Target: Lady Royale Class Cruiser
- RACE: The Privateer Bands (P), The Missing Colonies of Man (MCM)
- HULL: Mass 130, Fuel 670, Cargo 160, Crew 270, Tech Level 5
- HULL COST: MC 250, Dur 52, Tri 61, Moly 83, Tech Level Upgrades 1000 MCs
- ARMAMENT: 2 Engines, 4 Beams, 1 Launcher
- SHIP ABILITIES: Gambling Ship
- RACIAL ENHANCEMENTS: Rob
The primary purpose of this vessel is as a cash-producing gambling ship. Every economy not lucky enough to have excellent natives could benefit from a few of these in the early game. One customary tactic is to station it next to a starbase permanently set to “Unload Freighters;” the colonists thus go home every night to make more colonists after generating massive amounts of cash. (They do need to be manually re-loaded every turn, but that’s a small price to pay.)
In addition, the Lady Royale can substitute as a decent minelayer. It’s not designed for front-line combat, but in a reserve role it’s not the worst fighter, particularly against low-mass raiders. The vast fuel tanks give it exceptional range. In the worst case, it can be expended end-game as a shield-scratcher or even for Priority Build Points in a Merlin Build Control scenario, but until the end game it will always be too valuable logistically to even consider such an end.
Gnerphk’s Deployment: “Sugar Mama”
ENGINES: Nova Drive 5 or less
BEAMS: 4x X-Rays
TORPEDO LAUNCHERS: 1x Mark 4
PAYLOAD: 160 clans
Both the Privateer and the Colonies should build these early in the game to aid in early colony development.
The main limiting factor on early economic growth is that of cash; there’s never enough, so newly colonized planets tend to spend their entire Factory production of Supplies on construction. This is, of course, highly inefficient; planetary production if boosted by cash can come online a dozen turns or more sooner.
When towed by a Meteor (P) or Cobol (MCM), this ship can be used to drop cash as it travels; the major colonizing will be done by the towing vessel, which will also haul supplies. The Colonizer should never drop any Colonists until it’s ready to return to a colonist hub — either the homeworld or a closer world stocked by larger freighters.
In the later game, these can be used by Privateer as fuelless rob ships thanks to the vast Neutronium tank; Colonies can deploy them behind attacking fleets as mobile fuel depots as well as economic support for the newly captured worlds.
Talespin’s Deployment: “The Paver”
ENGINES: Transwarp Drive
BEAMS: 4x Plasma Bolts
TORPEDO LAUNCHERS: 1x Mark 4
PAYLOAD: 100 clans + 60 supplies
As mentioned in Gnerphk’s build, the key to economic development is Mega Credits. A planet’s production only grows as fast as its money supply allows. This deployment allows the Lady Royale Class Cruiser to travel deep into the centre of the map and build up a functioning core of planets. As the first ship on the scene, she will pave the road for other vessels.
At the beginning of the game, identify a dense grouping of planets. The best clusters are toward the middle of the starmap but there may be one closer. The Lady is not going to fight for new colonies so avoid sending her to contested regions. Instead of combat, the Paver quickly builds enough defense posts to repel probes, scouts, and wandering freighters.
As she generates her own cash, this cruiser stocks up en route to her destination. She establishes four to eight colonies with a strong foundation of factories, mines, and outposts. (Don’t forget to put those clans back in your hold after you construct your planetary buildings. Money must be made!) When the colonization is complete, you refill the Lady Royale with cargo from a follow-up ship and launch her into another area; optionally, you load torpedoes and protect the cluster with minefields.
Note: In the hands of the Privateers, the better choice is most likely the Sugar Mama build (see above). Towing the Lady Royale with gravitonic engines is much faster. For the Colonies, the Paver build can free up Cobols for other tasks.
Keep your notepad ready: The next Insights In Sight will target the White Falcon Class Cruiser.
– TS and G
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