Since the morpher's only ability is to change into
other ship types, it might seem at first glance
that a morpher cannot possibly achieve anything
above and beyond the abilities of the existing
ship types. This is a serious misconception.
Here are some interesting uses for the morpher:
Cheap substitute for more expensive ships
that have higher build, maintenance, and fuel costs.
For instance, a morpher emulation of an engineer,
stargate, or jumpgate may be cheaper than the real
thing. Other emulated ship types may also prove
economical, depending on the exact series
Cheap substitute for planning. By bringing
a morpher with your fleet, you gain more flexibility
in situations that are difficult to anticipate. For
instance, due to the random effects of battle, you
may lose all the ships of some critically important
type (e.g. minesweeper, or
perhaps engineer or
science, depending on
your situation and plans). With a morpher or two
present, you can quickly replace such casualties.
Bait and switch. What do you do when your opponent
presents you with massive fleet of attack ships but no minesweeper?
Build a minefield and maybe a few sats, right? That's the reason
this trick works so well. Some of the attacks are actually morphers,
and they turn into sweepers on the same turn that the others nuke
the system. Ouch. A variant substitutes cloakers
for some or all of the attacks.
Putting a stationary ship in places where you
cannot build (e.g. an allied, enemy, unoccupied,
or annihilated system):
great for causing surprise explosions on enemy
systems. This is best achieved if you can conceal the fact that
you have morphers. In other words, don't change
directly from a "morpher" to a "minefield". First, in a system
the enemy cannot see, change the morpher to something
relatively innocuous, like an attack. Then bring
the ship into position and change from "attack" to
Daisy Chain if all of the worthwhile
targets are outside of normal jumpgate
range, you can
assemble a series of jumpgates whose terminus
is within range of something desirable. You can use the slow but sure
method (one hop per turn), or up the risk a little by giving a chain of jump
orders in the same turn. The jumpgates will execute the jumps in a random
sequence. If you get lucky, the ships traverse the chain in a single turn.
If you don't get lucky, your fleet ends up at one of the intermediate
stepping stones, and you've taken "jumpgate loss" for orders further down the
chain that didn't achieve anything.
Tempo Trick if you have a jumpgate present
as part of your attacking fleet, then your
fleet can nuke one system and be transported to a new
target on the same turn. Ideally, the fleet can nuke one
target per turn, without wasting any
orders on movement. This potentially doubles the force
that the fleet is capable of projecting over time.
Escape a Doomwall let's say you need to jump
ships out of a large annihilated area. A morpher-jumpgate
(or morpher-stargate) is the only way you can achieve this.
Self-Preserving Ships you have fleet with morphers in
the mix. The effects of battle are supposed to target ships
at random, but it would be nice if there were a way to make sure
that the morphers are never chosen. There is. Turn them into
minefields or carriers. Both are immune (or nearly so) to the DEST
phase of combat (the one that randomly targets ships). Neither can be
destroyed unless you lose the entire fleet. Carriers are preferred if you
have that tech (since they actually absorb some of the damage that
would otherwise destroy them), but minefields might do if you don't
need movement capability and don't mind the risk of explosion.
Filtering Effects you have a stargate or a jumpgate
and a mixture of morphers and normal ships there. You want to jump
some ships to a distant system, but you want some ships to stay behind,
remaining in the same system as the gate. So, change the morphers into
stationary ships (probably satellites or minefields, or even another gate).