Lots of players still refer to OGame as a war game even though it features economic aspects, social aspects, and others which applies to everything. The player is indeed not desperate to wage war against another player, but attacks on players are a favored and promising way to get resources, gain a reputation, and to rank quickly. Even if you do not want to attack other players, you should read this chapter to be prepared for attacks by other players.
Where do I find good targets ?
In the last chapter, spying on players which gathers information about their planets was described in detail. To find good raid targets you should just look around in your area and spy on everyone that could be a good target. Most importantly, you should look at weaker player or players of similar strength; also inactive players could be targets worth your time. The location of the target is also important - the further away it is from your planet, the longer the flight will last and more deuterium will be used, which means the chance to receive more losses than profits increases.
Now to choose a good combination
If you have found a target worth your time, you will only have to decide which ships you want to attack with. The most efficient composition of the attacking fleet always depends on the choice of the target and the type of attack. If you want to raid a small amount of resources from a lightly guarded planet, a sufficient amount of cargoes and a few battleships to protect those would normally suffice. But if you want to kill a large fleet or attack a heavily defended planet, you will have to send many more ships in order to destroy the enemy.
The best way to check the most efficient attacking fleet is a so called Combat simulator. However, you shouldn't look only at if you have low losses or not, but watch to see how much deuterium will be used, because it could reduce your profits. Also, the flight duration is something to be considered, because every minute that your fleet is in the air, there is more of a chance of the defender logging in and ruining your hit.
The debris field
After lots of battles a so called debris field occurs. It consists of the remnants of the ships which have been destroyed. In regular universes, 30 % metal and 30 % crystal of the destroyed ships’ from building costs are included in the debris field (some special universes have different percentages, make sure to check the chapter Universes and Player for this). To harvest a debris field, recyclers are needed. In the fleet menu, a recycling mission can be sent to the debris field. Pay attention to choose the debris field symbol as a target in the second fleet page, as well as the mission “recycle debris field”.
How do you know if a raid is profitable?
Normally a raid will be looked at to see if it is profitable, which is if the gained resources is more than your losses. You have to look at the ships you will lose and the deuterium you will have to spend. If it (your losses) is less than the captured resources and the harvested debris field, than the raid will be profitable.But, you still have to decide if the estimated profits is worth launching your fleet.
What other information should I think about?
Gathering as much up-to-date information as possible about your target is the most important. This means you should always have an extremely recent espionage report – if there have not been any defensive structures two days ago, that does not mean that it is still like that. Start an attack only after you know what you are in for.
Besides, you always have to keep an eye on if the defender is online or offline. If he sees the attack, he will take his resources and ships in a safe place without any problem and he will make the hit unprofitable to you; or he can deploy more ships on the attacked planet and destroy your attacking fleet. He also could call some of his allies or other friends to defend his planet (only in an ACS universe) and destroy your fleet. If there has been activity on a planet a few moments before your hit, the activity star (*) in the galaxy view will show it to you. It is a good sign that the defender is online, although there are other actions that can cause activity.
Because of this it is a good idea to look for any changes in activity, which could indicate that the player is online, while your flight is on its way. First and foremost before you fleet arrives the target, you should spy again to see if there have been changes. If you want to play it safe so you are not intercepted, you will be able to slow down your fleet, but that is described in detail in the according chapter. If you greatly believe that your enemy is online, you should recall your attack to prevent losing your fleet.
Also, attacks against stronger enemies are not smart, because with such actions you often put yourself in more danger. If a stronger player hunts you for revenge, the fun will come to an end fast. So at the beginning, only attack weaker or equal enemies, who you can fight against in case of emergency.
Are there rules too?
When you attack other players, you have to keep the bashing rule in mind. This means not attacking a planet or a moon more than 6 times within 24 hours. If both parties are at war with each other, 12 hours after the declaration of war the bashing rule is lifted for the duration of the war, which means you can attack an enemy in the other side's alliance as many times as you want. If you attack inactive players, the bashing rule might not apply. (this depends on the rules in your community, see Rules & Problems)