(written by ECV)
This article reflects my own opinion about what to build on the first turn. In a previous post, I asserted that a Large Deep Space Freighter (LDSF) with Transwarp Drives is always a safe choice to build. I reaffirm that it is acceptable to build the LDSF on the first turn.
In my opinion, however, there is a better choice for everyone. Every race should build a capital ship (a ship with weapons – also known as a warship) on turn 1.
In the very earliest turns, these should be your priorities – in rough order of importance:
- Finding natives
- Finding your neighbors
- Wide positional expansion and colonization
- Obscuring your homeworld
- Having the ability to attack something far away
- Building two-engine ships with low ID numbers
On the first turn, every race that can build a cloaker should build a cloaker. This satisfies every single criterion above.
On the first turn, every race that can build a bioscanner should build a bioscanner to find natives, since this is priority number one.
On the first turn, every race that can build a HYP ship should build a HYP ship. This satisfies and #2, #3, and #4 above. (Top secret: if you don’t build a HYP ship on turn 1, certain early-game expert players such as Thin will be more likely to find your homeworld very quickly.)
Now without further ado, here is my opinion of what each race should build on turn 1, with notes about the following turns.
Fed – Brynhild Class Escort. Use this ship for the bioscanner and light colonization. Low tech is fine. On the next turns, you will build LDSF or other ships with large cargo holds to start moving clans.
Lizard – Lizard Class Cruiser. This is your very best ship, so build it with Transwarp engines and decent weapons. Look for natives, find your neighbors, and expand. This is the ship you want on your outer planets at the beginning of the game. If you don’t find good natives on the following turns, continue to build LCC until you do.
Bird – Resolute Class Battlecruiser. This is your very best ship, With transwarp engines and decent weapons, it will be the strongest ship in the entire sector on turn 2 (along with the Crystals’ Emerald which has very similar specifications). Unlike the Crystals, however, you will be sneaking around and expanding far and wide. If you don’t find good natives, continue to build Resolutes until you do.
Fascist – D7 Class Cruiser. Sneak around and establish your position. When you find good natives, build LDSF to export clans. Campaign games: The Armored Ore Condenser with Transwarp engines is a great choice for the first turn because you can increase mineral densities on the planets you visit while colonizing.
Privateer – Meteor Class Blockade Runner. Build with Transwarp Drives, X-Ray Lasers, and no tubes. Sneak around very far from home. On the next turns, build LDSF when you find natives. The Lady Royale with Transwarp Drives is a good choice for basic colonization of contiguous planets, but try to build as many Meteors as possible.
Cyborg – B200 Class Probe. Build with mid-level engines and weapons. Far and wide expansion and finding natives far away must be the first priority, but don’t give away the position of your homeworld. On turns 2 and 3, build LDSF for moving clans and exporting starbases.
Crystal – Emerald Class Battlecruiser. This is your very best ship and has a great cargo hold, so it can serve nearly as well as the LDSF for exporting clans. SpaceSquad’s video explores the Crystal opening in depth. Campaign games: I would seriously consider building the Sapphire Class Space Ship on the first turn.
Empire – PL21 Class Probe. Build with mid-level engines and weapons. You get to discover your neighbors before anyone else. Just don’t jump out into space exactly 350LY from your homeworld right away. On turns 2 and 3, build LDSF for moving clans and exporting starbases.
Robot – Pawn Class Baseship. This is an incredible ship and it would be foolish not to build it for its 100% bioscanner. Low tech is fine. The reason that people hesitate to build the Pawn is its extreme mineral cost. High mineral cost is a very silly reason not to build a great ship, since you get 100% of minerals back when you recycle it. You won’t be keeping this ship for the whole game anyway, so recycle it when you run out of Duranium. Campaign games: There’s a new and improved Pawn available and it’s much cheaper.
Rebel – Falcon Class Escort. Mid-tech engines and weapons are fine. You need to establish position in the cluster, and this is the first step. Do not jump into deep space 350LY from your homeworld immediately. On turns 2 and 3, build LDSF for moving clans and exporting starbases.
Colony – Cobol Class Cruiser. This is your best ship. Build with Transwarp Drives. You can travel far and wide with no need for fuel. Set the mission to Bio Scan and when you find natives, use LDSF to export clans. Also, the Lady Royale with Transwarp Drives is a good choice for basic colonization of contiguous planets, but try to build as many Cobols as possible.
In conclusion, I’d like to reiterate the assertion in the Q&A section of Straight Talk About the Tractor Beam that all players should build two-engine ships in the early turns, with the exception of those races that build probes. This is important because you need a few ships with very low ID numbers that can tow.
I expect to get lambasted by some who say that the Cyborg/Empire/Rebel should not build a probe on the first turn, or even should wait until the second starbase to build probes. Again, what I have written is an opinion and I will restate that the LDSF is a good choice (just not the best choice) for everyone on turn 1. The LDSF indeed may be a better choice for those three races if your opponents are all beginners. With advanced opponents who study the map, you want a probe.
Please, leave comments stating your agreements, disagreements, or questions!