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The Umgah Drone is probably my worst ship in Star Control melee. I know that in general I'm supposed to zip back close to the enemy ship while constantly shooting - attempting to damage it while passing - but the combination of slow turning speed and extremely fast zipping speed always makes me miss.

Not to mention I generally try to be with my face to the enemy ship - in order to block shots with my cone - and this means I'm not in the correct position to zip past them.

I've tried relying on the movement backward to dodge shots, instead of relying on the cone to destroy them; but that really puts me in a passive position where all I do is defend and not attack.

Does anyone have useful tips for efficiently using the drone?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It really depends on the type of enemy you are fighting. It is a pure counter to the Chenjesu Broodhome, as the energy recharges sproadically so the DOG can't get to them easily. The Umgah Drone weapon does insane damage and can usually block/destroy any incoming projectile weapons (awesome against the Chenjesu Broodhome crystal attacks). . I find often that if I am able to turn and face the enemy, I would just charge blinding forward, get close enough to blast them. This works best if the enemy moves slowly or have a giant planet behind them.

Another technique I use is using the edges of the cone attack to nick the enemy. The width of the corn is much greater size than your ship. As long as I'm close enough to zip toward them, I turn my ship in such a way that as I zip past them, the corners of my cone attack nicks the enemy, which is usually sufficient to do great amount of damage.

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RE Chenjesu, I find that Umgah are weak against Broodhomes. The cone cannot stop a direct hit, or a split projectile from behind or the side. Excluding zip capability and gravity wells, Umgah ships are slower. And DOG are unnecessary if the Umgah is forced to use the cone (split projectile) without any five second pause. – wberry Feb 25 at 21:25

It's my worst also (not counting Shofixti as a "real" ship in that ranking). Here's my strategy guide, such as it is. Using Umgah Drone against:

  • Ilwrath: Winnable with effort and skill.
    • Learn to tell where the enemy is from how the view orients itself. Always face the enemy and never turn off the cone.
    • Slingshot off the planet so that you're faster than the enemy, but not too fast. When you float near him, break and close in. Otherwise stay away from the planet.
    • The enemy can kill you if he gets right in your face, inside the cone, and then unloads. If he tries that, zip back by the shortest distance possible. If he's not fully charged and tries this, you win.
  • VUX: If the VUX enters battle last, close to you, you have one chance.
    • If he's in front of you, close and kill, you can block his laser with the cone.
    • If he's behind you, zip behind him for the kill.
    • If you can't close the deal before he moves away, it's over. You might get a second chance if you can block all the barnacles and slingshot him.
  • Shofixti: You can't win, but you can both lose.
  • Earthling: You actually have the advantage here. Just run up to the enemy (or zip into his path) and kill him, simple as that. All you have to watch out for is missiles from behind.
  • Druuge: Use zip to dodge his cannon shots. Toy with him. Get him to burn up his crew. Don't get shot. When he can't shoot any more, then close for the kill. Even if you lose, you still win.
  • All others: Against a competent opponent you're dead and there's little you can do about it. But against opponents near death or who have blockable weapons (ZoqFotPik, Syreen, Pkunk, Yehat, Supox, Utwig, Spathi, Arilou, Mmrnmhrm), you can hug the planet and try slingshot attacks, possibly drag the battle on for a very long time, and if the enemy makes a mistake, you might score a kill. Myself, I just slingshot into them and if I take a few crew with me I call it a good day.

Taking the question in reverse, the only time I think to myself, "Oh no, it's an Umgah Drone" in melee mode is when I've got an Earthling ship. But using some others (Arilou, Utwig, Supox, Ilwrath, Syreen, Yehat, Druuge, Mycon) it will either be a very long fight, or a toss-up at my skill level against an expert computer.

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+1 for 'I just slingshot into them and if I take a few crew with me I call it a good day' – EleventhDoctor Mar 30 at 8:33

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