A how-to guide on Stars in Shadow ship combat!
Ship Combat Basics
The SiS ship combat interface is functional but not very intuitive.
Smaller ships can move or turn more than the larger ones. Each ship has its own movement limit.
You can double click in the exact center of a ship’s select square to select all of the ships that have that same loadout. Do the double click before moving any of them. Moving causes it not to work as well.
You can shift click or shift double click to add more ships to your selection.
While having multiple ships selected, you can have them all fire a certain weapon type in one go. Or you can click on the weapon group to have just one of them fire at a time.
Selecting a ship and moving your cursor to target something will let you see the selected weapons range.
On the ship portrait in the lower left. Early game you don’t have shields so you just want to make sure you still have the grey armor bar up. If you stay at a planet you own, free repairs.
After you get shields, pay attention to the 4 green shield facings. Rotating a ship in place to take damage on a new facing can be very helpful.
The colored numbers that flash up after a shooting an enemy ship indicate damage to different stats. Basically you only care about drilling through armor. The grey bar.
If an enemy ship has shields, then you want to focus on one side. Don’t attack from directions which will hit undamaged shields. When aiming at an enemy, you can see lines on the enemy ship portrait which will indicate the shield side you will hit.
Enemy ship stats and loadouts can be viewed outside of combat and in combat.
Capturing Enemy Ships
In the early part of a game, before you get a lot of research accomplished, you can capture enemy ships by first doing enough damage to make their engine flames cutout. Visually, sometimes its difficult to notice the difference between working engines versus killed engines.
Early in the game, you tend to accidentally blow up ships you are trying to capture. They won’t have a lot of health. After you do successfully stop an enemy ship, move one of your largest ships as close as possible to the stopped one and use the boarding action. You may need to board several times using multiple ships and also transfer crew from smaller ships to your larger ones. It can get a little tedious.
Enemy combat ships will often blow up or escape before you capture them. However, Its fairly easy to capture enemy troop transports, colony ships and outpost ships.
In the mid to late game, capturing enemy ships can be very useful. Note that there are techs you can research to make capturing easier. Capturing can provide free ships that you can then repair and/or refit to use yourself. Or you can break them down for metal. Or even break them down for a chance at free research.