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: Rufus Aurand
All information presented in this file pertains to version 3.2 HOST or higher. The differences from version 3.15 are not covered. Information presented here is courtesy of Rufus Aurand. Corrections, alterations, and other strategy ideas may be left on ShareNet, the Tim Continuum, or internet e-mail to Aurand.RGIII@Juno.com. Some of the information in this file has been gleaned from messages left on Sharenet or Tim Continuum, though most is original thought (even though many others thought of it as well). Some of the more notable items that I did not think of myself came from either the ShareNet Trolls or Tristan.
Federation warship specs
The table below shows Fed warship specs. The ships are sorted based on how well they typically do in battle. Note that some ships appear out of order, but are not because their crew size is so small that they tend to get captured in battle.
Beam weapons and torpedo strength are based on SLOT positions as shown in table 2. These slot numbers are used in the remaining tables to show ship configuration.
Table 3 shows all Fed warship specs and their minimum (tech one), maximum (tech 10), and normal configuration (engines and weapons depend on ship design and typical uses). The ships are sorted as in table 1 and are loaded with torps and fighters in quantities meant to prevent excessive losses of unused weapons. The norms are based on fighter fleet enemies except for the Nova and Missouri, which should not normally be used against heavy carriers.
Note that configuration against non-carrier fleets would include significantly more torpedos (enough for at least 8 full volleys). Also, against the non-carrier and lighter heavy carrier races (Colonies and Rebels), many of the torp ships would travel in pairs with the second torp ship to fight armed with Mark 4s instead of 7s greatly reducing the cost of the torps on the ship while maintaining nearly the same damage levels to the enemy ship hull (after shields have been drained using Mark 7s) assuming an E-S Bonus of no more than the 50% default.
This ship is an excellent early game ship, especially if the game has been MASTERed with only 5000 Mc on the base and tech 1 engine defaults. With its low tech level to build the hull, single engine, and decent firepower, it uses less money than other races early warships for the performance gained except for the Reb and Colonial Cygnus.
Bohemian and Eros
These ships are so light that you can build them with warp 5 engines and overdrive them to warp 7 without consuming much fuel. Since most of their time is spent orbiting a planet anyway, the light engines make even more sense. In case of surprise minefields, it is advisable not to build one with tech one engines and rely on another to tow it since this would result in a near dead, very slow target in space if the tow ship strikes a mine. It is wise, however, to build them in pairs and use one to tow the other to minimize minefield threats from cloakers. Use a strong Loki to prevent easy capture by Lizards, Privateers, or Fascists. The Birds will probably win, but they will probably blow the terraformers up in the process, at least preventing them from being captured.
The Arkham does shine against the Borg though. It can defeat a FireCloud every time, take most undefended non-base Borg planets, and if it comes up against a Biocide, whittle away more megacredits in fighters than the Arkham cost to build. Even against an Annihaltion, the Arkham can suck up alot of Borg cash in torpedos (20 Mark7s or 35 Mark 4s for $720 and $455 respectively). Certainly not enough to pay for the Arkham, but it is also nearly the worst case scenario. Worst case is against a Merlin or Nuet Refinery with less than 40 mark 7s on board the Arkham.
Be careful with this ship against the Privs. Its small tanks make it an easy target even for pairs of BR4s and BR5s. Keep a Loki handy if the Privs are around.
Also, for the cost of one additional engine, the Loki outperforms the Nocturne in battle and can serve as a tow ship. It is not as good at sweeping mines as the Nocturne. Use the Loki in combination with a heavy battleship or carrier that has its friendly code set very low so that the battleship fights first. Use the Loki to protect a fleet against cloakers.
Considering the cost of the Thor, it makes much more sense to use it for carrier surgery than trying to use Missouris or Novas that will still get destroyed if the carrier has more than 45 fighters. Pairing 2 Thors that fight first with a KittyHawk that fights last will destroy any super carrier in the game.
Against the Biocide, Golem, and Gorbie, the first attacking Thor should have Mark 7s and the second Mark 5s. Against a Rush, Virgo, or other lighter carriers, more cash can be preserved by equiping the second Thor with Mark 4s which will still acheive identical damage results on the hull of the carrier. Be wary of minefields and surprise glory device attacks though. In the early stages of the game when the Feds have more funds than the other races (except, possibly, for the Lizards), the Thor will make the difference between win or loss if the Feds are jumped.
NEVER use the Thor to attack a starbase unless you are sure there are enemy ships in orbit. The E-S Bonus is only in affect during ship to ship battles. The Thor will never get off a shot against a base and with only one beam weapon, will do very little to weaken the base for follow up ships.
With E-S Bonus on, the Diplomacy is the Fed warship of choice. It costs much less than the Missy or Nova in minerals, is better at minesweeping than the Thor, can be used against both planets and bases much more effectively than the Thor, and has larger tanks giving the ship a greater range.
Playing The Feds
Take advantage of the taxes to get a jump on the other races. Increase taxes to 25% on the first turn of the game and then adjust the tax level to maintain around 60-65 happy points and hope your base does not get hit by a massive meteor. To adjust the happy points, estimate the tax rate this way for all but Avian natives: for each 1% increase in taxes after the natives become “Angry” with you, expect -1 happy point per turn. For Avians, go to 5% after the natives “Hate” you before subtracting one happy point for each 1% increase in taxes. In a game that starts with only 5000 Mc, this tactic gives you a substantial jump on the other races. This tactic is not so valuable if money is set to “very high” when the game is MASTERed.
The most overlooked advantage of the Feds by beginners is the Super Refit (HCONFIG). If the game is being played with more than 6 races active, the 500 ship limit can be used to the Feds advantage. Finding the planets with natives is also a key. If starting money is high, build no more than two Brynhilds to help locate native planets quicker. Use the money from taxes to build bases on the best planet of each cluster (bases only around 200 ly apart) and even on more than one planet in a cluster if minerals, money, or native race (Humanoid) warrants it. Besides gaining the desired production capability, a loaded base fights better than a Nova and so can be used for defense of key planets later in the game. Run up the hull tech on the base and build as many ships as possible, even if they only have tech one engines and weapons.
When the 500 ship limit is reached (usually around turn 50 with all eleven players), you can take all those worthless ships and refit them into a massively overpowering fleet (based on sheer numbers alone) while all the other races are struggling just to get a ship or two built! Use the starbase “dump old parts” (FC “dmp”) to reclaim the minerals from the useless parts. If you are building fast enough, then by turn 30, the Feds should have at least twice as many ships built as the nearest competitor (except maybe Lizards) and have more waiting in the ship building queues when the 500 ship limit is reached than anyone else.
Once the 500 ship limit has been reached, only attack in massive quantities on a single enemy at multiple points. Take the time to coordinate the attack. If you are going to free up the build queue, make sure it hurts the opponent by wiping out his entire front. A massive strike also allows many of your ships to take advantage of the Fed Crew Bonus where the ships will regenerate up to 25% of their shields (100% – damage% if more than 75% damaged) and a Fed ship will always fight with all the weapons the ship was built with. This is especially helpful if a slightly damaged or shield drained ship breaks through the defensive warships and then attacks several freighters before the planet is attacked. Your ship appears to heal itself for the final battle (asside from the loss of torpedos)!
After the massive strike, use your remaining ships to march into his territory while he is trying to rebuild his ships and get them to the front. Try to wipe the enemy out in this one massive blow. If you are stopped before you do serious damage, you may not get another chance. Each attack fleet should also contain at least one large freighter to gather minerals and money as you advance to try to build a base in what was once the enemies territory. Do not leave minerals and money laying around in case the enemy musters a charge against you. The base in enemy territory will not be used to build ships unless you are so lucky that you take one with 30,000 Mc on it. Instead it will be used to repair damaged warships and build fighters for Kittys. It also will be a defensive surprise if the enemy pulls a coup. Make sure some of your ships are carrying colonists so that the base is not easily taken by GA.
Use terraformers on native and mineral rich planets well inside your territory and use the Loki to protect them and important planets. When possible, team the Loki with a larger warship. Use the Nocturne to scope out planet expansion and follow up with a Nebula and later with a large freighter to insure starbase construction and enough clans to hold off Lizard GA.
Against all cloaking races, in addition to the Lokis, build many small minefields to trip up the enemy. Randomly laying and sweeping mines also makes it difficult for the enemy to sweep and may catch ships unexpectedly. Minefield management can get complex. Your best bet is to try to keep the edge of the minefield just out of range of the enemies beam weapons. As he tries to move closer, sweep up a few more. This makes him waste valuable time with his ships. If you see the enemy barrelling in, calculate a minefield just outside his sweep range and drop it. Even if he has his ships on sweep, they will miss sweeping the mines and he will fly into them.
If you have a warship that does not have Loki protection, keep it moving randomly in space. If you leave it in one spot or orbit a planet, it is food for the Privs and is also open to a varity of tow attacks. One way this can occur is to have a strategicaly placed ship towed away from the area it protects so that an attack can be made successfully. Another way is for one of a pair of ships that are meant to attack in formation against larger ships get picked apart and defeated one at a time when the tow ship drags them off to a pack of waiting enemy warships.
Against the “build in space” fighter races, never attack or allow your ships to be attacked unless you are sure you will destroy the carrier. You cannot easily bleed these carriers dry of fighters and they have large cargo areas to load supplies for repairs. You are better off retreating with as much money and supplies as you can carry and leaving small minefields in the enemies path to slow him down until you can bring in bigger guns. Sacrificing the planets without a fight may hurt, but it is worth doing. Don’t bother with mines against the Colonies.
If at all possible, team up with one of the major carrier races. Try to trade for an all tech one super carrier (don’t forget your Super Refit) so that you can clone it relatively cheaply. Even the Empire SSC and Liz Mad are extremely potent weapons in the hands of the Feds with Crew Bonus turned on because of the 3 bay advantage.
Fed Stratagies Against the Lizards
The Lizards are the only real thorn in the Fed side as cloakers go since the Lizard cloakers are imune to the Loki tacyon pulse. Take the battle to the Lizards or unite with them.
Mine the borders between the Feds and cloaking races, especially the Lizards. This is really your only defense against the Liz. Either strike a treaty early with the Lizards or go on an attack posture with them to throw them off and force them to build Rexs and Mads. If you let them build alot of Lizard Class Cruisers (LCC) and enter your space, they will take your planets by ground assault (GA), your mineral supply will screech to a halt, and you will be toast! If you can’t work an agreement with the Liz, try an agreement with the Fascists and trade for an all tech 1 D-19 GD ship that you can then clone and set at all your important planets. With an FC of “trg” and Primary Enemy set to Liz, and teamed with a larger warship this will effectively negate all Lizard advantages over you.
If you have been unable to obtain a GD, you will have to work hard to protect against Liz. Put at least 1500 clans (150,000 colonists) on important mineral and money planets and build the defense posts up as high as possible. As defense posts go up, the Liz GA ratio goes down. With no posts, each Liz clan will kill 30 of your clans. at 100 posts, this drops all the way down to 5 Fed clans for each Liz. This still means an LCC with no torps can kill 1450 of your clans using GA. Over protect your bases with clans. If a Liz finds a base, he may hit it with multiple LCC GAs at the same time.
Due to the risk of losing new bases to the Liz, it is recommended that the ship friendly codes (FC) not be set to the same value as the base planet or that the bases not be set to “Force Surrender” mission. It is more than disappointing to lose a base PLUS all the ships in orbit. It is also important that the planet FC not be set to ATT unless you have a strong warship in orbit capable of defeating what used to be your own base (better than letting the Liz have it, of course).
A Nova is a good ship against the Liz only if the E-S Bonus is OFF and you can select targets one at a time. It can beat both the Rex and the Mad, but cannot defeat a second one of either in the same turn. Due to the Novas high mineral cost, you are usually better off building Missys with E-S OFF and Thors with E-S ON and always expect to lose at least one. The Kitty is a serious threat to the Liz with E-S ON and will beat a Rex. It still needs to be fronted by a Diplo or Thor against the Mad if the Mad has more than 65 fighters on board. Also, the Kitty is an expensive ship in Mc for the Feds. Only build them if teamed with a fighter race that can pass you fighters or if you are rich on cash.
If you build the Novas and Missys, beware of the tow attack. Suppose you have enough clans on an important planet that you are not worried about GA and you have a Nova in orbit to protect against direct assault and you have a Loki to trash cloakers from races other than the Liz. The Liz can still come in to the planet with a cloaked ship, set their ship to tow your Nova, Missy, Thor, or Kitty into space to a pack of waiting Rexs or Mads, and take out your ships one at a time. Scratch one warship and the ability to protect the planet from direct assault for at least one turn.
Fed Stratagies Against the Birds
Build Lokis and escort them with Novas, Missys, Kittys, Diplos, or Thors. Protect all important planets with the escorted Lokis. Build small minefields to catch the Bird unexpectedly. Protect planets that control minefield friendly codes with Lokis and Thors or Novas. The Birds are not a serious threat to the Feds unless you are careless.
Sometimes it is wise to risk serious loss in the hopes of major gain. If you have been unable to trade for a cloaking ship, risk a Diplo, Missy, or Nova with either low tech (mark 4 or lower torps) and Disruptors or Heavy Disruptors (depending on what power of ship you expect, Swifts and Brights can’t take much of a beating), or Heavy Phasers and Gamma bombs. Try simming some battles to see what combination works well for the ship you hope to catch. I would recommend trying a Diplo with Mark 2 Torps and Disruptors. Of course, if the Birds fly in with a Dark, your major ship will be toast! But with Super Refit, you can always change your mind and reconfigure the ship for standard destructive warfare.
Fed Stratagies Against the Fascists
Same as for the Birds except that you do not have to be so careful about escorting the Lokis. Beware of the dreaded Glory Device (GD) though. You are better off sticking with Missys and some Novas against the Fascists. Do not keep all your ships lumped together in one spot to prevent damage to many of them from a single GD. Put enough supplies on the ships to repair damage as though they had sustained a pair of minehits. The repair will occur after the GD pops and before battle.
Supplies do not help any of the Fed ships with a mass less than 100 (they are already gone) or any ship smaller than the mass of the Nebula if a pair of GDs are used. It is enough to make you cry when your fleet of 4 Thors and 2 fully loaded Kittys evaporates from a pair of level six shockwaves from 2 wimpy Fascist D-19s. Protect your borders with Missys to prevent the GD ships from getting into your territory. A GD pop over your planets kills massive amounts of your population. Also, since the GD pop occurs before battle, you must be sure to start an intercept mission on the GD ship while it is still more than 84 ly away from critical planets. Protect your intercept ships with a Loki as well. The Fascists may use a cloaked ship to tow your interceptor out of range and prevent you from stopping a GD attack on a base. Watch out if the Fascist teams up with the Privs or captures a Meteor!
When on the offensive, stick with Missys and Novas with supplies on board. Try not to be obvious about what planets you intend to strike, that way the Fascists have to put decent engines on the GD ships so that they can intercept pop on you instead of using tech 1 engines so that they do not lose much cash. Every time the Fascists miss guess your plans, they stand to lose at least one GD ship for no gain and perhaps have to repair some of their own ships as well.
If you capture or trade for a cloaker, clone it and cloak-intercept attack the GD ships. If you do not think the Fascists know you have cloakers, you can use them to gather intel on the location of the GD ships. Then fly in with your attack ships in an apparent strike, and just before they get within range of the target planet with the GD ships, make them come up short on the planet by 83 or 84 ly and to see if the Fascists will attempt an intercept pop. You can then pause one turn to see if the Fascists can be baited into a planet pop without you there. If they do not take the bait, you can always go back and use the cloak-intercept, but there is a high probability that the Fascists will fall for the ploy unless they have enough Vickys at the planet to stop your invasion fleet because any cloaker with just Mark 4 torps can beat the GD ships.
Since the Fascist will probably use the FC “trg” to set off the GD as soon as he realizes that you have cloakers, you can occasionally use the GD against him. If you know a planet is a build up point for the Fascist invasion fleet and you have a cloaker, fly there. You will either get to see the Fascist fleet strength, or you will do 10-20% of one mine hit damage to all his ships when his GD ship blows you and itself up! There are unconfimed reports that messages about which ships were hit by the shock wave get sent out as a universal distress call. Suddenly all the races may know how much power the Fascists have on a particular planet! A serious disadvantage in the early game when secrecy and stealth are extremely important.
Fed Stratagies Against the Privateers
The Privs are no match for the Feds. Protect all front line and close planets with Lokis and mines. Protect all important planets with Lokis. Tow or fly Lokis in your attack convoy to wipe out the Privs, but tow a spare or two with no fuel on them to prevent them getting destroyed by cloak-intercept attacks. The Lokis WILL be a target. Try shifting which Lokis are being towed with no fuel and which are protecting the fleet. This will force the Privs to commit 2 MBRs for each Loki in the fleet every turn just to be certain to kill one! He must kill them too, he is dead against the Nova, Missy, Thor, Diplo, Nebula, and Kitty with everything except a Bloodfang, and it is none to tough!
Your primary goal against the Privs will be to locate his bases, take them out, and drain him of cash. Minerals are not much of a problem for the Privs, so focusing on holding native planets that you have taken from him is important. Finding his homeworlds and wiping out his large colonist base will go a long way toward permanently disabling the Privs.
Be careful of forcing the Privs to team up with Fascists, Lizards, or heavy carrier/fighter races. If they do, you must mine ever more diligently to prevent surprise attacks from heavy warships well behind the front lines.
Fed Stratagies Against the Borg
Try to hit the Borg early in the game and wipe him out. The Borg must get to tech 10 hull and do not fair well in the early game when minerals and money are tight. If you cannot strike early, build those ships and hog the 500 ship limit to slow his production of the dreaded Bio cube. A massive coordinated attack of Arks or Diplos against multiple Borg worlds also works well. The Arks and Diplos can easily take out FireClouds and most Borg planets and the Bios cannot chunnel in to every planet you attack all at once. Deny the Borg minerals and you win. Take his planets after he has assimulated all the natives and you win. Let him chunnel attack multiple loaded Bios into your territory and you lose!
When attacking a Bio, Use a Thor-Thor-Kitty combo to kill it. Use a Thor-Kitty combo to beat the Annihalation, but you won’t see many of these. The Bio is the Borg bread and butter. Don’t forget the Borg fighters cost him as much as yours cost you. Normally the Borg will bring a FireCloud along so that more fighters can be chunneled in if needed. Target the FireCloud and deny him replenishment.
Never let FireClouds travel freely in your space. Attack them whenever possible and put minefields in their path. 3 Bios surprise attacking your bases is not pleasant or pretty from the Fed point of view.
If you team up with the Borg, trade for a tech one FireCloud and clone it galore. You can even more effectively use your money and fuel by only raising your bases hull tech to 10 and then chunneling all the tech one ships to just a few other bases that are all tech 10. You can also send along a freighter with excess minerals to ease the burden on the tech 10 bases. Then turn around and chunnel the ships to the front. This scenario is truly fun to play!
Fed Stratagies Against the Crystals
Use Diplos and Missys to sweep their mines. The Arkham is vulnerable to an expanding web field and its small tanks cannot let it last for long before it is drained. The Diplo and Missy are also likely to damaging or maybe even destroy a Diamond, depending on each ships weapon configuration. Traveling in pairs, Diplos can take out a Diamond and are even money against a Thunder.
Do not let any Crystal torp ships into your territory. If you see one coming, set all your ships to mine sweep and try to jump and kill the ship before it lays its mines. To win, the Feds must get a fast jump on colonizing and bases. A web minefield can severly limit growth in the early phases of a game while you scramble to build ships to sweep the mines away.
Fed Stratagies Against the Empire
Use the Thor, Diplo, and Kitty against the Gorbie. A Nova can defeat an SSC with around 10-60% damage, but it will not usually defeat a second one, so it is a mineral risk. The Missouri tends to do no better against the fighters than a Diplo and does worse than a Thor.
Never let an SSD approach your worlds. With only 10 clans, the SSD can take over any planet and capture any orbiting base. If you see an SSD approaching, go out of your way to kill it. A Thor is just about even money for beating it. A Diplo will probably lose, but damage it heavily. A Missy is no better than a Thor unless the SSD is low on fighters and a Diplo is nearly as good in that case.
The Empire is a good race to team up with. If you can get them to build you an all tech one SSC, you can clone it (moly hurts a bit) and then SR it. With 8 beams and effectively 7 bays and 110 fighters, this is a killer ship in Fed hands. Your torp ships also complement the Empires fighter ships nicely making trade easier.
Don’t forget the Empire Dark sense either. If the Empire decides to strike, they will probably know exactly which planets to hit to hurt you the most. On the flip side, it is great to get info from them on where to hit the other races.
Fed Stratagies Against the Robots
Diplo-Diplo-Kitty against the Automa and Golem since the Diplo can mine sweep better than a Thor, so is a better multipurpose ship. If you are money rich, a Kitty alone makes for an interesting battle against an ICB, but the Kitty is likely to lose. Attack first with a Nocturne or an Ark fitted with Mark 4s though and the Kitty is the clincher. A Nova by itself with Mark 7s will defeat the ICB, but the Nova should run from the bigger Bot ships unless the attack begins with a pair of Thors and there is only one heavy carrier.
Try to take out Cats whenever you see them. It is the only torpedo ship the Robots can build on their own, and you may stop one of those horrible 150 ly minefields.
Fed Stratagies Against the Rebels
Thor-Thor-Kitty against the Rush. Keep Noturnes or Lokis at as many planets as possible to prevent the nasty Falcon HYP Rebel Ground Assault (RGA). The RGA can make mincemeat out of your carefully organized universe if your planets and especially bases are not protected by a ship.
Fed Stratagies Against the Colonies
Thor-Thor-Kitty against a BattleStar. Don’t bother with mines, they will not last long and will just be a waste of money and minerals. This is a good race to team up with due to their cheap fighters, large carrier, and variety of fuel gathering/converting ships. For exchange, you have some nice torp ships, a medium fighter carrier, a de-cloaker, and the terraformers.