VGA Planets Super Site

The tools of terror

Starships are what you use to assemble a fleet so that you can conquer the Echo Cluster. Starships come in two types: freighters and capital ships. Freighters are used to transport cargo (minerals, colonists, supplies and megacredits) between the planets and starbase(s). The job of defending your empire and expanding at the cost of your neighbours falls to the capital starships (warships) in your fleet.

The hull
The most important component of your starship is the hull. The hull is the superstructure and spaceframe on which all of the other starship components are mounted. The various hulls will require anywhere from one engine to ten engines depending on the type of hull you are using. As a general rule the smaller starships will only need one or two engines. It is also important to note that the larger the starship the greater its mass will be and the more weapons can be mounted on the hull. Therefore, a larger starship will likely inflict greater damage and it will be able sustain more damage before it is destroyed. The higher mass will cause the shielding systems of the starship to be stronger and be able to take a greater amount of punishment before they will buckle and collapse.

Different types of hulls come with different starship systems. The freighter hulls are very simple. They only support engines, and come with built in sensor / navigation equipment, a tractor beam and a transporter device. Other hull types, the capital starships, can support all the systems the freighters have, plus beam weapons (in a wide variety of numbers), and either fighter bays or torpedo launchers.

When constructing a ship, there are ten engine types for you to chose from. It is important to put the right engines on your ships, or you will soon find your fleet stranded with no fuel left. The cheap tech 1 engines are useful only for ships that remain statically in one place and are towed around by other ships. For ships that have to move themselves (you will find that most of your ships will need this) it is wise to invest in the best engine technology you can buy. The medium tech engines give you some speed at reasonable fuelconsumption, but at high speeds they will quickly drain their fueltanks.

Weapon banks and fighterbays
As previously explained there are a variety of weapon systems that may be installed on a starship. The main weapon system for most starships is the beam weapon system. The auxiliary systems that may be available on a starship are either fighter bays or torpedo launchers.

Beam Weapon Systems
Beam weapon systems draw their energy from the main engine core. The energy flows to the weapons on high yield superconductive energy conduits. As long as the engine is functional the beam weapons will have energy to fire. Different beam systems are designed differently. Some of the systems are designed to release large quantities of life killing gamma rays. Some are designed to be a tightly focused beam of energy that strikes hard and is good at dropping the enemy starships shields, and damaging the starship and crippling it so as to have a chance of capturing it.


Fighter bays and fighters
A fighter bay is an integral part of a carrier starship. The fighters are stored in the cargospace of a ship. In combat the starships crew quickly moves fighters from the cargo holds into the fighter launch bays. Here the fighters are fuelled and readied for launch. The more launch bays that a starship has the greater number of fighters it will be able to launch in a shorter period of time. Fighters are loaded onto carrier starships by starbases or other carrier starships. A fighter is a very effective weapon. If a fighter can reach an enemy starship or planet and is not shot down during the attack it will fire a tightly focused energy beam nine times into the enemy shields or hull. Fighters are very efficient against large and heavily armoured starships.

Torpedo launchers and torpedoes
Torpedo delivery systems are designed to be added to the hull of starships during the construction process. Torpedoes are stored in the ship's cargohold. During combat the torpedoes are loaded into the launch tubes. The tube aims the torpedo and arms it. Torpedo delivery systems come in ten different styles. The style of the launcher determines what type of torpedo the starship will be able to carry and launch. Some of the torpedoes deliver massive amounts of destructive power to enemy ships while others hardly damage the ship, yet kill the ship's crew with radiation.



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