This page details strategies to defeat the enemy in offensive attacks. For repelling raiders, see Defense tactics.
While offense means attacking the enemies, this doesn't mean you cannot use defensive tactics as well. Upon entering enemy territory, the first behavior your characters will have is to wander around their arriving zone for a while before they start to perform as you set them to work for daily life. Which is the same behavior raiders have when they attack you as well.
Attacking enemies does not mean you have to go fight right away. Enemies will remain roaming around their base initially and then come at you. The time it takes them to engage you may even extend to a full day, and they even go to sleep which is an advantage so long as your own soldiers are well rested and the fight does not take too long before your fighters start to lack rest. Because contact is not immediate, you can have the time enough to build your own base within their map, if you brought the resources or can drop pod them in.
One common concern may be counting their numbers, but always remember that once around half of them are defeated, the remaining survivors will flee, so its fine to mind yourself as if there were fewer of them. If planned carefully, you can choose those who will flee, taking out the most dangerous ones first and leaving lesser ones to clean up later or vice-versa.
Offense team composition
Your attack team may be different depending on what you will be attacking.
As bases are the most well-defended of anything you can attack, you will need to bring your best forces to attack them.
A good base assault team should consist of:
- 11 - 15 well-equipped soldiers
- 2-3 brawlers
- 3-5 snipers
- Rest should be high-DPS gunners
An all-sniper composition is a bad idea against bases or outposts as they can't deal enough damage to shoot down the attackers.
Outposts are smaller, hence you won't need that many people to attack it. Still, you should be geared to face some formidable enemies.
A good outpost assault team can comprise of:
- 8 - 12 well-equipped soldiers
- 1-2 brawlers
- 3-4 snipers
- Rest should be high-DPS gunners
Turreted outposts are a trivial threat, with only a couple lone enemies guarding it in addition to the turrets. The main point here is to lure out the enemy to attack, then make them flee so you can neutralize the turrets by claiming them.
A good turret assault team should have:
- 3 - 5 well-equipped soldiers
- 1 brawler
- 2-3 snipers
- Rest can be high-DPS gunners
An alternative composition can be as follows:
- 1 sniper
- Rest should be shielded brawlers
This composition is about getting enemies out then swarming them. This works good against the low-DPS turrets with the sniper staying out of range while the brawlers down the enemy.
An all-sniper composition also works in this case.
Since you're very likely to receive injuries during an offensive assault, and you may also find desirable prisoners, you will need to bring at least 1 doctor (preferably a soldier as well), and medicine to patch up the wounded.
Enemies holed up in their base will have the cover advantage on their side, as well as additional defenses such as turrets. To counter this, lure them out using long-range fire. Once they start to assault your colonists, set up defensive positions at a distance away from the enemy. They will be forced to use stone chunks as cover (same as you), negating their advantage. It also allows you to stay out of reach of enemy turrets.
All hostiles while centered at their base will remain together at first and then move towards in a same direction against you. Before entering their map, you can split your caravan so that you enter from different corners and take them from the sides or behind. So long as one pawn is in the map, the generated base and terrain will not change. It's possible to make them all rush to a single corner and then make all other groups take their base, while leaving enemies in the open and then have the solo bait re-zone to another convenient corner to join the main group. Pay attention to their characters, melee and ranged as they all rush in a big block without any level of organization which allows you to take them down one by one.
Train your offensive animals for "Release" command, then assign them to owners, leaving out pack animals. You will lose some but if you have been breeding them enough at your home farm, their loss won't affect you much, since they will keep breeding and replenishing their numbers. All enemies will be drawn to them for the bait and you can attack them from behind. Big animals such as elephants may even survive and be strong enough for a second run.
Alternatively, you can easily target the enemy base, centered right in the middle of the map, for your animals to be run over. Since animals of burden are slower than humans, you can zone out leaving them behind and then re-zone-in. This can make your party re-appear on a different side of the map from where you left, oddly enough, and your animals who were left behind will attempt to re-join you. Make their pathing be drawn over the enemy base (or create an animal zone behind them).
When humanoid enemies are defeated to the point of fleeing, instead of destroying the turrets, you can simply claim them and turn them to your side. The turrets will proceed to turn on the enemies from behind, shooting them while they are fleeing.
You will have to claim the turrets if you are to use the now-destroyed base for rest as the turrets will still be loyal to their previous masters and fire on you.
Sometimes you can find a mortar or two situated in the base.
They are mostly an ineffective defense against your attacks, as they rarely hit and take a relatively long time to reload, which by then you would have already defeated the raiders. Sometimes they will even cause friendly fire. Still, grouping your colonists too close together is risky as an unlucky shot from the mortar can hit many of your soldiers.
By some weird quirk enemies manning mortars aren't affected by panic fleeing so you will need to close in on them to finish them off. Choose brawlers with shields to pick them of as their shields can block the bullets from the turrets effectively, or snipers that can hit the mortar outside of turret range.
If you plan to rush a mortar without snipers or brawlers, aim to stand somewhere outside the turrets' range, yet is within the mortar's blind spot.
If you have soldiers standing right outside the blind spot, inaccuracy and area damage can still cause the mortar shell to hit someone within the blind spot.
You can bring artifacts such as the psychic insanity lance, psychic shock lance or psychic animal pulser which are handy but somewhat costly and hard to find. You can get some for free by opening ancient structures.
Psychic insanity lance
Can be used to drive an enemy berserk. Good for distraction as the berserk enemy will proceed to lash out at their comrades, and in the process may also deal some damage.
It's best that you use it on a melee pawn with a shield belt.
Psychic shock lance
Not as useful in an offense situation, given that base defenders don't use mega weapons. Still useful for downing a person you want to capture, but expect brain damage.
Psychic animal pulser
The most dangerous of the artifacts, this drives all the animals in the map into a manhunter rage. The animals will quickly clear out the enemy defenders and turrets.
To use this, you will need to construct a room to lock all the animals out. Be quick or the enemy may attack before you finish. Afterwards, just hide in the room, and activate the pulser. Then, just watch the animals swarm and overwhelm the enemy defenses. Remember to bring more food for you'll be locked in for quite some time.
The 24 hours countdown may start soon after an outpost has been destroyed, and any still ravaging animal will need to be put down before you can gather all precious items to your convoy. You may have to deal with a large pack if the initial number was high.
You may convert one of the already-present structures into a makeshift prison barracks to hold prisoners in battle. Just put down some sleeping spots, and set them for prisoner use.
As mentioned before, you need doctors and medicine to heal the injured or fallen. While you don't need medicine for treatment, it's still recommended to bring some.
If possible, bring the patient to rest in a clean room. Treatment there reduces the chance of infection.
In many places, wild healroot can be gathered. This can be used for proper treatment, or stretch out your quality medicine supply and save them for later use. If you're lucky you may also come across medicine stocks in the enemy base. Feel free to use them.
You don't need to strip corpses as you can directly choose which clothes to take from them in the caravan reform menu. However, for downed enemies, it's best to strip them first so you can recover their clothing intact.
Most clothing you find is worthless due to the dead man's apparel modifier diminishing a large part of their value. You can still recover shield belts without this modifier, which you can take as your own without much issues.
Berries and agave fruit may be harvested from the surroundings, while meat can be hunted from animals or found in enemy food stocks. These can be cooked over a campfire or a fueled stove if you have the steel, so you can extend your food stocks.
Components may be found in compacted machinery in the surrounding hills. Mining them is a good source of components for crafting or construction.
Dismantling the structures of the enemy may yield steel or components. It's not recommended to bring steel along with you due to its heavy weight and ease of obtaining outside scavenging.
So far the game uses the same work tab to assign roles while within base and while invading too. This presents a few inconveniences, most :
- Firefight: This is an assignment useless for offense, mostly when given priority 1 as you don't want your pawns to start putting the fire out that was caused by incendiary weapons, it is not your base. It is however useful if you want to try and salvage items to sell.
- Clean: Again, while this assignment is one of the last, if given priority 1 over other tasks, it can become another inconvenience as we don't want them to remove wall rubble.
This can be countered by removing the Home area if any are added. Since you are invading, the home area shouldn't be present by default.