Fuel generation: Cobol (Ramscoop) and Aries Transport (Alchemy Ship)
Bioscanner: Cobol (20% chance to detect)
Large Carrier: Virgo Battlestar (the smallest of the “big” Tech 10 carriers).
Make Fighters in Space: 5 Supplies, 3 Moly and 2 Tri make a fighter. Use Geminis for general fighter production at 40 / turn, or make fighters whenever you have cargo room on any ship with a fighter bay.
Fighters Sweep Mines: unlike other races that need high beam tech to sweep normal mines, the Colonies can do it with fighters.
- Lack of means to capture Starbases
- No defense against cloakers (except normal minefields)
If you start in a Nebula, build Aries transports for exploring & cheap fuel instead of Cobols, as the ramscoop is disabled in a nebula, and will not produce fuel.
If scouting or expanding near the Crystals, your Cobols need high tech beams, as your fighter-minesweeping is (usually) useless against them.
Use 2 Cobols to fuel/tow/escort a Super Transport Freighter (STF)** and create a seed world in another cluster, so you don’t have to keep returning to your home world for clans. Bring lots of supplies and money on the Cobols so you can get a quick start in the new cluster, and quickly build a Starbase.
When you have a good Starbase location because of mineral content and balance, but no money-source nearby, use the new starbase to build a few Lady Royales first, to enable the starbase to sustain itself without ferrying in Megacredits from far away. You can do a similar thing with Aries Transports, which make fuel, if you don’t have fuel nearby. However, it’s often enough just to fly Cobols around and drop or transfer their extra fuel as needed.
Keep 75 supplies in your Virgos to instantly repair a mine hit. While the Virgo only has 8 fighterbays, it has 10 beams, and you need those beams fully charged to kill fighters. Damage from a mine hit will cause your beams to start combat with zero charge!
Leave some ships on Minesweep duty all the time. This includes times even when you are surrounded by your own mines. Because minesweeping takes place before “mines destroy mines” in the host order, you can effectively prevent attacking races from counter-mining your mines by sweeping them before the enemy mines have a chance to destroy your mines.
Ship Convoys and Battle Groups:
Cobol + Patriot + Cygnus
Cobol + Gemini + LDSF
2 x Cobol + Super-Transport** (for creating seed worlds).
Cobol + Virgo + Cygnus(Mk8) + Gemini
**The only reason to create the STF instead of 2 x LDSFs is to save yourself a turn of shipbuilding. I’d personally prefer 2 x LDSFs to move minerals around and explore the new cluster.
Your best allies are those with a ground attack ability, or some defense against cloakers. This includes:
However, a solid alliance with any race can win you the game.
I personally love having the Feds or Lizards as allies, as both can use your Virgo to create a much more powerful ship: the Feds have a shield bonus and fighter bay bonus, and Lizard-owned ships take 150% damage. Both also have access to the Loki, which fixes your weakness against cloakers (except against the Birds).
The Colonies favourite ally is probably the Fascists:
- Beam recharge on the high-beam Virgo is very good.
- Cloakers are needed for scouting and minelaying and isolating large enemy ships
- Glory devices for anti-cloaker and to deal with Amorphs
- Ground attack for capturing starbases
- Cheap Battleship for depleting shields on enemy carriers
- Cheap fighters for his starbases
- A big carrier
- Fuel (give the Aries, drop fuel with the Cobol)
- Money (if massing Lady Royales)
Ship Trades by Race:
You have to trade:
- Cobol (bioscanner, ramscoop, minelayer)
- Aries (neutronium alchemy ship)
- Patriot (cheap, small, deadly carrier)
- Lady Royale (160 MC/turn) – see also the Lady Royale Opener
- Cheap Fighters
Of all the above, it’s riskier to trade the Aries than any other ship. The ability to make fuel 1-for-1 in minerals is a big advantage.
Terraforming: Eros or Brynhild
Medium Carrier: Kittyhawk
Cloaking Minelayer: Lizard Class Cruiser
Cloaking Minelayer: Resolute Class Battlecruiser
Glory Devices: D19b or Saber
Cloaking Minelayer: D7 Coldpain
Gravitronic Drive: Meteor-Class Blockade Runner (MBR)
Hyper Scout: Probe
Battleship: Annihilation (w/ X-rays and Mark 7 Torps)
You don’t want their ships. You either want them dead or as a solid ally!
Hyper Scout: Probe (you’d actually prefer that he use these to Dark Sense for you).
Imperial Assault: Super Star Destroyer
Medium Carrier: Instrumentality
Advanced Bioscanner: Pawn Baseship
Hyper Scout: Falcon-class Escort