Fights in Star Command ($2.99) feel like sci-fi slugfests. Two interstellar pugilists meet and one meets its fiery doom under barrage after barrage of vicious, cutting plasma blasts. And that’s just ship-to-ship combat. While fire is raining down all over the place, your crew is fighting off on-board enemies intent on destroying the innards of your ship. Even if you’re a great player, you will lose people and your ship will be a fiery wreck after the battle. That’s just how Star Command is.
What we’re trying to get at is simple: this is a brutal game full of a lot of bad stuff that can happen. The majority of you were probably prepared for this, but for those of you who weren’t and are struggling, we’ve prepared some tips and tricks that’ll make your space adventure just a wee bit easier. We’re cool like that. Here’s five tips that we’ve discovered are key to staying alive long enough to smell the sweet smell of victory. And tokens. And space.
Build that Dodge Room
You don’t want to because you think shields are enough, but trust me, you want that this room. It completely cancels out an enemy attack, which is an ability that you’ll totally 100 percent need. One or two dodges in a battle make the difference between winning and a fiery, no-good, very bad death.
While You’re At It, Go Ahead And Build A Plasma Cannon
The Plasma Cannon is the biggest, baddest weapon in the game. It also has the, hands-down, easiest mini-game to do for full effect. My suggestion is to build this as your first gun and back it up with a laser gun later.
Hire More Dudes
It may seem crazy because tokens seem like they’re hard to come by, but you should hire as many dudes as you possibly can. Again, I can’t stress this enough: hire as many dudes as you possibly can. Have a token? Use it on a dude. The more dudes you have manning the ship, the more firepower you have whenever you get boarded.
The Med Ball
Being boarded sucks, but it’s a fact of life in Star Command. It’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen a lot. Boarding parties are nasty. They set stuff on fire and do a ton of damage to crew that are caught out of position. In fact, you could probably form a compelling argument that on-board enemies in Star Commanded are more of a threat than enemy ships. After all, you can’t fire on a ship or fix your hull if your crew is being constantly thrashed or engaged by dues roaming around your halls.
The best defense against a boarding party is a med ball. That term comes from StarCraft, an RTS for PC and Mac. It’s a common Terran tactic in which the Terran player amasses a bunch of his squishier biological units and then starts building airships that can heal them. In most battles, “balls" of basic troops aren’t an issue, but the healing support in a med ball cancels out a lot of damage, making it quite formidable. In Star Command, you can make a rough approximation of a med ball by massing red shirts and using a few blue shirts as support. Whenever enemies board, just move your entire ball towards the threat and watch them die, fast, while your guys are comfortably healed.
Reload, Reload, Reload
If you’re really getting tossed around in a battle and you lose three or four officers, there’s no shame in reloading your save and trying that battle all over again. Consider the following: if you spend all your tokens replenishing your crew members, how are you going to be able to upgrade rooms or take advantage of the perks of upgraded staff? You won’t, so feel free to take game the save system.
Ideally, you want two engineers on your ship at all times. One in the engine room, the other operating your dodge systems. We also suggest two people in the shield doohickey, and a healthy serving of folks in the bridge. In fact, fill your weapon rooms and then max out your bridge. This composition will ensure you’ve always got dudes that can fix, heal, and fight always at hand.
Did someone just board you? Go after them. Offense is the best defense. If you can kill a group of boarders before they set something on fire, you’ll have significantly fewer problems loading up your guns, firing, or even fixing your ship after the battle.
No doubt, there’s a lot more fanciful strategies, tips, and tricks out there, but we think these are pretty good. They’re foundational. You can build on them. Here’s hoping your travels in Star Command are now a bit easier on your ship, captains.
And by the way — if you’ve got a hot tip, drop it into the comments.