The Homeworld Noobs Online Multiplayer Strategy Guide.
The Homeworld learning curve is steep. Really steep. I feel this topic deserves its own thread with detailed instructions on getting started. This strat has been combat tested against current players and should see you happily in to the midgame where the real fun starts.
The problem with online matchmaking on Gameranger is that poeple have such diverging skill levels that new players may be put off after getting repeatedly annihilated at ten minutes by a cloud of scouts before they have even got their fleet off the ground.
The purpose of this guide is not to attempt to describe every possible permutation of Homeworld strategies.
Its purpose is to help new players survive the first battle and breakthrough into the wonderful world of capital fleet battles and open space warfare.
I am a new player online and have lost many battles, but using the strategy below I am able to get past the early phase relativly unmolested and even throw in a few surprises of my own!
However I have been playing Homeworld since its release, and there is no substitute for total familiarity with the interface. Play the tutorial! Practice hyperjumping in skirmish until you are fully accurate. Practice manuervering with the formations desribed below.
Practice resourcing and researching really fast. Then get on gameranger and prepare for a REAL rts battle! With no terrain to save you you are totally reliant on your skill, your stategy, your tactics and your victories!
It will cover four areas; Building, Resourcing, Research,and Combat.
It's important to start building the moment the games starts. If you wait a minute before you open the build menu the enemies new collectors will emerge a minute before yours, he will have a minutes worth of extra scouts. You will lose because you are too slow to start.
I would recommend any noob who wants to survive do the following. Gamestart_ Build menu Order your first collector hit build. If you spend a minute choosing what ships to build then your enemies collector will still come online a minute before yours.
Then queue fifty scouts and hit build. Now there is no way in hell the enemy can show up with significantly more scouts than you in your territory. Infact, as you will most likely be probed before any attack, the presence of a large row of scouts may deter any such scout rush from happening in the first place.
Look at that! Your scouts have saved your ass and they haven't even moved. Equally should you notice that your enemy has not built enough scouts to deal with your scouts at five minutes then attack!
You may be able to take an early collector and if your opponent has been truly lax then you may be able to destroy the relief force and continue your attack, unmolested, for some time. Congratulations! You just won with scouts. Not so noob now!
If you start with two research labs, add another two. If you start with four then as a noob I wouldn't bother with any more. If you start with none then build three at first. As with resourcers it is important that you dont waste all your starting funds on research ships. They have no guns.
IMPORTANT: You MUST Start building your first resource controller the MOMENT you finish researching capital ship drive (See below). If you do not then it is costing you money. As a noob its going to be hard enough when you get into combat, you cannot afford to be behind at this stage. LISTEN!
Announcements come from fleet command every other second at this point. You must listen to them and act upon them. Unlike HW2 Your ships are totally dependent on your orders. You must issue orders quickly and build to keep up. But dont try to build too much at once.
If you have no controller then you can't afford to run out of money before it is built.
This applies to the whole resource, research, force build startup. If you order too many frigates when they become available then your fighters and corvettes wont be ready in time. I recommed also ordering four support frigates to join the order of battle but don't hesitate to pause if you are running short.
This is possibly the hardest thing to get right as a new player.
Fighting the AI in skirmish does little to prepare a player for how little time they actually have before they come under targeted, sustained attack.
Failure to defend your harvesters against an early attack by scoutcloud will result in your defeat time and time again. Resourcers must be serviced in good time by resource controllers.
Failure to build resource controllers will also result in you defeat. As a noob your controllers should be set to guard an outbound collector as they come online.
This will reduce time spent travelling and allow your income to keep pace with more experienced players. They aren't using magic, they are simply managing their resource fleet more efficiently.
Keeping up financially is the first step to going head to head with the old guard.
Just as important is building the right amount of resource collectors. On high resource maps such as Death or Glory it may be possible to cap out you resource fleet.
But on most maps some consideration to the number of resourcers must be given. Ideally there should be three collectors per controller, so as to avoid a queue and maximise efficency.
Small map/medium map- Two controllers (Very small, sparse maps may require even less.) Large map- three controllers.
The reason being if you spend all your early money on resourcers and have neglected the force required to protect them then your enemy will start to target your operation with a vengange
(And with the thousands they saved not spamming resource). Your force will not be large enough to protect your resource fleet, and any relief you send will likely be destroyed. Another easy win for the Pros.
(Combat Note) Keep a probe on your enemies res fleet. If he tries to be cheeky and build too many collectors you MUST make him suffer for it. Otherwise you will lose as the boom comes into force in the late game.
Escorts. It may be tempting to use the guard command and have a little escort fleet follow your controllers around. I must ask you as a noob to resist the tempation.
The reason is that while a couple of corvettes and a few defenders may give the illusion of security it IS an illusion. Your enemy will simply note the size of the escort and send the requisite ships to destroy them too.
Congatulations, not only are you losing your resourcers, now your fleet is being annihilated piecemeal, defeated in detail.
Nay. Much better to have a massive wing on a hotkey to respond to any strike craft threat. If he send thirty scouts, send fifty to intercept! This is an important note. If possible you must send overwhelming forces to assure easy victory. Watch out for the feint!
Another tricksy one, research can easily be forgotten in the heat of battle.And even in the heat of doing nothing. Again listen up. Every time you hear the work 'research' from fleet command hit the r key. Doesn't matter what is happening, order the next subject immediatly.
You can spend all your money and have six research ships if you want (See above.) but if you arent using them then they are pretty poor ships.
IMPORTANT: Research capital ship drive first, even if you want to build fighters and corvettes. No capital ship drive, no resource controllers. No resource controllers, no victory.
EXTEMELY IMPORTANT: It isn't immediately obvious that you can assign more than one lab to one subject. For example, if you start the game with four labs assign them all to capital ship drive to get it done in record quick time. Just keep double clicking on the subject you need to research to assign more labs.
My NOOB research tree (with a view to surviving to Fleet battle phase and mixing it up in a standard capped game.)
1. Capital ship drive All
2. Corvette drive 1
2. Capital ship Chassis All spare
4. Corvette chassis 1
5. Ion Cannons Half available
5. Super Capdrive Half available
This short research tree will allow you to build all the units necasarry for the Noob Order of Battle, while leaving you acess to the rest of the tech tree in a timely fasion. This would be a good time to unlock fighters and you will definitely want to take a look at heavy corvettes.
But you may wish to just keep on running up the tech tree to missile detroyers and heavy cruisers. If you do this though, I would also suggest that you take in the delights of gravity well generators.
But the most important thing to do is to keep up the pressure on technology, and get up that tree!
Company of the Holy Noob.
Order of Battle (Ideal)
If you have follow the quidelines layed out here before things get too hot you should have;
1x Resource fleet of appropriate size. (Comprised of Collectors and controllers as above.)
1. 50x Scouts
2. 12x Light corvettes with, 4x Support frigates
3. 2x Destroyers
With this force, correctly organised, you should be able to defend your collectors or go and assault his if the situation demands it. These units are not enough to carry the whole battle, but they should get you through the start.
You should also have other assorted frigates, Either more support, or a few assaults and lots of ions, and some gravity well generators, if you are short on fighters.
1. Scouts. Love them or hate them you still gotta build them.
The main reason for having a fighter forced comprised entirely of scouts is they have an amazing turn of speed, able to show up and bring the pain, then disappear into the black, luring defenders away while the light corv wall sneaks up.
Then returning to battle at the worst possible moment. Keep your scouts out of formation and on evasive and they will be very hard to hit. If attacking resourcers while undefended put them in agressive sphere to do the most damage.
When some guns show up to waste your scouts hit F2 D Z to send them rabbiting out of danger at the highest speeds in the game. Keep them Fueled with the support frigates, keep them alive and use them to harass undefended enemies where they are weakest.
If the enemy sends too few reinforcements to deal with your scouts, the go agressive and destroy them ship to ship. Focus fire.
Fighters not packing enough punch? Mix in interceptors and attack bombers for better results. Be warned though, you will take more losses on a late retreat.
Alternativly just build all the way up to 80 scouts for death at 1000 m/s. Just keep an eye on them.
2. Put these light corvettes in an agressive wall. Then have the four support frigates repair them using a z bandbox. The frigates will now loyally follow the corv wall through thick and thin, repairing them as they take fire.
Just dont forget to stop occasionally to allow your support frigates to catch up. Get this formation out early enough and you force your enemy to come and deal with you, sparing your resourcers his full fury.
Use This formation in tandem with the scoutcloud. Scouts are cavalry, the corvettes and frigates are infantry. As you lose your corvettes replace them with heavies in walls twenty plus strong. Supported with enough support frigates the heavies take a lot of killing.
3. Twin destroyers. If you can afford it then hyper these dangerous ships right on top of an enemy resource controller the moment the second dessie comes online. You will either blow his resource fleet away or force him into hyperspace.
Dog them. If they return to the nearby locale be ready to re-order the attack. If relief arrives in the form of a destroyer busting threat then simply jump to the NEXT controller and destroy that. Woe betide the player who goes broke if you are in credit using this attack.
He will be unable to spirit his fleet away into hyperspace, and you will have his collectors at the mercy of four ion beams. Lovely. Job done.
Dont be afraid to call off the chase if it gets too hairy. Forcing the enemy to retreat his resource and deal with you will already have thrown him off balance. Now may be a good time to attack with another arm, then bring back the dessies when he has all but forgotten about them. Don't forget to leave some money in the bank to jump out if need be.
Remember you want your destroyers INTACT for the fleet battle phase. Try not to get them destroyed or forget about them.
As well being a decent attack force the scoutcloud and corvettes can defend your resource against fighter swarms. Jumping dessies are very hard to counter. One thing I have tried is using gravwell generators to trap ships that jump too accurately, but with limited success. The mere presence of gravwells near controllers can, however, do a good deal to discourage strikecaft attacks.
1 Take any opportunity. Attacking, even if forced to retreat, is better than waiting to get attacked yourself.
2 Always engage the enemy with the correct units. Corvettes for fighters, frigates and destroyers for corvettes, and fighters/bombers and capital ships for capital ships.
3 Dont waste forces when they can't win. Retreat. There is a fine line between a group of corvettes a scoutcloud can defeat and ones they cant. You must learn to call it and run if you have to. Your scouts can always come back and cause more hassle with a fresh tank.
4 Try to keep you fleet together and face off in battles where the odds favour the size of your fleet.
Command. You need to take command over your fleet using grouping. Keep different sorts of fire on different hotkeys within a fleet group. So your ions need a group so you can focus fire and take down those all important support frigates. Easier said than done.
But hey. Lo and behold. You got through the first ten minutes and your collectors are still munching up the galaxy. You got options. A whole new world of strategic opportunities is opening up. And every battle you fight and lose is another trick you learn. You can meet the challenges of homeworld head on.
Mines, Gravwells, Cloaking fields, TOTAL control over fleet composition and manuevers and attacking and everything beyond. Its all up to YOU! The mighty Heavy Cruiser WILL be yours to command!
As I said this brief guide is not the be all and end all of all strats for the beginning. But it is a beginning.
Please dont be afraid to play Homeworld online on Gameranger. We are waiting.
To all the players active on gameranger who have been killing me/ getting killed.
Aratrk(AoD) Sunstreak(Aod) Darkstar, Gravity and many others for being so damn good.
I will write a guide to winning big fleet battles as soon as I figure out how.
How to get a game.
Once you have got homeworld and patch to 1.05 then simply open a room on Gameranger and wait for a player. Titling the room 'Noobs' will often result in a bite. Be polite, mind your gg's and glhf's and always go down fighting. You will find your skill dramatically increasing after about ten games. Remember the harder the player the more you will learn. gl hf.
Ooops please feel free to move to the war room.