Juniper's Guide to Klingons - Revised 5/29/1998
I have read through most of the material that has been written on playing the Fascist or Klingon race. I have also searched the alt.games.vga-planets newsgroup for information on the Fascists. What I have found, I have found lacking. Many folks have misconceptions on how to play the Fascists, how glory devices function, what to do with pillage, how to attack and how to respond to attacks, what strategies and tactics work best, the list goes on.
I have therefore decided to compile the information that I have learned by experience and through the small amount of truly valuable material I could find. I am presenting this to you for your enjoyment and to help you with ideas on how to be successful should you find yourself at the helm of a Klingon warship. All the material in this guide is being presented as though it is fact. If I get feedback that any of it is incorrect I will verify and make changes where necessary. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Note that all information here is only for host 3.20 and above. I am currently in games where 3.22 is used...)
What is the device? The device is a ship ability where the ship may self-destruct, inflicting damage to all ships at that location and some damage to a planet, if it is orbiting the planet at the time it is used. It is used in 3 ways:
5/29/1998 revision note: For the first 2 cases above, the ships do NOT need to have fuel. In the 3rd case they do need fuel because fuelless ships will have their mission reset. This information was given to me by, the ROBO player, Fester and I have verified it in simulations.
What happens when it explodes? All ships at the location of the exploding ship, and of the same race as that of the exploding ship will receive 10% of a mine hit of damage if a Saber is used, or 20% of a mine hit of damage if a Nefarious is used. All other ships at that location will receive 1 mine hit of damage. The only exception to this is if the owning race of the Glory Device is NOT Fascist and a Fascist ship is at the location. In that case, the owning race will still take the lower percent damage as will all Fascist ships at that location. For this reason, if one is allied with the Fascists and is involved in a cooperative attack, utilizing Glory Devices, those Devices are best placed in the hands of the Ally and not the Fascist player.
Important to note here, and contrary to what some have written, there is a supply/repair phase after the Glory Device Explodes and before Combat begins. This is very important to note. If you are using Nefarious and Vicki's always keep 20 supplies onboard the Vicki for each Nefarious you intend to "pop". Why 20? Because, a 20% mine hit damage on a Vicki happens to be 4% damage. ( Formula: Damage per mine hit = 10000 / hull mass, which for a Victorious Battleship is 20 percent of 10000/451, which rounds to 4% ), and 20 supplies will heal the 4% damage. This is very important if you want to start combat with torps loaded and shields full!
While I will get into tactics later, anyone who pilots a Vicki without a pop-ship in tow is not using their forces to their maximum advantage.
Glory Devices which explode over a planets surface can do damage to the inhabitants of that planet. Amorphous worms are ALL KILLED if a Glory Device explodes in their planet's orbit. In addition, for each million worms that were on the planet you will find 1000 supplies laying on the surface of the planet. Useful for quick cash! (Keep a ship with colonists near, more than once I have done this with no colonists to take the planet, any idea how hard it is to beam up 8000 supplies with a Vicki? Much better to have a colonist to drop so you can convert to cash for transport!)
The Glory device is supposed to do damage to a planet's population and structures, as well. I have only seen it documented how much damage in one note on the alt.games.vga-planets news group and this is what was posted. This I have not verified! (If you have updated or more accurate information please let me know and I will make the change here. )
I haven't seen any exact specifics on what a glory device will do to an enemy planet, so I ran a sim. Hope this is of some use.
1 glory device will do:
For multiple glory devices going off at the same time, the results are multiplicative. Use the % remain to calculate this. For example, three glory devices will leave 41% (=.75*.75*.75) of original mines, factories, and defense posts and 22% (=.6*.6*.6) of population.
As I said, this has not been verified by me. However, Bovinoids, Silicon and Reptiles are unaffected by the Glory Device. In addition, it appears as though a Glory Device set off over your own planet will have no effect on the planet. I was surprised at this the first time I defended a planet this way, but, I found no ill effects due to the explosion.
5/29/1998 Revision note: I have removed the comparison to RGA. It was pointed out and I must agree that the two missions are quite different in nature and should each be considered on their own merits and not compared. I have also revised some of the pillaging information as it relates to poor government planets.
This mission is a useful addition to the Fascists arsenal. Pillage is a race advantage. It allows a ship to kill natives and clans on a planet and also provides income from the attack. The attack will kill 20% of the natives and 20 percent of the colonists and create 100 supplies and 100 MCR from every million natives. It will also beam up the all the megacredits from the planet, not just those created by the pillage, plus the supplies created through pillage to the pillaging ship. Any supplies that cannot fit on the ship will be converted to megacredits and then beamed aboard. This much is in the documentation. In addition, any planet without colonists cannot be pillaged. If a planet has colonists, then it can be pillaged. This is true if it is that of an enemy, that of an ally or your own. All the same things will happen; natives and colonists will die and megacredits and supplies will be beamed aboard the pillaging vessel. Now if there are no colonists on a planet you can drop as little as 1 colonist on the planet and pillage on the same turn. This will kill off your 1 colonist, 20% of the natives, and will provide you with some 100 supplies and 100 megacredits for each million natives on the planet.
Can you pillage and attack a planet on the same turn with the PE set for the owning race of that planet? Yes you can and 1 of two things will happen: Either the planet will destroy your ship (or an enemy ship in orbit), or you will take the planet and then pillage your 1 clan on the planet away and the planet will become unowned. In addition, you can drop just 1 colonist on an amorph planet and pillage. The pillage mission will happen before the amorphous worms eat your clan. This brings up the question as to whether it is better to pillage repeatedly or to use a Glory Device to take out all amorphous worms at once. There has been a LOT of discussion on this. For me, I would pop the planet with the cheapest Glory Device ship I have, and then drop 100 colonists and build 100 Factories, and mines if there is good minerals. This will supply me with 100 supplies per turn for the rest of the game, minerals if the planet had good minerals, and allow the opportunity for new natives to appear (if that option is enabled).
Now how useful is self-pillage? Self-pillage is not bad with the D7 and early colonization. You can put 100 colonists on a ship, go to a planet with natives, drop 20 colonists and pillage. You can then drop the colonists, cash and the 20 supplies, that were beamed to your ship, to build factories. Self-pillaging can also be very useful on poor government planets where even heavy taxing will yield you only small cash amounts. On these planets it may be well worth pillaging for thousands of megacredits of cash which you can transport to your bases for ship production.
A good strategy when attacking enemy planets is to send in your war fleet with the ship's mission set to pillage and no PE set for the first round of attack. The initial pillage of an enemy planet can often yield an extraordinary amount of funds.
The best use of pillage is when you find a computer controlled or dead race's base, when they cannot fight off the pillaging ship. In this case, you pillage the colonists to a point that you can drop from your pillaging ship or a large freighter enough colonists to take the planet and base intact. The other case is similar, when you find a base owned by another race; but, either isolated from his ships or his ships just cannot defend. This most frequently happens either very early in the game, if you can hit his HW when he only has freighters or weaker ships than yours, or later in the game when your opponent is on his last leg. Pillage at that point, and they will not be able to build ships of any consequence with the shortage of cash.
A side note. If the host has disabled the option where planets cannot attack Fascist ships, then pillage is worth a LOT less.
If the option that Planets can attack Fascist ships is turned on then the pillage mission is not as great, neither are colonist drops, which will be discussed next. I will not say that you should avoid playing the Fascists when planets can attack Fascist ships. However, the Fascists are quite a bit weaker if Planets can NUK or ATT its ships. There are a lot of great things the Fascist can do with this option set to "N". One, the Fascist can pillage an enemy planet or base to death if the enemy cannot bring a ship to bear to stop it, no matter how strong the planet or base is. It also allows your large freighter to orbit that base and drop colonists after a bunch of pillaging to take the base. This takes a LOT of pillaging if it is a HW; but, it is still doable with a dead race. I have done it and picked up a 200 def / 60 fighter base this way before from a computer played Empire player.
The Fascists are usually given some edge in their ground assault and in their planetary defense. I find this advantage to be quite nice and while not nearly as great an advantage as the Lizards it is still a very nice bonus. A D7 with 100 colonists onboard can usually figure on a 3:1 advantage at most planets where defense posts have bought, a couple shots taking out 300 colonists (on planet) and that planet can be taken quite nicely. In addition, as mentioned earlier, when planets cannot attack Fascist Ships it allows the Fascist to move large amounts of colonists into enemy planet's orbit safely, when no defending ships are present. 1200 colonists, even at a planet with decent defense posts will take a planet with less than 3000 colonists on it. How many planets except for ones own homeworld are usually occupied by that many colonists? Secondary bases can be taken over in this way.
The Defense Ratio is most useful also, it allows one to hold planets against enemy colonist drops much easier.
This is a review of the Fascist Ships. These ships have been documented in many places and evaluated there as well. However, since no document on the Fascists would be complete without a discussion of the ships I have decided to include them here.
Small Deep Space Freighter - The only time I have one of these is when the host starts me with one or if I am trying to fill the ship queue. As the Fascists, with the cash usually available, the ship queue can be filled with far more useful ships.
D7a Painmaker Class Cruiser - This ship has 2 beams. It has 120 cargo. I suppose it could be used for early colonization if the host starts you with no cash, or as an escort. I don't build this ship.
Little Pest class Escort - This ship has 6 beams. With any other race it would not be a bad ship for sweeping mines. I do not build this as the Fascist either.
Neutronic Fuel Carrier - This ship can be useful. I often find myself strapped for fuel and this ship will do the trick. It is also nice for moving cash around from planet to planet without using much fuel.
Medium Freighter - I only build this ship in games with Starbase Plus if I plan on hauling around components. You (usually) cannot tow with it. With the cash the Fascist has at his disposal and the relatively inexpensive ships you might as well build large freighter.
D7 Coldpain Class Cruiser - This ship is so useful that I cannot say enough about it. It has 4 beams 2 torpedo bays and it cloaks. It is used in the same way that the Lizards use the LCC. It is great for colonist drops and has a fuel tank of 430. It is your infiltrator ship and the ship you use to explore, undetected, those planets that are over 81 ly's away. This is the ship that you use to go to an enemy planet and tow away the large carrier to a place where you have waiting Victorious Class Battleships and pop ships. I will discuss that later when we get to tactics.
Small Transport - I would not build this ship.
Ill Wind Battle Cruiser - This ship has a decent hull, 10 beams and 2 torp bays. I have seen this ship much over heralded in other articles. It may serve as a good lead ship into a battle with a carrier. It will beat up most ships of similar size. However, with only 2 torp bays and the relatively inexpensive cost of the Victorious, and with the cash that the Fascist has at his disposal. I usually only build a few of these for the little battles early in the game. Later in the game they are armed transports with the 260 cargo space and the 480 fuel tanks.
D3 Thorn Class Destroyer - 2 beams 4 torp bays small fuel tanks almost no cargo space it cloaks. Don’t build this ship build D7 or Deth Specula instead.
Valiant Wind class carrier - I only build this ship if someone has changed the host settings to give free fighters to the Fascist. In that case, once a base fills up with fighters, you have something to cart them to other bases that are less well protected.
Deth Specula Class Frigate - 6 beams 4 torp bays small fuel tank almost no cargo space and it cloaks. I even resist building this ship. It is almost toast if it hits a mine. Its runs out of torps easily. It is only good for local protection and for exploration paired with one or more D7's carrying fuel and extra torps of the same type as the Deth Specula. I do not build many of these.
D19b Nefarious Class Destroyer - Build this ship whenever you cannot afford to build the Saber Class Frigate. As soon as you get secondary bases built, that don't have the minerals or dollars to produce Victorious Battleships, build either this ship or the Saber. I would build them with x-rays or lasers and Quantum drive 7 engines or Star Drive 1 engines.
Saber Class Frigate - It has been suggested with its 10 beams to let it lead attacks against carriers. I don't do it. This is your key glory device ship. It should be built in numbers along with the Nefarious at any base that cannot pump out Victorious. Again, build it with X-rays or Lasers and either Quantum Drive 7 or Super Star Drive 1 engines. The quantum drive 7 engines are fine for overdriving to warp 9 to intercept ships within 81 ly's to pop there. The Super Star 1 drives are to sit over planets and wait for cloakers or to tow into battle.
Large Freighter - This ship is your chief freighter. Build as many of these as necessary to maintain minerals at your bases and to move colonists to new colonies. They also can be used to drop colonists on undefended enemy planets.
Neutronic Refinery - Build these only if you have lots of extra minerals and have no fuel. Otherwise, ship the fuel in with the Fuel carriers.
Victorious Class Battleships - 10 beams 6 torp bays and a very nice hull. This ship is cheap to build both in minerals and in cash, has decent fuel and cargo space for its purposes. I usually carry 40 torps and as many supplies as I think I will need to repair damage from glory devices. This is your chief ship to take into battle and fights quite well. In general build these with Transwarp drives, MK7 torpedo bays, and either disrupters or heavy phasers.
Super Freighter - I build only few of these. They are to move minerals around and to build Jumpgates with. I suppose that they can also be used to drop LOTS of colonists on undefended enemy bases also. I have not had the opportunity to do this with these ships.
Merlin Class Alchemy Ship - If ship alchemy is turned on, build these if you have mineral problems.
If you have been reading this document sequentially you have probably been wondering why I have taken so long to get to tactics, strategy or even to say anything about how playable the Fascists are as a race. The truth is, until all the misconceptions are wiped away and all their weapons are clearly explained, it is hard to discuss their capabilities. You will note that I am still going to hold off evaluation, for now, as well as strategy. I intend to discuss in this section only military tactics.
Tow and Kill - A favorite tactic is to send out one or more D7's in to enemy territory with plenty of fuel and 100 colonists. They need no supplies, (pillage mission will get supplies for colonists if needed). Have Victorious battleships each equipped with 60 supplies, 40 torps and plenty of fuel towing Nefarious or Sabers. These Victorious with Glories in tow should probably travel in groups of three, though 2 will do in a pinch. Keep these ships within 160 ly's of the D7. This is so you can tow the target enemy ship to a location that the Victorious can reach in 1 move. You can tow a Virgo to two Victorious Battleships and pop the two glory devices. The First Vicki will be destroyed the second will kill the Virgo. Or if you use three glory devices, you will often not even lose the Victorious. (You will however, have to find a way to heal the D7 you damaged in this attack).
Sneak and Drop - Again, the D7 is the ship of choice. Enter enemy territory with a D7 with 100 colonists aboard and drop a clan on all planets that the enemy has one clan on to take those planets or drop the 100 clans on any planet he has less than 300 colonists on to take those planets. You may consider having a new supply of colonists nearby on a planet or in an LSDF for refills.
Sit and wait - This is used against cloakers. Move at least one Nefarious or Saber to your border planets. Just leave it there with Friendly code set to "trg" and its mission set to kill. This is best done if the planet has only colonized friendly planets within 84 lys and gaps of space from other planets so you can see non-cloaking ships coming…
Tow and Drop - This is most useful if you are around many of the enemy planets with D7's and know where most or all of the enemy ships are. You tow away from the planet you want to take all ships that are guarding the planet, (hopefully to Victorious battleships teamed with Glories), while you tow to the planet a large Freighter packed with colonists. The next turn you drop the colonists and leave (or stay if you think you can hold the planet with ships).
Tow and Drop #2 - This makes use of the fact that planets cannot attack Fascist ships - again if that option is not on you cannot do this maneuver. Tow a cloaked D7 into a planetary grav well with an LSDF loaded with colonists. Tow it such that the LSDF runs out of fuel inside the Grav well. There is some rounding done with the host when it runs so make SURE that it will run out of fuel. (i.e. if it takes 58 fuel to get the LSDF "towing the cloaked D7" to 3 ly from the planet, move deeper into the grav well until it says you need 59 fuel and make that your way point. Transfer all fuel except for the fuel needed to the D7 or to other ships, or space the extra fuel. Make sure if you Space the fuel that you recheck the calculations.) What will happen is the Grav well will take your ships the rest of the way to the planet and they will arrive there with the LSDF empty of fuel and the D7 cloaked. Any ships in orbit cannot attack the empty LSDF nor can they attack the cloaked D7. Next turn transfer at least 1 fuel to the LSDF and drop all colonists while the D7 tows the LSDF to safety.
Many variations on these themes are possible. All include D7's as the infiltrators, with Victorious Battleships not far behind towing Glory ships and Freighters for additional colonists. Please send in other nifty strategies. Note: in the above example the Grav well option must be turned on. The strategies may need to be refined based on the particular situation! If your battles involve enemy cloakers you may want to begin with the D7's and overdrive the Quantum drive 7 Glories to the planets you suspect to have cloakers at them first. Or if you run into a planet where you know you will kill a bunch of ships just pop the Quantum drive 7 there. I know of a case where in order to fill the ship queue one player kept building small freighters. He must have had more than 10 at each of his bases. One ship popped there will take them all out no matter how tough the defending ship is, and damage the defender in the process.
The Fascist is probably the most versatile race in the galaxy. I found this little bit written by a player that I respect a lot and really must include it here:
The Fascists when played correctly are an extremely brutal and efficient race. They can deal with ANY threat in the game. Thru correct ship to ship tactics and prodigious use of both the pillage, cloaks and glories, the fascists can be a real terror. Toss in a few pop ships into a combat and see what you can do with Vickies when every defender is damaged!
That fascist fleet "appears" to be undergunned...but it is far from that when you toss in the glories.
Application is the trick!
B A N E
The Fascist, in order to be successful needs information. If he has enough Victorious Battleships and enough Glory devices and enough information he can both defend his territory fiercely and invade enemies successfully. Utilize Glory Ships to the max. They are your main weapon. Used in packs they are devastating.
Now, lets talk about trading lots of ships for few ships. Most races cannot get away with this. Why? Well, most races do not get priority points for the ships that it loses. If you go into battle with 2 Victorious Battleships and 2 glory devices against a Virgo, and you pop two ships you will usually lose a Victorious and the enemy loses 1 Virgo. How can this possibly be good for you? Well, first it is obvious that the Virgo would take out several Victorious without the help of the glory device and the Virgo would still live against 2 Victorious so that is clearly worse. However, with the glory devices, what happens after the battle? The enemy gets 5 priority build points from the Vicki, you get 7 from the Virgo, plus 2 for the two pop ships. This means you get 9 priority build points and he only gets 5. These are used to build ships after the ship limit is reached. Before the ship limit is reached you can outbuild him because of the inexpensive nature of your ships and because you are building stripped down glory ships that cost about 300 MCR and almost no minerals. After the 500 ship limit you should be able to keep up with your opponents because you have more priority build points and because your ships cost you less priority build points to build them. In order to maximize your builds you will have to make judicious use of the ship queue and the planetary PBx friendly codes.
For a full discussion on how priority build points can be used, you will need to go to the elite site: http://www.chem.vu.nl/Studenten/kreike/vgapqueue.html
The fascist is probably the best prepared race to fight against any other race in the game. They have good defense against cloakers, improved defense against ground assult, and with the glory devices Vicki's can take out Large Carriers in many situations. Glory devices can alone take out whole fleets if the opponent is caught unawares or is incompetent. Try popping 2 glory devices at a Fed planet with a bunch of Kittyhawks and Thor's …
Now, I have heard it said that the Fascist cannot be a diplomat and that he has to be a loner, remaining sneaky and evil throughout the game. This is not the case. As with any race in the game, allies and diplomacy will almost always determine the game's winner amongst a field of players that are of approximate even caliber.
I would definitely use diplomacy and trade your useful ships to others for ships of theirs you desire. Do not be too afraid to trade off the Glory ships, as long as you get what you want in return. Make sure that it is special though. Don't forget that no matter who sets off the glory device the Fascists are only minimally affected by them.
The trick is to expand swiftly but, stealthily. Get a couple bases up to the point where they can produce Victorious battleships. I would build 4 types. Build them with lasers or x-rays and MK7's for battles with carriers that will be popped. Build them with Heavy Phasers and MK7's for sweeping mines and going into battle. Build them with Disrupters and MK7's - If I am not planning on them sweeping and I can afford more than X-rays or lasers then I build these. Build them with blasters and MK4's - this last group I only build early in the game if I cannot afford to build the MK7's. They can still take out many ships and can be that lead ship into the Virgo that you only had two glories convenient to pop him with, the second one will still take it out at that point.
The Fascists are the only race other than the Empire that I would build a base on any planet. Get the hulls up to tech 6 and everything else at tech 1 (or engines up to 6 or 7 ) and constantly churn out either a Nefarious or a Saber. Keep these ships coming. Build one at as many planets as you can. A Victorious should stop by one of these planets to pick up his Glory device. I think of them as a 1 use super torp. Don't worry about filling up the ship queue. Used judiciously you will have about the same number of ships as everyone else, you will just have lots more priority build points.
Drag one or more of these ships to perimeter planets. If you are fighting a privateer only trigger 1 of these ships as it will kill his cloakers, then if popped trigger the next one. Since you will be carrying these ships into battle and leaving them at planets to ward off cloakers, you can see the need for many of them.
The Fascists are a formidable race. They have very few weaknesses that cannot be overcome with his race and ship advantages. I find it one of the most flexible and fun races to play. It is probably the second most difficult race to play. I would be very hesitant to recommend it to a new player. The only race that I have found whose turns take longer to plot and whose maneuvers have to be calculated as far in advance are the Privateers. Plan on spending quite a bit of time plotting moves if you want to be successful with the Fascists. I would not recommend any more than a 3x per week game, 2x might even be better. If you can find out who is around you early and establish a strong alliance I think that you have a better shot at winning the game than a lot of the other races.