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What Buildings in Your Base to Defend
In Battle Pirates, the key buildings to protect are your outpost, your warehouses, your research buildings and shipyard while they're in use, buildings being upgraded, and your dock - roughly in that order of priority.
Your dock launches and repairs your ships. If it's down for repair, you can't launch ships, which can put you out of play for hours depending on its level.
The timers are paused on research, building upgrades, and ship construction while their buildings are damaged, which sets you back by the amount of repair time plus the length of time between the attack and when you begin repair.
Most important are your warehouses and outpost, which hold the vast majority of your resources. You can lose millions if an attacker destroys them - up to 10% per warehouse and 20% for the outpost, for a maximum of 70% when you have five warehouses.
Although you also have resources in the resource generators (oil rigs, wind turbines, zynthium refineries, metal foundries), these buildings are not actually that important. They don't contain much at all compared to the warehouses and outpost, and they repair quickly. Most of your resources in Battle Pirates will come from outside your base, and if you're a high-offense player you really only need one of each - for ship repair in a worst-case scenario.
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Using Terrain and Turrets
Most of your buildings are on land, while your attackers are ships in the water with ranged weapons. Below level 20 or so, the farthest any of the ship weapons can reach is three squares in. Anything four squares in is untouchable.
The number of squares of land you get depends on the level of your outpost. If you go for the simplest possible base layout - a square - there will be enough space at the center for only your outpost to be untouchable (at a level 2 outpost), and one warehouse (level 3 outpost). Everything else must be defended with turrets.
Above level 20 or so, attackers start having high-level mortars, which can hit things up to five squares in and cause splash damage to surrounding buildings not protected by walls. Untouchable becomes six squares in.
The land itself does not need to be defended. Ships in the water can't cross land, so use them as barriers.
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- howitzer cannons, which shoot fast but have a short range,
- sentinel missiles, which shoot slow but far,
- victory mortars, which shoot slower and farther but can't hit anything short-range,
- flak guns, which shoot down missiles and rockets from ships - but not cannons or mortars, and
- bombard rockets, which shoot down mortars.
Each turret displays a minimum and maximum range circle when clicked on. If you select "move" on a turret, you can see the range circles of every turret in your base at once. But remember that the enemy ships have ranged weapons, not melee - they don't have to be within the range circles to hit buildings that are in the range circles.
Turrets are much more effective when grouped together rather than spread around. Wrap them in walls so that they last longer and therefore shoot things longer. Divider walls between turrets will further protect them against mortar splash damage on neighbor turrets.
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The Moat Approach
Of course, with turrets grouped together, they don't cover as much area as they would spread around, so the next thing you want to do is force enemy ships to go where the turrets are. The most obvious way is to make channels that they must pass through to get to all your important buildings.
A common, highly effective base layout design is a moat around a central island, with only one entrance into the moat, and with all turrets at the entrance. Important buildings go on the island, while expendable ones go on the outer ring. Buildings placed close to the turrets on the ring can still be destroyed, but not for free. You can switch out research buildings between center and ring depending on whether you're using them. Fill the moat entrance with oil rigs to slow down the attackers, who must destroy the rigs before they can go farther in, which puts them in front of your turrets longer and also eats up attack time (there's a 5 minute limit per attack).
A waterway must be at least two squares wide, so anything on the island will already be at least four squares in.
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A Spiral Moat
Once you've passed level 22 or so, attackers start bringing ships with a lot of armor, and you'll want a much more complicated entrance to keep their ships in front of your guns for as long as possible. Below is an example of a base with Outpost 5 (80 squares of land, 12 turrets) which can defend against fleets of up to three floating fortresses. Its key defensive features are:
- Several turns. Ships have to slow down when turning.
- All ten offense turrets can hit ships in the u-turn where ships must move slowest.
- Turrets are in two groups so they can't all be taken out with one rocket.
- Oil rigs in the way. Ships have to shoot them down before they can proceed.
- Every non-essential building is up front where their destruction can trigger damage protection faster.
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Damage Protection Bubbles
A damage protection bubble prevents any more attacks on you after either a certain number of attacks, or a certain percentage of damage to your base. How long the bubble lasts varies from one hour to two days - you'll see a timer near the upper left within your base. A short bubble gives you time to repair, or to do complete redesigns of your base layout. Long ones allow you to hoard large amounts of resources that no one can steal, so you can start expensive research or upgrades before it pops.
To get a bubble on purpose, try putting out a bunch of expendable buildings well away from turrets and allow people to destroy them. You can increase the percent damage by decreasing the total number of buildings in your base, so that each building counts for more. For example, limit the number of resource generators.
You can also drop your bubble early by attacking someone else's base.