Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander is a strategy and tactics game from Massive Attack. It’s involved, it’s tricky, and it’s rather unforgiving. Gamezebo’s Halcyon 6 tips, cheats and strategies will help you get your starbase up and running, and hopefully keep your crew alive and happy. For at least a little while, anyway.
Officer on Deck
- Choose your First Officer wisely. Each officer has a sort of general specialization that may fit your personal play style better. Science officers deals mostly in area-effect attacks and debuffs, and typically command the fastest ships. Tactical officers rely on combos, and can immobilize enemies as well as damage buff allies. They command the kinds of ships that deal the most damage overall. Lastly, Engineering officers are functionally like a tank with defense buffs, damage-over-time attacks, and taunts. They command the heartiest vessels.
- Don’t ignore officer promotions. Your officers will earn promotions (i.e. level-up) as they perform just about any task. Whenever they reach the next level, be sure to check out their info in the Officer menu so you can assign their skill points and unlock new skills.
- There are two general types of powers: Ground and Ship. Ship powers can only be used during space combat, while Ground powers can only be used in ground combat (naturally).
- Focus on Ship powers first. In the early portions of the game you’ll likely be spending much more time with ship-to-ship combat than anything else.
The Basics of Starbase Command
- Take your time. Time literally stops (in-game) unless you choose to move it forward – via the Pause and Play buttons at the top of the screen. If you need to take it slow while you plot out your next move, you absolutely can.
- Know your toolbar. The important menu icons you’ll need to use in order to build ships, research new tech, and so on are as follows (from left to right):
- Starmap: Go back to the map screen from any other menu.
- Starbase: Examine, manage, clear out, and build rooms on the base using Materials and requiring Energy. This is important for future expansion as well as accessing new options.
- Ships: Examine the ships currently in your fleet, edit their powers for combat, and assign officers to command them.
- Build Ships: Build new ships from available tech using Crew and Dark Matter resources.
- Research: Research new technologies using Materials and Dark Matter resources.
- Officers: View officer stats and manage their skills as they level-up.
- Ship Equipment: Manage equipment for your ships (once the option has been researched).
- Main Menu: Save your game, load a save file, adjust options, or quit to the title screen.
- Consult the “!” icon when you need some direction. There are a lot of ways to go about not dying horribly in the vacuum of space, but beginners might get overwhelmed at first. You can check out these high priority tasks whenever you aren’t sure what to do next.
- If you need more details on a given task in the “!” bar, tap on it. This will show you a slightly more detailed list of the steps you need to take in order to complete a specific task.
- If you can’t remember or find a specific location, tap the eye icon near the top-left corner of the screen. This will toggle the starmap display so that it shows location names – a great way to help you find wherever you’re looking for.
- Resources are key. There are 4 primary resources you need to gather and utilize: Crew, Materials, Dark Matter, and Fuel. Fuel is necessary for moving ships around, and everything else is required for things like research and construction.
- Focus on stocking up Materials and Dark Matter when starting out. Crew are pretty easy to collect in decent numbers, and there aren’t too many vital tasks that require them at first. Materials and Dark Matter are used in much more important stuff and you’ll likely run out very quickly if you don’t set up some gathering points.
- You have to collect resources manually. At least until you start to produce and deploy drones. This requires sending ships to various locations that produce resources, having them collect whatever’s been produced, and hauling it back to the starbase.
- Most actions require an officer. Some things like Research can be done independently, but stuff like excavation and construction need to have an officer present. Try to keep at least one officer free as often as you can, just in case.
- Officers need to be present to perform tasks. If you want to upgrade a mining colony on another planet, you need to fly someone over there so they can perform that action. There’s no telecommuting in the far future, apparently.
- Some tasks require officers of a specific rank. The task will tell you what rank you need, and you can check an officer’s rank buy looking at the Traits tab on their status screen.
- You can see which officers are busy with a task by checking out their icons at the bottom of the screen.
- You can get an idea for how close a task on another planet is to completeion by looking at its ring. When an officer is away and performing a task, a thin like will start to circle around the planet. Once the line circles the planet completely, the task is complete!
- Don’t forget to recall your ships! Whether they’re sent out to defend colonies or explore new locations, you’ll occasionally want to bring your ships back to the starbase (or do it all the time when you’re just starting out because you don’t want to leave the base undefended). To call a fleet back, just tap on the fleet/ship icon on the starmap and select what looks like a Back button. This will automatically route your fleet back to base.
Combat for Beginners
- Know your enemy. You can tap and hold on an enemy ship either before or during combat to see what they’re weak and strong against, as well as get an idea of what sort of threat they may pose.
- You can tweak your ships’ loadouts before battle. Until you select Engage Enemy you’re free to shuffle around ship abilities to your heart’s content. It’s a good idea to try and pick abilities that your enemies are weak against if you can.
- You can totally perform combos. Some ship abilities will afflict enemies with specific status effects, and some ship abilities do increased damage when a target is suffering a specific status effect. Keeping this in mind, you can deal some pretty devastating one-two punch combinations.
- Get you a ship that can fix other ships. The repair skill is invaluable as it’s pretty much the only way you can take care of hull damage aside from flying back to the starbase.
- Repair is limited. Whether you fleet is fighting tough enemies or just hasn’t been back to base and fixed up yet, you’re going to need to perform repairs in battle at some point. This is fine, but remember that you can only repair so many times in a single combat encounter (indicated by a number next to the repair skill icon).
- You have two chances. When a ship takes enough damage to bring its hull to 0, it isn’t immediately destroyed. If you can repair it before it takes another hit, everything should be fine. If you don’t repair it in time and it does get hit again, there’s a good chance it’s going to explode and everyone onboard is going to die horribly. So, you know, try not to let that happen?
- Ground Combat: All the same general rules and tricks apply to ground combat as they do with ship combat.
- Your crew isn’t as tough as their ship. Your officers can put up a good fight, but cadets are basically fodder. They might get a few good hits in but they can’t endure much damage and will die pretty fast if you aren’t careful.