Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

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Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

Postby Overlord2 » Thu May 13, 2010 9:30 am

Many new online players find themselves very frustrated when they encounter certain game tricks used against them they weren’t aware of. Some of this mechanics stem from the bugs or inaccurate description, other could be ascribed to the game features. In any case it is so much ingrown into the game and used by generations of online players it couldn’t be considered as bugs or something, but rather the game features or mechanics one should take into account.
I am going to specify these here, so that all new players learn about them before they start playing online and learn it by their own sad experience.

# 1. Ships speed. Ships Initiative. Immobilization.

The initiative is the key parameter in the game. It determines which ships will move in what order. The initiative is determined as follows: ship’s beam attack/10 + combat speed.
From this formula you can see what influences the initiative, namely: the ship computers as well as ‘Battle Scanner’, Leaders with attack bonus, race attack bonus, experience bonus of the crew (e.g. Warlord), Battle Station or Star Fortress attack bonus, and finally the engines, including Augmented Engines special. edit: [also race speed bonus, i.e. transdimensional]

An important feature of the game is that by leaving free space on a ship (when designing) you can increase the ship’s speed, and thus the initiative of the ship.
Note: leaving free space of 1 point only increases the speed by 1. Therefore, never try to fill your ship up to zero free space; always leave at least 1 point of free space.

The second key property of the speed is the causal dependence of beam defense parameter on ship’s speed. Relationship is determined as follows: beam defense = ship speed * 5
So the augmented engines special increases the ship defense by +25 and initiative by 5.
(Remember that specials like inertial stabilizer and etc. can additionally increase beam defense).
It is often useful to leave some free space on a ship to increase it’s speed in order to increase ship’s beam defense. In addition, higher speed means better maneuverability, which could be an advantage vs. missiles, fighters and etc.

The general formula of the chance to hit with beam weapons, as well as basic properties of other weapons & specials could be found here: ... faqs/16743

An important aspect of the game is that immobilized ships, or the ones with damaged engine, lose their speed, and hence the initiative (and beam defense as well!). In the next round these ships will move the last, which means that enemy can easily finish off such ships with his beam weapons, or immobilized ships can be blown by successful raid, or even worse captured, before it will be able to do anything. Since the immobilized ships can not retreat from battle, it is recommended to self destruct such ships, if there is any positive chance they could be captured by the opponent.

However, one should remember that the ships immobilized in the same round retain its move points, so they will be stationary only starting from the next round, although you can make a raid on immobilized ship or capture it already in this round. This point becomes particularly important when you consider tactics using tractors, and tactics countering tractors, e.g. ships equipped with EMG missiles in regular moo.

#2. Waiting principle.

Many new players have little understanding of principles of the rule of waiting, its benefits and tactical consequences in multi-player games. They don’t use it in full extent or often make mistakes associated with this rule. In this case consequences are often sad, which naturally can not help but frustrating.

Let me recall the rule once again: the point of the rule is that the player who initiated the combat action (defined as attacker) is always required to yield the right of the last move to the defending side, no matter who actually got bigger fleet or where battle occurs. Player, who attacked, must move, fire and click done to his ships before the opponent does, if he requires so. However battles may be complicated and not all ships should move first, so the attacker can naturally press wait button at his discretion. For this purpose there is a rule of ‘one wait for the attacker’, but often players ignore this rule, and press wait button for several times. At this time the defending players may move their spaceships, fire, press done (or wait) and then be surprised or disappointed to discover that enemy ships can still take actions in this round and bring death to ships or missiles, fighters and etc of the defender. Therefore, in such cases, the defending side is recommended to press wait button as many times as needed to ensure that move turn doesn’t return to the ships of the enemy. In principle, you can try to out-wait that absolutely all ships of the attacker move first and do their actions, but this is often is not advantageous to the defender himself. And if move turn comes to his ships first, no one prevents him to move first, but again at the end of the movement or fire action, defender may click on wait button to move again at the end of the round or order new directions to his ships, in other words to take advantage of the last action.

Examples of fatal consequences for defender, because of ignoring advantages of the last action:

Example # 1. Attacker presses wait, defender moves his beam ships as close as possible to the enemy, makes the volley, but damage is not enough to destroy the enemy ship, presses wait with annoyance, at this time the enemy moves his rocket ship (or bombers carrier), flying close to the beamer ship and shooting its rockets or bombers at point-blank and destroys the defender’s ships. So said, a classic example of exposing one’s ship.

Example # 2. Attacker moves his beam ship, fires the volley with his heavy-mount beams on enemy ships and presses wait. Defender’s carrier ship flies close to the opponent, fires its bombers and presses wait. But then move turn returns to the attacker’s ship, and he uses his point defense and ordinary beams to destroy the issued bombers, and half of the bombers die. In result the damage caused by survived half of bombers is not enough to destroy the beamer of the attacker and defender loses the battle.

Important note: there is a bug connected with waiting, which can catch unaware players badly, namely: if a ship fires all its weapons and then uses up all its move points, its turn is automatically ended. A player thus cannot click on retreat button, or make boarding action at the end of the move. For this reason it is recommended to leave at least one square of movement for retreating ships or leave one weapon unused on green status. Alternatively equipping ship with a single bomb completely solves this issue.

# 3. Missiles' behavior vs. fighters' behavior.

An important difference in behavior of missiles and torpedoes from that of the fighters and bombers, is that missiles after being shot do not fly towards the target in the same round, but stay on the spot provided their target remains stationary too. They begin to fly to its target, only in the second round. However, this property of missiles is insidious - missiles retain their movement after the "final" round of the battle, meaning they can strike the enemy ship after the battle is over in the “catch up". In this case, if the ship was going to retreat, but the damage dealt by missiles was enough to immobilize it, the ship won’t survive.

Important note: missile warning feature is instable and doesn't work sometimes when it is on. Therefore its recommended to move ships carefully step by step to avoid missile hits. Abrupt movements may cause the missile warning to fail.

Fighters and Bombers, by contrast, start moving in the end of the same round they were fired, and if the distance between the ship, which fired them and the target matches their speed, the fighters (bombers) will hit its target in the same round.

Generally, all movement of missiles, torpedoes and fighters occur between rounds, that is, at the end of one and before the other, after both players click done for all their ships. The exception is when you shoot fighters or missiles at point-blank range. Then the damage will be dealt immediately.

Important note: there is bug connected with bombers and fighters in general: in some cases [edit: precisely when striking from the west side], bombers fired at point-blank do not hit enemy ships immediately. By changing position towards the target can fix this and bombers start hitting the enemy ship immediately.

Comments: missiles and torpedoes always hit its target when shot at point blank.

# 4. Bombing issues.

It is important to take into account that beam weapons and torpedoes inflict only half damage to planets. New players often tend to overlook this matter.
Сontrariwise, missiles and bombs do full damage to planets, except that bombs damage is random between min and maximum numbers. Damage to planet can be further reduced by planetary shields. The amount of damage reduced is determined by strength of the shield, which is the sum of shield’s natural strength and bonus from the known shields technology. E.g. in VDC the planetary radiation shield has 13 points blocking strength and added a class II shield makes it 15, which is enough to stop antimatter torpedoes with overloaded mod.
[Edit: any known shield technology appears to reduce damage against planet in the same way as it does for the ships]

Important Note: the shield technology reduces damage against planet only when there is any defensive planetary building present (functioning), like fighter garrison, missile base and etc. As soon as all defensive buildings are down, damage reduction from shield technology disappears, and only planetary shields damage reduction remains. It can have very important tactical consequences in combat. In principal, I would call this thing a bug.

Bug: in tactical combat, ships carrying bombs can not drop them on a planet from the south side (from below), and often on the east side too!

Comments: dropping bombs using transporters from south and east side works perfectly OK.

Important NOTE: bombers units and heavy fighters don't have bombing ability on strategic bombardment screen (i.e. when bombing planet). They can damage the planet only in tactical combat. So even if you have researched bombs you need to equip ships with those bombs in order to make any damage to planet on planet bombing screen when it is protected by planetary shields. Explanation: without planetary shields you used to bomb with other weapons, not bombers. Once the planetary shields are up, other weapons cease to do any damage to planet, so you need the weapons, which can go through the planetary shields. While bombers can damage planet in tactical combat, they are not participating in strategic bombing actions.

Fusion bomb bug: when both fusion bombs and bioterminator techs are known to a player, player's bombers prefer bioterminator over fusion bombs, when bombarding ground installations of the planet. As a result, ground installations and buildings are left intact, but instead planet population is destroyed. However, if player got only fusion bombs (no bioterminator), bombers work correctly. Also when antimatter bombs are researched later in the above case, bombers start to work correctly too.

# 5. Warp Interdictor.

With warp interdictor several bugs/features must be considered:

1) If the enemy fleet got to the location, where it is one jump from your colony, and your colony has not yet constructed warp interdictor, completion of construction or buying the warp interdictor on this turn won’t save the planet from being attacked on the next turn. Thus, spending resources on buying/building warp interdictor would be for nothing.

2) Redirection technique can reduce minimum number of turns of flight to the planet with warp interdictor to 2: one turn for departure, second for redirection.
Once you see the enemy fleet departed and is close to your planet (i.e. within 1 parsec), it will only need one turn to get there. In other words, the next turn planet will be attacked!

The principle of the redirection technique is based on the fact that ships aren’t slowed down in space, if the first target was not the original planet with warp interdictor, but another. How to: send your fleet to a planet, located on the same line with the planet with warp interdictor, so that after flying one turn you appear at a distance of one parsec from the target planet. Now redirect your fleet to the planet with the warp interdictor and next turn you are there.

# 6. Plasma torpedoes in VDC [updated].

Dissipation of plasma torpedoes was decreased to 1 point per square traveled, but it doesn't get no range dissipation mod. Plasma torpedo recharge fixed since VDC 59.
Last edited by Overlord2 on Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:40 am, edited 24 times in total.

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Postby Overlord2 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:24 am

#7. Drives issue.
Some players don't realize the drives feature, so I want to make up for this omission, namely: ships' drives do not update while ships are in flight.
If you research new drive, while ships were in flight, by the time of arrival to the destination drive is not updated, and if the ships engage in battle they fight with the drive they had at the time of launching. However if the ship stays at system and drive technology is researched on this turn, if battle occures the same turn, i.e. before you see the screen of the scientific breakthrough, drives will be updated, and you fight with new drives.
Last edited by Overlord2 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Cabman » Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:17 am

However if the ship stays at system and drive technology is researched on this turn, if battle occures the same turn, i.e. before you see the screen of the scientific breakthrough, drives will be updated, and you fight with new drives

Actually this is not correct. Ships are equipped with preavious drive during the fight.
if you build or refit a ship that turn, it will be equipped with new drive ( rest of the fleet remain slow)

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Postby Overlord2 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:08 am

Yeah, looks like it's a bug, cause missiles and fighters receive drive upgrade...Also funny thing is when you retreat with such ship, it gets its drive upgraded, but only strategic speed. So if you follow retreating ship and hit it on its arrival it will still have old combat stats, though strategic speed was upgraded....

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Postby Overlord2 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:56 pm

#8. Missile Evasion.
Many problems arise because of not fully understanding how the missile evasion exactly works. Also some sort of miscomprehension might exist because of Gontzol’s description of missile evasion in his famous weapons guide, which doesn’t match the truth. Suprisingly missile evasion works exactly the way how it is described in the game files, with a reservation that not all specials were listed, which provide missile evasion bonus.
Here is general formula:
Probability of jamming of a single missile warhead = (aggregate missile evasion value subtracted the best known scanner bonus) and divided by 2 if missile has eccm.

Aggregate bonus is comprised by bonuses from technologies, race bonus (penalty) crew experience and a leader.
Jamming Facilities:
ECM Jammer +70
MultiWave Jammer +100
Wide Area Jammer +130 and +70 to the rest fleet which haven’t installed any jammer, otherwise the best jammer bonus applies;
Inertial Stabilizer +25
Innertial Nullifier +50
Cloaking Device +50 jamming chance, works like Dispancement Device

Race Bonuses:
-20 defense -20
+25 defense +25
+50 defense +50

Green 0
Regular +7
Veteran +15
Elite +25
UltraElite +37

Gives half bonus of the helsman value;

Tachyon Scanner -20
Neutron Scanner -40
Sensors -70

Noteworthy is that each warhead is treated separately, so if you have only one mirv missile it may happen that not all warheads hit, but some get jammed. So jamming goes not per missile, but per warhead.

Example of calculation:

Probability to jam eccm warhead guided by tachyon scanner with evasion obtained from wide area jammer fleet bonus (+70), stabilizer (+25) race penalty (-20), regular crew and leader with 10 helsman bonus:

P = [(70+25-20+7+5)-20]/2= 33.5% chance for each warhead
One should take into account that this isn’t precise figure how many missiles will be jammed, but only a chance to jam missile warhead, which is subjected to rolls by random-number generator.
Hope this helps in your games.

Updated VDC jamming bonuses

ECM Jammer +80
MultiWave Jammer +100
Wide Area Jammer +140 and +100 to the rest fleet ;
Inertial Stabilizer +23
Innertial Nullifier +53

Tachyon Scanner -30
Neutron Scanner -50
Sensors -100


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Postby Overlord2 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:04 am

#9. Stealth Detection in VDC [X-versions].
In VDC (starting from v.42a) scanners were upgraded to detect the stealth. The formula for detecting stealth is the following: detect= scanners range + star bases or battle scanner bonus - stealth field's strength.
In X-versions stealth strength was made different per stealth technology and equals to:
Race Stealth: 7
Cloaking Field: 9
Cloaking Device: 10
Phasing Cloak: 11
Also race stealth is made cumulative with stealth from technology.

Scanner ranges are:

Space Scanner: 3 parsecs;
Tachyon Scanner: 5 parsecs;
Neutron Scanner: 7 parsecs;
Sensors: 11 parsecs;

Starbase range: +2 parsecs;
Battle Scanner range: +2 parsecs (not cumulative with star bases);
Battle Station range: +5 parsecs;
Star Fortress range: +7 parsecs;

Now it's easy to calculate at what ranges those facilities will be able to detect the stealth:
Calc. example for Cloaking Device (10):

Sensors without starbase bonus or battle scanner bonus will detect at 11-10 = 1 parsecs;
Add starbase or battle scanner bonus (+2) = 3 parsecs;
Sensors & Battle Station = 11+5-10 = 6 parsecs;
Sensors & Star Fortress = 11+7-10 = 8 parsecs;

Neutronium Scanner and starbase/battle scanner - no detection;
Neutronium Scanner and Battle Station 7+5-10 = 2 parsec;
Neutronium Scanner & Star Fortress = 7+7-10 = 4 parsecs;

Tachyon Scanner and Battle Station - no detection;
Tachyon Scanner & Star Fortress = 2 parsec;

Space Scanner - no detection.

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Re: Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

Postby Rocco » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:22 am

Last edited by Rocco on Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

Postby Darza » Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:59 pm

Thats incorrect, Rocco. The mechanic is more simple: first the halving part, than the shiled reduction. Otherwise you would see a Heavy laser or Normal Fusion piercing the ClassIII shielded planet by 1 damage each (while they do exactly 0: 6/2-3=0, not (6-3)/2=1.5), or Normal Graviton piercing a ClassIII+RadShield etc (not a case again, 15/2-8=0, not (15-3)/2-5=1, as it should work with your formula). You just was misguided by a tricky Graviton behaviour of ESD - as it actually do a double damage in this case (22.5=23 damage due to initial rounding up/2=11.5; 11.5-8=3.5; 3.5 is causing 3 damage + 3 ESD damage = 6 (note: the rouding up for calculation happens only during the determination of max. damage on a first step, the rounding after the halving is down)).

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Re: Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

Postby Rocco » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:20 pm

yup you are right -offcourse- shouldnt have been testing with those Gravitions :)
.. have deleted my post ..

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Re: Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

Postby Rocco » Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:53 pm

Hi guys. Have been working on a mod for some days now and I have a question about scanners and was hoping someone can help me out with this:
Started test hot seat game (1.40b24). modded nuclear drive to be 1 parsec/turn. Opponent planet has only space scanner and no star base. Distance between opponent and some star: 6 Parsecs.
When flying TOWARDS this planet with a Cruiser it can be detected 4 parsec before arrival. When flying away, at 4 parsecs travel it is not detected. Anyone knows how this can be? (could it be some rounding thing, ie. the distances are not really 6 parsec but 5.7?

I have screenshots for those interested... Thanks!

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Re: Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

Postby Darza » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:10 pm

Most likely there is explanation: ... sited.html , rounding, yes.

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Re: Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

Postby Overlord2 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:02 am

#10. Retreat Mechanics.
Unless the retreat mechanics is changed in the 1.50 patch, the following mechanics is present (all versions): retreat happens not in the end of the round or between the rounds but in the beginning of the new round. This has a huge impact on how the combat is resolved:
1. With initiative turned off if a second player (defender) gives retreat order in round 1 where both parties had a chance to act/shoot, his ships won't retreat immediately at the end of the round, but new round starts and first player (attacker) gets one additional round of free action, while retreat happens only after a new turn comes to the second player.
2. With initiative turned on the following apply:
a. defensive fire recharges and can get one additional shooting on retreating ships before they retreat.
b. fighters make a new strike. That way, retreating ship can suffer double strike from fighters - one at the end of the round and second on retreat.
c. missiles get their move points renewed, so if the ship has pulled missiles during the round exhausting their move points and pressed retreat, missiles may strike ship on rotation during retreat if they were too close to the retreating ship.

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Re: Game Mechanics and MOO2 Tricks Employing This Mechanics

Postby Darza » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:42 am

But someone who played a few tactical combats involving retreats just wouldnt get an idea of "retreats happens in the end of turn" for a start; essentially via noticing the described facts (2b & 2c is the same thing tho). 11-th explanation will be about "moo2 have a beam weapons, they deliver their damage immediately but can miss"?

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