An Old Scroll – Ed’s Guide to the Federation

The Old Scrolls Series from Donovan’s Super Site:
Please note that some data may refer to earlier game versions. Although game and strategies have advanced since the writing of this guide, the provided information is more than useful for an inspired gameplay and a good base to start from. Enjoy!

Written by: Ed Robinson

I have been playing the Federation for as long as I have been playing VGA Planets. In that time, I have played the Federation quite a lot. I feel maybe this gives me some insight into how to play them a little better, but hope this guide will help some of the newer players come up with some ideas maybe they hadn’t thought about. By no means am I an expert.. there are still lots of things I am learning about the game, but having played the Feds a lot, I hope to shed some light on them a little.

Ok, if you are new to the game I should start by telling you that the Solar Federation is based on the “Federation of Planets” in the TV series, and movies of Star Trek. Their ships are based on the ships of the Federation. Thus how one plays this race is indicated by how these ships should be used. Here is a list of the ships available to the Federation Player: ( this list will not include ships that are available to all players.. i.e. The Large Deep Space freighter, Merlin, etc.)

  • Outrider Class Scout
  • Nocturne Class Destroyer
  • Bohemian Class Survey Ship ( Terraformer)
  • Eros Class Research Vessel ( Terraformer)
  • Vendetta Class Frigate
  • Nebula Class Cruiser
  • Banshee Class Destroyer
  • Brynhild Class Escort
  • Arkham Class Frigate
  • Missouri Class Battleship
  • Loki Class Destroyer
  • Thor Class Frigate
  • Diplomacy Class Cruiser
  • Kittyhawk Class Carrier
  • Nova Class Super Dreadnought

You will see that the fed player has a wide variety of ships at his disposal. Ranging from the lowly scout to one of the largest ships in the game, the Nova Class Super Dreadnought. The Fed Player has a very important and special ability in this game. Its called, “Super Re-fit”. This ability allows the Fed player to refit any ship in his arsenal with upgrades… meaning better engines, beams, and torps at any time in the game. There is a big advantage to having this ability. One of them is the ability to build low tech starbases as far as beams and torps go, and build high tech hulls… this saves money.

Lets talk for a minute about the “Super Refit”…
“Super Refit” is the Federation ability to re-equip ships with better weapons systems or engines. No other race can do this, and this greatly enhances the Federation abilities to keep with other races. With super re-fit one does not have to wait until all parts of a ship are produced. Just build the hull and equip it with low tech engines, beams, and torps. As soon as you want, or can, just build the new weapons or engines and set the ships primary mission to “super re-fit”. The next turn your hull will be equipped with whatever they have found in the Starbase inventory. The only thing you can’t do is degrade ships.. but why do this anyway?

With this ability you won’t ever have to max out each of your starbases….you can build a Super Dreadnought hull at one starbase, tow it to the second starbase, equip it with engines, tow it to another, equip it with beams, and to the next and equip it with torp tubes. This save a large amount of money and time on the Fed players part. If you were to plan ahead and build a starbase on a native world that automatically gives you the tech 10 weapons, and engines.. Then you would be even further and cheaper ahead of the game.

Now lets talk about the other Federation special abilities. The other two are the Federation Crew Bonus, and the special Tax Rate. The Crew bonus refers to the Federation special crew capabilities.. ( like Scotty on the Enterprise )… Federation ships will always fight with all its weapons regardless of damage. So even a 99% damage won’t reduce the fighting ability of the Fed ship. For example: A Nova with 99% Damage will fight with all of its 10 beams and 10 tubes instead of the normal 1 beam and 1 tube. Together with the Shield Bonus ( see below), a highly damaged Nova will probably be able to launch a complete salvo in a consecutive battle before being destroyed.

A Federation ship will regain 25% shield strength between consecutive battles. This feature is additional, but not beyond the 100% shield strength. So if a ship fights 3 battles and is damaged by let’s say 20% in the first battle, it will enter the second battle with 25% shield strength instead of the 0% as any other race ( the damage is not repaired ). If the second battle is won without the shields being hit, it will enter the third battle with a shield strength of 50%.

Another crew bonus the Fed player gets is this.. any Federation ship with fighter bays will get an additional 3 fighter bays when it comes to a fight. Thus a Kittyhawk with 6 fighter bays will launch fighters at a rate comparable to a ship with 9 fighter bays. Imagine this advantage if the Fed player was to have a large carrier, such as the Colonies Virgo with 8 Fighter bays, and it fought as if it had 11! A Federation Gorbie would even be more awesome.. launching fighters as if it had 13 bays!

The other Federation bonus we will talk about real quick is the 200% Tax Rate. With this the Federation will collect 200% of the normal tax rate. This is a real advantage if you have a well developed planet with natives. You can max out your Starbase tech-levels quicker than others and you’ll have plenty of money to build or clone high-tech ships. The only down side to this is the fact that the Fed player only has a 70% mining rate on his worlds.. So the Fed player gets minerals slower than other players ( especially the Lizards), but he never has to worry about money.

Ship Designs

Terraforming Ships
The Federation has two Terraforming ships, the Eros and the Bohemian. The Eros will cool down planet temperatures by 1 degree each turn and the Bohemian will heat up planet temperature by 1 degree each turn until 50 degrees are reached. The Terraforming is additional so 2 Eros’ will cool down a planet by 2 degrees a turn, and so on. This is a good advantage for the Fed player, and any Fed player should take advantage of these ships and build them and send them out among his colony worlds to help stabilize his populations. ( Populations grow faster with good climates, and the more population you have the more tax money you have… remember that 200% tax rate? ). Also note that due to your having these types of ships, you will be a valuable ally to other races, but be careful how you give these ships away.

The Loki Class Destroyer
The Loki Class Destroyer is one of the most valuable ships in the game as it can decloak cloaking ships within a radius of 10 light years. Decloaking takes place immediately prior to and after movement. It should be noted that in most games the Loki cannot decloak Lizard cloakers. The reason for not being able to decloak Lizard ships is because the Lizards also have the Loki ability… any race with the Loki ability is immune from its effects… soooooo… if the Feds were to get a cloaking ship… no one would be able to decloak it since the Feds have Loki ability… good huh? The only races immune to the Loki-effect are the Lizards the Feds, and the Birdmen if this is set in the Hostconfig. (The default setting in the hostconfig is that Loki’s cannot decloak Birdmen, so check this out before playing).

The Brynhild Class Escort
The Brynhild is equipped with a bioscanner that will give information about native life on planets within scan range. If you are really interested in colonization.. Build this ship..but I really see no need for it.

The Nebula Class Cruiser
The Nebula is a good armed transporter from missions far away to your homeworld. It has two engines, 4 beams and 4 tubes and a cargo room of 350KTs and it can hold 470KTs of fuel. It can be used as a good minelayer but is not a good fighting ship but can defend itself against most small and medium ships. Its mass is pretty high so it consumes a lot fuel, but I would build a few of these as escorts for long transport voyages.. Its also a relatively cheap ship to build compared to a Missouri or a Nova, so if you don’t have the money to build them, then build a Nebula.

Missouri Class Battleship
Here is the workhorse of your fleet. With 8 beams and 6 tubes it’s a small battleship, something one can call a “pocket battleship”, larger than a battlecruiser, but weaker than the “big” battleships. The Missouri’s downfall is a small gas tank, 260KT, and it is a gas “hog”… so it eats the gas due to its mass. But even with this disadvantage.. build these puppies en mass! Any fed player will come to realize that these are the most valuable ships in your fleet.. small task groups of these coupled with Kittyhawks and Thors is a deadly combination.

Thor Class Frigate
“The Carrier Killer”. It only has 1 beam, but 8 tubes, and the Thor can damage a heavy carrier 10-20% before being killed. A Thor even has a good chance to kill ships like the Empires Super Star Cruiser. Follow the Thor up with a Kittyhawk and it will kill any medium sized Carrier. Two Thors followed by a Nova will kill any large carrier in the game with the Nova only slightly damaged. The Thor is the ship of choice when fighting against carrier races. If you don’t believe this then try it.. it works.. send a Thor in to fight before your other ships against a carrier, and watch the Carrier go bye bye.

The Diplomacy Class Cruiser
The Diplomacy is a fine fighting ship. It has two engines, 6 beams and 6 tubes, 350KT of fuel and 95KT of cargo. It is a good all purpose ship. The Diplomacy will kill any Medium sized starship like the Fascist Ill-wind or the Bird’s Resolute, and it will stand long enough even against Battleships to damage them 10-20%. Two Diplomacies in a row will most likely kill any battleship in the game with the exception of the Lizard T-Rex ( remember the 150% damage bonus?). It’s a good choice in the early stages of the game.

The Kittyhawk Class Carrier
The Federation is one of the so-called “Torpedo Races”, but with the KittyHawk it has a good medium sized carrier. With 4 beams and 6 fighter bays, it can carry up to 65 fighters. In a fight it will launch its fighters at a rate the same as 9 fighter bays ( remember the crew bonus) thus making it even more powerful. Although a bit small, it can be a good fighting ship against a medium sized carrier – especially those of the Empire. Together with a Thor fighting prior to it, it’ll kill the Robotic Instrumentality and even a Carrier like the Robotic Automa will get into trouble.

Nova Class Super Dreadnought
The Nova with 10 beams and 10 Torp tubes is the second largest Battleship in the game. Only the Borg Annihilation has a higher hull mass. Any other battleship is not that heavy and has less torp tubes. The Nova is extremely expensive: 810 Mcs compared to 450 for a Darkwing and 410 for a Diamond Flame or a Victorious. But: One-on-one it will kill any other Battleship with the exception of the Borg Annihilation.

Disadvantages in the Ships List
There are several problems in the ship list a Federation player must take into account:

First and most important: The Federation does not have a Neutronic Fuel Carrier. Thus it might be wise for any Fed Player to build a Neutronic Refinery Ship as soon as possible.

The Federation does not have any cloaking ships or large carriers. Because of this, the Fed player should always try to have at least one ally – either with cloaking ability or with a large carrier ( and of course a Fuel Carrier would be nice too!). Never just assume that the Feds can field a single ship, with the exception of the Nova, that can stand alone in a pitched battle. The Fed Player must build Battle groups or task forces comprised of several different ships to make a formidable enemy. Most Fed ships are medium to small and thus the need for this strategy. Thus the need to build more ships than anyone else before the 500 ship limit is reached. The Fed player has the “Super-refit” advantage, so even if you can’t build a big ship in a turn, ALWAYS build a ship at every starbase, you can always refit it later, and you are taking up a ship slot that would go to someone else later.

Grand Strategy
The Federation is a race that grows in strength over time. The longer the Fed player has in the game to build, the stronger he gets. So it is important in the early stages of the game to concentrate on your military and economic structure, and not go looking for a fight. Attacking early in the game will prove disastrous in the end for the Fed player. In the long run, only the Borg can build an economy as strong as the Federation.

The Initial Stages
The Federation player will have two jobs in the early/initial stages of a game: Expand at maximum rate and build up a strong economy. For that it would be wise to raise engine tech levels to Tech 10 at turn 1 and then “Super refit” the original ships with Transwarp Engines. Use these two ships, the Nocturne and the Outrider Scout for scouting and initial colonizing. Drop 1 clan and move onwards without delay. At turn 1 and 2 build Large Deep Space Freighters with Transwarps if possible and follow up the scouts. Colonize any Desert or Arctic planet with maximum population (10), and any other planet should have 100 colonists. If you discover a planet with natives drop 3-400 colonists for initial colonization. A Large Deep with 1000 Colonists and 200 Supplies will probably be able to colonize 3-5 planets. On your way back you should gather all minerals and take them back to your homeworld.

The Fed player needs to make the most of his Terraforming capabilities. Use your terraforming ships to raise or lower the temps of the planets you find to their best temp. This will help your population grow faster, as well as the population of the natives there also. A good tip to remember: When you terraform, don’t worry about getting the planet to exactly 50 degrees. Just get it to around 45 on the low side, or 60 to 65 degrees on the high side.. this is enough to keep the colonists from dying and saves you time.

Later in the Game
Now that you have your economy going, and have your colonies set up, it is time to think about expansion and defense. You read earlier about the advantages and disadvantages of each ship, so now build your fleet. During this time you should build a starbase anywhere you can. This is one of the “tricks of the trade” for the Fed player. The more starbases you build, the more ships you can build in a turn. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you raise the tech levels on these bases.. As long as you can build good hulls, you can refit them later… thus you will eat up the 500 ship limit faster than anyone else, and later have an awesome array of ships to field in battle.

Don’t concentrate so much on building Nova’s.. A few is fine, but don’t use them as the backbone of your fleet. One should be building task groups comprised of a couple of Missoris, a Thor and a Kittyhawk, and maybe a Diplomacy to round it out. Remember that time is your friend, so try to stay out of large scale battles early on. They will come later in the game, when you have the majority of the ships in the game. If you have an ally, ( which is advisable), have them send their ships to you for refitting… and charge em ships you need for this service. The big key is this… don’t waste minerals… you only mine at 70% of everyone else, and thus will be low on minerals… so exploit the Bovinoid worlds, and build Merlins on them to make up for this shortcoming. Don’t waste minerals building a large fleet of Novas, when two Missouris is a lot cheaper, and fields more torps and beams anyway. Build some Kittyhawks too to keep pace with the other carrier races.. They are good planet and starbase defenders.

Thats it. If this helped, good. Feel free to use this guide, print it out, do whatever, just give me credit if you use it on another site, and link to my site in return. Thanks.

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