Tips and Tricks 4

NOTE:  The material on this particular page is not mine – it’s been copied from the Planets.Nu forums at  (I had the direct link, but it has since broken.  I’m trying to wade through the forums again to find it… ) I felt that this article had gotten buried, but that there was some good stuff in there, so it’s reproduced here.

Race-Specific Tips:

(As Tip #3)

The Crash Chunnel.  This is only for borgs or if you somehow manage to trade/steal/beg for Fireclouds.
Going up against the Crystals and there are webminefields everywhere?
Set up a chunnel as you would normally. Now take the ship that you are chunneling to and fly it straight into the nearest webminefield.
What you’re hoping for is to hit a mine.
As soon as that happens your firecloud will reset his speed to 0 enabling a chunnel.
So instead of nibbling at the edges of a webminefield you’ll be (hopefully) smack dab in the middle with all your ships set to minesweep.
And next turn the field will (again hopefully) be gone. If not and if the crystal keeps laying new mines you can always chunnel back out. Just make sure to keep enough fuel in case it’s needed.
The first time I did this particular trick against a crystal it pretty much doomed his entire empire.
It did take two tries however since that was also the very first time I managed to fly 81 ly through a webminefield without hitting A SINGLE MINE!!!
First and only time for that matter.

General Tips:

  1. Forcing Surrender.
    Did a probe just land on your starbase? Would you like that probe? Try setting your planetary friendly code to HYP and set mission to “force surrender”.
    This particular trick works more than you would think , in fact I’ve lost a probe myself this way despite knowing it.
    The same goes for carriers from races that can build fighters on ships. Set friendly code to lfm.
    Torp ships? Set it to mkt.
    10% of the time it works every time!
  2. Avoiding Intercepts.Most of the time it’s useful to have ships with low id numbers. The sole exception (or at least sole as far as I remember) is when it comes to intercepts.
    Now say you just attacked an enemy starbase and managed to win. The downside is you only have one ship left at 90% damage , you’re behind enemy lines ,and your nearest support fleet will take at least 3 turns to arrive. Normally that ship is doomed.
    However if it has a high enough id number (400+) there’s an easy solution. Set warp speed to 1 or 2 and set mission to intercepting one of your nearby ships. Or any of your ships really. Intercept is done in order of id. So if a lower id ship tries to intercept you it will wind up in the spot where you moved from.
    A good use of this for rebels is hypering in falcons with supplies. You not only avoid interceptions , you can also repair the ship on the go.

4. You and an ally can both swap goods ship to ship in the same turn.

Example, I have a LDSF with 1200 Dur and he has a LDSF with 1200 Moly, we can both set our ships to transfer cargoes to each other.

Next turn arrives, I have 1200 Moly and he has 1200 Dur.

  1. Build those extremely useful neutronic fuel carriers at low-tech or low-ressources bases. Stardrive1 is a good choice so you can use these empty fuel carriers as nearly free money-transporters within your empire. You can overdrive them to Warp9, putting up to 10.000 credits without extra weight, flying 81LY with a minimum of fuel of 6 or 7kt. If it is necessary, put the fuel fuel load on the neutronic and tow it – gives you more fuel transport capacity than most ships. In most cases it is a more useful ship than the SDSF.


  1. Planets at the frontline
    Often you can conquer planets at a frontline but you’re unable to hold them and you may loose them again to your opponent. After a successful combat you find one own clan on your new planet. If you keep the clan on you new planet, your opponent will attack the planet with a ship and get it back the next turn. But if you load the clan (and surely all useful ressources and fuel – don’t forget to change the FC) the planet becomes neutral. Your opponent will be unable to attack the planet but he has to drop one own clan and so he loses at minimum one turn before he can use the planet for himself again. In most cases combat ships are loaded with torps/fighters and supplies but no clans. If this is the case, without clans on board his ship, your opponent will be unable to take the planet back. As you only know the new friendly code you set after leaving the planet, you have the chance to come back and beam up ressources or fuel if you’re still unable to keep the planet.

Working with Allies:

  1. Fast mineral donation with an extra side-dish of clans.Two problems:Your ally has a base where you feed him minerals to build ships for you. You regularly send a freighter to the base and then beam down all the cargo. Beam down takes 1 turn.It is possible for players to transfer ship-to-ship minerals, supplies, cash (btm), torpedos and fighters. What about clans?The solution:What you need is a base.How:Race A has a base set to any code and mission unload freightersRace B shares intel (or ally) with race A. Race B sends a ship to the above mentioned base with a mathching code.CARGO will be unloaded quickly, you saved 1 turn of time. Due to host order, base unload is after movement in the same host run.Cargo is Dura, Moly, Trit, Supplies AND COLONISTS.

After the Ship Limit

(Tip #7 by MJS)

7a. Mass dumping of “junk” ships to mess with PBP farmers.
So you’ve got all these SDSFs (or Falcons) that you built from following (7) and the build queue has been jammed for fifteen turns. More vexing, though, is that a player across the cluster seems to have no difficulty building replacements, and his fleet keeps increasing. Apparently, he’s popping Merlins or winning combat or some such thing. Alas! What does one do?

One recycles about fifty SDSFs all at one moment, is what one does.

Each one opens a ship slot and generates one PBP. And of course you aim to use those PBP, right? Got a job for each and every one? Good. Spend down to 20, build a dozen ships, and watch the fun.

Everyone else over 20 PBP will start to build, and these new builds will cost PBP. All’s well for the first half-dozen builds or so, but after that he’ll run out of PB1-9 coded bases (if you’re lucky) and the regular queue will advance for him. Suddenly, the next ship in line pops out from a regularly scheduled base — and, lo and behold! That battleship cost seventeen PBP!

If this works correctly, you’ll end up at 20-ish, your foes end up at 20-ish, and the Queue starts to move again for a bit. If it doesn’t… well, at least you’ve rid yourself of those annoying SDSFs.

Incidentally: This trick works best if two or three players cooperate to make the moment the most powerful they can. If word leaks out, it’s spoiled.


To counter Gnerphk’s suggestion above, I would recommend:

7b. Keep a pbp buffer in place at all times once the ship limit hits. Essentially the goal here is to make sure that you don’t accidentally spend pbps on a regular queue build. The basic method is to set your bases that the queue has just passed to build a 1 pbp ship (of your choice), and give them all a low priority pbX code, like pb8.

Then you have no problems if a bunch of ship slots suddenly open up, or you get a bunch of pbps by surprise. You will simply store the pbps in the small ships you build until you want to use them, and then recycle them.


7c:  A lot of ideas here are out of date and useless. All beginner games are PQ games. Since the build Queue dominates the game, any discussion about builds or the early game for the regular game is often a bad idea for new players in a PQ game.

For example, the Fascist should crank out many Nefs early with his new bases that have low tech. He can build Vickies later as the queue creaks along. In PQ games it is the opposite. He should not build W1-W6 Nefs early. Instead, he should take minerals/cash home and build Vickies while they are pbp free. He can save the pbp’s from unused bases and build nice w9 Nef’s and Coldpains after the ship limit. If needed for Robots or Crystals, these can have Heavy Phasers.

PQ is a huge change (neither better or worse). But, many tactics will have the opposite effect as before.

Writing any strategy manual, including Planets Magazine, is way out of date and counter-productive to newbies.

(Tip with no number:)

During normal builds, build the big ships.

With pbp’s build the small ships.

Have more star bases than anyone else.

Keep your pbp level at 20 so you can build a big ship in an emegency (like when those nasty borg zip a firecloud into your area towed by a Meteor).

Always have 5-20 small ships ready to build with pbp’s behind the ship queue.

Against Crystals:

  1. moving a pair of ships into/through a web minefield with minimal Ne loss.have either ship tow the other ship for as far as you feel lucky. the towing ship should have only enough Ne to arrive empty. thus, both ships will always end the turn in the same location. also, if your tower hits a web mine, then no additional Ne is lost because there is not any Ne to take.9. you know how to repair ship damage in space – use supplies. you repair one percent of damage for each 5 supplies. this is especially useful when you navigate web minefields where you only take 10 kT of damage. keep supplies on your ships when you move so that when you do (for you surely will) hit a mine, you can repair it on the same turn as you take the damage.




  1. Do not donate resources to your enemy
    If you know a planet will fall to your enemy, usually there’s no way to rescue those stockpiled raw materials to prevent falling into enemies hand. Next turn your enemy will throw dur, tri and moly against you in form of torps and minefields. If the planet has a starbase and some supplies or cash simply build a huge stock of MK1-torps. This will use up most of the raw materials – best way for one of the three raw materials down to zero to prevent building torps by your enemy. If the starbase is destroyed, the MK1-torps are gone. If not (by SSD or ground attack), your enemy won’t use up 500 MK1 torps. Be sure to transform any supply-surplus into credits so he won’t find supplies to repair his ships in case the SB is destroyed.


  1. torps conversion:
    Mainly as crystal you have a alot of mark4 rubys from the game start. No need to waste minerals to build new mark4 torps. Use a mk7/8 to lay mines and scoop up them into mk4.


  1. minefield control:
    You meet even in champion games crystals who think laying alot of webfields is the best weapon. But that’s wrong. The key of success for the crystal is to slightly resize web mines if a enemy fleet enter them. Keep you field into motion! With a low id scooper and another ship with extra cargo to reduce the free cargo of your scooper you can easy control a web field. Decrease it a few ly’s before your opponent can sweep them. Even if you see a enemy ship enter into you aera and is like 30 – 60 lj in front of your minefields you should increase the field one turn and so on.Another thing is fast torps reinforcement via minefield beam for the crystal. Since minefield scoop start with the lowest id of your fields you should even as crystal lay in the beginning a few very small normal fields. You can later increase this normal minefields and use them to beam torps form the background into your ship.


  1. Minefields within minefields. A crystal can lay a web MF in another race’s ID within their normal MF. This can make concentric circles of MF’s for the approaching enemy to deal with. One caveat is these type web fields will do damage when stuck, but will NOT drain 25kt fuel per turn as the Crystal MF will.I try to always send my Crystal mine layers in pairs to enable the laying of these small (1-20 torp) fields as the second ship resupplies. The issue with me, after a year or so of playing Crystals (or Borgs, for that matter) is all these logistics take SO much time, and I get overwhelmed and start longing for the more straight-forward races.As for MJS’s point on PBP control…a necessary and time consuming evil. I’m at turn 270 in one game and this strategy wears me out. I have about 50 mid and large sized ships, and 110 probes, SDSFs, Migs, and NFCs. I’ve recently started building larger ships with the PBP queue and just hope to regain the points later.


  1. Web Mine Intelligence
    Those who never took over a crystal command themselves may not be aware about the special web mine intelligence. Every time an enemy ship hits a web mine the web mine field sends a report to the crystal commander:From: Enemy Distress Call
    TRANQUILITY CLASS CRUISER ID#448 has struck a WEB mine!
    Damage is at: 6
    We are stuck in the web! We are burning fuel to keep our shields up!Once an enemy ship runs out of fuel, the web field recognizes this and sends a report:From: Scanner Report
    FALCON CLASS ESCORT ID#420 is out of fuel and energy. They can no longer attack us.

So it is very important to know [that] the Crystal commander always knows the status of enemy ships within his web mines.


  1. Websweep without fuel loss
    -You CAN sweep webmines without actually being in them. The minefield Preview can be wrong for webmines because the preview only shows you sweeping webs if you are within the web field. In actuallity, you can sweep from outside the web without risking fuel loss. If a small sliver of your pixel is covered in web, you will sweep it without fuel loss. If the center dot is covered, you will sweep it as well, but you will suffer fuel loss as you are now considered as being in the webfield and will have an accurate minefield preview. Your minefield preview won’t be accurate when the central dot is not covered, but you will still sweep the webs.
  2. Double load mins for ftr building races (true for any race you can push
    You can also ‘double load’ a gemini to build ftrs by pushing cargo to an allied ship or fueless hostage as explained below. This lets you keep building an extra load of ftrs while traveling off planet.1. Load a gemini with materials to build 36 fighters.
    2. Push it onto a ship of another race who’s cargo you know to be full (maybe a fuelless hostage or ally)
    3. Set FC “lfm”LFM will happen first, leaving 40 fighters on the gemini, then the ship-to-ship transfer is attempted, but fails since the target is full, and the stuff is put back on the gemini. End result is a ship with fighters AND stuff to build next turn. Which could be nice if you were moving between planets more than a jump away.


I want to add to what @Megalomaniac said about sweeping webmines without fuel loss. His observation that you can be just touching the webminefield to be able to sweep it, without risking actually entering it, is an important one. But this observation should be combined with the regular strategy of sweeping webmine fields.

Host order goes like this:

  • Minesweep
  • Web mine Drain
  • Movement

This means you can begin the turn inside a webminefield, sweep to get out of it, and move back inside it, all in one turn, with webdrain occuring in the brief interval when you were not inside the minefield.

On another note, Falcons with Heavy Phasers are not bad minesweepers, and can store enough fuel to HYP into a double webminefield, and Hyp out again after minesweeping both.

18. Transferring between two of your own ships when both are completely full
Jettisoning into space for use as INFINTE temporary storage. You can then swap loads and nothing will be jettisoned.

19. Know your enemy. This starts with a little research of their prior game history. Once the game starts, there is a lot of info in the Military score that you can mine and get an accurate picture of enemy fleets until multiple SBs, minefields and free ftrs fill the universe. Even then, there is still pretty useful info that I summarized previously.


  1. Advanced cloning/cloning, you can clone a ship twice in a single turn! Provided you do it at two different starbases. Determine if you want to build in the Priority queue or the regular queue. Ensure you have enough PBP’s to get a priority build this turn if you recycle a ship (and are going to build it as a Priority build). Set ships fcode to ‘cln’, set its waypoint to another starbase at least one turn away. Ensure enough cash and minerals will be available at both bases and that the tech levels are correct. Remember by using the unload all freighters mission you can send some minerals and cash on board the cloning ship if need be.– First clone goes off in the first build phase, since this build phase occurs before movement, this requires a ship to be recycled at a starbase (if after ship limit and using advanced cloning). You will probably do this build as a priority build, but if timed correctly can be done as a regular queue build.Ship is cloned, and then flies to the second starbase– Second clone goes off in the second build phase, since this build phase occurs after movement and after combat, you may have some PBPs gained (Merlins?) to do this as a Priority Build (there is no peaceful way to get PBPs for the second build phase), but if timed correctly can be done in the regular build phase. If you are seeking to do this in the regular build phase and you want to ensure that the build occurs, you can do the “Land and Disassemble” mission on something to free up a ship slot after the first build phase.Check my Lizard Gorbie clones in Galaxtia sector. I started with one, and nearly finished the game with the same number as the Empire! I did it in a single turn all in the regular queue thanks to two very well positioned planets. is a great way to make multiple clones very quickly of light ships like Falcon escorts. All you need to do is ensure that you WILL have enough ship slots open, enough PBPs (if necessary) in each build phase, and enough resources. It gets harder to do with Heavies, but some unique geography with SB ID’s could come to your advantage.


  1. The Frycutus maneuver.Ships come out of a chunnel with shields down and beams uncharged. If you have Fireclouds, then you can use this chunnel effect to your advantage.On the same turn that enemy ships arrive at Firecloud #1 with warp speed zero, chunnel Firecloud #1 to Firecloud #2. Have a ship or ships that you will use to destroy the enemy located at Firecloud #2, with a numerical friendly code lower than Firecloud #2’s ship ID. Firecloud #1 and ships it brought along will be without shields, while your ships waiting at Firecloud #2 will have full shields.Ships can be at warp zero and at the same point as your Firecloud #1 if:- the enemy ship is already at the same point in space, doesn’t move, and warp is set to 0.- an enemy is towing his/her own ship to the point in space where Firecloud #1 is located (ex. in a Cobol-towing-Virgo scenario, the Virgo will be chunneled away to Firecloud #2 and rendered shieldless, while the Cobol will stay put).- you tow an enemy ship to Firecloud #1. Both your ship and the enemy’s will be chunnelled along. If you have cloakers, then you can use them to tow an enemy ship to your Firecloud #1 very effectively.In a recent game as the Cyborg (Teris-Ceti sector), I acquired cloaking ships. With cloakers and Fireclouds using this maneuver, I was able to consistently defeat multiple tech 10 ships of an opposing carrier race with a single stardrive 1, x-ray Biocide, in orbit over a starbase planet; the steady stream of minerals beamed aboard allowed for easy replenishment of fighters for the Biocide.The psychological effect of destroying an enemy ship hundreds of light years away from where it was on the previous turn can be quite potent, as well.


  1. Movement without fuel:  you often find your ship in situations where it runs out of fuel – miscalculation, web mine fields, robbed, stuck in enemy territory as cloaker and the cloaking device used up the last fuel on board.
    So it’s very useful to know you can always move your ship without fuel:
    Set your warp speed to 1 and you see you won’t use up fuel.
    The next turn your ship moved for one LY, the wapr speed is reset to zero again but you can set it again to Warp 1 and move 1LY again the following turn.
    Even if you need several turns to crawl to your next planet or ship for refuel, it is always a better choice to move at warp 1 instead of sitting around. Sometimes it may not help, if you’re towed by the enemy – but better to have tried instead of doing nothing. Never give up!

22b – Correction, your speed doesn’t matter when traveling without fuel, only the distance travelled. You can in a small ship move up to 3 ly per turn without fuel. But in a fully loaded carrier you cannot move at all as even 1 ly will cost fuel.

The cut-off is 1000 kt. Any heavier and you can’t move.


  1. The poor borg decloakerIf you don’t have access to Lokis, Glory devices or webs. There is the poorman’s decloak that the borg can do.Have one firecloud chasing ion storms, ideally the firecloud is loaded (in case the storm goes above 150meV) with torpedos.When you have chunnel to make and you suspect there will be uninvited guests free riding then go first to this “ion chaser” firecloud. Bring a mk7 firecloud or something stronger (anni with gamma bombs) as well. When you set the chunnel, also set the ion chaser to lay mines.Your ships will comeout of chunnel and any cloaker will be in the ion storm. Now move your ships in formation within the ionstorm and chunnel away. Just leave the anni on kill at chunnel spot.Next turn the cloaker will be decloaked by the ion storm. If he didn’t move your anni will capture/kill it. If he moved he should hit a mine.Chasing ion storms is hard, Nebula’s are easier (and decloak is within the turn of the chunnel).


24 Cloak detectors for when you don’t have a Loki
-BUM code – On all those low clan planets, leave a supply. Sell said supply for an MC. Change planet friendly code to bum and you will know when the planet is visited by a cloaker

-btm code – This will also tell you when an enemy cloaker has arrived. Use it on at least one of your non-mobile ships at your planets

25. w0 Intercept for ship tracking
-So what are you doing with all those w1 engine lady royales making cash? All the SDSF awaiting recycling? All the Merlin ships awaiting queue control?
Simply set w0 and intercept any ship you can see no matter how far and you will know its destination the following turn even if it lands in a planet. Cloakers will however disappear if they cloak at the start of the turn and you won’t be able to tell where they went. This is useful to track any ship, but it is particularly useful to know when a Falcon that can RGA you is landing exactly 350 LY from your SBs/HW. Also nice to track the carriers and gravitronic ships if they don’t cloak that turn.


  1. Privateer fuel rob counter.If you have a ship over a planet you own, this maneuver can minimize the amount of fuel your ship will lose from a Privateer rob.Place all of the ship’s fuel on the planet except 1 kt, set the ship mission to beam up neutronium, and make sure that your planet and ship have matching friendly codes. The Privateer will rob your ship dry of 1 kt of fuel; after the rob (i.e., later in the host order), your ship will beam up fuel from the planet until either the ship’s fuel tank is full or the planet is emptied of fuel.If your planet is taken by ground assault, you will still beam up the fuel if your ship’s and the planet’s friendly codes match.For added protection against a Privateer tow off of your planet to a deep space rob (usually by a wolfpack), make sure that your ship’s weight will be different at the end of the host run than it was at the beginning of the host run. Higher weights at the end of host make it more likely for the towing Privateer ship to run out of fuel and not make it to the rob point. Lower weights at the end of host make it more likely for the towing Privateer ship to still have fuel after the tow, and thus be attacked if your ship’s primary enemy is set to Privateer.Countering a Privateer fuel rob in deep space is far more straightforward. Simply set your ship’s primary enemy to Privateer, vary your position in deep space in an unpredictable fashion every turn, and don’t run out of fuel; a rob in deep space using this counter is only possible if a Privateer attacks your ship and both ships survive combat to the next turn.


  1. Where did that ship go (without showing yourself)?
    Intercept ship that is visible (deep space or orbiting your planet) with a ship e.g. in orbit of a distant planet. Set warp 0 and mission intercept. Next turn, you did not move, but see the other´s end position. Especially nice to track moves of scouting EE probes.


  1. Chasing a ship out of a warp well.To catch a ship in a warp well around a planet, two ships are required. Each ship should be able to destroy the enemy ship single-handedly, and should be sent to start their chase from the relevant planet.Set ship #1 to intercept the enemy, at warp 1. Ship #1 will move after the enemy ship until the ship is cornered on the outer edge of the warp well.Set ship #2 to intercept the enemy, at warp 9. Ship #2 will fall back into orbit around the planet if the enemy ship remains in the warp well, but will intercept the ship successfully if the ship tries to run for it out of the warp well.Of course, if the enemy is a cloaker, then additional remedies (Loki, mines, etc.) must be used in conjunction with your two ships to successfully catch your foe.


  1. TRIANGULATING HW LOCATIONS – At the start of the game, plot out the expected HW clusters for each race in the game by setting Hyperjump circles in a circular pattern. You will be in the general location of each race in the cluster and some common sense will narrow it down further. This was successfully applied in the Scorpius Championship game to localize HWs.***Ok, now suppose you combine #29 with #19, knowing your enemy, specifically tracking builds so as to know what ships they are building. Ships are built in SB ID order. You will know the sequence of HW SBs by keeping track of the number for any ship built, especially if you spy their first medium freighter (#1-11 in SB order) or their subsequent builds (#12-22 or #23-34 etc.. until more SBs are built).Well you say how can this possibly help? Let’s say my initial HW is #250 and my initial medium freighter is #6. I jump a probe about and see a Crystal medium freighter #2 in a general area of the map. I know his HW has a lower ID then my HW. I know his general location even if he is disguising destinations by setting short wayponts (tip #30 below). If I have mapped out the suspected HW location using HYP circles, I will further narrow down which planet must be his HW. Once I continue jumping I will come across other Low ID ships in other locations which will narrow down the other race HW locations which then narrows down the first race I came across. For example, if the next race is Bird and he is foolish enough to let me see a ship #12 Large freighter, I now know that his HW is a very low ID planet that builds first and will likely be the lowest ID planet near where I expected a HW location. This then can narrow down the Crystal HW because I know it has to be a higher ID then the suspected Bird HWs etc etc…Does this really work? Absolutely. Combine these two with warp zero intercept (#25) and you will know where the ships are traveling even when appropriate measures are taken to disguise their intended destinations (#30). I had all general locations of the races save two that I had to wait on diplomacy to confirm for fear of losing a probe to cloakers. I then had HW locations by simply tracking the ship IDs that were seen. Two players actually gave their HW locations away by having a brand new HIGH ID ship in space with a long waypoint so I could tell where they originated and this made localizing other HWs much easier by triangulation (the HYP circle thing) using updated, correct information. Even a peace treaty let alone share intel will give you more localizing information. I had all this information long before the Empire had darksensers about.30. SHORT WAYPOINTS – Always use waypoints <81.5 LY for a non gravitronic ship and <162.5 LY for a Gravitronic ship unless you wish to mislead your enemies. This seems pretty basic but it has fed me multiple HW locations in multiple games for subsequent assimilation and I believe this is a common, fatal error unless you enjoy being assimilated.


[]  I disagree with the “30. SHORT WAYPOINTS”.

All it does is flag you as someone who has read strategy guides. I can still guess where you are going based on other factors and just draws more attention to yourself.

It is much better to show a false destination.

For example, I’d pick a planet 4 turns away near my true destination… after moving 81 ly and displaying my path to others, I’d change the false destination a few ly off so that next turn I still display the path more or less the same, but anyone trying to meet the ship at its predicted path from last turn would be off by a a couple ly’s. Rinse repeat, except when 1 turn from the true destination, you finally reroute to it.

Seriously, when I see players ‘religiously’ end ship waypoints in deep space, it’s insulting that you think that would fool people.



#30 does state to use short waypoints UNLESS you are practicing deception. I frequently set a long waypoint say 120 LY knowing that my heading is given away and then change direction. I also set a short waypoint of 50 LY that leaves me in range of 4 planets rather then 80 LY that leaves me in range of 2 planets so the enemy has a lesser change of figuring out where I am going. Either one works under #30.

If all players were equally good or could spend adequate time on their turns, this would be less useful. I can tell you however that I have learned the location of over a dozen HW and SBs in 2-3 games simply because folks build a brand new ship at their SB and send it out to a planet >81 LY with no attempt at deception.

The worst case for them is to send a ship out to a planet 100 LY away with the planet as the target. Combining tips as mentioned in the thread (ie following military score, pbp and ship count/ship IDs) I know the ship is newly built and I know its origin so I know he has a SB there. This is fatal in the early game when he has only one SB which declares his HW location.

Only slightly less bad is setting a short waypoint by itself with no other attempt at deception. This leaves a brand new ID ship sitting between two planets so I know one of those planets is a SB or his HW if he has only one SB

It would be better to send his ship indirectly to a cluster of planets with a short waypoint and then redirect the ship to the intended planet even though this uses more fuel since it is not in a straight line (as you point out). If that cluster of planets is say 4-5 planets, I know one of them is a SB but can’t tell which one unless he used a long waypoint and given it away.

The best deal for him with a new ship would be to keep it hidden for one turn (keep it still or move it to a planet less then 81 LY) and on the following turn move in a zig zag fashion. By watching ship ID counts, I will know the ship is NOT newly built so it has more possibilities of where it originated. This also holds true for HYP ships where in Taurus Veldan was able to tell from the high ship ID where DM’s home cluster was after chancing upon the probe.

Also, if all players were obervant or equally competent, there would be no utility to renaming all your ships to MEDIUM DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER or some such yet many of the better players do so. Some folks are just too time constrained to bother even checking pbp and ship counts to see if that was really a LIZARD CLASS CRUISER that just got destroyed and go by the message. So long as some fall for these techniques, they will continue to be utilized. In some games you might think every ship built was a MEDIUM DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER when every player practices this 😉

31. DISGUISED HYP JUMPS -Try not to directly jump your HYP ships from your HW or SBs as you are essentially giving away your locations


    When you need to run your ship away from a nasty enemy ship in the same location (often a Rebel or a Klingon):Set your waypoint to >83LY as usual to break a tow.
    Set your course to cross a friendly planet at a nice distance close to a square number (like 47-51LY).
    Set your speed set to the right value (speed 7) to land you in the warpwell, so that the enemy won’t intercept you either.


NOTE:  Does not work if you are towed.


  1. The glory device trap gambit.Using glory devices against non-cloaking ships is problematic, in that the timing of the pop friendly code command can often be off compared to the timing of the target enemy ship’s travels. Experienced players facing glory devices might vary their ship position, or timing of arrival at a certain position, unpredictably in order to decrease the odds of being hit by a glory device. However, by having your glory device start at the same point in space as its target, your likelihood of a glory device pop activation catching its target increases.For this trap, you require a two-engine glory device-armed ship, and a cloaking ship with clans on board. Place both ships over a friendly or unowned planet. Leave the glory device fuelless, and the cloaking ship at the same point in space, cloaked with fuel.When an enemy ship arrives, he will find himself at the same point in space as your glory device, without combat taking place between the two. There are now several ways to improve your odds of your pop command damaging the enemy target ship (counter in parentheses):- Have your glory device tow the enemy ship while executing the pop friendly code command. Place sufficient fuel onto the glory device from your cloaker to tow the ship. The glory device can tow the target into the planet’s warp well to keep the target in place over the planet, or tow the target to another point in space in range, possibly to damage other targets. (The target ship can break the tow.)- Have your glory device intercept the enemy ship at warp 9 while executing the pop friendly code command. Again, place sufficient fuel onto the glory device for your cloaker for the glory device to travel its maximum single turn range. (The target ship can move into the warp well.)- Have your glory device intercept the enemy ship at warp 1 while executing the pop friendly code command, transferring sufficient fuel to the glory device to do so. (The ship can move off of the planet normally at a warp speed greater than 1.)- The surest way to successfully damage the enemy ship is to tow the enemy ship into the planet warp well with your cloaker set to warp 2 or higher, and intercept the enemy ship with your glory device with warp set to 9, with pop friendly code activated (there are some ways to avoid even this, but they may involve a second enemy ship and exploitation of the ship ID code order; see some of the other ideas in this thread to imagine how!). The enemy ship will either be kept in place with a tow or be intercepted on its run away from the tow; if the former takes place, your cloaker will be damaged by the glory device as well and will come out of cloak for likely combat.With exception of the last choice, there is a possibility that your glory device will detonate and miss its target. However, your odds of success are better than the odds of choosing the exact coordinate of deep space at the right time at which an experienced player will place his/her enemy ship.The true benefit of the glory device gambit is that it makes your enemy ship waste a move in an attempted counter to avoid damage. Another choice in addition to the above is to not detonate your glory device; use the clans on board your cloaker to successfully ground assault the planet in question at the same time, while allowing the enemy ship to execute a counter move. As you now own the planet, your enemy will not see what happened with the glory device, public PBP count notwithstanding. Even with no change in your PBP count, perhaps you moved the glory device to another planet….? Regardless, a wasted move on your foe’s part, and more uncertainty added to his/her plans of advance.Other considerations include ensuring that your cloaker is not at the same point in space as the glory device detonation, or having sufficient supplies on board for repair, or sacrificing the cloaker (as above, perhaps to tow a second enemy ship at the location). Also, whether to employ the trg friendly code in the meantime, or whether to place 1 kt of fuel on the non-detonating glory device to prevent tow capture after arrival of an enemy ship, are other potential considerations. These considerations will vary by your circumstances.

    Lastly, if your enemy ship has a gravitronic accelerator, then a lot of the above will not work; the silver lining with gravitronic accelerator ships is that, in experienced hands, they are likely to be utilized against you in ways for which the glory device trap gambit will not ever have an opportunity to be applied.



Check this thread out and it really should be added as a tip with props to Finn, MJS and of course Streu who performed the original math.

35. How to escape intercept with a ship at your same location

Example: if ship 1 starts at [0,0] and heads for [53,67], the rounding will take this ship to [51,64].

But when ship 2 tries to intercept ship 1, its waypoint becomes [51,64]. Which is more than 81.5ly away so the rounding kicks in again. But this time the rounding is not in its favour (because the heading is slightly different). So it falls short by 1.4ly.

More details (with a nice diagram) here:

MJS: indispensable XL chart for picking the correct spots to avoid intercept


  1. Cloak prevents rob. If you end up uncloaked at a privateer ship you can cloak away next turn before getting robbed. The dirty part is that this also works in Ion Storms, because the host order says: Cloak.. Rob .. Ion Storm Decloak.


  1. The Invincible LDSF.When flying through cloaker territory let your LDSF end up empty over owned (and fortified) planets to avoid cloak intercept attacks or cloaked p.e. attacks.When the freighter moves on first set the LDSF/STF to it’s destination planet and remember the fuel needed (must be more than 25kt). Load exactly that amount needed onto the LDSF but set a waypoint beyond the destination planet (further than 81ly from the starting point). Like this it will break possible tow locks but end up at shorter distances by running empty over the warp well.


  1. Fast unload in Combat Zones. Set Starbases to ‘Unload All Freighters’ to transfer the cargo to the base before a freighter can be attacked.
  2. Load torps before combat. In emergency situations with either incoming and empty torpers or allied torpers (with matching fcode) set the base to ‘Load Torps Onto Ships’ to arm them before combat and or to destroy minerals and cash before loosing the base. Happens after movement.
  3. Load fuel before combat. Works similar to #39, but helps unloading the planet from fuel in case of a possible permanent loss of the planet.
    Ships that are built in the first build cycle are refueled in that process too, so in the early game a freshly built ship can be moved between an incoming fleet and the base, but not armed with ammunition in the same process. Happens after movement.
  4. Ion Storm Cloak
    If your cloaking ship starts its journey outside an Ion Storm, it will end up cloaked inside

The Ion Storm Cloak (#41) doesn’t work if the ion storm moves over your cloaked ship during it’s movement. Ion storms always win initiative, so they get to move and mess up your shit before you get to roll dodge or saving throws.

If your cloaked ship is outside the storm before movement, but the ion storm moves over your cloaked ship during its movement, your ship will get decloaked, and then you’ll move.

I’ve lost a few cloaked ships that way when I didn’t notice that a storm was going to move over my cloaked ship, right before i went to scout possible enemy positions.

  1. Ion Storm Intercept
    While normal waypoints in Ion Storm Class 4 or 5 are being shifted, the Intercept Mission still works
  2. Ion Storm Combat
    If your intercepting and attacking ships start their journey outside Ion Storms Class 4 and 5 and fight ships that are caught in there, the enemy ships won’t have shields, but your ships have
  3. Navigating in Ion Storms:
    Heavy ships can surf and navigate in Ion Storms Classes 4 and 5
    without getting great damage – somewhere on the net is the Lizard Ion Storm Compass to make the waypoint adjustments easier.


  1. Staying out of Intercept range:
    Set you ship’s waypoint to 82ly from a planet – like this you can’t be intercepted from there but can attack the planet next turn using the Warp Well.


  1. Triangulating hyperjumps.PL21 probes and Falcon class escorts can travel to any single point in space within 700 ly in range and within two turns. Simply place one hyperjumping circle over the exact point of your ship, and the other over the exact point you wish to travel to. Make your first jump to one of the two exact points where your two hyperjumping circles intersect, and the second jump to your final destination.Your main choice will be with regard to which of the two hyperjumping circle intersections you choose. Usually, one intersection is towards the inside of the board, while the other is towards the outside of the board. Choosing the inside provides more intel, but also allows for more of your rivals to see your ship, compared to the outside intersection. Be mindful of what you get, or lose, from choosing the inside hyperjumping point versus the outside.


  1. If your plan it to use two turns to HYP then regular move to a planet between 360 and 440 light years away (rather than burning the 100 fuel using a double jump), use the HYP on the second turn. Your ship may well go unnoticed when it sits a few light years away from a planet in your home territory, then can HYP directly to the destination planet.


  1. Never move in straight lines and never show where you exactly came from. Stay unpredictable.
  2. If you have to run through open space with a non-cloaker, switch on ‘toggle range’ and look if you can use #45 on multiple targets.


  1. Use your warp wells.A) Always use your warp wells for travel. It saves you fuel, 1000s of units of fuel over the game.
    Set your waypoint to the closest point in the warp well instead of directly to the planet. It also has the added benefit that you travel through fewer minefields LYs if on the offensive.B) HYP range is extended by up to 2.8 LYs if you use the warp well for hyper jumping. Setting your waypoint up to +/- 2 LY in x and/or y will pull your jumper into the planet so even though that planet is 339 LYs from your current position you can still arrive at the panet. This also works for non-hyp ships but nu does this automatically for you for non-hyp ships.C)This was stated above, but you don’t always want to arrive at the planet, but you need something to remain in the safety of the warp well. Jump to +/- 3 LY in x OR y (not both) from the planet will have your jumper land in the warp well. Great for minesweeping if you need some extra, better for bringing in supplies with a falcon to repair a damaged ship or to bring in a little extra fuel if you really need it.


  1. Load supplies when attacking starbases.There is a ship repair/mkt phase between ship-to-ship combat and ship-to-planet combat. When attacking enemy starbases with your ships, consider loading your ships with as many supplies as you can, so that the enemy starbase can face a stronger/fully repaired ship after enemy ships have done what they can to wear down your attack fleet.Credit to player Kurgul for teaching me this, via putting me on the planet side of this successful tactic.A corollary tactic involves Cyborg torpedo ships and the mkt ship friendly code. If you place sufficient megacredits and empty cargo space on a Cyborg torpedo ship with the mkt friendly code on a planetary attack, you’ll have a chance to make torpedoes out of the minerals you beam aboard from destroyed enemy ships, which you can then use against the enemy planet.


Barren / undeveloped planets as demilitarized zoneKeep one or two planets on your outer edge undeveloped as strip to slowdown incoming strike forces. Most players and most first wave strike forces will be surprised by getting no fuel and the range of their operations will be limited. You gain some time to get your ships ready and fight back the intruders. Didn’t work, if Cobols assist the strike force 🙁

51a. Stay behind the linesIf you have some cloakers at your hands, let them stay behind the enemy fleet and awaiting the incoming support ships. That hurts the morale of the fighting crews 🙂 Thats pure fun, when you have advanced cloakers ready.

51b. Drop clans to re-own the planetsLoad some clans onboard your stay behind forces. Drop the clans instead of attacking the planets.


51b addendum – Attacker fights first. So, if there is 1 clan on the planet and you drop 1 clan, your clan will kill the enemy and the enemy will not be around to kill the clan you dropped. You will own the planet.

[] @MJS Huh? Assuming no lizards or fascists are involved, the clans should kill each other and leave the planet unowned. I do this from a cloaker if there is an enemy ship in orbit. This prevents the enemy from easily beaming up fuel and supplies from the planet, while also preventing him from re-capturing the planet unless he has clans onboard.  [] Yes, I believe you zero out and the planet becomes unowned. Now if you drop that second clan to his one non liz/fascists clan, the planet is yours.


  1. You have a falcon with lousy engine and lousy beams. Provided you have the highest PBP (and more than 20), you can do this trick: recycle that lousy falcon, getting 1 PBP; building a falcon with better engine and beams at the same turn, spending 1 PBP. Now, you have the same amount of PBP, same amount of falcons, but one of them has better equipment – almost the same as feds super refit. More so, this way you can instantly transfer your falcon to any base – no mine hit, no fuel loss, from one corner of the world to the opposite in one turn. The same applies to every ship with hull mass less than 50 kt, of course.  []And you bring up another good point that those cheap falcons, once refit with good engines and/or beams can be sent to humanoid planets to be recycled for their parts at no pbp cost. This saves you on the cost of upgrading the technology at all those bases ahead of the queue movement.  This only really works when you have a priority build point lead, so it is quite important to get it and maintain that lead.


53: Poor man’s rob-capture gamble
Sometimes the Privateer just hasn’t enough ships in orbit to ensure the target ship would be robbed of all its fuel. Towing the target then would become a risky business, as most likely the target ship will destroy/capture the tower.

However one could still take a gamble rob with only a small risk:

– First ship robs the target of fuel. The target might or might not be fuel less.
– Second ship will tow the target with warp 1 into the warpwell. (preferably setpoint 2LY away using gravetonics)

A fuelless ship will have warp 0 and will be towed captured with warp1. Success!

However if the target still has fuel, the warp 1 tow will most likely fail and the towing ship flies undamaged in the warpwell. -> no Success, but nothing lost

The only risk here is that the warp1 tow does not fail for a fuelled ship. Then you’ll end up in the same location as your target (no success – ship lost)

This strategy will also work against a failed rob (which has a 1% chance).

Of course the best strategy is to make sure you have sufficient ships available to rob.


[]I use similar to above, but tow at w9 3 ly from planet into the warp well with only enough fuel to get to 1 or 2 ly running out of fuel by 3 ly and falling back to the planet with the towed ship.

If the ship was empty of fuel I own it.

If the ship had fuel left, I transfer 1 fuel from a cloaked ship and re-rob the target ship moving 2 ly into the warp well at w1 safely, then re-tow with the cloaked ship. This canbe repeated until the target ship is mepty and tow/captured.


  1. UPS (untouchable parcel service)Task: You want to deliver resources to bases where it’s likely that an enemy cloaker is in orbit.Prerequisite: You have 21 or more PBP.Execution: Build a SDSF. Load the the needed resources on the SDSF. The SDSF arrives fuelless at the base so it can’t be attacked. You unload the resources and set the starbase to recycle the SDSF immidiatly. Recycling is before tow or combat so you are guaranteed to get one PBP for the SDSF. You use this PBP to build another SDSF at the source base and repeat this manoveur until you have all the needed resources at the target base, e.g. to make it 200/60 or put a Virgo in the queue.Details:
    * How to bring the SDSF to the target base? Either it flies on it’s own if it has the engines and you don’t fear an intercept. Or you tow it with a warship until short before the planet and then it flies only the last few LJ on it’s own.
    * Is the 70 KT cargo of a SDSF worth the effort? Definitively! If you install w9 then you do not only transport 70 cargo but also a w9-engine. If you don’t need the engine itself then you can set your base to “dmp” the turn after recycling and get additional minerals.
    And don’t forget that a SDSF can transport 10.000 mc which is enough to fully fortify a base.
    * Better variant for certain races: Instead of a SDSF you use a hyperjumper, Small Transport, climate ship or any ship with mass <= 50 KT. Have you ever thought about how much minerals you can transport with a Rebel Deep Space Scout with transwarp and 4 heavy phasers when you recylce it and dmp the parts?
    * A nice side effect especially for hyperjumpers is that you save the fuel for the jump back. This makes this manoveur helpful in generel (not only as cloaker protection) as soon as you have 20 PBP.


  1. Non cloaking ship rob.Obvious tactic and not sure if anyone has brought this up or some people may not of thought of it but I will add this to the “well that is logical, why did I not think of it earlier” tips. Like some of the others here are so obvious I did not think of them :-).Every ship with a beam weapon can rob. So a big carrier / battleship can rob a lot of fuel so rob a lot of ships. Obviously the big ships tend to not have a cloaking device and tend to kill a lot of ships in the first turn after the ship moves in. So the first turn the ship has no fuel on it and have a cloaking ship in orbit with it. Next turn the cloaking ship hands over the fuel and tow captures the nicest looking ship.Obvious counters to this and I assume everyone knows the tactic already.


  1. Fuelless carrier attackYou are Pirate, the enemy has no Lokis or poppers and you want to attack an enemy fleet at a planet that is mine covered and probably has a base. You have already captured a carrier that has good chances against a base like a Bio or Virgo. Your carrier loads 100 fighters and enough supplies to repair mine hits and tows a cloaked MBR full of clans to the planet. The carrier arrives fuelless. If the planet isn’t set to NUK then you have a carrier with a huge tank and a cloaked MBR with fuel at the same place as an enemy fleet. Very nice. If the planet is set to NUK and your carrier wins the battle then it’s even better because the enemy can’t use the beam-gather defense. If the planet is set to NUK and your carrier loses the battle – bad luck. You still have an MBR at the spot, maybe you can compensate the loss. You can avoid this situation if you attack with two pairs of battleship + MBR. As backup battleship a Bloodfang or a HB-Merlin will do.
    If the planet is not set to NUK and the enemy has – to your surprise – a popper or a Loki at the planet then the MBRs are destroyed and you lose your battleships. Thank god for all non-Pirates that this manoveur has a drawback.


57 : The Nuk Attack (as Birdmen)
You are the Birdmen and did locate early the enemy homworld? Want destroy or badly damage it?

Try to make it with at least 1 darkwing and a second cloaker over the homeworld. Normaly ships will defend the homeworld so no way to destroy the hw with a single darkwing. However, you can use the Nuk Attack to make it. Position your darkwing in the warp well or near the homeworld. Change with your second cloaker the homeworld fcode to nuk and let arrive the dark wing with 0 fuel. If your cloaker is able to change the fcode your darkwing will only fight the homeworld in a solo battle and will in all case badly damage or destroy the enemy homeworld.


  1. & 59:

-2) don’t underestimate the time to make a complete turn including spending time to make arrangements with other players and make some planing about the next 3-5 turns (at least).

As rule of thumb (for humans with a meaningful Real Life – depends on your expectations) for me – don’t play more than three games (your played races is an active one) … one in the early stage, one in the midgame and one short before finishing.

-1) talk to other players – get an idea of their ideas and desires and try to put them into your own plans (a good article for that:




Aggressive Downsizing.

This is only applicable in campaign games or any game with stellar cartography.
Going up against Carriers with torp ships and losing 1-2 for every carrier.
Find a radiation halo , fly your torp ships into the radiation and kill of the crew until there are only around 50 or so left.
Put the downsized crewed ship in first against a carrier , it will fire off a few round and then instead of being destroyed it will be captured. And then you have a second ship to finish off the carrier and recapture your ship. Simple as pie.
Except , you know , wildly complicated and can go wrong in so many ways.
So more like a chocolate lava cake than pie.


61.  When travelling with a Cobol go to the opposite warp well of your destination to create some more fuel.
62: Warp wells
Pay attention when moving to warp wells to save fuel when over burning low tech engines.

The way point is not cancelled the turn after and you will constantly move to the warp well. With a heavy ship you may burn fuel for these hops at warp speeds beyond the warp of the engine to the warp well then falling to the planet. So burning up the fuel you saved and beyond!

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4 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks

  • Matt Park

    Can anyone tell me if you can possible run a game where the host only runs when all players have done their turn vs on a scheduled?

    Do I just deselect all days?

  • Jim Miller

    I am playing a game where the privateers are just sitting in warp wells. even in planets I own. often several ships so if I go in, they will be able to rob my ships completely (I am robots),
    What is the best way to defeat them? I have lots of instrumentatlities!!


    • gamemaster Post author

      In general, you need to saturate any area that involves enemy Privateers with mines. You need to use (and protect) your Cat’s Paw ships (minelayers), and lay massive minefields so that the privateers can’t go anywhere without hitting mines. Their ships aren’t great at mine-sweeping either, so you should be able to keep ahead of their sweeping by laying more mines.

      One of your problems is probably that you’ve already got Privateers in your space. Take that as a lesson for next time – as soon as they are near, you need to drop a ton of minefields to keep them out, or at least force them to either mine sweep (which could force them to give away their position), lay mines of their own (just lay more than they do), or they’ll lose a bunch of ships.

      Another possibility is to keep your ships heavily fueled, so they don’t get robbed and captured immediately. Yes, repeated attempts will eventually drain your ships, but you can get somewhere, kill the planet, and then beam up fuel to yourself, so that even when the Privs think you are dry of fuel, you can beam up a bit to your ship and maybe get a kill on one of their ships as they attempt to tow you away and capture you.

      It’s REALLY nice when you can get a cloaking ship of your own, and then start to escort your ships with cloakers, or better yet transfer fuel to ships that look like they are out of fuel. Or lay mines deep in their space without them knowing you even had a ship nearby!

      Another suggestion is to head in an unpredicatble course, without touching any planets. If you move less than the full distance a ship can move in one turn (e.g. 80 ly instead of 81+), your heading won’t be revealed – you basically stop in space before your turn ends, and your heading shows as ? This can force the privateers to attempt to intercept you, which gives you the opportunity to kill them.

      Last, if you have the fuel, try heading for their planets without planet hopping, and changing your course slightly every turn (as above), so they can’t predict your location. If you can simply kill their starbases on arrival, they don’t have a chance to rob you first (robbing happens before movement). So… you move, attack, and kill their base, and possibly some of the orbiting ships they try to defend with. Seed their whole space with mines so their freighters blow up, too.