Each ship with two or more engines can tow other ships through space, one engine ships cannot tow other ships. To tow another ship the mission of the tower needs to be set to ‘Try to tow’ and the towee needs to be selected.

The amount of fuel the towing ship will burn for moving if the tow succeeds will be displayed in the fuel prediction. A ship needs fuel onboard to tow an enemy ship, and will tow as far as it’s fuel allows it or as far as the waypoint it has set.Ships that run out of fuel while towing another ship will immediately release the tractor beam upon running out of fuel. To break free from a tow attempt the towed ship must have the same (or higher) Warp speed and have the waypoint set further than one turn (of travel) away.
Example: To break free from a warp 9 tow attempt your ship needs to have warp 9 and the waypoint set to further than 81 lightyears away.

The Warp speed of ships with Gravitronic Accellerators counts double, when the warp speed is compared – because of that it is impossible for a normal ship to escape a warp 5 tow attempt from (example) a Meteor Class. Ships with less than 25 kilotons of fuel can not escape any tractorbeam, neither can ships with only one engine. It is possible to tow a ship while it cloaks away. Ships that are under cloak can only be towed by those who can see them.

The towed ship may start it’s cloak in the same turn as the tow starts. A ship performing a hyperjump cannot tow another ship. Ships that are towed have their warpspeed set to zero, and their waypoint reset.

The “try to tow” mission is executed in order of ship ID. So if multiple ships at the same location are attempting to tow, host.exe starts wit the lowest ID-ship present. It checks if it can successfully tow it’s target following the rules above. If successful, tower and target will move away. After moving these two ships, the Host program checks if they are influenced by a warpwell. After that, the Host program moves to the next lowest ID-ship and the process is repeated.

This means:

  • A ship that tries to tow another ship can be towed away before it even gets to try and tow, by a ship with a lower ID.
  • A low-ID ship can easily escape being towed altogether by towing a (friendly) ship that does not break the towbeam. This way, the ship moves away before anyone else can even try to tow it.
  • If two ships in one position are using tractor beams on each other, the ship with the higher warp factor will tow the ship with the lower warp factor. This is because the ship with the lower warp factor, if it has the lowest ID, will fail to tow the other ship. If the ship with the lower warpfactor has the higher ID of the two, it won’t be able to escape the tow from the other ship.
  • A ship can tow another ship into the warpwell, be sucked back to the planet and then be towed by another ship. Or a ship can be towed into the warpwell by one ship, be sucked back and then be towed by another ship.
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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.

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