Donovan's
VGA Planets Super Site

The Rebel's Handbook
By Pavlos Chatzis

Final Edition
March 1999


Introduction Host-types

CHAPTER 1 : The Rebels
    1.1 Advantages
    1.2 Weaponry

CHAPTER 2 : Basic techniques
    2.1 When the game starts
    2.1.1 The isolated homeworld
    2.1.2 Colonizing guide lines
    2.2 The game in progress
        2.2.1 Ship building guide lines
    2.3 Fighterbuilding (selling)

CHAPTER 3 : Advanced techniques
    3.1 Combat
        3.1.1    Two combat basics
        3.1.2    DEFENSIVE WORK
                    Planetary defense
                    Movement
                    Defensive fleets
                    Mine fields
                    Active areal defense
        3.1.3    OFFENSIVE MEASURES
                    Rebel Ground Attack
                    Patriots and the early war
                    Two fighter fighting rules
                    The Rush and heavy battles
                    Massive attack
    3.2 ESB (Engine Shield Bonus)
    3.3 The Falcon
    3.4 About
            - Small ships
            - Single ship attacks
            - Useful ships
            - The experimental game
            - The aggressive game

CHAPTER 4 : Dealing with the others
        4.0.1 General behavior
    4.1 Federation
     ...
    4.11 Colonies

SUMMARY CHAPTER 5 : Tables / Equations
    5.1 Advantages
    5.2 Ship list
    5.3 Planets

Credits


INTRODUCTION
Goal of this file is, to convey basic thoughts which for the Rebel are essential, so that you know who you are when your choice hits race no 10.

HOST TYPES
Since the portable host system has been developed , scenarios can have ships with up to 20 beams/tubes/bays, so there's a great difference in playing either with TimHost or Phost. Though basic techniques like exploring, colonizing and keeping an economy are still the same. Once you got familiar with the ships from PList, which usually is in use when you play with the alternative host, you will have to transfer your battle tactics to these more differentiated ship types.


CHAPTER 1 The Rebels

1.1 Advantages
The Rebels' main advantage is, to build fighters wherever they want. "They have many small friendly robots on board all their fighter carriers that build fighters when ever they can find 2 kt Tri, 3 kt Mol and 5 kt Supply units, whatever the ship's mission is set to". They can support up to 60 clans on desert and 90.000 clans on ice planets and they can clone captured ships. Their Falcon Class Escort has the capability of traveling in hyperspace, crossing 350 ly in a single turn. The Rebels can land small groups of saboteurs on a planet's surface to destroy facilities and reduce planetary defenses. This mission called Rebel Ground Attack can be performed by any of their ships. They are immune to planetary friendly codes NUK and ATT, so they can orbit a hostile planet as long as they want, without being touched by planetary defense.

1.2 Weaponry
A first overview of the Rebel fleet and best use of the single ships.

  • SMALL DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER
    This small fellow is mostly meant for the very early stage of the game, to get your first colonists on another planet. The 70 kt of cargo space are not useless at all, but not of great importance. You could have one or two of them in areas with a high density of planets to quickly get credits to a near base.
  • TAURUS CLASS SCOUT
    The Taurus needs two engines and has a huge fuel tank which allows exploration very far from home. But on unexplored planets nearly always Neutronium can be found, that you should not spend the 600 MCr (for Transwarp engines) or even 400 MCr (for Nova 8 drives) to equip a Taurus. It has only 20 kt more cargo space than a Falcon. But, its large fuel tanks and the two engines make it a very good towing ship.
  • CYGNUS CLASS DESTROYER
    It has a balanced amount of beams and torpedo tubes. Having some of them inside your area will keep it clean from hostile hyper probes and small cloakers. The Cygnus is your first escort ship.
  • FALCON CLASS ESCORT
    The Falcon is not the strongest but it is the most useful ship in the game. It is cheap, it has the capability of Hyper Jumping and it is able to carry 120 kt of cargo. The Falcon can scout your opponent's empire, colonize planets very far from your base, and is the best money courier if your territory grows over your head (see CHAPTER 3) Do not use it in combat at all, except for hunting enemy probes or cargoes, because it gets easily caught and do not waste its abilities by escorting freighters with a Falcon.
  • NEUTRONIC FUEL CARRIER
    You will need the fuel carrier when your area expands and you start building heavy battleships. These consume a lot of fuel when armed with fighters, and often it is a very long way from a starbase to the borders. The fuel carrier is also important for supplying your freighter routes with Neutronium, once the colonized planets report depletion.
  • MEDIUM DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER
    Good for colonizing and shipping minerals in the early game and in mineral poor games (which you only should play as Rebel when you want a real challenge). Do not build it anymore, once your economy works fine. You will need a lot minerals to produce fighters and the 200 kt just are not enough.
  • DEEP SPACE SCOUT
    A mass of 30 kt and crew size of 10 does not make it very effective even with 4 beams. Spend the necessary 29 kt Mol to build fighters. Perhaps you could use it as armored cargo ship near a base, or as explorer in safe areas.
  • GUARDIAN CLASS DESTROYER
    This is your response to the shields of large enemy battleships. Armed with Mark 7 Torpedoes it removes the shields of any capital ship and can even cause some points of damages - before getting destroyed. The Guardian often is the ship you sacrifice to succeed in a special task.
  • ARMORED TRANSPORT
    Two engines, one beam, 200 kt of cargo pace. If you need an armored medium sized freighter, build the Deep space scout instead.
  • SAGE CLASS FRIGATE
    As interceptor : Build the Cygnus instead. More tubes, crew members and only one engine.
    As minelayer : Build the Tranquility instead.
    As towing ship : Build again the Tranquility instead
    As anything else : You should not.
  • SAGITTARIUS CLASS TRANSPORT
    The Gemini is you better choice.
  • LARGE DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER
    This is your preferred freighter size. Create a good network of cargoes to supply your fighter factories with minerals. For longer distances, a Cygnus or Patriot escorts, to keep small cloakers and probes away.
  • TRANQUILITY CLASS CRUISER
    The Tranquility, having 380 kt cargo space, is your mine laying, and towing ship. Two torpedo tubes are not very effective, so avoid medium sized and large enemies. The Tranquility is a very part of your attacking fleet.
  • PATRIOT CLASS LIGHT CARRIER
    The all-round soldier. Whenever you don't know what to build, build a Patriot, arm it with fighters and launch. Having a Patriot cruising is better than having none. But do not build too many, because when the game comes near the 500 ship limit, you are lost, if 3/4 of your ships are Patriots. This is your second escort ship.
  • GEMINI CLASS TRANSPORT
    Your glamorous fighter factory. Outstanding in capacity it produces 40(!) fighters per turn. Don't use it for anything else. When you think of an armored freighter, better think of the Tranquility. With only 20 kt less cargo it is a much better armed and so better choice. The Gemini is no fighting ship.
  • IRON LADY CLASS FRIGATE
    The Iron lady has 8 beams, that means she is your mine sweeper, your fighter killer and your planet taker. Equipped with mark 7 torps it is capable of taking a planet with up to 150 defense ports and more, getting only slightly damaged. The Iron Lady does not fight against ships, for the simple reason, that 99 crew are easily killed and so she gets captured.
  • NEUTRONIC REFINERY SHIP
    You will need at least one in the advanced stage of the game. Your Rushes consume much fuel until they move into position. The best place for your Refinery is a Bovinoid planet, and it is much more effective when it works together with a Merlin. Don't waste money and supplies in mounting something better that Stardrive engines, and only arm it with better beams when it is placed near your borders.
  • SUPER DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER
    When you need more cargo.
  • RUSH CLASS HEAVY CARRIER
    This is one of the strongest ships in the game, and it is yours. It will cause a lot of headache and there are only 4 ships, which really endanger a Rush. Build as many as you can effort.
  • MERLIN CLASS ALCHEMY SHIP
    The Merlin is important. To build large numbers of fighter you need much Tritanium and Molybdenum. Place the Merlin on a Bovinoid planet and keep it continuously producing minerals. As the Refinery the Merlin does not require expensive engines or high tech armament. You can find a data list in CHAPTER 5.

CHAPTER 2 Basic techniques
    You cannot run if you cannot walk

2.1 When the game starts
When a game starts the most important is, to explore and expand quickly. When later the big wrangle starts, you must know which planets are worth and which are potential enemy bases, if they have not been in colonizing range. So your first goal is, to explore as many planets as possible. The better you know the area, the better you choose your way.

This is a possible way to start the game as Rebel: Usually you get two free ships. A Small freighter and the Taurus with Blasters. Both equipped with Heavy Nova 6 Drives. If you cannot reach a next planet within one month, try to overburn the engines to get there in a single turn, and if this also is not possible, decrease the tax rate to 0, improve your planetary facilities, increase the engine tech level, build the next Taurus and wait until next turn. The reason is, that you want to stay hidden the first turns, and not only in the initial phase but during the whole game. You do not need to increase planetary defense and starbase tech levels (excerpt of the engines) right now. The second Taurus now is ready. Store 100 clans, 120 supplies and some Credits, do the same with the other one, set its mission to tow the first and make your way to the next planet.

Your next ship is the Gemini with Stardrives and Lasers. Now the Taurus has reached the planet. If the towed Taurus(with Nova6 engines) now is able to reach planets within a turn by itself, then release it, drop a clan and move on. Whenever you pass a mineral rich and or native planet drop some more clans on the surface. When no natives are present wait the turn until the planet gets colonized and beam down the credits for the first small factories. The Gemini now gets a friendly code (fc) of 'lfm' to start your Rebel fighter production. Your next ship is the Patriot. The scouts proceed in exploring new worlds and the Patriot is finished. Arm it with fighters and wait. Your next ship is the Medium freighter. Now, that the Gemini has produced another 39 fighters, stop the production, arm your base, load the medium freighter with colonists and ship them to your best known and near planet, escorted by the Patriot. Now increase beam weapon technology to level 3 and build your first Falcon with Blasters.

Now it is turn 6. If your neighbor is not a Bird or Privateer you already have a foreign ship on the charts and must think about a sensible relation. You stayed invisible, so nobody knows, where you are. Should you send a message and let out that you are neighbors, to offer a treaty, or should you continue hiding and secretly gather a fleet to start the Rebellion? Well this is open to you. Your goal, exploration and colonization must not be deflected by any hostilities, so only if you really can effort and still continue concentrating on your exploration, then equip a small fleet and do what a fighter has to do. Which races you better not contact through an early elbow drive you should read in chapter4. Freighter and Patriot have reached their destination. Now you can either divide the colonists and travel to the next planet, or drop them all and repeat the flight, it just depends on the planets around your home, where the minerals and natives are.

The Falcon now is ready. Load the Falcon with 80 clans and 40 supplies, aim on a planet at the edge of the map (or any planet) and jump there. The Falcon explores a small area, looks for a little cluster with good planets and starts shipping colonists to your new "outpost". At home you build the next medium freighter, ship the colonists and supplies where they are required and so slowly start with the mineral extraction.

Don't build the Gemini in mineral poor games that soon, exchange it with a Falcon to find the rich world. The Patriots aren't necessary, when you start in good relations with your neighbor. You will need at least 3-5 turns to get a first planet extracting minerals, so you should carefully plan each ship you build. If the increase to tech 10 engines foils the construction of a ship for this and next turn remain at a lower tech level to build exploration ships instead. Always optimize the construction of ships with your current and future needs.

2.1.2 The isolated homeworld:
You finally got that first RST file you have been waiting for a week, and after the first look on the map you cannot believe what you see. Rodu 9. So, the Falcon is your first ship. Not one, but two or three of them. Send them all in the same direction and find the very good planet with minerals and natives. Keep the Falcons carrying colonists. This planet will be your first source of minerals and money and later your next base. During this exploration build the Gemini, your Patriots and do not build the Taurus. Send a LDSF directly to nearest planet escorted by one or better two Patriots. When you send them out "walk like an Indian" (see CHAPTER 3). Don't hurry, and never leave your freighter without escort. When you loose it, you need one turn to rebuild it, and two more turns to get to same point you've been before. It will take some more time to get resources shipped to your base, when it is isolated, but you are not so money dependent and the minerals on the homeworld will allow you to build several Patriots to secure the area your freighters travel through.

2.1.3 Colonizing guide lines:
Colonizing planets, there are some guide lines you should follow:

  1. As Rebel you are able to support up to 9.000.000 colonists on ice planets (temp below 15). (Colonists don't grow in extreme climates)
  2. Find early a Bovinoid planet, and carry a lot of colonists there.
  3. On mineral rich planets with no natives drop a maximum of 200 clans. The formula MaxMines = 200 + sqrt(clans - 200) explains why. Up to a number of 200 clans you can effort 1 mine for each.
  4. Do not colonize mineral poor planets with low or no natives in the early game. Once you got a working economy there's enough time to pass the planets and drop some clans for mining the few minerals. But set a clan on them.
  5. Never build more than 14 factories or 19 mines unless you got at least 15 defense posts. But once everybody knows where the others are located there is no need anymore to proceed this way.
  6. Only tax colonists you just dropped on a planet when you really need money. This will keep them growing faster, until they reach a tax rentable number (2.000.000 and above)
  7. Do not max out the defense posts of a planet too early, and save the money to build your first Rush. An orbiting Patriot is a much cheaper and better defense. Once you have enough credits, maximize their number.

2.2 The game in progress
Now it is turn 20 and you have several Patriots, two or three Falcons and some freighters. Your economy works and freighters ship the resources and credits to your base. Your starbase technology levels should look like this: Hulls: 10 - Engines 10 - Beams 6 - Torps 5. What comes next strongly depends on how you get along with your neighbors. If there are no fights to resolve, concentrate in improving and expanding.

Think about your next base. Where? Preferable are planets with Ghipsoldal or Humanoid natives. Siliconoid and Amphibians are not as well, you are not in need of Heavy phasers and Mark8 photons. If any conflicts, started by you or any other, disturb your expansion, you must think about the Rush. Your first Rush has medium tech engines like the Heavy Nova6 Drive, and Blasters and you tow it into the pool of your conflicts. Guess why. Now that you have two bases the things proceed faster and you should continue building Rushes and Fighters continue to claim and expand. Note: The turn 20 mark is a quite common border to close the exploration/colonizing phase and start the fight for territory.

You should always try to get your economy working as soon as possible, to get up the ships quickly. If you notice that the explored planets around you are really rich in all, then you possibly will be ready in turn 15 or even turn 10 to defend yourself or to plan an attack against your neighbor.

2.2.1 Ship building guide lines:
GENERAL

  • Always know which task a newly built ship will have.
  • Geminis. Many. But If you can effort take Stardrive Rushes instead (for better defense).
  • Put Lasers or X-Rays on them. Best solution if you can effort are Disruptors, to catch up smaller ships getting lost at your bases.

WARSHIPS

  • A Patriot's weapon is the Laser (or the Blaster if you live in a bank).
  • The Heavy Blaster is your standard beam. A Heavy Phaser has only 5 points more destructive power than a Heavy Blaster. Spend the difference of Mol and Cr. in new ships and fighters. Compared to your fighter power the 5 extra points are nothing. The Heavy Blaster has the best cost-efficiency destructive rate. If you are low in money use the Blaster instead, but you should know that the simple Blaster is not a very good mine sweeper. - Build only Mark 4 and Mark 7 torps. Watch the prices. There's a big step from 4 to 5 and 7 to 8, without increasing the destructive power enormously.
  • If the EngineShieldBonus is off Heavy Nova 6 drives for the Rushes are far enough. Spare the difference of 1482 MCr compared to Transwarp for another Rush. Tow them with a Taurus or Gemini into battle. Another aspect is, even with no ESB Transwarp Rushes are much more flexible due to their greater intercept range.
  • Your Tranquilities are equipped with Mark 4 torps, until you get the money for the Mark 7 tubes and torps. Increase your Tech as fast as you can: 50 Mark 4 torps cost 650 Cr.They will make minefield of 35 ly 18 Mark 7 torps cost 648 Cr. They will make minefield of 34 ly (and you save a lot of minerals) The one ly less is nothing compared to the saved cargo space (and so saved fuel) .
  • Equip small torpedo ships (Cygnus) only with Mark 7 torps. Don't build Mark 8 tubes, if you do not have huge amounts of money, that you don't know what to do with it, nor equip them with Mark 4 in the late game. As Rebel you are able to build very cheap, so very fast effective fleets, leaning on your ability to get the Free Fighters, so don't play in games where the "Free Fighters" option is turned off. If you did that mistake, then read "Rebel without clue" an essay about playing fighter races ... without fighters!

2.3 Fighterbuilding (selling):
The amount of fighters a ship can build in one turn is limited by the size of its cargo space (what a genius). Each fighter will cost you 2kt of Tritanium 3kt of Molybdenum 5kt of Supplies When you set a fighter carrier's friendly code to "lfm" it will automatically load the necessary resources to build as much fighters as possible. Thus, you need at least 10 kt of free space to start fighter construction. The two minerals are the most important to you. Large amounts of Duranium you will only need for Rushes and Refinery ships to produce fuel. This is what your carriers can build with a free cargo space: Patriot : 3 fighters Sagittarius : 30 fighters Gemini : 40 fighters Rush : 39 fighters When you build Rushes and their way to the borders get very long, don't overload them right from the start, because on your route you can pass some planets with Geminis to get the fighters aboard. This saves much fuel.

Fighter selling
So the natives all have emigrated from the planets around you, and you hold a million ton of minerals, then you start selling your fighters for the cash you need. See in chapter4 how it works. When they want to haggle, you start at 99Mcr per fighter. But you must not sell more than 300 to max. 600 fighters to any one, except to your close ally, who personified by your little brother never will betray you. Your advantage is, that you can build fighters without any special mission. This means, you can have an empty Rush on a planet with enough resources, and direct it to intercept another vessel having 39 fighters aboard when combat starts. The right number for a capital torp ships.


CHAPTER 3 Advanced techniques
We do not wait for enemy mistakes but rely on our own skill

3.1 Combat
The great ancient cultures did not survive the centuries for their cultural goods, but for their military strength, and most of their records are about great battles and war. Deciding about raise and fall of a culture, technological improvements were the necessity to survive. The harder steel, the better sword, the more dead enemies. Improvements were not only technological but also technical. Alexander the Great improved his army technically by escorting the Greek phalanx with horsed men, to prevent the slow moving phalanx from being attacked on the flanks. This simple technical improvement, replacing single weapon typed armies by differentiated cooperating troops, enabled him to conquer nearly the whole ancient civilized world. When technology ends in a patt, like in VGA-Planets, then the technical improvements come to the fore.

These are the right consistence of fleets, the right battle order and the right tasks for the right ships. Also, you know it, surprise and concentration of forces is a very part of victory. The Rebel is no spy or thief, he is a warrior. His eye is the Falcon and his fist the Rush. He is able to crush an enemy fleet with a single ship, leaving the battlefield alive. But he is not invincible.

3.1.1 Two combat basics:
1. Beams for fighters, torps for shields, fighters for ships.

2. Choose the "right" side
When two ships fight, one comes from the left and one from the right; the behavior of the ships changes with their side. Torpedo ships on the right side have a chance of 60% to get extra 360kt of battlemass. In battles carrier versus carrier the ship on the left side gets an advantage. On which side side your ship appears in battle is determined by its battle order. Ships with lower battle orders get the right side.

Battle order is determined 1. Friendly codes 2. Ship ID A non numerical FC is equal to 1000. If two ships have equal FCs, the lower ID ship has a lower battle order.

Here's a remarkable dialog from the IRC conference logs:

  • (Greg Guiher) I'm playing the Lizards and it seems like I'm always the left side. Though, I never really paid attention. How do you decide who's left and whose right side in combat?
  • (Cocomax) The Left Right side is decided by a friendly code "100" to "999" the lowest gets the right, in the event of a tie the lowest ID number ship gets the right.
  • (Greg Guiher) is it 100-999 or 1-999?
  • (Cocomax) Friendly code numbers 001 to 099 do not always work correctly.
  • (JD [Auxhost] cocomax) so FC's 001-099 aren't safe to use for combat, right ?
  • (Cocomax) Right, start with code "100"

Here Tim (Bovinoid1) explains why this is so (from IRC conference logs):

  • (Lavos) Why does the ship on the left gets the advantage? Is it intentional? .....
  • (Bovinoid1) The left advantage is an flaw in the random number generator, that takes place when two ships with fighter bays fight.

This means: Your torp ships (Cygnus,Guardian,Tranquility) fight best with low numbered FCs and low IDs (due to the 60% chance). Your carriers (Patriot, Rush) against torp ships fight best with low numbered FCs and low ID (so the torpers don't get the 60%). Your carriers against carriers fight best with non numerical FCs and high ID (due to the left side advantage). These configurations of course are no guaranty that you get the "right" side, because your opponent will also do the same, but you always should try it.

3.1.2 DEFENSIVE WORKS:
Your offensive power depends on Tritanium, Molybdenum and supplies to build the fighters. Therefore you must have a good working economy to constantly extract minerals and ship them to your fighter factories. This economy must be protected, or will be disrupted by cloaking or crushing surprise attacks from other players. Your good planets are mineral rich and / or inhabited by Bovinoid natives for the use of a Merlin. You are not in need of huge credit amounts like the torp races, but of course will also need money, to build your Rushes. One heavily colonized planet with good natives near a base, usually produces enough credits to effort a heavy fighter carrier every turn. These planets are your defensive nodes. Be ready from turn 1 on to defend yourself. Do not wait until somebody captures your first freighter to remind you that this is a game of war. Be ready. Always.

Planetary Defense
The following table illustrates the amount of beams and fighters you get at a special number of defense posts, and how many clans you need to build the number.

DP Fighter Beams Clans Tech DP Fighter Beams Clans Tech
1 1 1 1 1 85 9 5 1257 7
3 2 1 3 1 91 10 6 1710 7
5 2 1 5 2 111 11 6 3740 7
7 3 1 7 2 113 11 6 3987 8
13 4 2 13 3 127 11 7 5940 8
19 4 3 19 3 133 12 7 6897 8
21 5 3 21 3 145 12 7 9027 9
25 5 3 25 4 157 13 7 11445 9
31 6 3 31 4 168 13 8 14151 9
37 6 4 37 4 181 13 8 17145 10
41 6 4 41 5 183 14 8 17672 10
43 7 4 43 5 211 15 8 25890 10
57 8 4 95 5 217 15 9 27855 10
61 8 5 165 6 241 16 9 36435 10
73 9 5 567 6 271 16 10 48780 10

More defense points just increase the colonists' combat ratio. 20 Defense points increase the ratio by 1. So if you're groundpounded by Lizards on a planet with 100 defense points they will not attack your colonists with 30:1 but 30:5 and so 6:1.

Planetary defenses are not very useful, when the attacking ship is a major one, that means more than 6 or seven beams and 3 and more tubes; best example is your Iron Lady. 50 Planetary bases will destroy any smaller scout or light ship, 200 of course will do more, but if you really want to defend a planet, put a starbase on it and fill it with fighters. You have them. Have an additional Patriot with Tech 1 engines in stationary orbit to do best. Always try to have your planetary defense maxed out to block any surprise attacks by cloakers. Never set the friendly code to NUK or ATT, if you do not have enough defense posts or have an own orbiting battleship.

Movement
Defense not only is parry or block a strike, but also the agility in movement. Two rules you must keep in mind:

Hide
Choose planets in 81lj range and if not present set your way point below 81lj, so your heading is not visible.

Deceive
Sometimes you must set a wrong way point to escape or fly a feint. You set the way point beyond 81lj, so it becomes visible next turn, so whoever wants to catch you, will wait at the end of the red line (or intercept you. Hope). But you change your heading on your next turn and fly somewhere else. Another way to deceive is "walk like an Indian". When you choose a planet "A" to place a defensive ship at, and its distance is greater than 81lj from your location "B", set your way point exactly 81lj away from A, even if you only travel 10 or 20 lightyears this turn. Your opponent might believe that B is your destination, and if he does not spot the ship again, he will not expect it at A. This of course only works one or two times, and if he spots the ship again, he immediately will know you tricked him.

Defensive fleets
Planetary defenses are easy overwhelmed, so most of the defensive work will be done by ships, grouped to small defensive fleets. They are no real "fleets", but small groups of two or three ships each, placed and cruising along your borders. A small defensive group consists of:

  • a Patriot
  • a Guardian with Mark 4(7) torps
  • ( a Cygnus with Mark 4(7) and Disruptors)

Patriot with Lasers and Transwarp will cost about 400 Cr. Guardian with Blasters, Mark 4(7) tubes, and 20 torps about 600 Cr. This group will stop any medium sized vessel. Against carriers the Guardian goes in first to get down the shields, followed by the Patriot to do the rest. Evade larger targets, they will knock out your small ships one by one. In this case you should have a Rush ready to block them.

Minefields
Especially when you get in conflict with cloaking races, you must lay minefields, to harden unallowed movements inside your territory. Minefields will not prevent all cloakers from sneaking through, but will slow down their movement and often, when laid at the right time they can even stop approaching fleets of small ships. Sensible locations for minefields are worthy planets, amorphous planets, bridge planets and worthless planets. Ehm..., yes, all planets.

The worthy and bridge planets are self explanatory, the amorphous and worthless ones to prevent enemy ships from moving and hiding there. You should mine these first, to have a couple of dummies, an enemy runs inside in believe to find a worthy base. Choose Tranquilities with low ID's for your borders. When you spot the enemy approaching your area and none drop a minefield he will be caught in next turn. Mine dropping takes part before movement and his smaller ships could get blasted by moving inside the field. Scoop it up next turn. Here's the formula for the radius of new minefields: radius=sqrt(number of torps * tech^2). Easy to see, that the minefields grow enormously with raising tech. The higher your torpedo tech the lesser cargo you use to create a mine filed of an aimed size. This is important when moving inside enemy space.

Active areal defense
Imagine a castle, where the guards do not patrol, but remain at several points. It's easy to find these points, to avoid them, to sneak into the chambers and kill you, the king. Whenever your defensive fleets stand still, they can be located and recognized by cloakers and so be avoided by following stronger forces with a single task to destroy your base. Keeping your defensive ships in move of course needs fuel, but Patriots and Guardians are low in mass and don't need much, so they should not run out of it along your border. Let them patrol between 81lj planets and if a planet is really worth, place a stationary defender there.

Keep your ships invisible. If you want to frighten, you can later do it with a Rush. But, showing the same ship from time to time you could lure an enemy to your location and block his ship(s) with your awaiting fleet. Awhile attack his borders on other locations. Also, do not only place ships along the line, place some single Patriots several lightyears deeper in your territory, that an enemy still faces resistance, when he successfully sneaked trough. Place a Patriot upon Amorphous planets, so nobody can hide there. If you need credits fit it with a Tech 1 engine and tow it there. Deceive your enemy whenever you can, equip a Falcon, send it away and build an outpost on a worthless planet very close to his territory. Build 15 factories. Withdraw again, when a ship approaches. Repeat it. There will be no assurance about the shape of your territory.

The best defense of all is putting an enemy himself in defensive mind. How to do? Three or four Falcons continuously visiting his empire will do so. Don't run for freighters now if you are not 100% sure not get close to a battleship. You could hit some planets with RGA. Keep moving, deceiving and doing until the time has come for the real attack.

3.1.3 OFFENSIVE MEASURES:
And the time has come now. When you start this, moralities die, and you must be tough and cruel to survive. Now, two things are part of your goals: Destruction and Extinction. Oh my god; but if you don't, you will be dead soon. The harder you hit an enemy the faster his empire gets destroyed, and the greater your change to survive, and this is what you want. To do so, you must know, when to attack, where to attack and you must know what defense is waiting for you. Thus, before you start any fleet movement send Falcons to observe the area and get an overview of your opponent's strength. When the Falcons cannot spot any major ships, don't conclude that there are none at all. They are hidden in orbit. Wrong conclusions turn your enemy to the most dangerous of all: the underestimated one.

When the game is in progress and your opponent has several bases, be sure that his warships are equipped with best weapons, that means be ready to fight against Novas, Cubes and whatelse with Tech 10 beams and torps. For now it's not the time for freighter hunting; just observe them. Scout their routes and calculate where he could have a base. Once your Falcons appear in his area, he will set his ships' primary enemy to "You", to catch your scouts jumping directly on his worlds. That's why you should not do it. Hyper jump takes part before regular movement, and when he commands his ships to intercept you in empty space, the Falcon will have disappeared in hyperspace again.

Rebel Ground Attack (RGA)
You have the ability of landing saboteurs on a planet to destroy the planetary facilities. Any of your ships can do this by setting its mission to "Rebel Ground Attack". Performing the mission
    - 30% of the planet's money
    - 40% of the planets supplies
    - 20% of the defense outposts
    - 60% of the mineral mines
    - 30% of the factories
    - 20% of the colonists get destroyed / killed.

RGA is not cumulative, so if several ships perform this mission on the same planet, only one will do the effect. It takes part after movement so don't forget to set another mission on the way home. It also takes part after combat, so you cannot RGA a planet if an orbiting ship has set you as PE or its mission to "kill", unless you destroy it.

RGA is awful to your enemy when combat starts. Deleting 60% of his mines will slow down the mineral extraction and gets his colonists very angry, if they were happy before. You can also get them into civil war by hitting the planet only one time, if he taxed them too high. Choose the right targets after having observed his freighter routes. Reducing his resources is equal to reducing his power. Using RGA on planets you want to occupy is waste on facilities, credits and supplies, which could be yours, if the enemy does not beam everything up before you arrive. Remember that the Iron Lady with Mark 7 can take Planets with up to 150 defense ports. RGA will also make natives happy. If you got a run out planet with good natives and a lot of mines, beam up your colonists except of one clan, sell the supplies, get the credits aboard and RGA yourself to reduce the number of mines. Next turn re-colonise it and tax the natives again.

You also can offer the RGA to other players (see CHAPTER 4) in exchange for something you need. RGA is a very nasty weapon when combined with a cloaker. You can imagine why. When dealing with the Privateer, the ability of sabotage plays an important role. When time unfortunately has come to retreat from an area, try to destroy as much facilities as possible on the evacuating planets using RGA, so your opponent must rebuild them again. In THost any of your ships can do it, even freighters. PHost has a configuration option to allow armed ships only, so be sure to have a look into the PHost configuration file, before you hopelessly try to RGA with captured freighters.

Patriots and the early war
There are two fine descriptions for the Patriot: "a round of ammunition" (H-Files) and "a deadly killer" (Dreadlord's Battle Manual). This is what you need, when hostilities start very soon in the game. Playing another race, the Patriot is the ship you avoid, as long as you do not have high tech torps and a good couple of beams and in shareware games, where those torps rarely are available, the Patriot is THE ship. If you are a newbie don't mistake it, just because of its none see-at-first-sight advantages and its awful bitmap. The Patriot will launch from its 6 fighter bays rapidly a large number of fighters, which an enemy vessel has to face before it can spit torps. At normal recharge rate (which can be changed in Phost) the undamaged enemy vessel will fire two banks of beams, before the fighters arrive, so multiply the vessel's beams by two, to get a first overview of your own losses.

Here's a statistic of what can be destroyed by a Patriot when torpedo techs did not get too high:

  • A Death Specula (113kt - 6 Beams - 4 Tubes) Blasters and Mark 4 - will launch about 4 banks = 16 torps COST: 1228Mc - 67D - 161T - 185 M
  • An Arkham Class (150kt - 6 Beams - 3 Tubes) Blasters and Mark 4 - will launch about 4 banks = 12 torps COST: 946Mc - 58D - 140T - 158M
  • A D7 Coldpain Class (175kt - 4 Beams - 2 Tubes) Blasters and Mark 4 - will launch about 4 banks = 8 torps COST: 904Mc - 91D -138T - 147M

COST for you: 392Mc - 50D - 81T - 130M
ESB at 0%, opponent on left side

The listed costs of course aren't a great thing, but when war comes in the early stage, every credit counts, and it's a difference, if you spend 1200 Mc loosing a ship, or 400Mc surviving combat. The fewer tubes a ship has, the greater can be its mass to be destroyed by the "deadly killer". At a number of 6 or 7 beams and below there always remain enough fighters which get close to the enemy vessel, to drop its shields, cause damage and destroy it, if it is not armed with more than 4 low tech tubes or two high tech ones. Above These numbers a Patriot should not engage, if not grouped in pairs or triples. For a mark4 Resolute as example you need two Patriots.

Your carrier becomes much more dangerous when the shields are supplied with extra power, the ESB. At a rate of 25% your Transwarp Patriot fights like a ship with 170kt. You can take more torps so your fighters have more time to fly their attacks. Here is what your opponent will need to knock out your ship with view on the shield bonus: ESB 0% : 8 mark3, 4 mark4, 4 mark5, 3 mark6, 3 mark7, 3 mark8 ESB 25% : n mark3, 10 mark4, 9 mark5, 8 mark6, 7 mark7, 6 mark8 ESB 50% : n mark3, 18 mark4, 16 mark5, 14 mark6, 12 mark7, 10 mark8 As you see, with an ESB of 50% the cheap little Patriot kills most of the medium sized torp ships and if not the first, then the second ship will do it; and don't forget, you should try to get the torpers to the left side (see 3.1.1).

The "round of ammunition" is a single use ship. Its fighters are easily gone and if it survives the battle you will have to redraw for refill and repair. With two beams and a mass of 90 kt it is even a target for small ships like the Opal class or any other one tube scout. Without a full hangar the Patriot is the most useless ship inside your fleet, so you must never run out of fighters on it. One battle, against scouts two or three, and the Patriot must be refilled by traveling back to a base, or by a near Gemini. You also can have distributing Geminis. In the early war your attacking forces are very similar to a defensive fleet with Consistence of a Patriot, the Guardian and a Cygnus, both with at least mark 4 photons. When you find the location of an enemy base within the first three days, then a fleet of two Patriots a Guardian and Cygnus can even take a base, in case that no protecting ships are in orbit, just because in the early stage players cannot effort additional 100MCr. starbase fighters.

Whenever you do not know what ship to build, build the Patriot, fill it with fighters and go ahead. The Patriot even kills battleships like Darkwings and Cubes(!); under two conditions:

  1. Those have at least a damage level around 10%
  2. Those have no torpedoes/fighters left Entering a battle with damage the enemy vessel has to recharge the beams first, and will fire them only once against your fighters, until these get close enough to open fire themselves. Now this is a very special situation, and you rarely will encounter heavy battleships without torpedoes. But it is possible.

Two general fighter fighting rules:
Beam Tech
does not count at all against fighters, when enough fighters are present and not get depleted during combat, that means it does not play a role if e.g. the Death Specula is armed with X-Rays or Phasers. The beams will be busy shooting down fighters and will not come to touch the hull of a carrier.

Beam number
will decide, if all of the fighters can be killed before combat ends, to use the primary weapons against the carrier itself. More beams more "We just lost Jones!".

The Rush and heavy battles
Now the game has proceeded, the ship masses and techs have increased. Credits aren't the problem any more, and so it is time to change a Patriots' place on the battlefield, and replace it by the Rush. Until now your ships had a more defensive function, protecting your routes, and with easy depleting fighter numbers they were limited in their activity range. The Rush enables you to change this. Now you can enter the Rebel's natural way. Fighting. The events in full scale war are unpredictable. Cloakers can appear where you never expected, bases can fall by single strikes, your enemy can approach from several directions, and you will meet his ships where ever you attack.

Like your own ones, enemy ships differ in mass and fire power. Although there are countless techniques you can develop to engage an enemy there are some general rules you should follow. A crushing attack is done in by a fleet of different ships. Each ship has its own task, and their abilities combined are your key to success A major fleet is meant to break the enemy lines, take some planets, kill several ships, head for a starbase and destroy it.

Consistence:

  • The Rush with about 200 fighters and Blasters (Hv. Blasters)
  • A Gemini having 300 Colonists and 100 supplies aboard; Lasers and Transwarp.
  • A Guardian to bring down the shields of a major ship; Lasers, Stardrive, Mark 7).
  • [A Tranquility with Disruptors and about 30 Mark 7 torps. ]
  • [An Iron Lady with Heavy Blasters and Mark 7 tubes. ]
Credits DUR TRI MOL SUP
2837 194 398 457 *
749 52 46 118 *
907 74 29 59 *
[1032 83 128 133 *
[1378 39 156 245 *

Add

* * 600 400 1000 for 200 fighters
1800 50 50 50 * for 50 torps

These are minimum configurations. Increase engines, beams and torps if you can effort it. Have a look on the minerals. Duranium is what you do not need in large masses. Use Duranium to produce Neutronium in a refinery. Merlins should only produce Dur, when you need it next turn. You build the ships at several points spread through your area. Essential are the Rush, Gemini and Guardian. The other ships can be deleted, when your resources are low.

Battle Order: Border planets usually don't have that mass of colonists to build large defense posts, so take them with the Iron Lady and don't waste fighters on the planetary beams. When warships cross your way, face them with the Rush. When you passed the first border planets and get some closer to your object, start taking the planets with the Rush. You never know, perhaps you hit a base with many fighters. You have more. The Iron Lady can't stand a base. Once your Rush gets damaged, stop at a planet, drop 20 mines with the Tranquility and repair the carrier with the supplies on the Gemini. Do not drop the mines in Colony space.

Build fighters with captured planetary resources in the free cargo, when the planet has not been cleaned up. If you are sure, that you do not want to hold it, raise the tax rate to 100, scoop up the minefield and fly on, until you reach the target base. Yes, it sounds too easy. Your opponent does not sleep, he had the same time like you to build heavy and well equipped ships.

Let's see how a Rush will look like after battle with a single major ship, one-on-one:

  • Nova Class Dreadnought : Average damage of 60%, using about 40 fighters.
  • T-Rex Class Battleship : Average damage of 30%, using about 40 fighters.
  • Darkwing Class Battleship : Average damage of 50%, using about 40 fighters.
  • Victorious Class Battleship : Average damage of 30%, using about 40 fighters.
  • Annihilation Class Battleship : Average damage of 50%, using about 40 fighters.
  • Bloodfang Class Carrier : usually no damage, using about 50 fighters.
  • Biocide Class Carrier : Average damage of 50%, using about 100 fighters.
  • Golem Class Baseship : Average damage of 50%, using about 90 fighters.
  • Gorbie Class Battlecarrier : Average damage of 70%, using about 100 fighters.
  • Virgo Class Battleship : Average damage of 15%, using about 100 fighters.

Against torpships Rush on right, against carriers Rush on left side.
ESB at 0% - all ships max tech/armament

There are only 4 ships, which can be dangerous to your carrier, the other heavy carriers. Do not put more than 120 fighters on a Rush, when you face the single Biocide, Gorbie, Golem or Virgo. If you loose the ship, any additional fighter was built to get blasted in a hangar. If you win, alright. Your chances against other big carriers are:

Biocide:    Rush on left wins 50%
                Rush on right wins 10%

Gorbie:     Rush on left wins 50%
                Rush on right wins 10%

Golem:     Rush on left wins 60%
                Rush on right wins 20%

Virgo:       Rush on left wins 75%
                Rush on right wins 50%

You see, it is very important to you to get the left side against Bio, Gorbie and Golem; given they have enough fighters aboard; and you will do much better against these killers if you first send a Guardian in. A capital torp ship like an Annie or Darkwing, will launch a maximum of 4 full banks, which are at worst 40 mark8 torpedoes. The ten beams will do nothing than toasting about 40 fighters. But the Rush needs 40+ mark8 hits to be killed, so a single capital torp ship rarely will destroy an undamaged Rush.

Massive attack
Imagine the big nasty dude, who wants to have your jacked, without knowing that you not only have two hands but four. When he comes for you, two hands will punch, two parry and your legs will kick. Knock out. In reality of course, you don't have additional hands and cannot do all the things at once - because you are not in a group. So you better run for your jacked and life. In the group one punches, one parries and one kicks, to get that dude to the floor. Punch and kick are done at different points. The dude is your enemy and the group your ships.

To knock out an enemy you must do several things simultaneously and combine the abilities and locations of several fleets to one tremendous attack, or he will have time to recover to launch an attack himself. You got Falcons, Patriots and Rushes spread along the borders and, if you started soon enough building those outposts with Falcons, a base far from your regular space. Even when your fingers now burn, to click your opponent to death, you must not start a headless attack, but should first think about the right timing.

Start a first crushing attack with a Rush and escorts. Enemy forces obviously will concentrate to block you. Now launch Falcons, many, to catch up freighters. Watch for freighters in empty space and rarely touch those being less than 81lj far from the planet they are heading on. You set the Falcon's PE, set your mission to intercept the freighter and get caught at the planet. Even if you do not hunt anything, just frequently show your presence in the heart of his empire to slow down the freighter movement. The freighters you capture now get a completely different task: to ground attack his own worlds. If protecting ships are orbiting, your opponent must destroy "his own" freighters to prevent his planets being ground attacked. Further, if you succeed in capturing three or four freighters, he must start hunting them in his own space.

Start interrupting the freighter routes now, when the heavy fights begin. Launch the next fleet at another point. His defensive ships have gathered around your first attack so the way will not be free at all but much easier. Build missile Falcons with Stardrive, tow them to a jumping point and launch them to ground attack. Jump back, if they survived and repeat it, until they get lost. Build new ones. Launch a fleet from an outpost. His freighters get caught by your Falcons, and his planets hit by ground attacks - his economy slows down, so lost ships cannot be replaced that fast. He now is being attacked inside his own empire and from outside at three different points. A very difficult situation. Use all of your weapons, combine them, each one at the right location by right time. Don't let him breath a second and attack as hard and as often as you can. You want his knock out.

3.2 ESB (Engine Shield Bonus)
The ESB increases the effective battle mass of a ship by a value deduced from the host settings and the cost of the mounted engine type. Think of a Patriot. A mass of 90 kt. Now, your host configures the ESB to 100%. If your Patriot is mounted with Transwarp engines, which have a cost of 320 Cr. it fights like a ship with 410 kt(!). But 100% are quite unusual. In common you have no ESB at all or about 25%. The ESB is very important for one of your ships, the Guardian. Without, you hardly will be able to fire more than a few torps against other torpedo ships, because the Guardian, as low in mass, will be blown by just three Mark7 hits. So don't try to use a Guardian the same way you use it against the major carriers (as lamb), if there is no ESB. At a bonus of 25% the Guardian's (Transwarp) effective battle mass will increase from 80kt to 160kt which will ensure that you can fire at least one full bank, and which should be enough to reduce the enemy shields to an acceptable level.

3.3 The Falcon - some kind of hero
Exploration:
The regular map is 2000 ly from side to side. This means you can cross it with a Falcon in six jumps, equal six turns. This advantage is amazing during the exploration and colonizing phase, because you can expand faster and grab planets in the edges of the map, which often are forgotten.

Economy:
Once your planets have grown to a number of more that 30 or 40, you territory is that big, that freighters would run out of fuel before crossing it. You will have some planets bursting of credits, and other ones counting the coins. When you play with the Star base+ Addon there's no problem, but usually you don't. Use the Falcon to distribute credits among the star bases. Have it carrying small amounts of minerals to bases, where you want to build a ship but need e.g. 80kt more Tritanium. Keep a Falcon moving. If it has no actual task fill it with colonists and colonize a far planet. When you use the Falcon this way, think of it as an armored, hyper jumping cargo ship, which enables you to organize a big economy better than any other race.

Far assistance:
Use the Falcon to jump supplies to your fleet deep behind lines. Imagine you fell under attack in open space behind the lines and the Rush got damaged, so your movement slows down. Your supplies are gone and you cannot quickly reach a planet for occupying, to repair the carrier with the captured supplies. A Falcon carrying 120 kt and permanently moving relative to your attacking fleet in a distance of 350 ly will directly jump to your damaged ship and repair 24 points of damage. So the tiny Falcon often prevents a Rush from being destroyed.

War:
The uncatchable observer. The quick hunter. The hyper jumping missile. Need more? Think of it and do it. When you don't use Winplan, you will need a calculator and an equation term (see below) to navigate your Falcon. Alright, you already have the ONLY hyperspace utility you ever wanted.

About
SMALL SHIPS
The Cygnus isn't a deal for any medium ship. Don't waste resources by attacking with a single one. But, equipped with Heavy Blasters and only 10 Mark 7 torps it can occupy outposts with up to 70 defenses, without taking damage. Add the Patriot and you take planets with heavy defense. Don't use it against ships with more than 130 kt mass and a couple of tubes. With its own mass of 90 kt it will not stand the fight. Add the all round fighter Patriot. You can not make war with only large carriers. You will need the small ships to stop your opponent expanding near the borders, and you will need them for patrolling in areas you did not colonize every planet to watch for movements and outposts. The fighting power of small ships grow enormously when there is ESB (see 3.2)

SINGLE SHIP ATTACKS
Your preferred attack is done in crushing fleets. But often you will have to launch single ships for a feint. A single Cygnus of course will not frighten your enemy, a single Rush will. If you have a lot, place them along your borders and if time has come, launch one for a feint. The single ship attack is very effective, when your opponent has to defend a large area and if it is done by a Rush. Do not use anything else for it, or the damage you've done isn't worth.

USEFUL SHIPS
You do not have any cloaking ship. Adding an invisible ship to your forces is the best thing you can do. The best cloaker for you is the Swift Heart. Very cheap to clone and a large fuel tank to fly deep inside enemy space to RGA some planets. A Reptile class destroyer does similar work, but its two engines make it more expensive in cloning. Once you get one of these, choose a base and start to clone it. Or even better when you get a BR4 or BR5.

THE EXPERIMENTAL GAME or About the efficiency of your ships
What you should do at least one time, is joining an ongoing game in about turn 40 or 50. If you survive the first turns, after the others noticed you, then you start building warships and when you're satisfied, you send a message to all the players, that now their last day has come. Now, count the turns and watch the battle closely to see how your ships resolve it.

THE AGGRESSIVE GAME
Now all the techniques described above are the common way to start a game, to build a fine economy and to produce heavy ships ... to kill your opponent. But this is only the standard way, a guideline how it works basically. As Rebel you don't have to wait until you get a necessary firepower to attack an enemy. You can do it from turn 3 on, and the key to this is the Falcon. When you want the real aggressive game, then your first ship is a LDSF, you load it with all needs for a second base and you look for a fine planet. From now on the only ships you produce are Falcons - clouds of Falcons. You send them wherever you think, and you watch for freighters.

Contact the Empire and trade for the locations of other homeworlds. Go and Ground Attack them. Disturb the others in their expansion and force them to escort every single freighter, force them to park a war ship over every worthy planet. Until they get aware what you are doing, it might be too late (for example: you RGAd a base on turn 5), and anyway, what else should they do, than to slow down their steps? Being that aggressive from the very first turn on you also can break the moral of everybody who is not strong enough to recover from an early loss of freighters or even a ground attack at his only base. Yes, you get many many enemies through this, but if you ruin them, they cannot strike back.


CHAPTER 4 Dealing with the others
You are not alone

Diplomacy has three different states: the alliance, peace and tension. When you don't speak anymore, you simply fight. In each game, all the time your relation to another race emerges in one of the three states; or in explosions on your screen. What you know from you neighbor, your knowledge, is casting. Knowledge becomes most important in case of war. You cannot fight an enemy you do not know. Thus, information is one of your greatest goals during the whole game. You can gather it by yourself or get in trade for it with races accessing more information in shorter time, like the Empire and the Birds. An alliance with at least one race is your next goal, because two and more are stronger than one. Like combining the abilities of different weapons to a strong force, combine your resources and different ships with an ally, to gain more power.

Cooperation is of much greater sense than any plain "give me that falcon I give you that swift heart" deal. Cooperation is permanent and so improves your whole game. In general, trust your ally but rely on yourself. And when you hear "...psst, listen... Lizards do this and do that" then do not expect that every Lizard player really does it. Not every "Bird" knows smart Bird tactics and not every player reads docs. So you should do it. Further, never forget that your opponents are human players, with human brain, imaginative and unpredictable. Now that you made it trough the basics, here comes the finer piece of the cake. Let's see what to do when you get in contact with the others:

4.1 The Federation
The Federation gets the double amount of credits, when they tax colonists and natives. They can Superrefit their ships, they have Terraformers, the tachyon emitting Loki Class Destroyer and the Bioscanner.

ON YOUR SIDE
An interesting race. On your side the Federation can improve your economy by cooling down desert planets, and they can heavily improve your defense when you get in trade for a Loki. But what can you offer? The Federation accumulates during a game more money than a Rockefeller ever saw, and so can build the fighters they need by themselves. Your Falcon? No, don't do this, except for the Loki. Wake up, the cluster is YOUR market, so offer the fighters not for 100 but for 90 MCr. With 200 fighters the Federation saves 2000 MCr. the half of a Nova!. Over a long range the Federation saves a lot of money, buying your 90Mcr fighters, instead of ordering them at local sellers. In times of peace you are Fighter-Ferenghi no 1!

AS ENEMY
The Feds have a wide range of medium sized ships, with a good balance of beams and tubes. You need the Guardian inside your defensive fleets, to drop shields before the Patriots do their work. Mark 4 does good work. This technique should destroy any medium Fed ship. If they do not come in groups, what they always do. Then you must think. What is deadly for any small ship? The minefield. Try to use it somehow. The Federation is not your easiest opponent, you must improvise a lot. The Federation will mostly have Mark 8 torps aboard which they easily can effort with the 200% tax advantage, so the Patriot gets a very hard life. The Nova is deadly for anything but a Rush, so you should not attack it with something else. Especially for the Federation you need the outposts, to attack from different sides, and to interrupt their economy at several points by the same time. The hook namely is, that your "infantry", the Patriot cannot stand two mark8 hits. You need the Rush as soon as possible, to absorb the many torpedoes Federation ships can launch, and you must use ANY advantage of place and time you can obtain. Find with your Falcons the mineral rich planets, that means a high concentration of freighters, equip your fleet and crush. A recovery phase for the Federation passes very slow, because they ore at only 70%. This disadvantage causes a hole in the early ship production, which you should use, if this is what you need.

4.2 The Lizards
They are the best ground fighters, they mine the planets at a rate of 200%, they have cloaking ships, also the Loki and Terraformers. They fight up to damage of 150%, and the Hissss mission stops civil war.

ON YOUR SIDE
Fine Lizards. They have exactly what you like. Minerals and cloakers. This race possibly is your most Useful ally. They usually take planets by dropping other Lizards. Offer Rebel Ground Attack to help them in their task. Or, wouldn't a couple of bulbous Madonzillas be a nice improvement for their fleet? Isn't the friendly Gemini over a Lizard base a welcomed guest?

AS ENEMY
Nasty Lizards. They sneak through your borders and drop their lizards on the surface of your worlds, without decloaking their ships. One by one they can take your planets this way, and you will never see them. Minefields. As much as you can. Over the planet, under the planet, behind the planet, and if you could, you should even mine the surface. Maximize the defense posts on every planet, and kill them as fast as possible. Find their warm planets and destroy the lizard breeding worlds. Their ships are immune to the effect of a Loki, so the only protection you have are minefields. Ground attack Lizard planets as much as possible, to kill the eggs. The Hissss mission will reduce the effect, but not everywhere and every time.

4.3 The Birds
Nearly all of the Bird ships are cloakers, the Resolute and Darkwing can stay invisible without using fuel, they can control planetary friendly codes and finally are immune to the Loki tachyon emission.

ON YOUR SIDE
The Birds are nice combat fellows, especially when you dislike a mine laying race. The Bird superspy can find as many friendly codes as a heart likes, and even control all minefields of a race. Now, imagine a Robot, who takes cover behind some huge red circles on the chart, biting fingernails as he spots six Rushes walking by. But he is save. Some bad day the Robot wakes up, and he finds all of his minefield friendly codes set to "ass", to spot minutes later the Rushes again, knocking at his door. (Yes, the minefield fc is mf[X]). Or, your freighters, immune to NUK and ATT beam up the minerals from a hostile planet to share them with the Birds, after the Birds got the planetary fc under control. To speak clearly: You get the minerals an other one ores. hehe, an alliance with the Birds is a game with much fun.

AS ENEMY
You minefields, many, and if you have a lot, the Rush, better two and more on your planet with the highest ID. The Bird tries to change your general minefield fc, by setting a planet's friendly code to "mf[X]". He tries this your at your planet with the highest ID, because this is the last one being processed by host. Protect this planet, in case that his super spy fails and the ships decloak. A bird likes abusing you as cash cow, through setting your planetary code to "bum", to beam up your credits. Distribute these between your ships, and only beam them down, to build the next. Once you notice that your fc changed, reduce taxes to 0, not to give him any of the new taxed money, if you don't have the orbiting ship. Get the credits from somewhere else, possibly with direct hyper jumps. The Bird tries to tow your Geminis off the planet, to destroy them in open space. A protective ship with a permanent mission to intercept the Gemini and "Birdmen" as primary enemy, will help you to proceed building fighters. The best way to get rid of a bird is, to attack very soon, or to have a close look inside the "Birdmen Guide to the Galaxy", which should now contain nearly every possible bird tactic.

4.4 The Fascists
The Fascists have cloaking ships, they are advanced ground fighters and they can pillage planets for money and supplies. Their ships are, like yours, not affected by planetary defense.

ON YOUR SIDE A Death Specula would be a nice addition to your fleet. And you really don't want to see the planet, which got both pillaged and ground attacked in single turn. Hmmm, cooperate somehow. The Glory Device can be useful, if you plan to take a base and need to weaken the orbiting ships. As with the Lizards, you can reduce the population on a planet, so the Fascists can take them more easily by dropping clans. The Glory Device is also very effective against Privateer wolfpacks, or any other cloaking ship.

AS ENEMY
Fascist ships have many beams, so they kill many fighters. But they lack of tubes. The D7a Painmaker and the Little Pest Class are what a Patriot's Captain dreams of, and even the D19b Nefarious sometimes gets beaten by one (usually you need two Patriots), if the Glory Device does not get activated. You should carry supplies on your attacking ships. A small fleet of D19b's will enormously reduce your number of fighters, and if the Victorious Class follows, this might get a dicey trap for your Rush. The Victorious never comes alone, so fighting the Fascist you must especially care for an abundance of fighters. Not to forget the minefields, for these pillaging barbarians.

4.5 The Privateers
A Privateers is master in stealing your ships. If he is played well, the Privateer will be your enemy no 1 when you do not ally him. He can rob your ships off fuel, and board them by simply towing them away. Three of his ships have Gravitonic Accelerators do they travel 162 ly a turn. He gets very easy and unseen deep inside hostile space and by towing his freighters he will expand faster than anyone else. Wonder if Tim knew what he creates, when he thought of the Privateer.

ON YOUR SIDE
The Privateers don't really need anyone - except against the cloaking races, especially Lizards and Birds. The Lizards equipped with both Loki and cloakers can take Privateer worlds by dropping clans and can even directly attack a Privateer base. The Birds anyway can throw in a fleet of Darkwings and knock out the Privateer bases one by one, never decloaking and never getting robbed. But the efforts for the Privateer's enemies raise enormously, when a Rush guards the important planets, and with Bloodfangs full of fighters, he also can defend himself up to a certain grade. As exchange your ally can tow your battleships twice as fast to a conflict, can supply you with cloakers and can even go out and ruin your opponent's economy, to get him faster down. If you don't want to fight the Biocide that comes along to kill you, and your relation to your ally works on 120%, then you surrender a Rush to him, he places it without fuel (so it will not fight) on a planet the Bio could pass, and robs it dry in a single turn with the fuel tank of your carrier. There are much more similar things you can do in a game with Privateers, like moving a single Rush close to a enemy empire, so the one you evidently want to attack might want to stop you with some heavy battleships, when you are close enough. But once you reached a dangerous distance the Rush "runs out of fuel" and your enemy's vessels get trapped by the wolfpack, cloaking behind (or in front of - who knows) your carrier.

AS ENEMY
The worst of all. When the Privateer succeeds in stealing one or two Rushes, you have a problem. Minefields. Align the fuel of stationary ships to 1 kt and their mission always is on "Beam up fuel". All of your ships are on warp 9; it is hard to escape an MBR tow, but you could be lucky, when he tries to do it. The Loki is what a Privateer sees only once in his life and the ship you must get. And once you obtained this nice vessel clone it as much as you can, and do not fight with it. The Loki will just escort your fleet and will do nothing else. It is too worthy to loose it in a fight. When you do so, be careful which way your fleet will take to attack this enemy. If you have to go through a passage greater than 81 ly, you first must send in advance a minelayer to your next waypoint and follow with the fleet into the minefield you dropped and you will do the same near the planet you are aiming on. The reason is, that the Privateer could sacrifice an MBR to intercept the Loki and destroy it. Cloakintercept-fights are done before any others and no matter how many of your ship intercept the Loki themselves, it will be lost. In a TKF game you don't have this problem, because an intercepting ship anyway has to fight all of your battleships and the Loki can stay in background. If you don't have the Loki you must have an ally with cloakers. Your ally escorts your ships and whenever you could get robbed (e.g. you just took a Privateer planet), your ally transfers some fuel into your ships, and after they got robbed and towed away, they still will have fuel. But if he tows you into a wolfpack, well... this just depends on how skilled the Privateer is.

A small tactic which could help you:

  • Turn A: You engage a planet destroying the defenses. The Privateer was waiting for you.
  • Turn B: You cloaker inside the fleet distributes fuel among the ships (e.g. X gets 12kt fuel, Y gets 7kt of fuel ...) The Privateer robs you.
  • Turn C: He gets his message and compares the robbed amounts with his fuel tanks. They still have space. He believes that your ships are robbed empty. He returns or decloaks another ship to tow you off. Meanwhile your cloaker refueled your ships.
  • Turn D: He towed a ship, which now has fuel, and his own gets destroyed. However be careful. If he has enough fuel capacity, he could try to rob and tow in a single turn. Also don't do this, playing against experienced privateers. So when you do not have that Loki or a cloaking ally, you NEVER (never) orbit the Rush at a Privateer planet inside his empire, when he has enough ships to rob you dry. Exceptions are Rushes with a fuel tank of one billion kilotons.

4.6 The Borg
The Borg reproduce by assimilating natives, they have a hypership and the Chunneling Firecloud which, working in pairs, can be used like a wormhole.

ON YOUR SIDE
A Biocide is an impressive ship, isn't it? After about turn 20 the first one appears, and the Borg needs a friendly neighbor, who is so kind to arm it with fighters. The problem is, that he has nothing to offer for you in exchange. Borg money anyway is nothing else than assimilated cowpat, and persons with ugly plastic eyes are not allowed on the fighter market. The Chunnel perhaps, but nothing really else, and you never give the Falcon to a Borg. For nothing. Alright, they are not that worse and you and the Borg really are very strong. The Bio is one of the strongest ships in the game, and with a good load of fighters it sure will kill a lot. The Borg can also supply you with many colonists and also many credits which they get for example from a planet that once was inhabited by 10000000 natives. But be sure, if you ally a good Borg player you will not win the game, because at least after turn 50, he hopelessly starts to outproduce you, and if you do not watch he also might eat you.

AS ENEMY
The Borg has survived until turn 20, and caught enough planets to infect with his own kind. Then, your horizon gets dark and the cubes come. Now what to do, when these hosed monsters come to build a highway right through your lovely little Rebel home? The Biocide has 5 more beams than a Rush, that means usually, one-on-one, the Rushes death. Mistake a Biocide and attack it without escorts; sacrifice a Guardian to reduce the shields. Same thing with the torpedo cube. The snag is, that the Borg always survives. Hyperjump,assimilate,hyperjump,assimilate... this way he infects planets all through the cluster and can attack you from completely different directions. Your Falcons are always open eyed for Borg probes. Assimilation facilitates a high amount of planetary defense, so you need many RGA ships to safe fighters for the major threat, the cubes. First Borg goal is, to survive the initial turns(!).

4.7 The Crystal People
The very extraterrestrial race. The Crystal people are known for their web mines. These, when you hit them drain the fuel of your ship, so they can similar to the Privateer, capture it by a simple tow. They have a special terraformer which heats a planet up to 100.

ON YOUR SIDE
Web mines are extremely useful against cloaking races. Cooperate with the Crystals, build fighters for the Crystal Thunder and get some nice web mines at your homeworlds. The deal is very easy, and of great use for both of you.

AS ENEMY
You will play "kill the big boss" and "crack the nut", when the Crystals move to your black list. The good Crystal leader is patient and waits for a stolid like you, who cannot but break a wall with his own head. What do you want from the Crystals?! Yes, you will not sit and watch, while the Crystal takes planets you want to have, but else there is totally no reason to attack them. The planets you capture will be desert rocks and you cannot move a single turn without permanently sweeping web mines. But if they attack you, which rarely should happen, then you need many Heavy Phasers. Arm the Iron Lady, many nice Ladies, to sweep the webs he comes trough. Comes to your borders, lays web,moves,sweeps,lays web.... and so slowly he surges inside your own home like an invulnerable tank, when you do not have those Iron Ladies. If you anyway want to attack, the all of your ship should be armed with Hv.Phasers for the minesweeping capacity, and be sure that your fuel tank are full, because you will not be able to sweep all of the webs, and you will hit many. You also need supplies aboard to instantly repair the minehits you get.

4.8 The Empire
The Empire usually gets 5 free fighters per turn and starbase , depending on your host settings. They can Dark Sense the socks under your bed, and their ships mostly are medium and heavy carriers. The empire has a hyper chip. The Super Star Destroyer can perform a mission called "Imperial Assault", and so take planets by dropping ten clans, if the ship has no damage.

ON YOUR SIDE
Friendly empire. The Empire knows a lot. For example where the Borg root around. In a single turn the Empire detects more home worlds than others in a whole game. Get in trade for this information. Although fighting with carriers, the Empire cannot produce the fighters "manually", so there are 7 more star bases to build, until the production has reached the level of a Gemini: 40 fighters per turn. Get in trade with fighters. Also, when you ally, you could get a fine medium sized carrier for the Falcon, like an SSC.

AS ENEMY
Unfriendly empire. A Super Star Carrier has 4 fighter bays, the Destroyer only 3 and the Cruiser also 4. This says: even a Patriot can launch the fighters more rapidly. Slow empire. And usually, imperial ships are not full of fighters. At any point by any time you always have more fighters than the Empire. A Rush can take up to four Cruisers with 80 fighters each, getting no or little damage and using about 200 fighters. It is the Cruiser broom. Reduce the fighters on the imperial ships, and add some more explosions. The SSD is a dangerous ship, not because of its firepower, but because of its special ability: The imperial assault. When it happened that an SSD came close to one of your bases, be sure to have a ship ready to cause at least one point of damage. The Guardian with mark7 will do so, and followed by a Patriot you will give those unfriendly assault troops the rest. Have a close look at the mineral costs for a Gorbie. Until the Empire builds one you have built two Rushes with that much fighters, that the Empire gets gray from envy. Gray Empire. The Empire habitually knows everything, but habits can grow to a trouble, when you cannot apply them any longer. So, the Empire Dark Sense is completely worthless against you, the Rebel, and the Empire player must rethink his whole strategy, which, designed on knowledge is not very effective against you. You have the fighters and you are invisible, so you must not loose against the Empire! The starbases are the key.

4.9 The Robots
The robots always will lay the greatest minefield, and even if you could use the freighters for the job, the Robots would laugh on your spots on the map. Just because the value every mine unit is multiplied by four. They can build free fighters and have the Bioscanner.

ON YOUR SIDE
What they need is what you have: Duranium. Who does not like it, the assurance to travel safely through the biggest minefields on the map and the assurance to somehow have an emergency exit, when your ships better run. You and the Robots in an alliance are like the tiger and the bear, two fearceful warriors, you better avoid when your alone. Two powerful tools, fighters and minefields, are one of the many usable keys to success.

AS ENEMY
The Robot is very crude. He needs a lot of time to develop, and a lot of Q-Tankers to arm his ships with fighters. The Instrumentality is the first ship you meet (beneath the Cat's Paw) and always the first remarkable carrier you fight. The Instrumentality has three times the mass of the Patriot, one more fighter bay and two more beams. So, you need at least three Patriots to destroy one Instrumentality. The Iron Lady always is inside your fleet, when you tackle the Robot, and especially for the battle described above. The Lady and two Patriots, that's an expensive fight. Only one Patriot, if you got those mark8 torps. You could also take a Guardian instead. Your primary weapon against the Robot always is the Heavy Phaser, to keep the minefields off your skin. The mines. Get rid of them. Best with the Colonies or many Iron Ladies. The Q-tankers, where the Robot fighters come from, then the Golem, oh dear; with your Rush and one or two sacrificed Guardians only. Killing a Robot is a slow and arduous way. Don't let the Robot come to you, you go to him, so your area stays clear from mines.

4.10 The Rebels
For more information about this formidable race, read "The Rebel's Handbook"!

4.11 The Colonies
The Colonies get the free fighters like yourself, and they posses many special ships. The very special is the Cobol class.

ON YOUR SIDE
Now, what can the Colonies do for you? Whenever a minefield crosses their way, they send out their Starbucks and clean the map. You, especially when dismantling of Robots comes to your mind, you should try to offer any- thing the Colonies lack of, to get a Colony carrier inside your fleet. The Cobol is the best exchange for a Falcon (beneath the Cloaker and Loki), and you should even give two or three, which does not make any sense, just reduces cloning time for the Colonies. The Cobol will pull the Rush as wide as you can see, and never runs out of fuel.

AS ENEMY
Fighting the Colonies somehow is, like fighting yourself. Colonial ships are very similar to your own ones and now that you know what a Patriot is, you know how to resolve a combat. Use your own Patriots and the Cygnus with Mark7 and 8 photons. The Virgo Class has 5 beams more than a Rush but two less bays, which almost are more important. The Colonies tend to mount low level drives onto the Virgo to tow this reinforced rock wherever they want, using the Cobol. This is the ship you somehow should smooth out, so these fighter carrying rocks run aground, and you have the time to care for them. The Colonies will also never run out of fighters, when your fleets do not include the Iron Lady (many). So, like fighting any other race, by switching off the advantage, you must look for the Colonial special ships and capture or destroy them. Further, the Colony player builds exactly the same outposts like you do. Track the Cobols you spot in open space, to know from which directions the Colonies could attack. The Colonies are the strongest race of all, if they have enough time to develop. They carry and move whatever they want and operate inside your own house without the need of fuel. Their ships are completely "planet- independent" and when you must spend the minerals for a refinery, they build a Virgo instead.

So, why don't you play the Colonies? I tell you why: YOU ARE A REBEL !

SUMMARY
There is always a big discussion about what is better: torps or fighters. When you play the Rebels, fighters are the sugar on your cake. Produce them in a huge mass to arm your cheap and effective ships. You cannot survive, if your fighter production gets interrupted or your economy in general does not work. Resources gone, ships gone, Rebel gone. Very easy conclusion. This not only is valid for you, but also for the other races. Without a good network of cargoes, nobody can stand war over the long period, and usually not the one with the biggest and most threatening ships comes to success, but the one who continuously can keep his empire producing and expanding, the one who knows when to fight and when to retreat and the one who develops the best ideas will be the winner.


CHAPTER 5 Tables / Equations

5.1 Advantages

Hyperjump: Xreentry = Xpos + round (cos ( 5/2pi - 2pi / 360 * HEADING) *350
Yreentry = Ypos + round (sin ( 5/2pi - 2pi / 360 * HEADING *350
^^^^ Hypotenuse
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ to get a RAD value
^^^^^ to make it anti-clockwise

(For the mathematicians: this is the trigonometric way. This is the formula used in "Hyperspace Navigator". It calculates the jump not by using additional coordinates, but by accepting a simple heading. To get a gravity field add / subtract the requested value to / from the hypotenuse)

A mini Hyperspace utility in Pascal:
  program hyperjump;
  uses crt;
  var Xpos,Xreentry,Ypos,Yreentry,Heading:integer;
    begin clrscr;
    write('Current X-Locatrion:');
    readln (Xin); write('Current Y-Locatrion:');
    readln (Yin); write('Heading:');
    readln (Heading);
    Xreentry = Xpos + round (cos( 5/2pi - 2pi / 360 * HEADING ) * 350);
    Yreentry = Ypos + round (sin ( 5/2pi - 2pi / 360 * HEADING ) * 350);
    writeln('You reenter at :' + Xreeentry +' / ' + Yreentry)
  end.

RGA:   ColonistsHappines: = ColonistsHappines - 50
            NativeHappiness: = NativeHappiness + 30
            Remaining: = OnSurface - OnSurface/100 * n
            [ n(Credits)=30, n(Supplies)=40, n(Defense)=20,n(Mines)=60, n(Factories)=30, n(Colonists)=20 ]

MaxCol on Temp <15 : 9000000
MaxCol on Temp >84 : 6000
FreeFighterCost : 2 Tri + 3 Mol + 5 Sup

5.2 Shiplist

Rebel Ships Tc Bm T/F En $ Dur Tri Mol Mass Carg Fuel Crew
Small Deep Space Freighter 1 0 0/0 1 10 2 2 3 30 70 200 2
Taurus Class Scout 1 2 0/0 2 50 20 40 5 95 140 590 180
Cygnus Class Destroyer 1 4 4/0 1 70 25 50 7 90 50 130 190
Falcon Class Escort 2 2 0/0 1 50 5 5 12 30 120 150 27
Neutronic Fuel Carrier 3 0 0/0 2 20 10 2 20 10 2 900 2
Medium Deep Space Freighter 3 0 0/0 1 65 4 4 6 60 200 250 6
Deep Space Scout 3 4 0/0 1 190 1 1 29 30 200 450 10
Guardian Class Destroyer 4 3 6/0 1 180 10 60 11 80 20 120 275
Armored Transport 4 1 0/0 2 35 14 14 16 68 200 250 126
Sage Class Frigate 5 4 2/0 2 170 12 63 27 100 50 150 79
Sagittarius Class Transport 5 2 0/1 2 75 14 12 38 99 300 450 226
Large Deep Space Freighter 6 0 0/0 2 160 85 7 8 130 1200 600 102
Tranquility Class Cruiser 6 4 2/0 2 140 42 71 43 160 380 460 330
Patriot Class Light Carrier 6 2 0/6 1 90 5 45 35 90 30 140 172
Gemini Class Transport 6 4 0/1 2 145 14 42 48 140 400 350 326
Iron Lady Class Frigate 9 8 2/0 2 290 22 23 47 150 60 210 99
Neutronic Refinery Ship 9 6 0/0 10 970 125 150 527 712 1050 800 190
Super Transport Freighter 10 0 0/0 4 220 125 13 18 160 2600 1200 202
Rush Class Heavy Carrier 10 5 0/10 6 987 242 171 242 645 390 1550 1858
Merlin Class Alchemy Ship 10 8 0/0 10 840 625 250 134 920 2700 450 120

MaxBuiltFightersPerTurn =
    Patriot : 3 (9t/6m/15s)
    Sagittarius : 30 (90t/60t/150s)
    Gemini : 40 (120t/80m/200s)
    Rush : 39 (117t/78m/ 195s)

5.3 Planets
Max. defense posts 50 + sqrt(clans - 50)
Max. factories 100 + sqrt(clans - 100)
Max. mines 200 + sqrt(clans - 200)
Below these numbers of clans, the ratio is 1 structure/clan.


Credits

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
is reading "Dreadlord's Battle Manual" (Internet sites)
is reading useful comments about any race (Internet sites)
is getting a battle simulator (Internet sites) is getting a file with game formulas (Internet sites)
is avoiding everybody who wants to kill your fun

VGA-Planets:
Science fiction PBEM graphical strategy game
Author : Tim Wisseman e-mail : cocomax@aol.com

Thanks to:
Tim - Fun
Bane, Robobob - Game knowledge
All others - Ideas
Pythagoras - Brain

Resources:
Usenet
"The H-Files"
"The Firm"
Various other docs
IRC

The Rebel's Handbook:
Ok, an old analogy says: Never write something, if you don't want to place your name under it.
Pavlos Chatzis
albatross
chatzis@albasoft.de
July 31st 1998

Internet sites:
Tim's own page : www.wilmington.net/vgaplanets and www.vgaplanets.com
VGAP-Newsgoup : alt.games.vga-planets
Galactic Traveller : www.jacobean.demon.co.uk/vgaplanets/start.html
This file : http://www.albasoft.de/vgap/rebel.html

Last word: Imagine to have a dream and 50000 pay to share it


Copyright © 1998-2017 DonovansVGAP.com unless otherwise specified. All Rights Reserved.
This website may not, in whole or in part, be sold, reproduced, published or redistributed in any medium, directly or indirectly,
for any commercial or non-commercial purpose without the express written permission of the owner.

DonovansVGAP.com is owned and operated by Circus-Maximus.com and all inquiries should be addressed via the contact link.
All other material © of their respectful owners.
This fansite is not affiliated with VGA Planets or Tim Wisseman.
VGA Planets is Copyright © 1992-2017 Tim Wisseman