It's time for our second guide, we'll be publishing some of the best guides we have had submitted for the AE Guide contest ahead of the deadline. Perhaps you'll get some good idea's from them? So, you've been occupied, now what? by Brian 333.
Being occupied isn't as bad as it seems at first. You can do a great deal from an occupied position, if you think of it as an opportunity rather than a crisis. For example, it pins down enemy forces for your guildmates to hit, or it keeps enemy forces off your guildmates' backs.
Now I know I'm pointing at an outhouse and calling it a rose arbor here, but keep in mind if someone wants you occed, they will do it. At the least you can make it cost them dearly for their troubles.
This step actually begins before you are ever threatened. Defend your worlds! Good defenses make occupation costly, and most players will simply look for easier targets. Make sure you keep your astros' economies within the 'uneconomical to conquer' range, so no more than 60 econ per p-ring, for example, and no purely econ structures until your prod/const caps are maxed for your level.
Now you see the occupier coming. So, prepare his welcome: wait till the last minute and drop your trade routes. You can message your trade partners ahead of time or afterward: most will wait for you to come back, most of the rest will let you know if they plan to refil the TR. What you do not want to do is give this fellow an extra 4k in plunder per route.
Also, destroy your purely econ structures. You can rebuild them later, but the lower your econ, the lower his hourly tribute. Half of this money will be waiting for you the next time you colonize an astro, and you may need the additional area and energy for defenses, (especially Command Centers, which are normally useless, but come into their own during a long term occ.)
Finally, spend every credit you have. I mean, down to 0. If you do no more than this you can discourage any long-term occ simply by letting the occupier know that his efforts are for nought. Put it in research you don't care to complete if possible or structures you don't need, so you can cancel them and immediately have the money back to use against your occupier after his initial pillage.
Immediately after the occ your occupier will be busy waiting for your reaction. Perhaps you have a massive fleet hiding nearby, or a trusty guildmate, or whatever. He will be getting his RC's into the area and keeping an eye on every astro in the region. So, do nothing that will alert him you're there. No messages, no taunts, no fighter-every-minute. Make him feel unthreatened. The hope here is that he takes his mobile elsewhere and leaves a token occupation force. (If you can trash his mobile, go for it; this thesis assumes you can't.)
In this stage of the game, look for your best opportunity: if he parks RC's without capital ships to protect them, then build as many fighters as you can to arrive on the xx:30 time tick so you can take out as many RC's as you can before they gather derbs. Do this as long as he keeps RC's on station, because it will take three hours of derbs to rebuild the 30 credit RC, while your 5 credit Ft is expendable, and won't leave a lot of derbs.
If he leaves a huge occ force with capital ships then there's little you can do in the short term, but you can irritate him by building RC's to arrive just before the tick, then scramble them for a safe location after they gather some of his hard-won derbs. You can do this every tick there are derbs in your space. These RC's will be valuable later, and if they can be parked on a nearby friendly JG that he has no eyes on, then that's even better.
The determined long-term occupier will spend countless credits to maintain his occ, but most players want profit. So you take the profit out of his occ! You already have a minimum econ and never allow credits to sit in your bank on the 24 hour since pillage mark. (This is crucial! Every time he pillages, your message should report your occupier got 0 credits!)
Now the fun begins! Examine his occupation fleet: can you take it out with what you can build locally? Let's say yes first. Assume he leaves 100 fighters: simple, build 100 fighters locally, derb them, you're liberated! The size of his fleet really doesn't matter, it's the time that it takes to liberate your astro that counts. If building localy will require more than a couple of days, then move on to the next paragraph, but if you can build locally enough to take out the occupier then you don't risk your mobile when you send it in to relieve your occ. (He may be occupying you just to bait your mobile into his gunsights!)
So, let's say he leaves 1000 fighters and a Battleship. If you can build two battleships locally then your problems are solved! If not, then you can be creative, and perhaps build the fighters on your occupied world, while capital ships or destroyers come in from elsewhere to take down his capital. Careful timing can get your offworld assets in system just as the build completes for an immediate strike. Poor timing can lead to first the loss of one fleet and then the other as the occupier realizes something's up and takes steps to prevent it. Spacegoing entities live by the clock!
But, if you cannot liberate locally, think long-term. Build fighters in 100 Ft lots and let them stack up. He must destroy them to pillage you. I prefer to build enough fighters so that they complete just minutes before his 24 hours since pillage and derb them myself. If he's truly in it for the long term, he will then bring in capital ships which can't be harmed by fighters. Ion Bombers are expensive, but they send a clear message: your occupation will cost you! Even better is to determine what most cost-effectively damages or destroys the capital he sends and build that! Tailor your response to the minimum cost to you for the maximum damage to him.
If several nearby worlds are available, build what will destroy your occupier elsewhere and bring it in on the fastest JG you can find. This is also a good opportunity for your guildmates to grab a few extra experience points, but don't let them send in free derbs for the occupier; make certain they are inflicting more harm than the enemy can recover in debris.
Derbsteal all you can. If you successfully clear your occupation, then while you're waiting for him to return clean up the mess with as many RC's as you can build. I like to time it so that they arrive right before the tick. Several hours of your astro's max production of RC's can build up quite a stack of RC's. Don't leave them unwatched: your occupier will want to return before your defenses regenerate. Don't give him any free derbs, the idea is to steal his!
This guy is really annoying and plans to stay forever. So learn his habits. Does he remain inactive for an hour after you hit him? Is he inactive between midnight and 4? Does he always bring his full mobile into range when he re-takes the occ?
Knowing the habits of an enemy can create opportunities. For example, if you know his bedtime, then liberating your occupation right after he's in dreamland will give your defenses the maximum rebuild time, cost him more to retake, and give you time to derbsteal.
Also, this information can be passed along to guildmates! It could be that he returns with his entire mobile every time he takes you out, so you may offer a guildmate an opportunity to derb his mobile, if carefully arranged. Assume your guildmate can get his mobile into the region, and you can destroy the occupier's eyes in the region. As soon as the region is clear your guildmate tests for transit time and gets his mobile ready to attack. As soon as you see the countdown for the incoming fleet, you can alert your mate so that he arrives three seconds before. From the moment your guildmate launches to the time of his attack, your only duty is to put out any eyes the occupier may send, and blammo! (This is where your carefully salvaged RC's come in handy!)
Don't be discouraged, occupation is part of the game, and it's something you will have to learn to deal with until you have 6 p-rings and 2 Death Stars on every astro with 40 CC's. You don't have to roll over and take it; you can fight back, but do so intelligently. Never feed him derbs, and never allow him to plunder trade routes. Keep his tribute low, and damage his fleet, especially his capitals, as often as you can with the lowest cost to yourself. Eventually he will go away, either through running out of fleet to occ you with, or finding better, less difficult, occupations to manage.
I would like to acknowledge the training and advice of my more experienced guildmates who taught me and who took the time to critique this when I originally posted it for the use of my guildmates.
Death Smurf, Batty, Lupine, Drizzt, Destroyer Kent, Karisha, and many others have in some way helped to make this guide a useful tool for our guild. I would also like to thank BSMF, especially Trap and object, for helping me to refine these ideas under fire. Thanks, guys!
Guide sent by Brian 333 for the Community Guide Contest.