VGA Planets Super Site

Federal alliances
by Donovan

One of the keys to a long and successfull stay in the echo cluster is cooperation with other races. There are many levels at which to cooperate, ranging from a simple non-agression treaty via exchanging ships to a full-blown alliance in which you fight side by side.

The general things you have to offer should be well-known by now. Terraformers, Lokis, superrefit and plain old cash are the things every other race can use. Ofcourse not all other races need terraformers as much as for instance the Borg, and the Lizards for example have no need for cash, Lokis or an Eros. The following is a race-by-race description of alliances, with the advantages it can have for you and your ally.

In general it will be a list of ideas of how the two of you can combine your strenghts, and which ships you can exchange.

Lizards    Birds    Fascists     Privateers    Borg

Crystals     Empire    Robots    Rebels     Colonies

The Lizards
A Federation-Lizard alliance can build a very strong economy. He has a 200% mining rate, you have a 200% taxrate which will really start to pay off once he's hissing your moneymaking planets. The Lizard hiss-mission can be performed from any ship, as long as it has at least one beamweapon on it, and will increase native and colonist happiness by five points (host configurable) per ship per turn. Terraformers, Lokis, alchemy ships and ships waiting to be refitted with full engines and weaponry can all hiss, and can do their normal duties (terraforming, decloaking, alchemy, probe-catching) while hissing.

If the Lizard and you work closely together you can even divide the planets so you both exploit your strengths in the best possible way. You colonize all the native planets with poor amounts of minerals. Any planet without natives goes to the Lizards for quick mining. If the planet has both, the planet goes to the Lizard. He builds 50 mines (which mine at the same rate as about 150 of your mines), and once he's extracted most of the minerals he pulls all his clans from the planet and lets you colonise it and tax the natives.

Together you control all the Loki decloakers in the game, and anyone under serious attack by the Privateers or the Fascists should be willing to pay bigtime for some Lokis. If they don't, just wait some more turns. The Lizards already have the Eros in their shiplist, but will still need your Bohemians to heat up those cold planets. The Lizards have three useful cloaking ships. The strongest one, the Lizard Class Cruiser, has three tubes and four beams which sort of limits it’s use for battles. It is a good planet-buster and can be used very nicely to cloaked-intercept an enemy ship in a battlegroup to drop it’s shields, but it’s best use apart from a Lizard clandropper is a great cloaked minelayer. It has a nice large 290 Kt cargohold, but is pretty fuelhungry. The Saurian Class Light Cruiser has only two tubes and a smaller cargohold, but still is a nice minelayer - because of it's low weight it doesn't consume that much fuel, good for surprise minefields at a distance. The two of you have plenty of cash, so outfitting some with high-tech tubes for decent-sized fields shouldn’t be a problem. The third and smallest Lizard cloaker is the Reptile Class Destroyer. Only four beams, a mass of 60 and a tank of 120 just about limits this ship to be a scout or a freighter-raider, but a cloaking scout used in the right way can be of unlimited value and disrupting your enemy’s economy can also win you half the battle. You can also use cloaked ships to tow certain ships out of enemy fleets or away from enemy planets towards a waiting ship or battlegroup that will destroy it.

The Lizard's Madonzilla Class Carrier has only five bays, but a 150 KT cargohold and large mass makes it much better than your Kittyhawk. When you use this carrier, it will actually fight like an eight-bay carrier, and makes a great tandem with the Missouri (or Thor when the engine shield bonus is on).
The Lizards can use some of your battleships to do some extra damage, a Missouri for example able to take 150% damage is nothing to sneeze at. His tech 10 T-rex (five tubes, ten beams) is about equal to your Missouri, so the two of you will want to build some Novas as well. With his mining rate it shouldn't be too much of a problem to get enough minerals out of the planets, and MegaCredits are the last thing the two of you will ever have to worry about. Combined fleets of Lizard Missouris and Diplomacies followed up by Federation Madonzillas with the occasional Nova thrown in the mix are not something your enemies will look at with a smile on their face.

The Birds
The Birds can build the best cloaking battleships around, but are nonetheless still considered to be one of the weakest races in the game. Their problem is an economical one, which is where you can help them out perfectly. Secondly it is a well-known fact that the Birdmen don’t have the ships to stand up against an all-out attack, and you just happen to have some very nice ships for that task.

The Birds have a couple of interesting ships in their shiplist for you: the Swift Heart Class Scout is a very cheap one-engined cloaking scout, always useful to check unknown parts of the galaxy for enemies. The Fearless Wing Cruiser is a great cloaked minelayer, and so is the Resolute. Always keep in mind however when allied to the Birdman that cloakers lose one major ability when they’re handed over from the Birds to you: their superspy. Five Birdman cloakers controlling the minefield friendly codes from your enemies gain you a lot more than some cloaking scouts in your hands. So it’s going to be exchanging warships for the two of you. The Birdman has two very nice cloaking warships: the Resolute (three tubes, eight beams) and the Darkwing (ten beams, eight tubes). Both are advanced cloakers, which means they don’t burn fuel to stay cloaked. I suggest trading them for Diplomacies and Missouris, which the Birds can then use to defend their empire with. Include Darkwings in battlegroups, so you can refuel them on the fly and use their cloaked-intercept to attack certain enemy ships within their battlegroups first (cloaked-intercepting the mop-up carrier is always a nice surprise).

Possibly the best use of the Darkwing in Federal hands is to use it to destroy an enemy base while the defensive ships just sit there and watch, as described in the Birdman’s guide. The trick is to have five Birdman ships locking the planet’s friendly code to NUK and then flying in a Darkwing which runs out of fuel as it reaches the planet. To prevent this trick, capital Birdman ships are immune to NUK. But Federal ships are not….

The Fascists
The Fascists can also be a useful ally, even though they only have a couple of ships that are useful to you. Their main weapon is plundering: they can pillage enemy planets, stealing cash and supplies, killing natives and colonists and destroying mines, factories and defenseposts. To do this effectively they have three shipdesigns with a cloaking-device. The D7 Coldpain is the most useful for you. It's mediocre in battle, with two tubes and four beams, though it could be a nice surprise-ship to have in your battlegroup. It's best purpose is that of cloaked minelayer: it has a 100 KT cargohold and a 430 KT fueltank, making it an excellent ship to do long-distance flights to lay mines somewhere, or run fuel and/or cash around your empire. The other cloakers suffer from small cargoholds, limiting their use for you to scouting, freighterraiding, moneyrunning or towing enemy ships out of battlegroups.

The Fascists have two ships with a Glory Device. This device will cause the ship to blow itself up, causing one minehit worth of damage to all enemy ships at the same location. They can be set to blow up as soon as an enemy cloaker is detected, damaging the cloaker and forcing it out of cloak. This way it can do the same thing your Loki does: protect you from cloakers. Lokis, however, don't blow themselves up and don't cause damage to your own ships. But then again Lokis won't protect you from the Lizards or the Birds, GD-ships do. These ships can also be used as an offensive weapon: set one or two to blow up at the end of movement, before the battle begins. You'll suffer some damage yourself (but will still use all your weapons, remember?) but you'll damage the opponent's ships and destroy their shields. If you’re fully allied to the Fascists and are planning to pull off this trick, make sure the GD ships are under your control. That way you will only suffer a percentage of a minehit because you’re the owning race, and the Fascists only suffer a percentage of a minehit simply because they’re the Fascists. Carry some supplies to repair your minor damage and you’ll enter the battle undamaged with full shields.

GD ships have another purpose: they can also be set to blow up in orbit of an Amorphous planet. When it does, all the Amorphs are killed, transferring them into money and supplies. After which you can beam down clans to colonise the planet and fly in your Merlin to make minerals of those supplies.

The Fascists' fighting ships aren't exactly the best ones around. They all have a lot of beams, but generally have too little cargohold, too few tubes and to low of a hullmass to be rocking in battle. Their beams make them very good minesweepers, especially when you refit all those beams to heavy disruptors or heavy phasers. The Fascist tech 10 ship, the Victorious, is roughly comparable to the Missouri with two more beams. So like with the Lizards and the Birds, the Nova will be the biggest ship the two of you have.

The Privateers
The Privateers have the most popular ship in the game in their shiplist: the Meteor Class Blockade Runner. This ship can cloak and has Gravitonic Accelerators: it travels at double the normal speed. There are two smaller ships that have these features as well, the BR4 and the BR5. Unfortunately these are about the only Privateer ships that are of any use to you. His problem is that he doesn't have any decent battleships in his fleet, so you can supply him with some good ones in exchange for these double speed-ships.

The Privateer's strength lies in his ability to rob and tow-capture enemy ships. He can rob ships dry of fuel, and then take them over by simply locking a towbeam on it. This way he can get his hands on some very good battleships, up to the biggest ships around. He can't clone them, so that's what you can do. You've got the 200% taxrate to compensate for the 200% cost in cloning, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem for the two of you to build a very strong fleet.

Ofcourse, cloning is only possible before the shiplimit so you’ll have to support the Privateer early in the game so he can concentrate on going out and robbing the two of you some nice ships. On the other hand, the two of you will want to reach the shiplimit as soon as possible, because it is then much harder for your enemies to replace the ships the Privateers steal from them. Best of all, you can superrefit anything the Privateers steal.

Like many cloaking races, the Privateer’s weakness is his lack of decent battleships to defend themselves with, which you can nicely provide him with. What the Privateers can offer you is obvious: double speed, double the reach and half the fuel. A great way to further improve your economy or to move your battlegroups. A Federal battlegroup coming towards you is normally not a threat until it’s within 84 lightyears of your planet, but oh what a surprise if there just happen to be some cloaked MBRs in that battlegroup.

The Cyborg
The Borg have two of the biggest ships in the game: the Biocide carrier and the Annihilation battleship. Apart from these two they have the Firecloud with it's chunnel-capability which allows for an endless number of ships to be transported to another Firecloud, using only 50KT of fuel on the chunneling Firecloud. The Borg's weakness lies in the early to medium stage of the game, when they can't build his cubes yet - they don't have any worthy battleships. You have some great medium warships, and can provide the Borg with the cash to build a lot of fighters. Their Fireclouds can chunnel superfreighters filled with clans, minerals and money very fast and very cheap. This will certainly help your economy a lot. Fireclouds will also be used later to chunnel your combined battlefleets -remember, a Fed Biocide will fight with 13 bays- to where the action is, making the two of you practically unstoppable. Because while the fleet of big and heavy ships gets chunneled around, your medium ships stay behind for defense and border-skirmishes.

You'll have to work together very well, deciding which natives will be assimilated and which ones will be taxed by you. Ofcourse Bovinoids, Avians and Insectoids should never be assimilated, and it might be a good idea to leave some of the 'free techlevel'-natives unassimilated for a while as well. Natives with poor governments are assimilated into Cyborg colonists, natives with good governments fall under your command to earn money. You will have to do some major terraforming to prevent the millions of Borg from dying, and he can easily provide you with clans to colonise planets. One way to do this is this is this: the Borg flies a Firecloud over to a good native planet. Two or three superfreighters, one of them filled with Cyborgs, are chunneled in along with one of your ships with one or more clans onboard. The Borg beam down, assimilate the natives for one or two turns, tax the natives, build factories, mines and defenseposts and beam up all their colonists into the superfreighters again. Their freighters now get a friendly code of 'gs1', and your ship with the clan(s) onboard will receive them. You end up with two or three superfreighters filled with around 7000 clans, and one unowned planet with all the mines etc. already there. Beam down your clans and start taxing. You now have an excellent starting point to colonise a cluster of planets and build another base.

Feds and Borg make a very good defensive combination as well. Your Lokis will protect your vital planets from Fascists, Privateers and Birds, and the millions of colonists he can provide the two of you with you're pretty safe from Lizard groundattacks as well. One or two medium warships, along with a Firecloud to chunnel in the big guns if needed, are enough to protect a cluster, and you can send out some probes to sensor sweep, to see where which enemy is. On the offense a nice default Fed battlegroup, accompanied by a Loki if you're facing a cloaking race and a Firecloud to chunnel in the Cubes, Missouris and Novas once you need them will be prettymuch unstoppable. Nobody has the medium ships to kill your medium ships and you've chunneled in some cubes before your enemy gets a chance to hit you with his big ships. Fuel to keep the attack going is not a problem either. If you chunnel in the big ships with their tanks topped off you have enough fuel there to resupply your initial fleet.

The Crystal People
The Crystals have some very nice assets to offer you, and in return you have some very nice things to offer them. They like their planets boiling hot, saving you the trouble of cooling down planets that are too hot. Crystals will often find themselves in need of cash to pay for their webmines and fighters, something with which you could provide them. In return the Crystals have some very nice things to offer you, webmines being the most important. In short: webmines are the ultimate defense. Instead of the 1% hit-chance for regular mines webmines give a 5% chance of a hit, even for those sneaky cloakers which normally get 0.5% chance. Any ship hitting a web will lose one sixth of it's fuel or 25 KTs of fuel, whichever is more. Ships stuck in a webmines lose another 25 Kt of fuel per turn. Per web, that is.

The two of you also have some nice ships to exchange: he has the six-tube/ten-beam Diamond Flame, which is basically a Missouri with two more beams. You can probably provide him with some Diplomacies since below his Diamond Flame he has the Emerald, which is a great minesweeper with eight beams but only has three tubes. But the grand prize in the Crystalline shiplist is the Crystal Thunder Class Carrier: eight bays and six beams, holds 80 fighters. In Federal hands it’s a very good mop-up ship, when trailing a Diamond Flame it will kill anything.

The the prospect of having to plough through webmines and facing those kinds of battleships will make most enemies think twice of attacking the two of you. And once they do, let the fun begin…

The Evil Empire
The Empire is another race which greatly complements you. You have the medium and big ships, he has the supercarrier and some specialties to aid your alliance in taking over the cluster. Using his Dark Sense the Empire can provide you with the information you need to be effective in your attacks. With his dark sense he can scan all planets within 200 LY (host configurable) -except for Rebel planets- and see who's there, how much minerals there are and if there is a starbase there. All he has to do for that is simply shoot out a few probes in all directions. This can really help you both in offensive as in defensive actions. You now know exactly where to hit, you can estimate how heavily a planet will be defended judging by the amount of minerals in it, you know if there is a starbase there, and you can figure out that the planets surrounding the starbase are supplying it and are therefore a nice place to find some freighters. On the defensive side it really helps to know who your neighbours are, where their best planets are, and most importantly, if your neighbours are a cloaking race or not. If so, you can surely expect some cloaked ships coming your way soon, so you'd better build a bunch of Lokis and lay some minefields. If not, it's less of a worry, although this doesn't guarantee you won't see any cloaked ships come by.

The Evil Empire has some nice ships you can surely use. The earlier mentioned probe CAN be used for sensor-sweeping, but ofcourse you're not going to do that when you have your Emperial ally who can Dark Sense with them. They can be used as moneyrunners once your empire starts to grow. The Empire also has the Super Star Destroyer, a ship that can perform the Imperial Assault on planets, taking over an entire planet by simply beaming down ten clans. To do this the ship has to be undamaged. The ship cannot be attacked by the planet and/or starbase, as it is immune to the ATT and NUK friendly codes. The Imperial assault can be carried out by anybody owning a Super Star Destroyer, and in your hands it can actually put up quite a fight. You can also use the Empire's Super Star Carrier. This ship has four fighterbays, which become seven in your hands, and six beams. It has a mass of 250 KT and can hold 180 fighters. The Super Star Cruiser has the same amount of bays, two more beams, a slightly higher mass (270 KT) but holds only 110 fighters.

The ultimate Empire ship for you to have is the monstrous Gorbie. With a mass of 980 KT, ten beams and then fighterbays it can hold up to 250 fighters, and is unbeatable in your hands. This is the ultimate ship for a long campaign because of your bonuses: it will fire fighters from thirteen tubes, it will repair its shields in-between battles, it will have a battlemass of 1030 KT, and if it gets damaged in a battle it will still fire ten beams and launch from thirteen bays in the next battle.

The Empire can use your medium ships, since nonce of his medium ships really match up to a Missouri for example. Your easy money and superrefit-capabilities can help the two of you to crank out a couple of extra Gorbies before you hit the shiplimit, and you can have the bases he’s mainly using to get his five free fighters per turn to build some useful hulls, to be refitted by you to good ships.

The Robots
The Robots have a wide range of carriers, and can build free fighters onboard their ships. They also lay minefields four times the normal size using the normal amount of torpedoes. He lacks some good torpedoships, you could use some good carriers, you have enough money to make a lot of torpedoes so he can lay huge minefields, and he can supply the both of you with a lot of fighters. A very strong alliance. Nebulas make great minelayers for him, with an even bigger cargohold than his only torpship (the Cat's Paw) and two more tubes, so it can defend itself when attacked. Diplomacies and Missouris are also very nice minelayers for him, with his minelaying bonus.

His Q Tanker can serve as a nice fuelcarrier, but should be kept out of battle at all cost: a mass of 80 KT and only two crewmembers make this ship very easy to capture. His Pawn Class Baseship has a 100% bioscanner. It works the same way as your Brynhild, but will scan ALL planets within sensor range. Apart from this bioscanning function which can ofcourse be used to scan for enemy planets this ship is useless. Things get more interesting with his larger carriers: the Cybernaut and the Instrumentality (five and seven bays) are still somewhat limited due to their cargoholds (50 and 80 KT), but the tech 9 Automa Class Baseship has eight bays and can hold up to 200 fighters. Eight bays become eleven in your hands, after which this ship becomes very strong. Only small drawback is the amount of beams: only four.

The Robot tech 10 ship is also a very nice ship for you. The Golem, with its ten bays and six beams and a cargohold that can contain 300 fighters is a very strong ship. A Federation-owned Missouri/Golem combo only rarely loses to a Biocide or Gorbie. A Fed/Robot alliance has little to fear, except maybe from the Colonies. Your Lokis and his huge minefields will make any cloaking race think twice before attacking you, and the combination of your torpedoships and his carriers can deal with any of the other ships. The Colonies can sweep his minefields very easy using their fighters, from up to 100 LY away. When his minefields are suddenly swept without enemy ships nearby, you can expect to see some Virgos coming in real soon. The can be dealt with in the same way as a Biocide, and Patriots are not much of a match against ships with six beams or more.

The two of you can also form some great offensive campaigns, if you can keep the fuel coming. Especially cloakers don't stand a chance against a Robot/Fed attack. The Robots can lay some nice huge minefields through which your ships can safely travel, bringing along some Lokis to kill those cloakers orbiting planets. The Robots can then scoop up their field and lay it again in front of your armada, or simply covering the entire area with it. This forces the cloaked ships to stay where they are, unless they like to be blown to bits in a minefield. With your Lokis you can then hunt them down. The minefields also prevent enemy reinforcements from flying in fast. A Federation/Robot alliance is truly something to fear.

The Rebels
As with any other race, if the two of you play your cards right this can be a very useful and powerful alliance. The Rebels can provide your alliance with free fighters, a nice large carrier, hyperjumping Falcons and dirt-cheap Patriots. You can supply the ships he doesn’t have, usual torpers such as Diplomacies and Missouris. Furthermore you can refit the Rushes he builds with better engines, and make sure the two of you have some good minesweepers. Your ships have a decent amount of beams, in his shiplist only the Iron Lady has eight beams. Since in general the Rebel will build his very cheap Patriots, Falcons and Guardians before he has enough resources to build his Rushes he’s not likely to have cashflow-problems, so your input in the alliance will have to be in ships, superrefitting and terraforming.

His Falcon Class Escort is a great hyperjumping ship, with a 120 KT cargohold and a 150 KT tank this ship can do three jumps on one tank, moving up to 120 colonists over roughly 1050 LY. It also makes a great moneyrunner. The Patriot is a highly valued one-time ship. It holds 30 fighters, launched from six bays. When in your hands, they're launched from nine bays. A great combo with a decent torpships to endanger the medium-sized torpedoships. It's advantage over the Kittyhawk is that it's very cheap and only uses one engine. The Rebel tech 10 ship, the Rush Class Heavy Carrier, holds up to 390 fighters, has ten bays and five beams. It's a great carrier in your hands, and is the ship you want most from the Rebels. In Rebel hands the large cargohold can also be used for making fighters.

The Rebel's primary weapon is the Rebel GroundAttack (RGA), causing mayhem on enemy planets. They mainly use the Falcon for it to jump in, groundattack and jump out. They cannot be attacked by the planets, so your enemies will be forced to keep some ships on planetguarding-duty. The RGA can also be performed on your own planets. It will destroy a good percentage of the structures on the planets, as well as part of the colonists, but will increase the happiness of the natives. Self-RGA'ing can benefit you in the following way: the Rebels colonise a planet with a large amount of minerals and natives, build as many mines as possible and mine the planet dry. In the last turns they're on the planet they tax the natives very heavily. After that they pull off most of the colonists and RGA the planet. This destroys 60% of the mines, and increases the natives' happiness that had dropped due to the heavy taxing. Then you take over the planet, which now has very little structures, and start taxing the now happy natives. If the rebel had built a lot of mines and the natives' happiness is very low he may want to RGA the planet another turn before you move in.

A combined Fed/Rebel attackforce can be very dangerous. A couple of Patriots are ready to take out some planets, there are one or two Falcons that have hyperjumped in advance of the fleet to do some sensorsweeping and scan for mines, Federation ships can kill the enemy ships guarding the planets after which the Rebels can perform their groundattacks and then ofcourse there will be some Rushes coming in, accompanied by Missouris and Novas. If you launch the attack well (i.e. large enough) not many enemies will be able to stop a fleet like this.

The Colonies
The lost colonies of man, the third human race in this game, is a great ally to the Federation. Like many other races the Colonies lack some good medium ships but have a great tech 10 ship. The Colonies have the Cobol Class Research Cruiser, which scoops up fuel out of space. Even when towing a stocked large freighter or a Nova this ship scoops up more fuel than it burns, assuming ofcourse it has transwarp engines. A Bioscanner completes the advantages of this ship, making it the best explorer in the game. It has a nice 250 KT cargohold (similar to the MDSF) and can also be armed with four beams and two tubes, enabling it to take out enemy scouts and undefended planets.

The combination of this ship, capable of towing filled freighters to any planet, and your terraformers make the Colonial/Federation alliance a very strong colonizing team. The Colonies are much like the Rebels: they can also build free fighters in space and share quite a few shipdesigns. The Colonies also have the Patriot in their shiplist, and the Cygnus. Apart from these two and the tech 10 Virgo, his other ships are worthless compared to yours. In a complete Fed/Colonial alliance the Colonies should concentrate on building Cobols, Virgos, possibly some Patriots and some fighterbuilding ships (Gemini), and a couple of Large or Super freighters. You will concentrate on building your medium sized-warships (Diplomacy, Missouri, maybe some Nebulas), terraformers, freighters and later in the game some Novas.

The Virgo, the Colonial tech 10 carrier, is a great ship. It has eight bays, two less than the truly big carriers, but in your hands it will have eleven bays. It has ten beams so it can shoot down a lot of enemy fighters. It has eight engines, so it's better off towed by Cobols than with transwarps. Eight transwarps will cost 2400 MC's, almost enough to build three more Virgo hulls. The danger in equipping it with lowtech engines is that it becomes a sitting duck once someone takes out the Cobol that's towing it. One way to overcome this is to send them out in numbers, and mixing some Lokis and spare Cobols into the battlegroup. With your 200% taxes earned and his Cobols for easy colonization you should be able to equip at least the Virgos you build later in the game with transwarps, and refit the ones you built early on with new engines.

It is also important to have a mixed Fed/Colonial battlegroup, where the Federation Virgos are ofcourse set to fight first. The Colonies can use fighters to sweep mines from 100 lightyears away, opening a path for your combined battlefleet. A good mix of some torpedoships, some cheap oneshot-Patriots (if they do survive, they can be refilled from a Virgo) and some Virgos should go a long way into enemy territory, before your enemy can stop it. The Cobols make sure the fleet doesn't run out of fuel. Another way to protect the Cobols is to have one Nebula laying one or more nice minefields, inside which the biggest part of your fleet remains. From that point Patriots, Missouris, Diplomacies, Novas and Virgos swarm out to take over planets and destroy ships, while your Cobols are safely guarded inside the minefields. A planet as jumppoint would be even better. With a Loki there and some big ships set to fight before it it's impossible to cloaked-intercept Lokis or Cobols.

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