Target: Taurus Class Scout
- RACE: The Rebel Confederation (R), The Missing Colonies of Man (MCM)
- HULL: Mass 95, Fuel 590, Cargo 140, Crew 180, Tech Level 1
- HULL COST: MC 50, Dur 20, Tri 40, Moly 5, Tech Level Upgrades 0 MCs
- ARMAMENT: 2 Engines, 2 Beams
- SHIP ABILITIES: None
- RACIAL ENHANCEMENTS: Rebel Ground Attack (R), Planet Immunity (R)
Between the high mass, low cargo, and light armament of this vessel, the Taurus is at best a niche hull and at worst a complete waste of a ship slot. The large fuel tank, combined with beam weapons and dual engines, would make it an excellent addition to the Privateer fleet. The Fascists could use it to Pillage (except they’ve already got a light pillager); the Empire could use it as a scout (except they’ve already got a better one). And a mere pair of beam weapons, however powerful, are insufficient to either capture most worlds or defend them.
With the rise of Stellar Cartography, one might even consider this ship as a possible candidate for radiation shielding — but no. The Rebels have the Armored Transport; the Colonies have… nothing.
So why would anyone ever build a Taurus (except, perhaps, to trade to a Privateer)?
Talespin’s Deployment “The Porta-Potty”
ENGINES: Star Drive 1
As its name suggests, this deployment is designed for dumping – neutronium, of course. While it seems like this ship should be hauling waste, it does have a few redeeming qualities; for example, the ship’s mass and crew count make it difficult to capture, there are no other Tech 1 ships with such high fuel capacity, it’s as cheap as dirt, and – with no beam weapons – it’s a terrible prize for a Privateer.
When we can’t build the best, a bit of thought and resourcefulness changes the worst spaceship from useless to handy. The value of the Porta-Potty build is seen in the following situations:
- To extend its range and total cargo, a freighter or fuel carrier can tow this portable gas tank.
- If you know one of your ships is going to be sacrificed or destroyed in an upcoming battle, salvage your extra fuel in your Porta-Potty Taurus.
- After capturing a neutronium production facility, this vessel can be left at the planet to dump the fuel into the warpwell or carry it back to your territory.
- If you are resorting to “scorched earth” tactics to repel an invader, a Taurus designed in this fashion speeds up the process of stripping all fuel from your planets.
- If your planets and ships are overflowing with neutronium, this ship is great for hiding away the excess.
- Drop one of these tankers in the extremities of a warpwell and you have a refueling station for hyperjumping vessels — a “Smuggler’s Starbase”, if you will.
This little guy is certainly not a priority in a Colonial or Rebel fleet, but its uniqueness sets it apart. By popping out a few of these, you boost your logistical potential. If you’re still not convinced, you might consider the reality that your Cobols and Tranquilities probably have better things to do than move around fuel.
Gnerphk’s Deployment: “Tau Truck”
BEAMS: 2x Heavy Phaser
This vessel is superior to the Falcon or the Deep Space Scout in only one way: It has two engines. Whereas a Neutronic Fuel Carrier is both cheaper and lighter, making a better vessel for domestic towing — say, to shift around Merlins and Refineries — the Taurus has two beam weapons. This makes it marginally useful near the edges of enemy minefields, or as a cheap scout.
In the early game, this vessel is primarily useful as a way to move fuel, cargo, and expensive components (including hull minerals, don’t forget) from out-of-the-way starbases to more central locations; it recycles nicely, and can strip out all the fuel from vulnerable worlds along the way. Of equal importance, as a Tech 1 hull, it is less expensive than other ships that might be used for the same purpose.
In the later game, this ship has a special role in battling Robots, Crystals, and other invaders who specialize in offensive minefields: It can flee into a warp well with a massively overloaded fuel tank and survive, sweeping, for quite some time. If cornered, a single minehit can kill it; alternately, its destruction will only reward the killer with a single PBP. And, most importantly: If captured, all the enemy gets for their trouble is… a Taurus.
Keep your notepad ready: The next Insights In Sight will target the Scorpius Class Light Carrier.
– TS and G
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