Planet Orion: the new phase
Please note that these ship designs are most
effective against computer opponents. In a multiplayer game, it is
advisable to build all-purpose ships (or Starships), so that you'll be
prepared for anything that your wily adversary might try. It never hurts
to have one cheap (read unfair/unstoppable) special design for multiplayer,
I'm not even going to go there. I DO have a reputation, ya know. Anyway, here are the MOO2 ships designs, courtesy of Ezixl.
of Orion II Ship Design Strategy by Ezixl
First, let's define some terms that I like to use. In designing a quality ship, there are 8 main types.
Starships are all-purpose space superiority vessels. Their main weapons are beams, but they carry a few missiles and bombs, and have some good defenses. Strike Cruisers are missile ships, designed for long range assaults. Battlecruisers are torpedo cruisers that eventually replace Strike Cruisers; they often include the cloaking device. Bombers are used for orbital bombardment of planetary instalations. They carry powerful bombs and good defenses. Bio-bombers carry Death Spores or Bio Terminator, along with good defensive equipment. Unlike Bombers, these ships are used for capturing a planet intact.Planet Busters are large ships armed with beam weapons and perhaps a few beam specials. They wipe out enemy ships and stations with ease, and can dump a lot of firepower on a planet. Carriers are equipped with various fighters and often carry good anti-missile and anti- fighter technology. Troop Ships are used for capturing enemy vessels, and are armed with Assault Shuttles, and maybe Neutron Blaster and Troop Pods.
Note that you can always make a ship centered around some other technology, but always remember: special weapons only assist you in battle; they usually don't win battles for you. NOW TO BUSINESS: I'll give 3 suggestions for each phase of the game, and then give some specific techs to go after.
I. In the early game (Lasers-Neutron Blasters, Titanium-Tritanium Armor, Class I-Class III Shield), it is important to properly defend yourself. Lasers and Fusion Beams are pretty weak, but missiles can tear you up. On the other hand, the Laser and Fusion Beam mods greatly enhance their abilities, so get some shields instaled early on.
So, for the early game, 1. Get Defensive Tech. Always make sure you stay ahead in the technology race. Early defenses, such as Missile Bases and Starbases, can usually destroy any early fleet, even including battleships. To win battles, research Class I Shield early, and try to get Reinforced Hull, Heavy Armor, or Tritanium Armor (get at least 2 of these 3). Use these techs if your ships canít survive early combat. And get a good computer; Electronic isn't worth anything. If you have to use it, add a battle scanner.
2. Use Missiles. When fighting enemies in the early game, beam weapons are incredibly weak. This is especially true against planetary targets. Missiles have a high hit percentage, and they do full damage against all targets. Flooding the area with missiles can be a deadly plan against the earliest defenses and ships.
3. Donít Waste Time in Shipbuilding. The first 100-150 turns should be spent in expansion. Get Colony Ships put together and send them out to nearby systems. Any big ships you build during this period are to weak to fight anyway, so donít worry about warships this early. Even if the computer has some ships, itís best to wait until you have some good tech for your ships to carry.
Some Ship Building Ideas: Starship (1/2 beam and 1/2 missile, with some kind of defensive special), Strike Cruiser(don't you love the missile flood?), Bomber (wait until you have fusion bomb), Planet Buster (might not last long, but if it does its job, it won't have to)
II. Midgame ships (Neutron Blaster-Phasor, Zortrium-Neutronium Armor, Class III-Class V Shield) will be better against defenses, and will be facing more beams and fewer missiles. By this point, specialized ships working as a group will be better than the all-around early designs. Here's what you need to do:
1.Transition to Beam Weapons. When stronger defenses start appearing in the galaxy, beams are the weapons of choice. The modifications available to these beams are the best way to counter new armor and shields. By the middle of the game, ECMs and Anti-Missile Rockets can stop missile floods anyway, so get Graviton Beam or Neutron Blaster without delay!
2. Try to Get Battleships. Cruisers are king when missiles dominate, but the expensive beam mods need a Battleship to carry them. I try to have a strong Battleship by 3520; this is the earliest time when they are worth the build time and cost.
3. Cover Your Fleet. Keep a good supply of Anti-Missile Rockets or Point Defense weapons around, because if your shields are weak, the Pulson Missiles and Fighter Garrisons might cause problems. Keep your ships in range of each other, so that they can give cover fire.
Some Ship Building Ideas: Starship (still the main strength of the fleet), Bomber (Heavy Armor and/or Reinforced Hull are a must), Bio-bomber (Other empires won't like this, but it is effective if you want to avoid collateral damage to planets), Carrier(It's good to mix up the arsenal a little bit, so get a couple carriers), Planet Buster (the Big Guns, maybe with Graviton Beam?), and maybe add a special ship with Ion Pulse Cannons to mess up enemy stations!
III. Endgame Ships (Phasor-Stellar Converter, Neutronium-Xentronium Armor, Class V-Class X Shield) are the cool ones, with all sorts of awesome specials around. Look for the beam specials, and get the ones which will help you. They really can turn the tide in a war. So...
1. Specialize. By the end of the game, several Special Devices will greatly enhance your beam capabilities. Build ships with lots of beams and beam specials. Try to have a few other ship types, though, so that the enemy wonít be able to adapt to just one attack plan. Have some Carriers and Torpedo Ships in the mix, to hit the enemy from all sides. Use mods! And, of course, dont overlook defensive specials like the Lightning Field, and my personal favorite, the Sub-space Teleporter.
2. Plasma Cannon Reigns Supreme. With all its mods and a good targeting computer, this weapon is probably the most efficient ship killer in the game. Use it early and often.
3. The Cloak Clock. Use a really interesting setup with a Phase Cloak and a Time Warp Facilitator. Donít fire on the shipís first turn, then decloak and fire on the Time Warp turn. Use the next turn to cloak again. Keep this up for up to 10 rounds. I found this trick way back when the game was new; ship initive and the last patch's changes have made this a little trickier, but it still works with deadly precision.
Ship Building Ideas: Planet Busters can be effective when Titans and Doom Stars are doing the busting. Battlecruisers are cool when combined with a cloak, to protect them on the recharge turn. Starships still have a place, but ships with special missions and Troop Ships can now be introduced as supplemental vessels, as long as there are a few true warships to back them up.