When and Why it's O.K. and How to Do It.
By: George Argyropoulos
Wait... you're condoning what now???
Let me start by clarifying this - I have no problem with players doing this IF they do not have a fleet that can do the complete 109. I have been guilty of sinking a fleet or two that I caught doing this- if it was a full FM fleet capable of taking the 109. I have even seen people doing this with a copy of my fm fleet. They got visits after their fleet went home. If you are gutting the 109's because you want to get it done without damage or because you don't feel like waiting, or because you think you are screwing Kixeye... I have no sympathy for your fleet getting sniped. None. We have 3 days to complete the FM for a reason. Build more tanks or roll some Bullseye Brigade crews if you feel the need to do it all in one sitting. Gutting or sniping out the 109 islands can be viewed as lazy or inconsiderate and can engender retaliatory actions, including your fleets getting sunk and your base getting smashed (but generally only if you are using a higher end fleet to gut the 109's).
I will say this also- most bigger players that I know, hold to the above as well. Struggling players are not held to the same level of expectation as bigger players are, and rightfully so. Don't be afraid to do this, if it is the best you can do. If a player has an issue with you doing it, move along and leave 'their' 109 for them. Those of us that one shot them still need to kill off a gutted one to get to 350 million.
The issue as I see it is this: Players need to feel a sense of relevancy in the game, and that comes in the context of other players. Ideally, I feel as though new players need to be able to get into the FM very quickly and even get up to T4 within the first month of play. It was different for us because our contextual reference was different- we were ALL struggling towards the same goal. This is an aspect of the game that really needs to be looked at as a quick feeling of relevance will have the benefit of higher retention rates of new players... and probably would start a nice slow trickle of new players into the game.
Errr.... ok, You're daft, but we'll humor you...
So, that said, for those players whose fleets can't make it through the 109 but need to get to Tier 4 or Tier 5, gut away. Please. The FM is so much of a priority for people to get caught up and become relevant in the game that I will encourage this in smaller players. Srsly. I even wrote about how much of a priority it is in this article. That said... let's look at a quick video example first and then visit the parts...
I will include a second Tank build as well, however, 9Nines was kind enough to record this hit for me to illustrate the general method I would use, and I am going to use the proven build here to illustrate for ease and reference.
You can find the full fleet build here.
My combo of choice (for this or a full out FM fleet) is a CM Tank spotter (Counter-Measure Tank) and remote mortar 'chuckers'. This allows you to mitigate overall damage by limiting damage to your Tank (with good driving) leaving your Chuckers damage free.
This also allows for more than one tank to be built in order to speed up point accumulation. You can also stack up your tanks at the end of play and repair them all at once overnight or while you are at work. Tanks can run the gamut from Tideseekers to Novastorms. Chuckers are generally Novastorms, Berserker or Citadels.
As you can see this build holds to the same theories all popular CM FM Tank builds hold to- a lot of Explosive and Penetrative damage resistance. This same idea can be molded to any tank you want. The options are there, particularly if you choose to boost any of your stats through a Flagship or Crews.
To see how the above build stacks up, this is my Tideseeker CM Tank I use for my FM every week.
As you can see the same fundamentals are in this build as well. No matter what you build, these resistances are key to your CM FM Tank build. As you can see, the Tideseeker has a significantly higher amount of armor allowing more targets to be hit. This particular build will take me through the entire FM. With a Bullseye Brigade Crew, I can do the FM to T5 twice inside of 40 min and for less than 1.5 hours damage.
Fine... so we get a Tank, then what?
Mortar Chuckers. In this case, we are going with the Novastorms listed above. If you have better ones, use those. Personally, I have grown to like the Citadels a lot. Particularly with the Harlock lead. The idea behind them is simple. Fast, damaging mortars to do as much widespread damage in as little time as possible. Personally I would tweak this build, but as I said, this is what is in the vid; it works and is tested so it is a fantastic jumping off point for people that need it.
This has what we want. Judges for the damage and the MIRV ability. Specials for damage and projectile speed. Some speed to keep up with the Tank. Simple combination. Is there room for improvement? Sure, but... do you really need to at this point?
I know this is not going to be a popular position to take. I'm not sure why people get soooo hot and bothered over this subject. I can see both sides of the argument, however, I really do believe that this will actually help the community by helping the individual player feel a sense of relevance in the game sooner as well as gain a feeling of accomplishment. That the FM has become so important in progressing in this game makes it even more important for players to achieve quickly in this area. To that end I see no argument that can stand against this for certain players. And let's be honest- really and truly, if the FM is not an issue for you, you can't really complain about gutted 109's- the FM is easy for us that have the ability to do these in that way.
A side note: I would like to thank all of you for the help and support for this blog. In under 6 weeks we have hit over 50,000 views- far more than I had ever anticipated in that short a time span. THANK YOU!!