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Updated: Tip of the Week #8 - The Mothership

By Trojan. - 16th August 2010 - 16:30 PM

Surely everyone has seen what the Scrin Mothership thing can do: this leviathan can level an entire base in one blast, winning you the battle instantly. Of course it is not a surefire victory, but still a massive threat to any player. This tip will not only look at how to use the Mothership well, but also how to possibly prevent it from killing you.

Prerequisites for using the Mothership


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The Signal Transmitter.
  • A Signal Transmitter ready to be placed (which requires a Tech Assembler to be built).
  • 5000 credits cash to summon the Mothership.
  • Enough power! The Signal Transmitter requires 10 units of power.
Make sure you have all of these before attempting the Mothership strategy. It seems obvious, but there is at least one person who will try this without enough credits. Also, and this is very important, make sure you have no other active Signal Transmitters anywhere on the map. The Mothership will always deploy from the oldest Signal Transmitter on the map that is active (i.e. powered), so if you build a Signal Transmitter to get PACs and wish to try Mothershipping later on in the same match, power down or sell your original Signal Transmitter before deploying the Mothership, or else the Mothership will appear in your own base.

Basic information about the Mothership


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  • Hitpoints: 40000.
  • Speed: 20.
  • Armor: sniper: 1%, cannon: 100%, rocket: 100%, grenade: 100%, gun: 100%.
  • Requires 5.3 seconds to prepare a shot and 4 mores seconds to fire.
  • Cannot be repaired by ion storms or Reconstruction Drones (but the usual drones of a Gravity Stabilizer work).
  • Required veterancy experience points: veteran: 30000, elite: 60000, heroic: 90000 (good luck!)
  • It takes 8 seconds for the ship to arrive when summoned.
Armament. The Mothership's dreaded Catalyst Cannon requires some explanation. In fact, the Mothership has four different weapons, namely one each with 100%, 75%, 50% and 25% damage, i.e. 40000, 30000, 20000 and 10000, respectively; the first one fires all four beams, the second only three, the third just two, and the last one fires only one measly beam of energy. Which weapon applies depends on the health of the Mothership: At 40000-30001 hitpoints, it fires the 100% cannon, at 30000-20001 hitpoints the 75%-cannon, and so forth.

As a consequence of this, the Mothership has a curious weakness: If it is under attack while firing the cannon, and its health drops from one region into the one below, then its weapon changes, the firing sequence of the old weapon is aborted, and the new, weaker weapon begins a new firing sequence. So if the Mothership takes 10000 damage in less than 5.3 seconds, it can never fire.

Deploying the Mothership effectively


Date: August 10, 2010
Game: Tiberium Wars 1.09
Author: Trojan
As you probably know, the Mothership is devastatingly… slow. So you want to limit the distance it has to travel to fire its cannon on the enemy base, which means building your Signal Transmitter in or near their base. To do this, you need to get a build radius in the enemy base. Some ways to do this are to deploy a Drone Ship or Explorer in their base, build a chain of buildings towards their base, or take one of their buildings with an Assimilator. None of these are very practical, however, and the only likely scenario is a Mastermind capturing an enemy building.

Once you have the build radius, you can place your Signal Transmitter. However, before you do this, try to find the best spot to deploy the Mothership. Making one appear directly in the middle of an enemy base would hurt your enemy a lot, whereas summoning the Mothership at an expansion with two Refineries and a Power Plant is really not going to do much at all, since even if the shot does succeed, you will only have killed three buildings.

Remember to sell or power down all other Signal Transmitters you may have before summoning the Mothership!

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A good place to deploy the Mothership, directly in the middle of the enemy base (note the Tech Lab in the bottom left).

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Bad placement: only three structures nearby.


Now that you have the Mothership in the enemy base, all you have to do is fire and (hopefully) watch the base go up in smoke. The best way to do this is to force-fire on your own Signal Transmitter. Sure you will not get 1500 credits back from selling it, but this method ensures that your Mothership will get the shot off that hopefully does a huge deal of damage. If, on the other hand, your Signal Transmitter is destroyed, you still have a chance of destroying the enemy. To do this, you must force-fire your Mothership on the ground where your Signal Transmitter used to be, and as it fires, deploy a Lightning Spike. This will act like a building and pass on the chain reaction. (So make sure that you are able to place a Lightning Spike before you attempt this maneuver!)

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Lost your Signal Transmitter? A Lightning Spike to the rescue!


Also, make sure before you fire that there is no way that the catalyst shockwave can travel to your own base and kill yourself! This might sound obvious, but if you try chain-building into the enemy base and forget to sell some buildings to break the chain, your own base may well be annihilated by the blast, too.