode and you look in the fleet menu, you see little explosions around the ship, indicating that the ship is damaged. It's just that the damage is so slight that the icon in battle didn't change. The only way for a ship system to be damaged is when the ship is hit with shields down, EXCEPT FOR THE SHELD GENERATORS (Actually I've seen the engines completely go out once, they didn't even get damaged first, just went dead with shields at full, but I'm guessing it was a game defect). If the shields are constantly being hit, but the lasers just aren't powerful enough to actually bring down the shields before they regenerate, the shields stay up but it's taxing on the generators, and slowly but surely they'll get damaged. Let it continue for a long time and eventually they'll be disabled. Now, when your generators are out, any shields you still have left stay up, they just won't be regenerated. Between battles a ship fully charges it's shields so that it starts the next battle with full shields, but I'd like to see if that still happens when a ships generators are disabled and aren't repaired between battles, probably nothing changes though. When a system is damaged but not disabled, it's less effective. Your cannons are less powerful, shields don't recharge as fast, your ship moves slower, etc., depending on which system is damaged. Now, to repair ship systems and hull you have to be in orbit around one of your planets.. You can't repair around an enemy or neutral planet. It's kinda stupid, because in battle your systems repair (I don't think hull does though), so they should be able to when in enemy territory and not fighting. Oh well. Actually sometimes it seems you repair faster in battle than you do out of it. I have once actually gone into battle for the sole purpose of letting a ship's shield gen.'s repair. Actually, twice, but it only worked the first time because the enemy's Ties kept bringing them back down to the same level as before, so be careful when trying this. A damaged ship in orbit of a friendly planet with shipyards repairs sooooo much faster than without the shipyards, so if possible station those ships near shipyards. I don't know if the more shipyards a planet has the faster the ship repairs, but it seems logical. iii) Maneuverability: The maneuverability ratings go from 1 to 4 points. Actually, the Death Star does have a rating of 0, but it doesn't matter in battle mode since it can't move anyway. Most ships have a rating of 1 or 2, with notable exceptions of the Lancer Frigate, Assault Transport, and Corvette with a rating of 3, and the Corellian Gunship, as far as I know, is the most maneuverable ship in the game with a value of 4. Something to note, Alliance ships tend to be more maneuverable than Imperial ships. Almost all the Rebel ships have at least a rating of 2, with only a few ships with a rating of 1. However, about half the Imperial vessels have a rating of 1, including all the star destroyer models except the VSDII. It's a small advantage for the rebels, considering that Imperial ships tend to have much more firepower. This attribute you can mostly ignore, except in a few cases where you may want to send ships to attack the rear of the enemy formation and get them back quickly. iv) Bombardment: Want to capture a planet but it has too many defending troops? Raining down fire from the skies is a pretty good idea, as long as there're no planetary guns. Most ships have bombardment modifies, which I suspect multiply the weapons ratings of the ship to make them more effective in planetary bombardments. Pretty much, as long as a ship has turbolasers it has a modifier, with the exceptions of the Interdictor Cruiser and the Corvette. The Indictor has turbolasers, but the in-game encyclopedia says it doesn't have a modifier, and the turbolaser-less corvette does have a modifier, but these may just be typos. Almost every ship has a modifier of 2 or less. No Alliance ship has a modifier above 2, except for the Bulwark Battlecruiser, which has a rating of 4. The only ships in the Imperial navy above 2 are the SSD, with a value of 3, and the VSD classes. A first generation VSD has a rating of 4, which is greater than an SSD's, and the VSDII has a rating of 5, which is the highest modifier of any conventional ship in the game. This gives the VSD class a distinctive use in the imperial navy, for they have very strong turbolasers as it is, and their high modifiers make them extremely effective in planetary bombardment. v) Hyperdrive: I'm pretty sure that the more points a ship has in it's sublight engines, the faster it'll enter hyperspace in battle mode. In fact the more points in any system a ship has, the more effective that system should be. The hyperdrive seems to be the only exception, why I don't know. However, the fewer points a ship has in hyperdrive, the faster it'll travel. Most ships have a rating of either 60 or 80, and the faster ship I've seen is the Assault Transport, with a rating of 50. Most likely hyperdrive ratings won't have any impact on your ship selections, however should the need ever arise, a fleet composed of only the fastest available ships may be useful for defensive purposes in-sector, being quick enough to intercept an enemy fleet. However, this ability has limited use, as the only ASP in the game with a hyperdrive rating of 60 is the Carrack, and ASP's are very important components of fleets. vi) Damage Control: Another aspect of starships worth mentioning that isn't covered in the manual, is the damage control rating. Now it isn't really an important factor in much of the game, you want to use those ships with greater shields and firepower more than weaker ships, however it does have use in certain situations, mainly in small-scale battles. By small-scale battles I mean when there's only 1-4 capital ships on either side, and not dozens upon dozens of fighters involved. Knowing relative damage control ratings of the ships can give you an edge. Example: I once experimented with the computer by attacking a lone Mon Calamari Cruiser with a VSD, a VSDII, and an ISD, Now some of those ships have stronger shields and even stronger weapons than the Mon Cal, however without fail the Mon Cal won the engagement every time. This puzzled me until I paid closer attention to the ship systems during the battle. Apparently even with stronger shields and/or weapons, the shield generators of the Imperial ships I was using started to fail long before the Mon Cal's generators. This is because the of the damage control rating. The Mon Cal is famous for it's redundant systems, making it hard to cripple, and that characteristic has been brought to Rebellion. A quick look over the various ratings of ships shows the average to be from 20-30. However the Mon Cal has the second highest rating in the game, 50, second only to the Death Star with its rating of 60. This meant it had at least 20 points more than the ships I was throwing at it, and because of this it's shield generators held the longest, and since neither ship, it or one of mine, had a vastly superior firepower advantage enabling to bring down the other's shields without needing to knock out the generators first, the battle came down to whose generators would last the longest and keep the shields up the longest, which was the Mon Cal. So, a good familiarity with damage control ratings of ships can help you decide whether to push forward in a small battle, or to retreat. vii) Detection Ratings: Just a brief note, generally starships have poor detection ratings no matter the size, even a Super Star Destroyer has a super- low one. A ship by itself in orbit can be very vulnerable to sabotage, but a sizable fleet and especially ships that carry several fighters and troops can provide excellent protection from enemy covert missions not just for the planet but also for the individual ships. In other words, if possible don't let a ship stay alone no matter the size; instead let it orbit a planet with other ships so that together they collectively provide enough of a detection value to protect them from enemy missions. viii) Ship List The game encyclopedia descriptions don't really do the ships in the game justice, so I figured I'd just comment on them. They're listed in order of which they are researched, starting with the Nebulon-B Frigate for the Rebels and the Lancer Frigate for the Imperials, because you start with the ships listed earlier and do not have to research them. Alliance Ships Bulk Cruiser: Hmm, one word to describe this thing...useless? Naw, a good tactician finds use for everything, even this thing. Never waste resources making more, but if you start out stuck with then there're only two real uses. As a Mobile Agent Platform, and when it's real early in the game it still has some decent firepower and at the very least can drive off or destroy any anti- starfighter ship. A few of them can even manhandle an enemy dreadnaught (both sides have dreadnaughts). But once the game has progressed, their only use is as either a MAP or as scrap metal. Dreadnaught: It can carry troops, so it's mildly useful later on, but never build more of these guys. By the time your halfway done with them, you can build better. You'd be better off building bulk transports. These guys are just a tad better than bulk cruisers, so like 3 or 4 of them can cause trouble for a Victory Star Destroyer, if you're lucky and with fighter coverage, and they are good at driving off anti-starfighter ships. Medium Transport: Carries two troops and has gun turrets weaker than those on the Millennium Falcon (if the Falcon could go into Tactical mode that is), but then, the Falcon has a few illegal upgrades here and there. Don't build more of these, because bulk transports are so much better even though they have no guns, since this ship's gun turrets cannot hold off 5 squads of Ties. Pretty much, these things are good for exploring and colonizing Outer Rim Territories, which takes a long time anyway, so the 2-troop capacity isn't as limiting as it may seem. Bulk Transport: This is the only real advantage the Rebels have over the Imps in terms of starships, the ability to carry large amounts of troops, 6 of them, without needing many capital ships to do the job. Make quite a few of these, especially early on when you can't produce anything with real power. Corellian Corvette: The best anti-starfighter ship in the game when you start. Make a few more of these if you need to, but remember that the more advanced Gunship will be researched later. This is a Tie's worst nightmare; it can take on 2 whole Tie squads by itself, and lose only a bit of shield generator power, if any. I've even taken on even 4 squads with just one Corvette (not Tie Defenders of course), but its shield generators really suffered some damage. Alliance Escort Carrier: Sometimes, you just need some extra fighters. This baby's hold for 6 squads can provide just that. I'd make quite a few of these guys to bolster the fighter capacity of your fleets. Good for having enough fighters to bring down a Death Star. Nebulon-B Frigate: This is the MOST versatile ship in the game. It can hold it's own against Ties and light cruisers. Three of them in conjunction can cause serious trouble for a SD, while holding off a few squads of ties. It's the only ship that has turbolasers, laser cannons, and ion cannons except for the Interdictor, and that ship is way underpowered. An incredibly useful ship for the Rebels; make sure you start building several as soon as you can. A lot of the time it may be the flagship for your only fleet in a whole sector, for operations that don't require taking a heavier cruiser away from the main conflicts. It's not exactly a "cruiser" or an ASP; it's more of a hybrid of the two. It can't hold a candle to the massive ships you get late in the game, but it still has it's uses then and is invaluable to the Alliance early on. It's a multi-role vessel. Mon Calamari Cruiser: The backbone of the Rebel fleet, the awesome Mon Cal. These are the babies that took on the Death Star and the imperial fleet at point blank range AND lived to tell the tale. Well, most of them did. They are the first real heavy cruisers the Alliance gets. More than a match for the Victory, its firepower rivals and even exceeds the Imperial Star Destroyer in terms of turbolasers. It even matches a VSD II's firepower. Plus they can carry 3 fighter squads and even 1 troop regiment, and are incredibly durable thanks to their high damage control rating. They'll become the most important ships you have for a long while. I just love these guys. Corellian Gunship: Just an upgrade to the corvette, a bit more firepower and speed and it's also less expensive. Make sure you have quite a few Corellian ships around to protect your heavy cruisers. CC-7700 Frigate: The Rebel's version of the interdictor cruiser. It too sets up a gravity well generator, preventing the enemy from jumping to hyperspace. Its shields aren't as strong as the interdictor's, but it has more laser cannons and makes an effective anti-starfighter platform. Having two of them in a fleet is a very good way to insure that the enemy won't be escaping any time soon. It's very useful for holding those annoying stray enemy ships that do hit-and- run raids on your planets and turn tail from your fleet when you find them. Assault Frigate: This ship is the second heavy hitter for the Rebels. The only real improvement it has on earlier ships is that it has the strongest shields thus far, but its weapons aren't any stronger than the Mon Cals. However, its shields do let it go to the front and take the bulk of the enemy's shots. It is a fine ship, and I'd recommend making several, but don't think it'll replace the Mon Cal. It may have stronger shields, but the Mon Cal can still go longer without its systems taking damage. It also can't carry troops or fighters, and eventually Bulk Transports and Escort Carriers run out of room so I'd suggest keeping the Mon Cal as your fleets' mainstay ship for now. This ship is meant to augment fleets, not lead them, in my opinion. Liberator Cruiser: What's the word I'm looking for.sleek?...swift?...ah, sweet. This is just a very sweet ship. Holds 6 squads and 3 troops, very handy, and can hold its own in a battle. It won't be taking on any Imperial Star Destroyers any time soon, but it can deliver a nasty sting to enemy cruisers in conjunction with your heavy hitters. It's every admiral's dream, a transport ship that can defend itself, and does it quite well in fact. CC-9600 Frigate: A very good warship by all accounts, just that by the time you research it, you already have ships that are equally as good, or better. It's just another ship to add variety to your fleet. As a side note, the game says it can carry two troop regiments, but it can only carry one. I suppose it is a bit cheaper than an Assault Frigate and can carry one troop regiment, but by no means should you hold off building the Assault Frigate in anticipation of these. Dauntless Cruiser: This is the Rebel Alliance's Battleship. Massively powerful, heavy shielding; this thing can go toe to toe with ISD II's. It really is dauntless. It's nearly ungodly. It's the first ship the Rebels get that has undeniable power, so by all means make as many as you can. I like naming my first one "Dauntless," just for kicks. Bulwark Battlecruiser: The Rebel's answer to the SSD. It can't carry as much, and it's shields and ion cannons are a bit weaker than the SSD's, but it's forward turbolaser arc has 100 more points in it, meaning this sucker isn't something to be trifled with. Actually, it's something to turn tail from, jump to hyperspace and never come out in fear of it. Just think about it, this thing is made to COUNTER the SSD. Drool. Imperial Ships Imperial Dreadnaught: Pretty much exactly the same as the Alliance Dreadnaught. Carrack Light Cruiser: Basically it's an imperial Corellian corvette. The only difference is that it's laser cannons are weaker and it has some really weak turbolasers that really don't do much damage to other ships, they just make it a threat to a corvette, but not much of one. Its job is exactly that of a corvette's: find and kill starfighters. Galleon: Your basic unarmed troop transport. Not much to say about it, except build many because since the empire doesn't have the bulk transport it's hard pressed for troop spaces in fleets. Imperial Escort Carrier: Almost exactly like the Alliance carrier (the only difference is some laser cannons in the rear), it provides more fighter space for your fleets. Its laser cannons provide some protection from fighters, and it's useful because the imperials always need more starfighters to counter the Rebellion's superior fighters, so build quite a few of these. They're also helpful for carrying a massive fighter screen to protect a Death Star. Victory Star Destroyer: The ISD's little brother. It's easily more powerful than anything the rebels have at the start, and the Imps start with it. It has more powerful turbolasers than an ISD, I guess to compensate for its small size, but it lacks ion cannons. Just remember what it says in the Rebellion poster: "This vessel was designed with planetary bombardment in mind." It carries quite a wallop when it comes to planetary bombardment, with a bombardment modifier higher than most of ships in the game. All in all, a pretty deadly capital ship. Imperial Star Destroyer: The absolute best part about being imperial for me is to command these suckers and watch them in action. You can almost hear the Imperial March. The bad boys of the empire, this is the imperial fleet's mainstay ship. It's got heavy turbolasers and ion cannons, and it's meant to thrust into enemy formations like its dagger-shape implies. I read somewhere that just four of these can turn a planet into slag. Not to mention it carries a butt-load of fighters and troops, making it a very well rounded war ship indeed. Lancer Frigate: Because rebel starfighters are so powerful that they can destroy death stars, these things were invented solely to combat them. The most powerful anti-starfighter platform in the game, they provide great protection from fighters. Around four or five of them banded together could also put a dent in another capital ship. Always bring a few to escort your heavy cruisers. Star Galleon: The best the Empire can do is to have cheap ships to carry three troops at a time. Nothing smaller than an SSD can carry more than that, and these babies do it cheaply. Build lots of them, and by lots I mean LOTS. Assault Transport: It carries only one troop regiment, so you won't need many of these, if any at all, but they do have pretty powerful laser cannons. It's actually more powerful against fighters than a carrack cruiser, so you might consider making these a viable ASP choice. One of these guys can at least stay in the rear can protect the other transports from fighters. The only other conceivable purpose for these guys is that when you're scouting the outer rim for possible bases and you accidentally run into a rebel planet with a few stationed fighter squads, you won't have to retreat all the way back to another sector, cause it can fight them off. Even though it has the fastest hyperdrives in the game, the fact that it can only carry one regiment makes it a poor colonizer since you'll waste more time sending the troops through hyperspace to the ship than you would if you'd used a ship with a larger carrying capacity. I suppose you could make a small fleet of like 6 of these so that they move fast and carry lots of troops, but you are at war here and your shipyards probably have something better, and deadlier, to build. They would also be great MAPs, due to their speed and ability to fend off planetary fighters. Interdictor Cruiser: We Star Wars fanatics all know what this baby was meant to do. Gravity well projectors prevent the enemy from escaping, making those very annoying hit-and-run raiders easy prey. Strong shields and light weaponry make it a marvelous starship indeed. Victory II Star Destroyer: An upgrade to the VSD, with the same turbolaser complement, but now ion canons and much better shields. It can't carry troops anymore, but it has the highest bombardment rating of any conventional ship, making it very useful. Strike Cruiser: The beauty of this ship was that it can be mass-produced very quickly, but I don't see that happening in this game. They build just as slow as other ships. They're less expensive than Star Destroyers, but still have a good complement of weapons. Pretty much, they're good medium cruisers with very powerful shields, so build a few but don't concentrate on them. Imperial II Star Destroyer: Or Impstar Deuce for short, this thing has twice as powerful weaponry as its predecessor and over twice the shields. Add to that the fact that it has the same fighter and troop capacity as before and the fact that you can't destroy its shield towers in Rebellion, this baby is everything you'd want in a heavy warship. Hey, even I'd make it in the form of a phallic symbol. Build as many you can, but remember how expensive they are and how long they take to build, so if you need ships fast, these may not be the best choice for the moment. Super Star Destroyer: This is it, the ultimate starship in the galaxy. Over a thousand laser cannon batteries and missile launchers, and I'm pretty sure this baby could carry a whole ISD in its hold. With room for 12 fighters and 9 troops, this thing is u-n-g-o-d-l-y. They don't call it "super" for nothing. Need I say more? Actually, yes, just one more thing: RUN, as fast as you can if you're the Rebels. Death Star: We all know what its main purpose is. Its super laser detonates planets. However it has several other uses as well: - It carries a TON of fighters and troops; it literally can drop 20,000 cargo ship loads of whoop-ass on a planet. - Its mere presence can bring garrison requirements down and can cause open revolts to cease on every imperial planet in the sector. - Its super laser can also be directed at enemy ships, and every several minutes or so it can instantly turn any rebel ship, including Dauntless and Bulwark cruisers, into space dust. - It has an incredibly high bombardment modifier. It never attacks any other ship in battle mode with its turbolasers or ion cannons but the reason those stats are in the status menu for the death star is because of that modifier, making it incredibly useful for planetary bombardments without destroying the planet. This is not to mean it can bring down three Gencore Level II's by itself, but it could with a number of other ships. How to kill it: 1) The Traditional Way: Send starfighters in the Tactical Mode on a Kill Death Star Mission. Any type of starfighter can do it, even A-wings which don't have torpedoes can conduct this mission, but be warned that I've NEVER seen A-wings succeed, even after over three dozen attempts. The only catch is if the Imperials have as many or more squadrons of fighters in the battle as the Rebels do (total nuumber of squadrons regardless of type), then the Rebels CANNOT conduct a Kill Death Star mission. The only time they can is when they have more squadrons of fighters in the battle, so you may have to kill some TIEs before conducting this mission. Only one squadron at a time can do it, and the more squadrons the Rebels have than the Imperials, the greater the chance of success, I think. Personally I've never seen this mission fail with torpedo carrying fighters, so it's very important for the Imperials to carry large numbers of fighter squadrons with the DS to protect it. NOTE: The DS is impervious to fighter attack as long as it's around a planet with Death Star Shields, like it was in Return of the Jedi. 2) The Covert Way: Send a Death Star Sabotage mission to destroy it. This can be difficult to pull off, because chances are the Imperials will be smart enough to have lots of other ships, and fighters, and troops nearby to detect covert missions. 3) The Stupid Way: Since the DS can bombard a planet the normal way, it can be vulnerable to planetary guns while doing so. Just to screw around, I once bombarded a planet with heavy shields and two Level 2 Guns with a sole Death Star. The DS couldn't punch through the shields, and took heavy damage each time. It took about 5 tries but the DS was eventually destroyed. It's not something the Rebels can actively do to destroy the DS, but it's still possible, so be careful while conducting bombardments with it (The DS is never vulnerable to planetary guns when it destroys the planet, only during normal bombardment). Whichever way the DS is destroyed it is very traumatic for the Imperials. Even if you own over 2/3 of the galaxy and the rebels own only a handful of systems, should you lose one or two death stars your characters may still start to turn traitor on you. Read more about this in the Characters section under Strategic Covert Operations. The major problem with the DS, you guessed it, is it's incredibly expensive and takes a looooooong time to build. It's also very slow, very vulnerable to fighters, and you can only have one around a planet or in a fleet at a time. It's hyperdrive is very slow, and it's the only craft I've seen that has a sublight engine rating of 1, meaning any fleet with a DS will escape to hyperspace extraordinarily slowly. Pretty much, this is not something you'll really need to build, unless you and your opponent are on relatively equal grounds, you want a large advantage, you have a LOT of resources to spare, and you have a very large shipyard complex. Also, another downside is that every single planet in the galaxy, even uninhabited planets you colonized, will lose support for you every time you destroy a planet (I actually found a bug in the game, if you keep destroying planets to the point where the support of every system in the game is fully for the rebels, and if you keep destroying planets after this point, they will start to slowly gain support for the empire again. Might be fun if you wanted to cut down the size of the galaxy to one half it's original size and regain your empire the way it was before, but this bug only happens sometimes, not every time.). So pretty much, the planet-destroying capability should be saved for that rebel HQ that couldn't escape in time but is behind 5 Gencore Level 2 shields, 4 Level 2 Guns, and 2 Ion Cannons. If you ever find yourself just not wanting to waste the opportunity to have the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, just remember this: the first death star in the movies incorporated the resources for more than dozens of Star Destroyers and hundreds of fighters, ships which could have overwhelmed the rebellion, and in the end it accomplished in only making the galaxy just that much madder at the Empire for the destruction of Alderaan, and killing only a handful of starfighters before being destroyed by an X-wing and a Corellian freighter. The second Death Star only destroyed a few Mon Calamari Cruisers before also being destroyed by just an X-wing and a Corellian freighter. That's not what I call getting my money's worth. Death Stars are not needed to win a war and are only useful if used wisely. b) Starfighters "Pretty," Donos said. "What do we blow up first?" Wedge, ahead of him in the pilot's chair, turned to glance at him. "Write that down," he said. "That ought to be the Wraith Squadron slogan." "Good point. Squeaky, record that." "If I must." -(Star Wars Solo Command, Aaron Allston, 1999) Okay, unfortunately you can't send them on deep space raids to attack convoys or supply depots, since supplies work automatically and you can't keep anything raid-vulnerable anywhere in space except in hyperspace or on or around a planet, but fighters can still turn the tide of battle. i) Classification: In the X-wing series of flight combat games the fighters on both sides were given classifications based on their abilities and specific jobs. In Rebellion they've kept those abilities and jobs, so I'll just describe the classifications so that you have a better idea what jobs to assign to different fighter types. Air-Superiority: This isn't really a classification; it's a job really. As the name implies fighters with this job take control of the air, or rather of space. Whatever it takes to do just that, these fighters can do it, whether it means being a bomber and dropping some torps into a capital ship, or being an interceptor and protecting your capital ships from enemy bombers, or if need be just blasting other fighters into dust. Their laser power, maneuverability and occasional torpedoes allow them to do a range of missions. Fighters under this category are X-wings, Tie Fighters, and Tie Defenders. Bombers: As has been the trend since WWII, bombers in this game are slow, sluggish, and are not maneuverable. However they also have strong shields, if they have shields, and they carry the heaviest load of proton torpedoes as well as ion cannons. Pretty much, never send them to fight other fighters, unless you have like 300 squads worth and the sheer overwhelming numbers will be enough, because they'll be chewed apart. They're meant to attack capital ships, and once its shields are down they're once of your most powerful tools to either disable or destroy it. The bombers in Rebellion are Y-wings, B-wings, and Tie Bombers. Interceptors: The exact opposite of bombers, interceptors are fast and agile and made to fight other fighters. They're not as powerful as fighters designed for Air Superiority; their main strength lies in their maneuverability. Their main job is to "intercept" enemy fighters attacking capital ships and bombers. The interceptors of the game are A-wings and the Tie Interceptor. ii) Proton Torpedoes: The real edge against capital ships fighters have is their torpedoes. The problem is that they won't fire their torps unless the target's shields are down, otherwise fighters would be way more important and the rebels far more powerful. Again, YOU FIRST HAVE TO BRING DOWN THEIR SHIELDS before the little white lines that represent torpedoes will fire at the ships and cause massive destruction. Once they are used, they are incredibly devastating against a ship, more so than turbolasers. Only ships that could use torpedoes in the original X-wing game are the only ones that can use them here. Unlike in X-wing Alliance, you can't just change the launcher tubes and add whatever projectile you feel like to a fighter, though it added more variety to Alliance. This means that A-wings don't have torps (and there are no concussion missiles in the game), but everything else does, except of course for Tie Fighters and Interceptors. You can look up the torp power in the status menu for each type of fighter, but generally those ships built to be bombers, meaning Y-wings, B-wings, and Tie Bombers, have more torp power than other fighters. Also, as far as I know, fighters never run out of torps. I figured that the number their torpedo rating gave might signify their total number of torpedoes, but they will keep firing them more than that number, so I suppose the torp rating is simply how powerful each strike is. iii) The Squadron Effect: Every single fighter icon flying around in the Tactical Mode represents a single squadron, no matter how many fighters it has left in it. As long as there's at least one fighter left in a squadron its icon will be shown. Every time you see a laser or a torp fire from the icon, it has the strength of all the fighters in the squad alive in it combined. Whenever you hear a target destroyed message when the target is fighters, that means an entire squad is destroyed, not just an individual fighter. Every time something fires on a squad, the second time it fires, it won't necessarily hit the same fighter that second time. An example of this and of the power of fighters: Once all I had was 5 X-wing and 1 Y-wing squads to defend a planet against a single ISD. Now, every time something fires on a squad of unshielded fighters, one of those fighters will die, no exception. However, when it fires on shielded craft then the shields will protect the fighter for like one shot, and until it regenerates the fighter is then vulnerable. Now, I didn't lose a single fighter against that ISD because of those shields (remember, the ISD has only turbolasers, not effective against fighters). See, a ship won't necessarily target the same squad every time it fires, and when it does it won't necessarily hit the same fighter it did before. When it fired at my Y-wing squad, it took out the shields of one of them, but even if it fired at the Y-wings immediately again, it didn't hit the same fighter, the one without shields. It simply hit another Y-wing and took out its shields. By the time it targeted the Y-wings again, and hit the same 1 out of 12 fighters it hit first, that fighter's shields had regenerated, and it could take another shot. I was amazed. Technically, in "reality" the combined torpedoes of the 6 squadrons should've ripped that ISD apart, but in this game, they won't fire until the shield are down. Instead, painstakingly slowly, they damaged the shield generators bit by bit, until the shield generators got weaker and weaker. The computer was smart enough to know it was a losing battle, and pulled out, but my fighter screen alone drove off an ISD. Pretty cool. iv) Bombardment: Every fighter squad with proton torpedoes has a bombardment value of either 1 or 2; depending on how many torps the squad can hold. Just something to keep in mind when conducting bombardments, make sure you bring a bunch of fighters if you're having trouble getting past some Gencores. v) Maneuverability: You can check the stats if you want in the status menus for the fighters, but generally speaking bombers fly slower than other fighters and interceptors are the fastest fighters. The point being, it can help if you know the relative speeds of fighters, because if you send your fighters all the way across the battlefield in battle mode your interceptors will arrive first, and your bombers will lag behind all exposed to enemy fighters. Just a warning. vi) Star Fighter List Alliance Fighters X-wing: My personal favorite starfighter of all time, it's pretty much the most well rounded fighter in the game in terms of speed, maneuverability, shields, and firepower. Don't know what you want a shipyard to build? Just have it build a few of these, since you can never have too many. Y-wing: These guys were made for taking and giving punishment. However, be careful because in Rebellion these things get chewed up real fast by enemy fighters, so NEVER send them to engage fighters. Their usefulness is in their extra torpedo strength and ion cannons, but B-wings make them obsolete, so don't make too many of them. A-wing: Their profession is intercepting fighters quickly. Just too bad they don't have torps. B-wing: Heaviest shields and ion canons of any fighter in the game, plus pretty good laser power, but they can't hold their own against enemy interceptors. They also carry the most amount torpedoes of any fighter in the game. Just protect them so they can destroy the big ships. They replace Y-wings, so don't build any more of those if you need bombers, just build these guys. Imperial Fighters Tie Fighters: The cheapest things ever made, but a lot of them can still do plenty of damage to X-wing squads and light capital ships. Just think of the Swarm tactic. Tie Interceptors: Stop making Tie Fighters when you get these. They'll be your main attacking fighter until Defenders come along, because they're even better at air superiority than Tie Fighters are, even though they're designed to be interceptors. Tie Bombers: According to the X-wing series Tie Bombers shouldn't have ion cannons, Defenders should, but I guess for the sake of balance the game designers decided to give the Imps a fighter with ion cannons earlier than they would if the Defenders had them. The Bomber is the only fighter the Imps have with ion cannons, and the first fighter they have with torps. Tie Defenders: Has The most powerful laser canons of any fighter in the game, but is much more expensive and take much longer to build than other Imperial fighters, so don't build them when you need a quick fix for fighters. They are the only Imperial fighters with shields and they have a pretty good torp power as well. They're the best fighter for the air superiority role in your fleets, but they aren't maneuverable enough to replace Tie Interceptors as the interceptors for your fleets. However, stocking your fleets with only these babies can be a good strategy, since they can do just about any fighter job and they have shields so they last longer. The only problem is their high maintenance cost, so you very well need a mix of these and other unshielded fighters in your fleet. c) Troops "Now just remember, no poor bastard every served his country by dying for his country. He served his country by making some other poor bastard die for his country." -General George S. Patton i) Attack/Defense/Bombardment Defense Ratings: Pretty obvious, the higher the value a regiment has in either of these categories, the better it is in that category. ii) Detection Rating: A very easy aspect of troops to overlook is their detection rating, especially since it's only mentioned in the Status Menu when you right click on a regiment. The higher the value a regiment has the more often it'll detect and foil enemy missions, and with more troops with high detection ratings you'll foil even more missions. Troops are the first line of defense against enemy covert missions and if you have none on the surface the planet's facilities are easy pickings for sabotage missions. So I suggest you familiarize yourself with the detection ratings of troops to decide which regiments are the best to use as either garrison units on an unruly planet or as defense against enemy covert missions. The only time I'll list stats is here, because I know it's such a pain to look up and remember these ratings since you can only view one at a time in the Status Menu, and detection happens to be a very important rating, as opposed to ship maneuverability which isn't as important. Alliance Troops Troop Type Detection Rating ---------- ---------------- Army Regiment 10 Fleet Regiment 15 Sullustan Regiment 35 Mon Calamari Regiment 20 Wookie Regiment 20 Imperial Troops Troop Type Detection Rating ---------- ---------------- Army Regiment 15 Fleet Regiment 20 Stormtrooper Regiment 25 War Droid Regiment 5 Dark Trooper Regiment 30 iii) Troop Regiment List Here I'll list the different troop regiment types and a brief description of them, starting with their stats in a Attack/Defense/Bombardment Defense format. Alliance Troops Alliance Army Regiment: 3/5/5 The basic defensive army unit of the Alliance. They have an alright detection value; these things are your best ground defense at the beginning of the game. They're balanced in strengths, but stronger in the defensive side, yet they're not useless in an invasion force. Fleet Regiment: 6/3/5 The basic attacking unit of the Alliance. With an alright detection rating and balanced strengths they're useful as in any role, but before you get wookies try to attack with mostly these as they are the strongest attackers the Rebels have at the beginning of the game. Sullustan Regiment: 1/4/5 They're alright in defense, though not the best in bombardment defense, but they're nearly worthless in attacking, so never use them to invade. They're main purpose is as garrison units because not only are they the cheapest units the whole game, (only one point of maintenance!) but they also have the best detection rating in the whole game. It's always good to have a few of these on planets with important structures, since they make it just that much harder for enemy covert missions to remain undetected. Mon Calamari Regiment: 2/8/9 The best defensive unit in the game, nobody has a better defensive rating and nobody else has a better or equal bombardment defense rating. And their detection rating is nothing to sneeze at either. They're also relatively inexpensive to maintain compared to other troops. Wookie Regiment: 8/4/4 They are the heavy hitters of the Alliance; just think about it, an entire regiment of wookies attacking. Nothing's gonna stand in their way. 8 is the highest attack value in the game, and this regiment is the only alliance regiment that has it. Plus they have better defense than imperial War Droids, their imperial counterpart, so they have a pretty good chance of holding a planet once they take it. The problem is, they're the most expensive troop of the Alliance and they take a long time to train, but once you build them they're well worth it. Imperial Troops Imperial Army Regiment: 3/5/5 The only Imperial unit specializing in defense, it's exactly the same as the Alliance Army Regiment, just with a better detection rating. When Stormtroopers are too expensive or unavailable use these for defense. Fleet Regiment: 5/3/2 Pretty much, just a weaker version of the Alliance's Fleet Regiment, with weaker attack and bombardment defense values. When Stormtroopers are too expensive or unavailable use these for offense. Stormtrooper Regiment: 6/6/6 A regiment of insanely fanatical soldiers? Not bad. They're actually the best unit at the start of the game, with a hellish 6/6/6 rating in all categories. Very well rounded, they're good for all situations, especially since they have one of the highest detection rating in the game. The only problem is, they take longer than other starting regiments to build and are more expensive, so you'll still want to build the others as well, but these guys are the best you have at the start for either invading, defending, or detecting. War Droids: 8/2/2 For that planet that has too many units on the ground, these are the babies to call. They have the attack rating of wookies, the second regiment of three in the game with an attack rating of 8. The only problem is that's all they're good for. They have the lowest defense, bombard defense, and detection ratings of all the troop regiments in the game. I suppose having a few of these guys defending a planet is better than having no troops to defend it, but you could always build better defensive troops much faster than you can these guys. If possible never use these guys for defense. Dark Troopers: 8/8/6 Hands down the most powerful troop regiment in the game. Nobody who's ever beaten Dark Forces on any difficulty can forget the power of these guys. The Empire has no Mon Cal regiment, but these guys cover that defensive role, AND have the attack power of wookies. They are the third unit in the game with an attack rating of 8. The highest attack rating, the highest defensive rating, and the second highest bombardment defense, beaten only by the Mon Cals in that aspect, all in one unit. Their detection rating is also the second highest among troop regiments. Their only downside is that they're the most expensive regiment in the game, and they take the longest to build. But by far they're worth it. By faaaaar. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. Conventional Military Strategies Almost no war can be won with covert means alone. No matter what you will need conventional muscle behind your war effort. As an example, no sabotage mission will ever succeed against a fleet with over two dozen capital ships, not to mention with troops and fighters and officers. Covert operations are meant to support conventional units, not to do the fighting for them. However, an important thing to remember is that conventional warfare isn't just about invading systems and destroying large fleets, it's also about little harassments and disruptions for the enemy. a) Raiding: A very effective and VERY annoying tactic is to conduct raids in enemy territory, which the computer will do a lot. In the real world raids can consist of capturing resources, but since you can't do that in this game without a full-scale planetary invasion, raids are simply search and destroy missions. Basically you send a small fleet with bombardment and anti- starfighter capabilities into a sector owned entirely or mostly by the enemy and bombard the hell out of their defenses on their planets. This gives the enemy something to worry about plus decreases the amount of ground troops they have available. Plus if the sector were almost solidly loyal to the enemy, then you'd be free to attack civilian structures and seriously slow down their production. What's best though is if the enemy has a planet with ground troops but no defensive facilities. If you can destroy the ground troops with bombardment without hitting any civilian buildings then sector-wide support for you will most likely increase. I suppose it's because the residents don't want to support a side that can't protect them from bombardment. This can bring neutral planets to your side and can even create uprisings and garrison requirements for the enemy (however, this does not work one hundred percent of the time, why I don't know). And if the enemy should bring a larger force to destroy you, you can always retreat into hyperspace, but be wary of Interdictors and CC-7700 Frigates because they can trap your ships and let the enemy's force devour yours. The best way to defend against raids is to take it slow. Conquering too much too quickly doesn't give you time to build ground troops and defensive structures. Shields are always a good way to go, but sometimes building a single planetary gun is faster and just as effective for the moment. While it can't cause much trouble for a large fleet it can at least deter smaller fleets from raiding. Another thing you can do is to be careful where you hold your ground troops. Troops on a planet without any defensive structures just beg the enemy to bombard them and decrease support for you, so make sure to build shields and guns on systems that require troops. b) Planetary Bombardments: A catch with bombardments is planetary defenses. If the system you're bombarding has strong enough shields then your shots won't make it through. There's no real way to determine if you have the firepower to bust through the shields, just assemble as much whoop-ass as you can and try it. If you don't make it through the first two tries then you probably won't make it through the ninth or tenth times. What are even worse than shields is planetary guns, because whenever you bombard you're in range of the guns and they can tear apart very large ships, no matter how advanced the gun is. Sometimes if you just have to bombard a planet with guns, make sure you bring LOTS of ships because if you get enough firepower together you may destroy the guns while only losing a small ship or two. c) Planetary Assaults: Before you can invade any system the system must have at most one shield generator. Any more and it's impervious to ground troops. Then you have to worry about any ground enemy ground troops. If there aren't any then just make sure you have enough troops to prevent the planet from going into an uprising. Invading with six troops is usually a good idea if you're not sure how many you'll need as garrisons, because six is the maximum you'd ever need. If there are ground troops then it's a different story. If you don't have the firepower to bombard away the troops or you don't want to risk hitting any collateral targets then you'll have to use brute force. Naturally you'd want to invade with only you troops that are designed to attack, such as Wookies or War Droids. However you should be careful when using a large fleet with various types of troops. When you make the command to invade the computer will randomly choose which troops will be used for the assault, which means that it may throw in some of your defensive troops who will get chewed up. To avoid this, take your troop transports with the troops you want to attack with and make a new fleet. This way you can tell only that fleet to assault the planet, and if it has only Wookies then it can't attack with anything other than Wookies. Just make sure your new fleet has a few more troops than six, just in case you lose any when invading. A good idea before attacking is to send your attacking fleet to a friendly or neutral near the target. Should the enemy Espionage on his own planet, he won't have as much of a chance seeing your fleet coming in if the trip to the target is a short 5 days than if were a good 30 days. d) Blockading: Whenever you park any ship around an enemy planet, no matter the size, it effectively cuts off all resources and maintenance the planet give the enemy. Thus you can knock off a few hundred points of maintenance by spreading out your fleet over hostile systems. It also gives the enemy less places to move their ground forces to, and any personnel or troops on the blockaded can be stuck there if your fleet is large enough to keep them from sneaking through. There is of course, a major weakness in this tactic. Holding a single ship above a hostile planet leaves it wide open to be sabotaged. Those characters you have trapped beneath it are in a perfect spot to try such a thing. Thus, use much caution when attempting this. Use Espionage missions to make sure there are no saboteurs or training facilities to train saboteurs on the ground and to alert you of any sabotage missions. Spreading out your fleet in a massive blockade campaign is haphazard, so I don't suggest it. However, a small fleet, with an admiral, several ships, and a few troops and fighters along with other their relevant officers can remain virtually safe against enemy covert action. So instead of letting it just hang around, you could use it to disrupt enemy supply lines. Just be cautious against enemy missions, and remember that while your ships are around your enemy's planets, it leaves the space above your planets unprotected and it tells the enemy exactly where your some of your forces are. e) Footholds: It's important to try to get at least one system under your control and heavily defended in every sector. Even if it doesn't have anything of use on it, it can serve later as a haven to build up your forces and assemble your fleet when you do decide to invade the sector in force. Likewise, you'll want to prevent the enemy from obtaining footholds in your strongest sectors. f) Tracking: It's important to keep track of your units at all times. Nothing sucks more than when you need a ship, or troop regiment, or an Special Forces immediately, and you can't find one because you lost it. It's also important to not leave stray units lost on systems you don't pay attention to anymore late in the game. If you're winning and are larger than the enemy, extra units everywhere that aren't being used tend to suck up your maintenance, rendering you unable to produce anything more. Keeping track of them lets you know if you have more units than you need, and thus you can scrap them. The best way to do this seems to be to keep units repositories in each sector. Like say, extra troops and fighters you don't need at the moment you can keep on one or two systems, so you know where to get them if you need them. It's always smart to keep moving extra troops with your fleets when you're advancing into enemy territory, because when the fleets run out, it'll take awhile to build new ones or for your spares to travel between sectors, which can halt your progress and give the enemy time to regroup. However, it is still a good idea to keep some extra units behind, in case of invasion, in case of enemy Incite Uprising missions, just in case of anything, and repositories can help you keep track of them. g) Tactical Mode Strategies When two fleets engage each other around a planet you enter Tactical Mode. The basic and most direct way to win a battle is to have all of your ships attack a single ship in the enemy fleet until it's dead or fully disabled, then move onto another target. The only thing you need to remember when using this is to not overkill your target. If the enemy fleet is mostly corvettes, and you're sporting a dozen ISD's you don't need every one of your star destroyers to attack a single corvette. A few can take it down very quickly and the others can concentrate on other corvettes. However, there are a few other aspects of battle besides this direct method that can give you an edge. i) Utilizing Starfighters: Keeping your fleets balanced between capital ships and fighters is a necessity in Rebellion. A few dozen squadrons can be just as powerful as a Super Star Destroyer but swifter in battle. The best piece of advice I can offer for fighters is to keep them together and not send them after targets piecemeal. There is strength in numbers, and this is especially true for fighters. The only exception to this rule is bombers; you'll want to keep them separated from enemy fighters as much as possible while your other fighters engage them. What you do with your fighters at the onset of a battle is solely up to you and your situation. You can send them all against a super-strong enemy capital ship to cripple it before it can hit your own capital ships, or you can keep them back to defend against enemy fighters trying to disable one of your ships. Obviously once the battle progresses into chaos you will need your fighters to respond to whatever comes up. That's the beauty of fighters, they can deliver the force of a cruiser to any point in the battlefield very quickly. When a capital ship's shields are down it is doomed to die if several squadrons of torpedo carrying fighters are nearby. ASP's are one of the two biggest threats to fighters, so you should choose the targets farthest from them. However don't be too scared, for an overwhelming swarm of fighters can easily disable an ASP with the loss of only a few fighters. Enemy fighters are the other largest threat, and if possible you should try to engage them nearby your own ASP's. There is a good rule of thumb for fighter-on-fighter combat without other ships nearby: Rebel fighters will always defeat Imperial fighters of similar or slightly larger number. Rebel fighters and their shields are vastly superior to the Empire's finest, and even Tie Defenders cannot seem to bridge this gap. As such, the Empire should be very careful with their fighters and should always try to battle Rebel fighters with the aid of several ASP's, because every time a laser is fired at unshielded Ties in the Tactical Mode one of them IS going to die. It all depends on the balance of fighters you have, whether they have shields or not, and your particular style. Again, you just have to learn to feel your way through a battle to use fighter effectively. ii) Formations: Let's face it, if you're using an aggressive strategy where you rush forward to attack the enemy fleet, then formations are really hard to hold, given the variances of maneuverability's between ships and their single-mindedness. The only way I can think of to hold a formation is to play defensive and stay where you are. By using the navigational points to place ships at different points you can create a defensive formation. Only practice can teach you how to set up your formation, but a few obvious ideas do hold. For instance ships designed solely for troop transport that have weak shields and few guns belong at the rear of your formation. Your most advanced ships with the best shields and the strongest guns belong near the front, with ASP's supporting them. Whether you make your formation dagger shaped, spherical, or some geometric monstrosity, is up to you. No battle is the same, and no formation can win them all, but knowing how to situate your ships so that you take the least damage and deliver the most damage does help. Just remember that formations hold only for so long before the battle erupts into chaos, so they are only marginally effective. iii) Navigating: By navigating I mean when you select a specific point and right click it to tell the ship to go there. The key to managing ships is to not micromanage. They will fire and move very well on they're own. I myself have to fight the temptation to come up with complex battle plans, because it takes the ships too long to respond, and they never hold formation. The only times you'd really need to navigate would be to move a damaged or overmatched ship out of the fray to keep it safe. Whatever you do, don't try to add over 2 waypoints for a ship to follow (you shouldn't even need that many most of the time) because sometimes they don't register, and it rarely does what you want. The only other thing is, give them time after sending them an order, it'll take a ship a number of seconds before it'll change from one order to the next. By all means don't repeat the order if you think the game missed your mouse clicking and the ship didn't hear you, as long as you hear an acknowledgement the ship knows what it's doing, and repeating the order just makes them take even longer. Sometimes they're just thinking like Battlecruisers from StarCraft and the commander's saying "Take it slow." iv) Maneuvers: Maneuvers aren't really all that useful; you probably won't use them that often if ever. Basically you just want your ships to destroy the other ships as quickly as possible, and sending them directly at the enemy ships works best with that. The only real use I can think of for maneuvers is if you want to strike at the defenseless troop transports (bulk transports, star galleons, etc.) at the rear of the enemy formation without having to go through the middle of the enemy fleet and take a pounding. Depending on how the enemy fleet is formed, a right hook or a bottom hook could keep a few ships safer from enemy fire while they home in on their prey. You may also want to be careful with these because if the target is too close, then when they're conducting a maneuver your ships may overshoot their target and pass it, and then proceed to move out of range in order to finish the maneuver. If you can't think of any reason why you would need to use a maneuver, then don't use one just because they're there. Most of the time you can get along just fine without any. Alas, but given the constraints in game play it's pretty much impossible to be a Grand Admiral Thrawn and defeat a seriously overwhelming and more powerful fleet by using a certain set of strategies. The best way to win a battle is to practice. Know when to pull your damaged ships out and to the rear so they can repair, know how many of your ships can handle how many of theirs, know when to stop firing on a target which is mostly disabled and poses no threat anymore, and above all know when to retreat. Since every battle is different there is no precise step-by-step method to winning every one. The best way to get better here is to practice. Once you get a feel for the tactical mode, it gets easier and easier. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. The Big Picture: Overall Strategy "Therefore in laying plans compare the following elements, appraising them with the utmost care" - Sun Tsu, The Art of War There is no real formula to win the game. No magic secret plan that'll ensure victory each time. Each game is different, so you pretty much have to make it up while you go along. Take each punch as you see fit. However, there are some general guidelines for playing as the Rebels and as the Imperials, and I'll just list some suggestions for each. Game play in mostly the same for both, consolidate your fleets together to protect them from sabotage, constantly send covert missions, diplomatize anything as quickly as you can, etc., but there are a few vital differences between military units and starting positions that are worth mentioning. a) Playing as Rebels - Immediately when you start, get Han to take all the characters on Yavin to wherever they'll be more useful. Get Wedge and anyone else who can research doing so ASAP. You might also want to move any units on Yavin to somewhere else, because they're pretty useless all the way out on the Outer Rim. - Have whomever you want to Recruit, as long as you always have someone Recruiting until there are no more characters left to recruit. I usually have Mon Mothma recruit at the HQ and then diplomatize nearby systems on the Outer Rim, but that way it takes the characters a long time to reach the Core and do something useful. You could also have Luke or Han recruits in between sabotage or other missions, but I always keep Leia on diplomacy missions because good diplomats are rare at the start of the game. Also, I suggest that you keep Mon Mothma in the Outer Rim Territories. While she is a capable diplomat, in a regular game she is an objective for the Empire, so keeping her hidden and diplomaticing small systems with a few mines and refineries not only helps prevent the enemy from winning, but also wins some resources for you. Obviously Force sensitive Luke Skywalker does not need to be hidden in the Outer Territories, since a jedi is much harder to capture than the physically weak Mon Mothma. -Since you already start with transports and troops on the Outer Rim at Yavin and your HQ, you can get a jump-start on colonizing. -Early in the game, have your shipyards build either bulk transports or fighters. All the other ships you have aren't worth building since better ones will be available soon, and you'll want to get working on them ASAP. It's also better to get those transports now while you can, because later you might not have time to wait to build more because your fleet can't carry enough troops. -Your ships are vastly outgunned at the start of the game. They are for most of the game in fact. So you may want to group most of your ships into one or two main fleets, because that way if you bump into a stray imperial ship, you may stand a chance. - Resist the urge to frequently change the location of your HQ. Sometimes when you move it off a system, the system will lose a bit of loyalty for you, and that can cause informants to give information to Empire, which will reveal the location of one of your hidden colonies. Besides, as long as the Empire has never shown its face in the sector, then moving your HQ isn't necessary. -Your starfighters are vastly superior to the Empire's. While they easily defeat Ties whose numbers equal theirs, do not be overconfident because swarms of Ties will still inflict many casualties upon you, especially your bombers. Just know that while unshielded Ties usually cannot drive off cruiser on their own, yours can, within reason, because of their shields and torpedoes. - The Empire starts with several systems that require garrisons. Try to quickly find these and send sabotage missions to incite uprisings or to free them before the Empire can send its diplomats in. - For most of the game, your ships won't be able to go toe to toe with imperial ships in battle, so direct confrontations should be avoided. Therefore, you should probably concentrate more on raiding and covert operations, including MAP's, to fight the Empire until you can build up enough conventional muscle to bring to bear. - Be on the lookout for stray imperial ships. While you probably couldn't destroy one of their star destroyers with the ships available to you at the start, sabotage missions on lonely SD's can help your forces to breathe easier. b) Playing as Empire - At the start of the game I highly recommend that you keep the Emperor Recruiting on Coruscant and send Darth Vader on diplomacy missions. It's a tradeoff, since only those two can Recruit for the Empire, however the Empire does also have very few diplomats and several planets require garrisons, and Vader can help fill this deficiency. - Speaking of planets needing garrisons, make sure these are well protected from enemy covert missions, with either units to defend with or officers. Send diplomacy missions to them quickly, or at least send them to other systems in the sector to win over some planets and increase loyalty on yours. - Try to bring Coruscant's sector (the Sesswenna sector) completely under your control. Rebel or neutral planets can act as platforms for covert strikes from them, and if you let them entrench themselves in the sector it can pose a serious threat once they have a large conventional force. - Speaking of Coruscant, while it is not an immediate need, you will want to put as many defenses down on it as possible. Think about quintuple shields protection and fields of planetary guns, basically as many as you can build with the given energy resources. While you do have some time before the Rebels have enough ships to start dreaming about taking on the might Imperial Fleet, do know that it is possible for the Rebels to take Coruscant early on. If they put all of their ships together in one single fleet, and take as many fighters and troops as they can with them, it IS possible for them to conquer Coruscant within the first 70 days. While it is extremely unlikely that they will be strong enough to hold Coruscant against a counter-attack by you, if you're playing the game with the HQ Only option, that doesn't matter much because they'll have already won. So, it would be a good idea to keep around at least two or three star destroyers over Coruscant, since Corvettes and Dreadnaughts haven't got a prayer against them. -It's hard enough for the Rebels to be outgunned. It'll be even harder for them to fight without production facilities. If your covert personnel can knock out their shipyards and stray ships and they won't be able to get a fleet up and running. - As soon as it is convenient I suggest you task a training facility to build somewhere around 10-20 Imperial Probe Droids to search for the Rebel HQ. They found it in the movies, and they can find it in the game. No matter what size you set the galaxy as, there's a lot of space to cover, so be patient. At the very least they can tell you where Rebel colonies are or aren't. I would also suggest you switch the system that they're based on after awhile. Eventually you'll cover the Outer Rim sectors closest to where they are based, and it'll take them longer and longer to Recon other sectors. Thus, you should move them to sectors closer to unexplored Outer Rim Territories, or even onto a MAP without the spies and saboteurs, so that you can explore even quicker. -Don't fret if your opponent keeps moving his HQ once you find it. Instead of trying to deal a decisive blow by knocking out their HQ early on, which is hard to do and ties up your ships, you should concentrate more on destroying their support and overall military strength. Once you evict them from most of the Core sectors, they will have less and less places to hide on. Going blindly after your objectives solely is not the best way to win. - Your star destroyer can pick their teeth with the Rebels tiny ships. Don't be afraid to get into engagements with their capital ships, but be wary of their fighters. Bring your own fighters to escort your ships, because a good number of Rebel fighters can repel your star destroyers if you do not have adequate fighter coverage. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Special Thanks Special thanks to LucasArts and Coolhand for making such a great game, and for posting a helpful website at http://www.lucasarts.com/products/rebellion/ that cleared up a few things for me. Special thanks to AJ- for helping me (while it may have been a reluctant help at times) test hypothesis and ideas in Rebellion for this FAQ and for helping in proofreading it. Special thanks to CjayC for having such a wonderful idea as Gamefaqs and for maintaining it as well as he does. All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.