Ship combat follows the same framework as character combat, however there are a few distinct differences. Each round in ship combat is divided into either three or four turns depending on how many characters are currently in the party. During each round, neither team has more than a single turn advantage over the opposition.
Ship battle turns use a color-coded grid system to show each turn in the upcoming two rounds (up to 8 individual actions out). The color codeing relates to how vulnerable the vessel will be at any given moment, as well as a few overlaying icons which note special properties of specific turns.
A green color means the vessel will be at no significant disadvantage that turn, damage multipliers will remain as normal. Green does not mean your opponent will not fire, and in fact your vessel may in fact come under very heavy fire on any given "green" turn, depending on the strategy of your foe. If hit during a "green" turn, your vessel should receive less than critical damage unless you are severely outclassed by your foe. These turns are usually used for healing, jockeying for advantage, and back-and-forth cannonfire.
Yellow turns note that your foe will be at an advantage point during that round, or will unleash some heavy attack or combination of attacks that turn. Damage multipliers will be increased in your opponents favor, usually by a factor of 150-200%. Examples include when the enemy vessel manages to maneuver behind yours and can fire on your engines, or when the enemy vessel fires multiple weapons at once such as Primary and Secondary cannons, with Torpedo fire all striking in the same round. Your opponent will probably fire on these rounds, so guarding or some other form of defensive tactic is recommended. The player is likely to experience a "lost" event during these rounds as the opponent travels out of the firing range of the cannons.
Red turns are severe hazard turns, your opponent will usually use a superweapon or other form of extremely powerful attack. Damage modifiers on these turns are heightened even further than yellow turns, from 175-300% depending on your opponent and their capabilities. Opponents will try to concentrate fire here as much as possible, and the damage dealt will often endanger the vessel. Plan beforehand and guard on the "Red" turn and follow-up immediately afterward with a healing ability if able.
A "Chance" (C!) icon indicates your vessel will be at a critical advantage during that turn, or have a "chance" to do something critical to winning the battle. "C!" turns basically equate to inverse yellow turns, where your opponent would receive a "yellow" turn and your vessel will deal increased damage. Damage modifiers will increase 150-250% during these turns, depending on your foe and the actual battle positions of the combatants. an opportunity for you - usually to do damage, but sometimes to take some other sort of action that will influence the course of battle. Generally, you should try to concentrate fire in "Chance" rounds. Your opponents will be likely to experience a "lost" event during these rounds, although in the later game this becomes very, very rare.
Special Cannon Icon
The Special Cannon Icon, which looks like a smaller version of the "fire special cannon" menu icon, indicates that you may fire your special cannon during that round. The S.cannon cannot be fired on any other rounds, so these opportunities must be taken advantage of immediatly if possible. As S.cannons eat up a lot of spirit points players will have to note and anticipate the available turns when they are displayed in the "next turn" input box, and probably respond by focusing to ensure that the vessel has enough spirit points to actually fire the cannon when it becomes available. The S.cannon always does absurd amounts of damage to the opponent, and is always worth using at every opportunity. (example, Standard cannon: 300-500 hp damage, Harpoon cannon: 14,000-25,000 Hp damage) These turns translate into inverse "Red" turns, where you fire the superweapon at your opponent instead of vice-versa. Although your opponent will still fight back during these turns (and in-fact there are several instances of the S.cannon icon appearing on an otherwise "red" turn, where your opponent will fire their S.cannon in direct response to your own). they can usually be expected to attempt to guard against your S.cannon a simple attempt to survive it.
During ship to ship combat, on occasion the opponent passes out of the panning abilities of the cannons which you are trying to fire at them. For example if the enemy is behind or under (or both) your vessel, and you attempt to fire the top/side mounted cannons on the vessel, as the cannons cannot actually lock onto the target they will not attempt to and will not fire as it would simply waste gunpowder and ammo. Unfortunately, even if a round results as being "lost!" the vessel still uses spirit points that round as if the cannon had fired.
Of course, on occasion, cannons can miss. Torpedoes are notoriously inaccurate, and are often seen blazing by the vessel harmlessly as they plummet into Deep Sky. The accuracy of your cannons is directly related to the current equipment of the vessel as well as the party member firing them. Certain crew members abilities increase accuracy, but misses occur across the entire game as gunners fail to hit their marks. Note however that the S.Cannon cannot miss, or if it can there has never been a reported instance. As the hit% of the S.cannon is 99.9% (i.e. it is expected to hit 999 times out of every 1000 attempts). With Vyse's basic melee attack having an accuracy of roughly 90%, it is perhaps plausible that it could miss, but if so it would be a very rare event, indeed.
The same actions used in character combat are used here, albeit with small differences. The 'Attack' option now has the player pick between four different cannons that have been equipped to the ship. Cannons come in three different types - powerful main cannons, multi-firing secondary cannons, and delayed-effect torpedoes - and each one can only be used once per round. This same stipulation carries over to the S. Move command, which now uses a large, front-mounted cannon. In addition to the standard actions, the ship's crew can be called upon by one of the characters in the party. Whilst each of these can only be used once in each ship battle, the diversity and power of the crew's abilities can be very useful.