Frequently Asked Questions

How do I move my ships? I can't tell you how many times I hear this one! This seems to cause many people to give up quickly and uninstall the game. In the upper right display is for your ships. First, left click your mouse on a place where you have ships. The ships in that sector will now appear in the display. Those which can move will be highlighted in green. Then, all you do is right click on the sector you want the highlighted ships to go to. A menu will pop up and you then simply left click on "Move To". If you want your ships to warp to another star system, then right click on a sector with a warp-point in it. Then, left click "Warp" on the menu.

Now, a word of warning. Sometimes, especially when you are building ships, a vessel will be highlighted, even though it is not 100%. There are two ways to check on this. The best is to right click on a highlighted ship in the display. A menu will pop up and then left click your mouse on "Ship Report". This will give you a complete status check on your vessel. Another method I use when building ships is to right click on the sector where I'm doing the building. Usually there's a planet there, but you can have Yard Bases and Yard Ships anywhere. On the menu, left click at "Construction/Repair Queue". This will give you a display that shows what ships are still under construction and when they will be completed.

How do I build industrial facilities on newly colonized planets? This is another fundamental question I get asked an awful lot. Right click on the planet, and then left click on the menu at " Productions". This will give you a display of what's happening at that planet. For example, in the "Unit Display", you will see how many troops, fighters, and mines are available. You will see other sections covering Population, Planet Usage, and facilities already built. In the section called "Under Construction", click on "Queue". Another display will open. On the left side is a list of what types of facilities you can build. Simply highlight the one you want and then click "ADD" on the lower right side. *NOTE* Check Planet Usage to see how many facilities you may build on that planet.

It takes so long to build ships. How can I speed things up? Each planet can only build one ship, base, fighter, or mine at a time. The time it takes depends on how big the item is you want to build, as in the number of ship components. Planets will complete only four components per turn..., unless you chose as a Racial Advantage, 'Ship Craftsmen'. This doubles that to eight.
The only other way to speed up your ship construction is to use Yard Bases and Yard Ships. You will need a 'Construction Component' of Tech Level 1, 2, or 3. It's always a good idea to start off the game with this during the set-up. It's also a good idea when practical to build yourself a Yard Base right on the first turn. I like to build these using the 'Space Station' selection on the Ship Design display. In normal-size mode, these are 35 spaces in size. Five spaces are used for the basics (2xCrew Quarters, 2xLife Support, and 1xBridge). This leaves 30 spaces, with which you can fill with three Construction Components, or 'Yards'. Each Yard takes 10 spaces. With one Yard Base of this design at your planet, you can build four items simultaneously. The Tech Level determines how quick these Yards are. Level 1 completes 3 components per turn. Level 2 does 4 per turn, and Level 3 does 5 components per game turn.

When I play against the computer, I always lose. What am I doing wrong? Hehehe. Probably nothing, actually. Bear in mind the computer knows how to play the game. If you're just starting out, you don't yet. No offense to Malfador, but the tutoral game is not very helpful. I'm putting together one of my own you'll be able to download and then unzip in the SaveGame file. But till then, here's what you do.

First, do the Set-Up option on the start menu. As a beginner, you need a bit of an edge. As you go through the various sections of the Set-Up, leave them in their default settings until you get to how many planets you begin with. Start off with five, all with Good Value. I'd also start with 50,000 construction points and a Tech Level of 30 or 50. When you get to the computer player settings, give them only three planets initially. If you want a bit more of an advantage, make their worlds only Average in Value. That will help get you off to a good start.

Next, or actually back a step, when setting your Empire statistics, select for 3-5 Racial Advantages, too. I like to pick, at the very least, Propulsion Experts and Natural Merchants. For choosing initial Tech Levels, set all colony types at Level 1. You want to be able to colonize as quickly as possible, and this helps a lot. Set Ship Construction at Level 3 or 4, so you can build decent sized vessels early. And be sure to set Construction Component to Level 1 also, so you can build Yard Bases immediately, as mentioned earlier. This will get you off to a good start. Plasma Seekers are cool, to, as afr as weapons go, though Missiles are ultimately better. Point Defense is a must!

My last piece of advice to winning is not modify the Combat Strategy for each ship class you design. Select after you design a ship class, highlight it at Ship Design and click on View button. When the ship display pops up, click on Combat Strategy button on lower left. Now, you'll be able to modify the default settings. Ships with Beam Weapons or Torpedoes need to be close to the target to hit, so change Range Settings to Point Blank, at least for the two top settings, where you outnumber the enemy. Further below, there are sections for target priority. My advice is to at least change Nearest to the top on the left side section. You can play around with the others. On the right side, move "Seekers Targetted At Us" to top. Moving Fighters up is also a good idea. Experiment. You'll find that by changing your ship's combat strategy, you will do much better when performing Strategic Combat. I know many will want to fight each battle in Tactical mode, but this is very time consuming.

How do I join an email game? First, e-mail me and I will put you on the list for the next game, which should be starting about mid-April. Bear in mind two things before signing up. You MUST have an e-mail client that permits attached files. I know that some of those freebie e-mail deals don't. Next, joining a Play-By-E-Mail game takes a bit of commitment. You should check your mail daily. When you get the game passed to you, please do your turn quickly and pass it along promptly.

Now for the brass tacks of doing the PBEM. Once enough people sign up for a game, I will send out a list of instructions for preparing the Game Set-Up. Read it carefully and follow it precisely. This list will give you the game parameters, such as how big the galaxy is, how many starting planets, or Tech Levels, etc..., we will all begin with. Some types of technology may be excluded. When you set-up your Empire at the Add Empire section, click SAVE. This is now your EMP.file. You then attach this file to an email message and send it to me. Sometimes, the format may be incorrect due to different email clients. If this happens, we will work something out.

Once everybody sends me their EMP.files, I will then set-up the game and load each EMP.file. Each game will have an identity code, such as PBEM2. I will then send everyone a list of players, in their order of play, along with all email addresses. Usually, I start the game and once I play my turn, I mail it to Player #2. He/She will receive it as PBEM2_2_24000.gam. The game gets passed along, till the last player sends it to me. At this point, the file will be called PBEM2_1_24001.gam. The first few turns are usually pretty bland, as everyone is building their initial ships. By the 4th or 5th game turn, we start moving ships and exploring. Eventually, we start bumping into each other, and that's when the real fun begins.

With prompt players, who send out the game as quick as they can, it is possible to do about 3 or 4 turns per week. One year of game time is 10 turns, and we will play at least 3 years or 30 turns. By this time, those who are left are either strong or are part of a strong alliance, or are in pretty bad shape and on the verge of collapse. Depending on the situation, we will either end the game, or, if everyone desires, play another year or two. After 5 years, 50 turns, there will be a clear winner, or winning alliance. In short, a complete game may take between 3-6 months to play. For course, some will not last that long. But be prepared for at least a three month game.

These are just some of the commonly asked questions. If you have others, feel free to e-mail me and I will answer them. If enough people ask the same one, I will add it to this site.

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