The Privateer Bands and the Crystal Confederation can capture empty enemy starships by setting a towing them. The enemy ship must be out of fuel (robbed dry, drained by webmines or simply empty) and a Privateer or Crystalline starship (at the same position) must use the ‘Try to tow’ mission on the empty target to capture it. For a successful towcapture, the capturing ship may but does not have to move. If the empty ship (has or) gains fuel from another ship or a planet, it can be towed but not captured.
As soon as the tow-attempt is successful, the capturing ship will beam over a boarding crew and capture the empty ship. Capturing enemy ships kills the whole former crew which is replaced by half of the capturing ship’s crew. If the captured ship’s crew is smaller than half the crew of the capturing ship, then only the necessary crew is replaced. Some races’ crews prefer to stay on board under a new commander than to be killed: 100% of all Privateer crews will switch sides, the Federation leaves 90% on board, the Colonies 70% and the Evil Empire 40%.
To tow empty ships without capturing them, the Privateers and Crystallines can set their ship’s friendly code to NBR (or nBr, NbR…).

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About thin

Planets player since 1995 who started as a school kid with WinPlan and the Rebel Confederation. Based in Frankfurt, Germany, he makes his living as an architect and is a passionate Lizards player in the Planets universe. Thin has taken part in the first championship game ‘The Scorpius War’ on in which he finished ranking second.