Second item of note about these ever-precious discovered-colony ships (being that they are of a different race and unknown, possibly unavailable design), they may be able to colonize a planet type you can't normally colonize -- Which is how I was able to colonize the volcanic Zenetabia Fluid bearing planet very early into my current game (I'd only contacted 3 other empires at the time )
A few more:
- A fast & simple response to a pirate attack is to press Z, right click the pirate ship, press A. Repeat as many times as needed to overwhelm the attacker. Pressing the A turns automation back on for that ship, allowing it to resume automated operations after it flees from or destroys the pirate. You may find it helps to move the mouse a hair each time after you press Z.
- You can re-order the build-queue for a planet or station. Just select the planet/station, and double-click the info-panel in the lower left corner of the screen (This opens the detailed-info screen for that item. In the lower-left quadrant of the new window, select the Construction Yards tab, and you will find the queue there, with options to reorder or remove ships from the queue. Handy, if you need a particular ship in a hurry but there are a dozen merchantmen queued in front of it.
- Components for Ships/bases are usually constructed in the order that they appear in the design (exception: If shortages cause the build process to temporarily skip some things) If you put first the: Command Center, Habitation, Life Support, Reactor, and Solar panels (might need an extra item or two, those I'm positive on), you can follow them with shields and get something half-built to charge its shields, or (with a weapon in the right spot) shoot back at foes. Note that reactors are not powered up until the construction is complete, but the solar panels will still work to charge the Reactor's Energy Storage (don't expect to be rapid-firing your Death-Ray or other weapons until the reactors are turned on). This is great for designing space-ports that become quasi-operational before they are half built, or a defensive base bring up shields before the first of the weapons go into them...
- Damage will generally hit armor first. If class of ship has a habit of running into things that ignore shields, try tacking on 5 armor to the design. The ship will still get damaged, but odds now favor it getting away before something critical is damaged.
- Putting two damage repair systems on a ship doesn't make it repair faster, but if one repair system finds itself the victim of a stray bullet, the other repair system can fix it...assuming the ship isn't blown to pieces in the interim...
- A number of the 'Final Design' items in the tech tree are great in one respect (Best possible shield recharge, best possible fuel efficiency, best possible thrust, etc) but at the same time have caveats tied to them that may be cause to forgo the 'Upgrade Selected' option in upgrading ships... (Weak shield strength, low power output/storage, very energy hungry, etc). Just because it's the latest/greatest the game has to offer, doesn't make it the best possible choice for your ships.
- Sometimes you will discover bases in stormy areas. After you claim them, scrap them, or you will wind up losing merchant ships that foolishly try to visit it.
- 24 makes a good minimum mark for ship speed. That usualy gives you a cruise speed of 12. When out of fuel, you move at 1/3rd speed, and for some actions (such as docking at a port to fuel up) a ship will move at cruise speed (12 / 3 = 4). Ships any slower than 4 may have a very hard time catching up to bases on moons that are orbiting planets. Similar rules apply in a hyper-deny zone, ships will try to move out at cruise speed (which appears to suffer an added penalty), so you may find yourself watching an out-of-fuel construction ship limp out at a speed of 1.
- A very fast ship can actually move faster than torpedoes. All well and good, but if said ship is armed with torpedoes, and chasing someone (I suspect friendly fire does not apply even when torpedo fire collides with the firing ship...) said weapons have little purpose. A very slow ship can still mount torpedoes and fight fast ships -- 1) Some torpedoes are in range as early as the moment the ship first drops out of hyper, letting it fire immediately. 2) Until a ship decides to flee (generally when shields get knocked down to 20%), it will keep pace with slower ships in a fight (why else would stationary space-ports get kills?).
- Some torpedoes are not fire&forget weapons -- the next volley will not fire until the last has landed. This can be a serious 'Rate of Fire' concern for slow-moving, long range fire. Another problem with range is torpedoes loose effectiveness with range. To circumvent both problems to an extent, tack on a short range weapon, and include an 'All Weapons' order in the Design screen. The ship will then try to hold a range where all weapons can be used.
- If you give a design orders of 'Invade Immediately', ships of that design will not wait for the formalities of clearing space of defensive bases, ports, enemy-ships, etc. Instead, it will charge straight in to try and deploy its load of troops on the planet... If you succeed in grabbing the planet while it still has any orbiting structures, you get control of those too.
- If the enemy is about to claim a planet of yours with a port at it, you might consider scrapping the port to make retaking the planet easier, or to deny the enemy a base.
- Giving a base a mix of torpedoes and lasers will allow both weapons to fire on only those targets within their effective ranges. For torpedoes, that would be any ship trying to bombard the base. For lasers, that would generally be only those ships trying to drop troops on the planet, or foolish/unlucky enough to be close enough to make themselves an inviting target of concentrated fire. While picking off foolish ships isn't special, being able to design a base to focus fire on troop transports can have uses...
- If you take out the last planet of an empire, you gain control of all bases/ships that had belonged to that empire (retire-for-tech or keep and use.... decisions, decisions...)
< Message edited by torrenal -- 8/9/2010 3:08:28 AM >