All damage ratings are measured both in 'pixels', as a full shield or armor bar is exactly 56 pixels in height, and in the actual damage ratings measured in the game.
Damage in the game is recorded by "Class". When scanning alien ships, one ship with "Class 5 Shields" may have quite a different level of protection as another ship. This is because alien ship armor is not measurable by sensors, and "Class 5 shielding" is an approximation. One ship may have slightly more or less shield strengths, but just happen to be close enough to still fall into the same catagory.
Alien shielding absorbs exactly 200 damage per class.
Alien Shields: (200 damage per class)
Alien shields do NOT regenerate. See the Ship Table below for more information on alien shield/armor strengths.
Player shields regenerate 40 points per time unit. A time unit is impossible to measure because it varies depending on how many alien ships are visible on the screen, and your CPU speed. If you can get all enemy ships off your visible screen then it will appear that your shields are regenerating extremely fast.
Interstel vessels provide progressive damage reduction for each subsequent class for both Armour and Shields. Class 0 and 1 provide 0% damage reduction, Class 2 provides 20% damage reduction, Class 3 provides 40% damage reduction, Class 4 provides 60% damage reduction, Class 5 provides 80% damage reduction. Damage is shown in three numbers, first the actual damage rating, next the number of pixels shown on the damage bar in the game, and third actual quantity of damage that the ship can absorb due to damage reduction. (shown in parentheses)
Interstel Shields (500 damage per class)
Shields only take 60% of the damage taken by armor. This is because with your base hull armor you actually reach armor class six.
Weapon Damage Table
(Data is shown in first Game Damage / Shield Pixel Damage / Armor Pixel Damage)
Laser damage drops off over range: the distance between the player and enemy ship is calculated using the distance formula [dist = sqrt(distX^2+distY^2)]. At distances of 0.0 or 0.5 units away, lasers do 100% of the damage listed above. For each additional 0.5 units away, the lasers suffer a -5% damage penalty. Thus, lasers do 95% damage to targets one square away, 90% damage 1.5 squares away, 85% damage 2.0 squares away, down to 50% damage at 5.5 squares away. I have not observed any enemies that can fire a laser at a target 6 squares away (seems to be out of range)
Whenever you are within 6 spaces or closer of your aimed target, your ship will automatically use lasers, if equipped. Beyond that range, missiles will be used. For this reason if you are fighting non-Gazurtoid for any reason, sell your lasers.
Enemies can ONLY use lasers when you are 0-4 spaces away (straight line or vertically) So if you fight an enemy who does not have missiles, it's possible to shoot them effectively with lasers while at the same time being out of their range. Enemy ships, if equipped with both missiles and lasers, get to pick which ones they want to use at times.
Plasma Bolts: (Uhlek Warship)
Plasma bolts travel exactly twice as fast as missiles and are homing, which made them almost impossible to dodge or avoid. You could pace them but not outrun them if you were already at top maneuvering speed (you can not get to top speed in combat mode, only manuever mode, and it's easier when you have good acceleration rating). The only effective tactic vs the Uhlek fleets is to first sell your lasers, then engage in short range combat by using missiles. Rotate your ship to all 8 points of the compass and fire off as many class 5 missiles as quickly as you possibly can without moving and hope you kill enough warships before the flood of plasma bolts annihilate you.
The locations of the 11 Uhlek warship "super-fleets" are: 5,5 - 23,5 - 9,15 - 6,53 - 7,96 - 8,110 - 6,125 - 29,174 - 17,194 - 10,207 - 106,212. Class 5 Missiles, Armor, Shielding, and Engines all appear to be required to even have a wild hope of taking out a group.
Do NOT use the cloaking device when fighting the Uhlek, sell it temporarily to Starport. If you are visible, a certain number of the plasma bolts will stay in "orbit" around you, hindering the launching of new plasma bolts and making the battle almost possible. This is due to a bug. Uhlek plasma bolts are homing, and move two spaces per movement instead of just one. If you don't happen to be in the space that the plasma bolts travels into, then the plasma bolt will skip over you, turn around and skip over you again, and simply bounce back and forth forever, until you move into it:
Uhlek . . . . You
Travel one space further away:
Uhlek . . . . . You
Now in combat, if you are using the shimmering ball (cloaking device), the plasma bolts randomly move to differerent areas and eventually hit you, but if you are not cloaked, they will stay in perfect formation around your ship until you move. When you get enough plasma bolts "in the air" the game will prevent any more missiles or plasma bolts of any type from being launched (your missile limit is different from the max # of enemy missiles), and the Uhlek warships will simply retreat until they are barely off the screen. Plasma bolts may "orbit" you from three different angles, right-left, top left-bottom right, and bottom left-top right. If you move at all when the plasma bolts are orbiting, a certain somewhat random number of bolts will hit you, with a lesser number of them hitting you if you move at a perpendicular angle.
Successful battles seemed to be an exercise in saving and restoring (I use two batch files, one to copy and backup and the other to copy and restore the STAR?.COM files, and a keyboard "stuffer" to type "5" "Enter" "Enter" "Enter" immediatly before loading starflt.com again) But the typical pattern went like this:
1) Backup the game immediately before encountering an Uhlek fleet, shields/armor full, class 5 missiles armed, shields up. Have plenty of repair minerals in your cargo (20 of each or more)
2) Encounter the fleet, try to figure out which ships are shooting plasma bolts that hit you (target them) vs the Uhlek ships which are shooting bolts that are simply orbiting you. Keep as many missiles as possible in the air at all times, as it helps hit the "top missile # cap" from being reached sooner. Target any double or stacked ships if at all possible, because damage hits both ships equally. Plasma bolts tend to "eat" your missiles if both are on the same spot. If you want, you can try a missile + laser combination, which prevents your missiles from being eaten, but of course laser blasts will be much slower and weaker then a wave of missiles typically are.
3) If you don't die in the first few seconds (rare), and you reach a state of equalibrium (where the max # of plasma bolts are circling you), then the Uhlek ships will simply turn around and run off the screen. Hopefully by then you've killed 4-5 of them. Before their shields are increased to rediculous proportions, you have a good chance of killing all of them before this point. Retreating enemy ships are duck shoots, but only if they are retreating at "clean" angles (45°, 90°, 135°, 180°) etc, can you hit them with every single missile.
4) Wait. Let your shields recharge, wait some more. Any surviving Uhlek ships will remain slightly off your visual map. Occasionally the Uhlek ships will send distress calls for backup, and the reinforcements (usually 2 warships) will warp in at medium to long range. If your orbiting fleet of plasma bolts are still there, they will simply turn and run, giving you a chance to shoot a spread of missiles at them and hopefully kill one or two of them.
5) Exit and backup the game. Try to move ONE space and hopefully have 3 or less plasma bolts hit you, since your class 5 shields take 56 pixels damage before dropping, and plasma bolts do 18 damage each, you can absorb 3 plasma bolt hits (54 pixels). If more plasma bolts hit you, you'll typically die, or have ship systems completely destroyed. If you don't die, repair as necessary, wait till your shields recharge to full again, and then backup your game before moving 1 more space. Be aware that the Uhlek may call in reinforcements during this time, so remain in combat mode ready to launch more missiles.
6) Repeat step #5 until all plasma bolts are gone. Typically you can collect minerals from the ship debre at this time.
7) Backup the game again and go after any remaining Uhlek ships. This works best if you can only get ONE of them on your screen at a time, since homing waves of plasma bolts are slightly more deadly then your missiles (since your missiles often miss). Move one space in combat mode at a time towards the direction that an Uhlek ship fled towards, each time hitting the fire button. Eventually you can fire missiles at a target "just out of visual range", at this time, hold down the fire button till you have a stream of missiles heading towards the enemy ship (until the max # of missiles is on the screen at one time, and you can't fire any more)
8) Any missiles or plasma bolts are "vaporized" when they hit the edge of the screen, so a little bit before the stream of missiles gets to the edge, run towards your target until the Uhlek ship is visible, and pray that they hit. If you score a kill, save the game and repair/wait till your shields restore. If you don't score a kill, restore your game and try again.
Eventually you'll kill off any stragglers using this method. If too many Uhlek ships are off the screen in a tight group, it's nearly impossible to use steps #7 and #8 to kill them. If this happens, leave the encounter and re-encounter the ships again. Any ships you killed will stay dead, and you'll be able to attack the remaining ships at close range again, hopefully easier then the original battle was.
It is very difficult, but not impossible to take out every single Uhlek warship battlegroup in existance in this sector. Make sure you don't attack any smaller fleets in between the larger fleets, as their shielding will continue to increase as your # of ship kills increases. When I finished the last two fleets, their shields were up to class 54, and class 66, requiring around 10+ missiles each. (approximately)
Saved game (10 battle fleets destroyed, 1 left)
(Head outward (left). The fleet is located exactly at 7,96)
Your acceleration dependes on your engine class and your mass. If you sell off your armor and as many cargo pods as you can, the "# of G's acceleration" your ship could produce would increase, making it easier to accelerate to top speed if necessary:
100 Ton base speed:
(Vittorio notes that the Amiga/Atari versions are unaffected by mass. The base speeds listed above are the final speeds for these versions of the game. In the PC version the numbers above represent acceleration. In these versions, the numbers above represent maximum speed.)
Class 5 Engine Speeds
Here's a few actual test results:
Again, just the base testing data to show the consistant damage you take in a particular encounter, until your "armor class" is re-evaluated, and the 5/3rds or 60% damage multiplier for armor damage (vs shield damage)or
Example of how to test the laser dissipation table:
|Thanks to Jlhorner1974 for providing the hex code which included the ship fleet locations.
Vittorio has the following contributions to add for the Amiga and Atari versions of the game:
These versions introduced an engine class rating, and by modifying any of these values to 0 the alien ship will become immobile.
|Minstrel||1 (No Engines)||02|
Thanks to Jokedst for providing the ship fleet locations.
|SPECIES||COORDINATE||# of Ships *||Transports||Scouts||Warships|
|Elowan||148,63 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Elowan||154,62 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Elowan||160,48 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Elowan||163,46 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||52,59 - System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||52,56 - System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||68,66 - Planet 1||1-2 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||68,66 - System||11 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||83,67 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||86,55 - Planet 4||8-255 ships||X|
|Gazurtoid||86,55 - System||8 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||88,78 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||94,42 - System||3 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||98,82 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||98,80 - System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Gazurtoid||104,71 - System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Mechans||145,107 - Planet 4||8-255 ships||X|
|Mechans||145,107 - System||7 groups of 3-6 ships||X|
|Spemin||45,151 - System||3 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Spemin||58,124 - System||3 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Spemin||63,102 - System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Spemin||82,148 - Planet 1||8-255 ships||X|
|Spemin||82,148 - System||7 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Spemin||94,118 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Spemin||105,165 - System||3 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Spemin||114,138 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Spemin||117,114 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Thrynn||113,28 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Thrynn||125,39 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Thrynn||129,33 - Planet 4||8-255 ships||X|
|Thrynn||129,33 - System||5 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Thrynn||144,44 - System||3 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi||118,146 - System||3 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi||128,124 - System||5 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi||131,146 - System||4 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi||132,165 - System||5 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi||137,156 - System||3 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi||150,148 - Planet 2||8-255 ships||X|
|Veloxi||150,148 - System||7 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi||151,173 - System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi||163,119 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X||X|
|Veloxi Probe||128,124 - Planet 1||1 ship||X|
|Veloxi Probe||132,165 - Planet 1||6-8 ships||X|
|Veloxi Probe||143,115 - Planet 1||1 ship||X|
|Veloxi Probe||151,173 - Planet 4||1 ship||X|
|Veloxi Probe||163,119 - Planet 3||1 ship||X|
|Uhlek||7,118 - System||3 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||14,5 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||17,213 - System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||18,50 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||22,121 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||24,95 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||26,82 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||31,152 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||32,172 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||38,26 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||50,193 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||56,10 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||70,208 System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||112,200 - System||2 groups of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||118,176 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Uhlek||127,213 - System||1 group of 3-6 ships||X||X|
|Nomad Probe||35,145||1 ship||X|
|Nomad Probe||92,133||1 ship||X|
|Nomad Probe||94,47||1 ship||X|
|Nomad Probe||155,100||1 ship||X|
|Nomad Probe||178,151||1 ship||X|
|Nomad Probe||179,69||1 ship||X|
|Nomad Probe||217,107||1 ship||X|
|Derelict Ship||175,94 - Planet 1||1 ship||X|
Vittoriio compiled the total fleet sizes for each alien race: