Understanding the ship types

With the campaign upgrade at Planets.Nu we now have about 200 different ship classes available to build. Only a few players with an elephant memory know each and every ship and can tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of this specific design. But there is another way to easily understand the different ship types. This little guide shows, what Tim Wisseman had in mind, when he designed and named the ships in Planets 3.x

The starship types Tim used are derivates from a range of ships types that have been in military use until the mid of the 20th century – and partly are until today. These ship types have certain abilites and weaknesses which are reflected in Tim’s great game:



Probes are very light ships equipped with a hyper drive and up to two beam weapons. They can travel up to 81 lightyears or when hyperjumping between 340-360 lightyears in one turn. Their initial purpose is to quickly scout out areas far away from the original starting point, and since they are one of the fastest ways to travel in the Planets universe, they are often used for cash transportation in the mid- and endgame.


Deep Space Freighters:

Freighters are very light unarmed ships with a great cargo hold and a large fuel tank.
Their purpose is to transport freight of any kind to keep the economy running. Freighters are not equipped with weapons or shield generators.


Scouts and Escorts:

Scout and escort ships are very small lightly armed ships with a great fuel tank but very small cargo hold. They have only one engine and up to two beam weapons. This ship type is relatively economic to build, but can not tow other ships, which makes it rather bad for catching freighters. Typically a scout type will be found far away from home in the early game, and be used for money transfers in the later game, since it can travel non-stop over large distances.



Transports are lightly armed ships similar to the unarmed freighters. They often act as supply vessels or as production ships for fighters. Transports have a large cargo hold and fuel tank, a medium mass and will loose nearly any ship battle



Destroyers are small ships equpped with up to 4 beam weapons and/or up to 4 torpedo tubes. Due to their very light hull design they are quite vulnerable in comparison to their firepower. Destroyers typically have a pretty small cargo hold and a medium range. The purpose of the destroyer type is to defeat smaller ship classes like escorts or gunboats while maintaining a certain versatility. Destroyers normallyaccompany  larger battle groups.



Frigates originally have a similar design to a destroyer but are slightly larger. They hold a great amount of firepower while being very vulnerable due to their low hull mass, and usually have a small cargo hold and range. Frigates are typically the lightest ship type that can do limited operations on their own, but often are seen in battlegroups. With the new new hull designs in the Campaign Games some heavier frigate classes have become available, of which most are designed to perform one certain mission especially well.



Cruisers are the typical midsize ship. They often carry a similar firepower to most frigates while having a higher mass, fuel tank and mostly also cargo hold. Due to their large range and little to fear they can often be seen alone or in loose battlegroups far away from their home territory. The main purpose of a cruiser is the economic war, it is designed to disturb freighter and supply lines, outgun most other ship types and outrun those few it has to fear. It’s large cargo hold often makes this ship a good pirate ship and an ideal minelayer, as which it is often seen when operating close to larger battlegroups. Cruisers usually are equipped with 4-8 beam weapons and up to 6 torpedo tubes.



The battleship is the strongest ship type that is equipped with torpedo tubes. It usually has a medium range and cargo hold, a high mass and armament. It usually cannot follow a cruiser over long distances or carry the same amount of cargo, but will destroy any of the smaller ship types in battle. Battleships usually are seen in battlegroups together with other battleships, supply vessels, destroyers and cruisers. A battleship usually has 8-10 beam weapons, 5-10 torpedo tubes and it is capabale of laying small to medium size minefields.


Carriers and Baseships:

Carriers typically are made for fighting, if nothing else. Instead of carrying torpedo tubes, they are equipped with fighter bays that can launch deep space fighters into battle.
They exist in various sizes from very light hull designs to big battlestars. Heavy carriers are the strongest ship type in the game and sometimes are capable of destroying a fully equipped starbase on their own. Usually they have a medium size cargo hold, a very large fuel tank a high mass and can be equipped with up to 10 fighter bays and beam weapons.
Typically the heavy carriers are part of a battlegroup and are accompanied by supply ships, battleships or minelayers.

written by: Thin

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