T3 Strategic Missile Launchers are static units that launch Nuclear Missiles, which are devastating wide-area attacks from an extreme range. They are often deployed and launched late in the game when the players' economies are well established.
Strategic Missile Launchers (or SMLs) are designed solely to cause extensive damage to an area, especially towards enemy installations. The explosion damage is the same as that of an ACU core, a whopping 70 000 damage in a 30 radius area.
However, they are extremely costly and take a while to build but this often not the case especially when players' economies have been fully developed by the time they become available.
The Launchers themselves have a hefty cost of 15000 Mass, as much as a Cybran MonkeyLord. It also actually takes relatively little time to construct. Concentrate more on keeping a solid Mass income rather than providing additional engineers. When built, the individual missiles then have to be built before they can be used (which add to the economic strain as well).
Each strategic missile costs 12000 Mass and takes 5 minutes to build. Although it is possible to assist the launcher, it is usually not recommended as it has a high internal build speed.
Because of this high cost it is advised to keep the launcher on manual construction, as the mass drain from automatic construction may have an unintended effect on the economy.
Missiles launched do not go quietly. Every time a missile is launched, the voiceover will announce to every ACU and a unique nuclear symbol will be visible when zoomed out. This can either serve as a warning for the enemy to take action or to inflict psychological damage if used as a show of force (albeit an expensive one) at best.
Missiles are also immune to AA defenses but only SMDs serve as the only saviour for the ACU on the business end of a nuclear warhead.
A common tactic is to make your opponent panic by focusing on missile defense, breaking his/her concentration and wasting his resources on the long run. This psychological warfare is possible without even finishing a warhead at the launcher.
It is important to note that the opponent would need defenses at anything they want to defend or risk losing it to a strategic missile hit. This gets economically more pressing with each defense and anti-nuke costs almost as much as the launcher.
Strategic missiles can be used for more than just blowing up the enemy's main base and killing their ACU, given the efficiency of strategic missile defense, they will only rarely get to do this anyway. Using nukes to take out medium-sized enemy installations and forward bases or smash large concentrations of troops before the opponent can maneuver them away can be a very effective tactic. This is especially rewarding if you can catch an experimental unit (or even more than one) in the blast; there are VERY few units in the game capable of surviving even a single nuke and few opponents expect this. Even if the nuke fails to earn back its own (exorbitant) mass and energy cost in the units it destroys, the destruction of having such a huge hole blown in their army quickly can give you the advantage you need to smash your opponent, and anything that does survive is softened up to the point of low health and follow-on forces can destroy them with ease.
However due to the missile's travel time it is usually futile to aim at a moving army unless it is being forced to move through a bottleneck; try to ambush stationary units which the opponent is assembling at an rally point, as previously mentioned. Naval targets are ideal due to these units' high cost and the inability of creating a SMD at sea.
Interaction with Missile Defense Edit
Defenders (SMD) are quite powerful. It is very difficult to overwhelm a SMD as they can shoot down multiple and simultaneously launched missiles as they descend from the atmosphere.
If your opponent has strategic missile protection, take note on how long they've had it and whether they had enough time to build an anti nuke. If they recently built it, chances are it doesn't have a missile. If you want to be on the safe side, find another area to nuke, or eliminate the SMD first before sending the missile.
As SMLs become more heavily used, an ACU should also consider building nuclear missile defenses (SMDs) to defend themselves from incoming missiles themselves.
Although the Defenders are cheaper and faster than launchers, the defender can hamper an economy quite quickly if not managed quickly, but it is far more preferable to avoid devastating strikes inflicted on your essential infrastructure.
Launcher Health Edit
Keep in mind that a strategic missile launcher will detonate for 10000 damage within a 6m radius when destroyed. Take into account where to build around this as the blast damage may take out key structures or even cause a chain reaction if it destroys energy producing units or storage.
There are almost no statistical differences between the factions whatsoever; however, the launch time of the missile varies significantly. Below are approximate launch times for each faction's missile:
Launch Time is rounded by 1 decimal point
As is apparent, it takes an Aeon strategic missile approximately 3x longer to exit the launcher than the UEF variant. When attempting to snipe a commander or group of enemies, these extra seconds can mean a large difference in outcome.
An exception worth noting is that the Cybran missiles are equipped with EMP warheads, briefly powering down all structures within the blast.
Each faction's warhead has a cosmetically different bloom upon detonation, adding thematic detail to an already awe-inspiring event.
- Strategic missiles will kill submerged units as well.
- Wreckage removal: Nukes will also kill ALL wreckage in the area, thus the opponent will be unable to rebuild his/her base quickly or reclaim the units and structures you destroyed.
- After a single successful shot at a decent target, the strategic missile launcher is usually a 5-star veteran gaining an additional 2000 hp and cause it to self-repair at a rate of 15 hp per second for no cost, making it much harder for your opponents to destroy.