Chapter 2

Base design

Building a base is not so easy. You cannot just build anywhere, you have to put some thought into building before being completely drowned in your all base, especially when the base reaches a T3 level and begins to expand over entire areas. Some buildings have an interest in being together, when others need space around them and cannot be built in pack, like the T2 or T3 mass fabricators. You must also think of long distance and lightning attacks that will inevitably hit your base in a long time game. In the end, you will also see that your engineers will become less efficient because the increase of the size of the base means more time to go from a point to another for them. Also, the increase of their number will lead to traffic jam every time they move.

Factories

It's one of the first buildings to be built in your base, generally the first one in FA. During the very beginning of a game, it's a quite expensive building to make, but after a couple of minutes, building a factory will be a negligible expense of your production (but be careful : upgrading it still will not). Most of the time, a base is built around the first or second factory. But not all factories have the same characteristics. Let's look at some data about them :

Air factory

building name

air factory

initial cost

226 meu

first upgrade cost

708 meu

second upgrade cost

2828 meu

An air factory (all factions included) costs 226 meu. It's the cheapest factory in the game, and so the first you should build in a large map, where you will not need to drive back a rush. It's also the cheapest to upgrade. The first upgrade will cost you 708 meu, an the second one, 2828 meu. The Cybran air factories have the least hit points, the UEF air factories have the most as you can see below :

faction

T1 air factory hp

T2 air factory hp

T3 air factory hp

Aeon

4400

8200

20000

Cybran

4200

7800

19000

UEF

4800

9000

22000

Seraphim

4600

8600

21000

Notice building an air factory as first factory rather than a land one is literally suicide on 5x5 and 10x10 maps : if the enemy rushes you with land units, an air factory will not be of any help. With such factory, the only ways you will have to drive back a land rush will be T1 point defenses, planes, and your commander. Planes are way too expensive to be used quickly in the beginning of the game. And if the enemy uses T1 mobile artilleries, your T1 point defenses will be useless (they have a smaller range than the T1 mobile artilleries). Your only weapon becomes the commander. The commander is maybe strong, but he is incredibly slow : the enemy can simply disperse his units in your base and you're screwed. For small maps, you must always choose to build first a land factory even if it's not the best economic choice as we will see. This rule assumes of course that the no rush option is off.

Land factory

building name

land factory

initial cost

254 meu

first upgrade

848 meu

second upgrade

3339 meu

A land factory (all factions included) costs 254 meu. The first upgrade will cost you 848 meu, an the second one, 3339 meu. It is generally the most often built factory during a game, and it is the first factory you have to build if you want to rush. Like with the air factories and the naval factories, the UEF have land factories with a little more hp than the other factions and the Cybran faction has the weakest ones in term of hp. It is, by the way, a general characteristic of the UEF and the Cybrans : lots of the UEF buildings have more hp than those of the other factions and lots of the Cybran buildings have less hp than those of the other factions. Here is a comparative table again :

faction

T1 land factory hp

T2 land factory hp

T3 land factory hp

Aeon

4400

8200

20000

Cybran

4200

7800

19000

UEF

4800

9000

22000

Seraphim

4600

8200

21000

You can notice that these values are exactly the same as the ones related to the air factories, except for the Seraphims : for some reason, their T2 land factory has 400 hp less than their T2 air factory.

Naval factory

building name

naval factory

initial cost

310 meu

first upgrade

1206 meu

second upgrade

5556 meu

A naval factory (all factions included again) costs 310 meu. The first upgrade will cost you 1206 meu, an the second one, 5556 meu. It's the most expensive factory to build and upgrade in the game (it was the cheapest in SupCom alone !). The T2 naval factory is very important because it can build mobile units with the biggest ranges of attack available among all T2 mobile units. Building a naval factory is almost always the best way to win the game on a water map. Here are the hit points of every naval factory :

faction

T1 naval factory hp

T2 naval factory hp

T3 naval factory hp

Aeon

4400

16000

37500

Cybran

4200

15000

34000

UEF

4800

18000

40000

Seraphim

4600

17000

38000

For each faction, the T2 and T3 naval factories are much stronger than the T2 and T3 air or land factories. A spiderbot will need ten seconds to destroy the UEF T3 naval factory with its destructive laser beam ! The knowledge of these hit points will be used in the next chapter.

Economic rush means technological rush

We know from chapter one that the higher your technological level is, the more efficient your ability to improve your economy becomes. For building a T2 mass fabricator, the most efficient mass fabricator available, you have to be on the T2 level and for building a T3 power plant, the most efficient power plant available, you have to be on the T3 level. An economic rush implies a technological rush. The question is : how to reach higher technological levels the fastest way possible ?

We know from previous section the cheapest factory to build and upgrade is the air factory. For instance, being able to build economic buildings of the T2 level will require the following sequence : building a factory upgrading it producing a T2 engineer. It is, for the air factory, 226 meu + 708 meu + 165.6 meu = 1099.6 meu, where 165.6 meu is the cost of a T2 engineer, which is the same for the four factions. The same sequence with a land factory will be 254 meu + 848 meu + 165.6 meu = 1267.6 meu. We spend 168 meu more than with an air factory, but the difference isn't very big (168 meu is the cost of about two T1 power plants), although not totally negligible in the beginning of the game. with a naval factory, we spend 310 + 1206 + 165.6 = 1681.6 meu, 582 meu more than with an air factory.

But there is another way to reach higher technological levels : the commander. Every commander can upgrade itself to become a T2 and even a T3 builder. Upgrade names : LCH Tech 2 Engineering Suite and LCH Tech 3 Engineering Suite. The cost for upgrading the commander that way is 840 meu for reaching the T2 level, all factions included. That sounds interesting if we compare 840 to 1099.6 (T2 level with an air factory) or to 1267.6 meu (T2 level with a land factory). However, the comparison of 840 versus 1099.6 or 1267.6 is a lie. When you decide to reach the T2 level using a factory, you always already have an air or land factory and do not need to build a new one. Reaching the T2 level with an already existing air factory cost thus 708 + 165.6 meu = 873.6 meu. Reaching the T2 level with an already existing land factory costs 1013.6 meu. But even so, the commander remains the cheapest way to reach the T2 level an therefore, the fastest one. Nevertheless, notice that using an existing T1 air factory for reaching the T2 level costs only 33.6 meu more than with the commander.

Reaching the T3 level with the commander costs 2733.33 meu (we assume the LCH Tech 2 Engineering Suite upgrade is already completed). Reaching the T3 level from a T2 air factory will cost 2828 meu + 511 meu = 3339 meu, where 511 meu is the cost of a T3 engineer (all factions included). Reaching the T3 level from a T2 land factory will cost 3339 + 511 = 3850 meu. The commander is again the cheapest and therefore the fastest way of reaching the T3 level.

If you need to reach higher technological levels the fastest way possible and for another reason than building an army, you should use your commander. Moreover, upgrading your commander that way will improve its hp and regeneration rate.

Engineering units

The conventional engineering units are the T1, T2 and T3 engineers, the T3 support armored command unit and the commander itself. Every faction features these five engineering units. Every building and every experimental unit can be built by at least one of these five units. They are also used to repair injured units, to exploit local rocks, flora and enemy units, to capture an enemy unit, or to assist a factory or any construction in progress.

Other engineering units are, for the UEF faction, the T2 field engineer and the T2 and T3 engineering stations, which functionally are factories able to produce a limited number of T1 engineering drones. The UEF commander and UEF support armored command units have the ability to build drones as well, although these drones are not exactly identical to those from the UEF engineering stations. Aeons and Seraphims don't have any special engineering units and Cybrans can only build T2 engineering stations, but the Cybran station is more like an usual engineer that cannot move or build something by itself : it's not a factory for drones. In this section, I will only speak of the conventional engineering units, the other engineering units will be added in the future.

But first, we have to complete our study of the draining ability from previous chapter with the build rate.

Build rate and draining ability

If you look the specification sheet of an engineering unit in the SupCom Database, you can notice, right after the build time of the unit, the build rate of the unit. What is the build rate ? For engineering units, the allowed values range from 5 (T1 engineer) to 90 (upgraded commander or upgraded T3 support armored command unit). Basically, it means that an upgraded commander will build anything 18 times faster than a T1 engineer (provided of course that the energy and mass gauges will not be emptied before the end of the launched construction).

However, engineering units aren't the only ones to have a build rate. Every factory and in fact every building or experimental unit that can upgrade itself and/or produce something has also a build rate. The only exception is for the T1 assault bot from the Cybrans, Mantis : this unit cannot build anything or upgrade itself but can only assist something in progress. For instance, all T1 factories have a build rate of 20, all T2 factories have a build rate of 40 and all T3 factories have a build rate of 60. All T1 mass extractors have a build rate of 10, the UEF T2 static shield generator has build rate of 15, the Cybran static shield generator first, second, third and fourth version has a build rate of 10. Let's draw a comprehensive table of all this :

building or experimental unit name

build rate

T1 factory

20

T2 factory

20

T3 factory

60

T3 quantum gateway

120

T1 mass extractor

10

T2 mass extractor

15

T2 tactical missile launcher

80

T3 strategic missile launcher

1080

Seraphim experimental missile launcher

2160

T3 strategic missile submarine

1080

T3 strategic missile defense

1080

Cybran static shield generator first, second, third and fourth version

10

UEF T2 static shield generator

15

Seraphim T2 static shield generator

10

T1 radar system

10

T2 radar system

15

T1 sonar system

10

T2 sonar system

15

Cybran T1 assault bot : Mantis

1

T3 aircraft carrier

150

Aeon experimental aircraft carrier

180

Aeon experimental battleship

100

Cybran experimental megabot

180

UEF experimental mobile factory

180

UEF experimental aircraft carrier

240

if no faction is specified for a building or experimental unit in the table, the build rate of this building or experimental unit is the same for the four factions.

Notice we have in this table four values that are quite bigger than the 21 others. The build rate of the T3 strategic missile launcher, the T3 strategic missile defense and the T3 strategic missile submarine is 1080. The build rate of the Seraphim experimental missile launcher is 2160. These four units can only build strategic missiles or anti-nuke missiles.

But a build rate alone can only be used to make comparison with another build rate. For instance, the Seraphim experimental missile launcher can build its missile 432 times faster than an assisting T1 engineer ! A T2 factory, with a build rate of 40, will produce its units or upgrade itself twice as fast than a T1 factory. But what about the effects on your economy ? It's impossible to answer this question by just using the build rate : we also need the build times and the mass and energy costs.

We know from chapter one that if you decide to build a T3 power plant, the draining ability on your economy in term of energy is 10.67 and in term of mass is 0.6. But I didn't tell you back then how exactly these numbers are going to affect your economy. I just said that the bigger they are, the faster your energy and mass reserves will be drained. But it's obvious if you build a T3 power plant that you're neither going to consume -0.6 mass units every second nor -10.67 energy units a second. It depends of the type and the number of engineering units involved in the construction process. To really see how many mass and energy units you're going to use a second, you have to apply the following formula :

where the variable “i” states for a type of unit having a build rate : a T3 engineer for instance. is the number of units of type i involved in the construction process and is the build rate for the unit of type i. If you use three T3 engineers, will become three and will become 15.

Let's try a quick example. You want to build a T1 power plant with one T1 engineer. The build rate of a T1 engineer is 5 and the draining ability for a T1 power plant is 6 in term of energy and 0.6 in term of mass. You will consume therefore 30 energy units a second and 3 mass unit a second during the construction process. If you use two T1 engineers, you will consume 60 energy unit a second and 6 mass unit a second, but it will last half the time compared with one T1 engineer of course.

Let's now imagine a more complicated case. You suspect the enemy to build a nuclear launcher and want to hurry the production of your anti-nuke missile with all you've got as build force (we will assume you already have a nuclear defense, but no anti-nuke missile yet). What will be the impact on your economy ? The draining ability of the mass production for an anti-nuke missile is 3600 divided by 259200 (where 259200 = build time of an anti-nuke missile), giving us 0.014. The draining ability of the energy production is 360000 divided by 259200 equal to 1.39. These two numbers, 1.39 and especially 0.014, are very small as draining abilities (and are in fact the smallest draining abilities we have calculated so far !). That's precisely why the build rate of the T3 strategic missile defense is so huge. If the T3 strategic missile defense would have, let's say, 60 as a build rate, it would take 72 minutes to the strategic missile defense to build an anti-nuke missile by itself ! Fortunately, with 1080 as a build rate, the T3 strategic missile defense needs “only” four minutes to finish a counter missile. But of course, four minutes still remains too much if the enemy has almost completed his nuclear missile.

To help our strategic missile defense, we are going to put on it 10 T1 engineers, 10 T2 enginers, 10 T3 engineers and the commander with the maximum build rate available, 90. To obtain the total energy consumption, we have first to add the following consumptions (recall our above formula) : , , and , giving us a total of -542.1 for the energy consumption. By itself, the strategic missile defense will consume : = -1501.2 energy unit a second and so we see that, even with the quite big build force added, we do not give a huge help. This is also true for the mass (try to make the calculation by yourself, you should find 4.2 + 15.12 = -19.32 mass units a second for the mass consumption instead of -15.12).

I guess it's the result of what the creators of the game had in mind. Units with a huge build rate are typically units that you cannot easily assist. The Seraphim experimental launcher is the best example : to hope divide the time of production of a missile by only two, you need to assist the experimental launcher with 144 T3 engineers (144 multiplied by 15 is equal to 2160) ! And because the draining ability on your economy is very small again in this case, you will not even see a big change for your economy by using these 144 T3 engineers : -10/-100 will become -20/-200.

Conventional engineering units

Armored command unit

Your commander is the unit from which every war begins and from where every war ends in an assassination game. It is the first unit you will have in most of your games. We already know that it can be upgraded (Back Resource Allocation System, Back Advanced Resource Allocation System, LCH Tech 2 Engineering Suite, LCH Tech 3 Engineering Suite), but we still did not speak of it as a weapon (see chapter 4) or as an engineering unit.

In it's basic version, without any upgrade performed, every commander can build any building from the T1 level, except the radar, the sonar, and the energy and mass storages. It has a build rate of 10, that's the build force of only two T1 engineers. While moving, it's maximum speed is 1.7 distance unit a second, making it the slowest mobile engineering unit available. He needs 30 seconds to travel the radius of action of a T2 point defense !

The armored command unit is very interesting to use for an economic rush, as we already saw a few sections ago. What we did not speak of was that the LCH Tech 2 and Tech 3 Engineering Suite upgrades will increase the build rate of your commander to 30 and 90, respectively. With a build rate of 90, the commander is worth six T3 engineers.

T1 engineer

The T1 engineer is the same for the four faction except for two things : the hits points, and the Aeon and Seraphim T1 engineer have the “hover” ability, meaning they can go on water without being afraid of enemy submarines or torpedo launchers. Cybran and UEF T1 engineer can also go on water, but they can be destroyed by enemy torpedoes or submarines. The T1 engineer costs 53.73 meu. It doesn't sound very much, but it's nonetheless one of the most expensive T1 land unit. Here is a recapitulative table :

faction

T1 engineer hit points

T1 engineer cost

T1 engineer build rate

Aeon

Cybran

UEF

Seraphim

120

145

150

125

53.73 meu

5

With a build rate of 5, we can easily calculate that four T1 engineers are equal to the build force of a T1 factory. However, a T1 land factory costs 254 meu, while four T1 engineers cost 214.92 meu. Same statement of fact for the T1 air factory (226 meu) and the T1 naval factory (310 meu) : four T1 engineers are cheaper. If you want to spend your economy on producing combat units, it's more cost effective to assist a T1, T2 or T3 land factory with T1 engineers rather than building several T1, T2 or T3 factories. If your goal is to produce the biggest number of combat units possible, then you should always put the maximum of T1 engineers you can on the factories already built before making another. Avoid, however, blocking your unit's path out of your land or naval factory if there are too many engineers around it !

T2 engineer

Like the T1 engineer, the T2 engineer has the same cost for the four factions : 165.6 meu, making it one of the cheapest land units of its technological level this time. Seraphim and Aeon T2 engineer still have the hover ability, while the T2 engineer from the UEF and Cybran factions are still vulnerable against enemy submarines and torpedo launchers if they go on water. The hit points of the T2 engineer are not the same for the four factions :

faction

T2 engineer hit points

T2 engineer cost

T2 engineer build rate

Aeon

Cybran

UEF

Seraphim

620

710

730

640

165.6 meu

10

Two T2 engineers have the same build force than a T1 factory. But this time, the cost of these engineers is bigger than the cost of a new T1 factory (331.2 versus 226 for the T1 air factory, 254 for the T1 land factory, 310 for the T1 naval factory). In fact the T1 engineer is the cheapest way to increase your build force in the game. But if it's not cost effective to assist a T1 factory with T2 engineers, this is not true for a T2 factory ! A T2 factory has a build rate of 40, equal to four T2 engineers. Four engineers costs 662.4 meu, less than a T2 air, land or naval factory. Let's summarize : T1 engineer are the cheapest way to increase your build force but it remains cost effective to assist T2 factories with T2 engineers, although it's best to use T1 ones.

T3 engineer

The T3 engineer costs, all factions included, 511 meu (we already used this value in the beginning of the chapter). Two T3 engineers cost almost the same price than a T2 power plant ! However, it is one of the cheapest land units of its technological level. Here is a table again :

faction

T3 engineer hit points

T3 engineer cost

T3 engineer build rate

Aeon

Cybran

UEF

Seraphim

1180

1425

1500

1230

511 meu

15

Three T1 engineers cost 161.19 meu and have together the same build force than a T3 engineer. The conclusion is obvious : if you need to increase your build force, T3 engineers aren't a good choice. You should try to use them only to launch construction from the T3 or T4 level. In other words, only to do the work a T1 or T2 engineer cannot do. My advice is to use T3 engineers with several assisting T2 ones and to avoid making up groups of T3 engineers, although it's a good way to avoid having traffic jam in your base (T3 engineers are a quite compact build force in comparison of T1 engineers).

T3 support armored command unit

T3 support armored command units have a build rate of 60 : they are worth four T3 engineers or 12 T1 engineers. The cost isn't the same for the four factions but in every case, it's the most expensive way of increasing your build force. The only reason a player has to build this unit during the game is if he wants to construct something under possible heavy fire, or to use it as a combat unit (see chapter 4) or to decrease traffic jams in his main base (T3 support armored command unit is a very compact way of having a build force). The T3 support armored command unit is incredibly strong with a minimum of 30000 hit points (hp for the Aeon unit) and it can also repairs itself with a regeneration rate of minimum 15 hp/s (regeneration rate for the Seraphim unit). You can even upgrade it to try increase these values and add to it a strong shield generator (except for the Cybran one). We will discuss all this in chapter 4.

Right now, all we need to know is that this unit can build anything from the T1 to the T4 level and that the Aeon, Cybran and Seraphim unit can be upgraded to have a build rate of 90, just like the commander. Here is a table again :

faction

hit points

meu cost

mass production

energy production

default build rate

Aeon

Cybran

UEF

Seraphim

30000

38000

32000

31000

8782

9800

10360

10080

+3

+2

+2

+5

+300

+175

+200

+500

60

notice from this table every T3 support armored command unit is a mass and energy producer. However, we can calculate that the Seraphim unit, producing +8.33 meu/sec, will need 20 minutes and 10 seconds to pay back its cost ! Using Seraphim T3 armored command units as mass and energy producer isn't interesting. However, Aeon, Cybran and UEF units don't need so much time to pay back their cost if your performed for each of them the RCH Resource Allocation System upgrade. But even so, it's not a cost effective way of producing mass and energy at all because you still need too much time to pay back the cost of all this. Moreover, you need a quantum gateway to build the T3 support armored command unit, adding and extra cost to it.

T3 quantum gateway

The quantum gateway has only one purpose : producing T3 support armored command units. It costs 3200 meu and has 10000 hp, for all factions. Without any help, every quantum gateway needs five minutes to produce a unit. Because the build rate of this building is 120 (for all factions), you need 8 T3 engineers to halve the build time of a T3 support armored command unit. Since the T3 support armored command unit doesn't cost the same amount of mass and energy for the four factions, the energy and mass consumptions aren't exactly the same during the five minutes needed by the gateway to produce a unit :

unit name

mass consumption

energy consumption

Aeon T3 quantum gateway

-29

-410

Cybran T3 quantum gateway

-30

-400

UEF T3 quantum gateway

-32

-380

Seraphim T3 quantum gateway

-31

-390

The energy consumptions aren't really big for the T3 level. But the mass consumptions aren't negligible : to produce one T3 support armored command unit, you will need a little more than the production of a T3 mass extractors surrounded by mass storages during five minutes !

Problems with huge bases

Spread build force

In very long games, your base can grow up to an incredible size. But having such a large base isn't so easy to rule. The first problem you will have is that moving your engineers from one side to another will sometimes take minutes and you know you cannot afford that, especially if you are moving a lots of engineers that were previously at work, because during the “travel time to another work”, they will not spend your production, which can lead to some waste.

My advice is to never centralize the building force. You should spread groups of ten units (more will result in traffic jam every time they have to move a little) all over the base. You can also decrease traffic jam by building some T3 engineers or some T3 support armored command units rather than T1 and T2 engineers. And if you play with the UEF faction, try to use the T2 and T3 engineering stations to decrease traffic jam : the drones they produce will never create any traffic jam, simply because they fly.

Linear development

Another problem with large base is the difficulty in protecting it. Most players try to do something compact, because it's of course easier to protect. The paradox is that something compact is also easier to destroy for the enemy if he uses a weapon able to strike a zone rather than a point (T3 mobile artillery or nukes for instance : these weapons have an area of effect). Moreover, doing something compact will prevent you to fully extend your economy and maybe win the game. In fact, you shouldn't be obsessed over keeping your base compact. Every game is different and requires some adaptation. But if you have the opportunity to do long lines of T3 power generators for instance, just try, no matter how big this line is. You will see that the engineers do not get stuck in traffic jams when they have to always move to the same direction to build the next construction and that you can easily give an order like “do 15 T3 power generators” that will free you for a moment. Designing your base in lines is a very efficient way to create a huge economy. You can assign to a group of 10 T2 engineers headed by a T3 one to build 10 experimental units, when another group will build 15 energy storages and another will build 30 T3 anti air defenses. Once the orders are given, you can lead an army on the other side of the map to harass the enemy without being afraid of unemployed engineers in your base.

Be careful though. Some buildings cannot be built together. If you build a line of T2 mass fabricators, the enemy has only to destroy one of them in the line to initiate a simple chain reaction process, as explain previously (see chapter 1). Building T3 power plants in lines also make them easier to destroy because if one of them explode, the next in the line will receive 8000 damages meaning it will have only 1720 hp left. Finally, a large number of weapons have an area of effect, like artillery, possibly taking off hit points from buildings around the target, especially if the target belongs to a line. For instance, doing a line of T2 points defenses isn't a good idea because they are easier to destroy that way. You should always separate every building with at least one wall, preventing the enemy to use weapons with an area damage radius to get rid of your line really fast. Use templates to help you this. A good linear development should always avoid buildings in a line to touch each others. They should always touch a wall only. Notice walls do not absorb or stop splash damages. The only reason you have to use them here is to help you spreading the buildings so that they're receiving less or no splash damages.

Shields

When you build your base, an important way to protect it is with shields. But shield generators take some space in the base and will use significant amount of energy to fully work. Another important use of shields is for an advanced post. If you try to build some T2 artilleries or some T3 point defenses near the enemy main base, you cannot hope it will work without shields.

The first thing we have to do is to speak of each shield generator on a case by case basis. It can sound boring, but we have to know every shield generator a little before beginning a more detailed analysis of them.

Static shield generators

Cybran faction

The Cybran faction has the most complicated system of static shield generators of the game, so take a big breath before reading this.

building name

Cybran static shield generator v1

cost

173.33 meu

energy need

-100

hp of the generated shield

4000

regeneration rate

45 hp/s

recharge time

18 seconds

hp of the shield generator

500

The Cybran static shield generator, first version (there are four possible upgrades) costs 173.33 meu, needs -100 energy units a second to work and has 500 hp (which is very weak, weaker than a T1 power plant). The generated shield has 4000 hp. All the versions of the Cybran shield generator have the same icon in the game that you can see on your left (but this one is only related to the first version of the Cybran static shield generator as you can see by clicking on it).

If the generated shield receives an attack of less than 4000 damage points, it will be frozen for one second and then will start recovering its hp with a speed of 45 hp/s. If the shield receive an attack of more than 4000 damage points, or if it cannot recover its hp fast enough because it's constantly attacked, it will be down for 18 seconds before being deployed again by the shield generator. Notice that a missile from a T2 static launcher is equal to 6000 damage points, more than the hit points of the generated shield. However, the missile will explode at the surface of the generated shield even if the generated shield has only one hit point left.

When we know that a T2 UEF artillery is able to do 100 dps (damages per second), we clearly see that a single T2 UEF artillery is enough to shut down our generated shield. If the shield can recover 45 hp/s and the T2 artillery can remove 100 hp/s, we see the T2 artillery will need roughly 70 seconds (we do not take into account the one second freezing time after each impact of an enemy bullet) to put down the generated shield, less than two minutes. But the interesting fact is that our shield generator will never be destroyed by a single T2 static artillery. Indeed, all T2 static artilleries have a fire cycle of 20 seconds, more than the recharge time of the Cybran static shield generator, first version. So, if the shield generated is down, a new one will be ready to receive damages again after 18 seconds, i.e. before the next artillery shot comes. If you want to destroy a shield generator that has a recharge time of less than 20 second with T2 static artillery, you need at least two T2 static artilleries. You can also put 4 T1 power plants around your artillery to decrease the value of the fire cycle, but we will speak of that problem on chapter 3. The important thing here is to remember that a single T2 artillery site will never be able to destroy a shield generator with a recharge time of 18 seconds and is thus a waste of time, mass and energy.

building name

Cybran static shield generator v2

cost of this upgrade

320 meu

accumulated cost

173.33 + 320 = 493.33 meu

energy need

-200

hp of the generated shield

7000

regeneration rate

88 hp/s

recharge time

16 seconds

hp of the shield generator

500

The first upgrade of the Cybran static shield generator will cost you 320 meu. The shield generated will now have 7000 hp and you will need -200 energy units per second to hold it up. This shield recovers its hp with a speed of 88 hp/s and if put down, 16 seconds will be necessary to redeploy the protective bubble. A single T2 UEF artillery will now need roughly 580 seconds to shut down the shield, it's almost ten minutes ! But even if a single T2 artillery site can put down the generated shield, it is again impossible for it to destroy the shield generator, since the recharge time is 16 seconds, less than the fire cycle of the artillery site.

building name

Cybran static shield generator v3

cost of this upgrade

880 meu

accumulated cost

493.33 + 880 = 1373.33 meu

energy need

-300

energy draining ability

15

hp of the generated shield

10000

regeneration rate

112 hp/s

recharge time

18 seconds

hp of the shield generator

500

The second upgrade will cost you 880 meu. The resulting shield generator will create a 10000 hp shield and will need -300 energy units to work. The generated shield recovers its hp with a speed of 112 hp/s here and if put down, 18 seconds will be necessary to redeploy the protective bubble. A single T2 UEF artillery is no longer able to shut the shield down since the recovery speed of that shield is bigger than the dps of the artillery site. Pay attention that 880 meu is not what you have to spend for having this shield generator, but what you have to spend for upgrading the shield generator from v2 to v3. The real cost of this third version of the shield generator is the accumulated cost from the beginning, that is 173.33 + 320 + 880 = 1373.33 meu.

Please note I have added the draining ability of your energy production for this shield generator. Every Cybran shield generator has a build rate of 10 and therefore if you launch the upgrade of the previous shield generator, it will consume -150 energy units a second till the end of the upgrade. If you try to help the upgrade of the second version of the shield generator with only five T1 engineers, the energy consumption a second will become -525 ! Avoid doing such upgrade if you are under enemy fire from T2 artillery and do not have enough power plants.

building name

Cybran static shield generator v4

cost of this upgrade

1360 meu

accumulated cost

1373.33 + 1360 = 2733.33 meu

energy need

-400

energy draining ability

20

hp of the generated shield

13000

regeneration rate

130 hp/s

recharge time

20 seconds

hp of the shield generator

500

The third upgrade will cost you 1360 meu. The resulting shield generator will generate a 13000 hp shield and will need -400 energy units to work. The generated shield this time recovers its hp with a speed of 130 hp/s and if put down, 20 seconds will be necessary to redeploy the protective bubble. Notice that the cost of this upgrade become not negligible, it's indeed more than a T2 power plant (= 1280 meu).

building name

Cybran static shield generator v5

cost of this upgrade

2666.67 meu

accumulated cost

2733.33 + 2666.67 = 5400 meu

energy need

-500

energy draining ability

25

hp of the generated shield

14000

regeneration rate

140 hp/s

recharge time

22 seconds

hp of the shield generator

500

The last upgrade will cost you 2666.67 meu. The resulting generated shield, the strongest that the Cybran faction has, will have 14000 hp and you will need -500 energy units per second to hold it up. Hit point recovering of the shield : 140 hp/s. Compared to the previous version of the generated shield, we only add 1000 hp to the shield for 2666.67 meu and an increase of 25% of the energy needs. This last upgrade isn't cost effective until you have a very large economy where 2666.67 meu isn't so expensive (remember that 2666.67 meu is roughly equal to 3/4 of a T3 power generator !). You should avoid doing this last upgrade : choose instead to build a new shield generator. 2666.67 meu is almost as much as the entire shield generator has cost so far : for the same price you could build a brand-new Cybran static shield generator v4 rather than just getting 1000 hp more.

At last, don't forget that with every upgrade of a shield generator, you improve the protected area.

UEF faction

There is two static shield generators for the UEF : a T2 one, and a T3 one.

building name

T2 UEF static shield generator

cost

640 meu

energy need

-200

hp of the generated shield

9000

regeneration rate

120 hp/s

recharge time

15 seconds

hp of the shield generator

250

The T2 shield generator requires 640 meu to be built, has 250 hp (some lost bullets can kill it !), creates a shield with 9000 hp that can recover its hp with a speed of 120 hp/s and needs 15 seconds to redeploy itself if put down. This shield generator needs -200 energy units to work and cannot be destroyed by a single T2 static artillery since the generated shield recovers its hp faster than a T2 artillery takes them off. And even if the generated shield is shut down, the recharge time is 15 seconds, less than 20. This T2 static shield generator is upgradeable into a T3 one.

building name

T3 UEF static shield generator

cost

3333.33 meu

energy need

-400

hp of the generated shield

15000

regeneration rate

131 hp/s

recharge time

23 seconds

hp of the shield generator

500

Upgrading the shield will cost 3333.33 meu and will replace the T2 shield generator by a T3 shield generator that generates a 15000 hp shield with a recovery speed of 131 hp/s and a recharge time of 23 seconds. Compared to the previous shield generator, the energy needs to work are here double.

The important fact here is that upgrading a T2 shield generator or building a T3 shield generator costs exactly the same amount of mass-equivalent units. But if you choose to upgrade, you choose in fact to destroy the T2 shield generator and replace it by a T3 one. If you do have the space and T3 engineers, do not upgrade a T2 shield generator : prefer to build a T3 shield generator next to the T2 one. This advice is also true for the Seraphims.

Seraphim faction

Like the UEF (and all factions except the Cybran faction), the Seraphim civilization has two static shield generators : a T2 one and a T3 one. They have the strongest generated shields of the game in term of hp.

building name

T2 Seraphim static shield generator

cost

746.67 meu

energy need

-250

hp of the generated shield

13000

regeneration rate

153 hp/s

recharge time

17 seconds

hp of the shield generator

400

The T2 static shield generator costs here 746.67 meu, generates a 13000 hp shield with a recovery speed of 153 hp/s, and uses -250 energy units to work. The recharge time is 17 seconds. It's a very strong T2 shield (by strong I mean lots of hit points), the strongest one in the game for that technological level.

building name

T3 Seraphim static shield generator

cost

4000 meu

energy need

-500

hp of the generated shield

21000

regeneration rate

168 hp/s

recharge time

25 seconds

hp of the shield generator

600

If you upgrade the T2 shield generator, it will cost 4000 meu. The T3 shield generator creates a shield with 21000 hp (the most hp a shield can have in the game), a recovery speed of 168 hp/s and a recharge time of 25 seconds. The need of energy is equal to -500 energy units.

Aeon faction

building name

T2 Aeon static shield generator

cost

518.4 meu

energy need

-150

hp of the generated shield

11000

regeneration rate

138 hp/s

recharge time

16 seconds

hp of the shield generator

150

The T2 shield generator costs here 518.4 meu, generates a shield with 11000 hp and a recovery speed of 138 hp/s, and uses -150 energy units to work. The recharge time is 16 seconds. Like all the shield generators, the Aeon T2 shield generator is very weak, with only 150 hp. Unlike the UEF and Seraphim T2 static shield generators, this shield generator cannot be upgraded into a T3 one. It's a strong shield, but it does protect a very small area.

building name

T3 Aeon static shield generator

cost

2693.33 meu

energy need

-300

hp of the generated shield

18000

regeneration rate

150 hp/s

recharge time

24 seconds

hp of the shield generator

300

To build a T3 shield generator, you will have to spend 2693.33 meu and to use a T3 engineer or any other engineering unit with a technological level big enough (>T2). The T3 shield generator creates a shield with 18000 hp, a recovery speed of 150 hp/s and has a recharge time of 24 seconds. The need of energy is equal to -300 energy units per second.

Mobile shield generators

The UEF, the Aeons and the Seraphims have mobile shield generators. The Cybran faction doesn't have any. These mobile shield generators are very useful to help an army to break through the enemy lines, but also to protect a base when you do not have the place to build static shield generators, like in the 3 players map “Sludge”, where each player has a very small island for building a base. These mobile shield generators can also be very interesting to use for assisting some units like the commander, following him everywhere.

building name

UEF T2 mobile shield gen. : Parashield

cost

126 meu

energy need

-100

hp of the generated shield

4000

regeneration rate

55 hp/s

recharge time

24 seconds

hp of the shield generator

150

The UEF faction has two T2 mobile shield generators. The first of these mobile shield generator we are going to talk about is called “Parashield”. It costs 126 meu, requires -100 energy units per second to work and the generated shield has 4000 hp. Notice that this shield generator is a quite small one, having less hp and protecting a smaller area than the T2 static shield generator of its own faction. But it is also quite cheaper to produce than its static equivalent. We will study in the next subsection if it's best to protect something with mobile shield generators or with static shield generators.

building name

UEF T2 mobile shield gen. : Bulwark

cost

1109.33 meu

energy need

-150

hp of the generated shield

8000

regeneration rate

80 hp/s

recharge time

32 seconds

hp of the shield generator

750

As second mobile shield generator, the UEF faction features a T2 ship able to create a giant shield, the biggest available in the game, way bigger than any other, with a diameter of 120 distance units ! This shield generator costs 1109.33 meu and needs -150 energy units to work. The generated shield has 8000 hp. Like all the shield generators, it is totally vulnerable when the shield is down and has not a single weapon to defend itself.

building name

T2 Aeon mobile shield generator

cost

151.2 meu

energy need

-125

hp of the generated shield

5000

regeneration rate

65 hp/s

recharge time

26 seconds

hp of the shield generator

100

The Aeon faction has a T2 mobile shield generator called “Asylum”. It has 5000 hp, costs 151.2 meu and needs -125 energy units to work. This mobile shield generator can go above water, without being in danger with enemy submarines or torpedo launchers.

building name

T3 Seraphim mobile shield generator

cost

672 meu

energy need

-300

hp of the generated shield

10000

regeneration rate

133 hp/s

recharge time

45 seconds

hp of the shield generator

400

Once again in this section, the Seraphim faction distinguishes itself, with the biggest mobile shield generator available in the game in term of hp of the generated shield. It's a T3 mobile shield generator (with a terrific name like all the Seraphim units : “Athana”) that costs 672 meu, has 10000 hp and requires -300 energy units per second to work. Like the Aeon mobile shield generator, it can go above water without being afraid of enemy submarines or torpedo launchers.

How to compare all these shields ?

The comparison isn't easy to perform. To write a mathematical expression, we have first to enumerate all the parameters involved and to assign a mathematical symbol to each of them :

hp of the shield generator ()

cost (or accumulated cost for the Cybrans) in mass-equivalent units of the shield generator ($)

hp of the generated shield ()

diameter of the area protected ()

energy needed to work ()

hp recovery speed of the generated shield, also called “regeneration rate” ()

recharge time when the generated shield is down ()

We can now write a mathematical equation that has the form of a ratio, where all the good parameters (those we want to be as big as possible) are above in the fraction and all the bad ones (those we want to be as small as possible) are beneath.

But one parameter is a problem : having a big area protected is generally an advantage, but not always : if you have to protect only two T2 artilleries from the bullets of enemy artilleries, having a very large shield isn't an advantage because it will always take the enemy shots, where a shield that protects a smaller area can sometime avoid the enemy shots (T2 artillery has poor accuracy and can miss even large target... like a small shield). So in one case, this parameter will be at the numerator, and in the other case, at the denominator. Of course having to protect the smaller area possible isn't a daily situation. We are going to say that the area protected must be as big as possible every time. I only bore you with this problem so that you never forget you cannot regardless trust the equations and their results. This whole subsection will show you that writing an equation isn't as easy as it can sometimes look like and requires a good level at logic.

In the end, we will use this expression to compare the shield generators :

The bigger this ratio is, the best it is. Here are the results :

Cybran

initial static shield generator

5192.31

after first upgrade

4292.26

after second upgrade

2114.35

after third upgrade

1313.87

after last upgrade

659.93

Aeon

UEF

Seraphim

1058.20

1746.03 (Parashield)

10817.31 (Bulwark)

1172.84

mobile shield generator

3660.30

3656.25

7020

T2 static shield generator

1461.94

1409.67

1947.46

T3 static shield generator

It's quite impressive how the ratio is falling for the Cybran faction when we upgrade the shield. With the Cybran faction, upgrading your shield generator from the initial version to the last one is very expensive and will cost you a total of 5400 meu for a shield with 14000 hit points.

For all factions, it seems that the first static shield generator you will be able to build (when you reach the T2 level) will be the best shield generator, except for UEF faction where their best shield generator is a shield boat, Bulwark. We can notice as well that this T2 mobile shield generator has the best ratio from all shield generators available in the game, three times beter than the Aeon, UEF or Seraphim T2 static shield generators, while the last version of the Cybran shield generator has the worst ratio. You should avoid performing the last upgrade for the Cybran shield generator unless you have a specific reason for doing it.

It's of course possible to put the results on a graphic, which is visually beter, as you can see below :

Be aware the only thing that matters in the graphic is the vertical position of each point. The horizontal positions have no meaning and are just used to help us compare similar shield generators between the four factions. The curves joining the points also do not have any meaning, we could have used straight line instead. In this graphic, the T2 static shield generator of the Aeon faction, UEF faction, Seraphim faction and the Cybran static shield generator second version have all the same horizontal position. The T3 static shield generator from the Aeon faction, UEF faction, Seraphim faction and the Cybran static shield generator v3 have all the same horizontal position as well.

What can we see here ? The Aeon faction and the UEF faction have almost exactly the same static shield generators according to the equation we used. Indeed the value of the T2 static shield generator is (see the above table) 3660.30 for the Aeon faction and 3656.254 for the UEF faction. The height of the two associated points are thus the same on our graphic. For the T3 static shield generators, we have 1461.64 for the Aeons and 1409.67 for the UEF faction. Once again the two associated points have the same height.

For the UEF faction, the best shield generator appears to be the shield boat, Bulwark. For the Seraphims, it's their T2 static shield generator. For the Cybrans, it's the static shield generator first version and for the Aeon faction, it's the T2 static shield generator. Notice that the equation doesn't take into account that a mobile shield can move (which is of course and advantage compared to the static shield generators).

All these conclusions seem quite nice, but some people can argue that the equation used isn't good enough. For instance, we have assumed in this equation that the hit points of a shield generator is as important as any other parameter. But if we think of it a little, does this parameter really matter ? We know that a shield generator is very weak and will be destroyed with only some hits, so why take that into account ? Let's write a new equation without that parameter :

we multiply everything by 500 only to obtain similar values than before, which will allow us to make a comparison. Now, let's see what happens :

Cybran

initial static shield generator

5192.31

after first upgrade

4292.26

after second upgrade

2114.35

after third upgrade

1313.87

after last upgrade

659.93

Aeon

UEF

Seraphim

5291.01

5820.11 (Parashield)

7211.54 (Bulwark)

1466.05

mobile shield generator

12201.00

7312.5

8775

T2 static shield generator

2436.57

1409.67

1622.88

T3 static shield generator

A black value means that no change was observed. This is the case for every shield generator that has 500 hp. Green values indicate an increase and the two red values indicate a decrease. If we put the results on a graphic, we can observe this :

If we compare this graphic to the previous one, it's quite obvious that something is wrong. The removal of an irrelevant parameter leads to a complete different set of values. This clearly shows us that the first equation we used is a poor one and that our previous conclusions, such as the UEF T2 mobile shield generator : Bulwark is the best shield generator available in the game or that Aeon and UEF factions have the same T3 static shield generator regarding their value are no longer true !

We have to build our equation by paying attention to each parameter, modeling it step by step. Let's begin by just taking into acount one parameter : the hp of the generated shield. Our equation is :

And the graph we obtain from it is :

which simply tells us that the best shield generators are the ones with the more hit points. Right. Now let's introduce the hp of the shield generator. We know we cannot just put it in the equation like we did the first time. Since the hp of the generated shields range from 4000 to 21000 and the hp of the shield generators range from 150 to 750, why can't we just add the hp of the shield generator to the hp of the generated shield ? The impact will be small, but that's exactly what we want. Our equation becomes :

And the graphic is now :

Yes, the difference with the previous graphic isn't astonishing, as expected. Let's keep moving. We have to introduce the hp recovery speed of the generated shields, that's the regeneration rate. This parameter allows three digit values for all static shield generators, except for the first and second version of the Cybran static shield generator (two digit values). All t2 mobile shield generators also allow two digit values. The last mobile shield generator, the Seraphim T3 mobile shield generator, has a three digit value for its regeneration rate, as most of the static shield generators. As a try, we are simply going to write this :

The graphic becomes :

Notice that, if this graphic has the same size than the previous one, its scale isn't the same anymore. Is that important ? Yes : it means that if we want to compare this graphic to the previous one, we can only compare the relative vertical position of the points between them. For instance, we see that the Seraphim T3 static shield generator, the best shield generator on the previous graphic (see the highest point on it), tends to split from the other shield generators even more in our new graphic ! But although not really difficult to see, this change and some others aren't really striking on our new graphic. In fact, it seems the impact of the new parameter introduced is quite limited. If we want to change our graphic more, we have to find a way to increase the weight of the hp recovery speed in the equation. Let's put an exponent on this parameter as follow :

where is what mathematicians call the “golden number” and is equal to , roughly 1.6. Don't be afraid : there is no need to use this particular constant in our equation, I chose it only because I wanted an exponent between one and two for the hp recovery speed. The golden constant just sounded perfect for that purpose. Our graphic is now :

If you want to see more changes, you have to put an exponent higher than the golden number for the hp recovery speed. But doing that will lead to an overweight of that parameter. Please note that the exponent transform the three (or two) digit hp recovery speed values into four or three digit values and that's why the weight of this paramater increases with the value of its exponent.

Next parameter to introduce : the diameter of the area protected. It's always a two digit value. For instance, if we look at the SupCom Database the Aeon T3 static shield generator, we see that the radius of the area protected is 35 (see picture on the right). The area protected is very small for some shield generators, like the UEF T2 mobile shield generator : Parashield or the first version of the Cybran static shield generator. This static shield generator protects indeed a so small area that it is almost always a good idea to upgrade it as soon as possible and it proves us that the radius of the area protected isn't an irrelevant parameter at all. But if we just multiply our current equation by it, the changes we obtain look like fair enough : there is no need to increase the weight of that new parameter by using an exponent. The equation thus becomes :

And the graphic looks like now :

As you can see by performing a quick comparison with the previous graphic, the static shield generators with a lower technological level have been crushed to the bottom of the graphic because they protect a smaller area, as well as for all mobile shield generators, except for the shield boat from the UEF faction.

We are done with the good parameters, those we need to be as big as possible. Let's now introduce the recharge time of the shield generators. This parameter must be as small as possible to avoid decreasing the value of a shield generator too much. Because the recharge time of a static shield generator is generally bigger with high technological levels, the effect of this paramater will be opposed to the effect of the last parameter introduced on that kind of shield generators ! Mobile shield generators, however, have generally high recharge time and therefore will be even more crushed to the bottom of the graphic. If we just divide our current equation by the recharge time, moderate changes occur. Once again, we are going to increase the weight of this new parameter by using the golden number again :

The results on the graphic give us :

Finally, let's speak of the cost and the energy consumption of a shield generator. These two parameters can be unified into a single one very easily. If for instance we take the Aeon T3 shield generator, we see that the energy need is -300 energy units a second. If we admit the shield will be powered by a T2 power plant (generally the case in my own games), we can say you will need to spend 300 multiplied by 2.56 = 768 meu to power that shield generator. Recall that with T2 power plants, you spend indeed 2.56 meu to produce one unit of energy. This new value can then simply be added to the cost of the shield generator itself. The unified paremeter (we will refer to it as the “economic parameter” is thus : . What do we do with it ? We have to divide our current equation by it, but what about an exponent to help us control the weight of this economic parameter ? After some tests, it appears that the value of the exponent has a drastic effect on the results. For instance, with the equation :

where the exponent gives a square root, meaning it is equal to 1/2, we obtain the following graphic :

If we change the exponent and give to it a value equal to one, the equation is then :

And the graphic becomes :

At last, we can continue to increase the weight of the economic parameter by giving to it an exponent equal to the golden number :

The graphic is now :

Which one of these three equations do we pick ? In other words, what weight do we want to give to the economic parameter ? That's up to you. If you want to protect yourself with shields and not really worry about the cost of that protection, then you should pick the first of the three equations. If the cost is more important for you, then pick the last one ! Notice, however, that for each of the three equations, the Aeon, Seraphim and UEF factions have better T2 static shield generators than T3 or mobile ones. The only faction that behaves differently from an equation to another, I mean where the maximum of its curve isn't the same for the three equations, is the Cybran faction : when the economic parameter is less important, as in the first two equations, it seems interesting to upgrade the shield generator till the fourth version. But when the economic parameter is more important, as in the last equation, we see that the best Cybran static shield generator is the second version of it.

what happens if the shield generators are powered with T3 energy ? This means that we have to change the value 2.56 by 1.45 in our equations. Let's do it with the last equation showed. We obtain :

if you compare this graphic to the previous one, you can see that no big changes occur.

To end this section , let's summarize all we can learn from this study of the shield generators :

for the Aeons, UEF and Seraphims, the best shield generator is the T2 static one.

for the Cybrans, the best shield generator is the fourth version of their static shield generator if you don't worry too much about the economic parameter. Otherwise their best shield generator is the second version of it.

if you don't worry too much about the economic parameter, the best shield generator of the game is the Seraphim T2 static shield generator. Otherwise it's the Aeon T2 static shield generator, but the Seraphim one stays close.

if the weight of the economic parameter is big, it appears that the two mobile shield generators of the UEF faction become a better choice to protect yourself than the use of their T3 static shield generators ! For the Aeons, their mobile shield generator appears to have quite the same value than their T3 shield generator. For the Seraphims, their T3 static shield generator is a little better than their T3 mobile shield generator, but the difference is almost negligible.

Distance and range

Most of the units in the game have a vision radius, a damage radius, or simply a range of action. For instance in our study of the shield generators, we have used the parameter which represents a diameter, it is a distance as well. The distance unit in use is another arbitrary unit of the game, that we will call SupComMeter (abbreviated form : spm). For example, the Cybran T2 point defense, also known as “Cerberus” has a range of action (or radius of action) from 0 to 50 spm, meaning that the covered surface is spmē. In comparison, the range of the Aeon T1 point defense is from 0 to 26 spm. It means that if the distance between the two enemy turrets is more than 26 SupComMeters but less than 50, the Aeon T1 point defense will not be able to do anything against the enemy turret, when the Cybran turret will.

Another example is the UEF nukes from a static launcher. When the nuke explodes, the inner ring of the explosion has a radius of 30 SupComMeters, where everything will receive 70000 damage points, and the outer ring has a thickness of 10 spm, where everything will receive 500 damage points (it will destroy mostly T1 mobile units). We will see on the next section and on the next chapter that the knowledge of these numbers is quite important, letting us calculate that a nuclear defense doesn't really protect the area predicted by its radius of action.

Last thing, not so relevant but quite amusing, we can calculate with the data available on the SupCom Database, that a SupComMeter is roughly equal to 20 meters. We can see, by looking to physics of an object in the database, that a spiderbot has a width equal to 39.1 m (the first value), an height of 78.1 meters (the middle value is the height), and a length of 58.6 meters. It can potentially crush my whole house with only one leg. Amazing.

Nuclear defense

Nuclear defenses are absolutely essential in games where the players begins to build static T3 artilleries, experimental units and so on. The nuclear defenses are exactly the same for the four factions (cost, hp, range of action, ...) and require 8200 meu to be built. The anti-nuke missile costs 6000 meu. It is a very expensive defense. But compared to the price of a strategic launcher, we realize that it's way more expensive to attack than to defend. A strategic launcher costs indeed 16400 meu, the double, and a strategic missile costs 21000 meu ! The attacker loses therefore 15000 meu compared to the defender for a missed nuclear attack. 15000 meu, it's almost the cost of a spiderbot ! If your enemy wants to nuke a zone where you have a nuclear defense, he will need an economy almost four times bigger than yours.

But nuclear defenses have a limited range of action, from 0 spm to 90 spm. When we know that a missile will destroy nearly everything in a radius of 30 spm, it means that the enemy can target the extremity of the area protected and that the explosion will penetrate the area protected ! A nuclear defense protects in fact only from 0 to 60 spm, that is a circle of 120 spm in diameter. The worst of it is that with the experimental launcher from the Seraphims, able to destroy really everything in a radius of 45 spm an lots of things in the outer ring (that has a thickness of 15 spm), the area really protected melts to a circle with 30 spm in radius !.

Because the build rate of this defense is 1080, it's hard to assist it. If you need to produce more anti-nuke missiles, build several nuclear defenses : for a cost of 8200 meu, we have a build rate of 1080 whereas 216 T1 engineers (build rate = 5, cost = 53.73 meu) cost 11605.68 meu, more than a new T3 nuclear defense. And if you use other engineering units, it will cost you even more. Do not assist a strategic missile defense with any kind of engineering units unless you have a specific reason for doing it. If you want to increase your anti-nuke production, build several strategic missile defense.

Given the price of such a defense and the limited area protected, the best way to avoid nuclear problems is to prevent the enemy to make a nuke launcher. At last, you should know that, unlike the T2 tactical missile defense, this unit cannot be saturated : if five nuclear missiles fly together toward your base, they will be all stopped by your single T3 strategic missile defense if it contains at least five anti-nuke missiles.

Tactical missile defense

This building has the same cost for the four factions : 301.33 meu, which is, when you reach the T2 level, generally not very expensive. This building is very important because it makes tactical missile launchers simply useless within its range of action (0 to 10 spm for Aeons, 0 to 30 spm the other factions). Given the modest cost of this building, you should always make some in your base. Be aware a single tactical defense from the Seraphims, UEF and Cybrans can be easily saturated by some units (such as the mobile missile launchers) or by several tactical missile launchers if they all launch a missile at the same time on close targets. A single Aeon defense pulls up to five missiles in some kinds of small spheres fired in the air by the tactical defense where the missiles will die. Only three Aeon defenses can stop 15 missiles ! Notice tactical defenses from the Seraphims, UEF and Cybrans are more efficient when they are built spread out. Avoid building them in line : they tend to all shoot at the same missile, which is a waste since most of the missiles doesn't require to received the bullets of a whole line of tactical defenses to be killed. If there is several missiles coming, the first one will receive way too much damages and the following ones will continue their path, remaining untouched !