A hypothetical Colonial (or Privateer) opener with Lady Royales:
- Turn 1: Cobol (X-rays, Mark 4s)
- Turn 2: Cobol (X-rays, Mark 4s)
- Turn 3: LDSF (assumes that at least 1 ship found some good native life)
- Turn 4: Lady (X-rays, Mark 4s)
- Turn 5: LDSF (starting MDSF should have returned with Duranium at this time)
- Turn 6: Lady (X-rays, Mark 4s)
Starter MDSF should load with 160 clans, 40 supplies, and 120 MC. A decent mineral planet gets 60 clans, 20 supplies, and all 120 MC. A native planet gets 100 clans, 20 supplies. The MDSF will then gather duranium (as much as possible) and return to the home world.
The two Cobols both set mission to Sensor Sweep (bioscanning), load with minimal fuel, 200 clans, 50 supplies, and head for planets with natives when found. They should drop fuel on each planet they visit, especially ones on the follow-up LDSF route.
The first LDSF should be built as soon as a good native planet is found (one that would produce more MC than a Lady), otherwise the Lady(s) could be built first. If a second good native planet, in the other direction, is also discovered, then the 2nd LDSF should be built immediately, instead of a Lady.
Two Ladies will nearly double your credit income at your homeworld, at this stage of the game, and give additional early homeworld defense against light ships (Rebel Falcons especially). However, the Ladies are NOT necessary if you find a good native planet within 1 turn of your homeworld that can supply >500 MC / turn (your MDSF then becomes a money-shuttle).
If you find an early Humanoid world, I highly recommend loading an LDSF with the “starbase in a can”, and creating a low-tech, Lady-Producing starbase on the Humanoid planet. Even if you can’t afford a Lady every turn (and you’ll also have to supply your ever-increasing fleet of Ladies with clans!), you will still gain PBPs in a production queue game, which is worthwhile in itself. You can also switch this base to a Gemini-producing base once you need to start your fighter production, or alternately build defensive Patriots for planetary defense (i.e. anything where you could use high-tech hulls and low-tech everything else and still have a useful ship). Ideally, the humanoid world would have good mineral deposits, but doesn’t necessarily need a high Humanoid population or government – the Ladies provide the cash in this case.
This type of opener could also be done with the Privs, to get higher-tech MBRs earlier. Replace Cobols with MBRs.