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 Uses of the legendary LEVI STACK

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PostSubject: Uses of the legendary LEVI STACK   Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:45 am

Abstract: This guide aims to provide an indepth view and analysis of the construction, maintenance and use of a levistack in AstroEmpires.

Introductory Q/As:
Q: What the fuck is a Levi Stack?
A: A levi stack, short for a stack of leviathans is a (usually large) fleet composed of primarily leviathans.

Q: What the fuck is a Leviathan?
A: Overview of the leviathan:
Cost: 200,000
atk/def/shd: 10,000/6,600/40 (base); 16000/15840/72 (minimum tech)
requirements: 24/5 Shipyards/Orbital Shipyards; 12 photon, 24 armor; 18 warp; 16 shielding
Estimated time to produce: 300-400 hours, 150-200 with dt.

Q: Whats the point of a levi stack?
A: A levi stack have a limited array of uses, but they are the best at their job. Some of their functions include shield raping cruiser fleets and griefing retards.

Advantages of a Levi Stack:
- No fleet loss when destroying enemy fleets (usually)
- Instant repair means you can rape fleets alot bigger than the size of your levi stack
- Very hard to destroy without a big HC fleet (because you can't do a HC drop, lol)
- e-peen

Disadvantages of a Levi Stack:
- slow
- easy derbs against the right enemy fleet
- slow
- slow
- harder to replace when you get it killed
- harder to build than normal fleet (without 24/5 on all your bases)
- you'll usually quit after you lose a big levi stack because you lose all interest in the game

How to construct a levi stack quickly:
be prepared to sacriface the speed you're used to produce your smaller ships. Many hours of your bases will be devoted into constructing leviathans. Start by getting maybe 5 of your best prod bases to shipyard 24 and orbital 5 (The orbital 5 should be relatively painless since it's bang for its buck by the time you get 25/20/15/10 metal/robot/nanite/android, however, the shipyards might prove to be a moneysink). Those bases you will assign to continually produce leviathans until you reach a predetermined, desired number of leviathans and other accompanying units.

do not ever double time a leviathan after your first or second leviathan, it is in my strong opinion that it is a waste of money.

Maintaining a Levi Stack:
The main method of maintaining a levi stack is activity. If you are active and sharp, you should never ever lose a leviathan that you didn't plan to lose (more on this later). In simple terms, your levi stack should be protected like you'd protect your gf. If you let the stack die, its all over and you'll have to start again from scratch - so don't get it killed ever.

Other Key Components of a Levi Stack:
Fighters: meat shield for when using leviathans as a cruiser substitute / fighter drop with so you're not totally useless against some fleets
Corvetes: meat shield for when using leviathans as a cruiser substitute
Destroyers: meat shield for when using leviathans as a cruiser substitute
Bombers (optional): second tier meat shield for when using leviathans as a cruiser substitute
Titan: meat shield for when using leviathans to shield rape
Recycler: no explanition needed
FCs (optional): carrying extra fighters/bombers.

Having your leviathan's hangar capacity in fighters is usually adequate (# of levis * 4000) however, you'll find you will run out of fighters very quickly. Therefore I suggest enough carriers to increase your capacity to atleast # of levis * 15000 in fighters. In addition, try to have about # of levis * 1000 (min 5k) in corvettes and destroyers as secondary meatshields.
For recyclers, take about levi * 2500 (upto 50000). It should prove enough for most instances to soup in one or two ticks.
Finally, if you choose to take titans, take one or two along, no more.

Tools:
Always have a battle calc with you when using a leviathan stack. Make it a habit to scout out your enemy's techs and fleet makeup before hand and fiddle with the battle calc to determine the best course of action. Nowadays battle calcs are usually about 99% accurate but I wouldn't count on your leviathan living when the battle calc says it will have 0.01 remaining. Around a 0.03-0.05 margin should be fine.

Fighters/Corvettes/Destroyers
are used in complement with leviathans in attacks where you would ordinarily expect to lose some leviathans or pay a heavy repair bill. It only works when all the unshielded are gone as unshielded units eat fighters/corvettes/destroyers for dinner. It allows you about five times as much leeway as you would normally have before losing a leviathan. As a precaution though always run the battle through a calc before going through with it. It really sucks to go from 17 leviathans to 15.99!

Besides the obvious advantage of allowing your leviathans more room for damage, it also usually improves your ratios by alot (even factoring repairs). However the usefulness of ft/cv/de/le is generally limited solely on mid-sized fleets that can not be ordinarily levi'ed for no losses.

Titans
are a meat shield for levis that you can choose to use in an ordinarily levi only attack. They allow a little bit more leeway with your levis (about +20% per titan upto +80% with 4 or more) but you can expect to lose some of your titans when otherwise your levis will only be severely damaged. Therefore only use titans if either one of the two following conditions are met:
1) You will not lose titans nor leviathans in your following shieldrape attack - it saves some minor repair costs and can help kill the fleet in fewer hits if you don't have enough leviathans
2) You will lose a leviathan unless you sacriface one or more titans - 1 levi or some titans? I'd pick some titans to get derbed.

Levi Leeway
When you are killing an opponent with approximately equal tech to you, you can expect:
(These numbers are for pure levi fleets)

~300k pure fighters to kill one leviathan (each 6k fighters = 0.02 of a levi)
~150k pure corvettes to kill one leviathan (Each 3k corvettes = 0.02 of a levi)
~80k pure destroyers to kill one leviathan (each 1.5k destroyers = 0.02 of a levi)
~30k pure cruisers to kill one leviathan (each 1k cruiser = 0.03 of a levi)
~800 pure heavy cruisers to kill one levi
~100 pure battleships to kill one levi
~20 pure dreadnoughts to kill one levi
~4-5 titans to kill one levi.

Using meatshields can give you more leeway usually with the middle - capital class ships (Cruiser - other levis). However with unshielded ships your FT/CV/DE meat will get shredded and most of the firepower will be directed to your leviathans anyways. Titan meat on the otherhand works against all forms of ships but is generally more expensive to utilize.


How many leviathans should I aim for:
Having more leviathans is a boon both offensively and defensively.
The offensive use is obvious - more leviathans allow you to kill fleet in less hits (in some cases, one shot it) and therefore save you cost in both time and repairs. However, the offensive use of your leviathans eventually peak as eventually some of the fleet you encounter cannot be leviathaned effectively whether with 20 or 40 leviathans.
Defensively however, having more leviathans is a true double edged sword. On one hand if you manage to get a big levi stack killed you'll leave alot of debris that most likely will not be secured for you. On the other hand the prescense of more levis means that just as you can't levi some fleet without an ungodly amount of leviathans, they cannot hit you without an ungodly amount of HCs. For example, with 20 leviathans your levi stack can be taken out quite easily with about 5k heavy cruisers, but your enemy would need 2.5 times that number for 50 leviathans. Therefore, by having more leviathans you eliminate many more fleet that can potentially kick your ass.

As a general rule of thumb I believe 5-10 levis is the minimum number you should have for a levi stack. About 40 is where the offensive use of levis peaks but true levi entrepenors go upto 50-100 levis for the e-peen and for defensive purposes.

Current Levi Stack fleet mandate:
Levi: 10
Titan: 2
Fighters: 42k
Optional: Some CA/CV/DE/CR (no more than 25% of total fleet)
(Dont forget the 3k recyclers per 1m fleet)
(Dont forget its a ratio, not a goal. So for every 10 levis, you build 2 titans and 42k fighters, etc.)

Sum up - Uses of a Levi Stack:
Shield raping cruiser fleets
Simply direct your leviathans into a fleet composing of ships no greater than Cruisers (or very few HCs+). Watch as your leviathans slaughter their spacemen for no losses except a meagre repair bill while your enemies are crushed psychologically and fleetwise.

Example: http://ae.nullnetwork.net/reports/reportpaste.php?fd69dbe29f156a7ef876a40a94f6559
Replacing cruisers in select circumstances

After you clear a fleet of its unshielded units, rush your leviathans in place of cruisers in a levi stack attack supported by fighters, bombers, corvettes, and destroyers. The end result is the same demolition a cruiser fleet ordinarily delivers, but with far less losses and a repair bill that you'll have to foot instead. Generally it gives better ratios than FT/DE/CV/CR if you can one shot the fleet.

Warning: Do not attempt to do this with big fleets and expect all your leviathans to survive. You only have about 5-8 times the average leeway before losing a leviathan with FT/CV/DE and 7-10 times the leeway with FT/CV/DE/BO (depends on tech).

Example: http://ae.nullnetwork.net/reports/reportpaste.php?ee6db9134a1add4f17b85c426b019a0d
Killing bases with no prings

Levis are also good to hit bases with premature defenses for their econ. Assuming nothing too extreme in terms of HC+ fleets sitting on a base with at most planetary shields you can expect to take the base for no fleet loss and a small repair bill.
Example coming soon
Occing Idiots

If you just want to grief someone for a bit or the person is an idiot or you are right next to a friendly blob, feel free to plop a leviathan on some poor soul's bases as an occupying unit.

Warning: Don't do this though if the person you're occupying has enough to kill your leviathan or is smart enough to spawn Ion bombers to produce some very unfriendly repair bills.

When to not use your levi stack:

Pringles with not much fleet on it are not worth being levi'd as they usually incur a hefty repair bill and the usual fleet makeup of base defenses mean you'd need to waste alot more fighters if you want to do a ft/cv/de/le attack (which will still suck usually compared to ft/cv/de/cr)
Gigantic fleets with HCs (5x the size of your levi stack and 100*# of levis or more in HCs)
Decently sized HC fleets (LordofWar's fleet instantly comes to mind)
On a target a galaxy cluster away (It will take you a week to get there, have fun!)
On galaxy invasions (3x as slow as HCs = fail) [Feel free to send still though, just expect it to arrive alot later than your main fleet]
Against an online and smart player. He'll spam attack your levis until you die or take unexpectedly huge losses.

_________________


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