The DA combat system has been completely overhauled from the way it worked in standard GC2. Here's how it *should* work (to the best of my understanding imparted from CodeCritter!). If you notice any inconsistencies in the game versus what is described here, please report them along with screenshots and as many details as you can provide.

First off, the changes:1) Weapons now target individually. If a ship has multiple weapons and destroys its target with some weapons still unused, those weapons will be fired at the next enemy in line, and so on until all weapons have been fired. The order weapons are used in is based on which is most effective against the present target.

Note: the current 2A build does not account for all sources of defense or defense degradation as mentioned in 2), only the max value of the specific opposing class-the next build will include these, as described in the example below.2) As a ship takes damage within a single round, its maximum defense roll in the category of the weapon that hit it is decreased by the amount of each hit. Each category (beam/missile/ballistic) is counted separately. The maximum defense rolls reset after each round.

3) Having the Super Warrior ability prevents opponents in battles you initiate from firing back in the first round until after the game checks if they've been destroyed. Ships that survive your opening volley will return fire, then the rest of the battle proceeds as normal.

4) Your luck ability affects the minimum roll on your weapons-your min roll is equal to your luck % times the max roll, up to 100% (at which point your weapons would always do max damage). So if you have a weapon with 10 attack and 50% luck, you'll roll 5-10! As with most other cases in the game, fractional amounts are simply dropped, so if you had 45% luck rather than 50%, you'd roll 4-10.

One more thing that isn't new to DA, but wasn't previously known: So-called critical hits occur when a battle is not resolved within a set amount of time (50 rounds for single combat, 300 for fleet combat). When the time limit is reached, the game determines which side is 'tougher' by the formula

sqrt( ( 2 * Attack ) + Defense + ( Current HP / 2 ) ). Whichever side has the highest total result from that formula then proceeds to finish off the other side; each ship on the winning side fires one instant-death shot at one enemy until all the enemies are finished off.

Here's an example combat:Arceans (attacking)

Battleship A: 2x

Phasors VI (5 dmg ea.), 1x

Quantum Driver (4 dmg), 6 Armor, 2 PD, 20 HP

Battleship B: 1x

Phasors VI (5 dmg), 2x

Quantum Driver (4 dmg ea.), 6 Armor, 2 PD, 20 HP

Torians (defending)

Frigate A: 2x

Photon Torpedo (5 dmg ea.), 3 Shields, 1 Armor, 8 HP

Frigate B: 2x

Photon Torpedo (5 dmg ea.), 3 Shields, 1 Armor, 12 HP

Frigate C: 2x

Photon Torpedo (5 dmg ea.), 3 Shields, 1 Armor, 12 HP

Frigate D: 2x

Photon Torpedo (5 dmg ea.), 3 Shields, 1 Armor, 12 HP

The Torians have just destroyed a Arcean ship in a surprise attack, and joined the sole survivor of that battle (Frigate A) up with a new fleet. The Arceans had a pair of battleships on patrol nearby, and are here looking for revenge.

The Arceans are attacking, so they get to fire first. Their super ability means they can get the drop on the Torians, and hopefully take out a ship or two before they're able to return fire. The targeting formula (Attack / [Defense+HP]) has not changed, so the injured Frigate A, being the easiest target, is up for punishment first.

The Arceans analyze the Torians' strengths and weaknesses. Frigate A can roll 0-4 (3+sqrt(1)) against the Arcean Phasors, and 0-2 (1+sqrt(3)) against the Quantum Drivers. If both sides roll their best, that would make for 1 damage from the Phasors, versus 2 damage from the Drivers. The Arcean captain orders his crew to open fire with the Quantum Drivers first.

The Arceans score a decent hit. They rolled 1-4 for the Quantum Driver, and got a 3. The Torians rolled only a 1 on defense. Frigate A's armor is damaged by the amount of the attack roll-3 points. Since the maximum roll was only 2, Frigate A is completely defenseless against mass drivers for the rest of this round. The Torian ship also receives 2 damage to its HP (3-1), leaving it with 6 HP.

Battleship A then prepares to fire each of its Phasor banks in turn:

BSA Attack roll (1-5) = 1FA Defense roll (0-4) = 3The Arceans only score a glancing blow with the first Phasor shot. What little damage was dealt was completely absorbed by the frigate's shields. The shields are down to 75%, with a potential roll of 0-3 against the next shot since they absorbed 1 from this one.

BSA Attack roll (1-5) = 1FA Defense roll (0-3) = 1Wow, it's a really bad day for the Arcean gunner. The Frigate's shields absorb the 1 point of damage and begin to flicker a bit. They're at 50% power now, with a potential roll of only 0-2 against whatever the second battleship's Phasor throws at them.

Battleship B moves into range of Frigate A and powers up its weapons. Since BSA punched straight through FA's armor, the captain of BSB opts to use the Quantum Drivers first (which this ship has two of). The target still has some shield power left, enough that optimal damage is more likely with the drivers.

BSB Attack roll (1-4) = 4FA Defense roll (0-0) = 0!BSB scores a direct hit! FA takes 4 damage to its HP, leaving it with 2 HP.

BSB Attack roll (1-4) = 3FA Defense roll (0-0) = 0Another hit! Though not quite as accurate, it is more than enough to overwhelm the damaged frigate. A bright flash and the galaxy has that many fewer of those pesky yellow critters lurking in it.

FA is destroyed.BSB still hasn't used its Phasor bank this round. That's all they have left, so they just take a potshot at Frigate B:

BSB Attack roll (1-5) = 3FB Defense roll (0-4) = 3Frigate B's shields swallow the hit whole, but it takes them down to 25%. The Torian engineer reports that he'll have the shields back up to full before the Arceans can reload their weapons, though, so the captain of Frigate B isn't worried.

The surprise of the Arcean attack has worn off, though it's too late for Frigate A. Frigate B prepares to give the Arceans what's coming to them.

All the Torian frigates are equipped with are Photon Torpedoes, so there's no analysis needed-that's what they're using first (and last, and only!). BSA has a potential defense roll of 0-4 (2+sqrt(6)).

FB Attack roll (1-5) = 5BSA Defense roll (0-4) = 3The Arceans drop all the chaff they can, but it's not enough. The torpedo hits BSA squarely in the chaff launcher, knocking out the ship's anti-missile defenses for the rest of the round and dealing 2 damage to its HP (potential defense roll 0-0, 18 HP left).

FB Attack roll (1-5) = 4BSA Defense roll (0-0) = 0Defenseless, BSA can do nothing but take whatever damage the torpedoes dealâ€¦ and there are two more Torian ships ready to fire theirs. FC and FD open fire without delay (BSA now has 14 HP left):

FC Attack roll (1-5) = 4 BSA has 10 HP left.FC Attack roll (1-5) = 5BSA has 5 HP left.FD Attack roll (1-5) = 5BSA is destroyed!The Torians really pummeled that battleship, whose smoking wreckage is now floating away from the battle. Frigate D has one torpedo left in its tubes, and it's got Battleship B's name written on it.

FD Attack roll (1-5) = 3BSB Defense roll (0-4) = 3The Arceans got lucky-their chaff managed to successfully prevent the missile from striking the ship. They've only got 1 unit left in the launcher, but that's fine-they have some time to get it reloaded before the Torians do likewise with their torpedo tubes.

The first round of the battle is complete. All armor, shields, and point defenses on the ships are repaired, recharged, or reloaded, and they're ready for more. The battle now stands as follows:

Arceans (attacking)

Battleship B: 1x

Phasors VI (5 dmg), 2x

Quantum Driver (4 dmg ea.), 6 Armor, 2 PD, 20 HP

Torians (defending)

Frigate B: 2x

Photon Torpedo (5 dmg ea.), 3 Shields, 1 Armor, 12 HP

Frigate C: 2x

Photon Torpedo (5 dmg ea.), 3 Shields, 1 Armor, 12 HP

Frigate D: 2x

Photon Torpedo (5 dmg ea.), 3 Shields, 1 Armor, 12 HP

The Arceans' special ability won't help them this time-both sides will fire simultaneously in this round. What will happen? The Arceans are now quite a bit outgunned, but they won't go down without a fight. Unfortunately for them, that's as far as this story goes.

Hopefully this has been helpful to everyone in understanding the new battle system. If you've got any questions, post away.

-----------------------------------------

Update, effective as of 1.6 beta 4, according to CodeCritter's post on another thread:The battle system still works as it did before. The only change is
how the max defenses are decreased over the course of the round.

Off-type defenses still use the sqrt function when rolling. What
the beta 4 system does is roll a 0 - sqrt (sum of offtypes) for
defense. The sum of offtypes changes are the offtypes are decreased
after each attack roll.

So, a more DETAILED description of my previous example would be:

Ship 1 ( Attack: B: 14 M: 0 MD: 0 ) 7 weapons, 2 beam attack each

Ship 2 ( Defense: B: 0 M: 6 MD: 4 ) HP: 20

1. Ship 1 Weapon 1 rolls 1 attack, Defense rolls 0 - sqrt ( 6 + 4 )
and gets 2. Damage done is attack 1 - defense 2 so no damage is done.
Ship 2 missile defenses are greater than mass driver defenses,they
are decreased by the value of the attack roll 1.

Ship 2 defenses are now ( B: 0 M: 5 MD: 4 ) HP: 20.

2. Ship 1 Weapon 2 rolls 2 attack. Defense rolls 0 - sqrt ( 5 + 4)
and gets a 1. Damage done is attack 2 - defense 1, so 1 hp is
removed. Ship 2 missile defenses are greater than mass driver defenses,
so they are decreased by 2.

Ship 2 defenses are now ( B: 0 M: 3 MD: 4 ) HP: 19

3. Ship 1 Weapon 3 rolls 2 attack. Defense rolls 0 - sqrt ( 3 + 4 )
and gets a 0. Damage done is attack 2 - defense 0, so 2 hp is removed.
Ship 2 mass driver defenses are now greater than missile defenses, so
they are decreased by 2

Ship 2 defenses are now ( B: 0 M: 3: MD: 2 ) HP: 17

4. Ship 1 Weapon 4 rolls 1 attack. Defense rolls 0 - sqrt ( 3 + 2 )
and gets a 2. Damage done is attack 2 - defense 2, so 0 hp is
removed. Ship 2 missile defenses are greater than mass driver defenses,
so they are decreased by 1

Ship 2 defenses are now ( B: 0 M: 2 MD: 2 ) HP: 17

5. Ship 1 Weapon 5 rolls 2 attack. Defense rolls 0 - sqrt ( 2 + 2 )
and gets a 1. Damage done is attack 2 - defense 1, so 1 hp is
removed. Ship 2 off type defenses are equal, so one type is randomly
selected. This time mass drivers are randomly chosen, so they are
decreased by 2

Ship 2 defenses are now ( B: 0 M: 2 MD: 0 ) HP : 16

6. Ship 1 Weapon 6 rolls 2 attack. Defense rolls 0 - sqrt ( 2 + 0 )
and gets a 0. Damage done is attack 2 - defense 0, so 2 hp is
removed. Ship 2's missile defenses are greater than mass driver
defenses, so they get decreased by 2

Ship 2 defenses are now ( B: 0 M: 0 MD: 0 ) HP: 14

7. Ship 1 Weapon 7 rolls 1 attack. Ship 2 has no defenses, so the
attack will be able to do its full measure of damage. No defenses are
left so no defenses get decreased.

Ship 2 defenses are now ( B: 0 M: 0 MD: 0 ) HP: 13

8. Ship 2 fires its weapons in the same manner

9. At the beginning of the next round, each ship's defenses are restored to their full values.

When the attacker has two different weapon types, how do you degrade defenses?

Ephafn is right. Each shot is fired is done in succession. So the
first shot would decrease whichever defense was greater (or randomly
pick which if they are equal). Then the second shot would have to go
up against the changed defense values.

I hope this clears things up. If you still have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask