Where & Who To Probe
This is something that everyone has their own idea about, but being realistic there is little point in trying to attack ‘active’ targets (those not marked as inactive) more than about 40 sectors away, the cost and risk increase the further you travel, but the risk and cost is down to your discretion. If the target is an inactive, then that’s a little different, the risk is always there thanks to the Oracle (many high rank players with oracles will buddy all the d moders around them to use as bait when they go id), but you can be caught on the return as well.

All attacks are risks, but the aim of the game is to attack.

Probe anyone, those of higher rank are not always the more skilled or stronger players, plus SWaRM is at your side, if…

    – you find a bigger target than you can handle
    – you find a good target with other planets in other galaxies
    – you want advice on the attack itself
    – you can’t get a full probe report

Others may be able to assist or benefit from your find. We are a team and need to act as one to succeed.

Note, even if you have attacked the same inactive for days in a row, always probe, firstly it may not be worth hitting and secondly, they may have had a big ship in production, ie a Zeus, last thing you want to do is land on one by mistake.
Remember, always anti ninja if you are attacking within the range of moons.

What To Use
Basically follow a few simple rules:
– Learn the rapid fire of all ships, theres no point in sending lots of hades against a fleet heavy in proms for example.
– Use the battlecalc, the most valuble and essential tool in existance.
– Try the battlecalc several times, the outcome displayed is the average of (default) 10 simulations, so losses could be worse or better.
– More is less, it’s often better to send less ships than you think, play with the calc, it’s something that you cannot be taught, you have to practice and see for yourself.
– Use the galaxy search tool, no point in attacking a player with 8 other planets that have *

Using IPBM
On targets with defenses and few anti’s are succeptable to nuke strikes, but of course this ups the cost of attacking them, but will also lower the losses you sustain in the battle.
– Target the bigger turrets first
– Removing the large decoy always helps
– Take the time to work out batch sizes, depending on your techs sending 5 missiles at plasma may be less effective than sending 4, remember nukes use splash damage, where all spare damage is directed towards the lowest present defense.
– If there’s more than one person nuking always use the person with the lowest weapon tech to hit first, no point in sending the strongest nukes against the antis…

Is It Worth It?
The general rule is, attacks are always worth it so long as…
– You gain more DSP than you lose in resources spent (this score goes down with each ship lost)
– You gain resources, remember, you may lose Ore in an attack, but if you gain more Cyrstal/Hydro than you lose
– There isn’t a high ranking player thats online in the same system with a moon…
And You Remember…
You will not always get the salvage.

Warlord wrote:
I can personally vouch for that, had my dios to land 5 seconds after my attack landed, there was no debris there when my dios landed, never did work out where that field went, very annoying I can assure you.

That attacking is the point of the game, otherwise this becomes space farmville, and thats far less fun than blowing stuff up.

Anti Ninja
Again, something that takes practice to perfect, and again there are several views on when to do it, all basically result in the same outcome.

If you have a Probe, join a group attack just before it hits, you can slow down the attack by up to 25%. This is perfect for figuring out if you are going to get Ninja’d (defender moves in a fleet at the last second) or if the defender has moved everything away allowing you to recall your fleet. Test it on an inactive raid, this can save your fleet.

1) Launch an attack
2) Invite yourself to join the attack
3) Here is where things get tricky, launch an ESPIONAGE probe to hit at the same time as your attack will.
4) Join the attack with a probe (it can be from the same planet) slowing it down up to 30%. Therefore you can slow it down at the 10 minute mark by joining with a probe that takes up to 13 minutes. Things to keep in mind, DO NOT slow the attack down prior to your slow probe, this can result in failure. Due to this for the first few probe slow attempts only invite yourself, group attack slow probes are a whole other can of worms.

Remember that the amount you can slow the attack by is based on CURRENT time to the target, NOT on ORIGINAL time to the target.
NOTE: Step 3 and 4 can be switched, especially if you have limited fleet slots available. I only put the espionage before the actual slow because it is easier to time it to hit when the original attack WOULD have hit. Also note that this espionage probe would have to be slowed appropriately as well, it is for this reason that you may want to swap steps 2 & 4 if you have limited fleet slots available

5) Recall the probe that slowed the attack because A) it wont likely help in the combat but it will likely be destroyed in it and B) after it has already slowed the attack it’s just a waste of a fleet slot.
6) If you have the fleet slots available hit your target with espionage probes just before and just after the espionage probe that would hit at the original time of the attack
7) Things to look for, the obvious is a fleet that wasn’t there before. The other thing to look for on your target planet is a dip in hydrogen. Hydrogen should always be going up due to their mines. If for at any reason you see that their hydrogen score has dropped, even if it’s just a few units there is a ninja fleet there. You can hide a very very large fleet at a planet with very very minimal hydrogen costs.

Thanks to JSJ for providing the slow probe guide (edited by Warlord).

Group Attacks
Things to remember when doing group attacks,
– Designate an attack leader, this is the person who will run the attacks, do the calc, decide who launches first etc
Only the attack leader should probe the target once the target has been found.
– Pay attention if your told to send only certain things.
– When calcing, try to use the average battle techs, or even use the lowest techs present, better to lose less than lose more than expectes.
Note, each player is responsible for their own techs, many believe(d) that the highest techs are used in battle, this is untrue and confirmed by BFG.
– Share the battlecalc, having a second or third person looking at it may highlight a mistake.
– Once the attack is underway, and all attackers have joined do the calc again from scratch. Better safe than dead.
– Leave 1 slot open, you can have a maximum of 7 attacking fleets in a group attack, so leave 1 spare for the anti ninja.