® EspaceSociety Archive



Welcome to Ben Wilson’s (a.k.a. Merovech) Astro Empires guides.


Merovech, author of these guides, started playing in August of 2007 and as of Spring 2011 has played on Ceti, Delta, Epsilon, Fenix Gamma, Helion and Ixion. Early on, he listened to the advice of other players, which made him make some bad decisions. He decided to challenge the accepted wisdom of other players by looking at the underlying mechanics. These guides are the result of some of his findings. He encourages you to find him out in-game to let him know where his advice has fallen short.

  1. Experiment. Don’t take anything for granted from anyone or anything, including this site. Science doesn’t matter, results do. Be open minded, read everything and find what works by experimenting.
  2. Master Your Fears. You’ll be intimidated first time. Don’t fear failure, learn from it. Do what pushes you out of your comfort zone. Your self-confidence will increase.
  3. Believe. Listen to those who have walked the path before you. You can achieve anything you want if you copy what they do. Aim high with your goals and believe in yourself. If they can do it, you can do it.
  4. Persist. How long it takes you to achieve your goals doesn’t matter, as long as you achieve them. Focus on the long-term. Never give up until you are where you want to be.
  5. Keep it Simple. Forget about the details. Focus on the big picture. The most effective way to achieve your goals is often the simplest approach. Stick with what’s proven to work, don’t reinvent the wheel.

Base Construction Guides

These are a few of a popular guides that discuss the art of building a decent base.

Ten Bases in Seven Days

The Seven-Ten Guide describes an optimized path to building ten bases in the first week of game play. This guide was developed prior to Astro Empire’s modification of protection during the first week. AE changed the mechanics because free players were able to use guides like this to build ten bases—thereby circumventing the nine-base limit. What AE should have done is allow free players to have ten bases.

Having validated this guide during the Helion startup, I can say the guide works provided you keep an eye on your level progression and ensure you have adequate defenses. If your neighbors are at least five levels above you, this guide is ideal.

Advanced Base Guide

My Advanced Base Guide came with analysis on the optimal layout of an astro. This started with common wisdom and validating the accuracy of those assumptions. This guide retains some of the original common wisdom that has not been fully evaluated. This guide includes recommended structure goals for “free players,” those who do not pay to play. Those structure goals assume a “fully terraformed” astro (five-levels of terraform).

Very Advanced Structures

The Very Advanced Structures guide expands on the advice given in the Advanced Base Guide by discussing structures encountered through heavy reasearch (e.g. Multi-Level Platforms, Planetary Rings). It builds on the “fully terraformed” advice by showing what could be done with Multi-Level Platforms to give the free player the most enjoyment out of his bases.

Production Structures Chart

For a quick reference, I put together a Production Structures chart. This simply organizes the various manufacturing and production facilities based on their relative cost. As players like to build bases with these structures cost-balanced, this chart provides a quick means to assess construction goals.

Combat Guides

These are some popular guides on combat.

Small Fleet Doctrine

Small Fleet Doctrine is an analysis of efficient fleet design. The core tenant is that a player should focus on building fleets that are efficient against other fleets. This assumes that one knows the target, which means the player has to be somewhat aggressive to really pull it off. Some players assert that “blob” combat makes Small Fleet untenable. I contend that it only requires that players work together to build an efficient blob.

Base Defense Guide

My Base Defense Guide offers a profit-based defense theory to game play. Operating under the philosophy that Astro Empires is essentially an economics game, this guide advises players on base defenses that help reduce their bases’ profit-profile.

Efficiency Ratios

I created a Efficiency Ratios chart that provides the armor efficiency ratio of the various units. The ratio is the unit’s armour divided by its costs. The philosophy this ratio follows is that a combatant will bring enough fleet do be effective against the opponent, and the remaining derbs will be harvested by the player.

Back of Napkin Combat

The Napkin Combat guide discusses how to run a fairly efficient attack without relying on a battle calculator. The first section describes how to attack in waves. The second section provides a couple rules of thumb that help calculate how many units to bring.

Battle Calculators

I was never much of a fan of them, but a lot of people ask me about Battle Calculators.

Whither Thou Death Star

The Whither Thou Death Star guide is more of a narrative on the Death Star. I don’t have much experience with one, but discuss various points to consider if you decide to build one.


Scouting is perhaps a dangerous option.