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 Escape Velocity Nova

 
   
 
 
Escape Velocity Nova

Close Combat Guide
by TwilightPhoenix

--------------------------------
Table of Contents
--------------------------------

1.  The Purpose of the Guide
2.  Weapon Selection
  2a. Federation Weapons
  2b. Auroran Weapons
  2c. Vell-os "Weapons"
  2d. Pirate Weapons
  2e. Polaris Weapons
  2f. Rebel Weapons
  2g. Alien "Weapons"
  2h. Planet Weapons
3.  Ship Selection
  3a. Civilian Ships
  3b. Federation Ships
  3c. Auroran Ships
  3d. Vell-os "Ships"
  3e. Pirate Ships
  3f. Polaris Ships
  3g. Rebel Ships
  3h. Alien "Ships"
4.  Outfit Selection
  4a. Civilian Outfits
  4b. Federation Outfits
  4c. Auroran Outfits
  4d. Pirate Outfits
  4e. Polaris Outfits
  4f. Rebel Outfits
  4g. Vell-os "Outfits"
  4h. Alien "Outfits"
5.  Techniques
6.  Long Range Combat Guide
7.  FAQ
8.  Contact Info
9.  Credits
10.  Other Works by me
11.  Version History
12.  Copyright Info

--------------------------------------------
The Purpose of the Guide
--------------------------------------------

Close combat is often overlooked since many players will see that some 
weapons have a lot of range, and that range is the ultimate tool of 
destruction.  This guide is here to bust that myth and teach you how to 
fight in a style that will certainly make the game many times more 
interesting.  Close combat is fast paced, more intense, and certainly 
takes far more skill than sitting far back with long range weapons 
holding down the space bar with a paperweight.  If this intrigues you, 
please, by all means, read on.  If you think that this will end up 
being a waste of time to read, then it will probably be so.  For those 
of you who are indifferent or not sure which is better, I encourage you 
to read on so that you may be able to make up your mind.  Please note 
that since the average player is highly unlikely to be too concerned 
with specific stats, they are not included.  If you want those, you can 
easily get a plug creator/editor program and look them up straight from 
your data files.

SPOILER ALERT!

Some things might spoil the game for you if you have not seen it all. 
You have been warned.

LICENSE WARNING!

I will not mention what license you need to buy a particular item.  If 
you don't want to have to worry, simply by the Exotic Ships and Weapons 
License.

--------------------------------
Weapon Selection
--------------------------------

You are probably wondering why I am starting with weapons instead of 
ships.  When it comes to close-range combat, proper weapon selection is 
far more important than ship selection, since any ship in the game 
should have or be able to make space for at least one of the needed 
weapons.  Besides, when I do get to ships, I'll say one is a good 
choice because it comes with a particular weapon at times.  You're 
going to want to know why having that weapon is good.  However, if you 
want to see ship info first, scroll past this part and come here after 
you finish that section.  So, anyways, letís begin.

NOTE!

Below each weapon's information you'll see something like 
Shields > Armor.  It shows whether the weapon is good against shields, 
armor, or deals the same to each.  Bays do not include this.  Hereís 
how to read it.

Good against shields      Good against armor         Equal against both
  Shields > Armor           Shields < Armor            Shields = Armor

You can thank Mispeled for suggesting this be included.

Also, below every weapon and ship there is a hint on fighting it or 
evading it or whatnot.  Thank Qannol for suggesting this.


Federation Weapons

Many Federation weapons are available at the start of the game.  Also, 
Pirates, Rebels, Wild Geese, and others use them as well.  Most of them 
work best against shields.  Most of their weapons require a license, 
unlike every other groups' weapons.

Light Blaster -  This weapon has very low damage.  They have a very low 
range as well.  On the bright side, they are light, cheap, and do not 
require any license.  In fact, the Shuttle, the ship you start with, 
has one.  But overall, not worth getting.
Shields > Armor
Unless you are in a small ship, just laugh at it.

Light Cannon -  Less damage than the Light Blaster, but improved range 
and rate of fire, not to mention being lighter.  Slightly more 
expensive, but they still require no license.  I'd recommend them over 
Light Blasters though due to the rate of fire, but you should still 
avoid them as if they were the black plague.
Shields > Armor
Unless you are in a small ship, just laugh at it.

Light Blaster Turret -  A Light Blaster that can shoot in any direction.
Heavier and more expensive as well.  Not worth it.
Shields > Armor
Unless you are in a small ship, just laugh at it.

Quad Light Blaster Turret -  Many new players think these things are 
controlled by the pilot.  They are not.  They instead shoot at incoming 
missiles and fighters.  They are only available in the Federation 
storyline, unless you are in the Rebel storyline and want the illegal 
ones, though those are more expensive and will cause Feds to attack you 
if they scan you. Use these on slow ships that cannot evade well.  I 
wouldn't get more than two though, as more doesn't seem to help much.
Shields > Armor
Only a threat if you are flying a ship the turret can target.  Even 
then, only the weak ships will have to be wary of it.  Also, it can 
destroy your missiles, but there really isn't anything you can do about 
that.

Mining Blaster -  This is only good for what its name suggests:   
blowing up asteroids.  Damage lower than a Light Cannon (to ships at 
least) and extremely short range make it a bad choice for combat. They 
are very light and cheap, however, and require no license. Unless you 
want to mine asteroids, do not ever touch these.
Shields = Armor
Unless you are in a small ship, just laugh at it.

Medium Blaster -  Bigger and better than the Light Blaster.  They deal 
enough damage to destroy things bigger than Vipers.  Price is reasonable
as well. They have a fair rate of fire when you have several of them.  I
wouldn't get them unless I couldn't get anything better though.
Shields > Armor
Not much of a threat to larger vessels.  If you are flying anything 
else, stay out from in front of the attacker if possible.  They can 
hurt any ship over time if you are exposed for too long.

Medium Blaster Turret -  A Medium Blaster that shoots in all directions.
It is heavy and somewhat expensive.  I wouldn't get it unless you are 
too slow for cannons and can't find anything better.
Shields > Armor
Again, not much of a threat to larger vessels.  In anything else, try 
hit and run tactics or out distance it just enough so it doesn't shoot 
you.  You can also just destroy the ship with powerful weapons before 
it can cause any damage.

Heavy Blaster Turret -  There is no Heavy Blaster Cannon... sadly.  The 
Heavy Blaster Turret has a long range and deals very good damage.  It is
also very heavy and expensive, not to mention it requires you being in 
the Federation storyline.  A very good weapon on a large, slow ship that
can hold them.  Four of them are quite deadly.  On things like 
Federation Carriers, they are a good choice.  Otherwise, don't bother.
Shields > Armor
Try to avoid getting shot as much as possible, these hurt.  Most ships 
with them have a turret blind spot in the rear, such as the Fed Carrier.
Exploit it and destroy the ship.  If you have to, just rush in and kill 
it or use hit and run tactics.

Steller Grenades -  Very light and cheap with surprisingly high damage 
output.  The downside?  Very difficult to use, plus the chance of 
hurting yourself with them.  Theyíre space mines basically, slowing to 
a stop after being launched.  However, although the damage is high for 
their price and weight, it is still too low for dealing with most ships.
Stay away from these.
Shields < Armor
No worries, no stock scenario ships use these.

Raven Rockets -  Very light and cheap.  They deal enough damage to keep 
a player evading them when flying a weak ship or from plowing through a 
storm of them in a stronger ship.  However, since you will never be 
able to have the launchers and ammo to make a storm of these, they are 
not a good choice.  Good if you can't get/afford anything else, however.
Shields < Armor
A few of these isn't a threat to anything except small ships.  A storm 
can be dangerous though.  Stay out from in front of the enemy ship.  
You can also just evade the rockets until it exhausts its ammo.

Raven Rocket Turret -  Exactly what the name says.  Higher price and 
weight.  However, unless you're ship is too slow to use regular Raven 
Rockets and you want Raven Rockets, avoid this.  Despite what many 
people believe and what the description says, Sensor Boosts do not help 
this weapon in any way.
Shields < Armor
Same tactics as above, except there is nowhere to hide.

IR Missiles -  The cheapest, lightest, and weakest guided missile in 
the game.  Having several of these launchers will produce a very high 
rate of fire and they can deal enough damage over time to pose a threat.
Great if you like constantly replacing ammo.  However, missiles tend to 
be best for longer distance combat, hence their range and the fact that 
they are guided.  So, in other words, don't bother.
Shields < Armor
Really weak, but fast.  Plus, a lot of them can hurt.  Small ships 
should dodge, while large ships won't have much choice but just to 
endure them.  Jammers and point defense help reduce potential damage.  
If you can evade them, wait for the ship to run out of ammo.

Radar Missiles -  The next step up in missiles.  They pack more power 
and range at the cost of rate of fire, weight, and price.  If you like 
missiles, they're worth the loss since you can still fire them very 
quickly with multiple launchers.  Not a good choice for close combat.  
There is also a version that will only disable, not destroy, ships 
available in the Auroran storyline.  They require no license but are 
somewhat more expensive.
Shields < Armor
Slower, but stronger.  They are also usually fired at slower rates.  
Handle them the same way as the IR Missiles.

HellHound Missiles -  These missiles are deadly.  Heavier launchers, 
sure, but the damage and explosion size make up for it.  That, and the 
cost.  You can fire them very quickly if you have several launchers, 
too. However, a terrible choice for close range, as you'll run the risk 
of damaging yourself with those explosions.  These things do ionize, 
which will slow down the target ship a bit.
Shields < Armor
Really strong, not much slower than Radar Missiles and they have a 
large blast radius.  They also cause ionization, which slows you down 
and makes you an easier target.  Avoiding them is tougher, but few 
ships carry many missiles, so itís easy to exhaust it's ammo if 
necessary.  If possible, destroy the ship as quickly as possible so you 
can quit getting hit.

Gravimetric Missiles -  They do not make explosions nearly so big as 
Hellhounds, but the damage is about the same, and only the Vell-os and 
Polaris can jam them.  They are fast and accurate as well.  The biggest 
downfall is the fact that the ammo requires free space:  about one ton 
per missile.  Not good if you have very little free space laying around.
Not recommended for close range.
Shields < Armor
Actually they are less of a threat due to the lack of a blast radius 
and ionization.  Treat them the same as Radar and IR missiles.

Etheric Wake Missile -  Not the best missile around, thatís for sure. 
You can get some for free once you start the fourth Gli-Tech-Nia minor 
storyline mission and they become available once you complete said 
mission.  They are slightly stronger than a radar missile and are 
unjammable by anything except Polaris jamming. However, unlike what the 
description says, they cannot track cloaked ships.  Also, ammo takes up 
mass like the Gravimetric Missile does.  Even if you like missiles, you 
should pass it up.
Shields < Armor
Rarely encountered and really, really slow.  You can usually outfly 
them.  The ships that carry them carry very few, so exhausting their 
ammo is easy.

Thunderhead Lance -  A light, short range, very powerful beam.  The 
description is about right, as you almost do have to ram the ship in 
question (though you cannot actually ram the ship) to damage them.   
But it is far worth having to do that, as well as their low cost.  Four 
of these (the maximum) can shred many ships fast enough to leave you 
unscathed if you attacked them when they were not hostile with you and 
hardly scathed if they were.  I highly recommend this weapon for close 
range combat.
Shields = Armor
Only dangerous if the enemy ship is facing you and really close.  Don't 
let them get there.  Most ships with these are quick, so ionizing them 
helps.

Polaron Cannon -  A very expensive weapon.  You get one for free when 
you start the third mission of the Gli-Tech-Nia minor storyline and 
make them available by completing that mission.  It has slightly more 
range than a Thunderhead Lance, but less damage.  While it is perfect 
for close combat, I'd avoid getting any beyond the free one.  And even 
then I'd sell that one if I had not already filled the rest of my free 
mass.  Why would I?  The amount of space they take up is a bit too much 
in my opinion. Also, just note you can get two more free Polaron 
Cannons for free in a side string in the Pirate storyline.  A total of 
three Polaron Cannons, which is also the number of total of free ones 
you can get, is actually fairly strong.
Shields > Armor
No worries, no stock ships carry them.

Thunderhead Bay -  This simply launches up to Three Thunderheads. Very 
expensive and very heavy.  Install only in a large ship.  These are the 
fourth best ship carried fighters, so itís worth it if you need some 
fighters.  Bays are basically good for any range of combat, so don't 
feel like you cannot be a close combat fighter if you buy any bays.  
Just make sure to get the rest of your weapons first.

Thunderheads can be a pain.  Destroy or disable them as quickly as you 
can so you can refocus your attention to the carrier.  If a ship 
carries multiple fighter types, T-Heads are priority after Mantas, 
Darts, and Pirate T-Heads.

Federation Viper Bay -  There are actually several of these for 
multiple variants, but you can only buy the standard one.  Not worth it 
though.  Lighter and less expensive than the Thunderhead Bay, it 
launches up to four Federation Vipers (very weak little ships) and 
requires earning them in the Federation storyline.

Weak little buggers, not really a threat at all.  Destroy at your 
leisure.

Anaconda Bay -  Roughly the same weight and price as the Federation 
Viper Bay.  It launches up to two Anacondas.  Better than Vipers, but 
the bay is not worth it.  Same requirements as its Viper counterpart.

They carry a few missiles and can get annoying if they keep rearming.  
So destroy them before dealing with other fighters or the carrier.


Auroran Weapons

Auroran weapons are the most primitive, but should not be overlooked. 
Some are available at the start.  The Aurorans also have the weapons 
preferred by long range fighters, but thatís not what we are looking 
for now are we?  Pirates and Rebels use some of their weapons as well.  
Most of their weapons are best versus armor.

Hail Chaingun -  The Hail Chaingun is surprising, is it not?  In 1.01 
and 1.00, I said they were not worth it.  However, in recent light of 
new discoveries, they have turned out to deal the most damage per ton.  
Compared to Light Blasters and Cannons, this certainly makes them the 
best of the three.  However, they eat through ammo like the end of the 
world is in five minutes.  Also, other weapons, while less efficient in 
terms of damage per ton, still inflict more damage.  This leaves them 
best for use with small ships or use in conjunction with other 
close-range weapons.  So, in other words, get those T-Head Lances first 
and, if you have space, then get these.
Shields < Armor
They have fair range and a 90 degree arc of fire.  They always shoot 
fast, so damage can be built up quickly if you leave a ship armed with 
these around for too long.  However, they can run out of ammo, though 
it will take awhile.  To larger ships or heavily shielded ships, these 
are just a mere nuisance.

Storm Chaingun -  The chaingun equivalent of the Quad Light Blaster 
Turret, though not nearly as good as it's Hail counterpart for damage 
per ton efficiency.  The Hail is heavier and more expensive, but has no 
requirements for purchasing and performs its job a lot better.  If you 
need point defense weapons and you have a lot of space, go for this.  
Otherwise, avoid it.
Shields < Armor
Only a threat to you if you are one of the few ships it can target.  
Other than that, only your missiles are in danger.  Short range and it 
has a significantly lower damage per second (DPS) than the Hail 
Chaingun.

Fusion Pulse Cannon -  This is more like a swivel cannon.  It would be 
the Auroran equivalent for a Medium Blaster.  However, it is cheaper 
and lighter, has better range and faster rate of fire, and requires 
nothing.  It can hurt you if you are too close when it strikes a ship, 
but you have to be almost on top of the impact area, and even then you 
have to be in something like a Viper for it to really affect you.  If 
you have to choose between the Medium Blaster and this, go for this.  I 
recommend this weapon for close range if you want something to go with 
Thunderhead Lances but cannot afford/hold/get anything else.  There is 
a disabling version in the Auroran storyline as well.  The same applies 
for the following two as well, its turret and battery.
Shields < Armor
90 degree arc and fair damage and range.  Get behind the ship if 
necessary and destroy.  If the ship has only a few FPCs, then it isn't 
much of a threat to anyone.  If it has a lot, you should get rid of it 
quickly.  However, if you are fast, the tracking on the FPCs acts up 
badly, making life easier for you.

Fusion Pulse Turret -  The above in turret form.  Heavier and more 
expensive, but lighter and cheaper than the Medium Blaster Turret.  If 
you are too slow for the Cannon, this is a good choice.  
Shields < Armor
Only slow ships carry these, so life is easier.  Deal with similarly to 
the normal FPC, except don't hide behind it since it can shoot you 
there too.

Fusion Pulse Battery -  Take a Fusion Pulse Cannon.  Make it slightly 
heavier and slightly more expensive.  Now make two of them shoot as 
fast as 4 or 5 cannons or turrets.  Now make them have a 90 degree 
range in front of your ship.  The battery is born.  A very good weapon 
for close range combat.  However, it is only available in the Auroran 
storyline.  If you are in the Auroran storyline, get these if you can.
Shields < Armor
Very high rate of fire makes any ship armed with these annoying and a 
big threat.  Take them down quickly.  Deal with the ship as you would 
one armed with a FPC.

100mm Railgun -  The lightest and weakest of the long range fighter's 
series of favorite weapons.  Very long range, but low damage.  Not a 
good weapon for close range fighters, however. These things are very 
heavy for the damage they deal, but any long range fighter would say 
itís worth it.  Unless you want to go long range for some strange 
reason, avoid these.
Shields < Armor
Not much damage, but they can hit you from really far away.  They have 
a 90 degree arc as well.  Just get close to the ship and from the sides 
or behind and take it out.  Itís always a good idea to take out ships 
with Railguns as soon as possible.

100mm Turreted Railgun -  The above, only heavier and turreted.  Not 
even long range combat people like these.  If thatís not clue enough to 
avoid it, than I don't know what is.  Available only in the Auroran  
storyline.
Shields < Armor
Well, nowhere to hide, so all the more reason to kill it quickly.  The 
damage is low, so rush and destroy the ship before that damage builds 
up over time.

150mm Railgun -  A bigger, better 100mm Railgun.  Heavier too.   Again, 
not a weapon for close combat.  However, some people who fight close 
range say railguns are good for closing the distance or for use when 
the enemy is too hard to get close enough to engage.  However, the 
weapon space used on, say, 5 of these could be used on about 10 or so 
Thunderhead Lances, if it was possible to get that many without 
cheating.  In other words, you're wasting precious space if you are a 
close range fighter and you buy these.
Shields < Armor
Treat the same as 100mm Railguns.  They are as threatening when your 
shields are up.  When your shields are down, these hurt you quite a bit.

200mm Railgun -  Bigger, better, and very heavy.  Or is it?  It 
certainly is bigger and heavy.  However, recently I have received hard 
evidence that the 150mm Railgun has a higher DPS (damage per second) 
than the 200mm.  That gives more reason to not use these.
Shields < Armor
Again, deal with the same as 100mm and 150mm Railguns.  Same damage 
when shields are up.  When down, these hurt a lot!  

Firebird Bay -  Firebirds are the Auroran counterpart to the Vipers that
just about everyone else has.  However, the ability to launch four 
Firebirds is not worth the weight and cost of this item.  Only in the 
Auroran storyline.

Weak little buggers, destroy at your leisure.  The chainguns make 'em a 
bit more dangerous than Vipers.

Phoenix Bay -  Firebirds are to Vipers as Phoenixes are to Anacondas. 
Two Phoenixes per bay.  Worth it if you have nothing better to use that 
space on.  Otherwise, avoid it.  Auroran storyline only.

Treat these as you would Anacondas.

TripHammer -  This weapon is found only on the Thunderforge, which has 
four.  It is a powerful beam weapon, longer than the Thunderhead Lance.
It ignores enemy shields too!  They also take up no space. Though, 
whatever you do, do not sell these!  They add armor, speed, and turn 
rate to the Thunderforge, which makes it as quick as it is. An awesome 
weapon for close range combat.  Only available in a side string in the 
Auroran storyline.
Shields < Armor
You may never fight against these in the stock scenario.  If you do, 
stay out from in front, especially if you are flying a low armor ship.  
These hurt a lot.


Vell-os "Weapons"

The Vell-os "weapons" are powerful telepathic abilities. All are only 
available in the Vell-os storyline, and you get all of them free.  If 
you like opera, you'll love these weapons even more.  Note that all of 
them drain energy when used.  They also drain energy when not in use, 
but you'll only be able to notice that if you do not have any energy 
recharge of any kind.

Flower of Spring -  Found on the A.I. Vell-os Dart.  This simple yellow 
beam is all you'll have for awhile.  Itís powerful enough to get you 
through though.  A decent close range weapon.
Shields = Armor
Stay out from in front of the enemy ship.

Summer Bloom -  Stronger and turreted.  Comes with the Arrow.  Itís 
good for close range, but not the best.
Shields = Armor
Fair range and turreted, plus they are pretty strong.  Kill the ship 
carrying it as fast as possible.

Autumn Petal -  Comes with the Javelin.  Stronger and still turreted. 
This is a good weapon for close range, but there is better still for 
the Vell-os.
Shields = Armor
Treat the same as you would the Summer Bloom.

Winter Tempest -  A nice little lethal beam.  It's not turreted, but 
you'll see why when you use it.  It ignores shields and shreds armor. 
It also has a good range.  Plus it ionizes, but a bit too slowly for 
that to really matter.  The downside?  It drains energy extremely fast, 
so you'll need a lot of energy and energy regeneration to make good use 
of it.  Even so, itís an extremely good choice for your close combat 
arsenal.  Many pilots claim this is the best weapon in the game.  It 
certainly can compete for that position.
Shields < Armor
No worries, no stock ship uses this.

Create Dart -  This is really a bay.  Darts are the second best 
launchable fighters.  And they are free.  If they all get destroyed, 
you can meditate to replace them unless you use one of those reset 
mission plugs.  Do that and your Darts are gone for good.  They come 
with the Javelin.  Good no matter what you are flying, especially 
considering you could use these on a Viper.

Annoying, though luckily you know they always carry three.  Always.  
Ok, Frandall carries about 40, but his invincibility should make you 
run in the first place.  Hit the Darts with impact and ionization 
weapons to keep them off of you.  Darts are second priority of launched 
fighters.


Pirate Weapons

Pirate weapons are aimed more towards disabling than destroying.  After 
all, pirates have to disable a ship to steal from it.  Many of  their 
weapons are illegal as well.  However, they are always available for 
purchase, albeit very expensive.

Ionic Particle Beam -  More commonly known as the Ion Cannon.  Some 
newer players might refer to it as the "Crown of Thorns" due to the 
Manticore's shipyard description.  Also, even though you can get a 
legal version of the Ion Cannon in the Fed storyline, it is more 
commonly used by Pirates, so that is why I consider it a Pirate weapon. 
Ion Cannons have a 270 degree radius in which it shoots a solid blue 
beam that can ionize a ship exceedingly fast.  Many close range pilots 
fear running into these, which is why they say getting railguns on a 
close range ship is a good thing.  I don't agree with that.  Simply get 
any ship armed with these from behind.  As for using these as your own 
weapon for close range, I highly recommend them.  There isn't much 
better, despite their weight and cost.  Even the illegal versions are 
worthwhile.  Just remember that these cannot destroy ships, only 
disable.  So you'll need a second weapon to deliver the final blow.
Shields > Armor
These hurt a lot, but only have a 270 degree radius.  So get behind the 
ship armed with it!  They ionize as well, so getting hit a lot will 
make you an easier target.  They cannot destroy you, but ships armed 
with these generally carry another weapon as well.

User Modified Ionic Particle Beam -  Same as the above, except it only 
appears on a version of the Heavy Weapons Pirate Enterprise.  Whatís 
different?  No energy drain and you can't get them any other way (short 
of plugs).
Shields > Armor
Treat the same as normal Ion Cannons.

EMP Torpedoes -  AKA nukes.  These weapons are slow, but they sure do 
go boom.  They create a huge blue explosion when detonated that 
inflicts a lot of shield damage and almost always ionizes, but it deals 
exceedingly low amounts of armor damage, making them ideal for 
disabling ships.  Their biggest drawback is the weight of the ammo, a 
whopping four tons a shot.  Ouch!  Also, this weapon, due to its 
explosion, is terrible for close range.  Unlike other illegal weapons, 
itís not just the Feds who will get mad at you for having this, but 
rather everyone except pirates will gate you for having these.  So 
always be wary of scans if you use these.
Shields > Armor
Avoid!  Avoid!  Avoid!  These are very slow missiles, but they make 
large explosions that inflict a lot of shield damage and almost always 
ionize in a single hit.  Their armor damage is really low, so if you 
have a lot of armor, they won't destroy you anytime soon.  Jammers and 
point defense help a lot here.  If you must, make the shooter run out 
of ammo.

Pirate Viper Bay -  Virtually the same as the Federation Vipers,  
except Pirate Vipers are a tad bit better than their Federation 
counterparts, and the fact the Pirate Viper Bay launches fighters 
faster than any bay, except for the Manta Bay.  Pass it up, though, 
unless you have an extra 40 tons of space to blow.  These are illegal.

Blow them up whenever you feel like it:  they won't hurt you anytime 
soon.

Pirate Thunderhead Bay -  Virtually the same at it's civilian  
counterpart, except that Pirate Thunderheads are the 3rd best 
launchable fighter.  A very good choice if you have the space and do 
not have access to Darts or Mantas for fighters.  They are illegal 
though, so be wary of Fed scans.

Dangerous.  Treat them like the Civilian Thunderheads when fighting 
them, but keep in mind they are stronger.  They are 3rd in priority of 
destroy bay-borne ships.


Polaris Weapons

Polaris weapons are extremely powerful and are often considered 
unbalanced, and for good reason.  They deal very high amounts of damage 
to both armor and shields.  If you are in the Polaris storyline, then 
go for these!

Bio-Relay Laser -  A simple, fairly light, and very powerful beam of 
energy.  It has more range than a Thunderhead Lance and deals more 
armor but less shield damage.  A very powerful weapon and a very good 
choice.  
Shields > Armor
Powerful and fair range, but they shoot straight.  So I'm sure you know 
by now to stay out front from in front.

Bio-Relay Laser Turret -  So far I have shot down just about every 
weapons' turret form.  Not here.  Though it weighs significantly more 
and you cannot have as many, this weapon's absurd accuracy is perfect 
for "hit and run" or "harassment" strategies, as well as flying circles 
around an enemy.  Some pilots have flown Mantas armed with only one of 
these and captured planets, though don't expect any quick victories if 
you try that strategy.
Shields > Armor
Very annoying as they never miss when you are in range.  Either stay 
away from ships armed with these, or kill them as quickly as possible.

Capacitor Pulse Laser -  If I sound biased on this weapon, its probably 
the fact that it's my favorite weapon.  The Capacitor Pulse Laser is an 
extremely powerful, concentrated beam that drains energy.  As the 
description states, the target's shields and armor might as well have 
been "wisps of smoke".  They cause ionization, though often not fast 
enough to matter, and can push back any ship, even Fed Carriers.  I 
highly recommend this weapon if you are in the Polaris storyline.
Shields > Armor
If you like your ship, you won't let yourself get shot by these.  They 
hurt... A LOT!  And, on top of that, if you live, you could be ionized.
Luckily, they are not turreted, so you can hide behind them.

Wrathii -  While these are used mostly by Polaris, you can get more 
expensive versions elsewhere.  The Rebels have one in their storyline, 
you get a free one when you start the 6th mission of the Gli-Tech-Nia 
and make them available upon completion of that mission, though the Fed 
version requires an Exotic Ships and Weapons License. The Polaris also 
has a Fire-While-Cloaked version if you can get the "tech" branch of 
the Polaris storyline.  However, that version has half the ammo and 
replaces the normal version.  But, getting back to the weapon, it 
shoots little "packets" that inflict a fair share of damage.  Again, a 
very good weapon, like all Polaris weapons.  If you are fine with ammo 
replacement, a very good choice.  Otherwise, skip it.
Shields < Armor
These cause quite a bit of damage and always are fired at fairly high 
rates.  They have 90 degree arcs and quite a bit of range.  If you 
can't get behind the shooter, make him exhaust his ammo.  Most ships 
armed with Wrathii are hardly threatening when they run out.

Polaron Torpedoes -  The Polaris homing weapon is the second strongest 
homing weapon in the game, only to be surpassed by the next weapon to 
be listed.  These things travel very quickly and inflict a lot of 
damage, but seem to have not as much range as some other missiles.  
However, in truth itís just an illusion.   They have a much higher 
range then just about anything else.  There is also a 
Fire-While-Cloaked version that has the same unlocking requirements as 
the FWC Wrathii.  Again, it also has only half the max ammo.  Close 
range fighters should pass it up though.
Shields = Armor
RUN!  These are unjammable, undestroyable, really powerful, really 
quick, and travel farther than railguns.  Use of the Afterburner often 
is necessary to avoid them.  Make the enemy run out of ammo and then go 
kill it.  This isn't too hard, considering the ammo count is very low.  
Or, if you think you can take the punishment, rush it and destroy it so 
it can't shoot you anymore.

Polaron Multi-Torps -  The same as above, except it splits into five.  
The deadliest missile weapon in the game.  However, it has such a low 
ammo count and costs so much as to make it nearly not worth it.  When 
fighting anything that has these, your best bet is to turn around and 
use that afterburner to run away until no more Multi-Torps are wanting 
you dead.
Shields = Armor
Don't try to power through these, you'll die very, very fast.  It is 
best to just run from them or avoid them in some other fashion until 
the enemy runs out.  The ammo count is very low, so that won't take 
very long.  Other than the fact that they split into five warheads of 
quick death, they are the same as normal Polaron Torpedoes.

Manta Bay -  The best bay-borne fighter in the game.  And the bay 
carries six and takes up less space then either Thunderhead Bays. 
However, they are extremely expensive, but well worth it, as these 
things have a very high survival rate.  If you want fighters, these are 
the best choice.

Mantas are dangerous.  Kill them quickly.  In fact, kill them before 
you kill any other bay borne fighter.


Rebel Weapons

Except for their bay, the Rebels use other groups' weaponry, and for 
this reason, this weapon section hardly exists.  In particular, they 
get Bio-Relay Lasers and Wrathii among the other things they use.  If 
you are playing the Rebels, you have some fair choice of good weapons.

Wrathii -  I've already talked about them, but they deserve special 
mention here due to an insane combo possible only in the Rebel string 
that uses this weapon.  It is possible to have 8 launchers and 1200 
ammo and, in theory, have 12 launchers and 1800 ammo.  How?  When you 
earn them in the Rebel storyline, you can buy theirs.  Then you can go 
to Polaris space and purchase theirs. And if you got them in the 
Gli-Tech-Nia minor storyline, you can get theirs as well.
Shields < Armor
See above.

Rebel Viper Bay -  The best Viper in the game, but not good enough for 
you to use.  Similar to all the other Viper Bays in its performance, 
weight, etc.  Don't get it.

Not much of a threat.  Kill them if you feel the need.


Alien Weapons

Without a plug you cannot get your hands on these.  However, since you 
can with a plug, they should still be mentioned.

Wraith Child Beam -  A very short, not too powerful beam used by Wraith 
children.  It inflicts decent damage, but not enough that it should 
scare you.  Only the child uses it, as it's name suggests.
Shields > Armor
Short range and not very powerful.  Just laugh at it and blow the 
Wraith up.  If you don't want to get hit, stay out from in front.

Wraith Youth Beam -  Better than the previous in damage and range. 
Not a threat unless you're in a small ship.  Used by Wraith Youth.
Shields > Armor
A threat to smaller craft, though large ships can still laugh.

Wraith Adult Beam -  This one is a threat, since it has good damage and 
range.  It's used by the Wraith Adult.  Try not to get shot too much by 
it.
Shields > Armor
These hurt, but you can just stay out from in front.

Solar Lance -  The Hyperoid weapon.  It can hurt a lot, so stay out 
from in front of Hyperoids unless you want a really good sun tan... or 
burn if you are one of the unlucky people who burn rather than tan.  
Also, it doesn't matter how much sunscreen or sun block you have on, 
this weapon will still hurt just as much.
Shields = Armor
These can hurt quite a bit, so just stay out from in front.

Nanites -  Used by Krypt Pods.  These little things hurt a lot and 
ignore your shields.  They also home in on you too.  At least they can 
be shot by point defense weapons.  However, no matter what you are 
flying, you should avoid coming in contact with these.
Shields < Armor
They are quick, strong, and homing, and they ignore shields.  Luckily, 
they have short range and are targeted by point defense weapons.  Avoid 
contact with them, especially if you are in a low armor ship.


Planet Weapons

Used only by planets to shoot at enemies in the stock scenario, you 
could get these with a plug.  So, for that reason, they still deserve 
some mention.

Enormous Blaster Turret -  Shoots a huge shot thatís stronger than the 
Heavy Blaster Turret's shots and has significantly longer range.
Shields > Armor
Shoots about as fast as two Heavy Blaster Turrets and are probably 
twice as strong.  Avoid getting shot, since you can't destroy the 
station.

100mm Turreted Railgun -  Same as the one way above.  Only this time a 
little Auroran outpost is shooting it.
Shields < Armor
Just dodge it if you need to.  It isn't very powerful.

400mm Turreted Railgun -  Shoots a huge railgun shot that deals quite a 
bit of damage and has a really long range.
Shields < Armor
Just avoid the powerful shot.

Enormous Ion Cannon -  No, it doesn't shoot a beam.  It shoots a really 
large shot that inflicts no damage but ionizes.  It has a really long 
range too.  Used on Rebel and Pirate stations mostly.

No damage, but it does ionize, so avoiding it is still a good idea.

Enormous Polaron Torpedo -  These things hurt.  So far everything I 
have seen shot by this died on impact. Of course, all the capital ships 
shot by it were already damaged.  It also ionizes, but I guess it 
really doesn't matter if all things shot by it die.  You can find these 
on Polaris stations and (so I heard) planets.
Shields = Armor
Like living?  Don't get hit.

--------------------------
Ship Selection
--------------------------

Proper ship selection, while very important, isn't key.  Some ships are 
more suited for close combat, however, and having the right ship will 
increase your odds of both victory and survival greatly.  There are 
plenty to choose from.  I won't discuss all the variants (the guide 
would be 5 times as long).  I'll make special mention of ones that 
deserve it, however.  If you skipped the weapon section, go back to 
that one next.


Civilian Ships

At first thought, you may think Civilian ships are not worth it simply 
because they are Civilian.  Not in Nova!  They did a good job of making 
several of the ships powerful enough to hold their own, especially in 
the right hands.  You'll have access to all but a few at the start of 
the game.

Shuttle -  The ship you start with.  Armed with a Light Blaster.  Get 
into something better as fast as you can.  Luckily, you start the game 
with 25k credits, more than enough for the next ship.  Pass up the used 
variants as well.  It's interesting to note the Class B has IR Missiles,
but the A.I. Shuttle never fires them.

These will just run from you.

Heavy Shuttle -  Better in every way than a shuttle, save the fact that 
it too comes with a Light Cannon.  I don't recommend trying to fight in 
this thing, though you can take on some Vipers if you are skilled.
Again, pass up the used variants.

These will just run from you.

Cargo Drone -  You can't fly it without a plug, but you can hire it as 
an escort.  No weapons, but very cheap.  The best thing about it is:  
you shoot it and it dies!  What could be better?

Doesn't even have weapons.  Why worry?

Asteroid Miner -  Good at what it's name suggests.  It comes with four 
mining lasers and a scoop.  It has an awful turning rate, however.  One 
neat thing is it opens up before shooting.  I can just envision an 
Asteroid Miner slowly opening up and some huge and powerful beam shoots 
out and demolishes an entire fleet of Polaris Ravens.  Too bad that 
can't happen without a (more than likely cheat) plug.  Bad if you are 
going to be fighting though.  Speaking of fighting, you can do better 
for a ship.

These just run from you.

Terrapin -  Not a ship you want to be in.  Comes with two Light Blaster 
Turrets.  It is very slow and vulnerable.  Even Atmos thinks it's a bad 
idea, hence a dude (technical name of the variables that says what 
ships are in what systems) is named "lone idiot in terrapin".  Pass up 
any version of this, whether used or not.

Sometimes they run, other times they are idiot Marauders who have a 
death wish.  Grant it while laughing at their pathetic life.

Viper -  I found it odd that there is no bay for this Viper, but for 
every other one.  Maybe for good reason.  Very weak, armed with two 
Light Blasters.  If you want a challenge, give it a shot.  Otherwise, 
pass it up.

Really weak, destroy if you feel the need.

Lightning -  A surprisingly large fighter.  Armed with 3 Light Cannons 
and is fairly quick.  I would still pass it up though, since its weak 
for its size.  The Wild Geese variant deserves mention, since it is 
buyable on New Ireland.  It adds some Radar Missiles and you don't need 
a license to buy the variant.  Try it if you wish, though I wouldn't.

Missiles can get a bit annoying, but the ship overall is just really a 
big Viper.

Thunderhead -  A very good fighter. It comes with two Thunderhead 
Lances and Radar Missiles.  The best Civilian fighter.  If you like 
fighters, this is your ship until you can get a potentially better one.
The Light Destroyer Class is very rarely seen.  Maybe for good reason, 
as it replaces the Lances with Ion Cannons.  Thatís something worth 
taking into consideration if you end up with a Thunderhead in your 
fleet.  As for flying any variant as your ship, it is good for close 
combat with its stock weapons, but there are better.

Has missiles, but the threat is the Lances.  Don't let it get close 
enough to use them.  The Light Destroyer is quite dangerous for its 
size due to the Ion Cannons.  Get behind that one or impact and ionize 
it enough so it can't use them.

Valkyrie -  Ok, now we have a decent combat ship.  Comes with 3 Light 
Blaster Cannons and a Raven Rocket Pod.  This ship has fair speed and 
maneuverability.  A good ship for a beginner to get used to fighting.  
It can also be made dangerous with the right weapons.  The "better" 
used variant is worth the price if you can't find better.  Though you 
will want a better ship soon enough.  Overall, a good choice if you 
cannot get anything better.

Raven rockets are not very dangerous.  The ship, while it can put up a 
fight when you are in a weaker vessel, is overall not very dangerous.  
The Class III carries some missiles, but nothing too dangerous.

Starbridge -  Better than the Valkyrie.  Comes with 3 Medium Blasters 
on the standard as well as Radar Missiles.  The "better" used variant 
may be worth the price, you decide there.  This ship can be deadly in 
the right hands, but there are better.  The Class C variant deserves 
special mention, as some of these (not all for some strange reason) 
have Heavy Blaster Turrets and/or Hellhounds on them.  Also, the Class 
D tends to have Gravimetric Missiles.  Be wary when attacking either 
variant or you may find yourself caught off guard.  Any variant can be 
a good choice.

It has missiles, which is its main source of damage.  It can put up a 
fight, but not much of one.  The Class C and D, on the other hand, are 
quite dangerous due to their weaponry.  Itís best to make them run out 
of ammo before engaging.  Destroy any Class C variants armed with Heavy 
Blaster Turrets as fast as possible since they can chase you down in 
slower ships.

Modified Starbridge -  As expected, it is better than its "unmodified" 
counterpart.  Faster, stronger, more heavily armed (with Medium Blasters
and Radar Missiles), and more expensive, all point to it being better.  
The only place I have seen it for sale is as New Ireland.  The Class E 
is considered by some to be the best Starbridge in the game.  Armed 
with Radar Missiles, Med Blasters, and Railguns, as well as having 
better stats than every other Starbridge, it is a very good ship.  
Certainly a worthwhile choice.  Some pilots find this to be the ship 
they are the best with.
A normal Mod Starbridge is like a somewhat better normal Starbridge.  
Main damage comes from missiles.  The higher variants are more 
dangerous.  The Class E puts up a big fight and is dangerous at all 
ranges, so get rid of it quickly.

IDA Frigate -  It can take a beating and haul a good amount of cargo, 
but thatís it.  It has Medium Blaster Turrets and a Raven Rocket Turret.
It is very slow and takes ages to enter hyperspace.  The NC1170 class is 
a different story.  More powerful, and armed with Heavy Blaster Turrets,
Quad Light Blaster Turrets, Hellhound Missiles, and Railguns, it is a 
formidable ship.  I do not recommend the stock version for fighting, 
especially close range.  The 1170 can handle the job with things like 
Heavy Blasters, but you can do better.  One interesting thing to note 
is that in both shipyard pics and the sprite itself, you can see a 
Thunderhead Bay.  However, no variant comes with one.  Odd, isn't it?

Normally, these just have a lot of armor and some Raven Rockets.  Woo, 
big deal.  Just kill it.  Any other variant has missiles and carries 
better weapons, making them more of a threat.  They are slow though, so 
you can kill them with relative ease.  The 1170, on the other hand, is 
powerful and dangerous to all ships at all ranges.  Kill it quickly.

Pegasus -  Ugh.  I could say that again.  Slow, weak, and comes with a 
Medium Blaster Turret.  It is only good for hauling cargo.  Cheap or 
not, don't even bother buying this ship.  It is not worth the price.  
Worst of all, you have to have both completed the first Sigma mission 
and not failed any others.

Just laugh and blow it up if one attacks you.

Star Liner -  Comes unarmed, but has some fair defensive strength and 
is decently fast for a cargo hauler.  It comes with a lot of crew as 
well, and I mean ALOT.  It could possibly be turned into a decent 
fighting ship, but you certainly could make a better one out of a 
Lightning.  It has the same mission requirements as the Pegasus.

Just laugh and blow it up if it attacks you.

Leviathan -  Very big, very vulnerable, and very unarmed.  Itís also 
tied with the Auroran Carrier for the slowest ship in the game.  They 
also carry tons and tons and tons and tons of cargo.  5000 tons to be 
exact in Mac 1.07 and Win 1.06 and below.  4000 in Mac 1.08.  Also, if 
you capture them, they can sell for very high or make good cargo 
hauling escorts.  Do not hire as an escort unless you are willing to 
loose money no matter what you trade.  Note that the Upgraded Engines 
and Armed Variants have Heavy Blaster Turrets.  Same mission reqs as 
the Pegasus and Star Liner.  Don't fly as your own ship in combat 
though, unless you intend to defeat your enemies with your Leviathan's 
absurdly large and powerful death explosion.

Don't get hit by the death explosion, it hurts.  The better variants 
have heavy weapons, but are not very threatening since they hardly use 
them.

Kestrel -  The most expensive ship in the game.  The Kestrel originally 
appeared in the original Escape Velocity as the most powerful Civilian 
(and pirate) ship.  In Nova, it contends well for the spot.  Despite 
not being the best ship in the game, it is only available at the Our 
Spiel shipyard for 50 million after you complete any major string.  
Someone who didn't play EVC might not care for this ship, but almost 
anyone who has played EVC will get it just for the sake of having it.  
It can be armed well and can be made into a good close combat ship.  It 
has Medium Blasters, Pirate Vipers, and similar weapons, which you 
might wish to sell.  Just know that if you cloak in this ship you will 
have a VERY hard time seeing yourself.

There are only two ways to fight a Kestrel:  attack Matt Burch or 
capture a ship.  The first is suicidal anyways since he is invincible.  
The second involves buying it, capturing a ship as your own, releasing, 
and then attacking.  No hints here, as I have never fought one, and 
fighting one is entirely your choice anyways.


Federation Ships

Federation ships all require you to be in the Fed storyline to get, as 
can be expected.  There isn't anything really special about most 
Federation ships.  However, just because of that doesn't mean you 
should overlook them.  Several of them are quite good for close combat 
flying.

Federation Viper -  Better then a Civilian Viper, but thatís about it.  
Has about 3 Light Blasters.  I would suggest passing it up.

Blow it up if you feel like it.

Anaconda -  Better than a Federation Viper.  Fewer Light Blasters, but 
it has an IR Missile Launcher.  Fed Carriers have a tendency to launch 
these, let them shoot their missiles, and recall them to rearm.  Even 
still, pass it up.

They have missiles, but few of them.  Not very threatening.  More so if 
it comes from a bay since it can rearm.

Scout Ship -  Surprisingly bad at its name sake.  Light Blasters and a 
Raven Rocket Pod are its armaments.  It doesn't have as much energy as 
you would expect an exploration vessel to have.  Pass this one up too.

Really weak and easy to kill.

Patrol Boat -  Here we go.  While the standard variant is armed merely 
with Medium Blasters and Raven Rockets, it can be properly outfitted to 
make a nice close combat vessel.  Its Heavily Armed variant has 
Hellhounds, so be wary when fighting them.  Also deserving mention is 
the Close Quarters Variant.  It has about 5 Medium Blasters and carries 
Ion Cannons.  Without tweaking, itís pretty good at close fighting and 
has a surprisingly high survival rate as an escort.  With some tweaking,
you can make it into an even better close combat ship.  Federation 
pilots, this may be your close combat vessel of choice.
Not too dangerous itself.  Its pretty easy to beat.  The Heavily Armed
Variant is dangerous until it runs out of Hellhounds.  The Close 
Quarters Variant is dangerous with its loadout.  Just get behind it and 
kill it.

R.A.G.E. Gunboat -  Probably the other Federation ship good for close 
combat.  The Rage Gunboat is a bit tougher than the Patrol Boat, but 
slower and only has one variant.  For the most part, its default 
weapons are good.  It is armed with Fusion Pulse Cannons, Wrathii, and 
Etheric Wake Missiles.  The last of those you'll probably end up 
dumping.  If you don't like the Patrol Boat, you may prefer this one 
instead.

Etheric Wake Missiles are very slow and Wrathii is its main source of 
damage.  Make it run out of both if you need to and then kill it, as it 
is easy without those weapons.

Federation Destroyer -  Fairly maneuverable, but not very good.  It's 
armed with Medium Blaster Cannons and IR Missiles.  Not very good in 
stock form; however, the Carrier Class has 2 Heavy Blaster Turrets (as 
well as a useless Federation Viper Bay) and the Heavy Missile Class 
replaces those useless fighters with Hellhounds.  If you want a 
Destroyer, get either of those and replace the fighters/missiles with 
better weapons.

Has a lot of IR missiles, but it runs after running out.  The Carrier 
Class has the Heavy Blaster Turrets, making it quite a bit more 
powerful.  The Heavy Missile Variant is quite dangerous with the 
turrets and Hellhounds.  Kill it as quickly as you can.

Federation Carrier -  Big, slow, and powerful.  All Federation Carriers 
are armed with Heavy Blaster Turrets and, of course, Viper and Anaconda 
Bays.  Three of the variants get special mention too.  The Heavy 
Missile Class has Hellhounds and EMP Torpedoes.  You'll want good 
jammers, point defense weapons, and/or good dodging skills when 
encountering one of these.  The Extra Fighters Detected variant has a 
Civilian Thunderhead Bay on it, saving you the trouble of getting one 
yourself if you want Thunderheads.  Also, the Non-Missile Variant has 
four Heavy Blaster Turrets and two Ion Cannons, making it the best 
close combat Carrier.  Itís a bit too slow for the Ion Cannons, so this 
would be one of the few cases to sell them.  If you want a close range 
Fed ship but do not want a Patrol Boat, go with the Non-Missile Variant 
Fed Carrier.

They all have Heavy Blaster Turrets, but a blind spot in the rear where 
it can't hit you.  Exploit it.  The Heavy Missile is only as 
threatening as a Flagship once it has run out of ammo.  Same goes for 
the Extra Fighters Detected one when you kill its Thunderheads.  The 
Non-Missile Variant is perhaps the toughest because of its weapon 
loadout.  But it is still easy to kill once you get behind it.


Auroran Ships

Auroran ships mostly specialize in heavy armor, weak shields, and long 
range weapons.  Also, all of the military ones require you to be in the 
Auroran storyline to buy.  Don't overlook them for close combat.  You 
could be surprised.  Please note that I could not remember which variant
has what even if my life depended on it.  Therefore, no variants will 
receive special mention.

Argosy -  A cargo hauler armed with Hail Chainguns.  Not too quick, but 
it does have more armor than any Civilian ship, save perhaps the IDA 
Frigate.  It can be made into a pretty good close combat ship, but 
there still is better.

Point, laugh, kill.

Enterprise -  Bigger, slower cargo hauler.  Has 100mm railguns.  I 
would pass it up.  One interesting thing that I learned by seeing a 
screenshot is if you have beam weapons on it, like Thunderhead Lances, 
they fire from the rear of the ship, the exit ports right by what 
appears to be a reactor.  Now thatís real safe.

Railguns can be annoying, but it is just a cargo hauler, so it is still 
an easy kill.

Firebird -  Basically a Viper.  Hail Chainguns for it's armament.  Like 
the Vipers, skip this.

Just like a Viper:  weak.  Just shoot it down.

Phoenix -  Basically your Auroran Anaconda.  Hail Chainguns and Radar 
Missiles.  Like the Anaconda, skipping this ship is a good idea.

Treat it like an Anaconda.  More threatening if launched since it can 
rearm.

Abomination -  Despite it's name, it isn't very ugly (in my opinion at 
least).  They are armed from Hail Chainguns to Fusion Pulse Cannons to 
Fusion Pulse Batteries and almost all have Radar Missiles.  There are 
many, many variants of these... too many.  It can do well for a close 
combat ship, but you'll want better.

The Moash Abominations go boom almost instantly.  Weapons vary greatly, 
but they all have missiles.  Some have chainguns, others have Fusion 
Pulse Cannons, others Batteries.  A few have Railguns.  Adjust your 
strategy according to their weapon layout.

Auroran Cruiser -  Usually has Railguns of varying strengths and IR 
Missiles.  It also often has Fusion weaponry.  Itís fairly slow though, 
making it not the best choice for close combat.

Get close and behind it.  Some have Fusion Pulse Turrets, but the main 
threat is the missiles and Railguns.  Once you are close, it tries to 
run for some reason, so you'll have to chase it.

Auroran Carrier -  It ties with the Leviathan for the slowest ship in 
the game.  It has railguns, turreted railguns, Firebirds, Phoenixes, 
Storm Chainguns, Fusion Pulse Turrets... basically a lot of weapons.  A 
poor choice for close combat due to its slowness.  However, it is 
possible to get over 1000 tons of free space on one of the variants.  

Fight it the same way like the Cruiser after you deal with the fighters.

Thunderforge -  You might be wondering how you could be surprised at 
what you have seen so far in regards to Auroran ships.  When you take 
this for a spin, that surprise will finally strike you.  The 
Thunderforge easily could be the best close combat ship in the game.  
Ironically, many new players mistake it for long range, load it with 
railguns, and end up saying it sucks.  It is fairly quick and is the 
only ship in the game armed with TripHammers.  It has four of them too, 
as well as Fusion Pulse Turrets, Radar Missiles, and (ugh) 100mm 
Railguns.  If you are an Auroran pilot, get this ship.  You'll need to 
do a side string to get it though.

Stay out from in front:  the TripHammers are its main source of damage.
The other weapons can become pretty annoying as well, but you can 
exhaust the missiles and get behind it to avoid the Railguns.

*The Thunderforge is my favorite ship in the game, as well as many other
pilots'.  An example of an insane close range weapon selection is:  4 
TripHammers, 4 Thunderhead Lances, 4 Fusion Pulse Batteries, 7 Ion 
Cannons.  You won't have the gun slots for the eighth Ion Cannon, which 
is a shame.  Give that layout a shot.


Vell-os "Ships"

Not really ships, but shells of mental energy.  All Vell-os "ships" are 
inertialess, so it will take some getting used to flying in them.  
Vell-os "ships" themselves suck, but with all the other powers you get, 
they become powerful.  Even still, those abilities can be transferred 
to an even better ship, so sticking with these might not be the best 
idea unless you love inertialess piloting.  Remember, the only outfit 
you can buy with these are Marine Platoons.  The only purpose I see in 
that is perhaps being alone in one of those might make you lonely.  
They are only available in the Vell-os storyline.

Dart -  Very fast, the second quickest thing in the game.  You'll have 
the Flower of Spring when you get this ship and the A.I. Darts will use 
it as well.  A fairly good close range vessel.
Impact it and ionize it so it can't perform a Mosquito on you 
(see techniques below).  It is virtually impossible to stay out from in 
front because it is so fast.  Turrets are useful here.

Arrow -  Bigger, slower, and stronger.  You'll get the Summer Bloom 
when you get this.  A.I. Arrows will use it too.  Fairly good for close 
range.

Either stay away or kill it quickly.  Avoid the front, it has a Flower 
of Spring as well.

Javelin -  Bigger, slower, and stronger, yet again.  You'll get the 
Autumn Petal and Create Dart when this is granted to you.  The A.I. 
will have those as well.  Fairly good for close range.

Kill its Darts first.  Then kill it quickly or avoid it.  Again, stay 
from in front so it can't hit you with the Flower of Spring as well.


Pirate Ships

All but one of these ships are available at the start of the game.  
However, they are very expensive.  The Pirates have some of the best 
ships in the game though, so they are certainly worth looking at.

Pirate Viper -  I believe you get the idea by now.  However, the 
Missile Variant has Radar Missiles and the Beam Variant has a 
Thunderhead Lance.

Weak, just blow it up.  The better variants are somewhat of a threat, 
but not much.

Pirate Thunderhead -  A better Thunderhead.  It carries basically the 
same weapons as the civilian version, except it also is armed with a 
Fusion Pulse Cannon.  However, it doesn't match the Light Destroyer 
Thunderhead or any Rebel ones.

Treat it like a Civilian Thunderhead, except keep in mind it is a bit 
tougher.  

Pirate Argosy -  Take the Auroran version and add a Raven Rocket Pod 
and some better stats.  You get the Pirate Argosy.  Makes a better 
close combat ship than its counterpart, but there are better candidates 
for close combat.

The Raven Rockets make it a tad bit more threatening, but not much.  
Just kill it.

Pirate Enterprise -  Better then the Auroran one.  Still terrible.  
Armed with Railguns and now has a Fusion Pulse Cannon.  However, there 
are two Heavily Armed Variants.  One has Ion Cannons and EMP Torpedoes, 
the other has Heavy Blaster Turrets, so you may want to be a bit careful
when engaging them.

Easy to beat, the Railguns are the only real danger.  The Heavily Armed 
versions are a different story.  For one, exhaust the EMPs and get 
behind it to avoid the Ion Cannons.  The other, you'll just have to put 
up with its Heavy Blaster Turrets.

Pirate Valkyrie -  Better then the Civilian one.  Has Medium Blasters 
and Raven Rocket Pods.  Not very good itself.  However, the Class IV is 
considered by several pilots to be the best ship in the game.  Insanely 
fast, it has 4 Ion Cannons, Radar Missiles, Railguns, and Hell Hounds.  
This ship can be turned into a lethal close combat ship as well.  I 
recommend you keep the Ion Cannons and sell the rest should you wish to 
use this as your ship of choice.

The normal version is not very dangerous.  The Class III has Radar 
Missiles, but nothing special.  The Class IV is a menace to society.  
Itís best to make it run out of missiles and then go for the kill.  
Just keep in mind it does have Ion Cannons and is extremely fast.

Pirate Starbridge -  Better than a normal Civilian starbridge, but not 
as good as the Modified.  Has Radar Missiles and Medium Blasters.  The 
Class D has EMP Torpedoes and Ion Cannons.  It can make a decent close 
range ship, but there is better, such as the Pirate Valkyre IV.

Nothing special here, just fight it like a Starbridge.  The Class D is 
somewhat more threatening, but you can beat it easily, even with its 
Ion Cannons.

Manticore -  This ship can be nasty.  Armed with IR Missiles, EMP 
Torpedoes, and eight (yes eight) Ion Cannons.  Obviously, it can be 
made into a powerful close range ship... but not as much as you would 
think.  Weapons like Thunderhead Lances, Polaron Cannons, Bio-relay 
Lasers, and other non-turreted beam weapons fire very strangely on the 
ship, making it very difficult to hit anything.  The best bet would be 
to use the Ion Cannons to disable and some other weapon to destroy.

This ship is nowhere near dangerous as a lot of people say.  The Light 
Weapons Variant doesn't even have the dreaded Ion Cannons.  All the 
variants have some variations of missiles.  One has some Fusion Pulse 
Cannons and another has Pirate Vipers.  Make it run out of missiles and 
simply get behind it.  All of a sudden this feared ship and those eight 
Ion Cannons is a push over.

Pirate Carrier -  Big, slow, powerful.  It has 150mm Railguns, EMP 
Torpedoes, and Pirate Vipers.  Not good for close range itself.  Note 
that the Heavy Weapons Platform has Heavy Blasters Turrets and the 
Extra Fighters Detected variant has Pirate Thunderheads.  Exercise 
caution when engaging either.

They all can be fought in about the same way.  Avoid the EMPs and get 
to the side or behind to avoid the Railguns.  The Heavy Weapons 
Platform has Heavy Blaster Turrets, but it can be beaten just like any 
Federation Carrier.

The Unrelenting -  While it is a Pirate Carrier, it is a separate ship 
mainly because it is given to you for free in the Pirate storyline, 
whether you want it or not.  It has Pirate Vipers, Pirate Thunderheads, 
Heavy Blaster Turrets, 200mm Railguns, Marine Platoons, EMP Torpedoes, 
and way too much extra space.  If it was faster it could make a very 
deadly close combat ship.  Many pilots say this is the best ship in the 
game.  For close combat, it isn't, however.  Even still, you should 
keep this on a pilot somewhere, because having all that free space is 
rare and allows you to experiment as well as let you have some fun by 
doing crazy things.

No worries here, you can never encounter this ship as a foe.


Polaris Ships

All of these ships, save for the cargo haulers, require you to be in 
the Polaris storyline to purchase.  At first glance, these ships are 
the best in the game.  But if you look closer, you'll notice that, for 
the most part, it is their weapons that make them so deadly.  They also 
have a very low crew count.  Despite this, they are all designed with 
close combat in mind, so they are certainly something to consider.  
Also note any Nil'kemas are better than the stock variants, Kemi are 
worse, and Cloak Detected have cloaking devices.  Another note is that 
they regenerate armor as well, though very slowly.

Sprite -  No weapons, one gun slot, a lot of cargo space.  Itís obvious 
that this ship is not meant for any kind of combat.  I wouldn't bother 
with this ship unless you like trading goods.

No weapons to speak of.  Just kill it if you feel the need.

Cambrian -  Same as the above, only bigger and more cargo.  Same thing 
applies.  Though if you want to hire a really good cargo hauler, get 
this over the Leviathan.  Leviathan escorts cost too much to hire and 
too much per day.  The Cambrian costs something like 1/10th for both 
costs and has 4/5 the cargo space.  Great cargo hauling escort, poor 
combat ship.

Unarmed.  Easy kill.

Manta -  The fastest, most powerful fighter, and great for close combat.
Comes with one Bio-Relay Laser and the Nilk Variant has two, is faster, 
and has Wrathii as well.  If you like fast ships to fight in, this 
could be your ship.  Especially if you like a fun, albeit slow way to 
kill opponents.  Get the Nilk variant, sell everything, buy a Bio-Relay 
Laser Turret (you might need the Sigma Mount Reinforcement), and use 
the rest for things like Spun Diamond.  Just fly little circles around 
your foe while shooting and you'll never get a hit.

Very annoying.  Itís fast, and it has a Bio-Relay Laser.  Impact and 
ionization helps a lot, as do turrets.  The Nilk variant has some 
Wrathii as well, so make it run out if you can.

Striker -  The step up.  Two Bio-Relay Lasers and Wrathii.  Nilk 
variant has a turret instead of the norm lasers.  This is a good close 
combat ship as well, as it is fairly quick, nimble, and tough.  Please 
note that, some variants of the Striker are inertialess, specifically 
all the cloaking+fast jump ones.  So don't be surprised if you find 
yours not behaving like most other ships.

Not nearly as fast as the Manta, but it makes up for it with weapons 
and toughness.  Once it is out of Wrathii, attack it anywhere except 
from in front.

Zephyr -  This is a step up from the Striker, as it has a little less 
shields but much more armor.  I don't like it as much though, since I 
prefer shields (they regenerate faster than armor).  Its appearance is 
equivalent to a black sheep, as it looks entirely different from all 
other Polaris ships.  Then again, it is designed to blend in among 
ships of other governments.  It has Bio-Relay Lasers and Wrathii and 
all variants come with a Cloaking Organ.  Itís about as good for close 
combat, probably slightly better, than the Striker.  However, if you 
want a blue Zephyr, you can capture Shade of Blue.   Shade of Blue's 
ship stays blue as long as you use it as your own.  It comes with 
standard Zephyr weapons plus a 200mm Railgun and a Polaron Torpedo 
Tube.  

Yeah, it cloaks, but usually to run away.  It can be dealt with like a 
Striker.

Dragon -  Not a ship I really played with.  Has one Bio-Relay Laser 
Turret and some Wrathii.  Itís bigger than the Striker and Zephyr, but 
not much tougher and does not have much more space.  It can do well at 
close combat, but if you are in the Polaris string, you certainly can 
do better.

Except for its turret, this is probably easier to kill than the Zephyr 
and the Striker, since it is bigger, slower, and not much tougher.

Arachnid -  A nice and powerful ship.  Sure, itís large, but itís quick.
It has a Capacitor Pulse Laser and Polaron Torpedoes.  With its speed 
for its size, it can become a good close range vessel.  Itís also cool 
to see the animations for it shooting.  Despite this, you can do better 
in regards to power.  But not likely with style.  Two interesting notes:
Arando's Arachnid comes with four(!) Manta Bays, allowing you to have 24
Mantas.  Also, the Arachnid is the favorite ship of Pipeline, ones of 
the game's developers.

It has two weapons:  one that can run out of ammo and the other that 
only shoots forward.  It can turn pretty quick though, so getting 
behind it is harder than one would think.

Scarab -  For Polaris close combat, this is my recommendation.  The 
stock variant has two Capacitor Pulse Lasers, Polaron Torpedoes, and a 
Manta Bay.  It can become fairly agile, especially for its size.  In 
fact, with the help of jammers, you can very easily evade barrages of 
missiles.  It is also a very tough craft, having high shields and 
pretty good armor.  Also, like the Arachnid, it has a firing animation, 
but it isn't as cool.

Kill the Mantas and avoid the torpedoes.  Then stay out from in front.

*This is my second favorite ship in the game.  Mine is armed with three 
Capacitor Pulse Lasers and a pair of full Manta Bays.  It also has all 
the defensive tech I could get, making it very good at taking a beating.
It was my most favorite until I discovered the Thunderforge, however.

Raven -  Highest shields in the game, a lot of armor, two Manta Bays, 
three Capacitor Pulse Lasers, and Polaron Multi-Torps.  Sounds like the 
best ship in the game, right?  Many new players, as well as some 
experienced, agree with that.  I don't, and for three very good 
reasons.  1) Itís huge, making it an easy target.  2) Itís inertialess, 
which doesn't work well with it's size.  3) Any beam weapon you have on 
it fires so far out in front that something could sit in front of your 
craft, open fire, and you won't be able to vaporize them.  Because of 
that, it is difficult to fight close range in this, as evasion of 
incoming fire is very difficult and it's hard to get a good shot at a 
close opponent.  Plus you can't strafe, a very useful technique which 
will be described later.  However, there are two Ravens which deserve 
mention.  The first is one with inertia.  However, the only one who 
flies it is Jason Cook, aka Frandall, who is a developer of the game 
and is invincible.  You cannot get one without a plug and/or cheating.  
The second is Iuso's (not Luso) Raven.  It has five Capacitor Pulse 
Lasers and five Manta Bays which can be stocked all the way up to 30 
Mantas (ouch!).  It doesn't display shields or armor, so capturing it 
is more difficult than normal.  A great ship for bay-borne fighter 
fanatics.

Once the Mantas and torpedoes are gone, the Raven is surprisingly easy 
to beat.  It is so large most ships can sit on top of it safely.  Also, 
the beam shoots far in front, so you can actually sit in front really 
close and be safe.  It just takes quite awhile to actually kill it.


Rebel Ships

Rebels have a mixture of everyone's technology, but they have some very 
nice ships.  None of them are of original design, but are modified 
versions of other govís ships.  Rebels also fly normal Pirate and 
Civilian craft as well.  These ships are certainly worth looking 
into... and looking at.  It seems like any ship looks good in green.  
All require you to be in the Rebel storyline.

Rebel Viper -  Toughest Viper in the game, especially the Light Gunboat 
Class, which carries Raven Rockets and has a surprisingly high survival 
rate.  As your own ship, I wouldn't fly it though.  

Ok, it may be the toughest, but it is still virtually no threat, even 
with the Raven Rockets on the Light Gunboat.

Rebel Lightning -  Better than a normal Lightning, but it isn't seen 
all that often.  It has Med Blasters and Radar Missiles and is quick.  
However, it is weak for its size still, so itís best to not fly this.

A bit tougher than the normal Lightning, but still really easy to kill.
Missiles can be annoying, but itís nothing big.

Rebel Thunderhead -  Best Thunderhead in the game, but sadly has no bay 
for it.  It is armed with the usual Thunderhead Lances, but also 
carries Wrathii.  If you like Thunderheads, get this.  It is a pretty 
good choice for close combat, so fly it if you wish.

Wrathii makes this Thunderhead dangerous.  Once it has run out, it is 
easy to beat.

Rebel  Valkyrie -  Often armed with Medium Blasters and Raven Rockets, 
these things are better than other stock Valkyries in terms of stats.  
The Rebel Class V is fast, tough, and armed well with Gravs and 
Bio-Relay Lasers.  Itís almost as good as the Pirate IV, but not quite. 
Any variant can make a good close combat ship if outfitted properly.

The normal Valk is easy to beat, but each variant is tougher.  Class 
III and up have missiles.  The Class V, while dangerous, isn't as 
threatening as a Pirate Valk IV.  Make it run out of missiles and avoid 
being in front of it.

Rebel Starbridge -  Really should be called Rebel Modified Starbridge, 
this ship is armed with Medium Blasters and Gravimetric Missiles.  Itís 
better to a degree in all aspects.  The Class E is considered by some to
be the best Starbridge in the game, having the best shields, armor, 
speed, and such for any Starbridge.  It has Bio-Relay Lasers, Grav 
Missiles, and Wrathii.  Like the Valkyrie, any variant can be outfitted 
as a capable close combat ship.

Gravimetric Missiles can pose a problem until they are gone.  The Class 
E is pretty tough until it is out of ammo.  Then it only has the 
Bio-Relay lasers.  While still dangerous, you can avoid damage by not 
sitting in front of it.

Rebel Destroyer -  Medium Blasters, Gravimetric Missiles, Quad Light 
Blaster Turrets, and Raven Rocket Turrets.  Not too quick, but fairly 
tough.  Not a great ship for close combat, but it is capable of it.  
The Super Heavy Destroyer Class is better in everyway over the stock 
and is armed to the teeth with Gravs, Bio-Relay Lasers, Medium Blaster 
Turrets, Quads, and so on.  There is also the fabled Super Heavy 
Destroyer Class 2.  However, this is only partially a myth.  If you are 
using the plug Ship Variants 1.06, one of the two Super Heavy 
Destroyers was renamed as the Class 2.  Why?  We'll never know.

Pretty tough, much stronger than a Federation Destroyer.  The higher 
classes are even stronger.  The Super Heavy Destroyer, while lacking 
Heavy Blaster Turrets, is a very dangerous foe and has a lot of 
non-ammo weapons, so exhausting its ammo supply doesn't make it much 
easier.

Rebel Dragon -  Bio-Relay Lasers and Wrathii.  Itís better than the 
Polaris Dragon, according to what I've been told.  Of course, it will 
do well at close range, since it is designed for that.  The Carrier 
Class has an odd assortment of fighters, but the bays can be sold and 
it will have over 200 tons of space!  You can really load up then and 
turn it into a very powerful close range craft.

None of these are as dangerous as the Rebel Destroyer, but they all 
carry Bio-Relay Lasers and Wraithii, making your life difficult.

Rebel IDA Frigate -  This ship is, of course, better than the Civilian 
one.  It carries Rebel Vipers, Medium Blasters, Grav Missiles, and such 
on the stock.  The higher up variants, such as the Class Three, sport 
things like Railguns and Heavy Blaster Turrets.  Itís too slow to do 
too well at close range, so unless you simply have to have it, don't 
get it for close range.

Much more dangerous than their Civilian counterparts.  The Railguns and 
Heavy Blaster Turrets on the better variants make them even harder to 
kill, but they aren't the toughest around.


Alien "Ships"

Not really ships, but creatures living in space.  You can't fly them 
without a plug, but because of that, and the fact you can fight them, I 
should describe each a bit.  All Aliens are inertialess.

Wraith Child -  Weak.  Has a Wraith Child Beam, which is not very 
powerful.  Don't worry if these guys decide to come after you.  

Just laugh at it and blow it up.

Wraith Youth -  It's beam is stronger and a threat to some ships.  It 
can cloak as well.  Don't fight them in weaker ships such as Vipers and 
Fed Scout Ships.

It cloaks, so turrets and missiles won't work until it uncloaks to 
attack.  Very annoying.  Stay out from in front.

Wraith Adult -  Of course, tougher and has a beam that can hurt.  It 
cloaks too.  Try to stay out from in front.  The frustrating thing for 
any turrets or missiles is their cloaking, as they can't hit while they 
are cloaked (save for EW Missiles).

Can be fought the same way as the Wraith Youth.

Hyperoid -  Nicknamed by some as the Space Cow.  These sit there and do 
nothing until provoked.  They turn slowly though, so you can avoid their
Solar Lance.  If you are looking for a good sun tan, these guys can help.
If you see one actually moving and it isn't trying to kill something, 
follow it.  You'll be in for a surprise.

Staying behind it is an easy prospect since it turns really, really 
slowly.  Really easy to beat.

Krypt Pod -  These things are fast and annoying (even when they are not 
fighting you).  They have a lot of shields and armor.  Also, their 
Nanites home and ignore armor.  Don't attack it unless you know what 
you are doing.

I would just be repeating myself.

------------------------------
Outfit Selection
------------------------------

Outfits, while the least important, can still have a great impact.  Some
outfits are weightless, others are not.  They serve a large variety of 
purposes regardless.  Once you have a ship that is armed as you want it,
and you have space left over (or not), then outfits are the final thing 
to get.  Even if your space is zero, there are still some you can grab 
that will help your ship or give you the space for more weapons and 
outfits.


Civilian Outfits

Civilian Outfits tend to be cheap.  Most are not worth it unless you 
have nothing better to get or have a few extra tons lying around.  
However, others are some of the best you can get.  Take a look - you'll 
see something you like.

Escape Pod -  Useless for non-strict players.  But if you are playing 
strict play, then this thing is essential.  Without it, when your ship 
goes boom, you will be dead... for good.  Just make sure to press the 
eject command before your ship does go boom.  Also, note that even if 
you have one of these, if you are carrying fighters, you will escape 
into one of those instead.  That could be good or bad.  Strict players,
remember to always leave at least one ton of space for this item.

Auto-Eject -  If you want to worry less about hitting eject on time, 
then grab this.  Itís weightless and will eject for you.  If you are 
flying a Viper, this is practically essential as those things go bang 
before you can blink.  Non-strict players should ignore this outfit.

Gravimetric Sensors -  A nice little weightless outfit that makes things
easier on you.  It makes your radar display objects by size.  Small 
craft appear as little dots (as they would without it) while larger 
craft appear... larger.  I recommend getting it, but you can live 
without it.

IFF Decoder -  This outfit is like the above one, except it color-codes 
your radar.  Blue ships are neutral, green are friendly, gray are 
disabled, and red are hostile.  Yellow planets are neutral, blue are 
uninhabited, but landable, gray are uninhabited and unlandable, green 
are friendly to you (mostly likely via being dominated), orange are 
forbidden (neutral, but can't land), and red are hostile.  Complements 
the Gravimetric Sensors well, as with this you can guess the size of 
that hostile before you target it.  While you don't need it, it can 
make your life a lot easier being able to glance at the radar and see 
where all the hostile ships are.

Solar Panel -  For three tons you can loose the worry of running out of 
energy somewhere in the middle of nowhere where you'll have only three 
options normally:  sit forever, ask someone for help, or disable a ship 
and steal it's energy.  While the recharge rate is slow, itís better 
than nothing.  Just don't buy this so you don't have to land to 
recharge, as you'll be wasting time.  It takes 30 jumps recharged via 
this method to pay the Solar Panel off.  These can also be used to 
recharge energy used by the Afterburner or by weapons.  You should get 
at least one unless you plan on getting another outfit that restores 
energy.

Battery Pack -  Three tons adds a single jump of energy.  However, this 
energy can also be used on the afterburner and energy draining weapons.
The less initial energy your ship has, the more valuable this is.  If 
you have a ship with something like 20 jumps, then this is probably a 
waste of time.

Auto-Recharger -  No, it doesn't recharge your ship for you.  It is 
simply a convenience item that makes you automatically recharge when 
you land on an inhabited planet.  While you still have to pay for 
energy, it saves the trouble of remembering to click "recharge."

Afterburner -  Regardless of what ship you fly, if you have space for 
this, you better get it.  By draining your energy, your ship can travel 
at about double its speed.  Great for closing distances quickly, 
dodging long range fire, outrunning missiles and fast craft, and many 
other things.  This outfit is practically essential.  While itís 
optional, itís highly recommended you get energy recharge someway, such 
as a Solar Panel, so you won't have to worry about becoming stuck from 
overusing this, being unable to use energy draining weapons, or 
becoming doomed from the lack being able to use the afterburner.

Galatic Map -  You buy this and it simply shows you whatís in the 
systems a jump or two away from the one you are in.  Very cheap and can 
be helpful.

Dr. Ralph's Exploration Map -  If you board Dr. Ralph's Starliner, 
you'll have a chance to get this.  It automatically makes all systems 
within 10 jumps explored.  Shame you can't buy it, but then again, it 
would be like a cheat included in the game.

Civilian IR Jammer -  Has a very low chance to jam IR missiles, causing 
them to behave like Raven Rockets.  Unless you have nothing better to 
use that last ton of space on, then avoid this.  Itís not worth it.

Civilian Radar Jammer -  Same as above, except it affects Radar 
Missiles and Hellhounds (which uses the same tracking as Radar 
missiles - all Radar Jammers affect them).  Again, avoid it.

Fission Reactor -  This expensive thing gives you a lot of energy 
recharge.  The cheap version does that too, except not as good.  Also, 
after so many days the cheap one will get a lot heavier and work the 
same and then worse than a solar panel.  Two Solar Panels can out 
recharge by a fuel scoop of one.  However, it weighs one ton less then 
two Solar Panels.  So which is better?  You decide.

Carbon Fiber -  Very cheap armor upgrade.  The smaller your ship, the 
better it is.  If you are flying, say a Federation Patrol Boat and have 
four tons you don't know what to do with, then invest in these, they 
could save your life.  Just don't get the cheap kind (as if Carbon 
Fiber wasn't cheap enough), as it degrades into virtually no protection 
over time.  Just note that the more mass your ship has (not free weapon 
space), the heavier and more costly each layer is.  For example, any 
Viper it would cost something like 1,000 credits and one ton of space.  
A Leviathan costs 100,000 credits and takes 100 tons of space for the 
same protection.

Port and Polish -  This nice little massless upgrade increases the 
speed, acceleration, and turning of your ship for a meager 50,000 
credits.  This is a must have no matter what you are flying.

Vectored Thrust -  Like the Port and Polish, itís weightless and costs 
50,000.  Unlike Port and Polish, it increases only turning rate, but by 
a much larger margin than the other.  It reduces speed by two, but 
you'll never notice such a subtle reduction unless your speed is at ten 
or something.  Also a must have.

Horizontal Booster -  Lets you jump from a system while closer to the 
system center.  Massless as well.  This outfit is great, especially if 
you need to flee the system from that angry reinforcement fleet.

Mass Expansion -  You can sacrifice 15 tons of cargo for 10 tons of 
weapon space.  Sounds like a scam?  You'll quickly learn how having ten 
more tons of space can really help.  If you ever need that cargo space 
back, you can sell it.

Cargo Expansion -  The reverse of the above.  Not something I would 
recommend unless you need that cargo space to complete a mission.  Good 
thing you can get rid of it.

Mass Retool -  Want 10 tons of space for 12 tons of cargo?  Hereís your 
item!  Just note that you cannot sell this back, so be wary that you 
don't retool yourself out of your next string mission.

Cargo Retool -  Same as above, except in reverse.  Unless you are an 
intensely serious trader or asteroid miner, ignore this.

Sigma Mass Expansion -  This one is not for small ships.  By 
sacrificing 120 tons of cargo, you get 100 tons of free space.  Itís a 
great deal, but permanent.  Make sure you won't need that cargo space.  
Itís pretty expensive, but well worth it.  You need to do the first 
Sigma mission to get this.

Sigma Mass Addition -  Want more mass without any catches?  Hereís what 
you've been looking for.  This adds 5 tons of free space at the cost of 
no cargo.  Sure, itís only five tons, but there is always a way to put 
five tons to very good use... and thatís assuming you only get one.  
Itís expensive, but well worth it.  You need to do the first Sigma 
mission to get this.

Sigma Engine Tune-up -  Makes your ship faster and adds more energy.  
Very expensive, but very worthwhile.  It takes no mass, so why should 
you pass it up?  You need to do the first Sigma mission to get this.

Sigma Electrical Rewiring -  Your ship will see improved shields, 
shield recharge, have less sensor interference, and see better in murky 
systems with this.  Costs no mass, but a lot of credits.  But why pass 
up something so great?  You need to do the first Sigma mission to get 
this.

Sigma Mount Reinforcement -  Need more guns or turrets but don't have 
enough slots?  Don't buy a new ship, buy this!  Without taking up any 
space, and by spending a lot of credits, your ship can hold four more 
guns and two more turrets.  A must buy if you need it.  You need to 
do the first Sigma mission to get this.  I think I'm starting to sound 
like a salesperson for Sigma Shipyards... 

Sensor Boost -  There are many of these of varying prices that are 
labeled as Auroran, Fed, Polaris, Civvie, Pirate, etc., etc., etc., 
etc., etc., etc.  They all do the same thing though, so I won't mention 
them in specific elsewhere.  Less sensor interference and better vision 
in murky systems.  Also, it supposedly helps the Raven Rocket Turret 
aim better.  I don't bother with it, but if you feel the need to buy 
one (or two, or three), then feel free to get them.  In fact, if you 
want them, try to collect them all.  I heard that a complete set sells 
very well on eBay.

Marine Platoon -  This "outfit" increases your crew count, making it 
easier to catch ships.  Not bad if you are trying to catch stuff like 
Fed Carriers.  If you have an extra 90 tons of space lying around, feel 
free to buy the max number (18) of them and capture everything in sight.

Modified Starbridge Upgrade -  Aka the Chrome Valk Upgrade, this 
converts your Starbridge into a stock Modified Starbridge.  You loose 
any outfits you had, but itís cheaper than buying the Mod Starbridge if 
you are flying to normal one.


Federation Outfits

Federation Outfits require you to be in the Fed storyline, save for the 
cheap versions of some (which generally are not worth it).  They are 
fairly good, but if you are in the Fed string they are the best you'll 
be able to get your hands on.  

Throium Reactor -  Better than the Fission, this one also improves your 
speed a bit.  It is also very expensive and requires the Fed string.  
Your larger Fed ships will come with one for free.  More space 
efficient than three solar panels as well and about as good.  The cheap 
one does all that too without needing you to be in the Fed string. 
Also, after so long it will explode.  It could either just damage your 
ship or destroy it.  Use the cheap one... if you dare.

Military IR Jammer -  The Federation IR Jammer is pretty effective at 
jamming those IR swarms.  This is the best you'll be able to get if you 
are a Fed pilot, so if you need a jammer, get it.

Military Radar Jammer -  Same as above, except it jams Radar Missiles 
and is pretty effective at it.

Titanium Lattice -  Sounds like this should be an awesome armor outfit, 
but it really is only ranked number three out of four.  Like Carbon 
Fiber, the bigger your ship, the more weight and cost.  The smaller 
your ship, the more worth while this is.  

Shield Buffer -  This improves your shield strength by a little bit, 
though you really won't notice unless you get a bunch of them.  You can 
get ten of them which can really improve your shields by a lot.  If you 
have some extra space, invest.  Unlike armor upgrades, these always 
weigh the same.

Shield Recharger -  Improves your shield recharge rate.  Good to have 
if you have some space lying around.  Too bad you can only have two.  
Then again, if you could get more it might make things too easy on you.

Fed Cloaking Device -  This little device makes you invisible to other 
ships, but you can't fire any weapons unless they are the "Fire While 
Cloaked" version, though the only non-plug ones of those are Polaris 
only.  You shields will drop if you use it, so use it for escapes.  
Also, it disengages if you are struck, so make sure to evade those last 
few shots as you flee.  You'll still be on their radar, so they won't 
leave the system until you do.  Good to have for those "just-in-case" 
moments.


Auroran Outfits

Auroran outfits tend to require you to be in the Auroran storyline to 
get, save for two.  They have an odd assortment of outfits and some 
very useful and fun ones.  

Auroran IR Jammer -  Really good at jamming IR Missiles.  A good choice 
considering Aurorans like to use IR Missiles a lot, and you fight 
Aurorans frequently in their storyline.

Auroran Radar Jammer -  Not so good at jamming Radar Missiles, but itís 
better than the civilian options, so get it over those.

Matrix Steel -  Second best armor upgrade, but also the heaviest and 
most expensive.  It is available if you aren't in the Auroran storyline.
The armor slows you down by a little bit, but you'll never notice.  
Excellent on small craft, but not worth the weight and cost on larges 
ones unless you have that much space lying around.

Transmission Jammer -  A nice little outfit you can get doing a 
side-string prevents reinforcement fleets from entering the system.  No 
worries about those pesky extra ships jumping in as you raid helpless 
Civilian craft, destroy weakling fleets, or engage a defense fleet to 
get them to pay you tribute.  Not essential, but helpful.

*I personally don't like the Transmission Jammer since I like to fight 
reinforcement fleets.  So, if you want those fleets to come so you can 
blow them to bits along with everyone else, then sell off this outfit 
if and when itís granted to you.

Federation IFF Projector -  This fun outfit makes Federation ships 
think you are one of them until you attack them, regardless of your 
legal status.  A useful outfit, though hardly essential.  You can only 
get it in a side-string.

Moash IFF Projector -  Same as above, except Moash think you are one of 
them.  Also in that little side-string.

Drop Bear Repellent -  Avoid this as if your life depended on it.  
While your life doesn't, your credits do.  Buying these increases your 
odds of getting hit by a drop bear.  When that happens, you'll have to 
go to the hospital who will charge you an extortionist bill.  This is 
the other outfit that doesn't require you to be in the Auroran 
storyline.


Pirate Outfits

Pirates actually have some nice outfits.  Most require you to be in the 
Pirate storyline, but a few don't.  Some are probably not worth the 
price unless you can't get better, but others are things you might not 
want to do without.

Pirate Jammer -  Jams both Radar and IR Missiles.  Very expensive, but 
requires no license.  Itís not too effective, however, but itís better 
than most other jammers available.  Since it does not require you to be 
in any storyline, you won't have anything better until you get in a 
string, in which case there won't be any better if you get in the 
Pirate storyline.

Repair Droids -  These little guys have a chance of repairing your ship 
should it be disabled.  The name and desc is deceptive, making many 
assume they repair your armor constantly.  A shame they don't.  They 
are useful, however, so getting them isn't a bad idea.  You can only 
get them in the Pirate side-string.

Overdrive -  Makes you go faster, a lot faster, than any other speed 
outfit.  Like the others, itís massless, so do not pass it up.  You 
need to do that side-string to get it.

Sutherland Alluvial Dampener -  This outfit makes you take fewer days 
to hyperspace unless you already take a single day to jump.  A great 
outfit unless you, again, already take a day to jump.  Certainly not a 
bad thing to carry when you do those U.N. Shipping long missions for 
500,000 credits.  You have to do that side-string to get it.

Ion Dissipator -  This very useful device makes you harder to ionize.  
You also deionize much faster.  A must have.  To get it you must do the 
side-string.

Pirate Valkyrie Upgrade -  Converts your civvie Valk into a stock 
Pirate one, stripping all outfits in the process.  If you were going to 
get one anyways, then use this, as it is cheaper.

Pirate Starbridge Upgrade -  Does the same as the above one, except 
from civvie Starbridge to the Pirate version.


Polaris Outfits

As expected, the Polaris have a lot of the best outfits in the game.  
Of course, due to this, you are going to want to take a look at what 
they have.  It certainly isn't a bad idea to load up on these Polaris 
storyline only goodies.

Fusion Reactor -  This nice reactor is even better than the Thorium 
Reactor.  More expensive, but well worth it.  After all, who doesn't 
want speed and energy regen boosts?

Anti-Matter Reactor -  Best reactor there is.  Does the same as Fusion 
Reactor, except improved.  Very expensive, but this is something you'll 
want if you have the extra space.  I recommend it for anything bigger 
than a fighter, especially if you are using energy draining weapons 
like Capacitor Pulse Lasers.

Polaris Jammer -  The Polaris Jammer jams almost every missile weapon 
save Polaron Torps.  Not much will stay locked onto you.  A very good 
pick until you can get whatís coming next.

Nilkemas Jammer -  Jams almost everything that attempts to lock on you, 
save Polaron Torps.  Don't expect to be hit much unless you sit still 
if you have one of these.  Highly recommended.

T2 Strength Level -  See the Vell-os section below for information.

Spun Diamond -  Best armor upgrade in the game.  It also weights very 
little, three tons on a Scarab.  No matter what you are flying, get as 
many as you can.

Organic Shield -  Increases your shield recharge rate by a lot.  Very 
much worth it.  A shame you can only collect two.

Shield Organelle -  A very, very light outfit that adds a lot of shields
for it's size.  This is something you want, especially since you can get 
ten.  Do not pass it up unless you absolutely, positively have to.  
Even still, unless youíre in a small ship, you won't notice the 
improvement much unless you get several.

Cloaking Organ -  Polaris cloaking device.  Unlike the others, you get 
to keep your shields.  Also unlike the others, it has a very modest 
shield drain that should go unnoticed.  You can use it with "Fire While 
Cloaked" weapons as well for sneaking up on unsuspecting enemies and 
blowing them to bits.  You'll still be on their radar, so they won't be 
leaving the system until you do.  Remember, you become visible if hit.

Cloaking Organ (v1.1) -  The only difference between this one and the 
other is it drains shields half as fast and you are invisible on radar 
too.  Now you can cloak and watch your confused foes leave the system.

Tunneling Organ -  This outfit lets you do a "fast jump".  In other 
words, you don't have to slow down, turn, and all that other stuff to 
jump.  You just slow down a bit and then jump.  Great for escapes and 
makes long routes more convient.

Multi-Jump Organ -  This does the same thing as the Tunneling Organ.  
It also lets you make multiple jumps for the price of one.  When you 
make a hyperjump route, you can complete up to ten jumps in that route 
for the energy and time cost of a single jump.  This is something you 
should have for convenience and meeting those mission deadlines.  This 
also makes hypergates look useless.


Rebel Outfits

Rebels like to use everyone else's technology, so that leaves them with 
very few outfits to call their own.  What they do have will be the best 
available to you in the Rebel storyline, so take a look.

Rebel IR Jammer -  Better than Federation weapons at jamming IR 
missiles, but certainly nowhere near as good as Polaris jammers.

Rebel Radar Jammer -  Same as above, except against Radar Missiles.  
Better than the Federation ones still.

Rebel Cloaking Device -  Itís a lot like the Federation cloaking 
device.  Loss of shields and visible on radar.  However, unlike any 
other non-plug-required cloaking device, if you get hit, you stay 
cloaked.  Very nice.  Note that there is both a legal and illegal 
version.  Which "track" you do in the Rebel storyline determines which 
you get.

Rebel Valkyrie Upgrade -  Like any other upgrade, it makes your civvie 
Valk into a Rebel Valk while loosing outfits.  Cheaper if you had a 
Valk and wanted a Rebel one.

Rebel Starbridge Upgrade -  Same as above, except from civvie 
Starbridge to Rebel Starbridge.


Vell-os "Outfits"

Vell-os have the other large chunk of good outfits.  All of them stay 
with you when you change ships, require no mass, cost nothing, and 
require you to be in the Vell-os storyline... save for one.  All of 
these are very helpful, so take your time looking.

T5 Strength Level -  This nice "outfit" adds some shields and recharges 
them faster.  You get it fairly early in the Vell-os storyline.  It 
also stays with you when you change ships.  Very nice.

T4 Strength Level -  This one is an improvement of the T5, offering 
more shields and recharge.  It also increases the amount of energy you 
can have.

T3 Strength Level -  Even better than the T4, and later in the Vell-os 
storyline, this gives you even more shields, energy, and shield 
recharge.  You now also automatically recharge when you land.

T2 Strength Level -  Better than the T3 strength level.  It doesn't add 
anything new, but improves it even more.  You are also granted this in 
the Polaris storyline at a certain part.  Though, unlike in the Vell-os 
storyline, nobody will come up to you and say "You are now a T2", nor 
will you get the T2 rank.  The outfit will just appear.

T1 Strength Level -  Of course, its better than the T2, offering 
improvements in all areas.  By now even that Viper of yours can take 
more hits than it should.

T0 Strength Level -  The most powerful T strength of them all.  Almost 
at the end of the Vell-os storyline.  Need I say more?

Telekinetic Boost -  Same as the afterburner, except it is massless and 
you keep it when you change ships.

Topographical Sense -  Vell-os ability that is basically a free 
Galactic Map in every system you enter.  When you jump into a system 
and a nearby one is unexplored, it becomes explored.  You get to keep 
it when you change ships.

Physical Sense -  The Vell-os version of the Gravimetric Sensors.  
Unlike the above, however, you keep it when you change ships.

Distraction Sense -  Very good at jamming everything except Polaron 
Torpedoes (which are unjammable by anything).  Itís also free and 
transfers ships with you, so you'll never loose it.

Hostility Sense -  Vell-os IFF Decoder.  You keep it when you change 
ships.


Alien Outfits

You can never get these without a plug.  But because you can use plugs, 
I decided to include them anyways.  Anyways, all of these are massless.

Wraith Fast Jump -  A massless Tunneling Organ basically.

Wraith Cloak -  Best cloak in the game.  Drains nothing and you stay 
invisible when you get hit.  However, you are still visible on radar, 
though that is its only downfall.

Krypt Mind Attack -  This is technically either an Alien or Polaris 
outfit.  Alien because it's Krypt, Polaris because it appears only in 
their storyline.  Krypt threatened me with it to put it here, so this 
it where it goes.  Anyways, the Krypt Mind Attack drops some of your 
systems, such as energy and shields.  You only get it when you first go 
to encounter Krypt.  It'll vanish when you leave Krypt space... or does 
it?  If you have a multi-jump organ, you can get it and sell it in 
Sirusura.  You'll love the description of it.


------------------------------
Techniques
------------------------------

Ship?  Check!  Weapons?  Check!  Outfits?  Check!  We are all set to go 
into battle and destroy anyone who gets in our way.  But, what good is 
having all these shiny weapons and such if we don't know how to use 
them as effectively as possible?  Thatís what we are about to learn.  
Class is now in session.  Pay attention and take notes, there will be 
an exam covering this the next time we meet.

IMPORTANT!  Evasion is key in close range combat, since you need to get 
in close.  You want to be harmed as little as possible so the 
opponent's own close range weapons won't tear you apart... assuming he 
hits you with those.  Be defensive rather than aggressive, but not so 
much that you rarely attack, just a tiny bit more so.  Even in a 
capital ship, it is possible to be evasive, so don't neglect it just 
because you are big and slow.  Also, never, ever neglect to use the 
afterburner if you need to (and often when you don't).  Life is so much 
easier with it, especially if you need to run away.

Another note.  It is now listed below each technique the group size it 
is most effective against.  You can use the technique against other 
sized groups, but keep in mind it may not work as well.

Hit and Run -  The most simple technique and no doubt you either have 
came up with this on your own or know how to do it by reading the name. 
It involves you flying a quick ship against a slow ship, flying past it
(not over) and hitting it quickly with weapons and flying out of range 
of most of its weapons.  Flying out of range of things such as railguns 
is a bit tedious and time wasting, since they can easily be evaded.

Up to medium groups.

Jousting -  This style is similar to hit and run, except your target is 
quick as well and doing pretty much the same as you.  This style, made 
famous by fighter vs. fighter behavior on Escape Velocity Classic and 
Override, involves you and your enemy flying past or over each other, 
shooting as you come close, turning, and repeating until someone wins.  
This really fits its namesake when you and your opponent are only using 
Thunderhead Lances.

Single target.

Harassment -  Doing this you basically fly circles around a ship 
quickly enough to make it sit still (or close to it) while getting in 
hits whenever the opening presents itself.  This really works well with 
inertialess ships and turreted weapons (such as a Dart with Summer 
Bloom).  Though this one tends not to be the quickest, it is very 
effective.

Single target.

Weapons Platform -  When you are in a slow ship against faster ships, 
itís best just to sit still if they don't have railguns and missiles 
bearing on you.  As the enemy nears, open fire with your more than 
likely turreted weapons.  Good if the A.I. starts things at least 
similar to Hit and Run.  If the A.I. somehow starts Harassment on you, 
move.

Any size.

CHARGE! -  This is probably the most dangerous technique to employ, but 
it gets the job done the quickest.  Without giving any regard to 
evasive tactics, just rush head on at the intended target and unload 
your weapons upon it.  Don't do this in a prolonged fight, or you'll be 
dust.

Any size.

Isolate and Destroy -  A group of enemies giving you a hassle?  Are 
they sitting on top of each other basically?  Thatís where this one 
comes in.  It works best with ionizing weapons.  Start it using Hit and 
Run or Harassment techniques, trying to use ionization and impact to 
separate a ship from the group.  Once isolated, move in and kill it.  
You'll find yourself doing this against defense fleets a bit too much 
to be occasional.

Single target, but you'll be engaging a group to get the target out 
of it.

Strafe -  This can be integrated into other tactics.  It works only 
with non-turreted weapons, preferably beams.  Do a Hit and Run flight 
pattern, except don't go as fast as you can, making sure you'll be near 
the target for a few seconds as you pass.  When you do get near, 
release your thrust button and hit auto-pilot and fire until you are 
out of range to hit the enemy.  If multiple enemies are more or less 
lined up, you strafe them one by one.

Up to medium groups, though on occasion it works against large groups 
too.

Monty Pythoning -  Ok, this one is hardly a close combat flying 
technique, but it is very popular among long range fighters.  Three 
reasons I'm including it are 1) I like Monty Python.  2) I'm sure I'll 
get at least one email asking why it isn't in here if I don't include 
it.  3) This is probably one of only two techniques long range fighters 
use, the other being a long range version of Weapons Platform.  
Basically, you fly backwards, usually at full speed, holding down 
auto-pilot and fire, and pressing the nearest target key.  The A.I. 
will never do this, so don't worry about that.

Any size.

Qannol Maneuver -  Another not-so-close range fighting style, but it is 
rather amusing which is why I have it here.  The person who created it 
goes by the name of Qannol, as expected, and is known for doing crazy 
and strange things, such as disabling Scarabs in a Shuttle armed with a 
T-Head Lance and getting eight Kestrels on the screen at once without 
plugs.  Basically, you get a Nilkimas Manta, unarmed, and fill it with 
defensive and speed tech.  Then you get six Nilk Raven Escorts.  When 
in battle, you stay close to the enemy, evading and distracting them 
from attacking your escorts.  Itís amusing and fun.  It also gives you 
bragging rights to say "I'll kill you in an unarmed Manta!"

Any size.

Backstab -  And now, back to our feature presentation:  Close Range 
Fighting Techniques.  This is probably the cheapest (not credit wise) 
way to kill something.  Find a ship that is not hostile to you.  Get 
behind it and open fire.  Depending on your weapons and the target, it 
could be dead before it can hostile you.  An example of a time this 
will be useful is when you want to raid the traders or demand tribute 
from a planet but want to remove that Federation Carrier first.

Normally one target, but you could ambush a few all at once.

Mosquito -  This may be the funniest and most amusing technique around.
First, it requires a small, fast, inertialess ship like the Dart and an 
impactless weapon.  First, find a victim that is slower than you and 
get it to hostile you if it hasn't done so.  Let it expend its missiles,
fighters, etc.  Then, fly right at it and keep auto-pilot on.  If you 
keep your speed in check, you'll "attach" yourself to the other ship, 
which will proceed to fly circles and fire turrets at you if it has any.
Use your weapons while attached to kill it.  This is very fun to do on 
Ravens.

Single target.

Machine Gunning -  This is more of an exploit than a technique.  But it 
certainly is useful.  To do it, you need a continuous beam weapon that 
stays on the screen for longer than you hold the fire button.  It also 
needs to have a reload time shorter than its life.  This leaves few 
stock weapons.  The most noticeable is the Winter Tempest.  When 
fighting a ship, rapidly tap fire and the shots will "stack", 
inflicting more damage than usual.  In the case of energy drain, it 
will drain faster, but it is worth it.

As many as you can hit.

Parallelogram Maneuver - Similiar to Strafing.  This, however, only 
works with non-turreted beam weapons.  Approach your target while 
flying sideways like a strafe, except at a 45 degree angle.  Also, do 
not hold down autopilot or attempt to aim.  Instead, fire in the beams, 
causing them to "move smoothly like the plow of a bulldozer through 
space."  When you pass, readjust your beam angle and repeat.  This 
technique helps aiming non-turreted beams alot, since they only have 
roughly 36 different directions they can fire at, where as non-turreted 
non-beam weapons have 360 directions.

Small to medium group.

-----------------------------------------------------
Long Range Combat Guide
-----------------------------------------------------

Letís be fair to our long range using brothers.  Why not include a 
guide for them here as well?  Here is how you too can enjoy the dull, 
talentless style of long range combat.

WARNING!  The following is not meant to be taken seriously.  

1.  Get a big ship with lots of space, preferably one that is really 
slow and moves at the speed of snails.

2.  Get lots of railguns, you'll need about 1000 tons of space so you 
can fit them all.

3.  Go to a store and buy some weights for holding down individual keys.

4.  Find an enemy and put paper weights on auto-pilot and fire.  Make 
sure to choose between sitting still and flying backwards.  

5.  Go and do something far more entertaining until you are sure the 
enemy is dead.  If you are fighting a defense fleet you might want to 
rent a movie or find a nice, long book.

And there you have it, the way that you too can fight at long range!  
No, seriously, stick with close combat. Itís far more exciting and I 
have been told by some people who found the game dull using long range 
that close range combat makes it far more fun.  I also found that out 
myself, since I did use long range at one time before and almost 
thought my $30 for registration was a waste since it was so boring.  
But if you still want long range, I can't stop you.

Long Range Guide Disclaimer:  I will ignore any angry emails about my 
view point on long range.  Everyone is permitted to have their own 
opinions.


-------------------------------------------------------
Frequently Asked Questions
-------------------------------------------------------

In this section you'll find answers to questions that many people have 
asked.  This section exists only because I'm tired of answering these 
questions over and over.  Hopefully you'll find your question and 
answer here.  It'll save us both time in dealing with email.

Q:  Is the Internal Wave Buster (or other plug weapon, ship, outfit) 
good for close combat?

A:  I don't know, chances are I never played the plug.  I'm only 
dealing with the stock scenario in this guide.  If I start bringing up 
stuff for some plugs, I'll have to do it for all.  I don't have the 
time or the will to do that.  I also doubt you want to read a 100 page 
guide, do you?

Q:  Why didn't you reply to my email?

A:  I don't reply to general comments and such.  If it has a question 
or something else that demands reply, I will send a reply.  Comments 
are always appreciated, but don't expect me to send a "thank you for 
your comment" email.  I don't have the time.  You also may have had an 
attachment.  Attachments are 'no-no's.  Shame on you for sending an 
attachment.

Q:  Where can I get good plugs?

A:  www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/addons

Q:  Do you have AIM, MSN, etc.?

A:  No.  Even if I did, I wouldn't give my name here - I don't have 
time to answer everyone in real time.  I'm allowed to have fun too you 
know.

Q:  Why do you say Railguns are bad for close combat?  You can use them 
to damage the enemy if your shields are too low.

A:  If that happens then one of three things must be true.  1) You got 
unlucky.  2) You're not good at close combat.  3) You're careless.  
2 & 3 is 90% more likely and can be fixed.  #1 is just part of the 
risk.  Besides, you can reduce bad luck by disintegrating your enemy 
into bits much faster with the close ranged weapons you can add in 
place of all the space used on Railguns.

Q:  How should I modify my ship?

A:  You decide.  I'm just here to make suggestions and recommendations. 
Hopefully you are capable of choosing what you want... right?

Q:  I got .  Is it good for close combat?

A:  Maybe.  There are tons of pers (perses?) flying around.  I have 
considered making a section to mention them, but I decided against it.  
It's obvious that Iuso is overpowered and Juno's Daughter sucks.  Just 
grab Atmosian ships.  Remember, many of the good pers ships are 
overstuffed, so don't sell outfits.  You won't get any free mass.

Q:  Why are you and are you not the "Last of the Voidians"?

A:  ::Cryptic Grin::

Q:  Whats with VXI?

A:  ::Again, Cryptic Grin::

Q:  I followed a Hyperoid and I didn't see anything special that I 
haven't seen.  What am I supposed to find?  Captain Hector's nest?

A: No.  If you don't want it spoiled, quit reading the answer now.  
What you are supposed to find is a wormhole.  Itís like a hypergate, 
except you get sent to random wormholes instead of picking your 
destination.


-----------------------------
Contact Info
-----------------------------

Questions?  Comments?  Did I have incorrect information on something?  
Do you have a flying technique that I didn't include?  If you're a 
member on the Ambrosia webboards, you can send me a PM.  Account is 
JoshTigerheart.  If you want to email me, send them to 
TwilightPhoenix@fastermail.com.  Make sure to have something like 
"Combat Guide" as the subject.  Also, no attachments unless I am 
expecting one from you.  Finally, hate mail will be ignored, deleted, 
and blocked.


-----------------------------
Credits
-----------------------------

Mispeled - Suggested the Armor > Shields thing to show whether a weapon 
deals more damage to shield or armor.

Edwards - Pointed out almost every single grammatical, typographical, 
and factual error in the 1.00 release.

MK.32 - Gave me hard evidence on the 150mm vs. 200mm Railgun debate to 
determine which is better.  He also, pointed out some areas that needed 
clarification.

Qannol - Pointed out a typo and suggested hints on dealing with various 
weapons.  He also submitted the Parallelogram Maneuver for techniques.  
Hopefully I worded it properly.

~vIsitor~ -  Pointed out some clarifications for the Ion Cannons and 
Pirate Enterprise.

Paradigm -  Went through and corrected more typos than I care to even 
begin to count.


--------------------------------------
Other Works by Me
--------------------------------------

As of Feruary 2, 2006, these are the other Nova works I completed.  
They can be found on the Ambrosia addons page, which is 
www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/addons

I'd also put other GameFAQs guides here if I had any... 

Salvo Weapons -  This plug causes multiple launchers of a certain 
weapon, such as Medium Blasters or Radar Missiles, to fire at the same 
time rather than after each other.

Spinning Weapons -  Makes all the weapon graphics spin.  Warning:  you 
may get dizzy.

Dodge This! -  Weapon shots move 3 times faster than normal.

Hit This! -  Weapon shots move 3 times slower than normal.

Scatter Weapons -  Weapons fire in random directions.  Very fun to put 
it in your friend's plug-ins folder when he least suspects.  Don't try 
to play the game seriously like this though.

Leviathan Warship -  Adds a new variant of the Leviathan, the Warship 
Class.  It will appear randomly, and can also be purchased in shipyards 
if you met the requirements to get the stock Leviathan.

EVN Board Variants -  Adds five new variants, four of the five ideas of 
people from the Ambrosia boards and the last my own.  They are the 
Lightning Intercepter Class, Rebel Lightning Missile Variant, Modified 
Starbridge Destroyer Variant, Federation Scoutship L.R.R., and IDA 
Frigate 1180 N.C.  Check the readme included with the plug for credit 
to those who came up with the ideas.

Longer Battles -  All ships have twice as much shields and armor.

EVN Azdara - Lets you have the Azdara from EVO.

Super Defense Fleets - Defense fleets too easy?  This plug makes them 
much more of a challenge by adding "System Defense" ships which are 
incredibly strong variants of normal in game ships.

EVC Descs - Simple plug that alters and/or adds to the planet 
descriptions in the Escape Velocity Classic conversion.  It makes 
planets a bit more interesting than the old one-line commentaries.

--------------------------------------
Version History
--------------------------------------

1.00 - The initial release.

1.01 - Ok, thereís a bit.  In short, fixed a lot of factual, spelling, 
and grammar errors, and added whether weapons are good against shields 
or armor.  I also added an .rtf copy which should be more compatible.  
It doesn't look as nice as the .doc format, which is why I decided to 
have both.

For those who care, this is the long list of the factual errors.  
Credit goes to Edwards for pointing all of these out.

Factual

- Stated that the Light Cannon is heavier then Light Blasters, when in 
truth it is lighter.

- Failed to state that illegal Quad Light Blaster Turrets are only 
available in the Rebel storyline.

- Stated that Stellar Grenades were free fall bombs, when in reality 
they are free flight rockets that slow to a stop.  Don't ask how that 
works.

- Confirmed that Sensor Boosts do not aid Raven Rocket Turrets.  I 
tested it and so have a few others.

- Added information about the "blast does not hurt player" bug for the 
Hellhound and EMP Torpedoes.

- Added information on the exponential beam bug for Thunderhead Lances.

- Stated that EW Missiles track cloaked targets.  They don't.  Also 
said they are unjammable, but the Polaris can jam them.

- Fusion Pulse Battery only has 90 degree radius.  Flying really fast 
makes it appear to have 180 degree radius.

- Added bit about how 200mm Railguns might not be the baddest railgun 
around.

- Removed piece about Vell-os "T" abilities in the Vell-os weapon intro 
increasing energy regen.  They don't.  See below for more information.

- Mentioned that the Winter Tempest has insane energy drain.

- Clarified that EMPs are illegal everywhere, not just to the Feds.

- Clarified and separated the bit about the Mac 1.08 Bio-Relay Laser 
bug.

- Corrected that Polaron Torpedoes actually have more range then any 
other missile rather then less.  It just appears they have less.  Dang 
illusions... 

- Added bit about how the "Rebel Wraithii Trick" doesn't work the same 
way in Mac 1.08 as it does in other versions.

- Added that the Leviathan only has 4000 tons of space in Mac 1.08 
rather than 5000.

- Corrected in the bit about the Thunderforge being my favorite ship 
that you won't have the gun slots for Ion Cannons.  Yes, they use gun 
slots for some reason.

- Added which specific Striker variants are inertialess, now that I 
know which ones are.

- Added in the Zephyr info that CATS' Leviathan stays red in Mac 1.08.  
Wish it did in Win 1.06... 

- Clarified the origins of the Rebel Destroyer Super Heavy Destroyer 
Class 2

- Corrected that two Solar Panels are better then the Fission Reactor 
in its information.  They still take more space... 

- Clarified the areas of improvement offered by Port and Polish.

- Clarified the areas of improvement offered by Vectored Thrust.

- Clarfied that itís the cheap Thorium Reactor that goes boom, not the 
normal one.

- Added bit about how the Moash IFF Projector doesn't appear in later 
versions due to a bug.

- Fixed that the 'T' abilities increase shield regen instead of giving 
energy regen.

1.02 - Added some things I missed.  Added an FAQ section as well as a 
credits section.  A few fixes.  Here it is in detail for those 
interested.

NEW!

- Added the Rage Gunboat.  How did I forget to add that?

- Added the Krypt Mind Attack.

-Added a credits section.

-Added a FAQ section.

Changes

- Make the version numbers in the version history stand out a bit 
better in the downloadable versions.

- Rewrote the Hail Chaingun description in light of new discoveries.  
Its not so bad as I originally thought it was.

- Had to add a comment that Storm Chainguns don't compete with Hail 
Chainguns.  Period.

- Fixed the Table of Contents for the new sections.

Fixes

- Changed the author name in the GameFAQs version to reflect my G
ameFAQs account name, not my Ambrosia Web Board's account name.

- Fixed numerous typos.  I didn't make a long list for two reasons this 
time.  1) I was too lazy.  2) I doubt you care about every typo I made. 
If a lot of people do, I'll do a typo list if I find anymore in the 
next version... assuming there is a next version.


1.03 -  Updated the guide for 1.09.  I no longer support any version 
before 1.09.  Use this guide in conjunction at your own risk.

NEW!

- Added a couple of new questions to the FAQ section.

- Added a copyright section.  See it for more details of why it is 
there.

- Added User Modified Ionic Particle Beam under the Pirate weapons as a 
clarification.  These are in the game, but you've probably never 
noticed them.

- Added hints under each weapon and ship for dealing with it when you 
have to fight it.

- Added the Parallelogram Maneuver.

Changes

- Removed all references to previous versions of Nova.  All information 
is now for 1.09.  The guide is still (mostly) relevant to earlier 
versions, but your mileage will vary.

- Now combat techniques refer to the group size they are most effective 
against.

- Its official!  150mm Railguns have a higher DPS (damage per 
second) than 200mm!

- Removed that huge list of typos for the 1.02 update.  It was rather 
unnecessary.

- All references to earlier versions of Nova are now gone.

Fixes

-Clarified that the Rebel and Civvie Mod Starbridges are both 
considered to be the best Starbridge.  As to which is better, that is 
up for debate.

-Dr. Ralph's Map explores 10 jumps, not the entire galaxy.  The desc 
for the outfit has been fixed for this information.

-Clarified that there are two Heavy Weapons Pirate Enterprises.  Made 
remarks on their various armaments.

-Tons of typos.



--------------------------------
Copyright Info
--------------------------------

This guide is copyrighted and therefore subject to international 
copyright laws.  GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) and Super Cheats 
(www.supercheats.com) are permitted to have it viewable as they do any 
other guide.  Ambrosia (www.ambrosiasw.com) is permitted to let it be 
downloaded via www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/addons.  Anyone else is not
permitted to distribute it or use it on their website.  If you wish to 
use it, contact me and we'll discuss.  Please note that I will not let 
you use the current version, since I'll have to update this little 
section.  All rights not explicitly permitted in this section are 
reserved.
 

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