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3.6.1 How do I change, re-equip, or create new fleets?

In order to re-equip, or add new ships, the fleet needs to be close to a planet with a Military Spaceport. Only capital ships can have equipment loadouts altered - not fighters. Modify equipment by selecting the ship, which displays an image of the vessel on the right of the screen. Click on one of the green boxes on that image, and then move the appropriate item of equipment between the ship and the inventory below - you may need to first remove equipment before you can add new items. Note that not all equipment can be removed, notably hyperdrives. To add new ships to an existing fleet, select the fleet and vessel type on the Equipment screen, then use the Add to deploy units. Fighters may also be removed to storage, capital ships may not. To add a new ship to a new fleet, first create a new fleet by selecting a planet with a Military Spaceport, then pressing "New" from the equipment screen. You may split and move ships between two fleets in the same location via the Equipment (F4) screen. You do not need to be near a Military Spaceport to split, join and transfer currently deployed vessels. If you transfer ships, the fleet receiving the new ships will be indicated on the screen as "Secondary". If you have several fleets in the same location, you may need to move one or more away first.

3.6.2 Can I automatically re-equip or upgrade equipment on fleets and units on planets?

Yes and no. The options screen (Esc) allows you to re-equip tanks to planets, and bombs and missiles to spacecraft. This assumes you have excess stocks of such items available. You cannot automatically replace lost equipment on ships, nor can you automatically upgrade equipment. This can make upgrading ships very time consuming. Bershe comments: "Here's a trick - if you have 10+ ships of any type in a fleet, they are categorized together... So, select the category, select the (for example) laser pod. Hit the '+' button to fully load the ship, then push enter. And repeat until fleet is outfitted. This is MUCH more efficient."

3.6.3 Which planet is unused equipment stored on?

It isn't stored in any one place. Unused equipment (not assigned to planets or fleets, or mounted on spacecraft) is held in a virtual storage, which can be accessed from anywhere. Is this good game design? Tim Chown comments: "Deploying on any planet is fine as long as you can't remove and add the way it is now. After all, your weapon factories are all grouped together for production purposes. But to be able to instantly transfer from 1 planet/fleet to another is something that should be corrected."

3.6.4 How do I repair ships and vehicles?

Capital ships which have been damaged repair naturally over time. You cannot speed this process up. Heavily damaged capital ships may have lost equipment. Lost equipment will not repair over time, and needs to be re-equipped from stores - see How do I change or re-equip a fleet? above. Damaged vehicles and fighters repair instantly between battles.

3.6.5 How do I build new units and equipment?

Production is only available at Captain rank and higher. You can only build what you have researched, know to start with, or capture from aliens. You need at least one factory per type of production (spacecraft, weapons, equipment). Additional factories will allow faster production - this increases the "full capacity" value on the relevant production screen. Each colony can build up to one factory of each type. Production needs to be ordered, and paid for with credits, via the Production screen (F5). You can produce up to 5 different things at once in each category, biasing the rate at which each is produced by altering the "Importance" value. Production itself is not planet specific, and items produced go straight into the store of unused equipment. Buildings are included on the production screen, although they are not produced via it - they are simply built on the relevant colony.

3.6.6 How do I build Flagships?

Flagships, including Colonization Ships, require you to have at least one Orbital Space Factory orbiting around a planet. You do not need the orbital factory to be in the same location you wish to deploy Flagships. Flagships are deployed in the same way as other ships - around planets with Military Spaceports. This means you only ever need one orbital factory in your empire (just ensure you defend it adequately).

3.6.7 Can I build the Leviathan?

No, not in normal play. Although unpatched versions of the game may fool you into trying, and may then cause technical problems - don't try. You can only have one Leviathan, the "Thorin", your command ship as Admiral. From GT: "The Leviathan was removed from the game late in development. It was found that the game was too easy if you could build as many of these as you wanted." From Karthik: "You can actually build it but you can't research it. Use the cheat code to get all the inventions. Once done you can build the Thorin."

3.6.8 Can I rename fleets?

Yes. On the Equipment screen (F4), select the fleet, then click on the fleet name in the bottom left panel. You should see a cursor appear. Delete the old name and type in the new.

3.6.9 How do I use Virus Bombs?

From Matt Forrestal: "Only the Thorin seems to be able to use them, and it can only carry four." From vakundok: "[They] lower the population of the target world, reducing the tax income of your enemy." Alain Roy writes: "I attacked Persol 2 (20,000 inhabitants) with virus bombs. Population fell at about 8000. Another attack went down to 3000 and so forth up to about 500. Does not work below this population. After the attacks, population started to move up again, but at a lower speed."

3.6.10 Can I build alien ships and equipment once I capture their colonies?

No. You can use the factories on alien colonies to produce your own equipment, spaceships and weapons. In rare cases you may capture existing building technology, such as Phood Factories from the Garthogs, but that's all.

3.6.11 How do I find planets?

Most planets will only show up on the map after you fly within radar range of them. To retrieve further information about the planet, select the planet, and then click Add Sat. You'll need a Survey Satellite in stock - you only get one to start with, but you can produce them with Captain rank. Colonized planets can be spied on using Spy satellites, which can be researched at Commander rank and higher. To automatically determine planet ownership, move a ship equipped with a Phased Array close to the planet.

3.6.12 What ships are available?

Here is a list. Satellites and Orbital Bases are listed under What equipment and weapons are available?. Optimum equipment loadouts are given after the list:

The table below shows the maximum equipment loadout possible, both in terms of number of items and the most technologically advanced item that can be fitted. In most cases lower-technology items can be fitted, although some of the highly advanced vessels can only fit higher-technology items. A list of abbreviations is given at the bottom. The value 'vehicles' refers to the number of vehicles that can be carried without a pod. For further explanation of equipment types, see What equipment and weapons are available? below.

Maximum Ship Equipment Loadouts
Ship Shield Laser Weapons Guns Bombs Missiles Radar Cargo module ECM Module Hyperdrive Vehicles
Colonizat. Ship 1xSH 1xPA 1xV5
Cruiser 1 1xSH 8xUP 2xNG 1xFA 1xV4
Cruiser 2 1xSH 13xUP 8x** 1xFA 1xV5
Cruiser 3 1xSH 16xUP 20xMG 4xV2 4xMH 1xSK 1xV5
Destroyer 1 1xMS 6xUV 1xV2
Destroyer 2 1xMS 14xUP 1xV3
Destroyer 3 1xMS 18xUV 4xNG 1xFA 1xV5
Flagship 1 1xSH 14xUP 8xPG 8xV2 6xMH 1xPA 1xHC 1xV5 5
Flagship 2 1xSH 15xMG 12xV2 12xMH 1xPA 1xHC 1xV5 8
Flagship 3 1xSH 20xUP 20xMG 20xV2 14xMH 1xPA 1xHC 1xSK 1xV5 10
Leviathan 1xSH 24xUP 22xMG 4xVB 12xMH 1xPA 1xHC 1xSK 1xV5 12

3.6.13 What equipment and weapons are available?

Here is a list. Quoted in-game text unfortunately contains a few statements that are blatantly incorrect - my comments on these are in square brackets:

3.6.14 What limitations are there on fleet sizes and speeds?

Individual fleets have limited stack sizes - you can only add so many of certain types of vessel. Each fleet may have up to: 3 Flagships, 25 Cruiser/Destroyer, and 30 Fighters per type. Fleet speed is determined by the lowest rated hyperdrive fitted to any capital ship (Flagship, Destroyer or Cruiser) in the fleet. In order for hyperdrive upgrades to make any difference, the entire fleet needs to be upgraded. Fighters that travel with capital ships maintain the same speed as the ships they escort (I presume they are carried with the capital ships). Fighters in a fleet that contains no capital ships (i.e. just fighters) will travel far slower.

3.6.15 How do I sell excess or obsolete equipment?

You can sell items which are not deployed via the Production screen (F5). Slect the item and click on the "sell" button. You cannot sell capital ships that have already been deployed, although you can strip them of most of their equipment.

3.6.16 Can I train ships' crews?

No, however, capital ships' crews gain experience with every kill. Five or fewer kills they are classed as "Novice", 6 or more kills as "Advanced", "Pro" at 12, and "Ace" by 30. You can view this information when in space battles. Unfortunately trained crews cannot be transferred between ships, so by the time crews become experienced, their ships tend to have become obsolete and their experience is increasingly useless.

3.6.17 What is the difference between ship weapon types?

Lasers are rapid firing, but do light damage. They tend to be most effective against smaller fast moving targets. Guns are projectile based, and are more likely to miss moving targets, but will do a lot of damage when they hit. Bombs are used against planet based targets. Missiles are used against space based targets. Bombs and Missiles must be replenished after use, and there is a chance they will be shot down before they reach their target. Fighters can be turned into effective missiles by ordering Kamikaze attacks (proper missiles are cheaper, but kamikaze attacks can sometimes be an easy way out of a particularly difficult battle).

3.6.18 How do I upgrade Space Bases?

Once you have three of an older type in orbit, additional new types will start to replace older types. You may have no more than three Space Bases in orbit around each planet. Space Bases cannot be downgraded. For example, adding a Base 2 around a planet with three Base 1s will result in two Base 1s and a Base 2. Adding a Base 2 where there are only two Base 1s will result in two Base 1s and a Base 2.