AI War:Ion Cannon
| Advanced weapon insta-kills most fleet ships (and many ships with no Mark level at all). Cannot fire upon ships immune to insta-kill.|
The Ion Cannon insta-kills fleet ships with a Mark level equal to or lower then its own Mark.
Ships that are of a higher Mark and not immune to Insta-Kill take damage as normal.
|Ammo Type||Armor Type||Immunities||Damage Bonuses|
|Ion Beam||Ultra-Heavy||Dark Matter Ammo, Attack Boosts, Radar Dampening, Attrition, Tractor Beams, Reclamation, Transport, Swallow, Force Fields, Nuclear Explosions, Being Insta-Killed||0 Composite, 0 Ultra-Heavy, 0 Structural|
|Damage||Attack Range||Reload||Health||Armor||Speed||Engine Health||Single Ship DPS||Ship Cap DPS||Abilities|
|4x 400||123,000||4 sec||800,000||1,500||0||Inf||400 dmg/sec||1,200 dmg/sec||Engine Damage 40, Captured On Planet Ownership Change, Insta Kills <= Mark 1|
|4x 800||123,000||4 sec||800,000||2,000||0||Inf||800 dmg/sec||1,600 dmg/sec||Engine Damage 60, Captured On Planet Ownership Change, Insta Kills <= Mark 2|
|4x 1,600||123,000||4 sec||1,200,000||2,500||0||Inf||1,600 dmg/sec||1,600 dmg/sec||Engine Damage 60, Captured On Planet Ownership Change, Insta Kills <= Mark 3|
|4x 2,400||123,000||4 sec||1,600,000||3,000||0||Inf||2,400 dmg/sec||2,400 dmg/sec||Engine Damage 60, Captured On Planet Ownership Change, Insta Kills <= Mark 4|
|4x 3,200||123,000||4 sec||2,000,000||3,500||0||Inf||3,200 dmg/sec||3,200 dmg/sec||Engine Damage 60, Captured On Planet Ownership Change, Insta Kills <= Mark 5|
|Knowledge||Metal Cost||Crystal Cost||Total Cost||Energy Cost||Build Time||Cap Metal Cost||Cap Crystal Cost||Cap Total Cost||Cap Energy Cost||Cap Build Time|
How to use in your fleet
Ion Cannons are more of an attrition weapon then a real source of heavy firepower. Their purpose is to drain off lower marks of ships from a fight so your real weapons can concentrate on higher marks of them. That said, you'll find them more annoying attacking you then you'll see them as useful.
To build an Ion Cannon you need to have the Zenith Traders enabled and then wait for the traders to enter a system that you want to build the cannons in. Anything above MK III is purposely priced out of reasonable range, it's there more as a taunt then as an achievable build.
Usually you'll capture Ion Cannons, in particular if you're trying to build a whipping boy planet. In this case, you'll need a few things to help keep them safe. First and foremost, they'll need private forcefields. They can't move so you have to bring the defenses to them. Next you'll want gravity and tachyon turrets to help protect them.
Don't expect them to live forever. They're favorite targets of waves on whipping boys and random strike teams attacking your planet.
How to counter when in the AI fleet
The AI has populated just about every planet in the galaxy with Ion Cannons. They're a constant annoyance and threat. The attrition and instakill they provide can quickly turn the tide of the battle against you, as your resources are much more limited then the AIs.
There are a few favored tactics for Ion Cannon removal. First and easiest is a Raid Starship run. Raid Starships can get under forcefields and pop Ions with ease... provided they can reach the ion cannons, which can be difficult in certain circumstances.
The next option is a heavy starship reliance, which are all immune to instakill. This is a mixed blessing of a tactic however as using a pure starship line up is rarely optimal. However, combined with a bonus ship or two of instakill immune ships and this can be a reasonable setup.
The third and final option is to simply get in there and prioritize them as targets. If you have the opportunity and are running a heavily mixed fleet of MK ships, don't bring any ships in below the highest mark of Ion cannon and they can't do instakills. Each Ion Cannon can pop a ship every second, due to the 4x shot they wield. Don't dawdle, get the cannons down, and get the rest of your fleet into the system.