what is the 'alliance name' box that occasionally pop up in diplomacy
It's a tool available to the player which allows the player to name treaties between the player's empire and the faction whose name or relations status was double-clicked. Technically, this can be done at any relations status, though I personally would suggest using it only for Mutual Defense Pacts. So far as I am aware, there are no mechanical benefits to making use of this feature, but it can be useful to keep track of alliance blocks - e.g. the Federation has MDPs with the Alliance, Republic, Empire, and Kingdom, and the Alliance and Republic also have MDPs with one another, so if you name the treaties between the Federation and the Alliance and the Federation and the Republic the "Grand Alliance" or "Space NATO" or whatever else floats your boat, it's easier to see the alliance block at a glance in the diplomacy menu; you'd normally have to go through each empire in the diplomacy screen to check for alliance blocks. Remember, however, that MDPs can and sometimes will be terminated by the computer's empires.
It might be possible for the player to name treaties between other empires, but if so I don't know an easy way to do that. Also, so far as I can tell, there is no way to name alliance blocks, only individual treaties. The Federation, Alliance, and Republic may all have MDPs with one another, but naming the Federation-Alliance MDP the "Grand Alliance" will not also name the Federation-Republic and Republic-Alliance MDPs the "Grand Alliance" at the same time, probably at least in part due to the way the web of diplomatic relations can become a complicated mess, especially in larger games.
This is probably more useful for players who want to create a scenario similar to the Ancient Galaxy scenario that came with Universe than for normal gameplay.
So I found one of those huge alien relics, and I built a defense base next to it, but it won't fire. It has weapons, energy, fuel, even fighters, but when my constructor repairing the ship is attacked my defense base does nothing. When i select it there is no targeting reticle, nor any commands i can find to make it fire.
I have no idea what's going on here. Do you have problems with other defensive bases of this design not engaging hostiles, or is it only this one? Does the ship attacking your construction ship belong to a pirate faction or to an empire, and what is your relations status with the ship's owner (e.g. peace, protection agreement, etc)?
If you can and are willing to do so, you might consider posting two images, the first showing the situation (relative positions of the station, construction ship, and aggressor) and the second showing the station design. No promises, but maybe someone will be able to tell something about what's going wrong from those.
Some things you might try:
- Check to make certain that the station is actually in range of the aggressor.
- Play around with the station design's engagement stance settings. Maybe something screwy is going on and the station is waiting for the aggressor to get into point blank range to open fire or is trying to flee because the station somehow got set to "flee when enemy military sighted" or something equally silly and this somehow prevents the station from engaging.
- Change your diplomatic relations status with the faction to which the aggressor belongs. Maybe there's something screwy going on with the station not recognizing the aggressor as a valid target because the empire controlling it is technically at peace with your empire or because the pirate faction to which the aggressor belongs has a protection agreement with you (and yes, it is possible for computer-controlled empires and pirate factions to attack player-empire ships and stations while not technically at war or while protection agreements are in effect, though it is much more common to see declarations of war or cancellations of protection agreements before actual hostilities take place).
In the future, I'd recommend using a Resupply Ship and a small fleet rather than a defensive base for protecting construction ships against raiders. Another alternative is to arm your construction ships well enough that they're capable of fending off raiders on their own; they aren't as good at being alternative battleships as Resupply Ships are, but even with 35% of the total size going towards mission-related components, Construction Ships can make for fairly capable superheavy combatants. Unless you're dealing with powerful pirate attacks, a fighter bay or two, a decent number of shield generators, and a reasonably-sized block of armor is probably all you need, but if you wanted to you can probably make the ship more powerful than that, especially if you budget power assuming that the Construction Ship is stationary in combat (i.e. [reactor output] >= [power requirement of the armament] + [shield regeneration] instead of [reactor output] >= [power requirement of the armament] + [shield regeneration] + [movement power requirement]) and are willing to accept that your construction ship probably won't be winning any sublight speed trophies even against other construction ships any time soon.
< Message edited by Aeson -- 10/14/2016 7:53:01 PM >