So, you are here to understand some faults that can lead to your tech going ka-boom before it had the chance to think? Well too bad, this is here to tell you how to prevent such outcomes, giving examples of mistakes and that they cause and why they should be avoided. A Tanky Combat 101 series.
NOTE! The mega-reactor is a game changer, I will need more time to really get an idea on how this impacts the Tanky Combat 101 series. And such, this guide will assume you are not using the mega-reactor in this context.
HP: Hull Points/Hit Points
EP: Energy Points (HP for shields)
Mistakes will be in order from worst to alright. From 0-6, 0 being the worst mistake you can do.
All “mistakes” are simply a form of recommendation; you can simply have done a calculated risk. Calculated risks do not apply to these mistakes as you are well aware of the consequences.
Mistake #0: TOO MANY BATTERIES!
Look, we all love shields, they are very nice and useful… but please… stop spamming batteries as your HULL. It mentally hurts me.
So, why is there such a thing as too many batteries? One phase: Roditic Chemical Explosion. (A word play on Thermal Nuclear Explosion). Batteries are sensitive equipment. If a big HE bullet finds an ion pulse cell in front of it, that pulse cell is going to go ka-boom, quite impressively too. But I hear you ask. “But how will a bullet hit a battery behind shields?” Well, what if those shields became offline? Or if the tech was inside your main shield. My point is, batteries are not something to spam willy-nilly, and they are dangerous. I have seen many community techs both within the game’s enemy pool and on the workshop which have so many batteries; a single volley of 2 HE battleship cannon shots causes it to light up brighter than a 4th of July fireworks display in New York, not much to salvage either. Explosions for both battery and explosive explosions un-moded operate without notable damage dampening, meaning that no matter how far away from the explosion’s center an entity is, it will sustain similar amounts of damage as if it was hit head on within the radius, (although, armor increases damage dampening in my experience). So if an explosive shot hits your hull, it does say… 1,500 damage, 4 layers of hull inside the tech, a block within that same radius sustains 900 damage, a chain reaction of batteries experiencing this is a very violent reaction due to the low health of batteries. Won’t take long to decimate your entire tech once compromised or just detonate your cab and then fully explode.
1) Instead of making massive battery spines/cores, place battery sections isolated from other batteries, so when a battery section is compromised, it does not take anything else with it.
2) Keep batteries away from vital parts like rotors and cabs.
3) Use armored hull like the HE six block instead, that block is a very good block for making study hulls to separate batteries safely.
4) Place armor around batteries which are following #2 to increase explosion dampening to ensure the batteries don’t sustain significant damage.
Mistake #1: Not using slops like a mad tech
The description of slopes “deflecting” and absorbing shots is not a lie (though deflecting yes, but that just means they take less damage, not physically deflecting) a slope experiences less direct damage than hull, sloped armor is especially apparent. Slopes also heavily increase explosion dampening, more than armor in fact! Armor is just good when an area is flat and needs added protection; slopes are the ideal hull armor. The only time you can have too many slops is when they are beginning to become your hull or, are hogging connection space for weapons. You can never have too many slopes, looks good and is practical.
=Solution: Self explanatory.=
Mistake #2: Too many shield bubbles!
Repair bubbles co-operate when stacked, having 2 repair bubbles heal one block does double the amount of HP restored at their combined EP usage independently. Shields do not benefit from stacking what so ever, only layering (having a small shield inside a large shield, but even that is unnecessary for most techs). The only instance which this can be an exception is when shields are spaced too far apart, but there are many conditions that dignify if this is of any concern. The space creating the indent in the shield’s crossing can be insignificant, so if an explosive shot lands inside that indent, it does not do significant damage, or it is out-right a one-in-a-million type of shot, yes if a shot gets inside the indent it can do large damage (assuming its explosive) but that type of shot is so unlikely, you would be better off not shielding the indent, saving lots of EPs. Having a ton of shields to effectively make a brick wall is SO ENERGY EFFICIENT. It hurts me mentally to see so much energy be used for such little purpose.
Also, a massive stack of shields does not look good. It’s very highlighting and obscures the visuals behind/inside it.
1) Don’t… Spam… Shields… Please.
2) Space shields neatly, creating indents you find acceptable.
3) Place more efficient shields inside indents, preferably venture shields, this helps when you have 2 main shields far apart but the indent is still somewhat unlikely but not unlikely enough to be unshielded, having more efficient shields fill in the indent is very energy efficient. Just don’t place too many.
Mistake #3: Not using armor.
Armor… is… not.. USELESS!
In the event a hoard of kinetic weapons shred your shields, armor is a counter to kinetic weapons, standing strong under hail fire. Armor as said before also causes explosion dampening, causing the almighty explosion based weapons to be a bit more bearable when the shield counter measures go down. In the event your tech looses power, that should not outright spell out the end. If it does… Imo you built bad unless it was “intended”, EXCEPT FOR ANTI GRAV! (Sorry if I was a bit harsh sounding there.) The counter to armor is lasers; they cut through it like a laser. The only issue is… lasers have the worst bullet velocity and need target prediction, so unless you are playing with mods to fix this, you should never think about Better Future laser weapons as existing. (Except disk lasers of coarse.) With the counter to armor not being practical (unless mods), armor is mostly unopposed. Generally, armor is a good way to ensure a tech lives after shields go down. Unless you do mistake #0 then you are for-doomed. Then you have the details of mistake #1 describing armored slopes a bit. Armored slopes like the HE wrap armor can be a real game changer when shields are down and you did not do mistake #0.
=Solution: Place armor at every last spare connection point that won’t cause mechanical problems.=
Mistake #4: Frail hull.
I said it before, I will say it again. HE six block is the best hull block out there. Use it like a mad tech! *Ahem*. Back to the actual mistake.
Venture lads, this mistake does not apply to you…. Wait… Why would you be here anyways?
The worst feeling is when you are in a fight, doing decent then all the sudden half your tech just collapses onto the floor because your last hull connection was compromised. Very good for salvage rights, very bad for prolonged fights. This also applies to batteries being uses to create tech spines as said in mistake #0. When making hull, it is best to use long blocks that have large surface area compared to volume. Most Geocorp blocks have lots of volume and little surface area, making the blocks a big target and easy to focus down and plop off. We want to prevent that as much as possible here. Now… NEVER… USE… ONE BLOCK! They have very little health and are absolutely demolished by AOE (Area of Effect) damage types; it’s partly why explosives are very powerful in Terra Tech. We want the block to survive damage as much as possible and have as many possible “spines” connecting the interiors of the hull together. Multiple GSO 5 blocks are much better for this than a few Geocrop blocks.
1) Use HE four and six blocks when making internal hull.
2) Use GSO 5-3 blocks for thin internal hull.
3) Avoid using Geocrop blocks for internal hull, use them for exterior hull but be sure to armor them!
4) Reinforce the hull. (#5 and 6)
5) Add more connections connecting the tech together.
6) Add armor to the hull.
Mistake #5: Relying on one cab.
I don’t need to say much, but I am gonna anyways.
Honestly, why would you ever not use the HE cab? Weight? Cost? Size?? I’m unsure…
Having one cab is just BEGGING to have your tech collapse prematurely from a sudden burst of AOE damage. Unless you got a HE havoc shield protecting your cab, if an explosive volley comes in and is large enough, the splash damage even with explosion dampening can insta-kill your cab, and pop goes your entire tech.
1) Create cab zones. (Areas built with things like gauges, radar, and AI modals.) This inflates your tech volume to have your cabs be harder to dig into.
2) Have more cabs.
3) Use HE hunter cab 24-7. (24-7 is not a necessity.)
4) Space your multiple cabs away from each other, most weapons lock onto the cab, so having cabs nearby other cabs makes it likely for the same hole created to kill the first cab can be used to create more cabs. Exception applies to using weapons like the HE battleship cannon for hull where a single block can be destroyed to expose multiple cabs.
5) Have your cabs be in safe zones. Ex: Deep inside the hull.
Mistake #6: TOO MANY EXPLOSIVE WEAPONS!
Having 6 cruise missiles all lined up is very nice and satisfying… until a single bullet comes and **ka-boom**. This applies to all explosive weapons that have a proper explosion upon detonation. An example that does not apply here is the rail gun, it does indeed explode, but the explosion is more of a *poof* than a **KA–BOOOOOOOOOOM!**. Instead of making that rack of explosive weapons, more each of those weapons to various parts of the tech. Unless you have a size restriction, play around the locations. Explosion dampening if your friend in small volumes! Now, this mistake is a bit more… leeway. You can make massive doom setups that have the effect of this “mistake”; needless to say, this may be more of a calculated risk than a mistake!
1) Space explosive weapons throughout the tech, none next to each other unless they are in an area that will be fine going **ka-boom**.
2) Use less big boom weapons.
3) Armor up the weapons without blocking their line of fire. (Personally recommend this one!)
4) Strategically place volatile weapons in locations unlikely to be shot at, IE: on a weapon rack above your tech.
This concludes the current list, I might add more in the future but these are my top 6 mistakes I see in tech designs. Obviously there are more but the top 3 are classed as “mentally painful” in my book.
Now remember, this is an edition of the Tanky Combat series. It’s all about surviving an onslaught and fighting successfully. In the case of a transport tech, it may need to have some of these “mistakes” to for-fill its functions.
Credit to VERTU