Dealing with non-aggressive tactics

As mentioned elsewhere, it can be instructive to have out the most common tactics for dealing with an opponent who has gone super-defensive. Some of these super-defensive tactics include:

* Starcastling - Being stopped, have TACs plotted to keep you off of their weak shield(s) and in arc of the weapons, and their heavy weapons are armed (and probably overloaded).

* Retrograding - Moving backwards in order to convince you to chase them. Everyone's heavy weapons are pointed at eachother. Your seeking weapons have to travel "uphill" to reach him, while his travel "downhill" to get to you.

* Turtling - Moving at a slow speed, but not truely stopped. Thier weapons are armed and they are looking to eventually corner you on a fixed map.

* Cloaking - Staying cloaked for many turns, in order to convince you to waste your firepower shooting through the 'cloak damage chart', in order to uncloak when your weapons are dry and get a clean shot off.

Please post some of your own tactics for dealing with these issues. I'll chip in later.


Starcastling is where the ship has stopped, usually has TACs available, and is attempting to put the saved movement energy into weapons and reinforcement. This surrenders the initiative to the opponent, as they now have control over what ranges to fire from. But it also allows the one doing the starcastling to deal from a similar position to what they had on the first turn (if the opponent obliges by entering a reasonable firing range) and control which shield of their own that the encounter will occur on.

(A note on terms: Starcastler or Defensive Player refers to the player performing the starcastle. Opponent refers to the other player.)

This is considered Non-Aggression, because it is an invitation for the opponent to run into weapons range (in order to score damage) and impale themselves on someone who has not spent most of their power allocation on movement. There are very good reasons to starcastle for a turn or two, but excessive amounts of it is considered poor sportsmanship.

Instead of outlawing starcastling, or trying to outlaw it for certain circumstances (which could create arguments and worse), It is better to create a formula that, while tedious, will eventually create a win against someone who starcastles excessively and further degrade someone who merely does it for several turns.

Generally put, stay out of overload range and sandpaper their shields. Most often, the starcastler overloads their weapons, hoping the opponent will enter that range to punch through reinforcement. The opponent has the initiative to pick ranges, and should pick one that does not favor the starcastler. Instead a range 10-15 is suitable to pick at somebody, even if you have to add phaser-fire to amp up the damage past their reinforcement.

Drones are generally a losing proposition, as the starcastler will usually have the phaser power to deal with them. Plasma should probably be launched one at a time, as he will take the small ones on shields (more sandpapering) and spend several resources on the big ones (phasering them up still does shield damage, and he will eventually run out of weasels.)

If the starcastler launches a cloud of shuttles (presumably for local defense), then it is usually worthwhile to kill them with phasers. By killing the shuttles at range, the opponent deprives the starcastler of that much more of their ship's resources and further puts them in a hole.

If the opponent is not making any headway past the reinforcement, or even if the starcastler is sniping to greater effect than the opponent is, then it would be reasonable for the opponent to slow down to weasel-speeds and do a slow-motion starcastle against the defensive player. A speed change to enter overload range at an odd time could help to put the defensive player off of his plan. By having some sort of headway when the exchange comes, could mean that the opponent will recover from the exchange with greater maneuverability.