VGA Planets Super Site

by Michael Lemieux (VJNK46E)

The Privateer can be one of the most fun races to play in VGA Planets. If you examine their unique abilities, you'll begin to appreciate why. No other race is quite so capable of making off with an opponents resources & ships as the Privateer.

The Privateers most potent weapon is the ROB mission. Any enemy ships occupying the same point in space as a Privateer ship can be robbed (remember, only those Privateer ships with beam weapons can ROB). What happens during the ROB is the Privateer will take all the fuel it can until either the target ship(s) are drained dry or the Privateer is filled. Next the robber will take any Mega-Credits available. Finally the Privateer will take, in order, any Moly, Trit, Dura or Colonists until its cargo bays are full. Combine a few robbing ships together & you can see how devastating this can be to your enemy's logistics. This also comes in very handy for capturing enemy ships. Remember that a ship with no fuel cannot defend itself & it won't be able to attack you while you are towing it. Haul off that ship you have just drained dry to your Star Base that just so happens to have it's mission set to Force Surrender and voila, the ship joins the proud ranks of the Privateers.

Now, to plan your ROB missions, there are a couple of things that have to be considered. One is you can bet your opponents aren't going to be too thrilled about letting this happen & they WILL have their primary enemy set to Privateer once they see you are in the area. You'll want to keep your robbers CLOAKED so your targets can't see you coming & can't force you into combat.

This makes robbing ships in deep space difficult. Since you can't set your ship mission to INTERCEPT & remain CLOAKED, you'll have to guess which point in space your "target" ships are going or risk combat (not a Privateer strong point) by uncloaking. Good luck!

So, if you gotta remain CLOAKED & can't INTERCEPT in deep space, from where do you ROB them? At planets of course! If you pay attention to your maps, you'll be able to figure out to which planets your target keeps going. Get your cloaked ships there & wait for some juicy targets to show up. The ROB mission is the very first ship mission to occur (which comes in handy for preventing some pesky missions like LAY MINES or even movement). It also happens before movement, so you have to be waiting at the spot you want to ROB. Once you set your mission to ROB, you will uncloak. So you'll most likely want to move off the planet or risk tangling with planetary defenses.

OK, you have your ships at the planet & some targets have been kind enough to show up, what next? Hopefully you've made sure that your robbers have plenty of available fuel capacity & empty cargo bays. If you go in with everything full, why bother right? When you ROB, you will ROB the lowest numbered ship first. If you take everything off that ship & still have available capacity, you will then proceed to the next lowest numbered ship and will continue until you either fill all your robbing ships or all ships at the site are emptied. If you use more than one ship to ROB, your lowest numbered ship does the robbing first. A problem that can arise here is if you are attempting a ROB mission at a planet that has more than one race's ships in orbit. One of them may be an ally. Unfortunately, VGAP does NOT allow you to designate ROB targets. You'll ROB your friends just as readily as you enemies. You'll still begin with the lowest numbered ship, no matter who owns it. So, when dealing with allies, you have to be careful & make sure communication is kept open so that you won't leave them dead in space too.

In my next column, I'll describe the use of the "SNATCH & RUN" tactic, using the "3X vs life" advantage, and which ships the Privateer should bother building.

File originally hosted at Spacenet, posted at Donovan's with permission.

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