About the Guide
The first thing you will notice about this Fleet Operations Guide is that it is composed of several distinct sections (the "tabs" at the top of the page).
The Basics of Fleet Operations is designed to give you a good introduction into what makes this real time strategy game unique from Armada II, as well as numerous gameplay tips, explanations of hotkeys, mining rates, how to setup a game, and an introduction to the ship classification system. This section is thus designed to be as unbiased as possible and merely give you the information that you need to understand the mechanics of Fleet Operations.
The Strategy section of the guide is first and foremost designed to cater to those who play human versus human multiplayer matches, although a Unit Analysis can be useful to learn the roles and abilities of each unit for offline play as well. This is not to say that certain strategies that are listed here will not work against the AI, but rather that these strategies have been tested over and over again against human players. Thus, strategies discussed in this guide will probably not be best against an AI that does not care whether you harass - to say the least.
It is also important to mention that this portion of the guide in general is not intended to teach you the extreme basics of playing Fleet Operations. Instead the suggestions described here are best used by someone who is “somewhat” familiar with the resources, and game-play for Armada II. In order to get the most out of this part of the guide, it is highly recommended that you read each section. It is best to read all of the strategies – no matter the faction – if only to get know the potential strategies available to your opponent. It is my hope that this will help you to learn an opponent’s strategies in order to come up with your own and thus become a better tactician. The strategies in the Avatar Specific Strategy sections have been designed to perform at their peak in 1v1 combat - they will thus work in cooperative multiplayer games (2v2, 3v3 etc) as well, but are not the only strategies that can work in cooperative multiplayer.
Within the Database section are segments called Vessel Overviews. These are dedicated to giving you all the statistics you’ve wanted to know about for each vessel that you will be commanding. Ships will generally be categorized using the “small, medium, large, station” nomenclature, because these are the general rules for Fleet Operation weapons. However, you will also notice that vessels are described as “cruisers,” “battleships” and other similar terms. These two classification systems stack in Fleet Operations to allow vessels to have a great deal of flexibility. Consequently, you will notice that certain weapons do increased or lessened damage versus battleships for instance, which is independent of the specific vessel’s size classification. In other words, if a torpedo weapon that does 2/3 damage against battleships is deployed against a medium sized battleship, this weapon will miss the targeted vessel 20% of the time and deal 2/3 the damage to that warship.
Nonetheless, vessel size is described by the terms Small, Medium, Large, and Station. Small roughly equates to scouts, freighters and destroyers, while Medium is equivalent to cruisers and support vessels (usually starships with three special abilities), Large to battleships, and Station to, well, stations. Note that the Station designation is considered a separate category from Large for damage calculations (weapons that deal increased damage against "large" vessels, do not deal increased damage against stations, unless otherwise written in the tooltip for instance). Weapon types are Beam, Torpedoes, or Pulses and are abbreviated as B, T, or P within this section. Weapon range can either be Short, Medium, Long, or Artillery (abbreviated as S, M, L, or A). Note that mixed-technology units receive their own special mixed-tech benefits, and thus the Mixed-Technology Unit Overviews in this guide are completely self-sufficient (avatar bonuses do NOT stack with normal mixed-tech units). Italicized abilities are those that were gained from mixed-technology.
A Getting Online section has been added to help people how to - well - get online, as well as configure various VPN (virtual private networks) services properly. Currently the majority of Fleet Operations' players use the Tunngle VPN program.
A Cooperative Multiplayer strategy guide has also been included, which is designed to help you bring together what you have read about the strategies available to each individual faction.
To best use both the Cooperative and normal Strategy sections, you can use the Unit Analyses to determine your fleet make-up and the counters you will need while integrating that with the build orders provided. Remember that in general this is a static guide: you are responsible for finding out how to juggle replacing your destroyed mining and construction ships with continuing to build up. Thus, it is really the early game build order that is most heavily detailed, because a bad beginning will often cause much more grief than experimentation later in a game. That being said, never be afraid to test new strategies, even if you might lose: it is always good to explore new possibilities because you might discover a winning tactic. Keep in mind that it is “just” a game – win or lose, you should be having fun.
A thorough Map Making section is included to help you to create those perfect multiplayer battlefields you have always dreamed about. This section has in depth explanations as to how to use the various map-editing tools, as well as an exclusive portion dedicated to describing what makes the best maps, and how you can go about achieving that.
The unofficial “official” history, explanations, and rumors behind the vessels, avatars, and factions of Fleet Operations is also included in the Apocrypha section - as gleaned from posts that the Fleet Operations developers have made over the past six years, as well as numerous conversations.