Support Ships (SEIV)
Some examples of useful types of support ships are: "tankers" with lots of supply storage and supply generation components, "tenders" with Repair Bays or Space Yard components, and "point-defense ships" with lots of Point - Defense Cannons and at least one other weapon. "Hospital ships" with Medical Bays are used to stop plagues. (Capnq)
Mine Layers use the Mine Laying component to store and launch mines in selected sectors. Researching Construction, then Mines gives access to Mines, Mine Laying and Mine Sweeping components. Continued research in Mines will give improved versions of each.
Mine Sweepers use the Mine Sweeping component to sweep Mines. Researching Construction, then Mines gives access to Mines, Mine Laying and Mine Sweeping components. Continued research in Mines will give improved versions of each.
Satellite Layers use the Satellite Bay component to store and launch satellites in selected sectors. All empires start the game with the first level of Satellites already researched. Continued research in Satellites will give improved versions of each.
You can build supply ships to help extend your fleet's range. These ships will have supply storage, emergency resupply pod, and/or a quantum reactor. A precaution on using an emergency resupply pod is that the ship must be temporarily removed from the fleet to use the pod and when the pod is used, the supplies are immediately transferred to the ship that used the pod. Since the supply ship is not in the fleet at this time and the transfer of supplies to other ships in the fleet occurs at the end of the turn, any supply from the pod which is more than the supply ship can hold is lost. Make sure you build your supply ships to be able to receive the entire contents of a pod to make your fleet more efficient.
I like to make the all in one support ship. A ship that has cargo for troops, Mine sweepers and Repair all built into one. (Plus it is also the EM scanner anti-cloak scanner ship) This helps with making the ship very useful in 3 roles. Add a q.r. Quantum Reactor or some supplies as well to finish it off. As all ships should have spent 20kt on the supply bay. (Tesco Samoa)
Medical Ships are used to cure plagues. These ships make use of a Medical Bay, which can be obtained by researching Biology, then Medical Technology. There are 5 levels of plagues labeled I through V; there are levels of Medical Bays labeled I through V. A plague level "X" can be cured by a Medical Bay level "X" or higher. This is done by moving a ship with a Medical Bay to the sector with the plagued planet. Curing the plague is automatic. For more information on plagues see section 6.6.1.
Plagues are rather rare so some players won't spend the research on Medical Technology and choose to accept the loss of a plagued planet.
You don't have to make dedicated Medical Ships. A Medical Bay can be put on an auxiliary ship or better yet, on a Population Transport since these ships visit many planets anyway.
Scouts and Reconnaissance Ships
The primary function of these ships is to explore unknown systems. Important things to discover are: enemy presence and strength, enemy borders, colonizable planets, ruins, and a general knowledge of the quadrant. Knowing these things before your opponents will enable you to seize the initiative in these areas. You can colonize the best planets, get ruins first and set up defenses to maximize your empire size and strength.
The ideal Scouts and Recon ships are designed to be fast and with lots of supply for long range. They should have some kind of cloak detecting sensor, Long Range Scanner to see enemy designs, and Minesweeping capability. Normally they are lightly armed if at all and try to avoid combat. They have cloaking technology so that they can stealthily spy on other empires. They normally use armor instead of shields since they are not designed for combat and shields don't protect against mines or damaging warp points or other damaging sectors. Since you have all this high technology on these ships, you don't want them captured so a Self Destruct Device will prevent your opponent from capturing the ship and gaining lots of technology (SSD won't protect against the "Crew Insurrection" Intel project). Obviously it is difficult to include all these abilities on your scouts, especially in the early game so you must decide which to research and include.
Point Defense Ships
These ships have many point defense cannons and at least 1 other weapon.
Spaceyard and Repair Ships
Having a spaceyard ship as part of your fleet will allow you to do many good things. You can retrofit your fleet while out in space. You can repair damage; a ship with repair bays can repair more damaged components per kt than a spaceyard, though. You can repair Emergency Propulsion Pods and Emergency Resupply Pods, which cannot be repaired with a repair bay in v1.84. You can mothball & unmothball ships. You can analyze captured ships. You can build replacement ships and units - building replacement units while a fleet is not moving is a good use of your SY ship. You can scrap ships; rarely used, but useful for captured enemy ships which are too weak or too low in tech to keep around.
mobile spaceyard ships for Ring Worlds and Sphere Worlds (SEIV)
mobile spaceyard ships for hiding in storm or nebula
(Cargo, Troop, etc.)
I like to make a few "Dump Trucks" which are large transports with almost all cargo. Sometimes I put some Satellite or Mine layers on them to make them a little more flexible. Keeping one of these with your fleet allows you to carry enormous amounts of junk that you might want to carry around with you like extra population, troops, weapon platforms, replacement fighters, etc. If you have a spaceyard ship with your fleet and your fleet is stationary for at least 1 turn, you can "build 1 turn's worth" of something and the items will be placed in your Dump Truck for future use. (Slick)
Stellar Manipulation Ships
Battleship Planetmaker: I like to design my planetmaker on a BB hull because I like to use a spaceyard instead of a repair bay to repair the Matter Gravity Sphere (used to create the planets from asteroids). The reason I use a spaceyard is that I also include an Emergency Propulsion component to zip around. These stellar manipulation ships cost lots of maintenance so I want to minimize time in transit. Emergency Propulsion components cannot be repaired by a Repair Bay so they need a spaceyard component to repair them.
Attack and Defense Ships
| Manual (SEIV)