This thread is designed to help new players understand what to do when attacking in Planetarion. It may look complicated, but it doesnt take very long at all before it becomes second nature
1) Fleet Composition: Build a fleet that is suited to your race. Threads can be found elsewhere on the strategy forum to guide you here.
2) Target Selection: Choose a target that your fleet is good at attacking - This is also discussed in race/fleet guides.
3) Use a Battle Calculator (aka Battlecalc, Bcalc) such as this one
or this one
to estimate the likely losses you will take and inflict on your enemy, in particular how many roids you are expected to capture - input your target's fleet into the Defenders side, and your fleet into the Attacker's side (most will accept a paste of your scans, such as unit scans).
4) Fleet Transfer: On the FLEETS page, ensure that you transfer the RIGHT ships into the RIGHT fleet to launch on the RIGHT target (and make sure you hit ATTACK not DEFEND
5) FOR GOD'S SAKE - REMEMBER TO HAVE PODS IN YOUR ATTACK FLEET
6) Launch: Launch your fleet (preferably along with other people's at the same time, a "Raid").
7) Prelaunch: Prelaunch can be useful to delay the launch of your fleet such that your target might be asleep, or otherwise will receive less defence. Be aware, though, that it is possible
for your attack to be discovered before it launches.
8) JGP Scan: when your fleet is almost at the end of its first tick of travelling (ie, 55 mins after you get a News item saying Fleet 1 has Launched), do a Jumpgate Probe scan - this is to see whether your target received alliance defence in it's first tick. Often, if your target is receiving defence from the outset its going to get covered (at the very least it will make you take more losses than you had calculated for). I usually recall at this stage, and then re-send the fleet when it gets home (though this requires being online enough). Be aware that a Jumpgate Probe scan will show all fleets
inbound to your target - only pay attention to the fleets with the same ETA
as your fleet, all the others wont participate in your battle. If there is no defence, proceed.
9) JGP AGAIN: When your fleet is ETA 4 - this scan will tell you all the fleets that can be launched to aid your target - as it will show up and in-galaxy fleets as well. This is where you need to make a decision of whether to fight or flight (recall). Obviously, the more marginal your original calc (Step 3) was, the more likely you are to recall with less defence. If you think your target is only partially covered;
10) Unit Scan the Defenders: This will give you a much better indication of what your target's defenders would have sent to counter your fleet - usually its fairly obvious to guess (if you sent a Fighter (FI) fleet which showed up at ETA 7, then any defenders from in universe (outside galaxy) wont be able to send any Frigates (FR) or larger ships (Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships) to defend against you. Further, it is likely that they would only have sent anti FI ships (Ships who target Fighters), unless they are sending along Flak (other ships in the same class so you dont kill as many and thus take more losses) too. An example is where a Xandathrii planet is sending 10 000 Pulsars against your Destroyer classed attacking fleet, however you JGP Scan shows that there are 50 000 defending ships from that Xan. If you Unit Scan shows 20 000 Sentinels, 20 000 Vsharrack, and 10 000 Pulsars, it means that the Xan probably just sent all of his Fighters to defend against you.
11) MAKE A DECISION: If the defence looks like its overwhelming, and you've unit scanned the defenders and it looks like they have too much defence; RECALL! DO NOT LAND ANYWAY
as you'll just die. Keeping your fleet alive is vital for your planet's success
- saving fleet is more important than saving asteroids. Cathaars and Xandathrii have far more brittle ships, so landing on defence is more difficult for them than to Terrans and Zikonians - but the idea is there: If your target is Covered, the Attack is Foiled.
Now, there are some finer points to attack and defence, such as determining fake defence, checking to make sure your target doesnt build ships before you land, and so on. More advanced fleet strategies are outlined in This Thread
. But the above is a good, comprehensive guide to attacking - Take Heed.
Please feel free to point out any flaws, or different methods.