Highscore's Better Guide to NEBULOUS: Fleet Command

Highscore's Better Guide to NEBULOUS: Fleet Command


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Q: Why is your guide better?

A: Because it has more pictures, for one.

Q: Do you know what you're talking about?

A: I sure hope so.

Q: Is this up to date?

A: Yes. Edit on EA release: Yes.

Q: Will this cover everything I need to know?

A: No, but it's the important stuff.

Q: What if I want to know more?

A: Go to the official discord[discord.gg] and ask.

Q: Is this an objective and factual guide?

A: Mostly.

Q: I've got more questions!

A: Write them on a piece of paper and then burn it.

Q: Why this guide formatted like a children's storybook?

A: How else am I supposed to get through to you, knucklehead?

Q: Why should I believe you?

A: I have pretty pictures in my guide.

Useful Things To Know

- Hit space to toggle chessboard (AKA tactical) mode. Stay there.

- Hit tab to toggle UI. Keep it on.

Remember The Four Don'ts:

- Don't get spotted.

- Don't get shot at.

- Don't get hit.

- Don't die.

Figuring Stuff Out

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Nebulous, as it is now, shines best in PvP. PvE exists, in that you can fight AI, but it's the PvP that'll get you.

Here's how I recommend you get into this game.

Consider doing the tutorial.

Play one or two 3,000 point versus 3,000 point matches against the starting fleets. Win against the AI fleet.

Go to the official discord[discord.gg] and see who's up for a PvP fight, preferably a 2v2, but a 1v1 is perfectly fine. Or fight your friends. Either way, you want to fight someone, not just the AI.

That last point is the star of this game. PvP is fantastic, exhilarating and interesting. It makes your hands shake and your adrenaline threaten your tender blood vessels. It's also the best way to learn - by doing.

If you don't understand why something happens, ask. If the match is too much, play at fewer points. If you keep getting your ass kicked, asked for a 2:1 point advantage, there's no shame in it.

PvP fights will teach you everything - I'm just here to help that along.

Seeing The Enemy (Don't Get Spotted)

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Seeing the enemy is a massive part of winning, and it's harder than it sounds.

How far away you can see an enemy depends primarely on two things:

- Your sensors

- Their hull profile

The smaller the enemy ship, the harder it is to spot. The stronger your sensors, the easier you'll spot them.

Your fleet NEEDS either a Spyglass or a Paralax radar. Hopefully more than one. It fits into the smallest module slots, eats a lot of power, and makes it so you can see far. You can improve on that with Adaptive Sensor receivers.

There are 3 radars:

Spyglass is the most powerful and longest ranged.

Frontline is cheap, low power, and short range. It has a burnthrough option, which means it can sometimes break through jamming.

Paralax is almost as powerful as a Spyglass, but can burnthrough like a Frontline, and lock targets. This one's the most universally powerful, right now, just for the burnthrough power.

There's also a separate Bullseye hardpoint part that lets you lock targets better than the Paralax. An easy must have for almost any fleet.

Locks are somewhat resistant to jamming, but not immune. Locks also don't reach outside of 9-10 km.

You can reduce your hull profile, and make it harder for the enemy to spot you. See these buttons?

Specifically, the RADAR and COMM buttons? Consider turning both off. This will significantly reduce your hull profile.

Stealth: Achieved. Sneaking: Leveled up.

For a little while. Of course you're BLIND AND MUTE. You can't see, and you can't transmit data to allied ships when you have radar and comms off.


At the top left of your screen, there's a list of your ships. Keep an eye out for this symbol:

This means an enemy, any enemy, can see your ship.

If you can't see the red contact of the enemy, but the enemy can see you, you're in trouble. It means they either have stronger sensors, or a smaller profile. Or both. And soon, your ship will start to take fire.

Or worse.

If your screen looks like this...

...You're being jammed. This, surprise surprise, makes it harder to see. Get into cover, or rush to close range. Use burnthroughs on your Paralaxes and Frontlines. This is where having two powerful radars helps, as the enemy might not be able to jam both if they're far enough apart.

If your sensors are good enough, your will spot each other at the same time (there's a maximum range, even for spyglasses). That's where the fun begins.

Surviving (Don't Get Shot At)

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If you get spotted, you can and will get shot at. On top of that, you can get:

- Jammed

- Flanked

- Pranked

- Fooled

- Bamboozled

Assume your enemy is better than you. Assume competence. Do not half-ass your responses to being spotted.

If the enemy if very far away, they can:

- Lob missiles at you

- Hit you with railguns

- Jam you

If the enemy is less far away, they can also:

- Lock you

- Hit you with capital cannons

- Hit you with stronger jamming

If the enemy is close:

- Get the bayonet.

"But Highscore," you say, "I don't want to get shot at!"

So you paid attention to The Four Don'ts. Fine. Here's what you do:

Keep moving. Motion is life. Don't stand still.

See the THRTL and MNVR buttons? Left or right clicking them will change modes. What do they do?

THRTL is speed, and guess what. You get FLANK SPEED. Your engines will take damage, but you will receive a MASSIVE speed boost.

MNVR can be set to evasive. This will make your ship ship dance like a cow on ice - slowly, not gracefully, and if the sniper is far away, they might even miss. This combines very well with Flank speed.

Remember those RADAR and COMM buttons? It's not too late to toggle those off. Keep an eye on the yellow 'spotted' indicator on your ship list - if it disappears, the enemy is far, and reducing your profile has made you invisible once more. No shooting you.

If that indicator remains, stop making yourself blind and mute. Turn them back on.

If you're locked, though, it's too late to do this.

Use cover. Rocks are cover. Use rocks. If there's a rock between you and the enemy, they can't shoot you with guns. Beware, though, that they CAN still curve missiles around the rock to hit you, so keep moving. Flank speed can help you get behind things faster, so use it.

Jam the enemy.

- A Blanket jammer will turn enemy screens into a seizure-inducing mess, and it will make you very hard to see.... from that direction. From outside the jamming cone, you're still as visible and shootable as before.

- A Hangup jammer will make it so the affected ships can't receive tracks. THEY CAN STILL SEND TRACKS, just not receive them. Comms jam the sniper, not the spotter.

Finally, there's the one thing you can never overlook. If you're spotted, there's a ship nearby. That ship is spotting you.


Railguns. Missiles. Whatever it takes, do it. The moment you spot a ship, and you don't care about concealing your angle of attack, launch a few missiles at the enemy. If it has no PD, you'll hurt it. If it had PD, you'll see that PD firing and know what you're facing.

And if you manage this, or at least manage to destroy that ship's radar panels or guns, you won't get shot.

But what if that fails?

Surviving (Don't Get Hit)

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What's that noise? Is the toast ready? Is something in the oven? Are there guests at the door?

No, it's just 300 missile contacts appearing in your sensor range.

You've been spotted. And you're being shot at. This... is bad.

Now, don't get hit.

"Why not?" you ask? Questions like that is why I made a children's picture book instead of a guide.

A single missile hit can kill a ship. ANY SHIP. YOUR ship. Don't let that happen.

Point defense, what is it good for?

Defender (BRRRRRT): Cheap, barely effective, but if nothing else, bring a few of these.

Rebound (Flack): Effective in large numbers, good at destroying swarms of missiles.

Aurora (Laser Disco): Very effective, but expensive and eat a lot of power.

Don't try and kill all the missiles with your point-defense, though.

- Dodge sideways at flank speed.

- Bring and use chaff to draw some of the missiles away from your ships.

- Jam the missiles.

- Jam the ships guiding the missiles.

- Put a rock between yourselves and the missiles.

And only then, once the missiles lobbed are largely diverted, you can rely on your point-defense to take out the ones still coming after you.


But what about guns?

Cannons and railguns are very hard to dodge. You are either fast, or you are hit. Sometimes, you're both. Cover, evasion and jamming will only get you so far.

At some point, you'll start taking hits.

Fighting (Don't Die)

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You're spotted. You're getting shot at. You're getting hit.

Don't die.


Kill the enemy before they kill you.

First, let's talk survival.


Here's how you can take hits better:

- Citadel CIC: To make taking out your command harder.

- CIC placement: Don't put it at the ship's center of mass.

- Armored Magazines: The first magazine is free, no matter the type.

- Damage Control: The more you have, the more you can fix.

- More ships: If you have 2 Spyglasses on 2 ships, you are twice as hard to blind.

- Armor: Heavy Cruisers and Battleships have a lot. It helps.

With larger, more armored ships, you can also perform some high skill manuevers known as armor angling.

The greater the angle of impact, the more effective your armor. A battleship can bounce railguns sometimes, cannons always. Use at your own consideration.

Now, let's hit back.


Whatever weapon and tactic you choose - commit. You want corvettes? Bring ALL THE CORVETTES. You want missiles? 500 OF THEM. Battleship? BATTLESHIP. Guns? MAXIMUM TO THE GUNS.

If you try to multi-task, or jack-of-all-trade your fleet, you end up bad at everything. Not enough missiles and you fail to break enemy PD. Too much PD and ECM, and you lack guns and damage. You want a battleship but also other stuff? Your battleship ends up being too easy to kill if you invest too little into it.

The following are a few examples of fleet compositions have proven effective in PvP:

- Wall of missiles. Hulls with nothing BUT missile launchers and a few illuminators to guide the second-cheapest missile type in the game, the 'home-on-illuminated-target' missiles. These work, these are BRUTAL, these traumatize, and if you mess up your missile allocation, you lose. However, launcher costs on a single ship stack exponentially, So if the fist costs 15 points, the second costs 30.

Nothing like getting hit by a swarm of 300 missiles. Counter with chaff, jamming, and cover. Aurora PD lasers help.

- Sniper + Spotter. Missiles or railguns sit ten kilometers clear of the battle, firing on targets provided by spotter ships. Very effective. If you're facing this, kill the spotters above all else. In larger fights, hunt the snipers down, as they're usually badly defended and not very durable. Picture of fleet could not be found.

- Corvette swarm. Not sure who decided to commit to them first, but I know most testers have tried them, and OfN is the one that got me into using them sometimes. These are corvettes with missile/torp launchers, ECM, PD, whatever. There are MANY of them, and they are SCARY. And also very squishy. Don't run into cannons. You can run around the map, capturing points and spotting. You can missile bigger targets and swarm smaller ones with 250mm cannons.

- BATTLESHIP. Alone. Expensive. Menacing. Murderous. You commit to building one REALLY good battleship. You can get our-flanked easily by corvettes. You can't capture more than one point. But in a 2v2, you are the thing people try not to get in front of because your railguns fire every 15 seconds and there are 7 of them.

- ASH. I made it as a meme. I don't know why it works. Starter Fleet - Ash is unreasonably effective, despite not committing to a single damage output, and is, above all else, fun. How do you use it? Spot target. Jam it. Lock it. Missile it a bit. Close range. Beam it. Cannon it. Beat on it till it dies. Repeat.

The others? Figure them out on your own.

Important Things To Know

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Some more tips.

Sniper+Spotter Combo...Is the use of a stealthy spotter (Corvette or Frigate with a spyglass) to detect targets (without being spotted itself), so that artillery (missile or rail) 12+ KM away can fire on said targets without retribution. You know this is happening to you if that 'spotted' marker appears, and you start to receive fire from the edge of the map.

There are several ways to deal with this:

- Jam the spotter. Radar jamming will make it so the spotter can't spot. This requires detecting the spotter. Remember: You can only Comms Jam the receiver, not the sender. Only comms jam the sniper, not the spotter.

- Kill the spotter. A stealthy corvette or frigate are easy to kill with both guns and missiles.

- Lob missiles at the artillery. Active missiles don't need a track to fired on - simply blind-fire active missiles in the direction from which the shots are coming from, and the missile will seek out the tracks with their own radar.

- Charge the artillery. You'll take fire, but this bypassing having to look for the spotter.

Missile Scouting...Is when you use very few active missiles and lob them across the map. Watch the missile, and if you see point-defense fire hitting it, look where it's coming from - that's the enemy. This is also useful for figuring out the point-defense capabilities of a target - if a track doesn't shoot your missile, you know what to do.

It's a good idea to lop a missile or two at capture points outside your normal reach, even if you don't see a target but see that a point is being captured - maybe you'll hit something!

This can be countered by:

- Turning off your point defense to prevent PD from exposing your location by shooting missiles that weren't going to hit you anyway.

- Being outside the areas where an enemy may think you are. Be careful when capturing points.

Battleships...Are hard to kill. How do you do it? Two options.

- Missiles. Lots of them.

- Reactor overload.

Corvettes...Are shockingly low-profile. With radar and comms turned off, they can close without being spotted. A corvette with a spyglass or paralax is the ultimate spotting ship, because it's very hard to detect, even as it sees you. This also allows them to close and deliver torpedos before dying.

But if you get hit, you die fast.

Frigates...Are not frontline combat ships. If you put guns on them and then go whining that you lost, or that frigates are weak, I will cry. Frigates die like flies if shot, but work great as missile and ECM carriers. Use them smartly. Don't throw them into brawls.

Missiles...Come in several types:

- Home-On-Jamming: You guessed it. Very cheap.

Defeated by turning off jamming.

- Semi-Active: Dive for targets illuminated by friendly illuminators. Also cheap.

Defeated by killing enemy illuminators, or breaking line-of-sight with the illuminating ship. Also chaff.

- Active: Fire-and-forget.

Defeated by blanket jammers and chaff.

- Command: Guided by the launching ship and its sensors. Expensive.

Defeated by comms jamming and destruction of guiding ship.

More of the guide to be made. Soon.

Source: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2556596778					

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