Carrier Command 2: Basic Guide (Equipment, Layered Attack Method, Common Issues and Blueprints & Further Goals)

AKA how to have a good experience and not turn your campaign into a lengthy and possibly unsalvageable slog.

 

Introduction

Carrier Command 2 is a punishing game, where a single mistake can easily result in loss of precious units, equipment, or a soft game over. The game plainly tells you to ‘invent your own strategy’ at the end of the tutorial, and suggests you to pay attention to logistics, but knowing what to do to operate effectively is a process of trial and error.

This guide should hopefully teach you how to best use your equipment, cover some pages missing in the manual, and help you avoid common pitfalls.

Disclaimer: at the time of writing this guide, there’s quite a few bugs present in the game. These range from minor to game-changing ones, which I will point out as we go along. I recommend playing the game with the assumption that these will be fixed at any time.

Early Game Planning

After you launch your carrier, you will own some starting equipment, some of which will be in the warehouse, and some will be in your carrier inventory.

The starting equipment is enough to deal with any threats and capture any, even max difficulty island, but there is a problem – at the start of the game, you have no way to replenish your ammo, vehicles, or fuel. This means that you must make your shots count, conserve valuable ammunition until it is needed, and avoid losing vehicles and equipment that you cannot replenish.

To replenish your supplies, you must capture islands.
Each island gives you one blueprint in its logistics category.
Based on what islands are closest to you and what blueprints you get after capturing them, you will formulate your future strategy.

Your top priority target is:
– Fuel. With no fuel, your carrier can’t move to capture new islands, which is a soft game over. It costs 50 units of fuel to fully refuel a carrier, and a full fuel supply lasts for around 3 islands. You can stockpile backup fuel in your carrier’s inventory even if your tank is full.

Other high value targets are:
– Large Munitions. These are the things most effective at killing things fast. These factories will have a large impact on what you will use as a primary weapon. By default, this manufactures BOMB (LIGHT).
– Small Munitions. Small munitions include not only ammo for small surface craft, but also artillery shells for your main gun. By default, this manufactures AMMO (30MM).
– Barges. Having multiple barges speeds up your rearmament significantly and keeps all of the other factories (especially the fuel one) running.

Secondary targets are:
– Surface Chassis. Surface chassis are required to capture islands and are very versatile. Has a 50% chance to award the BEAR-class tank blueprint, which is needed to use heavy surface guns. By default, this manufactures SEAL chassis.
– Air Chassis. Default air chassis are enough to fulfill their role, but if you lose them, you will want one of these. By default, this manufactures RAZORBILL chassis.
– Turrets. If you manage to secure BEAR-class tank blueprints from your surface chassis factory, definitely consider capturing a turret factory for a chance to get heavy guns for them.
– Warehouses. There is no immediate benefit to capturing a warehouse – they are always empty, but you can use them to shorten delivery times for your logistics system.

Utility factories are bottom priority, as your initial supply of camera equipment and virus bots should last you the whole game, and special equipment you get from them is not necessary to succeed.

Effective Use of Equipment

Now that we have an idea of which targets we want to hit, we need to know the capabilities and limits of our carrier, our units, and our gear in order to make good use of the limited resources we have and avoid wasting that which is precious.

In order of importance and value are the following capabilities:
– Aerial observation and target ID – fulfilled by ALBATROSS UAVs
– Anti-sea warfare (ASW) – fulfilled by torpedoes, main gun, and various other methods
– Anti-CIWS warfare – fulfilled by main gun and ground units
– Anti-air warfare (AAW) – fulfilled by AA launchers, CIWS, and if desired, AAW equipped aircraft
– Anti-ground warfare (AGW) – fulfilled by a wide variety of methods

Loss of the above capabilities makes the campaign progressively harder, and incurs significant delays in terms of how quickly you can capture islands.

Following is a list of all starting equipment that your carrier receives, roles of said equipment, its capabilities, and a general idea of how long it will last.

Starting Equipment List

SMALL MUNITIONS

AMMO (FLARE) – [Observation and target ID] – 300 – Carrier flares are wide-area illumination rounds that can be used to illuminate islands during night time. This is mainly used to spot enemy turrets, which don’t have headlights that reveal their positions unlike mobile units. Lauched from the bridge, or as a support call. 300 flares will usually last throughout an entire campaign.

AMMO (20mm) – [AAW, AGW, CIWS] – 40000 – 20mm ammunition which is used in CIWS guns both carrier-mounted and ground unit mounted, as well as aircraft chainguns. 40k is more than enough unless helicopter strafing runs are your preferred method of dealing with masses of unprotected ground units.

AMMO (100mm SHELL) – [ASW, AGW, Anti-CIWS] – 100 – 100mm gun ammunition, used in BATTLE CANNON mounted on BEAR-class chassis – useless until both blueprints are acquired. Fires HE shells with heavy bullet drop, which deal heavy damage around the point of impact, and can penetrate even enemy ship hulls. 100 shells can do a lot of damage, but beware as the AI will automatically spam them if given the opportunity.

AMMO (120mm SHELL) – [ASW, AGW, Anti-CIWS] – 100 – 120mm gun ammunition, used in ARTILLERY GUN mounted on BEAR-class chassis – useless until both blueprints are acquired. Requires aerial observation for accurate fire. Has a range of roughly 5km, which is enough to hit ships and any ground unit without being detected. 100 shells will last a decent amount of time if used sparingly to take out high-value targets.

AMMO (160mm SHELL) – [ASW, AGW, Anti-CIWS] – 100 – 160mm gun ammunition, used in the carrier main gun. Requires aerial observation for accurate fire, especially against enemy ships. The main gun’s immediate availability, power, and versatility make it a premium instrument for removing enemy CIWS and a reliable fallback weapon to use against ships. Has a range of 6km, but shells will spread more at longer ranges and take longer to travel. One volley will fire 5 shells, meaning that it can only destroy 20 targets on the starting supply, making 160mm a precious resource.

AMMO (30mm) – [AGW] – 9000 – 30mm gun ammunition, used in 30mm ground unit turrets. 9000 shots will last a decent amount of time, but if you use massed ground units which will waste many shells, you’ll need more eventually.


LARGE MUNITIONS

BOMB (LIGHT) – [AGW] – 10 – A small bomb that is roughly equivalent in power to standard missiles. Has no homing and may not inflict full damage on fast targets. Fits only on fighter drones such as the ALBATROSS. Will get shot down by CIWS.

MISSILE (IR) – [AGW] – 120 – The bread and butter anti-ground weapon that is very easy to use, if a bit unreliable. Has a range of ~4km, and can be fired without a target lock or even target detection, homing in on the enemy ground unit in range and dealing moderate damage. At the time of writing, proudly ignores target locks. Will get shot down by CIWS.

MISSILE (LASER) – [AGW] – 30 – Laser-guided missiles are used in tandem with the observer camera of aircraft, and thus cannot be used on RAZORBILL rotors. The missile is deployed via support call from the camera, and homes in towards the crosshair. Will get shot down by CIWS.

MISSILE (AA) – [AAW] – 120 – Used in the carriers AA turret system, or mounted on aircraft, this is an IR homing missile which currently has a tendency to get distracted by enemy ground units and miss the air targets you fire it at. Will get shot down by CIWS.

CRUISE MISSILE – [AGW] – 18 – Large, slow, laser-guided missile with a massive range, used via support call from observer. The observer must maintain aim at the target to ensure accurate hits. Large splash radius and damage allow it to destroy large clusters of enemies easily, but just like regular missiles, it will get shot down by CIWS.

MISSILE (TV) – [AGW] – 2 – Funky missile that you can only launch in manual mode, and then manually pilot.

TORPEDO – [ASW] – 36 – Torpedoes are the premium way to remove enemy ships. Use the viewing scope to find enemy ships, note down the bearing, set bearing, load torpedo, and fire. Has a huge detection range and radius after activation delay, which may result in torpedoes fired at different targets to all home in on the nearest one. Fire slowly to avoid wasted shots. Beware, torpedoes have no friend/foe recognition – if you set the activation delay below 20s, you will likely have torpedoes that home on you, your nearby barge, or fail to home in on the desired bearing.

TORPEDO (NOISE) – [Ship defences] – 12 – Panic countermeasure for when an enemy ship is firing torpedoes at you. Only lasts a few seconds, so fire it when the enemy torpedo is close enough to miss you – if fired too soon, the torpedo will have time to re-lock onto you again. Pray that it works.


TURRETS

TURRET (30mm) – [AGW] – 10 – Low power, low penetration, inaccurate in auto mode, this is the cheapest and slowest way to get anything done in Carrier Command 2. SEALs armed with this tend to die a lot before getting much done, unless manually piloted.

AIRCRAFT CHAINGUN – [AGW, AAW] – 4 – Aircraft can use these both to strafe ground targets and dogfight other aircraft. Rotors perform better at ground strafing runs, fighter drones perform better at dogfighting. Uses 20mm ammo.

TURRET (CIWS) – [AAW, CIWS, AGW, ASW] – 2 – A true multipurpose tool, this gun can do it all faster and better than the 30mm, be it killing ground units, actually being able to hit air, or even shooting at ships if you have no better options. You only get 2 at the start, do not lose these. Uses 20mm ammo.

TURRET (IR MISSILE)/MISSILE ARRAY – [AGW] – 2 – A missile rack that you can mount on ground units to use as rocket artillery. Same as aircraft IR missiles, tends to ignore target lock and get shot down by CIWS.

FLARE LAUNCHER – [Countermeasure] – 8 – Used by vehicles to attempt to confuse IR missiles. Keyword is ‘attempt’, because it usually fails to work and your vehicle dies anyway, so don’t expect this to be a reliable way to avoid missile fire.


UTILITY

ASSORTED CAMERAS – [Observation and target ID] – Can be mounted on vehicles to see things and make support calls. The only one you really care about is GIMBAL CAMERA which is used by air. Ground units make for poor observers, but they can do it in a pinch (such as if you lost all your planes).

FUEL TANK (AIRCRAFT) – [Observation and target ID] – 2 – Mount these on your observer plane to extend the amount of time it can stay in the air before needing to refuel. Can also be used for long-range scouting missions.

Virus Module – [Island Capture] – 24 – The module used by ground vehicles to capture islands. 24 should be far more than enough to last you the whole campaign.


CHASSIS

SEAL – [Surface Chassis] – 6 – The fastest, but also unarmoured ground unit that can run basic ground tasks. Not ideal for combat.

WALRUS – [Surface Chassis] – 2 – Medium ground unit. Has armour, and can take a fair amount of 30mm hits. These are your best candidates for sending into fights. Will still die vs. 40mm turrets.

RAZORBILL – [Air Chassis, Helicopter] – 4 – Small helicopter that works as a basic weapon platform for IR missiles, aircraft chaingun strafing runs, or perhaps even torpedoes. Can’t mount observer cameras. Beware that chaingun strafing forces the heli to descend into enemy CIWS range and subsequently die. Has trouble landing on the carrier in rough weather.

ALBATROSS – [Air Chassis, Fixed-Wing Plane] – 4 – Extremely versatile aircraft, the most important feature of which is the observer camera slot, which enables effective use of all fire support weapons. Can use most aircraft weapons, but unless you can manufacture more, it’s best not to risk them in combat.

Layered Attack Method

Now that we know what tools we have at our disposal, we need to apply them effectively to threats that stand between us and that red flashing radio tower.

Defences of the enemy island can be subdivided into 4 layers:

  • LAYER 0 – Enemy intelligence
  • LAYER 1 – Enemy sea units
  • LAYER 2 – Enemy air units
  • LAYER 3 – Enemy CIWS units and turrets
  • LAYER 4 – Enemy ground units and gun turrets

In order to execute an effective attack and capture an enemy island with minimal losses, it is important to eliminate these layers sequentially until no threats remain. Each layer provides protection to the next layer, and together they form a puzzle with its own angles and weaknesses that you can exploit.


LAYER 0 – Enemy intelligence
Before attacking any island, you must gather data on enemy forces from a safe distance.
First, approach the island until the light sources are visible. Use the viewing scope and radar data to identify the general nature of threats:

  • Small, white headlights are ground units.
  • Runway lights indicate capacity to launch aircraft on islands of level 2 and above.
  • Ship lights indicate a sea presence, guaranteed on level 3 and above – 2 small lights are corvettes, 4 lights with a tower are destroyers.

In the presence of enemy ships and/or aircraft, it is best to delay launching observer craft until LAYER 1 and LAYER 2 are eliminated.


LAYER 1 – Enemy sea units
The first layer of enemy defense is the most lethal – enemy ships are equipped with a full package of weapons including CIWS, AA missiles, torpedoes, and ship guns. They can easily eliminate your aircraft, as well as your carrier, if you are not careful.
The best way to remove enemy sea units is by using torpedoes. As mentioned in the equipment list, use the viewing scope to get the bearing, load the appropriate side of torpedo tubes, and fire torpedoes until the enemy sea units are eliminated. Destroyers will take 2 torpedoes, corvettes only 1.
If torpedoes are unavailable, refer to further sections of this guide.


LAYER 2 – Enemy air units
Once the ships and their CIWS are out of the equation, you must deal with enemy aircraft, which have a large detection radius and won’t hesitate to engage your amphibious units or observers with a mix of missiles and chainguns.
Your carrier is equipped with 2 AA missile turrets and 4 CIWS turrets. Engage the AA missile turret and CIWS on the appropriate side of ship, and approach the enemy aircraft until the AA turret locks on. For best chance of successful interception, fire AA missiles when the aircraft is approaching your carrier, rather than moving away from it.


LAYER 3 – Enemy CIWS units and turrets
CIWS emplacements obstruct all missile fire and bomb launches directed at ground units within their radius, which makes it difficult to engage the final layer of defences from a safe distance.
Here there are two options.
The most straightforward one is to eliminate enemy CIWS using artillery fire from the carrier’s main gun, or BEAR-class ground units with artillery guns equipped. This resolves the issue without any extra effort.
The second option is to engage the enemy ground units directly with your own ground units, as well as eliminate CIWS using your own ground units. This is a risky play which entirely depends on how well-equipped your ground units are to face the opposition. It is highly recommended to bring a CIWS unit with your armoured column, and scout any high-threat enemies such as enemy BEAR tanks or 40mm turrets in advance to plan your approach.
Finally, note that you don’t need to eliminate every CIWS unit to transition to the final phase – lone CIWS units that do not protect any valuable targets can be cleaned up by ground units, as they do not return fire at the time of writing this guide.


LAYER 4 – Enemy ground units and gun turrets
This is usually the cleanup phase of the assault. Without CIWS protection, remaining enemy units can be eliminated using with the safest and cheapest available methods, such as RAZORBILL strafing runs, IR missile spam from long range, manually controlled ground units, etc.
Keep in mind that you do not need to eliminate all enemy gun turrets, only the ones preventing your virus bot carrier from approaching – all turrets alive on the island will convert to your faction once the island is captured.

Common Issues

Oftentimes, due to the random nature of blueprint acquisition, island generation, and difficulty levels, you may find that you are missing essential equipment needed to deal with certain situations. In other words, what to do if you messed up and lost/wasted the good stuff.


“I have no torpedoes left, but I need to kill enemy ships. Their CIWS is killing all my missiles. What do I do?”

CIWS in Carrier Command 2 is very powerful, and for all intents and purposes creates a bubble that is impenetrable to missiles. Worse yet, most ships will have their own missiles and will return fire on aircraft, usually resulting in loss for no return. Even saturation fire using 6+ simultaneous missiles proves to be ineffective, as CIWS kills missiles in a cone. So, missiles are out as an option.

The second best way to eliminate ships is by using your carrier’s main gun. At the time of writing, aiming the gun using the viewing scope is bugged, and reports wrong valid range.
Instead, use a spotter plane at a safe distance (at least 5km) from the enemy ship, and slowly approach it until you can call for main gun support using the observer. This will fire a much more accurate volley that should hit the ship more often.

Alternatively, you can use the ‘submarine’ method. Amphibious units are very hard to detect swimming in water, and that is also true for enemy ships. From a safe 5km distance, launch a ground unit with a good enogh gun to kill the ship – you will need at least 40mm or CIWS gun for it to work. Ideally, you would use a BEAR-class tank, which ideally is equipped with an artillery gun that can accurately eliminate the ship from 5km away with the help of an aerial observer.

If you have no such options, you need to turn around and find lower-level island factories to capture for better equipment.


“How do I deal with CIWS in general?”

As above, big artillery guns and BEARs are your preferred solution, but on land, dealing with CIWS becomes easier because you can simply outmanoeuver it and hit only the targets that you need. Plus, land-based CIWS don’t return fire to ground units.


“I’ve spent all my missiles already, and 30mm sucks. How do I kill all these ground units?”

Use aircraft chainguns on RAZORBILLs to strafe them. Just give your heli a good path to make the attack run, or it might struggle to make sharp turns and miss. Use bombs. Use cruise missiles only on clusters of 3+ enemies. Also, instead of 30mm, put a CIWS gun on a ground unit and control it manually. It’s extremely effective at shredding AI ground units.
Just don’t spend valuable main gun ammo clubbing SEALs.


“How do I make my barges do stuff faster?”

Consider not assigning all of your barges to the warehouse. When you order something, all idle barges will immediately start grabbing stuff out of the warehouse and try to deliver it to the carrier.
So if you have 3 barges waiting and you order 3 cruise missiles, each barge will grab 1 and until it brings it to your carrier, it can’t do anything else.
Fuel and munitions take the longest for barges, so consider having at least 1 barge dedicated just to running those to the warehouse.
Capturing a warehouse closer to the middle of the map could be a good idea to shorten travel time.
Manufacture items only in factories next to your warehouse – every factory can make any blueprint according to its type, even if you got it on a remote island.
Finally, don’t have too many barges. They crash into each other and create unneeded congestion.


“I have no fuel, what now?”

Hope you have some left in the warehouse/make some in your factories and twiddle thumbs scout other islands while you wait for your barge to deliver it.
If you used up all your starting fuel and don’t have a fuel factory, gg, start over.

Blueprints and Further Goals
Now that you know how to use your starting arsenal and are capturing islands, you should be getting blueprints. Gear that you get from blueprints tends to be quite cheap, so you should not hesitate to order a decent supply of items that unlock for further use.

Here I will list some blueprints that are good to get and how acquiring them might affect your strategy.


God rolls

AMMO (160mm SHELL) – If you managed to roll a 160mm ammo blueprint from a munitions factory, congratulations, you win the game. The main gun of the carrier can destroy ships, bombard enemy aircraft hangars pre-emptively, kill the enemy carrier and basically everything else. You can quite literally play the game using only the main gun.

TORPEDO – The basic torpedo is the ultimate weapon of naval superiority, and if you can manufacture infinite torpedoes you will have no problem clearing ships or destroying the enemy carrier from miles away should you wish to do so.


The BEAR kit
BEAR-class tank blueprints drop 50% of the time when capturing your first surface chassis island, and are guaranteed to drop from the second one. However, you will need to also acquire turrets for it to use, which will likely require multiple additional turret factories. The turrets it can equip are: BATTLE CANNON (100mm direct fire), ARTILLERY GUN (120mm artillery), HEAVY CANNON (100mm artillery). A small munitions factory that produces the requisite ammo would be a fine addition.
With such a high factory requirement, the BEAR is tedious to fully equip, but once it is, no other ground unit can match its firepower.
And remember, the range warning is for AI, not for humans.


Bread and butter eqipment

MISSILE (IR, LASER, CRUISE) – Far better alternative than the basic light bombs, you will run out of these at some point, and being able to manufacture any of these will let you clean up CIWS-stripped islands very efficiently.

TURRET (40mm), AMMO (40mm) – The 40mm kit is not as impressive as infinite missiles, but it lets your ground forces run cleanup much better. Also, suicide SEAL hordes are much funnier with 40mms than 30mms.

AMMO (20mm), ROCKET POD, AMMO (ROCKET) – The helicopter strafe brand of cleanup operations. Also the manual CIWS spam brand of cheese.


The MANTA Chassis

The MANTA jet is the up-armoured fighter drone with high airspeed. It still dies to one missile hit, but its selling point is the fact that it is actually faster than AA missiles, which means that missiles launched at it while it is running away will fail to catch up. It also has enough HP to take stray CIWS hits and survive, if you dare risk it. Blueprints for the MANTA allow you to finally have a fighter in all those risky dogfighting and strafing roles where many an ALBATROSS has perished.


Thanks to Patchouli for his great guide, all credit to his effort. you can also read the original guide from Steam Community. enjoy the game.

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Post Author: Robins Chew

1 thought on “Carrier Command 2: Basic Guide (Equipment, Layered Attack Method, Common Issues and Blueprints & Further Goals)

    Ryan

    (August 14, 2021 - 12:54 am)

    Section “Early Game Planning” regarding statement “Each island gives you one blueprint in its logistics category.” Not every island provides a blueprint. Fuel, Barge, and Warehouse islands never give blueprints. Additionally, other island types don’t always provide a blueprint when playing the default 64 island campaign. Not receiving blueprints is especially frustrating at the beginning of a campaign 🙁

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