The principle of defending
If someone attacks you or one of your alliance comrades, you can expect the attacker will have enough force to take your mines. All attackers will scan their targets and know what they should send to win. There are 3 ways to protect your planet.
- Kill the enemies troops
- Destroy the enemies barges (*)
- Cause so much casualties the attacker will prefer to retreat
Kill the enemies troops
To capture mines the attacker will have to have troops. To be able to defend your mines, you will need troops to protect them. Training troops takes 4 ticks (during normal rounds, 4 hours), so if you see someone is attacking you, and the ETA (estimated time to arrival) is higher than 3, you will be able to strengthen your defense before the attacker arrives. The maximum amount of troops you can train in 4 ticks is 99.999 though. Thats quite a lot of troops, but when your planet grows bigger, it might not be enough to defend against some attacks. If you intend to use this way of defending you might have to ask alliance comrades to send additional troops to your planet.
Kill the enemies barges
To capture mines the attacker will need to have barges. Barges can bring mines and resources back to the attackers planet. Troops will not capture mines when no barges survive the orbital combat! It would be pointless for them, since the mines can't be moved from the defending planet. There are 3 fleet types that can destroy the attackers barges. The most efficient unit is the Cordova. Cordovas target barges first and destroy them very efficiently. Fortresses can destroy quite a few barges. Unfortunately, fortresses are only available to Trankoor and Ogarth. And the second bad thing about them is that they only have barges as their last target. So it is very rare a Fortress will actually destroy barges. The final unit that targets barges is the transport. However, transports fire at rippers first, and their firepower is limited. The transport, unlike the cordova or the fortress, has a construction time that could fall within the ETA of the attacker. But since the construction time is 6 ticks, you will usually need an alliance comrade to send any of these three shiptypes to you. Unfortunately you can never be sure this way of defending will be succesful until the battle occurs, since the amount of barges your attacker has is unknown.
Cause high casualties
A lot of alliances prefer not to defend their mines, but to inflict a lot of damage to the attacker instead. This will weaken the opponent and enable you to easily recapture your mines. The most efficient way of hurting your attacker is to destroy his transports. If less than 1 transport per 1000 troops attacking survive, the extra troops will remain on the planets surface and go MIA (missing in action). Troops are pretty expensive, and the loss of troops will directly influence the attackers ability to defend himself!
Rippers are very well suited to destroy transports and MIA troops. It would be best to have the rippers escorted by enough scouts however, because otherwise the attackers scouts could destroy the defending rippers before they have time to do their work. Having a strong defense on the first battle tick will usually compell the attacker to retreat his attack force, and that way you will lose a minimal amount of mines. If you decide to try and MIA your attackers troops, you should not forget to send your own troops away from your planet. Troops who are lost on the surface will fight on for 3 ticks against any force they encounter, after that, they are gone.
Optimizing your defense as an alliance
There are several ways to make it easier for you to protect your own and your friends mines. The most important way is to have at least one Slithin planet in your alliance. Slithins have access to "deep scans", and deep scans are the only way to be absolutely certain how much offense the attacker sent. The "deep troop scanner" will reveal what destination someones four fleets have, and also how many troops are being transported in each of these fleets. The "deep fleet scanner" will tell you the same thing, but then only about ship types flying in every fleet. Together these two scans provide all information on how you could defend best.
Another way to defend easier is to have a few players in your alliance specialize in defending. In order to do that, they would have to reduce their defense travel times. (These upgrades can be acquired under "Technology".) Keep in mind, some races have better travel times than others. You should try out and see what races are best suited for defending. The alliance treasury could be used to equip these players with the required ships or troops to defend you.
Another "must-have" is the "combat information centre". Getting the CIC (Combat information centre) upgrade will give you an extra link in the "My alliance" area of the game.Clicking this link will show you all the alliances planets (except when you are in the Universal Protectorate - they do not share defense information) and they will also show if anyone is attacking or defending these planets, and how long it will take for these fleets to arrive.
An alternative to defending
If you can't defend properly, or if you want to convince the attacker to break off his attack, you could also attack him in return. This could possibly scare the attacker and he could decide to retreat his fleet and defend his own planet. This is by no means an efficient way to defend your friends or yourself, but sometimes it can be a very usefull option. Remember though, if you counter-attack an attacker, someone else from the attackers alliance could also counter-attack you! Or they could defend your attack in time and destroy your attack-fleet. So be careful with your attacks, and don't rush off sending counter-attacks without thinking it over properly.
Author: Sir Mordecae