Ancient Frontier – Useful Tips & Tricks

Useful Tips & Tricks

1. If you are already familiar with TBS mechanics skip the tutorial and jump into the game. The tutorial covers every mechanic in the game, and is split into chapters so it can be used as reference material. The tutorial is close to half an hour long so that it addresses every gameplay question our tester’s had while developing the game. If you are very familiar with the genre there might be more information there than is useful to you.


2. After completing your first mission be sure to buy at least one more additional ship right away. Finishing the first story mission will start you in the game proper. You will have one fighter squadron to deploy on bounty missions. One fighter is not strong enough to complete bounty missions. Spend all of your Hydrium on either a capital ship or several more fighter squadrons before trying to take optional missions.


3. Research additional Move and Ability points early. The red and blue orb move and ability points are probably the most powerful items in the tech tree. With your starting resources you have enough to research one top level technology right from the start. Pick a ship type you want to focus on. If it is a ship that comes with 1 move and 3 action points, picking up a second move point right away will greatly increase the versatility of the ship and make missions quicker. If you want to focus on a ship that starts with only one or two action points and already has at least two moves, picking up an additional action point will greatly increase its options and offense.


4. When researching upgrades it is best to focus on just one or two ship types early on, and branch out to more types only later in the game. Early in the game you only get so many ships to use. A ship with the entire tech tree researched will give you a significant boost over the enemies. Try to spend your data improving the key parts of your fleet for the first 5 to 10 story missions.


5. Early in the game taking simulator missions with your ships and then immediately retreating is a fast and easy way to gain levels. Retreating from a mission will still award you with 25% of the main quest experience. Simulator missions offer considerable experience rewards, but are often too tough for starting fleets to be able to complete. But because they offer so much experience, even if you retreat immediately most of your fleet is likely to still gain a level or two.

6. Boosting the shield values of your ships through the tech tree or items in the early game can greatly increase their survivability. There are many different defensive and offensive options for each ship type. But especially in the early game nothing helps a ship that gets mobbed by multiple enemies survive the encounter more than additional shield points. The Boost Shield ability is available for most ships, and lets you fully recharge your shields with a single action. If you are struggling to stay alive, focus on shields.


7. Pay attention to terrain. Don’t take shots at enemy units in cover, and end your ships moves in spaces where they get cover. The accuracy boosts and penalties of cover make a very big difference. Shooting at enemy ships sitting behind cover will give you very low chances to hit and you will miss most of your shots. Move your ships so they can attack from an angle where the enemy isn’t protected by cover for much higher chances to hit. Cover works both ways. Try to end your own ship’s moves into spaces where they have cover from as many angles as possible.


8. Utility Abilities like Thrusters, Dodge and Targeting Computers can be very strong. Learn to use them early. All the non damaging abilities award significant boosts to your ship for the current and sometimes future turns. Recharging shields to full, boosting your move to escape enemies, increasing your dodge when there is not good cover available, or boosting your accuracy for several turns with Targeting Computers are all very powerful options that will let your fleet perform at maximum effectiveness. Using all of your actions on attacks is sometimes not the best tactic.


9. Often if you drop an enemies shields it will run away on its next turn and heal. Knocking out enemy shields can sometimes keep your ships alive. Enemy captains want to keep their crews alive as well. An AI ship that has its shields removed is likely to move into cover and recharge its shields. This will at the very least give it one less action to attack. If you have a ship surrounded by several enemies, sometimes the best way to live is to drop the shields on each enemy ship so they all run away and heal.


10. Pay attention to your Energy stores. Running out of energy can get you in a no-win scenario. Making sure you have enough energy to deploy your fleet is vital. If you use too much energy deploying ships on easy missions you can get into situations where you don’t have enough resources to deploy a large enough fleet to beat a more difficult mission. Keep an eye on your energy levels and don’t deploy more ships than you need.


11. We hope you enjoy the game and story. If the story is not to your taste you can always use the “Skip Dialogue” button to skip the story sections and get back to the game.


12. Avoid ship types with only one “action” upgrade (like ranger). With 2M/3A actions they will fall far behind other ship types. For example the Ranger is so much worse than gunship wing just due to fact that he has 3 attack points and not 4 that it is practically useless.


13. Avoid ships with only one move point (i’m looking at you, cruiser). Run and gun tactics – move out of cover, shoot, move into cover – are very effective and inability to use them stings.


14. You can use ships with no shields to chain trigger EMP mines. They will take negligible damage (0-2), but it can start chain reaction to other mines. Just mind the adjancent mine types – the closes one’s should be EMP too.


15. More attack points – the better +dmg items become.


16. Hire crews early. Their XP is not split and it seems they all get the same amount – doesnt matter how many there are on the ship.


17. Keep at least 2 hexes betwen your ships. The moment they come close to each other they will be attacked with missiles and torpedoes.


18. Intiative is your friend. Try to destroy ships before their turn so you minimize their actions within that given round.


19. Before you start playing DISABLE AUTOSAVE. I cannot stress it enough. With autosave on you play Ironman mode, so unless you want to, disable it.


20. Play Federation campaign first. They have overall better ships and as a result their campaign is slightly easier.


21. Save before a mission and try reloading it a few times – the number of enemies can sometimes vary by as many as 10.


22. When picking optional missions look at the rewards but also at what your current quests are. Also it’s worth checking the experience reward for the mission as they sometimes vary. Finally, two missions with identical descriptions can actually vary in terms of experience rewards and even starting placement of your units.


23. In story missions you are sometimes given a choice. It leads to a slightly or very different story mission. If you save before, you can check both options.


24. Sell useless equipment. but don’t be over enthusiastic. If you find something that you know you won’t use or you have access to higher tiers, sell it without hesitation. On the other hand, the difference between tiers can be negligible or sometimes it’s just the energy deployment cost. Think, if it makes more sense to sell something and then pay much more to buy the same device with only slightly better stats.


25. Pay attention to superior and damaged equipment. Superior can sometimes be better than regular two tiers higher. Also damaged is sometimes worth keeping if it’s higher tier than you have access to.


26. Sell shield generators of all classes immediately. In the game you take a lot of damage and +5 regeneration ever.


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