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Old August 15th, 2003, 12:52 PM
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Default Frequently Asked Questions for Newbies

This is the FAQ for SEIV Gold, originally posted by Slick. All the credits go out to him. I have re-started the thread to keep the thread (not the FAQ of course) smaller so newcomers are not discouraged to read it.

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Old August 21st, 2004, 03:11 PM
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Default Frequently Asked Questions for Newbies

[see below]

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Old April 15th, 2005, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Frequently Asked Questions for Newbies

Please keep this thread clean!

FAQ SEIV Gold Julian Date 050415 (_____Work in Progress)
To find anything specific on this page use your browsers search utility
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In an effort to keep only the main FAQ at the top of this thread, please post feedback, questions, input, etc., in the following thread:

Update the FAQ Thread

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===============================
Table of Contents
===============================
0.0 Introduction - READ THIS FIRST
0.1 Other Reading
0.2 Top 20 Newbie Questions
0.3 Top 10 Newbie Mistakes

1.0 Game Start-up & Empire Creation
1.1 Racial Traits
1.2 Characteristics, Cultural Modifiers and Advanced Traits
1.3 Choice of Planet Type and Atmosphere
1.4 AI Difficulty and Bonus
1.5 Game Mechanics
1.6 Game Setup Options

2.0 Designing Ships
2.1 Misc. Components
2.2 Mounts
2.3 Weapons
2.4 Shields
2.5 Armor
2.6 Engines
2.7 Vehicle Control
2.8 Combat Systems
2.9 The Colonizer
2.10 Strategies
2.11 Upgrading
2.12 The Simulator
2.13 Maintenance
2.14 ______________________
2.15 Transport hulls

3.0 Research & Technology

4.0 Planet Development
4.1 Exploring
4.2 Colonizing
4.3 Facilities
4.4 Construction
4.5 Resource Production
4.6 Remote Mining
4.7 Population
4.8 Planet Defense
4.9 Ring Worlds & Sphere Worlds
4.10 Growing your Empire
4.11 Improving & Modifying Planets
4.12 Improving & Modifying Systems

5.0 Ships & Bases
5.1 Attack & Defense Ships
5.2 Support Ships
5.3 Ship Management
5.4 Supply and Resupply
5.5 Repairs and Retrofitting
5.6 Fleets
5.7 Training & Experience
5.8 Orders
5.9 Cloaking
5.10 Movement
5.11 Cargo Handling and Launching
5.12 Bases
5.13 Ship ID

6.0 Space Combat
6.1 Tactics
6.2 Formations
6.3 Attacking Ships
6.4 Capturing Ships
6.5 Analyzing Ships
6.6 Attacking Planets
6.7 Tactical Combat Specifics
6.8 Simultaneous Combat Specifics
6.9 Planet Blockades
6.10 Adapting to Win

7.0 Ground Combat
7.1 General
7.2 Capturing Planets

8.0 Units
8.1 General
8.2 Fighters
8.3 Troops
8.4 Mines
8.5 Drones
8.6 Weapon Platforms
8.7 Satellites

9.0 Systems & Sectors
9.1 Sight
9.2 Spaceports
9.3 System Facilities
9.4 System Defense
9.5 Stellar Manipulation
9.6 Storms & Nebulae

10.0 Diplomacy
10.1 Intelligence
10.2 Trade
10.3 Communications
10.4 Anger
10.5 Contact
10.6 Treaties

11.0 Empire Management
11.1 Keeping Track of Things
11.2 Ministers
11.3 Waypoints
11.4 Game Interface

12.0 Happiness
12.1 Riots & Riot Control

13.0 The AI
13.1 Mega Evil Empire
13.2 AI tactics
13.3 Neutral AI Empires

14.0 Turn Sequencing
14.1 Simultaneous
14.2 Sequential

15.0 Multiplayer
15.1 PBEM
15.2 PBW
15.3 TCP/IP Games

16.0 Customizing the game (Mods & Shipsets)
16.1 Popular Mods
16.2 Managing mods
16.3 Combining mods
16.4 Installing Mods
16.5 Installing new shipsets.

17 Strategy Articles (By Stone Mill, contributing writer)
17.1 Empire Design **
17.2 Early Economy and Exploration
17.3 Managing Your Economy
17.4 Get the Most out of Fighters
17.5 Combat Strategies : Early, Mid, and Late Game **
17.6 Rock, Paper, Scissors : (Which weapons and strategies counter others)
17.7 The Early Kill **
17.8 Partnerships and Trade **
17.9 How to Win in SEIV by Machiavelli XLVII **
17.10 When To Attack **
17.11 Intel Operations
17.12 Expert Moves and Dirty Tricks
** under development

18 Slick's Turn Checklist (probationary section)

19 Glossary

20 Article: Min-Maxing the Empire; The Art of Free Points
Written by Imperator Fyron

21 Article: How is damage assigned?
Written by Zanthis
Copied from the "Dubious Strategy Guide"

22 Reserved for future use
23 Reserved for future use
24 Reserved for future use

25 Appendices: Figures, Tables, References, etc.

===============================

0.0 Introduction - READ THIS FIRST

Thank you for taking the time to read this FAQ. The purpose of this document is to help a new player quickly learn the game and hopefully bring him or her up to the level of an intermediate player. This document is a community effort and as you read it, note the many people who have contributed.

I will be going through an intense workload period soon so I wanted to at least upload the work that has been done so far. The previous version was ~93 pages and this version is ~145 pages so that just goes to show you how much has been added. I truly apologize for the unfinished sections and I promise to finish them as time permits in a couple of months. My notes to myself are listed with underlines: ___________________________ so please disregard them. Also, none of the links have been fixed yet, formatting is marginal for some of the tables, and I still have a ton of input from various people that I haven't got a chance to add yet. Here's a partial update for now. Slick

A word about cross-referencing and redundancy in this document: Cross-referencing and redundancy are both extremes in the methodology for creating a document such as this. Either extreme makes it hard on the reader. If redundancy is minimized, then cross-referencing increases and the reader has to bounce around like a ping-pong ball to get the information he/she wants. If cross-referencing is minimized, then the reader ends up reading the same things over and over and the document becomes inefficient, long and difficult to update. This document tries to achieve a convenient middle ground. Short blurbs of information are usually repeated in several places for convenience while longer passages are usually cross-referenced for efficiency. In a document of this length about a game of this complexity, there is just no getting around the idea that many aspects of the game affect many other aspects of the game. As readers, please understand that this document was intended to be user-friendly and able to be read in small sections at a time without missing important details. This way it can be used as a quick reference. Thanks and have fun!

This FAQ is maintained by editors Ruatha and Slick, with special thanks to contributing writer Stone Mill, especially for his work in section 17.
The Intel Forum can be found at http://www.shrapnelgames.com.
Let's try to keep the FAQ current with the latest version of the game - v1.91 as of now. There is much information here from many people, and although it is probably very accurate, there are probably some small errors in the FAQ. Please look for any inaccuracies and especially things to add. __________________ inaccuracies, testing, etc.

0.01 Forum Navigation
Forums Posts appear latest post first, so you can easily check up on the newest response to a long thread. (Arkcon)
0.02 To read a thread in first-to-last order, click the "Printer-friendly view of this topic" icon at the bottom of the page. (Arkcon, Gryphin, Capnq) The Forum UBB has been updated and this option is no longer available.

0.03 To make requests for additions, please take a couple of minutes to format your text, correct your spelling and grammar and look for the most applicable place to add it and then provide a suggested paragraph number. This makes updates much easier. Also please don't go postal with the subparagraphing; it should be VERY rare that you need more than 4 levels i.e. N.N.N.N and I would prefer it be kept to 3 levels where possible. Also, please make entries factual, and based on some testing you have accomplished to minimize hearsay and potentially inaccurate info. Lastly, NO SMILIES! This UBB has a limit of 8 per post and a document of this size can't afford any.

0.1 Other Reading
0.1.1 First, read: Malfador Q&A Section and: Un-Official Space Empires IV Strategy and Tactics Page.
To get info on tech, components, facilities etc use the SE4 Mod Utility 1.71.
Another GREAT guide can be found here: SE4 Dubious Strategy Guide (Zip file) This guide has not been updated in a long time and some of the information it contains is no longer correct due to patches modifying the game.
The Encyclopedia Malfadorica has articles about everything SE4, and you can write some stuff too!

0.2 Top 20 Newbie Questions:

0.2.1 Q: Why does my colony have ZERO population (Or Why isn't my colony producing anything)???
A: There could be several reasons here. This situation is most frequently caused by not loading population onto a Colonizer before sending it out. The (C)olonize order will automatically load population if it is given to a Colonizer that is in a sector with a populated planet. In this case, with the (C)olonize order, the Colonizer will automatically load population, move to the target planet and colonize the planet. Any cargo in the Colonizer (population is cargo) is deposited on the newly colonized planet. If the Colonizer was not in a sector with one of your populated planets when you gave it the (C)olonize order, it will still colonize the target planet, but it will have zero population and you can't build anything there until you move some population in. (See also section 4.2) Another reason is that your planet had all of its population removed by the Transport Minister. This will lead to the same problem. Later patches claim to have improved the Transport Minister's performance. Another reason for not producing anything is if your planet is rioting. See the question on rioting _________ and section 12.1.

0.2.1 Q: Why is the game different when I play Multiplayer?
A: Multiplayer games are played using Simultaneous Movement - no tactical combat allowed. This means that your battles are fought using your ships and strategies with the AI in command to execute the strategies. Many of the commands and orders such as ship movement are executed at the time of turn processing instead of immediately. It is recommended that you play a couple of games using simultaneous movement before playing your first multiplayer game just so you get the hang of it. __________________

0.2.2 Q: What is a Ring World or Sphere World and how do I build them?
A: See section 4.9

0.2.3 Q: What is the best weapon in the game? or Why research anything other than the Phased Polaron Beam? It's the best weapon in the game! Also, My Carriers & fighters (or Missile ships) are UNSTOPABLE!!! muuuhuhhaahahaha!!!!
A: The short answer is that there is no best weapon or tactic in the game. SE4 is a game that is pretty well balanced; some players have made mods that address balance issues. Each weapon has advantages and disadvantages. Cost, range, research cost, reload time, damage, and several other factors differentiate all the weapons. For every weapon & tactic, there are defenses and vice-versa. One of the great things about SE4 is the fact that there is no one "uber" weapon or strategy so players must react to the situation. Players that rigidly stick to one kind of weapon or tactic won't do well against human opponents. See also section 17.6 for more on how to counter different strategies.

0.2.4 Q: I was doing great in my single player game then all of a sudden all the other empires declared war on me. Why? What did I do wrong?
A: You haven't done anything wrong. In fact, you are significantly ahead of all the other empires. You have been declared "The Mega Evil Empire" (MEE). See also section 13.1 for more details on MEE. This is the method used by SE:IV to make the game a little more challenging when a player is significantly more powerful than all the others.

0.2.5 Q: How does the Intelligence system work? Why do my Counter Intelligence projects keep saying that they failed?
A: See section 10.1

0.2.6 Q: I'm confused about cloaking and sensors. What kind do I need? How do I detect mines? How do Long Range Sensors fit into things? I don't see how to use them.
A: _______________________________

0.2.7 Q: I'm confused about Weapon Platforms. Are they a facility? What components do I need to put on them? Will they work if my planet is rioting? Do they help in ground combat? Why do they seem ineffective against fleets?
A: Weapon Platforms (WP) are units that are placed in a planet's cargo area. These WP's are used by a planet during combat. WP's are not facilities. You can put most weapons, shields, armor and miscellaneous components on WP's. WP's have access to impressive mounts that extend weapon range. They will still work if the planet is rioting. They do not participate in ground combat. See also section 8.0 for more information on Units and section 8.6 for more details on Weapon Platforms. See also section 4.8 regarding planet defense.

0.2.8 Q: Why are my satellites all clumped together? Can I spread them out? Also, why are my defense bases positioned so poorly?
A: Sadly, there is not much that can be done about this. All satellites in a sector will always be lumped into a single stack. Satellite and base placement during combat is somewhat random and it depends on what else is in the sector (planet, warp point, etc.) Placement is also affected by the number of empires present during the battle. There is a pretty good chance that satellites and bases will be positioned poorly in combat and since they can't move, they are not a general favorite method of defense.

0.2.9 Q: I have researched weapon XXX all the way (I think) but I just got pulverized by an enemy ship using the same weapon, but it had much higher damage ratings. How did he do that?
A: Your enemy is using Mounts on his weapons. See section 2.2

0.2.10 Q: How do I retrofit my ships? Why did my retrofit fail?
A: 150% rule, comes out before income. ____________________________

0.2.11 Q: How do I deal with all this micromanagement?
A: ________________________________

0.2.12 Q: My empire is overcome with riots. What am I doing wrong? How can I make my people happy again?
A: neutral empire, troops, ships, battles, building ___________________________

0.2.13 Q: How do I remove the "dome" on my domed planets?
A: _________________________________ breathers or Atmosphere Converter

0.2.14 Q: How do I get that XXX racial tech?
A: _________________________________

0.2.15 Q: Why do my ships/fleets perform so poorly in strategic combat?
A: ____________________________

0.2.16 Q: This game is too easy. I can take my small ship with Capital Ship Missiles and defeat larger ships and planets by staying out of range in tactical combat. What can I do to make the game more challenging?
A: First, see section 1.4. to make the stock game more challenging. Next, search for mods that improve the AI; the TDM Modpack is a great example of this since it only makes the AI more challenging but does not change any other aspect of the stock game. The final thing to do is start playing against humans. Humans are infinitely more challenging than the AI. See section ______________________________

0.2.17 Q: What bonuses stack?
A: ______________________________ ability, family number,

0.2.18 Q: What are the best early-game strategies? What are the best early-game things to research?
A: Build colonizers as fast as you can and expand as fast as you can. Some people like to build bare-bones colonizers that can be built in 1 turn and upgrade after that for faster production; although this is very expensive. Other people like to put their homeworld on "Emergency Build" in the beginning to get an early construction advantage. Still others will build 2 or 3 spaceyard bases over their homeworld to increase the number of spaceyards they have. Whatever method you choose, early fast expansion is very important to establishing your empire. Colonize larger planets and leave the smaller ones for later. Build lots of Research Centers in the early game. Once you meet an another empire, start setting up border defenses. You may or may not have an initial friendly treaty with the other empire, so that will affect your defenses. Just remember, eventually there will most probably be conflict because everyone wants to win. As far as research goes, there are several paths to follow and the player must be flexible and adapt to the particular situation at hand. See also section 3.0. The Depleted Uranium Cannon is an favorite for a weapon for the early game. It is cheap to research and will hold its own until others spend a lot more research to outgun it; in the middle and late game it is underpowered when compared to other weapons that your opponents will be using so keep researching weapons. Researching "Construction" leads to Mines and other units. Mines are a great early defense. They will easily stop lone enemy ships in the early game. As the game progresses, they will be end up being nearly useless in the middle and late game when minesweepers in fleets can sweep large numbers of mines. Also necessary are items which improve your ship's performance. Combat Sensors, ECM, Multiplex Tracking, Shields, Armor are all important. Don't forget about ship's training facilities (need 2 levels of Military Science). A ship can be trained to 20% and it can be put in a fleet which is also trained to 20%. These bonuses stack to give your ships a 40% more likely chance to hit with beam weapons and a 40% less likely chance to be hit by your enemies. In the middle game, the Phased Polaron Beam is also a favorite due to its ability to skip normal shields, but by no means is it unbeatable. _____________________ See also section 17.2.

0.2.19 Q: How does shields or [Emissive, Stealth, Scattering, Organic, Crystalline] armor work?
A: Read the article in section 21 on how damage is applied. See also section 2.4 on Shields and section 2.5 on Armor.

0.2.20 Q: ________________________
A: ________________________


0.3 Top 10 Newbie Mistakes:

0.3.1 Not Loading population onto a Colonizer. Don't worry, everyone has done it. Some of us still do it from time to time. ___________________ the (C)olonize order vice (L)oad order...See 0.2.1 and 4.2

0.3.2 Putting a planet with a Resource Converter on "Repeat Orders". This will cause resources to be converted each turn. Adding orders to convert resources on subsequent turns does not delete the first order so all orders will attempt to be executed each turn. Many people have been caught off guard by this. Resource conversion happens before resources are deducted for retrofits so if you are sure you had enough resources to cover the cost of retrofits but they failed anyway, check for this problem. Also, if you are seeing unexplained changes in your resource pool, this might be the cause.

0.3.3 Cloaking the minesweepers. _______________________

0.3.4 Relying too much on trade income or not paying attention to your economy. _________________

0.3.5 Not protecting warp points. The most effective way to protect your planets and systems is to protect warp points. The reason is that enemy ships must enter the system through the warp point; and most importantly, when combat is initiated on your end of the warp point, you as the defender get the first shot. During warp point battles, all the ships are usually positioned close to each other so the defender has a big advantage in being close and firing first. In the early game, mines or a few satellites or a ship is good enough to kill enemy colonizers and exploration ships. In the late game, you need large fleets with powerful weapons and good strategies to deal with large enemy attack fleets. _______________________ See also section _______________________

0.3.6 Using Ministers. In general ministers are very poor at managing your affairs. In some cases they can actually make things worse. Serious players do everything themselves. See section 11 for some pointers on empire management.

0.3.7 Using "Divide Points Evenly" in Research or Intelligence queues. Even though this sounds like it would be a neat way to divide your points, don't ever do this. The reason is that when dividing points evenly, you will lose any points over that required to complete a project. If not dividing points evenly, points are applied to the leftmost project and any remaining points will spill over to the 2nd, 3rd, etc. until all points are used up. Just keep extra projects on the right and reorder the queue to prioritize the most important projects on top.

0.3.8 Not adapting to the situation. __________________ PPB, etc.

0.3.9 Falling behind in the game. This problem comes in several parts. You can fall behind in expanding your empire, research, intelligence _________________. ______________ treaties, trade. ______ Getting your ships captured.

0.3.10 Not keeping your population happy. An unhappy population will make any emperor want to pull his hair out. It is very frustrating because this has many effects on the game. Unhappy population will produce less resources, will reproduce slower and may riot. Note that population amount affects construction rates so having unhappy population will indirectly affect construction rates. Rioting populations do not produce any resources, do not construct anything and do not reproduce. If rioting for long enough, populations may even rebel from your empire to become an independent empire. ______________________

===============================

1.0 Game Start-up & Empire Creation
1.0.1 See this link Game Guide for a PDF file on game setup. It includes graphics to it is best not included in this FAQ directly. (Courtesy of Atrocities)
1.0.2 "Race age" has no in game effect.
1.0.3 I sometimes switch to 1600x1200 just for the large battle replays, since tactical combat mode does use it, and even then, you can't see everything at once. (PvK) Otherwise max is 1024x768. (Ruatha)
1.0.4 See also section 17.3.4.
1.0.5 If you increase the maximum number of systems beyond the default (100) in "settings.txt", you will need more names in the system names file. If you don't do this, you can end up with systems that have no name. The game will still run but it will be a pain to distinguish between different blank planets and systems. There are lots of system name files available or you can add your own.

1.1 Racial Traits
1.1.0 General:
1.1.0.1 Each racial trait has strong and weak points. Setting up an empire with these traits can be fun because there are many things in the game which are only available as racial techs. Sometimes these are chosen in multiplayer games for role playing purposes. To effectively use a racial trait, the player must capitalize on the advantages of that trait and use those advantages without forgetting about normal techs. It is normally not a good idea to rely exclusively on racial techs, components or weapons. _________________
1.1.0.2 The disadvantage to taking a racial trait is that these traits are costly in empire set-up points. Players who don't take any racial traits will be able to use those points to enhance their empire in the common areas. ____________

1.1.1 Organic Manipulation. Organic empires can be very formidable. Their ships can utilize organic weapons and armor which cost less minerals than normal equivalents. This has some important effects. Since the build time of a ship is controlled by its costliest resource, normally minerals, an organic ship can be built faster assuming equal construction rates because it costs less minerals. Organic fighters & troops can also be built much faster and can use one of the best unit weapons in the game: the Small Electric Discharge. The whole organic empire is based on high production and reproduction. Organic empires can normally out-produce other empires and attempt to win by outnumbering opponents. Organic empires will want to build more ______________ than other empires to supply their greater need for organic resources. There are 2 Organic facilities that increase population production. This in turn increases planet production and construction rates. It costs 1500 empire set-up points to choose Organic Manipulation. See also section 17.3.13 "The Organic Edge".
1.1.1.1 Organic Components
1.1.1.1.1 Organic Armor: Self Repairing armor. Once one of the armor components is destroyed, all surviving Armor components will add their regeneration ability each turn until the total collected points are higher than the damaged component's hitpoints. At that point the damaged armor will be repaired, and the process will repeat itself for any other armor damaged in the meantime. Note: in versions earlier than 1.80, the ability points begin collecting before the ship takes damage, with no upper limit. (Suicide Junkie) Organic Armor will only regenerate if there is at least 1 undamaged piece on the ship. After v1.91, Organic Armor will fully regenerate after a battle so long as there was at least 1 undamaged piece on the ship. Unfortunately Organic armor will not regenerate outside of battle if damage occurred due to other means such as minefields, damaging storms, damaging warp points, etc.
1.1.1.1.2 Organic Weapons
Organic weapons cost organics and fewer minerals, which effectively makes them cheaper to build and maintain. Seeking Parasites are seekers with a reload of only 2. Small Electric Discharge is one of the best fighter weapons. (CapnQ)
1.1.1.3 Plasma Charge, Hyper-Plasma Bolt, Electric Discharge, Lightning Ray, Seeking Parasite, Acid Globule, Enveloping Acid Globule, Small Electric Discharge, Small Acid Globule - Organic weapons that require organics but little or no minerals and radioactives to construct. Therefore, they lower the overall mineral cost (usually the most limiting) of ships, bases, and units and thus allow the construction to happen faster. All organic weapons do normal damage; no special damage types. The Seeking Parasite is arguably the best seeking weapon in the game due to reload rate of 2 instead of 3. The Small Electric Discharge is arguably the best fighter weapon in the game, and is pretty good on troops too. Since the Small Electric Discharge is strong and requires only organics to construct, Organic races can quickly make large numbers of formidable fighters.
1.1.1.2 Organic Facilities:
1.1.1.2.1 General: Organic technology research will give you facilities that prevent plagues, increase system happiness, increase production system-wide, and even add a fixed number of people to all planets in the system, regardless of population size and conditions. (Suicide Junkie, Parasite)
1.1.1.2.2 Gestation Vats - increases the percentage for reproduction rate in system. Replicant Center - increases population by an additional fixed amount each turn in system. Medical Lab - prevents plagues in system (actually cures plagues, but this occurs 1 turn after plague hits so you still receive 1 turn's worth of plague damage), increases the percentage for reproduction rate in system, increases happiness in system.

1.1.2 Crystallurgy. Crystal empires can be very powerful. __________________ It costs 1500 empire set-up points to choose Crystallurgy.
1.1.2.1 Crystalline Components
1.1.2.1.1.1: Crystalline Armor: Crystalline armor requires an operational shield generator on the ship in order to work. Every hit that does non-armor-skipping damage to the hull will cause the shields to be recharged! Only hull damage counts towards this recharge, up to a maximum of the total crystalline armor ability points on your ship. The end result is a damaged ship, with extra shields to protect against the next attack. (Suicide Junkie)
1.1.2.1.1.2: Effect vs. damage amount. If the total CA ability amount is roughly equal to or greater than HALF the damage of a single weapon hit, then the Crystalline Effect will reduce damage by 50%. If the total CA ability amount is less than half the damage from a single weapon impact, then it will act very similar to Emissive Armor, and reduce damage by its ability amount. If the CA ability is greater than the weapon damage, AND the weapon damage is less than half the hitpoints of a CA component, the damage will be completely negated. (Suicide Junkie)
1.1.2.1.2 Crystalline Weapons. Crystalline weapons cost radioactives. Crystalline Torpedoes (Seeker; Reload 2) and Shard Cannons ignore armor. (Capnq)
1.1.2.1.3 Shard Cannon - Crystalline weapon that skips armor. High Energy Magnifier - The Crystalline "heavy" weapon; does normal damage. Crystalline Torpedo - Seeker that skips armor. Energy Dampener - If this weapon hits, it disrupts the reload time of all weapons on the target; it takes 10 combat turns to reload.
1.1.2.2 Crystalline Facilities
1.1.2.2.1 The Crystalline Restructuring Plant reduces maintenance of all your ships in that system. (Quikngruvn)
1.1.2.2.2 The Energy Transmission Lens increases the shield strength of all your ships in the system. (Quikngruvn)
1.1.2.2.3 Solar Generator - Generates minerals, organics and radioactives each turn from the star(s) in the system. More stars provide more generation.

1.1.3 Deeply Religious. Religious empires are often feared because of their use of the Religious Talisman. The Talisman makes every direct fire weapon to always hit with 100% certainty. For this reason some multiplayer games prohibit taking this racial trait. If it is allowed, frequently other players will gang up to eliminate any Religious players before they have the chance to research the Talisman. Religious empires also hav some pretty good facilities. See also section 17.6.5.2 for tactics against players using the Talisman. _____________ it costs...
1.1.3.1 Religious Components.
1.1.3.1.1 The Talisman allows every hit from a direct fire weapon to score. SE IV treats stack of units (weapon platform on planet, stack of satellites, stack of fighters) as one "ship". This is why you need only one RT to get the benefit for all units in stack. You may notice that the absolute maximum to-hit that you can get from experience is 99%. The talisman gives you 100%. That tells you these two effects are quite separate, since the experience is applied before the total is capped at 99%, and the talisman applies afterwards. (Jim, Suicide Junkie, Oleg)
1.1.3.1 Deeply Religious Facilities:
1.1.3.1.1 General. Religious technology research will give you facilities that give system wide combat bonuses, system wide damage bonuses, increase resource production system-wide, increase value and conditions system wide, and system wide reduce bad events, sabotage activities and increase happiness. Each of these 5 facilities has 3 levels. (Skulky)
1.1.3.1.2 Nature Shrine - Increases the value and conditions of all planets in the system each year (only 1 facility per system effective). Fate Shrine - Decreases the chance of any bad events in this system, decreases the chance of any sabotage activities in this system (not currently working), and improves the happiness of the populations who live in this system (only 1 facility per system effective). War Shrine - Gives a combat bonus to all ships and units in this system (only 1 facility per system effective). Time Shrine - Increase mineral, organic and radioactive production in a system (only 1 facility per system effective). Death Shrine - Gives a damage bonus to all of our weapons used in this system (only 1 facility per system effective).

1.1.4 Psychic. ___________________________ it costs...
1.1.4.1 Psychic Components
1.1.4.1.1 Allegiance Subverter - This weapon causes a ship to be automatically captured without further damage, and is immediately combat ready. (Suicide Junkie)
1.1.4.1.2 The damage amount is the percentage chance that a hit will cause the crew of your target to be subverted. 20 damage = 20% chance. Values above 100%, typically seen when using mounts, are rounded down to 100%. If the shot misses, there is zero chance of subversion. Self Destruct Devices, boarding parties and security stations have no effect. Ship experience only affects the chance of the shot missing its target. (Suicide Junkie) Shields and Armor provide no defense. (Binford)
1.1.4.1.3 Ships with a master computer can NOT be captured. In versions earlier than 1.80, ships with a destroyed master computer CAN be captured. A computer virus is the most effective method of destroying the computer and allowing a capture. (Suicide Junkie)

Q(Alarik): So, am I to take this to mean that after Version 1.8, a ship with a destroyed MC *cannot* be captured by my AS?
A(Phoenix-D): That is true, yes.

Q(Alarik): Well, that stinks...any way around this?
A(Imperator Fyron): No. AS + Comp Virus was way too powerful before. Something had to be done.

1.1.4.1.4 Because of its awesome effect, the Allegiance Subverter has a reload time of 30 which means each AS can only fire 1 time during combat, which is 30 rounds.
1.1.4.1.4 Psychic Receptors - The Psychic version of cloak detection. Telekinetic Projector - Psychic direct fire weapon - does normal damage. Mental Flailer - If this weapon hits, it will increase the reload time of all weapons on the target; it takes 15 combat turns to reload. Small Telekinetic Projector - for fighters & troops. Mental Singularity Generator - The Psychic "heavy" weapon.
1.1.4.2 Psychic Facilities.
1.1.4.2.1 Psychic Ship and Fleet Training Facilities provide training to all ships/fleets in the system, at the same rate and maximum experience as normal training facilities. Thus, you do not have to park your fleet over a particular planet to get training (but could, for example, be trained while defending a warp point). (Quikngruvn)
1.1.4.2.2 Psychic Ship Training Facility - Your ships anywhere in this system will gain experience each turn up to a maximum (only 1 facility per system effective). Psychic Fleet Training Facility - Your fleets anywhere in this system will gain experience each turn up to a maximum (only 1 facility per system effective). Psychic Scanner - Any ship within the system can be scanned in detail (unless it has a Scanner Jammer or Scattering Armor).

1.1.5 Temporal Knowledge. __________________________
1.1.5.1 Temporal Components.
1.1.5.1.1 Time Distortion Burst. This weapon is moderately weak against armor and internals, doing roughly half the damage of an Anti Proton Beam. However, it also does Quadruple damage to shields. Since most ships are heavily shielded, this weapon is very effective. (Suicide Junkie)
1.1.2.1.2 Temporal Sensors - The temporal version of cloak detection. Time Distortion Burst (see above) - A unique weapon that does 4x damage to shields and normal damage to everything else. This is an ideal weapon for boarding ships. Temporal Shifter - Skips shields and armor. Small Time Distortion Burst - Fighter/Troop version of the TDB - especially useful on fighters. Shield Accelerator - Damages shields only, but does high damage. Tachyon Cannon - Average Temporal direct fire weapon that does normal damage.
1.1.5.2 Temporal Facilities.
1.1.5.2.1 Temporal Space Yards produce much more quickly than normal spaceyards. But, you cannot upgrade a normal Space Yard to a Temporal Space Yard-- you have to scrap your Space Yard first. (Quikngruvn). Combined with other bonuses (Hardy Industrialists, construction characteristic, population bonus), planets with a TSY can have extremely high construction rates. TSY's have same repair rates as normal spaceyards. Building a TSY takes roughly twice as long as building a normal SY.
1.1.5.2.2 The Temporal Vacation Service makes the population in its system happier, and is twice as effective as the Urban Pacification Center. (Quikngruvn) Improves the happiness of the populations who live in this system (only 1 facility per system effective). Twice as effective as the Urban Pacification Center and saves the research into the Psychology and Advanced Political Science areas - one of the best methods in the game for keeping populations happy.
1.1.5.2.3 Events Predictor - Gives a combat bonus to all ships and units in this system (only 1 facility per system effective). Great for defense, but it is better to be fighting the enemy in his systems rather than in yours.

1.1.6 Q: When you set up a new game, how can you engineer it so that YOU select your opponents you are playing with? When I keep adding existing races...they end up being human controlled!
A(Atrocities): You have to edit them, and turn on the Controlled by AI button.

1.2 Characteristics, Cultural Modifiers and Advanced Traits
1.2.0 General___________________________
1.2.0.1 See also section 20 for an Article for one person's opinion on empire setup.
1.2.1 Empire Setup - Happiness Types.
1.2.1.1 Peaceful - Happiness is increased by constructing ships (especially in system), peace treaties, winning battles (especially in system), troops, colonizing. Decreased by losing ships (especially in system) enemy presence in system, losing planets, population killed, wars, amount of time at war. (Peaceful is regarded as the best type to play).
1.2.1.2 Bloodthirsty - Similar to peaceful, but happiness is increased by wars, and decreased by establishing peace treaties.
1.2.1.3 Neutral - Dislike treaties of any kind; except non-intercourse (regarded as the absolute worst type to play). (Stone Mill) Just about everything makes neutral empires unhappy. If you choose Neutral, you should have a good plan for keeping your population happy.
1.2.2 Maintenance Aptitude: Unlike other characteristics Maintenance aptitude gives a benefit different that what appears at first. Increasing Maintenance Aptitude from 100% to 110% give significantly more than a 10% advantage from normal. This will in fact decrease the base maintenance paid on ships from the default of 25% of it's cost by 10% to 15%. (DavidG)
1.2.3 Reproduction Value: The reproduction value works in a similar way to the Maintenance Aptitude. Every percentage point you increase your reproduction increase the planets reproduction by one percentage point. So if you choose 110% reproduction a typical planet could increase its reproduction from 10% to 20%. Thus what seems like a 10% improvement (100% to 110%) is actually a 100% improvement. (DavidG)
1.2.4 Happiness: Every five percentage points you increase your happiness makes 0,1% people happier every turn. For example if you increase happiness 10% it's the same effect if you have one troop on your every planet. If you drop your happiness to 50%, it makes 1% of your population angry each turn. Natural decrease is 2% (neutral 5%). The result is 1% happy people each turn. (Asmala)
1.2.5 A 5% change in Environmental Resistance equates to a 1% change in Reproduction and Happiness. If you set both ER and Reproduction down, your population may never be able to grow. (Suicide Junkie)

1.2.6 The Ancient Race Trait
1.2.6.1 The ancient race trait has a small exploit that can be used. As soon as you meet an alien race you will know all the systems they occupy through the borders map in the politics window. Not too big a help but will help send you send ships towards his empire and have colony ships avoid enemy space. (LordAxel)
1.2.6.2 Ancient Race also allows you to know where every homeworld is from the start, and allows the only certain counter to the previously mentioned trick. The combination of the right size planet and all three values being within 5% of 80/100/120% for bad/average/good starting planets almost never happens by chance, so every such planet is almost guaranteed to be a homeworld. To prevent any other ancient race from learning exactly where your borders are on first contact, claim the entire galaxy on the first turn. (Douglas) For example, you start on a fair, medium oxygen rock planet, 99% min, 101% org, 98% rad. The stock EEE are in the game. Find the medium CO2 gas giant with the same rating -- you know they start there, as medium gas giants are pretty rare, using standard map generation. (Arkcon)
1.2.6.3 Alternatively, claim only some systems, resulting in bogus borders. To alter your borders, go to the Score screen => Borders. If you want to claim the whole galaxy, click on every systems you are not already claiming (you will miss some if you are not an Ancient player, unless you are very patient). The Ancient race can also see how many colonies the enemy has in total, by looking at the appropriate figure in the Planets screen. This does not always work, however, and is mostly useful if there are only a couple of Empires in the game. Regular Empires can usually get the same information, but only about the enemy colonies present in systems they have seen. I am not sure what may prevent that figure from working though. (Alneyan)
1.2.6.4 Or, and this works for everybody... UNclaim your homesystem(s). Better yet, if you're an ancient race, claim somebody else's homesystem to throw the other ancient race off. (Suicide Junkie)
1.2.6.5 Just unclaim your home system(s) and disable the "automatically claim all colonized systems" option in the Empire Options screen (under Empire Status - crown). Now no systems will ever be claimed on the map. (Imperator Fyron)
1.2.6.6 When you have "Players can see all systems" on at the game setup, do NOT choose Ancient Race as a racial trait. (StrategiaInUltima)

Q(Makinus): Does claiming a system have any diplomatic (AI) impact? As if you contest with another race a system the diplomatic instance with that race degrades?
Q(Baron Munchausen): Yes, once you meet a race you'd be wise to UNclaim all systems that appear on your map of their territory if you use this method of concealing your own territory.

1.2.7 Advanced Storage Techniques is probably the most valuable of the advanced traits. This trait gives you 20% more facility space and 20% more cargo space on all your planets - domed or undomed! Obviously with more facility slots available, you can produce more resources. This effectively gives your empire a 20% larger capacity in the same space as a player without this trait.

______________________ other characteristics


1.3 Choice of Planet Type and Atmosphere
1.3.1 Choosing home planet. Chose Rock planet type (more to colonize). Gas planets fewer but larger and take more skill. Ice bad... Ice cold.... fewer Ice planets. Beginners don't choose None Atmosphere type, choose any other atmosphere type. (Wardad)
1.3.2 Choosing an uncommon atmosphere type such as Methane or Carbon Dioxide is a good idea, since you will face less competition for breathable planets. (Suicide Junkie)
1.3.3 Choose atmosphere of None can be very tempting, since then all those moons out there become breathable. The trade-off is that there are fewer regular planets with no atmosphere, and no gas giant will ever be breathable (since gas giants cannot have no atmosphere, even with an Atmosphere Converter). (Quikngruvn)
____________________________

1.4 AI Difficulty and Bonus
1.4.1 AI bonuses applies to intelligence, research and resources, exist in x2, x3 and x5. Construction rates: Low x1.5, medium x2, high x3 (Suicide Junkie, Rexxx)
1.4.2 AI Difficulty: Setting the AI difficulty to Medium or Low causes some of the ministers to be disabled for that empire. High Difficulty makes the AI use all of its ministers. Setting this below "high" is not recommended. (Suicide Junkie)
1.4.3 Another important reason to use High Difficulty is that fleets the AI won't use fleets below this setting. The AI is handicapped enough by not being able to adapt to the situation; at least let the AI use its full potential.
1.4.4 To make the game even more challenging, select the option to have all computer empires vs. all human empires.
1.4.5 For a really good game do the following: Set AI bonuses both to high. Set Racial points to 5k. Manually edit your race taking 50% on all characteristics and no adv. Racial traits and choose the neutral culture. Begin and enjoy. (Atrocities)
1.4.6 One more option I would recommend in the game setup: choose the AI team mod. This will prevent wars between the AI races and they will fight all together your empire. (Q)
_______________ AI cheating to know planet cargo, score, etc.

1.5 Game Mechanics
1.5.1 Victory conditions are "or" not "and". The first victory condition reached will end the game. The only exception is the time limit at which victory conditions will take effect. (Grandpa Kim)
1.5.2 In Simultaneous games, you can't launch units in increments; it is all or nothing up to the limit of your launching capability.
1.5.3 In Simultaneous games, you will lose your remaining movement points when moving into an unexplored system. Your ship will also stop and lose movement when encountering an enemy, but this can be changed under Empire Options. See also 5.10.8.
1.5.4 Score is calculated as follows: Every point of minerals, organics, and radioactives, generated counts as one score point. Every point of research and intelligence generated counts as one score point. Each kt of your ships and bases counts as 10 points. Each level of researched techs counts for 200 points. No points for units/pop/colonies/systems. (Ruatha) Mothballed ships don't count toward score. (Asmala)
1.5.5 There is a wealth of information in the .txt files which control the game. Read them to gain more insight as to how things work. One of the most important files is Settings.txt and can be found in the /data directory. Settings.txt sets most of the important parameters in the game.

1.6. Game Setup Options
1.6.1 Technology Cost. The technology progression formula used varies for each of the three levels (Low, Medium, and High). Where (LC = Level Cost) and (L = Level):
Low tech cost - LC*L
Mid tech cost - LC*(L≤/2)
------except at level 1, where the cost is simply Level Cost. (Imperator Fyron)
High tech cost - LC*(L≤)(Andres Lescano)
1.6.2 The Technology Progression Formula is useful when trying to calculate the value of tech trades in multi-player games.
1.6.3 Player Settings, Racial Points. In the Game Setup --> Player Settings screen, the Racial Points for New Players setting must match (or exceed) the amount of racial points used to create a player empire file. For example, if you created a empire race using 5000 racial points, you can only use them in a game which has 5000 point setting enabled.
1.6.4 Players. Use the "Add Existing" option to select existing AI or player races for your game. Remember to select Edit and select "Controlled by Computer" for AI races, and "Controlled by Player" for player races! (Stone Mill)
1.6.5 AI Players. If you don't choose an existing player and mark it as "Controlled by Computer" you can select the "Generate random computer controlled empires" option and choose "Number of computer players", Low, Medium or High. (Ruatha)
1.6.6 Q: Can I generate a game where I generate who the computer players are? And if so how?
A(Atrocities): Yes. After starting SEIV,
a. Select NEW GAME
b. Click on the PLAYER SETTINGS tab.
c. At the bottom of this page choose the Racial Points for New Players. (2000, 3000, or 5000) *I like to play with 5000 Racial Points.*
d. Click on the PLAYERS tab (In this section you can either choose ADD EXSISTING or ADD NEW. The Existing Players are AI opponents that have already been set up and saved for use with new games. Add Player will allow you to set up a race the way you want.) NOTE: Most new Ship sets come with Emp. Files that you can copy from the race directory to the Empires Folder. This will give you access to that race without having to manually set it up.
e. Click on the ADD NEW tab. Under GENERAL DETAILS tab you can choose the race you want. Additionally, you can give it an empire name, empire type, Emperor title, Emperor Name, choose a design name file, (For use with ship design names). NOTE: If your new player is going to be computer controlled, then you will want to select both the Computer Controlled, and Use Race Minister Style option at the bottom of the General Details page.
f. Under the ENVIRONMENT tab you can select the atmosphere for the race, and the home planet type.
g. Under the CULTURE tab you can select the culture for the race. (At the bottom of the page is a button for COMPARE CULTURE MODIFIERS. Click that to compare the advantages and disadvantages for each culture.)
h. Under the CHARACTERISTICS tab you can either increase or decrease values for the player.
i. Under the ADVANCED TRAITS tab you can select advanced traits for the player. (I often choose my advanced traits first then do the Characteristic. Remember, for each of these you use, you will use up Racial Points. You can gain more racial points by decreasing the Characteristics below a 100%, but not a good idea for playing the AI. Good idea for PBW games if it's your race.)
j. Under the DESCRIPTION tab you can fill in the information about your race, and select Demeanor, and Happiness Type.
k. After you have set up the race, click the CREATE EMPIRE button at the bottom of the page.
l. Select the empire you just created from the Players in Game window, and then click Save to File.
m. Click no for save with designs
n. Click NEW EMPIRE, name it, and then click OK. You will have just saved that empire to the Empire Folder and it can now be accessed whenever you want to use it for a game. After you have added your new races, start playing the game. Before you do though, make sure all of your game settings are to your liking. Have fun, and I hope this has helped.

1.6.7 The maximum number of neutral empires in game setup is hard-coded at 5. This is expected to be fixed in the next patch to follow the line in settings.txt. This is fixed in the 1.91 patch.

===============================

2.0 Designing Ships

2.0.1 The "Essentials"
2.0.1.1 Every ship or unit hull (except mines) requires certain components to make them legal designs. Every ship needs to have a minimum of vehicle control components. These can be a combination of a Bridge, Life Supports and Crew quarters. Additionally some ships have more requirements. Examples: Colony ships require colony modules, transports require cargo components, carriers require fighter bays, troops require a troop cockpit, weapon platforms require a weapn platform computer core, etc. These requirements are listed when you design your ship, base or unit. See also section 2.7.
2.0.1.1 After the absolute requirements by the game, there are many other components that are very important to make your designs survivable. They are too numerous to name _________________________ Pay attention to combat offensive and defensive bonuses and which components stack with each other. These are discussed throughout this section.

2.0.2 Hull Sizes
2.0.2.1 As "Ship Construction" is researched, larger hull sizes become available. Researching "Fighters" makes various carrier hulls available. Researching "Base Construction" makes larger base hulls available.
2.0.2.2 In general, smaller ship hulls are faster than larger ship hulls because larger ship hulls have a restriction that limits the maximum number of engines they can have installed.
2.0.2.3 In general, smaller ship sizes get a defensive bonus and larger ship sizes get a defensive penalty.
2.0.2.4 In general, larger ships perform better in combat for a couple of reasons. Larger ships can use larger mounts for their weapons making their weapons do more damage. See also section 2.2. Larger ships also need to dedicate proportionally less space for vehicle control components (Engines, Bridge, Life Support, Crew Quarters; or Master Computer) so more space is available for offensive and defensive components.
2.0.2.5 Light Carriers, which are cheaper to research than Light Cruisers, have 420 more hitpoints, the same speed, a slightly improved weapon mount (though you might wish not to use it actually), and an adequate cargo capacity. They do lack the +10% defense bonus of the Light Cruisers however, and are somewhat more expensive. And of course, being able to add or remove fighters to your fleet at will is always nice; drop the fighters if they are fond of PDC, and put them back once they become lax with PDC. (Alneyan)
2.0.2.6 Other use for obsolete frigates is to add a repair component to them and make them repair ships that still can be useful in the line of battle. Another use for obsolete escort and frigates is to add cargo components and use them as troop transports or faster transports for units, since they can have more engines than the traditional transports (while the traditional transports are more cost-effective, these "fast transports" can help you to transport badly needed units faster to the front). (Makinus)

______________________________

2.1 Misc. Components
2.1.1 Cloaking devices use supplies; stealth armor does not.
2.1.2 Spaceyard components and supply storage components have less "structure" than "space". This means they are comparatively easier to destroy per kt than normal components. (components.txt) Only 1 spaceyard can be put on a ship or base.
2.1.3 You can't retrofit to add a spaceyard or colony module if the ship didn't already have one before the retrofit.
2.1.4 Emergency Supply Pods and Emergency Propulsion _________ can't be repaired with a Repair Bay, they can only be repaired by Spaceyards (on ships or planets).
2.1.5 The order of components added to a ship does not matter except in the case of weapons, which is discussed later.
2.1.6 Medical Bays have only one function: to remove plagues. The 5 levels of Medical Bays will remove equivalent level (or lower) plagues. These are rarely used because plagues are rather rare. If they are used, they are best employed on fast ships that visit lots of planets - like population transports.

_________________ long range scanners

___________________ Repair Bays are the most effective component per kt to repair ships. They are great in a fleet to repair battle damage. They are also great in a base orbiting a spaceyard planet to expedite retrofits. Repair Bays cannot repair Emergency Propulsion Pods or Emergency Resupply Pods; these need to be repaired with a spaceyard component or facility.


____________________ solar sail, solar collector, quantum reactor,
___________________ cobalt warheads

__________________ The Scanner Jammer prevents other empires from seeing your ship designs and cargo using Long Range Scanners. Most players never use these because Scattering Armor provides the same ability and also acts as armor and provides a defensive bonus too.

_________________ supply component, emergency resupply pod, quantum rx
__________________ cloaking device

__________ A Self-Destruct Device (SSD) provides 2 useful functions. First it prevents the ship it's on from being captured by boarding parties (provided it is not destroyed). A SSD does not prevent ship capture by other means. Second, it allows self-destructing a ship; which may be desired if a ship becomes too damaged, or runs out of supplies and you don't want to keep paying for its maintenance.


________________


2.2 Mounts
2.2.0 General
2.2.0.1 Mounts are accessed on the Designs screen on the right-hand side. Mounts generally increase the cost, size and damage rating of weapons. However, mounts can also change range, accuracy or supply usage. They can be restricted to certain components or hull sizes. Some can also be made available after certain techs are researched.
________________________

2.2.1 In the unmodded game, no ship mount will add range to the weapons. There are mounts that extend range for Bases, Weapon Platforms and Satellites.
2.2.2 Mounts that add range will add as follows: example: say your normal mount weapon does 60 50 40 30 20 10. Using the massive weapon platform mount (adds 6 range, 5x damage), the weapon now does 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 250 200 150 100 50 (!) i.e. it takes the range 1 damage, multiplies by 5, then adds this in before the rest of the damage string. This makes those range 8 weapons able to reach out and touch someone at range 14! at 5x damage!! Mounts that extend range usually also increase the chance to hit as well! This increases their effectiveness at longer ranges.
2.2.3 There are none in the unmodded game, but mounts that affect accuracy (only) will do so as follows. The mount modifier adds (or subtracts) from your accuracy after all other modifiers. That includes the Talisman, so a mount with an accuracy penalty can cause your talisman-armed ships to miss! (Suicide Junkie)
2.2.4 Because of damage to cost to size ratios, it is usually best to use the largest mounts available almost all the time. The ship mounts increase damage (and size and cost), the base and weapon platforms increase Damage and Range (and size and cost and sometimes accuracy) which give your planet a distinct advantage against ships. One way to beat mounts are missiles and drones. Missiles have an EXTREME range that are unmatchable by mounted weapons, but get picked off by point defense cannons. Drones are death-on-engines if used carefully as point-defense cannons cannot easily destroy it.
2.2.5 Heavier mounts increase the range and damage of weapons. To use a heavier mount on a design, press the weapon Mounts button on the design screen. The Weapons Report screen also has a Mount button. (Capnq)
2.2.6 Light carriers can use the (H)eavy mount.
___________________________________

2.3 Weapons
2.3.1 During ship design, you need to add weapons to a ship in the order you want them to fire in combat. This is most applicable to Strategic Combat. You can manually select weapons to fire in Tactical Combat.
2.3.1.1 An example of this is to place shield depleters before your main weapons. Another example is to place a tractor beam before some high damage weapon like ripper beams, and then maybe even use a repulsor beam after that.
2.3.1.2 If you disable Condensed View when designing a ship, you can stagger the placement of weapons to control which will fire first and in what order. This can be useful for using Ionic Dispersers, for example. You might want to put first 1 Shield Depleter, then 2 Anti-Proton Beams, then 1 Ionic Disperser, then several more Anti-Proton Beams. The purpose of this is to try to get all of the shields knocked out before the Ionic Disperser fires. If there are shield points remaining, the Ionic Disperser will be unable to do its damage to the engines. The Anti-Proton Beams do not care what they hit, shields or hull. Placing a few of them before the Ionic Disperser helps improve the chances that all of the shield points will be gone before the Ionic Disperser fires. You might consider placing the Ionic Disperser Last. If you do this, you might create situations in which the Anti-Proton Beam shots get lucky and knock out some engines, thus wasting damage points overall. (Imperator Fyron)

2.3.2 Null Space Projector are useful against heavily shielded and armored ships because they skip both shields and armor. The disadvantage to these weapons is that they are expensive and have a slow reload time.
2.3.3 Wormhole Beams can give your ship extended life in "Dogfights" especially with gunships because Wormhole Beams will _______________________________.
2.3.4.0 Special Damage Weapons
2.3.4.0.1 There are several different kinds of special damage weapons. Some _________________________
______________________________ blurb about shield skipping except ID's in 1.70 patch and beyond.
2.3.4.1 Engine destroying weapons disable ship movement and supply storage. Approach the ships with caution if they have Quantum reactors. (TerranC)
2.3.4.2 Specialty weapons should be used rarely, but are useful in certain circumstances.
2.3.4.3 Weapon destroying weapons are useful if you want to disable the ships then destroy them.
2.3.4.4 Computer Virus (CV) attacks skip armor and shields, destroy Master Computers (MC) but do no other damage. CV's are direct fire weapons. CV 1,2,3 does 20,40,60 damage respectively, MC 1,2,3 has 40/40, 30/30, 20/20 space/structure respectively, therefore it is actually harder to destroy a mc1 than an mc2 or mc3. Since it is a "special" weapon, CV's don't do partial damage - it's all or nothing. Therefore a normal mount CV cannot damage a MC1 or MC2; if the CV is on a larger mount which increases its damage > the MC, only then will it work.
2.3.4.5 If a Master Computer is destroyed (and it does not have normal bridge, etc.), the ship CAN then be subverted. This is no longer true after the v1.84 patch. See section 1.1.4.1.3
2.3.4.6 Quote from the forums, sorry, did not copy the author: "Level I and II Ionic Dispersers only do 15 damage if not in an upgraded mount. It takes 20 damage to destroy an engine. The damage doesn't seem to accumulate, so if you put level I or II Ionic Dispersers on a destroyer or smaller, they are essentially useless and just taking up space.
Ok, here is the complete scoop on Ionic Dispersers, at least as run from the simulator. There is no carryover of damage from shot to shot, even in the same volley. I set up a group of 5 sats armed only with a single Ionic Disperser II each. Brought a target ship up close and let fly. No matter how many hits, there was no damage done. I switched to Ionic Disperser IV's which do 30 points of damage per hit. In the first volley, there were three hits. That should have caused 90 damage, enough to destroy 4 engines. However, only three engines were destroyed, one per hit. I then switched to Ionic Disperser V's which do 40 per hit. As expected, each hit destroyed two engines. conclusion: any extra damage not equaling the 20 points to kill the next engine is totally lost, even on the same volley."
2.3.4.7 One hit from a heavy mounted or two shots from large mounted Ionic Dispersers will wipe out all of the engines on any ship. This will eliminate all supply storage [in the engines] on the ship, thus rendering it unable to fire any weapons. All further weapons from the enemy fleet will now ignore your useless hulk and target other ships. So, you should always add a Supply Storage component to all warships (certainly of Light Cruiser size or larger, possibly Destroyers, but those tend to die very quickly anyways so the benefits are reduced). Later when you get Quantum Reactors, the Supply Storage component should be replaced with a Quantum Reactor. This will allow the ship to still have some supplies after all engines are knocked out. So, it is still a threatening target. Enemy warships will continue to fire weapons at it until it is disabled (all weapons destroyed) or utterly destroyed. This, fewer ships of yours can be disabled in a given round with the same amount of enemy firepower. At 20 kT, a Supply Storage component is almost trivial in size (especially once you get Battle Cruisers and larger sized ships), and has the added benefit of increasing the operational range of your fleets by 10-20%, depending on other factors. Note: A Solar Collector is _not_ a viable replacement for a Supply Storage component! Surely, it provides greater benefits in terms of range, but it will not prevent your ships from being unable to fire at all if they are hit by Ionic Dispersers. (Imperator Fyron)
2.3.4.8 Computer Viruses are the bane of Master Computer equipped ships. For larger ships, you might consider adding 1 Bridge, 1 Life Support, and 1 Crew Quarter component in addition to the Master Computer. 1 of each is all you need to maintain full command and control of the ship (ie: no loss of movement). Surely, adding the extra C&C components is more expensive in cost and size than just the Master Computer. However, on larger ship hulls, it will still be cheaper than using no Master Computer at all and relying on normal C&C components. If the Master Computer is knocked out, you still have the required command and control components, so your ship is fully functional. It will still be protected from Allegience Subverters and Mental Flailers, even with a damaged Master Computer. Against Psychic races, you get immunity to Allegience Subverters and immunity to disablement from Computer Viruses. Against normal races, you still get the immunity to disablement from Computer Viruses, and can save a lot of space and resources on large ship hulls. (Imperator Fyron)

2.4.0 Shields
2.4.0.1 Q: How do shields work?
A: In general, incoming damage first is absorbed by shield points. When shields are depleted, damage is taken by armor and then by other internal components. They do not protect your ship from damage outside of combat (see section 2.4.1). Ships with shields start combat with their shields charged to maximum and incoming damage will reduce shield strength until they are depleted. However, if a ship is out of supplies, it will be unable to use its shields. See also section 21 for an article on how damage is assigned. ___________________ shield depleters, disruptors. Once shields are depleted, incoming damage is applied to armor then to ship's internal components. Exceptions _______________________. See also section 21 for a discussion on how damage is applied.
2.4.0.2 Q: What is the difference between Normal and Phased Shields?
A: They are almost identical in how they operate. The main difference is that weapons that skip normal shields (Phased Polaron Beam (PPB) in unmodded game) skips normal shields. The PPB is a favorite weapon for this reason. Damage from a PPB can only be shielded using phased shields. Phased shields become available by researching high levels of Shields. For all other weapons, they work the same way. The highest level of Phased Shield Generator provides more shielding than any other shield generator.
2.4.1 Shields don't protect against mines, damaging warp points or damaging storms or any other damage taken outside of combat; they only are used in combat. Armor protects against those things as well as combat damage.
2.4.2 Don't mix phased and non-phased generating components. If you do, you get non-phased shields. That is, until all the non-phased shield generating components are destroyed; then suddenly, in the middle of battle, your shields will become phased.
2.4.3 Shields: Shields have several abilities not conferred by armor besides a higher space - protection factor. These are, as long as the shields are not destroyed, they will:
1) Deny the usage of Boarding Parties vs. this ship
2) Absorb Ionic Disperser attacks vs. engines
3) through the use of shield regenerators shields can be restored after being reduced to 0. (stecal)
2.4.4 In addition to blocking phased attacks, phased shields also block attacks from normal weapons. (Stone Mill)
2.4.5 Shield Regenerators (and Facilities that add shield points) will add to your shields correctly. If you have phased or normal shields, either way you get the proper increase.
2.4.5 Because of the way shields work on units, Shield Regenerators don't work on units. ________________
2.4.6 Bug: shields installed on fighters and weapon platforms appear to count double. (Suicide Junkie, Geo??_________)

2.5 Armor
2.5.0 General
2.5.0.1 Q: How does Armor work?
A: In general, incoming damage first is absorbed by shield points. When shields are depleted, damage is taken by armor. When all the armor is destroyed, further damage begins to destroy a ship's internal components. A ship is destroyed when its last component is destroyed. There are numerous exceptions to this sequence. Some weapons skip normal shields. Some weapons skip armor. Some weapons skip all shields and armor. Some weapons only target selected components. For a full explanation, read the article in section 21.

2.5.1 Stealth and Scattering Armor
2.5.1.1 Q: How does Stealth Armor work?
A: Stealth armor provides 3 benefits. It acts as armor with its given armor rating. This defensive bonus stacks with the defensive bonuses of other components (i.e. like ECM and Scattering Armor). It provides a defensive bonus and makes a ship harder to hit with direct fire weapons. Last, it gives the ship to cloak (level 1 only). When the Stealth Armor is destroyed, the ship loses these abilities. For details, read through comonents.txt data file.

2.5.1.2Q: How does Scattering Armor Work?
A: Scattering Armor provides 3 benefits. It acts as armor with its given armor rating. This defensive bonus stacks with the defensive bonuses of other components (i.e. like ECM and Stealth Armor). It provides a defensive bonus and makes a ship harder to hit with direct fire weapons. Last, it gives the ship the "Scanner Jammer" ability which prevents enemy ships from seeing the ship's design or cargo. When the Scattering Armor is destroyed, the ship loses these abilities. For details, read through comonents.txt data file.

2.5.1.3 Deleted - redundant.

2.5.2.4 Stealth armor's biggest advantage is its bonus to defense. Its biggest weakness is its reduced strength relative to shields.
2.5.2.5 To decide whether you should install the armor in place of some of your shields, do the following:
1) Take the shield points currently generated by your ship.
2) Estimate the typical hit rate that your enemy has against that ship.
3) Divide your answer from (1) by your answer from (2), then multiply by 100.
This is the average amount of damage the enemy will have to fire at you in order to get a kill (including misses)
4) Find the break-even point:
a) A= [Size of armor] / [ECM bonus of armor]
b) B= [shield points per generator] / [size of generator]
c) C= [hitpoints of armor] / [size of armor]
d) Calculate (B - C) * A
At max tech in unmodded SE4, you will get roughly:
- 1200 for stealth armor.
- 1670 for stealth + scattering armor
- 2125 for scattering armor alone.
5) If the value from (3) is larger than the break-even point calculated in (4), your ship will survive longer in combat if you replace some shields with the given armor.
NOTE: this does not apply if the enemy is using religious talisman, missiles, ramming ships or anything else with a guaranteed 100% chance to hit.
(Suicide Junkie)

2.5.2.4 For figuring out if you should use stealth/scattering armor:

Originally posted by Suicide Junkie:

1) Take the shield points currently generated.
2) Estimate the typical hit rate that your enemy has against your ship.
3) Multiply your answers from (1) and (2), then divide by 100.
4) If the answer you get is:
less than 1200 : Do not bother with Stealth or Scattering armor.
from 1200 to 1670 : Add a Stealth armor only.
1670 or higher : Add both Stealth and Scattering armor.

1200 - comes from: 30 x (9.375 -3.333)/.15
1670 - comes from (80 x (9.375 - [3.333*30 + 3*50]/80) ) /.3
= 80 x (9.375 - 3.125)/.3
Which, again is: Size * (shields/kt - armor/kt)
And then divided by the ECM power to get us up to effective hitpoints.

2.5.3 Organic Armor
2.5.3.1 Q: How does Organic Armor (OA) work?
A: First, OA has the normal armor ability which protects the ship from non-armor skipping damage. Additionally, in battle only, when an OA component is destroyed, all remaining OA components will generate repair points that are only used to repair OA. When enough points are generated to repair OA components, they get repaired in the middle of battle. This takes place each combat turn. See also section 21 for an article on how damage is applied.

2.5.4 Crystalline Armor
5.4.4.1 Q: How does Crystalline Armor (CA) work?
A: First, CA has the normal armor ability which protects the ship from non-armor skipping damage. Also, when damage is applied to armor, all undestroyed CA work together to generate shield points. The amount of shield points generated depends on the level of the CA and the number of remaining CA. These shield points are applied to any surviving shield generators up to their maximum on the next volley during combat. See also section 21 for an article on how damage is applied.

2.5.4.2 The Crystalline Armour effectively works as a beefed up Emissive Armour, as it is able to negate weapons doing 149 normal damage or less (with 10 Crystalline Armour III per vessel, and at least 150 points of shielding). Adding more Crystalline Armour or more regular Armour only helps to increase the survivability of the ship. It does not go above 150 because the Crystalline Armour has a damage resistance of 150 points. So if you are fighting such a vessel with DUCs doing 120 damage points per turn, do not be surprised to see you have dealt no damage whatsoever to the enemy fleet. (Alneyan)
2.5.5 Deleted.
2.5.6 Shields don't protect against mines, damaging warp points or damaging storms, only in combat. Armor protects against those things.

2.5.5 Emissive Armor
2.5.5.1 Q: How does Emissive Armor (EA) work?
A: First, EA has the normal armor ability which protects the ship from non-armor skipping damage. Before any damage is applied to any of the ship's armor, some of the damage is "emissed" or cancelled out. The amount of damage cancelled out depends on the level of EA. This happens on each volley during combat. The EA ability does not stack; only the component with the highest EA ability is used. See also section 21 for an article on how damage is applied.

2.6 Engines
2.6.0 General
2.6.0.1 At the risk of stating the obvious, engines are components that give your ship movement ability. However, engines are also the storage location for the ship's supplies. Each engine gives the ship the ability to move 1 sector per turn. As Propulsion is researched, more advanced engines become available that give additional movement bonuses each turn. Combat movement speed is 1/2 the normal movement speed, rounded up. The maximum number of engines that can be installed on a ship depends on the hull size. See vehiclesize.txt data file for more information on engine limits.
2.6.0.2 Protecting your ship's engines is very important. The obvious reason is that a ship with no engines is stranded; however you still have to pay maintenance on it! Since a fleet moves at the speed of its slowest ship, engine damage to even a single ship in a fleet will slow or stop the fleet.

____________ supply usage.
____________________ losing movement, Ionic D's,

2.6.1 Q: What happens when you mix engine types on the same ship?
A: They all act as if they are the lowest of the installed engines.

2.6.2 Q: How do I use an Emergency Propulsion Pod (EPP)?
Q: ______________________ First, the ship must be removed from any fleet because the option to use the EPP is not available when the ship is in a fleet. The EPP should be activated before moving your ship. The EPP is activated when you select the ship, then click the "Use Component" icon, then select the EPP. Depending on the level of EPP, this will add from 1 to 5 movement points to for the turn and destroy the EPP. The EPP must be repaired with a spaceyard; a repair bay cannot repair the EPP. You can put an Emergency Propulsion Pod on a base since it can be put on "ships/bases". You can later "Use" it, but there is no way to actually get the base to move using an EPP, so don't bother.
2.6.3 In simultaneous games, if you are using an Emergency Propulsion Pod, "use" it before ordering the ship to move. This will ensure that you get all the bonus movement points.
2.6.4 Engine technology increases in a set pattern. Every 3 levels of engine technology gives you an additional movement point. Within those 3 levels, the engine is basically the same but cost goes down as level goes up. Example:________________________

2.6.5 Solar Sails will increase ship movement each turn. They will add to strategic and combat movement. Higher levels of Solar Sails will add from 1 to 3 movement points. Note that this bonus movement still costs supplies each turn. Solar Sails can be obtained by researching Stellar Manipulation to level I then researching Stellar Harnessing to level 4, 5 and 6.
2.6.5 Afterburners give Fighters the ability to increase combat movement, but afterburners do not affect fighters in strategic movement.

2.7 Vehicle Control - Thanks to Suicide Junkie for the details in this section!
2.7.0 General
2.7.0.1 Vehicle Control refers to the required components on ships, bases and units. Ships & bases require a Bridge, Life Support and Crew Quarters; or a single Master Computer. Larger ships & bases require more Life Support and Crew Quarters components if not using a Master Computer.
2.7.0.2 The Bridge. There is a limit of 1 Bridge per ship. If the Bridge is destroyed, a ship's movement is divided by 2. An Auxiliary Control (AC) may be installed on the ship; only 1 per ship allowed. If an AC is installed, the ship will not lose movement until both the Bridge and AC are destroyed. A ship's weapons will work properly independent of the state of the ship's Bridge or AC.
2.7.0.3 Crew Quarters (CQ). A ship needs at least 1 CQ. Larger ships require more CQ components. If a ship loses all its CQ components, it's movement is divided by 2. CQ components also adds resistance to boarding attacks; see section 6.4 for more details.
2.7.0.4 Life Support (LS). A ship needs at least 1 LS. Larger ships require more LS components. If a ship loses all its LS components, it's movement is divided by 4. ____________________
2.7.0.5 Master Computer (MC). A ship using a MC does not need any Bridge, CQ or LS components. MC's provide no defense against boarding like CQ's do. MC's are pretty expensive but for larger ships can be cheaper than the total cost of a Bridge with multiple CQ's and LS's. MC's also take up less space than the other components. _________________
2.7.0.5 If movement is lost due to loss of any/all of the components listed above, the different penalties are multiplied together for a cumulative effect. Strategic movement is rounded down but never less than 1.

2.7.1 You can't save the design of a ship unless it has the requested number of Life Support/Crew Quarters, or a Master Computer.
2.7.2 Ships lose movement if they have ZERO life supports or crew quarters remaining. ___________ to 1/turn???
2.7.3 Ships lose movement if they have no intact bridge or aux con. ___________ to 1/turn???
2.7.4 Any ship with an intact Master Computer is exempt from rules 2 & 3. One each of B/LS/CQ is enough to fly the ship normally, but you can't save that design unless you have an MC (or are designing a ship larger then 450KT in size).
2.7.5 If you know of or suspect an enemy psychic race, begin transitioning to Master Computers before war breaks out - makes Allegiance Subverters useless.

2.8 Combat Systems
2.8.1 Weapon Types / Classes
2.8.1.1 Seeking. Example: (Missiles, Crystalline Torpedo). Once launched, have a 100% hit probability unless intercepted by point defense, or the target moves beyond the seekers' range. (Stone Mill,Capnq)
2.8.1.2 Direct Fire. Example: (Anti-Proton Beams, Normal Torpedoes). Must be fired within range determined by weapon type and mount. Offensive Bonus and Defensive Bonus variables affect the actual chance to hit. (Stone Mill)
2.8.1.3 Point Defense. Example: (Point-Defense Cannons I-V). Automatically fire at seekers, fighters, satellites, and drones when in weapon range. (Stone Mill,Capnq) ___________________ add to this
2.8.1.4 Armor and Shield Skipping. Example: (Null Space, Weapon Destroyers). Successful hits ignore enemy armor and shield components. Engine/Weapon Destroyers do damage to those components only. (Stone Mill, Kalthior)
2.8.1.5 Armor Skipping Example: (Boarding Parties, Security Stations, Crystalline Shard Cannons). (Stone Mill)
2.8.1.6 Shield Skipping. Example (Phased Polaron Beams). Successful hits ignore normal shield components. Phased Shields absorb Phased Polaron hits (Shields 6+ technology). (Stone Mill)
2.8.1.7 Warhead. ________________
________________ other damage types
2.8.3 Point Defense Cannons (PDC)'s get a 70% to-hit bonus. (components.txt)
2.8.4 Incinerator beams get a 10% to hit bonus. (components.txt)
2.8.5 Wave-motion Guns get a 30% to hit bonus. (components.txt)
2.8.6 High-energy magnifiers get a 30% to hit bonus. (components.txt)
2.8.7 Tachyon canons get a 10% to hit bonus. (components.txt)
2.8.8 Mental singularity generators get at 20% to hit bonus. (components.txt)
2.8.9 PDC's don't need multiplex tracking. However, if you fire PDC's before your other weapons, you can lose 1 multiplex tracking "slot". If you have no multiplex tracking component, you may then be unable to fire your main weapons at another target. This bug does not apply if you fire your PDC's Last. Note: there is no limit to the number of targets that PDC's can target in a given combat turn.
2.8.10 Combat Sensors (I,II,III) greatly increase your ships ability % to-hit. (Stone Mill)
2.8.11 Combat Support -> ECM (I,II,III) greatly increases your ship's defensive bonus. (Stone Mill)

2.9 The Colonizer
2.9.1 Since the Colonizer is so integral to the game, it deserves a special section.
2.9.2 Add a cargo pod to the Colony Ship design used to colonize your race's breathable planets. Then when you hit the "Colonize" button to send a ship off to a planet (whether you do it from the planets screen or main screen) extra pop will be loaded to give that colony a kick-start.
2.9.3 I use 3 colony ship designs: CS-LR - long range (has a supply pod on it), CS-SR - short range with cargo pod for breathable (green + planets), CS-SR-nbr - short range, no cargo pod for non-breathable atmosphere planets (red + -- cheaper to build). I use these for storage planets so pop doesn't matter as much. (Elowan)
2.9.4 You can use a non-colonizer hull for a colonizer to make a better colonizer: extra cargo, weapons, speed, etc.
2.9.5 You don't have to put population on a colonizer in order to colonize a planet. Colonization will still take place, but you won't be able to build anything on the new planet without population. This is useful in sending a colony ship on a suicide mission to get a "ruin" planet in hostile territory. Since the colony won't survive long anyway, you can colonize the planet, get the ruin and not waste any population.
2.9.6 On a colonizer hull, with the Bridge, Life Support, Crew Quarters, Colony Module and max engines, you still have 20kt left over. Here are *some* ideas on what to use that space for.
2.9.6.1 An extra Cargo Bay: for maximum cargo capacity for extra population or to hold units which will go into the planet's cargo upon colonization.
2.9.6.2 An extra Supply Storage: to extend colonizer range.
2.9.6.3 A Solar Collector: also extends range.
2.9.6.4 A Solar Sail: for maximum speed.
2.9.6.5 Two armors: to send colonizer through damaging warp points or damaging sectors.
2.9.6.6 If you cut back on engines (and maybe add a solar sail to regain lost movement points), you can combine above ideas.
2.9.7 A colonizer needs at least 1 movement point to colonize a planet. A neat trick is to design a cheap colonizer with only 1 of your cheapest engines to be used for colonizing moons/planets where the building spaceyard is in the same sector. Once you colonize the moon/planet, you can transfer any amount of population between planets & moons.
2.9.7.1 Design colonizers with one more movement point than needed to reach a planet to have it move and colonize in one turn. Two moves away, make it the cheapest speed three ship. i.e. three engines III or one engine IX depending on Tech Level. (Parasite)
2.9.8 You can use larger hulls to make colonizers too. The advantage of this is that you can make an armed colonizer that can defend itself and possibly destroy an enemy planet (then colonize it!).
2.9.9 In my late-game, I now use this more expensive (takes two turns to build in most worlds) colonizer for colonization at any range, though the overwhelming majority of my colonization is short-range: Bridge, life support, crew quarters, colony pod, cargo bay, one (1) best engine (quantum III), solar sail, best emergency propulsion (emergency propulsion V). This has an effective one-turn speed of 12 allowing it to reach any planet in its system the same turn itís built, but it runs out of fuel quickly. If Iím colonizing long-range, I usually send a bulk transport full of population along with it, and my bulk transports generate unlimited supply. So I donít bother designing another ship. Or, I use an obsolete colonizer. I call this design simply "Rock Colony", "Ice Colony", and "Gas Colony", and you may use it if you like. (Nocturnal)
2.9.10 The default strategy for a colonizer is "Don't Get Hurt". If it gets into a battle, his will cause your colonizer to run for the corner and usually get killed. Here's a little trick. A colonizer has a pretty good mass. You can use this as a last ditch effort by changing your colonizer strategy to "Kamikaze" (Ram). Especially in the early game, you will be surprised at how many times an unarmed colonizer will destroy a smaller ship by ramming. This strategy has the added benefit if potentially killing the colonizer before it gets captured - you never want to give away your colonization techs or population easily.
2.9.11 In my late-game, I now use this more expensive (takes two turns to build on most worlds) colonizer for colonization at any range, though the overwhelming majority of my colonization is short-range: Bridge, life support, crew quarters, colony pod, cargo bay, one (1) best engine (quantum III), solar sail, best emergency propulsion (emergency propulsion V).
This has an effective one-turn speed of 12 allowing it to reach any planet in its system the same turn itís built, but it runs out of fuel quickly. If Iím colonizing long-range, I usually send a bulk transport full of population along with it, and my bulk transports generate unlimited supply. So I donít bother designing another ship. Or, I use an obsolete colonizer. I call this design simply "Rock Colony", "Ice Colony", and "Gas Colony", and you may use it if you like. (Nocturnal)
2.9.12 When colonizing distant systems, create a fleet with the Colony Ship and a small ship full of supply components and solar panels (an escort or frigate is enough) so the colony ship can have the supplies needed to reach the system. I normally retrofit my old escort and frigate ships to these "booster ships" when new hull sizes make them obsolete in the line of battle. (Makinus)
2.9.13 There's no need to use colonizer hulls. Instead use small transports, since they're the same size, have the same cost, and it's not immediately clear to your enemies whether the ship is a colonizer, minelayer, troop transport, etc. (Spoo)

2.10 Strategies
2.10.1 This section is about the setting of ship strategies, not overall game strategies.
2.10.2 Ships do retain original strategies after being retrofitted or captured - you can overcome this by making a 1-ship fleet and giving it new fleet orders.
2.10.3 Ships and units can be assigned default strategies in Designs (F3) under the Stats/Strategy toggle. These Strategies can (and really should) be customized under Empire Status/Strategies (F11). There you can also make your own strategies and decide which ships should break formation in fleets with a certain strategy. ([K126]Mephisto)
2.10.4 If you set a strategy for a ship at the "designs" stage, that strategy is used in strategic combat and if you let the computer control your ships in tactical combat. (Silent Sorrow, Derek)
2.10.5 Fleets are assigned Formations and Strategies with the Change Formation/Strategy (H) order. Fleet strategy takes precedence over ship's strategy, unless/until the ship breaks formation. (Capnq)
2.10.6 Captured enemy ships use the ship strategy decided by the original creator of that ship. He may change that ship types strategy at any time and it will affect your ship. To stop this retrofit the ship to a design of your own. Also when in a fleet the ship will use the fleet strategy first. (Suicide Junkie, Stone Mill)
2.10.7 [paraphrasing] To have a ship perform recon at a planet i.e. attack planet defenses or orbiting ships but not attack the planet and attempt to blockade it, create a new strategy and set it to not target planets, then give your [ship] this new strategy prior to sending to the planet. (Gandalph)
2.10.8 ______________________ don't get hurt to ramming.
2.10.9 When using Carriers, never, ever, forget to check their ship strategies. They usually default to "Don't get hurt", even if they happen to carry enough firepower to slaughter a whole civilization. This is fairly awful for carriers used as gunboats, and a disaster if you intend your carriers to keep up with the rest of your fleet (while launching some fighters). As such, it would be best to keep a close eye on their ship strategies, before running into such problems. (Alneyan)

2.11 Upgrading See also section 5.5 on retrofitting.
2.11.1 Upgrading engines. Taking engine tech to level 2 (or three) just makes the engines cheaper. One level after that, you'll get an engine that gives a bonus movement point. Then two more levels of cheaper, another faster engine, etc. Upgrading engines that doesn't improve performance makes you lose some money overall, but if you keep that ship like that for a while the maintenance savings add up. (Phoenix-D)
2.11.2 Designs that you have marked obsolete will be deleted from your list of ships when all of the following are true:
- There are no surviving ships of that class. This includes ships that have been captured or gifted to an alien race.
- You are not building more of those ships.
- The year is xxxx.9
- You have just pressed the end turn button to take you to year xxxx.0 (Suicide Junkie)
2.11.3 The latest history.txt file regarding the upcoming patch indicates that the relationship of fleet vs. ship strategies has been modified. Reserve this paragraph for future updates on this item.

2.12 The Combat Simulator
2.12.1 The Simulator is supposedly equivalent to actual combat with some exceptions. You can't simulate crew or fleet experience in the combat simulator. You can only simulate planets, storms, etc. if they are in your home system.
2.12.2 While in the simulator, movement is played for the ships contained in the square selected in the mini-map. Clicking off ships into empty space expedites movement of all ships to the end of the round. (Stone Mill)
2.12.3 Between rounds, you can roll over any ship, unit, (or planet) to view their components and class. (Stone Mill)
2.12.4 Some people say that the combat simulator results are unreliable and don't reflect in-game combat conditions.

2.13 Maintenance
2.13.1 Maintenance is the charge you pay to maintain and repair your operational ships. The default Maintenance on your ships is 25% (settings.txt). Maintenance is deducted from your empire resource pool each turn before construction happens. You can decrease maintenance by increasing the Maintenance Aptitude characteristic or choosing a Cultural modifier that reduces maintenance. There is a hard coded minimum maintenance of 5%.
2.13.2 If unable to pay the maintenance, first any construction queues will not be accomplished. If the deficit is high enough, ships will automatically be abandoned to pay for the shortage. The AI will probably NOT choose wisely in abandoning your ships.
2.13.3 Things to do when maintenance is too high: place construction queues on hold, mothball ships, increase production (more facilities, increase happiness, remote mine, etc), scrap ships as a Last resort. Remember that mothballing a ship will reset its experience to 0% but it will inactivate the ship and eliminate any of its maintenance costs until it is mothballed.
2.13.4 You can see how much you are paying for ship maintenance each turn by looking in your Empire Status _____________ or your Ships ______________ report. When selecting an individual ship, the right panel shows its individual maintenance cost. In the Ships ______________ report, you can view/sort ships by maintenance amount.

2.14 __________________ needs a title

______________ needs to be relocated


Q: How do I build Spaceyard / Repair ships? I have the medium transport hull available but it seems when I choose the "Space Yard ship" vehicle type it demands I use 50% of my tonnage in cargo holds. This leaves no component slots or available tonnage for a repair bay or a space yard component. What am I missing?
A(Atrocities, Parasite):
a. You would need to use a cruiser or larger hull size. The combat vehicles do not require the cargo minimum that transport ships have. You cannot use the transport ships for anything but hauling cargo or colonization. I would use the transport to make a multi habitat type colony ship instead.
b. In the default rules, space yard and repair bay components don't have the "Cargo Storage" ability. To fit them onto a transport hull like that you'll have to go into the components.txt and add the "Cargo Storage" ability (recommend using 0 for the amount) to each space yard and repair bay component. Otherwise, you'll have to use a standard hull big enough to hold them.
c. ...keyword in hull type being 'transport'. In the stock hull type, anything with 'transport' (small, med, large) has the 50% cargo requirement. The easy way 'round it is what Sinapus recommends: add the cargo ability to the component. The stock game wants you to use them as transports and not support vessels because of the tonnage available at the lower tech levels (vs. standard hulls).
d. Medium Transports are good for carrying a repair bay and can still carry enough cargo to design correctly.

2.15 Transport hulls
2.15.1 Transport hulls can be used for many purposes. So long as you meet the minimum design requirements, the design is legal. The most limiting design requirement on a transport is that it needs to have 50% of its space used for cargo components. This might be a little misleading because any component that has the "Cargo Storage" ability counts toward this requirement. By using Transport hulls for lots of different designs, you can keep your opponents guessing as to which type of ship they are up against. The following components (in the unmodded game) are legal Cargo Storage components and can make some interesting Transport designs. Mix and match for more complex designs.
2.15.1.1 Basic Cargo Bays: for Population Transports, Troop Transports, or general transports to move units around or to carry replacement units in a fleet.
2.15.1.2 Satellite Bays: for a satellite layer ship.
2.15.1.3 Mine Layers: for a mine layer ship.
2.15.1.4 Colony Modules: for a colonizer. Note that 1 colony module will satisfy the 50% requirement on a Small Transport all by itself. This can be used as a "secret" colonizer.
2.15.1.4 Fighter Bays: for an auxiliary carrier.
2.15.1.5 Drone Launchers: for a drone launcher ship.
2.15.2 A cargo ship is 300Kt, half of which must be cargo spaces. So basically you have a the same amount of room as an escort (150kt) for weapons etc. PLUS you have 150Kt worth of cargo components that help to absorb a few extra shots in combat. All else being equal such an armed cargo ship should win a large majority of 1 on 1 fights against escorts, and will hold it's own against frigates. The longer you can last in a fight the better off you'll be. The main drawback is the 5 engine limit on cargo ships. Sometimes speed can be a decisive factor. (Geoschmo)

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3.0 Research & Technology
3.0.1 Early research. Opinions differ but most would suggest: More than one project in queue, rotate projects and do not spread points evenly. Larger ships (frigate on first turn, destroyer, light cruiser). Depleted Uranium Cannon (DUC) to level 3. Point Defense (PD) at least level 3, I prefer 4 I might start PD in between destroyer and LC. As you have to study Military Science before PD opens up. (Wardad)
3.0.2 Be sure you really need high levels of Multiplex tracking before you research it - do you really expect your ships to engage 5 enemies every turn?
3.0.3 AI researches Construction, Intelligence, Chemistry and Industry pretty early, you should research other things and trade for those. The next patch is supposed to make the AI less likely to make unfavorable trades.
3.0.4 I've tried research patterns in so many different ways, I don't even know if I have a decisive method. I think I kind of base it on how stable the Quadrant is and who my neighbors are early in the game (turns 1-20). If all the treaties, borders, and trade are courteous; I'll try to get the jump on Construction/Mines and Physics 2/Phased-Weapons&Shields as fast as I can. If there are tenuous treaties and arguments over colonization, I'll follow a more conservative course. (TurinTurambar)

3.1 You can view the entire research tree by starting a high-tech game and selecting the option for "Players can see complete tech tree" under "Game Options". This will make 2 new buttons available in game on the research window for the trees. They can be exported via this window to text files if you like.
3.2 See also section 1.6.1 for the cost of research.
3.3 ___________________________ add much more to this, divide points evenly,
_____________________ researching more levels of a component...
_____________________ research points generated by ____________ increased by___________
____________________ trade & research treaty and beyond
____________________ leftmost to rightmost, repeating projects.
________________________ make sure you don't waste points
3.4 There are 3 kinds of technology available. General technology is available to all players. There are several Racial technologies which are available only to players who have chosen those particular racial traits (see section 1.1). Unique technology is only available by colonizing a ruin planet. __________________


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4.0 Planet Development
4.1 Exploring
4.1.1 I generally do not waste resources on escorts. I build small transports instead. Arm them with a missile and add 3 SAT launchers, 3 cargo, 1 supply, 5 engines etc... they are good for exploring, transport and SAT laying.
4.1.2 Play styles differ on how to explore early on. Find what works best for you. Some people use unarmed escorts with an extra supply storage component to maximize range. Others use colonizers and put them on a 1-way trip; colonize or die. Still others send out armed escorts which can quickly kill off a neighboring empire who has not yet set up any defenses.
4.1.3 The (E)xplore command will send the selected ship(s) to the nearest unexplored system.

4.2 Colonizing
4.2.1 Set up race to build a colonizer on Home world in 2 turns. This may mean stripping out half the engines and the cargo hold (good for a local colony ship). You have to boost your races construction rate by ? (5 %to 10%?) oops. (Wardad)
4.2.2 Colonize your system fast. The extra research, resource, and shipyards early on are an advantage. Green star planets are your atmosphere type . Red star have different atmosphere and are domed, so the build space is limited. (Wardad)
4.2.3 Put people on your colony ships. The colony module gives the ships some cargo space, use transfer cargo to put people on the ship so that your colony gets some population, otherwise the new colony won't build anything (Saying "Never" on construction time). (Suicide Junkie)
4.2.4 If the colony ship is currently at a planet with population, it will automatically load pop for you if you use the Colonize (C) order, or the Send Colony Ship button under Planets (F4). The latter button will not always work if the colony ship has moved. (capnq)
4.2.4.1 An exception to this is if you manually load population onto a colonizer, it will not load any more population when it gets the "Colonize" order, even if it has extra cargo room. This is useful in not draining a planet of population while building colonizers.
4.2.5 Colonies with 0 population have the "dome" symbol even if it is a planet with a breathable atmosphere, the symbol disappears when you populate the colony. (Rdouglass, Suicide Junkie)
4.2.6. Domed worlds have 1/5 facilities of non-domed. Domed sphere worlds have 1/2, domed ring worlds have 1/5.
4.2.7 Colony Type. If you manage the colony itself, it makes no difference on what type of colony you choose (i.e. mining, refining, research etc)(except to remind you) but if a minister manages it, he will build facilities according to what type of colony it is using the appropriate data text files. (Silent Sorrow, Derek)
4.2.8 Anything in the cargo storage of your colonizer will be deposited in the cargo of the planet when it is colonized i.e. Weapon Platforms, etc. Any colonists or cargo beyond the capacity of the planet will be lost, however.
4.2.9 When colonizing ruin planets you do not need population to get the tech bonus. (Suicide Junkie)
4.2.10 Before colonizing a 'ruin planet' make sure that your research queue is filled. If it is - there's a good chance that you might get some of the queue finished for you from the discovered ruins. (Elowan) [editor's note: The ruin tech is determined at the time of map generation. Research queue does not affect ruins tech.]
4.2.11 Opinions differ on the value of colonizing moons. They can add to the overall strength of a sector. Cargo can be transferred readily between a planet and its moons. Colonizing moons keeps the AI or any other empire from colonizing them (a nasty habit). But it does cost you a colonizer, so you should not do it until you have colonized all the major planets in the area unless you have special circumstances. Exception: if your native population breaths an atmosphere of "none", those moons are all tiny planets of your native atmosphere (green star)!
4.2.12 You can colonize the moons by clicking on the main planet. If the main planet has moons, another window will pop up showing all planets & moons in the sector and you can select the one you want.
4.2.13 Q: When you first start a game do you expand like mad or concentrate on your own system and then expand?
A(Atrocities): Expand like mad. Try to move population from your home system to other breathable planets to speed up the rate of expansion. Remember, the faster you expand, the less space for your enemies, and less space for your enemies, the faster you can exterminate them.
4.2.14 You can tell a planet's atmosphere by the planet's color, and a little practice. You can also tell if a planet is Rock, Ice or Gas by the way it looks.
4.2.15 You can sort the planets by min, org, or rad values simply by clicking on the word "Values" above each in the Planets Window. The window you use to send colony ships. This is a very useful tip if your running low on minerals, you can sort prospective planet by mineral value and then deploy your colony ship to that planet. The same goes for Orgs and rads. (Atrocities)
4.2.16 You can protect your colonizers by fleeting them with warships. Then you can give the (C)olonize order to your fleet. Here's the neat part: if you have multiple colonizers in your fleet, even for different colony types, the fleet will move to the right place and one of the correct colonizers will unfleet itself to colonize the planet while the fleet guards in orbit. Leave the fleet there until it's safe or protected with units, then move on.
4.2.17 I have found it useful to not use the "Send Colony Ship". Its good for new players since it won't forget to load up with population first. But (at least in solo play) I like to send my colony ships to the planet and then decide whether or not to colonize there. By then I have many times learned something which makes me prefer to change the orders. Along the same line (again solo play) I have often found it useful to send a ship to the warp point just BEFORE where it is supposed to end up. Again I might have learned something new. In many cases I will wait one turn to make sure it has full movement before I enter the warp. This gives me options to try and jump quick to the planet if there is company there. Or to jump back into the warp and try somewhere else. (Gandalf Parker)
4.2.18 To colonize moons/planets in the same sector, you can build a really cheap colonizer. A colonizer needs to have at least one movement point in order to colonize so you can build a bare-bones colonizer with just the cheapest engine (ion engine III) and use it to colonize moons/planets in the same sector as the spaceyard. Once this is done, you can move any number of population between planets in the same sector using the Transfer Cargo order.
4.2.19 On your home worlds build troops, weapon platforms, satellites, mines, fighters, and weapons platforms. Design a colony ship using a larger hull size and add lots of cargo components. Transfer a small amount of population to the new colony ship along with some troops, fighters, weapons platforms, mines, and satellites. When the ship colonizes the planet, presto, you have instant fortifications. I normally only use this TIP in the earily part of the game when I know there are hostiles about. (Atrocities)

4.3 Facilities
4.3.1 Atmosphere Converters can be scrapped after the atmosphere is converted. Multiple Atmosphere Converters on the planet will speed up the process. (Quikngruvn) ________________ geoshmoe disagrees
4.3.1.1 Atmosphere modification plants change the atmosphere to whatever the MAJORITY population breathes. So as long as everyone on the planet breathes the same thing, it will be undomed after the atmosphere facility has completed its work. (Suicide Junkie)
4.3.1.2 On any turn that an AC has been in existence for more turns than it's Ability 1 value, the atmosphere gets converted to that breathed by the largest population group. 100 hydrogen, 80 oxygen, 80 carbon dioxide results in a conversion to Hydrogen. If the population is even (100 hydrogen and 100 oxygen), the atmosphere is not converted. AC will convert the atmosphere over and over again each turn if you fiddle with the pop levels. It changes the atm to that breathed by whatever the majority of the pop is when it does the conversion, not when it was built. Less data has to be saved that way. And, it will do a conversion every single turn after X turns passed if it is able to. It is not every X turns. (Imperator Fyron)
4.3.2 It costs 50% (of the cost of the new facility) to upgrade a facility. (settings.txt)
4.3.3 Facilities undergoing upgrade still produce. Do not scrap to upgrade! Exception: you cannot upgrade a normal Spaceyard to a Temporal Spaceyard (Temporal Tech). The normal Spaceyard must be scrapped and the Temporal Spaceyard must be constructed.
4.3.4 Solar Generators have increased benefits if more stars are present, x1 per star. (Ruatha) Solar Generators are only available to empires who have chosen the Crystallurgy racial trait.
4.3.5 You can't convert a Gas Giant planet to a "none" atmosphere. (Quikngruvn)
4.3.6 Climate Control Facilities can be scrapped once the colony's conditions are Optimal. Multiple CCF's will speed the process. (Quikngruvn)
4.3.7 Value Improvement Plants (VIP) can be scrapped once all resources are at the maximum level, which is 250%. Multiple VIP's will speed the process. You will only see improvements on turns that end in xxxx.0. It has been reported that a VIP will reduce a planet's value if it starts out >250%.
4.3.8 BEWARE: If you have a planet on "Repeat Orders" and it has a Resource Converter, and you are playing a simultaneous game, when you give the order to convert resources, it will go into the "Repeat" queue and will be executed every turn until the order is cancelled.
4.3.9 When a facility has "only one per system/planet effective", it refers to the ability of the facility, not to that specific facility. Eg: A System Robotoid Factory III and a System Mineral Scanner III do not stack, because they use the same ability (to affect minerals production). (Imperator Fyron)
4.3.10 SY II and III have higher build rates (2500 and 3000). Also, building a SY allows you to get racial SY bonuses to production, such as from Hardy Industrialists and Construction Aptitude. You do not get these bonuses without a SY on the planet. If you get no racial construction bonus (or penalty), then SY I does not alter your construction rate. All it does is allow you to build ships at that planet. (Imperator Fyron)
4.3.11 You can upgrade a single facility at a time on a planet that has lots of the same facility. Find a planet with just one obsolete facility built. Add the Upgrade Facility X item to the build queue. Click on Fill Queue, then Save the queue with an appropriate name by clicking on Add Type. Now, go to the previous planet. Use the Fill Queue button to add the single facility upgrade order. You can naturally have "Upgrade 2 X" or "Upgrade 3 X" fill queues by finding planets with 2 or 3 facilities to upgrade, respectively. Using this method, you can upgrade large Groups of facilities in small batches, thus allowing some to be upgraded immediately and begin functioning sooner than it would take for all to be upgraded at once. (Imperator Fyron)

4.4 Construction - Building Things
4.4.1 Units can be only be put in the construction queue as multiples such as 1, 5, 10, 20, 25, up to 200 at a time. (TerranC)
4.4.2 Exception: "One turn's worth" will put however many can be built at the current construction rate; if the unit can't be built in one turn, this still adds 1 to the queue. (capnq)
4.4.3 Emergency Build will increase the rate of your space yard by 1.5 of your normal rate but is then followed by a "slow" Building period that uses only a quarter of your normal rate for every turn Emergency was turned on. Emergency Build only works for 10 turns, and cannot be put on indefinitely. (TerranC, DirectorTsaarx) Bug: you actually can get 11 turns of EB by letting it go until it ends automatically.
4.4.3.1 Once you turn off "emergency build", or if you reach the 10 turn limit, the spaceyard will go into slow mode (25% of normal construction rate) for the number of turns it was in emergency build. It will stay in slow mode until complete and during this time it cannot be shifted back to emergency build.
4.4.3.2 If a colony that is in Emergency Build mode starts rioting (meaning no production at all), those turns still count toward the recovery time in slow-build mode. Example: a colony has been emergency building for four turns. It then falls into rioting for two turns with no production, then stops rioting and emergency builds for two more turns before emergency build is turned off. The colony will be in slow-build mode for eight turns.
4.4.3.3 Bug: If you give/trade a planet that has been operating on Emergency Build mode to another empire, its Emergency Build mode is turned off and its time in Emergency Build is cleared. It is considered cheating to use this exploit in multiplayer games. This bug is fixed with the v1.84 patch.

4.4.3.4 [A discussion on Emergency Building by Alneyan]
Contrary to what might be believed, Emergency building can last for eleven turns, for only ten turns of slow build. Construction is checked eleven times between the turn when you switch Emergency build on (0.0 year of Emergency build) and the tenth turn (1.0 year of Emergency build), when it will be switched off. Nonetheless, this last turn still has the increased construction rates.

Besides emergencies, Emergency Build can be used for the following purposes:
- To fully develop a planet with few facility slots. For example, if you want to build one Spaceport and four research centers, switching Emergency build on will allow you to build the Spaceport in two turns rather than three, at virtually no cost; the nine remaining turns will be more than enough to build your four research centers. The same could be used for Atmosphere Converters (done in five turns with Emergency Building, leaving you six turns to fill up the five remaining slots at best) among other facilities.

- To speed up the construction of expensive ships, aka Stellar Manipulation vessels. When the ETA before completion shows 1.6 year, Emergency building can bring the delay down to 1.1 year, which will be completed before Emergency building wears off. A net gain of five turns might be just all you need to close that wormhole before the invading fleet warps in, rather than crashing on said fleet.

By the same reasoning, spaceyards only expected to build a single item can use Emergency building to gain five turns of construction time. For example, a spaceyard base intended to build one remote-mining starbase would use Emergency build to get the starbase completed five turns before, resulting in a very significant gain by allowing the remote-mining operation to start five turns before.

- A common early game opening is to build eleven colony ships at your homeworld, in order to expand as quickly as can be done. By the time the homeworld goes back to very low construction rates, you should have at least one or two spaceyards somewhere else to carry on with the production, while your other colony ships do their best to give you a lead in expansion. You might need retrofits to manage this however, especially with average construction rates and/or a Medium-sized homeworld or below, which gives me the perfect opportunity to speak of retrofitting. [Thanks for the discussion on Emergency Building, Alneyan! His discussion on retrofitting has been incorporated into section 5.5.7]

4.4.4 If you put on an obsolete building queue on a planet construction queue, and click upgrade facilities, the construction queues will be changed to the latest model. Will not work for ships and units. (TerranC)
4.4.5 Unused construction queue points do not "spill over" to the next item when the current queue item is constructed. Say you're building a ship which costs 2000 Min, 500 Org, and 500 Rad and your Space Yard has 3300, 3300, 3300 build rating. The unused 1300 of unused mineral building is not used on the next queue item (You do not lose 1300 minerals, but the yard stands idle a fraction of a month). The only exception to this is if you are building units more than one at a time (i.e., you select something other than "1" or "one turn's worth" when it asks you how many you want to build. (Binford, Dogscoff)
4.4.5.1 The calculation of how much the planet or spaceyard will build when set to "One Turn's Worth" is made at the time that the order is placed in the queue. If the capacity of the shipyard changes for better or worse, the number ordered will not change. Examples of how this can happen: 1) you order 1 turn's worth of mines THEN place your spaceyard on emergency build. The number built would be 1 turn's worth at regular rate, 2) you place a spaceyard facility III in the build queue THEN place an order for 1 turn's worth of mines. The number built would be at the rate for no-spaceyard, 3) You order 1 turn's worth of mines THEN your planet's happiness goes down. In this case you might not even be able to build the amount in the queue in 1 turn because your planet's construction rate dropped due to population number drop (If you've picked up people in a transport or colony ship).
4.4.6 On a construction queue, you can use the Fill Queue button to save Groups of construction orders for repeated use. Put the items you want in the queue, Fill Queue, Add Queue; name the set. Once a set of orders is saved, it can be selected with Fill Queue to add the set to the construction queue. If an item in saved set becomes obsolete, Fill Queue will produce an error message when you select that set, so you have to define a new set whenever you upgrade a design. (Capnq)
4.4.7 Rioting Planets do not construct anything, as the construction queue will display "Never." (BBegemott) Also, their reproduction rate will go to 0%. To resolve Rioting: - (note See also section 12.1) (these examples and their relative effects can be found in the data file happiness.txt)
4.4.7.1 Station a fleet in that system. Better yet, park it over a specific planet that you want to improve.
4.4.7.2 Build troops in the system. Building troops on a planet also increases happiness for that particular planet. Tip: Amount of troops count, not quality, so you can design cheap troops with minimal components.
4.4.7.3 System happiness facilities, such as the Urban Pacification Centre (I, II, II) or special tech facilities/shrines increase happiness. The effects of these facilities seem to be very gradual, requiring several turns.
4.4.7.4 Winning battles improves population confidence and improves happiness, especially in the system in which the battle occurs. (Stone Mill)
4.4.7.5 A planet on Emergency Build, while rioting, still accumulates time in Emergency Build mode.
4.4.8 Population effects construction rates; the higher population, the better bonus to production. (Stone Mill)
4.4.8.1 The table for the increase in resource (min, org, rad, research, intel) production and construction rate with respect to population amount and happiness is as follows:
Code:
 Pop.(M)	Prod%   SY % (or Construction Rate if no SY)
1 - 99 100 100 (see also 4.3.10 for info on SY rate)
100 - 499 105 105
500 - 999 110 110
1000 - 1999 120 120
2000 - 2999 130 130
3000 - 3999 140 140
4000 - 4999 150 150
5000 - 5999 160 160
6000 - 6999 170 170
7000 - 7999 180 180
8000 - 9999 190 190
10000 - 2000000 200 200

Riot 0 0
Angry 80 100
Unhappy 90 100
Indifferent 100 100
Happy 110 100
Jubilant 120 100


Note that after v1.91 patch, a "smoothed" scale for population effects has been implemented such that the bonuses are stepped in smaller increments in between each major division (settings.txt). There are too many break points to list here but the numbers listed are still correct for the major breakpoints.

4.4.9 Space Yards improve construction rate. Without any construction modifiers, a Space Yard I facility will not improve your construction rate but will allow you to construct ships & bases. You are allowed only one space yard per planet. Invest research in better Space Yard Technology (I,II,III) to increase construction rate. Note: (Special Temporal Tech) Temporal Space Yards have better rates. Unfortunately, you must first scrap your standard Space Yard in order to build them. (Stone Mill) _______________________blurb about reduced construction rate taking effect only after SY built.
4.4.10 You can get ripped off in the "build 1 turn's worth" since extra build capacity is lost- check out the build times for 1,5,10,etc if you were going to build that many anyway - could be shorter since additional build points are lost, but you won't get any of your units until the entire build time is complete.
4.4.11 Monolith facilities are very expensive and will take many turns to break even - use wisely. You can do a calculation of the break even (and even factor in the use of a Resource Converter) to see what makes better sense.
4.4.12 One Resource Converter can service your whole empire, or federation, or collective... you get the picture. Build it in a secure location.
4.4.12.1 Always build at least one resource converter more than needed. Nothing more crippling than a conquered resource converter if it is your only one. One class III converter can only convert a maximum of 1,365,000 resources into 955,500 of a different type per turn. If you try to convert more, the orders will be queued into the next turn. (Roanon)

4.4.13 Q&A on saved construction queues (Atrocities, CapnQ, Parasite)
Q: Is there a way to Save a Queue and then Load it for another Planet?
A: a. Yes. Open either the Planet Queue (Recommended) or the Construction Queue.
b. If you opened the Construction Queue, then select the desired Planet.
c. Fill the Planets Queue with whatever you desire.
d. Then Click on the FILL QUEUE button fourth up from the bottom of the menu to the right.
e. Click ADD
f. Name your new Queue and save it. (Good idea to include Facility number, i.e. 18 Storage, Or 20 Battle Ship, etc. and tech level too.)
g. Click Cancel to exit.
h. Next time you open the Planet Queue of a new planet, Click on FILL QUEUE and choose the Queue (you named them) that you desire.
i. Presto Your Planet Queue is full.

Q: Is the list saved globally to be able to be used in any/all games or is it just for the current game?
A: Current game only. [Edit] Correction: Geoschmo reports that (F2) Game Menu/Save Empire saves the queues as well.

Q: Is the list static or dynamic regarding upgrades? i.e. Do I have to make another list when I research another facility upgrade or is the queue updated automatically?
A(Parasite): Static for all things. Note: If you save a queue with a low Tech Level then after adding it, go to "Construction Queues" and click "Upgrade Facilities". It will upgrade all the faculties in your queues to the current Tech Level faculty. It also adds all needed updates to your construction queues. This may or may not be what you want.

Q: Can I add ships or is it limited to facilities?
A: If you can build it, it can go in a saved queue.

Q: If possible, what happens if an obsolete ship is called?
A: If the ship or unit is still shown on (F3) Designs when you turn off "Hide Obsolete", it will be inserted normally; if the obsolete design has already been purged, you get an error message: "We don't have the design for <itemName>."

Q: Is there error checking if I try to build too many facilities?
A(Parasite): Yes. You will be given an error that your queue has exceeded the amount of available space. You just have to click OK once for each facility in the saved queue over the current queue limit. Making a queue with 7 items can then be added twice to fill a 15 queue, or three times in a 20 or 25 queue.

4.4.14 The way that resources are used during construction is as follows. Assume that the construction rate on a planet with a Spaceyard I is 2000 Min., 2000 Org., 2000 Rad.; and you are building a ship costing 6500 Min, 200 Org, 2000 Rad. The construction queue will use the max resources it can each turn until the item is built or it has reached the required amount of the given resource. So, on the first turn the planet will use 2000 Min, 200 Org, 2000 Rad. On the 2nd and 3rd turns it will use 2000 Min, 0 Org, 0 Rad. On the 4th turn it will use 500 Min, 0 Org, 0 Rad and the ship will be completed. Since most things require much more Minerals than any other resource, the Organic and Radioactives usage only happens in the beginning of a construction while the limiting resource usually is Minerals. Note that if you had redesigned this ship to only have 6000 Min instead of 6500 Minerals, it would have been completed 1 turn sooner. Keep construction rates in mind when designing ships & units so that you build efficiently. You can view the maximum build rate (and sort by it) by selecting "Rate" under the construction queue. You can see current usage (and sort by it) by selecting "Usage" under the construction queue. Usage will always be equal to or less than the Rate.

4.4.15 Q: How do I set up a planet's construction queue to build a spaceyard and then build ships without having to edit the queue after the spaceyard is built?
A: Normally you can't add ships to a planet's construction queue until after the planet has a spaceyard facility. However there is a neat interface workaround. First, go to another planet that has a spaceyard and add your ship to its construction queue. Then save the construction queue using the process in section 4.4.13 above. Now, when you colonize a new planet, you can set up the build queue to build a spaceyard using the normal method and add ships to the queue using the saved queue. Don't try to abuse this by attempting to build a ship on a planet that doesn't have a spaceyard. You can add the ship to the build queue, but it won't be built. It will be removed from the queue on the next turn if it reaches the top and there is no spaceyard on the planet.

4.4.16 Q: What things will I produce on the next turn?
A: Bring up the colony report, click on "Construction" tab on the right. Next sort by the "Time Remaining" tab. scroll down to see all the things that only need .1 years to build.

________________ "build one turn's worth" and remove population -> no longer 1 turn's worth.

4.5 Resource Production

4.5.0 General
4.5.0.1 Resources are defined as: Minerals, Organics, Radioactives, Research and Intelligence.
4.5.0.2 For Minerals, Organics and Radioactives, the amount produced per turn is: Total Facility Output = (total facility production)*(planet value)*(population modifier + happiness modifier + racial characteristics)*(planet bonus facility)*(system bonus facility) (Asmala)
4.5.0.3 For Research and Intelligence, the amount produced per turn is: Total Facility Output = (total facility production)*(population modifier + happiness modifier + racial characteristics)*(planet bonus facility)*(system bonus facility) (Asmala)

____________ remote mining, and the ability to generate resources from components

4.5.1 Production bonuses from system facilities do not appear on the listings of individual planets' output, but the extra production is included in the totals on the (F11) Empire Status page. (Capnq)
4.5.2 Good ratio of resource facilities = mineralsrganics:radioactives = 5-10:1:2-3. Increase organics if you are organic racial, in the endgame increase radioactives. Opinions vary about storage facilities, but 1 storage for every 10 resource facilities is reasonable.
4.5.3 Empires will make 200 minerals, organics, and radioactives per turn even if there are no production facilities. (settings.txt)
4.5.4 Things to do when your resource production is getting too low: build a Resource Converter, place construction queues on hold, mothball ships, increase production (more facilities, increase happiness, remote mine, etc), scrap ships as a Last resort. See also section 17.3.7 "Economic Harmony"
4.5.4.1 Instead of building resource storage facilies, you can also build insanely expensive bases, and mothball them. When you're lacking in reserves, scrap a few. Becomes a lot more efficient with recycling facilities. It is also a perfect excuse for keeping hundreds of sunkillers around. (iaen)
4.5.5 Things to do when your resource production is getting too high and you are wasting resources: build units (no maintenance), build supply storage, build more ships, build more spaceyards to build more ships, give gifts/tributes to benefit your diplomatic situation, unmothball ships, take spaceyard queue's off "hold". See also section 17.3.7 "Economic Harmony"
4.5.6 Q: I am running a resource deficit but which construction queues should I shut down first?
A: First check out which resource you are shortest in by using the empire status report. Then bring up the construction queue, click "usage" on the right then sort by the usage column. This will show the most usage planets first using the total per turn for each planet M+O+R. The highest using planets will be at the top. Most of the time you will be limited my Minerals. You can place queues on hold based on your needs and the usage per turn. See also section 17.3.7 "Economic Harmony".
4.5.7 Q: I've got too much resources coming in each turn and all my spaceyards are already building something and I don't have enough storage. I don't want to lose the resources, so which planets have the most empty cargo room for building units?
A: Bring up the colony report, click on the cargo tab on the right, then sort by "space". Scroll to bottom to see the least filled planets. BTW, build more spaceyards and/or storage! A quick way to increase spaceyards is to bring up the Construction Queues (______________), sort by "Rate" and build Spaceyard Bases at all available spaceyards. See also section 17.3.7 "Economic Harmony".
4.5.8 _____________________ blurb about increased capacity of Mineral Scanners et al.
4.5.9 Q: How can I quickly find my highest producing planets so that I can improve their output?
A: Pull up the Colony report (F_______________________________), click on Production, then click on the column header for the resource that you are interested in. The list will be sorted listing your highest producing colonies for that resource at the top. This works for Minerals, Organics, Radioactives, Research and Intelligence.
4.5.10 Q: How can I improve a planet's production output?
A: _______________________________________ First of all, make sure you protect your most valuable planets! When setting up the game, you can choose to increase your empire's ability in each of the 5 resource areas. Once in-game, this cannot be changed. For each resource, there are 2 bonus facilities that you can build. One will increase all production for that resource on a planet, the other will increase all production for that planet in the whole system. These facility bonuses will stack with each other. For Minerals, Organics and Radioactives, there are individual bonus facilities for each resource which give a very big bonus, but there are also the "robotoid" facilities (planet and system) which increase production of all 3. Robotoid facility bonuses are less than the resource-specific facilities; and the robotoid facilities do not stack with resource-specific facilities. ______________________________happiness, improvement plants, population

4.6 Remote Mining
4.6.1 To use Remote Mining you must first design a ship, base, or satellite with remote mining components. (Gandalph)
4.6.2 Remote mining uses supplies and maintenance, for this reason it is best to use bases as they have infinite supplies and reduced maintenance costs. If you use bases, you must build it with a Space Yard ship at the desired location. (Gandalph)
4.6.2.1 Because Remote Mining uses supplies and it lowers the value of planets and asteroids, this method of gathering resources is not widely used. Eventually mined planets and asteroids will not produce enough to cover the maintenance of mining ships or bases. The traditional answer to this is ot use satellites because they are maintenance-free. Sats are small, however and can't hold many mining components.
4.6.3 Only one Ship, Base or Satellite can remote mine a location at a time. Whichever is placed first will mine. All mining components on a ship or base will produce, and the value of the planet or asteroids will drop exactly 1% per turn no matter how many mining components you have. (Suicide Junkie)
4.6.4 In a stack of satellites, up to three satellites can mine, provided they all have robo-miners working on different resources. Three mineral miner sats will produce the same amount of minerals as one mineral miner sat. A mineral miner sat plus a radioactives miner sat can both work on the same location at the same time, producing the full amount of both resources. (Suicide Junkie)
4.6.5 Remote mining depletes the available resources at the location. It does not happen quickly, but you will see the value of the location drop over time. (Gandalph)
4.6.5.1 Remote mining will lower -1%/month of any/all resources being remote mined. Since only the resources that you are mining are reduced, it can be more efficient to mine 1 at a time and then retrofit your designs to mine other resoureces. This may not be the best method for your immediate resources needs, however.
4.6.6 In order to make your mining operations ast longer, use only one type of robo miner per base. If all of your robo miners are Mineral miners, the organics and radioactives value of the planet or asteroids will not decrease. When the minerals are gone, you can retrofit the base to an organics or radioactives miner, and continue production for many years to come. (Suicide Junkie)
4.6.7 It is possible to remotely mine any asteroid or UNCOLONIZED planet. As long as the location has a resource value, it can be mined. Once you place a colony on a planet it can no longer be remotely mined. (Gandalph) If there are multiple planets, moons or asteroids in a sector, each will be mined by the remote miner. This can pay large dividends.
4.6.8 Income generated from remote mining is not shared with your trade partners. So if you were a race that got a lot of it's income from remote mining your allies would be potentially getting less benefit from the treaty than you, even if you both had equal economies.
4.6.9 Racial characteristics have no effect on remote mining. (Geoschmo)
4.6.10 Remote mining does not need a spaceport to function. This allows you to exploit systems with nothing but Asteroid belts in them. (Binford)
4.6.11 A System Robotoid Factory (or other facility that increases system resource production) will not increase the benefits of remote miners.
4.6.12 For another perspective on remote mining see section 17.3.15.3.
4.6.13 One advantage for remote mining that I didn't see discussed was that it costs you no space on your planets at all. Playing a race of god-like researchers, I got a HUGE advantage in tech very early by getting well over 60% of my minerals from remote mining ships, and stuffing every planet I could find full to the brim with research centers. Now later in the game, remote mining only gives me about 30% of my minerals income because I've maxxed out all my research. Of course, this is against the AI, and such a plan may have weaknesses that a canny human player can exploit. However I feel that vigorously mining asteroids before you have the tech to build planets out of them can give a gigantic ROI [return on investment] in terms of resources and also planet space. For best efficiency, use the largest hull available for your miners - until the late-mid-game, my mining fleet was a bigger drain on my economy than my battlefleet, but the payoff was fantastic. Note: Remote mining with other than satellites or bases is COMPLETELY USELESS on limited-resource games. You can never make up both the upkeep costs and the initial investment in a timely manner, unless you can reduce upkeep. (Nocturnal)

4.7 Population
4.7.1 Population will reproduce based on their reproduction rate (per year) and this rate is affected by their happiness, their environmental resistance and the planet conditions. Each turn is 0.1 years and is defined as a game "month". (Reproduction rate per turn) = (reproduction rate per year) / 10. The amount of new population increase per turn = (population amount) x (reproduction rate per turn) or 1M, whichever is greater. Therefore you always get at least 1M increase per turn. Exception: reproduction rate will go to 0% if planet conditions are "Deadly" or if the planet is rioting. The default reproduction rate per year is 10% (settings.txt). This will be modified at the time of empire setup by the "Reproduction Rate" modifier. Changing this modifier by 1% changes your reproduction rate by 1%. This is modified on each planet as noted in 4.7.1.1 below. Note that if there is more than one race of population on a planet, you get a minimum increase of 1M of each race per turn.
4.7.1.1 Reproduction without modifiers. +1 for each percentage of Reproduction and +1 for each five percentages of Environmental Resistance.

Code:
          Jubilant Happy  Indif.  Unhappy Angry   Rioting
Unpleasant 13 10 8 6 3 0
Mild 15 12 10 8 5 0
Good 17 14 12 10 7 0
Optimal 20 17 15 13 10 0

(Asmala)

Q: What happens if I lower reproduction and/or environmental resistance too much? Will reproduction rate ever go less than 0?
A(Imperator Fyron): ER and Reproduction stack. You can not have less than 0% reproduction rate.

4.7.2 The most important reason to grow your population is having more population increases a planet's construction (building) and production (resource generation) rate (see settings.txt). "In contrast to planetary shipyards, the construction rates of shipyards built on ships & bases are unaffected by population level." (tbontob)
4.7.3 Population will not reproduce when in cargo on a ship or base. They only reproduce when on a planet.
4.7.4 If there is any positive population growth on a planet, you get a minimum of 1M of each race on a planet each turn.
4.7.5 I noticed this when I was swapping out populations (different atmosphere types to the proper breathing planets) When you wish to figure out what planet to send those *______* breathers to.... click on the ship with the *______* breathers and then press the 'M' quick key... now open the colonies window 'F5' and in the general view click on the atmosphere column. (It is now sorted by atmosphere.) Then click on the Races View (menu on the right) Now each atmosphere type is sorted by atmosphere type and then population size. (so when you see the number increase you know your on a different atmosphere) as a bonus. Since you clicked on the ship you can see the current system highlighted on the galaxy map (if you're lucky, usually you have to remember which system it is) and the planet that needs the population transfer in the colonies map (this way you can determine which planet is closest) Works like a charm. (Tesco Samoa)
4.7.6 Q: I know that moving captured or different breathing population around is a pain, but how do I easily find the best planets to undome?
A: Bring up the Colony report and click the "General" tab. Next sort by "Pic" which sorts by planet size, then sort again by "Atmosphere". Next click on the "Races" tab on the right. Now you have a list of planets sorted in increasing size by atmosphere and you can see what kind of race is on the planet. Concentrate on the largest planets first for undoming.
4.7.7 Planet population markers tell how many people are generally on a planet. The marks appear in the top right corner of the planet. (Parasite)
Code:

Pop.(M) Dashes
0 0
1-200 I
201-1000 II
1001+ III



4.8 Planet Defense
4.8.1 Bases and Satellite Groups are placed around the planet randomly. This means that there's only about a 3 in 8 chance that they will be closer to the attackers than the planet itself. (Capnq)
4.8.2 In combat, a planet will launch any fighters and drones it has in storage when attacked. Fighters will be recovered, but drones will not. A planet will not launch satellites or mines while in combat. (Quikngruvn)The latest history.txt indicates that auto-launching of anti-planet drones will no longer occur after the v1.84 patch.
4.8.3 Early defense options: Build units (mines, fighters, satellites) and use the planet "Launch Units Remotely" button to deploy them from your cargo. Mines are a strong and popular option because they destroy anything your enemy can throw at you- and require your enemy to build minesweepers. Fighters are great, but will eventually be countered by point defense. Weapons Platforms are excellent for early defense, and will frag any early ship or small group of ships because of the benefits of Large Mount. Eventually, weapons platforms will be overwhelmed by enemy fleets, so your best defense against fleets will be fleets of your own. (Stone Mill)
4.8.4 Weapon platforms stored in a planet's cargo area provide the planet's main firepower and defense. See section 8.6 for more on WP's. Other units such as mines (section 8.4), satellites (section 8.7), drones (section 8.5), fighters (section 8.2) can be used also. Troops (section 8.3) will defend against planet capture. Bases (section ________) _________________By design, strong ships or fleets will always be able to overcome a strong planet defense. If it were the other way around, ultimately defenses would get too strong and empires would not be able to expand or take over other empires and the game would be at a stalemate. This basically means that you can't rely on units to adequately defend a planet. A fleet with minesweepers and adequate Point Defense will quickly wipe out mines, satellites, drones and fighters. Usually a fleet is stronger than a collection of Weapon Platforms and Defense Bases also. The best way to defend planets is with ships. Normally this is done by concentrating defenses at warp points instead of planets because it is more efficient and the "defender" at the warp point gets to fire first, and ships begin combat at close range.


4.9 Ring Worlds & Sphere Worlds

4.9.0 General
4.9.0.1 Ring Worlds & Sphere Worlds are extremely large planets that you can build after researching high levels of Stellar Manipulation.
4.9.0.2 All new players eventually desire to build these and they represent the epitome of empire development. You need to expend huge amounts of resources and time to build them so usually you have to have a significantly dominant position in the game before attempting this feat. To lose one of these planets to an enemy would be a devastating blow.
4.9.0.3 Ring Worlds and Sphere Worlds are not very practical for game terms. They take a long time to build and even longer to develop with facilities. It takes a long time indeed to recover building costs. They generally are not used in multiplayer games unless they are specifically needed for role playing purposes.
4.9.1 To Build a Ring worlds (or Sphere worlds) you need to: (Quikngruvn)
4.9.1.1 Research Stellar Manipulation to level 5 for Ringworlds (level 8 for Sphereworlds) and Base Construction to level 3.
4.9.1.2. Build on a star.
4.9.1.3. Create a Space yard ship (a ship that contains a spaceyard component)
4.9.1.4. Take the space yard ship to the star you want to build your world on.
4.9.1.5 Start building STARBASES containing the components you need for the Ring/Sphere world.
4.9.1.6 Once you have all necessary components, build go to the component activation icon to activate the construct - all the built star bases and components will disappear and you will have a ring/sphere world there instead.
4.9.2 NOTE: to speed construction (it takes awhile) you can construct bases housing more shipyards. (Taz-in-Space)
4.9.3 Ring- and sphereworlds count as both a star, and not a star. They count as not-a-star for purposes of planet building, solar panels, and star destroyers. They count as a star for purposes of building new stars (i.e.: you can't). (Suicide Junkie)
4.9.3.1 Ringworlds remove the star from a system, so solar collectors on drones will no longer collect supply, so they will quickly run out of supply. I would assume that would apply to Crystalline facility [Solar Generators] that produces resources per star as well (they would no longer produce). (LGM)
4.9.4 Ringworlds and Sphereworlds are made using your empire's default planet type and atmosphere. They are simply extra huge planets and must be colonized before you can use them.
4.9.5 To build a Ringworld you need 5 bases full with Hyper-Density Cables and 5 bases full with Planetary Gravity Plating, and one Ring World Placement Generator base, i.e. 11 bases. For a Sphereworld that is 10 Planetary Gravity Plating bases and 10 Hyper-Density Cables bases and 1 Sphere World Placement Generator base, i.e. 21 bases.
4.9.6 It is customary to use "Emergency Build" to speed up construction times.
4.9.7 When building Ringworlds, use the slow build turns of your Mobile shipyards when you are done building the RW parts to build weapon platforms, satellites, troops, and mines to place on your new ringworld. Never waste ringworld construction time building units - you built those buggers for the high facility limit so don't waste time building units or ships. (LGM)

________________________________ add to this

4.10 Growing your Empire
4.10.1 The following are some things that you can do to enhance your empire growth:
4.10.1.1 In the early game, expand quickly. _______________ see also section
4.10.1.2 Try to acquire other colonization techs as early as possible. This allows you to "expand internally" by colonizing more planets within your borders. Beg, borrow, buy, steal or research them before your opponents to gain a significant advantage. _______________ see also section
4.10.1.3 _________________ Keep an eye on your reproduction rates on your planets. Keep your population happy (see section _________________) and improve your planet conditions (see section ______________) to improve your reproduction rates on each planet. See also section 4.7.1.
4.10.1.4 Build Population Transports to move your population out of planets that are full to planets that are nearly empty. This allows your previously full planets to continue breeding population since a full planet won't make any more population for you. This also raises production and construction rates on all your planets. _______________ see also section Use caution in not lowering populations too low. Small transports are fine for this since larger transports can really drain a planet of its population. Small transports can also be put on "repeat orders" with less of a risk of completely draining a planet. A rough rule of thumb: a good number of population transports is about 1 per system in your empire. In between moving population around, these transports can be used to ferry units around too.
4.10.1.5 Try to acquire "other breathing" population as early as possible. This allows you to use your Population Transports to "expand internally" by moving these new colonists to the your colonies with the proper atmosphere and "undoming" the planet. This effectively increases a planet's facility slots, cargo and population capacity by a factor of 5! Cliche: Beg, borrow, buy or steal them before your opponents to gain a significant advantage. _______________ see also section and section _________________ to keep these colonists happy. Once you get your hands on other-breathing population, guard them well until you can move them to the safety of your protected systems. Once there, have your Population Transports start distributing them to the proper planets.
4.10.1.6 Trade. Aside from the things mentioned above, trading for things can save you time and research points. _________________ , comm channels, ...
4.10.1.7 Anything that makes your opponent(s) weaker or smaller will effectively make your empire larger in comparison. There are some friendly and not-so-friendly ways to accomplish this _________________
4.10.1.8 Improving planets _________________ (See section 4.11)


4.10.1.9 ________maybe move this to the next section ____________ If a planet is dedicated to producing resources, its output can be drastically increased by building the resource bonus facilities. For individual planets:
4.10.1.9.1 Mineral Scanners will improve mineral production.
4.10.1.9.2 Hybrid Eco-Farms will improve organic production.
4.10.1.9.3 Radioactives Colliders will improve radioactives production.
4.10.1.9.4 Robotoid Factories will improve mineral, organic and radioactives production, but not as efficiently as the dedicated facilities.
4.10.1.9.5 Central Computer Complexes will improve research production.
4.10.1.9.6 Citizen Databanks will improve intelligence production.
4.10.1.10 For each of the facilities listed in 4.10.1.9 above, there is a higher version available that improves production for the entire system. And these facilities stack with the planetary ones.

4.10.1.11


increasing spaceyards (bsy's) _________________
exploration _________________
4.10.1.12 Remote mining_________________ See also section 4.6.
4.10.1.13 Creating planets out of asteroids. See also section 9.5.1.
_________________ cross reference each.

4.11 Improving & Modifying Planets
4.11.1 There are several things you can do to improve your planets. Most of these involve building some kind of improvement facility. Researching Planetary Engineering and then Planet Utilization gives you access to different facilities that will improve planet value, planet conditions, or even change the atmosphere to make it breathable.
4.11.2 Building a Spaceyard will improve your planet's construction rate and allow building ships and bases.
4.11.3 Research in the different areas of the different resources will give you access to improved versions of the resource collection facilities and at high research levels will give you access to facilities that will improve all resource collection on the planet. Researching Industry then Computers will give you access to facilities which will improve resource collection for an entire system.
4.11.4 Using population that breathes the planet's atmosphere will "undome" the planet and give you more room for facilities and cargo. See also sections 4.7 and 4.10.
4.11.5 You can protect a planet by building various units (see section 8.0) or bases (see section 5.12). Building a Spaceyard Base is a good way to build defensive ships and units while allowing the spaceyard on the planet continue to build facilites.
___________ planet shields
_____________ cargo facility -> wp's on moons.

______________________________

4.12 Improving & Modifying Systems See also section 9.4
4.12.1 Much of the same ideology described in 4.11 above applies to improving systems. The main difference is that____________
________________ cloak detection, upc, system computers, lrs, racial facilities: (maint, combat, damage, shield, population, happiness), myriad of defenses, SM: (warp point manips, planets, storms, ...), system shields,

________________________ openers & closers to optimize your empire, see section________ on openers and closers.

===============================

5.0 Ships & Bases ________________ need section on bases.

5.1 Attack & Defense Ships
5.1.1 These designations only matter to the AI. Defense ships will stay in the AI's claimed territory. Attack ships will go anywhere. (Capnq)

5.1.2 Direct Fire Weapon Ships __________________ short range, long range, reload rate,

5.1.3 Missile Ships __________________ max range, no need combat sensors,

5.1.4 Carriers __________________ don't get hurt, missiles to assist, no need combat sensors

5.1.5 Boarding Ships __________________ drops shields, BP's, crew quarters, security sta, shield regen,

5.1.6 Ramming Ships __________________ armor, not shields, setting.txt... cobalt warheads, organic armor.

5.1.7 Drone Ships ____________________
5.1.8 Special Weapons Ships __________________
5.1.9 Combination Ships __________________ not good for tactical
5.1.10 __________________
5.1.11 __________________
5.1.12 __________________
5.1.13 __________________


5.2 Support Ships

_____________ Some examples of useful types of support ships are: "tankers" with lots of supply storage and supply generation components, "tenders" with Repair Bays or Space Yard components, and "point-defense ships" with lots of Point - Defense Cannons and at least one other weapon. "Hospital ships" with Medical Bays are used to stop plagues. (Capnq)

5.2.1 Mine Layers
5.2.1.1 Mine Layers use the Mine Laying component to store and launch mines in selected sectors. Researching Construction, then Mines gives access to Mines, Mine Laying and Mine Sweeping components. Continued research in Mines will give improved versions of each.
____________________ cloak, for more on mines, see section ______________

5.2.2 Mine Sweepers _______________
5.2.1.1 Mine Sayers use the Mine Saying component to sweep Mines. Researching Construction, then Mines gives access to Mines, Mine Laying and Mine Sweeping components. Continued research in Mines will give improved versions of each.
, for more on mines, see section ______________

5.2.3 Satellite Layers
5.2.3.1 Satellite Layers use the Satellite Bay component to store and launch satellites in selected sectors. All empires start the game with the first level of Satellites already researched. Continued research in Satellites will give improved versions of each.
______________ similar use to mine layers _______________ , for more on satellites, see section ______________

5.2.4 Supply ships _______________
5.2.4.1 You can build supply ships to help extend your fleet's range. These ships will have supply storage, emergency resupply pod, and/or a quantum reactor. A precaution on using an emergency resupply pod is that the ship must be temporarily removed from the fleet to use the pod and when the pod is used, the supplies are immediately transferred to the ship that used the pod. Since the supply ship is not in the fleet at this time and the transfer of supplies to other ships in the fleet occurs at the end of the turn, any supply from the pod which is more than the supply ship can hold is lost. Make sure you build your supply ships to be able to receive the entire contents of a pod to make your fleet more efficient.
5.2.4.2 I like to make the all in one support ship. A ship that has cargo for troops, Mine sweepers and Repair all built into one. (Plus it is also the EM scanner [anti-cloak scanner] ship) This helps with making the ship very useful in 3 roles. Add a q.r. [Quantum Reactor] or some supplies as well to finish it off. As all ships should have spent 20kt on the supply bay. (Tesco Samoa)

5.2.5 Medical Ships
5.2.5.1 Medical Ships are used to cure plagues. These ships make use of a Medical Bay, which can be obtained by researching Biology, then Medical Technology. There are 5 levels of plagues labeled I through V; there are levels of Medical Bays labeled I through V. A plague level "X" can be cured by a Medical Bay level "X" or higher. This is done by moving a ship with a Medical Bay to the sector with the plagued planet. Curing the plague is automatic. For more information on plagues see section 6.6.1.
5.2.5.2 Plagues are rather rare so some players won't spend the research on Medical Technology and choose to accept the loss of a plagued planet.
5.2.5.3 You don't have to make dedicated Medical Ships. A Medical Bay can be put on an auxiliary ship or better yet, on a Population Transport since these ships visit many planets anyway. _______________________________

5.2.6 Scouts & Reconnaissance Ships
5.2.6.1 The primary function of these ships is to explore unknown systems. Important things to discover are: enemy presence and strength, enemy borders, colonizable planets, ruins, and a general knowledge of the quadrant. Knowing these things before your opponents will enable you to seize the initiative in these areas. You can colonize the best planets, get ruins first and set up defenses to maximize your empire size and strength.
5.2.6.2 The ideal Scouts and Recon ships are designed to be fast and with lots of supply for long range. They should have some kind of cloak detecting sensor, Long Range Scanner to see enemy designs, and Minesweeping capability. Normally they are lightly armed if at all and try to avoid combat. They have cloaking technology so that they can stealthily spy on other empires. They normally use armor instead of shields since they are not designed for combat and shields don't protect against mines or damaging warp points or other damaging sectors. Since you have all this high technology on these ships, you don't want them captured so a Self Destruct Device will prevent your opponent from capturing the ship and gaining lots of technology (SSD won't protect against the "Crew Insurrection" Intel project). Obviously it is difficult to include all these abilities on your scouts, especially in the early game so you must decide which to research and include.

5.2.7 Point Defense Ships
__________________________________

5.2.5 Spaceyard & Repair Ships
5.2.5.1 Having a spaceyard ship as part of your fleet will allow you to do many good things. You can retrofit your fleet while out in space. You can repair damage; a ship with repair bays can repair more damaged components per kt than a spaceyard, though. You can repair Emergency Propulsion Pods and Emergency Resupply Pods, which cannot be repaired with a repair bay in v1.84. You can mothball & unmothball ships. You can analyze captured ships. You can build replacement ships and units - building replacement units while a fleet is not moving is a good use of your SY ship. You can scrap ships; rarely used, but useful for captured enemy ships which are too weak or too low in tech to keep around.
5.2.5.2 ______________________ mobile spaceyard ships for ringworld, sphereworld
5.2.5.3 ______________________ mobile spaceyard ships for hiding in storm or nebula
5.2.5.4 _______________________repair ships

5.2.6 Transports (Cargo, Troop, etc.)
5.2.6.1 I like to make a few "Dump Trucks" which are large transports with almost all cargo. Sometimes I put some Satellite or Mine layers on them to make them a little more flexible. Keeping one of these with your fleet allows you to carry enormous amounts of junk that you might want to carry around with you like extra population, troops, weapon platforms, replacement fighters, etc. If you have a spaceyard ship with your fleet and your fleet is stationary for at least 1 turn, you can "build 1 turn's worth" of something and the items will be placed in your Dump Truck for future use.
5.2.6.2 _______________________ supply ships
5.2.6.3 See also section ______________________ for troop transports.

5.2.7 Deleted - redundant.

5.2.8 Stellar Manipulation Ships
5.2.8.1 Battleship Planetmaker: I like to design my planetmaker on a BB hull because I like to use a spaceyard instead of a repair bay to repair the Matter Gravity Sphere (used to create the planets from asteroids). The reason I use a spaceyard is that I also include an Emergency Propulsion component to zip around. These stellar manipulation ships cost lots of maintenance so I want to minimize time in transit. Emergency Propulsion components cannot be repaired by a Repair Bay so they need a spaceyard component to repair them.
________________________ see also SM section

5.3 Ship Management
5.3.1 Mothballing is free and stops the ship from needing maintenance costs. Mothballing a ship will reset its experience to 0%. Unmothballing costs 20%. (settings.txt)
5.3.2 _________________________Leaving queues 1 turn away from completion.
5.3.3 __________________________using fleets. See also section _______________
5.3.4 _________________________ training and upgrading. See also section _______________
5.3.5 _________________________ ship strategies. See also section _______________
_______________ repeat orders
_______________ spaceyard move to

5.4 Supply and Resupply
5.4.0 General
5.4.0.1 Supplies are required for ships to operate correctly. Supplies are used for ship movement, firing weapons and for raising shields. If a ship is out of supplies, it won't be able to raise its shields, fire its weapons, and _______________ movement. Supplies are stored in a ship's engines and any Supply Storage components it may have. ____________________ Planets, units and Bases do not require supplies per se; they always have unlimited supplies and can't run out. _____________ not solar collectors
5.4.1 To Resupply a ship, pass a planet that has a resupply depot. If you make a full stop to the next turn you get a full resupply, if you just touch and go you will get an almost full resupply (the ship uses supplies during the voyage away from the depot). (Silent Sorrow, Derek, Gandalph, Quikngruvn )
5.4.2 Bases and satellites have unlimited supplies.
5.4.3 Cloaking devices uses supplies. (components.txt)
5.4.4 Bonus engine movement and the solar sail does cause supplies to be used. To calculate supply usage for ship movement, it's (Total_Movement) * (Total_Engine_Supplies_Used). ___________ fix this.
5.4.6 Ok, I confirmed that the fighter resupply bug is inherent to unmodded SE4 Gold at least in v1.84. A fighter stack will not be resupplied at a Resupply Depot if the RD is on a moon. They get resupplied fine if the RD is not on a moon. This has been reported to MM.
5.4.7 Researching "Supply" gives you Supply Pods and ultimately the Quantum Reactor. __________________________

5.4.8 Q: How do I use an Emergency Resupply Pod?
Q: ______________________

___________ fighter resupply at planets and carriers

5.5 Repairs and Retrofitting
5.5.0 See also Section 14.0.2 for information on when the cost of retrofitting is deducted.
5.5.1 A damaged ship will be repaired if it is in the same sector as a planet with a Space Yard facility, or a ship or base with a Repair Bay or Space Yard component. (capnq)
5.5.2 The order in which repairs are performed is set with (F11) Empire Status/Repair Priorities. Clearing the priorities list will leave only the component types that you have the technology to build; more entries become available when you research the corresponding techs. (capnq)
5.5.3 Ships are repaired in the order they are listed in the fleet transfer screen. (Douglas) "Repair Priorities" only applies to the ship currently being repaired, and does not affect which ship gets repaired first. See also section 5.13 for an explanation of ship ID and how it affects retrofits.
5.5.4 If a ship is fully repaired, any excess repair ability in a sector will be carried over to other damaged ships in the sector. This process repeats till either all ships are repaired or the repair facilities/components have repaired as much as they can in a turn. (Quikngruvn)
5.5.5 Multiple repair bays will work on a single ship or base. Three repair bays fit perfectly on a Space Station. If they are Repair Bays 3, that's 24 components repaired per turn right there (with very low maintenance), which can make for speedy retrofits. Multiple repair bays on dedicated repair ships can greatly increase the lifespan of fleets at the front lines. (Quikngruvn)
5.5.5.1 The repair capability in a sector is determined as follows: The total repair capacity of all Spaceyard and Repair components of all planet(s), ship(s), and base(s) are added up. The total is then multiplied by your racial characteristic for Repair Aptititude (50% to 150%; i.e. multiply by 0.5 to 1.5) and by any modifiers from Culture (i.e. "Berzerkers" causes a -2% repair rate so you would multipy by 0.98 for this), then any fractions are rounded down. The total would be the number of repaired components that would be fixed in that sector on that turn.
5.5.6 Ships and bases can be retrofitted to another design at a spaceyard (located at a planet, ship or base). The Retrofit option appears under Scrap/Analyze/Mothball (hotkey G). The new design must have the same hull size as the old one, and have a combined total cost in resources of no more than 150% of the old design. Designs more than 150% apart can be retrofitted by designing one or more intermediate versions. (capnq)

5.5.7 [An article on Retrofitting by Alneyan. Some concepts discussed here are also discussed in other sections of the FAQ, but this is a great summary.] Retrofitting allows you to "transform" a ship of a certain design into another, at a higher price. The targeted design can only be 50% (or less) more expensive than the original design, all resources added. For instance, a basic ship costing 15,000 minerals could be retrofitted to a design costing 10,000 minerals, 2,000 organics and 10,000 radioactives (total 22,000 resources, while the limit was 22,500 resources).

The added cost of retrofitting is +20% per component added (so adding a component normally costing 400 minerals will cost 480 minerals), and 30% of the cost of any removed component. You will also have to pay maintenance for your ships being retrofitted, although the total maintenance should be lower than for the full design.

Any added component will be "broken" when added, though having broken components does not affect retrofitting in any way. Lastly, retrofitting does not allow you to add spaceyards or colony modules to a ship not having any such component to begin with. If your ship had an Ice module, you would however be able to retrofit it in a Gas colonizer.

* Once again, retrofitting has several uses:
- It helps speed up the construction of these expensive ships, namely Stellar Manipulation vessels. Building one of the cheaper Stellar Manipulation components (the Matter Gravity Sphere, or the Ionic components if possible) to retrofit them into Warp Openers or Planet Creators is a very effective way of getting these ships more quickly, especially in conjunction with Emergency building.

Be warned that the actual retrofit is very expensive, generally around 80,000 minerals and 60,000 radioactives to retrofit a Planet Creator into a Warp Opener. Because of this, you should have a few storage facilities and a balanced economy before attempting any massive Stellar Manipulation project.

- Retrofitting is also used to virtually increase your number of spaceyards. In other words, you would create a cheaper design, built one turn earlier than the full ship, and would "finish" the ship through a single retrofit in orbit. This does not usually result in ships being completed earlier, but increases your construction abilities. For example, if the original ship required four turns to build, but the retrofitted Version needs three turns, you can build 33% more ships than before.

This will require you to have at least decent repair abilities, and some resources to spare since it is somewhat more expensive than the regular way. It remains quite useful as a temporary adjustment of your construction abilities however; if you have too many resources, you can thus boost your construction rates, while waiting for more spaceyards to come Online. And when/if you lack resources, simply go back to the original design not requiring any retrofit.

- The last main use of retrofits is for retroseries, where a given ship is retrofitted several times before being "finished". This way is the most expensive in resources (although by the time it is widespread, you should not have too many problems with economics), and requires some micromanagement as well. It will significantly improve your construction rates however, as such ships can often be completed in half the time originally needed. [Thanks for a great discussion on Retrofitting, Alneyan!]

5.5.6.1 Q: How exactly do I retrofit?
A: a) Create your new design and ensure that the total resources (minerals + organics + rads) is not greater than 150% of the total resources of the original ship. If you want to retrofit to a more expensive design, you need to make multiple steps, each with no more than 150% increase.
b) Move your ship to a sector with a spaceyard, either planet based or on a ship/base works fine.
c) Click on any one of the ships in that sector then click the green triangle (retrofit, scrap, analyze, etc) (Hotkey G) for a new window.
d) Select the ship you want to retrofit, then click the retrofit button.
e) A new window pops up with all available designs that you can retrofit to. Select your desired upgrade ship.
f) Click OK.
g) Your ship is now retrofitted and any new components must be repaired by the spaceyard. Once repaired you are good to go. Note that if you retrofit engines and you don't have a Resupply Depot on the planet, you could end up with a ship with 0 supplies because retrofitted engines come with no supplies.

5.5.6.2 You can choose multiple ships to retrofit, but all ships has to be the same class (The name you've given the design), after you've chosen them you can choose ships from another class in the same sector in the same turn and order them to retrofit as well.
5.5.6.3 It doesn't matter what type (Attack ship, defense ship...) you retrofit from, you can change type freely.
5.5.6.4 You cannot add a space yard or colony module to a ship that doesn't already have one. This can be turned on/off in settings.txt.

5.5.7 Units cannot be retrofitted. (capnq)
5.5.8 A faster, but more expensive, method to build ships is to use a retroseries. First, build a basic version of the ship, usually taking a single turn. Then retrofit through a series of designs which gradually add components to the ship. Remember, though, that there can only be a 50% difference in total cost. If you are building a stellar manipulation ship (which has a single very expensive component), you can use any combination of components to get the total cost close enough to the amount needed to add the stellar manip. component, at which point the other components can be removed. (Krsqk, Imperator Fyron)
5.5.8.1 "Retroseries Building" _________________________
5.5.9 Engines that are retrofit to a different engine type lose all supplies, unless they also have Supply Storage components. Ensure you retrofit engines over a resupply depot. (DirectorTsaarx, Quikngruvn) Retrofit engines three (or half) at a time and only lose supplies to what the leftover/repaired engines can hold. (Parasite)
5.5.10 If you retrofit (captured, insurrected, or gifted) ships with special racial technology components that your race does not possess, you will lose those components. (DirectorTsaarx)
5.5.11 A space yard ship with a repair bay is an excellent way to refit ships in forward positions. (DirectorTsaarx)
5.5.12 Ships can't be retrofit while in a fleet (it caused problems in 1.49, and is not even possible in Gold). (Quikngruvn)
5.5.13 Ships with a space yard can't build while cloaked but can repair while cloaked. (icon changes from "space yard" to "repair" while cloaked. The cloaked ship does not appear in construction queue. (Suicide Junkie)
5.5.14 Cloaked ships can't be retrofitted.
5.5.15 Emergency supply & propulsion pods need a space yard (not repair bay) to repair.
5.5.16 Retrofitting a ship does not affect its crew experience.
5.5.17 Retrofitting cost 120%, 30% for component removal. This is seen only on the retrofit screen. (settings.txt)
5.5.18 Repairs cost no resources.
5.5.19 Space yard III and Repair Bay III both repair 8 per turn; all planet Space yard facilities only repair 5 per turn. Moral: better to repair in space.
5.5.20 Space yard ships can repair & retrofit while moving, assuming the ship it is repairing/retrofitting can move. Space yard ships cannot build while moving. Attempting to move a space yard ship that is building something results in an error message and no movement, building continues. (Suicide Junkie)
5.5.21 You can get ripped off on upgrading ships. Check that you are not upgrading engines of the same type from I to II or III - no benefit except lower maintenance cost, but additional retrofit cost. Master computers, almost the same thing, slight decrease in size is the only benefit, usually not worth the cost. Check every component to see if there is enough of a benefit to make it worth the cost.
5.5.22 Retrofitting a damaged ship makes sense, it had to be repaired anyway; may as well have it repair upgraded components. Also if a ship will take several turns to retrofit/repair, mothballing it will allow you to save on the maintenance costs. Don't forget that mothballing will reset crew experience to 0%. For clarification, you can retrofit a mothballed ship or base. Sometimes it is advantageous to mothball the ship/base first before retrofitting so that you don't pay maintenance while repairs are in progress.
5.5.23 You cannot repair technology that you don't possess (i.e. beyond your current research, special, racial, etc.) from stolen/gifted ships.
5.5.24 You cannot retrofit a ship which is carrying cargo even if the cargo components are not being changed.
5.5.25 If you fleet a space yard ship, you can't select the ship for building, but it continues to build what it was building. You can access the ship from the construction queue (button with the wrench on it) to alter the queue. (Suicide Junkie)
5.5.26 You cannot retrofit a ship to include a Colony Module or a Space Yard if one was not present on the ship already. (settings.txt)(Quikngruvn) However, if the original ship did have a Colony Module or Space Yard, you can upgrade it or change it or even remove it.
5.5.27 See also section 14.0.2. All refits, successful or not, are shown in the log as "vehicle retrofit". This can be misleading because the retrofit may have failed due to lack of resources or too much of a percent change in its components. You can only tell by highlighting entry and looking at center panel to see if it was successful.
5.5.27 [From a discussion on retrofitting old ships] Other use for obsolete frigates is to add a repair component to them and make them repair ships that still can be useful in the line of battle. Another use for obsolete escort and frigates is to add cargo components and use them as troop transports or faster transports for units, since they can have more engines than the traditional transports (while the traditional transports are more cost-effective, these "fast transports" can help you to transport badly needed units faster to the front). (Makinus)

5.6 Fleets
5.6.1 Fleet supplies are shared (evenly, regardless of ship size) at the end of each turn. 1 quantum reactor will top off the fleet. ships can still have supply problems in combat if they don't have QR's.
5.6.1.1 Clarification: Ships have their supplies topped off at the end of each turn if they are in a fleet with a QR. During that turn, supplies are consumed normally by movement. If combat occurs at any point in the middle of the turn, ships will begin combat with whatever their current supply level is.
5.6.2 If you have a Fleet Training Facility, it is a good idea to generate a few 1-ship fleets at that planet. After the fleet experience is maxxed out, you will have these fleets in stand-by waiting to be filled with ships and off you go.
5.6.3 Fleets can be used for a number of purposes. In general, they are used as a convenient means of grouping ships that share a common goal or set of orders. They can also be used to add experience to ships. If the fleet has experience > 0%, that experience is added to its ships. See also section 5.7. Another reason to group ships into a fleet is so that they share supplies.
5.6.4 The fleet will always move together and this will be at the speed of the slowest ship in the fleet. If there is a damaged ship in the fleet that has a low (or worse zero) movement, the fleet will be significantly slowed (or stopped). In this case, you must decide to protect the damaged ship(s) and wait for repairs or abandon the straggler(s) to allow the fleet to move on.
5.6.5 There is a means of creating a temporary fleet. To do this, shift-left-click the ships in the sector you want to group. This temporary fleet will move together for the first turn only, and after that, each ship will move at its maximum speed. This is a convenient way to give a number of ships the same order, but not necessarily require them to move together.
5.6.6 In multiplayer games, ship names are visible to your opponents, but fleet names are not. Players will disguise their ship names to confuse the enemy. But this is not necessary for fleets so feel free to give your fleets names that will help you manage them more easily. In fact, your opponents can't tell if your ships are in a fleet or not. If they move together and stay in the same sector, it's probable that they are in a fleet, but there is no way to tell for sure.
5.6.7 _____________ break formation
5.6.8 ________________ fleet strategies
5.6.9 _______________ ideal fleet makeup
5.6.10 _________________

5.7 Training & Experience
5.7.1 A ship will gain benefits from a training center even if it is cloaked.
5.7.2.1 Ships lose fleet experience when they leave fleet, since the fleet bonus on applies only to the ships currently in the fleet.
5.7.2.2 Fleet experience adds to the individual ship's experience while the ship is in the fleet. The total experience from crew and fleet percentages adds to "less likely to be hit" and "more likely to hit with direct fire weapons" chances.
5.7.2.3 As long as the fleet always has at least one ship in it, the experience remains. (Phoenix)
5.7.3 Experience. 20% Experience (whether gained from training or combat) would give your ships a 20% less-likely-to-be-hit modifier and a 20% more-likely-to-hit-with-direct-fire-weapons modifier.
5.7.4 Every time one of your ships destroys an enemy ship, your ship earns 1% experience. Tonnage doesn't matter. The easiest way to get experience is to build training facilities. (shyrka, Imperator Fyron, Dumbluck, Arkcon).
5.7.5 If two ships contribute to a kill, the one who deals the killing blow gets the experience. (Grypin, Arkcon).
5.7.6 Training a missile ship will not make its missiles more likely to hit, but it will still be more likely to be missed by enemy direct-fire weapons. (Quikngruvn)
5.7.7 Fighters gain fleet experience bonuses (Suicide Junkie)
5.7.8 Racial experience has no meaning, a theory has it that it's a feature that isn't implemented. (Mylon, Taz-in-Space)
5.7.9 Destroying an enemy with seekers does not give experience. This is expected to be fixed in the next patch. It is supposed to be fixed by the history.txt entry, but still appears to be not working.
5.7.10 For each kill made by a ship in a fleet, there is a 25% chance that the fleet gets 0.1% experience. (Asmala)
5.7.11 Ramming does give experience when it leads to destroying another ship.
5.7.12 The descriptive names associated with experience is as follows:
Code:
Novice        0-5% bonus 
Experienced 5-10% bonus
Veteran 10-20% bonus
Elite 20-30% bonus
Legendary 30-50% bonus
Ship and Fleet Experience appear to be capped at 50%



5.7.13 _________________ removing the last ship in a fleet...

5.7.14 Planets with Ship and/or Fleet Training facilities.
5.7.14.1 Training facilities can be obtained by researching ____________. Higher levels of a given facility increase the rate that experience increases as well as the maximum amount of experience that can be obtained at the facility.
5.7.14.2 It is usually a good idea to put both a Ship Training Facility and a Fleet Training Facility in the same sector; that way all training can happen simultaneously. Because of the way the game works, there is somewhat of an exploit that some players use by putting training facilities on planets and moons in the same sector. This gets around the restriction of only being able to put one ship/fleet training facility on a planet. If this is done, the training rate will be increased by the number of ship/fleet training advantages in the sector. If you consider this an exploit, make sure you get agreement by other players before starting a game.
5.7.14.3 At your training planets, make lots of fleets. Initially you should make as many 1-ship fleets as possible. That way if you need to pump out a ship/fleet in a hurry, you can put it into one of these fleets for an instant 20% bonus. If the ship can wait there to be fully trained, it can get a 20% + 20% = 40% bonus. This may be a little cheezy, but you can even make 1-ship fleets with mothballed ships. The mothballed ship won't get experience but the dummy fleet will eventually max out. You can then make specialized super fast small ships to ferry these fully trained "fleets" out to your front lines if necessary.
5.7.14.4 [The following] does not take cheesiness into account, and merely states what is possible to do that does not sound so obvious (it does not include anything involving abusing allies or the like). Use fighters for your fleet training needs. They travel on their own, do not need a SY, and so can be built at that useless one facility planet without wasting SY-time. Fighters also do not cost anything at all to maintain, unlike ships. (Alneyan)

5.8 Orders
5.8.1 To change a ship's current orders, use Clear Orders (hotkey Delete) first. (capnq)
5.8.2 Ships must leave fleet to be refit or do specialized functions (use emergency supply, etc.) Actually, you don't have to leave a fleet to build a ship; you just can't access the build screen directly from the fleet. (i.e., when you have the fleet selected on the main screen, the "build queue" icon won't light up). HOWEVER, if you go to the Construction Queues screen, you should be able to find the appropriate spaceyard ship/base in the list and you can add items to the queue from there. I do this for building ringworlds/sphereworlds - not only is it easier on the eyes to have all those ships in a single fleet, if you access the queues from the construction queues screen you can do use multi-add for setting up builds on the plating or cables. (DirectorTsaarx)
5.8.3 Long range scanning. You first must be within the range of your LRS (check the component details for the range for the level of you particular LRS). You must then manually click on an enemy ship in range to scan. You then can click on its components tab or cargo tab, etc. to view it unless it has a Scanner Jammer or Scattering Armor which also blocks LRS's. LRS does not work on planets. The design does not show up in your enemy designs list until you actually get into combat with it so if you really want to keep this info, you must write it down. I reported this to MM as a bug. It is reported as fixed in the latest patch, but not tested.
5.8.4 Mothballing a ship resets its crew experience to 0%.
5.8.5 Don't mothball your last space yard ship in a fleet - you need an active space yard to unmothball.
5.8.6 Scrapped ships and facilities return 30% of resources - this is without any modifiers like a recycling plant. (settings.txt)
5.8.7 "Sweep Mines" can be used if you are in a sector and just had a battle with the enemy and he dropped mines during combat. Using this command would sweep the mines in the sector without having you move to another sector then move back (Shyrka)
5.8.9 To give multiple ships in the same sector the "Sentry" order, shift-left-click them all, then manually left click one of them and give it the "sentry" order. That will put all of the originally selected ships on "Sentry". For some reason, the Sentry button doesn't light up when shift clicking multiple ships.
5.8.10 "Sentry" orders basically has the ship stay at its current location. Ships on "Sentry" duty will be skipped when cycling through ships to give orders so this is a good way to cut down on micromanagement. A ship on "Sentry" duty will automatically clear its "Sentry" order when it detects an enemy ship. In this case, if you had put any additional orders in the ship's order queue, the ship will begin executing the next order(s). In any case, when the "Sentry" order is cleared the ship will then be included in the be included in the ship cycle each turn to receive new orders.
5.8.11 If you want to remove a ship/fleet from the order cycle for the current turn only, a trick is to give it "Move To" orders to its current sector. This will will not cause the ship/fleet to actually do anything or use any supplies. On the next turn, it will again be without orders.
5.8.12 Q: I have a ship/fleet on "Sentry" duty guarding [warp point, planet, etc.]. I just want it to stay there forever on guard duty. Enemy presence is high and the ship/fleet clears its "Sentry" orders each turn. I think it is a great pain to keep giving it new "Sentry" orders each turn! How can I just tell my ship/fleet to STAY there on "Sentry" duty?
A: A neat interface trick to overcome this situation is to use different orders instead of "Sentry". Use: "Move To" your current location, then "Repeat orders". Your ship/fleet will stay there forever. It won't expend any supplies unless it goes into combat. It will engage any enemies that enter its sector. When any combat is completed it will keep these orders such that it will never bother you again during ship rotation. It will stay like this until it the end of the game, it gets destroyed, or you manually clear its orders.

5.8.13 The "repeat orders" command can be very useful. I won't go into all the different ways to use it here but I'll cover 2. First for simultaneous games, you launch mines, sats, or fighters from planets automatically by using this command after the first launch. Second, you can automate collection of units. For example you can have every planet in a system making fighters, then using a small/medium transport, you can automate picking up the units from all the planets and dumping them at the largest planet. Then with a larger transport or carrier, you can stop off at the large planet to load full of fighters while it is on its way to the front lines. Most repeatable tasks can be automated this way. You still may need to check in periodically with ships repeating their orders. Occasionally they will stop repeating their orders when they try to load/drop cargo with cargo storage areas that are full.

5.8.14 A: How do I capture more than one planet per turn in simultaneous games?
A: Using your Capture Planet Fleet: "attack planet 1, load troops from planet 1, attack planet 2, load troops from planet 2, etc" for orders. Sometimes a fleet gets stuck in the middle of all these orders, but it usually works.

5.8.15 Your exploration ships do not have to stop when entering an unexplored system. You can order them to "move to" a random sector in the system, such as the far side or center, after the "warp" order. The ship will merrily continue on it's way. (Imperator Fyron)


_______________________ cover other orders ... mothballing,

5.9 Cloaking
5.9.1 You can launch/recover fighters/mines(not recover)/satellites, transfer cargo (or population), resource mine while cloaked.
5.9.2 You cannot colonize while cloaked.
5.9.3 Ships will decloak when out of supplies
5.9.4 Cloaked ships can get into combat if they encounter ships with right sensors that can "see" them.
5.9.5 You need to have > 0 supplies to cloak, even if using stealth armor which uses no supplies.
5.9.6 Cloaked ships can't be retrofitted.
5.9.7 To see a cloaked (level X) ship, you only need 1 kind of sensor (hyper optic, tachyon, gravitic, temporal, psychic) level X in the system. This sensor can be on any of your ships, bases or satellites, your ally's ship's or satellites (even the ship/sat that is cloaked!!!). This does not take into account storm/nebula effects.
5.9.8 Cloaked ships cannot perform stellar manipulation. (Quikngruvn)
5.9.9 Cloaked ships cannot sweep mines. (DavidG). A cloaked minesweeper will not uncloak to sweep a minefield.
5.9.10 Attacking with Cloaked ships/fleets: You must first give the order to Decloak before an attack. (Stone Mill) Only one ship in the fleet needs to be decloaked. (Grandpa Kim)
5.9.11 See also section ___________________ on the Cloaking Minister.

5.10 Movement
5.10.1 Giving a ship orders to move to place X, then before ship reaches X, giving it orders to move to place Y will NOT cancel move to place X. Instead you will now move to place X and then move to place Y! (Taz-in-Space)
5.10.2 Ships will NOT jump to a forbidden system, nor move through it [if given orders to move long distances]. You have to make it move manually [by explicitly ordering the ship to warp into that system]. (TerranC)
5.10.3 If you play a simultaneous game and you have the option "Clear orders when ship enters a system with enemy presence" in "Empire Options" (Found in the Empire Screen which is under the crown symbol) the ships will stop at the warp point they entered the system in if there are enemies there. You may lose several move points this way. (Ruatha)
5.10.4 The difference between "Move to" and "Attack" is only noticeable in simultaneous games (Multiplayer), not in sequential games (One player against the AI). "Move" means your ship is to move to a particular location. If an enemy ship happens to be at that location, you have combat. "Attack" means your ship is to "close" with the enemy for a battle. So, when the enemy moves, your ship adjusts its course to close the distance between the two ships and have combat. (Tbontob, Shyrka)
5.10.5 Under "Empire Options" you can designate "Systems to Avoid". No ship will enter one of these systems unless you order it to go there directly. This means that ships on minister control or if given an order to move multiple systems away, will not go through that system.
5.10.6 Q: Is there any way to tell ships not to clear orders when go through damaging warp point? It's very annoying when there is black hole on the other side of the warp point and the warp point is two squares away from black hole... You can guess what happens, it's impossible to go through that system.
A(Baron Munchausen): There is a game setting to not clear orders when encountering enemy ships but I don't know of any setting for getting damaged by 'terrain' features. I think you are stuck with this one.
5.10.7 You can force your ships to take certain routes by blocking sectors by using CTRL+T and marking the sector as a minefield. Then selecting "Avoid minefields" in the Empire Options the ships will avoid that sector. By cleverly placing these markers you may get your ships to pass over your resupply depots.
5.10.8 In simultaneous games, when entering an unknown system you don't have to just press "Warp" through that unknown worm hole and let the ship stop on the other side. After giving the "warp" order open the unknown system and give the ship a "move to" order and press somewhere in that unknown system where you want the ship to go. Next turn it will warp through and then execute the next order which is to move where you pointed. You are flying blind but usually in the right direction and it will speed up exploration as the ship doesn't have to stop after each worm-hole. (Ruatha)
5.10.9 _______________ blurb or cross reference to ship id issue

5.11 Cargo Handling and Launching
5.11.0.1 For this section, "cargo" is any of the following while on a planet or in a ship's cargo: population, mines, troops, weapon platforms, satellites, drones or fighters.
5.11.1 There are three different cargo handling commands. Transfer Cargo (hotkey T) gives you complete manual control over what goes where. Load Cargo (L) and Drop Cargo (D) will automatically move all that they can of one type of cargo. (CapnQ)
5.11.2 Launchable units (drones, fighters, mines, and satellites) have a parallel set of orders: Launch/Recover Units (U), Launch Units Remotely (I), and Recover Units Remotely (O). (CapnQ)
5.11.3 A ship needs the specific launch component to "launch" or "recover" the appropriate unit. Any type of launch or cargo component can "transfer" any of the units or even population. i.e. A satellite bay can pick up mines at one planet and drop them at another planet but cannot launch the mines into space. Planets can launch and recover units without needing any special facilities. (CapnQ, Grandpa Kim)
5.11.4 Drones and mines cannot be recovered once launched. Drones and Mines can be ordered to self-destruct. (CapnQ, Quikngruvn)
5.11.5 You can shift cargo or population between anything in the same sector with cargo components, even a planet and its moons. Built units will be placed in the cargo components of the building unit. if none/full, they will be placed in any other cargo components in the sector (ships, planets, moons). If all full, you get log message saying unavailable storage.
5.11.6 There is a limit of 100 mines per sector and 100 satellites per sector. (Quikngruvn)
5.11.7 A ship, base or planet can (J)ettison any cargo at any time. Once Jettisoned, the cargo is lost forever with no payback. This can be useful, for instance, in discarding old Weapon Platforms to make room for newer ones. A planet can jettison units but cannot jettison population directly, but if there is a ship/base with cargo capacity, the population can be moved to the ship/base and then jettisoned from there. This can be used to remove non-breathing population from a planet. Use Jettisoning carefully because there usually is a better use for that cargo than just throwing it away.
2.11.8 You don't actually need fighters on a planet to issue the "launch fighters" orders. All you need is one unit of any sort. (For me, this usually mean riot troops.) This allows you the issue the build order and launch fighters order at the same time thus avoiding the eventual "no storage available" log entry. (Grandpa Kim)

5.12.0 Bases
5.12.0.1 Bases are large, immobile structures that are can be designed for a number of uses.
5.12.0.2 Base Advantages: Bases have unique mounts available that are not available to any other ship or unit. These mounts have increased range, damage and accuracy. In combat, bases are formidable and it usually takes a fleet to destroy a large base with lots of weapons. Bases are huge structures and can be designed with more weapons & components than ships. They have unlimited supplies and decreased maintenance costs. Bases don't require engines so that is even more space that can be used for other components. _____________________
5.12.0.3 Base Disadvantages: Bases are immobile so they may be, and frequently are, not placed in a good position during combat. In games, battles are fought on an ever moving front; immobile bases can't be moved to where the action is. If they are placed poorly or out of range in combat, there is nothing that can be done about it. Because of their large size and immobility, bases receive a combat penalty and are easier to hit. Bases are also expensive.

5.12.1 Space Yard Bases
5.12.1.1 Experienced players build 3 space stations with shipyards first, but I think 2 is easier to manage. When you do run short on resources you can mothball these stations for a while. (Wardad)
5.12.1.2 Remember that if you build units with your Spaceyard Base, there needs to be available cargo storage to store these units somewhere in that sector. Units built by a Spaceyard Base will be put into the first available open cargo area. This may be on the Spaceyard Base itself if available, or on any planet, moon, ship or base in the same sector. If no cargo storage is available, you still get charged the cost of building the units but they won't get built and you will get a log message stating that there is no storage available.
5.12.1.3 I found by accident that the ship/base that has a SY does not have to have cargo space when building units if there is any other cargo space in the sector. I use this for warp point defense. Build a cheap base with a sat bay/mine layer and have a SY ship (or base) in the same sector. The SY ship is set to repeat build sats or mines and they are automatically placed in the launching base which is also set to repeat launch. If needed the SY ship can be moved and return or whatever else is needed. With larger sizes this is of small concern but it does allow for mobile unit production with a cheap SY ship and anything else with cargo space wherever is needed. (Bearclaw)

____________ extra space on a sssy __________ increases ship construction capability.

5.12.2 Defense Bases
5.12.2.1 _________________________

5.12.3 A handy base configuration is the Cargo Base - essentials and the rest of the space filled with Cargo Storage. These can be used to store excess units at rally points or it can be used to store non-breathing population at key locations for pickup or transfer.
5.12.3.1 BUILD STORAGE BASES! They can be emergency resources, allows for full use of the planet building up possible use items, and if things get tight in that area the base can be retrofitted some something with weapons/shields.
And they have only .1 more build time than a cargo facility (in the check I just made YMMV) (Gandalf Parker)
5.12.4 Here's something I always do: Create bases with ONLY cargo storage (as soon as you've met the requirements for B/CQ/LS by placing those or MC) and build one/a few in orbit around your Homeworld. Then, whenever your population gets above a certain level, place a set number of pop on those stations. That way, you can have billions of people in orbital stations, even if you start on a Tiny world. The reason for this is that this way, when you colonize a new planet, you can immediately fill it up to max pop to speed up its growth tremendously while not emptying your HW this way. Also, when an important colony has suffered severe population losses, you can replenish the pop. Or, when an important colony has been depopulated with - what are those things called again? Neutron Bombs? you can immediately repopulate it completely so you get the full income again after just a few turns, instead of suffering perhaps crippling losses to your economy over the course of perhaps several years. (StrategiaInUltima)

________________ other bases

5.13 Ship ID ___________________ need to correctly order this section based on the faq thread discussions.
5.13.0 General
5.13.0.1 Douglas recently discovered how the game orders ships and done testing for some of the effects on the game. This section highlights some of the in-game effects.

5.13.1 A ship's ID number is a unique identifier assigned to ships when they are built. It is not visible to the player. The first available ID is the one assigned. When a ship is destroyed, its ID becomes available again. Now for a way to make all this information actually useful: Ships are sorted in the fleet transfer screen by ID number, lowest ID at the top. This sort order is in effect both in the list of ships not in fleets and within each fleet. The order of the fleets is by fleet ID, which is used for nothing else that I can tell, except the order fleets are displayed in the ships screen (F6). The order ships are gone through by the "Next ship" operation, typically accessed by the space bar hotkey, is also by ship ID. Unfortunately, this order is cyclical and your current position in it appears to be stored in the savegame, even through turn execution. Of course, you could try building an escort on turn 1 specifically to keep it around forever as your known lowest-ID ship, but this isn't guaranteed to work perfectly unless you're player 1 - anything players before you build on turn one will have a lower ID, which could possibly be freed later and taken up by another one of your ships. (Douglas)
Q: Does each player have a separate ID list or do all players share the same list? This would be important because if a player I haven't "met" yet loses a ship and the game has a single ship ID list, the next ship produced by anyone will take that spot and that spot may be a very early ID number. If each player has his own ID list then you might kinda know if when new ships will get an older ID. It doesn't seem like you can control this very much.
A(Douglas): All players share the same ID list. This makes it very hard to predict whether you'll have trouble seeking after an enemy ship or not unless you have some past experience with that particular enemy ship to go by. Controlling anything related to ship ID numbers is practically impossible outside of a test game. All you can do is observe the order of ships in the fleet transfer screen and the next-ship list and try to take advantage of what you see.

5.13.2 All of the following statements have been thoroughly tested. Please do not dispute them without testing them yourself. They also all refer to "ship ID". A ship's ID number is a unique identifier assigned to ships when they are built. It is not visible to the player. The first available ID is the one assigned. When a ship is destroyed, its ID becomes available again.

The order of repairing ships is completely independent from the repair priorities list. Ships are repaired in order by ID number. Repair priorities only affects the order of components repaired within the ship.

Within each day in a turn's movement, ships move in order by ID number. This matters for certain stellar manipulations, seek after orders, and minesweeping. Fleets move all at once when their lowest-ID ship moves.

Stellar manipulation: Whether trying to open a warp point and go through it at exactly the same time works or not depends on whether the warp opener has a lower ID than the moving ship. Also, destroying and recreating a planet in one turn with two different ships requires that the create order be executed either on a later day or on the same day by a ship with a higher ID.

Seek after: Particularly important when all ships involved have the same speed. If a ship with ID 1 is seeking a ship with ID 2, both moving at the same speed, 1 will seek 2's location at the start of the day, and then 2 will get to move away. In this situation, 1 must either get very lucky or the player must deliberately and correctly anticipate 2's movement in order to catch 2. Going the other way, 2 will have a much easier time seeking 1, as 2 will seek after 1's after-movement location.

Minesweeping: Minesweeping, unlike combat, is calculated after each individual ship movement rather than at the end of the day. This means that a minesweeper can only protect a fleet that it's not in if the minesweeper (or the minesweeper's fleet's lowest-ID ship) has a lower ID than any ship in the fleet. This is rarely important, but there have been occasions when I wanted to attack RIGHT NOW and my fleet didn't have a minesweeper, but I did have a minesweeper the fleet could meet up with part way through the turn. I also occasionally have large forces split into multiple fleets travelling together so that I can split the force up without losing the fleet training bonus. (Douglas)

5.13.3 I discovered this recently when I set repair priorities specifically to repair a damaged minesweeper first (putting Unit Launch at the top, with minesweepers being the only "Unit Launch" components I use right now), only to discover the next turn that the two damaged warships present were repaired first. I then ran a test game with the following series of events: build two ships with just engines; retrofit one with a weapon (moved weapons to bottom of repair priorities) and the other with several extra crew quarters, move both to same sector with inadequate repair ability; the weapon was still not repaired; retrofit both back to base design, send one to ship training center for one turn; retrofit trained ship with weapon (again, weapons are at bottom of list) and other ship with extra crew quarters, send both to repair center; trained ship was repaired first, even though its only damaged component was at the very bottom of the priorities list while the other had six components at the very top of the list (vehicle control).

I have continued the experiment, and order of construction appears to be the deciding factor. The ship that was built first gets repaired first.

It's a bit more complicated than that apparently. Hold on, this explanation is going to get technical and includes some suppositions about the inner workings of the game. It appears that on construction each ship is assigned a unique ID, possibly an index into an array of ships, that never changes. This ID starts at 1 or 0 for the first ship, and the lowest available ID is assigned to each new ship on construction. When a ship is destroyed (scrapped in my test game), its ID is freed and available for another ship. Repair order of ships appears to be determined exclusively by this ID number, with the lowest ID ship repaired first. In practice, once ships start being destroyed irregularly (i.e. some stay around, others don't; typically happens first when you're regularly building both warships and colony ships), repair order is very difficult to predict or influence with any great degree of accuracy.

Once again, I reiterate that relative AGE DOES NOT CORRESPOND DIRECTLY TO SHIP ID. Suppose you have ships 1, 2, 3, and 4. 2 gets destroyed. Another ship gets built. The new ship WILL NOT be ship 5. Instead, it will take 2's empty slot. The new ship 2 was built after 3 and 4, but has a lower ID number. (Douglas)

5.13.4 Q: Unless I am horribly mistaken, the repair priority list is definitely followed. Repair order by ship, not by component. A ship with a damaged component of the hihgest priority will be repaired first. The entire ship will be repaired though, not just the component. Isn't this the case?
A(Douglas): I wish that were true. If it were, my 200+ ship fleet wouldn't be held up an extra turn because the lone minesweeper can't move yet. In my test game, the ship with a weapon (bottom of the list) had ONLY the weapon needing to be repaired, and the ship with extra crew quarters (top of the list) had ONLY those crew quarters to be repaired. Despite this, whenever the weapon ship was the one that had been built first or replaced the one that had been built first, it was repaired first. Repeating the experiment with the weapon ship being the later-built ship resulted in it being forced to wait for the other to finish repairing all 6 extra CQ.

5.13.5 I have just tested it, and I have confirmed that construction is handled one player at a time in order by player number, regardless of order of colonization of planets belonging to different empires (I didn't test order of construction within an empire). This means that ships belonging to players higher up on the list, particularly player 1, tend to have lower ID's, and therefore have an easier time escaping star destruction death traps but a harder time pursuing enemies in certain circumstances. (Douglas)

5.13.6 I tested retrofitting's effect on ship ID by building three ships and scrapping the first. The two ships remaining had ID number 2 and 3 (assume for this discussion that ID's start at 1). I then retrofitted ship 3 to another design. It was still listed after ship 2 in the fleet transfer screen, so its ID was >2. I then built two more ships. The order in the fleet transfer screen was then first new ship, ship 2, retrofitted ship 3, second new ship. The retrofitted ship's ID was therefore 3 both before and after the retrofit, even though ID 1 was available when the retrofit was done. Note that each action (scrap, retrofit, build, etc.) was done on a separate turn to make absolutely sure that order of events within a turn would have no effect on the trial. [Therefore] retrofitting does not change ship ID. Note that ship ID is NOT strictly by build order, as any destroyed ship's ID becomes available again. (Douglas)

===============================

6.0 Space Combat
6.1 Tactics
6.1.1 You cannot retreat from combat, combat ends after 30 combat turns. (Silent Sorrow, Derek)
6.1.2 Be careful you don't run out of supplies on your Capital Ship Missile ships - each CSM V uses 20 supplies.
6.1.3 Emergency Supply Pods, Emergency Propulsion Pods, Self Destruct Devices, Stellar Manipulation components, Repair Bays, and Space Yards cannot be used in combat.
6.1.4 Tractors are not able to pull in larger ships.
6.1.5 Point Defense Cannons (PDC's) won't fire automatically unless you or the target moves and is in range; but they can be fired manually (in tactical combat).
6.1.6 Even though PDC's don't require multiplex tracking, if you fire them before normal weapons in tactical combat, you lose 1 multiplex "slot" for that turn.
6.1.7 Computer virus attacks skip armor and shields, destroy MC's (which reduces movement to 1), but do no other damage, and does NOT take over control of the ship.
6.1.8 In addition to moving the target ship, as far as damage goes, Tractor, Repulsor, & Wormhole beams will damage shields equal to their damage rating, but nothing else will be damaged, even if shields are down. Mounts will increase the damage to shields.
6.1.9 Energy Dampeners, if they hit, disrupt all target's weapons for the number of turns equal to the "damage". Mounts will increase the "damage" so larger mounts will increase number of turns disrupted. Multiple hits from ED's will add together - example: 2 hits from a normal mount ED-III (damage = 3) on the same turn will disrupt all target's weapons for the next 6 combat turns.
6.1.10 Organic armor will regenerate only in battle, not in strategic mode. If got 1 left, engage immobile target and just sit there to regenerate. This is fixed in the v1.84 patch and now all Organic Armor on a ship will regenerate after a battle so long as there was at least one that survived. Strangely, Organic Armor will only regenerate after a battle, but not after other damaging events like hitting a minefield, a damaging warp point or storm.
6.1.11 Seekers get a defense modifier of 40% (settings.txt)
6.1.12 Ramming a drone before it rams you may damage or even destroy the drone without making the warhead go off. This is much easier to do in tactical combat.
6.1.13 High probability, but not guaranteed: Bigger internals & smaller armors get hit first.
6.1.14 A ship can do considerable damage (usually destroying it) to a fighter group by ramming it. Bug?
6.1.15 Combat movement speed = 1/2 normal movement speed, rounded up.
6.1.16 I have played a few games where I was up against unarmed ships, usually mine sweepers. First thing I do is to make unarmed ships a priority target; that will often kill the mine-sweepers even when you lose the battle. This has a slowing effect on the opposing fleet, as they need to replace the mine-sweepers or risk running afoul of mine fields. Adding a single weapon will defeat this tactic. It looks like this is a mistake that lots of new players make. (Thermodyne)
6.1.17 [In tactical combat] You can ram warppoints too! Very occasionally useful if your ship is crippled, has no SDD and you can't let it be captured at any cost. (Suicide Junkie)
6.1.18 _______________ choice of battle location
6.1.19 A small thing perhaps worth mentioning: red nebulae grant you the best kind of cloaking, which cannot be bypassed by *any* sensor. This can be used to help your natural paranoia, or to have a nice secure system when striking against another Empire. (Alneyan)
6.1.20 If fighting a crystalline opponent, pay extra special attention to how crystalline armor works. [See section __________] All I can suggest is to use REALLY REALLY BIG guns. Shield depleters followed by the largest thing you can muster seem to work the best. Toss in engine destructors and battle warpers and you have a chance. (Rathar)
6.1.21 I have played a few games where I was up against unarmed ships, usually mine sweepers. First thing I do is to make unarmed ships a priority target; that will often kill the mine-sweepers even when you lose the battle. This has a slowing effect on the opposing fleet, as they need to replace the mine-sweepers or risk running afoul of mine fields. Adding a single weapon will defeat this tactic. It looks like this is a mistake that lots of new players make. (Thermodyne)
6.1.22 Warp Weapons on Heavy mounts are a nice way to break up an enemies fleet so they fight piecemeal. However, such a strategy makes your unarmed ships that run to the corner much harder to defend. I suggest you spread out your mine sweeping capability if you use these. You also need to spread out minesweepers if they target weakest in case you put one weapon with max range on your minesweepers. Repulser beams are better at pushing enemies in a consistent direction, but they do not work against bigger ships like Warp weapons do. (LGM)
6.1.23 If you want to find out the makeup of an enemy fleet, a trick you can do is to attack the fleet with a single ship, fighter or drone. You will then gain all of the enemy ship designs in that fleet. You can view them in the combat replay or in the Designs screen. Then if you want, you can test your fleet against the enemy in the simulator.
6.1.24 I've put quite a bit of thought into fighter combat strategies. One thing I find works quite well for keeping your fighters alive is to have your carriers escorted by a few Missile Ships. As the name implies, these are ships (usually CRs or BCs) loaded to the gills with CSM's [Capital Ship Missiles]. When in combat, I have them spread their fire across as many targets as possible, and send my fighters in about 1-2 squares behind them. The AI uses up all their PDCs on the missiles, and the fighters can swoop in to attack unmolested. Each fighter usually carried 4 Rocket Pods so 400 damage potential per fighter (modified sizes, but the principle is the same), and a Heavy carrier can launch about 250 fighters. So 250x400=100,000 damage points. And that's a lot of hurt in anybody's books. Using this tactic, I usually send out hunting packs of 2 heavy carriers, 3 Missile BCs and one spaceyard ship with cargo comps to ensure my carriers are always fully loaded. It works brilliantly against the AI, but not so well against humans, since I haven't figured out how to use the 'Missile Screen' tactic in Strategic Combat. (AgentZero)

6.2 Formations
6.2.1 If all ships in a fleet break formation, they go to their individual ship orders. This may be what you want.
6.2.2 You may want to change the default fleet formation to something other than arrowhead since this one is not very good. Wall is much better under most circumstances.
6.2.3 If the formation leader gets stuck by being surrounded by ships/objects and cannot move, the fleet will break formation.
6.2.4 Formations: good ones for general use: wall, phalanx. Also, it is generally good to break formation due to ships moving out of weapons range reducing damage per turn if they stay in formation.
6.2.5 Warp Point Defense Formations: Wall and phalanx are not so good here. Better to use a more "circular" formation like spider, dome or bull. (Grandpa Kim)
6.2.6 Unfortunately, you can't add to or change the available formations while in game. But, you can change which of these is assigned to a fleet at any time.

6.3 Attacking Ships
6.3.1 Targeting. In order for a weapon to fire at a particular target (satellites, ships, etc.), that target must be included in the Weapon Details "Targets" list. (Stone Mill)
6.3.2 Engines are the storage for supplies on the ship, therefore "Engine Only" weapons not only hits movement but the weapons too - No engines - No Supplies - Weapons can't fire at all, unless you have undamaged "Supply Component" (Georgig)
6.3.3 Shields Skipping. As is well documented the "Weapon Only" damage type skip all shields and armor and get straight to the component. One might assume that the "Only Boarding Parties" and "Only Security Stations" weapons do the same thing, but they do not. They only skip armor. !! In the post-1.67 patch, Ionic Dispersers, which destroy engines, will not skip shields. (geoschmo, Suicide Junkie, Quikngruvn)
6.3.4 Chance to hit with direct-fire weapons. The chance that a direct-fire weapon will hit its target depends on the following factors:
6.3.4.1 Range: longer range is less chance to hit (-10% per square on the tactical map).
6.3.4.2 Racial bonuses: aggressiveness for the attacker, defensiveness for the target.
6.3.4.3 Cultural bonuses: the Space Combat bonus of both attacker (added) and target (subtracted).
6.3.4.4 Ship and fleet experience: experience of the attacker is added to the chance, experience of the defender is subtracted. Ship and fleet experience are cumulative (if the ship is in a fleet).
6.3.4.5 Inherent weapon to-hit bonuses: for example, the Wave-Motion Gun has a built-in +30% chance to hit.
6.3.4.6 Size of the target: smaller ships (light cruiser and smaller) are harder to hit.
6.3.4.7 Components: Combat sensors on the attacker increase the chance to hit; ECM, stealth armor, and scattering armor on the defender all decrease the chance.
6.3.4.8 Weapon mount: some mounts, such as weapon platform mounts, increase the chance to hit. (Quikngruvn)
6.3.4.9 Caveats
6.3.4.9.1 If the attacking ship has a talisman, every direct-fire shot will hit, if in range.
6.3.4.9.2 Without a talisman, the highest adjusted chance to hit you can have is 99%.
6.3.4.9.3 The lowest adjusted chance to hit you can have is 1%. (Quikngruvn)
6.3.4.9.4 The base to-hit is 100%, and is moddable in settings.txt. However, the closest two ships can get without ramming each other is range 1, so that might make it effectively 90% (Suicide Junkie)
6.3.5 Specialty weapons (eg. weapon damaging) leave no "excess" damage. If it doesn't destroy weapon, it does nothing.

6.4 Capturing Ships
6.4.1 To capture enemy ships you must first research "Military Science" and "Ship capture".
Add component "Boarding Parties" to your ship design. In battle take down enemy shield then board. Watch out for self destruct mechanisms, they may take out your ship too. (Captain Kwok)
6.4.1.1 Incorrect statement previously in FAQ: In strategic combat your design will refuse to board if there is a SDD present on the target ship. Correction: In my experience boarding ships are unreliable. Sometimes they will close in to a target ship and neither board nor fire weapons. Sometimes they fire their weapons, sometimes they board and sometimes they board and both ships disappear indicating the presence of SDD. Further investigation has shown that, indeed, the target ship did have SDD. Unless something else is happening to cause the destruction of both ships, boarding ships will board SDD equipped ships, but not every time. (Grandpa Kim) Further testing has shown that boarding ships will attempt to capture a ship with a SSD unless prevented by some other combat issue; the presence of a SSD on the target ship does not affect the attempt to capture.
6.4.2 Or use a level 2 intelligence project called "Crew Insurrection" where you plant a spy on the enemy ship and attempt to convince the crew to join your cause. If successful, the ship is yours to do with as you please. (Gandalph) The insurrection will occur at the very end of the turn, so no battle will occur that turn. On the next turn, you will often find the insurrected ship amongst a fleet of enemy ships. (Grandpa Kim)
6.4.3 If you start with the Psychic Trait, you can research an "Allegiance Subverter" which is a weapon that when fired will convert the crew (and thereby the ship) to your side. (Gandalph)
6.4.4 Allegiance converter is nullified by a ship computer, however that can be combated by a computer virus. In the post-1.78 patch, even if the Master Computer is destroyed, by Computer Virus or otherwise, the ship is still immune to the Allegiance Subverter. (Ruatha, Quikngruvn)
6.4.5 Each crew quarter's component counts as 16 defense against Boarding Parties.
6.4.6 Each boarding party can be used as an attack force or to defend the mother ship against boarding. (Suicide Junkie)
6.4.7 Since shields must be lowered to use Boarding Parties (and they don't come back up unless you have shield regenerators), armor is a better choice on BP ships. Also consider use of shield depleting weapons on BP Ships.
6.4.8 Self destruct devices will automatically destruct both the target ship and the boarding ship if it has been taken over by boarding, and can be used manually if the ship is under your control. If used manually, the SDD will only destruct the ship it is on. It will not self destruct a ship taken over by other means (crew insurrection, subversion, etc.)
6.4.9 Boarding Party 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 = 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 guys respectively. Security Station 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 = 60, 100, 140, 180, 220 turrets respectively. Any BP or SS takes up 20kt space. Boarding is successful if the boarding parties are greater than the effective number of defenders (Security Stations turrets + Boarding Parties on the defending ship used as defenders + 16 for every undestroyed Crew Quarters). Note: there are no other modifiers like sensors or ECM; greater number of boarding parties means 100% success.
6.4.10 Make sure boarding ships are the "Boarding Ship" class not attack ship. And the ship must have the strategy of "capture ships" for the ship to properly execute a capture in strategic combat. For boarding parties to attempt to capture a ship, the attacking and defending ships must be next to each other.
6.4.11 A captured ship will have its weapons disrupted for ten combat turns before they can fire. Any previous load time on the weapon (from firing before capture) is added to this. (settings.txt) (Parasite)
6.4.12 Q: What is the range of boarding parties?
A: The ships must be next to each other.
6.4.13 Q: If the number of boarders exceeds defenses, is the ship automatically captured?
A: Yes.
6.4.14 Q: Do sensors and talisman help when attacking with boarding parties?
A: Nope. ECM does not help the defender either. The only thing that matters is boarding strength vs. defending strength.
6.4.15 A Master Computer does not prevent capture from boarding parties. (Erax)

6.5 Analyzing Ships
6.5.1 Once you've captured an enemy ship, you can take it to a space yard and analyze it. You may be able to get new tech like Rock Colony etc, but racial techs like organic and temporal will be a mystery unless you've got those traits. (Captain Kwok)
6.5.2 You can get ripped off when analyzing an enemy ship. Although the analyzer might show "minor" or "moderate", etc., if the enemy ship has racial techs which you do not possess, you will not get them.
6.5.3 You get 1 level of technology for each "unique" component that you don't have. Therefore if you haven't researched Point Defense yet and analyze a ship with 2 Point Defense Cannon V's, you only get 1 level of PDC for analyzing that ship. However, if the ship had 1 PDC IV and 1 PDC V, you would get 2 levels of PDC for analyzing that ship because PDC IV and PDC V are different unique components.
6.5.6 _______________ analyzing racial or unique components.

6.6 Attacking Planets
6.6.1 Plagues. You only need to hit a planet once with a Plague Bomb to give it a plague.
6.6.1.1 I ran a test on plagues to see how much damage they do. Here are my results of each level over 5 turns:

Code:
Level: 1       2       3       4       5
11 60 108 178 340
11 60 100 179 321
12 59 109 151 348
10 52 111 154 321
10 58 115 169 323

So, here are some proposed ranges that fit the data I have gathered:
Level 1: 10-15 pop/turn
Level 2: 50-60 pop/turn
Level 3: 100-120 pop/turn
Level 4: 150-180 pop/turn
Level 5: 320-350 pop/turn (Imperator Fyron)
6.6.1.2 All plagues (of the same level) are identical; the source is irrelevant. In simultaneous move games, plagues do one turn of damage before being cured by facilities. Plagued planets have 0% reproduction rate, and get large happiness penalties each turn they are plagued. (Imperator Fyron)
6.6.1.3 Once the population has all expired, the [plagued] planet reverts to uncolonized and may be recolonized by anyone without fear of residual contagion. (Arkcon)
6.6.1.4 There are 2 ways for a planet to get a plague. A planet can be plagued if it gets hit with a Plague Bomb or it can be hit by a random event that causes plagues. Plague Bombs come in 5 levels and can cause plagues of 5 levels; the random event can only cause a level I plague.
6.6.2 Planets get a offense modifier of 30% and a defense modifier of -200%. (settings.txt) This -200% defense modifier is too large to be overcome by other defensive components and it means that planet will always be hit so it doesn't make sense to add defensive components like ECM to weapon platforms.
6.6.3 Some planet combat information:
6.6.3.1 The planet is an object that occupies 4x4, totally 16 grids; the center four 2x2 grids have different characteristic compared with the outer 12 grids. (Foreman)
6.6.3.2 All non-seeker weapons can be fired upon any grid of a planet. (Foreman)
6.6.3.3 All non-seeker weapons can be fired from any grid of a planet. (Foreman)
6.6.3.4 Seeker weapons can be fired upon any grid of planet, but only deal damage if that missile can hit the left-up grid of the center 4 grids. (Foreman)
6.6.3.5 Seeker weapons can be fired from any center grids of a planet. (Foreman)
6.6.3.6 The planet has a natural ability of [multiplex] tracking 10 targets each combat turn. (Foreman)

6.6.3.7 If you attack a planet from a bottom or right side (on the combat map), planet has 30% less chance to hit you. This is apparently a bug (either Planet Combat Offense Modifier is ignored or it's something about planet occupying 3x3 squares), but you can exploit it if you wish. (Aiken)
Q(TurinTurambar): But how would you use it in a simul-game? Can you send your fleet or troopship to the square below the planet in sys-map, and then give it the attack order from there? (..or orders given in a string of course..)?
A(Aiken): Yes, you can. Just follow this scheme:

Code:
B B B
B O A
B A A



If you start attacking from the "A" squares (on the system map) you'll start on the right or bottom of combat map for sure. Else you ships will start on the top or left of combat map, or drift there. "O" is a planet.

6.7 Tactical Combat Specifics
6.7.0 Q: Why don't I get an option to use Tactical Combat?
A (Atrocities, Asmala): You either chose "No tactical combat" during game setup or you chose "Simultaneous Movement" during game setup. There is no tactical combat during simultaneous games. All multiplayer games use simultaneous movement, so practice it if you want to play against humans.
6.7.1 In the weapon picture window there are fire rate indicators (little red bars), these indicate the fire rate of the weapon, i.e.: If the weapon has a fire rate of two, then there will be two bars after the weapon is fired and the weapon itself will be darked out. The next combat turn there will be one bar, the next turn the weapon will be ready to fire again. ( Silent Sorrow, Derek, Gandalph)
6.7.2 The topmost bar in combat is a rough gauge of how many of your ship's hitpoints remain.
More red = more hitpoints. Red = armor + internals. Blue = shields
Each bar / block of colour represents 50 hitpoints (rounded up). If the number of hitpoints exceeds 1500, a number will appear on the right-hand edge of the bar, indicating hitpoints in 1000's
(Silent Sorrow, Phoenix-D, Suicide Junkie)
6.7.3 In combat you can click on your ship, then right-click on a weapon to see its damage at different ranges, one square on the combat arena is one distance. If you are in range you always have at least 1% chance to hit. (Silent Sorrow, Derek, Phoenix-D).
6.7.3.1 This only works in tactical combat. In strategic combat (watching replay), damaged components are not shown.
6.7.4 Click on a weapon to unhighlight it before firing. It will then not fire. It can then be clicked on again and fired at the same ship the same turn. Very useful for removing shields, killing Weapon Platforms only, etc. This does not work for fighter stacks (unit stacks???) All fighters in a stack will fire at once. (Parasite)

6.8 Simultaneous Combat Specifics
6.8.1 For strategic combat, I have found that ships that have multiple weapon types and are very flexible are not handled well by the AI. The AI seems to be better at handling single purpose ships. The opposite seems true for tactical combat because, obviously, a human is in control.
6.8.2 Satellite launchers do not work in strategic combat, only during tactical combat and normal movement.
6.8.3 Ship moves on different days during the turn depending upon their speed capacity. (The 'movement day' is the day that the ship ends up in a new sector.):
Spd Movement Days
02: 15, 30
03: 10, 20, 30
04: 7, 15, 22, 30
05: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30
06: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30
07: 4, 8, 12, 17, 21, 25, 30
08: 3, 7, 11, 14, 18, 22, 26, 29,
09: 3, 6, 10, 13, 16, 20, 23, 26, 30
10: 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29,
11: 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 24, 27, 30
12: 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 14, 17, 19, 22, 24, 27, 29
13: 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29
A graphical representation of this table can be found here in this thread.. (Quikngruvn)
6.8.4 Firing Order
6.8.4.1 In Gold, the defender goes first in combat. If there are multiple defenders or attackers, then the order that they go is randomly determined. eg: If A attacks both B and C in a sector, then the movement order could be B, C, A or it could be C, B, A. (Imperator Fyron)
6.8.4.2 The Defender is anyone that was in the sector already. Attacker is someone that just moved into the sector. Or, if all parties were already in the sector, the Attacker is the one that issues the Attack order. In a Simultaneous game, I would assume that if both players give the attack order at the same time, the lower player number gets to be the attacker. (Imperator Fyron)
6.8.4.3 For warp points: If A warps through and finds B already in the sector, B is the defender and A is the attacker. But if A warps through, and then B moves onto the sector in a later game day, B is the attacker and A is the defender. (Imperator Fyron)
6.8.4.4 For planet attacks using fighter: The planet is generally on the defender side, unless the person owning the planet sends ships in to stop a blockade. Whoever moves first (the defender) is the one that gets to launch fighters first. (Imperator Fyron)
6.8.4.4 Q: What if 2 fleets intercept each other?
A(Imperator Fyron): Then it depends on when they meet, and who is faster. The lower numbered player's ships seem to move first in strategic movement, so maybe the lower numbered player becomes the attacker when both fleets are the same speed. But, it gets fuzzy. If the fleets start an even number of sectors away, they can pass each other by, as they will both move into the next sector over on the same day. If they are an odd number apart, then they will meet.

6.9 Planet Blockades
6.9.1 By positioning ships around an enemy's planet, that planet will be put on blockade. If there are planets and moons in the sector, they all will be blockaded.
6.9.2 A blockaded planet is prevented from contributing to the empires global pool of minerals, organics, radioactives, research points and intel points. (tbontob, Imperator Fyron , Geoschmo)
6.9.3 Otherwise, a blockaded planet will function normally except for:
6.9.3.1 its inability to contribute to the empires global pool and
6.9.3.2 the effect the blockading enemy ships will have on the blockaded planet's happiness. (tbontob, Imperator Fyron , Geoschmo)
6.9.4 Whether or not the planet has the only space port in the system is irrelevant, the spaceport function will still function as usual and resources are contributed to the empire common pool. (tbontob, Imperator Fyron , Geoschmo)
6.9.5 A blockaded planet can still construct stuff, as long as the colony is not rioting due to the enemy ships in orbit. (Quikngruvn)
6.9.6 Don't waste your frontline ships on blockade duty. Make a specific blockade fleet instead, with only minesweepers, PDC-ships and some minelaying capabilities. They are cheap, and can be built while the main fleet is in training (or retrofitted from antiquated designs). When possible I will use such fleets to blockade enemy planets in frontline systems my main fleet bypass while it strikes for home. Move the blockade fleet to the planet and let the PDC-ships take care of any defensive fighters. Drop a few mines, leave a PDC ship for blockade and move to the next planet. Repeat (use shift-click to hit several planets in the same turn). Be sure to have some extra ships in the system as you will lose some ships to weapon platforms as your lazy blockade captains sometimes let themselves drift into range. Send in the marines to clean up later. Be sure to drop the mines though, as sometimes the planet manages to build a siege breaker (ship or fighters) before rioting. With a few mines in place over all blockaded planets, the damage will be limited to the one planet. Done this a couple of times in games, both against the AI's and against humans, and it works like a breeze. (Primitive)

6.10 Adapting to Win
________________ review combat, 1 ship attacks fleet, enemy designs, enemy formations, PDC, shields/armor, etc.

===============================

7.0 Ground Combat
7.0.1 Weapon Platforms will not attack troops and don't participate in ground combat.
7.0.2 Ground combat lasts 10 rounds. If combat is not resolved in 10 rounds, it will continue on the next turn.
7.0.3 Only 2 empires can compete in ground combat at a time; this will be the defender and the first attacker to drop troops on the planet. If a 3rd empire has a troop transport in space combat, he is locked out when ground combat is in progress.

7.1 ___________________________________________


7.2 Capturing Planets
7.2.1 To build troops that can invade enemy colonies explore "Construction" and "Troops"; the troops needs some weapons also, explore "Small Weapons" and/or "Troop Weapons". (capnq)
7.2.2 Then construct troops as you construct ships, build them and load them on ships. You can now invade other colonies. Even if you do not have "Ice colony" capabilities you can invade such colonies. (Gandalph, Cynapse)
7.2.3 Few planets have shields. The Massive Planetary Shield does not stop troop invasion and doesn't have to be "taken down" before troop landing. (Sinapus)
7.2.4 If the planet has weapon platforms and you successfully capture it with troops, the platforms remain but are now under your control. (TerranC)
7.2.5 If you invade a colony you gain all that has not been destroyed in the battle, facilities and population. The population will be of the race that colonized the planet, if for example you are oxygen breathers and the colony race are methane breathers, you can move the new race to your colonies with methane. This will increase the possible amount of facilities if the new population is the only race on the planet, i.e. all breathe the same atmosphere. (Gandalph)
7.2.6 After conquering a world or race that breathes a different atmosphere that your own, build colony ships so that you can take advantage of worlds with that atmosphere (i.e., if you conquer methane worlds/races, use the population to colonize other methane worlds so that you can build more facilities on those worlds than you could using your own population). (kalthalior)
7.2.7 Transfer population from other atmosphere breathing conquered worlds/races to worlds you have already colonized that have that atmosphere, and pull your own population off to get the same effect as 6.7.6 above with regards to increasing facility slots on worlds. (kalthalior)
7.2.7 After (or hopefully, before invading) research Psychology, then Political Science. This allows you to build Urban Pacification Centers on conquered worlds that improve the captive population's happiness so that they do not riot. (kalthalior)
7.2.8 Satellites or other orbiters will attack a newly captured planet__________________. You need to eliminate them before capture. Weapon Platforms will not attack troops and don't participate in ground combat.
7.2.8.1 Capture a planet on turn 29 and the Sats will only get one fire at the planet. They will hit the troops you dropped first, and you can still get the planet intact. (Parasite)
7.2.9 Captured population (by any means) loses all of its racial attributes and is identical to yours except they retain their atmosphere breathing so can be used to populate your colonies appropriately AND they slowly get unhappy over time so you need to account for that so they don't riot (riot police, upc, etc.). They also retain their native graphic picture so you can tell what race they were originally from. The positive happiness effect of 10 troops of any type will exactly cancel out the negative happiness of having alien population on a planet.
7.2.10 A planet will defend itself from troop invasion with militia. The number of militia is a percentage of the population. Militia statistics can be found in settings.txt. The default setting is 1 militia per 20M population.
7.2.11 Militia will regroup after a ground combat battle but the number of militia might be less on subsequent rounds of ground combat because some planet population is destroyed when the planet takes damage. The amount of damage required to kill 1M population is specified in settings.txt and the default is 10.
7.2.12 Ground combat Lasts 10 turns and is completely automated.
7.2.13 If the ground combat is not completely resolved in 10 turns, it will continue during the next turn and the militia will not regroup.
7.2.14 Regarding ground combat troops in a transport: first in = first out, and first out = front line.
7.2.15 During Ground Combat: defenders get to fire first. defenders get 30% defense bonus above any component modifiers. (settings.txt)
7.2.16 Since troops are CARGO they get destroyed during ship bombardment. So you hardly ever get troops vs. troops combat. It's always troops vs. militia. After 1.84 patch, weapon platforms are destroyed first, then remaining cargo is destroyed randomly. This causes Troop vs. Troop ground combat more frequently. Ground combat can damage or destroy planet cargo.
7.2.17 Once the troops are down, an unarmed, contested planet is no longer considered hostile. This means that your ships should stop attacking it so they won't kill your own troops.
7.2.18 To pickup troops after combat and capture multiple planets in one simultaneous turn, order your planet capture fleet to ATTACK (instead of MOVE) then, load troops, attack other planet, load troops, etc. (Hank)
7.2.19 Q: How do I set up my fleet to capture a planet:
A(Geoshmo): a. Make sure the troop transport has a ship strategy of capture planet.
b. Make sure the fleet has a strategy of capture planet.
c. Make sure the troop transport has troops onboard.
d. The target planet must have a population greater than 0. For some reason, the troop transport won't attempt to capture an enemy planet with 0 population.
As long as you do these four things then your fleet will attempt to capture the enemy planet. If the enemy has weapons platforms the attack ships will engage it till the weapons platforms are gone or your ships are. The troop transport will run for the corner while this happens. Once the platforms are gone the troop transport will make for the planet. Your attack ships will then concentrate on taking out any ships/bases/fighter/sats/drones left. The troops will drop if your transport can get there before the combat round is over. If your troops are defeated your fleet will then turn back and attempt to glass the planet. If your troops are successful and the enemy has any bases or sats left they will open fire on the planet. Sometimes, not too often in the unmodded game, the combat round will end with your troops and the enemy at a stalemate. If this happens combat will resume during your opponents next turn. If it lasts long enough to get back to your turn you can even try dropping reinforcements on the planet. In the unmodded game though this rarely happens.
7.2.20 Q: When you defend a planet this time, are mines, fighters and satellites stored in the planet cargo automatically launched to join the combat, or are they given to the enemy?
A(Arkcon): Units in storage of a captured planet or ship become yours. You can never capture units in space.
7.2.21 Q: What if you have all troop transports and no attack ships? Will they try to take the planet anyway, even if there are weapons platforms? Sometimes I want to send in a heavily shielded/ armored transport to take the weapons platforms intact.
A(Geoschmo):Yes, if there are only troop transports and no attack ships they will rush the planet straight away. The same occurs if during combat all your attack ships get destroyed or disabled. Your troop ship(s) will rush the planet, even if there are still active weapons platforms left defending it.
7.2.22 Q: Which units will a planet automatically launch during combat?
A: Fighters & Drones only. Weapon Platforms and Troops cannot be launched obviously. Satellites and Mines are NOT automatically launched. After 1.91 patch, Anti-Planet drones are not automatically launched in combat.
7.2.23 Race's characteristic - physical strength does affect troops but not militia. (Foreman, Parasite)
7.2.24 Bear in mind weapons on a troop transport will not fire, even when in range. Unless you change the strategy [from "Capture Planet"], and then they won't drop troops. Point defense is OK. It will fire. Will help if the planet is shooting missiles at you. (Geoschmo, Parasite)
7.2.25 I'm sure most of you know this, but in Tactical, if the multiple planets are adjacent to each other (sometimes they aren't and there's a row of empty sectors between them), you can drop troops on one planet, conquer it, then select the conquered planet and order it to drop troops on an adjacent planet. (Erax)
7.2.26 It's a well known strategy, but I'll mention it nevertheless: If you want to achieve maximum efficiency in ground combat, it's worth to design 3 types of troops: Defender, Offender and Leader. Defender's design include small shields (or armor) only. Offenders are armed with you favorite weapon (ground cannons or small shield depleters) and nothing else. Leader is equipped with shields plus small combat sensor and small ECM components. Produce them in 3:6:1 proportions (rough numbers). Now, then filling your troop transport, place Defenders first, then Offenders and Last Leaders. Being dropped to a planet, Defender will play a meat shield role, Offenders will stay behind Defenders unharmed and wipe out militia (or hostile troops) and Leaders will provide attack and defense bonus to the whole stack of troops. (Aiken)

===============================

8.0 Units
8.0.1 Units are defined as any of the following: Mines, Satellites, Fighters, Weapon Platforms, Troops or Drones.

8.1 General
8.1.1 All components on satellites/fighters/mines/drones are inactive when unlaunched.
8.1.2 Units in same sector stack and count as 1 unit. Any component on any in the stack applies to all, except shields (until that unit is killed). i.e. 1 multiplex tracking component on 1 sat in a group makes the whole group able to multiplex track until that component is destroyed. The same is true for the Talisman, ECM, etc.
8.1.3 When a stack of units takes damage, all structure is added up and when enough accumulate to destroy 1 unit, it is killed. No partial damage; and units are fully functional until destroyed.
8.1.4 Units cannot ever store (or launch) cargo, not even by modding.
8.1.5 Q: Are shields in fighter/satellite count as hitpoints or as shield? So how shield depleter and phased-polaron beam works against them?
A(Baron Munchausen, Parasite): Shields on a unit just add to hit points, but as testing has shown, the PPB does skip the shields on units. Units (aka fighters) must also have supplies for shields to work.

8.1.6 All units share these properties:
8.1.6.1 They can be built at any planet where there is cargo room somewhere in the sector to store them and do not require a spaceyard to be built. Obviously they can be also built by spaceyard ships & bases. Therefore it makes sense to build units at non-spaceyard planets to save your spaceyards for ship building.
8.1.6.2 They do not have any maintenance cost.
8.1.6.3 They cannot be upgraded, scrapped or analyzed. They cannot be captured with boarding parties, subversion or with intelligence projects; however they can be indirectly captured if they are in the cargo of a ship/base/planet that is captured. When a ship/base/planet is captured, all its cargo is yours.
8.1.6.4 When they take damage, they are not partially damaged. A unit is fully functional until it receives enough damage to destroy it.
8.1.6.5 They are stored in cargo of planets, ships or bases; and as cargo can be jettisoned. Jettisoned cargo is immediately removed from the game.
8.1.6.6 Shield regenerators have no effect on units because of the way their entire structure is summed up and the unit is fully functional until total damage points exceed that number and it is then destroyed. For the same reason, Crystalline and Organic armor on units cannot use their special features, but they will still count toward overall unit structure, and therefore will contribute some damage resistance.
8.1.6.7 In a "stack" of units, if any unit in that stack has a component with a bonus ability, it will apply to all units in that stack until the unit with that particular component is destroyed. For example, if you make a "Command Weapon Platform" which contains Combat Sensors, the attack bonus will be applied to all of the Weapon Platforms on that planet until the Command Weapon Platform is destroyed. This effect works with Fighters, Weapon Platforms, Satellites and Troops. This effect will not work between different kinds of units. For example, your Command Weapon Platform will not provide any bonuses to troops on that planet.
8.1.6.8 Cloaking bug ____________________________________
8.1.6.9 ______________________________ automatic 10 multiplex tracking
8.1.7.10 Units cannot be used to blockade a planet.

8.2 Fighters
8.2.1 It is reported that fighters will get 1 movement point if they are built without engines.
8.2.2 Fighters can move on their own in a system but cannot warp through warp points. Fighters can join fleets, but do not share supplies in fleets. Unlike ships, fighters use 5 supplies per turn when sitting still (settings.txt).
8.2.2.1 Bug: after 1.84 patch, if fighters are added to a fleet with ships, the fighters will quickly suck down the fleet's supplies. Recommend not doing this until it is fixed.
8.2.3 Fighters cannot be used to "fire on" other ships, even if the fighters have weapons. This is fixed in the 1.91 patch.
8.2.4 Fighters cannot be used to blockade a planet.
8.2.5 If a planet or carrier launches fighters during combat, any surviving fighters are automatically picked up once combat ends. (Quikngruvn)
8.2.6 See section 5.4.6 for the fighter resupply bug.
8.2.7 There is no limit on the number of fighters in a sector - large numbers of fighters can overwhelm fleets with inadequate Point Defense.
8.2.8 Fighters can move anywhere in a system, but can't warp and are a cheap, highly mobile local system defense.
8.2.9 If any 1 unit in a stack (as in group) of fighters has an ECM or Combat Sensors, it applies to the whole stack until that unit is destroyed. Note that it is possible to have more than 1 kind of fighter in the same stack, but it is not easily controlled due to the launch command does not differentiate between different types of fighters.
8.2.10 Fighters can be researched to 5 levels after first researching Construction. As researching progresses, larger sizes of Fighters & Carriers become available; also better Fighter components are also available.
8.2.11 Fighters in space will use supplies each turn. If they don't move, they still use a small amount of supplies each turn. The default is 5 per turn (settings.txt).
8.2.12 Bug: Shield generation counts double on fighters. Presumably once as shields, and again as hull structure. (geo?_________)

___________ fighter resupply at planets and carriers



8.3 Troops
8.3.1 Range and fire rate does not matter for troop weapons. All troop weapons are assumed to be fired at range 1 and fire rate 1. (Quikngruvn, Foreman)
8.3.2 Troops are deployed in the order they are loaded onto the transport ship. A devious tactic is to design two versions of troops, one that has only shields and one that had only weapons. If you load the shielded troops before the weapon troops, the shielded troops will be attacked first by the enemy militia. This should give your gunners all the protection they need to wipe out the planet's militia. (Quikngruvn)
8.3.3 The best Combat Sensor and ECM bonus from all of the troops you have on a planet affect all of the troops (just like sat stacks, fighter stacks, WPs, etc.). (Imperator Fyron)
8.3.4 Speaking of troops: the Shield Depleter is the most powerful weapon for troops in the regular game, as special damage does not matter for troops. Only cost and damage per kt have any incidence, and the Shield Depleter is the best by a fair amount in these two fields. It makes very little sense, so use your own mileage to determine whether it is a legitimate design or not. The writer declines any responsibility for the mishandling of Small Shield Depleters. (Alneyan)
8.3.5 Troops can be researched to 3 levels after first researching Construction. Researching Troops opens up the area of Troop Weapons for research. As researching progresses, larger sizes of Troops become available.
8.3.6 [On building different kinds of troops] Defender's design include small shields (or armor) only. Offenders are armed with you favorite weapon (ground cannons or small shield depleters) and nothing else. Leader is equiped with shields plus small combat sensor and small ecm components. (Aiken)

8.4 Mines
8.4.1 You can self-destruct mines (only after they are launched, obviously).
8.4.2 There is no way in unmodded game to detect mines without running into them.
8.4.3 Mine Sweeper level-X, sweeps X mines of ANY size per component; keep this in mind when making Medium & Large mines.
8.4.4 Mine damage is applied pseudo-randomly to a fleet.
8.4.5 Q: Do cloaked minesweepers automatically decloak to sweep mines?
A(Sandstig): No! [editor's note: see also section _________________________
8.4.6 If you want to increase the NUMBER of mines to overwhelm enemies (and sweepers), make small mines, with 1 small warhead to quickly build lots. If you want to increase the DAMAGE of mines, use larger mines with more and larger warheads - you will build these slower and use more resources.
8.4.7 If a sector contains your mines and your ship(s), any enemy that moves into the sector engages the mines before your ship(s).
8.4.8 A ship/fleet will not move through a known minefield (i.e. a sector that has a minefield tag), even if it has minesweepers, or a restricted system unless it is specifically ordered to do so. This may cause a ship to stop during a long range "move to" order or it may cause a ship/fleet to take another route - possibly a very long route.
8.4.9 Hotkeys: Ctrl + R will allow you to manually remove a minefield indicator and Ctrl + T will allow you to manually add a minefield indicator. (Imperator Fyron)
8.4.10 The default limit for mines in a sector is 100 per empire (settings.txt). This means that every empire can potentially have 100 mines in the same sector. It is customary to make fleets that can sweep 100 mines to be able to clear a given minefield, but this won't protect you from 2 or more allies who heavily mine the same sector. Note that your fleet will not be engaged by mines of an empire that you have a peace treaty with.
8.4.11 Q: What is the order how the mines are swept/exploded? Is it first-laid first-swept?
A(Baron Munchausen): Apparently mines are destroyed in the order they were deployed, yes.
8.4.12 You cannot recover mines once they are launched. If you want to remove them, the only thing you can do is self-destruct them; Hotkey (G). If you self-destruct them, you must destroy the whole stack; the game won't let you self-destruct a partial stack.
8.4.13 Mines can be researched to 5 levels after first researching Construction. Researching Mines also makes Mine Laying & Mine Sweeping components available. As researching progresses, larger sizes of Mines become available and Mine Laying/Sweeping components get better.
8.4.14 The destructive power of mines can be increased by researching Explosive Warheads.

8.5 Drones
8.5.1 Drones are somewhat of a cross between a missile and a fighter. Small, medium and large drones get bonus movement of 1, 2, 3 respectively. All drones get a 50% defensive bonus for small size.
8.5.2 Anti-planet drones will attack ships, and vice versa, but if the incorrect warhead is on a drone for a given target, there will be no warhead damage. The mass of the warhead is counted when doing ramming damage, though.
8.5.3 Drones will self-destruct when they run out of supplies.
8.5.4 Drones are best used in large numbers to overwhelm defenses. You can "shift-click" a number of drones to make them move as a temporary fleet.
8.5.5 Drones can use many different weapons besides the warhead. Edit the drone strategies as necessary to fit the drone design. They can use beam weapons or even seekers. A seeker-launching drone can be a Point Defense nightmare for your opponent.
8.5.6 Bug in v1.84 and beyond: a temporary fleet of drones (shift-clicked) will warp thru a warp point one at a time instead of in a fleet. This makes it impossible to overwhelm a warp point with drones.
8.5.7 You cannot recover drones once they are launched.
8.5.8 Drones can have strategies of their own, including not automatically ramming anything within range. If you like to use them, it might be a good idea to use decoy drones to soak up PDC fire (especially if you would like to do something different for once). (Alneyan)
8.5.9 After 1.91 patch, Anti-planet drones will not automatically be launched in combat. This was the fix to a problem where anti-planet drones would be launched in combat with no planet in the sector; drones can't be recovered so the drones tended to be lost.
8.5.10 You can self-destruct drones (only after they are launched, obviously).
8.5.11 Drones can be researched to 3 levels. As researching progresses, larger sizes of Drones become available; also, better drone warheads and launchers become available. Drone warheads are: anti-ship warheads and anti-planet warheads.
8.5.12 Drones can be difficult to use effectively. ______________________
8.5.13 Like fighters, drones in space will always use supplies each turn even if they don't move. Default is 200 per turn (settings.txt)
8.5.14 Drones are damaged by minefields (settings.txt)

8.6 Weapon Platforms
8.6.1 Weapons Platforms must be stored on one of your colonized planets to be able to fire. (Phoenix-D, Jmenschenfresser)
8.6.2 Weapon platforms. Better some than none, don't be a easy target. Try mixing missiles with direct fire weapons, and use the largest weapon mount you can. (Wardad)
8.6.3 Weapon platform mounts increase range significantly, as well as the damage and accuracy.
8.6.4 Q: I'm confused about weapons platforms. Are they a facility for the planets? Can you transport them like to a wormhole and drop them off there? How and where do I deploy them?
A(Atrocities):
a. Weapon Platforms are defensive units for your planets.
You can add them to a transport, but they have no effect, until you drop them off at another Planet.
b. Weapons platforms are not a planet facility, but are listed in the cargo for the planet. So, particularly on small planets or ones with a different atmosphere than the race colonizing it, be careful of how many you put there. In addition, weapons platform are listed by the number of a particular type. This can be a problem if you wish to replace older platforms or just make some space. You would have to dump all of one type. So if you want to keep some on the planet (of one weapons platform design), have a cargo ship or space station in orbit which can hold them! NOTE: You can now just jettison a single WP even if you have multiples of that type on the planet. I think this was a version 1.78 fix.
8.6.5 Q: Is it enough to have one weapon platform containing combat sensor and ECM (do they count as stack)?
A(Ragnarok): If I recall correctly yes they do stack. So if you have say 10 WP on a planet but only one has ECM and Combat Sensor then the rest of the platforms will reap the benefits.
8.6.6 Q: Is it worth to put ECM, stealth armor and scattering armor to weapon platform when there is -200% defense bonus by planet?
A(Imperator Fyron): No, there is really no point. The best you can do is to get it to -200 + 60 + 15 + 15 = -110. That means that a normal ship with no sensors or training has a 100 chance to hit at range 11 (or 99%, cause there is always that 1% miss without Talismans).
8.6.7 Q: Is Multiplex Tracking needed in weapon platforms (I recall something that planets can automatically shoot 10 targets)?
A(Baron Munchausen): You recall correctly. Planets have a default multiplex of 10. Since the best component multiplex in the default game is 5 there's no point in adding it to weapons platforms. OR satellites. They also seem to have a default multiplex of 10.
8.6.8 Q: Am I right that the weakest cargo is destroyed first (usually mines first, then troops, satellites, weapon platforms) thus it's not reasonable to put decoy weapon platforms containing only armor/shields.
A(Baron Munchausen): Up to now, yes, the smallest items in cargo get hit first. In the forthcoming patch this will be changed so that Weapon Platforms are always hit first, and then damage will be distributed randomly in the remaining cargo when they are gone. [Editor's Note: this is fixed in v1.84 patch]
8.6.9 Testing on WP's has uncovered some interesting facts about how WP's are damaged. WP's are not destroyed randomly but they are damaged randomly; WP's with less hit points tend to be destroyed first because it takes less random hits to destroy them. This makes the idea of "shield platforms" interesting. Shield WP's will help absorb random hits to keep your weapon WP's alive longer, but only so far as they add more targets for the random damage - NOT that they get hit before or after other WP's.
8.6.10 A Combat Sensor or ECM on a single WP provides benefit for all WP's on a given planet until the given WP containing the component is destroyed.
8.6.11 Shield generation counts double on platforms. Presumably once as shields, and again as hull structure. (Suicide Junkie) Bug?
8.6.12 Weapon Platforms can be researched to 3 levels, but all empires start the game with the first level already researched. As researching progresses, larger sizes of Weapon Platforms become available and larger mounts for WP's also become available.

8.7 Satellites
8.7.1 To launch satellites from a planet use "launch remotely/satellites" command, then hit repeat orders. Then each turn, the planet will try to launch satellites, even if there aren't any stored in cargo. (dumbluck)
8.7.2 "Repeat orders" for launching satellites from a planet is only possible in simultaneous movement games. (Shyrka,Zaphod-42)
8.7.3 Cloaked satellites with sensors work well for recon.
8.7.4 You can self-destruct satellites (only after they are launched, obviously). All satellites in a stack are self-destructed.
8.7.5 Satellites do not use supplies.
8.7.6 Satellites in a sector will always be clumped together in 1 stack, frequently not positioned well for defense. Exception: at warp points, all friendly & enemy ships/units start combat close together.
8.7.7 Never use cloaking devices or stealth armor on armed warp point defending satellites. If you do it the passing enemy will not be engaged in battle. (DavidG) If even ONE satellite in a stack has stealth armor or other cloaking ability then the whole stack gets treated as cloaked when enemy units come through the warp point -- regardless of whether it is actually cloaked or not. So the whole purpose of the satellite stack on your WP is defeated. I've complained many times to MM about it. He can't seem to find what causes it. If you have sats with cloaking ability sitting on a WP you'd better have something ELSE there to trigger combat when the enemy comes through the WP. A base, ships, something." (Baron Munchausen)
8.7.8 Q: What is the order how satellites are destroyed? First-laid first-destroyed or weakest first?
A(Baron Munchausen): This was exploited by people putting down heavily shielded sats first, then weapons sats. So now it's randomized sort of like components in a ship. Smaller sats tend to get destroyed first but this is not absolute.
8.7.9 You can recover satellites after they are launched. This is useful to move them to a new location.
8.7.10 Satellite stacks have a built-in default version of Multiplex Tracking of 10 so you don't need a Multiplex Tracking component on satellites.
8.7.11 Satellites can be researched to 3 levels, but all empires start the game with the first level already researched. As researching progresses, larger sizes of Satellites and Satellite Bays (launchers) become available and a larger mount with extended range and improved accuracy for Satellites also becomes available.

===============================

9.0 Systems & Sectors
9.0.1 "Unstable stars" have no in-game effect other than showing the text when the star is highlighted.
9.0.2 Star type/age/luminosity has no effect on the system.
9.0.3 Unstable warp point damage default is 200 damage (StellarAbilityTypes.txt). It seems that sometimes ships make it through without taking damage. Unstable warp points usually lead to/from black hole systems.
9.0.4 To calculate the distances [between different systems on the system map], use the Pythagorean theorem:
Distance to system = 10LY x squareroot( (horizontal)^2 + (vertical)^2 )
[Each square is a distance of 10LY] (Suicide Junkie)
9.0.5 _______________ [also warp opener trick]

9.1 Sight - The ability to see ships of other empires.
9.1.1 Asteroids do not affect sight.
9.1.2 Local sector storms, system wide storms, & nebulae can reduce your sight. Use them to hide and beware of the enemy within. See sections ______________________ for storm and nebula effects on sight.
9.1.3 In systems with sight obscuration a combat will only occur if you have sensors to see the enemy and enter a sector. No combat will occur if the enemy enters the sector where you are present (unless he himself has sufficient sensors). There are situations where this is OK but if you have defenses on a warp point you would like to combat the entering enemy (as a surprise to him!). The only way you can do this is to attack when its your turn (if the enemy is still present and has not already warped) and then the enemy gets the first shot! Not very reasonable in my opinion. On the other hand if I enter a sector where he is present the combat will always occur, even if he does not see me and I would like to sneak past him e.g. with a colony ship. In this situation my sensor ability becomes a disadvantage! (Q)
9.1.4 You must have a ship or __________________________in a system to see ships/planets of other empires.

9.2 Spaceports
9.2.1 Spaceports are required to allow resource (minerals, organics, radioactives, research and intelligence) points to contribute to your empire. Only 1 spaceport per system is required, but you can make more if interested in redundancy so that an attack on the spaceport planet won't necessarily cut off the whole system. The exception to this is the Natural Merchant ability which allows you to not need any spaceports, your homeworlds will have an extra Mineral Miner Facility or Research Center in that slot. Planets in a system without a spaceport are marked with a red spaceport icon, and on (F5) Colonies/Production, their output is shown in parentheses because those resources are not being added to the empire resource pool.
9.2.2 If a planet with a spaceport is blockaded, the resource sharing ability for the whole system still works, but no contribution of resources is made by the blockaded planet. So in this case non-blockaded planets in that system would still contribute to the general resource "pool".
9.2.3 If a system does not have a spaceport (or the Natural Merchant trait), no resources from that system contribute to the empire general "pool".
9.2.4 You can always build anything (facilities, ships, etc.) in a system even if the system does not have a spaceport. The resources used for construction will still be deducted out of the general "pool" even if there is no spaceport in the system.
9.2.5 It doesn't matter if a system is "cut off" from the rest of your empire; your spaceports will still work and planets will still contribute to the resource pool and that system will still be able to use resources. "Cut Off" meaning either disconnected by warp point closing or isolated by enemy systems.

9.3 System-Wide Facilities
9.3.1 System facility effects stack with planetary facility effects. (Capnq)
9.3.2 If two system-wide facilities are built in the same system, its effects do not stack. The facility with the highest rate is the one that works. (Shyrka, Imperator Fyron)
9.3.3 With v1.78, you can turn on indicators for many system wide facilities under Empire Options. These show up as letters around a planet. These indicators will NOT show up if the system wide facility is on a moon. (This has been reported to MM) Not all system wide facilities have an indicator tag, though.
9.3.4 If you have facility tags turned on (under Empire Options), you can see facilities of allies that have tags under Military Alliance and Partnership. The exception to this is if the facility is on a moon instead of the main planet in which case the facility tag will not be shown(bug?).
________________________ add to this.

9.4 System Defense
9.4.1 Ships are fragile early on. A few satellites for Worm Hole defense can kill or cause them to limp home. It's better than letting them concentrate forces. (Wardad)
9.4.2 Wormhole defense: on the "receiving" end, all units are clumped together at start of combat, therefore build defenses for short range/overwhelming attacks.
9.4.2.1 Putting all (or most) of a systems warp-points into a cluster makes defense more efficient (one fleet will do). [See section 9.5.6.4] However, there is a pitfall to this strategy. If there is a way to attack them without going through one of the warp-points, several warp-points in a battle can bottle up your fleet so you do not have room to move. I've lost a fleet of Talisman dreadnaughts in such a situation. I was shocked when I lost the battle, but the replay showed my ships fighting piece mail as they wiggled their way out of a 9 warp-point cluster. Besides the 9 warp-points, a bunch of CSM V drones did not help (they just sat there blocking things up even worse). (LGM)
9.4.3 You can use the minefield marker (Ctrl-T) to mark damaging warp points to prevent your ships from going there unless specifically ordered to.
______________________ warp point defenses, first shot, short range weapons, nearest, etc.
_______________________ using warp openers and closers to optimize empire internal travel
_______________________ send scout to other side of warp point
________________________ use system-wide combat modifiers
__________________________ fighters: easy, cheap, mobile, no need SY
____________________________ penetrating a heavily defended warp point

9.5.0 Stellar Manipulation
9.5.0.1 General
9.5.0.2 Stellar Manipulation (SM) technology allows you to transform the very galaxy. Just about anything can be created or destroyed. Planets, storms, even stars and black holes __________________. Along with this great power comes great price. SM technology is the most expensive in the game and as such is the most valuable and takes the longest to construct. SM vehichles are frequently constructed more quickly by using retroseries construction (see section ____________).
__________________________

9.5.1 Creating Planets
9.5.1.1 The Matter Gravity Sphere (MGS) will create a planet that is the same size as the asteroid field that is used, i.e. huge asteroid fields make huge planets. (Quikgruvn) A MGS component is destroyed on use. A MGS can be researched to 3 levels. Lower levels of the MGS are limited on the maximum size of planet that they can create. Level I is gained after researching Stellar Manipulation (SM) to level 2 and can create up to a Medium sized planet. Level II is gained after researching SM to level 3 and can create up to a Large sized planet. Level III is gained after researching SM to level 4 and can create up to a Huge sized planet.
9.5.1.2 Be careful when using less than the highest level of the MGS. An MGS 1 used on a huge asteroid field will only create a medium planet. (Quikgruvn)
9.5.1.3 A created planet will have the same resource percentages as the asteroid field used. So be careful with remote miners if you plan on creating planets later. (Quikgruvn) You can use this information to choose which asteroids to convert first. In general, an asteroid has huge resource percentages; many times in more than one resource. Planets made from asteroids will give your economy a big boost.
9.5.1.4 A created planet can have resource percentages greater than the default maximum of 250% up to an absolute maximum of 300%. A Value Improvement Plant will only raise a planet's values to 250%. It has been reported that a Value Improvement Plant will actually lower the value of planets if they are built on planets with starting values greater than 250%. This can happen when creating planets from asteroids using Stellar Manipulation.
9.5.1.5 A created planet will have a random atmosphere and type and there is no way to influence what kind of planet will be created.
9.5.1.6 The "Garden of Eden" for planet creation is one of those systems with a ring of asteroids around a star. Protect this system well and send your planetmaker there. You can create one planet each turn, even in simultaneous games (provided the planetmaker ship has the ability to repair the MGS, which is destroyed on each use). Just give your planetmaker the order to "move to" an asteroid, then "create planet" order. Build a Spaceport and a System Robotoid Factory early and your economy will skyrocket. A trick to protecting these systems is to close all the warp points except one, which you create between your "Garden of Eden" and your well-guarded home system. A System Gravitational Shield will stop pesky opponents from entering your "Garden of Eden".

9.5.2 Destroying Planets
9.5.2.1 The "Tectonic Bomb" (TB) component is used to destroy a planet. Destroyed planet become asteroid fields. TB's can be researched to 3 levels. Level I is gained after researching Stellar Manipulation to level 2 and can destroy up to a Medium sized planet. Level II is gained after researching Stellar Manipulation to level 3 and can destroy up to a Large sized planet. Level III is gained after researching Stellar Manipulation to level 4 and can destroy up to a Huge sized planet.
Q: Can a TB destroy a ring/sphereworld?
A: No.

9.5.3 Creating Stars
9.5.3 The "Stellar Plasma Sphere" (SPS) component is used to create a star and is destroyed on use. A SPS is gained after researching Stellar Manipulation to level 5 and will create a star of random type. There is a limit of 1 star per system so you can't create a star in a system that already has a star. Systems with more than 1 star can exist if the map was created that way. The default game does have systems with 2 or 3 stars, but these were not generated with Stellar Manipulation.

9.5.4 Destroying Stars
9.5.4.1 The "Stellar Nucleonic Torpedo" (SNT) component is used to destroy a star and is destroyed on use. A SNT is gained after researching Stellar Manipulation to level 6 and will destroy any star, destroy all planets in that system - turning them into asteroid fields, and destroy all population, ships, bases, units, etc. in that system, including the SNT ship! ____________________ must be on a star....

9.5.5 Creating & Destroying Storms, Nebulae and Black Holes
9.5.5.1 The "Ionic Concussion Blaster" (ICB) component is used to create a storm of random type and ___________ destroyed on use. An ICB is gained after researching Stellar Manipulation to level 1. Note that ICB's create "sector" storms; system wide "storms" are called nebulae. There is no limit (that has yet been found) on the number of storms that can exist in a sector. See also section ____________ for storm descriptions and section 9.6.
9.5.5.2 The "Beta Displacement Pulser" (BDP) component is used to destroy a storm and ___________ destroyed on use. A BDP is gained after researching Stellar Manipulation to level 1. Note that BDP's destroy "sector" storms; system wide "storms" are called nebulae.
____________________complete this section. black holes _____ needing a movement point

9.5.6 Opening & Closing Warp Points
9.5.6.1 The Gravitational Condenser component is used to close any warp point. The Gravitational Quantum Resonator (GQR) component is used to open a warp point and it can be researched to 5 levels. Higher levels of a GQR will opening a warp point farther away. _____________________about needing to be on a warp point to use.
9.5.6.1 Sequence:
a. In simultaneous games worm hole opening and closing happens before all players ships are moved. ______ might be wrong
b. In a sequential turn based game, wormhole opening and closing happens before your ships move. Other players orders are done according to the sequential turn of the players. (Merry Jolkar) _________ might be wrong
9.5.6.2 There is a limit of 10 warp points per system. There can't be more than 1 warp point between any 2 given systems (i.e. between system A and system B, you can't have more than 1 warp point between them).
9.5.6.3 _____________________ blurb about warp opener telling system distance, cross reference this.
9.5.6.4 You can open a warp point from any sector in a system; you don't have to be on an edge. Also, you can have multiple warp points in a single sector; up to the limit of 10 in the system. A defensive option that some players use is to "move" all warp points in a system into a single sector. This is done by closing old warp points and re-opening them all from the same sector. This way, a single massive fleet can be parked at this common entry point to the given system and defend against all incoming enemies.
9.5.6.5 See section _________________ for a "dirty trick"

9.5.7 [A discussion on Stellar Manipulation restrictions in simultaneous games by Douglas]

Now for a list of restrictions on stellar manipulation operations:

Note: "enemy presence" refers to any object that you can detect controlled by a player you do not have at least a non-aggression treaty with. Cloaked enemy ships will only prevent stellar manipulation if you have a good enough sensor in the system to detect them.

Create Planet: Can be issued anywhere, will apply to whatever asteroid field the ship happens to be in when it's executed. Cannot be done when there is an enemy presence in the sector.

Destroy Planet: Can only be issued when over a planet. Stores the target planet, even if there's only one there and it doesn't specifically ask, and will not work on any other planet. This is the only stellar manipulation order that can be done in the presence of an enemy.

Create Star: Can be issued anywhere, even in systems that already have a star. Will create a star wherever the ship happens to be when the order is executed. Will fail if there is another star in the system at the time of execution. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

Destroy Star: Can only be issued when at a star. Stores the target star and will not work on any other star. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

Open Warp Point:
Can be issued anywhere. Will open the warp point wherever the ship happens to be when the order is executed. Restrictions such as only one warp between the same two systems allowed and the maximum of ten warp points in a system are checked at time of execution. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

Close Warp Point:
Can only be issued when at a warp point. Stores the target warp point, even if there's only one there and it doesn't specifically ask, and will not work on any other warp point, not even the other side of the same warp point. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

Create Storm:
Can be issued anywhere. Will create the storm wherever the ship happens to be at the time of execution. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy. Will give an erroneous log message about lack of supplies when attempted in the presence of an enemy.

Destroy Storm:
Can only be issued at a storm. Stores the target storm and will not work on any other storm. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

Create Nebula:
Can only be issued at a star. Does not store the target star, but does require that a star be present in the sector when executing the order. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

Destroy Nebula:
Can be issued anywhere. Will apply to whatever nebula the ship happens to be in when the order is executed. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

Create Black Hole:
Can only be issued at a star, but no star is necessary when the order is carried out. The star the order was issued at will be deleted even if it is not in the same system as the new black hole. This deletion will not affect anything else in the system - the star just disappears. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

Q: In simultaneous movement games, if I have a black hole maker and I put it on a star and I give it the order to move out of the system, then give it the order to create the black hole (I'm still on the star at this point), when the turn is executed, the ship will warp out of the system and be saved while the star that I gave the order on is destroyed and turned into a black hole??? It seems that if it works this way, I can save the black hole making ship! Or am I reading this wrong?
A(Douglas): No. The black hole will be created in the system the ship moves into, just as you would expect. The star it is moving from, that it was at when you gave the order, will simply disappear with no side effects. You can't save the ship, but this does theoretically allow relocating stars in your own space without blowing up everything in your inhabited system first. Edit: A star is only necessary to issue the order. No star is needed anywhere in the target system at all. Edit2: I just tested it, you can even create a black hole in a nebula. Edit3: Strange as it seems, you can even create a black hole in a black hole system. Doing this won't change the target system at all, but will destroy every ship and unit in the system. The star used to issue the order will still be deleted.

Destroy Black Hole:
Can be issued anywhere. Will apply to whatever black hole the ship happens to be in the same system with when the order is executed. Cannot be done in the presence of an enemy.

I have not tested ringworld/sphereworld construction in the presence of an enemy. (Douglas)

9.6 Storms & Nebulae
9.6.0 General
9.6.0.1 See the Glossary section for definitions of Storms and Nebulae.
9.6.0.2 Storms and nebulae have a wide range of different effects on your ships. Some will act like cloaking devices of varying degrees of effectiveness. Others will cause damage, or make shields useless, or even affect your ability to hit the enemy. You can use these effects to your advantage by planning attacks and movement to utilize their effects.

9.6.1 Q: How do my ships take damage when entering damaging storms?
A(Arkcon): Only entering a storm triggers the damage. Ships built there, parked there, there before the storm is generated aren't damaged.
9.6.2 You can create as many storms in a sector as you want. (Arkcon) After 1.91 patch creating a storm will destroy the Ionic Concussion Blaster component; also the storm creating ship must have at least 1 movement point remaining to create a storm. This fixes an exploit where it was possible to create huge numbers of storms in a sector in 1 turn.
9.6.3 Deleted - redundant.
9.6.4 Creating storms can be a good defense in critical sectors (planet, base, star, worm hole, etc.) Damaging storms will damage all ships entering the storm - including your own.
9.6.5 Created storms are random in type.
9.6.6 Damaging storms give default damage of 200 also.

9.6.7 Here's a chart of nebula and other systems with their effects:

Note that these are all full system types and the effects apply to all sectors in that system. Pic names included so you can check out actual graphics.

Code:
System		Cloak Lvl	Other				Pic (pictures\systems)
-
Purple Nebula 3 storm1.bmp
-
Bluish Nebula 3 -5000 to all shields. storm2.bmp
-
Orange Nebula 3 storm3.bmp
-
Green Nebula 4 storm4.bmp
-
Red Nebula 5 storm5.bmp
-
Purple & Blue 3 -5000 to all shields nebulae1.bmp
Nebula
-
Blue & Green 3 -5000 to all shields. nebulae2.bmp
Nebula
-
Red & Purple 3 -5000 to all shields. nebulae3.bmp
Nebula
-
Red & Green 3 -5000 to all shields. nebulae4.bmp
Nebula
-
Red Blob 3 -5000 to all shields. nebulae5.bmp
Nebula
-
Comet Eye Candy. Comet1.bmp, comet2.bmp
-
Core Fragment Eye Candy. corefragment1.bmp
-
Green Giant Eye Candy. greengiant1.bmp
-
Nova -5000 to all shields. nova.bmp
-
Organic Infestation Eye Candy plant1.bmp, plant2.bmp
-
-Red Giant Eye Candy. redgiant1.bmp,
- redgiant2.bmp
-
Spatial Rupture Ships move 2 sectors randomly, rupture1.bmp,
- -5000 to all shields. rupture2.bmp
-
Burnt Out Star Eye Candy. BurntOut1.bmp
-
Black Hole Ships move 2 sectors to center Blackhole.bmp,
- each turn, ships at center get blackhole2.bmp
- 5000 damage, -5000 to all
- shields, damaging warp points.
-
Star Forming Eye Candy. StarForming1.bmp,
- StarForming2.bmp,
- StarForming3.bmp,
- StarForming4.bmp



9.6.7.1 Note that the "Red Nebula" provides Cloak Level 5! This is a higher level cloak than can be detected by any sensor in the default game. Thus, any of your ships/units/bases in a Red Nebula are essentially invisible to your opponents. See section 9.5.5 on how to destroy a nebula.
9.6.7.1.1 There is one "sensor" that can "see" through Red Nebulae. A Mine can. Placing one or two mines from a ship with a single minelayer can be used for tracking and warning for when ships are going through nebula sectors. Even if they are swept, you still know the sector and possibly timing and direction of the enemy ships. Imagine a system with one mine in every sector. The entering ship or fleet will show the path taken and stop point. This may let you predict his timing and exit points. (Parasite) Of course, it will only work if you lack any treaty with the crafty Empire, and is of no use when one of your allies is busy planting a fleet in that annoying nebulae right in the middle of your Empire. (Alneyan)
9.6.7.2 The "Eye Candy" systems are essentially empty, unusuable systems. Some Stellar Manipulation components will work in these systems, though.

9.6.8 Here's a chart of the sector storms and their effects:

There are 4 kinds of sector storms. All are equally likely. It appears that color is random and effects can be determined by the description.

Code:
Storm Description				Effect

Turbulence causes damage to space vehicles. 200 Damage to ships entering sector.
-
This storm is opaque to most scanners. Cloak Level 3.
-
There is heavy radiation causing combat -50% to attack.
sensor interference.
-
Ion radiation renders all shields useless. -5000 to all shields.

===============================

10.0 Diplomacy
10.0.1 Diplomacy: Avoid early wars, treaties are good bonuses. Hit back if attacked. Some AI races have different attitudes, so be cautious about colonizing their systems.
10.0.2 The AI tends to get ticked off if you and it claim the same system(s). Relinquishing claims on contested systems (under Empires--> Borders) might make the AI less snippy. (Quikngruvn)
10.0.3 Regarding where the AI will colonize, the AI automatically claims any system it has colonized, as well as every system right next to it. If the AI colonizes a disputed system, then that opens up a host of new disputed systems in your territory, and their expansion is not slowed at all.
10.0.4 There is a penalty associated with responding with a refusal to any offer made by the AI - the other empire increases its anger toward you. There does NOT appear to be any penalty for just not responding at all. Bug?

10.1 Intelligence
10.1.0 General
10.1.1 Intelligence refers to offensive and defensive covert operations against your allies and enemies.
10.1.2 The Intelligence system operates much like the Research system in the game. Intelligence points are generated by facilities and possibly treaties. Those points are then applied to various offensive and defensive intelligence projects.

_____________ see also section 17.11 for more information on intelligence operations.

10.1.2 Of all intelligence projects only puppet political parties has a chance to fail independent of counter intel.
10.1.3 There is an intel project called "Tech Reports" which gives info about the enemy tech levels. Results of a successful attack are shown in the Log but are not added to your in-game "knowledge" of the enemy under the Race/tech screen (obtained by clicking Empires (alien head or F9) then right-clicking on an empire, then the "tech" tab. Since this new information is not officially "known" by the game engine, the tech cannot be specifically targeted by another intelligence project called "Technological Espionage" which steals technology. You still may get lucky if you target "any" technology. Bug reported to MM. ______________
10.1.4 Deleted - redundant.
10.1.5 Counter Intelligence (CI) points are drawn from points stored in CI projects. If a CI project is allowed to complete, all the accumulated CI points in that project disappear. (Quikngruvn) So it is in your best interest to never let a CI project complete since all the points invested in it get lost forever.
10.1.6 If you have multiple CI projects, points are "drained" from the project furthest on the right and then move progressively left until all CI is expended. The game does not distinguish points stored in 1 project from another except with regard to bonuses for different levels. Thus incoming attacks will first be defended by the rightmost CI project. If the rightmost CI project is completely drained, the next rightmost CI project will provide defense. When all of your CI projects are drained, the next incoming Intel attack will succeed against you. Each turn, intel points generated will be applied to the leftmost project. ______________________________
10.1.7 All CI projects get a 20% bonus; and higher levels of CI projects get a multiplier as follows. 1000 points put into CI projects yield: 1000 x 120% (defense bonus) = 1200 defensive points. (settings.txt)
CI1: 1200 x 1 = 1200
CI2: 1200 x 2 = 2400
CI3: 1200 x 3 = 3600 (Suicide Junkie)
10.1.8 __________ Cunning


Researching Applied Intelligence gives access to Intelligence Facilities and various offensive and defensive projects. Any Partnership treaties with other empires also enables you to gain some intelligence points in a similar manner that resources and research are traded.

_________________ intel generated by, increased by, ... partnership... what research gives, _________ completed project failed...




10.2 Trade
10.2.1 Bonuses: Trade for ships and analyze them, its great for gaining expensive colonizing tech. Just might get some population in the bargain. Trade for population that breathes a different atmosphere. Put them on their planet type, remove your pop from it, and that red star will turn green giving many more build spaces.
10.2.2 It is sometimes difficult to find out what another empire has so that you can ask for it in a trade. Look at any enemy designs you have seen in combat to look for ship technologies. Use long range scanners on recon ships to check designs you haven't yet met in combat (these won't be added to the enemy ship design list until you meet it in combat). Use the intelligence projects for Ship Blueprints, Tech Levels and Planet Info to find other techs.
10.2.3 You can trade with any empire that you have contact with (see 10.5 and 10.6) regardless of the treaty in effect -- even during war!
10.2.4 Offering an AI empire a good trade can cause him to accept the trade. This will happen BEFORE he would declare war on you. This can be done for several turns even if you are a Mega Evil Empire. You will still get the normal treaty trade (because he didn't declare war). It can more than make up for the trade losses of 1-2K resources. (Parasite)
10.2.5 How an AI refuses a trade can give hints on his tech. "We do not have that tech" means OK, no fighters, Attack! Whereas "We don't want to trade for that" means Get on that PD tech research! (Parasite)


_______________ TA above treaties, see also section ______________


10.3 Communications
10.3.1 In the default AI .txt files, there is absolutely no difference between a tribute and a gift regarding chances for accepting/refusing nor happiness modifiers. There may be differences for individual races.
10.3.2 General communications with the AI are useless and in some cases (like Xenophobes) it actually makes them angry.
10.3.3 When the AI makes a demand/request, accepting the demand and not following through still makes the AI happy. Not answering at all has no negative consequences. To get a more full gaming experience, do not use these exploits of the AI. Answer the AI's requests and follow through to do what you agreed to not exploit the AI.
10.3.4 In multiplayer games, the in-game communications are much more useful and sometimes, if agreed to ahead of time, email can be used once players have "met" in game.
_____________________

10.4 Anger

10.4.1 I made a little test myself:

Two empires under human control except the politics minister. The corresponding AI anger.txt file were modified with all events having an effect = 0 except the "regular decrease". There empire 1 had a value of -50, empire 2 a value of +50. When the empires established contact the moods changed rapidly for empire 1 to brotherly and for empire 2 to murderous. I completed a few more turns just to be sure to get the extreme values of the moods. Then I changed the regular decrease values to +10 for empire 1 and to -10 for empire 2. This resulted in a clear but slower change of the moods towards the other extreme. From this test I believe the correlation between the AI mood/anger value and the displayed moods is the following:

0-9: Brotherly
10-19: Amiable
20-29: Receptive
30-39: Warm
40-59: Moderate
60-69: Cool
70-79: Displeased
80-89: Angry
90-100: Murderous

It seems impossible to get values over 100 or negative values. My personal conclusion is that you should choose the values in the AI anger.txt file rather low otherwise you get extreme changes of the mood very rapidly. And there is no use to have in the AI politics.txt file conditions for anger below 0 or above 100. (Q)

10.5 Contact
10.5.1 You need a path between any of your planets and any of another empire's planets or ships to make contact. Contact enables you to conduct diplomatic exchanges and intelligence operations with the other empire. Once Contact is established, the other empire will show up in the _______________ screen.
10.5.2 You won't make "first contact" with a race if encounter them while in your cloaked ship and the other race can't detect you. Although you can decloak/recloak to establish contact.
10.5.3 If contact is ever lost with an AI race, when it gets re-established, they won't remember anything about you.
10.5.4 The game engine checks for Contact when you go through warp points, so there could be rare occurrences where you can see the other empire without making Contact yet. An example of this is: You haven't made contact with B yet, but you do have contact with C and have just used the Crew Insurrection intelligence project to steal one of C's ships in a system owned by B and there is a path from this system (previously unexplored) to your systems. You won't make contact until you warp out.
10.5.5 The only exception to this is if you receive a "Comm Channel" as part of a gift, tribute, or trade from another empire. Getting the Comm Channel will essentially "make contact" with the other empire and will allow you to do diplomatic actions like treaties and trade as well as intelligence projects against them.

10.6 Treaties
10.6.0 General
10.6.0.1 The possible treaty states, starting from the "lowest" are: War, Non-Intercourse, None, Non-Aggression, Subjugation, Protectorate, Trade Alliance, Trade & Research, Military Alliance, Partnership. (Capnq)
10.6.0.2 Treaties are only possible once you have made "Contact" with another empire. See section 10.5 for more on Contact.
10.6.0.3 When contact is established, the initial treaty status starts out as "None".
10.6.0.4 You can trade with or conduct any other diplomatic operations (gifts, requests, etc.) regardless of the kind of treaty you have with another empire. The empire that you are at "War" with might not be willing to trade, but it is possible.

10.6.1 Some AI have a limit on the highest treaty to which they will agree. Nothing you can do will change this.
10.6.2 All treaties have cumulative effects which include the attributes of lower ones.
10.6.3 All treaties of Trade and higher are considered peace treaties for purposes of the victory condition "Peace for X years".
10.6.4 All treaties of Non-Aggression or higher prevent combat engagements.
10.6.5 Since the Military Alliance (MA) allows the ally to use your Resupply Depots, this can have some negative effects. The ally can now move throughout your empire and see what you have and if he is into colonizing in your systems, he can reach further. This can also be bad because if/when that empire declares war with you, his ships can be deep into your systems. A treaty of MA & beyond allows seeing other player's facility tags if you have that option turned on.
10.6.6 Regarding Protectorate and Subjugation, the offering empire will be the dominant empire. So a small, weak empire can dominate a larger one if agreed to. In order to beg for mercy to become the submissive empire, you have to send a request and ask for a treaty of Protectorate/Subjugation in the "Give" section
10.6.7 For default AI's: If you have six times their score, you can make them a Protectorate; if you have eight times their score, you can Subjugate them; if you have ten times their score and are not allied with them, you can get them to Surrender. This is not absolute because this decision is modified by the other empire's mood toward you.
10.6.8 Unless you have a positive treaty with someone you cannot see what treaties they have in the treaty grid. If you have a positive treaty with someone else who also has a positive treaty with them you can see their treaties "by proxy". (Tesco Samoa)
10.6.9 See also section 9.3.4.
10.6.10 For treaties of Trade Alliance or higher, your empire will give and receive resources to the allied empire. For Trade Alliances: Minerals, Organics and Radioactives will be shared. For Trade & Research Alliances and Military Alliances: Minerals, Organics, Radioactives and Research will be shared. For Partnerships: Minerals, Organics, Radioactives, Research and Intelligence will be shared. The shared percentages start out at 1% the first turn after the treaty is accepted and increase at 1% per turn up to a maximum of 20%. The shared resources you give to the other empire are not deducted from your production; they are generated in addition to your production so this does not lower your production to your general "pool" of resources. The amount of resources you receive is modified further by the Political Savvy percentage assigned to your empire at the time of empire setup. Example: Assuming you have had a long standing Trade Alliance and are getting 20% of the ally's resources. If you lowered your Political Savvy percentage to 80%, then the amount of a given resource you receive on a turn = (ally amount produced) x (0.2 for the Trade Alliance) x (0.8 for your Political Savvy). If your game setup doesn't let you see the ally's score, you can use this formula to calculate the ally's production: (Ally Production) = (amount received) / [(% amount for the alliance) x (% amount of your Political Savvy)].

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11.0 Empire Management ____________________
11.1 Keeping Track of Things
11.1.1 You can keep track of system notes, a notepad in the game where you can enter any text information regarding the different systems, right click on the galaxy screen in the lower left of the screen, left-click on a system and enter your info. Do this to get away from the "clipboard" tracking system, although this may not be detailed enough for large and complex games. You can add carriage returns in the notes window by using CTRL-M.
11.1.2 During each turn, you should carefully go through the events log to keep informed of and take action on any new events that occurred during the turn.
11.1.3 I keep at least 1 mothballed destroyer "ambulance" always retrofitted to be the fastest and longest range with the latest medical bay. If you wait to build one after you get a plague, it takes too long. I build this ship at an early convenient central SY even if I don't have medical tech yet, and retrofit later.
11.1.4 You can automate some of your empire by using ministers, having ships repeat their orders, using patrols, and using repeat build commands. Beware that you should periodically check in on these because the AI is not very good at doing things.
11.1.5 A good way to find and keep track of which planets have ruins on them is to use the Planets report and click on "Special". This report also is good to keep track of which planets you have (and have not) colony ships en route to.
11.1.6 Q: I only have about 5 planets with a ship yard on them. The problem is remembering which ones have a ship yard and picking them out of the colonies report menu. I realize I could write them down, but I was wondering if there's a way to view only colonies with a specific facility? When you have say 30 colonies and only 5 ship producers its quite difficult to pick them out you see.
A1(Atrocities): You name your planets with shipyards on them, or
A2(Atrocities):
1. Click on the Minister icon (The Crown)
2. Click the EMPIRE OPTIONS Tab at the top right
3. Scroll down to SYSTEM DISPLAY.
4. Check the 6th line down "Show Resupply Depots (R), Spaceports (S), and planetary Spaceyards (SY)
5. Click CLOSE
6. Click CLOSE [Editor's Note: Facility tags won't show up if the facility is on a moon. This has been reported to MM.]
A3(capnq): Click the Status button on the Colonies report. The shipyard planets will have a shipyard icon.
A4(Puke): Go to the construction menu, and only select planetary SYs, and not planets.

11.1.7 Q: If I ever get another empire to surrender, how do I make sure I adjusted all his planets?
A: Bring up your Colonies report and first sort by Name, then click the Races tab on the right. You will see all the systems sorted in order and the races are shown. It's now easy to pick the newly acquired planets out. Click on them to modify.

11.1.8 This one I learned from Roanon. If you want to have a built-in reminder on a given planet when a build queue is done, such as you just finished building all your miner-II's (because they can be built in 1 turn) and now you want to upgrade to miner-III's, you can do this. First create a dummy ship/unit of some kind. I like to use a small mine, but it doesn't matter. Just make sure you name it with your reminder as its name such as "*upgrade". Make sure you use a * as the first character (or other character which is alphabetized before the letter A). Now, each turn, review your construction queue and click the column header on the right. This will sort the list alphabetically by the names of the things under construction. Queues with the * as a starting character will be at the top of the list and you conveniently can see all your construction queues which need action. Just delete the dummy unit and issue the next order.

11.2 Ministers
11.2.1 Most ministers do a terrible job at managing. One that is not too bad is the population transport minister, although, once you have captured some alien colonists that breathe a different atmosphere, the minister is not smart enough to put them on the correct planets.
11.2.2 Later in the game, the colonization minister is not too bad either, but in the early game colonization is too important to leave to minister control.
11.2.3 If you are playing with the Transport Minister "ON" here is a nice trick. Let's say you have a planet that you want to move population to but the Transport Minister is ignoring it because he is concentrating on another planet that already has a good population but is not full. Simply place a "Mine" tag over the planet/planets you want him to ignore and he will transport to the one/ones with a lower population and no minefield tag over it. Let me qualify this by saying that I'm not sure at what point the Transport Minister will decide to switch to another planet on his own. You must have under "Empire Status" then "Empire Options" a check next to "Ship Movement", "Ships should not move through minefields." Ctrl T adds a tagged minefield. Ctrl R removes a tagged minefield. (Grand Deceiver)
11.2.4 Cloaking Minster ______________________
11.2.5 Resupply Minister (or is it Supply Minister?) ___________________________

11.3 Waypoints
11.3.1 You can set up waypoints to have ships built at spaceyards automatically go to a given location. Define the waypoint under Empire Status, and select the given waypoint at a space yard by "set move to" button.
11.3.1.1 Q: How do I actually set automatic "move to" orders?
A:(Atrocities)
(Part I) Setting Automatic Move To Points.
a. Click on the EMPIRE STATUS icon. (The Gold Crown Icon second row 4th from the left.)
b. Click on WAYPOINTS
c. Click on one of the numbers in EXSISTING WAYPOINTS.
d. Click SET (This will take you back to the System map.
e. Click on the system you want to have the Automatic Go To set in.
f. Click on the Place you want it to be. Can be any spot. Warp Point, Planet, Asteroid, etc.
(Part II) Setting order to move to Automatic Move To Point.
g. Open the Construction Queues icon. (The Wrench 6th from the left on the TOP row.) Or open a specific Planet Build Queue.
h. Pick a planet, then click on the Build Queue icon. (Second row, 11th from the left, looks like a steam shovel.) This will open up that planets build que.
Once you are in the Planet Build Queue of any planet you choose. (Provided it has a shipyard.) You can set the Move To orders.
i. Click the SET MOVE TO button. (9th from the top on the right hand side.)
j. Click the number that corresponds to your desired location that you want the ship to move to once it has been constructed.
k.NOTE: The queue will send all ships that it constructs to that location unless you specify other, or clear the Move To command.
l.To remove a Go To Location entirely, repeat the steps in Part I, except this time click DELETE instead of SET.
m.To clear a planets build queue's Move To orders, simply click Clear Move To. (10th down from the top on the right side.)
(Part III)
n. Choose a ship.
o. Click the Move To Waypoint Icon. (Top Row, 8th icon. Looks sort of like a yellow triangle)
p. Click the number that corresponds to your desired location that you want the ship to move to.


___________________ numbers messed up here.
11.2.3 A better way to make waypoints is to use the hotkeys. On the system map, hit alt + # (where # is the number of the way point you want to set) and then click on the sector you want to set the waypoint in. Much faster. You can hit ctrl + # to send a ship/fleet to a waypoint directly. ctrl + # doesn't work for setting auto waypoints at SYs, but then, how could it? (Imperator Fyron)
11.2.4 Using Waypoints is a great way to simplify some of the micromanagement. If you only use 1 waypoint, make your homeworld waypoint 1. I usually transform my homeworld into a training center at some point in the game. It is very convenient to click on a ship and then hit CTRL-1 to send it to my homeworld for training. If I make another training world or fleet rally point, it is easy to use another waypoint for that one too. You are limited to 10 waypoints, but I have never needed all 10. You can also make spaceyards automatically send ships to a given waypoint. Also, rename your waypoints to give them descriptive titles such as "home", "defensive chokepoint 1", etc. I haven't tried this, but I believe that if you move a waypoint, all the ships which have orders to move to that waypoint will automatically go to the new location. This might be a good way to have a "rolling" fleet staging point.
11.3.2 There is a maximum of 10 waypoints in the game.
11.3.4 You cannot chain waypoints together and ships will not automatically resupply along the way to a waypoint.
11.3.5 Be careful with the "Set Move To" option at a spaceyard when you build colonizers. Usually you don't want to automatically move colonizers.

11.4 Game Interface
11.4.1 In the "Empire Status" (Crown) menu, Tariffs are shown based on empires you have a Protectorate or Subjugation treaty with. If you are the dominating empire, it will be an income, if you are the subjugated empire, it will be an expense.
_________________

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12.0 Happiness
12.0.1 Don't confuse Happiness and Anger. Happiness is a measure of your population's happiness on planets and it affects resource production and spaceyard construction - if it gets too low it can cause rioting. Anger affects an entire empire's outlook on each other empire and is seen under the "mood" on the diplomacy screen - you only can see how other empires feel towards you. You can only see your anger towards another race if you take control of the other race.
12.0.2 Happiness affects resource production, construction rate, and reproduction (see settings.txt)
12.0.3 Happiness will naturally increase over time, but this effect can be overcome by other negative events.
12.0.4 Every new colony, including the homeworld, has 25% angry people at the beginning so the mood is Happy. (Asmala)
12.0.5 At every turn positive and negative events (happiness.txt, see also 1.2.4) are added up, the result is rounded down (the decimal part is wiped off) and then it is added to the percentage of angry people. (Asmala)

12.1 Riots & Riot Control (Note: see also section 4.4.7)
12.1.1 The following things can increase happiness on a planet: ships in the system, ships in the sector, urban pacification centers, troops on the planet, winning a battle, colonizing a planet, capturing an enemy planet, (sometimes) new treaties, building ships or facilities.
12.1.2 Since the number of troops matters for happiness, not the strength, someone suggested making small troops with just a cockpit to use for use as "riot police."
12.1.3 A homeworld will never riot. Their anger will go up but it maxes out at 80% (where 100% is required to riot) But, if the HW is glassed, then recolonized, it can then be capable of rioting, as it is no longer a HW. (Imperator Fyron, Aaron)

12.1.4 [A discussion by Alneyan] On the topic of game mechanisms: happiness is one of the most important factors of your Empire, and keeping it as high as possible should be one of your priorities. Happiness works as follow: all your planets have a happiness value (from 0 to 1000) expressing the number of unhappy people on this planet. If you have an happiness value of 0, nobody is angry on this planet, whereas a value of 1000 means everyone is out asking for your blood. These values are expressed in tenths of percent, so 540 means 54% of the inhabitants of this planet are unhappy. From the Happiness.txt file, the various levels of happiness are as follow:

Population Anger (in %) Descript. Resource Modifier
75 - 100 Rioting 0%
60 - 74 Angry 80%
45 - 59 Unhappy 90%
30 - 44 Indifferent 100%
15 - 29 Happy 110%
0 - 14 Jubiliant 120%

Q: So what modifies happiness?
A(Alneyan): The following means can be used to reduce your population anger values, thus improving your happiness. Note that most of the values are given for the Peaceful happiness type, by far the most common. For other happiness types, please replace the numbers as needed.

*Empire wide positive changes:
- Colonizing a planet decreases unhappiness by 1% per planet colonized.
- Likewise, capturing an enemy planet decreases unhappiness by 3% per planet captured.
- Enacting certain treaties (Trade Alliance and above for peaceful) decreases unhappiness, from -2% for a Trade Alliance to -10% for a Partnership. This bonus is only applied when accepting the treaty, regardless of any previous treaty you had with the particular Empire.

*System wide positive changes:
- The Urban Pacification Center, the Fate Shrine and the Temporal Vacation Service improve happiness within a whole system. At levels III, the UPC and the Fate Shrine reduce population anger by 3% (a value of 30) per turn, and the Temporal Vacation Service reduces unhappiness by 6% every turn.
- Having ships in a system decreases unhappiness by 0,3% per ship. Having a big fleet within a system is thus an effective way of quenching unrest.
- Winning a battle in the system decreases unhappiness by 2% per battle won.

*Sector or planetary changes:
- Winning a battle over the sector decreases unhappiness by 5% per battle.
- Every troop on a planet decreases unhappiness by 0,2%, regardless of the strength of the troop.
- Friendly ships decreases unhappiness if they are over the planet(s) in question, by 1% per ship.
- Building ships and facilities should decrease unhappiness by 0,5%, which only affects the planet in question to the best of my knowledge (this bonus is fairly weak, and I have yet to see it play a major part, so I gather it is only planet wide).

And now the more annoying part, why you are losing happiness. It goes as follow:

* Empire wide happiness losses:
- Losing a planet (where the planet is destroyed from orbit) increases unhappiness by 5% for the whole Empire. This is the main reason why happiness collapses if you are fighting a defensive war (where your planets are being glassed). Losing your homeworld thus increases unhappiness by 10%, which may or may not stack with the regular happiness loss.
- Losing a ship increases unrest by 0,1% per ship lost. I believe it applies to the whole Empire, but may be wrong on this one; feel free to correct me if required.
- Having a planet captured increases unhappiness by 3% per planet captured.
- Specific treaties lower your happiness, such as War, Non Intercourse, and Subjugation/Protectorate when you are the dominated party. Again, this is only for the Peaceful happiness type.

* System wide happiness losses:
- The presence of enemy ships increases unrest by 0,5% per ship.
- Losing a battle in the system increases unrest by 2% per battle.
- Every ship lost in the system increases unrest by 0,2%.

* Sector or planet happiness losses:
- Losing a battle in the sector increases unhappiness by 5%, while having a battle without a clear victor increases unhappiness by 1%.
- Every enemy ship in the sector increases unrest by 0,8%. (CapnQ)
- Every one million settler killed increases unhappiness by 0,1%.
- Enemy troops on the planet (in the case of long ground battles) increases unrest by no less than 20%.
- Having a plagued planet increases unrest by 20% as well.

The following can improve or decrease happiness:
- Points above 100 in the Happiness characteristic gives you a small increase of happiness for your whole Empire, whereas points below 100 decreases your global Happiness. Note that this effect has little impact on the game, because of the Natural happiness decrease.
- The Natural decrease is of 2% every turn, regardless of whatever else may happen. This will push happiness towards the Indifferent level if you are between Jubilant and Angry, by 2% every turn. So if you have a planet with a Jubilant status, this will be a decrease, whereas it will actually increase happiness for an Angry planet. Natural decrease does not allow you to "undo" a riot on a planet however. [Editor's note: the natural decrease applies to your native population. Any captured population has a natural decrease in happiness each turn which must be addressed by one of the methods mentioned here or planets with captured population will eventually riot.]

Since the 1.91 patch, there is an effective cap for happiness changes each turn. This is set at 20%, either positive or negative, and means you cannot increase or decrease unhappiness by more than 20% every turn. So if all your planets were Jubilant, you could not fall immediately to Riots in a single turn (you would need between four and five turns for it to happen). Before the 1.91 patch, this cap was indicated in full percents, and so was set at 200% (twice as much as the maximum anger value), hence resulting in immediate massive riots if you had lost enough planets in a single turn. [Thanks for a great discussion, Alneyan!]

12.1.5 _____________________



==========================

13.0 The AI

13.1 Mega Evil Empire (MEE)
13.1.1 Settings.txt governs if & how MEE is used. Basically, if used, this system tries to limit an empire from running away quickly and winning the game. If a player is declared MEE, all AI's will declare war on that player. A human or an AI can be the MEE. It does this by comparing the #1 player's score with an absolute value and to the #2 player's score. With default values, a human player becomes MEE when his score is 500k and is 170% of the next highest player. It is a little more forgiving on AI's since they won't be MEE until their score is 250% of the #2 player. New players are sometimes unaware of this and can't understand why a game is going great and then suddenly the whole galaxy appears to turn on him. This is why.

13.2 AI Tactics
13.2.1 AIs always fire everything that has any chance to hit as soon as possible, and never save up long reload weapons for the right moment.
_______________________

13.3 Neutral AI Empires
13.3.1 - All neutral AI empires can be identified by the same "bland" looking flag, but each will be of a different color. Neutral empires also all use the same shipset. Neutral empires will not expand out of their home system. However it is possible to see a ship from a neutral AI outside its system if the ship was captured (Crew Insurrection) or given from another empire but these ships can't go through warp points. If a rioting planet rebels, its new empire will be a neutral with colonists that look like their old empire and breathe the same atmosphere. If successful, Puppet Political Parties could cause the population of a planet to rebel to become a neutral or to become part of the empire which made the PPP attack.
13.3.2 Neutral empires can be created if a rioting planet rebels to form its own empire. This can be "helped along" by using the intelligence project Puppet Political Parties, which can also cause the planet to rebel to become part of your empire.
________________________________


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14.0 Turn Sequencing
14.0.1 This section is used to describe the order in which thing happen during simultaneous and sequential game turns.
14.0.2 Retrofits happen before resource income. So does mothballing and unmothballing, so you need to have the resources in the bank to finance these and not rely on income. Also this limits the maximum amount of resources that can be spent on a retrofit to your maximum storage capability. (Suicide Junkie)

14.1 Simultaneous.
14.1.1 Stellar manipulation happens before ship movement in simultaneous
14.1.2 Ship movement in sim games appears to take place before construction queues. I had an enemy move into orbit around my home planet. The blockade effect reduced my resource generation and I got a "Out of resources" message and no construction on that turn.
14.1.3 In general, things occur in the order that they appear in the turn Log.
14.1.4 I have tried to put in order the sum of the knowledge expressed here and have added a new Category "SHIP/FLEET EXPERIENCE, facility". Also added "SHIP/FLEET EXPERIENCE, combat" to the movement phase on the assumption that combat experience is updated after each round of combat. __________ need to fix this section.
A) UNIT LAUNCHING, planets
B) TREATY CHANGES, TRADES
C) MOVEMENT, 30 days, combat at every 5tth day.
-MINELAYING
-MINE SWEEPING
-UNIT LAUNCHING, ships
-LOADING
-UNLOADING
-STELLAR MANIPULATION
-SHIP/FLEET EXPERIENCE, combat
D) INTEL
E) RESOURCE CONVERSION
F) RETROFIT/MOTHBALL
G) REPAIR
H) INCOME
I) MAINTENANCE
J) RESEARCH
K) PRODUCTION
L) SHIP/FLEET EXPERIENCE, facility
New ships and ships which have their final movement at a planet with a ship training facility benefit from the facility in that turn, as do fleets. (tbontob, Roanon)

14.2 Sequential.
14.2.1 Facility effects happen after construction queues are run. Proof: My nature shrine upgraded from level 1 to level 2 on turn 2413.1, and my planet went from 150% to 152% at the same time.
14.2.2 Natural events happen at the beginning of your turn, - Repairs happen before other players start.

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15.0 Multiplayer
15.1 PBEM

15.2 PBW
15.2.1 The Play By Web Service is free of charge. (Follow this link)

15.3 TCP/IP Games

15.3.1 Here is a guide from the old FAQ forum for configuring TCP/IP Games. It was written by Resident Alien 2 and was last updated in 2002:

Here is a step by step guide on how I configured things.
My test Network Configuration was:
------------------------------
Home Network
1. Cable Modem
2. Linksys BEF SR41, 4 port network hub and cable modem router.
3. Host PC , Win XP, SE4 Gold.
4. Player 1, Win ME, SE4 Gold.
Connecting Via Internet
1. Player 2, Win NT 4 laptop, via dialup ISP, SE4 Gold.
See P93 - 94 of SE4 Gold Manual
Configuration Steps (Skip stuff you don't have or need)
-------------------
1. Configure Host (Win XP)
a) My Host PC is running Norton Firewall (NIS 2002). I configured SE4.EXE as a program that can communicate with any TCP or UDP port, incomming and outgoing, to and from any IP address.
b) Deactivated built in Win XP Firewall.
2. Configure Linksys BEFSR41 router, via Internet Explorer configuration pages.
a) click on 'Status' tab and record your WAN IP ADDRESS. This is the IP remote players will connect to.
a) Click on 'Advanced' Tab, then on 'Forwarding' tab.
b) Set Service Port Range 6716 to 6720, to forward 'Both' protocols (udp and tcp) to the INTERNAL IP of the Host (XP) pc on the home network. On my network this is 172.16.9.100.
c) Click on 'Apply' and continue.
3. Start SE4 on Host PC.
a) New Game, configure map and stuff as per normal.
b) Add an empire file. This isn't the one you will be using but I found it works if you do this.
c) At Game Mechanics window choose Different Machines, Simultaneous Moves, enter Multiplayer game filename (note this down and tell the players before they start setup), choose TCP/IP Host. Click Begin Game.
d) Host screen displayed and it sits there waiting for players to connect.
e) At this point the players need to know your WAN (Internet) IP ADDRESS and the Multiplayer Game Filename.
4. Player 2, via Internet
a) Dial into ISP, connect to Internet.
b) Start SE4.
c) New Game.
d) Add an empire file. This isn't the one you will be using but I found it works if you do this.
e) At Game Mechanics window choose Different Machines, Simultaneous Moves, enter Multiplayer game filename, choose TCP/IP Player. Click Begin Game.
f) TCP/IP Player screen is displayed. Enter the WAN IP ADDRESS (host needs to tell player) at Host IP Address and enter a Player Name. Click Connect to Host.
g) Should connect, get message saying waiting for all players.
5. Player 1, Via home network.
a) As above, from point b.
b) Instead of WAN IP ADDRESS, use the INTERNAL IP of the host on your network.
6. Host.
a) Players are listed on screen as they connect.
b) After all players are connected, Click Begin Game
7. Player 1 and Player 2
a) Click Create Empire and add new or existing empire file. Click Begin Game.
(Add a password to your empire files.)
8. Host
a) After a player has added an empire the host can then click on Add Empire to add an empire file. Click Begin Game.
b) After all players have created empire, host clicks Process Turn.
9. Host and Players
a) Click Play Turn, do stuff, click end of turn.
10. Host
a) Process Turn, status is displayed on screen.
11. Repeat, until you reach victory

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16 Customizing the game (Mods & Shipsets)
See SEIV Modding 101 Tutorial
16.1 Popular mods (Quikngruvn)
16.1.1 TDM-Modpack: greatly improves the stock AI and adds several new races and fleet formations, but does not change anything else in the game (components, techs, etc.). Created and maintained by Tampa_Gamer, Daynarr, and [K126]Mephisto.
16.1.2 Pirates and Nomads: introduces Quasi-Newtonian Propulsion (bigger ships need more engines to move), Pirate and Nomad racial traits (they do not need colonies to survive), and a whole slew of other gizmos and racial traits. Created and maintained by Suicide_Junkie.
16.1.3 Proportions: an attempt at a more 'realistic' game by dramatically slowing colony development. Reproduction is dropped to 10% of normal and production on lightly-inhabited worlds is significantly dropped, while homeworld production is boosted significantly. Also introduces many new components and facilities, and balances costs for racial characteristics. Created and maintained by PvK.
16.1.4 Devnullmod: Introduces new components and techs, a tweaked combat system, and AI's to use the changes effectively. Also includes the infamous Space Monsters. Created by Devnullicus, maintained by Rollo.
See changes from standard game at http://www.jeffleggett.com/devnull.html
16.1.5 Fyron's Quadrant Mod: Introduces many new quadrant and system types, including several that are AI-friendly. Also includes nearly 40,000 (!) system names. Created and maintained by Imperator Fyron.
16.1.6 There are a whole bunch of other mods out there, such as the Babylon 5 mod, the Star Trek: The Next Generation mod, and Derek's Mod, that I am just not familiar enough with to comment on. There are many more that I have forgotten about as well. If I missed your favorite mod, please don't flay me, as I am just a scatterbrain (and I've written too much tonight as it is [Razz] ).

16.2 Managing Mods(Quikngruvn)
16.2.1 Each mod is placed into its own directory in the Space Empires IV folder. (Quikngruvn)
16.2.2 There are several ways to make SEIV use a mod instead of the stock files:
16.2.2.1 Use Matryx Mod Launcher Instructions are available with the program.
16.2.2.2 Edit the file path.txt. Instructions are in that file.
16.2.2.3 Launch SEIV using command line options. Instructions are in history.txt, under 'Version 1.39.'

16.3 Combining MODs (Arkcon)
16.3.1 Always put each mod in its individual subdirectory. If the mod changes a file, the subdirectory will contain a new file. If the mod subdirectory doesn't contain a certain file, SE4 uses the file from the default directory.
16.3.2 Once you've the MODs in their own subdirectory, you can see two MODs side by side.
16.3.3 If they don't modify the same file, it's easy to put them together. Just copy files over. Or create a new mod folder for your merged MOD.
16.3.4 If they do modify the same file, now you have some work to do. The data files are all text. You can cut and paste, but you have to be careful.
16.3.4.1 Definitely create a new folder for your new mod.
16.3.4.2 You have to check if there are redundant items, or incompatible items in the text files for your merged mod, and make some decisions about what to include.
16.3.4.3 Putting extra blank lines between text blocks and at the end of a text file has been known to confuse SE4 and cause it to not load the file.
16.3.4.4 Altering the order of some components has been know to affect the AI's ability to use a component. This is especially true with the colonization techs.
16.3.5 Q: How can I get new empires onto an old Version of SEIV?
A(capnq): There's a section of the Mod Archives for "Classic mods (pre-Gold)" {link}. It has the last pre-Gold Version of TDM (v2.00), plus the pre-Gold Version of my HypermazeLite mod. You should also check out the Old Scenario Archives {link} while they're still there.

16.4 Q&A on installing Mods
Q: How do I Install a mod?
A(Atrocities):
a. Unzip all files into your \Space Empires IV folder. (Where the Data - Savegame - AI etc. folders are)
b. Start a game by altering the Path.txt to say the name of the folder (Mod) instead of NONE, or use the ModLauncher program. (Its on the Gold CD in the Extra Folder)
c.A mod will use all information from SEIV that it does not contain. That is to say if the mod does not use its own ship sets, then it will use the sets from the unmodded game.
If it does use its own ships, then you can copy any ship set you want into the MODName/Pictures/Race folder and the Mod will use it.
d.Mods should not erase or replace any information say for the PATH.TXT
If the PATH.TXT is altered, you can change it back to normal by opening it in note pad and changing the MODname to None. Then save and close.
It is recommended by all that you use the ModLauncher Program.

16.5 Shipsets
16.5.1 Q: How do I install ship sets?
A(Atrocities):
a. Unzip all files into your \Space Empires IV\Pictures\Races folder.
b. Copy the EMP files to the Empires Folder in your main SEIV Gold Directory.
c. Copy the Design Names, example "TrekNames".Txt file to the DesignNames Folder in your main SEIV Gold Directory.
d. Start a game, and select EXISTING RACE from the Players Tab.
e. You can edit the race if you want. Just be sure to save your work.

16.5.2 Updating older shipsets. (CapnQ)
Are you getting errors after downloading a shipset.
Bet you that it's an old shipset that needs to be updated.
Here are updated instructions for converting AIs from v1.49 or earlier to be compatible with Gold; There's also uploaded .zip of these in the Mod Archives.

Q: How to patch a pre-Gold AI to work with Gold?
A(CapnQ):
a. Pick an existing Gold race which you want the new race to act like.
b. Open the Gold race's <race>_AI_Settings.txt
c. Highlight and copy the lines from
"Ships don't move through minefields := <true/false>"
to
"Maximum Anti-Planet Drone Target System Distance := <number>"
d. Open the new race's <race>_AI_Settings.txt
e. Paste the copied text after
"Personality Group := <number>"
f. Save the file.
g. Open the Gold race's <race>_AI_Fleets.txt
h. Highlight and copy the line
"Percentage of Fleets to use for defense := <number>"
i. Open the new race's <race>_AI_Fleets.txt
j. Paste the copied text after
"Fleets Default Strategy := <strategy>"
k. Save the file.
l. If the new race has a <race>_AI_Strategies.txt file, open the Gold race's <race>_AI_Strategies.txt . If the Gold race doesn't have a Strategies file, open the Default_AI_Strategies.txt file from the Ai folder.
m. Highlight and copy the lines from
"Name := Drone Attack"
to
"Break Formation Drones := <true/false>"
n. Open the new race's <race>_AI_Strategies.txt
o. Paste the copied text after the last
"Break Formation Drones := <true/false>"
entry.
p. Save the file.
q. The new race is now Gold compatible. (Note that by "compatible", I mean the race won't produce all those error Messages; this patch will /not/ teach the AI to research drones.)

===============================

17 Strategy Articles

17.1 Empire Design

17.2 Early Economy and Exploration(Section by Stone Mill)

17.2.1 Principles
I. Acquire all possible systems and planets while denying them to your opponent
II. Expand immediately, continue to push forward, and backfill systems after the enemy's position is estimated
III. Protect your assets with minimal defenses until you are in a position to overwhelm the enemy with superior forces and technology
IV. Maintain an economic harmony by practicing efficiency during your empire's growth; Keep most of your planets constructing assets while not wasting resources (producing a large mineral excess that is wasted every turn) or slipping into a resource shortage (lacking enough resources to keep most of your planets producing)
V. Build your designs according to a given planet's production rate

17.2.2 Land Rush
Build as many colonizers as possible in the first 10 turns. This will require the ability to construct one colony ship per turn, using emergency build. Even better; build one colony ship that includes a supply component (for longer range). Also, you may wish to include a design with cargo (for extra population, or units to accompany the new colony). The advantages to "Land Rush" are that you will have many colonies to give your empire a jump start, claiming systems before other players. The disadvantage is that you will have to cope with your homeworld on slow build for 10 turns afterward.
This strategy involves elements in several areas:
a. Empire construction. You will have to adjust your race's construction rate until it allows you to build the desired ship in one turn, (IMPORTANT) after your homeworld loses population (the rate will drop after the first colonizer departs, unless you have advanced storage).
b. Sizes of homeworlds. Check the game setting for the size of the homeworld you will begin with. Your rate of production will vary in respect to the population bonus to production. You will (generally) need to begin with a "good" starting planet to use this strat.
c. Cost of ship. Don't be afraid of building a ship with 4 engines in one turn, if a 5-engine ship will take you 2 turns. I've built ships with 2 engines to colonize planets in my home system (usually constructed with a Space Yard Base).
Many players like to start the game building one or more Space Yard Bases. Building these in one turn is also very advantageous. Regardless, if you can't produce it in one turn, there is no point in setting your homeworld on emergency build for nothing. Rather, tweak your empire's construction rate until it offers the desired result.

17.2.3 Home or Away?
Should I colonize in my home system to get things rolling, or send them through the warp points? I personally like to send them out, because of the fact an economic player wants to dominate all available space in the quadrant, while denying it to the enemy. When doing so, I try to colonize a planet in my home system by turn 3-4 so I can get another space yard on-line to compensate for my homeworld when it is in slow mode.

17.2.3.1 Your colonizers will not be protected and will be in trouble should they be so unlucky as to run into an armed scout. But if they do, they are far from defenseless:
a. Colonize and launch mines (or build a weapon platform). This will take 3 turns. If you will be reached within 3 turns, go out the way you came.
b. Sit at the back end of the warp point and set your ship's strategy to "Kamikaze." You will be greatly surprised at how often this works.
c. Bait the attacking ship over an existing planet's mines.

17.2.3.2 Key Point: The primary objective of your first wave of colonizers, is, believe it or not, to meet the enemy. This will reveal their position and allow you to follow up and do your best to box them in. If you go a long way without encountering them, colonize a nice planet when you are eventually low on fuel.
Once a front line is estimated, your next waves of colonizers will be able to back-fill all those beauties you passed along the way. For the purposes of preparing for war, you want to colonize all you can near the front line to have ship production capability in a forward system.

17.2.4 The Clinton: Deny, Deny, Deny
The best way to deny territory to your foe is to lay mines or satellites at the warp points. You will need to get out there as early as possible. There is nothing like the crack of mines to deter an opponent from proceeding through a warp point. Many valuable turns are lost while he researches and produces minesweeping capability. In the mean time, you can establish the system, bring up defenses, or reinforce the point (if you have determined it is a logical choke point or "front line.")

17.2.4.1 I prefer to research mines ASAP, as they are the best early defense. However, this will take a few turns. And you can't build minelayers until then. So my secondary choice is to build satellite launching scouts, especially if I'm concerned that my foe is close.

17.2.4.2 Secret Revealed! My personal favorite design is a transport with 2 minelayers + cargo (if possible, I add a weapon and point defense). Secondary design is a transport with one satellite launcher + cargo + weapon + PD. Movement is 5 and you can get it out the door very early usually (at turn 3 or so). This design offers the following flexibility:
a. Can lay units at forward warp points when front line is drawn
b. Can destroy new enemy colonies
c. Can destroy enemy colonizers and challenge enemy scouts if necessary

17.2.4.3 Hook and Ladder
Immediately after you build your unit layer(s), don't let it sit waiting for units from your home planet! Send it out right behind your colonizers. Load units from newly colonized planets along the way. Your new colonies on the front lines can immediately produce units to "hand off" to the layer that is following (a.k.a. Hook and Ladder). If you made a base turn one, build units with your base for it to carry. Otherwise, keep your home planet pumping out colonizers!

17.2.4.4 The Great Seal
Lay sats at your opponent's exit side of a warp point, so they will get first shot a point blank range. Enemy scouts will usually suffer bad damage or be destroyed. Sats are very unreliable elsewhere.
Lay mines at your leisure; best position is your opponent's entry side of the warp point. This is a gamble, however, as you will need to blindly warp first. If you are unlucky, you may lose your ship to the unknown waiting at the other side. Best bet: lay 'em before and after, if you have enough. It is also sometimes effective to drop mines over planets your opponent will value, if you can't get to the point to seal off the system.
Your ultimate goal is to drop mines at every point in the front line system so your opponent is contained. At this point reload mines and continue to stack

17.2.4.5 Stop, Drop, and Roll
If you encounter the enemy and are clearly outclassed, drop your mines and sit. A smart opponent won't bite more than once. But you will find that you can move from point, as long as you have mines, and your opponent will have to gamble in order to attack you.
If the enemy is a good distance away, your layer will be running low on fuel. To keep momentum, build a resupply depot (on emergency build, if necessary) so that layer does not have to break stride. It can load units, stay active, and cause havoc. And the next wave of colonizers can now refuel for extended range.
The opening turns are probably the most crucial. If played correctly (and with a bit of luck) you will be well positioned for vast empire growth.

17.2.5 Production and Construction Junction
Depending on the type of empire you like to run, you will start constructing various facilities while building ships. Regardless, the efficient rule of thumb is to maintain an economic harmony by practicing efficiency during your empire's growth; Keep most of your planets constructing assets while not wasting resources (producing a large mineral excess that is wasted every turn) or slipping into a resource shortage (lacking enough resources to keep most of your planets producing). In summary, spend all of your minerals each turn, while resisting digging into your storage.
You will need stored materials for retrofitting sooner than you think.


17.2.6 Tweak it!
Build your designs according to a given planet's production rate. This means that you will have to pay attention to the cost (usually mineral) of your designs. You want to be able to produce ships and units in the lowest amount of turns possible. For example, if your planet's production rate is 2000, it does not make sense to design a weapons platform that costs 2100. Edit the design with a different or less expensive component, or remove a component so that it may be built in one turn. OR Build it in 2 turns; and edit the design so that it costs 4000. This also comes into play when using emergency build. If your planet is constructing 3000 on emergency build, by all means get the most bang for your buck, and create designs that cost 3000, 6000, and 9000.

17.2.7 Fini
This concludes my article on Early Economy and Growth. I hope you enjoyed it, and, if you are new to the game, I hope you have taken something away. Any questions, clarification, or comments are most welcome. Cheers! (Stone Mill)

17.3 Managing Your Economy

17.3.1 Principles
I. A Strong Economy is the Backbone of your Game
II. Expand and Develop your Planets With Efficiency
III. Strive for Economic Harmony
IV. Adjust your Production to Meet the Needs of your Construction
V. Predict and Prepare for Crippling Resource Swings

17.3.2 Overview
Of all factors involved in SEIV, economy is perhaps the most critical, yet widely underestimated factor. It will take many games before you have an understanding of how to run an empire efficiently. Economy has a direct relationship with the number and quality of machines in your military.

-- Production refers to your empireís resource output; the amount of minerals, organics, rads, intel, and research points generated.
-- Construction refers to your empireís ability to build in respect to how many resource points may be used in a turn by a componentís rate %.

17.3.3 Ramifications of a Troubled Economy

Economic woes are usually tied to a lack of resources (produced or in storage), or swings in happiness.

Issues involved with lack of resources:
a. Ships will not be built
b. Refits will not occur
c. Ships will be abandoned at random due to shortages; as opposed to scrapped. The main difference is that when you intentionally scrap a ship, you get a percentage (in settings.txt) of the resources back. Abandoned ships return no resources, any cargo being carried is lost, and the game certainly won't choose wisely when deciding which ships to abandon.

Issues involved with happiness:
A planetís resource production % will decline in respect to the planetís declining happiness (FAQ 4.4.8.1). Also, a planet will construct at 100% rate as long as it is not rioting. When rioting occurs, a planet will not produce resources or construct anything (FAQ 4.4.7). This is a very bad state. So it is in your interest to:

a. Keep your people happy (strive for Jubilant)
b. Prevent Riots

Widespread rioting is the worst pain your empire can feel; bringing your empireís economy crashing. It is very difficult to recover, and potentially game-ending.

17.3.4 Economics at Empire Creation
When developing your race, they are many selections which may enhance (or limit) your economic capability:

Culture Selection
Pay attention to the modifiers; most are small and somewhat fairly balanced. That small bonus is nice boost when compounded with bonuses in other areas.

Characteristics
The most economically important selections are:
a. Maintenance: Although costly, this has a drastic effect on the size of your military. Boost it. Always.
b. Construction: Significantly increased to help your rate. Itís nice to build stuff faster.
c. Mining Aptitude: Help your mineral %
d. Organic Aptitude: Usually reduced, unless you are playing an organic race
e. Radioactive Aptitude: May be reduced, but avoid if possible
f. Repair: Avoid reducing this. Retrofitting requires lots of repair
g. Political Savvy: Very nice to boost trade %, as long as you have lots of friends. But donít rely on it much; things go bad.
h. Happiness: Donít reduce it. Itís hard enough to keep them happy. An inexpensive increase can go a long way.
i. Reproduction: Nice to raise if compounding and/or organic. Usually kept even. Otherwise, reducing a bit does not hurt.
j. Environmental Resistance: Usually reduced without much impact

Advanced Traits
The most economically important selections are:
a. Advanced Storage Techniques: Itís like getting 20% more facilities.
b. Hardy Industrialists: Again, Itís nice to build more faster.
c. Natural Merchants: Not needing spaceports = instant application of resources. Nice; but I spend the 1000 elsewhere
d. Special Racial traits: provide their own unique components and facilities, detailed later in the article

17.3.5 Manage your Maps
Part of being a strong economic player is keeping track of things in your empire. The stronger you lean toward micromanagement, the healthier your economy will be.
Do it Yourself
I donít use ministers. I donít like them messing up my master plan. They will never be as efficient as you can be.
Game settings that may Help
a. Empire Status -> Empire Options -> General Options. I select all of these. Select Display note when similar system-wide abilities exist, which will warn you if you attempt to build a duplicate special facility.
b. Empire Status -> Empire Options -> System Display. I select all of these. It helps to see as much as you can on the map.

System Notes
I like to keep track using the system notes on the galactic map of such things as which system-wide facilities are built, if the system has cloak detection sats, and other system type info (see also section 11.1).

It is helpful to place new tech in queue immediately when you get it, so you donít forget to add it later. Go from system to system in one sweeping motion.

Find your own method of keeping track of things. A good old notepad does the job, too. Personally, I try and do most of it in my head.

17.3.6 Expansion
Expand, expand, expand. SEIV game design follows standard 4X concept: the more resource producing sites you have - the stronger you are. There is almost no intrinsic brakes to make overexpansion a disadvantage (mega evil empire is one). (Oleg)

Whether against the AI or against humans, there are some best practices for expansion:

17.3.6.1 Colony Theory
Get as many planets as you can, as quick as you can. Opinions differ on whether to colonize away or home:

Away : As discussed in FAQ 4.2.13 and 17.2, it is advised to send colony ships away. Note that doing so can be risky if you are unlucky. Sending your colonizers away means you will generally fall behind early on research and minerals and new space yards. However the benefits of outward colonization will be far superior, as you will have annexed a greater portion of the quadrant (if you can defend it). The main value is investing. The returns from your colonization will be slower, but eventually they will bring large returns when your systems come on-line in mid game. In general, this is because your are seeking out better planets rather than simply grabbing available ones; and claiming a bigger chunk of the quadrant.

Home : Players who colonize the home system first receive immediate application of resources to their empire and will have space yards Online quicker, and have better home defense. They sacrifice getting a bigger slice of the galaxy and risk being boxed-in.

Tips : Usually I choose something of a mix. If there are large favorable planets at home, I usually prioritize them after I have sent a colonizer out in every direction from home. The danger in traveling too far with your first wave is that you will be caught without construction capability (especially if you have used the Land Rush technique). You need to make sure you put some colonies to work early and make space yards to continue the colonization process.

17.3.6.2 Planet Prioritization
Generally, colonize breathable (green asterisk) planets first; the larger the better, and especially high percentage resource planets. Use planets with poor resource values as your research centers. Get them right to work with a space port and build facilities. It is key to get at least one of each early, if possible. Early on, avoid using these planets as space yard planets.

Secondly, colonize domed (red asterisk) planets first; the larger the better. Choose domed planet(s) in a given system and designate it as a space yard planet. This planet may be used for building more colonizers, and early defense. You want your yard planets to be close to the front lines, but not too close as to risk losing them before they are on-line. Tip: Keep your Construction capability to the front lines to that it may be leveraged against the enemy! Depending on the map, you may find that systems in the rear will need little or no yards at all.

Thirdly, use the rest of the available planets to achieve economic harmony. By the latter stages of the game, all worlds should be put to use.

Note : Prioritize ruin planets, if they are available. Personally, I prioritize them just after breathables unless there is danger of another empire taking it, in which case ruins are highest priority. If you don't have the colonizing tech for the ruin planet yet, try to defend it to deny it to the enemy.

17.3.6.3 Get all Colonization Techs and Breathers Possible

When you encounter other races, trade for the other 2 colonization techs. This will exponentially increase your economic potential. Colony tech for colony tech is never refused by the AI, any your treaty type (even war) does not matter. The AI may even accept system maps for a colony tech.

Also acquire all available breathers, through trade or capture. Placing the breather population in the applicable atmosphere type gives you a whopping return in the number of facilities available! (FAQ 4.2.5-6, 10.2.1)

17.3.6.4 The Population Shuffle
The goal of moving population is to develop as many planets with a (production / construction ) bonus as possible (FAQ 4.4.8.1). Moving population around for the sake of increasing you overall population stat isnít necessarily efficient. Choose large breathable worlds and routinely ship them new citizens by "skimming your homeworld." Usually, I choose to develop worlds with a minimum of 500 population.

Homeworlds start out the game jam-packed. They are churning out bonus population, but have no place to put them. It is in your interest to skim off population and drop it on your nicer new worlds. On your new colonies, population grows slowly (FAQ 4.7), and will be more noticeable when it is increased to a substantial amount.
Note; Production & construction rates can drop after you remove population from your homeworld. Advanced Storage Techniques will add more space for population so that you can remove some population without losing your bonuses.

Any ship with cargo can be used for this. I commonly use minelayers, carriers, troop transports, etc., to move population when they aren't occupied. Many players build population transports for this sole purpose. The process is gradual, and will take a while before you realize benefits on the target planet.

What a wonderful thing it is to capture enemy planets in-tact filled with population. Commonly, the population may not match the appropriate atmosphere. This is where you must shuffle the population at the front for large returns. Use the extra room on your troop transport to assist (if you have time).

Hot Tip : Troop transports should have a small batch of breathers of every type (as you collect them), so you may immediately drop the appropriate type on the conquered planet, and extract the current citizens.

17.3.7 Economic Harmony (also referenced in 17.2.1)

Economic Harmony is practicing efficiency during your empireís growth; Keep most of your planets constructing assets while not wasting resources (producing a large mineral excess that is wasted every turn) or slipping into a resource shortage (lacking enough resources to keep most of your planets constructing). In summary, spend all of your produced minerals each turn, while resisting digging into your storage.
You will need stored materials for retrofitting sooner than you think.

This is very difficult to achieve; but you can become efficient with practice. Monitor the Empire Status (F11) (Crown Icon) window early in the turn, and constantly check back after construction choices. Assess the resource type you need, and allocate new or existing colonies toward that goal. Donít be afraid to switch a planet you were using for research to radioactives production, should your empire need them.

Also, you should be constantly building research facilities somewhere. This is a staple to the game. Early game, this is a huge priority, as long as your resources are stable. Mid-game, when you have a stable research base, this may become less of a priority, and you can focus more on resource production to support military activities.

17.3.7.1 How many Space Yards do I need?
Common pitfalls experienced:
a. Building too many spaceyards that you never leverage. Commonly, this is because you donít have enough resources to support construction, or the yard is too far away from the front lines. Use the slot for an extra production facility instead of wasting 5 turns of SY construction depleting your economy.
b. Building too little spaceyards. Commonly, this is not having enough yards ready to construct with the full amount of your resource production. Usually, you can estimate how many yards you will need by how many colony types and breathers you may leverage. In a KOTH [King of the Hill games at PBW] game, you can usually expect to have only one of each, lending to a moderate economic potential at best. So, you may have something like 50% of your planets with yards, mostly toward the front lines. In a perfect arrangement, you may be able to have a spaceyard on every planet constructing. This generally will require your having access to all colony types and breathers, lending to a soaring economy. You may get close to this in large PBW games.

17.3.7.2 Planet Values %
Pay attention to the mineral, organic, and radioactive value % on a planetís details. When determining where to build a facility, use a planet close to or exceeding 100% for a given resource type. That percentage is part of the formula used in producing your empireís total resources:

(Extraction Facility value) x (planetís resource type %) x (empireís racial %) x (Planet Computer Facility %) x (System Computer Facility %) x (planetís happiness %) x (population %) x = total mineral resources committed to your empire for that facility.

For example, a Mineral Miner I extracts (700) x Planet mineral 120% (1.2) x empire racial bonus 110% (1.1) x Planet Robotoid factory I 110%(1.1) x System Robotoid factory 110% (1.1) x Jubilant happiness 120% (1.2) x 500 population 110% (1.1) = (x) mineral resources committed to your empire for that facility.

Use planets that have mediocre or low resource values as research or intel centers. The same basic formula applies for total points available for projects.

In the example above, you can see the value of important factors in boosting your economic output.

Note: Don't force an absolute minimum value for building miners. I've built mineral miners on planets with a minerals value of 40 before. It all depends on the game and what you need. If you have plenty of planets with high values, use low value planets for research and such. If not, you may need more resources (Imperator Fyron).

17.3.7.3 Develop Your Planets

The key to economic growth is maximizing your planet development. Special facilities can help, but they take a while to build. Therefore, in a small universe or one-on-one game, I rarely use any advanced facilities, unless Iím really comfortable and secure.

Medium scope game facilities :
a. Planet Robotoid Factory (Computers). I usually build these last on a planet. Second to last, I build a space yard to expedite the build time and facility upgrade time (quite often, I set the yard on emergency build for these.)
b. System Robotoid Factory (Computers). I usually build these last on a planet. Second to last, I build a space yard to expedite the build time and facility upgrade time (quite often, I set the yard on emergency build for these.)
Note: System Robotoid Facilities do not increase the benefits of remote mining. (Imperator Fyron)
c. Monolith Facilities: only if the planet has good values across all categories, and I feel I can wait 5 turns. (see 17.3.7.4 for discussion)
d. Scanners: I donít generally use them because the bonus is applied to only one resource area, rather than all three. And you cannot use both Robotoids and Scanners at the same location; only one takes effect. [Note: after v1.91 patch, the individual bonus facilities have a higher bonus than the Robotoid facility]
e. Urban Pacification Centers: Populations will grow happier in this system; Not too expensive, and worth it in the long run. Will nudge your planets to jubilant, and especially help pacify foreign citizens. Subtle and slowly effective.

Large scope game facilities : (see FAQ 4.3)
a. Resource Converter: Converts between resource types with a 30% (at best) loss of material; comes in real handy when you have an unexpected surplus of one type
b. Ultra Recycler: Items scrapped in this sector will reclaim 80% of their original resource value (I donít use them).
c. Atmosphere converters: Changes the atmosphere of the planet to one that is breathable by its colony over 2 (at best) years (thatís 20 game turns) Iím too impatient. I wonít use them unless the breathers arenít available
d. Climate Control Facilities: Improves the conditions of the planet up to 3% each year. I never think to use them.
e. Value Improvement Plants: Improves the mineral, organic, and rad value of the planet up to 3% each year. Requires patience; but a slow payoff.

Special facilities and economics : (see FAQ 4.3)

-Religious
a. Time Shrine: Increase mineral production in a system up to 15%
b. Nature Shrine: Improves the conditions of all planets in the system up to 3% each year
c. Fate Shrine: Improves the happiness of the populations who live in this system

-Crystalline
a. Solar Generator: Generates up to 300 minerals, organics, and radioactives per star each turn. May be interesting in a multiple star system
b. Crystalline Restructuring Plant: Reduces all vehicle maintenance costs in the system by up to 30%. This can really help defensive buildup. Remember, the bonus is lost when you leave.

-Organic
a. Gestation Vats: Populations in this system will reproduce up to 3% faster (may be combined with Replicant Centers)
b. Replicant Centers: Populations in this system will increase by 40M per turn (may be combined with Gestation Vats)
c. Medical labs: Prevents plagues, populations in this system will reproduce 1% faster, and Populations will grow happier in this system

-Temporal
a. Temporal Vacation Service: Improves the happiness of the populations who live in this system. More effective than an Urban Pacification Center.
b. Temporal Shipyards: Temporal Shipyards (I, II, and III) have higher construction rates than a spaceyard III, but a planet with a spaceyard facility has to scrap it before building a TSY.

Upgrading Facilities
As soon as you get new tech, donít forget the Upgrade button. Generally build a space yard first to expedite the facility upgrade time on larger worlds. With smaller planets, just upgrade direct.

17.3.7.4 The Monolith Economy

Some players rely more heavily on monoliths than others. The Monolith Economy includes them as a key component (used with a resource converter). Included herein are the arguments for and against:

Factors For:

a. It is generally accepted monoliths aren't efficient in small games or in the early game. If you only care about short term gains (such as early game, small maps, early wars), go with normal miners. If you care about long term gains (large maps, mid-game, no early wars that are not resulting in you steamrolling over a minor empire), go with Monoliths. But in large epic games, going with Monoliths is pretty much always a better idea. Such games often have long periods of peace, and those periods are good for getting Monoliths going. Compare Monolith III with Miner III, 2700 (or 1800 of one resource with converter Is) to 1000 resources. In the long term, Monoliths really pay off. (Imperator Fyron)

b. Build time: Also, SY III + HI + 120 const. apt. gets Monoliths in 3 turns on low pop worlds, and in 2 turns on high pop worlds. Take Organic, and you can make all planets high pop worlds (well, large and huge ones, at any rate) in no time. Temporal is not the only way to get fast construction rates. (Imperator Fyron)

c. Gradual introduction: If you really wanted to build the monolith economy, but still gain maximum resources as soon as possible. Would you not build the normal economy first, say resource II's. But for the final two facility slots build a space yard for improved build and start the first monolith. As each monolith completes, scrap a normal facility and build another monolith. It is a lot a micromanagement, but it will get you the most resources along the way. (cybersol)

d. Building a Robotoid Factory III after the 4th Monolith often takes just one more turn than a Monolith, and gives many more resources than a Robotoid on a planet with normal miners does (as there is much more base production).

Factors Against:

a. I never build monoliths in the early game, and find that Monoliths aren't really comparatively desirable until Monolith III is available. The early build cost (up to 5 turns) with a regular space yard is too prohibitive. Usually, your empire needs immediate application of resources. They also set your economy back because of the high build cost. If I have better construction % (can build them in 2-3 turns), I will be somewhat more likely to use them. Generally, I can only pump out Monoliths this fast with Temporal yards, or when a planet has been eventually groomed to SY III, jubilant, high population. (Stone Mill)

b. I still look at Monoliths like a luxury item. In a competitive game against humans, I stick with:
-- I usually build monoliths only when I have a planet with good values in all 3 resource types (and there aren't that many of 'em). I may sometimes select a planet with 2 out of 3, if I need those 2 types.
-- If for some reason I am comfortable and don't need the resources immediately, and I don't feel threatened (which is rare). If I'm playing the AI, I may toy around a bit more, because I certainly don't feel as threatened. (Stone Mill)

c. If anyone wants to prove it to themselves, just do a few case studies and add up the net resources over time:
- Make sure you subtract the resources you spend on the facilities you build and add in the resources the facility makes on the turn after it is built. Do this for every turn and you will find that building monoliths will create a large resource deficit for many turns - is your other income able to absorb this and still be competitive?
- Make sure you account for the time it takes to build the facilities,
- You can include a resource converter in the end if you wish, but this really benefits both sides of the argument,
- If you build a spaceyard before building facilities to speed up build time, include the resources and time to build it as well as the increased facility construction rate,
- If you build value improvement plants, include the resources and time to build and the time to increase resource percentages,
- Use real game probabilities for planet resource percentages. It is much easier to find a planet which is > 100% in one resource than to find one that is > 100% in all 3 resources.
- Consider planet size. No matter what your build rate, it takes far longer to fill a large or huge planet with monoliths than individual resource facilities.
- Since monoliths I, II, III all cost the same, they all take the same time to build, but the lower level ones produce less. On a standard planet with standard construction rate (2000, 2000, 2000) a single resource facility level II can be built in 1 turn with no spaceyard. When the last one is built, they all can be upgraded to level III's. This method will fill a planet the quickest and the extra cost for upgrading is made up by having the level II facilities built in 1 turn instead of 2 turns for a level III so you have the income sooner.
- Finally, compare both schemes and see how low your resource deficits get while building (this will surprise the monolith builders) and how many turns out it takes before a monolith planet exceeds a single resource planet. There is no doubt that a monolith system will eventually out-produce single resource facilities. The real question is at what point and what happens in the meantime? You will find that this time is very long (too many variables to put a discrete number here), but try some case studies yourself and you can see that it will be many many turns. And in the meantime, your enemies are coming... (Slick)

17.3.8 Setting up the Front
Expansionism and military support go hand in hand, I can't seem to operate one without the other. So much boils down to an effective balance between managing your economy and having a long enough arm (militarily) to protect your fledgling colonies. (Echo Mirage)

17.3.8.1 Co-occupation?
Personally, I resist co-occupation at all costs, and try to enforce sole possession of any system I occupy. I usually do this by military action (denial via units and attack ships) or through politics (offering a player something in return for their planet(s)), especially if I have the basis of "claiming a system" first. Why?
a. Keep all the resources for your own empire. When you later achieve system-wide facilities, the bonus will be applied to all planets in a given system.
Note: They benefit only the empire that owns them; planets owned by other empires in that system do not receive a bonus.
b. It is easier to defend warp points. It takes far less effort to build defenses at a choke point on the front line than to build defenses on each planet, or risk leaving planets vulnerable. A co-occupying planet in your system is a thorn in your side that will attract your constant attention for monitoring hostile activity.

So, what to do if a frontier system is co-occupied? The answer may surprise you: Create a sole outpost.

17.3.8.2 The Outpost
While an outpost has more to do with military strategy, it deserves attention in economics because of the potential damage that is done by over-colonizing the front line:

-- Losing planets to an enemy - Decreases happiness, causes rioting; Negatively impacts both production and construction

So, do not rush into a system and "grab as many planets as you can" in the area you determine to be the front line. Create a single strongpoint in that system and defend it well. Do not panic if your opponent grabs these planets; if you play correctly, this will be a mistake for which you will make him pay. Concentrate on denying further penetration, and build up you outpost with mines, weapon platforms, etc.

17.3.8.3 Staging System and Forward Bases

The Staging System is the system directly behind the front-line system with your outpost. It will contain your Forward Base for this front. All planets will be colonized; and yards will be your priority. Good Forward Bases have your training centers, resupply, repair capability (ships / bases). They are best over colonizable moons, which can be used to build an additional training facility, increasing the % of training per round. Ships are retrofit and repaired here with the latest tech while they are repaired and staged. Your fleet can be used for defense, or applied to the front line for an assault.

17.3.9 Resources and Construction

Resources are required because of the component cost for:
- constructing new items
- maintaining existing items

a. Take a look at your designs. The display will advise you how many resources of each specific type will be deducted during construction. When you add or remove components, the resource amounts adjust. Tip : as you acquire new technology, pay attention to the resource cost of the new components. You will have to adjust your empireís resource inflow before you build them so you can sufficiently construct and maintain them.

b. Keep an eye on your construction queues; when adding items to construction, your empire resources (crown) are immediately adjusted. This goes for units, ships and facilities.

c. Monitor the units and ships you have in service. The totality of these items impact the amount of empire resources spent on maintenance. Scrapping / gifting / destroying items lessens the total maintenance cost; building / acquiring new items increases the total maintenance cost for your empire.

Resource Rules of Thumb
How many (Minerals / Organics / Radioactives) does my empire need?
Early game: you will need 10 : 1 : 2-3
Mid-Late game: you will need 10: 1 : 4

This will vary according to your tech usage, especially special tech. For example, an organic empire using many organic components may require a resource ratio of:
10 : 5 :4
This is because the components and facilities generally tax organic resources.

Understanding where the demand on your resources is coming from is critical to managing your economy.

17.3.10 Predict Resource Swings
How did this Happen?
All new players learn a hard economic lesson when they start using advanced tech and their economic needs change. Players can experiences economic droughts of 10, 20 or more turns trying to compensate for current resource needs. For instance, you start using Phased Polaron Beams on your designs, and find your radioactive reserves drained while you halt all production to build radioactive mining facilities. The best bet is to plan ahead.

Most commonly, economic swings are caused by:

a. (Mid game) Building and maintaining components with a heavy radioactive cost, such as shields, armor, certain weapons types such as PPBs, and stellar manipulation components (huge!). Rads are most often underestimated.
b. (Early game) maintaining too many colony ships en route; building too many non-resource producing facilities at the same time
c. Mass building or upgrading of facilities, especially special facilities.
d. Losing (or acquiring) fleets and planets.
e. Retrofits to your current designs, using new components with a different resource cost. Retrofits are subtracted from your stored resources. When you give the retrofit order, the specific resource cost is displayed. HOT! you must take a mental tally of all retrofits you order in a turn and ensure the total cost does not exceed your storage!
f. Broken treaties and the loss of resource bonus (up to 20% of the other empire's income multiplied by your political savvy %)
g. Mothballing / unmothballing. I generally donít use it, because I strive to employ and leverage any ship available in the staging and forward area. Many good players use mothballing, depending on their strategies.

Tip : Upgrade directly to the latest tech; there is no need to step. If you have a facility upgrade in queue, that has not started yet, delete the old upgrade project and enter a new order to the latest tech. (i.e. 10 Minerals I facilities do not have to upgrade to Minerals II before upgrading to Minerals III; upgrade direct from I to III).

17.3.10.1 Storage

Storage is generally used for:

a. Retrofits
b. Compensating for moderate overages in expense
c. Preparing for upgrades. (Parasite)

If you are close to Economic Harmony, you probably wonít need much more storage than what you expect to spend on retrofits. In mid game, this will commonly be a few mineral storage facilities, one or two rads storage , and maybe an organic storage facility. However, most of us need some padding until we get good at understanding the game.

17.3.11 Treaties (see FAQ 10.6.10)

Treaties are good for your (and the other empireís) economy. A treaty provides you with (up to) a 20% share of the other empireís economy, modified by your empireís trade modifier %. Therefore, a small empire benefits hugely from a treaty with a big empire; and likewise, a big empire does not gain much. Depending on type, the treaty bonus may be realized in resources, research, and intel.

If you are benefiting largely from treaties, be sure to maintain an additional buffer in your resource expenditures and/or maintain increased storage to compensate for when they are broken. This will hurt. Even if your relationship is solid, remember, an enemy can run Communications Mimic against you.

17.3.12 The Happiness factor
Keep your people happy (see FAQ 1.2.1). The happier they are, they less of a hit they take when things go bad. Your goal is to prevent rioting. Use Riot control measures (FAQ 12.1) in advance before you become handcuffed.

Foreign citizens are more difficult to keep happy, and will be strained by unhappy events. Pay special attention to them.

17.3.13 The Organic Edge

While touched on before, the Organic race deserves special consideration economically because of itís advantages:

a. The organic resource thing is a huge advantage (not just for reduced build time, although that is a big advantage), as are the multiple weapons in one tech area. The acid weapons have the advantage of being able to nail units (which most torpedoes can't), and the parasite reload rate of 2 can keep them effective even in late-game, particularly when used in combined arms deployments with fighters and drones and direct-fire warships. (Pvk)

b. Organic races can out-build standard races by 60%, then. Maintenance advantage varied from 38 to 56%. With 3 standard ships to 5 organic ships, the outcome will be a toss-up. With 30 standard ships to 50 organic ships, it's no contest. If the organic race makes first kill, it's even worse. My results frequently had over 35 functional ships remaining for the organic race. Superior numbers seem to be almost as conclusive an advantage as superior accuracy, at least at max tech (Krsqk)
c. Organic races can make some of the best fighters in the game using the Small Electric Discharge weapons. This, combined with the organic tendency to be able to significantly out-produce others, makes fighters very formidable for organic races. There is also no limit for the number of fighters in a sector. For more on fighters (see FAQ section 8.2).

17.3.14 Construction

You should be intimately familiar with (FAQ 17.2.6 Tweak it!) modifying your designs so that they may be constructed efficiently.

Question: The things I get bogged down with in the mid game are upgrading facilities once level III's come out. i.e. can't be built in 1 turn so I build level II's and upgrade later - but sometimes forget to upgrade when the last one is built.

Answer : I handle this situation according to the planet size, and how quickly I need the resources. I generally frown on building anything but the latest tech. On a small world I will build the level IIIs taking 2 turns each. On a larger world I will stop and build a spaceyard first. Then I will construct the level III facilities in one turn, and perform the upgrades much quicker.

Generally, you should have a space yard in place on your larger resource planets, as mentioned in 17.3.3.4. This yard will expedite upgrades and build special facilities.
Donít forget that upgrades divert your empireís resources and your goal is to keep this to a minimum so you can reap the upgrade benefit as quickly as possible.

17.3.14.1 Queue on Hold:
If you are at a point where your construction expenses exceed your production income (and you will be), use the Queue on Hold button rather than canceling the item currently being built. I like to use the construction window to find items that can wait and place them on hold.

17.3.14.2 Emergency Build Tips:
a. Build a base space yard, have it build something on emergency build, then mothball or scrap it, or have it build units.
b When you have many planetary yards, which you don't have enough resources to build with all of them at the same time. Construct toward the front. (Pvk)
c. When there is an emergency in one area of the map (i.e., enemy invasion) and you want as much built as fast as possible, to maximize the response. (Gee, am I the first one to mention using emergency build for emergencies?) For the emergency scenario, if you are in a pretty large galaxy and have control of many systems, you can't defend them all, so you would use EB on frontier systems to produce reinforcements a bit quicker ( and pray the threat is squashed within 10 turns!) (Pvk)
d When something is down to 0.2 years to complete, and emergency mode will reduce it to 0.1. By canceling emergency mode the next turn, you get 25% more production than you would have otherwise, which is also a good time to buy something cheap that you wouldn't have wanted to spend a whole turn on. (Pvk)
e. When trying to build expensive facilities, such as important system-wide ones, which take over a year to build. The fact that one of the planetary yards will be at low production for a year thereafter is often insignificant compared to getting that important facility working 5 or 6 turns earlier. (Pvk)
f. Don't write off a construction queue when it is in "Slow" mode. Slow mode is a great time to build units.

Emergency Build first 10 turns? Why not wait?
(section by spoon)
1) you'll have more resources at the end of 20 turns
2) you'll have more spaceyards at the end of 20 turns
3) you'll have been able to establish border colonies up to 10 turns earlier (this is what is most important to me... getting those huge greens before your neighbor puts a domed colony there, or getting to a choke point system before anyone else)

1) few people rush (hopefully)
2) you should have at least 2-3 other spaceyards up and going in your homesystem.
3) if you spent at least one of those ten turns building a base spaceyard, you can emergency build defenses anyway
4) even on slow build, homeworlds can build enough sats or wps to protect from a small attack force
I almost always emergency build at the start, and have never regretted it. (spoon)

17.3.15 Notes on Remote Mining (See also FAQ 4.6)

Remote Miners can be used successfully to generate resources for your empire, but they require maintenance and administration. I donít use them, but the factors are included for your consideration:

17.3.15.1 Factors For:
a. There is apparently a restriction against having more than one ship with mining components working in the same sector, even if they have different kinds of comps.
To sum up: Three large sats (sats have 0% maintenance) each with different comps can mine the same sector. Additional sats of any type get nothing.
One ship (and I am assuming base here too, it would take too long to test that) only can mine per sector, regardless of types of mining components onboard. But you can put as many mining comps as will fit on that one ship and get all the resources from them. (Geoschmo)


b. If you made the ships with all one type of miner, you would save a lot more resources. If the ship is mining only minerals, then only the mineral value goes down by 1%, instead of all resource types. Remote Mining is very cost effective if you have a construction ship with one satellite launcher. Build a Large Sat with the desired mining component. You can make good use of Asteroid systems.

Remote Mining is very important in games where you can only colonize the right gas type (e.g. O2) or only the right Planet type (e.g. Gas giant). It allows you to get something out of all the other planet types. In these games you can make user of Base Miners where there are moons and planets in the same square. You colonists build a base to mine the uninhabitable moons or planet.
If you have very low maintenance, mining ships are more cost effective. Bases even more so. (LGM)

c. I know for a fact that a little investment can turn into a huge gain. If you build a ship with a Construction Yard, move it to an asteroid with %200+% in minerals, build a Space Yard Construction base, then a Battle Station with 14 mineral miners, that a 25k a turn mineral surplus. Do that in an asteroid field you can easily produce more than your planets. Granted this will take a 20+ turns to deploy but if you start small the gains will outweigh the investment. Not to mention other tricks that could enhance the mining field. (Cyclop)

d. When I play I put Baseships on the asteroids with 4 min miners, 3 farm miners, and 4 rad miners. The result is I make at least 8K in min per turn, at least 6K in farm per turn and at least 5K in rad per turn. The maintenance on a Baseship is 2592 min - 140 Farm - 451 rad. So for me it's very profitable. Now only time it don't become profitable is when one of the %'s drop down to around 40% or lower. I've got on that's producing 218% min - 218% farm - and only 33% rad. I'm making a lot off the min and farm but the rad I'm only making 500 per turn now. So pretty soon I might have to scrap that one and put a miner on it with only farm and min miners on it. Oh BTW, the % drops by 1 for every turn taken. So if you have an asteroid that is say 250% in all 3 areas. Then I'm guessing you have about 20 years before you start losing money on it. (Rags)

17.3.15.2 Factors Against:
a. IMO, the costs of setting up remote mining, usually outweigh the benefits. I think the RM components are a bit large, and/or a bit costly, for the gains.
Basically -- for every remote mining ship, base, or satellite I could build ... I've always a more-pressing need for OTHER satellites, bases, or ships. If the "profit margin" were larger, I might place remote mining higher in priority than other ships ... but IMO, it's always better to colonize a world, than remote mine it ... even if I can only build one facility, a single Monolith 3 is going to be superior to a similar cost base in terms of production, ESPECIALLY over time (the monolith doesn't degrade the planet's value) .... (Pax)

b. The biggest problem with that is that to build a construction ship requires a cruiser hull or larger. And by the time I have researched cruiser tech, not to mention battle station tech, my empire has expanded to the point where it's much easier to just pump out a half dozen colony ships and plant some more colonies.
Unfortunately, when you really need remote mining to work, early in the game, there is no practical method of employing it. By the time you have the tech to make it worthwhile, it's no longer needed. (Geo)

c. Also. In later tech, itís much more profitable to turn the asteroid field into a planet; value doesnít diminish.

17.3.15.3 Remote Mining with Crystalline Tech
(Section by Taera)
I have developed a neat system for remote mining. Here it is:

a. It requires a single (probably dedicated) planet in the system on which you will build Resupply Depot and, if available, the Crystalline Restructurer. It can be a way to use those systems where you only have 2 tiny unbreathable planets and no chance of colonizing anything else.
Now the way it works: I build a ship (preferably LC as they have the best output for cost) with ion3 engines and self-destruct device (useful).

Now I order them to go to the (mining field), sentry and go to resupply planet. Repeat orders. Now until an enemy invades the system i would absolutely forget about their existence as with -30% maintenance it would take a while for their cost to overcome the income.
Example:
Spade class LC mining a 144%-121%-61% asteroid field with 2 robo-miners and 1 farmer.
Income: 2016,672,0
Upkeep: 915,28,121

And thatís with crystalline restructurer 2 only.
Useful. And I never have to worry about the ships again. They also occasionally appear up in the Next Ship list so I can monitor their income vs. upkeep.

Same system orders: To actually remove the ship from your eyes you have to bring it to the mining field, press sentry. Then order go to-nearest resupply and then tell it to go back. Check in orders list to ensure its correct. And then press 'K' (Repeat Orders) It works with asteroid fields too, given you can place the resupply planet about three turns from the mining field. (Taera)

17.3.16 Fini
That concludes my article on SEIV economics. Whooooo.

17.4 Strategy Article IV: Get the Most out of Fighters (Section by Stone Mill)

17.4.1 Principles
I. Use Fighters for early system defense
II. Design good Fighters; with or without special tech
III. Gain the battlefield advantage using massive mount on carriers
IV. Use Carrier mounts for all ships until Light Cruisers are reached
V. Surprise can be deadly

17.4.2 Overview
So you think that fighter tech just gives you cool spacecraft with short lives? Think again. There are a number of strategies for using fighter tech that may help you get the edge on your opponent. Fighters are easily countered, and will usually have a limited window of effect, depending on your opponent's skill. When I know I'm facing a very tough opponent, I usually spend research on more vital techs. But fighters can be very fun and unbalancing when they first show up in a game.

17.4.3 System Scramble!
Fighters are excellent for early defense. They may be constructed and launched from a planet in 2 turns, making them the most ferocious system defense in the early game. A small fighter stack is inexpensive, maintenance-free, has superb range, and will usually burn through any early scout or colony ship (without sufficient point defense). This will give you a strong edge in obtaining control of a system.
Try these strategies early in the game when you are competing for a system with another empire:
a. Launch fighters from your planet to attack enemy colony ships and newly colonized enemy planets
b.Block the warp points quickly. Remember, fighters can't warp, but they do get first shot on whatever comes through.
c.Add extra engines to your designs for long range interception in a system
Residual Effects
Deploying fighters causes your foe to waste valuable space on point defense. Knowing this, your next wave of ships may have an advantage in component efficiency, using less point defense, (if he is not also using seekers).
Recon
Your fighters have eyes. Launch them in a system to keep an eye on things. Have them sit on some mines. Building a ship with a small amount of fighter bays is nice for this job. Also, two ships with cargo in the same sector allows you to transfer a single fighter for launching for this purpose.
Fighters are awesome for cheap intel; once you engage the enemy in combat, you acquire his ship designs for sacrificing a single fighter. What a Bargain!

17.4.4 Designs
Fighters bring a great degree of variation, depending on your needs. Across the board, the more you can increase the amount of damage resistance (shields, armor) and defense (ECM), the better their survivability. Try some of these variations:
Standard Tech, Small
a. Kamikaze: explosive warhead + engines
b. Rocket Pods III: (requires missile tech III) packs a serious wallop
c. Long range: one weapon + all engines; fast strike but weak
d. Short Range: reduce engines to keep fighters on pace with advancing ships
e. ECM: makes them tougher to hit; remember only one fighter with ECM applies the bonus to all ships in the stack!
Standard Tech, Medium
a. armor, shields, ECM + weapon (Arkcon)
Standard Tech, Large
a. 2 x shields III + weapons (jim)
Special Tech
a. Organics Small Electric Discharge III: OUCH!
b. Temporal: Time Distortion Burst III
c. Psychic: Small Telekinetic Projector III

17.4.5 Mid-Late Game Deployment
warp point
Generally, fighters do best in large quantities, in a trained fleet (alone) in warp point defense, combined with supplementing ships/units (outside of the fighter fleet):
a. In large quantities, they can be quite powerful. A pile of satellites or fighters, stacked full of defenses and weapons, sitting on the right side of a warp point, can do a lot of damage, and can tip the scales of a battle (PVK)
b. IMHO fighters and sats keep their use even in late games. The key point as you said is "large numbers". 50 fighters are completely useless against a fleet of 20 or 30 ships but if you have 1000 large fighters with shields in Groups of 30 or even 50 you have a tremendous firepower and won't lose too many fighters.
Sats are great as quick defense for warp points when you expand. Just move the sats with your sat layers to the new front line (Q)
c. Fighter Base w/ ship yard at key positions can build tons of fighters, and is self-sustaining.
Fleet Combat
d. Big Wing: Basically, you need the largest fighters you can build with the best shields and strongest weapons. Build them and launch them in massive Groups. 100 is optimal if you can do pull it off. Since each group acts as one vehicle for combat purposes you will have in effect a vessel that can deliver a respectable amount of firepower with each shot. And the large size of the group and heavy shielding will allow them to withstand more than a few shots form the advanced PDC cannons and other weaponry you are likely to face (Geo)
e. Draw Fire! Fighters perform much better with shields. Also, try matching their speed to your fleet so they do not outrun your warships. Otherwise your enemy will pick them off with beam weapons while waiting for the big targets. If they arrive with the warships, they will either be ignored and hit or targeted first, drawing fire (LGM) They also pull ships/ fleets set on maximum range into closer range. This confounds some long range strategies set to sit back and pick you apart.
warnings
There is a small unknown feature for mixed fleets with fighters and ships, the ship supplies decrease quickly, so avoid mixing fighters with ship fleets ! (PsychoTechFreak) the game is splitting the supply pool of the fleet evenly between the ship and the fighter, even though the fighter can't hold half the pool. (Ed Kolis)

17.4.6 Legendary Defense: Let me be "Crystal" Clear
The Crystalline Shield Facility definitely does help fighters. The Crystalline Restructuring facility does add to "shield kT", either to each individual fighter or to a stack of fighters. And it gives those points to every fighter in the stack. I think they still work out as hitpoints, rather than shield points (S.J.)
Just about the toughest configuration I can think of is a Legendary fleet (+50%) of a massive stack of large fighters (ECM, Shields III, and one of the nastier weapons) as warp point defense in a system with the Crystalline Shield Facility. Even Scarier: use combined with Temporal Event Predictor III (+30% to combat in system). This should be a legendary buzz saw.

17.4.7 Defending Against Fighters
Unfortunately, once you show your hand and use fighters, your opponent will research and implement point defense (PD)on his ship designs. There will be a short window where your fighters continue to do some damage, but they will be eventually be no match for point defense, even in great numbers (against a seasoned opponent).
a. Ships. Many players will evenly distribute point defense, including one, two, or three PD on each ship. This is a safe practice which spares a fleet from complete embarrassment when encountering seekers. I personally like to deploy point defense ships, especially if my foes are using lots of seekers. IMPORTANT Remember to give your PD ships at least one direct fire weapon, so they engage the enemy, and not run away.
b. Units. Mines launched from an enemy planet will "kill fighters, dead!" Also, weapons platforms with point defense can ruin your fighters' day. Satellites are unreliable.
But the edge goes to fighters early, and throughout the game as long as you maintain numerical superiority.
c. Weapons. Direct fire weapons can hit fighters, but have an abysmal hit percentage due to the fighter's small size and defensive bonus. You will need training (ship, fleet) as well as combat sensors (I, II, III) to hack down fighter stacks.

17.4.8 Carriers
Use Carrier mounts for all ships until Light Cruisers are reached. With the 800 ton hull, you will get (nearly) the same amount of space for components that a light cruiser offers. The benefit of this is that you will essentially get the jump on an opponent that is using escorts, frigates and destroyers. The bad part is that the early advantage is usually lost when Light Cruisers are prevalent. LCs designs offer more cost/space efficiency. Unless you have struck early, you will eventually have to catch up with the ship construction research tree.
Cargo Space
The fighter bays on carriers are cargo spaces. This means you can use them for:
-- moving population
-- transferring units such as mines, sats, and troops
-- Tip! Troop Transport for invasions; remember to assign it to "Troop Transport" class during design, and ship and fleet strategy, of course, must be "Capture Planet"
General Use
Don't forget to use them for sweepers, repair, and supply ships.
Breachers
Early Game Strategy Tip: A nice design for bashing through light minefields with a threatening presence is using Breachers. It has mostly minesweeping components (10); it's attack power comes from the fighters it carries. In the early game, the Breacher can tear through light minefields and terrorize systems. Even a seasoned player will have to adjust their research and strategy to deal with them. With Mines II, 5 Breachers will give you the sweepers you need, plus fighter attack power!
Massive Mounts: Hunter-Killers
Hot Tip! Use those massive weapon mounts to rule the battlefield early. That's right; you will get the leverage of battleship mounts (increased range and strength) with Fighters I. Use Carriers as your main attack force and watch them whittle away escorts, frigates and destroyers while deploying fighters to boot! Even if your opponent has sufficient defense against fighters, you will find that the fighters tie up a few ships while you move in for the kill.

17.4.9 Shanghai Surprise
If you have the patience, a vicious tactic is to not reveal that you are using fighters at all. Defend yourself with anything else, but don't tip your hand and allow your opponent to compensate. When you feel you are ready for a substantial attack run, unleash your Breachers and Hunter-Killers. Chances are, your foe won't know what hit them. Press the attack and go for the end game while you have the advantage. It is very tempting to use the fighters and carriers as discussed above, but if you are in a position to hold off the enemy without them, do so and you shock the average defense fleet!

17.4.10 fini
This concludes my article on Fighters and Carriers. I hope you enjoyed it, and, if you are new to the game, I hope you have taken something away. Any questions, clarification, or comments are most welcome.
Cheers!
Stoney

17.5 Combat Strategies : Early, Mid, and Late Game Under development.

17.6 Strategy Article: Rock, Paper, Scissors : (Which weapons and strategies counter others)

17.6.1 Principles
I. Be on guard as to the ship designs, units, and tactics of competitors
II. Address their strategies by employing effective counter-strategies

17.6.2 Overview
There is no "Uber" weapon in SEIV; although, some weapons and strategies are more effective than others. SEIV offers players versatility to counter another player's strategies by allowing you to design a force that addresses the forces thrown at you. This article addresses units/ships/fleets. Note that economic, political, intelligence factors are generally not included (which are critical factors in defeating an opponent). This is a basic list. Please add anything I have missed.

17.6.3 Unit Strategies / Counter-Strategies

17.6.3.1 IF your opponent uses Seekers or Drones, small or medium amount or in size:
Fighters, Missiles, Crystalline Torpedo, Drones.

THEN:
a. Use Point Defense (PD) on your ship designs, Design PD ships. Continue to research PD to increase damage output.
b. If you have a lot of PDCs compared to the number of enemy seekers/fighters, get in close because you can overwhelm their seekers/fighters and take no damage (Imperator Fyron).
c. If you do not have a lot of PDCs compared to the number of enemy seekers/fighters, you can survive by moving out of range of the seekers after firing your weapons. This is also known as "missile dancing". The idea is to make the seekers move up to their maximum range. At that point, they disappear and can do no damage. Use optimal or max range (difficult in simultaneous games) (Imperator Fyron).
d. Use satellites or fighters (especially at warp points). Missiles can't hit 'em, but be warned: fighters can.

17.6.3.2 IF your opponent uses Seekers or Drones , large amount, or large size:
Fighters, Missiles, Crystalline Torpedo, Drones; missile boat fleets, carrier fleets

THEN:
a. Increase Point Defense (PD) on your ship designs, Increase the number of PD ships. Research PD V as a priority.
b. Strongly consider using fighters.
c. (Versus fighters) increase sensors and training so that your direct fire weapons can hit.
d. Attack with an equal or bigger fleet, direct fire + PD, short or point blank strategy.

17.6.3.3 IF your opponent uses Mines :

THEN:
a. If sparsely distributed, early game, include a minesweeper escort.
b. Add armor to help absorb damage. Shields don't help here.
c. Mid to Late game, always travel with 100+ minesweeping capability.

17.6.3.4 IF your opponent uses Satellites :

THEN:
a. Use Point Defense (PD) on your ship designs, Design PD ships. Continue to research PD to increase damage output.
b. Use armor to increase survivability.
c. Fighters will clean them up, provided your carrier survives the initial attack and is able to launch.

17.6.3.5 IF your opponent uses Weapons Platforms or Bases:

THEN:
a. Counter whatever weapon type is used.
b. Use short or point blank range.
c. Ensure you have enough ships to absorb the attacks, if early game. Medium game fleets should typically overcome WPs easily with small losses.
d. ECM and training will make your fleet much harder to hit; esp. medium to late game.

17.6.4 Ship Strategies / Counter-Strategies

17.6.4.1 IF your opponent uses Kamikaze ships :
Including Ramming

THEN:
a. Target that ship type first in the firing strategy if feasible (i.e., "smallest, nearest").
b. Use max or long range.
c. Ensure you have enough ships to absorb the attacks, if early game. Medium game fleets should typically overcome suicide ships easily with small losses.
d. Use fighters. They cannot be rammed in simultaneous games. (Geo, Geckomolis)
e. Ramming ships are frequently vulnerable to engine destroyers. Ramming ships that don't move don't ram much. They tend to focus on armor for hitpoints, since the attacker's shields are not counted when ramming. Of course, they could still slip a single shield generator on there, but many forget to do this (Krsqk). Ramming does not affect the attacker's shields at all (unless a shield generator component gets destroyed, of course). A ship that rams (attacker, source) has it's shields remain at whatever level they were before the ram. All damage is done to it's hull, none to shielding. Its shields are not dropped to 0. The target ship, on the other hand, will have damage done to it's shields first before it takes any structural damage. (Imperator Fyron).

17.6.4.2 IF your opponent uses Ship Capture :
Boarding Parties

THEN:
a. Use shields. Boarding parties hate 'em.
b. Use shield regenerators... even 1 point of shields is enough to stop boarding parties.
c. Use self destruct devices. Note: your ship will still be destroyed, but not captured.
d. Use security stations (not particularly efficient). Also consider adding additional crew quarters. (see FAQ 6.4).
e. Target that ship type first in the firing strategy if feasible (i.e., "smallest, nearest").
f. Use max or long range.
g. Consider using engine destroyers to impede the enemy's movement.

17.6.4.3 IF your opponent uses Shields :

THEN:
a. Use Phased Polaron Beam (PPBs).
b. Use Null Space weapons.
c. Use Shield Depleting weapons, designed so they fire first. [by adding them to the ship's design before other weapons]
d. Lure the fleet into a shield-disabling storm.

17.6.4.4 IF your opponent uses Armor :

THEN:
a. Use Null Space weapons.
b. Use Engine Destroying weapons.

17.6.4.5 IF your opponent uses Master Computers :

THEN:
a. Use Computer Viruses.

17.6.4.6 IF your opponent uses Phased Polaron Beam (PPBs) :

THEN:
a. Use Phased Shields. Forego using any normal shield components. Any normal shield components must be removed, or they will nullify the phased shield protection.
b. Use Armor. Get to Armor VI as a priority. Armor III is the best for hitpoints, and armor VI is needed for the full 15% defensive bonus from both stealth and scattering armor
c. Engage with a longer range weapon (i.e., APB at advanced levels) or with longer range mount (i.e., WPs or base mounts)

17.6.4.7 IF your opponent uses Armor and Shield Skipping Weapons:
Null Space, Weapon Destroyers, Engine Destroyers

THEN:
a. Engage with a longer range weapon (i.e., APB) or with longer range mount (i.e., WPs or base mounts)
b. Forego using many armor and shield components.

17.6.4.8 IF your opponent is not using Point Defense:

THEN:
a. In general, deploy Fighters, Missiles, Crystalline Torpedo, Drones, satellites; missile boat fleets, carrier fleets.
b. Fighter stacks will decimate missile boat fleets, since missiles can't target them.
c. Note: You always want to have 1 or 2 PDCs on your ships no matter what the enemy is currently using, even if they are not using missiles, seekers, and such. Because not doing so would leave you very vulnerable to a sudden change of tactics (I have seen many players in PBW fall into such traps). (Imperator Fyron )

17.6.5 Ship Strategies / Counter-Strategies: Special

17.6.5.1 IF your opponent uses Allegiance Subverters:

THEN:
a. Increase ship defense bonus through training, ECM, and Stealth & Scattering Armor. Shields, Armor, Self Destruct Devices, boarding parties and security stations do not prevent subversion.
b. Use Master Computers. Even if your master computer is taken down (i.e., virus), it still is immune to subversion.
c. Tip: If the enemy is using Allegiance Subverters, use a MC and one of each (Bridge, LS and CQ) on your ships. This will make them immune to the AS, and they will not be disabled by a Computer Virus. Get the best of both worlds. (Imperator Fyron)

17.6.5.2 IF your opponent uses the Talisman:

THEN:
a. Attempt to wage war with a Religious foe before Talismans are available. They are expensive. You should be able to compose a better fleet with the amount of research he has foregone to do special research. If the talisman is already on the field, you have cause for concern.
b. Avoid engaging his fleets and attack his resource base. Frag his planets with lots of small fleets, each well trained with 100+ minesweep. He will have to choose to either call off his attack to protect himself.
c. Beat him with intel. [See section 17.11] Break his treaties, steal his resources, and steal his ships with Crew insurrections. Allegiance Subverters (psychic) used correctly (at a warp ambush) can be nice.
d. Fight the battle on your terms, at the exit side of the warp point. Get first shot. Use fighter stacks and sats with a variety of deadly combos. Engine destroyers are nice.
e. Use a longer range weapon, and engage from a distance. If you need a direct-fire weapon, consider the Wave Motion Gun. +30% to hit. Try to use a weapon that packs more punch.
f. Use better shields and armor to increase your survivability.
g. Or forego using shields and armor at all, and use the space for more weapons. If you do this, ensure your ships are fast and engage at point blank range. Ripper beams are a nice choice for this.
h. Design heavy armored (preferably organic armor) ships that fight at close range and soak up damage, while your main force engages from a comfortable distance. You may consider making giant organic Kamikazes.
i. If you can't engage with superior range, (i.e., Your APB vs. his PPBs) use point blank range to get the best chance to hit and cause the most damage since he'll always hit you anyway. (Imperator Fyron). I have found that point blank / ram with target nearest / nearest / nearest / nearest works the best. And Send in your best Direct Fire ships. Tested in Games against Talisman fleets. Because if you hang back and cannot hit him, his fleets sit back and destroy your fleet and gain experience at the same time. A lose-lose situation. (tesco samoa).
j. Skip adding ECM. You won't need it.
k. If he is light on PDC, lure him into a fighter/seeker trap. Preferably at a warp point. Good players won't give you the chance, however.

17.6.6 General Strategies / Counter-Strategies:

17.6.6.1 IF your opponent uses Point Blank or Short Range:
Including Tractor Beams

THEN:
a. Use longer ranged weapons and consider repulsors. Increase your attack % and use a longer range strategy.

17.6.6.2 IF your opponent uses Optimal or Longer Range:
Including Repulsor Beams

THEN:
a. If you aren't doing well at longer range, use more powerful weapons and consider tractor beams. Use a short or point range strategy.
b. Increase ship movement to engage faster.

17.6.6.3 IF your opponent is difficult to hit:

THEN:
a. Increase ship and fleet training, combat sensors, and move to short or point blank range.
b. Increasing ship speed may be helpful.
c. Next time, design your empire with berserker or warrior, and soup up aggressiveness/defensiveness. Or try the Talisman.

17.6.6.4 IF your opponent is hitting you often:

THEN:
a. Increase ship and fleet training, ECM, and move to longer range (as long as you are hitting him more).
b. Increasing ship speed may be helpful.
c. Next time, design your empire with berserker or warrior, and soup up aggressiveness/defensiveness

17.6.6.5 IF your opponent is doing more damage than you:

THEN:
a. Research more powerful and more advanced weapons.
b. Use ship/unit classes with bigger mounts.
c. Consider adding armor or more powerful shields.
d. Overwhelm with numbers.

17.6.6.6 IF your opponent is attacking or capturing your planets:

THEN:
a. Early game against small fleets; Try the usual; mines, fighters. WPs, bases. Give you better range. Add sensors and multiplex tracking.
b. WPs can pack a nasty punch if you stack quite a few on a select planet. Usually, you can bring an attacking fleet to a halt if you significantly damage on of its ships movement capability. This may stop prevent "chain attacks" where he wipes out several planets in a turn. Eventually, weapons platforms will be overwhelmed by enemy fleets, so your best defense against fleets will be fleets of your own.
c. Scorched earth. Destroy all facilities the turn before it appears you will lose the planet(s).
d. Garrison troops to kill his troops, if he is not packing many.

17.6.6.7 IF your opponent defending the warp point entrance:

THEN:
a. Play in the simulator to see if you can devise a strategy/movement so you can get first shot.
b. Defending the entrance is not necessarily a tactical advantage, however, the defender on average gets into firing position first.

17.6.6.8 IF your opponent defending the warp point exit:

THEN:
a. He will get first shot at close range with most or all or his units and ships. This is a serious tactical advantage. You must devise a way to ensure the survivability of your ships after his opening volley.
b. Increase ship and fleet training, ECM, so that they are harder to hit
c. Increase your ship size, add armor and shields (if appropriate). Design some "damage absorbers" with only a few weapons.
d. Increase the number of ships in your attacking force (2:1 or 3:1 or better ship ratio, for example)
e. Open another warp point, if possible.

17.6.6.9 This concludes my article on Strategies and counter-strategies. Enjoy!

17.7 The Early Kill
17.8 Partnerships and Trade
17.9 How to Win in SEIV by Machiavelli XLVII
17.10 When To Attack

17.11 Strategy Article : Intel Operations (Section by Stone Mill)
Principles
I. Defense: Maintain an active Counter Intelligence (CI) project, but never let it complete
II. Offense: Commit as many points (completed offensive Projects) as possible in order to consume the enemy CI points storage
III. Use the most unbalancing intel projects, and forget about the rest
Overview
Most SEIV players agree that the intelligence model could be better. Nevertheless, should you play in a game that includes intel, it certainly adds another powerful variable. There are many nuances to the system that you should be aware of. Further there are serveral powerful
operations that you should use... or be ready to defend!

17.11.1 Don't Get Caught Without It
When creating your Empire, choosing to sacrifice your Intelligence Characteristic may come back to haunt you. This stat will relate to a bonus/penalty to the available intel points your empire produces each turn. This will hurt, as the intel system boils down to who has more points accumulated. Most players make the mistake of completely handicapping their Intel scores in their race design. That doesn't help! (1FSTCAT)

Research Priority
I recommend that Intel is researched in the latter part of the early game, usually for defensive purposes so that your empire is not exploited for lacking defense. Intel attacks can be defended with relative ease due to inherent defense bonuses. Intel rarely makes or breaks a game of seasoned players, except when noted later in this article.

17.11.2 Point Accumulation and Bucket Management
The available points generated by all intel facilities +/- racial modifier, +/- partnership
treaty each turn may be assigned to any project, of which one or more may be counter intel buckets, different projects, or repeat projects of the same type. When one or more offensive project(s) are completed, the projects are "live" and then measured against the defender's Counter Intelligence Points to determine success.
Tip To control point allocation, turn "Distribute Points Evenly" off, as you may do in research. The project on the far left receives 100% point allocation. You may rearrange projects to keep them from completing so that you may "cook" them all off in the same turn at a later time. This will increase the efficacy of your offensive projects, and stop your CI projects from completing. And just to clarify, if you turn divide points evenly off, any points not used by the current(first in queue) project when that project is completed, will spill over to the next project in line (to the right), so you can thereby execute many projects one turn and not spend anything on the item on the far right in the queue (end). (Ruatha)
Start with Defense
To protect against intelligence attacks, it is best to maintain a counter intelligence project (i.e. "bucket") with the progressive meter growing but never completing. Generally, I start by ensuring I am protected by investing in a CI project so I can concentrate on other areas of the game. This is a solid investment because CI projects receive a bonus which helps growth more quickly.

17.11.3 Early Intel Offense?
If you go on intel offense early, be aware that the Level 1 projects are not particularly useful. By the time you pay for a sufficient number of Level 1 projects, chances are you have foregone many other critical facilities (i.e. research, minerals), and may be behind the curve because of it. Although it is true that your attacks will succeed 100% when a player has no CI points, the empire you are attacking with intel will become annoyed with you, may now decide to fight with you conventionally, and will most likely decide to catch up with intel points. Other players in the quadrant may catch on as well. The rare situation where Early Intel is appropriate is when you have an especially good start and empire balance, and you can use Intel projects to support conventional military operations (masses of ship bombs or engine damage, for instance). Ask yourself if you will reasonably be able to keep and exploit the advantage of this particular enemy first.

17.11.4 The Scoop on Counter Intel
A CI project is like a bank account. Available points are invested in projects (with interest). Attacks subtract points from CI projects. This exchange happens each turn and new points go into the CI project before your attacks come in. Points added to CI in a turn are indeed used for defense in that turn if necessary. CI has no limit to the number of projects it can theoretically stop. (Imperator Fyron) For any given attack, if the defender has (greater than or equal to) stored CI points, the attack will be blocked, and the corresponding amount of points are deducted from your stored CI projects, starting from the rightmost one and moving left. When you have no CI projects or no points stored in any of your CI projects, any subsequent completed attack project against your empire succeeds at 100% (Puppet Political Parties is 50%).

17.11.4.1 Project Levels
Accumulate CI points in the highest level available project. Don't complete or delete an old project, especially if you have new access to a higher level inter project; the points stored are cumulative across all active intel projects. All stored CI points work together as it were no matter if they are spread out amongst multiple CI projects. Simply begin a new CI project and shuffle the old project to the right.
-CI I You do not have Intel technology? but your partner does. 1.2 bonus to applied points
-CI II is readily available with Applied Intel 1; use it. 2.4 bonus to applied points
-CI III is available with Applied Intel 2. 3.6 bonus to applied points

17.11.5 Recovering from an Intel Barrage
There may be an unfortunate time in the game when you are getting pounded with intel attacks from one or more parties, and your defense is depleted each round. This situation ranges in severity to annoying to unrecoverable (attaker may toy with you until game is ended). In general, it's usually a pretty bad place to be. Try the following:
a. Prioritize a CI project (highest level possible) to rebuild a defense; replace deleted CI projects as necessary
b. Build as many intel facilities as possible
c. Of course, destroying an opponent's intel facilities diminishes his attack points
d. Build lots of cheap stupid ships for his "Any Ship" insurrections to capture. (Parasite)

17.11.6 Offensive Projects
In general, there are guidelines for applying intel power.
a. As mentioned earlier, ask yourself if you will reasonably be able to keep and exploit the advantage of this particular enemy before unleashing your attacks, while defending yourself against an estimated backlash.
b. Because of the bonuses applied to CI defensive projects, you must whittle down your target's accumulated CI points. Go big or stay home. Attacking with a few weak projects here and there only alerts them to your intel ambitions and encourages them to increase CI points.
c. HOT When you have unleashed your attacks and broken his initial CI defense, you can estimate how many and which of your attacks will get through. For example, one can breach the intel defences by timing several attacks to complete at the same time. Your opponent seems to be blocking about 20,000 points, and you have two crew insurrections attacks near completion. Add 2 ship bombs in front of them (to the left). All 4 complete together this turn. The 2 ship bombs were stopped... but the 2 crew insurrections succeed. Time them based on the enemy's points.
d. Applying Intel pressure is best with a buddy. Or two. Heck, invite all your friends to join in. Nothing like the "Dogpile on the Rabbit" on the 1st place Talisman wielding empire.

17.11.7 Covert Ops Briefing
Here are the most popular and useful Intel projects:
Honorable mention
Engine Damage: 10k, Multiple projects against a single ship in a fleet tends to stop the entire fleet in it's tracks. Also nice as a pre-attack warm-up.
Ship Bomb: 10k, Running 10 ship bomb intels a turn has saved my butt on several occasions. Knock out key ships from invading fleets when your own fleets aren't quite up to the task. A few rounds of ship bombs can be nasty. (Cyrien)
Order Snafu: 10k, Used against early raiders to buy your colonies some time.
Ship Blueprints: 15k, I figured out, after much hmming and haahing, that stolen ship blueprints can then be plugged into the simulator to give you a much better idea how your ships will compete with available enemy designs. (Pooka)
Tip: Write down the results of stuff like Ship Blueprints and Tech Reports because this will not be updated where you might expect (known technology for an empire, known enemy designs) - though this might have been fixed for Ship Blueprints. (Ed Kolis)
Anarchy Groups: 15k, If you know or suspect your enemy's planets are close to riots (especially those filled with foreign population), this can nudge that planet toward unproductivity. Not bad for the price.
Communications Interceptors: Especially fun in multi-player (PBW) games... prevents players trades and gifts from getting through.
Puppet Political Parties: 100k, has a 50% of stealing that planet from your enemy... also a chance of causing a planetary rebellion (which also removes it from his control). Use against the best worlds... better if you can defend the newly acquired planet(s) too. This one is fun but not very reliable for the 100 K price tag.
Nastiest Attacks
- Crew Insurrection (steals a ship for 50k)
- Resource Procurement (steals 10k of each resource for 15k)
- Food Contamination (kills 100M population for 15k)
- Comm Mimic (makes one empire declare war on another for 20k
--Crew Insurrection: 50k, Or, you can think more subtly... Capture an enemy Colony Ship... He's probably got dozens of them hanging around, so he won't miss one or two... What can I do with a Colony Ship, you ask? Well... now you have a sample of another race's population, which if you're lucky breathes a different atmosphere - and if you're even luckier he even has a different planet type so you can analyze the colony ship and steal his colony tech! Consider targeting transports - if you get lucky, you can get some breathers from another environment. If it is a minelayer/sweeper, heck, that is a good chunk of change you may save on research when you deconstruct & analyze. Use Crew Insurrection as a poor man's Technological Espionage - it's only 1/3 the cost, and you can get multiple technologies from a single ship! There are only two drawbacks: 1. The enemy has to have the technology you want actually deployed on a ship, not just researched. And 2. You have to manage to get the ship back to one of your spaceyards safely to get the technology! (EdKolis)
--Food Contamination: 15k, Only use Food Contamination on smaller colonies - don't even bother with a homeworld! The population will regenerate in a turn or two and you'll have wasted 20K intel points. But if you use it on a smaller colony (such as 50M), you can wipe out the entire colony and force the enemy to send a transport to repopulate it before it can produce or build anything!
--Resource Procurement: 15k, Resource Procurement steals 10000 resource points (lowers enemy total storage and raises your own stored resources by 10000), and only costs 15000... as opposed to Economic Disruption, which lowers enemy resource storage by 10000 points and cost 20000 intel. (Imperator Fyron) Never use the one that destroys resources, if you feel the urge to, use the resource stealing project instead - it's cheaper, has the same effect on the enemy, and you get resources as a bonus! (Note: some mods fix this oversight, check the mod before you try this!) (Ed Kolis) Bombard an enemy with many of these, and their economy eventually dries up. Multiple Resource Procurement projects can be successful on a given turn. (Q) If the enemy is running out of a given resource, you may get less than 10000 points or even 0 points from them.
-- Communication Mimic: 20k, Forces an empire of your choice to declare war on another empire of your choice. Key impact: It wipes out treaties, removing up to 20% incoming and outgoing bonuses. This is huge, and well worth the project cost. It also just causes plain confusion. Another added advantage is that it causes instant battles in all sectors where the two empires have co-located forces. This can severely damage both empires in a single turn.

What about the other projects?
Well... ughh.. they are pretty darn crappy.

17.11.8 Intel and the AI bonus
And don't forget the AI bonus factored into the intel modifiers (#2):
1. Level of counter intel project: Level 2 will double, Level 3 will increase the effect three times of the counter intel points.
2. AI bonus: low 2x, medium 3x, high 5x the intel points you see on the score list.
3. Counter-Intel modifier in the seetings.txt file. IIRC this is set to 120% in standard game.
4. Consideration of intel points acquired by any partnership treaty (Q)

17.11.9 fini
Well, that wraps up intel. I'm not the expert, so please add any other tips or strategies I have not included. Cheers and Beers!
(Stoney)

17.12 Expert Moves and Dirty Tricks

17.12.1 Overview
Is there a strategy you have used or tactic used against you consider to be creative? List it here. The Expert moves and dirty tricks listed here will be allowable by the game interface and generally not considered "gamey."

Iíve had many of these done to me. I applauded my opponent for craftiness and tried to remember them to use if I could, and protect myself in the future.

17.12.2 Covert Satellite Layer
Need covert recon on your opponent(s)? Build a satellite layer with stealth armor. Lay sats with stealth armor. Deploy your layer in a team with a stealth supply ship with cargo so that you may lay one satellite at a time. You donít have to decloak your ships to launch sats, but you will have to remember to activate the cloak on the sats. Eventually, you may cover the quadrant, until you hit a minefield.

Another great tactic is to build a sat with stealth armor and a scanner, and drop it on or near a warp point. You will obtain ship designs that way. Even better if you are able to hide it in a storm.

17.12.3 Stealth Bases

This can be a very annoying tactic. The gist of this strategy is to hide a shipyard capable ship or base in a forward area; preferably in a red storm in one of your enemyís systems. This can be "sneaky drone launcher hiding in a nebula or cloaked", not to mention its even more devious cousins, the "sneaky drone launcher hiding in a nebula or cloaked and firing cloaked drones!" (Drones need to be de-cloaked to attack, such as anything else.) Or you can use fighters to snipe colony ships and transports; you get the point.

This tactic is not game winning, but the amount of havoc you cause may rattle your enemy for a while.

17.12.4 Scorch
Lure your opponentsí massive fleet into your frontier system. Destroy the star. (Itís important to try and limit what you will lose as well, so do some housekeeping in that system beforehand, such as scrap facilities, abandoning planets). Keep your fleet in a neighboring system and follow up with an attack from whence he came.

Star-Exploding on Demand
This can backfire on you, so be careful using it. Park a star destroyer over the local star. Order it to sentry, then to destroy the star. When an enemy ship enters the system, the sentry order clears and..boom. (Phoenix-D)

17.12.5 Combat Colonists
Howís this for a change of pace? Use the colony ship hull for your early attack ships, mine layers and sat layers. When your opponent figures out your naming conventions, switch them around. Later in the game, design colony ships using different hulls just to keep things lively.

Also, Use transport hulls for your early colony ships (Joachim).

The Name Game
You can play the name game by using one name for a ship design, and switching the name for another class just when your opponent thinks he has you figured out. There are many variations of the Ship Naming Game. Increase the number so the enemy thinks you have lots of that model. Name your attack ship as a "Minesweeper". The possibilities are endless.

Instant Colony Defense
Load mines into colonizers for a quick defense. They will be immediately ready to launch - and shock any plotting attackers. (Joachim)

17.12.6 Combat Engineers
Bring a minelayer with your main attack fleet, especially if you notice that your opponent is not counterattacking with minesweeper escorts. When most players throw together defenses in the interior against an invasion, they donít think to include minesweepers. Take advantage of this by attacking a target, dropping mines, and sitting to bait them into a counterattack. You can attack other targets within the system, but end your turn on the mined sector. Count the number of spaces the enemy needs to travel in order to ensure you get back in time.

This move can really frustrate an opponent, and make them question every attack against your fleet. Are they willing to gamble? They will need to waste valuable production on sweepers, which, of course, means less defenders.

Also, When raiding randomly drop mines around the enemy system - that way they will just never know!(Joachim).

Early in the game, if the opponent's scout is sitting on a warp point you were trying to mine, mine around him! Lay mines in adjacent sectors and return to the same point every turn to conceal your movement (unless he checks the movement log).

17.12.6. Black Hole Woes
Create this trap by opening a warp point in a black hole system only a few sectors away from the center. Damaging warp points are the key; ships that take damage may be rendered helpless and sucked into the hole. You can help this process by building damaging storms on the entrance and exit of the warp point.

17.12.7 Trojan Gifts

Ever get that sinking feeling when you get the message "the star (or planet) in X system will explode in Y years"? No problem! Give it away in a huge trade. This is especially hilarious if you barter it into a deal against a seedy foe; faking concessions to their mighty empire. Because the event message only appears once, they will never know what hit them.

If the opponent wonít accept the gift (because you are already at war, for instance), fall back and let them colonize it as soon as possible.

17.12.8 Third Party Scouting
When the game setting allows you to view only empires with treaties, you can get empire information through an ally who is partnered with an opponent. You can determine data such as the amount of ships involved in defense, the amount of systems and planets, the factor of units in their defense, and whether they are using intel or not.

If you are partnered with an ally, you can also see the activity of an opponentís empire eyes without "meeting" their empire.

17.12.9 Storm Staging
This because one of the most critical factors in blitzkrieg attacks against dangerous opponents, especially late in large games when all heck is about to break loose. Certain storms (usually red) offer the highest cloaking capability. [see section 9.6 for storm and nebula effects] Stage attacks by hiding in them. Leapfrog from storm to storm with your attack forces until you get behind the lines. Most players donít do the movement replay in every system (too time consuming), so your chances of surprise are quite good.

17.12.10 The Intel Dogpile

Hit with intel en masse. Plan your intel attacks against a strong empire years in advance. Start running offensive projects, not allowing them to complete, until your queue is filled. If the opponentís defense is substantial, place large projects (such as PPP) first, so they hammer down the defense first. Get all allied empires in your coalition on-board with this tactic and set an attack date, when you will unleash intel fury.

17.12.11 Hey! It Wasnít me!
Break a treaty with an empire who is a growing threat, or whom you would like to cease donating 20%, but you donít want to become hostile. Use the tried and true excuse: "Darnit! Someone ran a communications mimic against me and broke our treaty!!!"

17.12.12 Diversion
Since a lot of people attack your fleet by attacking the first ship on the top of the list, if you want to avoid a battle that you think is imminent, break away your top ship on the list and run in a different direction to draw off the enemy fleet. Make sure you (M)ove the rest of your fleet in the other direction a couple of sectors before sending it on its original path. You can avoid this trick by randomly attacking a ship in the middle of the fleet listing.

17.12.13 Warp Attacks
If you know your enemy is heavily guarding a warp point, you can open another WP and go thru on same turn. You can do this by having your WP opener a sector or two ahead of your fleet, give the WP opener the order to open the WP to the enemy system, and (here's the trick), send your fleet to attack or move to a place in the target system (you cannot use the "warp" order because the new WP doesn't exist at the time you give the order). When the new WP opens, the pathing routine will choose the shortest path for your fleet and go through the new WP. For this to work, you have to make sure that your fleet starts off far enough away from the heavily guarded WP so that it will choose the new one. Hope that's not too confusing.

17.12.14 Mobile unit restock
Any time a fleet needs to stop for a turn or more, have any spaceyard ships in the fleet emergency build more units. The "slow" build time can be spent during fleet movement.

17.12.15 You Captured my planet with what?
Make your carriers (or any cargo capable vessel) into Troop Ships. Carry fighters and troops and you can use it to capture planets. This works with any ship type as long as it has cargo space. Make sure the design type is "Troop Ship" and the strategy is "Capture Planet."

17.12.16 Fini
That concludes my article on SEIV Expert Moves and Dirty Tricks. Please add yours!

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18 Slick's Turn Checklist

18.1 This section is probationary and may be deleted later - please provide feedback in the following thread:

http://www.shrapnelgames.com/cgi-bin...;f=23;t=008352

I made a turn checklist when I first started playing SE4 because sometimes I forgot to do some things before ending the turn. It is not intended that you do each action on each turn. Nor is it intended to be all encompassing. I added items to the list as I thought they might help me and I thought I'd share it here. Here's my checklist, use it if you like:

1st turn:
- set up research, turn off "divide points evenly", use all points, turn on "repeat projects"
- set up build queue
- turn off the minister control option
- turn on planet facility labels
- design colonizer, spaceyard base
- turn off option for ships to clear orders when encountering enemy

Review Log
- if large, filter for construction, research, etc.
- new ships
---- send new colonizers out to colonize, use right breathing population if available
---- send combat ships to meet fleets or training facilities
- new colonies
---- set up build queues
---- spaceyard?
---- move in population
---- set up defenses
- new technologies
---- make new designs, mark old as obsolete, don't forget about units
---- upgrade old facilities
------- check most efficient build Version (II vs. III, etc)
- new units
---- launch or pick up in transport
- review combat
---- if defeat, take corrective action and find out why

Check Cash Flow
- note deficits, if any
---- adjust facility building queues
---- place queues on hold
---- use resource converter
---- mothball ships
---- scrap ships (last resort)
---- request gifts
- if excess being wasted
---- build more spaceyards
---- build units (no maintenance)
---- build storage facilities (need some, but poor option)
---- build ships
---- use resource converter
---- give gifts to allies
- watch out for too much income from trade. this goes away at war => deficit.

Review Research
- adjust queue, maintain focus on goals
- review new / captured technology and revise designs & upgrade facilities
- don't wait too long for:
---- building minsweepers
---- cloak detection
---- medical bay
---- PD
---- training
---- intel

Review Intelligence
- ensure adequate Counter Intelligence

Review Colonies
- check happiness
---- build riot police, UPC, etc.
- look for right places to build "planet wide" and "system wide" facilities.
- upgrade facilities
- build defenses
- move in right breathing population or convert atmosphere

Cycle thru ships & fleets
- adjust orders as required
---- colonize: everything: breathables, ruins, etc.
---- sentry
---- repeat orders
---- move population to right breathing planets
------- keep a few of each kind of population on transports
------- take from full planets, build up in increments: 100, 500, 1k, 2k, etc.
---- explore - use cheap ship or minesweeper if expecting mines
---- resupply
---- set up combat
---- retrofit ships
---- analyze or retrofit captured ships
---- load mines, fighters, sats, etc. & send to desired location.
---- adjust strategies
- desirable fleet attributes
---- attack power, defense
---- mine sweeping 100 minimum
---- repair
---- construction
---- supply
---- cloak, anti-cloak scan & long range scanners
---- planet / ship capture ability
---- storage for population & extra units (not good in capture fleets)
---- training & experience
---- proper strategy

Check systems & planets
- set up system/planet defenses
---- mines, sats, bases, WP's, fighters
- defend warp points
- set up waypoints
- stellar manipulation (defensive)
---- make planets in home systems
---- add/remove storms/nebulae etc.
---- open/close warp points
- move population to right breathing planets
- convert atmospheres
- colonize everything, even moons
- happiness control = upc, riot police, ships, etc.
- anti-cloak sensors & long range scanners
- after building RESOURCE CONVERTER, take planet off "repeat orders"

Check Build Queues
- look for spaceyards on "emergency build" but not building
- judicious use of "emergency build"
- fill planets with facilities or leave open for future facilities
- set "move to" and use waypoint to training facility or front lines

Review Designs
- upgrade old designs including units
---- watch out for engines, MC's, etc. on automatic upgrading
---- use retroseries for $$$ ships. 150% max change on total M+O+R
- review enemy designs
---- adjust designs as required
---- attack large enemy fleet with 1 ship to gain all designs in fleet
- make new designs
---- attack, defense, support, etc.
---- don't forget to set ship strategies

Diplomacy
- check other empire mood towards you, check trade %, check scores, treaty grid.
- make/break treaties
- send/request gifts
- TRADE FOR STUFF
- requests/demands

Misc
- adjust strategies
- adjust repair priorities
- systems to avoid?

End turn Wrap Up
- Idiot checks:
---- no unused research
---- do not complete CI project
---- enough resources for everything? (refits come out before income)
---- need to convert resources? MAKE SURE RESOURCE CONVERTER PLANET IS *NOT* ON "REPEAT ORDERS"
---- planet on emergency build and not building anything?
---- first turn of counter-intel, turn off "divide points evenly"
---- UPDATE SYSTEM NOTES!
---- Spaceyards, Spaceports, Resupply depots, Urban pacification centers, system wide, LRS, Spy sat, nebula, etc.

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19 Glossary - This section is for definitions of game terms and slang terms that might not be obvious to the newbie. This section (19) will not use subparagraphing, but rather will be arranged alphabetically.

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

Glassing a planet - slang term referring to destroying all enemy population, units and facilities on it. Comes from the result of a nuclear explosion turning sand to glass. Settings.txt has a default value of -10% to all planet values after destroying a planet so it is preferable to capture planets with troops. Capturing has many other benefits too.

LRS - Long Range Scanners; a component used to view enemy ship internals and cargo.

MEE - Mega Evil Empire

Mega Evil Empire - Method used to limit a player from running away with the game. See section 13.1.

Missile Dance - A tactic used in single player games which takes advantage of the extreme range of seeking weapons. A ship using seeking weapons stays at long range, beyond the range of enemy weapons, and just barely enters the range of his seeking weapons to fire then retreats again. A small ship armed with missiles can easily destroy larger ships and planets that have superior beam weapon firepower. This tactic becomes less useful after Point Defense Cannons have been researched. The AI is not good at defending against this tactic and is considered by some to be an exploit of the weak AI. Missile Dancing can be achieved in strategic combat by modifying the ship's strategy, but like all strategic combat, it won't always work like you planned. _____________________________ also dancing out of enemy seeker range

Nebula - A system sized storm which may have effects on ships in it. See also Storm. See also section 9.6 for more details on Nebulae.

PDC - Point Defense Cannon; a weapon that automatically fires against missiles, satellites, drones and fighters.

PPB - Phased Polaron Beam; a weapon that skips normal shields. This is one of the more popular weapons in the game.

Riot Police - A slang term for a small troop with only a troop cockpit and no weapons. These are built on planets to keep the population happy. They are cheap so many can be built quickly. This takes advantage of the happiness enhancement of having friendly troops on the planet. This effect is independent of the troop having weapons. Organic players can add a Small Electric Discharge to their Riot Police without limiting the build time or amount.

Sector - One "square" in a system. A sector can be empty or contain any/all of the following: ships, bases, units, planets, moons, storms, asteroids, fighters, satellites, drones, mines, warp points, stars, etc. See also System.

Storm - A sector sized storm which may have effects on ships in it. See also Nebula. See also section 9.6.

System - A system is what is shown on the left large pane in the game. It is made up of 13x13 sectors with coordinates from (0,0) to (12,12). The galaxy map on the lower right shows how the systems are connected to each other. See also Sector.

Units - Troops, Satellites, Weapon Platforms, Fighters, Mines or Drones. See section 8.0 for more on Units.

UPC - Urban Pacification Center; a facility to improve population happiness in a system.

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20 Min-Maxing the Empire

The Art of Free Points



Written by Imperator Fyron

So, you want to know how to maximize the strength of your empire? Well, the best way to do that is to start off on the right foot.


First, let us look at Cultures:

Never take the default Neutral culture unless you want a handicap. There are several cultures that just provide bonuses, without any penalties at all. They are infinitely better.

Truly, the best culture is Berzerkers. It gives a 10% bonus to combat offense and defense. Combined with Aggressiveness and Defensiveness characteristics, this nets a 30-35% bonus to all ships! Sure, the culture gives penalties to resource production, research, intel, etc. But, the superior combat performance makes those immaterial. The only other culture worth considering is Merchants for the 5% maintenance bonus. Combine that with a 115 Maintenance Aptitude, and you can get 5% maintenance rates for your ships for 1500 points, as opposed to 2500 points for a different culture getting 120 Maintenance Aptitude. Note that the lowest maintenance rate you can get is 5%.

Now, let us take a look at each racial characteristic and trait to see how they measure up:

Physical Strength: This trait affects the strength of your troops in ground combat. It is a useless trait. I suggest dropping it to 50 without giving it a second thought. This gives 800 points, and all you have to do is use 2x as many troops, which is not hard at all to make up for in-game. Raising this trait above 100 is most assuredly a waste of points.

Intelligence: This trait affects how many Research points your empire generates. It is a good one to raise. 110 or 120 is a good level, depending on how many points are available to design your empire. It is a good place to put extra points you may end up with after designing your empire, as is Mining Aptitude.

Cunning: This trait affects how many Intelligence points your empire generates. If you do not care about sabotaging your enemy, dropping it to 50 is not a bad idea. Counter Intelligence is very overpowered. CI 3 causes points in it to be worth 360% of what they normally would be. With a 50 Cunning, this essentially drops to 180% (as you make half as much intelligence). But, that is still quite sufficient to effectively block all projects against you unless you are in the most overwhelming of situations. If you still want to do offensive intel, you can drop Cunning to 80 and get 500 points back. This still leaves you with plenty of intel points.

Environmental Resistance: Every 5 percent in this trait raises or lowers planetary Reproduction Rates by 1%. This is a min-maxers wet dream, as you can get tons of free points with no averse effects at all. Each full 5% lowered drops RR by 1%. Lowering ER by 4% has no effect at all. 100 free points. If you drop ER to 81 and then raise Reproduction to 103, you get default Reproduction Rates, and 400 free points! If you drop it to 51 and raise Reproduction to 109, you get default Reproduction Rates and 565 free points! There are minor effects on happiness, but they can be offset with the Berzerker culture.

Reproduction: This adds/subtracts directly to planetary Reproduction Rates. See Environmental Resistance for a method to get 565 free points.

Happiness: This trait modifies the rate at which anger levels are decreased each turn. I suggest not raising or lowering it if you take the Berzerker trait. If you lowered Environmental Resistance, you will want some bonus to happiness. Berzerkers gives a 5% bonus here. If you pick a different culture, you might want to consider spending 100-125 points in Happiness to get 104 or 105, to return anger levels to a normal level. Of course, it is easy to keep planets jubilant with troops. 100-120 Police Troops (small troop with only a cockpit, add Electric Discharges if an Organic race) will keep them jubilant under all but the most dire of circumstances (such as losing 200 ships and 50+ planets within a year or so).

Aggressiveness: This gives an offensive combat bonus to all of your ships to hit enemy targets. Setting it to 120 or 125 is a very good idea for optimal combat performance. 120 is good in 0, 2000 or 3000 point games. 125 is good in 5000 point games.

Defensiveness: This gives a defensive combat bonus to all of your ships to be hit by enemy targets. Setting it to 120 or 125 is a very good idea for optimal combat performance. 120 is good in 0, 2000 or 3000 point games. 125 is good in 5000 point games.

Political Savvy: This trait affects the resources and such you get from other empires through trade. Generally, it is better to rely on the resources your own empire can make instead of trade, as you never know when the politics of a game will shift and your long-time trading partners are now enemies. In games with small maps, it is best to set it to 50 and get 800 points out of it because there will not be much production from trade anyways. In medium or larger maps, I usually set it to 80 and get 500 points from it, then set those into my Mining Aptitude trait.

Mining Aptitude: This affects how many minerals your empire produces. You want it to be at least 120, as minerals are the single most important resource in the game. It does cost 100 points after 120, but is still worth it. It is a good place to put extra points you may end up with after designing your empire, as is Intelligence.

Farming Aptitude: This affects how many organics your empire produces. Organics are essentially worthless to all non-Organic races. Setting this to 50 is not a bad idea, and it nets 800 points. If you are an Organic race and plan on using lots of organic armor and weapons, setting it to 80 may be a better idea, as you will need more organics. That still nets 500 points.

Refining Aptitude: This affects how many radioactives your empire produces. Radioactives are more useful than organics, but still not used nearly as much as minerals. Setting this to 50 is not a bad idea, and it nets 800 points.

Construction Aptitude: This affects the rate of all Space Yards in your empire, on ships, bases and planets. You will want it at least at 120, as fast construction is necessary for optimal empire performance. I usually set it to 122 because Berzerkers gives a -2 penalty to construction, and this nets a 20% bonus, making the math easier. Also, with a 20% bonus, you can get colony ships built in 4 turns instead of 5 with Ion Engines II at Base Space Yards.

Repair Aptitude: This affects the rate of repair of your ships and bases. All of the repair abilities of the planets, ships and bases in a sector are added up, and then multiplied by this amount in decimal form (0.50 to 1.50), and then rounded down. I set this to 52 because Berzerkers gives a -2 repair penalty. Repair bays are cheap to research and really cheap to build. All that having a 50% penalty means is that you need 2x as many of them. So, you need 10 instead of 5. For 780 points, that is certainly worth the extra 2000 minerals or so you have to pay for the extra repair bays.

Maintenance Aptitude: This affects the base maintenance rate of your ships. The default is 25%. Each point in Maint. Apt. lowers that by 1%. So, 110 Maint. Apt. costs 500 points and makes the base maintenance rate of your ships 15%. That is a 40% reduction in maintenance paid, for very few points. Each point in Maint. Apt. costs 200 points after 110. It is still useful to raise it, but not nearly as good as getting it to 110, and points could be better spent elsewhere (such as 8 points in Minerals Aptitude).

Now, let us look at the Advanced Racial Traits:

Advanced Power Conservation: This is a worthless trait. 1000 points, and your ships use 25% fewer supplies. Certainly, a poor investment.

Mechanoids: This trait is not worth 1000 points. All it does is make you immune to plagues. But, Medical Technology is not that hard to research, and who makes heavy use of plagues anyways? At worst, let the colony die and recolonize the planet.

Lucky: This is another worthless trait. Do not take it if you wish to be competitive.

Natural Merchants: This is a nice trait, but not really worth 1000 points in my opinion. A spaceport takes up a small fraction of the total facility slots in a system, and you only save 3 turns by taking this trait for getting resources from a new system.

Propulsion Experts: Now this one is a good trait. Speed is very important in combat. This is not as valuable as Advanced Storage Techniques or Hardy Industrialists, but is a good 3rd choice.

Ancient Race: This trait can be very useful, as it allows you to see where all ruins are and get to them first. It allows you to see where all your enemies are by looking for homeworld type planets. I would not take it over Advanced Storage Techniques, Hardy Industrialists or Propulsion Experts myself, but it is still a good trait.

Advanced Storage Techniques: This is a must-have trait. At only 1000 points, it gives you 20% more facility spaces. That translates to a 20% bonus to all resource production, research, intel, etc. It also gives you 20% more cargo space and 20% more population space, but that does not matter much in the long run.

Hardy Industrialists: This is another must-have trait. It gives you a 25% bonus to all planetary Space Yards. It stacks with Construction Aptitude. So, with Hardy Industrialists and 120 Construction Aptitude, you can get a 45% bonus to all planetary Space Yards! As mentioned early, fast construction is the key to victory. Without it, you will very easily fall behind. It is of course possible to win without this trait, but it is much harder, especially if everyone else has it.

Emotionless: This trait is certainly not worth 3000 points. If you take it, make sure to set your Happiness characteristic to 50 so you can lower the cost of Emotionless to 2200. Taking this trait means you give up the 10% bonus from Jubilant happiness on your planets. This is a big bonus overall, and it is really easy to keep planets happy with Police Troops (small troop with only a cockpit, add Electric Discharges if an Organic race). 100-120 such troops will work fine in most situations.

Racial Tech Traits: These are fun to play with, and can give you some nice bonuses. But, taking them does not really help the min-maxing approach.

I shall provide you with a sample min-maxed empire file designed for a 2000 point game. It is located here. [link not included]

Written by Imperator Fyron

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21 Article: How is damage assigned?
Written by Zanthis
Copied from the "Dubious Strategy Guide"

[Editor's note: I found this section of the "Dubious Strategy Guide" to be excellent. Zanthis did extensive testing to determine some interesting game mechanics. This was written in Feb of 2001. Some of the SE4 patches have modified the behavior of some of the items listed below. I've made some notes in brackets where appropriate. I've also included some follow-up discussion at the end by others.]

In order to better understand how damage is dealt, I did some extensive testing with the simulator. Here are my results, in FAQ format:
1. How is damage assigned?
First, ignore shields for now (see Question #2). Now, every time you hit a ship, a random component is selected on the target. If the target still has armor, the random component will be a piece of armor. Now, if the amount of damage you've done with that hit equals or exceeds the damage resistance of the component, it is destroyed. If you have left-over damage, another component is randomly selected. Repeat until a component is selected for which not enough damage remains to destroy. This extra damage is stored by the target for use later.
Now, next time the target is hit, the first thing that happens is any extra damage (from previous hits) is added to your weapon's damage. Then, the selecting of components to be destroyed occurs as described in the above paragraph.
As you can see, this means components do not have "damage done to them." I have not been able to verify it, but it is likely that when a component is randomly selected and not destroyed, it is remembered and automatically selected in the future until destroyed. This would give the appearance of a single component taking damage. However, I do know that if you change damage types (say from normal to armor skipping) a new component is randomly selected.
That means, if you modify Armor III to take 400 (instead of 40) damage to destroy and change the Shard Cannon to do only 1 damage (it skips armor) and then hit a ship with one Armor III for 300 normal damage (which cannot destroy the piece of Armor III and so sits around as extra damage) and then hit the target for only 1 point of damage with the Shard Cannon, 301 damage will be randomly targeted at components inside the target's armor!!! This is why Shard Cannons and Null-Space Projectors sometimes really gut ships, especially those using high-resistant armor (Organic, Crystalline, etc).
Of course, the reverse is also true. If you hit with armor skipping damage but fail to destroy a component, you just generate extra damage. Future hits may apply that extra damage toward armor, even though it originally skipped armor.
2. Ok, so how do shields fit into this?
I'm glad you asked. First, don't mix phased and non-phased generating components. If you do, you get non-phased shields. That is, until all the non-phased shield generating components are destroyed; then suddenly, in the middle of battle, your shields will become phased.
Ok, otherwise, shields work just like you expect. Damage from weapons gets taken off your shields first. However, remember above where I told you extra damage is added to your weapon's damage before being applied? That happens before your weapon's damage is applied to shields. That means, hit a ship with normal shields and some Armor III with a PPB (skips non-phased shields) for 35 damage (not enough to destroy a piece of armor) and then with a Meson Blaster (normal damage) for 30 and the extra damage (35 from the PPB) is added to the Meson's 30 for a total of 65 damage dealt to the target's non-phased shields!!!
This gets even more fun with shield regeneration. See, if you get some damage passed their shields without destroying components (so it's still extra damage), but the regenerators bring the shields back up, that damage you got passed their shields gets pulled back out and has to go through the shields again next time the ship gets hit.
As an added bonus, destroying a shield generating component drops your current shield value to your maximum shield value (assuming your current value was greater than max value) but it does this before the component is destroyed! This means, with 3 Shield V (900 shields), if you get hit by a PPB that kills one of the generators, your shields will be 900 out of 600! If a second hit kills another generator, your shields will be 600 out of 300.
3. Um, I'm afraid to ask, but how the @#$!% does Organic Armor work?
[Editor's Note: While reading the discussion below, know that a game patch changed Organic Armor in 2 ways. OA no longer pre-regenerates before taking damage; they only regenerate after taking damage. Secondly, after taking battle damage (only), if a ship has at least 1 surviving OA component, the remaining OA on the ship will be repaired at the end of the combat session.]
Ready for this? You're not, but I'll tell you anyway. Each ship with organic armor regenerates constantly. Every turn. Even if you take no damage. With no cap. Put 10 Organic Armor III (30pt regen/turn each) and every turn it gets credit for 300 points of regeneration!!! By the end of turn 5, it has 1500 points stored up with which to repair organic armor. That means, on turn 6, if you deal 1500 damage, you'd destroy all 10 of his Organic Armor III's. Then, before turn 7 begins, all 10 would be completely repaired!!! The repair would cost all 1500 points stored up so far, though.
This is why organic armor seems so incredible at first, then suddenly seems to give out without warning. You are coasting on the built up regeneration for the rounds of combat while you were closing range.
The good news is, destroyed organic armor does not contribute toward this regeneration total. So, in the example above, where all the organic armor was destroyed, no regeneration would be built up at the end of turn 6, because all the organic armor is destroyed. That means, on turn 7, if the ships takes another 1500 damage, destroying all its organic armor again, that's it. It used up all its regeneration pool to repair the first time, and hasn't been able to build up any more, so you're out of luck for the rest of the fight.
Also note that only destroyed organic armor is repaired. Regeneration is never spent on partially damaged armor, because, as you recall from Question #1, components cannot be partially damaged, only destroyed.
4. Do I really want to know how Crystalline Armor works?
No, you really, really don't. But here it is. Let's do this by example. Assume a ship with 0/300 shields and 4 Crystalline Armor III (150 damage resistance each , 15 dmg converted to shields each) and no damage inside shields yet. This ship is hit by a Meson Blaster (normal damage) for 30. The CA regenerates the target's shields by 30 (it could have done up to 60, but the weapon damage was only 30). This shield regeneration is done after the weapon damage is applied against shields, so it doesn't block this hit. Now, the 30 weapon damage becomes extra damage since it cannot kill the armor (that takes 150). So, we now have 30/300 shields and 30 extra damage.
The target is hit again for another 30 damage. First, we added extra damage to this, so we get a hit doing 60 damage (see Question #1 if you've forgot about that). Now, the shield blocks 30, so 30 damage is left which causes the CA to regen another 30 shields and the ships extra damage to be set to 30, again. So, we now have 30/300 shields and 30 extra damage. Look familar?
That's right, if you cannot, in a single hit, do either 150 damage OR more damage than the CA can convert to shields, you will NEVER hurt the ship without armor skipping weapons (see Question #1 for how much fun you can have sneaking non-armor skipping damage inside a ship with armor-skipping weapons).
Don't believe me? Ok, example continued, but doing 60 damage this time. Adding extra damage makes it 90, shield blocks 30, 60 points of shields regen'd and 60 points to extra damage. Now we have 60/300 shields and 60 extra damage. Hit again for 60, plus extra damage is 120, shields block 60, 60 left, regen shield 60 and extra damage becomes 60, leaving us with 60/300 shields and 60 extra damage? Fun, isn't it?
Again, 65 damage though. Add extra damage, 125, shield blocks 60, 65 left, regen shield 60 (max for 4 CA-III) and extra damage set to 65. Hit again for 65. Add extra damage, 130, shield blocks 60, 70 left, regen shield 60 and extra damage set to 70. Hit again for 65. Add extra damage, 135, shield blocks 60, 75 left, regen shield 60 and extra damage set to 75. As you can see, the extra damage slowly creeps up, and once it hits 150, it will kill a piece of CA. At which point only 45 damage can be converted to shields and doing 65 a hit, the ship will begin to die faster.
Now, here is the scary part. We're 60/300 shields with 75 extra damage and no CA destroyed yet. You've been slowly chipping away with 65 damage weapons. Guess what happens if you hit is for 60 or less damage? Hit for 40. Add extra damage, 115, shield blocks 60, 55 left, regen shield 55 and extra damage set to 55. Now we're at 55/300 and 55 extra damage. That's right, the ship has effectively healed 20!!!
Moral of the story, once you've got his shield almost down, fire *only* weapons that do more damage than he can convert to shields (or do 150+ damage). If you must use lower damaging weapons, fire only your highest low-damage weapon until his shields equal the damage that that weapon does. Then, switch to your big guns. This maximizes the amount of damage applied to his components. If your "big gun" happens to be armor skipping, even better. This will suck the extra damage from your weaker weapons right past his armor into his internals. Also, armor skipping also does not trigger CA's shield regeneration. This makes it the ability of choice for taking out crystalline armored ships.
[Ed: Same author, later in the thread]
5. And how do fighters fit into all this?
First off, a lone fighter works exactly the same as a ship...almost. You cannot fire only one of multiple identical weapons. All DUC-III's on a single fighter fire at once or not at all. In fact, you must unhighlight all of them or they all fire.
Further, all identical items are combined into a single super-weapon. DUC-III normally do 15 damage each. Mount four on a fighter and you almost have one weapon doing 60 damage. I say almost, because there is a separate roll to hit for each weapon. So if you have only a 50% to hit, your quad-DUC3's will normally behave like a single weapon dealing 30 damage, although it could do either 0 (all four miss) or up to 60.
Incidentally, DUC-III and DUC-II count as different weapons and do not combine in the above described manner. Also, this combining effect is not bad, and can be good. That means you normally don't want to mix weapons on your fighters.
Once you start grouping them, things get more confusing. Like lone fighters, all weapons of the same type combine, but across the entire group. To avoid firing your DUC3's in a squad of fighters, you must unhighlight all of them. Leave even one highlighted and every fighter will fire their DUC3's.
It should not be surprising that this means larger fighter groups rip up crystalline armor easier, not to mention help you bypass emissive armor. Of course, larger groups are easier to kill due to damage streaming.
If it weren't for how crystalline armor currently works, I'd say the combining effect of fighters is unimportant. It doesn't really effect how things play out. But with CA the way it stands, you might want to consider using larger groups when dealing with ships protected by lots of CA. (Zanthis)

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You did mention about attacking a normal shield ship with phased weapons and normal weapons. But it seems stranger than what you stated. The phased damage will be transferred to the shields by the first hit of a non phased weapon. The destroyed components inside will not be restored but the damage points from inside will be transferred to the shield. It seems that more damage points than just the "leftover" damage is transferred. It actually looks like the damage to the ship is "healed" and this damage transferred to the shields. However this healing is only cosmetic and will not restore destroyed components.
Also another question about organic armor. You state that destroyed armor does not regenerate but what about when you have 10 pieces of armor and 3 are destroyed. It seems then that the 3 pieces do contribute to the regeneration but I could have been deceived by the effect of storage of regeneration that I did not know before. (Tomgs)

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The damage listed when you right-click on a ship, and it says 120/1150 or whatever, is a total of two values: The first is the damage resistance of all destroyed components. I have *never* seen it fall below that value (I've figured it out by hand many times). The second is the extra damage on the ship. This is the value that can frequently be reduced via strange shield interactions. So, if you see 120/1150 and you're using organic armor, all 120 is likely to be extra damage, and subject to loss against shields. If you only have Armor III, it probably means 3 Armor III components have been destroyed, and no amount of funky shield stuff is gonna get the damage "undone."
... [Ed: reply to organic armor question in previous]
If you have 10 pieces and 3 are destroyed, 7 are still helping you regenerate. If they are OA-III, they are building up 210 points per turn. So, if you lose 3 OA in one shot, and next turn all 3 are fine, you're using up stockpiled regeneration. If only one or two are repaired, you've run out of extra regeneration. However, as long as you have at least five, you will get one OA repaired every turn. If you got reduced to only one OA-III, it would take five turns to repair one OA.
The easiest way to see that damaged components don't contribute is when all of your OA is destroyed. Do it enough times and eventually it just won't come back. (Zanthis)

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I just noticed some odd behavior from Organic Armor while testing mines and discovered something interesting. So, here is a correction on how Organic Armor works followed by a brief note on emissive armor.
Organic Armor Correction
It works pretty much as I stated before, however, once an organic armor component is destroyed, it stops generating points toward regeneration for the remainder of the battle. That means, if you have 10 piece of OA-III (30pt regen/turn) and 9 are destroyed, from that point on you only generate 30 points of regeneration! So, once you run out of built-up regeneration, it will take 5 turns to repair each component.
Also, Organic Armor is not automatically repaired outside of combat (although it should be). In fact, I find it very amusing, assuming I have at least 1 OA remaining, to engage colony ships and such and just sit in place will my OA repairs itself. Repeat until all your OA is back. I think OA should auto-repair at the beginning of each turn, but hey, that's just me.
Emissive Armor
Ok, works pretty much just like you'd expect. It is not cumulative. It is triggered before damage is dealt to your ship (but not before it hits shields). This means if you have 1 EA-III and 10 OA, no weapon doing 30 or less damage has any effect.
However, remember how extra damage to your ship gets added to future weapon attacks? That's right, this can let weaker weapons piggy-back past emissive armor. As if it wasn't worthless enough. So, if you have a Meson Blaster (30 damage) and a APB (35 damage say), fire the APB first then the MB and you'll get 65 damage on the target instead of the 35 you get by firing the MB first. (Zanthis)

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A recent addition to the damage info:
-Small/Weak armor segments will be hit FIRST, 9 times out of 10, with the occasional large segment dying before a small.
-Large/Tough internals will be hit first, most of the time, but most internals tend to be similar size/strength, so its more randomized. Heavy-mount weapons are still the most likely to be hit first.
The more extreme the difference in strength/size the more the above observations hold.
Ie. 1kT vs 10kT armor may be hit first 90% of the time, but 5kT armor vs 10kT armor may only be hit 65% of the time. (Suicide Junkie)

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Q: How does Emissive Armor Work?
A(Suicide Junkie): Any damage that is NOT of a type that skips armor will be affected.

The ability does not kick in until the hull is hit (i.e. after shields are down or when they are skipped)

The incoming damage is reduced by the highest EA ability rating of any component left on your ship.

Notes:
- the emissive armor ability does not need to be on Armor to count.
- it will reduce damage only once per hit.
- Adding multiple components with EA ability is only useful as backups in case one is destroyed by damage.

===

EG:
- Incoming hit of 100 damage (normal damage type).
- 10 Shield points left on the ship.
- Emissive armor component (50 hp, 30 ability points)
- Standard armor component (30 hp)

1) Shields block 10 damage, leaving 90.
2) damage is normal type, so EA ability kicks in, reducing damage by 30, leaving 60.
3) Damage is applied to the hull, destroying 1 standard armor component of 30hp. Leaves 30 damage left.
4) Remaining damage is applied to the hull, destroying another standard armor component, leaving 0 damage left.

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22 Reserved for future use
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23 Reserved for future use
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24 Reserved for future use
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25 Appendices: Figures, Tables, References, etc.
25.1 Additions for the Appendices will be as follows. This section is basically for reference material not in the form of paragraphing which would be included in the main sections above. Large, complex, or graphical additions should be made in the form of a link at Shrapnelgames.com. Out of courtesy, file number and size should be minimized. If at all possible, keep info in a text-only format so that it can be included directly.

25.2 Courtesy of Atrocities: Weapons Report

25.3 Courtesy of Atrocities: Components Report

25.4 Courtesy of Atrocities: Weapon Families

25.5 Courtesy of Atrocities: Component Families

25.6 Courtesy of Atrocities:Game Guide for a game setup guide. (Same as in sect 1.0.1)

25.7 Courtesy of Deccan: Weapons Report for Proportions Mod

25.8 Courtesy of David E. Gervais: The Avatar Emporium:
The Avatar Emporium

or
http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/newup...1060867145.htm
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