Drones (SEIV)

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Drones are a type of unit available in Space Empires IV. They are a difficult to use hybrid type sharing attributes of fighters, small ships, and mines. They are significantly larger than fighters being roughly comparable in size to satellites however they are smaller than the smallest ship classes. Due to their large size they can be equipped with many of the components found on ships. Drones are the only unit which can use a warp point.

Some facts about Drones

  • Drones are somewhat of a cross between a missile and a fighter. Small, medium and large drones get bonus movement of 1, 2, 3 respectively. All drones get a 50% defensive bonus for small size.
  • Anti-planet drones will attack ships, and vice versa, but if the incorrect warhead is on a drone for a given target, there will be no warhead damage. The mass of the warhead is counted when doing ramming damage, though.
  • Drones will self-destruct when they run out of supplies.
  • Drones are best used in large numbers to overwhelm defenses. You can "shift-click" a number of drones to make them move as a temporary fleet.
  • Drones can use many different weapons besides the warhead. Edit the drone strategies as necessary to fit the drone design. They can use beam weapons or even seekers. A seeker-launching drone can be a Point Defense nightmare for your opponent.
  • Bug in v1.84 and beyond: a temporary fleet of drones (shift-clicked) will warp through a warp point one at a time instead of in a fleet. This makes it impossible to overwhelm a warp point with drones.
  • You cannot recover drones once they are launched.
  • Drones can have strategies of their own, including not automatically ramming anything within range. If you like to use them, it might be a good idea to use decoy drones to soak up PDC fire (especially if you would like to do something different for once). (Alneyan)
  • After 1.91 patch, Anti-planet drones will not automatically be launched in combat. This was the fix to a problem where anti-planet drones would be launched in combat with no planet in the sector; drones can't be recovered so the drones tended to be lost.
  • You can self-destruct drones (only after they are launched, obviously).
  • Drones can be researched to 3 levels. As researching progresses, larger sizes of Drones become available; also, better drone warheads and launchers become available. Drone warheads are: anti-ship warheads and anti-planet warheads.
  • Drones can be difficult to use effectively.
  • Like fighters, drones in space will always use supplies each turn even if they don't move. Default is 200 per turn (settings.txt)
  • Drones are damaged by minefields (settings.txt)
  • Drones only appear in 1.60 and later.

Preceded by:
Manual (SEIV)
Section 8.5
Followed by:
Weapon Platforms