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In terms of defending against damage from enemy ships:

  • Shields counter laser and beam weapons (which includes all anti-ship drones).
  • Defence drones shoot down missiles (plus lasers for the Mk II).

Are there any "hard" counters against bomb weapons such as those above? I think that evasion counters everything except beams (i.e. I've seen bombs MISS and explode in space), but am I missing anything more proactive?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The Zoltan Shield will absorb bomb damage (as it blocks teleporters). This is only available on the Zoltan Cruiser ship, though.

I've found that the enemy AI tends to put their bomb weapons low on the list when prioritizing weapons, so damaging the enemy weapon system will likely take them offline. As they have low power consumption, though, it's easy for them to repair and repower.

Other than that, bombs are unique in their ability to bypass shields and drones. As you've noted, evasion helps, but otherwise there's nothing you can do but repair the damage.

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I've just noticed something which makes my question less significant - there are no bombs that cause hull damage. I felt there was a sort of imbalance because there was something that could cause me damage without a hard counter, but given that bombs only cause ion/crew/systems/fire damage, this is not as I thought.

Therefore, I propose that the counter to bombs is having crew on hand. The vast majority of bombs simply cause "disabling" damage that is, in itself, purely temporary. The direct effects of a bomb can be completely negated in the long term by repairing breaches and systems, and healing your crew in the medbay. Of course, the short-term effects (e.g. losing your shields for 20 seconds) may lead to more long-term damage, which is why they are useful, but at least they do not directly damage your hull.

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Bombs that cause a system to go red (such as a fire bomb burning away in a room unattended) will indirectly cause hull damage, as ships take one damage whenever a system goes red. –  Sterno Sep 18 '12 at 23:46
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Yes, that's true - but again it's indirect hull damage, and if you have the crew to respond quickly and put out the fire this shouldn't happen. Hence my answer, it's all about being able to deal with the effects of the bomb to prevent (or minimise) them leading to hull damage. –  Andrzej Doyle Sep 19 '12 at 6:29
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+1: This is exactly what I was going to say. Fast repair crew/repair drones and a good knowledge of how to vent the least oxygen to put out a fire is your friend here. –  deworde Sep 19 '12 at 8:53
    
I've started keeping non-crewed rooms hard vacuum to prevent fires in the first place. –  ewanm89 Sep 19 '12 at 22:23
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@ewanm89 Except that's got the downside that you can't open the internal doors to restore o2 faster. I've had multiple occasions where my o2's been downed & I've spread enough o2 from other rooms to allow my crew to fix it without dying. –  deworde Oct 1 '12 at 9:07

Defenses against bombs include:

  1. Evasion, as you noted.
  2. The Zoltan shield blocks bombs, but they damage it in turn when exploding (they appear right outside).
  3. The "Best Defense" (that is, blowing him up before he shots a lot of bombs at you!).
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4. Critical hit his weapon station with the Pre-Igniter augmentation. Only viable if you have significantly stronger weapons than the enemy shield can handle, or missiles of your own. –  Hackworth Sep 18 '12 at 13:13
    
I think that can reasonably be filed under "the best defense is a good offense". I trust most people easily understand that (1) it's easier to destory a system than a ship and (2) "blowing him up" means a wide range of things. –  peacedog Sep 18 '12 at 14:23

Using the Weapon Pre-igniter augmentation will let you attack as soon as you enter a sector, so you can destroy the enemy's weapon subsystem if you can get through their defenses. It may be prudent to use your missiles or bombs to destroy it if your energy weapons aren't strong enough to get through the shields.

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