Capturing Ships (SEIV)

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FAQ for SEIV

Discounting diplomatic exchanges, there are three methods of seizing an enemy ship or base. Fighters and other units cannot be captured.

Boarding parties

You can capture enemy ships by equipping your ships with boarding parties. First you must first research "Military Science" and "Ship capture" to gain access to the requisite technology. You can now add the "Boarding Parties" component to your ship designs. To use the component, the attacking ship and the target must be in adjacent squares on the combat map, and the target must have no shields remaining. If playing tactically, the attacking player must select the ship and give the order to attempt boarding. If the boarding ship is under strategic control and the ship is operating under a strategy of "capture enemy ships", the game will make a boarding attempt for you. Note that the game will quite happily make boarding attempts on ships with self-destruct devices.

In boarding combat, the attacking ship will then drop its own shields, and its boarding party components will be destroyed. Then the game will compare the attackers' boarding strength (see "Boarding Strengths and Security Strengths" below) with the defenders security strength (see "Boarding Strengths and Security Strengths" below) and the ship with the higher value wins. No other factors are taken into consideration during this calculation - ship size, ecm, sensors, experience, troops in cargo and so on are all completely ignored. Note also that multiple boarding ships may NOT combine their boarding parties to take on heavily-defended targets: Boarding is strictly a one-ship vs one-ship affair.

If the boarding attempt is unsuccessful, combat continues as usual with both ships under the control of their original owners. The boarding ship will have lost its shields and boarding components.

If the boarding attempt is successful, the game checks for a self-destruct device on the captured ship. If it is present and undamaged, both ships will be utterly destroyed. It is worthy of note that a single escort with a few boarding components can completely obliterate a SDD-equipped dreadnought if it can just close to boarding range when the enemy's shields are down. For this reason it's often worth adding small boarding ships to any fleet, just on the off-chance that you will score a cheap kill (or capture) on an enemy craft. If there is no SDD, any components involved in boarding defence on the captured ship (security stations, boarding parties, crew quarters) will be be destroyed, and the ship transferred immediately to the attacker's control. However, it will be subject to a weapons disruption of ten combat turns (the ten-turns value can be modified in settings.txt). The newly-captured ship cannot fire during this time. Any previous load time on the weapon (from firing before capture) is added to this.


Boarding Strengths and Security Strengths

In the unmodded game, the stregth of the various boarding components are as follows:

  • Boarding Party I: 20
  • Boarding Party II: 40
  • Boarding Party III: 60
  • Boarding Party IV: 80
  • Boarding Party V: 100

The following components will defend against boarders with these values:

  • Boarding Party I: 20
  • Boarding Party II: 40
  • Boarding Party III: 60
  • Boarding Party IV: 80
  • Boarding Party V: 100
  • Security Station I: 60
  • Security Station II: 100
  • Security Station III: 140
  • Security Station IV: 180
  • Security Station V: 220
  • Crew quarters : 16

As you can see, boarding parties can be used for defence as well as offence.

Note that mods may alter these values and/or give boarding and security points to other components. Note also that master computers offer no protection whatsoever against boarding parties.

Notes on Boarding ship design

  • Since shields must be lowered to use Boarding Parties (and they don't come back up unless you have shield regenerators), armor is a better choice on BP ships.
  • Also consider use of shield depleting weapons on BP Ships.
  • Make sure boarding ships have the strategy of "capture ships" for the ship to properly execute a capture in strategic combat. If they are operating in a fleet, and the fleet strategy is something other than "capture enemy ships", it is wise to have your boarding ships break formation.

Allegience Subverter

If you start with the Psychic trait, you can research the Allegience Subverter, which is a weapon that has a chance of converting the crew of an enemy ship to your side. The allegiance converter is a direct fire weapon, subject to the same hit/miss modifiers as any other. If it misses, obviously, it will not convert the other ship. However even if it hits, there is still a chance that the crew will resist conversion. The "damage" specified in the component reoport is in fact the chance of a successful hit converting the enemy. It is possible to push this percentage up to 100 using mounts. If the target ship has a Master computer instead of a crew it is immune to this weapon. In earlier versions of SEIV (up to 1.78), destroying the master computer (by means of a computer virus, for example) made the ship vulnerable to allegiance converters. Self Destruct Devices are not triggered by allegiance converters, but ships captured in this manner are subject to the weapons disruption like those captured by boarding parties.

Crew Insurrection

The third method of ship capture is the level 2 intelligence project called Crew Insurrection, where you plant a spy on the enemy ship and attempt to convince the crew to join your cause. If successful, the ship is yours to do with as you please. Self destruct devices will not be triggered during such a mutiny. The insurrection will occur at the very end of the turn, so no battle will occur that turn. On the next turn, you will often find the insurrected ship amongst a fleet of enemy ships.

See also


Preceded by:
Attacking Ships
Manual (SEIV)
Section 6.4
Followed by:
Analyzing Ships