Thinking about Speed

This article could end quickly. Fireclouds can open wormholes and travel unlimited distances in one turn, Probes and Falcons can do a 340-360 lightyear hyperjump, and ships with gravitonic accelerators can travel double their warp distance in one turn. And the rest? Well… They are stuck to warp 9 if you equip them with Transwarp Drives. They can only travel 81.5 lightyears in one turn and that’s it. Topic finished?

Not yet. There are other aspects about speed to put into consideration when it comes to ships with ‘normal’ transwarp engine technology. Obviously the fastest way to reach a destination point is a direct line when you are travelling with a fix distance per turn.
But there are often situations, where a ship could reach a planet within three turns, but will have to travel a longer distance, loosing one turn of movement. Reasons for that can be: Your ship needs to stay hidden and hops from planet to planet. This is a typical behaviour for freighters in the early game. Or you don’t want to let your opponent know, which fleets you have moving along the front line.
The second reason for not travelling in a straight line is a limited range of the specific ship class or a high fuel consumption. Especially carriers and battleships are thirsty monsters that often have to stop at a certain planet to refuel on their way to the front line.
The third reason are minefields and strategic moves in battle situations. Of course.

Now there are ships that can travel at higher average speeds than others. These usually are ships with cloaking devices and ships with a very high range. Not only that cloaked ships can intrude space where other ships can’t go, they also hide the position of the own worlds while travelling non-stop from A to B. Resolute or Lizard Class Cruisers are a good example of ships that miraculously can show up in your territory even before turn 10, long before the first enemy battleship or carrier would dare to leave a planet’s shadow.
An example for a fast and vivid non-cloaking ship are the Medium Deep Space Freighter and the Emerald Class Battlecruiser (not to mention the Cobol Class Research Cruiser). Their specifications vary but they both have two things in common, namely a huge fuel tank (compared to their overall mass) and no natural enemy. The Emerald is one of the strongest cruisers in the game and will trap any ship coming too close in webmines, while the MDSF is simply too small that anyone would care.
But if they have to face emergency situations, both are really hard to intercept and usually will outrun any other ship due to their incredible range.

At the end of the day the term ‘fast’ may not apply when it comes to discussing ships with the same engine technology, but it certainly is worth comparing the ship histories in your mid and late games to see which ships have travelled which distances in the last 20 turns.

written by: Thin

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thin

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 Planets.nu in which he finished ranking second.

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