Hover Barges, or just "Barges", are vehicles manufactured by the Garage. A Hover Barge looks like a platform, with two horizontal tanks at the side, a seat and an input pipe. The tanks are the barge's fuel supply; if they run out, the barge stops hovering and falls until Iridium is supplied again. The tanks will always have the same amount of Iridium in them; they get drained at the same time.
When a brand new Hover Barge is manufactured, it comes out of the Garage with very little Iridium in its tank, however, it is still enough to keep the Barge hovering for a minute or two. To refuel the Barge, a pipe, Distributor Cap, or another power supply needs to be connected to the barge's input pipe. Due to the location of the opening, using a distributor cap is recommended and widely used. Just like terrain, machines and Structures, the Hover Barge can be destroyed if enough damage is inflicted. Barges can now be repaired by users or by Automechanics as of April 5th, 2019.
Like the name suggests, the Hover Barge hovers; it does not fly. It needs to have some kind of surface underneath it for it to hover. This means that if a Barge flies out beyond the Mainland, it will fall into the Iridium Ocean. However, as long as it still has power, it will hover above the Ocean. Unfortunately, the process of getting it back up is very time consuming, and therefore it is easier to just make a new one.
Hover Barges are sensitive to impulse forces. Weapons such as Rocket Launchers, Cruise Missiles, and Artillery will send them flying away if they do not have a powered Spatial Anchor on them. Also, because of the artillery's recoil, they barge will fly away when an artillery is shot from them. This can be fixed by turning on a Spatial Anchor on them.
The Types of Barges
There are many different ways to use a Hover Barge. In this section is a list of pretty much all the different ways that Barges can be efficiently used.
The most common type of Barge. These are armed, self-sustainable barges equipped with Turrets and other weapons. They have 3-4 Condensers, 2 or more Turrets on the bottom, sometimes some Arc Turrets on the top/bottom, and a Distributor. They are made for combat, as the turrets automatically shoot any players below. It is uncommon, however recommenced, that the user covers their barge from the sides by Slab Blocks and Platform Blocks to shield the user from anti-personnel weapons such as Point Defenses. However, if the user is not careful and doesn't monitor how much Iridium he or she has, the Turrets can very quickly drain the Barge of all it's fuel. Sometimes, these are expanded using other Barges or Bridges for more space for Condensers and weapons.
These are some of the most dangerous Barges, however they are expensive and hard to operate. The classic design features many Condensers, a Turret or two on the bottom, a Standard Tank, a Distributor and an Artillery. These can deliver very heavy blows to even the most fortified bases. However, after about 2-3 shots, the Iridium from all the tanks will be used, and even with many Condensers, will not be able to sustain both the Barge and operate the Artillery. However, there is a solution. Somewhere a mediocre distance away, find a ladder the goes to Ocean level. There, create 1-3 Submersibles, and lead a pipe to the surface. In the underground, build a Distributor and 1-2 Large Tanks up-side down on the bottom of the Mainland. Connect all of this. From the surface, it should be invisible. Now, for the Barge. Place a Large Tank with an Artillery on top, and connect that to the fuel pipe. A Distributor Cap needs to be in the system too. How to operate this: Go to the secret re-fueling station. Fill up. Now, attack the enemy base, keeping an eye on the Iridium level in the Large Tank. When this drains, go back to the re-fill station, fill up and repeat.
These Barges are cheap, quick and small. They serve the sole purpose of transporting players from one place to another. They are usually are un-armed, but occasional they have a single Turret or Arc Turret for self-defense. On board are 2-3 Condensers, a Distributor, a Spatial Anchor (to "park" the Barge), and if there are many people on the team, several Seats. They might have some Light Sources too.
Iridium Transportation Barges
These are very uncommon Barges made solely for the purpose of transporting Iridium from one place to another. They are almost never armed, to conserve space. On board are 1-2 Large Tanks, a Distributor, a Gauge and rarely, few Condensers. They hook up to a station via Distributor, where the tanks get filled, and then on the other side of the map they connect with a Distributor the other way. These sometimes are extended using other Barges or Bridges for more space.
These barges are made for sneaking up on the enemy. They need to be very compact, quick and silent. All they typically have on board are 2 Condensers connected directly via pipe to the fuel pipe; the Distributor's bright lines might give it away. They are mostly used to hover low above the Ocean, glide to an enemy base from under, and then let the user sneak up on the enemy and infiltrate them. Sometimes, these barges with be covered in Blocks, especially Slab Blocks and Platform Blocks to help camouflage them with the surroundings. These also do not have Turrets, as the Turret shooting would give them away. If they are armed, it would be with Arc Turrets. Sometimes, these have a Valve at the fuel pipe, so they can be easily disposed of to not give the user away.
These are rarely used Barges that consist of Condensers, Tanks, a Distributor, an Arsenal and an Spawn Point, and sometimes Turrets. Their purpose is to hover along foot soldiers to provide assistance by providing them with Iridium and weapons.
These barges are meant to assist in quickly building bases. The mostly consist of Condensers, Tanks, a Fabricator and a Spatial Anchor. They are parked beside a good location for a base, and then the Fabricator builds the blueprints while the players can focus on defending their Barge. They are also used to quickly create Skybases, as the player then does not have to go up and down the ladder to build things.
These are specialized Barges designed for attacking Skybases. The consist of many Tanks, several Arsenals, some Condensers and a Spatial Anchor. They are able to quickly bombard Skybases with a high amount of Cruise Missiles, as those are the most effective weapons for taking down Skybases. Because the Cruise Missile has a higher range than the Artillery, the attacker can safely stand out of the Skybase's range, and when the attacker spots a Cruise Missile incoming, because they are slow, they can simply unpark their Barge and move to dodge the incoming Missile.
Portable Base Barges
These are pretty uncommon barges, due to how expensive and complicated they are. They are composed of many Barges connected together. These are basically large floating platforms, which are often located far away above the Ocean. They are very hard to infiltrate, however they need a very large supply of Iridium to keep them running; if a single pipe is destroyed, the whole base can sink into the Ocean.
Spawn Point Barges
These are cheap barges that are equipped with several Condensers, a Spawn Point, and a Spatial Anchor. These are left around the map, to count as back-up Spawn Points. More expensive versions have a Turret/Arc Turret to defend themselves from any possible attackers.
Suicide Barges are very cheap, disposable, cruel, but effective Barges that have pretty much nothing on them. They consist of a plain barges, filled up at a base, with many Satchel Charges on the bottom. The user quickly flies the Barge to the enemy base, lands, and then detonates all the charges, killing himself/herself in the process. Due to how many explosives can fit on the Barge, a well placed suicide Barge can deal very high damage, clearing off almost an entire base. However, care needs to be taken to avoid landing the barge near Arc Turrets, as those will destroy the Satchel Charges.
Bomber Barges are rarely used Barges similar to suicide Barges. They usually consist of a simple barge with a Condenser or two connected to the Barge's fuel tank. The Barge has a severely damaged pipe sticking out of the side that user places Satchel Charges on. Then he or she hovers above an enemy base, destroys the pipe and activates the charges. Once they land on the ground, they will explode, easily dealing large, spread out damage, but once again, care needs to be taken to drop the Charges far away from any Arc Turrets.
Pros & Cons
- Easily maneuverable
- Somewhat cheap to manufacture
- 2-3 condensers can supply the barge with enough iridium to constantly sustain itself
- Can attach weapons to easily attack enemy fortresses
- Useful to transport large teams across the battlefield with ease
- Cannot be hit easily if it is in motion
- Considerably fast
- Little space (Can be expanded with blocks, bridges, etc.)
- Structures can cause the Barge to fling out of control
- Getting a barge up to mainland after it has fallen is almost impossible
- Requires a very large number of condensers to successfully attack with turrets/arc turrets and remain hovering Even 10+ Condensers cannot supply enough iridium to power the barge to remain hovering AND to operate artillery
- The barge consumes more iridium the higher it is above a surface (3 condensers can still maintain it at highest elevation possible)
- A single shot from an explosive weapon can fling a barge off the mainland
- Floaty, drifting flight can make it difficult to drive.
Effective Barge Design Example
To be effective, a barge has to be able to be light enough so that it can drive properly, while being able to protect the driver and passengers, while being good at its original purpose (fueling for another barge, attacking defenses, main attack) This barge is extremely effecting and can take down teams easily while protecting the people doing it. There is first a large tank at the far end, with two artilleries on each side of the tank, with a transciever on the top. The transciever will be used to refuel the tank that powers the barge in the middle of a flight. These three things will be connected to the tank. To the right of the drivers seat is a Spatial Anchor, placed there for easy access to the button. To the right of the spatial anchor is an automech, to repair the ship. At the right back corner of the barge is a distributor. These three things next to the seat are all also connected to the main tank. To the right of the barge, there will be a shield connected to a valve connected to a distributor cap. This is so not too much iridium is wasted. Under the barge are multiple arc turrets connected to distributor caps.
Power: The main tank will power everything, including the distributor powering everything else. If needed, the tank will refuel from home base using the transciever.
Attacking Strategy: First, the shields and defenses will be taken out using the two artilleries. Then the barge is placed on top of the spawn, and the arc turrets would kill the dead defending team upon spawning. (Spawn killing) The attacking team will take out their laser drills and destroy all the essentials, and place their own spawn and connect the power to it and the barge. The conquered base would be connected to home base using another transciever.
Conclusion: This barge is an example. Many barges can be used in similar ways. With a good design, a barge will be very effective allowing you to quickly win the game. Using all the barge types above, and the specific how-to-build-barge paragraph above, you can become good at using barges to easily and quickly take out bases.