Guide for From The Depths – Faction Strengths and Weaknesses
Before we get started I do want to clarify a few things, for starters this guide is focused mostly on the Quest for Neter campaign, however most of the information pointed out here can be applied to the Ashes of the Empire campaign and the adventure mode. Secondly throughout this guide I’m going to assume you have the basics of shipbuilding and weapon crafting down so I’m not going to go into too much detail on that front, if you want more info in that department I’ll leave links to other guides that can help. Lastly I do want to point out that although I am covering every weapon here I am biased towards advanced cannons, if you have any tips for the other various forms of weaponry please let me know in the comments, that’s all I have for clarifications, as I said before if you need to learn the basics I’ve got a couple links other guides here
Not found (might have to write my own)
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get down to business
The Deep Water Guard (DWG)
The Crossbones, the DWG’s most fearsome battleship
The Deep Water Guard are the resident pirates of Neter and consequentially are the easiest faction and the first faction you’re at war with if you pick the easy start, Their crafts are often made out of wood with very little, if any armor but this does not mean that they aren’t dangerous. Their stolen weaponry can destroy a fair chunk of metal and they have access to most types of craft in the game which can prove troublesome, furthermore the wooden construction of their vessels makes them harder to sink meaning total destruction/sniping the AI core are pretty much the only way to kill their vessels, however any craft with good armor and decent weaponry can blow them out of the water or sky.
If you’re looking to destroy these pillaging ponces as fast as possible high explosive and/or flak weaponry is the way to go, the lack of armor on their crafts means that explosives even on low gauge cannons do nearly full damage, however make sure to include some dedicated Anti-Air and Anti-Submarine weapons so you don’t get caught off-guard by a craft you can’t hit.
In terms of defenses pretty much any craft made mostly out of metal will provide enough armor to take hits from most of their guns and missiles, however you’ll want something a bit beefier when you run into their capital ships and air vessels. For these guys you’ll want something with layered armor and planar shields, active defense systems like LAMS or CIWS turrets can help a lot too but they really aren’t necessary when fighting these guys.
- A wide variety of crafts
- Access to most conventional weaponry (Simple Weapons, Missiles, CRAM Cannons, & Advanced Cannons)
- Wooden construction means their vessels float really easily
- Wooden construction means little to no armor
- A preference for CRAMS makes them vulnerable to more nimble craft
- Any LAMS or CIWS can negate most of their arsenal
- 1 layer of metal is usually enough to tank most of their weaponry
- Very few active defense systems (if any)
The Onyx Watch (OW)
The Bulwark, OW’s battleship and the finest example of their ship construction
The Onyx Watch are home to the trading hub of Neter so naturally they’ve invested a lot of resources in protecting their precious cargo, funnily enough their acronym pretty much describes the effectiveness of their weaponry. Similar to the DWG they have access to simple weapons, Advanced Cannons, Missiles and CRAMs, however they tend prefer CRAMs over everything else with their designs focusing on volume of fire rather than the effectiveness of each cannon, even their smallest ship has about 5 guns. These guys haven’t skimped on the defense either, their ships are some of the most heavily armored and slowest in the game with their capital ships usually packing some form of active defense so expect their craft to take a major beating before dying, that being said the only type of craft available to the OW are ships with the Eyrie being the only exception and they hadn’t thought about torpedo defense when designing these ships.
If you want to take out their ships as effectively as possible torpedoes are very effective at sinking their ships since they have no torpedo defense, kinetic shells are your best bet for destroying their armor outright as well as frag and HEAT/HESH weaponry although the latter can have some trouble due to the amount of empty space in the OW’s crafts. If you’re using CRAMS I’d recommend buffing the AC value & health of your shells to help punch through their active defenses, EMP weaponry can also knock out their weapons and LAMS thanks to the mostly metal construction, and if you have the resources for it, lasers with decent AP values or particle cannons set to piercing can be very effective due to a lack of smoke dispensers on their ships.
In terms of effective defense, you can play the same armor game as the OW but I’d advise against that since it tends to get expensive fairly quickly, as a rule of thumb you should be sticking with about 2-3 layers of metal for general armor and only breaking out the heavier armor for the important subsystems/armor belts. Also because they’re using CRAMs any craft that can move quickly will dodge most of the weaponry the OW are packing, using submarines is a good strategy too but limits your movement during combat. For active defense systems Missile Interceptors, LAMS and/or CIWS are a must at this point along with some form of torpedo defense since that’s mostly what the OW uses missiles for, I’d recommend buffing the DPS if you’re working with LAMS and using high explosive if you’re working with CIWS to take out CRAM volleys more effectively.
- Lots of heavily armored crafts
- CRAMs that pack a punch
- The sheer volume of fire
- Mostly metal construction
- The majority of their crafts are vulnerable to EMP strikes
- No torpedo defense = lots of sunk ships
- CRAMS can be dodged fairly easily
- Kinetic shells eat their armor for breakfast
- No laser defense = lots of melted blocks
The Lightning Hoods (LH)
The Exajoule, LH’s most expensive ship and one of the few examples of them using metal
The Lightning Hoods, allies to the White Flayers and the first faction you are at war with along with the WF if you pick the medium start, they are the most technologically advanced faction native to Neter and have thus become reliant on tech for their designs. Their craft are mostly made out of alloy making them hard to hit with very few active defense systems, relying on their speed and agility to dodge most incoming fire, with only their strongest craft have any decent armor. Their main form of weaponry is lasers with a few missile based craft firing EMP missiles for the odd support role, and the majority of their craft are impossible to hit with torpedoes due to a reliance on hydrofoils that keep them mostly out of the water, the only exception I can think of off the top of my head is the Ascension Prototype. This speed and efficiency does come at a cost however, in order to make their lasers effective anti-ship weapons they’ve had to take up every inch of space in their crafts, this combined with the fragile nature of alloy means that any weapon capable of hitting their crafts will do a significant amount of damage while also hitting critical systems.
If you’re looking to destroy the LH and their hydrofoil fleets I’d advise against using CRAMs since they have a hard time hitting fast targets, instead you’ll want to stick to advanced cannons and missiles along with lasers and particle cannons if you can afford them, even a fairly weak laser can carve through their fleets with ease. For particle cannons the standard impact setting should be more than enough, for advanced cannons HESH rounds with a fairly quick shell speed can delete the fragile internals of their crafts in seconds but you can get away with just straight HE.
On the defense side of things it’s at this point you’ll want to include smoke dispensers, planar shields and surge protectors on your craft to provide additional defense against lasers and EMP strikes, I’d recommend keeping active defenses like LAMS or CIWS for defense against missiles, if the ones you have already can take out the OW CRAM volleys you should be set. If you need additional defense against lasers specifically they tend to lose damage over range and even more if they have to shoot through water, while submarines sound like a perfect solution I’d recommend against that since the waters the LH control are fairly shallow, an environment which is ill-suited to submarine combat. Personally I’d recommend surface ships that have their important systems like engines and AI below the waterline in addition to the other defenses already mentioned.
- Decently powerful lasers
- Fast, agile craft
- EMP Missiles
- Near-invulnerability to torpedoes
- A reliance on speed leaves their craft fragile
- Any damage done to them will likely hit something important
- Lasers have significant damage falloff, amplified by water
- Active defenses can mitigate EMP strikes
The White Flayers (WF)
On the left, the Judgement, WF’s main battleship and armor chewer
On the right, the Flayed Soul, WF’s most expensive melee craft
Ah the White Flayers, Neter’s religious nutjobs and allies to the Lightning Hoods, these guys are crazy enough to going into combat on a jet-powered rowboat designed specifically for nuclear kamikaze strikes. All of their vessels are covered in rams and the ones that aren’t typically have some other form of melee weaponry, everything from steam drills to particle accelerator melee lenses, these guys have each and every way you can think of to slice and dice your crafts, oh and they have guns too. They stick mostly to advanced cannons with kinetic/frag shells along with the occasional railgun but they also have access to particle cannons, missiles, and simple weapons though let’s be honest, the simple weapons that aren’t rams are the least of your worries. As for defenses they’ve got planar shield projectors and a couple of passive defenses like flares but once you get past that, the majority of their crafts only have 1-2 layers of metal, they seem to rely on speed to dodge most projectiles much like their allies the LH, only breaking out the tougher armor for their capital ships.
If you want to dislodge the WF and their fanatical beliefs it’s at this point I’d recommend taking a more defensive stand with your crafts, the WF’s greatest weakness is range so staying as far away as possible is your best bet for avoiding damage. As for offensive options missiles and particle cannons are not affected by shields so those are your best hard counter, again I’d advise against using CRAMs due to the speed of the enemy but they can be useful against their capital ships if equipped with an intertial fuse, for advanced cannons a high shell speed along with a high rate of fire is preferable here, as for shell type any HE/HEAT/HESH/Frag shell with an inertial fuse should work. Lasers are an option but they’ll have to have a high AP value in order to punch through the shields along with fairly long optics to counteract damage falloff.
Back on the defensive side of things, planar shield projectors are your best bet for reflecting kinetic shells however ring shields can reduce the kinetic damage greatly if used properly and almost entirely negate the effects of frag shells assuming they aren’t APF rounds. At this point in the campaign I’d also recommend buffing your torpedo defenses along with your standard active defenses if you can afford it, even sticking an AMCC on your Anti-Air cannons can help immensely, beyond that tougher armor and range are going to be your best friends when facing off against these foes.
- A wide variety of crafts
- Very deadly melee weapons
- Even deadlier advanced cannons and railguns
- High speed
- Nuclear weapons
- Decent shields
- Range is your friend, they can’t stick you with spikes if you’re 2 km away
- Fairly thin armor on the ramming vehicles
- Capital ships are big targets for CRAMs and torpedoes
- Kinetic rounds can be blocked or at least mitigated
- Missiles are practically guaranteed damage
- Nukes tend to explode very easily
The Twin Guard (TG)
On the left, the Titan, the best example of mechs the TG have
On the right, the Seraph, TG’s godly class mothership
The Twin Guard, the only 2 truly sentient AI on Neter and allies to the Steel Striders, this is the first faction you’re at war with along with the SS if you pick the hard start, they have access to every type of weaponry in the game and unlike the other factions, tend to use as many different weapons systems on their crafts as possible with a slight preference for missiles. Instead the focus shifts to strength in numbers, their motherships will throw as many craft as they can at you and even their lumbering mechs have the main body set as a drone. Along with armor and shields their main form of defense is the mothership’s ability to repair her drones and keep them in the fight as long as possible. This philosophy in design tends to leave the mothership with few defenses, but they will still take quite a beating before finally dying.
If you want the best offensive capabilities against the TG I’d recommend buffing your Anti-Air systems to take out drones more effectively, as for the mechs I’d heavily recommend the use of torpedoes since the base of the mech is in the water and can’t heal itself it’s the perfect target, if you want to get tactical I’d recommend having your hardest hitting crafts target the base while the rest harass the mech body, at this point in the game for advanced cannons I’d recommend swapping over to railguns and using APHE for your main cannons, for smaller guns the standard HEAT/HESH/Frag shells with inertial fuses should work fine, same thing for CRAM cannons but you could get away with straight APHE and a little EMP, if you’ve been using lasers against the WF you should be set, as for particle cannons again standard impact should be fine.
On the defense side of things as long as you have smoke dispensers shields and good armor you should be set for passive defenses, as for the active defenses the problem now is less the overall health of the missiles and more just the sheer quantity of them, you’ll want to tune your LAMS to take out as many targets as possible and a combination of flak and HE on the CIWS should do it. Torpedo defense is still a necessity but it’s not as important due to the TG having very few submarines and torpedo launchers.
- A lot of drones, like a LOT of drones
- A lot of missiles, like a LOT of missiles
- Fairly outlandish designs
- A wide variety of weapons systems
- Fairly decent armor and shields
- Motherships usually don’t have many offensive or defensive capabilities
- Drones tend to have weak armor
- Outlandish =/= good
- Not all of the weapons work well together and tend to be weak on their own
The Steel Striders (SS)
The Tyr, SS’s strongest battleship and arguably the deadliest surface ship in the game
Allies to the Twin Guard and home to the most developed military force on Neter, the Steel Striders are a force to be reckoned with, any type of conventional craft you can think of they got it, from submarines to planes and even helicopters, they’ve got plenty of platforms to mount weapons systems from in addition to the usual naval vessels. Most of their ships tend to favor advanced cannons as their main guns and will use other weapons system based on the type of ship they’re using, their planes and subs tend to use missile systems as their main weapons for missiles and torpedoes along with the occasional bomber, and although this is even more rare, they do have crafts that can launch tactical nukes. As for defenses we have seen other factions use spaced armor but the SS are the first to use it on a large scale, pretty much every single ship they have will have spaced armor to render your HEAT/HESH shells all but useless in addition to the shields we’ve already seen and although I haven’t seen it myself, I’m willing to bet they also have smoke dispensers. Their larger ships will certainly include active defenses like LAMS and CIWS along with some torpedo defenses, their submarines and planes will make heavy use of decoys to avoid taking damage from missiles and torpedoes along with shields on their more expensive aircraft and subs, long story short no matter what weapon system you’re using unless it’s particle cannons you’re going to have a tough time.
Speaking of offensive capabilities if you’re still using CRAMs at this point I’d recommend buffing the shell health as high as possible to punch through the CIWS and LAMS, although if you’re anything like me you might find it more effective to simply ditch CRAMs altogether in favor of advanced cannons. Speaking of which if you haven’t already I’d recommend swapping over to railguns with APHE for your big guns and swapping over to Kinetic/APF/Frag shells for the smaller guns since HEAT/HESH shells are kinda useless at this point, if you need better anti-sub weapons you can use supercavitation bases on kinetic shells to help hit subs. For your missiles and torpedoes I’d recommend sticking a signal processor on them to help filter out decoys if you’re not using a laser designator, if you are using that be aware that your targeting laser can be blocked by smoke. If you’re using proper lasers I’d recommend buffing the damage as much as possible since raising the AP value high enough to cut through smoke is impractical for most laser systems. The only hard counter I can think of here would be particle cannons and for those I’d recommend raising the focus to 100% to get the best accuracy as possible, it will take away some damage but all the damage in the world means nothing if you can’t hit anything.
For defenses if you haven’t invested in spaced armor already I’d heavily recommend you do so since the SS like to use HEAT and HESH on all but the biggest guns, if you can afford it I’d recommend you also buff your shields and start including decoys on your smaller crafts, as for active defenses you should already have pretty good LAMS and CIWS at this point, the only active defense that really needs strengthening are your torpedo defenses, thanks to their ‘shark’ classes of vessels torpedoes are the biggest threat to your surface ships so make sure they can destroy a lot of torpedoes very quickly, it’s at this point I’d also recommend investing in airship development since torpedoes can’t hit stuff 100m in the air.
- A wide variety of crafts
- Very well armored crafts
- Lots of torpedoes
- Heavy use of decoys
- Fairly decent active defenses
- Nuclear weapons
- Torpedoes can’t hit air targets
- Decoys don’t stop bullets
- CIWS and LAMS have a hard time hitting railgun shots
- Nukes explode really easily
- Particle cannons counter pretty much everything if you can hit stuff
The Gray Talons (GT)
The Kobold, GT’s deadliest airship and the first example of a ‘frontsider’
The oldest surviving faction on Neter, the Gray Talons are basically the airborne version of the Onyx Watch, although this time around they aren’t limited to CRAM cannons specifically, they specialize in large heavily armored and armed airships which can take and deal damage in equal measure. Their favored weaponry changes based on the craft but they mostly stick to CRAMs, Advanced Cannons and missiles with particle cannons as an occasional secondary weapon, they also have nukes which are only used in a 1 time event called the ‘Scorched Neter Protocol’ that sends a fleet of nukes straight for your starting fortress if I’m not mistaken. As for defenses their airships are fairly well armored and use shields along with LAMS and the occasional CIWS turret, and have the best torpedo defense by not being in the water at all.
If you wish to destroy an ancient culture as quickly as possible I recommend using EMP strikes to take out their LAMS systems since they don’t seem to have surge protectors on most of their standard vehicles, for CRAMs I recommend boosting the shell health and speed but if you’ve faced the SS already you should be covered. On the advanced cannon side of things railguns with APHE are the best combo you can have at this point, although I would recommend some secondary guns firing disruptor shells to take down the shields, I’d also recommend HEAT and HESH again since these guys have LH syndrome and tend to pack their craft as tightly as possible. As for missiles slapping some reinforced bodies on your smaller missiles to boost the missile health is a good idea at this point if you’re having trouble breaking through their active defenses, as for torpedoes I would advise against ditching them entirely, there’s always the chance that you could knock out some of the enemies flight components and it would be such a shame to just leave that big juicy target floating there. If you’ve been following along you should know what to do with lasers by now, high AP values and big damage numbers are what you want along with long optics, by the time you face off against these guys you should have more than enough resources for a giant death laser so make sure you protect it well, also at this point it’s safe to assume that all enemy craft have smoke dispensers, and if absolutely necessary you can use particle cannons set to piercing to bypass all of their defenses.
Speaking of defenses if you haven’t been using heavy armor in your designs now would be a good time because these guys do not mess around, if you can spare the engine power max shield drive with max drive factor are what you want, their best airships have advanced cannons that can and will tear you apart so planar shields are your best bet, ring shields can also work but they have to be pretty well protected if you’re using them to max effect. You’ll also want to strengthen your deck armor for your surface ships since most of the enemy fire is coming from above, if you’ve invested in airships max sure you’ve got extra armor protecting your flight components so you don’t get blown out of the sky, and don’t forget about spaced armor in your crafts! As for active defenses you should be set set, only thing I can emphasize at this point is damage output and AP values.
- Fairly well armored airships
- Devastating CRAM cannons
- Devastating advanced cannons
- Best torpedo defense in the game
- Vulnerable to EMP strikes
- LH syndrome strikes again (Tightly packed spaces + HESH = total destruction)
- Disruptor shells can take down shields if necessary
- Airships tend to fall out of the sky easily
The Scarlet Dawn (SD)
The Singularity, SD’s deadliest capital chip and arguably the toughest craft in the game
The most technologically advanced faction in the game, the Scarlet Dawn are the descendants of a long-forgotten faction of Neter that decided to leave the planet and travel to other stars in search of a new home, when the only planets they could find were uninhabitable they came back to Neter only to find it has descended into bitter in-fighting, deciding they had to set these fools straight on top of the fact they had literally nowhere else to go, they decided to send an invasion force down to take the planet back. These guys are absolutely ruthless, the first time I ever ran into them my entire fleet was deleted, their crafts are efficiently designed killing machines that will tear apart airships and surface vessels in minutes, if not seconds. They have access to every single weapon type in the game but they tend to prefer railguns, lasers, particle cannons and missiles, only using CRAMs when necessary. As for defense it varies depending on the craft but according to the wiki there a 4 categories that their craft falls into, the first being Damage output, these craft are specifically designed to do as much damage as possible while relying on speed and decoys for defense, they are typically lightly armored with decoys and no active defenses, if you have decent Anti-Air these guys should be no problem. The 2nd category is Defense oriented craft, these crafts are specifically designed to tank as much damage as possible but typically have the weakest weaponry, after all that turret space could be used for more armor, these crafts may be tough to crack but thanks to the weak weaponry they’re basically giant flying targets. The 3rd category is Support craft, these crafts have very strong, slow weaponry that take a while to reach the target and/or drones to throw at the enemy, their armor isn’t the greatest so these craft tend to stay as far from the battle as possible and support other units during the fight, these guys aren’t to difficult on their own but once other crafts start getting involved they can become a serious threat. Finally the last category is Capital Ships, these craft are the ones you really need to watch out for, they have the best defenses and the deadliest weaponry, I know this sounds like every other capital ship in the game but these guys take it to a whole new level, the lasers these crafts have can carve through your battleships with ease, their railguns can punch holes straight through your armor and cause massive damage, not to mention they can and will use every trick in the book to avoid taking damage even going so far as to use cheat engines warp drives to teleport the entire ship out of harm’s way, put simply they aren’t just capital ships, they are fleet killers, you can tell which crafts are capital ships by looking at their material cost, as capital ships will be the most expensive.
If you’re looking to kick the planetary invaders out as fast as possible there is some good news, for starters they favor lasers and particle cannons, both of which weaken with range and lasers lose much more damage underwater, so if you want to mitigate their damage having a long-range submarine is a good idea, just make sure to include heavy amounts of shielding because their railguns tend to have supercavitation bases. Some more good news is that they have no naval vessels, the closest they got to something that sits in the water are their hovercraft, and at first this does seem like a bad thing because that means you can’t hit them with torpedoes, however if you can knock out their flight components and put them in the water they’re pretty screwed. Another bit of good news is that the majority of their capital ships are a type of craft called “fronsiders” a couple of which you might’ve seen while fighting the GT like the Kobold shown above, long story short frontsiders have most of their defenses and weaponry facing fowards, meaning if you can get around the side that’s less heavily armored you might be able to do a lot more damage. Finally even though they use warp drives you can still hit them with lasers and particle cannons since those weapon systems are hitscan, also their most heavily armored ships tend to rely on heavy armor so EMP strikes can s*rip them of their toughest armor. As for advanced cannons I recommend making your shells as fast as possible in order to hit the enemy quickly, if you can stick railguns on your cannons do it and boost your shell speed as much as you can, especially in the case of the capital ships you want to do as much damage as possible as fast as possible so pull no punches and hit them hard. That being said I’d heavily advise against using CRAMs against these guys due to the ridiculous amount of LAMS and the stupid dumb free damage avoidance machine warp drive but if you’re dead set on it then boosting shell speed is also recommended along with the shell health although I doubt the shell will hit.
As for defenses making your deck armor for your surface ships as strong as possible is heavily recommended along with boosting your shields with all the engine power you can squeeze out of your craft, spaced armor can help here too especially against the doom lasers, also I’d advise turning your smoke dispenser up to max strength. On the active defense side of things it’s all about DPS and AP values because although the enemy do use railguns there is a small chance your munition warners will catch a railgun shot and it’s up to our LAMS to take care of it, that and the fact that the majority of their craft will throw ungodly amounts of missiles at you along with the occasional torpedo. If you really have to you can resort to using the warp drive in order to avoid some damage but thanks to their use of lasers and particle cannons you’ll usually only be able to dodge their railguns.
- Lots of heavily armed crafts
- Lots of heavily armored crafts
- Strong active defenses
- mf cheat engines Warp Drives
- Capital ships rely on frontsiding
- Lasers can at least be mitigated by smoke and water
- Particle cannons have a hard time at longer ranges
- They can’t dodge your lasers and particle cannons
I hope this guide is of some use in pointing out possible ways to take down each faction, if you’ve noticed I’ve missed please don’t hesitate to let me know, I haven’t much experience against the later factions like the SS, GT, and SD so if I’ve missed something leave it in the comments.
Thanks for reading and good luck on your quest for global naval domination!
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