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He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.

Sun Tzu, Art of War

The "fog of war" in tactical combat and on the galaxy map is a function of your sensors. Jamming and cloaking can render sensors less useful, while advanced sensors provide greater range and resolution. Sensors function at both the strategic and tactical level.

Ships are scanning at all times for incoming threats.

Visual range is about half sensor range, depending on racial sensor abilities and size of ship being detected.

Strategic Sensors

Example of Strategic Sensor Data
There are three strategic information states:
  1. Fleet, Jamming status, and arrival ETA
  2. Fleet, # of ships, and arrival ETA
  3. Fleet, # of ships, exact numbers of each class and size, and arrival ETA

Apart from the jamming state, which is always displayed, the other 2 states are dictated by range. Assuming that a fleet is within detection range, arrival time will always be displayed. Standard sensors will tell you everything about a world if you enter the system. From outside the system, they will tell you of the presence of enemy ships and as range decreases, the number, and finally the type of ships. Advanced sensors achieve these results farther away than standard sensors.

Race Strategic Scan Range
Standard Sensors Advanced Sensors
Standard Colony Standard Ship Advanced Colony Advanced Ship DS DE Section DS CR Section EW DN Section Sensor Station
Hiver 4 4 4 4 6 8 8 10
Human 3 3 3 3 6 8 8 10
Liir 4 4 4 4 6 9 9 11
Morrigi 3 3 3 3 6 9 9 12
Tarka 3 3 3 3 6 7 7 9
Zuul 4 4 4 4 7 10 10 12
UpdatedVersion 1.8.0 ANY-icon.png SotS-CC-icon.png

Tactical Sensors

When you enter combat you are told the sensor information on whose ships are in the system and the number and type of ships, provided no cloaking or jamming is taking place. Normal sensors can not detect cloaked ships, so the number and type of enemy ships will not be displayed. Advanced sensors allow varying degrees of detection of cloaked ships based on the type of cloak used, but only at relatively close ranges.

Ship sensors always see terrain (ie. planets, moons, and asteroids).

Sensor data is available from a separate sensors screen, similar to the Homeworld series. Advances in technology will allow a player to give orders to ships from the sensors screen. You can only view the sensor data from one ship at a time until you research Integrated Sensors.

Humans and Zuul will be able to see node-jump-points in the system they are in. Thus both of them can attempt to run a blockade in a system by evading the enemy fleet, waiting for their node-drives to recharge and then jumping once they have reached the designated node-jump-point (which is represented by an area large enough for several ships to jump-out). Note that Human FTL drives can take up to three minutes to recharge for the jump out.

Race Tactical Scan Range
Standard Sensors Advanced Sensors
Standard Colony Standard Ship Advanced Colony Advanced Ship DS DE Section DS CR Section EW DN Section Sensor Station DS CR Platform
Hiver 2000 3000 2000 3000 5700 6700 7000 18700 1500
Human 2000 3000 2000 3000 5700 5700 6000 17700 1500
Liir 2000 3000 2000 3000 5700 6700 7000 18700 1700
Morrigi 2000 3000 2000 3000 5700 6000 6300 18200 2000
Tarka 2000 3000 2000 3000 4700 4700 5000 16700 1700
Zuul 2000 3000 2000 3000 6200 6700 7000 19200 2200
UpdatedVersion 1.8.0 ANY-icon.png SotS-CC-icon.png


Ships with a Jammer section will leave a grey fog of war disc on the enemy's sensor map when in the Tactical Combat Phase. Within a jamming field, visual identification is required for an accurate assessment of both the size and number of opposing forces. Visual targetting is also required for accurate weapons fire against targets within a jamming field.


Cloaking is basic invisibility. It renders a ship invisible to the naked eye and basic sensors, but does not disguise the radiation signature of a ship. Cloaked ships will cause a new tactical combat phase after each strategic turn as long as they share the system with an opposing player. Normally, ships that are under cloak can not be targeted in tactical combat. But if a cloaked ship attacks a planet where the only remaining enemies are either planets, satellites, or a deployed gate, they will be engaged by planet and satellite weapons. With NO other moving ships in space and hence no other energy signatures, planet weapons are free to lock on to and fire on the slightest anomaly.

All vessels with a Cloak section are assumed to be traveling with it on at all times. They are invisible to normal sensors on the galaxy map, and are only visible to advanced sensors at short range.

Standard cloaks requires the ship to decloak before firing, while advanced cloaks allow the ship to fire while cloaked.

While using advanced sensors is normally the only way to directly target a cloaked ship, it is still possible to fire weapons at points in space by using the ALT + Left Button Click Interface Command. This is useful for weapons like detonating torpedos or other area effect weapons, in effect "depth charging" an area.

Wild Weasel

Destroyers with Wild Weasel sections can spoof missiles off of their original target and attract them into point defense range. Starting with A Murder of Crows, Wild Weasel ships will also redirect some incoming missiles back toward the firing ship or planet.

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